Day 2G: Colorado Wasteland, Round Two
In the West subdivision, we have…
Jason Brenner, From the Boardroom to the Bathroom: Ramblings on Life by a Typical 24-Year-Old Male (Writer’s Showcase, 2000)
[originally posted 14Mar2000]
My first book review in over a month! (No thanks to Gunter Grass and E. C. Large… I’m finishing them, slowly, I promise.)
Sutcliffe Jügend, The Victim As Beauty (Death Factory, 1999)
[originally posted 22Feb2000]
Sutcliffe Jügend have been, since I discovered them in 1995, one of my favorite purveyors of mindshattering high-pitched misanthropic brutal ultraviolent homicide-inciting powerelectronics. Their infamous 10-tape set We Spit on Their Graves still ranks as one of the most violent and brutal releases of all time. And for years, both during the band’s dormancy and after its resurfacing five years ago, they played on that release, and lived on it, including remastered tracks from it on new CDs, you name it.
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Umbra, Unclean Spirit (The Rectrix, 1999)
[originally posted 19Jan2000]
A collaboration between Gruntsplatter and Murderous Vision, Umbra’s second release is also the first from the fledgling Rectrix label. And for a first release, it certainly looks damn good. Murky pseudo-gothic photography that’s actually reproduced with high quality, a jewel case that looks as if it might actually hold up (when was the last time you saw a decent jewel case where the little prongs in the middle didn’t bend down within a week?), all-around above average packaging. Attention to detail is one of the things that keeps a label afloat, sometimes.
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When I saw this flick up for grabs on Netflix while I was trolling the “Popular on Netflix” queue a couple of weeks ago (I am not ashamed to admit I do this at least once a month), I added it on the off chance that some indie director had taken a crack at adapting a Tom Piccirilli novel to the screen, something that is way overdue. I did so even though I know that any film adaptation of Piccirilli’s work would probably not even come close to the original, though I imagine the noir stuff like The Last Kind Words would be easier to adapt than the crazy Southern gothic stuff of his I like even better (A Choir of Ill Children is not only my favorite Piccirilli novel, it is one of my favorite books of all time). And I figured, hey, if it’s not Piccirilli, and it’s just another DTV picture, what’s the most I’ve got to lose, an hour and a half of a work-from-home Tuesday when I could be watching another equally crappy DTV movie? I tell you all this to give you an idea of the mindset I was in when I hit play on Last Kind Words. I wasn’t expecting much, and I hate to admit that as soon as I saw Brad Dourif, I was expecting even less. I love Brad Dourif, always have, but man, it is hard to get the stink of Fading of the Cries out of your head, you know? And so to say Last Kind Words blindsided me would be something of an understatement. But it does make this review quite a bit easier to write, because it gives me a point of comparison. I have a (very) short shelf of the DTV horror flicks that, for my money, should have gotten theatrical releases, because they’re a damn sight better than pretty much any horror film that’s been turned out by Hollywood in the past decade. Cube is, of course, the one everyone is familiar with, but most horror geeks have probably seen Shallow Ground, DeadBirds, or Pony Trouble!. The real nerds have dug far enough in to have found perhaps the best treasures in the bunch, Baby Blues and Lockout. Now I’m adding Last Kind Words to that short shelf; it stands easily with any of the above. And for the love of Johnson County, it’s good to have the old Brad Dourif back!
I Gotta Go! (No director listed, 2002)
points off: no director listed.
I Gotta Go!, which the (now-defunct) production house’s website claims was at one point Wal-Mart’s top-selling non-theatrical video release, has achieved some minor fame on the Internet thanks to pieces of it being included in the annual Found Footage Festival, as well as going viral at places like ebaumsworld (if you’re not already familiar with ebaumsworld, you probably don’t want to be. Trust me on this one). And with good reason—it’s kind of terrifying. Kids dancing on potty chairs, a diaper-wearing chimp, traumatizing animation… if I fully described this thing to you, you’d probably think I was on about some sort of very, very weird fetish porn rather than a video aimed at the potty-training set. I had nightmares.