Featured Friday: Holy Diver

dio-holy-diver

Metal Music Archives

I thought this week I might feature a classic album from the Metal community. I’m also thinking that I might do this more often and focus in on some truly outstanding album art like this album cover. It just screams metal with the colors and the imagery. If you haven’t heard Holy Diver then shame on you. It is a truly outstanding album from start to finish. Dio was just an amazing vocalist who will be truly missed. If you have ROKU go to the MULLET Channel and look up Dio’s concert featured on there. Amazing performance to watch. How about you? Dio fan or not.

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Do you want to be featured? Shoot me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. Send me your blog address along with a link to your book, short story, poem, poetry collection or just something that stands out to you. I will feature you as soon as I can.

Top Hard Rock/Metal Albums and Videos that Shaped my Metal Childhood

Stone over at Metal Odyssey had this great post over the weekend – his top 5 metal albums from the Eighties he couldn’t live without. He said I ought to try to come up with one of my own. I honestly couldn’t come up with 5, but I did think of 4. Where he did a list of those he couldn’t live without, my list is based on things that grew me as a Hard Rock/Metal fan.

I don’t blog much about music, but it is another passion of mine. Top 5 artists (not all metal, but 3 are): Jimmy Buffett, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Tesla, and The Dave Matthews Band.

Anyway, here’s Stone’s post: http://metalodyssey.net/2015/03/14/5-metal-albums-i-cant-live-without-the-80s-edition-part-1/

Check out his site for great Hard Rock/Metal news and the occasional side bar.

Here’s my Top 4:

ShoutattheDevilCD2

I still remember my friend bringing this one over and encouraging me to listen to it. Blew me away, of course.

Def_Leppard_-_Pyromania

This one, probably the biggest shaper for me. It was the first tape (you know that little piece of plastic that you had to flip over in order to listen to each side) I ever owned – co-owned actually. My brother and I put our allowance together to get it.

Metallica_-_Master_of_Puppets_cover

This tape I bought myself, and I remember my parents wanting to hear it. I guess they didn’t trust the album cover. Anyway, the biggest memory of this one I have is of taking a charity walk with my Walkman (the thing that played tapes, and it was about the size of a toaster) and listening to it. I have enjoyed this one since the mid-eighties all the way to today. Plan to keep on enjoying it.

MetalHealthQuietRiot

I got this one for Christmas one year. My brother (who’s not much of a metal head) and I listened to it all the time. Great stuff.

Here are a  few videos that just grabbed me the first time I saw them.

Love the killer intro, mid-section, just all of this song.

This one might seem a bit dated, but I still enjoy it as much as I did back then.

The uproar of mighty Metallica doing a video.

Believe me, it was huge news.

Two videos by a band that have long been a favorite of mine.

They’ve dropped off as of late, but are still great to see on tour.

There you go Stone. Thanks for the inspiration.

Haiku – Warrant

Hair Metal, maybe?

Good, solid, and fun music

You can’t beat this group

Maybe this group isn’t a guy’s go to choice, understand that completely.  There is something about them though that still sounds good to me – except “Cherry Pie”.  They should really ban that song from ever being played – a slight tarnish on a good band’s legacy.  Still digging this song – love a good power ballad.

Movie Review Haiku: Night of the Creeps

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

via Night of the Creeps (1986) – IMDb

Rating: 4/5

A quirky movie

With Zombies and Aliens

Creatures in your brain

Move Review: Red Dawn (2012)

A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

via Red Dawn (2012) – IMDb

2.5/5

Remakes by their nature are usually unnecessary because the story has been told once all ready.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate remakes, there are some I love and own, but most of the time they don’t need to exist.  In the case of Red Dawn this remake doesn’t just feel unnecessary but it also doesn’t work because it isn’t capitalizing on anything.  Back in the Eighties when the original came out there was a Cold War going on and Russia wasn’t exactly our friend.  We were worried about a nuclear strike, worried about so many things they could do to us.  The original Red Dawn capitalized on those fears which added more depth to the story.  With this current version of Red Dawn there is none of that going on so it doesn’t strike you like the original did.  North Korea is a threat, sure, but not like Russia was back in the day so the idea of them taking over really doesn’t work.  It seems like the filmmakers just grabbed the most hated nation in the world and made them the enemy.  That is why that part of the story didn’t work, and folks, that is what is supposed to carry a movie like this.  Without it there really isn’t anything to keep you as an audience engaged.  It just feels like the makers are going through the motions and that’s it.

The original also had a big impact on me because when I saw it on the big screen, I think I was around twelve at the time, this was something happening to kids close to my own age.  It made me wonder how I would handle this situation and at such a young age it is pretty scary to think about.

The movie itself really wasn’t all that great.  It’s a mediocre mess.  The score was okay and the acting decent, nothing really outstanding.  The action scenes, though strong, were hard to decipher at times.  I actually had to rewind it once just so I could tell what happened to a couple of characters.  The ending was also rushed and there was no closure to the story.   It just sort of ended.

If you are curious to see it because you liked the original.  I understand that because that’s why I watched it, but if you are looking for a great action movie then you should probably look elsewhere.  You won’t find it here.

Movie Review: Terror Train

A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong years earlier and whom are currently throwing a large New Year’s Eve costume party aboard a moving train.

via Terror Train (1980) – IMDb

Rating: 2.5/5

This was another one of those early eighties rip offs that tried to capitalize on the growing boom of slasher movies.

What it had was a cool idea, kids being picked off on a party style train, some decent atmosphere, and one hell of a good twist at the end.

What it didn’t have though was gore and in my mind a movie like this should run with a little more red.  If you set up a premise of being a unique style slasher film you can’t skimp on the kills even if the story is working in your favor.

Not a bad little picture overall though, but if you aren’t going to scare me at least give me blood – let it run free.

Movie Review: The Prowler

A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

via The Prowler (1981) – IMDb

Rating: 3/5

I’ve owned this movie for a while and on occasion I like to visit it.  This is one of those classic slasher movies from back in the early eighties.  The ones with this plot – killer seeks vengeance and killer gets vengeance until usually a pretty girl stops him.    

The story is similar and you won’t find a lot of uniqueness in the plot, but it does start off kind of unique.  It is set back in the mid 40’s, complete with cars and clothes.  They did a nice job of bringing that era to life.

Then it moves to the eighties and the slasher part of the movie kicks in to high gear complete with all those things I love about this genre.  It may be strange to enjoy a genre that is known for its weak plot and gruesome kills, but there is something about it that just pulls me back each and every time.

Highlights to be found here:

The score.

Creepy and effective, punctuating each and every moment in order to add more tension and suspense to each scene.

The direction by Joseph Zito know for such works as these:

Bloodrage aka Never Pick Up a Stranger (1979)

The Prowler (1981)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Missing in Action (1984)

Invasion U.S.A. (1985)

Red Scorpion (1989)

Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol (1999)

Power Play (2002)

via Joseph Zito – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He did a nice job of not making the movie seem too cliché.   He actually built some really good suspenseful moments.  I would say of all the slasher movies I have seen that this one did a nice job of getting the heart racing.

The effects by Tom Savini.

If you haven’t seen a  film with his effects in it then you haven’t seen a gory movie.  This guy is the king of gore.  In fact, most of the movies that I consider gory are done by him.  He just had real knack for making it look real.  So real in fact that you watch the kill and wonder how that person didn’t actually die.

A small bio:

Thomas Vincent “Tom” Savini (born November 3, 1946) is an American actor, stuntman, director, award-winning special effects and makeup artist.[1] He is known for his makeup and special effects work on many films directed by George A. Romero, including Martin (film), Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead (1985 film),Creepshow and Monkey Shines. He also directed Night of the Living Dead (1990 film), which is the remake of the classic 1968 Romero film Night of the Living Dead.[2] He created the special effects and makeup for many cult classics like Friday the 13th parts I and IV, Maniac, The Burning, The Prowler and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. As an Actor and stuntman, he has appeared in films such as Martin (film), Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, From Dusk till Dawn, Grindhouse- Planet Terror, and Machete. He also appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons. Currently he has been filming a role in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Django Unchained. As a Director, his credits include 3 episodes of the TV show Tales from the Darkside, an episode of Chill Factor and one segment of the 2011 film The Theatre Bizarre.

via Tom Savini – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They also got one of the big things right here and it is probably the one thing that is key and center point to all slasher movies.  A great villain.  You have to have that villain or your movie will fail.  I don’t care how great the effects are, the direction, the score, etc.  You have to have someone who the audience thinks is a legitimate threat.  The one in this movie was.  He was dressed out in army fatigues, with something covering his face, and he brandished a pitchfork, a saw off shot-gun, and a really big knife.  I wouldn’t want to face him.  I can tell you that.

So with all this said above you now see why I keep coming back to this movie.  It’s a must see for all slasher fans.  It might not have an endless body count, but it makes up for it in so many other ways.  Classic – you bet.