I had a little double feature “party by myself” last night consisting of me, a bottle of wine, my cat, some weed and two horror flicks from the late early 90s. Always in hopes of discovering a lost and forgotten gem! This can result in one helluva fun evening alone or an early night drifting off on the couch to some boring cinematic trash. Luckily for the most part it was the first. I started my first glass of wine off with a movie from 1990 called ‘Pledge Night’.
I’ve been wanting to check this one forever, mostly because I’d heard that Joey Belladonna from legendary thrash metal band ‘Anthrax’ had a role as the supernatural slasher ‘Acid Sid’ and his band even provided the film’s soundtrack. Unfortunately the measly minute and a half he actually appears and the bad ass metal soundtrack his band drummed up doesn’t make this a lost 80s horror gem. Pledge Night instead spends most of it’s run time being a dumb frat boy comedy. Basically putting it’s characters through ‘Hell Week’ in a series of gross out initiations for the first hour. By the time the horror aspect kicks in it’s a bit too late in the game and “Acid Sid”, the evil supernatural hippie frat boy fails to deliver the scares despite being a pretty cool looking villain. Instead he cracks lame one liners after each of his kills and we come to find Joey Belladonna doesn’t even actually play the character in his hideous slasher form but rather in a short flashback. There’s a few neat gore scenes sprinkled amidst the potty humor but overall Pledge Night fails to deliver much of anything entertaining to the table. It merely left me wondering what connection Anthrax actually had to this damn movie? If this’d been the second feature I’d have probably tapped out early on the couch for some zzz’s.
Next up was a 1993 horror flick called ‘Little Devils: The Birth’ from the director of 80’s cult film ‘Rawhead Rex’, starring Marc Price who played ‘Skippy” on ‘Family Ties’ and also starred in the awesome ‘Trick R’ Treat’.
Luckily this one had a better cast & some pretty likable characters to at least keep me invested in the ridiculous plot. It basically plays out as a second rate ‘Ghoulies’ knock off but fortunately had enough charm to justify staying up well past midnight to polish off the rest of the bottle of wine. We follow Price’s character,a struggling writer who rents a room from his crazy sex-obsessed older landlady and shares the house with his weird ass neighbor who’s up all night creating demon dolls from some glowing sludge from the local mausoleum. He also meets a beautiful exotic dancer and the two of them fall “madly” in love while simultaneously discovering that evil “little devils” are running rampant, killing people around his rental unit. This by no means is a good movie, it appears to have been shot on video, the special effects are pretty atrocious & it’s run time is about 20 minutes too long.
All that being said it somehow managed to keep me entertained for it’s entire damn duration. The comedy works here quite well and there’s definitely some decent chemistry amongst it’s cast. The little devil’s themselves are nothing to write home about and are probably the least exciting thing about this movie. They for some reason run around killing people with miniature flame throwers and in comparison make the puppets in the ‘Ghoulies’ look like academy award winning works of special fx wizardry. However despite it’s flaws this ‘Little Devils: The Birth’ had enough going for it to recommend for at least one solid viewing. At the end of the day Marc Price makes it worth an hour and forty minutes of any fan a trashy cinema’s time.
Let’s face it folks, we all love a good Rock n’ Roll horror flick, especially during the halloween season! There are a lot of good ones out there and many of them feature small cameos from rock stars BUT there’s actually not that many that actually feature them in lead or substantial roles in these “terrifying” movies. I here at Universal Dork tho, have decided to give you the top 10 rock and roll horror movies that actually star real rock stars!! So let’s not waste anytime messin’ around and get to it! Less talk more ROCK!! Here are some odd movies that famous rockers decided to risk their careers on!!!
10. Nick Knight / AKA Midnight Cop (1989)
Hey you remember ‘Jesse’s Girl’ right? Yep, easily one o’ the best pop songs of the 80’s in my opinion! Well 80’s icon Rick Springfield also had an acting career as well and when he wasn’t appearing on General Hospital he made some cheezy ass movies, one being this horror flick called ‘Nick Knight’ aka ‘Midnight Cop’! Yep Springfield stars as the hunky vampire detective on the dangerous case of his undead life, this movie was later remade into the first couple episodes of the tv series ‘Forever Knight’! Dig this stunning vampiric Rick-o-riffic movie montage!
9. Halloween Resurrection (2002)
Here’s one of the worst movies of the ‘Halloween’ franchise, it took the finale of H20 and made it into some stupid sort of ridiculous “Scooby Doo” style plot twist. However this one makes the list because we get some “rockstar action” with Busta Rhymes, one of the main characters in it who goes toe to toe with Michael Myers in the finale and fuckin’ wins! I dig that at least!
8. Monster Dog (1984)
Here’s an totally odd little Italian flick called ‘Monster Dog’ from 1984 that stars superstar rocker Alice Cooper in the lead role!! The movie honestly ain’t that good but it’s a must watch for anyone looking to see Alice in more than a freaky cameo. Monster Dog is a subpar 80’s werewolf film, it starts off pretty cool but quickly begins to feel a lot longer than it’s short 84 minute run time. It’s got a couple decent werewolf scenes, cool poster art and a totally sweet ass Cooper track called ‘Identity Crisis’ that makes this one at least worth a view! Fuck yeah!
7. Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)
Another odd 80’s movie with totally classic box art and co stars pop star Toni Basil who dominated the charts in 1982 with her mega hit song ‘Hey Mickey’. This one’s worth a watch for that alone and has a cool soundtrack “featuring” Devo. This follows some teenagers trying to remove a curse, travel to Alcatraz and get some help from a cute 80’s ghost played by Basil. The trailer below actually makes the movie look pretty rad, but it’s one of those “best of” moments trailers, so if you check it out you’ll likely be a bit disappointed with how bland the movie quickly becomes. Still worth a watch for the pure cheez factor it all and a cool dance scene by Basil!
So with Twin Peaks set to be revived soon I can’t help but wonder if maybe this time around legendary metal band Anthrax will finally get the respect they deserve for being big fans of the show! Back in 1993 they released ‘The Sound of White Noise” which was honestly never an album I ever got 100 percent behind. I guess I was extremely partial to Joey Belladonna and this album marked his departure as lead vocalist.
Well Anthrax always had rad subject matter to their songs, lets face it they are metal nerd fanboys and many people don’t realize “Black Lodge” from this album was written about Twin Peaks. Heck they even got the Twin Peaks score conductor Angelo Badalamenti to help them write the song. This album had a much more grunge sound to it as it seemed all bands around this era were changing their sound and trying to cash in on the whole grunge fad at the time.
But still let’s not ever forget that Anthrax delivered the best metal song about Judge Dredd called “I am the Law” and can you believe that two damn Dredd movies materialized and neither of them include this song in the soundtrack?! What a fucking crying shame!! Wake the fuck up Hollywood don’t take Anthrax for granted!! Here’s the video for Black Lodge in case you missed it back in 1993!
AND here’s “I am the Law” again, maybe they will put this in that rumored Dredd sequel!
I just wanted to post a couple videos from ADI, they are an effects studio that specializes in hands on practical effects. Their work never ceases to amaze me. Today they are still pushing the bar with their makeup and animatronics, which I hope more people take notice of. I’ve heard recently that most movies today are made to look like video games, as so many kids expect their movies to look that way and that glossy shiny video gamey look may actually be intentional. There’s a time and a place for both styles of fx, practical and CG and when they are used together it’s often times has created the best moments in cinema.
But for movies today ADI is pretty much the best at what they do. They’ve done a ton of work on some great films, the biggest controversy was all of the special effects they did for the prequel to “The Thing” which ended up a box office flop. The work they did for the film was replaced with shoddy CGI and this outraged the real fans of the iconic 1982 masterpeice. Had they used the ADI versions the prequel would have been the perfect companion piece to that movie. I just watched a great mini episode of Fangoria’s Blood & Guts with Anthrax’s own Scott Ian and it was worth posting again here.
It just goes to show you that these type of effects aren’t dead and in many cases to this day are better than CG. It also reminded me of how rad the monster design was for Goro from the campy Mortal Kombat. Seeing stuff like that done over fifteen years ago makes me wonder why they chose to go fully CG on characters like The Incredible Hulk. Well I guess I am going to have to at least watch Mortal Kombat again! I recommend subscribing to their Youtube channel, there;s some amazing stuff on there!!!
Also any chance I get I love to show this Green Goblin they were working on for the Raimi Spider-man movie. A total shame they didn’t go with it, however my bet is that in the newest reboot of The Amazing Spider-man, The Green Goblin will most likely appear in the third movie-Hollywood don’t blow it get ADI to design his look!!!
Step aside Stallone! We are all getting a second chance at Judge Dredd finally on the big screen! Yes we have tried for years to erase the Stallone version of the legendary sci fi comic book with no luck. We can all agree that movie sucked the big one big time, but I can also honestly say Stallone looked the part perfectly! Too bad in his version he only wore the helmet for like five minutes in the whole damn film. One thing I can’t stand is when we get big actors who play super heroes and don’t wear the costume enough, like when at the end of most big Hollywood movie versions the mask rips off in battle. I can’t stand it! Uggh like seeing Tobey Maguires face wearing the Spider-man costume and losing the mask at the finale of every single installment! We want to forget that an actor is playing the character, so Hollywood keep the masks on our movie superheroes please!
Sorry for the rant, I couldn’t help it I had to say it! Anyway…..I don’t claim to be the biggest Judge Dredd fan ever, but back when I was a kid I did read the comic book and most of all was inspired to read the series because of speed metal genius’ Anthrax! I even had the Anthrax tee with Dredd on it “I am the Law” was their song and it fucking ruled the damn school!
They even put out a rad t-shirt back in the day with Judge Death on it. Oh how I love old school speed metal! I also have to mention that one of my favorite artists ever, Brian “Killing Joke” Bolland helped make Dredd a must for me when I was in my teens. Dredd had a lot going for him in the eighties…
Here though we get a second cinematic shot at Judge Dredd with this brand new trailer-I have to admit it looks pretty legit so far to me and it seems so far that Dredd wears his damn helmet quite a bit!! This time we’ve got the new Bones from Star Trek Karl Urban as the ultimate enforcer and he looks great! The judge, jury and executioner faces a female drug king pin pushing a new reality altering drug, Slo-mo! So far so good! Now could we just get a little Judge Death in there too? I know, I know I am so damn picky….