Among other things, there's been a decidedly Rob Zombie feel to my February 2015 - what with watching the likes of "The Lords of Salem", "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" and "The Zombie Horror Picture Show", but also with listening to "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" and "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" ... but that's only a little bit of what's been setting the tone of the last four weeks...
Click "READ MORE" below to see the looks, sounds, vibes & flavours of my February 2015...
RoboCop 2 & 3 - it's been years since I gave both of these a watch and one of them still holds up. While RoboCop 2 fails to attain the distinctly high level of quality that Verhoeven's original film achieved, it's still a pretty solid sequel. With returning cast members and thematic elements (such as the satirical glimpses of OCP-sponsored television) it feels fairly close to the original, although the tone does take a nastier turn. The villains aren't as good, but there's plenty of action, and while the emotional stuff gets ditched after the first act, what we do get is satisfying. I'd rate the first a 10/10, and the second a 7.5/10.
RoboCop 3 on the other hand ... oh dear, that doesn't hold up at all well does it? I enjoyed it as a teenager - although even then I knew it was decidedly inferior to the first two - but boy is it rough these days! Soft as a fluffy pink slipper, it's filled with idiotic ideas, has an awful script, and generally does everything it can to crap all over what came before. Robotic Samurai, annoying child protagonist, dodgy special effects, and much more besides - seriously?!
The Walking Dead: Season 5B - it's back! Naturally that means more memes - find them here - and plenty to talk about over at Homepage of the Dead.
Better Call Saul: Season 1 - the much anticipated prequel-of-sorts to Breaking Bad is, thus far at least, a welcome new show on the schedule. It has to be said that the second episode is better than the first - in which the classic Breaking Bad style of mixing dramatic darkness with quietly absurd humour comes to the fore. So far so good - give me more, give me more, give me more!
24: Season 8 - a second spin for the last of the full-length seasons and, having recently viewed the twelve-episode ninth season, straight off the bat you can see so much filler strewn about the first 4 to 8 episodes. There's plenty of good stuff still in here - this is the Jack Bauer Power Hour after all. It depends on the show as to what will suffice, of course - 6 episodes for Utopia, 10 episodes for Fargo or Game of Thrones - but 13 is generally the magic number these days. However, an exception is The Walking Dead with it's 16 episode season split into two eight-episode hits. Anything more, particularly these days, is just too much - either a case of too much time and not enough content, or it's a potentially off-putting prospect if you're late to the game.
The first three seasons of Lost, as good as that show was, notoriously suffered from too many episodes - but once they dropped the episode count for the remaining three there was a noticeable jump in energy and pace. Season 9 of 24 benefited from the twelve-episode order, injecting a jolt of added urgency into proceedings despite the over-reliance on familiar plot twists. This all said, beyond the first third of Season 8 things pick up quickly and it rapidly becomes - what was then - a grand final season. Indeed, the last third of the season is superb, with utterly gripping political action centering on President Allison Taylor's story ... and one of my all-time favourite moments from the entire run of 24 is in here: episode 22 when Jack (in full-on assault gear) attacks the armoured limousine.
Mix CDs for 2012, 2013, and 2014 - kind of 'best of the year' mixes of the music that came out or I discovered during those particular years ... the soundtrack to those years, basically.
Soundtrack Of Our Lives "Instant Repeater 99"
VIBES & FLAVOURS:
"Celebrityville" - this month saw the final tweaks and polishing on my latest novel - which is now available - click here for more information.
Sleaze Fiend Magazine Issue #2 - the new issue of this exploitation-cinema-loving publication is available now! See my review of it here.
"The Walking Dead: The Fall of The Governor Part Two" by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga - padding, due to splitting the story into two parts, is rather evident. There are numerous scenes where small details are elaborated upon to a pace-sapping degree, and certain frustrations that I personally have had with the prose remain. However, as has been the case with each successive Kirkman/Bonansinga book, the things that have frustrated me have gradually diminished. This second part gets off to an over-padded start, but once the main battle commences things kick into high gear.
"Dug Deep" - hot on the heels of finishing up "Celebrityville" I dived into my archives and took an old film treatment to turn into a short story. There's some polishing left to do, but the intention is to submit it to horror fiction publications.