Saturday, May 30, 2009

Welcome to the jungle, baby. . .

An independent movie made with passion and conviction can easily make the viewer forget that there wasn’t a budget of millions when they are swept up in the intricacy of the plot, the solid performance of a cast entirely dedicated to the success of the movie and are treated to a crystal clear image of the director’s vision. Sadly, Attitude for Destruction was not one of those independent movies. I admit, when I stumbled upon this little nugget, I wasn’t exactly expecting a low budget Citizen Cane of the horror world for an audience of the twenty-first century. Yes, it’s true I grabbed this flick for a bit of a chuckle and to take a break from the high quality films I have been spoiling myself with recently. It could also be said that I purposefully sought out this movie as a bribe to encourage my hair metal loving housemate to sit down and watch a horror movie with me. I now fear I may have damaged our friendship beyond redemption. . .look at the trailer whilst I go console myself.

The premise of Attitude for Destruction is in the tradition of such rock and roll horror hybrid classics as Trick or Treat and Black Roses, well when I say that, what I actually mean is that it involves a “rock” band in a horror situation. No, there are cameos from REAL rock stars, like Trick or Treat had with Gene Simmons and Ozzy, and there is no one rock and roll savior to stand up to be the hero and there isn’t even a single metal record being played backwards to reveal a hidden and Satanic message. . .why don’t I just quickly move on to the super fast synopsis part whilst I am still ahead.

The movie begins with the scene of a band play half assed teen angst pseudo emo, bedecked in halloween costume, red capes and shoddily applied fake blood running from their eyes, in a garbage bag covered room. In the corner is a blood splattered, naked chick, hanging from an upside down cross. Pretty freaking rocking so far, right? We quickly gather the young lady howling from the cross is something of a captive audience and much to our surprise, it’s not the music that’s making her wail, but the fact her fate is to be the sacrifice to some cause unknown. What happened next was pretty damned surreal, yes she was gutted and her female disembowler went on to lavishly rub her face in her entrails but then suddenly, from behind the garbage bag strewn wall emerges a blood covered dwarf in leather shorts. . .no, you didn’t just misread that, I really did write “blood covered dwarf in leather shorts”. You think you’re stunned to read that, imagine how I felt to witness it.

The movie slowly meanders on to reveal the whole tired plot of a young and upcoming metal band that are offered a contract by a devious record company that want them to ditch their Axel Rose wannabe singer. Of course, being the true rock artisans they are, they sign the contract with only the slightest of quibbles; come on man, their music DOES need to be heard by the world. Rather than getting together to tell their now ditched singer that the deal is just for the band and not him, they decided to spring it on him at a rehearsal, makes sense right? I mean, you would continue rehearsing with someone that was no longer in the band, right? Obviously, Drake (yes, the lead singer’s name really was Drake. . I know, I know. . ) takes the news quite poorly and it all ends up with him being beaned in the head with a bass guitar. . .oh yeah, and the rest of the band rallying around him and kicking him to death.

I could go into more detail about the rest of the storyline, but there really isn’t anything more. Drake’s best friend and guitarist of the band, Mark, has a few bad dreams about what they did, Drake returns from the dead and starts picking them off one by one. . .and that’s pretty much it. Oh, apart from the fact, that Drake’s girlfriend who then goes on to be Mark’s girlfriend is the girl that preformed the sacrifice at the beginning and seems to be a Mistress of the black Arts, hence how Drake returns. The end, pretty much.

This movie came off as just one long and poorly made music video to showcase two bands’ music, the first being that terrible trio at the beginning and the other being Hollywood Roses, which also just so happens to be the name of the fictional band in the movie. The real frontman of Hollywood Roses, Colby Veil, also plays the onscreen band’s frontman, and of course returns from the grave with continuity defying make up job to clumsily slaughter the rest of the band. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of the stylings of late eighties cock rock anyway, but I can acknowledge when it’s done well and Hollywood Roses (both the onscreen and real band) isn’t one of those bands. So between his musical career and this jump into the world of acting, I think its time Mister Veil rethought his career strategy.

Worst thing about Attitude for Destruction wasn’t that “Hollywood Roses” clearly had no clue as to how to play the instruments that were placed in their hands, it wasn’t the unintentionally funny script nor the horrendous wardrobe, hell it wasn’t even the big, rubber sword that Drake used to kill their poorly costumed Slash-like guitarist. No, the worst thing about Attitude for Destruction is the under use of the leather shorted, blood splattered dwarf. I was hoping he would return after his introduction at the very beginning of the film, but no, it was not to be. Now, gaze upon his beauty and tell me that he shouldn’t be in every god damned movie that is ever produced again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dead in the Water

This was not the post I was hoping to be the very first, in the official reporting of all things fantastical and blood drenched. I have recently watched some positively phantasmagorical films that simply must be shared with the world, in all their gore splattered glory, but sadly, after checking in on a project that originally filled me to the brim with anticipation for something quite new and deliciously quirky, my plans have been put on a temporary hold in order to have something of a rant, instead.

The source of my sorrow is the ill fated Worst Case Scenario. I had first found teasing little trailers on Upcoming Horror Movies, little vignettes that delighted me to the very core with the promise of what seemed to be some kind of scientific nightmare of biomechanical zombie Nazis. . .I need to say that again just because it felt so damned good. . .biomechanical zombie Nazis. They were simply divine, a perfect blend of humour and stunning creature design, what appeared to be a tasty new twist on a genre that has recently been regurgitated in various shades of gangrenous green and ghastly gray, each new offering worse than the last one. At a time when I was feeling as if I was finally reaching saturation point with one of my beloved horror monsters; the stiff shuffle, husky moaning, brain devouring zombies, the promise of this film sparked up a new hope that someone was going to resurrect the genre with new and beautifully designed undead.

An announcement on the official site cites lack of financial backing or more accurately, the lack of investors actually following through on their promises of financial backing, for the shelving of the film. For almost six years the makers struggled to get this project off the ground and I guess after six years of successive let downs, they have finally conceded and placed Worst Case Scenario on hold for the foreseeable future. Just to give you some idea why I am so incredibly, incensed, outraged and to the point of biting someone's nose off over this news, take a look at the sheer beauty of the trailers of what could have been possibly the best zombie movie since George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

Gorgeous, aren’t they? Did they not entice rapturous little utterances of “ooh” and “aah” from you? Does it not fill your centre of the circulatory system with infinite sadness that those two trailers are all Worst Case Scenario will ever amount to? Welcome to my world. I guess we will just have to make do with the next glut of turgid Hollywood offerings of remakes of classics that never needed touching or morally pillaged renditions of non-American movies dumbed down and crammed with pretty stars to appeal to the North American market. I promise. . . next edition will be full of smiles and excitement over spurting blood, gnashing teeth and high pitched screams, or your money back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm your host, your ghost host with the most. . .

Welcome one, welcome all to this, the very first in what will hopefully be many posts of one woman’s reflections upon the world of horror culture. I can already hear the gears of your thoughts grinding, trying to grasp the notion of “horror culture”, so to spare your poor brain from spontaneously combusting (let’s be honest, spontaneous human combustion is only amusing when there are others to observe it)let’s just say that this blog will be entirely dedicated to the genre known as horror in all it’s glorious formats. Be it films, books, art, music or just a way of thinking, I will be covering any aspect of the genre that I can get my grubby little hands on, then putting on here in delicious little bite sized chunks, just for your consuming pleasure.

Originally this was going to be a blog entirely dedicated to the cinematic representation of horror, with the rather catchy sub heading of “Watching shitty horror movies, so you don’t have to!”, but then it dawned on me that by limiting myself to just one medium, I was limiting my excuse to submerge myself in entire worlds of terror and fear. . . .and where’s the fun in the fright if all five of your senses aren’t being tortured to their full capacity?

So, pull up a chair and your favourite blanket, as I take you to places you never wanted to go to and experience things which will haunt you until you end of days. . . or check out and laugh at how worked up a five foot three woman can get over what no one else would even give five minutes of their time for.

Your host,

Alba Dellamorta

(If you find any tasty nuggets of a horror type flavour that you think I should bear witness to then, more than likely dissect with a ruthless fervor, don’t hesitate to contact me at: You will be mentioned in the blog for your contribution, loved to within an inch of your life and quite possibly spared when I take over the world)