Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Ministry - New Religion

LOVING this new Ministry record. Somehow, Uncle Al almost never disappoints. This particular track, while I'm not in love with the video, is one of those Ministry songs where you can really hear the Killing Joke influence. This started back around 2003 with Animositisomina, which is interesting when you consider that Paul Raven didn't join the band until 2006's Rio Grande Blood. Not that there wasn't always a little Killing Joke DNA in Ministry, but occasionally, it really shines through.


Light pull this week, but there are some goodies, so let's get into it:

A new Last Ronin series? Whoah! This slipped by my radar completely until about a week ago. Apparently, if I understand this right, this series is set a number of years after the original series and follows more grown-up versions of the four new turtles that Casey (Jr) was training. I love the Miller-esque dystopia of the first Last Ronin series, so definitely sign me up for this next round. I love to see the evolution of future worlds like this. 

Here's another one that slipped past me - David and Maria Lapham have a new series called Underheist and I missed the first issue! I'll be grabbing that as well as this week's number two. Everything the Laphams do is fantastic, so I can't wait to see what this new one has to offer.

Void Rivals returns! I honestly had only realized it must have been on hiatus - probably because I've been so preoccupied with the other Energon Universe series. I feel like this family of books is moving in to take over the fervor I've held but watched wane for the X-Books since Hickman. I don't know if my brain finds something to fill the, ahem, void, or if 

Speaking of the X-Book, I still haven't found any issues with Gerry Duggan and his X-Men. Solid, every issue. And what's this? Lockheed returns? Can't wait to see this. Where the core Fall of X books have been a mixed bag, Mr. Duggan continues to drive his RBI percentage up by turning in solid episodes of the core 'team' book in the family. Also, love seeing Kitty and Ilyana side by side with swords!


Recently, I was psyched to see that Shudder added the first three Coffin Joe movies to their ever-expanding roster. I am not super familiar with these, but back in 2004, my friend JFK (where are you?) mentioned these to me and I started a hunt that didn't end until I walked into either Generation Records or Village Revival Records in Greenwich Village, NY and found a copy of At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul. I picked that up and gifted it to JFK for Christmas that year, and after we watched it one night, I haven't seen a Coffin Joe flick since. Until now.

"The Brazilian Freddy Krueger" is how Coffin Joe is often described, and while there is a simple comparison there, that's a bit of a misnomer, and probably the reason I walked away from that first viewing twenty years ago less than impressed. So despite the fact that I myself have used that comparison recently, I offer here the caveat that Coffin Joe is not a supernatural being (at least not in the early flicks) and he doesn't invade his victims' dreams or materialize in gross and grandiose ways. He's a terribly evil human being, an undertaker with no empathy and a greedy soul, and he terrorizes the town in rural Brazil where he resides as a rich and powerful citizen. 

On the surface, these flicks feel a little quaint. At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul is from 1964 Brazil for god's sake, so that's to be expected. But, if you really pay attention and move past that surface layer, these are some pretty f**ked up films. What's more, let's think about that year of origin again: 1964 Brazil! These are also SO ahead of their time, even in the States, and slot in nicely with some of the other creators releasing Horror films at the time; if you google "Horror Films Released in 1964," you get a list that includes Roger Corman, William Castle, and Hershal Gordon Lewis.

Ultimately, Coffin Joe - the character created and portrayed by Brazilian cinematic jack-of-all-trades  José Mojica Marins - won't be for everybody, however, in rewatching the first film last night, I found a decidedly more cerebral and, honestly, disturbing experience than I remembered. Strip away some of the limitations of the day, some of the slightly archaic approaches to the accouterments of the Horror genre - maniacal laughter, spiders (no laughing matter for me), and female hysteria, and you have an amoral villain who commits grievous acts in the name of a rather messed up approach to child-rearing. Joe is an icon in Brazil - hence the real reason for the comparison to Mr. Kreuger - so Shudder adding these films is another way in which the service continues to promote a more well-rounded fan base for the genre. Something we're all the better for. 


The Body & Dis Fig - Orchards of a Futile Heaven
Uniform & The Body - Mental Wounds Not Healing
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Black Sabbath - Volume IV
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
Dio - The Last in Line


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• XI: Justice
• Four of Wands
• VIII: Strength

Approaching a situation or decision without bias leads to empowerment. Again, another character nod to the book I'm writing. I turned in a solid hour and a half last night - actually made it out to my old coffee shop and was really able to lose myself for the duration of the session. These characters are growing in depth and complexity, and the cards are assuring me I'm on the right path.

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