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Monday, January 9, 2012

100 Tears(2007)

As a rule, I usually hate SOV(Shot On Video) movies. They look like a Soap Opera, and the acting is usually bottom of the barrel dreck. And the gore, is usually nothing but fake blood poured all over the actors body. But every once in a while a SOV film will come along, and get these things right, and I will love it. 100 Tears is one of those films.
First of all, I HATE clowns, they scare the living shit out of me! It, Clownhouse, and Amusement have all petrified me with the use of some scary ass clowns!! The Clown Killer in 100 Tears isn't really as scary as the others mentioned, but the grue that he leaves behind is super gory! I have NEVER seen gore this good in a SOV film. In the beginning of the film, the clown takes out at least 15 people in less than 5 minutes....that has to be a record of some sort??
The clown has been killing people as the "teardrop killer" for the last 20 years. When someone else starts killing people by slitting throats and claiming that he is the teardrop killer, the clown comes out of the semi-retirement he is in. There is a pretty good back-story involved, as for the reason that the lovesick clown is indeed killing people, but I don't want to spoil it, in case a few of you want to check it out? There are a couple of journalists who write for an Enquirer-type paper, who are following the case, to try and break into serious journalism. These two are really good actors for this calibre of a film, and make it even more enjoyable to watch.
But as I said, the true star of the film, is the special effects guy!! The first killing in the halfway-house at the beginning of the film is so gory, I had to look away(and I never do that)!!It's not an Oscar winner by any means, but just a good, gory, fun, SOV slasher film. Do yourself a favor and check it out!!


If you can't tell by reading my reviews, aatmosphere is the most important element to me in a Horror/Slasher film. Many shortcomings such as bad acting, lack of gore, lack of character development, can all be made up for by superior atmosphere. By atmosphere, I also include a great set and/or shooting locale. Malevolence has a few of these shortcomings, not many really, but atmosphere oozes off of the screen in this little indie flick. The suspense is done so well, that in many(more than 5) scenes, I was so scared that I was tempted to turn the lights on!
The film starts out by explaining that in rural Pennsylvania, there have been children and young girls going missing for years now. In 1989, a young boy at the age of 6 is kidnapped by this killer, and is made to watch him kill these young girls. Cue to modern day, and we see a small band of criminals in the preparations of robbing a bank. One of the men doesn't want to rob the bank at all, but has a big debt owed to a loan shark, and his girlfriend convinces him this is the only way to get out of the debt. The girlfriend's brother is the one planning the robbery, and he has been in and out of prison, for more than half of his life. There is one more participant in the robbery as well. During the robbery, the brother is shot, and dies from the injury. The other man has the money from the robbery, and the couple must meet him at a house in the country to divide up the money. The man with the money has car trouble, and car-jacks a van, along with a little girl and her mother to take him to the house.
It doesn't take long after arriving to the house, that we see a hooded killer and he takes out the bandit with the money. The hood that he wears is one of the scariest disguises that I have seen in a Horror film. Even though it looks like the one that Jason wears in Part 2, and the one from The Town That Dreaded Sundown, it is a look that has not been done to death, and is very effective. The rest of the film is spent by the mother and daughter, and the reluctant criminal trying to escape the murderer. We are led to believe that this is the same killer that has been killing and kidnapping in this countryside for years, although there is a twist, but not one that comes out of left field. The rural countryside, and the houses and factories that the film were shot in, are fantastic. The production designer definitely did a fantastic job on this film. Also, many scenes of the hooded killer stalking through the foggy night are SO eerie. He is a silent stalker, and that makes it all the more effective. I have always thought so, don't you think?
This film is definitely an homage to all of the great Slasher films of the 80's, and I definitely can't understand the low rating(5.0) and the bad reviews on IMDB. But who really pays attention to the armchair critics on that site anyway? If you are a fan of atmosphere and ambiance in your Slasher films, I cannot recommend Malevolence enough! It is a little light on the bloodshed, but I don't think that the film would be bettered by making it more bloodier anyway. The original TCM is not a bloody film at all, but people still love it anyway, that's because of the atmosphere and the location! Please give Malevolence and shot, and let me know what you think?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vitamin Burgers Top 10 Metal Records of 2011

10."The End"-Gallhammer    The sound of crusty bolts and nails on spin cycle.

9."Worship Music"-Anthrax     Thrash makes it's real return, it's name is Joey.

8."Through The Cervix Of Hawaah"-Antediluvian   Portal doesnt have a corner on this market.

7."The Great Southern Darkness"-Glorior Belli    If Zakk Wylde had a Black Metal band?

6."Under The Eye"-Ride For Revenge      Crust will tear us apart.

5."The Word.The Flesh.The Devil"-In Solitude   If only all Mercyful Fate worship was this good?

4."Noregs Vaapen"-Taake      Oh play me some Mountain Music.

3."Fallen"-Burzum       Viking Vocals meet Burzum in a glorious cacophony.

2."Impermanence"-Jute Gyte      Tell me again the States have no good Black Metal!

1."Social Disservices"-Panopticon     Never has Black Metal came with this kind of message, devour it!

Vitamin Burgers Top 10 Rock Records Of 2011

10."Celebration, Florida"-The Felice Brothers   Roots rock done entirely right.

9."Demolished Thoughts"-Thurston Moore    If he keeps making records like this, I won't mind the SY break-up.

8. "Bad As Me"-Tom Waits    The best record from Tom in a VERY long time.

7."The Rip Tide"-Beirut    The most beautiful travelogue ever recorded.

6."David Comes To Life"-Fucked Up   The Punk version of Quadrophenia.

5."Bon Iver"-Bon Iver     Despite the hype, the most beautiful winter record ever.

4."Hurry Up, We're Dreaming"-M83    The sound of John Hughes crying.

3."Only In Dreams"-Dum Dum Girls    According to I-Tunes, my most played of the year.

2."Smart Flesh"-The Low Anthem     I can only cry so much.

1."Smoke Ring For My Halo"-Kurt Vile   J. Mascis and Bob Dylan in a civil union.

B-Movie Badasses:Don Stroud

There are some actors that are just born to be bad, and Don Stroud is the best of them. A character actor that started working in the late 60's, and i can't recall more than 3 of his films in which he wasn't a total asshole! You just really love to hate this guy. Don only did a few Horror titles: Sweet 16, The Amityville Horror, and Death Weekend, but he was ubiquitous in exploitation and B-Movie titles in the 70's and 80's.
Aside from all of the film work that Mr. Stroud has appeared in, a quick look at IMDB will show at least 50 different Television shows that he has appeared in. There is no way to tell, but I am willing to wager that in 95 % of them, he was the villain. Not only was he a good bad guy, but he is a damned good actor, and one has to wonder why he never made the jump to bigger roles and better pictures? If I were a filmmaker today(or Quentin Tarantino, or Rob Zombie), I would use Mr. Stroud in a flat second, in hopes that it would revive his career. For some reason, he was on an acting hiatus from 1998 until 2009, and recently he has landed a role on the new version Hawaii Five 0. Maybe this will to bigger and better things for the best badass in the land?

Altar Of Plagues-Mammal(2011)

You can tell by the cover. The new record by Altar Of Plagues is one fucked-up, fever dream, blast of sick Metal! Starting of a record with a 19 minute song is a daring and brave feat, and one that not hardly anyone can pull off. AOP do it so well you can hardly tell that amount of time has passed, and it actually leaves you wanting more. That song, "Neptune Is Dead" is a cinematic blast that sounds like Burzum, Tool, and Ennio Morricone all occupying the same rehearsal space. The record only consists of 4 tracks, but they are all beasts! When the shortest track clocks in at over 8 minutes, you know that you have to be patient for your rewards. I am absolutely amazed that this record wasn't on more end of the years lists! Forget Mastodon, this one beats you over the head with your perception of Metal and hands back to you in a neat cardboard package. If you have not heard this yet, I not only recommend, but DEMAND, that you run out and get it right now!! If not, your Metalhead Membership card might just be revoked!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Serbian Film(2011)

In all of my years of watching Horror, Cult, and Exploitation films, A Serbian Film is the film that pushed me to the boundaries of viewing, and wondering why I watch such films. Most Horror film fans love to find the find "the next sickest thing", the film that just might stand out as the"grossest thing you have ever seen" type of films. I remember when those films were the Faces of Death films, then the Nekromantik's, followed closely by the Guinea Pig series, and now the whole "torture porn" movement. Most Horror nuts just have to push the envelope, and see the film, that others had to shut off in mid-viewing. All of the aforementioned films were child's play to me, none of them grossed me out, or scared me, or much less made an impact on me. That held true until I saw A Serbian Film late last year. This film is so horrid on every level, that it sits in the back of your mind for days after viewing, clawing it's way into you're psyche, definitely making you question as to why you would watch such an immoral film in the first place? I must say that the film is a very well made piece of art, and I don't think that it panders to the crowd it's been pitched too. A film like this doesn't come across very often, in fact, I have never seen anything like it. It pushes every boundary, breaks every taboo, and leaves you wondering if what you have seen, is in fact real?

A Serbian Film is indeed a serbian film, and it is about an ex-porn star who has retired from the business to be a family man with his wife, and young son. He is still friends with a woman who he starred with in many of the adult films. She tells him of some rich business men, who are fans of his "work", and wants to hire him for some "specialty work". They want to give him a very large(but undisclosed) amount to star in one last porn film. This amount will set him for life, and he will never have to work again. When his wife learns of this offer, she urges her husband to take the job. He goes to meet the filmmaker/investor, who will tell him nothing at all about the script or nature of the adult film. They only will tell him that it is a specialty film, and will be made for a specific individual, and will not be available to the general public. He decides to take the offer, and on the first day of shooting, something happens that makes him feel very uncomfortable about doing the film. He decides that he no longer wants to be involved, and goes to tell the investor/director, that he is quitting.

From this point, the film becomes a spiralling, drug-fueled nightmare. They start drugging the man to force him to perform the nightmarish acts that they want in the film. Sometimes you can't tell what is actually happening, or what is drug-induced hallucinations. Any disgusting taboo starts being introduced and crossed and smashed at this point. They even give the man a cocktail of drugs that are intended to make a bull horny, and the effects are the only scene that could be called laughable in the the entire film. But as soon as that happens, things get worse, and his family are brought into the picture!! I am being very quiet about the details of the plot, and the disgusting acts because I would feel disgusting even describing them. I do know that the Unrated version that has been released on DVD in America, had to be trimmed of a mere 22 second scene. I personally, and glad that the scene in particular has been cut, because if you want to see that one uncut, you are in fact a deviant. You have heard me mention before, films that make you want to shower afterwards, A Serbian Film, makes you want to be be boiled in hot oil afterwards. Then you still couldn't get the grimy feeling off of your skin. As I said before, it will haunt you for days afterwards. As a film fan, you will know if this is something that you want/need to see? Just don't say that I didn't warn you. Take the film that you personally think is the worst thing that you have ever seen, and multiply it by 10,000 and you will be getting close. If you combined Irreversible, Nekromantik, and Martyrs, that would still be a Disney film compared to A Serbian Film......and I still don't know if it has any redeeming value??

Happy New Year(Promises, Promises)

Wow, 2012 is here! As a child of the 70's, it sure sounds funny to say 2012. It sounds like one of those post-apocalyptic films of the 80's that I loved so much. Last year was a horrible year for Vitamin Burger! My partner has some severe medical problems, and most of my time was dedicated to him. Also, for much of my adult life I have been an addict of some varying degree. This got to ridiculous levels in the past few years, and well anyway, I am now clean and sober for the first time in my adult life! Most addicts will tell you that they drink or do drugs to combat boredom, and that is exactly right. I had a hard time writing or focusing on making music unless I was high. Then when I got high, I was focused on where the next buzz was coming from. Now that my priorities are in order, I should have PLENTY of time for writing, and doing things that I love. This week I am on vacation from my job, and I hope to get some reviews up for you guys that have stuck around through the dry spells. If you have, thank you so much, having a few of you that read the things I post, helps me tremendously. Here's do a great(and sober) New Year!!