Sunday, March 28, 2010



Professor Photon popped over to the lab last Saturday and much to my freakin’ amazement… he brought ZOMBIELAND on blu-ray with him. The prof is no lover of the zombie or horror genre in general, but before he could change his mind I zapped it into the blu-ray play’a and we watched that bad boy! The reason this avowed zombie flick freak hadn’t watched Zombieland yet was because, although the trailers looked wicked pissa, I was afraid it might be more like Shaun of the Dead, which I thought was about as funny as Morons from Outer Space – which is to say not funny at all.

I shouldn’t have been such a wus because right from the start, ZOMBIELAND was just one kickass gut-laugh after another! The film’s point of view character is a lonely nebbish, who survives the initial viral outbreak because he spends all his time alone playing video games while chugging Mountain Dew (one of my faves). He narrowly escapes his hot neighbor’s zombie attack, before fleeing his dorm in an attempt to return to Columbus Ohio to see if his parents have survived. “Columbus” learns to survive the flesh-eating zombies by creating “the rules”, which we are given examples of throughout the movie. My favorite: Number 2 -Double Tap, which has many variations including running over the zombie twice with your car. Early in the film, Columbus runs into “Tallahassee” after he loses his car in an accident and reluctantly the zombie killing expert offers him a ride part of the way to Columbus. Tallahassee’s obsession for Twinkies soon becomes the pair’s undoing as they are held up at gun point (by their own guns) and their car is stolen by two sisters of questionable morals. After catching up to the young women, the foursome form a truce, at least as far as Los Angeles, where “Wichita” is taking her younger sister “Little Rock” to Pacific Playland, an amusement park that they had attended in their more innocent youth. On their way there, the foursome take a detour to Hollywood, and crash at a famous actor’s home, who they assume is undead, but is in actual fact only acting as the undead. They finally arrive at the amusement park, but of course it is overrun by zombies as well and after many zombie slayings later… the new-found family of four depart together for adventures anew.

The plot description of ZOMBIELAND doesn’t do this film any justice. Jesse Endenberg’s portrayal of Columbus as the un-heroic (rule 17: Don’t be a hero), yet resourcefully sarcastic nerd is hilarious. He plays perfectly against Woody Harrelson’s fearless, high-strung nut-job Tallahassee, who repeatedly asks “Is that zombie kill of the week”? Emma Stone as the resourceful, outwardly tough, older-sister Wichita is remarkably likeable, despite outwardly being a distrustful hardass bitch! Abigail Breslin is also well nuanced as the older-than-her-years Little Rock. These four characters, and the believable ways in which they react to a world gone mad, give ZOMBIELAND a center that many zombie comedies (and comedies in general) just don’t have. ZOMBIELAND makes fun of not only the zombie genre, but pop-culture in general. Rule number 32 sums up ZOMBIELAND perfectly: Enjoy the little things. ZOMBIELAND is a film comprised of many danm fine little things and I hope that Zombieland 2 is not too far in the future. This is one of my top five wicked favorite films of 2009!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010



Rob Zombie is returning to comic books with a wicked new comic for Image Comics entitled WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK?. Image calls the book "a delightfully depressing tale about the seduction of celebrity culture and its pitfalls". BARON VON SHOCK follows a local television horror host that finds his sudden rise to celebrity has unexpected results. The first issue will be drawn by Donny Hadiwidjaja and Val Staples. "This comic venture is very, very different in tone for me. Instead of a crazy over-the-top monster-fest like THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, I wanted to create something that works more on a slice of life human level." said Rob Zombie, "After EL SUPERBEASTO became a movie, I felt I had taken that style as far as I could. So, I really needed BARON VON SHOCK to be something fresh in writing and in art." Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson said "After publishing THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, we jumped at the chance to work with Rob again on BARON VON SHOCK. BARON VON SHOCK is darkly humorous, thrilling and uncompromising - everything fans expect a Rob Zombie story to be." WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK? comes out on May 26, and is a full color, 32 page comic book priced at $3.99.

Anyone who’s read this blog knows that I’m a wicked ginormous Rob Zombie fan! Many may know Rob by his multiple movies, or others by his many muscial cds. Most may not know that Rob published 9 issues of ROB ZOMBIE'S SPOOK SHOW INTERNATIONAL from CrossGen Comics from November 2003 through July 2004. It was a horror-comedy anthology comic, featuring three or four stories per issue. Rob wrote all the stories, with artwork by such comics greats as Gene Colan, Kieron Dwyer, Will Conrad and Dan Brereton. Every issue starred the masked wrestler, turned super-spy, El Superbeasto! A six issue story-line showed El Superbeasto fighting to get his girlfriend back from the evil clutches of Dr. Satan! Rob Zombie went on to make a feature length animated film in 2009 THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, based on the comic stories. I liked the comics better than the movie, but both were still wicked zombie cool! Needless to say, this Rob Zombie freak will be buying WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK? when it comes out in just a few short months. After all… It combines three of my favorite things: Rob Zombie, comics and a horror host! A wicked winning formula! Thanks Rob!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


2008 – Horror-Fantasy
Director: Guillermo del Torro
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Hurt
Rated PG-13: some violence and language

This film follows the events of Hellboy (2004) just a few months later. The film opens with an animated sequence that tells the story of an ancient truce between Mankind and the elder races that is about to be broken. Prince Nuada is collecting the three pieces of the crown that controls the Golden Army – ancient robotic solders that are virtually indestructible. The holder of the last piece is his twin sister, Princess Nuada, but before Prince Nuada can take it from her, she finds the protection of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. While this is going on, Hellboy is now sharing his quarters with Liz Sherman, but there is much turmoil between them. Hellboy vents his frustration through his work, which this time is stopping a giant plantlike creature from destroying much of downtown Manhattan. After his victory, Hellboy poses for photos and press interviews, much to the chagrin of his boss, Tom Manning, who, after the death of Hellboy’s father figure Professor Bruttenholm, has the difficult task of both heading the B.P.R.D and hiding the secret of Hellboy’s existence from the world. Meanwhile, while being hidden in the underground labyrinth of B.P.R.D. headquarters, Abe Sapien, the increasingly lonely aquatic empath, forms a friendship with the princess, which he is reluctant to share with anyone. Due to Hellboy’s continued disregard for authority, the U.S. Government sends a new agent to lead Hellboy and his agents. Johan Krauss is an ectoplasmic man, who wears a suit to contain his essence. He tries to bring structure to the search for the hidden Golden Army – which includes a trip to the Troll Market that is concealed beneath New York City – but eventually succumbs to Hellboy’s brutish, but effective style of investigation. Hellboy and his eclectic comrades soon catch up to Prince Nuada and a battle for the fate of all mankind commences!

Like the first film, 2004’s Hellboy, this second version of Mike Mignola’s comic book creation, as envisioned by director Guillermo del Torro, takes many liberties with the original characters. In the first film, these liberties were mainly used to establish the Hellboy mythology (Agent Moss as Hellboy’s “new” babysitter) and as a shortcut to humanizing Hellboy (the romantic relationship between Liz Sherman and Hellboy). In this new film, Del Torro seems to be more interested in the relationships (especially romantically) than in driving the somewhat complex plot along. The need to locate the Golden Army and keep the villain from securing the final piece of the crown, seems almost secondary to Hellboy’s need for social acceptance amongst humanity and his continual struggle to understand the problematical emotions of his girlfriend Liz. The need for a balance between character and plot is never more obvious than when Hellboy and Liz are fighting in one scene and then immediately fighting side-by-side in the streets of New York. For this freaky fantasy film fan, Hellboy: The Golden Army almost “jumps the shark” in the scene where Hellboy and Abe Sapien get drunk (Abe has fallen in love with the elf princess) and sing along to Barry Manilow’s “I Can’t Smile Without You”. Anyone who reads the Hellboy comics (like me) head was exploding during this scene! The film has so many new and interesting characters, that the defense of humanity against the onset of the Golden Army almost seems to get lost in the appearance of these mainly monstrous curiosities. When Hellboy is actually fighting these creatures, the film roars along at a break-neck pace! There are enough of these physical confrontations to keep the film from becoming too bogged down, but I wish that more time was spent on the battle between Hellboy and Prince Nuada, and a little less on the battle of the sexes. The visual aspect of Hellboy II: The Golden Army is so fantastic, that it is a shame we couldn't have focused more on these fantastic settings and the creatures that inhabit them, than on the angst of Hellboy’s relationship with Liz and the rest of humanity. Ultimately, it is the performances of the main actors that carry the film’s weaker emotional moments. When Del Torro’s finally commits to bringing both the character driven and plot-driven storylines to a more-or-less satisfying conclusion, we are rewarded with a more Hellboy-like finish. I am looking forward to the last Guillermo del Toro Hellboy film (in the distant future, as he is currently at work on a two-part Hobbit film), but I do hope he keeps his character's emotional neuroses sub-plots to a minimum.

Saturday, March 6, 2010



Frizzy Freakenstein won’t get his lazy ass out of the lab long enough to post his freakin’ thoughts on the movie we streamed on Netflix last night, so I guess it’s up to me to pound out a review with my minuscule boney fingers! We watched a bloody good zombie flick dubbed DEAD SNOW. I’m not wastin’ mine or your time telling you who made the damn thing, or who starred in it, because I wanna’ get to the good parts: the blood, sex and death! DEAD SNOW has a crap load of two out of the three and I’ll let you guess which two. Okay, I hear ya! You want to know what DEAD SNOW is about. I told ya it’s a zombie movie already… and best of all they’re Nazi zombies! What more do ya want from a freakin’ horror flick! Oh… a plot; or characterization maybe? You want that, go rent The Hangover again! I guess that’s not a horror movie… technically. You want to see a movie about some dumb-ass college students, whose idea of fun is to drive out into the middle of the mountains in Norway to a cabin the size of an outhouse, then this is your kinda flick. Especially if that cabin is suddenly… attacked by freakin’ Nazi zombies! Oh, yeah… I forgot to mention that it was filmed in Norway and all the actors are Norwegian and they all speak freakin’ Norwegian! So ya have to read sub-titles! So what! Once the – Nazi zombies – attack, everybody is too busy running, screaming and getting eaten by zombies that there ain’t much dialogue anyway. The best part of DEAD SNOW, besides the blood, sex and death… is the way the director made use of the snow laden location for the characters to run, fight and kill and be killed in. This movie has fight scenes up the butt! When two of the characters are killed early in the film, the rest of them hide in the cabin, but eventually even these dumb ass students figure out they had better get out of the cabin and run for it, so they do just that! The final scene where the remaining three students use a chainsaw, a sledge hammer and a machine gun to fight dozens of Nazi zombies is sick, twisted, brutal and freakin’ funny! If you liked EVIL DEAD, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, UNDEAD, or even the underrated DANCE OF THE DEAD… you have to watch DEAD SNOW! Now I have to bounce, because Fritzy owes me for writin’ this up for him. Maybe I can get that cheap freak to buy me Zombieland on blu-ray. Later, Freaks!

Monday, March 1, 2010



"Virgin Witch" is the sixth cut on Rob Zombie’s HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 and what it lacks in lyrical clarity, it makes up for in mind pounding drumming and unremitting gnashing guitars! The chorus "Vigin Witch", is interspersed with the narrative verse, forming a strange mind picture, but still not telling a clear tale. “Death and Destiny: Inside the Dream Factory” is obviously Rob’s rant on his love/hate (and if the lyrics of this song are any indication – mostly hate) relationship with the film making industry known as Hollywood. This is one of Rob Zombie’s angriest and most sarcastic songs yet! The verse “Free your mind and feel the passion, baby, Death and suntan, still in fashion, baby” is followed by “Crush your idols, they can afford it, baby, Permanently vile and fascinating” clearly demonstrates Rob’s frustration with the magic movie machine that is Hollywood. This song makes me wonder how much longer Rob is gonn’a be barfing out crud like Halloween II. The next song on the cd, “Burn”, puzzles the crap out of me! The verse is a mixture of end of the world type scenarios, which are interrupted by the ironic chorus of “Papp-oow-mow-mow, Papp-oow-mow” – which is a nonsensical lyric from the doo wop song by The Rivingtons, but better known as the chorus from the song “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen. I dig this one, baby, but it’s still wack! “Cease to Exist” is a paean to death; with darkly emotive lyrics that are accompanied by telephone-noise vocal effects, dirge-like synthetic keyboards, and a steady base-drumbeat. It ends in a crescendo of pulsing rhythms and synthetic noise with the simple refrain of “Cease to exist, your mind is breaking free”! Disturbing, but brilliant! “Werewolf Women of the SS” is a song that riffs off his fake trailer from the 2007 film Grindhouse. An interesting choice of surf-guitar style is played - including a wicked pissa solo - to the funniest lyrics that Rob is likely to write in a long time. This song is major mojo manic and a classic in the making! The last song on the disc is “The Man Who Laughs”, which is a song based on the (most likely) 1928 silent film of the same name; which was adapted from the 1869 Victor Hugo novel. The song tells an abbreviated version of the film/novel about the mutilation of children to use as slaves to beg for money. Rob’s use of violins and other classical instrumentation, clearly demonstrate his admiration for the silent film version of The Man Who Laughs. Typical of Rob, there is a four minute drum solo in the middle of this song, for no apparent reason other than to show off drummer Tommy C’s mad skills! Overall, Rob Zombie’s HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 is a culmination of Rob’s past musical skills, mashed up with his recent creative divergences, to provide this Rob-freak with one wicked good long ‘n loud rockin’ ruckus! Bring mo a’ da ruckus, Rob!