Thursday 30 April 2020

Movie Review: THE HUNT (2020)

The Hunt

I saw a trailer for The Hunt a while back, so I thought I'd check it out. After all, it's a Blumhouse production, and that normally means it's going to be good (OK, aside from the new Black Christmas and a handful of other turkeys).


Wednesday 29 April 2020

Movie Review: BIRDS OF PREY (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

The wonderfully titled Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a DC Universe movie set in the same world as Suicide Squad, Justice League etc. With last year's stand-alone Joker movie, this can all be a bit confusing for the passing viewer. With more misses than hits, I can see the DC Movie Universe being split up even further in an attempt to tidy up the mistakes and catch up with Marvel. My prediction is that some DC movies will be swept under the carpet as though they never happened. I think Green Lantern may be under there already.

Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn debuted in the much-maligned Suicide Squad, and she was easily the best thing about that movie. I actually liked it for the most part, but I wanted to enjoy it more than I actually did. It felt like a missed opportunity, especially when it came to Jared Leto's Joker. I'm not a total hater. I think that version of the Joker worked more with the tone of the movie than the darker interpretations that fans have come to love would have done. The thing that really pissed me off was the relationship between Harley and Joker. Remember Joker jumping after her into that vat of chemicals? As if he'd have done that. In the source material (clever way of saying comics), he's a psycho who uses and abuses Harley and doesn't care about her at all. This would have made for some interesting angles in the film, instead of the Bonnie and Clyde love story they went with. Anyway, I've moved on from that. I'm also trying to erase Batfleck from my mind too.

Birds Of Prey is a huge improvement on Suicide Squad in every way. The movie focusses on Harley and her life after she breaks up with the Joker. Now she no longer has his protection, the vast number of enemies she has made along the way are all out for revenge.


Jared Leto's Joker isn't in the film, not even for a flashback. Thank fuck for that. Now, let's continue.

Birds Of Prey is filmed like many of those Tarantino-esque films, where the main character narrates to the audience, characters get introduced, and the timeline jumps around. It works really well for this film, as it gives it a light-hearted gangster style vibe, like 'supervillans-meets-Snatch'.

Of all of the villains out to get Harley, the biggest problem for her is the crime-boss The Black Mask, played by Ewan McGregor. Harley makes a deal to keep herself alive by volunteering to return a missing diamond. The diamond had been stolen by a young pickpocket who swallowed it to keep itself. To spice things up, The Black Mask put a bounty on her head, so every villain in Gotham is out to get her at the same time as Harley. Naturally, Harley ends up trying to keep her alive and protects her from the bounty hunters. That's the crux of the story anyway.

We're also introduced to Black Canary, The Huntress, and Detective Renee Montoya who form the crime fighting team Birds Of Prey at the end of the movie.

Casting Ewan McGregor as the villain was a smart move. His performance, along with Margot Robbie's lifts this movie into being something really special.

Birds Of Prey is packed with action, comedy, witty dialogue, and plenty of creativity. The pacing is great too ensuring that there are no dull moments. It's a fun popcorn supervillain movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.

DC has put out some disappointing crap over the last few years, but Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn may have saved the day. She's awesome and I enjoyed this movie way more than Aquaman, Justice League (read my review here) and even the surprisingly good Shazam. I'm looking forward to the upcoming James Gunn directed Suicide Squad sequel even more now.


Sunday 26 April 2020

Album Review: WITCHSKULL - A Driftwood Cross

Witchskull - A Driftwood Cross

01. Black Cathedrals
02. Baphomet's Child
03. The Silent Place
04. The Red Altar
05. Dresden
06. March Of Winter
07. Nero Order
08. A Driftwood Cross


Thursday 23 April 2020

Album Review: DANZIG - Danzig Sings Elvis

01. Is It So Strange
02. One Night
03. Lonely Blue Boy
04. First In Line
05. Baby Let's Play House
06. Love Me
07. Pocket Full Of Rainbows
08. Fever
09. When It Rains It Really Pours
10. Always On My Mind
11. Loving Arms
12. Like A Baby
13. Girl Of My Best Friend
14. Young And Beautiful

Monday 20 April 2020

Album Review: BONFIRE - Fistful Of Fire

Bonfire - Fistful Of Fire

01. The Joker
02. Gotta Get Away
03. The Devil Made Me Do it
04. Ride The Blade
05. When An Old Man Cries
06. Rock 'N' Roll Survivors
07. Fire And Ice
08. Warrior
09. Fire Etude
10. Breaking Out
11. A Fistful Of Fire
12. The Surge
13. Gloryland
14. When An Old Man Cries (Acoustic version)


Saturday 18 April 2020

Album Review: LUCIFER - Lucifer III

Lucifer III

01. Ghosts
02. Midnight Phantom
03. Leather Demon
04. Lucifer
05. Pacific Blues
06. Coffin Fever
07. Flanked by Snakes
08. Stay Astray
09. Cemetery Eyes

Friday 17 April 2020

Movie Review: CHILD'S PLAY (2019)

I missed this one at the cinema last year, but it's now out on DVD and Blu Ray. I think it's currently on Netflix too. 

Thursday 16 April 2020

Album Review: TOMORROW IS LOST - Therapy

Tomorrow Is Lost - Therapy

01. Intro
02. Wildchild
03. Smile
04. White Noise
05. Self Destruct
06. Black And Blue
07. Hideaway
08. Too Young To Know
09. Electric
10. Pause Rewind
11. Therapy


Wednesday 15 April 2020

Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS (2019)

We Summon The Darkness is a Horror-Comedy set in 1988 about a group of teenage girls, Heavy Metal and Satanic ritualistic murder. It had a very limited release in 2019, but became available worldwide in April 2020. Oh, and Johnny Knoxville is in it too. If that isn't enough to warrant giving this movie a go, I don't know what is.


Tuesday 14 April 2020

Movie Review: THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE (2019)

The Banana Splits Movie

Do you remember the kids' show The Banana Splits? It's well before my time as it was at it's most popular in the late 60's, but I'm sure I saw re-runs when I was little. It's certainly one of those shows that has entered pop culture. Anyway, the company that has aquired the rights to the show has made a Horror move based on it. I'm sure that this has pissed off plenty of humourless boomers, which only adds to my enjoyment.


Monday 13 April 2020

Album Review: SEMBLANT - Obscura

Semblant - Obscura

01. Murder Of Crows
02. Left Behind
03. Dethrone The Gods, Control The Masters (Legacy Of Blood Pt. IV)
04. Mere Shadow
05. Porcelain
06. The Hunter, The Hunger (Legacy Of Blood Pt. V)
07. Wasteland
08. Barely Breathing
09. Wallachia
10. Daydream Tragedy
11. Insomnia


Sunday 12 April 2020

Album Review: THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA - Aeromantic

The Night Flight Orchestra - Aeromantic

01. Servants Of The Air
02. Divinyls
03. If Tonight Is Our Only Chance
04. This Boy's Last Summer
05. Curves
06. Transmissions
07. Aeromantic
08. Golden Swansdown
09. Taurus
10. Carmencita Seven
11. Sister Mercurial
12. Dead Of Winter


Saturday 11 April 2020

Album Review: DELAIN - Apocalypse & Chill

Delain - Apocalype & Chill

01. One Second
02. We Had Everything
03. Chemical Redemption
04. Burning Bridges
05. Vengeance (Feat.Yannis Papadopoulos)
06. To Live Is To Die
07. Let's Dance
08. Creatures
09. Ghost House Heart
10. Masters Of Destiny
11. Legions Of The Lost
12. The Greatest Escape
13. Combustion


Friday 10 April 2020

Movie Review: VEROTIKA (2019)

Verotika is the first movie to be directed by Glenn Danzig and is based on his Horror comics of the same name. Being a big fan of Danzig's music, solo and Misfits, I've been interested in checking this out.

Since Verotika's extremely limited cinema release last year, I've read many reviews and most of them said the same thing. It's a badly written, badly acted set of short stories that go nowhere, but are entertaining for all the wrong reasons. As you may know, I'm a big Horror fan, and almost every movie that I love has been panned by the critics, so I've been keeping an open mind.


Having finally seen it, I understand where the reviewers were coming from. However, I found myself quite enjoying it in a few places, but disappointed for the most part. Verotika is certainly very different to everything else out there, and in that way it's undeniably refreshing. However, regardless of how entertaining it may or may not be, there's no getting away from the fact that it's a car crash.

The cast is mostly female and I'd guess that the majority of them, if not all, are predominantly porn stars or strippers. I know how misogynistic that sounds, but I'll be surprised if you disagree with me on this after seeing the film. The acting is as amateur as it gets, and the gratuitous nudity is relentless. 

The whole thing is very low budget. That dreadful font at the start rang alarm bells. There's some CGI here and there and it's poor, like the kind you see in £1 DVDs of movies shot in the 90's.

It starts with a short scene introducing Morella who is like the Crypt Keeper of the movie. She kicks off the film by poking out someone's eyes, before presenting the first instalment of Verotika. Arguably she's the best character in the movie, and is played by the most convincing actress too. She's wearing one of those tops where you can see her boobs, but I'm sure it's because the character is empowered or something.

The Albino Spider of Dajette is a strange story. It starts off with a young couple getting it on, but the woman, who incidentally has had so much plastic surgery she looks a bit like a fish, gets upset when her lover tries to take her top off. He's a bit of a knob and rips it off anyway, and sees that she has extra eyes where her nipples should be. Disgusted by this, he storms off. Upset by his insensitivity, she starts to cry from her tits. Some of the tears drop onto a spider, and now this spider turns into a giant spider dude whenever she falls asleep. Are you still with me?

Oh, before I forget, all of the 'actors' have extremely unconvincing French accents. Anyway, the spider dude kills one of the woman's friends before going outside. He then tells a prostitute that he wants to "fuck her in the ass" before breaking her neck. The woman from the start goes to a cinema showing a sex film, where she falls asleep and some men start touching her up. She wakes up and leaves. Why the fuck did she go there, especially when she was so tired and her mate had just been murdered? Don't know. Eventually, she goes home, phones the police, and overdoses on tablets. The police turn up, find her body and see the spider dude standing over her and shoot the fucker.

Prior to shooting him, one of the police officers shouts at the Spider guy to get his hands off her neck, even though she's on the floor and his hands are nowhere near her. It's as though the script doesn't fit what's actually happening. This kind of poor directing is rife throughout, sadly.

The story was flawed, the acting was shit, the dialogue was ropey, and the special effects were cheap. Weirdly enough, I quite enjoyed it. I'm still trying to work out why. I think it's partly because Danzig is trying something that should need a way bigger budget and isn't allowing himself to be restricted by that. His imagination is running wild, and if he wants a demonic, neck-breaking, over-sexed spider dude, God-damn it, he's going to have one!

Change of Face is the second story and is about a woman who cuts off other women's faces and wears them to cover up her own brutally scarred visage. The dialogue is even more unbelievable and silly in this one! The killer, known as Mystery Girl, also works in a strip club. Thinking about it, most of this segment of Verotika is just footage of lap dancers doing their thing. And yes, one of them does pole-dance to a Danzig song. Back to the story, a rude cartoonish police man is hot on the trail of the murderess. He ends up at the club and follows her into a dark room. She creeps up behind him and cuts his face before disappearing, leaving him shouting about how he's going to "get her".

Six months later, the murderess we've come to know as Mystery Girl is doing the same job, but now is being introduced under the name Mysteria. I assume it's supposed to be a different club in a different city, although it looks like it was filmed at the same place. And that's it. There's no twist and no real ending. I was hoping for a pay-off, but I feel as empty as one of those guys who's thrown hundreds of dollars at a dancer then just went home.

Drukija Contessa of Blood is the final story, if you can call it that. It's basically a take on the myth of Countess Bathory bathing in the blood of virgins. We see Drukija buying a peasant girl off her mother and taking her back to her castle. There are loads of other girls there, all in robes and seeming unconcerned about their predicament. We then cut to a scene where the peasant girl is bled out over a gothic-looking bath, and Drukija takes her sweet time bathing and licking the blood from her victims' arms. Another girl is dragged in and has her throat slit, spurting blood into Drukija's face and into the already full bath. What was the point of that? There's blood everywhere anyway, you wasteful drama queen! Anyway, she kills a few more young girls, preens a lot, and at the end beheads a girl after telling her she's going to drink her blood. However, she walks off with her decapitated head, leaving all the blood to pour over the floor. The 'story' ends with her wandering into a room with loads of heads on the wall. She sits on a fancy looking chair and holds the head up whilst looking very pleased with herself.

So there we have it. No clever twists like in the Twilight Zone or Creepshow, just art student amateur Horror that doesn't make a huge amount of sense and leaves you feeling that Danzig missed more than a few tricks. Thinking about it, there were no tricks at all. No real character development, just shoddy sex and violence. The worst part isn't the extremely bad editing, but the unforgivable continuity errors that litter the movie. Was it laziness, ineptitude, or a lack of caring? My money is on ineptitude.

Glenn Danzig is known for his massive ego, and I can't imagine him hiring help with script writing or bringing on board anyone who could help him to bring his visions to life in a slicker, more professional way.

Despite the landslide of negative reviews Verotika has received, Danzig has already announced that he's working on his next movie. Unless he learns heavily from the criticism he has received and pulls some serious magic out of the bag (and some more money too), I can't see anyone but his most die-hard fans (including me) and a minority of very easily pleased Horror fans giving it any of their time.


Wednesday 8 April 2020

Album Review: UNDERKING - Amongst The Dead + Ghosts Of The Past

Underking - Amongst The Dead + Ghosts Of The Past
Underking: Ghosts Of The Past (Left) and Amongst The Dead (Right)

Amongst The Dead

01. Exordium
02. Nothing But Bone
03. Deadman
04. The Way Of Man
05. Lowly Dog
06.  Lost Souls
07. Gravedigger

Ghosts Of The Past

01. Hexed
02. Underking
03. Fading Colour
04. Black Lungs
05. Chasing Ghosts
06. To My Death
07. Witch Hammer


Tuesday 7 April 2020

EP Review: FREDDY SPERA - Temper

01. Temper
02. Summer's Walk
03. Treading Waters
04. Meanwhile
05. The End Of I
06. Rain


Monday 6 April 2020

Album Review: TESTAMENT - Titans Of Creation

Testament - Titans Of Creation

01. Children of the Next Level
03. Dream Deceiver
04. Night of the Witch
05. City of Angels
06. Ishtar's Gate
07. Symptoms
08. False Prophet
09. The Healers
10. Code of Hammurabi
11. Curse of Osiris
12. Catacombs

Thursday 2 April 2020

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