9 Jan

Discoveries! 2016

2016 will go down in history as a pretty crap year, but outside of this year’s great mistakes (I won’t mention the obvious big one here) – 2016 was a year where I watched & rewound some great movies, flipped through some fantastic comics, and listened to music that was really good. So here’s my list of discoveries: 2016…

Favorite VHS: Heavenly Bodies – 1984

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I watch a lot of movies, but it’s a rare day when I watch a movie that becomes one of my favorite films of all time.  “Heavenly Bodies” is that good. It’s a hopeful movie with a positive message & a whole lot of aerobics.  If you hate positive messages and/or aerobics then you’ll probably hate this movie. The plot is pretty typical 80s cliche: Big Corporate assholes vs small time folks with big hearts.  But what sets it apart from a movie like “Flash dance” or “Perfect” is its electric energy that doesn’t quit until the credits roll. “Heavenly Bodies” is a movie with a soul, and I couldn’t recommend it more.  This movie is just waiting for a big time/big art theater revival, but at the moment it’s only on VHS.

Favorite Horror VHS: The Sect (alt title: The Devil’s Daughter, Demons 4) – 1991

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Here’s a movie directed by Dario Argento’s understudy, Michelle Soavi (see also “Cemetery Man” & the excellent slasher – “Stage Fright.”  “The Sect” is a haze of murky sewers, giant killer birds, and secret cults. It has a lazy dubbing job typical of most American releases of European movies & full disclosure – I love bad dubbing.  It’s actually hard for me to watch a subtitled Italian horror movie, because I miss the dream-like feel that comes out of having the voices not quite match the mouths of the actors. Also, the lead in the movie is Jamie Lee Curtis’ sister – which is a lot of fun because from certain angles they look remarkably similar. There’s really nothing stopping you from picking this one up, because it’s an incredibly cheap buy.  I bought my copy on VHS under the title: THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER – it was still sealed and only $3 on Amazon. There’s still 6 copies left on there.  Get into it before they raise the price to $5!

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27 Jan

Discoveries: 2015!

2015 is over & done.  I consumed a lot of great art (old & new) and here’s a list of my favorite things I discovered in 2015.

Favorite blu-ray: NIGHTMARE (1981)

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I love that “Nightmare” received a proper blu-ray release from Codered.  It manages to rip off Halloween and The Shining, but stand on its own by upping the trash (a lot of the movie takes place in that old filthy version of NYC that’s now extinct!) There’s also a surprisingly earnest subplot involving divorced parents that’s really well handled, and that might be the biggest shock of the whole movie.

Favorite record: BELABORIS: “ONCE UPON A TIME…” (1982)

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A sort of 80s Finnish New Wave version of The Spice Girls, Belaboris (their name taken from combining Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff) was a producer created band – made to capitalize on the synth-pop craze of the early 80s. They bombed back then, and quickly disbanded, but holy shit does this music hold up well today.  This LP collects all of Belaboris’ EPs, and it’s a great album to throw on at parties (especially parties that look like this…)

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2 Mar

Discoveries: 2014!

2014’s been over for a while, but it’s never too late for a list – so here’s my favorite discoveries from the year: 2014!

Favorite blu-ray: DEATH SPA (1989)

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Death Spa has everything I love in one movie!  There’s 80s aerobics sequences, splattery gore, overly complicated romantic plots, demons, evil computers, and it ends with a costume party!  It’s meant to watch in a group, so grab a copy and gather your friends.  You will not be disappointed.

Favorite record: Lewis: “L’amour” (1983)

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A lot of music blogs have been telling this story for a while, so I’ll just paraphrase it here: 31 years ago a guy named Randy Wulff recorded this album.  It had a limited pressing, and faded to obscurity.  In 2007, a Canadian record collector rediscovered it, and played it for the right people.  A reissue was pressed, and it’s the bees knees. The music itself is sleepy and smooth with spikes of synth layered underneath.  It sounds so perfectly now that a lot of music fans are calling the whole thing a conspiracy.  Maybe there never was a Lewis.  Maybe someone at the record company – Light in the Attic dug up some old 80s photos of this Randy guy, and created the ultimate music find – an old musician with the “hipness” of today.  For the record, I don’t really care – I love this album.

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