Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Pink Floyd? Because They Rule.

Best news today, this week, last week, last month and perhaps all year: the Why Pink Floyd? Campaign has officially launched this past Tuesday. The band’s 14 studio albums have been remastered into Discovery editions and are on now on sale as a box set or individually. While two new versions of The Dark Side of the Moon are available as supplemental material, there is also a bonus Experience CD that contains Floyd performing the entire Dark Side in their ’74 Wembley Empire Pool performance.

”Hello…hello…hello…is there anybody in there?”  The campaign keeps on rolling into 2012. As if the idea of a newly remastered box set is not enough to excite you, the definitive Immersion edition is now available for Dark Side. This is extremely special set includes photos, booklets, DVD and Blu-ray content, and a lot more other goodies. Wish You Were Here (11/7) and Pink Floyd: The Wall (2/27) will follow suit soon with their Immersion versions in the near future.  

The campaign’s offerings are the next best thing you will ever get to a new Pink Floyd album since disbanding many moons ago. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of tenured Floyd engineer James Guthrie along with remaining band members David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Nick Mason, these new versions of the classic albums will be something that the fans will be sure to enjoy.

Besides 2005’s Live 8 and this past May’s Roger Waters’ The Wall Live performance, the band always said that Pink Floyd would reunite once again when “pigs fly”. Well I guess the band took that literally. Below is a recent video for the campaign featuring the recreation of the iconic Floyd inflatable pig flying over the Battersea Power Station in London, much like it did 35 years ago, for the cover of their album Animals

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FOX is sly to air UFC on Friday Nights!

Beginning November 12, the powerhouse FOX network will air the first live event in their landmark 7-year deal with the mega popular Ultimate Fighting Championship. And they will so with a major bang, as Junior dos Santos challenges Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Title at the Honda Center in sunny Anaheim, California.

Plenty has been said in the media about the union between these two entities, but in case you have not heard about it, FOX will be airing UFC programming on both their flagship station as well as their FX cable outlet. This new alliance includes broadcasted live fights, such as the aforementioned championship match-up, and taped brawls as well. Whatever your preference, you are going to be tapout heaven if you are a fan of mixed martial arts.

How much of an effect is this going to have on both network and cable television? For starters, Spike TV is the jilted lover in this whole affair. After airing UFC for several years, the network has already planned to air UFC-related programming against the FOX-UFC timeslot. Whether that will be effective in the ratings game or not seems pretty futile, this move by Spike seems to be born purely out of spite. Unless they come to an agreement and broadcast another MMA company, Spike TV can continue airing UFC programming until 2013.

Another player feeling the heat is the WWE. Sure the “E” is sports entertainment, but they still air Smackdown on SyFy Friday nights and have bragged about owning the #1 cable show on Friday nights. Now, they have competition for once in a long time after bolting from their Thursday night timeslot and face a competitor that will definitely pull their viewers away. It may not affect their cable ratings standing, but it will negatively affect their overall viewership. The odds of a taped sports entertainment program beating out a live slugfest head-to-head are slim to none. The company has even been exploring the possibilities of moving the show to Tuesday nights where it will air live and have also been incorporating the Smackdown brand’s roster onto their Monday RAW program to give the brand much needed exposure as this Friday night takeover looms.

Love or hate it, UFC is on the horizon and in line to take network television broadcasting to the next level. Meanwhile, the FOX Sports empire continues to expand.

The Man-Cave Ponderings: I have been bouncing off the walls since I heard this news. Before Tapout shirts were worn by every punk teenager trying to look like a hardass, I enjoyed UFC since my friend bought it on PPV one night for us to try out in the 90's. Ahh the memories…Gracie, Severn, Shamrock, Kimo…the one night tournament…the clashing styles…only legal in Colorado…man, I’ve been in love since UFC I! Yes the sports has evolved a great deal, but it still is as entertaining as ever, although I admit to missing crazy matches like a boxer versus a Greco-Roman grappler. And even though I dig the WWE, it would take a back seat to a live UFC fight anytime, so Vince McMahon might want to pull off that Tuesday night move sooner rather than later. Once November 12th hits, Friday nights will change forever. Well at least for seven years anyway.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Living Wake (2007)

Did you ever watch a film that you weren’t sure how you felt about it until the very end, as if it just rode on the median the entire way through? Well if you have not experienced that kind if sensation screening a flick before, you should check out director Sol Tryon’s debut effort, The Living Wake.

This dark comedy stars Mike O’Connell as delusional wannabe artist and critical thinker K. Roth Binew, who learns that his life is set to “expire” at exactly 7:30 that evening. The self-proclaimed genius is dying of a nameless disease and spends the day recruiting people to attend his living wake, which includes a performance from Binew before he passes on. In reality, Kinew is a nobody who has lived a pretty pathetic life, yet he is idolized by his friend and biographer Mills Joquin, played by Jesse Eisenberg. Yes, that Jesse Eisenberg, from The Social Network and Zombieland.

While it is not the most exciting film because it is dialogue-driven, the acting from the two leads is quite strong and keeps the film watchable. However, the film does not really have any high or low points and comes off as simply quaint. It is one strange trip down to a bizarre and abrupt ending, but there is no real payoff to take away. Considering that the film is not too long and the trailer was quite engaging, the final product is just too offbeat to be memorable.

If it were not for O’Connell’s scenery chewing plus his Old Spice commercial-esque voice and tone, this one could have easily fallen flat on its face. As previously mentioned, the final “living wake” punch line is tepid compared to all of the hype for it prominent throughout the film’s running time. 

It's not a bad or good flick, just very vanilla. If the premise and trailer interests you, definitely give it a spin, but only if you are not part of the younger generation who thinks the KIA car commercials with dancing hamsters and Halo characters is a hot night out.

Note to Hollywood: I know O’Connell portrayed many supporting characters, but please give this man some leading roles. 



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2.5 out of 5 Creeper Santas

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin' (2011)

Before Austin 3:16 said so, the nWo invaded WCW, Wrestlemania aired on closed circuits nationwide, and the Von Erich-Freebirds epic feud covered the Dallas Sportatorium in blood, professional rasslin’ was running wild in the Mid-South. Decades prior to Vince McMahon Jr. revolutionizing pro wrestling into sports entertainment, the United States wrestling scene used to be divided throughout the continent and operated individually within regional territories. Off the Ropes Productions’ documentary, Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin', tells the story of one particularly hot territory, nicknamed the “Memphis Area”.

The Memphis Area was a thriving territory that helped develop legendary talent like Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Undertaker, and of course Jerry “The King” Lawler. The documentary begins with a discussion on the area’s early beginnings and how much different the industry is today, with glorified “stuntmen” as opposed to actual wrestlers. Older wrestlers remembered that while the matches’ outcomes were predetermined like they are in present day, a wrestler still needed to know how to defend themselves from opponents who would really attempt to injure one another. The war had come to an end which eliminated a lot military manufacturing jobs, so a lot of the unemployed tried wrestling. There were so few spots on the "carnival" circuit back then, so some wrestlers would try to hurt other guys to essentially take their spot for money.

After the documentary depicts wrestling’s impact on the locals in the earlier days, including some touching civil rights circumstances surrounding carnival circuit legend Sputnik Monroe, it details the split between co-promoters Nick Gulas and Jerry Jarrett. In his words, Jarrett scouted, obtained and developed a lot of the popular talent and engaged some innovative ideas that helped evolve their brand. Gulas is portrayed as unethical and heartless when it came to payouts for his talent, so any camaraderie between them was non-existent. Already having the backing from all of the wrestlers, Jarrett got fed up with Gulas’ business decisions and took most, if not all, of the talent with him in a landmark moment shook Memphis wrestling's foundation.

In the final act, we learn how Jarrett was able to sculpt a new successful brand in the territory under his leadership. One of his methods was escalating televised wrestling on television into a huge deal, which was a precursor to the infamous Jerry Lawler-Andy Kaufmann feud explored in the 1999 Kaufman biopic, Man in the Moon. It also spotlights the legendary “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart’s impact on the region and his eventual defection to the WWF. 

One thing that is refreshing about Memphis Heat is that its narrative does not follow traditional documentary rules, with a narrator spewing dialogue and then cutting to interviews with participants' sound bytes as supplemental information. The former wrestlers and promoters deliver the only narrative, fleshing out the story of Memphis wrestling’s peaks and valleys spanning many decades, as well as their own personal trials and tribulations in making the sport a success in the region. The anecdotes are backed by vintage clips of wrestling action and talent promo interviews, plus a variety of rare still photography and local advertisement material. You will also see clips of recognizable names such as Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, Austin Idol, Kamala, and many more.

If you have a passion for the world of professional wrestling before it became Vince McMahon's sports entertainment universe and used to rely on issues of Pro Wrestling Illustrated to keep track of the territories before satellite TV and the internet, make sure you pick a copy of this beautifully made documentary when it is released for sale and VOD coming this October 1st.


Memphis Heat's Official Site

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4 out of 5 Creeper Santas

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Monday, September 19, 2011

WWE Night of Champions 2011 Results and Comments

(post written before the 9/19 edition of RAW)

The HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY played host to the WWE Night of Champions PPV last night in front of large attendance. The funny thing about this particular PPV, with the gimmick of having all title matches, is that the main event is a non-title match, but it is also the only match with the most involved storyline. And it is also the only real reason I bought it. Now onto the action…

Tag Team Championship Match:
Awesome Truth (Miz & R-Truth) vs. Air Boom (champs Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne)

Air Boom wins by DQ when The Miz purposely hit the referee.

An excellent, high energy way to kick off the proceedings. I hope this out-of-nowhere DQ finish is just a start of a larger feud between these two teams on more TV/PPV broadcasts. I hate to admit it, but while the Air Boom name is horrendous, they gel as a legitimate high-flying tag team. The WWE promised a resurrection of the Tag Team Division and looks to be doing so with the recent angle involving these two teams.

Intercontinental Title Match:
Ted DiBiase Jr. vs. Cody Rhodes (IC champ)
Rhodes retained his title after pinning DiBiase with a handful of tights” rollup.

For people who complain about the WWE rushing storylines, I agree with them in this case. The buildup for this match was just under 48 hours, when DiBiase attacked Rhodes on Smackdown last Friday night. Match was pretty boring and very predictable but I hope they do something worthwhile with DiBiase soon. Maybe throw him in a tag team again?

Fatal Four Way U.S. Title Match: Alex Riley vs. John Morrison vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler (U.S. Champ)
Ziggler pinned Morrison to retain championship after Swagger hit the gutwrench bomb.
Pretty ok match that saw Ziggler retain and continue his feud over Vickie Guerrero with Swagger. They have the potential to put on a good match down the line, perhaps as early as the Hell In a Cell PPV. 

Christian and Sheamus in-ring promo

I really wish creative would end Christian’s whiny persona and make him a bad ass heel. He is probably the only real heel on Smackdown that gets any real reaction from the crowd, but they make him to be as harmless as a ball of cotton. I thought Edge’s speech at Summer Slam was meant to give him some character development, but it only served to make him even more whiny than before by blaming Edge. It seems like everyone has begun to play the conspiracy card, like Christian has been also playing up, so they might as well move him to RAW and team up with the paranoid conspirators, Awesome Truth.

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (WH champ)

Henry pins Orton to win the WHC after hitting the World’s Strongest Slam.

Originally thought to be an Olympic winner gimmick wrestler/flash in the pan, Henry has lasted in the company for 15 years. The WWE has built him up as a physical “monster” since the Draft, where he has been cutting his most interesting promos since his “Sexual Chocolate” days. It was the right thing to award him with a prestigious singles title before he retires, as long as it does not get put back around Orton’s waist in two weeks...which is probably going to happen.

Divas Championship Match:
Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly (Divas champ)

Kelly Kelly retained with a sunset flip on Phoenix.

The saddest part about this match was not that the all looks/no wrestling skills Kelly remained on top of a boring women’s division, but that Phoenix sat on the mat and cried following her pinfall. It did not seem like her tears were scripted at all. The look on her face was “FML” and if this match were on an episode of Botchamania, Cornette’s surprised face would have appeared on screen with the words “F*** this company!” at the bottom. Not only did she lose in her hometown after months of build up to her seemingly eventual title reign but she lost to Kelly on consectuive PPVs clean. Her post-match expression was exactly how I felt about the situation.

WWE Title Match:
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio (WWE champ)

Cena wins the title when he makes Del Rio tap out to the STFU!

Last week’s ratings for RAW were the lowest since 1997, so of course the “E” panicked and threw the belt back on Cena right away. Yeah, that’ll fix everything. I know Cena doesn’t do the booking but I am sure he has some say backstage. At some point, does he suggest that he does not need the belt to be popular and building up an awesome feud and heel in a guy like Del Rio might be a good move? No. Instead he buries ADR’s momentum and credibility by not only giving him the Attitude Adjustment, but then makes him tap out like a bitch in the center of the ring. All of the little kids went to bed with smiles on their faces, so that’s all that matter, right?

No DQ Match:
HHH vs. C.M. Punk

HHH wins with a Pedigree on Punk…and with a ridiculous amount of run-ins.

This is the only match that made me buy the PPV. Punk has been the hottest thing going since the summer and brought back a lot of the older fan base to the WWE with his awesome worked shoots. Meanwhile, Levesque (HHH) has stated that he wants to severely limit his matches and concentrate on his real life corporate position with the Fed. So it makes sense that HHH put over the white hot Punk, right? Well in a move that further proved Levesque ego is larger than our solar system, he pinned Punk after run-ins from Awesome Truth, Kevin Nash and John Lauranitis. Oh sure, they are trying to play the whole “Punk had to withstand getting hit with everyone’s finishers in a (barf) valiant effort”, but fact of the matter is that Punk is the future and the McMahons constantly making themselves the high point of the company is a major reason why the company lost so many fans to begin with. Here's to hoping that the Summer of Punk is not officially over.  

Final Verdict:
Not that many are, but this show was nowhere close to being worth $50. Not only were the matches extremely dull, but also the Night of Champions' outcome seems to be going back to what made the WWE so stale over many years and they are not delivering the much needed "change” promised this summer. Of course this is my knee jerk reaction to the event and tonight's RAW could right the ship again, but only time will tell.

Wanna hear the real kick in the nuts? After suffering through a boring PPV and dropping $50 for the, umm, priviledge to do so, we are treated for an advertisement of WWE's next PPV, Hell in a two weeks. Two weeks?! $110 in under a month?! WWE, you guys need to give our working class' wallets a break. At least put Zack Ryder on the card then. WWWYKI!

As for the Night of Champions, save yourself some money and skip buying the DVD or Blu-ray. Smackdown had a better show last week.

Picture credits go to:

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview with Hard Rock Zombies' EJ Curse


Hard Rock Zombies is a 1985 horror-comedy about a band who travels to a strange little town to play a show in front of a major promoter for their “big break” in the biz. Unfortunately, a bizarre family led by Adolf Hitler and a werewolf Eva Braun kill the dudes, who then resurrect as zombies in order to avenge their demises and play the show of the lives. I mean deaths.

By no means is this a great film yet I don’t think the intent was ever to be one. HRZ is a personal favorite of mine for all of the cheesiness it is baked in its little core. After tracking down the film’s lead and real life rock-n-roller, EJ Curse, I can finally get some answers to the film that are not available with Google searches. Finally, I can add a piece of cheesy cinema history to The Man-Cave. Cheese-story, if you will. Remember that HRZ is one of the first films I ever reviewed on this site (and in retrospect, it is in major need of a re-write), so this is a very meaningful event.

Let’s not keep the man waiting any longer. Ladies and gentleman… 

The Man-Cave (TMC): …please welcome to The Man-Cave, EJ Curse! You have no idea how excited I am to be interviewing the leader of the Hard Rock Zombies, EJ.

E.J. Curse (EJ): You're right, I have no idea...why?? No really, it's my pleasure. Thanks for thinking of me.

TMC: I will try to get a hold of myself now and get to business.

EJ: Better you than me.

TMC: In our previous conversation, you told me that I am one of MANY who have approached you for an interview about the 1985 flick in which you had the lead role of Jesse, Hard Rock Zombies. Knowing that I am not the only one interested in discussing this topic with you upgrades my mental state from “bat shit crazy” to just “crazy”.

EJ: Yes, it's mildly strange. I thought this was dead & over (excuse the pun) years ago. Then when HRZ was released on DVD, things started heating up again. You have to understand, when the video was released in 1985 THERE WAS NO INTERNET! So, the interviews were sparse, most started coming in when my band "Silent Rage" (produced by Paul Sabu) got signed with Gene Simmons & RCA/BMG Records in 1988. I knew the movie was "bad", but for some reason, many people loved it for this very reason! There were even some creatures that actually just liked the movie. Then, when the DVD came out and people had access to the Internet, they started to search me out. Fans and critics. I've gotten everything from "HRZ saved my life", to " What a piece of shit". From people that think I'm a God, to people who think "How in the F*** could you"? The amount of "official" inquiries I get ranges from about 3 -10 a year.... So in a nutshell, you're just plain ol' crazy.

TMC: You hear that world? I'm just plain old crazy! Take that!

Let’s start off with some facts for those who are not that familiar with the 1985 epic horror-comedy - and shame on them. According to IMDB, scenes of what would become HRZ were shot to be used in the film American Drive-In by director Krishna Shah. It is the film playing in the background at the drive-in. He had some money left over after production of Drive-In and decided to shoot connecting scenes for HRZ, thus making another full feature. Is that correct?

EJ: Well, pretty much, except that HRZ was actually shot before American Drive In. After writing the movie behind the movie, some genius thought that it might actually work as a feature. Speaking of writing, much of HRZ was written on set or the day before shooting a scene! The unbelievably sad thing is, Hard Rock Zombies was much better at being a movie than ADI, sorry ;-)

TMC: I would like to graciously concur with the sentiment.

How did you find out about the film and auditions? Was Shah looking for real musicians (which you most certainly are) that could double as actors?

EJ: So, this was way before we ever got our first record deal. I got a call from our sleazy manager. There was another local band called "Joshua" (Perahia) that had turned down an offer to be in a film because it had too much T & A ( that's Tits & Ass, for you foreigners). I said, "uh, what's the bad part?, I'm in!" Now, we were told by our often misinformed manager, that a production company needed a hard rock band to be in the background of a movie, but they needed to see us. So, we packed all our gear and went to Hollywood to "jam". Well Hell's Bells, when we got there they didn't want to see us jam, THEY WANTED TO SEE US ACT! So, I told our soon to be fired manager, "Let's get the fuck out of here". But then he said one of the only two things I can remember him ever saying that actually made sense. He said, just go in there & do it. If you suck, you'll never see these guys again. (OK, he was wrong, I did suck. BUT I still had to see them again and again and again). By the way, the only other thing that he told me that I should have listened to was, "You should shave off your mustache". OK, he was right about that one...shit!

TMC: What was the deciding factor in your audition with Shah that landed you the part?

EJ: Well, they took the band inside the casting room and set up a few scenes for the band to improvise. Some of it was serious shit, like telling my friend that his father had died, etc. God only knows what this looked like with these occasionally drunk and drugged out musicians trying to do serious theater, but we did it with all the heart we could muster. So, you ask, "what was the deciding factor in your audition that landed you the part"? Well, did you ever see that episode of The Brady Bunch where Greg get's picked to be the lead singer "Johnny Bravo" & the rest of the bunch is left out? Well, I guess the fuckin' suit fit me. I was what Krishna Shah envisioned as an 80's hard rock band leader. Go figure. It was a very uncomfortable meeting with "Silent Rage" when I had to tell them that they only wanted me. I was going to turn down the gig, but the guys told me to go for it (had I only known...). So I did, but I did have it written into my contract that my other band members could have some smaller roles in the film. As a matter of fact, the first person to die and get his hand chopped off in the film is Silent Rage guitarist Mark Hawkins.

TMC: That was very noble of you not to go all Beyonce and include your bandmates as a stipulation. You get serious Man-Cave points for that...whatever that is worth. Nothing financially. Of course, it is comical to envision these serious acting exercises you had to perform in retrospect to what kind of lines you were given to deliver in HRZ.

Oh yeah, back to interview. How long was principal shooting?

EJ: It was on and off for about three months.

TMC: Did HRZ ever play in theaters? Was there an official premiere or did it go straight to video?

EJ: There was an official premier in Hollywood. I believe it was mainly for cast, crew and for companies that may be interested in distributing the movie. I think I heard it aired in a very small amount of theaters, but I'm not sure.

TMC: The actors looked like they were legitimately having fun playing in a film that is no way supposed to be taken seriously, but maybe you can shed some light on how the cast really felt behind the scenes? Was everybody having fun on the set or were they miserable?

EJ: You know, I mainly worked with the band in the movie. Most of them were musicians with very little acting experience (except maybe the guitarist, Geno). Most of us were just enjoying the moment. Enjoying getting paid to have fun and be pampered (at the time I thought it was being pampered). I was so naive at the time. I took the responsibility as seriously as possible, but from my perspective as a rock n' roller, I had to enjoy everything, fuck everything, eat everything, and drink everything. I know that Sam Mann (drummer) felt the same way... well except for the responsibility part ;-).

There was only one person that was overtly miserable on set and off. He was one of the "true actors" on set who took his craft very seriously and paid dearly for it. I can only imagine what he felt like to be surrounded by, what he thought were, a bunch of baboons. He was the only one working under a SAG style contract. Funny enough, it was Ted Wells, the guy that played our manager, Ron. There were probably times when everyone was miserable for a moment (like when I had the flu and had to be buried alive...again!), but poor Ron hated us and the entire movie. It might be hard to tell, but there were a couple of other pretty good actors in the movie.

TMC: Any memorable stories from the set that you can remember and you’d like to share? Funny or otherwise.

EJ: Wow, my memorable stories are only limited by my memory! That's really all I have from this strange point in my life. Most of my stories involve "Elsa" with whom I had quite a love affair (which started by "doing it" on every set & every location in the movie and beyond) and then there was Sam Mann. He became my partner in crime and to this day, I consider him one of my best friends. Let's see, there was the time that we were all eating lunch on location by the lake. I was bored and asked Sam to do something while I grabbed my camera. He walked over to the director and producer while they had a nice big mouthful of curry and rice, pulled down his pants, and stuck his ass in their faces! On another occasion early in the shooting process, Sam was an hour or so late for his call time. Everyone was looking for him, calling him, etc. When he finally showed up, all he wearing was a see-thru women's nightgown, panties and his red combat boots! He exclaimed, I fucked this chick last night and when I woke up she had stole all my clothes!

TMC: What was your first reaction when you saw the final cut of HRZ?

EJ: I was there, I knew what to expect and it wasn't gonna be Star Wars. Honestly, I just excepted it for what it was. A crazy b-movie...maybe even c or d? One of the things I was most disappointed with were that they cut out much of the gore and blood. There was much more in the actual shoot. Another thing that bugged me was that they cut out a lot of funny parts. I don't think Shah had as much humor as some of the actors. Finally, it was fucking hard to make sense of the movie, right? I mean that whole Nazi shit was not in the original script. They threw that at us on the day of the shoot. I mean, it's kinda funny now, but, whoa...Nazis!?

TMC: My favorite scene is, well I have many of them, the town meeting being one of the most underrated pieces of comedy put on celluloid. What’s your favorite scene?

EJ: Uh, Elsa naked in the shower, come on... OK, but actually I love the scene where the record company executive is watching the band, making his comments and then Elsa tries to bite him. That guy was funnier than hell.

TMC: I’m going to ask you a question you probably get asked all of the time: how old was Jennifer Coe, the actress who played Jesse’s love interest Cassie? Was she older than she looked, because she really looks like she is 15?

EJ: I think she was 21, but to my knowledge, she really may have been a virgin. Believe me, I tried. All I got was that open mouth kiss in that god awful white suit!

TMC: How was Phil Fondacaro on-set? That guy is a genre favorite.

EJ: He was great. Cool. Fun to work with. I'd seen him a couple times after the movie on other sets.

TMC: Did Shah have a “vision” for the film or was he just shooting on the fly? Was he a demanding director in that he was taking this extremely serious or anything like that?

EJ: Shah was a nice enough guy. He had a vision, but whoa. He just did not have enough of a view of American culture. He tried, but that's something you have to live. He took the film very seriously, but was not too demanding. I loved it when he kept telling Sam (who NEVER stuck to the script), to please not say "fuck", then he'd call "action", then "fuck"! My biggest fight with the director was when I begged him not to make me stick to the script & say "you're neat" to Cassie. I lost, which is probably a win for most of you HRZ/Rotten Tomatoes fans.... right? Cheese at it's finest.

TMC: The film would not have been the same without line. No way, no how.

Now I ask this with zero sarcasm - All four of you are actual musicians. When the film wrapped, did you all ever think of forming a real band together? Not as (the film’s band) Holy Moses or as “zombies”, but as a legit band on the side with Silent Rage being your main focus? From what you are telling me, it seemed like you guys really got along.

EJ: No, not really. I was too involved in trying to get a deal for Silent Rage. I did the movie and forgot about it...til now! We all got along pretty well, but Sam and Geno had some words. I think Geno was a little preachy at the time and Sam, was well...Satan in spandex.

TMC: Was there ever any kind of discussion at all for a sequel?

EJ: I had heard a few rumors floating around at some point. Initially, we were all contracted for a sequel, but alas, the statute of limitations. By the time this movie became a cult classic, I think it was too late...but never say never..?

TMC: What followed for you post-HRZ? Did it help open any more doors or get you any connections in the cinema or music world than you had before the shoot?

EJ: In cinema, ok you saw me in HRZ, be that's a "no" ;-)... Musically, absolutely! I met Paul Sabu who produced & wrote all the music for HRZ. I got him our Silent Rage demos a year or two later. Then he produced our demos and we got our first record deal in 1987 which lead to Gene Simmons hearing that record and signing us to RCA. Paul Sabu and Gene Simmons produced our second CD "Don't Touch Me There". That record went to #1 on some European charts and our single was played on regular rotation on MTV here in the states.

Back to the cinema stuff, when our music career slowed down, some chick talked me into trying out modeling and acting again in the early nineties. I started doing it on the side and did pretty well. I've done print ads for companies from Microsoft to Camel Cigarettes, done national and international commercial campaigns for everything from Blockbuster to Heineken and Farmers Insurance to Hallmark greeting cards.

TMC: Do you still keep in contact with any of the cast and crew from the flick?

EJ: I see Sam Mann a few times a year, as I said, he's a great, yet exocentric friend. Every once in a while I run into Geno (guitarist) at an audition. I recently spoke with Lisa Toothman via email.

TMC: What could I do to get a HRZ reunion together? Pink Floyd is having a reunion, so anything is possible in the music world.

EJ: Money, Hookers and Blow. OK, a little cash and a bottle of my favorite drink, Yukon Jack. The real problem is, there are some cast members that definitely don't want to be mentioned. HRZ has been removed from their resume. For me, it's just a funny blip on my radar screen.

TMC: What about getting you and the other three band members together to play one last show in dedication to The Man-Cave?

EJ: See hookers & blow...

TMC: I have been known as man who can get "things" from time to time.

Can you induct me to become the official fifth band member of Holy Moses? I play a MEAN triangle and I have mastered the zombie-robot walk you guys did.

EJ: Urine (editor's note: "you're in" for the slow)

TMC: Another bucket list accomplishment achieved! You told me that you recently conducted an interview for an international DVD of HRZ? Has that DVD been released yet?

EJ: I'm not sure. I believe that it was to be released with the extended EJ Curse commentary this month. It was a French distributor. Check with

TMC: What are you up to nowadays? I know you perform with a couple of bands, so can you tell us the details?

EJ: Mostly, I play and write my music. That's always what I've loved...and hated and loved to hate. Silent Rage still performs on occasion. We are planning a small European tour again this fall starting with a festival in the U.K. in Nottingham called "Firefest". Then we'll probably hit Italy, Switzerland and who knows after that. We do some shows locally in So-Cal and nationally. There will be one soon at the Brixton Southbay. Retrospect Records will release a re-issue for the 20th anniversary of SR's "Don't Touch Me There" with brand new bonus songs later this year.

Also, I am a current member of the 80's band White Lion ("Wait", "When The Children Cry", etc.), I performed on their 2008-2009 worldwide tour. I just heard that we may be doing a few large shows in Indonesia this summer. On occasion I am lucky enough to do shows for my good friend Gilby Clarke (Guns n Roses). I have 3 bands with my fiance',  Heather. They are:

"No Duh"

"Blonde Day"

"Killer Blondes"  

Aside from some commercials, my semi-recent acting credits have included guest starring roles on the hit TV shows Bones and Rules of Engagement.

TMC: What are the greatest highlights in your musical career?

EJ: Getting a phone call from Gene Simmons saying, "let's make a record". Headlining a show with White Lion in India to 43,000 screaming fans.

TMC: Who are your favorite all-time artists/bands?

EJ: Alice Cooper, Kiss, AC-DC, Sweet, Slade, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, No Doubt

TMC: What do you think of today’s music scene, from a rock perspective? Any current faves?

EJ: Generally speaking, there is not enough human soul in today's music. They try to make things perfect these days and music should not be perfect. That's what separates art from machinery. Pro Tools is both a savior and a sin. As far as semi-current artists, I like Muse and Green Day. Vocally and visually I like Pink and Lady Gaga, minus some of their overproduced tracks, they fuckin' rock!...Yeah, I said it. But, you just can't beat the rawness of old Alice [in Chains] and AC-DC.

TMC: If you had the chance to play in any band, alive or dead, what band would that be?

EJ: Put that makeup on and I'd rock that Kiss shit!

TMC: EJ, I appreciate your time stopping by The Man-Cave and dealing with my interrogation. HRZ was a LONG time ago and you are happy with your music career, but thanks for going down memory lane one more time for this site.

EJ: No prob dude, I hope I didn't talk about myself too much. I normally don't, BUT YOU ASKED ;-) Thank you, but next time, just call me typing sucks!

TMC: I will edit things the best I can. One last thing E.J...I just wanted you to tell me “You’re Neat”.
EJ: “You’re Neat”

TMC: No I’m not.

EJ: Yeah you are.

TMC: shakes head ‘no’.

EJ: Yeah you are. Ouch!

TMC: Ladies and Gents - EJ Curse is truly the world's best sport! Please check him out at:

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

HRZ at TMC Week: Matt Suzaka's (not so much) Anatomy of a Scene

"The Immortal One" Matt House, of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby and Paracinema fame, has selected a scene dissection for his contribution to HRZ at TMC Week, which he calls "I'm So In Love, But You're So Young." And since Matt ruled the beginning of weekends for close to two years with his epic Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party segments on CNAMB, who better to anchor the last day of HRZ at TMC Week than the King of Friday Nights himself?! 

Here, he discusses an (not so much)-anatomy of a scene set in a town with more of a people population than total number of teeth combined, Grand Guignol. The loving, yet severely underaged-looking local girl, Cassie, and her new twenty-something man crush, Jesse, of the rock band Holy Moses are sitting in an old, abandoned truck. Jesse makes his "move". Enter scene...

courtesy of 's YouTube channel.

- "The Immortal One" Matt House

Visit Chuck Norris Ate My Baby and the fine peeps of Paracinema!

HRZ at TMC Week: Audio review by Raven Jericho

One thing I did not expect from hosting a week-long tribute to a cult crapfest that probably 2% of the world has ever heard of, was some new friends/alliances that came along with the festivities. Not only did I ask some of my close pals to join in the proceedings, but I also reached out to some great minds behind the HRZ fan links I discovered. Amazingly enough, they responded by either agreeing to collaborate with something else down the pike, due to the unexpected short notice of this blogfest idea I had, or submitting something right Raven Jericho aka Raven J. 

Featured in yesterday's Fan Links post, Raven J is one of the brilliant dudes behind the Retro Retro Retro Show and did something outside the box, so to speak, for such an outside the box-type of film. He emailed me an extremely detailed audio piece on Hard Rock Zombies for his contribution of HRZ at TMC Week. Not only does he review the film, but he also discusses his first time he saw the film, why he hated it at first and dialogue differences between the VHS and DVD versions. That is just the tip of the iceberg what Raven brings to the table with his submission. He is a true, hardcore Hard Rock Zombies fan and now a brother-in-arms, so have a listen at the link below...

Make sure to check out the many great podcasts on Retro Retro Retro Show site by clicking on this link!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

HRZ at TMC Week: Cortez The Killer vs. The Hard Rock Zombies

James Cortez, aka Cortez the Killer aka Bad B-Movie Slayer aka the man behind the "go horror or go home" site Planet of Terror, gladly checks into this week's proceedings to talk shop on one of his favorite crap flicks ever.  Morte Ascendre Amen, Cortez...

I have an unsubstantiated claim about most horror filmmakers from the 1980’s and it is this: they were all snorting coke during production. I mean have you seen most of the films of that era? No film is more mind bogglingly ‘What the fuck?’ than 1985’s Hard Rock Zombies. Let’s take a looksee, shall we?

A rock n’roll band headed to a gig in Hicktown, CA, stops and picks up an attractive blonde hitching on the side of the road. She takes them to her place, an old mansion that’s home to an interesting cast of characters. You have:

- Two midget brothers, one of which is mutated. Both like watching grandma and grandpa fuck in bed. The mutated one eventually eats himself for reasons unknown.

- Grandma who has a lust for sex, is a werewolf and wields a wicked pair of switchblades.

- The aforementioned blonde who likes to randomly dance and gyrate. Preferably before something bad happens to our band mates.

- A hillbilly groundskeeper who likes to use garden tools as killing devices.

- And last but certainly not least, a heavily accented German Grandpa who has an equal lust for sex and is harboring a ‘secret’ (more on that later).

But none of the weirdness bothers the band too much as they’re invited to stay at the mansion and use the grounds as a practice space before the show. So what does a rock n’ roll band do to signal their arrival to the small town? Why they dance and gallivant around town of course!

And that doesn’t make the townsfolk too happy. You see, they don’t like the rockin’ n’ rollin’ too much and don’t want the band to play. So the town sheriff throws them in jail for a bit, thinking that would lead them to change their minds and head back home. While in the slammer, the lead singer swoons over a jailbait groupie who appears to him outside of the cell. A wonderful piece of dialogue then occurs.

Lead Singer: ‘You’re neat.’
Jailbait Girl: ‘No I’m not.’
Lead Singer: ‘Yeah ya are.’

So the boys eventually get out and our singer who’s now completely smitten tells the young girl that he’s penned a special song for her and that she better be at their upcoming show. The band then heads home and sets up their equipment outside of the house and begins practice on the front lawn. But the freakish little midgets are up to no good and fuck with their sound equipment, sending an electrical surge and shocking the entire band. It seems they are in cahoots with the townsfolk! ZOINKS!

The townsfolk get together and plot a way to stop the concert from happening. They go back and forth, speaking the typical rhetoric of rock n’ roll hating folks like they’re all into ‘eating drugs’ (yes, that’s the actual phrase that is used). Some creepy dude who looks like Lars Ulrich's dad is involved in the proceedings.

That evening, our whacked out family takes matters into their own hands, making short work of the band and offing each of them. One gets seduced by the blonde and stabbed in the shower (a near exact rip off of the Psycho shower scene), another is taken by the hands of our mongoloid groundskeeper, and granny goes all Mexican gangsta with some double fisted switchblade action:

The next day, the band is shown buried on the grounds of the house. Our lovelorn jailbait visits the graves and openly mourns the loss of her beloved. But she resurrects him and the rest of the band by playing a little ditty they penned which unknowingly wakes the dead. Its payback time bitches!

But before our band is able take their revenge on the family, it’s revealed that grandpa is Adolf Hitler himself! It appears that he’s been hiding out in Hickville, CA for far too long and it’s high time that he restarts his quest for world domination! Has your head exploded yet?

The boys kill off the entire family but they end up coming back from the dead too! And then the rest of the townsfolk become zombies as well! Oh whatever will you do, Scooby Doo?!

As you can see, this flick is absolute insanity. After watching the film for the umpteenth time the other night, something occurred to me. Maybe the filmmakers behind this weren’t coke snorters? As the credits rolled, they had very Indian sounding last names like Patel. Maybe there was an ‘obvious’ commentary on society that was trying to be made much like the Italian filmmakers behind Troll 2? And somewhere along the way everything got lost in translation. Either way, we get this fantastic piece of cinematic gold and one of my favorite ‘turn off my brain and bask in it’s ridiculousness’ horror film.


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