8/22/2017

Galactic Empire- 8/6/17- Webster Hall: The Final Shows

One August 18, 2017, I attended two of the last two metal shows from the final shows at Webster Hall, before it would go on to close, just a few days later, for restoration. I already talked about the other show, that I attended that day, Eyes Set To Kill. Now, it's time to take a trip to a long time ago (more like a few weeks ago) in a galaxy far, far away (well not far at all, you're from NYC), when I saw the mighty and fearful power of the Galactic Empire!
Galactic Empire, as the name would suggest, are a Star Wars tribute heavy metal band. They adopt songs from John Williams classic score into technically savvy metal music. The band members all wear Star Wars' members of the Galactic Empire (duh) and bad guy cosplay. They are: Boba Fett on drums, while Darth Vader, an Imperial Guard, Stromtrooper, and a Death Trooper all shred on guitars (they have three guitarists, alla Iron Maiden) and bass.
The concert is a shit load of fun, as they adopt the aformentioned music into metal in a very energetic and ass kicking manner. The fast and highly technical style is even more impressive (or should I say ''Impressive. Most impressive!) when you take into account the outfits that they have on.
Adding to the fun, is Lord Vader who talks before the songs introducing them. He'll say hilarious stuff, that only fellow Star Wars geeks will fully get, like, ''This song is about my love for Padme and hatred of sand.'' or ''This song is about that time that teddy bears beat the Empire.'' He also force chocked someone on stage, among other cool stuff that is inspired by the franchise happened onstage.
In all, this was the perfect, for us geeky headbangers to bid farewell to Webster Hall. Galactic Empire kick a ton of ass (and if you're Rebel scum, then you really best beware!). Fellow fans of metal and Star Wars, I implore you to check them out, or I maybe be forced to tell the Emperor on you! And, you don't wanna piss that dude off believe me!
In all seriousness, thank you Webster Hall for all the memories, this version of you will be missed.

8/21/2017

Monster-Mania Aug. 2017

On August 19, 2017, my good friend, and one of the Master's Minions, Freddie and I, headed over to Cherry Hill for another edition of Monster-Mania!! This was an awesome experience, from start to finish, and, overall, ranks among my favorite con experiences, which is a lot!

The first celeb that I went up to was the beautiful Alison Lohman. I know her best from one of my favorite horror movies of the last couple of years, Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. She played the lead in it and was great! You may also know her from White Oleander were she looked especially breathtaking as a goth chick, among other roles that she has done. She was so sweet and talkative in person, as she told us about how great it was working with Raimi, and the usage of, mostly, practical FX. She is also so naturally beautiful! Lohman signed my Blu-ray copy of Drag Me to Hell. I was so happy to meet her as she was one of the two that I most wanted to meet for the first time.
The other person I most wanted to meet the most was the still gorgeous Daphne Zuniga. Many will best know this talented stunner from Melrose Place or from the Mel Brooks comedy Spaceballs. But, my favorite role of hers in the oh so fun sequel The Fly II. I actually asked her about it, and she told me that she could talk more about it more at her panel later in the day. But, she did tell me that she was already friends with Eric Stolz before shooting the flick. She is very sweet and seemed to be having a lot of fun at the con, as she was all smiles. I got to get a pic with her.
And, so a little later we did attend her panel, where she talked about being cast in Melrose Place, and how great it was to work with Mel Brooks, how she improved the scene where the laser blast messes up her hair, and more. She also mentioned that John Candy was so nice in person. I asked her about The Fly II, of course, and she spoke of how she got the role, thanks to Brooks, as it was produced by him. She also told us about emoting as Eric Stolz turned into a fly monster, and of how good an actor Stolz is, even, under all that makeup. She mentioned how he liked it with makeup FX, having done Mask, a little before this one. This most also be the first time were she not only talked about those movies, but also the cult flicks The Dorm that Dripped Blood and The Initiation, since they came out, if not ever! But, she looked liked she had a great time answering all the questions and reminiscing about her career.
Later, I went up to Lloyd Kaufman, at the Troma booth. Uncle Lloyd is always such a blast in person! I got Troma's War, which I had finally upgraded to Blu-ray, which he signed. He also signed my copy of Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1, which was already signed by much of the cast. I got pic with him, and, of course, Toxie!
I finally met PJ Soles! Best known for roles in classics like Halloween, Carrie, Rock N' Roll High School, and The Devil's Rejects, she is truly one of the sweetest celebs ever! She liked my Fright-Rags Jaws shirt, which is freaking, no make that ''totally'', awesome! Next, time that she is at a con, I gotta bring my Halloween Blu-ray with me, so that she can sign it.
There was also  more cosplay than I usually see at this con. Here are two of my favorites:
How fucking awesome is this The Shining family cosplay?! This has to be one of the greatest group cosplays ever! LOVE this!!
This Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom couple cosplay is EVERYTHING!

After a couple of years, it was great to see the Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska, again! I got to interview them, and that will be posted when it is edited and ready. Until, then here is a pic of us, from this con.
Finally, I thought I would share with you guys the swag that I got:
Fright-Rags- Aliens socks
Blu-rays- Creepshow 2, Beyond the Darkness, Troma's War, and Burial Ground
Funko Pops- Stranger Things Eleven with Eggos and Masters of the Universe Trap-Jaw. 

8/17/2017

Ampütator- Deathcult Barbaric Hell [Vinyl Reissue] (Album Review)

Musicians: Ampütator
Album Title: Deathcult Barbaric Hell
Genre/ Subgenre: Black Metal
Label: Greyhaze Records
Release date: May 18, 2017

Ampütator are a black metal band from Rhode Island/ Connecticut. Deathcult Barbaric Hell is their debut album and was originally released in 2007 on CD and cassette. On May 18 of this year, it was released and remastered for on vinyl by Greyhaze Records.

Right from the get go you realize that this band is true old school black metal. The influence of bands like classic Emperor and Darkthrone dominates the sound and feel of the music and album throughout. The consistent and almost droning blast-beat drumming is accompanied by saw like guitars and inhuman/ demonic vocals.

The album opener ''Rape Kill Annihilate'' rips from the very intro with a chainsaw sound that cuts right through the bone. The brutal blast-beats further decimate the listener. The screams of a dying pig go right into the fast and savage ''Gutterslut'', which is unrelenting its musical assault. There is almost catchy Venom-esque intro to ''Obliteration'' which heads straight into furious Darkthrone territory. Then there is the absolute killer and battering cover of the classic Repulsion track ''Slaughter of the Innocents''. It showcases the band's influences beyond Norwegian black metal. The pummeling ''With Hate'' seethes with just that as it features an angry and cold wall of brutality. ''Extinction Deathmarch'' is a blast of freezing and evil air that is filled with detest and viciousness. Brutal and face slicing annihilation mixes with some chilling riffing in ''Complete Butchery''. This, my favorite track on the album, will make you feel as if a butcher is hacking and slashing your face and body to bloody bits with an evil and uncompromising sound.

While the album, as I mentioned before is remastered, it still maintains a very dirty and low-fi sound to it. This brutal and raw black metal style is for those who wish they could go back to the glory days of the second wave of the sub-genre, when Norway ruled with pure evil. The lyrics and themes are more gore and death obsessed than those bands, were but the sound and musical style completely recall that era. As such, it doesn't break any new ground but honestly there in lies the appeal. If you crave those glory days and love vinyl, then dig right fucking in.

You can order the record, available in black and color, here: https://store.greyhazerecords.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=466

3 out of 5

8/15/2017

Horror Crush: Ana Claudia Talancón

Today I induct the first Latina into this site's Horror Crushes, the beautiful and severely underrated, by US audiences anyway, Ana Claudia Talancón!
Talancón was born in Cancun, Mexico on May 1, 1980. In the Latin community, she is best known for her work in Mexican movies and soaps (telenovelas). As such, I already knew her from my family watching the Spanish speaking channels. As soon as I saw her, I immediately thought she was one of the most beautiful women on those channels/ programs (which is saying a lot!).
This is why I was happy as fucking hell, when I saw that she was in a horror movie, one that was, at the time, getting good word of mouth: Alone with Her (2006). In it, she plays Amy, a beautiful and sweet girl who paints and lives alone with her adorable little doggy. A sick and perverse psycho named Doug (Colin Hanks) sees her one day at the park and quickly develops an obsession with her. He begins to stalk and film and also breaks into her house installing spyware cameras. He uses this to not only see and record her, but to learn about her tastes and habits. He uses this info to try and seduce her. Anytime things don't go the way he likes, IE she dates another man, he lashes back at her, all of this unbeknownst to her.
I remember reading about it in Fangoria, who gave it a recommendation to watch. It was exciting to me, to see Talancón not only being in it, but playing the lead role. As soon as I could I saw it and, if I am not mistaken, it was through blind buying the DVD. And, thankfully I loved it! Alone with Me is one of the finest and most thoroughly chilling and disturbing found footage movies ever made. I usually feel very annoyed by this sub-genre. Although, it wasn't prevalent back then, as it is now, this one used the gimmick to make for a movie that will get under your skin. If you have never seen it, you need to stop doing what you are doing (well OK, finish reading this then go) and see it now! And, then, after that, tell all your horror loving friends to do the same thing!
Talancón is excellent in the role. She is sympathetic, and you genuinely feel and fear for her. Her performance and her character are very believable. This combining with the movie's theme of stalking insures you a horror/ thriller that will stay with you.
To add to the idea of her privacy being broken, we see her fully nude showing, masturbating in bed (albeit clothed), etc. Nude or not, Talancón is a site to behold having one of the most beautiful, natural bodies ever.
I was hoping more would see this film, unfortunately, I don't think I ever met anyone who ever did. Was I the only person who read that Fango loved this one? I don't know, but I hope I convince you to seek this movie out. IFC put out the DVD. See it and let me know what you think about it.
Unfortunately, a lot more people seemingly saw her next horror movie: One Missed Call (2008). This remake of the Takashi Miike movie of the same name is not just one of the worst horror remakes ever, but quite simply one of the most insufferable horror movies to ever be made. I recall watching this as being a fucking chore to finish. Somehow I did, in part cause I just wanted to drool all over Talancón and Shannyn Sossaman. Both are beautiful and utterly wasted, though. Sossaman has the lead role of Beth, and Talancón is her roommate Taylor Anthony. I don't remember much of anything from this festering ball of shit, other than my utter hatred for it.

Some years later she returned to horror with Enter the Dangerous Mind (2013). I haven't seen this one, but it sounds interesting. She plays the sister's friend according to IMBD. Sounds like a small role, possibly. But, I'm certainly curious, as it also stars the lovely Nikki Reed.
First off, Talancón should be in a million other American movies, especially horror flicks! Seriously, why is this woman not in more US movies?! She is an extremely talented actress who gives a great and powerful performances. She also happens to be breathtaking in her beauty. Her body is amazing, her face is beautiful, and her eyes are stunning! There are not enough Latin women in American cinema, and definitely not enough in horror. Even, though the fact is that Latinas are among the most beautiful women in the world.
And, with all of this, I very proudly induct Ana Claudia Talancón into Horror Crushes!
Are you a fan of the beautiful Ms. Talancón? Have you seen Alone with Her? What are thoughts on her and/ or the movie? Do you hate One Missed Call as much as I do? Let me know in the comments section below.

8/09/2017

Eyes Set To Kill- 8/6/17- Webster Hall: The Final Shows

On August 8, 2017, I was present for the final metal shows to be held at the legendary Webster Hall in New York City, before it undergoes renovation (it closes tomorrow, Thurs. the 10th). One of the performers, I had the pleasure to catch and report on also happens to be one of my favorites acts: Eyes Set To Kill (ESTK).
I have watched ESTK perform here on two other occasions so it felt fitting that I would catch them on one of the venue's final shows. Led by the always beautiful and extremely talented Alexia Rodriguez, they are always a fun, energetic, and kick ass live band. This night was no different. As they always do, ESTK gave us one hell of a fucking performance!
ESTK began the set with their most recent single the catchy ''Break''. They played a good mix of different eras in the band's history. The set consisted of two songs came from their excellent last album Masks: ''Infected'' and ''Little Liar''. They also played one more new track in the form of the ass kicking ''Survive''. To close off the set, they played two older releases, the classic tracks ''Broken Frames'' and the crushing fan favorite ''Darling''.
Throughout their set the band had the crowd rocking, signing, jumping, and plain rocking out to their kick ass brand of hard rock/ metal/ post-hardcore. I was completely caught up in the moment as I always tend to be at their shows.
Webster Hall will be missed. While, we don't know what the venue will be like when it returns, there is no doubt that we were part of history on this night. And, I am very happy that it involved one of my favorite bands of all time, and that I was there to experience and capture it for all of you.

Where any of you at the show? What are some of your favorite bands that you saw perform at Webster Hall? What are some of your favorite memories from the venue? Let me know in the comments section below.