All stills courtesy of DVDBeaver
A genuine curiosity, even for B-movies, The Stuff was one of the first horrors I was ever exposed to when it randomly came up on cable one night when I was a kid. Though it may not be scary (a pretty terrible metric for the quality of a horror film anyhow, since everyone is scared by different things) to anyone but althaiophobics, it definitely had a way of getting under my skin. Its singular style and off-beat premise sucked me in almost immediately. It has a much brighter palette and tone than most horrors, and has a charming slapdash quality about it that makes it feel like it’s always just about to go off the rails. Of course, you’ll realize at some point during the film that it was never on rails to begin with.
The Zero Boys is a horror/action movie from 1985 that raises the bar of ineptitude stunningly high. You would have to try with all your might, and maybe someone else’s, to come up with a film this insipid nowadays. It may be a testament to the filmmaking talents of director Nico Mastorakis that a movie as totally brain-dead as The Zero Boys is as entertaining as it is.
James Booker collected nicknames like some people collect vinyl. The New Orleans piano great has been called (by himself or by others) The Piano Prince, The Ivory Emperor, the Black Liberace, and the Bayou Maharajah. Filmmaker Lily Keber went with the latter, Bayou Maharajah, as the title of her documentary, now being released on home video.
By Tim Murr
The follow up to 1985’s cult classic comedy gorefest Re-Animator, 1989’s Bride of Re-Animator, was a wild and rollicking film, amping up the craziness and gore with comic book flair. Directed by Brian Yuzna (who also directed the next sequel, Beyond Re-Animator) on a very short time frame, Bride picks up several months after the “Miskatonic Massacre” that ended Re-Animator.
The Death Walks Twice box set from Arrow Films highlights two gialli by director Luciano Ercoli. One is better than the other, but they follow the gialli formula to the letter and are both a lot of fun on a party night where Apples to Apples just won’t cut it.
Documentaries about alternative religious belief systems are always a dicey watch, especially if the religion being examined doesn’t jibe with your own or sounds totally off the wall. The temptation to snicker or outright mock the people who believe this crazy stuff is always there. But religion is such a personal thing; laughing at someone about what they believe just feels disrespectful.
Iggy Pop has a new album out March 18, along with Northless, Lust For Youth, and Soft Fangs. There’s also the Wayfaring Strangers compilation and a reissue of Haircut 100’s Pelican West.
It’s time to spring forward with pop culture news.
Tyler Hodg has finished watching all 13 episodes of Fuller House on Netflix and we’ve got the reviews to prove it. What’s the verdict? Is the show good, bad, or somewhere in between? You’ll have to read to find out.
Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine, filmed on an iPhone and focusing on the life and struggles of a transgender sex worker, is currently on Netflix, but you should also check out his short film Snowbird.
Divorced Dad may not be on Netflix (yet), but it’s something you should see. Here’s the problem: it’s not available yet! The new webseries from the Astron-6 collective (Manborg, Father’s Day, The Editor) is still seeking funding to finish the series, but for now, here’s a teaser trailer. (P.S. I’ve seen the rough cuts of a couple of episodes and I laughed until I thought I was going to throw up. It’s that weird and funny.)
At Popshifter, we watch TV so that we can talk about it, then you can read about it, and you can then feel better about all those thoughts you’re having and feelings you’re feeling. This week, we’ve got two episodes of Broad City, and while “Rat Pack” may not be as tight as “Game Over,” the show continues to be one of the funniest on TV. Outsiders finally gives us the character development we’ve been waiting for, while The Walking Dead gives us welding, crying, but still no sign of Negan.
New music reviews this week include the deep freeze of Northless’s Cold Migration EP, the emotionally raw yet gorgeous Let A Lover Drown You from Penny & Sparrow, a preview of Soft Fangs’ The Light (out on March 18), and one you might have missed: Voivod’s Post Society EP.
There were lots of movies to think about this week. Ron Howard’s tribute to Jaws and Moby Dick, In The Heart Of The Sea, hit home video this week and while Jeffery thought it was a beautiful waste of time, I had more positive thoughts on the film. Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Volume One, however, left no doubts in Tim’s mind: it’s a must-see, must-own box set.
We all have that one friend who hasn’t seen those iconic classic films that everyone else has already seen. At Unicorn Booty, that person is Matt Baume. Witness his reaction to his first viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You might also enjoy his liveblog of the first time he watched Hackers.
It’s OK to admit that you are a fan of Archie Comics. If you haven’t been keeping up with the students at Riverdale High out of a lack of time or fear of public shaming, there has been some news. Did you know that Jughead came out? He’s not gay, but… well, you should read about the full details for yourself. Also on the Archie news front is this fascinating podcast called Radio Free Riverdale hosted by Torontonians Lucy Cappiello and Evan Munday. This week’s episode features the podcast’s first ever special guest, comedian Adam Wilson.
In other comics news, Marvel seems to be making greater strides towards gender inclusion. Here’s our own Laury Scarbro with some thoughts on what this might mean for the future of comics.
What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Frankenstein, The Incredible Hulk, Barbie movies, The Fillmore, and songs about telephones.
Ron Howard’s whaling adventure In the Heart of the Sea is an ambitious film, reaching into a few classic sub-genres, but ultimately, finding no purchase there. What remains is a pastiche of retreaded ideas and some weird-looking CGI. As the true story behind the novel Moby Dick, viewers have a good idea of what they’re getting into, but will wind up with less than they expected.
This week was part February, part March, and jam-packed with pop culture.
Twitter recently vowed to fight harassment online. Naturally racist and misogynist trolls were outraged, which is hilarious considering their constant whining about “social justice warriors” being outraged on Twitter. Here is an excellent report on the whys and wherefores of this new announcement and whether or not it stands a chance of being successful.
Speaking of controversy, did you know that a straight Christian man posed as gay for a year and then wrote a book about it? It’s pretty illuminating.
If you haven’t been paying attention, our own Tyler Hodg has been faithfully recapping every episode of the new Fuller House series on Netflix. So far, the show has been wildly uneven, but might finally get it right around episode 10. Too bad there are only three more to go…
Also in TV news, Lucha Underground picks itself up after a not-so-great episode from last week (though Sachin warns that we shouldn’t mention Sexy Star vs. Kobra Moon ever again), Outsiders still refuses to develop some of its characters for some reason, and The Walking Dead introduces a new insufferable character named Gregory. Oh, and (spoiler alert) Rick kills someone. Again. (Can’t take that guy anywhere.)
If you’re looking for some old movies you might have missed, Jeffery’s here to help. Check out the new Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 1 collection from Arrow or The Bees from Vinegar Syndrome, which includes not only bees but also John Saxon.
Everyone’s been talking about Deadpool lately, but why? As Laury reports, it might just be the comic book movie that will change the game. It got her to become a Ryan Reynolds fan, after all. Wrestling aficionados will be interested in new documentary The Sheik, which Jeffery notes that at times feels more scripted than your average wrestling match.
New music this week gets reviewed by Melissa. It includes the self-referentially titled but ultimately disappointing Music To Listen To Music To from La Sera and the much more enjoyable Poison & Medicine from Marc Stone, who hails from New York but has a shockingly good grasp on New Orleans and the blues.
It’s 2016 and that might mean a new Lana Del Rey album is in the near future. But what if you’re still not sick of listening to Honeymoon yet? Matt Craven explains why it might be her secret masterpiece.
Perhaps the only kind of music more divisive than LDR or rap is country. You might be a country music fan if you like even one of these 16 tunes.
What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? The Bermuda Triangle, The National Anthem, King Kong, The Salem Witch Trials, and how Leap Year fits into the space-time continnum.
The recent Arrow Video compilation, Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 1, highlights the kind of films we don’t often think of when it comes to Japanese cinema. These aren’t cheesy monster movies with guys in rubber suits, nor are they fantastic period dramas about dynastic politics and great wars. These three movies are star vehicles, melodramatic potboilers with handsome leading men and damsels in distress.