I have long contended that one of the greatest singers in pop history is The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz. He’s not only amazingly versatile, with a distinctive voice that is equally at home singing rock, jazz (the man can scat like he was born to it), or ballads, but even when singing backup, he rises above, imbuing each note with personality. His harmonies are tight. Always.
I could go on and on again about how important Vinegar Syndrome is to cinema but I’ll refrain . . . for now. Instead, I’m going to attempt to explain the awesome and completely nutty Raw Force. I first saw this film about a year and a half ago and didn’t know what to say. It has everything that I want in old cheesy B-movies: comedy, action, boobs, karate, rocket launchers, zombies, weird parties, horrendous acting, people breaking ice with their faces. (Seriously, a dude breaks a block of ice with his face, but it isn’t for show; it is actually to get ice for a drink he is making for someone. I shit you not on this.)
Today I watched John Holmes’s penis get bitten by a vampire. What did you do today?
In the ‘70s and ‘80s many pornographic filmmakers made pornos with stories. Whether it was action, horror, or comedy, there was usually a genre represented by more story and less sexy time. As a horror enthusiast, I get excited more ways than one when the porno has horror elements and Dracula Sucks has more horror than porno. . . and it is freaking weird.
By Tyler Hodg
It would be hard to find a child born in the early ‘80s who didn’t wake up every Saturday morning to watch Pee-wee Herman squirm around and yell at the top of his lungs. Twenty-three years after its initial run, Pee-wee’s Playhouse finally sees its Blu-ray release, making it easier for the show’s mature fans to revisit their childhood once again. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series Blu-ray includes all five seasons, the Christmas special, and numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The psychedelic era, short-lived as it was, produced some of the most memorable tunes of the late Sixties and early Seventies. It also spewed forth a lot of crap. Basically, if you had a flange or wah-wah pedal on your cheap electric guitar, and some decent harmonies from the bassist and keyboard player, you could churn out a great psychedelic song in about half an hour. The lyrics didn’t have to make sense. As long as you were blowing someone’s mind, or singing about blowing someone’s mind, you were set.
Full disclosure: I have no idea how to review the new, incredibly comprehensive, fully-remastered, nine-disc Monty Python box set, Monty Python’s Total Rubbish: The Complete Collection. I, like any good misfit worth her salt, went through a rather serious Monty Python phase while in high school, and spent every weekend watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus with my best pal Lori (and arguing over who was cuter, Michael Palin or Eric Idle. The answer was yes), imitating the sketches, knotting handkerchiefs for our heads, and being fully immersed in Pythonalia. I have no objectivity when it comes to Monty Python. I love them. Full on. I learned more about world history from Monty Python than I did in high school (of course, if it had been taught in funny voices, I might’ve paid more attention).
The Italian progressive rock band Goblin has been in existence, in some iteration or another, for over 40 years. Most people know them from their multiple collaborations with film director, Dario Argento, in creating soundtracks for his horror movies. Goblin hasn’t made any new music, though, since the soundtrack for Non so honno in 2001. At this point, they’ve earned the right to rest on their laurels a tad, so instead of new music, Goblin releases a lot of greatest hits compilations.
When I received Vinegar Syndrome’s recent release of Prisoner Of Paradise I asked myself, “Do I bring The Boozer Reviewer back?” Then I saw it was a big budget X-rated war epic, falling under the Nazisploitation subgenre. . . and it starred John Holmes. I knew then I needed to watch this without any alcohol.
Man, I wish I was intoxicated when I watched this.
StageFright was a classic when I originally saw it back in the ‘90s. At that time I knew it as Bloody Bird, but a little while later I acquired a VHS copy with the title StageFright: Aquarius. I imagine this was confusing for some in the days before the Internet. I think the distributors knew this so they made StageFright one word. Honestly, it doesn’t matter but I find it funny. It’s even funnier since Jerome Sable’s Stage Fright was released earlier this year.
Out now on Big Legal Mess Records, the four-CD, 101-song compilation The Soul Of Designer Records is flat out amazing. Between 1967 and 1977, Memphis-based Designer Records founder, the delightfully named Style Wooten, gave any group that wanted it a chance to record in his studio, using his studio musicians if they didn’t have their own, for the low price of $469.50. In exchange, the group would get 25 copies of their single to sell or distribute, and when those 25 were gone, they could re-up for another 25. Black gospel groups flocked to Memphis to record their 45s, and Designer Records became one of the most successful independent gospel labels in the States.