Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Music Review: The Howling Void Megaliths of the Abyss/Shadows over the Cosmos

There’s very little information about The Howling Void available on-line, except that it is a one-man doom metal project from San Antonio, Texas. There are two Howling Void albums, one from 2009(Megaliths of The Abyss) and Shadows over the Cosmos from 2010. The Howling Void appeared on late 2010-eary 2011’s on the Doom Metal collection of the Metalhit Free Download Series, which is completely quintessential set of MP3 compilations. When I came across those compilations. That really was for me the first exposure to a lot of bands and general pockets of metal I had been unaware of.
Each of the two Howling Void albums are composed of a few lengthy tracks of slow, foreboding metal. He does the whole deep growling death metal vocal thing, so the lyrics are indecipherable. The keyboards are a little bit more evocative of something out of black metal, Joy Division’s Closer album or the incidental score to a horror film. Of course the church bell sound is there. How could it not be? The term I’ve read to describe this music is funeral symphonic doom metal. When they get into all the little subgenres of metal it gets a little bit silly, but this music is legitimately foreboding and grandiose. There isn’t a lot of variance on a Howling Void album, but there isn’t that much need for any, as I see it. The Howling Void accomplishes what it seeks to accomplish in establishing an atmospheric backdrop of doom.
Make no mistake, this is a very aggressive music, he’s got the amp turned up all the way on the guitars, there are keyboard sounds are layered over that, with of course the church bell sounds and the samples of falling rain, etc. There are other bands that sound like this, roughly. The bands Colosseum and Skepticism, for example, have a similar sound to Howling Void. Still, the doom metal genre resembles closely nothing you’re likely to ever hear within our general pop culture, it exists as a definite musical extreme or margin.
The Howling Void and other musical artist like The Howling Void, the funeral symphonic doom metal genre if you want to call them that, that’s all fine by me as a musical backdrop. It works.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Music review! The Metalhit Free Download Series:

Thrash Metal/Death Metal/Folk Metal/Gothic Metal/Doom Metal/Back Metal

I stumbled across the Metalhit Free Download Series late 2010 as they were being released on Amazon. What these are is sampler mp3 albums from, a gigantic on-line store for extreme metal artists that started about two and a half years ago. The Metalhit catalogue of obscure metal bands stretches all the way back to the mid-80's, when metal started to splinter into a bunch of little sub-genres, the definitions of which still somewhat escape me sometimes, and when things started to get truly abrasive and abusive. There are also more recent bands, bands of the last ten years on these collections. It was a wise marketing move on the part of Metalhit, because you get a sampling of a number of excellent bands that they carry, and then often the whole album by those bands on Metalhit is only five bucks. However, I think that if you went back and heard the whole album by many of these bands you’d probably be disappointed, and the compilation is free.
The six download albums are divided into six of the sub-genres of metal, (and I will have to admit sometimes the whole metal sub-genre thing gets a little bit hard for me to follow). They are Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Folk Metal, Gothic Metal, Doom Metal, and Black Metal respectively. In the words of Horna, "hail Satan!"
I think it is more then worth noting that this collection is so comprehensive and delves so far into the utter obscurity of metal that it includes "Raid the Convent" by Nunslaughter, a band that has the seemingly very specific gimmick of raping and killing nuns, has the line "avenging all the ghouls and wiches/raid the convent/condemned by these fucking bitches" is only one of the particularly memorably hilariously offensive lyrics. The other one I really like is "The black and white and puddles of red/ This flock of cunts is now fucking dead". A number of the bands on the Thrash Metal one are old bands from the 80's, the name Sacred Reich being one of the few I recognized. Hirax, Atomizer, and Sacrilege are also 80's bands. Other bands like Victimizer and Nocturnal are more recent bands from everywhere from Europe to Puerto Rico but have a very traditional sound not to different from 80's thrash metal. You got a nice little Atomizer track on there, a really amazing track, a really incredible band, Sacrilege from the U.K, early thrash metal with a female vocalist, how hot is that? Lynda Simpson's voice still betrays the immense sex appeal her presence must have had at the time of recording after all these years. Hirax was a bay area band around the same time as Metallica was playing around there that just never got big, their track "Eradicate the Mind" on this collection is nothing short of primal metal assault at it's finest. Even the bands that are more recent retain the very classic feel and sound of metal from the 80's. You get excellent tracks like "Morbid Scream" by Morbid Scream, a Texas band that apparently formed in 1986 when thrash metal was still but a few years old that just never got big. Fuck it, I like thrash metal, I like 80's metal.
The first band up on the Death Metal one is Abominable Putridity go straight for it with barely human sounding vocals. Asphyx contribute "Death, The Brutal Way", a savage piece of death metal as one could wish for, and we're back to the growling demon vocals that people make fun of for sounding like Cookie Monster with the track "Nullo (the Pleasure of Self-Mutilation)" from Avulsed. Wikipedia is telling me that Nullo may refer to a form of body modification, specifically total genital nullification. I'm not sure I want to find out though. I think I'll leave that for Avulsed to screw around with in their tour bus if that's their fetish kick.
Infinitum Obscure from Mexico contribute the excellent and more melodic "Messenger of Chaos, I" which shows of some truly skillful guitar works. Similarly technically awe-inspiring is "Defiled Autopsy Remains" by Pathology.
Folk metal I had at most only vaguely heard of before this collection came out. That's this stuff that originated in Europe where they throw in the recorders and fiddles, the stuff that really goes for a pagan European vibe. It didn't exist until the 90's apparently, so this collection doesn't have the real old 80's bands on it the way the thrash metal one does. Fferyllt are a recent band from Russia have the first track on this compilation that really grabs me. They have female vocals, I think the metal bands with female vocals thing can work real well, the woman in the band can come of as very sexy. Halgadom and Temnozor on here are good. I've seen the rumor on-line that they are a Nazi band. Velimor on this compilation make no bones about being that, but I don't care that much. Heorot is yet another excellent Finnish band on here. As with the demonic growl vocals on death metal, a level of my appreciation for this is ironic, because it's a very faux re-creation of pagan Europe, although some of these people might take the whole Pagan thing very seriously. They think they're Vikings. I'm not the world's expert on this folk metal thing which I'm very new to, so I can't speak to how this folk metal stalks up to other folk metal well, but just standing on its own the Metalhit Folk Metal collection is highly entertaining. The one track on the Folk Metal I have mixed feelings about is the Claim the Throne track, "Set Sail on Ale". It has a little too much of an "I'm an adult and I still play Dungeons and Dragons" vibe, but there is actually a video for that song that does show the woman in the band in revealing bar wench garb.
I really like the gothic metal one they put together. The obvious way to read the genre name "gothic metal’ is to assume that it is a fusion of metal and gothic music, such as the gothic part of the gothic/industrial section of many music stores. That would be part of the truth but not all of the truth. Gothic metal has elements to it that are very distinct from other kinds of metal and certainly from the gothic rock thing. A band that sounds more like what you would imagine a mix of gothic music and metal to sound like would be Celtic Frost. Gothic metal does draw on overwrought elements of both. Probably the best-known band of the genre are H.I.M. Gothic metal bands do that whole bit where they have the low, growling demon vocals you might here in death metal or black metal in contrast with high, clean female vocals. One of the reasons they can get away with being as overwrought as it is it is that the bands on this compilation have a great deal of technical skill (coming more out of the metal side of the equation) and are able to produce a very big sound. It is possible that the Metalhit Free Download series has a cover of a Joy Division song that surpasses the Joy Division original. It's a tall order for me to make this statement, Joy Division being one of the few bands I retain huge amounts of respect for musically. I do feel Joy Division's weaker moment was the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" which in lyrical content and structure is the most so a pop song of anything they did. The track In Silentio Noctis have on here is literally awe-inspiring. All inspiring wall of precise and unrelenting metal contrasted with delicate female vocals. There's the Mirzadeh track after that about decomposing meat and infectious disease or whatever the fuck he's growling like a demon about. It gets pretty insane. These gothic metal bands get into the pipes or flutes or whatever. It rides the line as metal so often does of being genuinely good and being unintentionally funny. Or maybe it just reaches into an emotional place within myself that is so deeply buried that I am embarrassed by it.
Doom metal tends to be a lot slower then other extreme metal sub-genres on here, very eerie and foreboding. The doom metal bands have a real tendency to play the power chord progressions slowly and let the reverb hang there. As such they have probably a closer relationship with the very early metal of early Black Sabbath. Excellent bands like Cryptal Darkness appear on the Doom Metal compilation. The title of the track "The Primordial Gloom" by the Howling Void pretty much says it all. Doom Metal is there. I salute Doom Metal. A band like Revelations of Rain that's on there, they really get into the slow groove, and let the reverb hang, letting the dread float in the air.
The sixth and final installment of the Metalhit Free Download series is the black metal one, probably a must have for devoted fans of Scandinavian black metal. It includes Ugrehal from Norway, Avsky from Sweden. Behexen, Horna and Sacrilegious Impalement are from Finland. It has been my growing opinion that the better black metal bands actually were the well-known, very early ones that got in trouble for church burnings in Norway during the early 90’s-Burzum, Mayhem, Emperor, and Immortal. Those bands are not present on this collection, but for a collection of secondary bands and more recent black metal traditionalists, this is a likeable collection.

Film Review! The Sinful Dwarf (1973)!

Film Review! The Sinful Dwarf (1973)

The Sinful Dwarf is a Danish film from the 70’s. It’s pretty infamous. Its pretty offensive towards little people. The dwarf is an adult that still plays with toys, for example. Of course, I get a laugh out of this kind of thing. Also, if a film is offensive, if a film gets to you, then it’s hit on something, hasn’t it?
Plotline, a dwarf on his mother are running a boarding house where they keep naked women captive for sexually slavery type purposes, whoring them. The dwarf shoots them up with heroin. The one couple that’s at the boarding house actually renting a room starts getting very curious about what might be going on with the strange noises. When the captives are sexually manhandled and assaulted, they get into it and funky 70’s porno music with wah-wah guitar effects plays, like a bad stereotype of 70’s pornography. That’s what happens when you rape women held captive by a dwarf? I never would have guessed! The only thing that is realistic about this film is that the husband in the couple is a writer and he’s broke as a joke. The dwarf whips the chicks he holds captives. There’s a heroin dealer named Santa Claus that deals for the madam- heroin in the toys. In a nice little plotline the husband gets hired by Santa Claus to run smack. Of course it goes without saying that the mother and the dwarf capture the guy’s wife, when the dwarf and his mom undress her and force her into the attic where they stash the sex slaves, that wacky seventies porn music plays. There’s a fairly graphic scene of the dwarf raping the wife with his cane towards the end. There’s a lot of graphic rape at the end. Danish law enforcement shows up and the gig is up when the husband puts two and two together towards the end. The dwarf jumps out a window to avoid imprisonment at the end.
The Severin DVD has a funny little DVD feature about video store employees who developed traumatic experience from watching the Sinful Dwarf on marijuana, and how traumatic it was, and they blame the film for causing them to take medication. I don’t know if the video store employees are real, they could almost be. I don’t know, I don’t smoke pot anymore and I’m an oddly emotionally detached human being, but sure, I’d buy that you might not want to watch it on mind altering substances that might intensify a fear response. The rape sequences show full frontal on the women.
“Yes, but William”, you ask, “is it a good film”? It’s an okay film. It’s hard to imagine reconstructing the most offensive horror/grindhouse films ever made and not have an entry on Sinful Dwarf, because hey, midget rape. There are numerous scenes that have the dwarf’s evil mother recollecting her glory days in show business that are pointless and drag. Still, it is the Sinful Dwarf, a well-regarded grindhouse film. I mean, come on, there is only one Sinful Dwarf and this film is it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reviews! The Exorcist 2 and 3 (with Special Guest Star Zardoz)

Ah, yes, the lesser-known sequels to the Exorcist. Let us begin with the Exorcist 2: The Heretic. The Exorcist 2 is such a bad movie that it is said that William Peter Blatty who wrote the Exorcist books cracked up in the theater. I can’t say I blame him. Regan has the psychic powers to heal autistic children in this one. There’s this whole bit about locusts in Africa that keeps coming up. Something about an African boy that has the psychic powers to stop locust swarms in Africa. I am not going to write out a plot synopsis for this mess of a film. You get to see James Earl Jones in a locust headdress in a role he probably pretends did not occur. Who thought this crap about locusts and ESP research was going to make a good sequel to the Exorcist? There is very little frightening or even grim about Exorcist 2. Ah, yes…John Boorman. He directed not only the unspeakably bad Exorcist 2, but he also directed the unspeakable film Zardoz. Zardoz is I think two-hours plus of Sean Connery running around in a loincloth and there’s something about these people in ancient Greek robes that suffer from total sexual frigidity but live forever. That’s the one with the floating stone head that tells the barbarians that guns are good and the penis is bad. Those are two of the worst films I’ve ever seen. He is one humdinger of a bad director.
Actually, the original Exorcist, Exorcist 2, and Exorcist 3 all suffer from a common flaw in my eyes. I’m actually not in love with the original. I’m not crazy about the original Exorcist about the same as I am not crazy about Rosemary’s Baby. Those are some slow thrillers if you go back and actually watch them again.
Exorcist 3 makes the wise move of ignoring that Exorcist 2 ever happened. It’s the cop from the first one and goes in for a serial killer related plotline. It makes more cinematic sense then giving Regan psychic powers to heal children with autism and a whole bunch of crap about locusts in Africa. There is a whole lot of smoking that takes place in hospitals in this one, but nothing in it is nearly as silly as anything in Exorcist 2. The general premise is that a serial killer is running around with the same M.O. as a serial killer electrocuted 15 years ago. The same police officer from the first exorcist is on the case. Without giving away too much the investigation takes the cop into a psychiatric ward and- surprise, we have the priest who fell out the window and died in the first film inside a padded cell. The demon from the first movie put the soul of some demented serial killer in the body of the priest for revenge. It’s a cut premise that makes me chuckle to myself as I write it down. As I said, makes more sense from a cinematic perspective then the crap with the psychic research and the locust swarms in Africa. The serial killer in the priest’s body has the power to control the senile old people in the hospital around him, also a very clever plot development. The serial killer is absolutely demented, which helps. Hey, scarier then ESP research and locusts. Helps that it wasn’t directed by the man behind Zardoz.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Horror Films Where Nothing Much Happens for a Long While...

The Funhouse (1981)/Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things(1972)

These were originally two different reviews, but the films have the same general prognosis, and really should be placed together as a single review: so now they are.

I’m really running out of horror films now, I’m afraid. I have strong taste for horror cinema, in particular the horror cinema of the 80’s. 80’s metal like the first three Metallica albums and Celtic Frost do it for me these days, 80’s horror films also do, but the horror films are running a little thin when you get down to The Funhouse. The very same director that made this, Tobe Hopper, made one of my favorite film Lifeforce, that one from the mid 90’s where the vampire legends of old were inspired by creatures form outer space that come on Haley’s Comet and drain psychic energy. You want to know what a flaw is with the Funhouse. Sure, I like the part where the deformed carnival freak pays the gypsy fortune-teller a hundred dollars for a hand job, he has premature ejaculation, and chokes her to get his money back. There is a half an hour of four teenagers going to a carnival, smoking pot and hanging out before anything beyond vague foreshadowing going on. It takes more then an hour for the deformed freak to kill his first teenager hanging out in his funhouse. There is a naked girl in the shower first scene. The deformed freak is a pervert which helps a little bit. I’ve seen the face of the deformed monster from this one around, there is something iconic about it, but that doesn’t really make The Funhouse a good movie in and of itself. It even takes the deformed freak a whole long time to die in the death scene. I guess a director has minor or poor films and strong ones. This was not Tobe Hopper’s good film.
More Horror Film Review Action!
Next case..
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things? People shouldn’t watch this movie.
The title has little to do with the film. This is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I’d think it very difficult to make a worse film. This is zombie movie where the zombies don’t show up until the last 20 minutes of the film. The rest of the film is this weird hippy theatre group screwing around on an island with a graveyard and an old cabin. Weird and authentically annoying theatre group leader gets his theatre troop to dig up corpses and perform satanic rituals. Basically, they screw around in the woods for some hour and ten minutes before the zombies start popping out of the dirt. That’s quite a build up. I’d be very surprised if you could find me a worse film then this one.
This film is not recommended on any level. It is too dull to have campy horror film value. It was a bad idea to make this film, although one that probably cost next to nothing to make.
WRETCHED. Zero stars. A new low even for a b-film.

Wolfen 1981 Film Review- Okay

Wolfen (1981) Review

Wolfen from 1981- I say that this film is fair. It was based on a book by Whitley Striber who is best known for bringing us those grey aliens with the olive shaped black eyes in his book Communion, which he says was autobiographical. I think it’s a little bit of a coincidence that Striber was also a horror writer, the film the Hunger I think was also either written by him or based on a book he wrote, to lazy to look it up. Maybe I’m just saying that because I’m scared senseless of those little grey aliens and always have been. The other interesting little trivia bit about Wolfen is that, and someone can correct me if I’m wrong on this, there’s a scene where the homeless black dude buys some drugs and it appears that he is buying cocaine in rock form, which would probably make Wolfen the first major film to reference crack cocaine, being as that’s around the time rock form cocaine started to appear on the streets of US cities. If anybody knows differently feel free to write in.
Wolfen is alright. In the beginning you’d be lead to believe that this is a werewolf film, but without giving to much away it is actually very intelligent wolves type creatures that don’t assume human form at all, making it more like Jaws, Attack of the Killer Bees and any number of other killer animal movies. It takles place in sort of a run down grindhouse type early 80’s New York, a new killer is on the streets leaving a distinctive fur trace on its victims, starting with a wealthy real estate developer. One thing that is really cool about Wolfen, the police get all kinds of leads that are false leads that go nowhere, just like in real police investigations. The real estate tycoon has political enemies overseas that don’t have anything to do with why he was killed- very true to the investigations that take place in the news.
I will warn that while this film did not make me want to claw my eyes out and shut it off there are two major flaws with the film. It is nearly two-hours lng which is quite long for a killer animal movie and there’s a whole cheesy bit when the detective has to consult the local Native American community about the killings, which is cheesy as all get out. Otherwise a decent film. Dig the early crack reference, dig the sex scene in infra red.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Unnamable (1988) Review: Sort of a Poor Film.

H.P. Lovecraft- poor guy is now recognized as a literary genius but in his life he was plagued by physical and mental illness. His work generally doesn’t translate well into film, there being a number of horrible films based on his work. The only one I’ve ever really liked was the Corman version of the Dunwhich Horrors. The worst I ever saw was LoveCcracked, a failed attempt at a comedic Lovecraft anthology. One of the films in the anthology was, embarrassingly, directed by my ex-girlfriend Jane Rose. To give you a sense of how insanely bad LoveCcracked is, let me say that I also once studied under the author Rick Moody, whose essay on the Magnetic Fields was less embarrassing to me. If you don’t know what I’m talknign about, I encourage you not to look it up. Rick Moody on the Magnetic Fields, Jane’s filmmaking, those are some extreme moments of artistic failure right there. Having watched the film the Unnamed from 1988 is not that level of shameful, but it is generally sort of a poor film. That Re-animator film from the 80’s, that thing is really a piece of shit. The Unnamable has some female full frontal nudity in it, but feels kind of like a Scooby-Doo episode. 80’s college students get chased around an old house by a monster. Wait, do I have to give a plot synopsis on these piece of crap film? I more or less did- 80’s college students get chased around an old house by a monster. If I were much more of a Lovecraft fan, this film would make me angry probably. Lovecraft is alright, I wouldn’t say he was the best author I’d ever read though. Be that as it may, the understanding of his work by who ever made the Unnamable is vastly insulting. I answered Craigslist helo wanted adds while reviewing this film. The monster’s costume is wretched. You can see the tights. I thought most of Lovecrafts monsters had tentacles and such. Oh well.
I may be running low on good horror films to watch, especially from the 80’s. The Unnamble is pretty sorry. I have a soft spot for eighties horror soundtracks and female full frontal nudity in horror films, but beyond that this is a poor, poor film.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raped and Impregnated by a Monster Back in the 80's! The Beast Within/Breeders!

The Beast Within (1982)/Breeders (1986)

There are a number of films from the 80’s involving women being raped and and sometimes impregnated by inhuman creatures such as Inseminoid and Humanoids from The Deep. They did a whole bunch of those. Galaxy of Terror had a woman being raped by a giant maggot, and the woman sort of looks like she likes it in that one. Inseminoid is pretty rough. I think I turned it off.

The Beast Within is one of those films but is different in so far as it is actually a good film. A woman down south is an a car accident and then is raped by an inhuman monster of some sort. 17 years later, their son is dying of an unknown illness. They go back to the town where the raped took place, but it quickly becomes clear that the townspeople are trying to cover something up concerning the death of a townsperson named Lionel Curwen, the town undertaker.
Of course, the son starts turning into a monster and killing people. There is a whole bunch of curious references to the insects cicadas. People talk about the films of Cronenberg or the film Society as being body horror, The Beast Within is in a lot of ways a very extreme example of body horror. The inhuman monster that raped the kids mom in the beginning- so messed up- controlling his mind from within. There’s this whole bit where the kid falls in love with a local girl and then they do a romantic bit in the swamp and the dog gets a decomposing hand out of the dirt. Turns out in the end, spoiler alert- the inhuman monster that raped the kid’s mother was held in the basement and fed dead bodies. The idea of the film is that it is the kind of cycle of the infant cicada in terms of larval stages and emerging from shed skin. It is truly distressing and there is of course a final transformation scene like none other, one of the most disgusting I’ve seen in a film. The film is worth watching for that whole bit when the boy turns into the monster. The Beast Within is the better- or I would say the classier end of this subgenre. The rape and impregnation of females by the inhuman creature is one plot element and thematic aspect of a generally grim and brutal film. The Beast Within is relatively well plotted and well acted, for example.
Far less tactful is the film Breeders also from 1986. The film Breeders is another raped by inhuman monsters film, though very different in tone. The Beast Within doesn’t have much nudity in it, Breeders has a whole lot of gratuitous nudity and women changing scenes. The film Breeders is much more so some guy's sick jerk off fantasy. Most of the central women in this film are virgins that live in the East Village and look like American Apparel ads. There’s even one seen where one of the virgins takes off all her clothes, does some cocaine and starts dancing around. They are raped by bug-eyed aliens disguise themselves as humans to rape virgins to create a progeny that will invade the Earth. After the virgins have been raped they turn into pro-alien zombie-like creatures. They’re all swimming around and bathing in a substance that looks like semen towards the end. It is a ludicrous film. Trick ending- the woman working at the rape victim hospital is a virgin and the detective on the case turns into a bug-eyed alien. This film is also low budget and poorly acted beyond belief. I did not, however, turn it off, which puts it above many of these films. I did laugh a lot at Breeders, the actresses they used were cute.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dreamaniac (1986) Film Review! I Hate Every Second of It!

This film hurt my soul.
Do you have any idea how bad Dreamaniac is? Easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen, no questions asked. I am fixated with 80’s horror and the old straight-to-VHS films, but this one is worse then anyone would have imagined. I think the problem starts with this one when the movie is sort of about rock and roll and whoever made it was not terribly well-informed as to the music of the time. The main character has a whole bunch of t-shirts for hair bands, but there is no hair metal that appears in the film. The film uses instead very stock 80’s new wave music. Making reference sort of to the idea that was big at the time, the kid in the hair band t-shirts is into black magic. There is a girl of his wet dreams that he summons using magical rites. The hair band kids’ girlfriend throws a party with her sorority friends at the kids house, and the demon girl shows up and starts killing people. There’s a lot of nudity and sex in this one, soft-core elements, I have a feeling the guy who directed it was gay much more male nudity then female in this film. If you like to get aroused with music that sounds like Devo outtakes at best on in the background, this is the film for you. They do cocaine at the party of course.
The demon girl goes around killing the teenagers. I can’t express how bad this film is, it really should not be viewed. I usually like this kind of thing, but even I can’t deal with this one. My thoughts watching it are when is this crap going to end.
It all takes place in a house on one night. It doesn’t make any sense that they wouldn’t hear the screams in this house. This film is more dreadful then Re-Animator. The ending is also very stupid.
This film has no redeeming value.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Satanic Double Feature:
Prime Evil(1988) and Satan’s Slave(1976)

These two films that feature black robes and naked breasts satanic ritrual type scenes.
Prime Evil is like no other in the history of film for me. I am an avid fan of puppetry, especially bad puppetry in horror films. There is no question which film has the crappiest puppet of them all. The depiction of Satan in this film appears to have been made of Papier-mâché. The same is true of a creature in the film Terror Overload, but that film was clearly tongue in check, which is not the case with Prime Evil.
This film has an undercover nun infiltrating a pack of Satanists. The one of them has a granddaughter who is a fully grown woman whose a virgin because her father made child pornography of her (she reveals this to her boyfriend in a hilariously poorly acted sequence) which is required for one of their rituals to summon Satan. The granddaughter is a social worker and then all the chicks the satanic cult kidnap are the hookers she works with, the leader of the cult is priest trying to seduce the granddaughter- something along those lines.
I’m not even going to try and go through all the holes in the plotline of this film. It is an oddly paced film as well. It is also very difficult not to laugh out loud thinking of that crappy puppet. The soundtrack is cool, minimal electronic incidental music with the classic 80’s horror film feel. They did manage to have a couple of very beautiful actresses take go topless for this one. The dated hairstyles and clothing are also amazing in this film. I laughed at this one a lot. It’s a joke. This film must be watched in the spirit of mockery. It doesn’t work or even make sense to watch it in any other light.
I do have a real affection for puppets and the use of puppets in 80’s horror films though. I’ve listed Ghoulies as my favorite film a number of times. I don’t know what it is. I suppose they just make me laugh.
Satan’s Slave is on the other side of the disk I have with Prime Evil on it. A Trip With Teacher and Brain Twisters are on the same disk but neither of those films are worthy of an entire review. A Trip With Teacher is the one with the teacher and a bunch of teenage girls in the van that are kept hostage by two bikers which is just to implausible. Brian Twisters is a really bad 80’s film, I don’t think it was released any form until the 90’s.
Satan’s Slave is a nice British flick from the 70’s with somewhat the feel of the “folk horror” films of the 60’s and 70’s such as Witchfinder General, Blood on Satan’s Claw, and The Wicker Man, this one also has a good. Norman J. Warren is perhaps best known for the unfortunate film Insemenoid, one of a number of bad films with human female being raped by aliens or other strange creatures including Galaxy of Terror and Humanoids from the Deep. This is not to say that Satan’s Slave is not sexually whacked out, the dude is in love with his cousin in it. Its another film with a lot of black robes and naked breast kind of action in it. It opens with one of those black robe naked chick on the altar scenes. Actually, there’s a real viscous sexual assault scene in the first few minutes of the film. Victoria York goes to visit her uncle who stays with his son and her cousin Steven and the uncle’s secretary Francis who bangs Steven. The car explodes with her parents in it Steven though has an incestuous fixation with his cousin. They get it on too. But Catherine has all kinds of psychic visions of a witch being killed and other things. The uncle is into black magic, and casts a spell that makes her boyfriend back in London jump off a building. Wait, the chick gets it on with her cousin and they don’t make anything of the fact that its incest in the film!
The evil uncle’s secretary reveals that the uncle wants to bring this ancient witch back to life through her in a ritual to bring back an ancient witch that she is a direct descendant of, which has to be performed by her 20th birthday, and the race to escape the British manor is on.
They did some half-way decent horror flicks in the 70’s over in the U.K.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969)/Cinderella 2000(1977)

Al Adamson was a creator of many grindhouse horror films in the 60’s and 70’s. He is not super well known for such work like, say, Ed Wood. I’ve seen two films by him that are both very different but both incredibly bad films that would make an incredible double feature of crap if you’re into bad movie nights and such.
There was a lot of weird ass soft-core floating around in the 70's, puppet porno (Let My Puppets Come, baby!), porno musicals, porno cartoons. I've sort of wanted to review Once Upon a Girl on here, at some point- that’s cartoon porn. There was a bunch of porno based on fairy tales spawned by Bud Townsend's Alice in Wonderland. Before Charles Band directed Ghoulies (films Cinderella and Fairy Tales from the 70's are now difficult to find). I reviewed a bunch of that stuff for this site, Let My Puppets Come, The Beast. The Geek is one about Bigfoot made number 1 for my worst films ever list when I was writing for back when I lived in Las Vegas. Cinderella 2000 is another one of those weird ass soft-core films from the 70's.
Cinderella 2000 is a soft-core film of sorts (it would likely only be R by today’s standards) with disco musical song and dance numbers based on the story of Cinderella set in a super cheesy sci-fi future where computers decide who can have sex, and lawbreakers are hit with a shrinking ray. There's a robot the looks kind of like a penis that does a little disco dance number. How bad are we talking? We're talking Cinderella's homosexual fairy godfather (get it? He's a fairy!) comes out of a flying saucer and people in huge bunny masks start copulating and worse prancing around to disco. The plot is the plot of Cinderella, except that there's this thing about the society without sex and the happy ending is that Cinderella gets the dictator to lift the sexual ban by giving him a blowjob that cures his impotency.
I suppose these oddly themed porno flicks from the 70's the puppet porn and the cartoon porn, the fairy tale pornos, Cinderella 2000 have a kind of value in being relics, in being part of cinema history. There might also be artistic value in the perversion of them. A lot of these films like that I've viewed have made me fairly uncomfortable, Let My Puppets Come did, The Beast did, and things in film or other arts that make us uncomfortable have struck a raw nerve, they have hit on an issue by transgressing against something in our taboo structure. Maybe not as much so as The Beast, Let My Puppets Come, or The Geek, but I did find this film made me a little bit uncomfortable. It’s a relic of kind of creepy 70's jerk off material. There's a disco-dancing robot whose head looks like a penis in it. You know how disco kind of has a little bit of a sexually perverted edge to it? That's Cinderella 2000 for you, freaky freak disco culture's overlap with some of the soft-core porno of the time, which got into some very odd themes.
That film is probably a work of genius compared to his earlier film The Blood of Dracula’s Castle from 1969. That film is kind of lame even for a low budget grindhouse film of the period. If you’ve ever seen The Dunwhich Horror from the same era by Roger Corman, that’s a vastly superior film. The Blood of Dracula’s Castle is pretty stupid even for its period. This guy inherits this castle were Count Dracula’s been hanging out in Southern California brings his girlfriend with him. You could more or less guess the plot from there, except that they have a weird serial killer friend named Johnny and a butler that goes on and on about the moon god Luna. Sorry, no blow jobs in this one. The Blood of Dracula’s Castle actually comes on the same DVD in a Grindhouse collection with the film Blood Mania which is vastly superior.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Music Review-David Lyudmirsky's Their Only Dreams- WRETCHED!

Their Only Dreams

Pop Tart/Darling in Dream Dimension

Music review

Alas, the whole culture of bands, music magazines, “projects” and general shit that floats around that no one cares about.
Their Only Dreams is a musical project by a guy out in California named David Lyudmirsky. I think it is probably just him with a four track or his computer or something. I had to turn if off because I couldn’t stand the sound of it. I did a little research on-line. The only press this guy gets is on little blogs like this one. There is no evidence that David Lyudmirsky has a real following, so he doesn’t have much to be smug about. That is a very important distinction that should be made- The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, the Strokes- they made crap music and they ended up grabbing a bunch of money and fame. Then there are these other bands that exist that made equally crap music, people I went to college with or met in New York- they didn’t even make money or become famous. They just made music nobody cared about. That’s Their Only Dreams.
Oh what do they sound like? I guess it’s supposed to be psychedelic music. A couple of tracks sound a little bit like a goth band maybe. Goth I liked a lot in high school and college but I’ve probably worn it out by now. Psychedelic is kind of interesting but I haven’t used illegal drugs in years now and it went along with a strong political leftism and I’m a libertarian conservative now, so I don’t really relate to it much anymore. That’s actually being too nice to Their Only Dreams. Their Only Dreams sounds like a guy screwing around with a four track or some music software.
He’s got a song called “Cool Crowd”. I don’t know if this is a fantasy he created for lack of friends-the lyric is “I wish I had been invited”. What, is he locked in his closet with a copy of Penthouse and some airplane glue?
Actually it does kind of remind me of something else, but not in the favorable way. I remember back in the 90’s when I was in high school, when the big magazines to read about bands in were Hypno and Mondo2000, issues of which are now rare. I was thinking of horror films to look into to review and I recalled a movie called Jugular Wine being reviewed in Hypno magazine. Jugular Wine isn’t even on DVD and there are some old issues of Hypno on e-bay and Amazon, the one with the review of Jugular Wine I haven’t seen. That was when Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails were huge recent phenomena. Beck was in there a little bit. Very early on Beck would kind of screw around with lo-fi. Ween did some similar things I recall. That was like almost twenty years ago now. It sounded progressive at that time when Ween and Beck did it. I don’t find myself going back to it, downloading the early Beck albums or early Ween. There are reasons back issues of Hypno have become rare. I had a Hypno t-shirt in high school, ten years from now they’ll probably have thrown Beck, Nirvana, and Nine Inch Nails in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is what it is or rather it was what it was. Fifteen to twenty years ago Their Only Dreams might have ended up in Hypno or Mondo2000 and come off as progressive or interesting, but twenty years after the fact?
Does this guy even gets chicks at all? He kind of looks like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.
It’s some bad, bad music. That’s almost redundant these days.
I’ll tell you when I stop bullying these guys, is when the women connected to these bands start sleeping with me. Your chick bassist is my new girlfriend, we’re done. I don’t give a pan review of your stupid band. Until that happens, your band is fair game. This guy probably never even had the chick bassist…

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Viler Jehovah Deported?

Yes, the rumor that Viler Jehovah was deported came to me yesterday through the much more well known painter Paul Richard, I had some stuff still left at Paul Richard’s studio in Greenpoint to get sent down here to Philadelphia. Viler Jehovah is a figure of mystery, a homeless painter and musician from Mozambique, of which little is known and less is fully understood. Directly before I moved to Vegas in the fall of 2008 I produced an album length demo for Viler Jehovah, whose real name I don’t know. If there is enough public interest I may put some of that material on-line. I have heard the rumor through Paul Richard that he was a career criminal. That was never clear to me, it would make some sense because he had laptops and it was not clear how a guy that lived in the tent by the river could afford such things, but it wasn’t like I would go to the squat were the guitarist Miles Emery lived and record with Viler and a twenty dollar bill would disappear from my wallet or anything. What Viler had told me is that he had sold drugs to keep alive but that he didn’t use them because he was a Christian. I’m not sure how that works. My problem with the guy wasn’t so much that as that he would not shut up about becoming famous. At that time, I was working to becoming certified as an NRA Firearms Instructor which shows you exactly how much faith I had in being able to make money through the arts and becoming magically famous. That is to say, none at all.
The story about Viler being deported is a little vague, having come to me from Paul Richard though Harry Essex, who has a long history of schizophrenia and substance abuse. The story goes something to the effect that Viler got arrested for something, and gave the police some fake name, and asked if they could get verification that he was a citizen or something like that, and they called Harry. That would be quite a hail Mary seeing as Harry sells women’s clothing he finds on the street. The details are not clear on this one.
There’s a bunch of weird stories about that guy. One is that he walk around in heavy clothes during the height of the summer heat in what the street artist Leviticus referred to as a “bubble suit”. The other was that he prepared food at Paul Richard’s studio and was careful his food was thoroughly cooked because he was afraid of getting AIDS from eating food that was not cooked well enough.
If anyone has information about the whereabouts of Viler and his magical bubble suit, contact me here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Fantastic Journey of Goblin Album Review!****!

The Fantastic Journey of Goblin
By Goblin (review)

This is the third of a series of reviews on here going through a bunch of those 70’s “so ahead of their times” bands. It started when I wrote something about This Mortal Coil’s version of Big Star’s “Kangaroo”, and people started finding my webpage because of that, hence the review of Big Star’s Third: Sister Lovers and Van Der Graaf Generator’s The Least We Can Do is Wave to Each Other. Because I am also a fan of horror films and lower budget cinema, it would be natural to review Goblin, a criminally underrated band. Then in terms of horror films, it has been more and more my inclination to follow closely the films that my old boss William Powell at the Sci-Fi Center in Las Vegas shows at his screenings, because I feel that William Powell has a kind of genius for curating such things. Most of the better horror films I’ve seen I’ve either seen because of him or he’s ended up showing it. He screens films almost every weekend, that’s quite a skill that he’s been able to avoid showing a lot of the lost and poor films like Humanoids from the Deep and Insemenoid. Powell likes Argento so the band Goblin is on the kosher list of 70’s “way ahead of their times bands” that the new review could be because of their connection with the films of Argento, Powell has shown Suspira which Goblin did the soundtrack for.
Legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento found this progressive rock band in the 70’s and used them to score his zombie films. They are perhaps the most underrated band in the history of rock, except amongst horror film fans, who often revere them. The question is I’m sure does their music stand up on its own seeing as you can buy their music on its own. The answer is yes. They are an incredible band on their own. The notion of a horror obsessed “gothic” rock was still a number of years away when Goblin were first called into do the soundtrack for the Argento film Deep Red in 1975, a good five years before the term “goth” turned up. Do not misunderstand me- Goblin do not sound like a goth band all the time. The track Tenebre sounds like the cheesiest disco ever made if anything, with the kind of old vintage analog electronics bands like Air and Stereolab went nuts for in the late 90’s, around the time it became fashionable to be very into the Vampyre Lesbos soundtrack in the early years of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m not sure it sounds like they are using a Moog. That’s what it sounds like. Everyone in Williamsburg was trying to get their hands on a Moog in Williamsburg in 1996, it felt like.
During the 80’s though, they did make a whole lot of cheesy 80’s sounding soundtrack music. Particularly a winner on this collection is the theme from Phenomena. That is that weird one Argento made about the chick that communicates with insects. That’s really good. The whole album is really good actually.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jonathan Whittle-Utter, Love Coach Scott Catamas, and Peter Joseph!

Based on some of the figures that have kind of popped-up in my social circles in my life lately, I’d have to be very skeptical of people offering a complete transformation for the better through their little new age church or movement. I think I’d prefer to take the advice of someone who told me that they were offering me path to degradation and lower levels of consciousness. ”I am a spiritual teacher” that is probably a good indication of real pathology in-and-of-itself.

1. Jonathan Whittle-Utter:

People who’ve followed my work for a while will remember this guy, but I will recap for people that haven’t been up on the Whittle-Utter Catastrophe.
This freak came up last summer, somebody sent me a link to his webpage he is an actor and a filmmaker. I thought it was hilariously funny how bad his attempts at art films were. Back when I was still in Vegas I reviewed his first film back on the old Wacky World of William Wheaton blog at He did not like that and so he sent me a very cryptic and somewhat hostile e-mail. I laughed at him, put that on-line, and then found another film of his to review. He sent another cryptic e-mail. I was sure to keep record of it because when you send a second hostile e-mail to someone, you start to enter into dangerous legal grounds. He is apparently part of the Human Potential Movement. I found an essay by a guy who did lectures over at their little Esalen Institute compound that I think explains the psychology behind Whittle-Utter’s strange behavior well- here’s a link to it-

2. Love Coach Scott Catamas-

Here’s a link to some “Love Coach” Scott Catamas-

I’m impressed by how trivial and uninteresting the people he counsels problems appear to be. Ah, but they live in those problems, don’t they! Catamas throws around the term NVC (Non Violent Communication). Here’s a video clip of some other NVC freak screwing around with hand puppets-Again, regressive role-playing-

This one comes from the case files of my friend PI Jan B. Tucker. This guy has a criminal prior for pimping but he has all kinds of crappy relationship counseling videos on YouTube. I was considering reviewing his relationship DVDs but the filmmaking of Jonathan Whittle-Utter is almost merciful by comparison. He’s tied to a politician you may have heard of. I kid you not, Al Gore hangs out with a New Age pimp! The free world was once a bullet away from being run by a guy who hangs out with New Age pimps! Makes you wonder about that scandal a while back with the masseuse that said Al Gore sexually assaulted her…
I’ve been told that this is only the tip of the iceberg really, and that we see more on this one in in the news in the future. On the topic of small world-ness, I was able to trace Scott Catamas as doing events at a place called Harbin Hot Springs run by an organization called the Heart Consciousness Church-
“Heart Consciousness Church owns and operates Harbin Hot Springs. It is not a church in the traditional sense of buildings, structure and congregation. It is an embodiment and a manifestation of the New Age – that common thread uniting the human potential movement, the holistic, natural movement and universal spirituality.”
Small world! Human Potential Movement-as in Jonathan Whittle-Utter! If they’re all about this Human Potential Movement over at the Hot Harbin Springs, Whittle-Utter and Scott Catamas can hang out there together and snack on some mixed nuts.
The issue Jan B. Tucker worked on involved a child custody battle in which a set of 10-year-old quadruplets where apparently living on the “Celebration of Love” tantric-polyamoury group in Tiburon lead by a woman named Lori Grace. I think the grounds for child endangerment there are legitimate.

3. Peter Joseph:

I already did a review of one of his films on here, and I don’t care to do another review because that would mean watching his films again, but there really is more backstory to discuss and information coming to me about this guy. He came up because when I left Vegas I stayed briefly in New York with the painter Paul Richard, an old friend. Here is one for the depth of totally bizarre trivia-Paul Richard’s e-mail list is handled by Peter Joseph’s ex-girlfriend. Apparently, Peter Joseph’s nickname were he used to work was “Peter the Angry Dwarf”. As I already covered in my review of his largely discredited conspiracy theory film known as the Zeitgeist Movie. He’s into a lot of weirdness about ridding society of money, how Jesus was originally an astrological metaphor and the historical figure never existed, etc. Elements of the Zeitgeist Movement appear to be drawn from sources on the political right, in terms of things like the Federal Income Tax, but they want to get rid of currency. Jared Lee Loughner liked The Zeitgeist Movie, it came up a little bit.
Peter Joseph's cult is called the Zeitgeist Movement. It apparently split off connections from another older organization called the Venus Project, which is where he grabbed his whole trip about saving the world through doing away with currency. This clip of Peter Joseph throwing a first rate temper tantrum shows exactly how he got his nickname.

We’ve got some real winners here!