Fans of Jellyfish and Redd Kross will already know about TV Eyes but what about the uninitiated? That’s who really needs to read this review.
The storied history and devoted fanbase of both groups would take at least two books to describe fully (someone get on that please, by the way), but you may be familiar with three names from those bands: Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.; Jason Falkner; and Brian Reitzell.
Fans of psychedelic music are lucky to be alive during the glory days of its resurgence. There are a lot of great bands out there doing inventive things with psych rock and one of these is Wand, whose debut Ganglion Reef should make several Top Ten lists this year.
These days, made-for-TV movies are not good. I don’t want that to sound like an insult but it’s just how I feel and many others feel the same way. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s there were a ton of made-for-TV films and they were fantastic. Sadly, that time has passed and now we are left with some awful films, the majority of which come from Lifetime.
When I started watching all the zombie films I could get my hands, I stumbled into the realm of Nazi zombies, a.k.a. Nazisploitation. I started with Zombie Lake (which looked great but is not a good film) and then I watched Oasis Of The Zombies (I’m thankful I didn’t slit my wrists during that viewing). Needless to say, when Shock Waves came into my hands I looked away, rolled my eyes, and took a step back. After a year or so, I finally gave it a shot because I found out Ken Wiederhorn directed it and I loved Return Of The Living Dead Part 2, Meatballs 2, Eyes Of A Stranger, and a lesser-known film called Dark Tower.
I don’t know if I would be the same person today if not for Italian cinema. My film school was watching Italian action and horror movies; they taught me everything I know. Some people have a beef with the stories, while others can’t stand the dubbing, but that’s just how it is. Some of the original Italian tracks were lost and some were made for America with Italian actors who were then dubbed over during post-production with audio that was never meant to be released. Even if the dubbing is bad, I try to overlook that because it can’t be helped. I’m just thankful I can actually see the films because some weren’t preserved very well. Luckily, there are still some companies keeping these films alive by exposing the world to them.
People say the 1990s was the worst decade for horror films. I wouldn’t use the word “worst,” but I will say out of all the recent decades it wasn’t the strongest. Calling it the worst just makes it sound like all the films from that decade are terrible, but ‘90s horror is special to me. I love it and I always will.
It’s been 20 years since the Old 97′s released their debut album Hitchhike To Rhome. Listening to Omnivore’s reissue, I’m struck by how it sounds like The Old 97′s are a seemingly impossible creation: the bastard son of Merle Haggard and Roger McGuinn. Ken Bethea’s jangly guitar is there and Rhett Miller’s boozy, yelpy delivery is too, along with his witty lyrics that are chock full of wordplay. They’ve refined their sound, only just, over the years, but there’s something remarkable about a band that knew who they were and what their sound was from the get go.
Compilation albums are usually hit or miss. While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years Of Bloodshot Records is for the most part, quite a pack of hits. This collection of covers of songs by Bloodshot artists, including Neko Case, Ryan Adams, The Old 97’s, Alejandro Escovedo, and Justin Townes Earle, as well as many others, was recorded by non-label artists. Strong songwriting always helps, and these artists’ takes on the Bloodshot songs vary from straightforward, faithful covers to madly inventive versions. Some songs are epically beardy. Some songs sound as if they’ve come down from a mountain in a basket.
If you’ve seen The Road or Season Four of The Walking Dead, you’ve seen more artfully realized versions of the film Refuge. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.
Andrew Robertson’s film peeks into the lives of some of the survivors of a bacterial plague that has wiped out much of humanity. Unfortunately, we find this out in a post-credits montage that is reminiscent of 28 Days Later or The Bay but not as clever. In fact, we’ve all seen so many zombie/post-apocalypse movies at this point it would have been more compelling to just show that kind of footage without explaining what actually happened. It would have given the movie a much-needed bit of creepy mystery.
Why Horror? is for every person who’s been mocked for loving everything encompassed within horror film fandom. Horror writer and hardcore fan Tal Zimerman is the subject of this documentary from Nicholas Kleiman and Rob Lindsay that explores why people are drawn to one of the more maligned, misunderstood genres in popular culture.