I just checked out VFW, the latest from director Joe Begos (Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye) who returns with, in my opinion his best film yet! This sweet little gritty love letter to John Carpenter, which calls back to his classic ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ in big way, is also a blood soaked love letter to some older actors/action stars of yesteryear. We’ve got icons Fred Williamson, William Sadler, Stephen Lang, Martin Kove & even George Wendt from ‘Cheers’ to make this bar room brawl even more authentic!
The story kicks off on a special birthday night for VFW bar owner “Fred” and his tight knit gang of bad ass war veterans. The evening quickly turns into wild all-out battle for their lives when a teen punk rock girl crashes their party with a sack full of ‘hype’. This new drug basically turns people into demented maniacs, with a hunger for more hype at any cost. The evil punk drug dealer, desperate to get his valuable stash back, sends his gang of gnarly addicts on a rampage to get it back. When these mutant punks on a rampage storm the bar looking for the teen, the old vets along with a younger soldier get to relive the gory glory years of war one more time. They unleash their pent of rage and fury using every weapon they can get their hands on to protect the girl and try annihilate the horde of drug addled maniacs. However these messed up punks have hype running through their veins and want more, risking anything to their grimy paws on it.
If you’re a fan of old school action flicks from the 70’s & 80’s you’re going to really get a kick out of VFW. The gore is pretty over the top, done in a such a cartoony way that people literally explode on screen. As a fan of practical fx Begos always delivers the goods with some wild splatter, he also keeps the vibe placed firmly in the golden days of the action era, with not a cell phone in sight. It also feels like an 80’s flick, with stunning neon lit sets within the walls of the cool old dank dive bar.
The real highlight of this is the cast of old codgers who do the majority of the ass kickin’. It’s absolutely delightful to see the likes of Fred Williamson & The Karate Kid’s Martin “Sensei” Kove in full on action mode as well as Stephen Lang, William Sadler and the younger soldier played by Tom Williamson. They’re all great here and give this film the cred it deserves proving age is just a number when it comes to cinematic butt kicking. I really enjoyed VFW, it’s the perfect modern midnite movie and gets so much praise for bringing in some old icons into the mix of onscreen mayhem. Check this out if you’re a fan of 70’s/80’s cult action horror flicks- And here’s to hoping VFW gets a sequel bringing even more of the bar’s patrons into the fold, hand picking some more old nearly forgotten bad asses to do some damage one last time!
I recently stumbled upon a beautiful big box VHS version of the 1983 gem ‘Raiders of Atlantis’ and it’s easily one of the most entertaining 80’s action/sci-fi genre mash up’s I’ve ever seen. Even more interesting is that we’ve got cult director Ruggero Deodato, most well known for his extreme gore flick ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ at the helm. Well, while ‘Raiders’ doesn’t feature the offensive gross-out gore of ‘Holocaust’ it does have it’s fare share of unexpectedly crazy bloody good moments and then some to spare.
As for the plot, there’s not much to it, basically two hot shot war vets (Mike, who’s a slightly past his prime playboy and his buddy, recently converted to islam, Washington, who desperately wants people to call him Mohammed) and their crew head off by boat to investigate the strange suddenly rising continent of Atlantis that emerges from the depths of the ocean covered in a transparent dome. Well pretty much as soon as our crew of trusty adventurers set foot on Atlantis’ shore they discover a creepy, fully ravaged city with dead people scattered about, leading to a particularly excellently executed chilling scene involving a skipping record. Deodato immediately sets the stage for a full on genre sandwich that’s part action/sci-fi/horror & post apocalyptic adventure.
Of course none of this can really be taken too seriously as the movie opens with Washington & Mike displaying their innate ability to kick major ass and then some within the first few minutes. However the movie shifts gears when it’s revealed that the natives of Atlantis are actually psychotic punk rock post apocalyptic warriors who’re out to kill anyone and everything in sight. Their leader even wears a ridiculous see through plastic skull mask and they all drive around freaky jacked up killer cars and motorcycles like total maniacs. The rest of the movie is really one fucking awesome action sequence after another, ridiculous hi-octane shit that never slows. Continue reading
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!
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’…..
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!
Did you see Blue Ruin? If not then you better check that shit out right away as it was one of the best indie thrillers of the last few years! Now we’ve finally got a full trailer for the upcoming ‘Green Room’ from ‘Blue Ruin’ director Jeremy Saulnier and boy does it look like a tense one. This flick is one I’ve been waiting for quite some time and one of my picks for 2016 movies I’m most excited about.
It follows an Washington punk rock band who play a show out in a rural Oregon roadhouse that turns deadly when a gang of white supremacist skin heads show up to spoil the party and then some. Better yet it stars Patrick Stewart as the gang’s leader / club owner and Anton “Chekov” Yelchin as one of the members of the band who’ve gotta fight their way through the night to survive. Due out April 15th, Check out this trailer, this one is sure to deliver quite a punch!
I recently was lucky enough to catch one the best Rock n’ Roll horror flicks of the 90’s: “Shock ‘Em Dead”! To be exact this one came out in 1990 and man was it a good time. This one is the perfect party flick and a good amount of booze is recommended in conjunction to get the ultimate enjoyment out of this giant ball of cheez. Shock ‘Em Dead is one of Traci Lords’ legitimate Hollywood movies and that’s not saying much in this case! To be fair though I think she was the only woman in this movie that actually didn’t get naked! So at least she was really trying to make it a point to distance herself from her well known controversial racy porn career.
However Shock ‘Em Dead is far from a good horror movie per say, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a total riot to watch! We’ve got a movie that’d fit quite nicely next to “Rock & Roll Nightmare” for a double feature. Yep you get it all here folks hot babes, hot dudes, heavy metal & of course Satan!! The story follows Martin, a lone nerd pizza boy / terrible guitarist, who’s sick and tired of being made fun of by everyone in town. Well things get worse for Martin after he decides to try out for the local rising rockstar band “Spastic Colon” as lead guitarist.
After being humiliated for sucking so bad on guitar he’s off to make a deal with the devil with a Miss Cleo look-alike voodoo lady. Soon Martin is transformed into a super over the top glam rock god, who sizzles on a double necked B.C. Rich Warlock guitar and returns to wow Spastic Colon with his hyper doodling chops! But man you’d think if you made a deal with the devil you’d go try and join Iron Maiden or Van Halen instead?!
Anyway Martin, now going by the name Angel Martin decides he wants Spastic Colon’s manager Traci Lords (because I’m thinking he might have seen a few of her previous film work)?! Well now that Martin joined the band and is sporting a totally fucking over the top ridiculous glam rocker style with a full on spazzed out gigantic black wig it seems that indeed Traci is beginning to fall some how for this dipshit!
Not only that but as the band’s popularity seems to skyrocket, some weird deaths begin to occur at their shows all at the hands of the devilishly dark Angel Martin . This flick delivers on all cylinders, giving you a totally laughable plot, incredible late 80’s early 90’s glam rocker style, unbelievable dialog & some totally awesomely idiotic songs like Spastic Colon’s big hit “Virgin” Girl!
Did I mention you’ll also get the insanely flashy guitar noodling of Nitro’s very own Michael Angelo Batio too? Yep they hired him to double as Angel Martin’s hand’s when he’s fucking shredding on the double edge axe guitar.
There are so many awesome things about this movie that will have you laughing your ass off and if you’re ok with some pretty un PC humor this one will seriously get the party started and then if anything else you get to watch Traci Lords for an hour and a half-seek this one out, I saw it on VHS but I think it was released this year on special edition dvd!
The time has come to go back to my punk roots!! My first real passion as a kid was comic books but it wasn’t long until I fully discovered something else that truly engaged me – punk rock. Yes I grew up in Wisconsin and most people seem to think that all America’s Dairyland has to offer is beer & cheese, but hell you couldn’t be more wrong! Wisconsin has an incredibly rich history in punk rock and “Green Blah! The History of Green Bay Punk Rock” will once and for all prove all the naysayers wrong!!
When I was a kid I discovered how much was actually really going on in the punk scene right there. Sure there may not have been the legendary bands like Black Flag, Descendents, Circle Jerks or Bad Brains emerging from the scene but there were a lot of equally awesome bands that never got the respect they deserved from way back in the day. This documentary will prove that!
Growing up near Green Bay in the 80’s & 90’s was awesome for a kid like me who was hooked on the music because the scene there was bursting full of life. Yep Green Bay was where it was at if you were a touring punk band! The kids there were ravenous for punk because lets face it, there wasn’t a fuck of a lot to do in the suburbs of Wisconsin other than Skate & Destroy and go to punk rock shows. So now we finally get to let everyone in on the awesome scene that Green Bay & Wisconsin had going on! Green Blah! is a film by veteran Wisco punks Chris Pretti & James Baker and right now you can help fund this Documentary on Kickstarter! So all you punk rockers out there help these guys get this flick out there to document another important chapter in the history of punk music. Check this shit out and get on board already!!
There was a time back in the 1980’s that the X-men were the coolest thing in the entire world! They were like mutant misfit punk rockers and and growing up they were the unique team that you felt you were part of. Today the X-men are fuckin’ corporate whores with like a dozen different titles, huge blockbuster movies and cartoons. They’re still swell guys but they don’t have that dangerous charm to them that they did back in the eighties. They didn’t fit in and because of that they were cool. It was an era of the team that simply can’t be recaptured. They weren’t the Avengers, they were a tight knit family with a lot of problems that you could relate to especially as a teen. The main reasons why they were so awesome during this era was direct result of Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr. Here’s an awesome cover Romita did during that very special time and this one still to this day remains iconic to me and my eleven year old self. This was back when wolverine wasn’t a pretty boy, he was mean and dangerous!
So it looks like someone decided that it’d be cool to recreate some of the classic Nintendo games with punk icons in the roles of your favorite video game characters. I guess this is kinda neat, a bit random & pointless maybe but still an interesting twist. You can play these games for free on Punktendo.com.
You can play as Milo of The Descendents in “Milo-fu”, you can play as the fan punching Fat Mike in a game of Golf, You can be Danzig in Mega Man or you can be Mikey Erg (not quite a punk icon, but maybe the creator’s friend?) in Super Mario Bros. as well as a few other non punk games like “Gay Popeye” etc.
I’d have been a bit more pumped if these games had more original concepts behind them, like a nerd revenge game with “Milo in Milo in College” taking on jock bullies would be a fun one. If anything though these are worth a play or two just for kicks- check it out! Oh yeah and this happened a day or so ago, Fat Mike kicked the shit out of one of his fans at a NOFX show who jumped on stage to sing along to one of his fave tunes! now this could be a great video game concept- Fat Mike’s ‘Fan Attack’! In the video game happy NOFX fans could storm the stage in joy and you could control Fat Mike as he beats their asses to a pulp!! I’m thinking kinda like Robotron: 2084 maybe? Damn I should be making these games-they’d be a helluva lot more interesting!!