I was sick as fuck with COVID all weekend, so when I wasn't attempting to finish setting up my office, I mostly spent laid out on the couch. Saturday night Ray, Anthony and I did a new episode of The Horror Vision - that's it in the corner on the handy little Spotify widget - a review/reaction to Prey, which I have watched twice now and loved. Being that it'd been so long since we did an episode, we had planned to cover a lot more than Prey, but as the night wore on, I felt increasingly like shit, and eventually had to call it, immediately passing out on the couch (not sleeping in our bed so as to try and prevent spreading Captain Tripps to K, who so far has been lucky enough to not show any symptoms). I woke up around 1:15 AM and, restless from the body aches - easily the worst part of this - I opened a beer and dialed up Shudder TV. The Slashics channel was showing Rocktober Blood, a movie I'd heard of but never actually saw. I caught the film right at the final act, which is essentially one enormous concert, where the fictional band plays four songs.
All of those songs are awesome.
This is total 80s Hard Rock, but I don't care, this hit the fucking spot! Now, do I go back and watch the rest of the flick from the beginning? Not sure yet. But I definitely want to track down the soundtrack.
In looking online for the vinyl, I saw that Lunaris Records put out a new edition back in 2016, and it fetches a pretty penny on Discogs. Damn. What are the chances this gets a repress? Until then, I guess it's youtube.
Watch:Rocktober Blood left me in the mood for 80s Trash Cinema, so I followed it up with my first-ever viewing of Joseph Zito's 1981 Slasher flick The Prowler*:
Seeing that this one had recently returned to Shudder, I chose to watch it on the 2018 Joe Bob Briggs' Original Marathon. A somewhat perplexing film in that it spends A LOT of time roaming around looking for the killer in a pretty ineffectual and, frankly, time-wasting manner, I still enjoyed it overall. Plus, Thom Bray is in it, and I've long been a fan of him. Also, Tom Savini's effects are fantastic. And I suppose now I'm set in a tone for a while, because last night, I continued the 80s bender with... The OCTAGON!!!
I first saw this way back in the mid-80s. I was obsessed with Ninjas due to Larry Hama's G.I.Joe comic, so when I stumbled across the final act of The Octagon on WGN Channel 9's movie of the day, I was blown away! A Chuck Norris movie that looked like it had actually taken some of the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow storyline from Hama's opus and filmed it!
Rewatching The Octagon last night, it didn't disappoint. This is by no means a "good" movie, but it's fun as hell. It's interesting how watching it now, I can see how Norris or Director Eric Karson - likely both - had ambitions for the film beyond the standard Martial Arts action movie fair. The film spends the first 2/3rds of its runtime slowly laying out and drawing us (via Chuck) into what is supposed to be an intricate story of international espionage. It doesn't completely work, however, I found it quite endearing that in order to give the audience intermittent doses of what they came for, it sets up a B-story early on that focuses on a bunch of nameless recruits at a Ninja Training Camp. So as the Norris-Mystery story meanders its often perplexing path, we continually cut away to the camp for low doses of Martial Arts fighting.
The ending did not disappoint, and overall, although I'm not a huge fan of the Martial Arts Action Genre, this one really hit the spot. Also, the weird echoing voiceovers Norris does that serve as us hearing his character's inner monologue sound SO MUCH like the Central Scrutinizer from Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage album, that I found myself smiling every time I heard it.
* Seeing that William Lustig's Blue Underground did a 4K Blu Ray of The Prowler a few years back, I was hoping to find a trailer for that. No dice.
Johnny Hates Jazz - Shattered Dreams (single)
U.S. Girls - Half Free
Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown
The Contours and Dennis Edwards - Motown Rarities 1965-1968
Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies EP
Amigo The Devil - Born Against
Man or Astro-Man? - 1000X
Man or Astro-Man? - Your Weight on the Moon
Man or Astro-Man? - Defcon 5...4...3...2...1
Man or Astro-Man? - Experiment Zero
Deth Crux - Mutant Flesh
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
Various - Joe Begos' Bliss Soundtrack Playlist
Various - Roctober Blood OST
From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.
Sometimes the solutions we come up with for our problems are short-sighted and end up causing a bigger pain in the end. It may be good to listen to someone else for a change.