Thursday, October 9, 2014

KING VULTURE'S SOUND ATTACK 10.9.14 HALLOWEEN TIME AGAIN!

SAMHAIN...ALL MURDER ALL GUTS ALL FUN
WOLFMEN OF MARS...DOWN THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE
ALICE COOPER...ROSES ON WHITE LACE
THE CRAMPS...HUMAN FLY
MISFITS...HORROR BUSINESS
RAMONES...YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE OPENED THAT DOOR
THE EXPLOITED...HORROR EPICS
CALABRESE...BORN WITH A SCORPION'S TOUCH
BALZAC...D.A.R.K.
WEREWOLVES IN SIBERIA...NIGHT OF THE FLESHEATERS
MISSION CREEPS...CREEPY



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

XVO: POPULATION ZERO/FIFTEEN DEAD SPLIT EP REVIEWED

Philly hardcore crust punks Population Zero and Scottish black metal powerhouse Fifteen Dead have teamed up for sick split album on Suburban White Trash Records. Fifteen Dead's two tracks, Will To Power and Wealth Of Nations, are as good as any black metal I've ever heard. Population Zero have the next four tracks, Lies, Blast Effects, Preemptive Action, and Threatening Skies, all are blazing. No filler here.
Musically both bands are exciting and talented, every track is tight and brutal. I've never been a big fan of either band's vocal styles (death metal growl, scream/screech), mostly because I like to know what the singer is saying. I have learned to appreciate more extreme vocal styles by accepting them as another instrument (think John Zorn's sax on Naked City tracks), so it's a minor, personal gripe for me. I have to admit though, the vocals on Will To Power and Threatening Skies are pretty infectious. Otherwise, for punk and metal fans XVO is a damn fine addition to anyone's album collection.  
If you have a chance to catch these bands live, don't pass on it and get XVO (there's also a cassette edition for us weirdos who still like tapes). You can sample/buy the album here from Chaos Records Distro.
And since proof is in the pudding...
POPULATION ZERO...SPP
FIFTEEN DEAD

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NEW TRAILER FOR THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN RELEASED

It's here; from the co-creator of American Horror Story and the producers of Paranormal Activity, the first trailer for the remake of the 70's creepy classic The Town That Dreaded Sundown...
Really a sequel, set 65 years after the original, the Moonlight Murders in Texarkana have begun again. If you haven't seen the original, the 1976 film is based on a true story about a Texas Ranger hunting a serial killer that terrorizes a small town. Here's the trailer; 


The new trailer looks pretty cool and I'm looking forward to the film. Hopefully it will not be plagued by the awful comedic relief the original had (it's still a cool film, just has some forgettable bits). 
The North Carolina metal band Bloody Hammers released a video for their song inspired by the original;

Sunday, September 7, 2014

PHOBIA'S NEW ALBUM 'GRINDCORE' IS A BEAST

If you're going to name your album after the genre you play in, it damn well better be definitive. Like DRI's  'Crossover'. It was the blueprint for crossover metal (hardcore punk bands that started playing
thrash/speed metal). Phobia's 'Grindcore' is exactly what grindcore is; down tuned guitars, blast beats,
shrieking/growling vocals, and lightning fast chaos. So, yes, 'Grindcore' is pretty damned definitive.
Grindcore was pioneered by bands like Napalm Death, who is probably the biggest name of the genre, and combined the nastiest bits of punk, metal, and industrial. Grindcore has never achieved a mass acceptance or any bands I can think of have crossed over to greater success, but there is a purity to Grindcore that is beautiful. This is a brutal form of music with songs clocking in from a few seconds to under two minutes (this new album from Phobia, with its eight songs, fits on a 7" record). It's not easy music to play, even with the songs being short, there is a stamina required of the musicians that those who can't appreciate Grindcore may take for granted.
 Formed in Southern California in 1990, Phobia are now 24 year veterans of Grind with a deep discography and miles of touring behind them (although Shane Maclachlan is the sole remaining
original member).  Over two decades in and they don't sound jaded, haven't betrayed their fans, and rip like a much younger band. You look at a lot of other bands who got a quarter century into their careers and they're barely recognizable from who they were when they "made it". This new EP is a manic storm of political/emotional madness and will leave you breathless. You want to get into Grindcore or you have a friend who's curious; put "Grindcore" in their hands and worn them about the whiplash.

You can order Grindcore here http://www.deepsixrecords.com/newreleases.htm


Monday, September 1, 2014

KING VULTURE'S SOUND ATTACK 9.1.14 LATE NIGHT MTV OF MY YOUTH, FIENDS!

I'll spare you Queensryche, KISS, and Skid Row, kids. These are some videos that I was absolutely excited to see when I'd stay up all night watching MTV and Night Flight. 

GRIM REAPER...FEAR NO EVIL
IRON MAIDEN...BRING YOUR DAUGHTER TO THE SLAUGHTER
MOTORHEAD...IRON FIST
DEATH ANGEL...BORED
DRI...BENEATH THE WHEEL
ALICE COOPER...FREEDOM
THE PLASMATICS...THE DAMNED
JUDAS PRIEST...PAINKILLER
BLACK SABBATH...TV CRIMES
HELLOWEEN...HALLOWEEN
METAL CHURCH...DATE WITH POVERTY

Thursday, August 28, 2014

MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MONSTERS PART 42 (PART 2); HELLRAISER 5-8 (and a bit about 3)

So in the last chapter I was expressing my undying love of the first two Hellraiser films and a strong like of part 4. I wasn't shy about how much I hated part 3 and wasn't planning on revisiting it, but my wife wanted to rewatch it, since neither of us had watched it since we were in high school. So what the hell? After 5-8 we played 3 and...I have to apologize for all the negative hyperbole. I actually really
liked 3 this time around. There are still problems, but its no where near as bad as I remembered. It was just a strange experience; I remembered most everything, but I saw it in a new light and the film played better than I recalled. My take on 3 was that it was too commercial, not an artistic triumph like the first two, probably just a cash in, and finally, I wanted a Hellraiser film not a Nightmare On Elm Street knock off. I suppose I had unreasonably high expectations and possibly influenced by other fans of the series taking a dump on it. I treated Hell On Earth like it was the Star Wars Christmas Special and I retract that statement. It's at least as good as 4.
Right, deep breath, moving on. I plan to be vague in talking about these next four movies to avoid spoilers, except where absolutely necessary.
Hellraiser 5; Inferno was directed by Scott Derrickson, who also directed The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sinister, and will be directing the upcoming Dr Strange(!!!!!!!!!) film. It stars Craig Sheffer (he played Boone in the great Nightbreed) as a corrupt homicide detective who comes in contact with the puzzle box...and wackiness ensues! In a way, it's Bad Lieutenant vs. Pinhead (actually The Engineer, but I'll say no more). It's a strong film, despite a few flaws. Compared to the first four films it's quite a
departure in tone and focus, but the role of the Cenobites seems more in line with the fist film, than with Pinhead's world domination aspirations in 3 and 4. Inferno is a smaller, more personal film and sets the tone for the rest of the series. It's not very gory, but has some good scares and Derrickson does an admirable job of bringing a new take to the series instead of just a retread of the previous entries.
Rick Bota (House On Haunted Hill remake, Tales From The Crypt) directed the next three installments; Hellseeker, Deader, and Hellworld. If anything, Bota shows how a Hellraiser tv series could be a strong show and a lot of fun. My overall complaint about Bota's three films is that I wish they were hour long episodes of a series. While I enjoyed each (and I'll get into details in a moment) I feel like they each went on just a bit too long. Hellworld in particular could have used about ten minutes shaved off.
Hellseeker brought us Ashley Laurence's return to the franchise as Kirsty Cotton, but geez, blink and you'll miss her! Same with Pinhead. Like Inferno, Hellseeker is a hallucinogenic mystery about a man (Dean Winters) who's lost part of his memory after the death of his wife in a car accident. While it's a
fine film, I'm confused by which story Bota chose to focus on. When Heather Langenkamp returned to the Nightmare On Elm Street series in Dream Warriors and New Nightmare, she was all over those films. Ashley Laurence is at least as important to Hellraiser as Langenkamp is to NOES, but she takes a backseat to Winters. When the credits rolled I was left as dismayed by her lack of screen time as I was entertained by the film overall. Hellseeker could have used a bit more streamlining or maybe I'm just not a huge fan of how Bota shoots his films, because I have the same complaint about the next two films.
Bota followed up with Deader, starring Kari Wuhrer (Swamp Thing the series, Remote Control, childhood crush) as an investigative journalist who travels to Romania to report on a death cult. Deader is a stronger film than Hellseeker, more focused with a few better scares. Though the ending seems
tossed off, like everyone shrugged their shoulders and said "I don't know...chains?" "Sure, whatever." Considering Hellworld came out the same year as Deader, I get the impression these films were rushed on the cheap just to get product on the market.
Hellworld is the one I shake my fist at. Though it features Lance Hendrickson (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) it  doesn't have much else going for it, except a good idea that doesn't get utilized. The idea is that Hellworld is an online role playing game based on the Hellraiser franchise. Players have a tendency to become obsessed with the game and the friend of the main characters commits suicide at the beginning of the movie. Having Hellrasier as a film within a film is interesting, but the logic leaps and annoying cast tank the overall product. Not even young Superman, Henry Cavill adds any interest. But Hellworld does boast some cool set pieces, some good scares, and some decent gore. Hendrickson is fun to watch, and of course when the Cenobites finally show up it's sweet, but woefully short.
Inferno is by far the strongest of the second half of the Hellraiser series. I get the strong sense that
Bota's three films would have been much better had he been given a better budget and more time to develop the scripts. Which is not to say 6-8 aren't worth watching, they certainly are, just adjust your expectations accordingly.      

GET EXCITED; MURDER BALLADS IS COMING


I can't overstate how much I'm looking forward to Bluetrane Productions' upcoming Murder Ballads. The teaser trailer dropped on line a couple days ago (you can watch below) and it reminds me of those great Dario Argento films like Deep Red or Tenebre. I only know director/co-writer James Branscome via Twitter but he seems like a righteous dude with impeccable taste, but I've know co-writer Jeffery X Martin for a hell of a long time. If you haven't read his books Black Friday or Stories About You then you need to get on that shit!
Bluetrane Productions has released the teaser for Murder Ballads to help build interest in the project and to seek additional funding. You can and should follow Murder Ballads progress on Twitter and Facebook at
https://twitter.com/Murder_Ballads
https://www.facebook.com/bloodsplatteredbanjos
And take a minute to read the press release and then watch the teaser.



Bluetrane Productions is pleased to announce the beginning of pre-production on their first feature length film production, MURDER BALLADS, a horror thriller in which a mysterious killer murders their victims in gruesome ways that resemble the lyrics of traditional folk songs. 

Co-writer/Director James Branscome describes it as a “hillbilly giallo.” 
“I got my fascination about the songs from my grandfather,” Branscome said. “He grew up listening to bluegrass, folk, and country music and played the banjo. I didn’t appreciate it right away, but once I did, I really got into it. As I did my research, I discovered I was drawn to certain songs. More often than not, those songs were the most morbid lyrically. And I started getting ideas of doing something based around the songs.”

“I’ve always loved gialli (Italian murder mysteries),” Branscome continued, “especially the films of Dario Argento, Sergio Martino, and Lucio Fulci. James DeHaven and I talked about wanting to write one for years, but we could never find the hook. Then I thought about the folk songs and suddenly it all came together.” 

“Since we’ve been working on projects over the years, I’ve always felt we were headed towards something great,” co-writer James DeHaven says. “I’m excited to be a fan of genre films, especially knowing that ‘Murder Ballads’ is so close to becoming a reality. We haven’t been given anything new in a long time. I think ‘Murder Ballads’ is going to fill a gap that genre fans have been longing to be filled. It’s a smart, gory horror movie. This isn’t your mother’s ‘Sound of Music.’” 

Creator of the horror fiction series, “The Elders Keep Project,” and film essayist Jeffery X Martin helped bring the story together. “I knew James from his earlier work, a comedy web-series called ‘Pumpkin Morgue Paranormal Investigations.’ I pitched him some stories and wrote a couple scripts. Collaborating with James was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. We saw eye to eye on almost everything right away. We’ve been working together ever since.” 

Martin is also a fan of gialli. “I know some people have tried to make American giallo films,” he says, “but they’ve always seemed to be missing a couple of elements. ‘Murder Ballads’ captures those great giallo aspects while making it something uniquely American, specifically the American South.” 

“Murder Ballads” combines a compelling murder mystery, filled with shocking gore and suspenseful set pieces, with a story that plumbs the depth of the history of American music. 

“We want nothing more than to share the things we love with the rest of the world. Folk music, giallo movies and horror that doesn’t insult anyone’s intelligence,” Martin says. “It’s an ambitious project, and we can’t wait for everyone to see it.” 

“At the end of the day, we’re fans,” Martin concludes. “We want to make the kind of movie we would want to see as fans. Hopefully, that will resound with other fans and make this a special event.” 

With the first round of casting done, Bluetrane Productions is preparing to reinvigorate the horror genre with “Murder Ballads,” an official selection in the Screenplay Competition of Fright Film Fest 2013.
And here's a murder ballad just for kicks...
The Louvin Brothers "Knoxville Girl"