Sunday, November 30, 2008


Witchcraft are a great retro doom metal band I discovered about a year ago. Their influences range from the psychedelic doom metal of Black Sabbath & Pentagram to the heavy psych of Blue Cheer to the melody of Cream and the vocal power of The Doors. The vocals are very melodic, with touches of Glen Danzig, Ozzy, and Jim Morrison. The musicianship is top notch, blending old retro influences to make something that sounds completely new. They have 3 albums out so far: "Witchcraft"(2004), "Firewood"(2005), and "The Alchemist"(2007). All three are great, with "Firewood" probably being the weakest of the three. I highly recommend these guys.
Here's the video to "Chylde of Fire", from the "Firewood" album:

And here's a live performance of "Hey Doctor", from "The Alchemist":


Anyone out there familiar with the works of the French director Jean Rollin? He's made numerous maddening horror flicks from the late 1960's through the 1990's. They are very difficult and artsy at times but they are always entertaining and beautiful to watch.

THE GRAPES OF DEATH came out in 1978 and it is a masterpiece of psychological horror.....and it is also a great zombie movie. The premise is very simple: the pesticides used by a local winery are turning everyone who drinks the wine into zombies. The way the director Jean Rollin takes this simple concept and turns it into such a poetic movie is not so is breathtaking!

The STYLE is what makes this movie. Jean Rollin directs a little like Dario Argento.....the difference is, where Argento uses shock tactics and weird lighting and strange music to get to you, Rollin uses space and silence. It is almost like a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.......the beauty of the cinematography and the atmospheric noises that are going on the background(footsteps, doors opening and closing, wind blowing, rocks crumbling, etc.) build the suspense......the soundtrack is almost non-existent. And the dialog is sparse as well. Jean Rollin is a strong visual storyteller.

So on with the movie. The main character is Elizabeth. She's on a train to see her fiance at his winery in Roubelais. A zombie boards the train and she narrowly escapes her death. Right then, the movie puts you in her shoes, and you are just as confused as she is. She runs to a nearby village looking for help. What she finds is terrifying....a zombified husband who has killed his wife and is holding his slowly turning daughter prisoner. The daughter wants to help Elizabeth get away, but her father stabs her in the chest with a pitchfork before she can. Elizabeth finds a gun, makes it out alive, and takes off to the remote hillside. She has no human contact. Every village she comes to is in flames. Every person she finds has been gruesomely murdered. Zombies are everywhere.

Eventually, she meets a blind woman trying to get to her village and return to her husband. They find the village, return to her cottage, but her husband is not there. Frantic, the blind woman calls out for him and runs out to look for him. She is instantly surrounded by a hoard of zombies, led by her husband. They crucify her on her cottage door and her husband tells her he loves her, then cuts off her head and keeps it with him so he can kiss her on the lips whenever he wants to....

You see, these zombies are unusual....they have the same feelings as the living, they carry their memories with them......they are conscious of what they are doing, they just have no control over it.......

Back to Elizabeth. She must find her fiance! But will she keep her sanity? I can't tell you too much more about this movie without spoiling the plot. I will say that it has one of the most original endings in zombie history.....

I strongly recommend this long as you're ok with reading subtitles, you'll love it!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Jingle Cats

Hot on the heels of Black's The Jingle Cats performing one of their amazingly psychedelic Christmas tunes....."White Christmas"! This first clip is the original version, and it's trippy enough...but the second clip is a re-mix..."White Christmas in Hell". It is brain melting indeed...Helios Creed would be proud.

Rear Window

Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window"(1954). They just don't make movies like this anymore. I just watched "Disturbia" which was loosely based on "Rear Window", and it made me think of this movie. "Disturbia" was a big disappointment. Yeah, it was full of thrills and shocks, but it left nothing to the imagination, it did very little to build suspense. It is not about what you see that is scary, but what you don't see.

"Rear Window" is all about what you don't see. Here's the plot, if you don't know it already. Jimmy Stewart is bedridden in his high rise New York apartment because he broke his leg. He spends his days watching his neighbors through their windows with binoculars because he is bored. He notices something strange going on in some one's window. Did someone just murder their wife? The suspense lies in what you don't're trying to piece together what exactly happened through little snippets, bits and pieces that you see through binoculars. Eventually, a confrontation ensues, and by then the air is so full of suspense you can't even breathe or blink because you don't want to miss what happens next.....

The charm of this movie to me is not only the suspense, it is the attention to detail. You get to see what is going on inside every body's is like you are eavesdropping on one hundred different little movies going on at once....little parts of people's lives....

There is so much to see in this movie. You can't take it all in in one viewing, and you can't even take it in in ten....

"Rear Window" is a movie that you will want to watch over and over again....and if you have never seen this movie in widescreen, go out and buy the collector's edition now.....because you haven't seen this movie until you've seen this pristine, restored version on DVD!

I cannot give this movie enough praise....

Here's the trailer:

Rat Phink a Boo Boo

POSTED BY: steve smith
Ray Dennis Steckler's "The Adventures of Rat Phink and Boo Boo" has got to be the most mind bending, brain melting low budget ever made. Made on a zero budget, this movie never fails to amaze. There was misprint in the title of the movie: instead of "Rat Phink AND Boo Boo", the title read "Read Phink A Boo Boo". Steckler didn't have the money to change it, so it stayed like that.
"Rat Phink" as a movie makes very little sense, but it is entertaining all the way through. It starts off as a dark, moody, suspense movie, as a group of thugs stalk rockabilly legend Lonnie Lord's girlfriend. They want to kidnap her to get some money. There is excellent camera work, with plenty of shaky and disturbing camera angles. Eventually, Lonnie Lord's girlfriend is kidnapped, and he and his best friend are in dismay and don't know what to do. Out of nowhere, they say, "this looks like a job for you-know-who" and they run into a closet and turn into Rat Phink and Boo Boo.

Now this movie takes a sharp turn from a suspense film to a super hero film. Rat Phink and Boo Boo's costumes are terrible and look like something a five year old would put together at home. They track down the thugs, and several out of sync and corny as hell fight scenes follow. They eventually chase the crooks into the mountains where they run upon someone with a loose pet gorilla. They subdue the criminals and fight the gorilla and save the girl. All is good, so now everyone goes to the beach and we have a beach party movie....everyone is bopping on the beach and go go dancing as we are treated to jump cuts of a parade in Rat Phink and Boo Boo's honor.

The music is pretty cool in this's a bunch of bizarre rockabilly sung by Ron Haydcock and The Dominoes, mixed with canned music that Steckler uses in all of his movies.

"Rat Phink A Boo Boo" is guaranteed to kill brain cells. The term 'Dada-esque' is an understatement when it comes to this movie. When it is over, you might be ready to pull your hair out. It is maddening. They don't make stuff like this anymore.....I love this movie.

All you fans of cult cinema out there, this may be your new favorite movie. Get this one now!

You can buy it here:

Here's a coupla clips: