What’s better than a night at the movies? Why, twelve hours of horror! This was the second horrorthon I attended from Secret Sixteen, and like the one from last October, I had a great time. All six prints were in great condition. No fading, no bad sound, no big gaps missing. Many of them looked fresh, which is surprising when you consider the age of some of them. The lineup was Man’s Best Friend (1993), The Deadly Bees (1966), Anaconda (1997), The Uncanny (1977), Orca (1977), and Jaws: The Revenge (1987).
Photo by Matt Average
The Deadly Bees (directed by Freddie Francis) was perhaps my favorite of the six. More of a mystery/thriller than an outright horror film, but it was fun, and also cool to see footage of The Birds (with Ron Wood, pre-Rolling Stones) opening the movie with their song “That’s All I Need You For.” (MA)
Another late post, and I apologize because I know many of you out there are just circling like sharks for the next Bad Transfer post. Especially one that involves a movie marquee. Last week Cinematic Void and the LA Phil, along with Wynter Mitchell held a 6 movie marathon at the Aero in Santa Monica: They Live (1988), Society (1989), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Chopping Mall (1986), Blood Diner (1987), and Angel (1983).
Wynter Mitchell held a great panel with Amy Holden Jones, Sandy King Carpenter, Kelli Maroney midway through the afternoon, where they discussed working in horror, the future of horror, and being female in the industry.
You know you can always count on Bad Transfer to be timely. Set your broken clock to it, and it will be right twice a day, guaranteed! Here it is April 2020, and we are now bringing you our (well, two of us) top ten best of 2019 lists. Dig in, make comments, and write some comments to us as well. We’re lonely, and in need of cyber companionship.
In order for me to move to Brooklyn, NY in 1998 I needed to get rid of a ton of stuff to be able to pack my life into a Ford Econoline van. The van was named Tom. Some of those things I gave away, some I threw away, and some I sold. Of all things that I regret getting rid of none are bigger than dumping nearly all of my cassettes. Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find some of the things I tossed out as well as keep up with the new, great things that are coming out. Home recording is killing the music industry, thankfully! Without further ado, here are 10 tapes that I picked up in 2019 but not necessarily from 2019.
1. Flush Productions Comps – 1986-1990 (ish)
If I was a third grade teacher I imagine this might happen:
Billy Boogerface – Mr. Dratson do you like Flush Productions tapes?
Me – Billy, I love Flush Productions tapes!
All the Children – Why don’t you marry them?
(Then the children burst into giant laughs)
Me – Shut up you little fuckers! You can’t tell me how to live or what to love. Keep your grubby shit stained hands of my body and my Flush tapes and go eat some dog shit you little space taking disappointments.
Ok, maybe not exactly like that but somewhere in that ballpark. I had them all, or at least the 18 I knew about. The tapes started coming out around 1986, during the height of the “send well concealed cash or money order to…” era and, to me, captured a perfect slice of underground music going on at the time. Many of the bands on those tapes became some of my favorites. For example; Christ on a Crutch, Dissent, Sewer Trout, Pink Lincolns, Corrupted Morals, Humidifier, No Fraud and many more. For full transparency, this number 1 encapsulates 13 tapes. I poked around and found a guy that was in one of the bands and he was happy to rehome them. I’m currently hunting for 1,2, 5,6 and 9. If anyone is holding these or can make copies please let me know!
2. Neutrals – 2016-17 (cass) 2019 LP
I can’t remember how I stumbled on to these. I’m certain it was some dumb late night internet dive that led me to Bandcamp, wherein I clicked a track and thought that the duder’s voice reminded me of the duder from Giant Haystacks. These tapes are fuggin’ terrific but here’s what’s even better, these were combined onto and LP and released as an LP on Emotional Response records in 2019 and reviewed here by our very own Matt Average. Also, guess what. It is the dude from Giant Haystacks.
This came out a while ago, 2017, but I didn’t open it and listen to it until 2019 and I completely missed out. I should be slapped on the mouth. This is great UK/anarcho/HC but what catapults this to the next level is the singer’s voice. Her speech is clear, crippling, distinct and the driving force that tips this over the edge from average to incredible. I’m such s jerk for waiting 2 years to play this tape.
I’ve heard their guitar player can be a real jerk sometimes. There is even a rumor that he was a stage manager for Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid and they got pissed off at him because he wouldn’t let them snort coke off his ass. Whatever, I don’t judge. There isn’t much to say about this that you probably don’t already know. This cassette captures some of the most frenetic, intense, impenetrable wall of sound of one of the HC essential band of mid 90s HC. They definitely carved a path for many others to follow. Although I have bunches of this stuff on vinyl it is nice to have it all right here so I don’t have to keep getting up and flipping over plastic. 25 or so tracks and a rad fold out poster with lyrics and the whole shebang. The only thing to remember is, at all costs, avoid the guitar player.
I’ve loved the song “Jam on It” since I heard it in 1984. I still love it today. Sometimes me and my friend Curt will play the song and sing all the words. I found this tape for $1 in Columbus, OH. I’m hoping that by the end of 2020 that our band No Bails will learn this and play it out at least once.
I Love Kissing/Shattered Dreams. If I’m remembering correctly, my pal Nate knows these Albany, NY dudes and he told me that he thought I’d like it. He was right. It sounds like it came from the 80s mod revival/power pop era. Think Pointed Sticks and Exploding Hearts and you’d be hitting the target pretty dead on. They have a couple vinyl eps too. Maybe I’ll get around to reviewing those at some point.Buy Mystery Girl – I Love Kissing here
These last three are from Michigan, my home.
8. No Bails – No Baios. 2019
I know it’s not the usual to talk about your own band on a review blog but fug it! I’m in this band and I think this thing we did is pretty darned OK. I was going to post a review from another site but maybe I’ll just send a tape to one of the guys on this blog and they can tear it apart. We made 3 different covers.
There was an amazing and horrible band from Tawas City, Michigan named Afterbirth. There has been a ton written about Afterbirth however not many know about Anarchy. You see, Anarchy is the same band as Afterbirth but they started to get “better” at their instruments and decided to try and make it as a band. The music sounds sort of like if the Dictators were super drunk and out of tune and had drunk baby quadruplets with the band Kiss and then made those drunk love babies be in a band and play for their supper before they were locked back under the stairs. I couldn’t find any Anarchy songs but I have linked the Afterbirth EP. Please use the “Show More” on the link.
I was walking through a local record store and from 20 feet away the words “THE SINATRAS” caught my eye. The Sinatras were West Michigan’s answer to Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Twin/Tone etc. They’d been around since 1985 and even put out a record 5 years ago. This came out a few years before their Imaginary Singles Collection tape they put out in 1992, to which I’ll mention that they cover a Latin Dogs tune on that tape. All I could find on the internet was a song off the Imaginary Singles Collection that was written in 1985 and originally recorded in 1987 by Paul Mahern of the Zero Boys at the same session as the songs that made it on this. So at least you get an idea of what they were about. There is an earlier tape called Tater Tots that I’m desperately searching for as well.
That’s it. Send me things to have an opinion about and maybe you’ll get on my 2020 list.
Top 10 of what I experienced in 2019.
Aero Horrorthon: I remember reading about the Horrorthon in the LA Weekly when it first started happening, but for some reason didn’t go until the 9th year, and last year was the 14th one. Why I waited so long? I have no excuse. However, I’m fully committed to going to these as long as they have them, and I hope that is for years to come. Old horror films all night long with strange skits and trailers in between. A recent fond memory is watching Anthropophagus with Devon, and his response during the scene where George Eastman takes the baby out of the pregnant woman and begins to eat it, “Brutal.” I imagine Devon likes how the waitress at the vegan bakery across from the Aero thought I had an attitude problem last year when we stopped for breakfast after Horrorthon let out. “Do you have a problem?” she sternly asked with a glare. My favorite night of the year.
2. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue at Beyond Fest : Most people go to Beyond Fest for the newest genre films, I go for whatever Cinematic Void programs. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is one of the big highlights for me of 2019. Fully restored. See it by all means.
3. Godzilla movies at the Vista : Summer mornings watching Godzilla movies on the big screen is good living. Devon and I met up many a Sunday morning to see things like Godzilla v Hedorah, Destroy All Monsters, Mothra v Godzilla, and others. There was also a Godzilla marathon at the Egyptian back in May as well. Great times they were.
4.The New York Ripper at the Egyptian: One of Fulci’s last great films. Kind of strange to say something as sleazy as The New York Ripper is great, but it is. A movie you will never forget.
5. Pink Flamingos at the Aero: It’s one thing to watch Pink Flamingos at home, it’s an entirely different experience in a movie theater at midnight. See it in a theater if you ever get the opportunity.
6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the New Beverly: The New Beverly is the place to see this movie. So the screen’s small, however, they try to make the experience more immersive with the BOSS radio broadcasts playing over the house PA before the film starts, trailers and ads before the movie are from the time the movie is set in, and there’s also set pieces in the lobby. The movie is pretty good as well. I would love to see movies, or books, expanding on the story of Cliff Booth.
7. The Tom Atkins triple feature and Q&A at the Beyond Fest: Outside of the Cinematic Void programming at the recent Beyond Fest, this was the other high point. Three movies: Halloween III, The Fog, and Night of the Creeps. Then there’s the interview with Tom Atkins afterwards. Dom Atkins also made an appearance. A truly historic moment in genre cinema history.
8.Dolemite is My Name: I expected to hate this movie. However, I have rediscovered that Eddie Murphy is great, and it was time Rudy Ray Moore was given some much needed attention. Hopefully when the quarantine is lifted we can get to paying visits to the last remaining sites where his movies were filmed.
9.Phantasm, Three O’Clock High, and 10 to Midnight at the Aero: This triple feature celebrated three years of Cinematic Void. Don Coscarelli was also there signing his book. Phantasm is one of my all time favorite films, and I see it every chance I get. It’s that good. Then you add in Three O’Clock High, and Charles Bronson in 10 to Midnight (featuring the men’s room at the Aero!), you can’t go wrong.
10. Repo Man at the Egyptian: I may have missed out on the Severin secret movie marathon in the Speilberg, but I was able to see Repo Man and a great Q&A with Alex Cox instead.
So this is a couple weeks past due. and whatever. But the Aero Horrorthon really lasts for more than just one night. It becomes a way of life. It creeps into your mind and soul. Movies you may have seen many times before become more than a movie, they become this sort of experience. Yes, you may have seen The Thing, or Halloween III a few hundred times, but those viewings were never as great as they are on the big screen in at the Aero. Even bad movies like Ruby are somehow not so bad at 1 in the morning in a crowded room and your mind is starting to disintegrate. Months later you find yourself singing the song to the 1980s Census commercial, or looking up Dennis Parker on YouTube and thinking everyone should be in agreement that “Like an Eagle” is a great song. People who have shared the experience all have inside jokes, and “I’ll give you a ride” becomes a signifier that you are in the know. To not know who Corn Gorn is, or Wizard Cop, or Candy from Randy is is a life half lived. (MA)
This year’s line up was Critters (1986), Halloween II (1981), Ruby (1977), Lisa and the Devil (1972), Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981), Demonoid: Messenger of Death (1980), The Crazies (1973)
Starring: Laurel Barnett, Rosalie Cole, Frank Janson, Ruth Ballen, Richard Hanners
DVD (released by Something Weird)
The Child is a movie I like, but it also bores me out of my skull at the same time. Maybe I like it for what it could be?
It starts out with promise, as we are introduced to Rosalie Nordon (Rosalie Cole) in a fog enshrouded cemetery handing over a kitten for food to a ghoul hiding behind a tombstone. It’s obvious Rosalie is not a well adjusted child. In fact, she’s quite terrible on all levels. Shitty personality, hanging out in the graveyard, and vindictive over the slightest transgressions. From this point on the movie chugs and sputters along at varying levels of success.
Alicianne Del Mar (Laurel Barnett) is hired on to be Rosalie’s nanny, and doesn’t seem to question why a blue oil drum came rolling down the hill forcing her off the road. She eventually meets Mrs. Whitfield (Ruth Ballen) in the woods as she finds her way to the Nordon house. Whitfield invites Alicianne back to her place, a boarding house in better times, but they all left over time because “the woods made them nervous.” When pressed by Alicianne, Whitfield reveals just a little more, “They said something was out there,” which she believes is Rosalie Nordon playing tricks on them to scare them away. Whitfield ominously tells Alicianne, “Consider my home a safe port when the Nordon seas get too stormy.”
In the woods between Whitfield and the Nordon house the Alicianne sees claw marks on trees, and the carcass of a mutilated animal, but doesn’t seem terribly alarmed by any of this. Upon arriving at the Nordon house, she meets Joshua Nordon (Frank Janson), Rosalie’s father, as well as a bitter curmudgeon. The son, Len (Richard Hanners), has a defeated personality, and seems like his mind is a million miles away. His interactions with his fractured family portray him as trying to keep the uneasy peace in place. Then there’s Rosalie, the strange child that we were introduced to in the beginning, who reveals how much more strange she is with every scene.
We learn that Rosalie has psychic powers allowing her to communicate with the dead, and either her, or her mother from the grave, are able to raise them to do her bidding and kill anyone she feels stands in her way. As she warns her father, “They’re going to hurt you! Hurt you bad!”
Eventually Rosalie and her “friends” wreak terror, though it’s nothing that will have you on the edge of your seat.
The final few minutes are brutal with tedium, as well as the screeching of Alicianne as the ghouls, or maybe they’re zombies, come out and amble and stumble over to attack her and Len in an oil field. I found myself wanting the ghouls to do us all a favor and eat her just so I don’t have to hear the overwrought screaming, screeching, and blubbering. It was a performance too pathetic to elicit any sympathy. There’s one point where Len is hammering the windows in the tin shack they take shelter in and it seems to go on a little longer than it should, and all Alicianne can think to do is lean against a wall and pathetically cry.
This movie suffers from glacial pacing, and some terrible acting. Interactions are awkward with stilted dialogue, strange pauses, and no real sense of fear from the actors when the moment calls for it. Ideas like strange sounds in the woods, animal mutilation, Rosalie’s world of interacting with the dead in the cemetery, and the mentioned in passing revelation that her mother liked to read “books on the mind” should have been built upon, instead of long scenes of people walking through the woods, gardening, nor wasting time on the non starter relationship developing between Alicanne and Len.
One aspect of this film that gives it an even more strange edge is the voices were dubbed in, which made me feel like I was never in the film as a viewer, and more of someone standing outside peeking in. It’s sort of like a nightmare in slow motion. This is a movie I would probably love if it were in the line up of an all night horrorthon, scheduled to run around 3 or 4 in the morning when the mind is on autopilot and logic and rational thought are nodding off behind your eyes.
Though I’m no fan or remakes, this is one I would love to see what Rob Zombie could with. Imagine Sid Haig, or Bill Mosely as Frank Nordon! They could do wonders for the character. Sheri Moon Zombie as Rosalie Nordon would be awesome! Yes, she is past her teenage years, but I think why not? She was great as Baby in The Devil’s Rejects, and House of 1,000 Corpses. Make her Rosalie a full grown woman who is so mentally fucked up she’s forever mentally frozen in her teen years, and the rest of the family encourages it. They would ratchet up the psychotic personalities in the red, making this what The Child should be. (MA)