Posts Tagged With: Eighties

Cover Song Saturday – Lucky Uke: Love Bites

ORIGINAL 

COVER

I’m a big time Def Leppard fan, and I have been since “Pyromania.” So it should come as no shock that I am going with the original on this one. It is such a great Power Ballad that it can be argued it was one of the best to come out of the Eighties. You can decide for yourself on that one, but it is a great song no matter what labels you put on it.

With all that said, the cover of this song is truly amazing to listen to. Peppy and upbeat, sounding like something straight out of Hawaii. It is very catchy and very good, but it doesn’t have the edge of the original version. This song was meant to be a Power Ballad and it should always stay that way.

So, original or remake? Are you a big Def Leppard fan?

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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.

Categories: Random - Poems and Haiku | Tags: , , ,

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.

Categories: One Writer Ranting | Tags: , , ,

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.

Categories: Music - Poems and Haiku | Tags: , , , ,

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Gate

Rating: 3.5/5

When an old tree is removed from their back yard, Glen and his sister Al find a fascinating stone in the hole left behind. Intrigued, the siblings dig deeper into the hole and unearth a mysterious gate that opens a portal to a hellish underworld.

via Netflix : The Gate

Sometimes you revisit a movie from your child hood and you wonder if it will hold up or not.  I have been burned so many times when I went back to watch a movie I enjoyed as a kid that I hesitated about watching this one.  Last night, I realized, my fears were not warranted.

This movie was a blast to watch and yes, it held up.  What I found that really got me the most was how creepy it was.  It was also very well made.  This didn’t look like some cheap b-movie knock off from the late eighties.  Plus it had a lot of other things going for it, direction, acting, and story – which they did a lot with.

I think my two favorite parts were the score and the effects.  Number 1 you can’t beat that old eighties movie style score.  It still gets me to this day.  You also can’t beat a movie that features so much heavy metal – loved the one scene with Terry when he was in his room.  I kept seeing all the Iron Maiden stuff on the wall behind him.  My wife got tired of me pointing it out, that’s how obvious it was to me.  Number 2 you had the great effects.  I really enjoyed the look of the monsters, the hands under the bed, and that rocking zombie.  It looked like they really put their heart into making these effects look the best they could possibly look.  You can have your CGI, I’ll take these instead.

Did anyone notice Terry wearing a Killer Dwarfs logo on his jacket?  Here’s something by them in case you don’t know who they are.

Your thoughts.  Are you a practical or CGI person when it comes to effects for movies?

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Rating: 3/5

It’s been 5 years since Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) tormented those hapless Elm Street teens with his razor glove and maniacal sense of humor. Now, he’s back for revenge, with his sights set on another innocent victim he can torture and possess. If Freddy’s plan to live again succeeds, he’ll return from the dead and be free to kill anyone his twisted heart desires!

via Netflix: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Freddy’s Revenge goes a different route, by bringing Freddy out into the real world.  I know that might take a little bit of punch out of him because he is a dream stalker.  Die in your sleep, die in your dreams, is a great concept.  Like I said in the last review, you have to sleep sometime.  That really makes Freddy lethal.  By bringing him out into the real world it brings Freddy back to his roots and back to what he did before he died.  I have always liked this movie for that because it was something different.  I wish they could have done a prequel showcasing Freddy before he died.  That would be interesting to see.

Another thing I have always liked about this one is how dark Freddy is in this movie.  This is the same Freddy we saw in the original Nightmare on Elm Street – the dark Freddy, the mean Freddy, the kill you and laugh at you Freddy.  That was something the sequels lost along the way when Freddy got too popular.

The effects are also some of the better effects in the series – dig the opening bus scene, and the scene when Freddy rips out of Jesse’s body.

I also enjoy the way Freddy comes back to life in this one.  Freddy becomes a body possessor and uses that body to pull himself out of the dream world and into the real world.  That’s always been a highlight for me.

Now I need to discuss the other side of it – the what the f+++ were they thinking side of things?

Yes, I know all about the homosexual undertones in this movie.  I’m not talking about that in this section.  By the way,  if they didn’t mean to do it, then someone has some hidden issues.  You could about have a drinking game set up to where you take a shot when either a guy wakes up sweaty and shirtless, a guy has his shirt off or a guy is in his tighty whiteys – sweaty, of course.   

The wtfwttsot for me in this movie where these:

The exploding parakeet who runs rampant throughout the living room – strong enough to scratch people and knock over lamps.

Instead of just killing the coach they have to whip his ass first – really.  You couldn’t just kill him in the office.

The biggest one though is the dance scene when Jesse is grooving in the room to that awful song.  No man would listen to a song like that and no man would ever dance like that.  Wow.  That is painful to watch.

Even with its flaws this is still a lean and mean Freddy machine of a movie.   It’s dark and menacing and it is more in tone with what Wes Craven created with Freddy than what the sequels turned him into.   Part 3 and part 4 made Freddy a little jokier, but he was still somewhat dark.  It wasn’t until part 5 and 6 that Freddy really went from scary to joke.

Your thoughts.  Do you enjoy this one or is it one step away from a coming out party?

Categories: Movies Reviewed and Trailer and Movie Haiku | Tags: , , , , , ,

Heathers

* * * 1/2 STARS

It’s funny how you can watch something one time and not really see the charm in it.  Then you watch it again and you finally get it – sort of.

I watched this for the first time in its entirety a few years ago after years of seeing bits and pieces of it on TV.  I decided to go back and revisit it because that initial first time full length viewing only garnered it a three star rating.  I guess you can see by the current rating that the second viewing was better than the first.

I think I actually got the satire and the dark humor of this movie a lot more this time than last time.  I actually see why this one has stuck around and developed a cult following.   Sure the subject matter isn’t for everyone and at its core this is a very dark movie, but for most of the movie it works.  I did find that the last thirty minutes or so started to drag once the initial shock of what was going on wore off.

I can’t say I fell in love with Heathers on this viewing, but I did enjoy it a lot more.  I think that is the kind of movie it is.  You really just have to watch it on a loop to have it become a favorite.  I’m not sure I can be that loyal to it, but I did enjoy seeing it again.

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Double Feature: Joe Versus the Volcano and She’s Having A Baby

* * * 1/2 STARS

I got to give a nod to this blog for putting this movie back on my radar: http://andywatchesmovies.com

It was while I was reading his review that it got me thinking about how long it has been since I have seen this movie.  After viewing it tonight.  I got to say – too long.

Tom and Meg have a chemistry on-screen that so few on-screen couples have.  That chemistry works so well in this movie, not once, but three times.  Meg plays three parts and three potential love interests to Tom Hank’s character Joe.

Tom also shines once again proving he his leading man material.  The good thing about having him as the lead is that he can handle the drama and the comedy which have to work in order for this movie to work.  He proves he is more than up for the task.

I enjoyed the script as well with its blend of real life and comedy.  I enjoyed the opening and the over exaggerated look at the working world.  Don’t all jobs you just do for a check feel like that?  I’ve had so many of them and I can feel Joe’s pain.  When he snapped after getting the bad news, I thought.  How many times have I felt like doing that?  How many times have we all felt like doing that?  The comedy also worked so well.  There were some nice laugh out loud moments in this one.

This was a nice revisit of a movie I haven’t seen in a very long time.  It clocks in just over an hour and forty-one minutes.  Trust me – that time will fly by.

* * * STARS

I caught this one on T.V. on the T.V. Guide Channel and I got to say one thing before going on – what is up with all the commercials on that channel? I think it was a commercial spot every ten minutes during that movie.

The movie itself isn’t too bad.  It isn’t one I would want to watch all the time, but it is entertaining.

This is main reason why I am bringing up this movie – John Hughes.

I was looking at his list of movies on IMDB and it is crazy to see all he had his hands in.   He died way too young.  It’s a shame his career dropped off so much after the eighties.

Here’s but a few of his movies.  Most of these we all love at least I know I do.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000455/

1990 Home Alone (written by)

1989 Christmas Vacation (written by)

1989 Uncle Buck (written by)

1988 The Great Outdoors (written by)

1988 She’s Having a Baby (written by)

1987 Planes, Trains & Automobiles (written by)

1987 Some Kind of Wonderful (written by)

1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (written by)

1986 Pretty in Pink (written by)

1985 Weird Science (written by)

1985 European Vacation (screenplay / story)

1985 The Breakfast Club (written by)

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