Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black Sabbath from Worst to First

Black Sabbath have had eighteen total studio albums, five live albums, countless compilations, half a dozen singers, and who the heck knows how many drummers and bassists. The only consistency the band had was Tony Iommi. Now I've always been a big Iommi fan and I always find something listenable on even the worst Sabbath records, but all Sabbath is not created equal at all. I've decided that I would take it upon myself to go through every single Sabbath studio album and do a worst to first list. Now this is only my opinion, but I think I'll hit most of the marks in the right spot. Or at least I hope I will. 

18. Forbidden (1995) - Generally regarded as the worst Sabbath album of the bunch, this is the last studio release under the Sabbath moniker and the one that put the kibosh on any hopes of anymore Sabbath without Ozzy. Now this isn't a horrible or disgusting release, but it's certainly jarring. The band, from what I understand, wanted to make a stripped-down album like the first Sabbath record and they didn't want to take too much time to do it. Obviously, the result was a bit of a misfire. This is a much different band than the original line-up and they just couldn't pull off the "going back to the roots" routine. The poor production just detracts even more from the end result. The few listenable (but not all that great) songs like I Won't Cry for You, ForbiddenKiss of Death, and the rather catchy Rusty Angels are balanced out by a bunch of questionable songs that just don't work. The most questionable song on here is called The Illusion of Power and it introduced the world to Rap Sabbath. Seriously, Ice-T rapped on the song. Now I don't hate rap just because it's rap, but Ice-T's rapping just has no purpose here. It's just novelty for the sake of novelty. Unless you are a seriously die-hard fan like me than say no to Rap Sabbath. 

The Illusion of Power (4:54)
Get A Grip (3:59)
Can't Get Close Enough (4:28)
Shaking Off The Chains (4:04)
I Won't Cry For You (4:48)
Guilty As Hell* (3:28)
Sick And Tired (3:31)
Rusty Angels (5:00)
Forbidden (3:47)
Kiss Of Death (6:09)
Loser Gets It All (2:55) - Japanese Bonus Track

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Tony Martin, Neil Murray, Cozy Powell, Geoff Nicholls
*This song actually has the "f" word in it. Rap Sabbath, right?

17. Technical Ecstasy (1976) - It was really a coin-toss between this one and Never Say Die. I don't hate this one, but it's very mediocre. Bill Ward sings on It's Alright and I do like the song, but I prefer Axl Rose's cover version on GN'R's Live Era album. And I've never said I liked Sabbath cover more than the original before. Now there aren't any songs on here that I really hate, but it's far from my first choice of Sabbath I'd want to listen to. The only really standout song on here is Dirty Women.

Back Street Kids (3:46)
You Won't Change Me (6:34)
It's Alright (3:58)
Gypsy (5:10)
All Moving Parts (Stand Still) 4:59
Rock 'N' Roll Doctor (3:25)
She's Gone (4:51)
Dirty Women (7:15)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Gerald Woodruffe

NOTE: The cover of Technical Ecstasy is supposed to be two machines screwing on an escalator. 

16. Never Say Die (1978) - I really like the first four songs. The more I listen to this one the more I like it, but I shouldn't have to learn to like anything by the original Sabbath. Even with the few good songs on here I'll always feel that Never Say Die, Technical Ecstasy, and Forbidden could be deleted from the Sabbath canon and the Sabbath canon would be better for it.

Never Say Die (3:50)
Johnny Blade (6:28)
Junior's Eyes (6:42)
A Hard Road (6:04)
Shock Wave (5:15)
Air Dance (5:17)
Over To You (5:22)
Breakout (2:35)
Swinging the Chain (4:17)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Don Airey, John Elstar

NOTE: The original cover put forth for Never Say Die would eventually become the cover of Rainbow's Difficult to Cure. Which is funny because both covers are equally terrible.

15. Seventh Star (1986) - It's really unfair to rank this one at all because it was not intended to be a Sabbath album and therefore doesn't sound like one. I think it's a bit of a gem and it should be re-released as an Iommi album so it won't have to constantly deal with the "it doesn't sound like Black Sabbath" problem. But because it remains under the Sabbath name than this is where I would have to rank it.

In for the Kill (3:40)
No Stranger to Love (4:28)
Turn to Stone (3:28)
Sphinx (The Guardian) (1:11)
Seventh Star (5:20)
Danger Zone (4:23)
Heart Like a Wheel (6:35)
Angry Heart (3:06)
In Memory ... (2:35)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Glenn Hughes, Dave Spitz, Eric Singer, Geoff Nicholls, Gordon Copley

14. Cross Purposes (1994) - This is the first one on this list that actually feels like a decent Sabbath album. It's not as good as the previous Tony Martin releases, but it's still pretty solid. A few stand-out cuts like Dying for Love, I Witness, and Virtual Death. The rest of the songs are okay, but they aren't anything special. A little sub-par for the Tony Martin era, but it's nothing too egregious. It's light-years better than Forbidden.

I Witness (4:56)
Cross of Thorns (4:31)
Psychophobia (3:10)
Virtual Death (5:45)
Immaculate Deception (4:12)
Dying for Love (5:49)
Back to Eden (3:53)
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (4:26)
Cardinal Sin (4:17)
Evil Eye (5:57)
What's the Use? (3:03) - Japanese Bonus Track

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Tony Martin, Geezer Butler, Bobby Rondinelli, Geoff Nicholls

13. Tyr (1990) - Sabbath takes on themes of the Norse gods here for what is probably the most diverse Sabbath album in terms of subject matter. Strangely enough, it feels like a perfect fit for Sabbath. The only song that doesn't really fit the mood of the album is the ballad Feels Good to Me and it's just a bit too sappy for my taste. My favorite tracks are definitely The Law Maker and The Sabbath Stones.

Anno Mundi (the vision) (6:12)
The Law Maker (3:55)
Jerusalem (4:00)
The Sabbath Stones (6:47)
The Battle of Tyr (1:08)
Odin's Court (2:42)
Valhalla (4:43)
Feels Good to Me (5:44)
Heaven in Black (4:05)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Tony Martin, Neil Murray, Cozy Powell, Geoff Nicholls

12. The Eternal Idol (1987) - Tony Martin really doesn't get the credit he deserves in terms of being a singer. Martin stayed with Sabbath longer than Dio and yet he gets nowhere near the same amount of respect. Not that I have a problem with Dio or anything. I just think that Tony Martin doesn't deserve to be forgotten. So far I've ranked pretty much all of the Tony Martin stuff all in a row near the bottom of the pile and that wasn't intentional. It just happened that way and for good reason. No matter how much I want to take a release from the Tony Martin era and place it up in the top ten it just wouldn't fit. If anyone ever doubts that there was greatness in the Martin era than The Shining is the first song I'd recommend. 

The Shining (5:58)
Ancient Warrior (5:34)
Hard Life to Love (5:00)
Glory Ride (4:48)
Born to Lose (3:43)
Nightmare (5:17)
Scarlet Pimpernel (2:07)
Lost Forever (4:00)
Eternal Idol (6:35)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Tony Martin, Bob Daisley, Eric Singer, Geoff Nicholls, Dave Spitz, Bev Bevan

11. Headless Cross (1989) - Just a solid effort all around and a coin-flip better than The Eternal Idol. The title track is just one of those songs that should be much more well-known. It just feels Sabbathy albeit in a eighties kind of way.

The Gates of Hell (1:06)
Headless Cross (6:29)
Devil & Daughter (4:44)
When Death Calls (6:55)
Kill in the Spirit World (5:11)
Call of the Wild (5:18)
Black Moon (4:06)
Nightwing (6:35)
Cloak and Dagger (Picture disc bonus track) (4:37)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Tony Martin, Laurence Cottle, Cozy Powell, Geoff Nicholls

10. Dehumanizer (1992) - The follow-up to Tyr and the last Dio-fronted Sabbath album. The riffs are heavy and crunchy and Sabbath seems rejuvenated. Every song on here is great. I can't help but wonder what Sabbath would have been like if Dio had stayed because after this record he took the basic sound and used it on his solo albums Strange Highways and Angry Machines. It would have been great to hear more Sabbath offerings like this one from the nineties, but it wasn't meant to be. At least there's Heaven & Hell's The Devil You Know to help satisfy my curiosity. 

Computer God (6:10)
After All (The Dead) (5:37)
TV Crimes (3:58)
Letters From Earth (4:12)
Master of Insanity (5:54)
Time Machine (4:10)
Sins of the Father (4:43)
Too Late (6:54)
I (5:10)
Buried Alive (4:47)
Time Machine (Wayne's World Version) (4:18) - US/Japan version only 

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, Geoff Nicholls

9. Born Again (1983) - The only thing holding this back from being higher is the poor production. The songs are just so good and diabolic. It's the perfect Sabbath record... if you can overlook the production. Gillan was a great fit for Sabbath and it's a shame it didn't pan out.

Trashed (4:10)
Stonehenge (1:57)
Disturbing the Priest (5:48)
The Dark (0:31)
Zero the Hero (7:45)
Digital Bitch (3:35)
Born Again (6:30)
Hot Line (4:50)
Keep it Warm (5:34)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Geoff Nicholls

8. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) - I must be crazy for putting this one so low, but I have my reasons. It's one of the classic "first five," but to my ears the only thing really great and classic about it is the title song. Pretty much all the other songs are really good, but greatness is what counts from hear on out.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (5:35)
A National Acrobat (6:20)
Fluff (4:10)
Sabbra Cadabra (5:55)
Killing Yourself to Live (5:35)
Who are You? (4:10)
Looking for Today (5:00)
Spiral Architect (4:40)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Rick Wakeman

7. Sabotage (1975) - Another Sabbath album that is almost criminally underrated. This was the last listenable and good release from the original mark and their songwriting was at their peak. I feel this one is more consistent than Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and the songs are slightly better. There's no iconic title track, but with songs like Hole in the Sky and Symptom of the Universe there doesn't need to be one. And how can I forget Megalomania? That's one of my all-time favorite songs.

Hole in the Sky (4:00)
Don't Start (Too Late) (0:49)
Symptom of the Universe (6:28)
Megalomania (9:40)
The Thrill of it All (5:52)
Supertzar (3:42)
Am I Going Insane (Radio) (4:15)
The Writ (8:09)
Blow on a Jug (0:23)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Gerald Woodruffe

6. Mob Rules (1981) - I really debated if I wanted to put this ahead of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Sabotage and I ultimately decided to do it. It's really like pulling teeth now to decide. I just feel that this one is ever so slightly better because it just rocks harder. There's nothing progressive about it. There're no trippy songs like Am I Going Insane or Who Are You? It just rocks hard.

Turn Up the Night (3:42)
Voodoo (4:32)
The Sign of the Southern Cross (7:46)
E5150 (2:54)
The Mob Rules (3:14)
Country Girl (4:02)
Slipping Away (3:45)
Falling off the Edge of the World (5:02)
Over & Over (5:28)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, Geoff Nicholls

5. Black Sabbath (1970) - I really don't need to say anything about this one. Four great songs and two great medleys.

Black Sabbath (6:16)
The Wizard (4:24)
Wasp / Behind the Wall of Sleep / Bassically / N.I.B. (9:44)
Wicked World (4:47)
A Bit of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning (14:15)
Evil Woman (3:25)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward

4. Heaven and Hell (1980) - Again, this is like pulling teeth.

Neon Knights (3:49)
Children of the Sea (5:30)
Lady Evil (4:22)
Heaven & Hell (6:56)
Wishing Well (4:02)
Die Young (4:41)
Walk Away (4:21)
Lonely is the Word (5:49)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Geoff Nicholls

3. Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (1972) - Don't need to say anything about this one either.

Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener (8:00) 
Tomorrow's Dream (3:08)
Changes (4:44)
FX (1:41)
Supernaut (4:43)
Snowblind (5:28)
Cornucopia (3:50)
Laguna Sunrise (2:50)
St. Vitus' Dance (2:29)
Under the Sun/Every Day Comes & Goes (5:52)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward

2. Master of Reality (1971) - Who'd've thought that a guy coughing would make such a cool intro?

Sweet Leaf (5:02)
After Forever (5:25)
Embryo (0:20)
Children of the Grave (5:23)
Orchid (1:30)
Lord of this World (5:24)
Solitude (5:02)
Into the Void (6:12)

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward

1. Paranoid (1970) - Surprise, surprise! Big shock to see this at number one, ain't it? I know Iron Man and Paranoid get overplayed so much that it's ridiculous, but no matter how many time I hear the songs I still enjoy them.

Luke's Wall/War Pigs (7:55) 
Paranoid (2:47)
Planet Caravan (4:24)
Iron Man (5:53)
Electric Funeral (4:47)
Hand of Doom (7:07)
Rat Salad (2:29)
Fairies Wear Boots/Jack the Stripper (6:13) 

Line-up: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dragon Ball Z - The Tree of Might: Movie 3 (Uncut, English Dubbed Version)

The third movie in the Dragon Ball Z movie franchise isn't all that special. It's not horribly bad, but it just feels like a pale imitation of the actual series.

This movie is the first movie to involve Saiyans as an enemy. It's also the only DBZ movie to feature the Oozaru form of a Saiyan (pictured below).

The plot of the movie is simple, I guess. A bunch of Saiyans come to earth to plant a tree called the Tree of Might. The Tree of Might is this legendary tree that sucks all life out of the planet it inhabits to grow this special fruit that is supposed to make the consumer all-powerful.

I guess it's not too different from the leprechaun video Crichton is famous for. Found here. But that's totally off topic. I am sorry. I will try to do better. Get used to this kind of thing from me, too. I tend to ramble. 

One thing that really annoys me about this movie is the fact that the primary villain Turles looks like Goku. There's no familial relation between the two, but they just happen to look the same. Couldn't the artists have been a bit more creative with the villain's appearance?

At any rate, I think this is probably the weakest of the first three movies because there just isn't a lot of originality. At least the first two movies have a unique enemy. The entire first saga of Dragon Ball Z is devoted to the Saiyans so why have a movie about it?

Of course with most DBZ movies this one can't fit into the series at all. Pretty much no one cares, either. It's got Goku and fights and stuff. That's really the only reason to watch any of the movies, anyway. 

I'd also like to note that this is one of the last movies to really have a decent running time. This one, like World's Strongest, is an hour in length. One of the biggest problems with the DBZ movies are the short running times, but at least that isn't one of this movie's problems. This would the last one of any real length until Broly: the Legendary Super Saiyan which is a whopping 70 minutes.

As with the previous movie, I got to see this movie in the Canadian dub, but I have since seen it in the Funimation dub, too. I prefer the Funimation dub, but I suppose that the Canadian dub isn't without its merits. It's mostly nostalgia, though.

I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Horror Films in 31 Days

I've been in the process of going through 31 horror films in 31 days. I started late, but now I'm caught up. This is a list of the ones I've watched:

1. Puppet Master (1989) - A straight-to-video B-movie that starts out kind of slow, but then it kind of picks up the pace. I don't know if it's even all that good, but it's a different take on whole "killer toy" thing that's sort of interesting. The acting isn't really there, but then it doesn't need to be. The whole point of this movie is to watch a bunch of puppets kill folks in some pretty peculiar ways (leeches are involved in a few scenes). That's pretty much it. Not "scary" at any point, but it did make me cringe a bit at certain times. Which isn't bad for a B-movie, I guess. 
2. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) - Fun movie and creepy at times. My favorite segment was the fourth and last one where John Lithgow sees something strange on the wing of an airplane. 
3. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) - Stayed up late to watch this one on TCM. Christopher Lee plays the monster (I believe this was his only foray into the Frankenstein world) and Peter Cushing is of course the mad Victor Frankenstein. Can't go wrong with those two, really. 
4. Prince of Darkness (1987) - This John Carpenter movie always sends chills up my spine. Donald Pleasence plays a priest trying to prevent pure evil from escaping a bizarre jar and Alice Cooper makes a cameo as a killer hobo. Pretty cool. 
5. House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) - I remember getting psyched about this movie when I first got it on tape. The first time I watched it I didn't know what to think, though. There were things I liked and there were things I didn't. The more I watch it the more I like it and the things I don't like don't stand out so much. I think this movie is a blast now. Otis and Captain Spaulding are probably my favorite characters from the movie. This movie practically made me a William Moseley fan. And of course no B-horror movie is complete without Karen Black. I love the underground lair of Dr. Satan; it reminds me of Beetlejuice. 
6. The Devil's Rejects [Unrated Director's Cut] (2005) - From camp and pulp to grit and grime, Zombie improves upon his original story with this sequel. I think the onscreen chemistry between Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sherri Moon Zombie was great. It was nice to see a cameo by P.J. Soles, too. Which was kind an omen as to what Zombie would do next. The whole Dr. Satan story line isn't even mentioned here and it works in this movie's favor. 
7. Halloween [Unrated Director's Cut] (2007) - Where do I start? When I first heard Zombie was going to do a Halloween remake I was very hesitant, but I figured it was my duty as a Halloween fan and a Zombie fan to watch it. And I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I'm the only one that really likes this remake. I like the fact that Rob Zombie made this into a Rob Zombie movie. That's sounds silly, but for the life of me I can't tell who directed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake or the Friday the 13th remake. But I know who directed this one because it has Zombie's fingerprints all over it. He keeps references to the original, but he also goes his own way. Which is the whole point of a remake. The fact that he retains a cast that he's familiar with makes this a stronger movie. If you don't like Rob Zombie's movies you will hate this. And I mean HATE this. If you want the original watch the original. You've been warned. 
8. Halloween II [Unrated Director's Cut] (2009) - A Rob Zombie movie without Sid Haig? Oh, say it ain't so! But you know what? I think I really like this one. It certainly is a very interesting inclusion to the Halloween canon. Perhaps the biggest thing that stands out is just how much of a douche Dr. Loomis is in this movie. Dr. Loomis is not the beacon of hope he was in the original series, but a money-grabbing writer trampling on the horrors endured in Zombie's previous movie. The visions seen by Michael and Laurie do take away from the realism that Zombie is known for, but it does add a certain mystique that I found compelling. I suppose that part will remind people of Halloween 5, but I didn't get that impression. In this one I believe the connection is more genetic than psychic. I think I'd give it an B for effort and maybe a low C or a high D for execution. I understand a lot of people would call this movie a mess, but I think it's better than most folks give it credit for.
9. The Last House on the Left [Unrated] (1972) - This was Wes Craven's first movie and it's quite shaky to say the least. Quite graphic for its time and probably for now. I went into this movie expecting a horror landmark, but I didn't quite get one. Oh, it has its moments where it's horrifying and gruesome, but it's definitely the work of a first-time director.
10. Trick 'r Treat (2007) - After the intensity of the last few movies I watched I needed a break. Glad I chose this one because this movie is a hoot! It's a horror anthology made up of four (five if you count the prologue) different tales interwoven throughout the movie: a teacher moonlights as a serial killer; a young woman is looking for the perfect man for her first time; a group of teenagers pull one mean, but creative prank; and a recluse has a dangerous confrontation. I loved it. 
11. The Funhouse (1981) - Not Tobe Hooper's best movie but considering the rest of the drivel he's put out this movie easily makes the category of top five Tobe Hooper movies. The biggest problem with this movie is that it takes half an hour just to get anything done. "Two couples decide to spend the night in a Funhouse," sums up the first half hour well enough. The rest of the movie is kind of good once it gets off the ground, though. I do like Kevin Conway's primary part in the movie although I'm not sure why they had him play three different roles (all of them "barkers") where it was obvious it was the same guy. I know Dean Koontz wrote a novelization of this movie and I can only hope it's better than this. 
12. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) - One of my faves. A young couple discovers that clown-like aliens have landed on earth and they are turning people into cotton candy. Pretty much a nameless cast except for the excellent supporting role by John Vernon.
13. Carnival of Souls (1962) - I got this movie as a part of a cheap 15 movie horror collection that had such heavy hits as The Pyx, The Undertaker and His Pals, and Bloodtide. So my expectations were pretty low. Wow. I was really surprised. This is a really good movie. The interactions with the neighbor did seem a bit unnecessary to the plot, but the rest of the film is so creepy that I really wanted to know what was going on and why.
14. House on Haunted Hill (1959) - October just is not October without a few Vincent Price movies. He has the coolest voice I think I've ever heard. Even cooler than Sean Connery's voice and that's just about the highest compliment I can give. I've seen the remake and I think it was a decent effort, but the original is still better if only because it has Vincent Price.
15. Carrie (1976) - I actually hadn't seen this movie since just after I read the book about four years ago. I kind of forgot just how much of a crazy lady Carrie White's mother was. Piper Laurie did a great job.
16. Horror of Dracula (1958) - I actually like a lot of the Dracula movies more than I like Stoker's actual book. And this one is one of my faves even though I'm not really a big vampire fan. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are such a great duo that it's a shame their screen-time together in this movie is so limited. Good thing there are so many other movies that they did together.
17. The Tingler (1959) - Another Vincent Price film. I'd never seen this one before, but I really enjoyed it. I really liked the "scream for your lives" part. Can't say the Tingler looks really scary, but it's not what it looks like that makes it scary... It's what it can do to you if you don't scream!
18. 1408 (2007) - Certainly one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations. John Cusack's performance really helps to hold the movie together because the entire movie follows him around and a lesser actor might have let his guard down and just started to be himself rather than be the character. Samuel L. Jackson is great too in what is pretty much an extended cameo role. I know the movie is a bit different than the story, but that doesn't really matter. As long as a movie adaptation, especially from Stephen King's works, keeps me entertained and retains some semblance to the source material than it's okay with me.
19. Hellraiser (1987) - Clive Barker's directorial debut of a feature length film is a horror masterpiece. Pinhead is ranked up there with the likes of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger even though he isn't a slasher himself. Pinhead is just one menacing dude and an iconic face in the landscape of theatrical horror. However, not even Pinhead is as messed up as the crazy lady sucking on the skinless dead guy's finger.
20. The Shining (1980) - This is the only time that I can recall that a movie actually made me want to read. I loved this movie from the minute I saw it even though I had no clue what it was about. Of course I've seen this movie plenty of times and it's one of my favorites. I read The Shining for the first time after realizing the movie had been made from a book. The differences between the two actually made it easier for me to like both of them without uttering the phrase, "the book was better." I know plenty of folks want the movies to be exactly like the books, but I guess I'm just weird. All I want from the movie is as I stated in my description of 1408.
21. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Wes Craven's fifth theatrical movie and easily his best next to Scream. It's really hard to believe that the guy who directed this masterpiece is also responsible for this disasterpiece. Well, I guess not every movie can a classic like this one. And Robert Englund is a genius for accepting this role because if it wasn't this movie and the following sequels than nobody would have any clue who he was.
22. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) - Probably the crummiest of the Nightmare sequels and the crummiest of the immediate big slasher sequels (Halloween 2, Friday the 13th Part II, and Hellraiser II). 
23. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - This movie is tied with New Nightmare as the best Nightmare sequel. The cast is pretty solid and it's a good thing they brought back Heather Langenkamp for this one, too. Frank Darabont co-wrote the screenplay so that is certainly a plus. I'm even okay with this movie featuring music by Dokken. Oh, and the "tendon-puppet" is one of the most genius things I've seen on film.
24. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) - Borders between decent and mediocre. This film really brings on the cheese and Freddy gets some killer one-liners. It's not a bad film by any means, but it ain't great either.
25. Jeepers Creepers (2001) - Fun movie. Johnathan Breck makes for one cool and evil villain.
26. Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003) - The same thing that I said about the first movie applies to this one. Although all the bare-chested males in this movie only serves to remind me that the director of this movie (the same guy who directed the first one) is a pedophile. It's kind of like when I watch the Naked Gun movies and I see O.J. Simpson. The movies are good enough to where they distance themselves a bit from the crummy decisions and despicable acts of the man that directed the films, but it's still a bit awkward to watch at times.
27. American Psycho (2000) - I kind of view this movie as the Monty Python of modern horror movies. There are just so many segments that are funny to me that they will forever be etched into my memory. The "card" scene, the scene where Paul gets an ax to the face while listening to Huey Lewis, and of course the "I need to return some video tapes" line. Of course this movie isn't just funny which is why I kind of lumped it in with the horror movies. Technically it's more of a black humor psycho thriller, but whatever. I haven't read the book so I can't make a comparison as to which is better, but I've heard the book is much more extreme. I'll have to check it out.
28. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) - Put this one into the "eh" category. I mostly find it worth owning and watching because John Skipp and Craig Spector co-wrote the story, but other than that there isn't much else going for it. Some of the scenes in the movie are kind of cool, but the movie as a whole just isn't great. Typical crummy slasher sequel.
29. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) - Another for the "eh" category.
30. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) - Probably the second best Nightmare sequel and sort of a prequel to Scream.
31. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) - A really slow build-up, but then Christopher Lee shows up and does his thing and everything seems okay.
32. Dracula has Risen from the Grave (1968) - Again this movie is worth watching for Christopher Lee, but not much else.
33. The Mummy (1959) - Another classic Christopher Lee-Peter Cushing movie.
34. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) - Put this one in the "eh" category, too. I really hate to say this, but Hammer films relied on star power to help make their movies watchable. Without Cushing or Lee to help do some heavy lifting in the acting department this movie just doesn't seem to grab me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Al Davis (July 4, 1929 – October 8, 2011)

Al Davis died this morning at the age of 82. Very sad to hear this news even though I'm not a Raiders fan. He was one of the few owners that you actually could know by name while all of the other owners just blend into one.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Football Life

Sorry, but I'm not putting a Patriot picture on my
blog. I'll stick with the Giants. 
The NFL Network has always had some good specials and shows. America's Game is certainly a must-watch for any football fan, but it's the new show called A Football Life that needs to be watched now, too. The first two episodes went behind the scenes of the 2009 season with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Belichick was actually wired for the entire season and cameras followed him around off the field and caught a side of Belichick we never knew existed. The part where he visited Giants stadium for the last time was especially poignant.

The third episode told the story of Jerome Brown and Reggie White and their journey together.
Maybe I should've put a Packers pic
here. I hate the Eagles. 

And the upcoming episode will talk about Kurt Warner. This show seriously looks good and I'm looking forward to seeing who else they will cover. They've got to do Johnny Unitas.

EDIT: And I've heard there will be a Walter Payton episode after the Kurt Warner one.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anthrax - Worship Music (2011)

Belladonna is back. Anthrax is back. No disrespect to John Bush, but I've always considered the Belladonna years as the quintessential Anthrax era. And no this isn't my inner-fanboy posting; I'm perfectly clear-headed.

While I wouldn't say this is better than the classic Anthrax discs (as the hosts of That Metal Show have said), this is easily the best Anthrax release since 1990's Persistence of Time.

While Fight 'em til You Can't is the first single it's probably one of the weakest on here. It's just another Anthrax song. Neither good nor bad. The In Flames-esque chorus (the "At the end of everything..." part) doesn't really help matters.

But the other songs generally make up for the few "un-special" songs there are. And by "few," I mean Hymn 1, Hymn 2, and the introduction to the album Worship.

But the songs that follow the filler are probably the best songs on the album: Earth on Hell, Judas Priest, and In the End. 

Of course the song Judas Priest has nothing to do with the metal band of the same name. But any song named for Judas Priest has to be killer. And this one is.

Certainly, In the End is one of the best on here. Anthrax have said that it's one of the best songs they've ever done. That's saying quite a lot and I wouldn't say the statement is inaccurate.

Then of course there are The Devil You Know and Crawl. These are two of my favorites. It's hard to choose favorites with Worship Music, but these are the ones that really stand out for me.

Also on the album is a Refused cover called New Noise which begin at 11:24 of the final track.

My rating: 8.9/10.0

Buy this.