Monday, November 29, 2004

top 10 punk front men ever

The girls are going out to bars in L.A. tonight, The Standard and Skybar, I can't get into them since I'm not female or famous or wicked rich. I'm going along for the ride to visit friends up there and I've got lots of time to kill while they get ready with the hair straighteners and makeup etc..

The top punk front men is a list I've been putting together bit by bit during my free time like walking home from work or walking various places. I already made the top hardcore vocalists list. Anyone on that list, can't be listed here, basically hardcore is out, all other genres of punk are in. There are a lot more people who deserve to be on this list, it was tougher to narrow down than the hardcore list. A ton of my favorite bands in general are punk rock.

I'm judging front men based on not only how the vocals sound on the records, but lyrics, stage presence, and cool looks. It's style and shock over substance on this list, kind of like my favorite horror movies.

I don't really go for the preachy bands anymore. I prefer songs about sex, violence, and fantastical stuff. Music is an escape for me, exotic, and more exciting than real life. When I wanna see a show, I wanna see a show, not someone staring at the ground, dressed in the same clothes your average college student wears.

Post Punk is not really represented here either. All the rock press' lists of top punk bands read like Husker Du, Mission of Burma, Wire, etc... I like all those bands, but only a couple of the singers on my list are critical faves.

--- top ten punk front men ---

10. Mr. Chi Pig - SNFU

9. Pig Champion* (and editor's note) - Poison Idea

8. El Duce** - The Mentors

7. Wattie - The Exploited

6. Animal*** - Anti-Nowhere League

5. Stiv Bators**** - Dead Boys / Lords of the New Church

4. Dave Vanian - The Damned

3. Monkey - The Adicts

2. Lee Ving***** - Fear

1. Glenn Danzig


* I've never seen Poison Idea live or on tape, but I've seen photos showing the extremely overweight Pig Champion having to sit down while playing, due to his obesity. I do not know if he has to do this at every show.

editor's note - I was just listening to Poison Idea, and looking up Pig Champion on the internet, and for the first time ever, found out that he's not the lead singer. I always pictured him doing the singing in my brain, but my brain was wrong. My assumptions were due to him sitting in the front on the t-shirt that I had in high school. Still, due to his massive size (450+) he stays on the list, with all due respect to Jerry A, the actual fontman.

** It's hard to separate the truths from the myths about The Mentors, since El Duce would make wild claims as to what goes on at their shows. He is certainly one to embellish upon the truth in order to get a reaction and most of what I know about the Mentors I've learned from his interviews. I've seen limited video footage of their performances, but maybe there is enough out their to clear up the rumors. These tapes are harder to come by than your more common GG Allin stuff.

*** The rock video for 'So What' must be one of the greatest of all time. Animal strikes heavy metal poses in front of a huge lighting rig, and sings some of the most dirty lyrics you're ever gonna here, plus we get some close-ups of his genitals and back door. I don't know where the hell they thought this video could be played. Later the Anti-Nowhere League put out a mainstream rock album that reminds me of Midnight Oil or something. Animal proves he can really sing on this one, called 'The Perfect Crime', but the record has been pretty much overlooked by punks and critics alike.

**** A more recent favorite of mine, I've never seen any video footage, so I'm putting Stiv Bators on the list based on voice alone. After hearing him slur the sleazy and miserable Dead Boys lyrics, it's fun to here the same style of vocals paired with the more poppy eighties music from his other band, The Lords of the New Church.

***** Lee Ving is thought to be one of the toughest punk icons around. Not someone who ever keeps his mouth shout, which is good because his voice and words are what made Fear. He's the only original member in the band today and they still draw crowds. Check out the MD.45 record, where he takes up the vocal and harmonica duties. It's a hard rock album, the 'MD' for Dave Mustaine and the '45' being 'XLV' in roman numerals.

That's the list, and I'm content with it. I left out two personal favorites, Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop, since they already get plenty of mainstream recognition. Sure they deserve more, far more than Mick Jagger and Bono, but I wanted to make a list with less obvious choices. My list needs people on it that readers will think are way off the mark. No controversy = No fun. One last point, notice how almost everyone listed has a ridiculous name. I love it.

2 punk links

Harley Flanagan's
Hardcore (and punk rock) Hall of Fame - Interviews with members of Agnostic Front, Bad Brains, Murphy's Law, Iron Cross, Government Issue, and more.

article on fashioncore - you would swear that this is a joke and that the kids are made up, but I guess not, this is not on the

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Psychos in Love (1987)

I really think this movie aims to be deliberately annoying. It's main technique would be repetition. The same lines, shots, and scenarios are repeated over and over, sometimes for several scenes in a row. The director says on his website, "You can either love it or hate it. Either way, I take the blame. "

Psychos in Love

Me, I loved it . Stupid, stupid lines, and tons and tons of killing mixed with scenes were they do nothing remarkable at all, like go to the store to rent horror video tapes.

The director, Gorman Bechard, is still around. His
website. Beware, it makes sounds.

Good to see that this guy is still around. You can download the Psychos in Love theme MP3 at his site. Put that on a mix tape for your girlfriend.

It looks like someone put together a theatrical version of Psychos in Love.

Cathy's Curse (1977)

This movie is pretty easy to find. Cathy can move objects with her brain, conjure up bugs and snakes, and talk in a demonic voice. There are a couple of good scenes when she gets the old caretaker drunk and they terrorize a baby-sitter with some nasty profanity. A mildly entertaining film.

Let's dispel the first myth, the doll does not go on a psychotic rampage. It moves twice... barely.

Cathy's Curse must have fallen into the public domain. Here is a version of it that you can pick up at dollar store chains. I've complained about hideous cover art before... I bet lots of morons actually think they are buying a movie with this 90's goth chick in it.

I've got a bunch of shit to talk about, let's see what I can remember. I've been busy, which is pretty remarkable.

website work - I made a first draft of a website for a local hair salon and yes I'm getting paid! Thank God they use only products not tested on animals. When this site is done, I'll put up a link.

Thanksgiving - Millions of turkeys killed. I don't like to think about it.

I got an e-mail from a horror author who found my name on the internet by typing "L.A." and "horror" into a search engine. You know I think that it's really cool to be able to be found that way.. He says his book is at the Los Angeles public library. Here is a link.

Gifted Trust

My top ten favorite hardcore bands list went over well. Two more lists are on the way. People love to read these kinds of lists in magazines. Me, I hate them, but I aim to please, and writing them is more fun then reading them and saying, "what the fuck were these guys thinking". My new least favorite magazine to read would be the UK metal weekly Kerrang!, I just hate it in so many ways. For a while I thought UK mags were way ahead of their U.S. counterparts, but we are catching up with better design and more attitude than before. Soon those snotty British bastards won't be trendsetters anymore!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Blood Splash (1981)

Blood Splash is better known as Nightmare in a Damaged Brain which has got to be one of the best horror titles of all time. It's one of the UK's Video Nasties, 39 films actually banned in Britain and removed from video store shelves. I'd seen clips of all the gore and sex from this movie on the very violent, very old (in video years), Continental Video sampler, Terror on Tape.

Blood Splash

This movie is similar to Maniac, famous for it's Tom Savini effects. Blood Splash is famous for claiming to feature Tom Savini effects on it's box cover, when in fact, he did not do the effects for this movie. I've read conflicting reports on the internet, the truth could be discovered by me asking him myself how involved with the movie he was, but that will never happen. I had a chance to meet Tom Savani when I was working in a small shop on Melrose. I expected him to come in, since his business card was on display on shelf of artifacts behind the counter that had to do with one celebrity customer or another. He was in town for a convention, that I attended, but of course I did not line up to harass him there. I had my fingers crossed that he would come in and he did, but at the same time a whole bunch of my friends entered the store and started to talk it up with me. I was in a panic, I could not say "get out of here guys, that's Tom Savini and I wanna offer customer service", the store was too small and he would have heard me. I think I managed to get a "Hi" in there somewhere, but he was in and out in not time. His wife did talk to me for a minute though, saying that they had previously bought something there and Eddie Izzard wanted to get one of these items, I forget exactly what item.

"Did I know who that was?" she wanted to know, and I did not, I mean I'd heard the name, but she seemed pretty disappointed in me.

So Blood Splash, it's violent and disturbing.

The internet searches on Blood Splash turned up lots of fans calling it ultra-gory. What did you think?

As far as Blood Splash... it is nothing short of ultra-gory. One of the goriest films I have seen thus far. There are blood, guts, and cut-off heads flying everywhere. It is a masterpiece of it's kind. The twist at the end was also nicely done. It was a nice pick on your part honey! I love you!!! :)

Here is a list of the Video Nasties at Hysteria Lives!

This is who Eddie Izzard is. Careful, his page makes sounds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

This anthology is a lot more mainstream than most of the movies I review here and expect even weirder ones to come. I got in a 2 boxes totaling 50 horror tapes yesterday. I wanted to show this one, one of the few better known films included in the collection, to my girlfriend. There is crazy stuff in this box lot I ordered, including crazy stuff I already have, sometimes twice already! Yeah, lots of the same shit with different titles, soon I will have a horror distro just selling my duplicates. The selling points of this lot (as promoted by the knowledgeable seller) were all four Blind Dead movies, a bunch of Paul Naschy movies, and many oversized-box tapes from Wizard Video.

Tales from the Darkside is up there with the Creepshow movies and Cat's Eye* as being one of the top anthology movies on the horror market. It's miles ahead of Trilogy of Terror** and inferior only to the best of the Amicus Films*** anthologies.

my tape is in the standard U.S. box, but this European version looks even better

Tales the Darkside has a killer cast of cult stars including punk icons Deborah Harry and David Johansen of the New York Dolls.

Johansen's band is one of my long time favorites and they are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve from the hipster crowd, however, I've been skipping out on their recent reunion shows, tours I would have died to see years ago. When I started listening to punk these bands were all broken up and the thought of them getting back together was absurd. Now, most of the shows I've been going to have been those of reunited 70's and 80's punk bands, I'm definitely the target audience for these performances. Too bad I've become spoiled and take it for granted now that I can see practically any band from rock n' roll history if I want to, especially in the punk rock central Orange County or or the entertainment capitol of the the world, Los Angeles. There is something that rubs me the wrong way about it all, and it's not that original members of the bands are missing. It's not that the bands are returning to play their earliest material, though many abandoned those styles of music years ago to chase success with the more popular or mature styles of dance, new wave, and metal. It's the sheer number of reunions that is scary. Name a famous punk band from the past, the odds that they have played in one incarnation or another in the past five years are extremely high. So high that it is difficult to think of exceptions, the only ones coming to mind being The Clash, Minor Threat, The 4 Skins, Blitz, SSD, and DYS. I'm probably wrong about some of these guys not playing and if I didn't mention a band you can think of, well, you probably just did not hear about the show.

Three shorts make up Tales from the Darkside as well as the wraparound story with suburban witch Deborah Harry who has a kid captured in a kitchen dungeon. He's reading horror stories to her in order to put off his death. The stories are pretty old fashioned with updated gore and comic moments a quality common to movies aimed at teans. Internet horror fans use the term "chomedy" to describe this kind of movie on message boards, but I don't care for that word and don't look forward to the first time I hear it used it conversation. I've yet to hear it said out loud and it will be like nails on a black board when I do.

Each short in Tales from the Darkside is great, the last is the most serious and touching. You might forget you are watching a horror movie at times during this romantic tale. It's based on a story from the Japanese horror masterpiece Kwaiden (1964), also an anthology movie.

Notes on the other anthology movies mentioned above...

* Creepshow (1982) and Creepshow 2 (1987) are both based on Stephen King stories. The first movie is directed by George Romero, the second movie's script is written by George Romero. The script for the "Cat from Hell" segment in this movie, Tales from the Darkside, is written by George Romero and and is based on a Stephen King story. Romero also wrote some episodes from the Tales from the Darkside TV Series (1984), a show that is not as clever as the movie it inspired. The movie Two Evil Eyes (1990) is an anthology of two segments, the first one is written and directed by Romero, the second by Dario Argento. Cat's Eye (1985) is an often overlooked anthology of three shorts based on Stephen King stories.

** Trilogy of Terror (1975) is an overrated TV movie with three shorts staring Karen Black, my least favorite Scream Queen. Only the last segment is worth watching, as a Zuni Fetish Doll goes bezerk. Trilogy of Terror II (1996) is more entertaining.

*** Amicus Films was a rival of Hammer Films. They both made horror movies and used the same stars, mainly Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. In the 60's and 70's they put out a bunch of anthologies, the most famous being the original Tales From the Crypt movie and The House that Dripped Blood. All of the anthologies are good, if a bit cheap looking in the effects department.

I hyped up Tales from the Darkside quite a bit before playing the tape. I said you would love it. Did you?

I thought Tales from the Darkside was deserving of the hype you gave it.

Which story was the best?

The last story (love story) was by far my favorite. It was a gargoyle tragedy, and the makeup and costumes superceded any other gargoyles. Plus Blondie is in the wraparound story in which she tries to bake a little boy in her oven for a feast she is preparing. Now what could be better than that??????? (Fatten up little one!)

Friday, November 12, 2004

top ten hardcore vocalists

So I'm throwing down a list of the top hardcore punk volcalists of all time. Yes, I've decided to start writing about hardcore in the blog (to Cub's dismay) and let me first tell you that my tastes in hardcore mirror my tastes in horror movies. For lack of a better term, I guess this sounds lame, I like stuff that is ... retro ...I hate the new shit!. The new styles in horror, as represented by Resident Evil, House of the Dead, and 28 Days Later, are not appealing to me. Without getting into detail, I don't like the stories, the special effects, the cgi, the villains, the humor, the (lack of) gore, or the general feel of any of those movies. Yeah, the whole package. You've seen the movies I write about here and you will see what hardcore I write about here.

a general definition, a specific definition, and my definition

Ok, I'm not living under a rock. I work in a record store, I read magazines, I hear stories. I know that bands like My Chemical Romance and From Autumn to Ashes exist. Here's another analogy. I also know that Sum 41, NOFX, and Strung Out exist, but when I mention 'punk rock' those are not the bands that I'm thinking of at all. Technically Sum 41 may be punk, I have yet to be given the authority to kick them out, and punk encompasses a lot of styles. Their style is called 'pop punk'. The hardcore bands I listed first, their style is called "metalcore". Metalcore is huge! It's taking over metal, it's merging with emo, it's turning the bands into glam rock stars! It's also dwarfed other styles of hardcore for years, but so what, I've still got my list.

10. Billy Milano - S.O.D. *

9. H.R. - Bad Brains

8. Paul Bearer - Sheer Terror **

7. Pat Dubar - Uniform Choice ***

6. Harley Flanagan - Cro-Mags ****

5. Raybeez - Warzone

4. Chris Doherty -Gang Green

3. Roger Miret - Agnostic Front *****

2. Peter Steele -Carnivore

1- Choke -Slapshot


* Crossover metal. No, I don't like metalcore, but I love when thrash metal and hardcore punk mix and S.O.D. did it first. Check out M.O.D. as well, Milano's band when S.O.D. was over. Still thinking about metalcore? It's a mix of death metal/European metal and hardcore, a totally different animal.

** Paul Bearer did it all before Blood for Blood, one of the scariest bands around today. Get the Sheer Terror records if that's your thing.

*** Awesome on the Unity record and awesome on the Love and Rockets type record 'Staring Into the Sun".

**** Controversial Entry! So 'Best Wishes' is my favorite Cro-Mags record and the reunion album, 'Revenge', sans John Joseph is killer. I'm the only one who thinks so.

***** I love AF, and I love street punk, so why don't I love their newest albums? They sound too much like Rancid.

The top hardcore singers! No, but a great list of my favorites. Let's just agree that it's the top hardcore list, and a unique list, I promise that.

Time for some links that will express my points about hardcore today.

See this movie that puts down the fashioncore genre. What is fashioncore? The metalcore kids wear eyeliner and women's jeans. If you could get in a time machine and tell hardcore kids in 1995 that they would be wearing that today, they would just shit. I made a comic about it once with the headband and jersey kids getting a visit from themselves circa 2002. It's funny, but you will have to take my word for it, I don't have a copy here in California to scan for you. Anyway... the movie in this link, I don't know who made it, don't have any info on it. It's funnier than my comic, it's that good.

Here is some crew, not fashioncore, not youth crew, just something to laugh at. Everyone else is doing it, however, don't threaten them like the kids who care way too much about hardcore do. That's sad.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Night of Bloody Horror (1969)

This one is an all bizarro mania and more type of movie. I just through a bunch of weird words into that sentence and while on the topic of words, "night of", "bloody", and "horror", are probably the most common words used in horror movie titles of all time. This movie is a not run of the mill, though, as I mentioned, it's a strange trip. The poster, famous for it's outrageous and unsubstantiated claims, says it all.

wish I had this one in my collection

There are camera effects, strange cuts, psychedelic music, and one of my favorite tricks of all, use of that strange spinning spiral, associated with hypnosis and insanity. My favorite cut is from a pool of blood on the beach (from an axe wound), to an all red shot that is broken by a spoon. It's a close up of a bowl of tomato soup! Without giving too much away, since there is a twist on what I'm about to tell you, this movie is from the Psycho, Ed Gein, family of films. Recommended.

My copy came in one of those ten movie sets I raved about from Brentwood video. The package is called 'Curse of the Dead' and I'll go into more detail about it after I've seen more of the included movies.

Cub, you did better at predicting the movie than me. This is because I was sick right? I was too delirious.

yes I must agree darling that I did do a better job at predicting the movie, but has it ever occurred to you that I may be just THAT GOOD at knowing how horror movies work or that I may just be better than you or maybe equal to you :)

This movie is filmed in 'violent vision', was it too disturbing for you?

It was filmed in 'violent vision' and I loved it! It was certainly not disturbing to me. (cub lies! She hid under covers when a girl got a long needle stuck in her eye!) I enjoyed watching this movie very much and give it two thumbs up!

links to reviews of Night of Bloody Horror

review at neohamster

review at e-splatter

review at b-notes

Friday, November 05, 2004

Nightmare (1973)

Nightmare, aka Voices, stars David Hemmings from Deep Red. If he had not been in it, I wouldn't have watched it. Based on a play, feels like a play. Has the same ending as used by The Others, so I'm told.

Nightmare - starring David Hemmings

Short review. A movie for horror completists like me.

Moontrap (1989)

I came home sick from work today and I feel like shit so I've been sitting in front of the TV for hours, waiting for my favorite Fox News shows to come on. I feel bad, but I want to make this review good, and I'd better write it now because my memory is time sensitive. Want to know why the Housegeist review was so brief? I'd watched it a week before writing the review and retained precious little besides my general impression of the film. Brain damage is not the problem. I watch a lot more movies than I review here and I might be maxing out.

Allow me to make a relevant observation. The SciFi Channel sure does play a lot of crappy shows. I don't know the name of the one on now, but it blows. The teenage aliens have spiky hair, tattoos, and piercings, um.. wallet chains, hey I remember arm-warmers. These kids are sooo cool... I wanna be them.

Shitty sci-fi can suck worse than even the second-to-most-recent Hellraiser sequel. Hard to believe, but sci-fi often is that horrible. When I was at my most depressed, renting three videos a day, I'd try to mix it up a little bit by renting an obscure sci-fi tape every so often. I don't think I ever found anything good other than Ice Pirates. Oh yeah, there are classics, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Starship Troopers... that's a given, but I guess I'll get to the point, sci-fi is not half as good as horror.

When the two genres cross over you get the Alien movies. Moontrap is not a rip-off of Alien, which surprised me, because almost every scary space movie is. I recommend Moontrap. It stars Chekov from Star Trek (Walter Koenig) and Bruce Campell. I don't know which of those two actors is more popular. They both have a lot of fans and they all really ought to see this obscure tape. Campell has the goofier character, with the bad catch phrases. I told you about my memory, but I think I've got two of these right. "Don't take no shit from a machine!" and "Goddamn government contractors". I won't put those lines into context, but I'll tell they are first said when their is no danger, and then later when the battles against the machines are in full effect. This corny stuff should have made the movie a cult hit. Expect a DVD release... someday.

Moontrap - I know it's not a very exciting box cover, you just have to trust me on this one...

Models are used for some of the effects on the moon. The astronaut dolls do not move, but at least their rover rolls. If I'd seen this movie in 89' as a kid the effects would probably not be so transparent to me. Good use of robots, killer robots that use human remains for spare parts. They are stationary, I guess the budget was limited, but they do steal the show when on screen.

Moontrap, I told my girlfriend it was awesome, she didn't believe me.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Misfits Trilogy of Terror 10/31 Anaheim

To use a wrestling term, I'm a total 'mark' for The Misfits. I eat up anything they do, regardless of what incarnation of the band we are talking about. The current line-up is Jerry Only, Dez from Black Flag, and Marky Ramone on the drums. Punk purists hate this show with the vehemency that I hate horror movie remakes, but they are missing out. I say you gotta go see the Jerry Only put on a production that includes the Ramones big hits and Dez singing Black Flag songs. (Though this time only 'Rise Above') You gotta buy the American Psycho and Famous Monsters records. You gotta go rent all the horror movies they sing about on those albums... well... maybe not Boxing Helena, that should have been mentioned in my 90's bashing column.

I love it when people's feathers get ruffled, especially those of the cynical even punk rock elite. I mean, I wanted to see the Dead Kennedy's with Brandon Cruz, cause Dr. Know rock and let's face it, Jello is one of the least attractive figures in punk. I thought Greg Ginn's Black Flag reunion to benefit cat shelters was a great idea. I think Agent Orange, also playing as part this Trilogy of Terror line-up, have good songs that come even after their first album. So what if they are a bit more arena rock? I think that D.I., the first instalment of the touring trilogy, are punk legends. Would you really rather sit in the parking lot than watch them tear through a sick California punk set? Oops, that was me, I mean, I have one of their albums and all, but I really don't need to see a bunch of O.C. kids going off because they're all nostalgic about the first time they saw Suburbia. Yeah that's a little much, but I did watch almost all of that Agent Orange set, even though I'd seen them just a few months ago. 'Bloodstains' isn't even their best song, do yourself a favor and take a closer look at this band.

This is the Voice - it's still good!

So I've seen the reunited Misfits five times now and always left with a smile on my face. Jerry Only was dressed as Elvis, maybe for Halloween, or maybe he just dresses like that now. For Halloween night I saw very few costumes at the show. Corpse paint was in full effect though, with Dez wearing it as well. The place was not packed the gills. I saw a listing that said the Misfits had played a couple shows earlier in the month opening for Alice Cooper! I knew nothing about this, I think I would have gone into sensory overload if I'd been at that show. I have very few heroes and Alice Cooper is one of them. I got to meet him when I was working retail on Melorse and it's one of my favorite celebrity encounters. Thank God he was nice to me cause I'm not a very forgiving person.

That about wraps up my Misfits Trilogy of Terror blog entry. More punk shows coming up this month, since Orange County has got to be the punk capitol of the world. The Dickies are playing, The Exploited are playing, and T.S.O.L. are playing. I've got a love/hate relationship with T.S.O.L.. Divided We Stand is one of the few punk reunion albums I just plain hate. Jack Grisham running for California governor? Lame. Singing with the Kottomouth Kings? %^&*#&#^$!!! (By the way, that band features Brad X, former singer of the straight edge band Doggy Style that once inluded Minor Threat member Brian Baker. Things change...)

I've got all the T.S.O.L. records and I'm totally into the 80's rock ones with singer Joe Wood. Am I the only one in the world that would want a T.S.O.L. reunion with that line up?

"hit and run ... you might die today!"

the scoop on the other T.S.O.L. singer Joe Wood