June 30, 2015

Movie Review: Stitches

There have been some great some great killer clown movies over the years. At the top of the pile has to be It, but then you have the likes of Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and perhaps Amusement, The Houses October Built, and even Killjoy (as uneven and low budget as the series is). Then you have your films with influential clown elements, like Poltergeist, Zombieland, and House of 1000 Corpses. Now we have a new contender on the battle for killer clown supremacy with Stitches. I doubt it will ever be able to climb to the top of the heap, but there is no denying the entertainment value and the effort put on display here.

June 29, 2015

Movie Review: Ted 2

It was just about three years ago that Family Guy/American Dad mastermind Seth MacFarlane made the jump from the animates small screen to the live action big screen with the first Ted film. Now, these are not to be confused with Ted Talks, those are quite a different thing. Ted seems to be much more like the grown up adventures of Stewie and his teddy bear, Rupert. Of course, the names were changed to protect the innocent, but the thought process seems pretty on point. Anyway, the sequel picks up some years later with Ted marrying his girlfriend from the first film, Tami-Lynn, and then the couple deciding to have a baby. Comedy ensues.

Screening Report: Nurses for Sale (6/28/15 Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY)

If there is one thing to be thankful for, it is discovering screenings of old, cult, classic, obscure, and forgotten films. Over the past five or six years I have been able to see some great and some not so great movies in a theater projected from original, or at least older 35mm sources. There is just something about seeing these things on the big screen, there is history to these prints and that adds to an experience that cannot be replaced. The latest film I had the opportunity to see was a little known film called Nurses for Sale, better known in its original form as Käpt'n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli and then as Captain Typhoon.

June 28, 2015

Movie Review: Combat Shock

Do you ever watch a movie that, once finished, you feel rather meh about? A movie that may have some good stuff, but you wonder about the execution and whatnot? I am sure you have, everyone has, whether you recognize it or not. Now, have you ever had one of those movies stick in your brain, rattle around a bit and ultimately leave you with a changed opinion of said movie, for better or worse? Well, Combat Shock is one of those movies for me. I came out of it with a middling feeling that changes into something that I really liked. Although, it is certainly not a movie for everyone.

June 27, 2015

Sound Byte: Pro-Pain - Voice of Rebellion

I remember when my music tastes were beginning to expand beyond glam metal and grunge in the early-90’s, I felt encouraged to try stuff based on cover art. You remember, back in the day when you could go to a music or movie store and browse stuff, there really is no better way to find some new stuff. Doing this I was turned on to bands like Pantera, Sepultura, Biohazard, and Pro-Pain. I remember listening to that first Pro-Pain album, The Foul Taste of Freedom. That was a pretty solid album and certainly a little different than I was used to, not being much of a punk or hardcore fan. It was also early in the rapping metal days.

June 26, 2015

Sound Byte: Shardborne - Living Bridges

As much as I like music, I do not listen to a whole lot of instrumental music outside of film scores. However, that is not to say there is not a lot of great instrumental music out there. One of my earlier CD's was a well played copy of Steve Vai's Passion and Warfare, an early favorite that featured some great playing and experimentation. Also, one of my favorite bands is all instrumental (Goblin). Still, instrumental is rarely a go to for me. I guess I should be glad that the latest from Shardborne crossed my desk. Living Bridges is a rather exciting work.

June 25, 2015

Sound Byte: Eskimo Callboy - Crystals

Have you ever listened to an album and been utterly confused as what they were supposed to be or what they were trying to do, or simply just it was in general? Well, that just happened to me as I was listening to the album Crystals by a band called Eskimo Callboy. Granted, I was wondering “What?” just based on the band name. What does that even mean? I don’t know, I am not sure I want to know, and ultimately don’t think it really matters. The music, on the other hand, just leaves me shaking my head. I do not like it, but it is rather infectious.

June 24, 2015

Movie Review: Preservation (2014)

Survival horror can be an entertaining sub-genre of horror, it has turned out some excellent films of the years, from classics like The Evil Dead to more recent entries like You're Next. They can be grueling, horrific journeys into the lengths people will go to, the depths of being, in order to survive. Then there are movies like Preservation, on the surface entertaining enough, but feels like it could have used a few more rewrites. On one hand it tries to be realistic, on the other hand it goes a little over the top. Neither side goes to far and they kind of trip each other up, resulting in a middling affair.

Sound Byte: Enforcer - From Beyond

Thrash and the classic metal sound, I am convinced will never go away. Just like there are singers and bands keeping the sounds of Sinatra, The Beatles, and others alive, that classic sound of metal pioneered in the 1980’s will never go away. Whether you are talking about acts like Warbringer, 3 Inches of Blood, or the fact that bands like Iron Maiden are still releasing new music, metal will never die. This cannot be in more evidence than when you check out recent releases from bands like Ranger, or this new one from thrashers Enforcer. From the old school cover art and logo to the execution of the sound, be ready to put your horns up high.

June 23, 2015

Movie Review: Dope (2015)

Some movies like to sneak up on you and surprise you when you least expect it. It can be a pretty great feeling, can't it? Think about all of those movies you saw that you did not have any expectations for or even knew anything about beforehand. When the credits role, you sit there contemplating what it is you just saw. Well, I just experienced one of those movies. Dope is a really good, almost great, film that blends reality with an easier to digest fantasy to make its point, a point that is spelled out in the final moments, if you did not get it earlier, or rather, gave it a punctuation point. It is funny, dramatic, and genuine.

Sound Byte: Native Construct - Quiet World

Over the years, I have listened to my fair share of strange music. You know, the stuff that exists outside the mainstream and could be termed a little eclectic. I would include acts like Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs III, My Own Private Alaska, and some of Les Claypool’s projects among them. I now have another one to add to the mix, Native Construct. This is not a bad thing. There is something to be said about those who experiment outside of the usual some structure and try to create something new and different. Native Construct is certainly different, and I think I kind of like it.

June 22, 2015

Movie Review: Inside Out and Lava

Pixar has returned to the big screen for the first time since 2013, when Monsters University graced the big screen. It is also the film that has helped restore my faith in the groundbreaking and inventive studio, as I feel they had been slipping since the excellent Toy Story 3 back in 2010. Inside Out is simply fantastic; however, it also feels a bit like they are trying to show off their uber-creative side again. It is not that I feel they are trying too hard, it is just that the concept they are playing with is not an easy one to visualize. It also feels a little like they left the young audience behind with a movie that is a touch more mature and slower paced.

Sound Byte: Ranger - Where Evil Dwells

My journey through the musical landscape has been a strange one, not unlike my cinematic journey. They both began late, did not have a lot of outside guidance and required a lot of floundering around by me. To that end, my discovery of certain bands and styles has been roundabout to say the least. My experience is vastly different than that of many of my friends. I am not sure if that is good or bad. In any case, one of the recent albums to cross my desk is the debut full length from Ranger, a modern throwback.

June 21, 2015

Sound Byte: Corpse Garden - Entheogen

Hailing Costa Rica, Corpse Garden is ready to unleash their second full length album on an unsuspecting worldwide populace. I must admit, prior to learning of this release, I had never heard of them. I am somewhat glad that changed. While, I do not think they will ever become a favorite of mine, there is no denying they have some definite skills to allow them to compete on a global scale. Not to mention, their band name is pretty cool. If you try to search it on Wikipedia, you will be directed to the body farm page, where you can learn about facilities that study human decomposition.