TV isolated vintageI have always been a fan of the Puppet Master series ever since I was a prepubescent teen and that was because I always thought the puppets were bad ass. Needless to say, I was surprised when I was cruising through the Shudder app and I stumbled upon Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich which is the 14TH film in the franchise and takes place apparently in an alternate universe. The film stars legendary b-movie horror king Udo Kier (Flesh For Frankenstein) as Puppet maker Andre Toulon who causes a little troube with his puppets and gets killed. Fast forward years later and we stumble on Edgar Easton (Thomas Lennon), a comic book writer who is forced to move back to his parents house, but he makes a discovery. A puppet (Blade) he received as a child could be worth a lot of money and along with his boss and girlfriend they book a trip to an anniversary convention of Toulon’s death to try and sell the puppet, but they may be in for the convention of their lives. The film also stars Jenny Pellicer (Cocaine Godmother) as Ashley, Nelson Franklin (The Office) as Markowitz, Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up) as Nerissa, Michael Paré (Gone) as Detective Brown, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) as Officer Doreski, Skeeta Jenkins (Mismanaged) as Cuddly Bear, and the film was directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund (Wither).

TV isolated vintageOne of the first things I want to talk about is just some of the wacky crazy stuff that happens in this film from the mistakes to what was good bout the film. There were a lot of noticeable things in the film from the couple who gets burned to death by Torch you can tell are not real, but dummies all the way to the guy in the bathroom that gets his head decapitated into the toilet as he continues to pee on it. The only problem is that when his body hits the floor his pants are zippered shut and I am pretty sure his penis did not get chopped off in that scene. Like any great or cheesy horror film before it, it features some nudity in it from Kennedy Summers and Jenny Pellicer in the film so it fills that requirement of a Cheeseball Cinema film. I thought Thomas Lennon did a pretty good job and I applaud him for wanting to do something other than comedy, but I was expecting his Reno 911 character the whole time which I admit was unfair. Some of the deaths scenes in the film and the way in which characters died felt too rushed for me. A lot of it just felt too rushed at times and it showed throughout the film. It was definitely a fun watch for one time, but this is definitely one that I probably won’t be checking out again. On a scale of one being an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I am going to give it a 3.5 for a final grade.

Kennedy Summers and Jenny Pellicer

COMIC TITLE: Grumble Vol.1: You’re The Dog Now, Man! (2019)
Mike Norton – Artist
Rafer Roberts–Writer
July 17, 2019
Albatross Funny Books

grumbleI am always trying to find new and interesting comic books to read and sometimes it’s hard to find one outside of Marvel/DC/Image that retains my attention. Some time ago, when I was scouring through Comiclist.com looking for titles to read, I came across one that simply read Grumble #1 from Albatross Funny Books and so I clicked on it and have been following the comic ever since. That is why I present to you guys Grumble Volume One: You’re The Dog, Man! which was written by Rafer Roberts (Modern Fantasy) and illustrated by Mike Norton (Battlepug) in this world of demons, magic, and more. Tala is part demon, part human and she has been on the run from the Inter-dimensional forces since her mom was caught. The only logical thing she could think of was to look up her mom’s low life ex-partner named Eddie to try and help her out. There is just one problem with all of this, he has turned himself into a dog and everyone wants in the world of humans and magic want to kill him too. Together, they’ll be on the run as they set off a wild chain of events that will keep you glued to the pages, but there is just one question. What are Tala’s true intentions in all of this?

grumble 2I honestly fell in love with this comic as soon as I began to read it. The story was well put together in my opinion as you go from the regular world one minute to a world full of magic and they even throw in intergalactic bounty hunters and more into the mix. What more could you want from the story? It has the main plot which is she needs help escaping these intergalactic bounty hunters in order to save her mom and it has a lot of subplots from what is the true relationship between herself and Eddie like is he her dad? As well as many other subplots that have certainly not disappointed me yet. The story has a perfect mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, and comedy all thrown in there that make it hard to compete against. I have also definitely enjoyed the artwork which has helped develop the universe that I’ve been talking about and what is better than a wise cracking walking, talking, dog that no one will help change back? Mike Norton does a terrific job with the comic’s artwork as he makes it easy to follow along with and his work is terrific. I ask you to at least give the first issue a shot because you never know, you may find yourself actually enjoying the comic.

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

118933420One of the greatest thrash albums of all time in my opinion has always been Metallica’s second album Ride The Lightning which was released on July 27, 1984 via Megaforce Records (later re-released by Elektra Records). The album in my opinion still featured some of the fury and rawness of the previous effort Kill ‘Em All, but it was a step forward in their sound that would eventually be featured on their next effort Master Of Puppets. The album also still featured traces of former guitarist Dave Mustaine of Megadeth who has writing credits on the album. The band once again featured James Hetfield (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), Cliff Burton (Bass), and Lars Ulrich (Drums) while the album was produced by Flemming Rasmussen as well as Metallica. The album was a critical success for the band as it established that they were the alphas of the Metal scene that was emerging in the US as it charted at Number 48 on the Billboard Top 200 while being certified platinum six times. The change in style of this album to the previous was all due to Cliff Burton who apparently introduced musical theory to the band and they allowed him to have more input as far as writing was concerned.

main_1525890639-James-Hetfield-Jason-Newsted-Signed-Metallica-Ride-the-Lightning-Vinyl-Record-Album-Inscribed-04-2013-JSA-COA-PristineAuction.com1. Fight Fire With Fire– The opening track starts with an acoustic riff that Cliff Burton had been playing around with before the all out metal assault hits you like a freight train. The track is all about denouncing the idea of an eye for an eye with the fear of nuclear attacks being an option. 5/5

2. Ride The Lightning– the title track is one that Mustaine helped write, but that Metallica had to slow down because neither Hammett or Hetfield could match the speed of Mustaine. The track is about the corruption of the justice system as told by a man facing the electric chair. 5/5

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls– a church bell kicks off the track that is one of my personal favorites and the opening chromatic riff that you hear is actually Cliff Burton playing with distortion and a wah wah pedal and not the guitars. The lyrics and track were based off of Ernest Hemingway’s book of the same name in the matter of the dishonor and all of the horrors associated with warfare. 5/5

4. Fade To Black– The track is a ballad of sorts, but it deals with a very touchy subject matter of suicide. Apparently. the track is about the emotions that Hetfield went through when he and Metallica had discovered that someone had stolen all of their equipment before a show in Boston, MA in January of 1984. 5/5

118875110-35. Trapped Under Ice– This was a track that was based off of a demo that Hammett had written with Exodus called Impaler. They tuned it up and fixed it and turned it into this track that is all about a man that wakes up after being trapped in a cryogenic state and the helplessness that he goes through after. 5/5

6. Escape– While I am a fan of this track, apparently James Hetfield hates this song because this track was the result of the label telling them they had to write a more radio friendly song. I really like this track. 5/5

7. Creeping Death-This is probably the most famous Metallica song ever written besides Fade, Bell, and even Master Of Puppets. The track is about the story of Moses and the plagues that engulfed Egypt. 5/5

8. The Call of Ktulu– The instrumental track was named after the H.P. Lovercraft book The Call Of Cthulhu and features the intro written in D Minor by Mustaine (He used again in Hangar 18) and is followed up by a bass solo by Cliff Burton. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a reason that Loudwire ranked this album 8TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums of all time list and that is because it is one of the greatest albums written by Metallica. The album gets five stars out of five stars because it belongs in the five star album club.

COMIC TITLE: Symbiote Spider-Man #4 (2019)
Greg Land – Artist
Peter David–Writer
July 10, 2019
Marvel Comics

Symbiote_Spider-Man_Vol_1_4This was another slow week for me as far as comic book titles were concerned and a lot of the titles I did pick up were titles that I was continuing to read like my choice for today’s comic. Back in early May, I covered the second issue of Symbiote Spider-Man which followed Spider-Man who had this new suit that was actually alien technology because it was a symbiote. In the previous issues, Spider-Man has had some issues with Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio who can’t take the fact that no one respects him for losing to Spider-Man all the time. So, he tries everything, but he continues to fail until he decides that the only way to succeed is to convince Spider-Man’s girlfriend Felicia Hardy a.k.a. The Black Cat to steal a little slice of the suit for him. After showing her the files that the Kingpin kept on her, he blackmails her into to stealing the slice which was pretty easy for her to do considering Peter and her are going through a rough patch. In this month’s issue of Symbiote Spider-Man #4, Felicia hands over the piece of the suit over to Beck and he brings it to the Kingpin’s lab to dissect it, but it’s too strong and out of control and it bonds with him. Meanwhile, all Peter wants to do is meet up with Aunt May for some pancakes to try and smooth things over with her, but Mysterio could prove to be a thorn in his side.

zb2ZunnUFor a very long time, I had kind of lost interest in the web-slinger, but thanks to Tom Holland and his performance in all the Marvel films including the brand new Spider-Man: Far From Home film, he has renewed my interest in it. I have been enjoying the story so far as it keeps building and building in momentum and now it looks like we are about to see an epic battle between Spider-Man and a new and improved Mysterio. I think Peter David has been doing a great job with the story as far as having the main plot and then all these little subplots that appearing now in the story like the relationship between Black Cat and Spider-Man and what is going to happen to their relationship if he finds out? These stories can definitely be some of the best soap operas around and better than what you get on TV. The artwork has been fantastic from Greg Land, I can never complain about the work that this man is doing with the comic and he’s done a terrific job throughout every issue. He hast stayed true to what the comic is to look and feel like it and he has run with it. The panels are easy to follow along with so you shouldn’t have any trouble there. If you haven’t checked out the series yet then I think you should definitely give this one a shot. So, check out the comic and check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

R-1113013-1349122345-6756.jpegThere was once a time when four bands in the thrash metal world would each release an album that would go down in infamy and put the scene on the map. You see those bands would go on to be known as the Big Four of Thrash Metal and those bands are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica would release Master Of Puppets, Slayer would release Reign In Blood, Anthrax would release Among The Living, and our album of the week this week was Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? by Megadeth. The album was released on September 19, 1986 and it was the second album to feature Dave Mustiane (Lead Vocals/Guitar), David Ellefson (Bass), Chris Poland (Guitars), and Gar Samuelson (Drums). Unfortunately, this was the last album to ever feature Gar on Drums as he would pass away in 1999 and this was also the last to feature Chris Poland until 2004’s The System Has Failed Us as a session guitarist. The album was hugely successful for Megadeth at the time as it charted and peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Top 200 Chrtas as well as being listed in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Martin Popoff’s  Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. Most importantly the album was ranked 9TH on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list.

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-3-cd1. Wake Up Dead-The song just kicks right off into overdrive with Ellefson’s help as Dave tells us a story of a man who is cheating on his wife, but is afraid that if she finds out she’ll kill him. The track is autobiographical of a situation that Mustaine was in at one time. 5/5

2. The Conjuring-An interesting track that is all about black magic and according to Dave even has instructions on how to perform hexes. 5/5

3. Peace Sells– That world famous bass riff starts off the track before Mustaine and co. come in with one of the fiercest riffs in this track that is all about Mustaine’s distaste for the way American culture was at the time. That last stanza of the track where Dave sing Peace Sells along with all the guitar solos is one of my favorite moments in a track. 5/5

4. Devil’s Island– They are relentless as the fury continues into this track that is all about the French prison island French Guiana about a man who was imprisoned there, but after being spared by God he is forced to live out the rest of his days there. 5/5

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-4-cd5. Good Mourning/Black Friday– The very melodic and eerie Good Mourning is the instrumental part of the track before it leads into Black Friday which is a track about a serial killer. The track was apparently inspired by the band’s original drummer Dijon Carruthers who had friends that practiced Occultism. 5/5

6. Bad Omen– The song is about Occultism as Mustaine once described the track as being about, “two happy campers who have stumbled onto a Satanic orgy in the middle of the woods.” He basically ends it by saying that, “they see these fools waiting around for Satan’s blessing.” 5/5

7. I Ain’t Superstitious– This is Megadeth’s cover of the Howlin’ Wolf track that was written by Willie Dixon. I love how Megadeth put their own twist on this bluesy track. 5/5

8. My Last Words– Is the last track on the album and a track that a lot of people believed proved that Megadeth were purveyors of speed metal and some of the best at it. The song is about the game of Russian Roulette and the fear that goes into playing this interesting game. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I will always argue with anyone that I truly believe that this is the best Megadeth record ever released because this was a band that was hungry and ready to prove all the naysayers that they meant business. Listen to the whole damn album because this gets the perfect five score and is in the perfect five album club.

COMIC TITLE: DCeased #3 (2019)
Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Guadiano – Artist
Tom Taylor–Writer
July 3, 2019
DC Comics

DCeased-3-vc-2First, I want to start out by wishing everyone a very happy and safe fourth of July and hopefully you have some great issues this week to check out while you celebrate America’s birthday. Now that we got  some of the formalities out of the way, I have to say that I was not super impressed by this week’s releases unless you are continuing story lines that you’ve been following for some time. That is why I have decided to once again go with a comic that I have been consistently reviewing for Comic Book Of The Week in Dceased #3 which once again featured a horror cover variant and this week’s is The Nun which this time was provided by Francesco Mattina. The comic was once again written by Tom Taylor (All-New Wolverine) and illustrated by Trevor Hairsine (Bloodshot) along with Stefano Guadiano (Immortal Iron Fist) again as well.The last issue was all about knowing the choices they have to make in this epidemic that is turning everyone into zombie like creatures. Batman paid the ultimate price as he was put down by Alfred while in this issue it is now decision time for Harley Quinn as she confronts The Joker and Superman has a tough pill to swallow as he heads back to Smallville. If you would like more information on the comic and where to get it then please visit this website.

download (2)I know that one of the biggest complaints about the comic consistently has been the writing and while there is no ultimate pay off in this issue they are definitely leading up to it. I felt like most of it was who else can we shock the readers by turning into stark raving beasts? Oh yeah, let’s make hope look very bleak as the Birds of Prey fall victim to the virus which was the only predictable thing about the issue and the only one I care to name without spoiling anything else. One thing that definitely shocked me was when they reach Atlantis in the comic because that is where the cliffhanger ends up. One thing is for sure when it comes to this comic book and that is I am definitely a fan of the artwork especially the horror covers, but some of the other covers they have are excellent as well. The artwork in the comic is the one consistent great thing about it and that is you’ll never be disappointed by what you see. Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Guadiano definitely do a fantastic job especially when they have to turn beloved characters into raging monsters which has been cool to see. There are pluses and minuses to every comic book out there, you just have to pick and choose based on what you like and I love the horror element added to this. If you want to give it a shot, I say go for it otherwise check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

0000329891I remember when System Of A Down first came out with their self titled album in 1998, they were a band that just stormed the scene out of nowhere with their whacked out in your face alt metal assault. They were the right kind of band to come out when they did because soon enough Rage Against The Machine would be no more and we needed a new band to take over the activist mantra and they did just that with their second album Toxicity.  The album which once again featured Serj Tankian (Vocals/Keyboard/Strings), Daron Malakian (Guitars/Sitar/Vocals), Shavo Odadjian (Bass), and John Dolmayan (Drums) released the album September 4, 2001 and it was produced by Rick Rubin as well as Serj and Daron. The album was a huge success upon it’s release as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts in the US and in Canada as it sold 220,000 copies in it’s first week. The album was certified triple platinum a year later as well as finishing at 101 on the Billboard Year End charts in 2001 and then it finished 28TH in 2002. Another achievement from the album is that every single released charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as having a single finish number one on both the Mainstream Rock Tracks and the Modern Rock Tracks charts. Loudwire ranked the album 13 on their 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list.

System of a Down - Toxicity back1. Prison Song– an in your face track kicks off the album in this track that was said to be written about how our prisons are overflowing with Americans and so we keep building more prisons. 4/5

2. Needles– an interesting track where one may feel that they are talking about drugs and how can I blame you with a title like that. But I saw someone explain that the song is about euthanasia and the idea of how tough it is to grow old especially when the body begins to fall apart. 4.5/5

3. Deer Dance-a relentless track that is all about the protests that happened during the 2000 Democratic National Convention. 4/5

4. Jet Pilot-SOAD does not take their foot off the pedal going into this track which I ultimately think is a metaphor for the environment 4/5

5. X– a track that is all about how oppressive a government can be especially when it starts telling the people what they can and can’t do. 4.5/5

6. Chop Seuy!– This was the first single off the record and controversy followed it due to the fact that it was released during the week of 9/11. Daron explains the meaning to the lyrics saying, “The song is about how we are regarded differently depending on how we pass. Everyone deserves to die. Like, if I were now to die from drug abuse, they might say I deserved it because I abused dangerous drugs. Hence the line, ‘I cry when angels deserve to die’. The lyric passages ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’ and ‘why have you forsaken me?’ are a reference to Jesus’ death on the cross, as, according to the Gospels, it was one of the seven things Jesus said while dying.” 5/5

7. Bounce-an in your face track that surprisingly is about group sex. I love how it goes crazy during the chorus and calm during the verses. 5/5

toxicity-589cd99826a8a8. Forest-a great track that I think is about how the original concept of religion has been ruined by the people who take something that should be about peace and love, but have created war over it. 5/5

9. ATWA-One of my favorite tracks on the album that starts calm with the clean channel playing before they kick it in overdrive for the choruses. The song is based off of Charles Manson’s views on the environment. 5/5

10. Science– an interesting view on the world of science and the age old topic of science vs religion. It tackles the idea of how science without a moral/faith based view and  understanding could destroy the earth, but also could lead us to the promise land. 5/5

11. Shimmy-an interesting track that looks at the idea of how school instills what the majority believes is the right thing for you to believe in like education, marriage, etc. 4.5/5

12. Toxicity– Another one of my favorite tracks on the album. According to wikipedia, the track is played, ” predominately in triple meter, alternating between 6/4, 12/8 and 4/4 time. The guitar during the verse plays in 6/4 using a 2+2+2 phrasing while the heavy part (“somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep”) makes use of a hemiola with the guitar switching to a 3+3+3+3 pattern while the drums remain in compound duple meter until the bridge.” According to John the song is about, “your poisonous content. Your toxicity level. But toxicity doesn’t necessarily mean the toxicity of a person, it can be the toxicity of a city. Or the toxicity of a nation. The toxicity of a speech. It’s just toxicity in general or whatever.” 5/5

13. Psycho– A great track to hear and sing along with live in this track that is all about drugs and groupies. 5/5

14. Aerials– The best song on the whole entire album with it’s clean channel guitar intro and incredible guitar riff during the chorus that is intoxicating to listen to. The track is about how ignorant we can be as a society when we close our minds to those who are different or have different opinions. An incredible track that still translates well today. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Besides the Mezmerize/Hypnotize albums, this might be the best piece of work that System Of A Down ever put out as almost every track is brilliant. I have always favorite the mid to late tracks on this album more than I did the opening tracks hence the grades. Check out the album and I am giving the record 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.