Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Horror Remakes: Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly?

It seems as though lately, when it comes to horror - Hollywood is all about the remake. I suppose I can't fault anyone, if you've got an established name, icon or franchise to work with, it practically guarantees a financial draw. So why not throw your money in the direction that ensures some kick back?

How about because a large portion of these remakes completely suck?

I suppose that would (or at least should) be good enough reason to reconsider tackling a remake/reboot/reinterpretation... well, if Hollywood gave a shit about consumers that is. The fact is, the puppet masters know us horror freaks too well. They know most of us despise these films, but they know a whole hell of a lot of us are still going to stand in line at our local Cinemark to throw away 90 minutes and 10 bucks...because hey 'the original was awesome'!

It's hard to hate the intellectually superior... yet it's an easy feat to kick myself in the ass over (what is actually characteristic) stupidity...

Sharp as a spoon I am.

Here's a list of some recent remakes I've caught. Some are good, some are bad, some are forgettable, and that's why you won't read about them in this blog.

The Ring/Ringu:

Ah, the flick that launched the recent J-Horror craze. The Ring is a surprisingly well assembled remake that remains pretty true to it's source material. Good solid performances, excellent cinematography and a controlled dose of effective CGI make this one of my favorite remakes ever made. Is it a perfect film? No. Is it enjoyable, and a bit creepy? Yes! Ultimately, I think it stands up well to the original.

Rob Zombie's Halloween/Halloween

I've consistently tried to enjoy this picture. It's actually got some great moments, and Zombie's glimpse at the missing years of Michael Myers is quite intriguing in spots. Sadly, the same excessive vulgarities that have plagued Zombie's past efforts have once again tarnished a potentially quality remake. I just can't seem to understand why every film is centered around the stereotypical white trash family. Trailer trash doesn't equal shock or fear. It didn't in House Of 1000 Corpses, or The Devil's Rejects, and once again - it doesn't in Halloween.

House Of Wax/House Of Wax (53)/Mystery Of The Wax Museum (33)

Here's an interesting trio, as I actually enjoy all three of these films immensely! The original Mystery is an absolute gem that still stands the test of time (for me personally), and Andre De Toth's 1953 remake is equally enjoyable, if not more - based solely on the fact that I'm a huge Vincent Price fan. The true shocker however is the fact that Jaume Collet-Serra's 2005 remake, featuring a trendy twenty something cast was actually a kick ass remake! The story strays from the aforementioned source material(s) quite a bit, but it's a solid, cohesive story just the same. Sure the script has it's improbabilities - but let's be real, few screenplays are flawless. The gore, overall solid acting and well done special effects all make up for any minor script deficiencies. It may catch a bad wrap from quite a few fans of the original(s) - but I dig just about anything that I get to see Paris Hilton killed in.

Friday The 13th/Friday The 13th

One of this years biggest surprises for me was Marcus Nispel's Friday reboot. I headed into the theatre with zero expectations, but an agile Jason Voorhees, strong young cast and clever plot assembly (I use the term assembly because the film is really a compilation of the first four Friday films rather than a genuine remake of the first) quickly won me over. I personally found a fast paced Jason much more frightening than the slow, stalking Voorhees of yesteryear. So kudos to Platinum Dunes and all those involved in this surprising offering.

The Amityville Horror/The Amityville Horror

While the original is no masterpiece, it's an enjoyable flick with one hell of a performance from James Brolin, who (solely) makes the film frightening. Fast forward 26 years and you've got the same decent film, minus the electricity Brolin brought to the original. Ryan, you're a pretty funny guy - but you're a long way from scary.


A word-for-word, shot-for-shot remake with color and absolutely none of the beautifully frightening mystique Alfred Hitchcock's original contained. If it sounds awful, it's because it is. The towering 6-foot-4 inch Vince Vaughn is no Anthony Perkins, and use the name Anne Heche in any sentence containing the name Janet Leigh is damn near an insult itself. Gus - you've made some gems - this wasn't one of them!

The Hills Have Eyes/The Hills Have Eyes

What a remake should be. Gory, sadistic, unforgiving, and fun. I may definitely be in the minority here, but I find Alexandre Aja's remake to be a bit superior to Wes Cravens original chiller. Everything cringe inducing that Wes Craven did 30 plus years ago, Aja did slightly better in 2006.

The Hitcher/The Hitcher

Definitely an awful remake, Dave Meyers' 2007 reboot of The Hitcher was as dull as they come. While the story is pretty similar to the original - nothing else is. There's no tension, there's no suspense, or anticipation...just yawning, and more yawning. While Sean Bean may be a fair actor, he was a terrible John Ryder. Rutger Hauer made the character extremely frightening 23 years ago, but Bean just doesn't make it happen. In fact, not only has the modern day John Ryder lost his menacing qualities, he seems to have lost all personality whatsoever. No need for a remake here - just more time and money down the drain.

The Fog/The Fog

What was once a tantalizing ghost story has become a murky, jumbled piece of "stylish" trash. I'm sure John Carpenter regurgitated his latest meal when he sat down and caught a glimpse of this one. Shitty cast, shitty CGI, shitty editing...well - you can see where I'm going with this - one of the worst remakes in the history of the genre, hands down.

Prom Night/Prom Night

If you're being honest with yourself you'll acknowledge the fact that Paul Lynch's original film was a shit heap - Jamie Lee Curtis or no Jamie Lee Curtis. Why anyone would go out of their way to remake an already awful movie is beyond me, but Nelson McCormick did it - and somehow made an already terrible movie much, much, much worse. I didn't know that was possible - someone toss McCormick an award for that feat.


Kairo was an exceptionally creepy technology (meets the supernatural) gone wrong flick. There were great visuals, impressive character development and legitimate scares intact. So, what better to do than completely shit on it by remaking it into a horrible American clunker? Apparently Wes Craven and Jim Sonzero were hit by that exact notion, because that's precisely what they did. Bravo guys, another one bites the dust.

My Bloody Valentine 3D/My Bloody Valentine

Here we have another surprising remake. Though the scrpt strays in spots from the original - it's just as much fun, if not more. The coal miner is back at it, and the impressive 3D make that pickax and the fear that comes along with it all that much more tangible. Get ready for an hour and 40 minutes of balls to the wall action...and a really...awkward nude scene.

Okay...I think I've covered enough. I could continue typing and discussing remakes for about 13 years, so it's better to just pull the plug now.

Can you take anything away from all this nonsense?

Probably not.

What I take away from it however, having just written the damn thing - is this: Remakes are good and bad. For each Prom Night we stand a decent chance of getting a My Bloody Valentine 3D. I think it's been like this for decades, and the trend will continue on. You get the good, you get the bad.

Would I mind seeing more original films? Absolutely! Will I continue to watch most of these reboots? Yep, because in the end - you just never know...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pictorial Tribute to the Late Evan Tanner...Because I haven't forgotten...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Instant Legend and Midiflash Forming "COHESIVE"?

I wanted to send a brief update on what's happening for Instant Legend and Midiflash.

Both artists have been collaborating on a new album, expected to be released under the group name "COHESIVE" - Album title: "A NEW BEGINNING". Both Midiflash and Instant Legend will of course have their names attached to the project, but the name Cohesive is indicative of the comfortable fit between Midi and IL. The album title, is obviously indicative of something new, and definitely refreshing. Expect a few impressive guest appearances as well.

Featured on the album is the song, "Love, Divorce, Or Shoot Me" which at this point is the lead candidate for the duo's first video and single. Shooting is expected to begin around October-November of this year.

The album will be available through every major digital retailor, including Amazon, Rhapsody, Itunes and Napster.

A thorough marketing approach is being exercised as I type, so expect this to be Legend's largest release to date, by far.

Check out a few of the tunes from our COHESIVE demo sessions now!

-Instant Legend

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

UFC 100 Picks

It’s been awhile since I’ve previewed an MMA event… strange, but I kind of miss writing these things. On deck for me today is the upcoming UFC 100 which will take place on July 11th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is stellar from top to bottom, and features a rematch between heavy weight champion Brock Lesnar and interim heavy weight champion Frank Mir. Also on the card is a championship bout between reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and number two ranked challenger Thiago Alves. A handful of other exciting bouts fill the timeslot for UFC’s monumental 100th event.


Matt Grice/Shannon Gugerty: Here’s an interesting clash - both guys desperately need a win. Grice entered the UFC with a small, but solid hype train behind him, and he’s failed to live up to what most believe his true potential is at this point. Gugerty didn’t have quite the buzz surrounding him upon his entrance into the UFC, but he did pick up a win in his debut at the UFC’s Fight Night 14 nearly one year ago. Gugerty may be able to avoid another loss, but one more L in Grice’s column could see him packing his bags. Matt will need to be leary of Gugerty’s submission game, if he can, he should notch a unanimous decision win here.

CB Dollaway/Tom Lawler: Lawler is quite the character, but all his personality won’t win him this fight. Everything Lawler does well, Dollaway does a bit better. Smirkin CD by submission late in round one.

Jon Jones/Jake O’Brien: At this point Jones is just far too versatile for O’Brien to deal with. Jake likes to take his opponents down and smother them, and that’s just not going to happen against the young prospect Jones. Look for Jones to chip away at O’Brien early with all kinds of nifty techniques before stopping the wrestler with strikes in round two.

Dong Hyun Kim/T.J Grant: This is an extremely interesting fight, as the winner will make a case that they’re prepared for a step up in competition. Many were surprised when Grant outworked Ryo Chonan for a split decision win at UFC 97. Many were surprised by the outcome of the Kim/Parisyan fight. If you’re still a little leery on these two, I’m with you. Between the two I think T.J Grant shows a little bit more promise. I think Kim has been a little over-hyped, and in my opinion has lost twice inside the octagon. I’m picking Grant to outwork Kim to earn a unanimous decision. Kim look strong and dangerous early, but I expect him to slow down and enable Grant to move ahead on the scorecards.

Mac Danzig/Jim Miller: Mac needs a win in a major way. Another loss could easily find the TUF winner looking for employment. Miller on the other hand has been extremely impressive, even in his lone UFC defeat to Gray Maynard at UFC 96. Past performances aside Miller looks to be the stronger, meaner fighter. I think his skill set is a little stronger than Mac’s, and I think his heart is a little bit bigger. I expect Mac o hang in there, but I also expect him to get pummeled pretty handily beyond the first round. Miller, unanimous decision.

Mark Coleman/Stephan Bonnar: Despite the fact that Bonnar hasn’t looked particularly sharp as of late, he should topple the aging Coleman in convincing fashion. I expect Mark to manage some strong top control and GnP early, but he’ll fade quickly, which is when Bonnar will get back on track with a rear naked choke victory.


Yoshihiro Akiyama/Alan Belcher: Belcher has become almost reliable with the upsets (so why are they all still considered upsets??) but in Akiyama he meets a superior fighter who’s shown he can fight effectively anywhere the bout goes. I expect Akiyama’s cardio to look strong as well. The early goings will see an entertaining back and forth bout until Belcher begins to gas, at that point we’ll see Akiyama take over with a TKO win in round three.

Jon Fitch/Paulo Thiago: Thiago may have made a huge splash with his surprising upset of perennial contender Josh Koscheck back at UFC 95, but he’ll run into a wall when he meets Fitch in the cage. Fitch will stifle a dangerous submission game en route to a lopsided unanimous decision victory. There’s always a chance Thiago can catch Fitch, but I don’t see it as an incredibly likely scenario. The good thing is, if Paulo can manage the upset - we’ve got bona fide new star on our hands. If Fitch wins, he remains a top 5 contender, and climbs one step closer to a rematch with GSP.

Dan Henderson/Michael Bisping: It’s time for Bisping to put up or shut up. If he wins this fight, he proves he can compete with elite competition. If Henderson wins, he’s just being Hendo. It’s obvious who is more experienced here, and it’s obvious that neither of these two guys is going to roll over for the other. Bisping could rise to the occasion, but I don’t think he will. Dan’s got the wrestling to control where the fight takes place, and he’s got enough power in his right hand to keep Bisping on his toes. These two will mix it up on the feet for a few minutes before Dan shoots the takedown. He’ll work a methodical GnP game from there, notching a unanimous decision win with scores of 29-28 across the board.

Georges St. Pierre/Thiago Alves: This is clearly one of GSP’s more dangerous opponents. In my opinion Alves poses a far more serious threat than guys like BJ Penn. Alves’ takedown defense has looked exceptional lately, and his explosive striking has been the deciding factor in more than one fight. Meanwhile GSP has the best wrestling the sport has seen, and sound striking skills to match. Both are well conditioned athletes, but I give an edge to GSP in the cardio department. Alves gets the nod in striking, but GSP is the better wrestler without a doubt. Alves will be dangerous every second of this fight. As long as GSP doesn’t get reckless, he should notch another successful defense. I’m picking GSP by TKO in round four.

Brock Lesnar/Frank Mir: While hating Lesnar seems to be the cool thing to do, you’ve got to admit - the man’s been pretty damn impressive up to this point. The first bout between Lesnar and Mir was a brief, but ugly affair. Brock has continued to improve, and Mir looks like he’s got his career back on track. I think this rematch is going to look quite a bit different than their first encounter. I see a lot more striking on display, and I don’t see a submission ending things this time around. These two go back and forth with Brock getting the better of the exchanges before he’s finally able to put himself in position to work a brutal GnP game. Mir’s heart eventually breaks again as Lesnar retains his title with a third round TKO.

There’s a few fights on this card that have upset written all over them, GSP/Alves in particular. Whether or not the underdogs will prevail remains to be seen - but I believe the favored will (in most cases here) emerge victorious. Of course, I not running out to drop money on any of these fights.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Feast On These Fucking Scraps ~2009~ Free Album Download

So, it's 2009 and I'm still making music. I don't really chase the dream much anymore as I just don't seem to have enough of that special "it" factor to draw any serious attention. But I still make this stuff, because it's a part of who I am - I'll probably never be able to stop making music - this is after all my never ending audio diary.

This time around friend and fellow MC Point Game has once again joined me (the two of us recorded an album in early 2008 titled Conceited Humility). While we weren't able to invest the same kind of time (for an assortment of different reasons) we put into Conceited Humility - we made the best of what we could manage. And in all honesty, I think there are some great songs featured on this brief collection.

A lot of FEAST's production is ugly, a lot of the mixing is mediocre - but the truth remains in each song. We're still here to be honest, and we're still shedding light on the darker side of life.

Download here:

MC(s): Point Game, Instant Legend
Production: StillKnoxx, Instant Legend, Noib Da Mutt, Midiflash, Black Fist Productions, Kirby Pucket Productions, and Bad Abbot.
Tracklisting: 1) Quitters Inc 2) Life's Fight 3) Fire And Rain 4) Dear Kerrie 5) Dunno What's Wrong 6) Meaningless Tales 7) 1975 Remix