Sunday, December 27, 2015


People almost universally love John Carpenter's Halloween, They Live and The Thing, but he has a fair number of films that don't get the love and respect they deserve, like the underrated Prince of Darkness from 1987.
Having a Metascore of 50 is unjustifiable, because Prince of Darkness is a smart and original film and a strong example of high concept/low budget filmmaking. Carpenter mixes a touch of sci-fi with gothic and urban horror and religious lore, concocting a plot that's like something out of an Alan Moore Swamp Thing or Hellblazer.
Carpenter was inspired to write Prince of Darkness after researching theoretic physics and atomic theory. The story centers on a mysterious cylinder full of a sentient green liquid that has been protected and kept secret by the Brotherhood of Sleep, a group of monks who's actual function is even a secret from the Vatican. The liquid is actually Satan himself and he's been imprisoned there by his father, the Anti-God, a being bound to the realm of anti-matter (an idea reminiscent of DC Comics Anti-Monitor).
A priest played by Donald Pleasence asks a professor and his physics students to come to an abandoned church to investigate the cylinder and try to determine it's origins and content. The liquid starts to escape and infect people including the homeless community around the church, turning them into zombies who trap the team inside, while the liquid begins to work on the team itself. Meanwhile everyone is having Villains Wikia's entry on PoD for a more in depth explanation on the Anti-God).
a reoccurring dream that may be a message from the future, warning of the return of the Anti-God. (I recommend reading
Prince of Darkness is such a cool and out-of-left-field concept for a movie that on it's surface almost plays like a supernatural Assault on Precinct 13. The first time I rented it I had to rewatch it again that same afternoon, to fully understand what I just saw and I was still a little unsure of everything. My only complaint is that Carpenter didn't have double the budget to more fully realize some of those bigger ideas.
Also worth mentioning is Alice Cooper's appearance as one of the zombified homeless people. He adds to the already significant creep factor with his wordless performance.  


I've been aware of the entity Luchagore Productions for a while now, but I hadn't seen any of their
actual work until I watched the sick anthology film Mexico Barbaro. In it, Luchagore produced the final segment of the film, Dia De La Muerte, directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero. It's a visually stunning, dread filled slice of violence that sort of mashes up From Dusk Till Dawn and I Spit On Your Grave, while being more satisfying than either. (You can read my review of the film on Popshifter HERE).
So impressed, I looked up Guerrero and Luchagore and found their website, which tells the story of a team of true horror fans with a portfolio page full of shorts, videos, and trailers. Including a fucked up Christmas short, that will scare you into staying off the naughty list!
Mostly known for their amazing short films, Luchagore has also unleashed the full length El Gigante. (from IMDB; "A desperate and determined Mexican American woman heads out to the United States/Mexico border to make a documentary film about Border Patrol abusing illegal immigrants to honor her missing parents, but she quickly discovers that the border is a hunting ground for a homicidal, cannibalistic family, the largest, deadliest member a psychotic luchador who brutalizes his victims in his blood-stained ring before slaughtering them for meat.")
I'm really excited for this one! Wrestling mixed with a little Texas Chainsaw-oh my God!
(In the portfolio section you'll also find a beautiful and haunting video called Paloma, that's not to be missed.)
Keep an eye out for the name Luchagore Productions. I think this team will be shocking and thrilling us for a long time to come. We horror fans (especially those of us north of 30) have seen a lot of highs and lows. Sometimes we get amazing gore, but amateur filmmaking and sometimes we get slick thrillers, that don't deliver on the red stuff. But Luchagore is technically proficient, delivers buckets of blood, and doesn't skimp on story even in a five minute short. That deserves our respect and support! 
Stranger With Friction gives Luchagore Productions the thumbs up and I can't wait to see more!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


List Price: $11.99
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
200 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1519588074

On the first day of summer, a mass murderer called The Terrible Head, resurfaces after two years. On the first day of summer, Maupins City will know suffering. City Long Suffering; First Movement launches a saga of Southern-fried crime and horror from the author of Conspiracy of Birds and founder of the blog Stranger With Friction.
List Price: $6.99
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
64 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516923687
"Those damn hounds were breathing down my neck."
Hounds of Doom is a short collection of hardcore punk vignettes and doom metal poetry from Tim Murr, the author of Conspiracy of Birds and City Long Suffering. Hounds of Doom zooms and crashes across the weird America, epitomized by one of it's pieces...
"The American highway is littered
With the rotting carcasses of poets and preachers
Troubadours and punks
Saints and drunks, etc…"

List Price: $9.99
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
186 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516920631

'I didn't want to burn any bridges, but I doused them real good with gasoline just in case.' Conspiracy Of Birds is a hallucinatory skin dive into the nightmare world of a failed writer living on the broken edges of America. It is a punk rock Lynchian fever dream that turns over the rock of the American dream and exposes the worms squirming beneath.