Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hallucination Strip (RaroVideo Blu-ray) - Nostalgia Trip a la Bud Cort

I watched Harold and Maude quite a lot in my teens and early twenties. It was the perfect counterculture flick for a young, goth-punk who didn't give a fuck, and understood how Ruth Gordon could be attractive even in her later years. The damn movie even made me a great big Cat Stevens fan for about three years. Let me repeat that... for three years I thought I LOVED Cat Stevens. That's quite a movie, but it wasn't Cat and it wasn't Ruth, it was Bud Cort with which I admittedly identified. I spent hours with friends watching it, getting loaded, playing strange party games and really got to know it. Funny enough this is about the same time I became enamored with Rosemary's Baby also starring Gordon. Back to the H and the M. Who wouldn't want to create their own Jaguar Hearse? Or play a joke on a Hawkish uncle in a need of a lesson in reality. Who wouldn't want to fall in love, blind love or fake his own death at the site of so many unloves.  There's comic genius in his eyes and his dead pan delivery. Cort has worked continuously for years, though nothing ever seemed to have hit me like Harold and Maude, and that's just one reason why I'm glad to recommend Hallucination Strip to Bud Cort fans, fans of RaroVideo and fans of strange, psychedelic Italian cinema.

Synopsis from RaroVideo:

Lucio Marcaccini’s only film, Hallucination Strip is a psychedelic trip with a social commentary. Bud Cort, in his debut performance, plays Massimo Monaldi, a student involved in political protests and juvenile delinquency. When Massimo steals a valuable tobacco box, he quickly becomes tangled in a dangerous web between the police and the mafia. Culminating in an extended and elaborately choreographed party sequence, underscored with an excellent soundtrack by Albert Verrecchia, Hallucination Strip excels with it’s not-so-subtle mix of sex, drugs, religion, politics and corruption.
Trailer:


With a name and description like that you might be apt to think that you need to dowse yourself in a few hits of blotter paper or perhaps a button or two. Not so. This is a well thought out movie complete with a balance between three distinct groups: the young rabble, out for fun and excitement, the police who wish to preserve some semblance of order while the counterculture runs amuck in mid 70's Italy and the mafiosa who don't like to be stolen from, are unsympathetic to ruckus rabble and have the means and desire to hunt like dogs. The is novel, pitting a three way orgy of strange conflict. There is minimal tension or mystery in the story and yet, knowing the title, knowing what you know about the film upfront, you await certain debauchery no matter what form it will take. The suspense is waiting for the turn on, the juice, the hallucinogenics. Late in the movie, in the third act the whole thing comes to a head. The drugs are dispensed and a strange experimental glut of colorful images pour onto the screen. It's indicative of 60's art films, and feels more like an estranged, ahead of its time Sonic Youth music video than an Italian crime story.

With a radiant score that tickles the brain with novelty, Hallucination Strip exciting and refreshing and parts way with formula to provide a story that feels fresh. Bud Cort, the aforementioned legendary hero of my youth, isn't quite the funny guy he was in Harold and Maude, but it's a pleasure to watch him create a completely different character. A cool hipster, rebel with eyes on hedonism and a distaste for control. In some ways he really is the hero I grew up with, loving unconditionally though not full of heart and with a pouting disrespect for authority that leads to trouble, drama and drives the story home.

Raro's release is a special one featuring their characteristic packaging of which I am a tremendous fan. Slip sleeve and insert with more traditional and psychedelic artwork. The booklet inside that accompanies the release includes a brief history of director Lucio Marcaccini whose filmmaking experience was rather short lived and limited to Hallucination Strip. The contents quickly shifts to the perspective of some of the actors including Bud Cort who gets star treatment. From there we encounter a short history of LSD complete with a factual lesson, anecdotal evidence from Hollywood and an eye into some of the visuals provided in H.S. It is an HD transfer from a 35mm negative digitally remastered. 1920 x 1080 at 23.976. 1.85:1 in Italian with English subtitles. Stereo audio. The extras include both the English and Italian trailers and an interview with the film editor.

You can order a copy of Hallucination Strip now, but make sure to watch it unfettered (not ripped out of your skull) once before indulging your drug tooth. The last 20 minutes are worth the wait especially with your super sonic lysergic glasses on (or at least if memory serves).

Visit RaroVideo http://www.rarovideousa.com/ for all their new releases and keep an eye out for their tremendous flash sales on Facebook.

-Doc Terror

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Death Occurred Last Night (RaroVideo Blu-ray) - There's Always Room for Giallo (on Blu-ray)

Not too long ago I set out to watch every giallo picture ever created or at least every Italian film that might represent the subgenre that I could find. I went off a great big list and ravaged the internet, dumped loads of cash at the project and created my own beautifully color-coded, well organized spreadsheet. I got through a little over a third of the 280 plus moves on the list before I realized that I needed a break. In those days I reviewed less, slept less or at least had more consistent sleep throughout the night for short spurts and only had one kid to worry about with a bedtime of 8. That was just over two years ago, and despite my best efforts I haven't gotten back on the challenge. I simply cannot find the time, resources or reliable sleep to viewing ratio that makes this possible. Even when Ava was a newborn, midnight feedings were the perfect opportunity to check another movie off the list. Now that she's older... Bubble Guppies if I'm lucky when she wakes and won't sleep. Still I've noticed some great changes happening across the great wide horror-verse in the last couple of years. neo-giallo is becoming thing though not entirely Italian focused. There's plenty of new genre movies to enjoy and more to come. Then there's the absolutely essential cataloging of some of the greats by companies like RaroVideo. RaroVideo is giving Italian cinema a new life with some really spectacular Blu-ray releases. These are primo packaged (though jokingly we can never get the slip sleeves off) with fan friendly extras, brilliant transfers and booklets. Today we discuss Death Occurred Last Night. While this wasn't my first time around with Death Occurred Last Night, I promise you that the hacked up copy I saw last time was a joke compared to this release. This is the release you need to pick up if you like Italian crime or giallo.

Synopsis from RaroVideo

An astute mix of classic Italian crime and giallo, Duccio Tessari’s Death Occurred Last Night is a dark slow burning murder mystery. A mentally handicapped woman is kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, sending her distressed father and a jaded police detective on the hunt for clues in Milan’s underworld. Tessari (THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY) keeps a tight rein on the action, focusing on the characters and their collective desire for justice and revenge. An unforgettable, disturbing and fascinating thriller.
Trailer:

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First off, in the time that I had spent enjoying gialli, the common tropes that we all joke about seem to wash away. Sure everyone's drinking J&B, but not every movie features a shadowy figure in a black fedora. Not all of them are intensely violent, and they aren't all sex filled Italian hottie fests though admittedly I prefer them as gratuitous as possible. Death Occurred Last Night might be described as a kinder gentler giallo feature. It isn't as off the wall as some of the other movies in the genre, but in 1970 things were just starting to pick up. The scores were becoming a little bit edgier walking slowly toward progressive jazz or rock, and audiences wanted to see EVERYTHING on screen. Death Occurred Last Night is a mystery that has some erotic moments, but isn't an Edwige Fenech nudie fest. It's cooks you on simmer, providing ample time to decipher the mystery. Think of this as the Columbo of gialli. This is not uncommon mind you. This is actually probably closer to the norm from the third of of the great 280 on my list.

I urge you not to sit down to DOLN and expect an Argento or Martino picture. Duccio Tessari did Puzzle and The Bloodstained Butterfly, but he was more over noted for his involvement in the founding of the spaghetti western genre. He co-wrote a Fistful of Dollars, and this type of feature wasn't exactly a regular occurrence in his forty plus movie filmography. He was make movies well in advance of this, and Death Occurred Last Night is a competently shot feature with real intrigue, balance and although not riveting, it will certainly keep your attention over its 98 minute run time.

RaroVideo's transfer looks great from a 35mm negative. 1920 x 1080 @ 23.976 1.75:1. It's in Italian with English subtitles and has linear stereo audio. Plenty of grain and the preservation didn't go over the top with the DNR. It isn't a smeared painting of a mess. It's crisp and tight. The extras include both the Italian and English theatrical trailers. The interview with Chris Alexander is a treat. Alexander does quite a few of these introductions and brief summations on other titles. He'll help to put the picture in perspective. While he's the editor of Fangoria, Gorezone and Delirium magazines, it is in this capacity that I find his work most valuable. If you're new to Italian cinema or giallo, make sure to pay attention to this special feature. The booklet, also written by Alexander, reinforces his points and fleshes out the cinematic landscape during the early 70's as well as provides a nice well-rounded background on DOLN. It's handsome. The cover art for both the slip and the insert are perfect and traditional.

Death Occurred Last Night isn't necessarily the best starter movie when it comes to delving into the world of giallo, but once you've seen a few it will fill in the spaces between early Bava and movies like Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Deep Red. RaroVideo fanatics, another good one. Nothing wasted and everything you've come to expect from this boutique distro company. It's great to see such care taken with a film that is considered a cult fan favorite. It's a great age when movies like this are being taken care of quite well and even given the royal treatmet.

You can order Death Occurred Last Night now! Pre-order it. Also available on DVD.

Enjoy RaroVideo's titles HERE.

-Doc Terror

Friday, April 11, 2014

OCULUS... Must Have Used Windex For that Scare-Free Shine

I enjoyed about 65% of Oculus. I suppose the hype machine worked its mighty magic and led me to believe that I might actually see another Conjuring. Another Insidious. Another ghostie story that might creep me out or make me unable to stare into over-sized, antique mirrors. We're not quite there unfortunately. As I speak there's a French door to my left, and I'm not even phased by the reflective nature of it at night. I am not scared right now nor was on my drive home. I do not expect to see silvery eyed contact wearing dead folk meandering around my house. It's a Blumhouse movie, and as Shawn Savage and Jeff Konopka from Dead Air will tell you, that company generally gets the job done. No wasted money at the ticket booth when you go to see a Blumhouse movie. Until of course I feel slightly bamboozled with Oculus. The adverts on TV, the PR machines and the special web promotions intrigued me in a way that I despise. I try to avoid most of that shit any more. It only seems to raise expectations rather than get my ass in a theater seat. I was going anyway!

The only fear I have now... is of strange weighted devices and kitchen timers. The only suspense throughout the whole thing was based around this very combination of objects. I'm not entirely sure that it's something I'm afraid of or something I now have a strange correlation between. Some nice effects. An cast that gets the job done, but didn't emotionally attach me save for the child actors. A good looking film with a few Poltergeist moments and perhaps a hint of The Gate here or there (just flash pan moments and not little demonic creatures coming out of a hole in the backyard mind you). Yeah, the folks with the silvery/reflective contacts can be a bit creepy in any movie especially when Blumhouse backs it. That's definitely part of the 65% I dug. Not hating the characters goes a long way too. Why bring apples and water bottles to a war with a haunted mirror? Fuck if I know, but it makes for some gruesomeness.

I would like to mentions something... pay attention to the audio in this. While the score isn't always solid, there's some great use of booming sound to create a feeling of near nausea midway through the flick.

I dislike writing up movies that I'm not completely stoked for so this is going to be a short one. Do not watch this on acid or other hallucinogens. In fact you may not even want to see this one drunk or stoned because it's all over the place. Yes, there's a workable plot but an unsatisfying finish. For everything you sit through, for all the chaos, you demand order when you leave the theater. If you don't get the order you either feel cheated or thirsty. I'm thirsty for a cohesive entertaining ghost story right now after just going to see a supernatural flick in the theater. That probably means Oculus didn't do its job. Slowly build me into a strange, sensory disturbed way and then fail to "reset" me? That's just mean. Seems like the reviews have been overly positive thus far, and I'll probably give it another watch on home video. I did really enjoy Mike Flanagan's Absentia.

Oculus is out now. I'd love to know what ya'll think, and I'm positive there are those among you who will truly enjoy Oculus. You'll even call it one of the best movies of the year. It's far from that for me, but it's also not the worst thing I've seen this year.  It's a great date movie. You're significant other will cuddle you. Plenty of lighthearted scares with a few choice jumps scares to tie the whole thing together. One of 'em got me good. I had to do the whole "adjust the leg so I don't look like I actually jumped for the folks behind me". I crack myself up at times. The rest of the audience said, "It was better than Devil's Due" and they didn't like the ending, and these were a bunch of guys talking about the movie Funny Games (probably the remake).

If there's one thing I came away from Oculus with it was the concept that we should watch movies now, occasionally, with the perspective that the movie we are watching is a remake of another movie from long ago whether it actually is a remake or not. I imagined what Oculus would have been in it's original 1970's look starring Oliver Reed with a great big ol' mirror in an English mansion in the countryside with his overdressed kids and a house with way too much dark wood inside. Lots of violin and cello music in the themes. Plenty of upward looking camera angles to convey Reed as some sort of monster and his children, grown up played by David Warner and maybe Karen Black or Shelly Duval in the female lead. I imagine that "original" movie. In that version I get a bleak finish but I get a FINISH. A big ol' THE END.

-Doc Terror


Thursday, April 10, 2014

POSEIDON REX: Your Tyrannosaurus Can Swim, But Still Can’t Change a Light Bulb

 Poseidon Rex. I tried an experiment on our Facebook page recently where I asked ya’ll to review this movie WITHOUT having seen it based solely on the title, perhaps reading the synopsis. If you watched the trailer, that’s akin to cheating. Why you might ask would I do something so absolutely bonkers. How can you possibly review a movie you haven’t seen? Well, with a movie like Poseidon Rex I had a feeling everyone would know exactly what kind of movie it was based on the synopsis and title alone. The few of you that responded were nearly 100% correct proving my point. Poseidon Rex really should have the same tag line as the infamous early 80’s slasher, splat fest Pieces… "It’s Exactly What You Think It Is." 
You read the title of this review right? You saw the name in the title?

Synopsis from Anderson Digital: 
 
A small, secluded island off the coast of Belize suddenly finds itself terrorized by a deadly predator from the planet’s distant past, when deep-sea divers accidentally awaken an ancient evil. Jackson Slate and his team of underwater cave explorers unearth much more than long-lost Mayan treasure while plumbing the depths of a world famous blue hole. They disturb a creature that’s been hibernating for over 60,000 years - a rampaging behemoth of death and destruction not only at sea but also on land.

Let’s take a giant reptile movie and combine it with a fish movie. That’s it. Jurassic Park meets Godzilla meets Jaws or other reasonable giant monster/freak of nature facsimile. We’re talking about the perfect rendition or carbon copy of a SyFy original feature in name, plot, acting and perhaps even in computer generated monster though I must admit that the great P Rex did look slightly above the pixelated skyscraper featured on SyFy. I was entertained. I was not shocked or awed or surprised. No plot twist could amend my feelings toward P. Rex and I probably could have garnered all the love I would have from the trailer. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun with Rex, but I had a small hope that it would live up to surprise Science Fiction, Giant Monster hit, Big Ass Spider! Now that was a truly unique vision of the monster movie built for a wider audience than the SyFy original crowd.

If you enjoy Poseidon Rex from the perspective of a monster movie-aholic… one who does not care about development of character, plot, can live without gore, can enjoy a glancing gaze at a scantily clad hottie femme actress then no harm will come to you and your dollars can be considered well spent. Horror fans looking for something unique… this ain’t it. Science Fiction fans who think… a lot… this may not be your cup of Oolong. I mean or maybe it’s a nice way to escape from thinking about wormholes and warp drives. 

April 18th this one will make it to ITunes and into theaters, so you have some time to prepare for the next composite monster amalgam.
-Doc Terror

BASTARDS (IFC DVD) - Warning: This Movie May Make You Sad.

Wanna watch a movie that is will absolutely not make you feel good? It’s filled with strange sexual brutality, depression, hopeless attempts to fix people who do not want to be fixed and the seediest of wealthy underbellies of society this side of Eyes Wide Shut. I gotta tell you that watching Bastards from MPI as directed by acclaimed filmmaker Claire Denis was a rough go. It was not enjoyable. I hope to not watch it again, but it was an experience worth having with some truly excellent performances that conveyed quite clearly the feelings of despair and hopelessness that actually exist when we try to mend the wounded.

Synopsis from IFC:

Following his brother-in-law's suicide, sea captain Marco (Vincent Lindon,Friday Night, upcoming in Diary of a Chambermaid) goes AWOL to rescue his estranged sister and teenaged niece (Lola Creton, Goodbye First Love, Something in the Air) from the captive power of a wealthy businessman, who is also his lover's (Chiara Mastroianni, A Christmas Tale, Beloved) husband. But Marco's attempt at heroism is soon thwarted on all sides, as he delves further into the hellish world his sister has involved herself in, and deception from those he trusted most threatens to upend his very belief in the concept of honor.

Trailer:


The whole thing is dark as in shot dark. I found some of the scenes exceptionally difficult to actually tell what was going on. That is had a twofold effect, one I was trying to figure out if I was missing something in translation (Bastards is in French). The other effect was that the very real feeling of despair was imparted on my eyes like a man searching for a light switch in a twilit room. There’s a chance you’ll pull the chain on the lamp, and it will go on, but with my luck it won’t go on and the search for the doorknob can begin. Thus is born the metaphor for my feelings toward Bastards. As a reached for a hopeful conclusion, a positive outcome, I began to realize through some telltale signs and hints that nothing good could come from the sexual misadventures of youth when fed and nurtured. I waited for the end of the film, patiently, but still with fingers crossed. We won’t spoil it, but there are no happy endings, ever, in pictures like this one. Maybe if it had truly been a horror movie you’d at least get the Ms. 45/I Spit on Your Grave rape/revenge angle to save you. Do not expect salvation. No door knobs in this dark room.

It’s not the most shocking picture I’ve seen, but it did manage to get under my skin.
The performances from all involved were riveting, easily with which to identify and sympathize. There faces are memorable. Each performer showing their age and pain and chaos right on their faces.  Once you’ve made the connection with the players, you’ll be forced to save them if that’s even remotely an option.

This release only features a trailer, but looks good if you can get past the darkness. In a word… Bastards is bleak. It is misanthropic. It does not care about you.

Bastards is available to order now.


-Doc Terror

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

OUTPOST: Rise of the Spetsnaz (Macabre by Xlrator DVD)

I have a preference. When faced with Outpost, Outpost: Black Sun and Dead Snow I'm going to choose Dead Snow. It has a special place in my heart, the effects and comedy are perfectly designed to gross out and impress. The sequel to Dead Snow will be out soon, and while I wait for that I'll be happy to enjoy the Outpost series including the new installment, Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz the new release from the Macabre subdivision of Xlrator Media. Nazis. Zombies. War. It's a fun time. It's exactly what you would expect, and while it doesn't disappoint I also think that it follows a workable formula that fans of the first two installments will get behind.

Synopsis from Xlrator:

In the third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action-horror franchise, OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers as they battle the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz


Trailer:

You want to know about two things when we discuss an Outpost movie. The gore and the story. The gore is beautiful and gooshy and gooey. It's probably enough for fans of the previous two installments to enjoy without understanding the story. The story may not be groundbreaking, award winning literature, but it's a solid continuation of the Nazi era zombie concept. Where do the zombies come from? They'll show you. Sure the whole thing feels a bit video game esque. The production isn't Romero. It isn't even great zombie makeup or creation, however it is an entertaining picture, a popcorn flick for fans of continuing saga zombie fare.

The whole thing is a cross between Men Behind the Sun, a less funny Dead Snow and maybe Frankenstein's Army (though in all fairness the original Outpost predates F.A.). If those movies interest you then you'll you standing a fighting chance to enjoy this release. Do not expect the absolute mind-fuck of Men Behind the Sun, the ingenuity of Dead Snow or perhaps the solid creature creation of Frankenstein's Army, but even if Rise attains part of the power of any one of those three movies, you'll be entertained.

You can order Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz now. Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

-Doc Terror

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

THE JEKYLL AND HYDE PORTFOLIO/A CLOCKWORK BLUE (Vinegar Syndrome Limited Blu-ray/DVD)

There’s an important new release we have to discuss from the Vinegar Syndrome. It’s a limited release of only a thousand, and if you’re lucky you may just be able to get your hands on one at your local smut distributor. I’m talking about the double feature Blu-ray of Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio and A Clockwork Blue. This is a numbered set, and if you weren’t lucky enough to pick up one of the sacred thousand there’s a good chance you’ll be able to grab the DVD release as part of the Drive-In Collection series (one of my favorite on-going product lines from Vinegar Syndrome). The quality suffers somewhat, but it’s not like we’re asking you to break out a 35mm projector and watch an unrestored copy on a sheet on the backside of your house. It’s still very good.

Let’s talk about Eric Jeffrey Haims a little before we get into each feature. Haims only directed five features including our two movies of discussion. His first was Jekyll and Hyde followed by The Flanders and Alcott Report on Sexual Response also in 1971. 101 Acts of Love followed in 1971 and then Clockwork. He finished up his directorial efforts with The Mislayed Genie in 73 which features the tagline “See David’s magic… lamp? If you rub it LONG enough … If you rub it HARD enough… You’ll COME out smiling.”  If that doesn’t tell you what you’re in for, I don’t know what can.

Make sure to hunt down the precious limited release Blu-ray (sold out at Vinegar Syndrome’s website). For those of you who need a less special edition, the DVD is available here. You’ll control 2/5th of Haim’s filmography with one reasonable purchase.


The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome -  In this notorious mix of sexploitation and slasher, a mysterious murderer is terrorizing the patients and staff at a rural sanitarium. Who will be the killer’s next prey in the blood and sex soaked classic?

This is a grizzly grimy number that follows more like an adult slasher film than a true X rated feature. It’s actually quite entertaining with a story line worth following, a number of tremendous leading women and that feeling that Herschell Gordon Lewis himself must’ve been right around the corner instructing Holmes on the finer point of red Crayola gore. If you are a fan of the great H.G.L. than you will certainly love this. It’s really like an amalgam of his sexploitation efforts with a hint of Blood Feast of 2000 Maniacs to give it some color (that color being red of course). This is really a zodiac killer flick which, for 1971, should be considered fairly revolutionary.

Even some of the costuming feels H.G. Lewis and though I couldn’t find nearly enough info on Haims to remotely associate the two, I can’t help but feel like he’s taking notes on some of the early drive-in classics from Lewis’s 60’s smash hits.  There’s moments that even feel a bit Pete Walker, but I’d most closely associate it with The Flesh and Blood Show or Frightmare, both released after The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio.

AR: 1.85:1 from a 35mm negative.

A Clockwork Blue

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome – Hapless researcher Homer travels through history, discovering erotic secrets of the past in this lost screwball sexploitation gem.

This entry into the strange world of adult science fiction fantasy comes to you a year after The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio. Now you’re talking screwball comedy predecessor. While this little number sounds like it’s going to be one great big play for A Clockwork Orange gone puerno chic, it’s actually just a tale of time travel with healthy doses of humor built in. Of the two features I find this one to be a bit more gonzo, a little less watchable as a straight forward narrative, but with a healthy dose of birthday suits. Perhaps the biggest problem is that it doesn’t go for the full on XXX when it probably could do that very successfully. The gel that keeps the whole thing together does provide a nice segue in between ugly bumping, but the sex scenes are less mysterious erotic and more flaccid attempts at putting genitals on screen. That’s not to say that this release is without merit. It’s clearly funny and ahead of it’s time. Within the next ten years both the adult film industry and main stream Hollywood will figure out how to tell this story with ample boobage or penetration to get the appropriate audience in the seats. Definitely the godfather of Canadian sex comedy.

Perhaps this is the Odyssey we are supposed to attribute to the great Homer. The whole thing is a bit frustrating. The minute he tries to get his willy wet it seems his off, traveling through time. This is hardly the scientific method!

AR 1.85:1 from 35mm camera negative


-Doc Terror

HOLLISTON - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON - Horror Fans Can Laugh Again!

True confessions of a horror junkie time… I didn’t like the first season of Holliston. It was not that I HATED it. I just found that the episodes felt a bit long winded, some of the comedy felt obvious or forced, perhaps overdone and the damn laugh track was clever… until it was annoying. I like Joe Lynch. I like Adam Green. I love their movies and acting style. I’m a huge fan of both Gwar and Twisted Sister (Oderus and Dee Snider are regulars). I even love Corri English and Laura Ortiz with which I was unfamiliar prior to the first season. So there were a couple small items that made a big difference in my enjoyment of the program and ultimately led to my lack of appreciation for it. Let me tell you that I’ve actually felt a little bad for not liking it more. On paper this should be my favorite TV show. I should have a goddamn T-shirt of the thing and maybe even a signed copy of the Blu-ray. Not liking season one was not easy. I’ve even felt guilty giving my opinion of the show because in all honesty, I think Lynch and Green have made some great contributions to the horror-verse INCLUDING Holliston despite my personal preference against it.

When the Christmas Special was released through Fearnet I was skeptical at best, but I knew that I had to give the guys as many chances as they would afford me to like the program. Christmas Horror is only second to Italian Horror in my subset of favorite horror subgenres. I’m glad to say that with this single episode I “got it”. I finally figured out how to love Holliston and, in turn, truly enjoyed Holliston The Complete Second Season.

From Fearnet:

The most original, groundbreaking sitcom to ever hit television is back with a whole new level of hilarity and outrageousness! Join Adam (Adam Green), Joe (Joe Lynch), Laura (Laura Ortiz), Corri (Corri English), Oderus Urungus (GWAR's Dave Brockie), and Lance Rockett (Twisted Sister's Dee Snider) as they deal with zombies, werewolves, a suicidal horror icon, a cursed videotape, a psychotic 11-year-old girl and so much more!

Trailer:


What made the change in my Grinchy/Scroogey heart? Not a whole lot, but I can safely say that I get it now. In all fairness the attributes that I disliked in the first season are probably the same things I dislike about most season one’s regardless of genre. I found that that characters that I loved had strayed from some of the more obvious physical comedy and recycled one liners and had created original horror humor with which I could identify. That’s a powerful feeling. The relationships having been established between characters, I could finally enjoy the interactions and strange sexual over, under and mid tones. Of course Dave Brockie and Dee Snider hadn’t really changed much from season one, but I wasn’t busy shrugging off some of the questionable laughs and was able to appreciate their banter with Green and Lynch. I also figured out that if I watched the disc on my computer, the laugh track seemed distant due to the speaker quality/size. I still don’t like the overuse of a laugh track in any form. This is my own pet peeve, and it’s a complaint that I have heard before in discussions about the show. I’m glad I found a way around it. I understand why it is used, but it’s not for me.

Season two features Sid Haig, Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, David Naughton and even Seth Green. My favorite episode by far even above and beyond my adoration for the Christmas feature is an episode that finds Kane Hodder recruiting Danielle Harris for Adam and Joe’s independent slasher feature, SHINPADS. We come to find out that not only is Danielle Harris an adorable, seductive pill addict, but that has a fetish that features in her the garb of one of her previous roles (bet you can’t guess which one). Hodder is distraught after realizing that he was passed over for the role of Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason (which had already lensed many years earlier). The surprise twist at the end of this episode actually had me spit my Apple Jacks on my laptop screen over breakfast. I’m pretty sure my two year old thinks she has better table manners than I do (ultimately true). I can assure you that there is nothing sexier than Danielle Harris in horror gear, popping Vicodin, having strange relations with Adam Green. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Just call her Jamie Lloyd.  David Naugton’s cameo is exceptional, creative and very funny. They even take a stab or two at John Landis (hysterical).

The Blu-ray itself provides some nice bonus material including cast commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel and behind the scenes goodies. Of course the Chrstimas episode is included, is hilarious and would be worth it for you to buy this set even if that’s the only thing you enjoy about it.  The cover art is perfect, fun and fitting with the style of the show. It’s tee worthy. Maybe now I can make good on that wearable promise.

So I apologize now wholeheartedly for my lack of love for the first season. I’ll even give it another go now that I have a better understanding and interaction with the cast. I feel like a weight has been lifted, and the only thing I can say for season 3 is we need some Pamela Springsteen to reprise her role from Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. The guys go to camp or something or become camp counselors as a way to fund their next movie project. Maybe a few other faces from that series combined with some Friday the 13th cameos? Please? I’ll write the episode (I work cheap).

Holliston The Complete Second Season is out now. Available on Blu-ray and DVD and absolutely perfect for the horror comedy lover.

If you didn’t like season one… give this a chance. I’m glad I did. Adam and Joe… you guys have a new fan for the show.


-Doc Terror

Monday, April 7, 2014

Holy Ghost People (Macabre by Xlrator DVD) - Zealots Be Creepy, Yo.

We all know how these things go. The religious zealot horror pictures are painfully terrifying because they're ever so real. Every moment that you witness is fitted perfectly with elements of pure reality. Whether you believe in something that might be celebrated by religion or not, there's nothing more terrifying than the control one charismatic individual can have over a group. Nothing. Take for instance, The Mist. What's the scariest thing about The Mist? Is it the giant, inter-dimensional insect/mutant hybrids? Nope. Not the spiders. Not the mantis. It's the religious zealot in the store taking control of the minds of frightened individuals who are looking for guidance during a time of crisis. That's the same story behind Holy Ghost People when you strip it down. Sure the characters are different. No one's trapped in a super market. The inter-dimensional portal hasn't been opened. All we've got here is a guy, his church and some rather intimidating snakes.

Synopsis from Xlrator:

HOLY GHOST PEOPLE is a Southern Gothic thriller about a teenager searching for her lost sister in the Appalachian Mountains, where she encounters a snake-handling religious cult and eventually learns the truth about her sister's fate.

Trailer:


While I can definitely say that I enjoyed Holy Ghost People, it wasn't quite the standout movie I had hoped it would be. Sure the initial premise and first half hour were actually quite scary though admittedly this isn't entirely a horror picture. I attribute the feelings of fear  to my own apprehension about religious groups and cults of this type, however once the initial portrait has been painted the whole thing starts to feel very familiar. With a few choice shock scenes thrown in here and there the end of the movie becomes predictable and nearly formula. That is not to say that Holy Ghost People is without merit. The first third of the movie will force a few judgement calls and moral questions into being. Once Brother Billy starts to confirm his congregations devotion, I begin to see a different movie emerge. Not one based around the horror tenets of religion, but typical madman antics... torture and unsubstantiated violence. Holy Ghost People becomes ordinary, but before that it... for awhile... you'll be one scared sheep in a pretty big flock.

There are some very realistic settings and some very impressive performances that help create an image of what it might be like in certain sanctuaries. It's beautifully shot, well acted, it suffers only from a slight misdirection that sends down an ordinary path when Holy Ghost People doesn't want to be ordinary.

I recommend Holy Ghost People to fans of religious based horror. If you're a fan of Serpent and the Rainbow or The First Power, The Believers or The Mist, Holy Ghost People will have something scary to offer you if only for a short bit. Whether you've been enjoying the strange cult like feel of True Detective or read the morning news where the misguided find their salvation in their own demise, Holy Ghost People will seem familiar and feel will make you question that which is all around you.

You can order Holy Ghost People now. 

-Doc Terror

Lust for Freedom (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - Troma Lives in Vinegar

I'm a Troma fan. Saying this can often seem like one is confessing to be an alcoholic or a chronic masturbator, but I take pride in supporting and enjoying independent cinema that comes straight out of New York City as created by folks who like to challenge the status quo and who can't stand the MPAA as much as I can't. Their releases give me a cause to celebrate freedom. You might even say it gives me an erotic feeling of freedom or perhaps even a "lust for freedom".  They understand what we want to see in movies. Sex. Blood. Gore. Latex. Comedy. Sex. Boobs. Their on-a-tight-budget film style and production often leads to some unintentional comedy that helps to bolster their well thought out visual laughs. With the release of Lust for Freedom from 1987, we are treated to a somewhat lighter side of Troma's history; it's not a gory or visually effected as some of their more popular releases. It is however a laugh machine with moments of pure sexy. These things do not surprise me. What did surprise me and should you as well is that Vinegar Syndrome is the one distributing this classic and not Troma. It's like watching and outsider looking in with a different releases style and fresh, albeit familiar perspective.

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

After her boyfriend is brutally murdered in a sting operation, special agent Gillian Kaites is implicated in the slaying and is sentenced to prison. While behind bars, she discovers a shocking web of corruption and begins to plot a bloody revenge in this action and T & A filled Troma classic from director by Eric Louzil (CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH Pts. 2 & 3) and producer by Lloyd Kaufman (THE TOXIC AVENGER)! Trailer:


Director Eric Louzil was the force behind Class of Nuke 'Em High 2 and 3 though these two features would come later in his career. For those of you familiar with those two releases you know that yes, they are sexy, but they have a creative gore/mutant aspect that ultimately appeals to most Troma fans. Lust for Freedom is less visually explosive and relies more on an entirely American feeling women in prison movie. This isn't the Big Bird Cage. No one is stuck in a jungle hell hole. What is most strange is that it almost feels cleaner than most movies in the subgenre. The prison itself isn't a filth ridden pit of despair but a cleaner, white-washed cage. The naughty bits come at the hands of some charismatic figures driving the torture and desecration  of an innocent's body. Ah, the joys of independent cinema.

The whole thing is riddled with humor from some atrocious but appropriate performances by the police and prisoners alike. There's plenty of skin, perfectly 80's softcore sexy. This is a solid first effort from Louzil that displayed that he had all the hallmarks of the quintessential Troma director. His brief directorial career, making 13 films is stocked with the same type of sexploits and over the top gonzo effects fests mentioned here though his later works focus on what's beneath the clothes. And um... plot... who needs plot! You'll be familiar with the formula if you enjoy WIP movies, and you won't care. What makes it stand out is its intentional laughs as opposed to the unintentional ones of older releases in the subgenre.

This release is loaded with extras. There's a newly recorded commentary track with Louzil, video interview with Llloyd Kaufman and a theaterical trailer. Perhaps the only strike against one of my favorite Vinegar Syndrome releases of the year is the picture quality. I imagine that the original print wasn't a beautiful one seeing as it is a Troma release, but despite it's 2k scan, you feel like your watching a DVD that might be only somewhat better than a VHS release. It comes from a blow-up negative (I'm not entirely certain if that would play into the quality).  It is the original negative, and as such this keeps in line with the overall production line from Vinegar Syndrome. This is the first time I've mentioned the quality of a V.S. release in the negative. I'm glad that the content of the disc and film itself more than makes up for it. I suppose you cannot correct flawed source material. The film is definitely worth preserving, and for that we are grateful.

You can order your copy from DiabolikDVD now. 

-Doc Terror

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dead Air: Episode 45 - Contracted (2013)


The Dead Air Podcast
 
Dead Air: Episode 45 - Contracted (2013)
 
"Not Your Average One Night Stand."
 
 
Welcome back to the Dead Air Horror & Genre Podcast; brought to you by GenreWatch,The Liberal Dead, and Doc Terror!
 
This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and James (@DrJimmyTerror) are joined by special guest Chris Williams (@Exorcast) of the Exorcast Podcast  for an in-depth review of Eric England's latest body-horror opus, Contracted.
 
First, the guys talk a bit about some of the other, more recent films that they've been watching, giving you mini-reviews of the following:

Next, it's on to the featured review of Contracted...

Does it deliver on the gross-out moments? Why does Chris think that Eric England is one of the best upcoming horror directors? More importantly, do the guys recommend the movie?

All of these burning questions will be answered... Oh, and don't worry if you haven't watched it yet... Spoilers are saved for last, in a separate section, so you can listen without fear.

If streaming isn't your thing, you may Download the MP3 Directly here or Subscribe Via iTunes.

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!

Looking to order Contracted (or any other titles we discussed on this show)? Head on over to Amazon for the best prices and help support our show.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of Contracted, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Marilyn and the Senator (Vinegar Syndrome DVD)

It's been quite awhile since I've sat through a two hour long sex romp that had all the hallmarks of being a full length feature rather than an adult feature that played to the audience in your pants. Marilyn and the Senator isn't a two hour nookie fest, but a bit of comedy, some modest plot development and most of all a look into the strange underground world of adult, sex satire. I think of Vinegar Syndrome's newest releases in the words of Antonio Salieri from Amadeus: Two many notes. That is to say that this director's cut seems to carry out a tour du bore, though not without its merit. As a part of the larger work in the Vinegar Syndrome, the concept of preservation and releasing the unreleasable, Marilyn and the Senator fits in quite well. It will find an audience ready to accept the unique storytelling style while playing at being critical all the time wrapped in a certain naughty package.

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

William Margold stars as ‘The Senator,’ who, despite being married, agrees to impregnate a beautiful CIA agent. As complications ensue with the senator’s ability to ‘perform’, his wife and associates become increasingly suspicious of his affairs, resulting in a myriad of bizarre plot twists and revelations.
Trailer:


This release does feature gorgeous, traditional cover artwork that is poster worthy marked clearly as adult only fare. My only gripe is that the red and green writing featured on the back cover feels difficult to read, the colors not contrasty enough for these old, tired eyes. What might surprise you is that there's actually an audio commentary from William Margold, co-writer and star of Marilyn and the Senator. It's not often that we get a commentary track on this type of movie releases, so there's something to appreciate even if you can't really get into this release. The disc also includes a theatrical trailer and is presented in 1.85:1 OAR. The picture quality looks good, preserving film grain.

Carlos Tobalina has a rather extensive adult feature filmography though I am not familiar with his body of work. This release comes to us from the mid-70's nearly six years after Tobalina directed his first work Infrasexum. This is a more mature release that comes from a time when adult entertainment was allowed to tell stories that went beyond sex comedies or over the top drive-in features. What I may not necessarily appreciate about Tobalina's effort is that it isn't quite screwball enough which is to say its humor is not concise. It is dragged out though it is obvious that movies of this time were very helpful in developing the sex comedy stylings for early 1980's efforts. It's subtle. Slowburn... for a comedy anyway. There will be plenty of familiar gags;the old fellated banana never gets old and is memorable as the slip and fall from a banana fill in adult entertaiment.

You can order Marilyn and the Senator now. Available April 8th. Check out that very reasonable price point!

-Doc Terror

Saturday, April 5, 2014

About a Zombie (DVD) - The Zombie is Family. You've Seen This Before.

I don't want to spend too much time on About a Zombie. While this release didn't exactly trigger anything particular emotional in me, I can see it appeal to the zed word audience. Some of you who are tired of zombies, twists in zombie fiction and are absolutely exhausted by the social criticism allowed for by the inclusion of zombies will want to steer clear of this release from Revolver Entertainment. Conversely, if you enjoy zombies, socially aware horror that is well acted and with a production value that ain't half bad, check out About a Zombie. It will have a familiar feel and message similar to Fido. 

Synopsis from Revolver:

A working class Irish family is caught up in a zombie invasion of Dublin, Ireland. When their son, Billy, becomes a zombie the family chooses to take care of him in the home much to the chagrin of the neighbors and the local crime boss. Meanwhile, they've invited an American documentarian to film their situation and the film crew is caught up in the mayhem. Will the family prove that blood is thicker than water or will their love lead to their eventual doom? One thing is clear, for the zombies in Ireland, the famine is definitely over.

I'm not sure it's as funny as it is being marketed to be. In fact, it's more or less melancholy and as bleak as most zombie fodder. What makes it worth your time will be the performances from some unknowns that get the job done. The makeup itself is not my favorite, being about as far from Romero zombie makeup as possible without going full blown 28 Days. 

Camp Dread (Image DVD) - Not the Feel Good Hit of the Summer

Having just recently finished off the Sleepaway Camp Retrospective series with my compatriots over at Dead Air I can tell you that the themes surrounding summer camp horror are still just as vital today as they were back in the 1980's. That's not to say that filmmakers today are using these as effectively or even understand the semi-comedy, slasher-esque bloodbaths they are attempting to wield with their attempts at modernizing the subgenre. Case in point: Camp Dread. B Harrison Smith wants badly to capture the fun of a Sleepaway Camp style movie by creating a meta horror tale surrounding a film within a film using a couple of familiar names and using some slick production rather than B or even C grade effort. Can Danielle Harris and Eric Roberts tow the line and assist in the reinvention of the camp horror movies of yesteryear without being campy? It's easy to get sucked up into the concept of summer horror and forget how many times it isn't used effectively.

Synopsis from Image:

The "Summer Camp" horror trilogy was one of the most popular franchises of the 1980s. However, the decade ended and so did director Julian Barrett's career. Now Barrett plans to resurrect his gory series via a modern reboot patterned after reality filmmaking. With his former leading lady and an eclectic group of 10 young “contestants,” Barrett returns to the same locale where his old splatter-fests were filmed. When one of the campers is found savagely murdered, they realize there’s more at stake than just fame and fortune. Each of them is in a fight for their lives as they realize summer is over – forever.
Trailer:


What starts off as a not-uninteresting tale of a group competing to be in the next installment of a director's horror franchise that has all the trappings of a Scream production, turns into a murder rampage. This is obvious, and you'll expect every kill on screen. Unfortunately Camp Dread is a movie that tries so hard to reinvent a genre with a slight meta horror spin forgets that we still need either en element of mystery, an element of exploitation or an out and out humorous romp in the woods where a bunch of youngens get killed. The kills are unexciting. The humor is forced if evident at all. The performances are actually above grade which hurts the movie (because you can't put a hat on a pig), and Danielle Harris is under-utilized. Disclaimer: I'm a fan of Harris' work, and she could have been used more effectively, her sense of humor denied.

Again, the premise is actually a good one. Eric Roberts delivers a competent performance, but the movie forgets funny and goes for the modern day laundry list pseudo-slasher check list as opposed to being playful. Once you realize that you can't go home again which is to say the 80's are over and it's fairly difficult to reconnect to that era post-Scream, Camp Dread falls into the trap of movies that attempt this very same reach. Not cheesy enough to be 80's, not scary enough for the modern audience, not creative enough to be memorable. Of course using the "reality TV" angle hurts us all when relied upon as the stylistic crutch.

The irony in Camp Dread's attempt to play at old tricks from the 80's might be that this film won't be appreciated by 80's horror fans. Modern day horror kids might dig it, but probably won't appeal to fans of the classic slashers.

Camp Dread is available April 15th. Available for order now.

-Doc Terror


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dead Already: The Walking Dead - Episode 416 - A (Season Finale)


The Walking Dead: Episode 415 - A (Season Finale)

Welcome back to Dead AlreadyThe Dead Air Podcast's unofficial Walking Dead podcast; brought to you by The Liberal DeadGenreWatchand Viewer Discretion Advised!

This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Heather (@VDA_Net) catch their breath and dig into the Season 4 Finale, Episode 416, "A."

Did the finale go out with a bang? Are Jeff and Heather excited for next year? Why ia Jeff making POLICE ACADEMY references? How many dead baby references are there this week? Also, why is Heather suddenly Internet famous (hint: the reason is awesome)?

Tune in for the answers to these questions and discussion about a lot more; including final thoughts on the season and the series in general...

For a full, spoiler-filled recap of this week's episode, head on over and read Heather's review of Episode 416.

If streaming isn't your thing, you may Download the MP3 Directly here or Subscribe Via iTunes.

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!

Also, while you're at it, don't forget to Like Us On Facebook!

Need to catch up? To purchase the most recent episodes of The Walking Dead, head on over to Amazon Instant Video.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of this episode of The Walking Dead, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general. please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.

Warning! This podcast contains major spoilers for all episodes that have previously aired... Watch before you listen!


Check out this episode!

DEAD SHADOWS (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Tentacle Horror Will Seem Strangely Sexy

David Cholewa is a relatively new filmmaker. The production company that put out Dead Shadows has dabbled in distribution, but ultimately, this is also their first real breakthrough. With a release from Scream Factory hitting Blu-ray later this month, it's important to realize what Scream Factory is; we need to define it sometimes and, when appropriate, redefine it. These are guys who love the horror of yesteryear which is obvious by their slate of upcoming releases as well as the releases over the short span of the S.F. subdivision. Sometimes a movie comes along that doesn't quite fit within the Factory's scope. Think Ninja III as a prime example of a movie that doesn't quite fit the Scream Factory, old horror, fan favorite mold. As recently as early mid-last year, Scream Factory started to release movies off that had been made for Chiller TV (a television station that shows all horror content). Some of the quality of the productions were questionable though the releases have always been solidly packaged and appear nice in presentation. I like to think of these releases as acquired tastes and they actually have been growing on me. In that vain, Scream Factory has also started giving some low budget films or films with newbie IMDB resumes a chance to shine. Cockneys Vs. Zombies is an excellent example of how this works to everyone's benefit, a quality production with strong content. Dead Shadows... is another success story.

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Dead Shadows tells the terrifying story of Chris (Fabian Wolfrom), whose parents were brutally killed 11 years ago, on the same day that the Halley’s comet could be seen from earth.

Tonight, a new comet is appearing and everyone in Chris’s building is getting ready for a party to celebrate the event.

As the night falls, Chris discovers that people are starting to act strangely. They are becoming disoriented and violent and it doesn’t take long before they begin to mutate into something far beyond recognition!

In a fight for survival, Chris tries to escape from his building with the help of a gun-toting tenant (John Fallon – Death Race, Saw Ii) – but will they make it out alive?


Trailer:


Dead Shadows is a strong story filled with a moderate amount of tension and mystery though you have to look past some exceptionally poor computer generated material which I found surprisingly easy. Maybe it's because I found the scenes that featured this CG content so entertaining that I could forgive the less than perfect tentacle "in out, in out". Everyone wants to see a hottie femme impaled by a mutant tentacle cock that goes straight through her mouth right? Or maybe that's just for use tentacle porn fans (if you don't know what that is, don't good it at work). Our leading man Gilles Barret is a convincing paranoid, hysterical nobody who quickly learns he's in the middle of a very unique battle. Just when the whole thing seems obvious, just when you have it figured out... you don't.

Extras include Making-Of Special Effects Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Interview With Director David Cholewa (the new director who definitely needs to continue his splatter love with physical effects on the next go around) and Theatrical Trailer and Teaser Trailer. It's a modern film that looks good in HD and has the potential to become a widely accepted piece of modern foreign horror cultism. 

Remember that this a French horror movie. We've seen quite a few great movies come through France in the last decade and this should be counted among the likes of  High Tension, Livid, Frontier(s) and Inside in watchable, enjoyable, somewhat shocking horror pictures. To say that Dead Shadows is as shocking as some of the aforementioned film would be incorrect, however it certainly has it's moments. Dead Shadows is a playful horror feature that isn't afraid to let the audience know it's okay to laugh as it's preparing to impale someone in a moment of hot passion. It feels like a monster movie with figurative teeth, not your daddy's comet-brings-the-space-invaders picture. It's an early outing for a talented director who I'm personally excited to follow into the next endeavor. Keep digging up these new filmmakers Scream Factory, and while you're at it, take a look into getting a U.S. release of Livid on Blu-ray. What a fantastic horror picture.


Remember to enjoy the hip soundtrack.
 
Dead Shadows will be available on Blu-ray April 29th. You can order it now.

-Doc Terror

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bloke's Terrible Tomb of Terror Issue #9 (Comic Review)

The anthology comic known as Bloke's Terrible Tomb of Terror continues with some interesting takes on classic horror and fantasy stories couple with original works and adaptation from a team of folks who can put together a nice portmanteau book in the style of Creepy, Eerie, Tales from the Crypt and even the films of Amicus. Our host, Bloke, is back again in fine form (several different forms actually) and helping to guide you from story to story, weaving the book together with humor, wit and a sense of the humorous macabre at which this nine installments series has become quite good. If you've read a Bloke book before then the quality, variety of story and artistic skill will not surprise you. You'll enjoy this book as you have the previous eight endeavors. If you're new to the Tomb then read a bit further before ordering your copy. If you're longing for the horror comics of yesterday, you simply have to hit up a website TODAY.

Issue 9 continues the same trend of color cover in the style of your favorite horror comic anthologies similar to Eerie and Creepy and Frazetta. This edition welcomes a new addition to the format. No it's not a regular column or guest spot. It's the presence of the 2013 Ghastly Award badge of honor. Bloke won best horror anthology and displaying the badge proudly. The cover itself is sexy and drippy and bloody with an otherworldly quality that screams erotic evil He-man killed Orko and painted the sky with his insides; a positive thing I can assure you.

Inside you'll five tales of terror. Five fun tales. Some more moral than others and all rich with HORROR!

Partnership - a longer than average tale from Bloke involving some familiar themes for those of you who watch and enjoy the Twilight Zone. While you may THINK you've got the twist, you may not be as smart as you think you are; neither are the protagonists so you're in good company.

Jimmy Goggles, The God - I love a diver suit in horror. One of my favorite villains came courtesy of Scooby Doo... remember the yellow diver suit ghost with all the hanging seaweed? Creepy (future tattoo flash too). This tale is an adaptation of an H.G. Wells story that holds up nice to the fresh face.

Fishy Business - A classic tale of "what creature wants to eat me that lives in the lake". Enjoy.

Special of the Day - A familiar story for horror anthology fans, but one that ends with some unique gory artwork that feels as fresh as some of the voluptuousness painted in each frame. Terrible Tomb of Terror always accentuates and fleshes out some of my favorite women in horror comics.

Too Little, Too Late - A moral tale involving your favorite full moon walkers.

There's something for everyone in this edition but the focus on this issue is monsters, aliens, morality and has an overall feel of an older book. Each story feels moderately timeless save for Jimmy Goggles. All Gothic horror, all the time. Hoffman's covers are exquisite. Jason Crawley's stories are fun and preserve the very things we love about horror anthologies.

ARTISTS THIS ISSUE: Mike Hoffman, Juan Carlos Abraldes Rendo, Rock Baker, Scott Shriver, Antonio Di Cicco.


You can order Bloke's Terrible Tomb of Terror Issue #9 Now! Keep an eye out the great and power Bloke at a convention near you (this goes for you MidAtlantic region). Full schedule thus far posted in the book itself. Also make sure to follow the Bloke on Facebook.

-Doc Terror

Friday, March 28, 2014

No Holds Barred (Image Blu-ray) - How The Ripper Got His Groove Back

Hulk Hogan's been seeing some screen time again. He's back in the WWE once again, and his performance as Rip Thomas has been immortalized on Blu-ray. The whole thing raises for questions than it answers, and while I enjoyed No Holds Barred as a kid, I can't say that this movie has stood the test of time. It is, however, an exceptionally entertaining piece of the 80's that should be archived and appreciated by both a new fan base of wrestling fans who still know the name Hulk, and by older fans who have grown up with fond memories of the battle between The Ripper and Zeus. If you liked pro-wrestling in the 80's then you like No Holds Barred... well, if you liked the WWF in the 80's that is. If you didn't, you liked action movies, and so you still probably enjoyed No Holds Barred but maybe you don't hold it as cannon in the legacy of professional wrestling that the Vince McMahon era WWF fans do. Either way, you have a disc here that is ready to be appreciated.

Synopsis from Image:

When world wrestling champion Rip Thomas (WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan) refuses to join a competing network, an evil executive creates a new program, "The Battle of the Tough Guys," where rules don't exist and men engage in an all-out brawl for money. After a murdering ex-convict by the name of Zeus (Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, The Dark Knight) comes out on top as the toughest man, an ultimate title match with Rip is the TV network's best chance for big ratings. But when Rip refuses the challenge and his brother is roughed-up as a consequence, the world champion has no choice but to teach Zeus a lesson in a final ‘No Holds Barred’ fight to the finish.
Trailer:


The movie itself is part comedy, part action movie, part wrestling showcase that attempted to draw in several different audiences to the same picture. There's something in for everyone, though I believe the wrestling fans were the primary target. The WWF in the 80's might as well have printed money on the tights of its athletes. That being said, the movie doesn't feature an overabundance of  traditional wrestling but instead takes the performances of Hogan and company to various locales inserting the sport into a variety of settings. I personally would have preferred a move that featured wrestling as we know it, but then I would have been watching Monday Night RAW. I still love wrestling thought I'm not as adamant as some, and I can tell you that as a wrestling fan this film contains all the drama, bad guy wrestler-ship and snarky, mean spirited con men playing the athletes as if they were pons. Overall No Holds Barred may only fail in that it isn't quite funny enough to be a comedy, not action packed enough to appeal to the Schwarzenegger crowd and doesn't contain enough pure sport to appeal to the ringside fan. But it's fun and you should pick it up because it's a nostalgia trip and your kids are going to love it.

Things that need improvement... we need more WWF superstars in this release. I just never understood why we couldn't get EVERYBODY on board. I loved the WWF cartoon as a kid because of all the personalities and a movie filled with them all would have been truly special; a time capsule. Also, some of these scenes just go on forever. How many times can we watch Hulk Hogan kick a limo door or watch rednecks fight in a makeshift ring in a redneck bar? Pacing. For as well orchestrated as the WWF was during this period, the movie was a sludgey drudgey slow mover.

The transfer looks good and the disc sounds good. The packaging is fairly standard. The movie contains way too many unskippable trailers and that is friggin' annoying. Not being able to hit the menu button is the Blu-ray equivalent to prison. Do not hold us captive to every single WWE release, please. We like your product. We will seek out the others. Note: 1080p HD 1.85:1; DTS HD Master 5.1 Audio.

Bonus features include a photo gallery and two very important matches. The Summer Slam Match featuring The Macho Man Randy Savage (The Macho King really) and Zeus with Sensational Sherri versus Hogan and Brutus the Barber Beefcake with Miss Elizabeth is great. You'll love it. It's full frame which surprised me until I remembered that it would be full frame since it aired on TV in the 80's. Hogan's music is that shit show synth instead of Real American which absolutely pisses me off. I understand this concept as to why you can't necessarily include it due to obtaining and paying for rights to theme songs, but this is friggin' Hulk Hogan. Just do it. Do. it. Stop this silliness. Tack $.50 on the cost of Blu-ray.  The second match is the reprise, No Holds Barred Match in a steel cage with the same contenders. I love that damn blue cage.


I definitely recommend this to the 80's crowd even if you don't dig professional wrestling. Wrestling fans... you know what to do.

You can order No Holds Barred now. Available April 1st.

-Doc Terror

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dead Already: The Walking Dead - Episode 415 - Us


The Walking Dead: Episode 415 - Us

Welcome back to Dead AlreadyThe Dead Air Podcast's unofficial Walking Dead podcast; brought to you by The Liberal DeadGenreWatchand Viewer Discretion Advised!

This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Heather (@VDA_Net) dive deep into the penultimate episode of Season Four, Episode 415, "Us."

How did it feel having Rick and Carl back (finally)? Was this a SONS OF ANARCHY cross-over episode? Was the Terminus reveal as fulfilling as expected? What do Heather and Jeff think is in store next week? More importantly, what are we going to do on Sundays after next week?

Tune in for the answers to these questions and discussion about a lot more...

For a full, spoiler-filled recap of this week's episode, head on over and read Heather's review of Episode 415.

If streaming isn't your thing, you may Download the MP3 Directly here or Subscribe Via iTunes.

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!

Also, while you're at it, don't forget to Like Us On Facebook!

Need to catch up? To purchase the most recent episodes of The Walking Dead, head on over to Amazon Instant Video.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of this episode of The Walking Dead, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general. please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.

Warning! This podcast contains major spoilers for all episodes that have previously aired... Watch before you listen!


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