2014–The Obligatory Year-End Post

1 Comment

MeWell, here we are, at the end of the year that was 2014. Soon, this year shall gasp its last, and from its still-warm corpse shall burst forth 2015. And while you’re busy trying to excise that disturbing image out of your brains (it’s no use, just relax and let it take you), I shall regale you with how this year has been for your Uncle NecRo. Hope you brought snacks.

The year that was 2014 started off like any other year that ultimately turned out to be a crap-shoot: with hope and promise. I was engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world. We were planning our lives together, and we couldn’t wait to begin our new adventure together, for better or for worse. At least, I knew I was. We went through the preliminary pre-marital classes at her church in January; in February, after months of putting out resumes and interviewing, I finally found work as a manager-in-training at an Arby’s in Lincoln. It was going to be a challenge, I knew, but the money was good, and–not trying to sound cliché here–hard work never scared me. I was willing to do what it took for our future together.

March was rough, but still good. My time at Arby’s was, as the trainer put it, more like Boot Camp–I was being trained on every part of the business and store in a very compressed amount of time, putting in long hours that were very erratic, having all manner of Arby’s-related information pumped into my skull, and putting through the proverbial ringer by a general manager whose training style can be described as Full Metal Jacket-era R. Lee Ermy Drill Sergeant as filtered through Major Margaret Hoolahan from M*A*S*H.

I was determined to make a go of it–I figured anything worth acquiring is never going to be easy. After over a month, though, it was clear that I wasn’t acclimating enough to keep up; I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t keep food down, and it was getting to the point where I was experiencing extreme anxiety with the prospect of going through another day there. I was showing some beginning physical symptoms of a potential breakdown. But, I kept going as long as I could. I needed to be the “man of integrity” that Kim needed. Even if it killed me, it seems. I had the loving support from my spouse-to-be and my family and soon-to-be family.

April 1st was when this life of mine imploded. Collapsing, everything crushed into a dark singularity, where light cannot escape its sucking pull. The fact that it was April Fools Day is an irony that isn’t lost on me.

It was a Tuesday this year. April 1st can be listed, without any kind of hyperbole whatsoever, as My Worst Day At Arby’s, which also doubles as My Last Day At Arby’s. Only, I didn’t really know about that second part, there. I couldn’t seem to be able to do anything right, second-guessing myself, making stupid mistake after stupid mistake, with every little mistake getting a royal chewing out by not only the GM, but also other members of the managerial staff, usually in full view of everyone other employee and customer there. And if you know me at all, you know that constant verbal berating like that makes me much more jumpy, which makes me make even more mistakes, which results in further verbal berating…a vicious cycle, this is. Finally, the shift ended in late afternoon, and halfway to Kim’s apartment I finally had what turned out to be the first of many breakdowns to come this Spring and Summer. But more on that later. This first one came on, and it was a miracle I was able to make it to the apartment while my eyes were stinging and mostly blinded by tears and such, and I found it hard to breathe after a bit. I made it to the apartment, though.

April 1st was also the day I discovered one of my long-time online friends–Anderson Mar–had died from smoke inhalation due to a fire in her apartment complex. The information was posted on her Facebook page, and given the day it was, I spent a good hour or so to make sure it wasn’t some Troll’s idea of a sick joke. Sadly, it wasn’t.

On April 2nd, the decision was amicably made that I wasn’t really cut out for the pressures of being an Arby’s manager. Maybe if I had been working from the ground up for a few years, I could have made it; but it was agreed that I was not ready, if ever. Without a job, and only two months until the wedding, things were looking dark, but I still clung to hope that this would work. I met Kim that evening to tell her, and discuss things before the Bible study that night. She took the news in stride, and reassured me that, despite this temporary setback, she wasn’t going anywhere, that she would still be by my side. We even talked with the pastor who was going to officiate our wedding after the Bible study, making plans to meet with him later in the month for planning and such. I left for home that night, shaken but still optimistic.

April 3rd, I began the process of emailing and sending out resumes and pounding the streets to look for work again. I was determined. I kept this up on the 4th, and the 5th (mostly emailing and filling out applications online on the 5th, as it was Saturday). On Sunday, April 6th, after accompanying Kim at the early traditional side service as she played piano for the men’s choir, and then taking in the contemporary service afterwards, we went out for a nice lunch at Grisanti’s, window shopped in a nearby music shop, then went back to her apartment, where she then proceeded to tell me that she couldn’t marry me, giving me a reason of “I’m not able to love you the way you deserve.” I still don’t know what that means, to this day. She hasn’t spoken to me since then, not in the way she used to. Just like that, in less than a week, my world was ripped asunder. I’m sorry if I sound overly dramatic, here, but that’s the way it was. No warning, no explanation that didn’t seem like an insult to my intelligence; in one fell swoop, the person I loved more than I ever loved anyone else outside of my immediate family pushed me out of her life and locked the door, with one of the lamest reasons given.

And while that would be enough to wish for a reset on the rest of the year, Murphy was just getting warmed up, it turned out. I did manage to get my old position at another Jimmy John’s back if but for a brief period to generate some income while I looked for something more substantial. Because, while the labor there sucked, at least I did get some good money from my time at Arby’s. And let’s face it–I am far more awesome and talented to waste away as a sammich jockey, regardless of how well I got along with the co-workers. And better work I did find soon thereafter: I am currently a POS Terminal Help Specialist at First Data. It’s challenging, the money is really good, I’m still trying to acclimate to a job where everyone is not trying to continually tear you down to get ahead themselves, and the best part is being able to use my rather expansive vocabulary without worrying if I have to dumb things down and explain what I just said all the time.

At the beginning of the Summer Holiday, two classmates of some of the kids in my youth group died in a very tragic road accident. I never met the two victims; the accident effected the kids in the group, and when they mourn and are in pain, I too mourn and am in pain. Just the way it is.

In mid-June, a thunderstorm blew through that caused so much devastation, it caused enough property damage that certain areas were declared disaster areas. On my family’s farm, several trees were felled, some of which I remember playing on as a child, much structural damage was done to the buildings, and more than just a couple of windows and the roof were in severe need of repair. The power was out for us for a good three days before it was restored. Unfortunately, the damage the storm wrought on the church that my ancestry built in Uehling was enough that, over one hundred years after being built and serving as the worship center for several generations of my family, the decision was made to close the church for good, and sell the land with the building being torn down after the first of 2015. Again, in one fell swoop, another part of my life, despite having not attended Uehling Congregational Church since graduating High School in 1992, will be gone.

The final kick in the tender spot that this year made, the one that sent ripples that were felt well beyond where I can even see, was the sudden and devastating death of my cousin Jerry in August. I’ve already posted my thoughts on that; needless to say, I still catch myself still thinking of him as still alive, and not gone.

Fortunately, nothing more has happened to equal the kind of devastation that has hit my world this year. The darkness that has descended this year will carry over to the next, to be sure–not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about Kim and if I did all I could have done on my part, and I’m still very much haunted by memories of the very recent past–but that’s to be expected. Go forward, I must. And it’s not like I’m unaware of the abundant blessings that my Lord and God has bestowed upon me; certainly, He has blessed me with an abundance of the kind of friends and family that were there for me the best they could, giving support and not just empty platitudes. I’m also thankful that I was gifted with the ability to make my family members laugh and hopefully take some of the sting off of the loss of our beloved family member. And, of course, the job I work at now is a good fit, and I’m finally beginning to make the kind of income to start to move forward substantially. And while I decided to stop doing NECRO SHOCK RADIO permanently this year, as my I found my heart was no longer in it, I somehow know that the future may end up with something different, and better. As with all things.

So, to summarize this rambling down Memory Lane: 2014, for the most part, sucked. Sucked in a way that I pray I never experience again, and anyone I know and love will never have to experience themselves. But, in a morbid, twisted kind of way, it could be I will look back on the year that was 2014, and think, “yeah, this was more beneficial than I thought it would be.” But, for now, I find myself ready to enter 2015, not with a smile and a song in my heart, but with a war face, and \,,/METAL\,,/ blasting through my speakers. Possibly wielding something blunt and heavy, festooned with spikes.

Happy New Year from your UNCLE NECRO. I’m still alive. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Cheers, all.


2014: End-Of-Year Book List

Leave a comment

pile of booksSince 2012, I’ve made it my yearly mission to try and read a book a week for the entire year, and post the list of what I managed to get to on the final day of that year. Obviously, I haven’t been able to make it to 52 books–yet–but I continue to try; this year has been the closest I’ve been able to get, and surprising considering all that has transpired to try and demotivate me. It’s almost like I kept reading to get away from reality without sleeping all the time. But, anyway, here’s the list of books I’ve managed to read in the year that was 2014 (alphabetically by title):

BRAVE NEW WORLD (Aldous Huxley)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Carnival Of Souls (Nancy Holder)
CABAL (Clive Barker)
DAMNED (Chuck Palahniuk)
DIARY (Chuck Palahniuk)
DOCTOR WHO: 50th Anniversary Collection: 11 Doctors 11 Stories
DOCTOR WHO: Beautiful Chaos (Gary Russell)
DOCTOR WHO: Dreams of Empire (Justin Richards)
DOCTOR WHO: Earthworld (Jacqueline Rayner)
DOCTOR WHO: Fear of the Dark (Trevor Baxendale)
DOCTOR WHO: Festival of Death (Jonathan Morris)
DOCTOR WHO: Last of the Gaderene (Mark Gatiss)
DOCTOR WHO: Only Human (Gareth Roberts)
DOCTOR WHO: Players (Terrance Dicks)
DOCTOR WHO: Remembrance of the Daleks
DOCTOR WHO: Ten Little Aliens (Stephen Cole)
DOCTOR WHO: The Wheel Of Ice (Stephen Baxter)
GLOBAL FREQUENCY: Detonation Radio (Warren Ellis)
GLOBAL FREQUENCY: Planet Ablaze (Warren Ellis)
ILLUSION (Frank Peretti)
JUSTICE (Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Doug Braithwaite)
NEUROMANCER (William Gibson)
STAR WARS Vs. STAR TREK (Matt Forbeck)
STAR WARS: Agents Of Chaos I: Hero’s Trial (James Luceno)
STAR WARS: Agents Of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (James Luceno)
STAR WARS: Balance Point (Kathy Tyers)
STAR WARS: Dark Journey (Elaine Cunningham)
STAR WARS: Dark Tide II- Ruin (Michael A. Stackpole)
STAR WARS: Death Troopers (Joe Schreiber)
STAR WARS: Edge Of Victory I: Conquest (Greg Keyes)
STAR WARS: Edge Of Victory II: Rebirth (Greg Keyes)
STAR WARS: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (Aaron Allston)
STAR WARS: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand (Aaron Allston)
STAR WARS: Traitor (Matthew Stover)
The BURNING (Bentley Little)
The CLOCK OF DREAMS (Brian Lumley)
The LAST BATTLE (C. S. Lewis)
The PHILIP K. DICK READER (Philip K. Dick)
The RESORT (Bentley Little)
The SILVER CHAIR (C. S. Lewis)

And in case you were wondering: Yes, I have my pre-determined reading list for 2015 all ready to go. Cheers, all…


How The Goth Stole Christmas

Leave a comment

how the goth stole christmasIt’s that time of year again, my wonderful freaks. And, since I haven’t done so in a few years, I thought I’d dust off this Christmas classic for you all:

(with apologies to the late, great Dr. Seuss)

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot…

But the Goth,
Who lived just north of Whoville,
Did NOT!

The Goth hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his face wasn’t made up just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his Docs were too tight.
But I think the most likely reason of all
May have been that in August, there were Elves in the mall.

Whatever the reason,
His Docs or the mall,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating it all.
Staring down from his lair, with a sour gothy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.

“And they’re hanging their stockings,” he said with a pout.
“They’re not even *fishnets* for crying out loud!”
Then he growled, with his fingertips nervously drumming,
“I must find some way to stop Christmas from coming!”

Tomorrow, he knew…

…All the Who girls and boys.
Would wake long before sunset. They’d rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
“That’s one thing I hate! It’s really quite loud.
“It’s worse than a rivethead blasting Merzbow!”

Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they’d feast! And they’d feast!
And they’d FEAST!
They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast
Which was something the goth couldn’t stand in the least.

They’d do something
He liked least of all!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Would walk outside (after finishing their cena)
They’d stand close together, and do the Macarena!

And the more the goth thought ’bout this Who-Christmas-Dancin’,
The more the goth thought “This is worse than M. Manson!
“Why, for twenty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
“I MUST stop this Christmas from coming!
…But HOW?”

Then he got an idea!
A spooky idea!

“I know just what to do!” the goth said in the gloom.
And he made a black velvety Santa costume.
And he cackled, and wailed “What a great gothy plan!
“With an outfit like this, I’ll take all that I can!”

“All I need is a reindeer…”
The goth looked around.
But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.
But, did that stop the goth?
No! The Goth simply said,
“If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!”
So he called his cat, Curse. Then he took some black lace,
And he tied a big horn on the side of his face.

He loaded some bags
Into the back of his hearse.
(A ramshackle car,
To which he tied Curse.)

Then the goth revved the engine,
And Curse started to run.
Down to Who-ville they went
To steal their fun.

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were naively dreaming without care.
When he came to the first little house on the square.
“This is stop number one,” the old Gothy Claus hissed
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney. Which could have been hectic
Except that the goth was quite anorexic.
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue
Where the little Who stockings all hung in a row.
“These stockings,” he grinned, “Are the first things to go!”

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!

Siouxsie and Sisters tapes! Eyeliner! Shoes!
Nail polish! Thigh-high boots! Lipstick! And Booze!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then the goth, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimbley!

Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Who’s feast!
He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast!
He didn’t eat any. He had to stay thin.
(Though he did take a swig of Momma-Who’s gin.)

Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with relish.
“And NOW!” grinned the goth, “For that tree that looks hellish!”

And the goth grabbed the tree, and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!
Little Siouxsie-Sioux-Who, who was not more than two.

The goth had been caught by this little chanteuse
Who’d got out of bed for a shot of Chartreuse.
She stared at the goth and said, “Santy Claus, why,
“Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?”

But you know, that old goth was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
“Why my sweet little tot, it’s really quite sad.
“This tree looks just ghastly, it’s covered in plaid!
“So I’m taking it home,” he told the pre-schooler.
“And when it’s fixed up, it will look a lot cooler.”

And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he poured her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Siouxsie-Sioux-Who was in bed with her cup.
HE went to the chimney, and stuffed the tree up!

Then the last thing he took
Was the log for their fire!
Then he went up the chimney, himself, the old liar.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks and some wire.

And the one speck of food
That he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.

He did the same thing
To the other Whos’ houses

Leaving crumbs
Much too small
For the other Whos’ mouses!

It was a quarter to dawn..
All the Whos, sleeping worse,
Each one passed out on booze
When he packed up his hearse,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Strumpet
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
“Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!” he was morbidly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
“Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!”

“But there’s no time to listen,” the goth said with a frown.
“The sun’s starting to glisten. I’ve got to get down!
“I’ve got to get back to my lair with haste
“Or all that I’ve done tonight will go to waste!”

So the goth dumped the whole load
And returned to the road.
And started his flight
To avoid the daylight.

And asleep in his coffin, the goth smiled with glee.
For now there’s no Christmas for you or for me.

(and you thought it’d have a happy ending, didn’t you?)


Christmas Eve Post

Leave a comment

Christmas Eve PostChristmas Eve. The day before Christmas. Seven days before the final day of the year that was. Eight before the cycle begins anew. Can’t wait. Can’t wait for all of this to be over. Day after day after day after day, putting on my grave shroud, following the Master into the big, scary Unknown that is my mortal existence. No complaints. No remorse. No regrets.

Truth be told, Christmas and winter are held in my heart as the darkest, most Gothic season of the year. No, not Halloween silly. Halloween is happy fun time. Amateur night for the Normals. No, Christmas and winter are when I feel the most alive, where I see with vivid realness the beauty of death, the true gift it is been given us from up on high. The quiet dark as the snow falls silently to the earth. The chill that grabs your bones. As my breath escapes in faint wisps of vapor, I am reminded of my mortality. And I praise the Lord Jesus for this season of death. For without death, there is no rebirth. His Spirit is what makes me alive. The closer I get to Him, the more I see the beauty in the dark and and still death that surrounds us.

Merry Christmas, one and all.


Sunday A’La Carte: December 21, 2014

Leave a comment

hD5B9424DI’m going to make this very, very brief. I spent this weekend watching a couple of five-month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies, and their nearly-two-year old mother, all of which have enough kinetic energy to power a small city for a couple of years alone, for my sister and brother-in-law while they went to watch my teenage nephew wrestle in a far-off, mystical  land named Kearney, Nebraska. Needless to say, I’m more than a tad drained. So, considering the final legs of 2014 are upon us, I decided to take the rest of the year off, and start back up the A’La Carte posts after the New Year. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be posting regular stuff on the blog. Just not going to sweat the week-ending exorcise that I’ve been doing for a while now.

Until next year, I bid you all the obligatory Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that. Cheers, all.



Leave a comment

Anatomy-of-a-Psycho-posterMill Creek Entertainment

A young man is despondent over the conviction and subsequent execution of his older brother. Having idolized his brother to the point of it being obsession, the young man cannot believe he was guilty, even though he was, and swears to avenge him.

Here’s an interesting tidbit—Anatomy Of A Psycho was co-written by none other than Ed Wood, with music originally used for Plan 9 From Outer Space as this film’s soundtrack. If only Anatomy Of A Psycho could have been as much campy fun as Plan 9 was.

Having Anatomy Of A Psycho included in the 50 horror movie pack is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s not entirely surprising. If anything, Anatomy Of A Psycho is more Juvenile Delinquent Exploitation that’s about as exciting as an After School Special. And it’s the early 1960s, so there’s the obligatory teenage shindig featuring rather forgettable generic 60s rock n’ roll, played right after forgettable Big Band music. Them teen parties were odd back in the day, weren’t they?

Anyway, rather than a bona-fide “psycho”, all this is is about a kid who gets upset after his older brother is executed on a murder charge. Of course, this being the 60s, he decides to cope by swearing revenge on everyone who had a hand in convicting his brother. Which just amounts to him and his hoodlum friends wearing gunny sack masks and beating up the DA’s son. And burning down the mansion where the afore-mentioned teen shindig was being held. I think about the only murder committed here was the “psycho”’s bestie as a means of inditing his sister’s fiancée. Or something. There’s the obligatory courtroom scene, followed by the final confrontation with the teen “psycho”, with the predictably standard ending.

All told, Anatomy Of A Psycho—although featuring no anatomy lesson, and definitely no psycho—wasn’t too bad of a time-waster. It’s your standard Teenagers-Behaving-Badly kind of movie only the early 1960s can produce. Bit over an hour, not too long, and some bits of unintentional hilarity, mainly in the glorious overacting. Falls in the watch once out of curiosity and move on category.

Sunday A’ La Carte: December 14, 2014

Leave a comment

eek141209It’s Sunday evening once again. The lights have been turned off, the candles have been lit, and I have the eerie glow of the laptop screen giving me my much-needed Vitamin D that I refuse to get from the cursed Day Star. Not that there’s been a lot of that angry ball of fire recently. Mater of fact, it was raining today. Which may not have been too terribly interesting, except for the fact that it’s mid-December, and the fluctuations from cold to really cold to rather mild like this late Fall has been thus far have a tendency to wreck havoc with my joints. I’ve been having to use a cane for the past few weeks due to my arthritic ankle. And I’m beginning to suspect that I may have some heel spurs or something. Either way, it’s been brutal. Still, here’s to the upcoming Winter Solstice and the coming of more consistently cold Black Metal weather.

Nothing too interesting of note this week, other than work-eat-sleep. Today was the children’s program at church for both services, so I took today off from attending. I have no children, and thus I feel no obligation to sit through that kind of thing.

hCC1F07A1One of my Facebook Souls posted this link to a blog post entitled 20 Politically Incorrect Thoughts on Church in America, which I did read through, and thought it was provocative enough to warrant a share on this week’s A’La Carte. Point numbers 3 and 5 particularly thought-provoking, methinks.

Speaking of provocative Christian blog posts: tis the season where I have to once again put up with seeing many of those KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS slogans everywhere—in signs, on bumper stickers, and especially those picture-and-slogan posts that certain Facebook Souls seem obligated to stick on the news feed—which I see more of than the existence of any opposing viewpoint on the matter. Meaning, I’m beginning to think that maybe this whole “war on Christmas” thing is a non-point. Even if it is somehow, here’s a blog post that nicely echoes my sentiments on the whole issue.

hFB330560In other news, apparently it’s now illegal to make puns in China. Which means that, if God ever decides to send me over there as a missionary, I’m going to have to really, really watch what I say, or take a vow of silence while I’m over there. Because a good percentage of my everyday conversations involve the usage of puns, either intentionally or, more often than not, unintentionally. It’s the result of growing up on a diet of M*A*S*H reruns over the years.

In the “Is That A [INSERT ITEM HERE] In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?” files, a man in Florida was arrested for trying to steal six pounds of cow tongue in his pants at a Walmart. I really don’t think I need to write much more than that.

nq141211STUFF I WROTE: In album reviews, I pounded out a review for Deliverance’s “final” album Hear What I Say!, and a couple for the German power metal group Sinbreed, for When Worlds Collide and Shadows. For movie reviews, there’s one for the adaptation of Frank Peretti’s The Visitation, the adaptation of Dean Koontz’s Watchers, the not-an-adaptation-but-completely-meta Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, the 2006 snoozefest remake of When A Stranger Calls, the Christian Rock documentary Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music, the So-Bad-It’s-Good horror cheesefest The Wickeds, and the mid-1990s werewolf movie that stars two former Batman villains, Wolf. And finally, in straight brain droppings, I pontificate on the contrasts of going to a metal show versus going to church, and it’s probably not what you think.

small_moonKinda brief A’La Carte post this week. What can I say? Nothing too eventful. Nice to just relax and such, I guess. Until next time, I leave you all now with a little something to summon ancient Nordic trolls by. Cheers, all.


Movie Review: WOLF

Leave a comment

Movie Review: WOLFColumbia Pictures

“Oh, and Gary, don’t tell people you had a drop of Tequila with your coffee this morning. You didn’t have coffee this morning.”

William Randall, Senior Editor for a publishing company in New York, is on his way home from Vermont one snowy night when he happens to hit a wolf. Checking it out, Randall is, of course, bitten by the beast. Shortly, he’s noticing some changes taking place- he’s growing hair in places that he hasn’t had hair before, he seems to have a heightened sexuality, and he has this habit of going out at night until the wee hours of the morning. Either William is finally hitting puberty in his 50s, or he’s turning into a werewolf. My money’s on the later. Anyhoo, he’s also gotten these nifty heightened senses- smell, hearing, touch, taste…which, given the recent hostile takeover at his company, it gives new meaning to the term “dog-eat-dog”. The downside…he’s waking up in the mornings covered in blood, not knowing where he was the previous night. I call those “Tuesdays”…

I’m not very big on werewolf movies. There’s only really a few that seems to do something fresh with the basics of the genre in my book- An American Werewolf In London, Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers, and of course Lon Chaney’s The Wolf Man. Now, having just viewed this movie, I feel compelled to add this to the list.

First of all, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jack Nicholson is The Man. He gives a lovably sinister yet subdued presence in his roll as the over-the-hill Lycanthrope. Beautifully done. There’s really not much chemistry between him and Michelle Pfeiffer’s character (who, by the way, hasn’t had that kind of presence since her turn as Catwoman two years prior to this movie), but that’s just a minor setback. The movie as a whole has that feel of one of those classic 1930s Universal movies, with the film style and the musical score blending together nicely. The effects are minimal, but effective, having more to do with the afore-mentioned Lon Chaney’s wolf man than a full transformation to a wolf. The entire film builds on the tension and suspense juxtaposed against William Randall’s every day life, keeping me in the movie until the big wolf-man showdown in the last half-hour.

Wolf is one of those modern genre horror films that has retains a classic charm. Well worth a rental…

Movie Review: The WICKEDS

Leave a comment

Movie Review: WICKEDSCapital Film Studios

“What would Bruce Campbell do?”

A bunch of disposable and mindless twenty-something teenagers head out to an abandoned house that’s supposedly a set for a grade-b horror movie (how ironic) to, as it were, party. Meanwhile, a couple of nearby grave robbers, robbing graves under the cover of…daylight, awakens a vampire (who’s apparently wearing SPF-500 sunblock, as he doesn’t go “poof” in the clear, sunny day) and a bunch of zombies crawl out of their graves as a result. As they crash the “party” at the abandoned house, they all find themselves surrounded by the undead…and stuff…unintentional hilarity ensues…

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the latest in the “It’s So Bad, It’s Good” horror category. Oh, the pleasure I had watching this, hopped up on Mountain Dew and tortilla chips n’ cheese dip. It’s a grade-b movie that doesn’t pretend to be nothing more than that- a cheesy cinematic romp with zombies, vampires, ghosts and ghouls in cheap makeup, bad dialogue, even cheaper props (found at your local department store every Halloween), and Ron Jeremy. Yep, that Ron Jeremy. Don’t worry, though, he keeps his clothes on the entire time. In fact, due to a preview on the DVD, apparently he’s traded in his porn days for a more grade-Z Horror Movie career as of late. There’s a bit of gratuitous near-nudity, but beyond that little bit of exploitation, Wickeds is really just an excuse to run around spilling fake blood. Think of this as a great Ed Wood-esque revival of sorts. For fans who like their horror with high dosages of mindless cheese, Wickeds really is a fun romp. Get together with friends and enjoy…


Leave a comment


Filmed mostly at the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, IL, this documentary takes an unbiased and relatively neutral look at the Christian rock phenomenon, culling thoughts and opinions on the subject from band members, fans, and industry types on both sides, and features performance clips by various bands playing at the festival…

I’ve been a collector of, and consequent self-proclaimed pseudo-journalist of, Christian rock and metal in all its forms since 1992. For nearly 15 years, I’ve probably come across a plethora of arguments for and against this genre, as well as varying degrees of thought concerning this nigh-controversial subject- some profound, some not-so profound, and some just downright silly.

While the recent bout of documentaries are little more than thinly-veiled propaganda pieces slanted to the biased viewpoint of the filmmaker, Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? is relatively neutral in scope. On this documentary, the filmmakers went into Cornerstone to get a fairly good inside view on the subject of Christian music. The viewpoints of the artists and festival goers are rather diverse concerning Christianity and the music, ranging from the Nothing But Worshipful Lyrics stance, to the We’re Christians In A Band philosophy, and all points in-between. From the Preach From The Stage ideology to the Let The Music And Art Do The Talking sides…all valid and interesting insights are given.

As a balance, the film also captures the opinions from nonchristians in the music industry- magazine publishers, bands (mostly from Pansy Division, interesting bunch they are), and music producers- expounding on their take on Christian music. Though critical, for the most part it’s refreshingly non-hostile, and quite insightful as to why Christian music isn’t as readily embraced in the mainstream, a point which is also covered by the Christian artists.

What I liked about this documentary is the fact that there was no preconceived agenda involved. There’s no narration (unless you’re watching the director’s commentary), it just plops down the camera and let the interviewees talk. If there was an underlying agenda, I didn’t see one. Then again, I’ve been accused of being blind to the obvious New Age and Satanic conspiracies surrounding the various Bible translations, so I could just be slow on the take. But I doubt it…

On the downside, for me anyway, I came off having heard all these thoughts before. They didn’t provide any new insight on Christian music that I haven’t come across earlier in my involvement. Had this been viewed my first couple of years immersed in the Christian music culture, when my own concepts were still naive and narrow, Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? would have been a shock to my sensibilities. But I’m old now, and everything on this film is old hat, which doesn’t bode well for re-watch value. But, it is a good insight on the subject, and if you’re pretty open minded to other’s viewpoints, both Christian and otherwise, and can look past the two vulgarities uttered at a couple of places (in other words, not a good choice for youth group night), then Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? should make for a doable one night rental.

Older Entries