Last nite I picked up quite an interesting new VHS release at Portland Oregon’s Tanker Tape Swap, a great event where you can have drinks a’ plenty while doing some serious rare retro movie shopping! Black Wideo, a new Portland based VHS label was there with their first release, the 1989 oddball, no budget, shot on video, long lost horror comedy ‘Executioner: The Musical’.
One thing I’ve always adored is the amazing cover art from vhs tapes of the 80’s and ‘Executioner: The Musical’ surely delivers that tradition with it’s stunning cover, bbq’d burgers and grilled eyeballs anyone? If I didn’t know better I’d have assumed this tape was released in the 80’s and someone just unearthed a big box of deadstock vhs. Anyway this morning before work I popped this sucker into my vcr (the movie’s only 25 minutes long and perfect for breakfast viewing) and now I’ve got it’s theme song stuck firmly in my brain still, hours later. What we’ve got here is a charming little slice of lost 80’s video nostalgia. The simple plot for this: there’s a weird singing hooded executioner dude on the loose and his presence in the city’s got the suburban teens undie’s in a total bundle. It’s NOT safe anymore to walk the streets and even worse the teenagers aren’t able to ‘party hardy’ like they used to. It seems the killer’s favorite time to strike, when a ‘killer’ party is going down!
One of the my favorite parts of this one is the bad boy greaser teen character, who’s down right P.O.’d that he can’t party. I mean he’s reeeeally upset about it, so damn much so that he leads the rest of his pals (who’re a bit like rejects from a ‘Breakfast Club’ audition) into a full on ridiculously awesome numbskull “pop song” about how bad they wanna throw a damn party, immediately. Even though the music here’s pretty much a guy and his acoustic guitar (with some help from his friends at times), the songs are oddly catchy, albeit 100% idiotic. I mean that in a good way and being that the short film is from the late 80’s you get some sweet nostalgic fashion choices and fully over the top teen stereotypes on display (and for some reason spotting vintage Doritos bags in movies always seem to get me quite excited-YUM!) . Like the rich kid with his boat shoes, no socks, short shorts & English accent, the stoner druggie dude & the classic nerd with the taped glasses are all on display and ready to get sliced up and even “sing” some songs.
‘Executioner: The Musical’ may not be for everyone, but if you dig weird stuff from the 80’s and low budget oddities you’re likely to find something quite endearing about it. For horror fans there’s enough red kool-aid and corn syrupy blood to go around & a syringe to the skull as well! With such a short run time it’s hardly a commitment & it’s the perfect opener for a night of trashy retro horror movies. Check out Black Wideo for a copy, it seems they’ve got plans to release more from the director, Scott Grenke’s archive of lost films! Beware though, the film’s theme song “Friendly Killer” just might get stuck in your head for far longer than you ever thought possible!
I’ve been a huge fan of ‘The Smiths’ for sooo long and to say they are one of the most influential bands of the 80’s isn’t something that’s up for debate. So I was completely surprised to find that there’s a movie that chronicles the life of the band’s iconic and always controversial frontman, Morrissey. Old news? Not to me! I’ve always been a bit curious about what make this guy tick and I’ve got high hopes for this cool looking little flick. Even more so I love the idea of seeing how The Smiths actually came together as a band and the introduction of the Moz to co-founder Johnny Marr.
People have been clamoring for the band to get back together since the late 80’s so who knows maybe the release of this movie could fan the flames? Arriving right on time, as Morrissey who’s had a strong solo career, is readying the release of his latest album “Low In High School” and The Smiths equally influential guitarist Johnny Marr has also got a new album on the way. If you’re a fan of dreamy alt brit pop of the 1980’s then “England is Mine” could be right up your alley. However…
That being said from what I understand it seems the movie is set during the period before he joined The Smiths and apparently doesn’t feature any of the band’s music. Though I’m still gonna check it out it kinda makes you wonder why they even did a move at all without the music. Perhaps it didn’t get the band’s seal of approval? Big time bummer, but who knows it might still be interesting to see his humble beginnings.
Whatever the case it’s a shame the movie for whatever reason skips the rise and fall of the band, because at this point I can’t imagine someone will be making another movie about the life and times of The Moz…the movie is available online to rent and will have an official dvd release in December. I’ll check it out soon and post a review…anyone seen this already?
There was a time when zombies were fucking awesome & not like how they are “awesome” today. That time was way back in the 70’s & 80’s before everyone and their mom and dad were watching ‘The Walking Dead’. Today the zombie craze has brought us countless shitty zombie movies, comic books & merch but back in the 80’s all of the zombie mayhem was quite a bit more underground. I was watching Frank Henenlotter’s ‘Brain Damage’ last night with a group of people and noticed someone in the movie was reading ‘Deadworld’. I was surprised that no one in the group had ever even heard of the comic book. I’ve blogged several times in the past about the book which still remains my favorite zombie comic of all time (at least the first 12 issues or so). Deadworld is punk as fuck and featured some truly stunning undead art from the gore master Vincent Locke who’s done artwork for bands like Cannibal Corpse. The 1986 book featured a prominent villain simply referred to as ‘King Zombie’ and his gang of undead who’ve developed intelligence while still lusting for flesh. He was a total badass who cruised around on his motorcycle and terrorized a gang of teens who’s bus broke down on a desolate highway. The books a treasure trove of totally amazing, legit zombie tattoo designs by the way. There’s been a collection done pretty recently of all of the old issues and they even tried to reboot it a some years back. I suggest hunting those down, they’re a unique read and embody the dirty grit of grindhouse 80’s style zombie flick to perfection. This was the issue featured in ‘Brain Damage’ it remains today one of my favorite pieces of zombie art to date!
And of course here’s ‘King Zombie’…..
I saw a couple really cool animated music videos this week and it really got me wondering – what are the greatest cartoon / animated music videos of all time?! There’s a few that come to mind immediately and I know there are a ton that likely have fallen under the radar over the years.
The videos I’ve chosen are official ones by the actual artist, mainly more of an old school traditional animated or hand drawn style & I’ve steered away this time of the modern CG style stuff. Maybe some day I’ll investigate that further in the mean time check this out and most definitely let me know if I have left something off of the list – so let’s get crackin’ here as we figure out exactly what the coolest animated videos of all time are!!
Descendents – No Fat Burger (2016)
Here’s a brand spankin’ new video from one of my personal favorite bands of all time. The Descendents have been around since 1978 and packing the pop into punk like no other band can. This cool frantic animated video finally finds it’s cartoon mascot (and lead singer) “Milo” growing older and trying to resist eating everything unhealthy in sight. The band now in their fifties still has the energy but let’s face the facts, they just can’t eat the way they used to as teenagers. This is a call back to their classic song ‘I Like Food’. I always wanted to see the Milo character come to life in animation and the wait is finally over.
A-ha – Take On Me (1985)
Here’s one of the most popular videos of all time and it’s animated! Aside from this song being one of the best pop tunes of the 1980’s it also featured this incredible video filled with adventure & pure heart. The song was released several times but failed to chart, however when they produced this amazing video the whole thing exploded. One of the best things about it is that it tells a short action packed story that really sticks with you long after the video is over. The cool rotoscoping animation also gives it a hyper realistic quality no one had ever seen before in a music video. A true classic.
So maybe Metallica doesn’t rock quite a shard as they used to these days, they’ve got a new album coming out and right now I’ve got mixed feelings about the new material. Maybe their day has long past them..maybe not….but while pondering this….lets take a look at”Lintallica” the all sock puppet version of the legendary metal band. Now these guys are a totally different story, sure they’re a tribute band but god damn if they don’t deliver the fuckin’ rock like it’s 1983! Check these dudes out-they’ve this shit down!!!
In the same breath, I actually dig one of the new Metallica songs they released. I wasn’t feeling “Hard Wired to Self Destruct”, the lyrics just felt too cheezy and Hetfield’s vocals still kinda bothered me. This one though I gotta admit is pretty damn good! Though it’s still got nothing on Lintallica!!!
Today was a special occasion as one of my all time favorite bands dropped a new song from their upcoming album due out July 29th! Yep the Descendents are back and kicking ass again with an old school sounding track called Victim of Me. If you haven’t already check it out below! The Descendents prove that they indeed have NOT grown up!! Check it! Milo, punk rock’s most famous nerd is back!
Hey you! Here’s a couple songs to celebrate this unofficial holiday of Friday the 13th!! It’s the second best spooky holiday to Halloween for cryin’ out loud so it’s time get serious about celebrating!
One of my favorite modern videos indeed does feature Jason in quite an awesome way-if you haven’t already check out The Menzingers “I Don’t Wanna be an Asshole Anymore” as Jason tries his best to clean up his act!
Oh but wait you want a more classic era? Let’s not forget good ol’ Alice Cooper’s classic “He’s Back”! This is the perfect song to jam after a few beers tonight!! Just to don’t get too drunk cuz Jason just might getcha!!
I’ve always been a huge fan of The Monkees and now they’ve released a brand new song that will be on their upcoming album “Good Times”. Of course I’m still sad about the passing of Davy Jones, my personal favorite Monkee, but the good news is this new album WILL feature and old unreleased track that Neil Diamond wrote for the band in the 1960’s with Davy Jones on lead Vocals. It’ll feature some new instrumentation and harmonies by Micky Dolenz & Tork. Also the album cover too is a good sign that we’ll be getting some classic vintage style songs from the boys.
The album will also feature a brand new song by Michael Nesmith! So all four of the original Monkees will be present in some way shape or form. In the mean time here’s a cool new track, written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, I’m pleased to hear that this new album will recreating their classic 60’s sound. This little video is cool as well as it follows an old classic comic book adventure of the band!
If that’s not good enough they’ve released another song from the album written by Andy Partridge from XTC!!
I had the pleasure of seeing Green Room last night here where the film was shot in Portland Oregon! I’ve gotta say you’re not going to find a more tense, visually stunning thriller this year. Wow, this movie had me on the edge of my seat and ready to pee my pants for nearly it’s entire duration-yep it’s that intense. If you’re a fan of punk rock like myself you’ll really appreciate this one and if you’ve ever been in a touring band you’ll dig this even more.
The story is simple young struggling punk rock band The Ain’t Rights are on tour and it’s a bit of a disaster. Low pay and cancelled shows almost stops the band’s trek cross country until they get a last minute gig out in rural Oregon at a secluded punk venue with a guarantee of $350.00. The band jumps at the chance and upon arriving to the club realize that their audience will be a freaky aggro crowd white supremacist punks. So naturally the band gets the bright idea to open up their set with a cover “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by The Dead Kennedys. Yeah always a good idea right?
This is the least of their worries though as the band gets ready to head off to their next destination they run back into the green room to grab their charging cell phone and discover a young woman murdered there surrounded by angry skins. This is where things get crazy. Real crazy. From this point on the movie becomes so intense it’s almost impossible to look at or away from the screen. The clubs swarms with a mob of angry skinheads who’re dead set on letting no one from The Ain’t Rights out alive.
The angry gang of racist dicks takes orders from white supremacist grandmaster Patrick “Professor X/Picard” Stewart, in a role truly unique for him. The first time I’ve seen him play a truly sinister, menacing character. The movie plays like a punk rock version of Precinct 13 and is soaked with some serious grit and some seriously, serious gut wrenching scenes of survival. This one is NOT for the faint of heart. No one is safe and by the end you’ll have been through the ringer and back. Green Room is jam packed with action, totally impressive fx and great convincing characters. Anton Yelchin is excellent as well as the bands bass player who’s determined to make it through the night alive. I highly recommend this one for anyone who digs an incredible thriller that’s got a truly unique spin. It’s the perfect follow up to director Jeremy Saulnier’s equally shocking “Blue Ruin” if you’re looking for the ultimate punk rock survival flick look no further…..
Remember those old “Power Records” vinyl comic book rock records of the 70’s?! No? Well when I was a kid I had several of these, they were amazing and they’d provide hours and hours of entertainment. They were basically a radio show of your favorite comic book put on a record complete with sound effects , music and voice actors. There were more of these released by Peter Pan records as well so at the time this was quite a popular trend, it was so cool to hear what your favorite heroes & villains actually sounded like!
Yep you could read along to them too because they included a super cool comic book of the story you were reading! These days people just watch a video on Youtube, but back in the day this was quite an experience and at the time there might not have been a way to actually watch your favorite comic book cartoons on the tube. You had to warm up the record player and listen to them come alive with the crackle of a record you played way too many times…
Power Records put out a ton of different titles too from DC stuff like Batman, Superman to Marvel stuff like The Incredible Hulk, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Man-Thing and random stuff like Star Trek, The Six Million Dollar Man, Dracula and The Wolfman, Planet of the Apes!!
You can find this stuff online on ebay and a cool site called My Comic Shop for damn cheap! Like they always say COLLECT THEM ALL! Come on Power Records, bring us some new vinyl superhero adventures already!!!
You can check out a bunch of these on You Tube as well this is a great Superman adventure so you you can relive that magic again!
Also watch and listen as Batman and Robin take on The Joker!!
One of my personal favorites as a kid (I wore this record out BIG time!) The Incredible Hulk at Bay!!