Videooze Paul Nachy Special


Paul Naschy was born on Sept 6, 1934 and died 4 years ago today (Nov 30, 2009).  Known as one of the most recognizable Spanish horror actors (he has played most of the classic monsters in grimy Spanish horror films, but is most well known for his werewolf films), I’ve heard him called the Spanish Lon Chaney.  He also wrote and directed a number of the films he was in, considered classics by Euro horror and Eurosleaze fans.

Videooze magazine came out with a very loving and informational tribute double issue to him in 1994, which was different than their usual mix of reviews and articles about many different films and their actors and makers (all mostly genre ones, of course).  It included a long interview and a list of his movies released (up to that time), including comments from him for each one (this was a valuable resource back in the days before the internet and IMDB).

So enjoy some pages (and the entire interview) on this anniversary of his death, and check out some of his movies…

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Happy 25th Anniversary Mystery Science Theatre 3000


One of my favorite shows of all time, I’m sure most everyone who would read this blog is familiar with MST3K.  The very essence of Post Modern Trashaeology (having fun with goofy old movies, from low budget horror to badly acted third rate action and spy films, weird foreign fantasy movies, Japanese monster movies, Mexican wrestling movies, the ever popular badly produced tv movie, and of course the shorts), it ran from Nov 1988 to 2004 (with new episodes being produced up until August of 1999), but really caught it’s stride in the early ’90s.
The main thing that stood out about it was the humor- it was wacky, clever, snarky, and offbeat but not unpleasantly so.  Quaint in a way.  You had to have a certain mindset to really get it (not the overall synopsis of people heckling bad movies- anyone can get that; but the style of humor) and enjoy it, and it’s an oddity in the early ’90s pop culture landscape (along with things like the Church of the SubGenius and shows like Red Dwarf).  The humor was often quite high brow, referring to classical works of art and music, obscure scientific and historical facts, and film and tv references only a real geek would get.  But then they’d turn around and throw in a corny old school joke that would fit in a 1950s comedy.  This mix of humor was part of the charm, and you’d have to be pretty damn bright to get even most of the references (which actually also has a downside to it- almost no one could get all of their jokes and references, so most anyone is left scratching their head at some point or another).  It’s the ultimate show for geeks of most any kind.
The skits were generally fairly clever screwball comedy, and the movie heckling was a mix of Gen X snark and old school Firesign Theater type of humor that hasn’t been seen since.  It’s low budget but charming in a old school BBC production or Red Green sort of way.
The members have gone on to do many other things (several along the same lines as MST3K, most notably Rifftrax) and a good amount of episodes are available on DVD from Shout Factory.  Unfortunately the show is not available in season sets like most tv shows because of the difficulty in getting the rights to all of the movies that were featured in each episode (but fortunately, most of the unreleased episodes are available on youtube!).

So to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show (and since it’s Thanksgiving today, to celebrate the show’s annual Turkey Day marathons on Thanksgiving each year), here are my top 10 favorite episodes:

Jack Frost
(season 8, episode 13; first aired 7/12/97)

I’m putting these in no particular order, because I really like most of them about the same, but I’ll say that this one is definitely one of my topmost 2 or 3 fav episodes, so I’m putting it first.
This episode has it all- the movie is wacky, but actually really interesting and looks pretty damn good for it’s time (1966).  It’s the last of 4 Russian- Finnish fantasy co-productions (the other 3 being Magic Voyage of Sinbad (aka Sadko, a movie which Steve Fenton from Killbaby ‘zine raved about here) from season 5, The Day the Earth Froze from season 4 and The Sword and the Dragon from season 6), and if you’ve never seen any of them, you should definitely check one out (they put the fantasy into fantasy films).  Jack Frost is my fav.  It tells the twin tales of a dopey young man who sets out to seek his fortune and the adventures he has when meeting up with a mischievous wizard, a pack of bandits, and an ugly old witch as well as a charming young woman who lives with her evil Step Mother and sister who meets Grandfather Frost (hence the name) in the woods and what happens when their stories intersect.
The riffing is quite hilarious in this episode, and they have a lot of bizarreness to comment on.  They’re at the top of their game.  The skits are all pretty funny as well, with a lot of classic humor bits.  A great episode.

Santa Claus
(season 5, episode 21; first aired 12/24/93)

This one is often overshadowed by the other Christmas episode (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, from season 3), but I think this one is much better.  The movie is once again a bit bizarre, a Mexican Christmas movie in which Santa Claus lives in a creepy kingdom in the sky (complete with child labor), and on Christmas Satan sends a devil to corrupt children and try to foil Santa’s job.
The gang does a good job of pointing out how unintentionally creepy it is, and the riffing is once again top notch (and gets a bit dark at times, which is always fun).  The host segments are mostly fun (not as good as Jack Frost), and even include a reference to John Carpenter’s They Live.

(season 5, episode 2; first aired 7/17/93)

One thing you hear a lot when discussing MST3K is the Joel vs. Mike discussion.  Just like the Kirk vs. Picard discussion, most everyone has an opinion (some quite vehement).  Personally, I like them both, but I like Mike a little more (and like more episodes from when he was host).  When Joel left in the middle of season 5, and Mike came in, it changed more than just the host- it changed the whole feel of the show.  Joel was far more of a gentleman, kindly and almost like an ex-hippie.  Mike was more Gen X- sarcastic and self deprecating, he had a bit better comic timing as well.  But I still like Joel and the episodes he was in fine, such as this one.
The movie is classic sword and sandal from 1957 starring Steve Reeves as Hercules.  They mix up their Greek mythology a bit (and the gang makes several quips that only a mythology geek would get) so he hangs out with Jason and they go after the Golden Fleece.
The skits are decent but not over the top- fairly quaint for the most part.

(season 8, episode 6; first aired 3/8/97)

I know that I’m in the minority when I say that season 8 is my fav season of the show.  I don’t know why- maybe it’s because season 7 wasn’t that great, or maybe because I was so happy that the Sci-Fi Channel picked them up after Comedy Central dropped them, but season 8 really clicked with me.  At any rate, I’m having to try hard not to pick too many episodes from season 8, because I like so many older episodes as well.
Directed by Roger Corman for AIP (a match made in MST3K heaven), the movie is once again a fantasy about a modern (well, for the 50s) woman who is sent back into the mind of an earlier incarnation of herself.  There’s witches (one played by the 50 Foot Woman herself, Allison Hayes), a devil, swords and villagers, a singing gravedigger, medieval inn, and an imp played by Billy Barty.
The skits in this episode are all part of a larger storyline (something they did in the Sci Fi Channel years), but are all great.

The Amazing Transparent
(season 6, episode 23; first aired 3/18/95)

Let’s get this out first- this movie is fairly boring (about an escaped convict gaining the power of invisibility, directed by Edgar G Ulmer, the man who put Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi together in The Black Cat).  The riffing on it is decent, but not top notch.  It would be an average episode except for two things: first, the short (The Days of Our Years) is my fav short they ever did, and might be some of the funniest 10 or 15 minutes I’ve ever seen on tv.  It’s about a minister who walks around a rail road town, telling the stories of 3 hapless people who weren’t careful and paid the price.  The riffing on it is fantastic- dark and witty, with no missed opportunities.  The second reason this episode is so great is because the skits are top notch- very funny.  Some of the best in the series.

(season 3, episode 3; first aired 6/15/01)

This was the very first episode of MST3K I ever saw, and therefore holds a special place in my heart.  The movie is goofy, and super ’80s (mixing a Friday the 13th style teens in the woods getting bumped off story with a retro-fitted E.T. style boy-meets-alien story, by the man who directed the gritty and sleazy Pieces one year before, and who would show us a slug with teeth biting someone’s finger just 5 years later in his movie Slugs).  The riffing is pretty damn good, there are 2 memorable songs, the skits are quaintly amusing, but I’ll chalk this one up to nostalgia.

Alien From L.A.
(season 5, episode 15; first aired 11/20/93)

Another extremely ’80s movie, it mixes the Mad Max post apocalyptic stuff with a Valley Girl teeny bopper movie.  The director not only shot a bunch of second rate ’80s action movies (including The Sword and the Sorcerer, a movie that I thought was the coolest thing ever when I was a kid (especially the 3 bladed sword)), but also the infamous and truly awful Captain America movie from 1990.  He’s actually still making movies today.
The quips in this one are great, and the skits are pretty damn good too.  I still get into ‘girly movie’ fights with people (as the gang does over the end credits of the movie in this episode).

Horror of Party
(season 8, episode 17; first aired 9/6/97)

This movie is unintentionally hilarious even without the quipping, so when you put the two together, it’s priceless.  Some really goofy looking monsters attack a beach party type movie, complete with all the cheese.  The skits are not fantastic in this one, but the movie and riffing make up for it.  Director Del Tenney went on to do I Eat Your Skin.

(season 3, episode 20; first aired 12/14/91)

Here’s another Joel episode, and another one that the shorts bring it up from being simply a good episode to being one of my favs.  I esp like the second short (Appreciating Our Parents), but the movie quips are quite funny as well.  It’s about a mad scientist trying to find the answer to everlasting life, and features both John Carradine AND Tor Johnson (and Allison Hayes again)!  Contains one of my fav lines from a MST3K movie “Time for go to bed!”.  John Carradine’s death scene is very reminiscent of a scene from Roger Corman’s adaptation of Poe’s The Facts In the Case of M. Valdemar (with Vincent Price) in his anthology Tales of Terror.

The Thing That Couldn’t
(season 8, episode 5; first aired 3/1/97)

This movie is quite drab, about a psychic girl who visits a dude ranch that contains the buried, living head of a medieval sorcerer.  The riffing is great, and the skits (which are part of a greater storyline, one that continues in The Undead mentioned above) are all fantastic except the Civil War one (which is a little boring).  Still an excellent episode.

There are plenty of other completely awesome episodes, some I could easily have picked instead of a few of these (it was hard to narrow it down to 10, so several that I like just as much as a few of the above ones had to be cut- some other favs include the other 3 Russian-Finnish productions (mentioned above), The Beginning of the End, The Deadly Mantis, Attack of the Eye Creatures, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, The Deadly Bees, Godzilla Vs. Megalon, Agent For H.A.R.M., Mitchell, Gamera Vs. Guiron, Werewolf, Angels Revenge, and Devil Fish (I’m sure I’m leaving a couple out).  I have no doubt many MSTies would disagree with me quite a bit about a bunch of these, but those are my favs.  Go watch some of them today.

Thanks to valuable reference assistance from Satellite News.

Oldboy remake


While I’ve found most remakes of old Hollywood movies unnecessary at best (and for the most part dismal), I actually have enjoyed most of the recent Hollywood remakes of newer foreign films that I’ve seen- I found both Let Me In and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo just as good as the originals, and while Quarantine was not as good as [rec], I did still enjoy it more than most remakes.
When it comes to Asian films, tho, something often seems lost in translation.  When they try to Americanize them, they lose a lot of their impact.  I found The Ring to be hilariously ridiculous, and most of the others I’ve seen (Pulse, The Eye, Dark Water, etc.) are generally just dull.  For some reason The Grudge was the only one that translated fairly well, possibly because they actually attempted to keep the minimilistic story and hightened sense of dread less Hollywood-ized.

Now with Oldboy, they actually got a big name talent to bring it to U.S. audiences.  Spike Lee is known for his style and flair, and the original Korean film is also known for it’s style and flair.  So it would seem to be a match made in heaven, but once again something seems lost in translation.

The story is fairly similar to the original- a general waste of flesh (Josh Brolin) is kidnapped and imprisoned with no reason given for his imprisonment.  During this time he is framed for the murder of his ex-wife, falls into the depths of depresssion, then slowly pulls himself out of it and back together, ditching his alcoholism and working out, learning to fight and making himself into a new man while planning his escape.

He is inexplicably released after 20 years, and has to figure out why he was imprisoned as well as find his daughter (who believes he killed her Mother) with the help of a childhood buddy and a young therapist/ nurse (played by the Olsen twins younger sister, Elizabeth).

The first thing that needs to be gotten out of the way is this- the plot is preposterous, and relies on years of meticulous plans and lucky coincidences all flawlessly coming together without a hitch.  If you cannot accept that and go with it, this movie will bug the hell out of you.  The original was also like this, but executed more realistically and it seemed easier to go with it than in this one (in which the main reason everything works is evidently because the antagonist is incredibly rich, with Bond villain type connections. This doesn’t explain how a lot of the coincidences come together so perfectly, or how he seemed to be able to forsee so much of what will transpire).  I think the kinetic style and atmosphere of the original helped mask and distract from the ridiculousness of the plot (as well as not having as many of the most ridiculous plot threads of the remake), and the feel of Spike Lee’s ‘just going through the motions’ direction helped bring it out.
If you can accept this, and just go with it, this is an entertaining but ultimately styleless and lacking remake of a far superior movie.  The actors do fairly well (a couple of bits of overacting notwithstanding) despite the bland direction, but the movie seemed more like a bunch of scenes cut together, with some of the connective tissue missing (it was originally over 3 hours long, and got cut down to 100 minutes).  It takes away from the emotional value (and therefore makes the twist ending, which you can see coming pretty far ahead of time, have less of an impact).

I did like Samuel L. Jackson's mohawk

I did like Samuel L. Jackson’s mohawk

So while I did enjoy it somewhat while I was watching it, I couldn’t help comparing just about every scene to the original, and thinking how the original did it better.  Then after it was over, the crushing ridiculousness of it all began to weigh on my mind.  Perhaps I would have liked the full 3 hour version better, but the main word I keep coming up with in conjunction with this movie is ‘lacking’; in emotion, realism, and conviction.  At least we’ll always have the original.

Dying Terror ‘zine #1



Dying Terror was a really cool music ‘zine that featured interviews with hardcore and metal bands, funny, well done reviews, news, and a couple of opinion columns.  I’m not sure if there was more than one issue, but this one was very thick and featured interviews with BATHYM, FILTHY CHRISTIANS, PRONG, MORTICIOAN, NUCLEAR DEATH, THE ACCUSED, MORBID ANGEL, EVICTION, IMPETIGO, NOKTUNEL, BEYOND DESCRIPTION, HIDEOUS MANGLEUS, SUFFOCATION, ATOMICAUST, and Richard C. who ran Wild Rags Records (the label that put out a lot of cool albums by bands like IMPETIGO, BLASPHEMY, BLOODCUM, ORDER FROM CHAOS, HELLWITCH, BLOOD, and a bunch more).

It was structured a little different than most ‘zines in that all the reviews were up front, then it had all it’s interviews, then all it’s pictures, then the last several pages were all ads.

Here’s some pages for you to check out:

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Last House On Dead End Street


The 1970s is, without a doubt, the best era for horror movies.  From the big budget (Jaws, The Omen, The Exorcist, The Shining, Alien) to smaller, but no less well crafted films (Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Phantasm, Zombie, Halloween, Susperia, Dawn Of the Dead); they all stood out and many became classics.  Brewing beneath even the above mentioned lower budget films was an underbelly of even more nasty, mean spirited, dark and nihilistic ones shot on even smaller budgets, that went to the places that no other films wanted to go and none (with few exceptions) had gone before.  Movies like Last House On the Left, I Spit On Your Grave, Salo: The 120 Days Of Sodom, and (right at the end) Maniac and Cannibal Holocaust.  These were movies that made you feel almost degraded to watch- they were grungy, sleazy exposes of man’s darkest nature without much in the way of redeeming value.  Even the ones with (somewhat) happy endings still seemed desolate and depressing; nightmares caught on grainy film stock.
And if you dig even deeper, underneath those films, there was The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell.  A 175 minute forced march through the sleaziest and most depraved underbelly of ’70s mean spirited horror, made in 1972 (before most of the others) but not released until 1977 in an extremely trimmed down 78 minute version retitled Last House On Dead End Street.
The plot follows Terry Watkins, the sleaziest creep this side of Frank Zito, who gets out of prison with a mad on for the world.  He gathers together a group of lowlifes (including 2 Manson family-esque hippie chics, a porn editor, and a dude who went to the psych ward for having sex with a dead cow) with the intention of filming something unique the world has never seen before.
He films the girls in creepy masks murdering an old blind man, which he then shows to a bored porn producer who is looking for the next big thing.  Not knowing the murder is real, he enthusiastically steals it and passes it off as his own, which goes badly for him and his associates when Terry decides to make a new film, one even more gruesome and violent than his previous one.
Basically, a lot of stuff happens in this movie, however it lacks any semblance of subtlety or traditional cinematic narrative structure- it plays like a mildly psychedellic fever dream (or more accurately nightmare) we drop into seemingly at random.  We are assaulted by a bunch of sleazy, weird, and psychotic images, scenes of dialogue that circle the drain while trying to tie these images together into a somewhat cohesive narrative, then it just kind of grinds to a halt.  That’s not to say there’s no story at all, it’s just secondary to trying to film sweaty nihilism and release it to the public.
It’s kind of like what you’d get if you mixed something like Texas Chain Saw Massacre with the trashiness of a low budget 70s porn film, then added in some modern torture porn done on a budget with practical effects  I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the acting is bad, but it’s not really that bad (and is exactly how you would expect the acting to be in an amateur snuff film).  The voices are pretty horribly dubbed, tho, and the production values and dialogue are fairly dismal. For the longest time, no one knew who had made the film (leading a lot to think it really was a snuff film, with an official police investigation being held in New York to find out), and it was impossible to find except on bootleg tapes.  That all changed in the year 2000 when the main actor, Roger Watkins came out and admitted that he had written, directed, produced, edited, and starred in it (using fake names).
Among some of the revelations he made were that he had only spent $800.00 on the film (the rest of the budget went to his crystal meth habit), that he had not known that it had been released (in a small theatrical run) until someone recognized him on the street and mentioned it to him, and that one reason it took so long to come out is that one of the actresses (who had a nude scene in it) had sued because she was trying to start a career on Broadway.
He worked with the now defunct Barrel Entertainment to put out an extras-laden 2 disc dvd of the film in 2002, and planned to make a sequel to it (and was in preproduction and securing financing) when he died in 2007.
Unfortunately, the 175 minute version has never been released, much to the dismay of Roger Watkins (who detested the 78 minute version).  It’s supposedly locked away in some film lab in New York- hopefully it will be released someday, because despite all it’s flaws, this is still an important and influential film even in it’s truncated version.


Some various odds and ends, links and comments that have been brewing over the past month or so…

-Dangerous Minds published an interview with Fabio Frizzi, the awesome composer who did the music for Fulci’s Zombie (which I love) among other things. He’s up there with GOBLIN as the sound of Italy’s horror films.  Check out the interview here.
-GODFLESH have released their first song in 12 years.  It’s a cover of the Canadian death metal band SLAUGHTER’s (not to be confused with the U.S. glam metal band) song “F.O.D. (Fuck Of Death)”.  It was released as a limited edition 7″ flexi single with the November issue of Decibel magazine, but you can listen to it here:

-I didn’t cover the latest ghost/ possession movie out (in a looooong line of ghost/ possession movies that have come out in the past several years,, including the Paranormal Activity movies, Evil Inside, The Rite, Insidious 1 and 2, The Last Exorcism, A Haunting In Connecticut, Sinister, The Woman In Black (which I actually liked a lot- great atmosphere in that one, a cut above all the others), The Possession, etc.) because 1) I’m burned out on those movies;  2) I’m not really supporting new PG-13 horror movies; and 3) I read the book The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, which convinced me that the Warrens are a couple of complete con artists and frauds, and the movie really lays the praise on thick with them (evidently, they are somewhere between Gandhi and Jesus, as portrayed by the movie).
Having said that, I didn’t hate the movie (as predictable as it was), I just didn’t really want to support it.  But I just read an excellent review of it that says absolutely everything I would have said about it perfectly here, by the intrepid and talented Stacie Ponder over at her awesome horror movie blog Final Girl.  She’s the shit.

-Somebody has made a video labeling all of the references in Guillermo del Toro’s fantastic Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror Halloween Special intro for this year:

-Tho it’s not really what I usually cover, I found the new Marvel Universe movie Thor: The Dark World very entertaining.  Much better than the terrible Man of Steel (which has just been released today on dvd and blu ray).

– and lastly, this is a pretty damn good list of fucked up movies if you’re into that sort of thing (like I am).  There are plenty of movies that are missing from this list, but this is a great starting point: “Totally fucked up films”.
I put it up on my Facebook and listed the movies I have not seen off of it, and asked for people’s opinions on them, and got a great response.  Here’s what some people (including some old ‘zine editors) said:

What I said:  “I haven’t seen Equus, Turkish Delight, An Andalusian Dog, Enter the Void, A Serbian Film, Lilya Forever, Mysterious Skin, Bad Timing, Last Tango In Paris, The Night Porter, Night and Fog, The Panic In Needle Park, The Tin Drum, Christiane F., Funny Games, Begotten, The Big Shave, or 1900– I’ve seen all the others (and like or at least can appreciate them all, except for Antichrist, which was just awful, boring wannabe arty wank). So, out of the ones I haven’t seen, what’s the general consensus- which ones do I NEED to see most? any of my friends on here seen any of these?”

The answers:
Bizarre Charlie (of noise band The EARWIGS, who used to do several old music and gore movie ‘zines, including Real Sickness and Fuckin’ Shit): “I own dvds of 28 of these films and seen a few of them as well but a few here i have never even heard of! I’d love too see the one’s i haven;t! Personally i think the worst film on the list is CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST because of all the animal cruelty! I had that and 2 other cannibal films i got rid of not to long later . I find that CRAP way more offensive than some FANTASY films of children being abused or killed, because they are NOT REAL, but this is just MY opinion! Some pretty amazing and kick-ass movies on that list! Salo is one of the few films that actually made me really nauseous and anyone here who’s seen it will know what scene i am referring too! I really like Pasolini’s Canterbeary Tales(sp?) but this and his other films are always over shadowed by Salo! Some of these movies like MAN BITES DOG, RE-ANIMATOR, PINK FLAMINGOS and THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE:SECOND SEQUENCE had me in PAIN form laughing so much! I really did enjoy ANTICHRIST myself and laugh at people who believe that’s Willim Dafoe’s and the leading actress having sex for real! It’s NOT them! One of the most bleak is also THE GIRL NEXT DOOR! The movie is soooo sad and the book is even WORSE as far as what happens too the girl in it! THE LOST is really out there too with one of the most INSANE WTF!? endings I have ever seen in my life! Man, we could make out own list! ha!ha!ha! What about I STAND ALONE??? I LOVE this movie! At least it has some HOPE in it! ha!ha!Anyhow, thanks for tagging me pal! Very fun list too read! Cheers too all the cult movie fans here!  Speaking of films, I gotta finish watching SCALPS again shortly and then something else! CHEERS!!!!!!”

Nick “The Yak” Cato (Stink ‘zine, many other current projects): “Enter the Void is atrocious…after 30 mins I shut it off and tried again a month later, but then shut it in 15. It’s just total boring nonsense. Christiane F, however, is excellent.”

Barry “The Evil Twin” Woodridge (artist on a lot of old ‘zines including Wet Paint, Temple Of Shlock, and Exploitation Retrospect): ” The Tin Drum is a wonderful film. There’s only a couple of scenes that could be considered “gross” really, but it’s a great storyline. It’s in my top 5 films of all time.  I also agree with the commenter above about “I Stand Alone” – it’s disturbing but completely engrossing. Also, do try to catch Haneke’s “Funny Games” (the original European version, which is better than the US remake) – it’s one of the most unsettling films you’ll ever see. Layers of tension that don’t let up.
Begotten,” is Elias Merhige’s tour de force. It’s a unique artfilm with no dialogue and a relentlessly bleak and eerie edgy-nervous setting that is really creepy and disarming, but that feeling can’t be sustained by the viewer for the full running time. It’s interesting as an unusual art flick exercise, but not worthy of a feature-length production, in my opinion. The narrative fragments have to be pieced together by the viewer, and eventually it feels like it’s not worth the effort.
I got a beautiful copy of A Serbian Film on DVD and watched it once. It’s actually a very well made film. The baby scene was absolutely a new low in cinema, and almost made me wish I hadn’t watched the film at all. The ending is bleak hopelessness. The whole thing was very mean-spirited, I thought, and I really don’t buy the whole “i wanted to mirror the atrocities that had been committed in my country for so long” horseshit explanation from the director. He wanted to create a sick, pessimistic spectacle of despair, and he pulled it off beautifully. He should just own up to it. I gave my copy away. About a decade ago I got fed up with films that portray cruelty for the sake of cruelty, which is one reason I don’t watch that many gore flicks anymore. Which is okay, really, because I think I’ve seen 98% of frickin’ EVERYTHING (and I’m not exagerrating – I spent years tracking them down) in the realm of gory horror flicks, up through about 1986 or so – enough to last me a lifetime. Now – here’s the part where I tell you what a hypocrite I am. I love Micheal Haneke’s films. Funny Games was pretty much an exercise in cruelty. It drug the viewer through miles of cruel highway naked before reaching it’s bleak, pessimistic ending. So what’s the difference? I don’t know. The execution? Funny Games is not altogether that different from Last House on the Left, when it comes down to it. Haneke’s stuff is better scripted, and has a better presentation, but it presents the viewer the same revolting options that Last House does. They’re two sides of the same coin, and they’re both heads. A Serbian Film was as certainly as technically proficient as any of Haneke’s films, but it lacked style. I’m starting to sound like a film snob, I know. I LOVED the movie Calvaire, which is a total bloodfest at the end, but it was the gradual suspicious tension that I thought was acted out beautifully, and the dance scene at the local watering hole chilled me to the fucking bone! The atmosphere in that Belgian countryside was stifling, and the subtle cues about the wacked-out locals were harrowing. It was an interesting storyline, at least for 3/4 of the movie. I liked “Inside” but shortly before that I watched Francois Ozon’s “See The Sea” which has a lot of similarities. Ozon pulled off the horror far better without showing any gore. Also just watched the Austrian flick “Angst,” which merely portrays the methodical killing of a family chosen randomly by a serial killer who was just released from prison. That’s the nut. The whole point. He just kills them and devised ways to hide or dispose of theri bodies. Then a flash conclusion and the film ends. But, I loved it! And just last night I was telling Steve Fenton how I was fed up with gory horror films. I’ve still got about 100 or so gory films in my viewing cue, but I have to be of a certain mindset to watch them. I get depressed enough on my own. I’ve got copies of “Hachi,” and “Ponette” sitting by my player that I haven’t been able to watch for months, because I KNOW how they’re going to make me feel. Depressed! I get the feeling that I just rambled for an hour and said absolutely nothing…”

Steve Fenton (editor of one of my fav old ‘zines- Killbaby): “I’ve seen a bunch of them: some I remember well, some I’ve almost completely forgotten. EQUUS is pretty engaging, but mostly what I remember from it are Jenny Agutter’s nude scenes, I’m ashamed to admit (or am I?)! When viewed today decades after all the controversy it stirred up in its day, LAST TANGO seems pretty much a case of much ado about nothing. Sure the performances are great, but the “raunchy” content has really tamed over the intervening decades; and because playing with sexual mores was pretty much the gist of the plot (as I recall), a lot of it seems redundant now. NEEDLE PARK is a gritty and gripping realistic portrayal of the horrors of a junkie’s life, and contains one of Pacino’s finest performances of many. I also saw CHRISTIANE F. in a theatre first-run, and I remember it was pretty intense and bleak as hell too. THE TIN DRUM is a masterpiece of cinema whichever way you slice it, and holds up fairly favourably when compared with the original novel, as I recall (I haven’t read the book or seen the movie in quite a few years).
Allow me to suggest some movies not on the list- the works of Czech fantasists Karel Zeman, Jiri Trnka, Jiri Bartha and last but by no means least Jan Svankmajer. And let’s not forget all the amazing fantasy / SF movies from Russia. If you’ve never seen SADKO, ILYA MUROMETS or VIJ, you’re missing out on some great times. The list literally goes on and on!

Some (a lot) of Svankmajer’s stuff –not that I’ve seen it all (yet) is highly fucked-up indeed, but in such a creative way. I just watched his ’96 film CONSPIRATORS OF PLEASURE, which is pretty twisted but sometimes funny and touching too. I haven’t watched his ’94 version of FAUST in a while, but that’s another wild one.”

Sadko (also known in a terribly edited version as Magic Voyage of Sinbad, which MST3K did on an episode)...

Sadko (also known in a terribly edited version as Magic Voyage of Sinbad, which MST3K did on an episode)…

Barry Woodridge– “Sadko is one the most surreal fantasy films of all time. It has such an eerie, almost dreamlike ambiance. ALL of Svankmajer’s stuff should be in every film nut’s collection – it’s all good! As is most of the Quay Bros. output…”



Brian Harris (editor of Weng’s Chop ‘zine): “Enter the Void, A Serbian Film, The Tin Drum, Funny Games are all fantastic films.  Breathtaking and bizarre, THE TIN DRUM is one of my personal favorites.”

The conversation actually was very long and went on several days (and had a lot more people than just the above commenting), but I just put some of the highlights on here.


Raw Meat ‘zine



Issue #3 of this little horror film ‘zine came out in 1989 (I think), and featured their first interview (a nice long one with Herschell Gordon Lewis), as well as 2 articles (one on Hong Kong horror films and one on the movies of H.P. Lovecraft), plus a couple of pages of reviews.  All the issues of this ‘zine that I saw kept it fairly short and sweet, but was still a pretty good little ‘zine.  Not sure how long it carried on, but I have several issues.

Blood Feast came out 50 years ago last July, so enjoy this nice, long interview with H.G. Lewis (and check out some other pages as well)…

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Suburban Voice ‘zine


Suburban Voice was a (mostly) punk ‘zine put out in the ’80s by Al Quint, who is still going strong today, writing a column in MaximumRockNRoll, doing Suburban Voice in blog form, and doing a cool radio show.

Suburban Voice #19 featured interviews with THE DAMNED, INSTIGATORS, DAG NASTY, CRIPPLED YOUTH (prob the main reason I bought this issue- I used to love them), and a pre-MTV popular SOUL ASYLUM.  It also featured album and demo reviews, live show and ‘zine reviews, a letters page, and a couple of opinion pieces (on such diverse topics in this particular issue as nationalism and Marvel comics).

There’s no date, but it probably came out in 1986 since both SOUL ASYLUM and DAG NASTY say their new albums are out.

Here are some pages for your perusal:

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Doctor Sleep



Here is PMT’s first guest review.  Nick Cato (who used to be known as Nick the Yak) published Stink ‘zine throughout most of the ’80s and early ’90s, and he now writes old school horror, grindhouse and exploitation movie reviews for Cinema Knife Fight.

He also writes books and short stories, and book reviews for both Good Reads and The Horror Fiction Review.  He wrote this excellent review of Stephen King’s newest book (and sequel to The Shining) Doctor Sleep, and I liked it so much I asked if I could use it on PMT (as I haven’t had time to read the book yet, but it is on my list).  He said he’d be glad for me to use it, so here it is:


Doctor Sleep by Stepen King (2013)

King’s sequel to his 1977 classic THE SHINING picks up shortly after the destruction of the Overlook Hotel, then flashes forward a couple of decades to find Danny Torrance working in a hospice in New Hamsphire and dealing with his alcoholism through AA meetings. He still has the ability to “shine,” but not as strongly as when he was younger. His unusual skills do help the dying at his new job to pass over to the other side in peace and feeling redeemed, hence earning him the nickname ‘Doctor Sleep.’

Dan is contacted (spiritually/psychically) by a thirteen year-old girl named Abra, who happens to have the shine, too, and much stronger at that. It seems a group known as the True Knot are after her; they feed off children who have the shine to stay young and healthy, torturing them to death as they absorb their life’s essence (or “steam” as the novel puts it). The True Knot look like your average vacationers, roaming the country in RV’s, but they’re no longer human. Their leader, Rose, has been around a long, long time, and her beautiful features are merely a mask for an ancient creature. And when they learn of Abra’s intense power, they’ll stop at nothing to find her … especially after feeding off a young boy who has infected their ranks with the measles.

Fans will love the many references to THE SHINING here (my favorite being Danny learning how to deal with the female ghost from Room 237), and there’s also some interesting cross-references to Joe Hill’s latest novel N0S4A2. I like that the True Knot have made their home base on the grounds where the Overlook once stood, as it provides a great place for the inevitable final confrontation. But, when Dan, Abra, and Dan’s senior friend Billy finally confront Rose and co., their plans go off a little to easily, and what could have been an epic battle winds up being awfully short. But this is only a minor flaw in what I feel is one of King’s better novels in quite some time.

I don’t think anyone will find DOCTOR SLEEP scary, but I found myself engrossed in Danny Torrance’s struggle with the bottle as well as his mentoring of the young shiner, Abra. There’s also a great scene where Dan speaks with the Overlook’s now deceased chef Richard Halloran through the body of a dying French woman, and the True Knot’s feeding of a young little league player was quite disturbing.

This has the feel of some of King’s older works, and while not perfect, is one of his more satisfying recent novels.


Brutarian ‘zine #8



Brutarian was a fairly thick (and fairly sick) ‘zine that evidently ate only brutes.  All of the articles were pretty long, in depth, and well written, and focused on whatever suited their fancy (usually music (punk, metal, industrial, and “college rock” type stuff), film, books, fringe culture, and lots of art and comics).  They had a lot of contributers (including my old buddy Keith Brewer from A Taste Of Bile ‘zine who mostly wrote music reviews in this) so had a large talent pool to draw from, and that’s why their articles were so top-notch.  Some issues even came with a flexi disc record.

If you can get your hands on one, they’re well worth checking out.  I have heard conflicting reports that they are still publishing, and I know they put issues out all the way into at least 2008.  Their web presence is kind of vague.

This issue featured a humorous interview with THE MENTORS (including El Duce (R.I.P.)), plus a lot of different movie and music review columns, as well as ‘specialized’ columns on many various things that the writers wanted to write about (including sex, New York, Andre the Giant, and others that ramble on about several fascinating topics) and loads of comics (including one by Mike Diana, who got arrested because of his art).  There are also quite a few in depth book reviews to round it all out.

Brutarian was an awesome magazine, and I hope it’s still around.  Here’s some pages for you to peruse:

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