Thursday, March 19, 2015

Horror Business Archive: Episodes 6-10

Here it is, Cellmates.  The second round of Horror Business Episodes for your streaming and downloading pleasure.  Horror Business and its sister show, Missing Link Mixtape, can be heard on alternating Monday nights at 10pm only on The FDTC Network.

Episode 6: Ask SOC
What do you do when a guest bails on you?  You make the mistake of asking your facebook friends for questions, that's what.  We end up talking about my horror history, which horror starlets I want to do dirty things to, vampire fights, my former life of crime, ectoplasm as lube, my theories on the genre, and a ridiculous amount of other stuff.

Horror Business Episode 6 Link

Episode 7: James Bickert
It's a special 90 minute episode of Horror Business featuring my interview with director/drive-in historian James Bickert. We talk Dear God No!, Drive-Invasion, porn, beer, BBQ, video stores, piracy, bondage, the Oath of Green Blood, and a whole lot more.

Horror Business Episode 7 Link

Episode 8: The Netherspawn
 With Halloween coming up and haunted attraction season in full swing, I went to the actors who stalk the halls of Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta (my haunt home since 1999) for their best stories about scaring someone shitless.  Time for the monsters to speak

Horror Business Episode 8 Link

Episode 9: Making The Video
 The Son of Celluloid and Brad Slaton co-directed a music video for The Casket Creatures song "Zombie Werewolves From Outer Space."  Go check it out on youtube.  Then listen to this roundtable discussion between Nathan, Brad, and the band about the craziness that went into creating the video.

Horror Business Episode 9 Link


Episode 10: Home Haunter Eric Cotto
We heard from the actors at one of the largest haunts in the nation, now let's visit the other end of the haunt spectrum.  Eric and Nikki Cotto run a haunt out of their home to raise money for charity.  Hear the story of a family who turns their home into a house of horrors each year to help the community and for the sheer love of fear.  Also, Brad Slaton drops by to chat Starry Eyes and See No Evil 2.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Horror Releases For Record Store Day 2015

Here at SOC, we're all about independent everything; independent horror, independent music, independent wrestling, independent variables, independent women, independent clauses, whatever.  So, of course, I'm all about Record Store Day.  If you don't know what I'm talking about...well, first of all, shame on you.  Second, it's a day (specifically the third Saturday of April each year) when bands release special edition vinyls and indie record stores everywhere host events to celebrate the role of the record store.  Part of me thinks that maybe, if we had done something like this, maybe we could have saved the video store.  Anyway, there are always some cool horror related items every year.  In the past these have included things like a 7" with the Misfits version of skulls on the A side and Evan Dando's cover on side B, a glow in the dark Ghostbusters single, a limited to 666 Dracula 1972 / Satanic Rites of Dracula soundtrack, and a truly bad ass Last House on the Left Soundtrack picture disk that I tried like hell to get my hands on.  There are hundreds of unique releases of all genres specifically for the event, but I'm gonna focus on the horror tinged ones.  Now not every store will get them all, some have very limited print runs, and some will ONLY be available on Record Store Day.  So unless you wanna pay a fortune for them on ebay later, I'd suggest that you get there early, grease the right palms, plan strategically, or whatever you have to do to get the ones you want.  You can visit to find participating stores near you and see a full listing of all of the 2015 RSD releases.

Probably the most directly horror related is this 12" Walking Dead Soundtrack Volume 2 picture disc.  It includes the tracks...
Side A: Portugal the Man "Heavy Games"; Sharon Van Etten "Serpents"
Side B: Lee Dewyze "Blackbird Song"; A.C. "Be Not So Fearful"; Ben Nichols "This Old Death"

There will be a digitally remastered  re-release of the 1989 Rocky Horror Picture Show "Time Warp EP"
featuring the original, extended, remixed, and karaoke versions of the song.

GWAR, featuring everyone's favorite Scumdog from Adam Greene's closet Oderus Urungus (RIP) will be releasing a remastered vinyl pressing of their best album (in my humble but always accurate opinion) America Must Be Destroyed. It comes with an RSD Exclusivity Certificate and Gor-Gor Pop Up Album Art.

We all know that metal and horror go hand in hand, and the biggest metal release this year is When The Stillness Stops, the first track off of Slayer's upcoming new album. This cool ass picture disc single will also feature a live version of Black Magic recorded at Wacken in 2014.

Leatherface have nothing to do with TCM except the name, but they're a damn good punk band.  They'll be releasing a 3 disc box set entitled  Razor Blades And Aspirin:1990-1993.

One of the more bizarre releases this year that I honestly don't know much about is Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom by Nightsatan.  They're a band from Finland who apparently made a short film and are releasing the soundtrack on green vinyl with a region free DVD of the film included.  This is one of the more limited releases this year, so be on the lookout.  Here's the trailer...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review - Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness

Is it possible to tell a psychological horror tale through the medium of extreme bodily violence?  Can horror told on a primarily physical level still be cerebral?  Can it engage your brain while kicking you square in the junk?  Felipe Eluti’s film Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness (out 3/24 from Unearthed Films) answers with an emphatic “YES!”  It’s an ultraviolent mood piece gruesome enough to satisfy gorehounds but smart enough to deliver an intriguing character study in a torture flick’s clothing.

Synopsis: A boxer loses the biggest fight of his life. He slowly finds himself, giving up his dream and finds that life is not worth living. At least, those lives around him are not worthy of life. He steps through and unleashes an entity that torments him and guile's him to do unspeakable acts of torture and murder. As body counts rise and lives are diminished, will he have any hope? Any way to fight back to what he once was?

Visceral is not told as a straight forward narrative.  In fact, the story is rather thin by conventional standards.  It has very little dialogue and the vast majority of all character interaction takes place in torture/murder/rape settings.  This is the story of one man’s descent into a mental hell.  If told in a linear form, this probably wouldn’t have been enough to carry us through the film’s fairly short runtime (116 minutes including 12 minutes of credits).  What Eluti brilliantly does is tell that story in three different timelines, switching between them jarringly and without warning yet anything but randomly.  Telling the story in this way enables him to reveal things in an order that enables them to have maximum impact.  It’s a technique that many movies have tried, almost all of them less effectively than Visceral.

I fear that one of the film’s biggest strengths may also be what some will see as its greatest flaw.  I love it when a film doesn’t hold the viewer’s hand and instead gives them credit for being smart enough to figure out a difficult narrative style.  There is only one visual cue to alert the viewer that we have switched to a different point in the story.  It’s not apparent at first.  It may even be a little bit confusing until you figure it out.  Once you do, however, things start to fall into place and the progression makes sense.  A less astute viewer might be tempted to say that the film is jumbled and nonsensical.  I hate to say “if you didn’t like it, you didn’t get it.”  That just smacks of pretentious film school snobbery.   I think this flick may, however, be a case where that statement rings true.

If everything I’ve said so far makes Visceral sound a little too arthouse for your sadistic tastes, put that thought out of your sick little head right now.  Those looking to satisfy their cinematic bloodlust will find everything they need.  This is not a flick for the weak of heart or stomach.  I’ve seen a lot of violent flicks in the last few years, but very few where said violence is this raw.  The camera remains very fluid and sometimes shakes a little too much for my liking, but it never flinches or cuts away from the brutality.  The gore looks fantastic, and the lack of dialogue from the main character adds a palpable creep factor.   While pervasive, the violence never goes over the top in the sense of being unrealistic.  Oh, no.  It feels all too real.

That reality is aided by an aspect of filmmaking that is often overlooked – sound design.  The movie’s score (more of a dark industrial soundscape than a score actually) sets the mood perfectly, but the sound effects are where it really shines.  Each fist lands with a sickening thud that makes the impact of flesh on flesh resonate through your core.  The beautiful squishing and gurgling sounds of blood and entrails are perfect.  I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention some really good shibari-style rope work.  Those perverts out there of the BDSM persuasion (like a certain horror blogger) will particularly enjoy this added touch.

Visceral is an apt name for this film.  You feel it in your guts every bit as much as your brain.  It’s a movie that plays from multiple angles.  Some will find a top notch gore flick.  Some will find a harrowing peek into the abyss of insanity.  Hell, some may come away having seen a fucked up PSA about a hot topic in the world of sports; head trauma.  Whatever perspective you choose to view it from, this is a film that lays bare its tortured soul for you to touch if you dare.  If you go into it just as open, you’ll be rewarded with a remarkable viewing experience that is at the same time mindraping and, well… Visceral.  I haven’t seen a lot of Chilean horror, but after this and Hidden in the Woods, we may be looking at a new hotbed of genre goodness.  Nathan says check it out.
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