May The Fourth Be With You.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Halloween, 1979
Ben Cooper Darth Vader. More machine than man now. I obviously had no problem going to the dark side...

Halloween, 1980
Ben Cooper C-3PO. Protocol Droid. Human-Cyborg Relations. I also learned to say "Trick or Treat" in Bocce...

The 21st Of April...

11:55. Almost midnight. Enough time for one more story...

Cities Last Broadcast - Stay At Home Concert

A couple of people have asked me to do a "stay at home concert". I am not much for live streaming
so I decided to do it like this instead. What you are about to see is a man trying to enjoy his morning coffee
while the world falls apart.

From Pär Boström, the composer behind such famous dark ambient acts as Kammarheit and Hymnambulae, comes a quarantine performance from another of his acts, Cities Last Broadcast.

A perfect, 30-minute live set, direct from Boström's living room table. The dark ambient audio is a bleak yet beautiful, melancholic atmosphere that encompasses the ongoing tension of our global quarantine.

Stay safe. Stay inside. And enjoy.

Cinema Corona #04: Rocktober Blood

I'M BACK (wink, wink) for another installment of Cinema Corona, where I post up a little nugget of Halloween fun to help us all pass the time during our Coronavirus quarantine.

I'm keeping it in that glorious wheelhouse of 80s heavy metal cheese horror with tonight's selection. Another so-bad-it's-good gem!!

Rocktober Blood (1984)

Billy's back from the dead
with a message from hell!

So if you haven't seen this one yet, be warned. It's a pretty low budget film all around. With atrocious dialogue spoken by amateur-at-best actors. And a plot that dances along the line of pure absurdity. But that's part of what makes this one SO DAMN GOOD!!

Rocktober Blood is the story of heavy metal megaband, Rocktober Blood, and their iconic singer Billy "Eye" Harper. The film starts as the band is in the recording studio, laying down some new music. 

And right off the bat, you MUST pay attention, because Billy belts out the most hilariously ridiculous, over-the-top, incredible vocal howl while recording the film's title track, "I'm Back." I literally have no idea where that came from. (On a sidenote, all of the film's awesome soundtrack was performed by Sorcery, an actual 70s/80s metal band from Los Angeles - and is the real draw of this film. I'm Back, Killer On The Loose, and Rainbow Eyes make this one worth the watch...err, listen!)

Billy then decides to split the studio for a 4 am hook up, only to return a short time later, going on a random, marijuana-fueled killing spree at the studio. The only survivor is the band's backup singer, Lynn.

We then cut to two years later to find out that Billy was convicted and executed for somehow killing an impressive 25 people that night. And now Lynn has returned to music, fronting Headmistress (what a great cheese metal band name!), a new band featuring the ex-members of Rocktober Blood.

But things don't go so smoothly for Lynn, as for the bulk of the film, is continually haunted by Billy, who has seemingly returned from the dead.

It is revealed that this "new" Billy is actually John, Billy's demented, evil twin brother that apparently nobody knew about before. He reveals to Lynn that he actually committed the murders and then framed Billy for stealing and performing his music. Which seems like a bit of a headscratcher, until we get to the film's finale!!

The crowning moment of the entire film is the last scene, in which even after Lynn is continually terrorized and characters are continuing to be murdered by Billy/John, promoters agree that the Headmistress concert must go on. 

And this is where things get REALLY crazy. The band takes the stage, not realizing that Billy/John is actually with them - he secretly replaced Frankie, the band's mascot, to sing the opening track of Killer On The Loose

And at this point you would probably ask, how would they not know it was him? Easy. Billy/John was in costume, complete with an iconic Zagone Studios' "Fang Face" Halloween mask.

But it gets even better...

Because as he roams the stage singing, he literally starts stabbing the stage girls who are chained up on either side of the stage. He pulls their guts out and then throws them into the crowd, everyone evidently thinking it was all a gag. The final hilarious act happens when he actually cuts the head off of one of the girls and then throws it into the crowd. Simply incredible.

The final scene happens when Lynn, who emerged after being sedated in a stage coffin, rips through Rainbow Eyes, to the delight of the crowd. Then, Billy/John removes his mask to reveal himself to the crowd, handcuffs himself to Lynn, and the band then for some reason plays I'm Back.

In a moment of cinematic genius, Billy/John is finally stopped when while singing his most famous song, gets hit over the head with an electric guitar and then SOMEHOW gets electrocuted by it, ALL. WHILE. SINGING. HIS. INFAMOUS. HOWL.

Yes, the same howl that he belted out in the studio at the very beginning of the film. And so it goes full circle. The end. GENIUS.


Cinema Corona #03: Trick Or Treat


It's time for another installment of Cinema Corona, where I post up a little nugget of Halloween fun to help us all pass the time during our Coronavirus quarantine.

This time, I have found another ABSOLUTE Halloween gem, straight from those glorious heavy metal horror 80s!!

Trick Or Treat (1986)

Sammi Curr is a rock n' roll nightmare.
His fans won't let him die.
He won't let them live.

I LOVE this film, and I cannot believe I found this entire gem on YouTube! And while yes, when most people hear "Trick or Treat," they automatically assume it's the classic Trick r' Treat from 2007, featuring everyone's favorite little jammied Halloween creepy, Sam.

But they would be oh so wrong!

Rewind the clock back to 1986, and you get this underrated slice of heavy metal horror greatness.

Now when this movie was originally released, it was marketed as a movie starring Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne (who together have about 3 minutes of total screentime). It was an easy marketing trick to get people to watch it, but they really missed out on the great things about this movie.

First and foremost, it stars Marc Price. If you are old like me, you may remember him better as "Skippy" from the classic 80s sitcom, Family Ties. Starring that one other guy as Alex P. Keaton (or Justine Bateman as Mallory Keaton, depending on why you watched). But Price really shines as teen headbanger kid Eddie in this. 

Second, this movie slams all of the 80s heavy metal hot button issues of the day. It nails the "Satanic Panic" hysteria, as recently deceased rocker Curr communicates with Eddie through a special record - played backwards. So metal!

It also has an amazing soundtrack performed by Fastway (the title track being the absolute standout). If you haven't heard of 80s hard rock band Fastway, you may know singer Dave King. He now heads up Irish punk band, Flogging Molly. True story.

And the story itself is pure 80s horror gold. A misfit kid, mourning the shock loss of his heavy metal hero, is continually bullied by the school jocks, gets a very special record from his DJ friend (Simmons), finds out that his rock hero speaks to him from beyond the grave through the record played backwards, receives help from said dead rocker to get revenge on all who bullied him, realizes that it all goes too far only to then have dead rocker materialize from electricity of his stereo, dead rocker then decides that he will continue his plan of revenge on everyone in the school, materializes at the school's Halloween dance, takes over as the singer for the band, performs one of the absolute best concert stage shows I have EVER seen, only to take it one step further by actually shooting students with electric blasts from his guitar, ending in an epic metal guitar solo where he then explodes on stage, setting up the final showdown between Eddie and Curr. And did I mention the scene where a girl is seduced in the back of a car by a fiery demon?

It really is everything you could want in an 80s horror film.


(And rest in peace to one time Solid Gold dancer Tony Fields, the actor who so brilliantly played Sammi Curr...)

I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I do...

Charnel House - "Within The Depths Of Isolation"

And with literally just a few minutes to spare, I finally make a contribution to Quarantine-o-ween. 

Surprise, it's a brand new track from my haunt ambient audio project, Charnel House!!!

I decided that I wanted to go bigger than just posting a few Halloween-inspired photos, but with limited time today, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull this off. But somehow, I managed to crank this whole thing out in time to share it with all of the other Quarantine-o-ween revelers. I hope this provides some respite from your isolation...

So for those that don't know, Charnel House is an audio project that I started two years ago. I wanted to combine my love for the dark ambient music genre and audio that could be used in a pro or home haunt setting. I started playing around with field recordings and various samples, and came up with a few tracks. I then posted all tracks here for free, as my way of giving back to my beloved haunt community. But mostly I'm doing this because it's a ton of fun!

Check the link below to grab this track for free. And if you like it, go check out my Charnel House page and grab the rest of the tracks. 

Enjoy, and Happy Quarantine-o-ween!!!

In the new era of self-quarantine, the continued constriction of confinement 
becomes maddening as each second of the clock echoes deeper and deeper 
into the darkness of the isolated self…a discordant track composed 
to celebrate Quarantine-o-ween, March 31, 2020.