THE BOOGENS (1981); SLITHIS (1978) ; THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983)

 

theboogensslithisdeadlyspawn
The Boogens, Slithis, and The Deadly Spawn at the New Beverly, October 29, 2019.                   Photo: Matt Average

THE BOOGENS (1981)

Director: James L. Conway

Starring: Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin, Jeff Harlan

SLITHIS (1978)

Director: Stephen Traxler

Starring: Alan Blanchard, Judy Motulsky, J.C. Claire, Hy Pyke, Win Condict, Rocky Fumarelli, John Hatfield, 

THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983)

Director: Douglas McKeown

Starring: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe, James L. Brewster

BUFFET • All American LP

BUFFET • All American LP

Knw-Yr-Own, All You Can Eat, Resurrection

Buffet cover

When I first looked at the cover to this record I thought it was going to be some crummy pop punk band, or “folk punk.” Well, dear reader, the Buffet cover is very misleading. Instead of vapid pop punk, or “folk punk,” what these guys are cranking out reminds me of 7 Seconds (the vocals and some of the speedy parts), Clit Boys (strictly in the vocal delivery at times), and mid to late 1980s hardcore when bands started to experiment with structure changes and slowing tempos down to accentuate the faster parts. I hear traces of the later 80s Dischord sound in this too. Lyrically, they tend to be goofy with songs about pizza, shopping, material items, and things of that nature. But scratch just below the surface and these songs are observations on pressing issues of today, it’s just that they’re not bashing you over the head with the message. Clever tactic.

This is pretty good for a debut, and I wonder if there will be more to come. (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

MAUSOLEUM (1981)

MAUSOLEUM (1983)

Director: Michael Dugan

Starring: Bobbie Bresee, Marjoe Gortner, Norman Burton, Maurice Sherbanee, Julie Christy Murray

DVD

Mausoleum

Dear Readers, please do not confuse this with the the other Mausoleum (aka One Dark Night (1982)) starring Meg Tilly. I made that error, and I’m here to help and warn you. Learn well from the mistakes of others. This Mausoleum is a turd: slow, dull, and dumb.

Starts off with a young broken hearted Susan (Julie Christy Murray) at her mother’s funeral. She’s also  angry about having to go and live with her aunt, so she decides to tearfully jog (not run, but jog) over to a mausoleum near by, and as she trots across the cemetery, her aunt (Laura Hippe, The Swinging Barmaids) stands by the waiting limo and wails, “Not Susan, too!” setting us up for some big reveal later in the film.

Susan enters the film’s namesake, and some drunk guy follows her in, babbling some nonsense, and the shadow of a demon appears on the wall pointing a clawed hand at the drunk, who begins to shake his head, murmuring something unintelligible. But you don’t care because when the demon points that gnarled claw the way that drunk starts shaking his head around is so comical you’re too in awe of it to even hear what he’s saying. He could have revealed how to easily become a millionaire, but who would care when there’s laughs to be had? Young Susan’s eyes glow green, á la Cathy’s Curse, and the wind blows.

Fast forward ten years later, to adult Susan (Bobbie Bresee), who is now married to Oliver Farrell (Marjoe Gortner, Earthquake), and living in a really drab mansion. It looks like the interior of a Best Western. They go off to some nightclub to dance, and while showcasing dance moves similar to a Charlie Brown cartoon, he’s called away from setting the dance floor ablaze to answer business call. While he’s on the phone, there’s a Grizzly Adams clone (Gene Edwards, who’s role is Drunk In Nightclub) who has noticed Susan, and decides he can woo her with his drunken asshole behavior. But first, he gets the best line of the entire film during an exchange with his girlfriend (Di Ann Monaco, who’s role is Girl In Nightclub) who catches him leering like a Warner Bros. cartoon wolf. When she sarcastically asks what is it that he’s looking at, he glances over at her and barks, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, but you’re always bitching about some old shit!” To which she replies, “That’s because it’s always the same old shit with you!” He steps out onto the dance floor and gropes at Susan in a ham fisted manner that she fends off, and they both leave in opposite directions. Of course, he meets his fiery end in the parking lot when Cathy’s, er, I mean, Susan’s eyes glow green.

The movie starts to slow down after the excitement of the nightclub when she’s back at the Best Western, er, I mean, her home and taking up space doing something. Her gardener (Maurice Sherbanee) is lurking about being a mild pest. We get to see him eating his lunch, sharpening an axe, mowing the grounds, and taking a nap next to the pond, and this montage of his day seems to go on and on and on. Maybe it’s character development in effort for us to sympathize with him? Maybe it’s a Marxist comment on the drudgery of the proletariat? Susan’s eyes glow green again, and she flirts with him in a clichéd porno film plot device. To want to fuck this guy she must have been incredibly bored. He meets his demise, and the movie slows down even more.

Eventually, in a conversation with Susan’s psychiatrist (Norman Burton), Oliver discovers she is, are you ready for this? Brace yourself, maybe you should be sitting down for this: Susan is actually a demon! Whoa! This surprise discovery finally gets us briefly back to the mausoleum, and things happen, but who cares, the movie is finally coming to an end.

There’s some gore and nudity, but not enough to save this dog. This feels more like an endurance contest than a movie. You keep hoping it gets better, as there are movies that are a slog, but then the final 20 minutes are spectacular. Not the case here. Even when the action does pick up it’s still a crummy film. Even LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther) can’t save it. (MA)

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Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Matt Average: MA

ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)

Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time… In  Hollywood, at the New Beverly. Photo: Matt Average

ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry

It’s rare, but I do go see a new movie now and then. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is not one I’d miss out on seeing in the theatre. Tarantino is one of the few directors today that I think makes movies worth seeing. Even if you don’t like everything he’s done you still talk about those movies. I still remember seeing Reservoir Dogs when it opened at the now long gone Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco. I was blown away, and went back to see it many more times before it left. Sometimes twice in the same day, if it was on a weekend. I even dragged all my friends to see it, and convincing them repeated viewings were worth their time. The acting was great, the dialog was smart, and the soundtrack was perfect. And it was a much needed breath of fresh air in the shitty shitty state of genre cinema at the time. 

All the reviews for Once Upon A Time… are out, so you know who’s who and what’s what. I’ll just mention that Brad Pitt is great as Cliff Booth. I’d love to see more about him somewhere down the line. I’d even settle a series of novels about his past, present, and future. 

Also, I recommend seeing this at the New Beverly, and it’s playing all through September, so there’s time. Before the movie they play the broadcasts from KHJ that you hear throughout the movie when DiCaprio and Pitt are driving around LA, then you get the trailers that are also shown in the movie, as well some props from the movie on display in the lobby and back of the theatre.

Will I go see this again? Definitely.  (MA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERASERHEAD (1977)

Eraserhead marquee
People lining up for Eraserhead at the Aero, August 9, 2019. Photo: Matt Average

ERASERHEAD (1977)

Director: David Lynch

Starring: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Judith Robert, Laurel Near, Jack Fisk

Cinematic Void launched its midnight screenings at the Aero August 9, 2019. In honor of the event the Aeor marquee miraculously turned black & white, casting it’s magical glow on the patrons and Montana Boulevard. Word is the next screening may be something filthy from Baltimore. Stay tuned!

CHILD’S PLAY (1988)

ChildsPlay marquee
Child’s Play, the one that started it all, in 35mm at the Aero. Photo: Matt Average

CHILD’S PLAY (1988)

Director: Tom Holland

Starring: Brad Dourif, Chris Sarandon, Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent

Friday Night Frights kicked off the beginning of midnight movies at the Aero on August 2, 2, 2019 with a screening of Child’s Play (1988) in 35mm. Don Mancini, writer and producer, was there for the Q&A, and announced there’s a Chucky series in the works. See you next Friday, back at the Aero, when Cinematic Void screens David Lynch’s Eraserhead.

OBEDIENCE • MMXIX LP

OBEDIENCE • MMXIX LP

Fair Warning Records

OBEDIENCE_2019_BW
Obedience gets their washing done while blazing through a live set . Photo: Jack Blackmon

Obedience are back with a full length of ripping hardcore punk that does not waste a second getting down to business. From the opener “Abuse of Power” to the closer “Divide” it’s a relentless ride the whole way through with zero detours. Pedal the the metal! Get on or get mowed over. The songs are as catchy as they speedy, which is no easy feat. Check out “Snake Oil” and “Wall Me In” (a song that sticks in your head for days) for a couple of very good examples. Catchy doesn’t always mean tepid pop punk. “Empty Words” is blazing full on number that can slow the tempo down in a flash and lose none of the intensity set up by the main hammering pace, and Dave Ackerman’s vocals have this gnarled and strained quality about them that effectively conveys the urgency of the moment. I’m also hearing some Tony Erba influences in the delivery. “I Won’t” is wound up and white hot frantic that somehow manages to stay focused on the mission of crushing your head with sonic force. That short guitar solo from Kevin Alexander pushes it over into the roiling chaos that swirls around it. There’s also a good dose of East Coast influences with breakdowns throughout the record, giving the music more power and more impact to the fast full on assaults. Band personnel consist of folks from Tear It Up, Concrete Elite, Severed Head of State, Criaturas, Breakout, and Signal Lost, but don’t come into this expecting to hear snippets of those bands. Obedience is its own beast, seamlessly melding the past with the present, and creating something that doesn’t need to rely on past endeavors. Get with the times, and get this. (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

THE WORLD • Reddish mini LP

THE WORLD Reddish 12” mini LP

Lumpy Records

The World Reddish LP

Excellent follow up to their debut LP, First World Record, which rocked me on my heels with their post punk style akin to Family Fodder. The World are a bit of a “super group”, consisting of members from Andy Human and The Reptoids, Beatniks, and Blues Lawyer. They have combined their creative super powers to make one of the best bands going these days. I predict that in twenty years a younger generation will be looking to The World discography for sound inspiration. I also predict that if you skip on getting this today you will live in crippling regret until you right the wrong. Just imagine being out somewhere, say a party with friends, and you hear a song that comes over the stereo, or hi-fi, as the millennials like to say, a song so good that all conversations stop until the song ends, like “Jackson 5” for instance, with it’s shuffling beat and vocals that are otherworldly. You cannot deny the saxophone that takes it next level. You know you’re hearing one of the best songs you’ve heard in a long while. One of your friends in the know (the only kind of friends one should have, really) informs you that its The World, and song is on the second side of their Reddish mini LP, or 12” EP in record collector parlance. Regret hits you like a brick as your mind hurtles back to 2019, and you recall having had the chance to attain this much wanted record for a fair and decent price, but in your youthful foolishness you passed on it and opted to get the latest generic Exploited clone band, the kind of band, that in five years tops, you will forget having ever existed in the first place. “Last Rhodesian” chops it up with a primitive beat that never grows old. The delivery is frantic until it calms towards the end before one last fit. There’s also the to the point “You’re Going Down,” which burrows into your brain, deeper and deeper, until it becomes part of your genetic make up. “Kill Your Landlord” comes on smooth with it’s dub stylings, and the vocals channel Ari Up at times, and just like that, it’s all over.

Be sure to get this record. (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

THE CHILD (1977)

THE CHILD (1977)

Director: Robert Voskanian

Starring: Laurel Barnett, Rosalie Cole, Frank Janson, Ruth Ballen, Richard Hanners

DVD (released by Something Weird) 

TheChild cover

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)

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Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Heath Row: HR  Matt Average: MA

VALLEY GIRL (1983) / THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (1999)

ValleyGirl:VirginSuicides
Valley Girl, and The Virgin Suicides double feature at the New Beverly May 18. 2019. Photo: Matt Average

 

VALLEY GIRL (1983) 

Director: Martha Coolidge

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Michael Bowen, Cameron Dye, Heidi Holicker, Lee Purcell

THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (1999)

Director: Sofia Coppola 

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Kathleen Turner, James Woods, Michael Paré, Hanna Hall

Played to a sold out crowd at the New Beverly on May 18, 2019.