Brainwash ‘zine #1



Brainwash was a ‘zine that featured interviews with more bands that I was into than most, and included a lot of bands who weren’t interviewed in every other ‘zine that came out back then.  The interviews were unfortunately very short (as were the reviews), but it was still a good read.

Here’s some pages from it to check out…
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The Sweet Movie (1974)


Back sometime in the late ’80s, when I was just a kid who taped and traded horror/ gore/ exploitation video tapes through the mail with other weirdos in the country, I requested a copy of Jess Franco’s Faceless from someone.  When I received it, it had about two thirds of another movie on the tape after it.  It was called The Sweet Movie.  I had never heard of it and didn’t know what to expect, however what I viewed baffled, intrigued and revolted me.

Many years later I actually got to see a complete version of it, and after all of this time and all the weird movies I’ve watched, it’s still one of the weirdest.
Anyone who’s taken a college class on art films know that there are a lot of weird films out there, and most of them are crap.  Pretentious, thrown together supposedly disturbing images, fast cuts, offbeat narrative, out of focus shots, ridiculous symbolism – there are a lot of tricks that hacks use to try to make you think they are making something deep- “art”. But for every person who can actually come up with something talented and interesting (such as Alejandro Jodorowsky or even David Lynch) there are a ton of bullshit peddlers slinging wank.

While The Sweet Movie is definitely weird- an art film, it’s not untalented drivel.  It has some wank to it, some quite overbearing symbolism and weirdness for weirdness’ sake (and gratuitous ‘disturbing’ imagery), but it truly is artistic as well, and is very well put together.  The cinematography is very nice, the acting decent, production fairly lush.  It actually does make me think a little of something Jodorowsky  would do.  But it’s also batshit crazy.


Unlike some art films, there is a story to it- two stories, actually.  It starts out at a sort of beauty pagent, where a gynecologist unicycles out and a creepy old woman extoles the virtues of virginity.  The beauty pagent is a contest to see who is the purest virgin in the world.  After examining Miss Canada’s crotch (which glows like the trunk in Repo Man and the briefcase in Pulp Fiction), the gynecologist proclaims her the winner, and she gets to marry a rich Texas businessman stereotype.  Their honeymoon does not go quite as well as she would have liked, and she ends up getting abducted by a massively built black man who takes her into a water tower shaped like a giant jug of milk, stuffs her into a suitcase, strips down, and starts jumping rope naked.
Somewhere around this point, the second story is introduced, in which a woman named Captain Anna pilots a small steamer with a large bust of Karl Marx’s face on the masthead down a river.  She allows a man to come aboard and ride with her, but warns him that if he falls in love with her, she will kill him.

The two storylines are told interspaced, tho they never connect, and involve everything from pissing, vomiting, murder, war atrocities, coprophagia, cults, infantilism, a woman stripping for a bunch of children, a flamboyant mariachi singer who gets his penis stuck in the above mentioned perfect virgin, communist propaganda, an orgy, and lots of nudity.  Oh yeah, and chocolate (masturbating in chocolate to be exact.  And sex in sugar.  Sex and murder in sugar.  With a mouse.  Is that enough for you?).  All wrapped up in a colorful, lighthearted, almost sketch comedy-esque format.

I recognized very few actors in this- the dude who plays the Dean in Animal House (who also played the warden in Chained Heat) has a small part, and Miss Canada is played by one of the girls who went on to be in Naked Massacre.

I’m pretty desensitized to weirdness and disturbing imagery, however at least one scene in this made me mildly uncomfortable.  The director, Dusan Makavejev, has made several disturbing movies in his time, and was actually exiled from his native country (Yugoslavia) for making disturbing films.  This is the only one I’ve seen of his.
Someone out there thinks it’s important, tho, because a Criterion Collection DVD was released in 2007, which means it’s right up there with 12 Angry Men, Rashomon, Bicycle Thieves, King of Kings, Spartacus, Pygmalion, The Last Picture Show, Rebecca, The Thief of Baghdad and other classic and groundbreaking films (plus Armageddon) in someone’s mind.

If you’re looking for something weird and perverse, this is the movie for you.  It’s not produced with near the level of talent as Jodorowsky  or others on his level, but still interesting enough to impress your uptight friends with.


Subhuman ‘zine #15



Subhuman was an awesome little ‘zine put out by an old Louisiana punker (he was in that band Toxin III) named Cecil Doyle.  It started out as a more horror-centric title, but quickly became filled with sleaze and exploitation and whatever other offbeat things captivated him and his contributors (tho it usually involved sleaze and exploitation).

Perfectly written in a humorous but informative manner, the only complaint I’d have is that each issue was just too damn short (and there weren’t many of them- about 19 I believe).  You could probably fit every page of every issue into one regular sized magazine, so every issue left you wanting more.

In his interview in the amazing new book Xerox Ferox, Cecil reveals that such people as Quentin Tarantino and Rob Zombie were on his subscription list (before either of them really did anything), and that Lux Interior called him up and asked him for all of his back issues (which he sent to him, including some he only had one copy of).

Read on for a good sized taste of issue #15…

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Cadavers, Fruit, and Government Forms ‘zine #2



PMT focuses mainly on film and music ‘zines, but people used to make them about everything- politics, comics, art, fiction, video games,  or even just their feelings.  Whatever interested them.  Cadavers, Fruit, and Government Forms was an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ ‘zine that featured music and film reviews, comics (the editor, Jeff Dworak, also drew some cool comics), comic and book reviews, opinions, stories, and more.  This issue has less music than most of them did (the first issue had several full page demo and album reviews) but was thick and full of all kinds of content, from reprints of Hostess ads from old comics to a “Nintendo Buyer’s Guide” (which just said “Don’t buy this piece of shit machine!!”) and an interview with the weirdo trash band SOCKEYE.  Varied and never boring, here are some pages for your perusal:

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Big Ass Spider! (2013)


This was quite an entertaining movie.  You don’t go into a movie called Big Ass Spider! expecting Citizen Kane Part 2, however this one was much better than I expected.  If you are expecting something like the Sci-Fi (errr… Sy Fy) Channel original movies (which this kind of resembles), this is far more entertaining, and much better in most every way.  It is quite campy (on purpose of course) but not really groan inducing, and the way it’s put together makes you want to go along on the fun ride.  Really more comedy than horror, it’s also a lot more clever than you’d expect it to be (this is where it really tops the brain dead Sy Fy movies).

The set up: a mutant spider accidently gets shipped to a hospital in L.A., and the military has to go in and try to stop it.  Meanwhile, down on his luck exterminator Alex (the likable Greg Grunberg- who played the psychic cop on Heroes) happens to get caught in the middle.

Also starring Ray Wise as the leader of the military group and Clare Kramer (rogue goddess Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the love interest, Lloyd Kaufman shows up as a jogger, Lin Shaye as a kindly cat woman who Alex exterminates for, and Fangoria/ Starlog producer Terry O Quinn as a hospital patient.
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The only thing I’d change about it is make it R instead of PG-13, however that did not hurt it much- it’s still a lot of fun and very entertaining, racial stereotypes and predictable plot developments notwithstanding.
Just turn off your mind, make some popcorn, and settle in for some goofy creature feature fun.  bas6