It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Descendents, so you can imagine how damn stoked I am for their latest release ‘9th & Walnut’. Long story short, all of these songs from the new album are from the late seventies and early eighties. Lost tracks the band demoed but never released, instead produced a batch of new songs that became their iconic album ‘Milo Goes to College’.
Well in 2002 the original line up recorded this lost album and in 2020 lead singer Milo Aukerman finally recorded the lead vocals for it. What we end up with is a bonafide classic brought back to the future, literally a lost punk rock time capsule. It oozes of eighties goodness with the sound and type of songs that I feel have been missing largely from the band’s last two albums.
It also Clearly is oozing with teen angst, nowhere to be found are songs about getting too old or not being able to eat the greasy food you want anymore. Instead we get a batch of snotty love songs and angry punk ragers clearly fueled by a hefty dose of caffeine & french fries. This is the exact way that I love my Descendents, drenched in the 1980s sunshine and no filter. It’s also notable that the sound comes full circle with the original lineup intact even though sadly guitarist Frank Navetta passed away not long after this was recorded.
Jam packed with classic guitar riffs with plenty of their nostalgic attitude & the sweet melodies of their original bassist Tony Lombardo bring me back to simpler times. This album IMO is an absolute dream come true for hardcore fans who grew up listening to them in the 1980s. The anthems of those awkward teen nerds come alive one last time with this latest release from the Descendents! Mmmm…TOTALLY!
Check out the latest episode of the ‘Movie Melt‘ podcast where Universal Dork joins the conversation to cover an obscure summer blast of punk rock shenanigans with 1985’s ‘Rockin’ Road Trip’!
Yes! We get down to the nitty gritty of this lost 1980’s summer road trip comedy adventure but also spend some time chattim’ about a ton of other weird-o movies, stupid demonic sex and more useless cinematic information than the human brain can comprehend!
Check this ridiculous shit out right HERE and check out the trailer for our wild ass feature presentation!
Ok as a HUGE fan of the first two Karate Kid movies and fan of the third installment for all the wrong reasons, I’ll admit that up until recently I’d never given ‘The Next Karate Kid’ from 1994 a watch or for that matter a fair chance. I’d always wrote it off as some irrelevant, unrelated knock off of the franchise. However, as I’d rewatched some of the first season of Cobra Kai, once again I’d realized just how much I missed Mr. Miagi and how even more awesome the show would have been if he was still with us. I thought what I’d give for just one last adventure with the character.
Then I’d read in an interview with the creators of Cobra Kai that they’d addressed the 1994 sequel as cannon in the series and slightly teased how all of those movies characters are on the table for possible appearances in future seasons of the show. It dawned up me quickly, after all these years there was indeed one last adventure out there with Pat Morita in his legendary role that as a Karate Kid fanatic I’d ignored for all these years. It was finally time to put my snobby Karate Kid purist attitude aside, to see a movie 27 years in waiting!
So I’m here to report that not only is ‘The Next Karate Kid’ a way better film than ‘Karate Kid 3’ but I think it’s imperative that Hillary Swank return to her role as Julie Pierce in Cobra Kai. Clearly she has a story to tell Daniel with her history with Miagi and she also shares his karate style, something that would make for a great plot element in the series. As far as the fourth installment of the Karate Kid franchise goes, it really was so sweet to see Mr. Miagi in this role, in a movie I’d put off for some reason for so long. It felt like a rare treat to see it when I finally did as I was also surprised at how wrong I’d been, the movie was by no means the flimsy carbon copy sequel I’d guessed it was. Nope quite the contrary, Hillary Swank and Pat Morita both kick ass here in a movie that has a true heart of it’s own and explore more into the history of the Miagi character.
We delve into his past as he heads off to Massachusetts to accept a prestigious award for Japanese American soldiers of WWII & also meets back up with an old friend, Louisa Pierce, the widow of his commanding officer. At Pierce’s home, they catch up on old times, war stories and there he meets his next student, Julie Pierce. The troubled teen is taken under Miagi’s wing and she even finds time to care for an injured hawk at her school. Miagi sees quite early on that she, like Daniel has got some true karate potential and also anger management issues of her own to take care of. She’s also got some problems with some weirdo violent militant Frat boys that need taking care of, something Miagi is happy to help with! The great thing here is that it goes a lot of different directions, we don’t have Daniel’s story for Hillary Swank retold like a “Force Awakens” Karate Kid sequel. Instead she nurses a bird of prey, visits a Buddhist monastery where she befriends a group of charming monks, learns karate and also finds time to fight an elite group of assholes not in a tournament either but in a real damn bare knuckle brawl!
So yeah, I was wrong The Next Karate Kid is a cool movie that not only adds to the Karate Kid legacy but it also expands the story of the late great Miagi. It’s a sweet 90’s sequel that seriously deserves a second chance from Karate Kid purists and fans of Cobra Kai alike. Let’s face it, if the Netflix show can snag Hillary Swank, who’s an incredible actor to come back as Julie Pierce, they’re going to be utilizing the secret weapon of the franchise. I’m sure we’ll be seeing her in the near future on Cobra Kai but in the meantime I think the fans need to give this little 90’s gem a re-watch. There’s so much fun to be had in The Next Karate Kid and I’m glad I finally saw it almost three decades later for my first viewing! A welcome slice of epic lore that makes the Cobra Kai series missing character, Pat “Mr. Miagi” Morita that much more special and severely missed by all the fans….
Ok so you probably have all realized how much I love me some damn VHS tapes! Yeah those relics from decades ago still provide me perhaps even more excitement today than they did way back in the 1980’s & 90’s. When I’m out there in the wild at a thrift store and spot a unique horror, sci-fi, action flick or weird 80’s comedy on VHS my heart literally races.
Ahhh the endless quest for the hidden cinematic gem on tape is a great adventure in these crazy times! So I got interviewed at my shop, Hollywood Babylon, here in Portland Oregon about all the crazy ass VHS tapes we sling there for the movie maniacs in the ‘city of roses’. Check this out and if you want follow the shop on Facebook or better yet Instagram, with the handle @hollywoodbabylonpdx
So it’s Mother’s Day today! We’re all looking for something to send to our sweet moms and if you’re at a loss I’ve got the PERFECT remedy for the situation!
Back in the 1980’s everyone’s favorite bad ass with a heart of gold, Mr. T thankfully released a rap album and luckily for us it also inspired him to record and release a video for ‘Treat Your Mother Right’. Check this out and send it to your own mom today, but most important listen to Mr. T’s advice when it comes to that special lady today!
I’ve mentioned S.P. Somtow here recently several times after discovering his long all but lost 1989 horror cult classic flick ‘The Laughing Dead’. If you’re a fan of gory, gooey 80’s horror comedies ala ‘Evil Dead 2′ then I definitely encourage you to track that film down asap. It sits in that sweet spot of the golden era of horror that I love so damn much and it’s desperately in need of a real release here in the good ol’ USA, as back in the late 80s for some reason it was only released overseas. A cool blu ray release would immortalize it as a bonafide lost genre favorite!!
Apparently the director has sadly stated he’s lost track of the film’s original prints over the years and even mentioned if he could find it he’d like to make a new cut of the movie. That doesn’t necessarily mean the print doesn’t exist anymore, but perhaps there just needs to be some sleuthing around perhaps to find them! Ok, so not only was he responsible for ‘The Laughing Dead’ but also much more in the horror genre, he’s also a cult horror novelist. Known primarily for his 1984 book ‘Vampire Junction’, which I’m planning on tracking down soon. Well now it’s come to my attention that he has a new horror movie in the works, “Maestro: Symphony Of Terror” that is currently in production in Thailand.
“The Maestro is a loving tribute to the cult classics of the past, that was conceived by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Spurrier and bestselling author and musician S.P. Somtow, It’s shot with the speed and energy of the classic horror thrillers while maintaining the wild inventiveness, ironic tone and relentless imagery that made those films immortal. It’s a story of a genius provoked and pushed into madness and beyond, The Maestro tells the story of Arun, a composer and conductor who tried to make it in Europe but has ended up teaching high society children in a Thai shopping mall. For years, he has been composing a magnum opus, The Tongues of Angels, and dreams of premiering it under his own baton. It is a work of transcendence, of wildness … and a touch of madness.” Here’s a sneak preview recently released:
I’m excited to check this one out it and see just what this bizarre horror flick has to offer! In the meantime let’s track down the original prints of ‘The Laughing Dead’ for a slick blu ray release and let that build the hype machine for ‘Maestro: Symphony of Terror’!
Hey horror hounds! I’m willing to bet top dollar that you have probably never heard of or seen 1989’s bonker’s horror comedy ‘The Laughing Dead’?! I reviewed it right here not too long ago but enjoyed this weird wild cinematic journey so much I chose it as the feature presentation to cover for the latest episode of the Movie Melt Podcast!
So if you dig 80’s horror flicks like Evil Dead II, Re-animator or Terrorvision and haven’t got the scoop on this one you should check out the podcast for sure. With FX legend John Carl Buechler (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Friday the 13th VII, Troll ) bringing the gooey gore & monsters to life along with the offbeat horror story set in Oaxaca, Mexico, it’s a shame this movie never saw an official release here in the USA.
Written & directed by Splatterpunk cult horror novelist/composer S.P. Somtow, makes it a guaranteed treat for 80’s horror fanatics. Check out the episode RIGHT HERE for the scoop on ‘The Laughing Dead’ as well as a whole heap of crazy shenanigans and useless movie info! Here’s the trailer for the movie…
Yowza!! Are you in the mood for the wildest and craziest summer camp antics from the great white north of Canada? Well look no further as Universal Dork headed back on the Movie Melt podcast to talk about some seriously idiotic 80’s trash cinema! This time covering 1984’s slapstick summer camp cult classic Oddballs. Yes, you’ll find more worthless movie knowledge than your brain can humanly comprehend!
Oddballs is one weird ass forgotten comedy and if you’re a fan of stuff like ‘Top Secret’ or ‘The Naked Gun’ then there’s more than enough of that schtick here to quench your thirst. Inspired by the classic ‘Meatballs’ this one’s so dumb you’re likely to lose a few brain cells just by simply viewing it’s raunchy cover!
Check out the whole PODCAST RIGHT HERE!
Oh yeah and if you’re reaaaaaally feelin’ the summer heat you can watch the damn movie on Youtube!
Ok everyone, let’s finally address the giant elephant in the room, over the years, particularly in the 80’s and 90’s, I’ve noticed something quite curious in the movies I’ve been watching: the appearance of THIS particular green lamp in nearly every Hollywood production. You think I’m kidding? Well from this point on I’m asking you all to keep your eyes peeled for it’s appearance in the movies you watch! You will be astonished how often this thing appears, so much so it’s starting to get a little creepy, once you see it you can’t ignore how often it appears like magic.
So I had to take a short moment here to address just what the hell is up with this odd green lamp? Why is it seemingly everywhere? Just WHAT is this green lamp conspiracy all about? Well let’s take a closer look here, this thing is officially known as “The Banker’s Lamp”. It’s thought to have a psychologically soothing and calming effect on the mind and supposedly increases concentration and brain focus. This lamp also known as Emeralite, is one of the most iconic lamp designs in the entire world. Used initially libraries, banks and business offices to improve work and brain power. It was given the green shade due to the old belief that a green light source was soothing to the mind and therefore improved productivity. So is this the secret power of actors and directors to maximize their brain focus to make the ultimate movie making profits?
When we dig deeper into this lamp’s history we discover that there’ve been conspiracy theories about this mysterious lamp for many decades in Hollywood. Some think that perhaps the ones used in Hollywood productions used ancient magic emeralds that not only enhanced the cast, crew and directors brain power & focus abilities but also mystified audience’s brainwaves through actual theater screens when the lamps appear. There’s also rumors of the lamp being powered exclusively by odd generators on set, ones that only seem to power the banker’s lamp. Some reported that the emerald green shades used on these productions were imported from remote locations on the globe, one report suggested places not located on any known maps. Other reports suggested the actual bulbs being used had been shipped from NASA to production lots in Hollywood.
The most strange report was that every green “banker’s lamp” seen on the silver screen is indeed in actuality the SAME lamp. Meaning this one lamp you see in all of these Hollywood productions is the exact same fixture used for over a century, that’s being passed around in a fortified protective titanium case and it for some reason renowned among Hollywood elites as priceless. Often times green prop lamps would be set around the original. Likely all far fetched rumors? Who knows…but whatever the case, please take note of all of this next time you see it pass in and out of frame in a movie, you’ll notice it sneak by in the background and never be able to un-see the emerald green shine…here it appears in Se7en, and so many more than this..
Here’s a very shortlist of just a few of the movies it appears in if you keep your eyes on the prize, but soon you’ll find it’s nearly everywhere on the big screen:
- The silence of the lambs (1991)
- Frasier (TV, 1993-2004)
- Patch adams (1998)
- Whiplash (2014)
- Wonder woman (2017)
- Oldboy (2003)
- Seven (1995)
- A nightmare on Elm street (1984)
- Batman begins (2005)
- Hot fuzz (2007)
- James bond: Casino royale (2006) & quantum of solace (2008)
- Goonies (1985)
- The place beyond the pines (2012)
- Jaws (1975)
- Legally blonde (2001)
- 10 things i hate about you (1999)
- The conjuring (2013)
- Band of Brothers (TV mini series, 2001)
- The bourne identity (2002)
- Bronson (2008)
- The adventures of Tintin (2011)
- Sinister (2012)
- The knick (TV, 2014-2015)
- Road to perdition (2002)
- Layer cake (2004)
- There will be blood (2007)
- 30 Rock (TV, 2006-2013)
- Breaking bad (TV, 2008-2013)
- Law abiding citizen (2009)
- Boiler room (2000)
- Seinfeld (TV, 1989-1998)
- Pushing daisies (TV, 2007-2009)
- White collar (TV, 2009-2014)
- Brooklyn nine-nine (TV, 2013-)
- Supernatural (TV, 2005-)
- Dr. Who (TV, 2005-)
- Friends (TV, 1994-2004)
- JFK (1991)
- Network (1976)
- House MD (TV, 2004-2012)
- Boardwalk empire (TV, 2010-2014)
- State of play (2009)
- Arrested development (TV, 2003-)
- Sleepy hollow (TV, 2013-2017)
- Twin peaks (TV, 1990-1991)
- Sherlock (TV, 2010-)
- Stand by me (1986)
- Back to school (1986)
- Ellery Queen (TV, 1975-1976)
- Poirot (TV, 1989-2013)
- Broadcast News (1987)
- Dick Tracy (1990)
- The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
- Trading places (1983)
- Clue (1985)
- Star Trek: First contact (1996)
- It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (TV, 2005-Present)
- Narcos (TV, 2015-2017)
- Gosnell (2018)
- Star chamber (1983)
- Death of a nation (2018)
- Friday the 13th: the final chapter (1984)
- Goodfellas (1990)
- Gilmore girls (TV, 2000-2007)
- The verdict (1982)
- The firm (1993)
- 3 Men and a baby (1987)
I rarely ever do music posts here, but every now and again I’ll throw something up that really means something to me. Well today I wanted to share a few videos that recently surfaced from one of my all time favorite nearly forgotten bands, Canada’s own DOUGHBOYS. The Doughboys, who formed in ’86 have been a staple in my teen years right up to today. My best description of them would probably be to call them Canada’s answer to HUSKER DU (except with more focus on vocal harmonies) another of my all time faves. Blending their punk roots with crunchy power pop before the likes of Blink 182 was everyone’s go to idea of what pop punk is. I’d even go as far to say that in the early 90’s they were kinda like what the the classic early Foo Fighters would eventually become.
They also were one of the most entertaining & energetic live bands I’ve ever seen, I often felt bad for any band who had to follow them on a bill and the sheer amount of hair this band had collectively would leave any metal band envious. If you like the sound of what I’m laying out here I recommend checking out their 5 albums, you won’t be disappointed. So back in 1996 these guys released their last album ‘Turn Me On’ and it was one of their best. My old band, Ben Grim, even opened for them once in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the iconic ‘Concert Cafe’ during this period, ah those were the days.
Ok so the one thing that was exciting about this era of the Doughboys was that they replaced their longtime lead guitarist. Normally I’d have been upset by the news, but they chose Darren “Wiz” Brown (RIP), the singer/guitarist of one of my other all time favorite bands, Mega City Four, to keep the band in tact. Mega City Four is basically the British counterpart to bands like Husker DU and the Doughboys & Wiz even co wrote songs with the band. So hearing he’d joined made me and my friends most excited for what they might come up with for their next album. However that sadly was not the case, the Doughboys career didn’t last much longer and to my knowledge they only recorded one song with the Wiz in the line up (unless of course they did some demos?!). Still, he was clearly a Doughboy and was pictured on the album and also in the videos that ‘Turn Me On’ produced.
Yeah there were a couple videos back then that never saw the light of day here in the USA, but now 25 years later they of course surface on Youtube! The damn wonders of the internet, I tell you. So hopefully this post might be seen by other fans of the band. who like me. missed out on them decades ago, it was a big deal for Mega City Four and the Doughboys to merge back in the mid 90’s. For a few minutes upon watching these videos I felt the pressures of the modern day vanish into simpler sweeter times of alternative 90’s rock. Check out ‘I Never Liked You’ one of the band’s best songs from ‘Turn Me On’ that also features the late great Wiz on guitar…
….and another great one ‘Everything and After’ from the same album:
Also some footage I posted from the same era: