7/24/2017

Mayhem- De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (Album Review)

Musicians: Mayhem
Album Title: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive
Genre/ Subgenre: Black Metal
Label: Self-Released
Release date: Dec. 15, 2016

True Norwegian black metal masters Mayhem have been commemorating their landmark album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which was released back in 1994. Considered by many, including yours truly, as one of the greatest black metal albums ever; it is a quintessential classic not just of the sub-genre but of all of metal. For further proof of this, one only needs to look at Rolling Stone magazine list of the ''100 Greatest Metal Albums of all Time'', where the album came in at #40!

The band has been doing, and still is, a commemorative tour in honor of the album, where they play it at its entirety. They self-released De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive, a live album recorded at Norrköping, Sweden in 2015 during their Black Christmas show. The result is a savage, evil, and truly haunting live recording.

The classic album is, of course, played straight through, with nary a break. Every classic is bought to undead, hellish life by the band. The uncompromising, blast beat drumming and slicing, chainsaw guitars, combine with vocalist Attila Csihar to give the classic songs a slight new feel and twist, thanks to his hellish screaming and shrieking.

Production values are very good, giving the album a strong sound, while still remaining the right amount of muddiness; all this while mixing the instrument and vocals at excellent levels. There is a cold and dissonant feel throughout the recording making this a perfect live capturing one of the finest albums ever made. With blistering renditions of ''Funeral Fog'', ''Cursed in Eternity'', ''Life Eternal, ''From the Dark Past'', and more songs you have heard a million times are both fresh and still classic sounding. Meanwhile, the closing title track sounds truly evil and haunting, thanks to the chilling chanting.

Those looking for a typical live album, IE: fan screaming and cheering (there is a few of this but mostly nothing), band talks to audience, introduces songs, etc, are advised to look somewhere. Those who know how most black metal bands like Mayhem handle their live shows, devoid of such moments, know what they are in for. Perhaps, you think that you don't need a live a version of an album you already own. Well, you are fucking wrong! De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive is an absolute must have for fans of the band and classic black metal, in general. In fact, it is the best live album to be released in many a moon, freezing, or otherwise.

Released last year, it is available on CD, DVD, LP, and digital download. The limited LP gold edition can be bought in the US here: https://thetruemayhem.aisamerch.com/item/46179 . In Europe, you can get it in black, purple, and purple with black haze here: http://dmds.thetruemayhem.com/

  5 out of 5

7/21/2017

Horror Crush: Brooke Butler

The summer heat is in full effect, and I am about to turn up the temperature even further with the latest addition to Horror Crushes: blonde beauty, Brooke Butler!
Butler was born on January 27, 1989 in Woodinville, Washington. She would eventually go on to pop on some TV shows and did some shorts, before appearing in the first movie that I saw her in Lucky McKee and Chris Siverston's All Cheerleaders Die (2013). One of my favorite horror flicks of the last couple of years, I've already watched it a couple of times, already. This tale of hot high school cheerleaders coming back to life after an accident is fun, sexy, gory, smart, and funny. The solid script is further augmented by the unknown cast's excellent acting.

One of four sexy zombies, Butler plays bubbly and sexy, and now undead, cheerleader Tracy Bingham. Butler is super likable in the role and a lot of fun to watch. She manages to be funny, sympathetic, and sexy as fucking hell! She looks great in her undies and, of course, her cheerleader outfit. And, it is very important to note that she has an ass to freaking die for!

 
She also has a hot lesbian make-out session and, a little later, tryst with gorgeous lead Caitlin Stasey. While, it feature no nudity, both moments are super sexy and actually work well within the film's plot, making it more than just pointless or cheap exploitation. They are handled with a deft and mature manner by it's directing duo. But, then McKee has always been great at writing and showcasing female characters.
Unfortunately, that is the only movie, that I have ever seen her in. As I did research for this article I found that she had done two other horror movies. As always, if any of you have seen them, comment below with your thoughts. The first of those is 2015's The Sand. The plot description of something living in the beach sand and killing people reminds me of 80's Jaws rip-off Blood Beach. This flick does feature Butler in her bikini, as well as, one of my favorite favorite centerfolds, Nikki Leigh, nude. So, that has to be worth something right?
At the time of this writing, the last horror movie she appeared in was last year's The Remains. It seems to be a ghost/ possession story. Those can types of movies can be questionable in quality. But, Butler is second billed, so it might be worth seeing, right?

 
Butler is absolutely gorgeous. She has the blonde that everyone and anyone would fall in love with look down to a natural science. Her gorgeous face, sexy lips, beautiful eyes, hot body, and truly spectacular butt are what dreams are made of. But, she also has solid acting chops. She is underrated and needs to be talked about more, especially by us, horror fans. As such, here is hopping this write-up will cause some talking and get her more love from all of you. And, with that all being said, I proudly induct Brooke Butler into Horror Crushes!

7/19/2017

RETURN TO RETURN TO NUKE 'EM HIGH AKA VOL. 2 (Review)

Title: Return to Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2
Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Writers: Travis Campbell, Derek Dressler, Lloyd Kaufman, Gabriel Friedman
Cast: Asta Paredes, Catherine Corcoran, Zac Amico, Vito Trigo, Lloyd Kaufman, Babette Bombshell
Year: 2017

Picking up immediately after Vol. 1 had ended, Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) has slime and blood running down her legs as she showers. Soon after, she unwittingly sprays acidic slime from her body, killing the girls laughing at her. A little bit after, she ends up giving birth to a cute and very funny, little mutant duck/ humanoid baby. You see, he is a result of the duck oral rape that had happen to Lauren in the last film. Meanwhile, Chrissy Goldberg (Asta Paredes) is threatened by the evil Principal Wesley (Babette Bombshell) to stop her blog which deals with the mutant causing, toxic contamination that the man he is cahoots with, Lee Harvey Herzkauf (Lloyd Kaufman, himself) and his company are behind. If she doesn't delete her blog; he will release the video that the traitorous Zack (Zac Amico) has of her and Lauren making out. It will be leaked to a conservative (and honestly uproariously funny) talk show that airs on Tromaville. We also learn that Herzkauf has been sniffing and using the farts of the Troma citizens that he has prisoner to keep himself young.

At the same time, the former Glee club members, who have mutated into the killer, signing, evil punks, henceforth called The Cretins, want revenge on our luscious duo for happened in the last film. And, on top of all of this, Lauren's aforementioned duck, Kevin (Josh Potter) has now mutated even further thanks to exposure to another dose of toxic chemicals and has become a human sized monster. Believe, it or not, things are only about to get crazier, as our sexy and beautiful lesbian couple take on the forces of evil in a climatic battle at Troma High!
Let's cut to the chase right away, Return to Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2 is the funniest horror comedy, probably, since Shaun of the Dead. It is also one of the most wild and over the top genre movie in a many a moon. There is just so much going on, which you get just a taste of in the plot summary above. It amazes me to see that it all fits so well and perfectly in the roughly 90 minute length. It is a true credit to Kaufman's talent that he is able to handle all this crazy shit, so very well and coherently. As much as I adored the first Vol. 1 (which I consider to be one of the 10 best films of 2014), this film actually fucking tops it! And, dear readers, ain't no simple feat!
From start to finish, and beyond as they keep ongoing even during the credits(!), the jokes keep on coming, nonstop one after the other. But, it never gets tiring or stale, and that is a big compliment to both the script and Kaufman's fun and lively directing. I was dying from laughing so hard, and could barely stop to catch my breath and laugh my ass off again!
The humor is raunchy, politically incorrect, timely, and satirical in nature. No group, movie, or person, whether celeb or politician is free or safe. Everybody and everything is equal fodder in the laugh department. The more sensitive viewers out there, might not appreciate that, but hey this movie ain't for them. Of course, splatter plays a big part of the funny moments. Slimey and bloody meltdowns, gooey transformations, amputations, bodies get ripped apart, and more, as blood, slime, and even cum, spray and spill all over the screen, making this an easy 10 on the gore-o-meter, thanks to the special FX which range from very good to excellent.

Nudity is also rampantly displayed. Both of our beautiful leads, Paredes and Corcoran, show skin and give us more hot and sexy lesbian love making. We also get full frontal from many beautiful female extras, including adult star and scream queen Nadia White. And, to show that Troma and Kaufman are equal opportunity exploiters, there is also some male full frontal nudity. Who says these movies are sexist?
The acting is all solid. Everyone has great comedic timing, especially from the leads. Paredes and Corcoran are not only gorgeous, but have great chemistry together and are hilarious and so very likable. It is impossible to not love them! Amico is uproarious as Zak. He seems to be having a blast in his role, and it shows. Plus, he is a brave man willing to it bare all and show his ass and schlong to the world, all in the name of a good, no make that great, laugh. Kaufman makes for a hilarious villain. His Blue Velvet inspired ass-gas sniffing had me in stitches. And, can we please give Josh Potter's Zack the Duck, his own movie? Cause, that would fucking rule! Also, keep your eyes open for all the awesome cameos, including but not limited, to Stan Lee, Lemmy Kilmister, Ron Jeremy, and the Angry Video Game Nerd!
Return to Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2 is an utterly hilarious extravaganza of splatstick. It has everything you could ask for in life: hot babes, lesbians, gore, nudity, cool cameos, kick ass metal and punk music, and more! The jokes are wonderfully offensive, silly in nature, non-stop, and, most importantly, are utterly hilarious. You will bust a fucking gut from laughing so hard. And, speaking of gut busting, the gore is absolutely, fucking spectacular. The cast is amazing and great at comedy. The women are gorgeous, and the nudity is in high quantity, with guys and gals, both, showing the goods. It is, in all, completely and utterly over-the-top, as how many movies can you name where a monster gets hit in the eye with flying splooge?

The truth is, I could probably go on and on about how great this movie is and write a book about all the awesome moments and components it. In short, Troma have a made a masterpiece, one that ranks as one of their truly finest and funniest cinematic moments. They are talking about touring with the film and playing at different places this year. Be sure to catch this, one of the year's very best, as soon as humanly, or mutantly possible!

4 out of 4

7/17/2017

In Loving Memory of George A. Romero, the Godfather of the Zombie

We, the horror community, have lost another one of the great ones. George A. Romero, the Godfather of the Zombie, passed away yesterday at 77, as result of a short battle with an aggressive from of lung cancer. The moment that received the news, via a text from a friend, I was devastated. I, like the rest of the horror world, couldn't believe it. I quickly bawled my eyes out crying. This hurt, and it hurt, a lot.
Romero was born in the Bronx, NY, on Feb. 4, 1940, to a Cuban father and Lithuanian mother. He would go to become one of the greatest and most important filmmakers in the horror genre. He stayed out of the mainstream for most of his career, yet his influence is felt to today. In fact, it seems to be felt even more. The whole zombie craze, would not exist without him. And, that is a fucking fact.
For me, the loss of Romero hit so hard, because I had felt I had lost a hero. He was and is such an influence in my life, that it is hard to put into simple words. But, I am going to give it my best. As I was getting into horror movies, I found it important to see all the classics. One of the filmmakers, I had yet to see anything from was Romero. But, I changed that quickly.

I first caught his debut movie, Night of the Living Dead (1968), when it aired on a premium cable channel. I was about 12 or so, and at that point black and white horror, unless it was Psycho or Godzilla: King of the Monsters, didn't have that much appeal to me. Still, I knew this wasn't like any Universal film. And, boy, was that ever true! I was blown away with how graphic, especially for a B&W movie, it was! We are talking stabbings, bloody bullet hits, immolation, and, gut munching! Shit, there was even a naked, female corpse!

I can only imagine how this must have shocked audiences back in the day! He created the template of the what now think of the zombie, as well as pushed splatter further into the mainstream. Not only that but it was smart, scary, intense, and wonderfully acted. It made an immediate impact on me. I adored the movie and could not stop talking about it. It didn't take long for me to see the next two films in the series: Dawn and Day of the Dead.
I soon rented them, in consecutive order. Dawn of the Dead (1978) had the immediate same effect on me. I was already tiring of the tame and many times censored, slasher movies of the era. Here, though, was a film that wore its' unrated title loud and fucking proud. Tom Savini's effects were amazing! I remember seeing the bloody squibs and thinking, ''That is how it must look like to get hit by a bullet (excluding the bright, red color, I mean)!'' I was weary of seeing the bloodless gun shots that sometimes happened in movies, and thus, this was an eye opener.
Add the graphic hackings, stabbings, impaling, head bisection, gut munching, head shots, and I was in motherfucking heaven. The scene where the crazed and racist cop blew that one dude's head up with a shotgun was an instant favorite splatter scene of mine. In all, this masterpiece that would define the zombie, even further than the genre changing Night, was epic, fun, and exciting. And, like Night, it was also extremely smart.



Soon after, I saw Day of the Dead (1985). I always hear of people who grew into liking it, as they didn't like it on the first viewing. That was not the case with me. I LOVED it from the get go. I adored the acting and the dialogue. The movie felt smart, because it was. I was captivated by all that happened onscreen, every single second of it. And, then there is the gore. Again, Romero did not give a flying fuck about making an R-rated film, and as such even topped Dawn, in this department.

This is some of Savini's finest work, as the splatter was graphic and stomach churning. Bloody squibs, head shots, amputation, gut scarfing, and more ruled the fucking screen. The gore drenched climax, with bodies getting ripped apart, shot, and devoured are some of the greatest gore you will ever see! ''Choke on it!'' screams the evil Captain Rhodes (Joe Pilato) as he gets ripped in fucking half! I almost shit myself from the excitement!
The political statements that he made with the films were brilliant. It set them apart from the brain-dead horror movies that Hollywood kept shooting out. These three movies changed my life, and they along with a couple of others were the reason I got into film. I wanted to make movies like Romero, drenched in gore, but also smart. I was not interested in another mindless, interchangeable stalk and slash movie. I have rewatched all three of those movies infinite amount of times. The two sequels are in my top 20 favorites of all time, while Night is my fifth favorite movie of all time. At one point, thanks in large part, but not only to, Romero zombie films were my favorite horror sub-genre. That is no longer case, but I blame the post The Walking Dead entertainment world on that.
 
But, to just talk about his zombie movies is unfair. Romero made many other great movies. Martin (1977) is one of the smartest and most fascinating vampire movie ever made. I love the fact that it takes a real world approach to vampirism. It deals with a boy thinks he is a creature of the night and uses razor blades to cut and kill his victims and get their blood. Again, Romero did it his fucking way, and I loved it.
I actually only saw Knightriders (1980) a year or two ago, on El Rey network. Not a horror movie, but still amazing, fun, and wonderfully acted by a great cast, this tale of modern day jousters who reenact this spectacle on motorcycles was cool as fuck. It showed that Romero was not just horror and splatter, but could do drama and action as well. Although, those elements were already seen in his earlier genre work.
Creepshow (1982) is probably his most well known to the mainstream audience outside of his zombie movies. With Stephen King writing, Romero directing, and Savini doing the FX, this loving and fun tribute to the EC comics of yesterday is a great time. It has only gotten better with age, and Romero's love for the material is so very much on display.
Another great film of his was Monkey Shines. I always loved this wonderfully acted and admit ably intense tale of a handicapped man and his assistant monkey, who is psychotic. Under lesser hands, this would've been a stupid piece of shit. But, under Romero's gifted hands and mind, it is a fucking great and sometimes, overlooked gem.
To me, the last great, or even good movie, he made was his return to zombie films: Land of the Dead (2005). We waited ages for it, and while, not as great as the first three Dead movies, it was worth it. The other three are such masterpieces that they were impossible to top. But, Romero really did come close to that level, with this excellent movie. The cast is amazing (including Dennis Hopper and goddess Asia Argento), the gore is great (though, I didn't like the CGI stuff), and the story is smart and, again political. An obvious damning look at the then current George Bush administration, it really hit me in a great way, that made me happy and smile.
I won't discuss some of his misses, though The Crazies, The Dark Half, and Bruiser, all have their merits. But, again we can skip his lesser work, because that is not what this article is meant to be. This is a celebration of a man and a legend.
I am happy and honored to say that I did meet him back in the 90s when he did a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors. He signed my laserdisc of Night, and while, the line was long and one couldn't get a pic with him, it was an amazing experience. I cherish it even more now.
 Romero signs the guy in front of me's VHS copy of ''Night of the Living Dead''
The master signs my laserdisc! Oh my god, what a great memory!
George Romero, thank you, for the amazing films that you did. Thank you, for not giving a fuck about the mainstream. Thank you for the influence you had on the modern horror and splatter movie. And, thank you forever changing my life, being such an influence in me, and being a hero to me. My most deep and sincere condolences go to his family and loved ones. And, may you RIP, Mr. Romero, you will be forever missed and loved.
Also: FUCK CANCER!