Monthly Archives: April 2010

It Came From Amazon

Like many horror fans, I check out Amazon.com a lot: Looking for deals and new releases, doing research for future articles or just checking out old cover art to kill some time. More often than not, I’ll happen upon something that I hadn’t set out to look for, but still find interesting enough to squirrel away the link for future use. And, well, the future is now:

What’s the point of making an action figure based on the 1910 version of Frankenstein’s monster if you’re going to radically alter the look of the creature to the point it’s unrecognizable?

Jim Knipfel’s The Buzzing seems like a really odd novel. It’s got a human private eye whose last name is “Baragon” and despite references to Godzilla movies and other Toho productions being fictional, the Seatopians from Godzilla vs. Megalon are treated as if they exist within the book’s universe.

Someone made a kaiju themed hip hop group. Wow.

This is the greatest DVD cover ever made.


Oh look, a horror anthology made up of reprints from…CTHULHU SEX MAGAZINE!?

I’m stunned that Media Blasters’ DVD cover retained the unauthorized use of the Millennium Falcon from Evils of the Night’s original poster art. Especially since the VHS release had the good sense to replace the poster art altogether.

I don’t know why, but something about the semi-cartoony artwork for Planet of Blood (also known as The Queen of Blood in your mythology) appeals to me.

The company behind this VHS release of The Legend of Blood Castle had some serious balls. They make their Bela Lugosi wannabe and the word “Dracula” the most prominent things on the box in order to trick unwary folks into thinking it’s the Universal classic, but also have “In the tradition of” above it all so they can’t get sued for false advertising.

You’ve gotta love the Amityville-style, carnivorous castle on this cover for Blood of Dracula’s Castle.

Oh crap, the skeleton from the Bloody New Year VHS cover is a Nazi? In case you’re wondering, Blood Sucking Nazi Zombies is just a retitling of Jesús “Jess” Franco’s Oasis of the Zombies.

Look at the price Biokids is going for these days. While $20+ isn’t the highest price for an old VHS, it still makes me wish I had been able to buy this cheaply when I had the chance to years ago. From what little I can find about the movie online, Biokids is a Filipino parody of a Japanese series called Bioman that was popular over there, which got brought to the USA to cash in on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers craze.

What the…

I can’t believe someone was dumb enough to put Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster on a “public domain” VHS triple feature. I can understand the inclusion of Godzilla vs. Megalon since that was widely believed to be PD at one time, but Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster? I bet Toho absolutely reamed the company behind this.

ATOR!

Please ignore the lack of cover art and focus on the fact that a movie called Adam & Eve vs. The Cannibals actually exists. I’m not kidding.

This Is Just A Tribute

Glen Danzig, Doyle and Jerry Only don’t need to get back together.  If they ever do, I know five million people who will drive, fuck and/or kill for tickets for that Misfits reunion but at this point, those three (plus Robo) don’t need to get together.

What brought this up? I found youtube videos of not one but TWO (!) GWAR tribute bands – Wharghouls and The Heat Seeking Moisture Missiles. How much brass do you have to have to attempt making a GWAR tribute band, knowing that you need some resources to ever come close to the fantastic spectacle of the original act? I tip my hat to those two bands for coming together for a mutual love of GWAR and the music. These two bands have brass by the ton.

Tribute bands are a strange animal. When living in a tri-city area, there was a club that seemed to spend three nights a week hosting a tribute band.

BANDNAME: A TRIBUTE TO ORIGINAL BAND was always in the listing. BADFISH: A TRIBUTE TO SUBLIME. EARTH: A TRIBUTE TO BLACK SABBATH. DARK STAR ORCHESTRA: A TRIBUTE TO THE GRATEFUL DEAD. And fuck, how many KISS tributes are out there? If there’s any band other than GWAR that seemed un-tribute-able, I would have to say Motorhead. That’s just a bit too close to heresy for me but who knows?

I know Badfish has been around for years and there are some Beatle Tribute acts that rake in the dough. If you can put on a decent replicate of something that is no longer available (such as Badfish and the Beatles) then it makes sense that it would be lucrative.

And it also seems to make sense. Tribute bands are different than cover bands. Cover bands are just that – bands that play covers whereas tribute bands pay tribute to one specific act. They look like the act, act, play the music; it’s a close imitation, a tribute to the band. In doing that, it makes the music and the band in question (the one receiving tribute, not the actual tribute band) seem larger than life; the original members were needed to facilitate the music’s creation but after that, it was meant for the fans. This is a little artsty-fartsy thinking that borderlines on hippie shit (or, internet piracy.) There’s money involved, licensing and permissions. Ask any Frank Zappa tribute act about whether the Zappa Family Trust thinks the music is owned by the fans and they’ll wave their Cease And Desist orders in your face.

But it’s nice to think about it, on the fuckedupthinking level. Which brings me back to the Misfits – the Misfits don’t ever have to get back together because the spooky music scene is to me, in essence, one giant Misfits cover band.

Hell, if you play death rock, pyschobilly or spooky surf, aren’t you required to play a Misfits cover? If you see Black Pyramid, ask Gein to show you his tattoos of Glen Danzig. There’s the Crimson Ghosts, who play surf renditions of Misfits songs. Last Halloween, a band called TV Casualty played in Philly, featuring Ted Leo, Adam Goren members of Paint It Black/Franklin. There’s MisFats and MsFits. Misfits shit is sold en masse in HotTopics across the world. Misfits bands live from Japan to Europe and everywhere in between.

If I were to hear Glen sing ‘Horror Business’ again, it would be a pleasurable novelty but it’s 2010. ‘Cough/Cool’ is thirty-three years old and ‘Walk Among Us’ is turns twenty-eight this year. Seeing some horror band bust out a cover, no matter how twisted or bizarre it might be, will be more important to me. I wasn’t around for the original Misfits. There are people involved in spooky music who spent school lives and summers with the Misfits, who saw the original incarnations in person and boycotted the fake renditions that have come out since 1997. To them, the actual Misfits are important but to the countless others who came after 1984, it’s more the music than the musicians.

If Jerry and Glen were to settle the stupid shit between them and work out a tour in 2012, marking the 35th(!) anniversary of the Misfits, I hope that all those who saw those four boys from Jersey get a chance to see them play one more time. For those who weren’t there, the music has been around and will be around for those who come after us, played by bands paying tribute to the sounds that make their heads shake and bones rattle.

Or not. We all might be dead. Fuck it. Have a drink and be happy either way, ghouls.

Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas

When the Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas screener came in the mail, I was psyched. The accompanying promotional material described a plot about two stoners’ Christmas wish for marijuana going horribly wrong when Santa accidentally brings some zombie weed instead. As if Santa turning into a zombie wasn’t bad enough, Nixon and Hogan have to juggle finishing Santa’s delivery route and keeping Sasparilla the Weed Witch from stealing Santa’s magic!

Further online research had told me the production company specialized in gory, over-the-top low budget horror comedies set in Strangeville. “Cool, so it’ll be like a Troma movie” I had thought. Perfect to watch with my brother and our visiting from out of state cousin (who loves Troma films), right?

Wrong.
I thought we were prepared. I thought we could handle it. I was very mistaken…


This review is based on a DVD-R screener. A/V quality and features might not necessarily reflect those of the actual release

The official slogan for Hack Movies is “Where Comedy Punches Horror in the Nuts” and truer words were never spoken. Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas is more of a comedy than it is a horror film. Although the movie has a warlock, pumpkin monster, interdimensional fish-god and tentacled pig demons (along with the previously-mentioned witch and zombie), they only make scattered appearances for the majority of the film. Zombie Santa looks more like a diseased old man than a zombie (although it does suit his characterization as a dirty ol’ perv) and only eats one brain. Certainly not the zombie rampage I was hoping for.

As for the comedic stuff, your mileage may vary. You had better love blatant plugs for the company, along with the terms “piece” and “Colombian smoke weed,” because you’ll be hearing them a lot during the course of the film. And nothing makes a 72 minute runtime feel like hours quite like numerous scenes of pot smoking and masturbation. Long, unmoving shots of guys pawing at their groins while squishy sound effects play. I apologized to my fellow viewers a lot due to stuff like that. Remember, we had all seen our fair share of Troma movies and I’m a huge Puppetose fan. And yet this movie still made us cringe.

But that’s not to say that there weren’t parts that we enjoyed. While most of the cast over or under acted (done on purpose, I’m sure) too much for our tastes, there were a few whose performances we liked. Of these, the actors playing Santa and the “Marvin the Martian”-sounding Mortok the Warlock both gave perfect, hilariously over-the-top performances. You’re practically guaranteed laughs every scene they’re in, with Santa’s mostly-clothed sex scene with two girls being (IMHO) the funniest scene in the whole movie. I also got a kick out of the scenes involving Hogan’s dealer, Nixon’s bathroom woes and the amusing twist on “the true meaning of Christmas” speeches found in many a Christmas special.

Although the film’s low budget is obvious, I was impressed with the well-made
opening credits and how the video quality doesn’t scream “shot on a commercial grade mini-DV camera.” It’s refreshing to see a SOV filmmaker taking the extra effort to avoid that look. Even on the DVD-R, the clear, widescreen transfer looked great and did not suffer from any artifacting problems. Similarly, the audio was clear and distortion-free. Although not available on the screener, the actual release has special features including (but not limited to) two commentaries, behind the scenes videos and bloopers.

Although I think the film would have benefited from some changes in the script or being reedited into some short films, I think that a lot of my problems with the film stem from how I’m not really part of the target audience. The shout-out to “all the Juggalos and Juggalettes” for their support in the end credits made that pretty clear. So if you’re thinking of watching anything by Hack Movies, I recommend watching some of the videos at their official Youtube channel to see whether or not their particular brand of microbudget, politically incorrect stuff is your sort of thing.

Special thanks to Hack Movies for the review copy!

My Own Easter Egg

A couple days late, but still smelling fresh, I have found that Troma has a Hulu Channel. (Was this covered here on GdL before? How long have I been out?)

You’ve got all the Toxic Avenger movies, Killer Condom, Cannibal! The musical and Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (as well as some others.)

Easter Egg Hunt

Although the term “Easter Egg” can refer to something hidden in anything from a computer program to a web browser, horror fans generally think of hidden surprises on DVDs when they hear the term. Since it wouldn’t be much of a hunt if we just listed how to find hidden features on certain horror DVDs, we’ve opted to set up a link to help you search for “Easter Eggs” in the depths of alt.horror.

Also, we’ve hidden some articles that discuss certain Easter Eggs amongst the following:

Holidaze:

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Father’s Day!
El Día de los Muertos
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Birthday Godzilla!

News ‘n Reviews:

Pieces
Winterbeast
Cat in the Brain
Lost and found
Old news and new news
Is this the end of civilization as we know it?

Happy Easter!

Don’t Forget…

Voting for the Rondo Awards ends tonight at midnight!

Zero Punctuation Attacks "The Darkness"

but with humor, not a magic missile.

But what is Zero Punctuation? Back in July 2007, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw embarked on an (as he put it) “experiment” to see if he could make a video game review on Youtube using only audio and images (mostly still, some animated). The subject of the review was the Playstation 3 demo for the horror-themed video game The Darkness (based on the Top Cow book of the same name). So, direct from his Youtube channel, here’s the hilarious and NSFW review:

Happily, the experiment was a success and Yahtzee was later approached by the online gaming magazine The Escapist to feature further installments there. Its success also led to the creation of his own humor website, Fully Ramblomatic. Check ’em both out!