Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ghoultown - Ghost of the Southern Son

I've been singing the praises of Ghoultown for many many moons. Anyone who regularly reads this blog or follows my twitter knows this. So it might even be redundant at this point to cover the boys again. But the new album is so freakin' good, so amazingly great, I just had talk to about it. And if there is anyone left on the fence about picking something up by Ghoultown, this is the one!

Somewhere around a year ago I had a conversation with frontman Lyle Blackburn. It was about the time he had started writing the songs that would make up Ghost of the Southern Son. Even then he told me that it might be his best work yet and the most epic Ghoultown release yet. Lyle certainly wasn't wrong. Ghost of the Southern Son is definitely the most epic sounding GT release. I've always said that Ghoultown is like a horror western in sound. But this time that horror western is bigger, bolder, and playing for higher stakes.

The sound of the new album still has that familiar heavy western feel to it, but as usual, Ghoultown never lets anything get stale. Southern Son is probably the most experimental of the group's releases with touches of steel guitar, a female choir that sounds right out of a spaghetti western, and even a bit of metal. Lyle once told me that his favorite two bands were the Misfits and Mercyful Fate. And whereas Ghoultown does not sound like either group, you can hear the influence. I can just picture Lyle sitting in a room with King Diamond and Jerry Only as they craft these tracks. Only it's Lyle's voice who dominates in the end.

I should also mention that this is the best sounding GT release yet too. The audio and production is top notch, sounding as good as a million dollar record.

For me, the stand out tracks are the punky Ghost of the Past, the Southern rockin' Blood, Bullets, and Whiskey, and of course, the single, I Am the Night. But when every freakin' track is a stand out track, it's hard to narrow it down.

So go right now and buy Ghost the Southern Son. And get it on CD or Vinyl. Down with digital!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

All Kinds of Weirdness at the Drive-In!

Several new episodes of The Whacky World Drive-In are up and will instantly make you more popular with aliens, monsters, and handsy French ghosts. Co-Host Dick Vincent (of the Oak Drive-In) and I cover not only movies and tv, but topics ranging from hypothetical monster battles to Elvis conspiracies to Real Scary Stories all the way to aliens and punching the Loch Ness monster in the

Friday, August 19, 2016

The HAHAHA Joker List

With Suicide Squad now in theaters, it's as good a time as any to follow up my Super Duper Batman List  with a ranking of Joker performances! Easily one of the greatest comic villains of all time and a long time favorite of mine, many have tried to fill those spiffy clown shoes. But how did they do? 

The Good
1. Mark Hamill - Batman the Animated Series and so so many others. Much like Kevin Conroy, when I see the Joker in comic form Mark Hamill's voice is what I hear. And every time he has portrayed the Joker he has done a dynamite job. His voice is cocky and intelligent sounding, yet maniacal all at the same time. How quickly he goes from normal to insane, and how quickly Hamill can just melt into the character is superb.

2. Cameron Monaghan - Gotham. Hands down the finest live action Joker we have seen yet. Monaghan, known so far only as Jerome, is not only the closest to the comics we have seen yet, but also the closest to Mark Hamill's portrayal. And he hasn't even donned the make-up or purple suit yet. His laugh and even the way he carries himself is the live action Joker fans have always wanted. If Gotham keeps up the pace and allows Monaghan to fully become the Joker, he could easily become the high water mark for Joker performances.

3. Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight. Ledger was super spiffy amazing. It's as simple as that. One of the coolest on screen villains ever seen. And probably the grooviest on this list. So why is he number 3? It's cause as awesomely fantastic as he was, his take on the Joker was so out in left field, so unique, it was almost its own thing. Like a brand new character. Or a Joker from Earth 17. Either way, fantastic take and fantastic character. Truly the stand out of the Nolan Batman films.

4. Cesar Romero - Batman TV series. Romero was the first live action Joker many of us had seen. I remember that summer so well. The disappointing Tim Burton had just come out and many of us were still stinging from that. But then the Family Channel starting rerunning Batman '66 at 11 o'clock each night. I for one just fell in love with the cartoon come to life series. And Romero's Joker, much like the show, was quirky and fun. And best of all, he painted his mustache white cause he wouldn't shave for the role. He also had one of my favorite Joker laughs.

The Bad 

5. Jack Nicholson - Batman '89.  To be fair, I'm not a Tim Burton fan for the most part and I really don't like his Batman movies. I'm also not a fan of Jack Nicholson. So those factors could be a big part of it, but I just didn't like Nicholson's performance. It was too hammy and over-the-top, but not in a good Joker-like way. It all boils down to the fact that Tim Burton isn't a comic fan. His almost disdain for the source material shows through.

The Stupidly Horrible 

6. Jared Leto - Suicide Squad. I knew going in that Leto's Joker was probably the stupidest looking character adaption of anything ever(sorry Batman suit nipples). He looked like a back-up gang member in one of the Schumacher Batman films. Whoever had the idea to make the Joker hip hop should be fired and never allowed to even watch a movie again, nonetheless work on one. But, I went in with an open mind. Stupid looking or not, he might do a good job, I rationalized. And trust me, I am VERY pro-DC. I loved Batman v Superman and really wanted Suicide Squad to be good.

My hopes were in vain. Dashed like a defective canister of Joker Toxin. Leto's Joker was as terrible as it looked. He reminded me of Macaulay Culkin in Party Monster.... if Mac was really into ICP and very very very addicted to crack. He wasn't scary or maniacal, just weird and uneven. And Leto clearly wasn't used to the "grill" cause it made him talk weird and he was hard to understand some of the time. His Joker laugh sounded like something out of Revenge of the Nerds. I read the other day most of the cuts the studio made to the film were Joker scenes. Well no wonder! Clearly they understood how awful he was and how in five years time this teenie booper pandering joke will be just that....a joke!

Worth Mentioning

7. Larry Storch - Scooby Doo. Probably the very first time I had ever seen the Joker was on the Scooby Doo episode the Caped Crusader Caper.  I don't recall much about the episode or Storch's performance, but the scene on the covered bridge stands out in my mind.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Weirdos in Space

The second episode of the Whacky World Drive-In. This time Dick and I discuss Space Opera, the politics of Star Wars, beating aliens to death with a stick, Caroline Munro, our favorite film and TV aliens and which ones would win in a fight, and Dracula......again. Now 15% whackier! 

Click here to be transported to Weirdos in Space!

You can download or stream. And remember, the Saticons are watching.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Sci-Fi Dine-In - Orlando, FL

Never thought I would end up reviewing a restaurant on here. But my experience at the Sci-Fi Dine-In in Orlando was probably the coolest dining experience I have ever had.  It really is a monster kid and b-movie lover's dream.

The Sci-Fi Dine-In, located at Hollywood Studios, is the ultimate 1950s b-movie experience. The restaurant, as you can see from the above photo, is made to look like a drive-in theater. A wooden fence and faux-night sky surrounds the room. It is quite dark inside, to give the illusion of being outside at night. The tables, all shaped like classic cars, face a full size movie screen that shows 50s sci-fi and creature feature trailers, sci-fi themed cartoons, and the classic World of the Future Disney shorts.

Whilst dining I saw trailers for Devil Girl from Mars, the Amazing Colossal Man, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and many more. I was there for about an hour and only saw one trailer repeated.

As for the food itself, it was quite good. Though it probably could have been mashed potatoes made from ground up Jar-Jar Binks dolls and I still would have had a great time. The Dine-In serves fairly typical diner food, burgers, shakes, chicken sandwiches, salads, etc. It averages around 15 bucks per entree. Didn't have a shake, but I heard they were awesome.

Walk-Ins are welcome, though reservations are highly recommended. So if you are in Orlando make sure to hit Hollywood Studios if you are doing the theme parks. They also have the Great Movie Ride which has a scene from Alien recreated and a fantastic Clint Eastwood animatronic from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as well as some Star Wars stuff.

On the way to bathroom 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Top 5 New School Creep List

On Twitter recently I saw a horror meme lamenting the glory days of Hollywood monsters and madmen. In essence, it was complaining that there were no new iconic creeps. That we would never see another Leatherface or Jason Vorhees. It got me to thinking about modern horror. Yeah, I do think horror went through a long dry patch where, even though some quality stuff slipped out, the bulk of it was not good. It kind of began with Scream and really didn't end until the 2010s. Exceptions of course being the Saw films, The Ring, and so on.

But I think horror is on an upswing again. Some quality stuff has been coming out. And in such, some great new horror movie creeps, killers, and monsters have hit the scene. So here is my list of my favorite modern age fiends.

Captain Spaulding - About as iconic as a movie creep can be and from one of the best horror movies of the modern age. He is in many ways the Freddy Kruger of the millennium, being scary but also funny with a lot of personality. With the insane amount of great quotes and just how cool he looks, I think the Captain deserves a place in the creep hall of fame.

Sam - Trick r Treat was quite the pleasant surprise. It seemed to come out of nowhere with little attention or fanfare, yet was an extremely strong, high quality horror film that could have easily played in major theaters. It had a great mix of 80s charm and modern flare. And part of what made it so great was of course, Sam. This little creep had an awesome design that was just perfect for merchandise. I found myself rooting for him the whole time. I had hoped the Trick r Treat would begin a franchise. I could see little Sam continuing his adventures for a long time. 


Robbie the Rabbit and Pyramid Head - Not all horror creeps are from the movies. The world of video games is one the best places to find good sci-fi and horror. Many see them as just as viable a form of art as film itself. The Silent Hill games stand out as one of the finest horror franchises of all time. And Robbie and Pyramid Head are instantly recognizable by almost anyone with even a vague interest in horror. So much so that both made it to the big screen in the Silent Hill film series. 

Darth Maul - The Lipstick Demon from Insidious, one of my favorite modern horror films, really stands out as one of the best new school creeps. His first real reveal in the film is one of the creepiest movie moments I've ever seen. I really hope he makes a return soon. And some action figures wouldn't hurt either. 

Porcelain -  The Houses that October Built was a pretty darn good film, even though the jerky found footage style made me motion sick. But what really stands out in the movie was the creeps. The strange haunted attraction fiends were all really cool looking. And my favorite was the living doll, Porcelain. She wasn't in it much, but her little scene on the bus was very amusing. I hope they do more with this film, turning it into a franchise. A franchise that moves away from found footage. There is potential here for something much greater. 

Honorable Mention -  The Goat Demon from Annabelle was just freakin' cool looking. Would love to see more of him. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Whacky World of Black Metal Video

The previous entry in this very serious matter, The Whacky World of Corpse Paint has proven to be one of my most popular entries. Folks, myself included, just love the black metal. So I figured I'd do a little follow-up sorta sequel, but not really, of some of my current favorite black metal videos. And since I like my black metal as over the top as possible, what better than some wonderfully done black metal parodies.

Woods of Trees - A newish black metal parody group that just perfectly lampoons the genre, but at the same time you can see its done with love. Warning though, the Duck Song is insanely catchy and tells a riveting story. Hail Satin!

The Black Satans - The first black metal parody I ever saw and probably still my favorite. For those of you, like myself, that feels black metal needs a lot more speedos, this is the video for you.

The Rules of Black Metal - Now, for those of you reading who now want to start a black metal band, the Rules of Black Metal is a good starter on what to do and what not to do! The instructions on the usage of the "black metal frown", what I call "Sad Kiss", is very important.

Disclaimer - No corpse paint was harmed in the writing of this blog entry. Nor was any corpse paint animal tested...except on goats.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kabuki: Circle of Blood

Kabuki by David Mack is one of those comics/characters that I've seen and heard about pretty much since its beginning. The style of it and the character design always appealed to me and peeked my interest, especially the Scarab character, but for whatever reason, I just never got around to collecting. And in those early days before graphic novels were super common, if you missed out on an indie book right away, it was often too late.

Fast forward twenty odd years to a world that is much kinder to the comic collector. Graphic novels are just as common as single issues. I buy a lot of comics these days, most of which being graphic novels. And in recent years I've started to branch out a lot more. Collecting more than just X-Men titles; which was my primary collection through the 2000s. So with the graphic novel so readily available, I've been going back and collecting things I missed the first time. Kabuki: Circle of Blood being one of my most recent purchases.

Now, after finally reading Kabuki, I'm sorry I waited so long. It is a really unique book all around from the style to the presentation. The best way I could describe it would be Blade Runner meets Kill Bill with slight elements of James O'Barr's the Crow; just without all the 80s goth rock hair cuts. But even that doesn't really do it justice.

The plot of Kabuki revolves around a group of masked female assassins in a futuristic Japan. But these assassins, known as The Noh, are part of a government agency and also television personalities meant to deter crime. The main focus of the story is a Noh agent named Kabuki, her origins, and her journey towards vengeance. As per usual, I don't want to say too much, being very against spoilers. But its a cool little story with great very stylish artwork, which improves with each issue, and cool quirky characters.

There really aren't any major negatives to speak of, but I initially had a slight hesitation in buying Circle of Blood for two reasons. Two reasons that ended up being unfounded. First, the Japanese setting. I had some reservations that you needed to be really into Japanese culture or an otaku type to fully get it. But that isn't the case at all. Kabuki was first published in 1994, before the big anime boom, so the anime and manga cliches aren't present. Mack carefully crafted the world and integrated the Japanese elements so well that it all feels very natural. And he explains anything you need to know. There's no dropping of random Japanese terms and expecting you to know what it means. 

Second, and the biggest, is Kabuki does get rather artsy at times. Normally, the Rob is not a fan of artsy. I'm a simple man and I generally like my comics straight forward in meaning. But Mack does artsy well. Rarely did I find it taking away from the story. And Mack also provides a fair amount of sexy and scantily clad women, which I always appreciate. It's nice to see a smart artistic type book not be afraid of a little skin.
So if you ever loved cyber punk, or Blade Runner, or things of that nature, give Kabuki: Circle of Blood a read. The whole mini-series has been collected in a nice graphic novel that is readily available.