Kill of the Day 09/14/15 – Pet Semetary

Hide and Seek with GageStephen King’s Pet Semetary (directed by Mary Lambert, 1989) If an old man tells you not to bury your dead son in an ancient Mi’kmaq burial ground, for god sake, don’t do it! Resurrection becomes a problem for the Creed family and their neighbor Jed. First their cat, Church, rises from the grave, and then their son Gage follows suit. In one of the most cringe-worthy scenes (in my opinion) in film, the boy, Gage, slices the old man’s Achilles tendon while hiding under the bed. If you can watch this scene without wincing, you are not human. Fred Gwynn (Herman Munster) plays the slightly off-kilter, sometimes wise Jed. As the boy is slicing and biting up old Jed, the feline zombie, Church, watches on with green glowing eyes. I saw Pet Semetary in the drive in when I was thirteen, and it still gives me the creeps.

The video quality is shoddy, but it was the only clip of the scene I could find.

Cool Fact – Stephen King was inspired to write the novel Pet Semetary after his daughter’s pet cat was hit by a car on the highway near their home in Maine.

|T.

Riff of the Day 09/14/15 Queens of the Stone Age – Little Sister

Queens of the Stone Age – Little Sister (from the album Lullabies to Paralyze, 2005 Interscope) Something about the cowbell that makes you want to boogie. A killer riff, some over-driven bass and robotic hard-hitting drum beat make this song one of QOTSA’s best “radio” hits. This band is partially responsible for my taste in music, and I have seen them live a lucky seven times. Brilliant.

Cool Fact – I kicked this songs ass in Rockband; level expert. Word.

T.

Riff of the Day 09/13/15 Orange Goblin – Quincy the Pig Boy

Orange Goblin – Quincy the Pig Boy (from the album The Big Black, Rise Above Records 2000)  Orange Goblin is one of the best UK bands to represent the heavy end of rock. I saw these guys perform twice now, and I am impressed by their all-round show. Singer Ben Ward is a 6’5″, charismatic hulk of a man, and the rest of the band are tight and lose at the same time. Right from the wah pedal heavy lead in riff, Quincy the Pig Boy is something that grabs your skull and shakes it.

Cool Fact – Before choosing the name Orange Goblin, the band was known as Our Haunted Kingdom. A pretty cool name, but not near as bad-ass as on the one they go by now.

Riff of the Day – 09/12/15 Iggy Pop – Go for the Throat

Iggy Pop – Go for the Throat (from the album Beat ‘Em Up, Virgin 2001) This album is an absolute gem. Besides The Stooges albums, this is my favorite Iggy Pop work. The man sounds pissed off, and it resulted in a raw, and real record. Go for the Throat is a chugging punk rock anthem, complete with Iggy proclaiming “I`m fucked up, man I`m so fucked up…”. I love this song, so I had the Latin phrase “Vado Pro Iugulum” tattooed on my arm. It translates to the song`s title, Go for the Throat. If you don`t like Iggy Pop, you`re a jerk.

Kill of the Day 09/11/15 – Die Franklin, Die!

Die Franklin, Die – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (directed by Tobe Hooper, 1974) Usually in film, as in life, you cheer for a person who has a disability. Whether it is a physical, or mental handicap, you want the person to succeed. That is unless the person is hateful, whiny, and annoying. This describes the character of Franklin in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For lack of a better term, Franklin is an asshole. From the start of the film, until his demise, I find him to be a constant distraction and a real nuisance. Four friends, including Franklin’s sister Sally (the heroine of the film), along with fifth wheel Franklin, set out in Texas to go to a childhood home. They find more than they bargain for when they run headlong into the Sawyer family. They have a severe hankerin’ for Texas Barbecue, but beef isn’t on the menu. You get the point. Regardless, Franklin meets his maker (Leatherface), and it couldn’t come sooner. It is just a shame that Leatherface did not have a chance to get to know Franklin better. He would have sawed him into smaller pieces.

I have included two videos. First to demonstrate what a cry baby Franklin was, and the second is the kill video.

Cool Fact – Although the film is called Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Franklin is the only character to actually be murdered with a chainsaw.

Riff of the Day 09/10/15 Goatsnake – Black Cat Bone

Goatsnake – Black Cat Bone (from the EP Trampled Under Hoof, Southern Lord 2004) Goatsnake was formed out of the ashes of The Obsessed in 1996. They have had a few line up changes, and a couple long hiatuses, but are currently working on a new album. Which is good news for anyone who is a fan of doom. Listening to Black Cat Bone,it could easily be a Danzig song, but I’m happy it’s not. Check this one out!

Kill of the Day 09/09/15 The Prowler

Late Night Swim – The Prowler (directed by Joseph Zito, 1981)  After years of hearing about this film, I actually got to see it the other night. I must say, it is a great little old school slasher film, that features amazing special make-up effects, courtesy of the one and only Tom Savini. The effects are very gritty and realistic. I chose the swimming pool death, simply because it is cool. A young woman goes for a dip in the pool after dark. The Prowler strikes. Slit throats are a dime a dozen in this type of fair, but this one is different. The killer actually slices into the victim’s throat, and we see the blade of the knife buried half way in to her neck. Pretty gruesome and real looking stuff. If you listen, the score playing during this scene is reminiscent of the Jaws theme. I am not sure if this is an homage because of the water element it shares with Jaws or not, but it is pretty cool. There is also a graphic shower scene featuring a buxom lady and a pitchfork that is gore filled (I could not find footage). Joseph Zito also directed Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which Tom Savini also did the make-up effects for. The Prowler is good slasher fun, which I recommend to anyone that is a fan of the genre.

Cool Fact – Tom Savini served as a combat cameraman in Vietnam, and draws from the real life death and gore he witnessed to create his special effects.

Riff of the Day – 09/08/15 Fireball Ministry – The Sinner

Fireball Ministry – The Sinner (from the album The Second Great Awakening, Nuclear Blast 2003)  From Las Angeles by way of Cincinnati, Fireball Ministry have been at it since the late 90’s, making some warm, heavy rock ‘n roll. A lot of their imagery borrows from Christianity, but we won’t hold that against them (just jokes). This foursome know how to groove.

My Top Five favourite Horror Movie Re-makes, Re-Boots, and Re-Dos.

TOP FIVE FAVORITE HORROR REMAKES

When Hollywood officially ran out of ideas in the mid-2000, they started re-making, re-booting, re-imagining, re-vamping, re-(you get the idea). There is a large list of horror movie classics that have gotten the rejuvenation treatment over the last decade, and the ones that are good or even decent, are far and few between. Off the top of my head, I can name a few that fell far short or the original. A Nightmare on Elm Street (awful), Friday The 13th (bad), The Wicker Man (god-awful), Dawn of the Dead (watchable), and The Fog (should have stayed lost in the fog) come to mind. Like good scotch, the originals have all aged well. The remakes are like stinky old milk, two weeks past its expiry date. As horror movie fans, we can pray that a few classics are off-limits. The Shining, Jaws, and Exorcist are hopefully untouchable. Poltergeist should have been on that list, but it was butchered in this summer’s remake. A total hack job. Sam Rockwell could not even save it. Although most disappoint, I have waded through the muck, and chosen my top five “most watchable” horror movie re-boots. I’m not saying these are amazing cinematic masterpieces, but they are passable, and entertaining. In no particular order…

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Directed by Marcus Nispel, Platinum Dunes 2003) Being a big fan of the 1974 Tobe Hooper nerve-grinder, I was excited and worried for this updated version of TCM. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the Michael Bay produced version of this tale of a cannibalistic family who preys on weary travelers. The acting was decent, the suspense and violence was on course with the original, and R. Lee Ermy (Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket) makes any film a little better. Also, it seems that a lot of remakes get “Hollywoodized” with a sexy cast and crazy CGI effects, but this film did not get lost in that stuff (I’m not saying Jessica Biel is not attractive). The sequel, or prequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning was not so great, but that aside, the 2003 TCM is definitely worth a watch.

Halloween (Directed by Rob Zombie, Dimension Films 2007) The original Halloween is the pinnacle of slasher movies as far as I’m concerned. John Carpenter took a minimal budget, used atmosphere, suspense and a soundtrack to create a timeless film. Rob Zombie took the premise and made it his own. The violence is over the top, the character interaction is gritty, and the acting is quite adequate. Zombie gives a little more back story on Michael as a boy, with some insight on why he might be a psychopath. Basically his family, minus his mother, are assholes. If you liked The Devil’s Rejects, chances are you will like Halloween. Same gritty feel a lot of the same actors, and a great 1970’s soundtrack. Different from the original, but good slasher fun none the less.

Evil Dead (Directed by Fede Alvarez, Ghost House Pictures 2013) Sam Raimi is the master of camp horror, and the 1981 original is a charming, creepy trip into the woods. Demon possession, a book of the dead, and Bruce Campbell all equate to a great time of a movie. A remake could never capture the tongue-in-cheek, campy fun of the original. However, they did manage to capture the gore, violence and terror of the original. This film is a blood bath, with 50,000 gallons of fake stuff being used throughout production. There are a few nods to the original Evil Dead, as well as Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn. If you light some jump scares and violence, this film is recommended. The original team of Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Bruce Campbell are all producers on the remake. These three are primarily responsible for the original Evil Dead, and it’s always a good sign if the re-boot is endorsed by the creators of the original film. Also, watch through the entire end credits for a special cameo.

The Fly (Directed by David Cronenberg, Twentieth Century Fox 1986) I recently watched the original 1958 version starring horror icon Vincent Price, and watched the updated version the following day. Both are very enjoyable. However, the Cronenberg film, in my opinion, tells the story better. The Fly is basically a beauty and the beast story. To me, it is a love story, but in a way that is suitable for a  Cronenberg movie. Jeff Goldblum is brilliant as scientist Seth Brundle, and in turn even better as the “Brundle Fly”. The special effects are excellent for their time, before CGI. The fly make-up and suit are seamless, and the experiment effects are vintage 80’s. I am quite surprised that someone has not tried to remake The Fly again, considering that at the heart of the story, it is just a woman unconditionally loving a man, even though that man has turned himself into an insect. Cronenberg has crafted some great films, and The Fly is right up there with Videodrome and A History of Violence as my favorites.

Bram Stroker’s Dracula (Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, American Zoetrope, 1992) I suppose it could be argued that this film isn’t really a remake of a film, but a re-telling of the Bram Stroker literary classic Dracula. To hell with it though, I am going to include it on my list. This is a lavish, artistic film with an all-star cast that includes Gary Oldman and Sir Anthony Hopkins. Oldman is brilliant, portraying the most famous Vampire of all time. Oldman’s Count is charming and vulnerable, as well as monstrous and savage. The original 1931 Universal film is a timeless icon, and Bela Lugosi IS Dracula, but in that era of film making, they were limited as to how far they could dive into the source book. The 1992 production is high quality, and is a very believable period piece. As with The Fly, Bram Stroker’s Dracula is also a love story at it’s core, but sometimes love is a violent, bloody thing. The cherry on top is the fact that the beautiful Tom Waits plays the slightly unhinged R.M. Renfield. A perfect match!

T.

Riff of the Day 09/05/15 Mastodon – Blood and Thunder

Mastodon – Blood and Thunder (from the album Leviathan, Relapse 2004) One of my all time favorite bands, which I have seen live five times. Blood and Thunder is exactly that; a storm of guitar, drums, and signature Mastodon vocals. The album Leviathan is a “concept” album, based on Herman Melville‘s literary classic Moby Dick (I’ve even read it!).  I absolutely love this album, as it was my introduction to Mastodon. Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are amazing guitar players, and make a formidable team. The video is pretty kick-ass as well.

Cool FactRolling Stone magazine stated: “Mastodon are the greatest metal band of their generation — no one else comes close.”

Pretty accurate assessment if you ask me!

T.