Jan 26 2015

Review: The Tiki Creeps, INVADERS FROM BEYOND THE SURF

 

 

Kraig Khaos. Kraig has a reoccuring feature on 6ftplus – Killer Kuts from Kraig Khaos – where he shares a song from a vinyl recording. Kraig has a new podcast called Uncommon Interests, where he discusses a wide range of pop culture ranging from the mainstream to deep underground.

a1231735561_2Surf music is a hard genre to break new ground in. People who don’t like surf music generally feel that all surf songs sound the same. People who love surf music generally love the familiar guitar tones and rapid snare drum beat. And instrumental music is a tough genre in which to convey specific ideas. But I’ll be damned if The Tiki Creeps haven’t taken the surf genre and flipped it on it’s ear.

If you dig surf music, then this a band you have to hear. Because Tiki Creeps do that very hard thing of making instrumental music that conveys exactly what it’s supposed to be saying while at the same time, bringing something new to the genre. It’s a little hard to explain, but I’ll try. Because I know just me saying, “Hey! This is awesome. Go listen to it!” isn’t going to make you jump right up and give it a go.

If a 1950’s sci-fi horror film had surf music as the score instead of the usual symphony, then Invaders From Beyond The Sound Of Surf would be it. When you hear a song like “The Crawling Terror!”, the music makes you actually feel like “Yes. THIS song should be titled ‘The Crawling Terror’”. They even soften it up a little with the song “Midnight Stroll” by letting the rhythm carry a smooth sound that you’d imagine would play during a midnight stroll scene in the aforementioned sci-fi horror film.

The Tiki Creeps obviously take a few influences from bands such as Coffin Daggers and Los Straightjackets as well as Dick Dale. But they aren’t afraid to branch out and try new stuff. Imagine what a song would sound like if it were a Mexican surf song. Is Mexican surf a thing? I don’t know, but the song “Mimosa” is exactly what you’d imagine one would sound like.

Invaders From Beyond The Sound of Surf, released in September 2014, is The Tiki Creeps’ first release. Seven songs of surf sonic, monster music madness! I can’t wait to see what they do next. Hopefully they will land on a cool label that will take a chance with them. Because I truly believe this Los Angeles,California band is capable of greatness. They have some shows coming up. So check out their facebook page at www.facebook.com/thetikicreeps for dates. And go to their bandcamp page at www.tikicreeps.bandcamp.com and buy the CD with beautiful artwork by Doug P’Gosh or buy the digital download. And while you’re there, pick up one of their awesome logo tiki mask shirts to let everyone know that YOU are on the cutting edge of great surf sounds. Because in outer space, the surf is ALWAYS up.

 

 

Jan 23 2015

6’+ Episode 136 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Strange Jason loses his mind in a mindblowing episode that features DEADBOLT, Kim Fowley, MONSTERMATT PATTERSON, REVEREND BOOGEYMAN and a lot more that can not be said in polite company.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Jan 20 2015

Free (Legal) Download: A Shoggoth On The Roof

Yes, we have feathers/Ahh-aa-aa-ahh/But the muscles of men/Ahh-aa-aa-ahh

Given the number of productions of the (in)famous Lovecraft-themed parody of Fiddler on the Roof in recent years, it seems easy to assume every attempt was successful. Sadly that was not the case for what is said to be the earliest attempt due to it having never made it into the public view. I know what you might be thinking and, no, it was not just the people behind Fiddler on the Roof being litigious (although such issues have prevented other performances in the past). Let’s just say the events behind the cancellation of the Other Gods Theatre Company’s attempt at staging a production were far more…unusual. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has put together a short film on the subject back in 2000 and has made it available for free online. Said film is available on the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society website and you’ll need Quicktime in order to play it. If you don’t have it, you can download the player here. Since sources online differ on whether this is actually a documentary or mockumentary, you’ll just have to watch and decide for yourself. If that isn’t enough of a hook for you, let’s not forget how Chris Sarandon and Stuart Gordon appear in it!

But that’s not all! Their website also offers numerous audio and script samples from the play, including a free download of the track “Byakhee Byakhee.” If you want a high quality version of the film, then you should definitely pick up the combo pack containing a DVD of the film, the play’s soundtrack CD and libretto. Alternately, you can purchase the album and libretto separately.

Special thanks to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society for use of the image!

As always, Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion. Blah blah blah…

Jan 14 2015

Presented Without Comment

Jan 13 2015

Guest Post: The Panic Beats, A DATE WITH DEATH

Today, we share another guest post from Kraig Khaos. Kraig has a reoccuring feature on 6ftplus – Killer Kuts from Kraig Khaos – where he shares a song from a vinyl recording. Kraig has a new podcast called Uncommon Interests, where he discusses a wide range of pop culture ranging from the mainstream to deep underground.

Editor’s Note: This post initially was published without crediting Kraig Khaos. It has been amended.

 

a3233208765_2The Panic Beats returned this past Halloween season with a new full length album titled A Date With Death. Dale Van Thomme’s horror show of punk rock music has been kicking around for a few years now. And the new release really ups the ante.

As is with most Panic Beats albums, the songs on ‘A Date With Death’ are told through the eyes of a psychotic killer you’d find in an 80’s slasher film or an early 70’s giallo flick. So, lyrically, there is not too much new ground broken here. And some people might be put off or offended by the lyrics and see them as misogynistic; with song titles such as “Stalker,” “Love You To Death”, and “Dig Your Own Grave” and lyrics about kidnapping women and murder. But keep in mind, it’s all tongue in cheek and it IS, after all, called horror punk for a reason.

Where The Panic Beats really take off on this album is the music itself. They try a few new things and it totally works. If they stay on this track, I predict a long bloody career for this outfit. ‘A Date With Death’ utilizes harmonies, pitches and gang vocals that were previously RARELY, if ever, heard on previous albums. The guitar work and change ups are more complex and interesting as well. A lot of people refer to The Panic Beats sound as being akin to a Ramones sound with Misfits lyrics. And I think that’s kind of a cheap way out, because there is way more going on here.

The songs seem to stand out more and are more memorable on here than on most past albums. This is definitely The Panic Beats strongest outing to date.

The Panic Beats usually release most of their albums on vinyl; usually a limited edition colored run that usually sells out before I have a chance to buy it, and a black vinyl run. And it often comes with a poster that is different than the cover art of the album, but just as beautifully painted. Unfortunately, due to the labels that usually press The Panic Beats vinyl being over budget or way behind on their pressings in this economy, ‘A Date With Death’ has only thus far received only a digital and a CD release. As of this writing, there are only 3 CDs left. And for $5, it’s totally worth it.

So go on over to ThePanicBeats.Bandcamp.com and check it out. While you’re there you can also pick up a copy of their last release, Rest In Pieces on blood red cassette that has been released by cassette only horror label Graveyard Calling.

Jan 09 2015

6’+ Episode 135 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“A new year brings a new episode of 6ftplus. We finish looking back and start looking FORWARD. INTO. THE. FUTURE. We’ve got music from bands with upcoming releases – THEE TSUNAMIS, WOLFMEN OF MARS, CALABRESE, THE BROWNS and more. Plus, another installment of KILLER KUTS from Kraig Khaos and we break our New Year’s Resolution when we have another MONSTERMATT MINUTE with Monstermatt Patterson.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Jan 05 2015

Movie Review: The Return of the Vampire (1944)

return of the vampire Zombos Says: Good

Bela Lugosi's career didn't fare well after his initial fame with Dracula. Having apparently failed the makeup screen test for Frankenstein—though he wasn't overly found of playing the monster anyway—his reserved and aloof demeanor kept him from ingratiating himself with the Hollywood in-crowd. That, and the rapidly rising stardom of Boris Karloff after his noted portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster, put Lugosi in a deteriorating career position.

Although he created intensely unique and effective characters such as Dracula, Murder Legendre in White Zombie, and Ygor in Son of Frankenstein, he spent much of his time acting in lesser roles. After Dracula, he portrayed a "real" vampire onscreen only two more times; as Armand Tesla in The Return of the Vampire, and as the more comedic count in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Lew Landers' The Return of the Vampire plays like a Brothers Grimm fairytale. You have your evil villain, the occultist turned vampire, Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi), his reluctant servant who is tragically caught between good and evil and lycanthropy, and a wartime beleaguered, bomb-ruined London as backdrop seething with revenge creeping in the foggy night.

The story begins as the first World War ends. Lady Jane (Frieda Inescot) and Dr. Saunders (Gilbert Emery) must come to terms with a vampire in their midst. After he attacks a child, Dr. Saunders convinces Lady Jane that their problem goes beyond scientific understanding, and the two set out to find the blood-sucking fiend. But not before Dr. Saunders reads up on the annoying supernatural pests, written by one Armand Tesla, noted authority in the field.

It is an ironic, somewhat foreboding comment Dr. Saunders makes regarding the limitations of science to convince Lady Jane of the existence of something not analyzable under her microscope; only a few years later, the inexplicable horrors of the supernatural world will be supplanted by the inexplicable mutant horrors wrought by science and radiation. After World War II and the atomic bomb, vampires and werewolves would appear less frightening compared to the threats from giant ants, giant spiders, and giant blobs.

The shift from personal destruction to mass destruction has begun.

As night approaches, Lady Jane and Dr. Saunders find Tesla in his coffin and drive a steel spike into his heart, freeing Andreas (Matt Willis), Tesla's werewolf servant, from his evil grasp, and ending Tesla's reign of terror. Years later, in the aftermath of a World War II Nazi bombing raid, civil defense workers mistakenly remove the spike from Tesla's heart, freeing him to seek vengeance on the family that stopped his vampiric-evil many years before. The scene is reminiscent of a similar scene in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, when Larry Talbot is freed from his tomb by two similarly bumbling, but not very civil-minded, grave robbers.

Andreas, whom the good Lady Jane took in as her laboratory assistant, once again succumbs to Tesla's evil mind control and turns back into his rather huggable werewolf form, gleefully killing people in order to help Tesla assume a new identity and execute his nefarious plan of vengeance against Lady Jane and her loved ones. Andreas' hirsute persona is more Jekyll and Hyde than a straightforward, rip-out-your-throat, bay at the full-moon, kind of werewolf. He's fully conscious of what he's doing, but simply loves killing people and being downright nasty when under Tesla's control.

Against the backdrop of bombed-out London—the aftermath of real horror brought about by the "Jerries"—Andreas and his undead master walk quietly amid the ruins unnoticed, anachronistic folkloric monsters in a tableau of a larger monstrosity, the death and destruction of war. It is an eerie composition; dark spookshow theatrics of cemeteries and fog mingling with scenes of carnage and black-out curtains.

The film moves well and Lugosi, while older, still plays the vampire with a sufficient touch of malice. The addition of his werewolf servant is an odd touch, especially since his servant doesn't act like a werewolf—he talks a lot and wears a suit—but it does provide a unique aspect to the storyline and the need for
redemption as Andreas fights for his salvation at the end. Why he becomes a werewolf when Tesla takes control of him is not explained, but Andreas retains his tie and voice whether he's hairy or clean-shaven, which is either sublimely ridiculous or deeply meaningful.

I vote for the former as it's more fun to watch than try to explain.

After Dr. Saunders dies in a plane crash, his manuscript, detailing the exploit with Armand Tesla many years before, falls into the hands of Sir Frederick Fleet of Scotland Yard (Miles Mander). Lady Jane is warned she may be implicated in a murder if Tesla's body is found, but Lady Jane takes up the good fight as she tries to convince Sir Fleet that body is still above ground and a vampire is prowling London. In true stiff upper lip fashion, she pouts in calm determination as Sir Fleet tish-toshes the notion politely, but both still work together to stop Tesla for good. As a woman of science and reason, Lady Jane's strong-willed professionalism foreshadows the career women that will soon grace many a sci-fi horror film in the decade to follow.

The Return of the Vampire is a good B-Movie that got lost in the transition from the Gothic-horror cycle to the scientifically-induced horrors of the 1950s. By 1944, Lugosi, the talking movie screen's first great monster star, exchanged his opera cape for a lab coat in Voodoo Man, and again in 1945 in Zombies on Broadway, playing a mad scientist. In the emerging world of science gone amoral, mad science became all the rage.

For poor Bela, his return was short-lived. He got lost in the transition also.

He deserved better.

This article originally appeared at From Zombos’ Closet.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.

Dec 31 2014

6’+ Episode 134 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“After the break, we return! We wrap up 2014 with selections from Silent Horror, The Tiki Creeps, Psycho Charger, The House Of Haunt and more. Monstermatt Patterson tries to count down till midnight in 2014’s last Monstermatt Minute.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 29 2014

Horror Section/Eaten Back To Life, SPLIT IN TWO

Today, we are happy to share another entry from frequent contributor, Kraig Khaos. Kraig has a reoccurring feature on 6ftplus – Killer Kuts from Kraig Khaos – where he shares a song from a vinyl recording. Kraig has a new podcast called Uncommon Interests, where he discusses a wide range of pop culture ranging from the mainstream to deep underground. Being a vinyl enthusiast, Kraig has a post about one of the best releases of 2014.

 

sp201It’s rare that you ever get a split album or EP that has two bands that match up so well. But Eccentric Pop Records has done just that with their release of Horror Section and Eaten Back To Life: Split In Two LP.

Each band puts in 5 songs each of melodic, catchier-than-a-zombie-virus punk rock with a horror slant. Both bands may be similar in sound, but that’s not to say that they are both the same exact thing.

Horror Section brings in songs of broken hearts and broken trust with witty lyrics and hooks that will keep your toes tappin’ long after the songs have ended. Imagine an early Alkaline Trio (and I mean that in a GOOD way) with Screeching Weasel melodies that pay homage to early to mid-90’s pop-punk, and you’re on the right track.

Eaten Back To Life play a more guitar heavy form of horror punk. That doesn’t mean that they swerve into metal territory, because they don’t. But the guitar solo in “The Tall Man” may very well melt your face off. With gruff vocals and strong song structures, EBTL will have you singing along to their songs immediately.

On most split albums, there is usually a clear winner of which band is better. But “Split In Two” proves that it doesn’t have to be that way. Both bands give 100% and kick mutual ass. These aren’t just throw-away songs that didn’t fit on an album. These are genuinely great songs by two bands trying hard to put their best undead foot forward.

sp202

 

Eccentric Pop Records knocks it out of the park with this release. Not only does this green vinyl come with a download code, you also get an awesome 11 card trading set. Each card has full color artwork based on a song from the record with the lyrics on the back. And since most songs are based on horror films, some of these images are gonna be familiar to you horror buffs. And you get ALL of this for only $12.

So go on over to Eccentricpop.com and order what is being called one of the best releases of 2014. You won’t be sorry. And while you’re at it, check out some of the Kepi Ghoulie/ Groovie Ghoulies stuff they are releasing now and in the near future. Including a Kepi Ghoulie vinyl subscription.

 

 

 

 

Dec 26 2014

6’+ Delay

Holiday traveling doesn’t leave us with much time for recording an episode for the week. We hope you understand this brief Christmas vacation and hope to have a new episode ready for New Year’s Eve. But keep your eye on Facebook as there might be some goodies there to help tide you over…

If you have any suggestions for artists/bands (or anything else you want more of on the show) for future episodes, please feel free to submit them to CONTACT at 6FTPLUS dot com.

You can find all previous episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 25 2014

Solstice Spirits

It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Nox Arcana’s Christmas albums. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard they released a festive new EP called Ebonshire, Volume 2 this month. To celebrate, here’s a special music video for a selection from the Winter’s Majesty album taken directly from the official Nox Arcana channel:

But that’s not all! Nox Arcana has uploaded every track from both volumes of Ebonshire onto their channel so fans can sample the music in full before purchasing! You can also learn more at their website’s special section devoted to these albums.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 22 2014

Making A Krampus Costume

The last time I discussed constructing a Krampus costume, I focused more on assembling something from store bought costume parts rather than making one from scratch. I wanted something that would be a relatively easy way for even those without the best costume or prop-making skills to make a Krampus suit. But I also realize there are lots of talented people out there who want something more for their take on the Krampus. Thankfully, the man behind the scary wreath tutorial I shared last year has a series of videos on the subject. As he recently added a new video devoted to sculpting a Krampus mask, I thought I would present the videos in the order of their original posting dates.

As you can see, he covers every single aspect of making a Krampus costume. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he adds more on the subject in the years to come…

Dec 19 2014

6’+ Episode 133 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s time to Jingle the Bells and Deck the Halls as we celebrate the season with festive music from Five-Eaux, Thee Merry Widows, Los Straitjackets, The Gabba Ghouls, Sloppy Seconds and much more. Plus, a very special edition of THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 16 2014

Happy Chanukkill!

The sun is down and Chanukkah is here! Since I often celebrate Christmas here with collections of oddball links related to the holiday, it’s only fair for me to do the same with the Festival of Lights.

Let’s start things off with a book I’ve been meaning to cover here for ages: Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel. Not only is the protagonist loosely based on an actual historical figure, but you can find the script for the stage adaptation online as well! But I recommend tracking down a copy of the original book, both for the full story and for the wonderful illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

Although Gary Shapiro’s song “Bubbe’s Dybbuk Polka” is not available for free download, Reverbnation does let you stream it for free. The term “Dybbuk” might sound familiar if you saw The Possession and you can learn more about this evil spirit from Jewish mythology by reading the Wikipedia entry for “Dybbuk box.”

Teleport City has an amazing article about the legendary Golem up which blows away my old article on the subject.

Did you know there is a deli with a painting of a giant monster on it? The Temple Delicatessen in Cincinnati is famous for its mural of “Kosherilla” the giant gorilla. You can learn more about the it at Urban Walls and see more pictures here.

While we’re on the subject of Jewish events, Purim is often referred to as “Jewish Halloween” due to the tradition of dressing in costume and even werewolves can enjoy Bar Mitzvahs.

Happy Chanukkah!

Dec 12 2014

6’+ Episode 132 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“If the sight of green and red has you feeling green and seeing red, then you’re in luck – this episode features all the naughty-centric, anti-Holiday attitudes to help you through the end of the season. Monstermatt Patterson returns with the Monstermatt Minute, and we have music from Bad Whoremoans, Angry Snowmans, Deja Voodoo, KOBANES, The Haunted Buffalo and more!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 10 2014

Martians Kidnap Kids and Santa In Levine’s Fun-Filled Color Film

The cast reacts to the news of people actually buying tickets to the film.

Filling a need for wholesome children’s films, Joseph E. Levine’s SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, coming in Eastman Color Saturday to the Leathbridge Theatre, will be a welcome delight to many parents. This Embassy Pictures release will be presented under a special policy of Saturday and Sunday matinee performances only.

This unique science-fiction fantasy places Santa Claus in a futuristic setting and will intrigue and delight our modern-day space conscious youngsters.

Underneath it all lies the power of the Christmas Spirit and Santa Claus’s joviality. The children of Mars are so captivated by Santa Claus when they see him on television in a broadcast coming from the North Pole that their parents are determined to kidnap Santa to brightened their own children’s spirits.

Santa Claus is kidnapped in a space ship and is set up on Mars in a highly automated toy shop which will amuse young and old. How Santa returns to earth but leaves the spirit of Christmas at Mars is the content of the rest of the film.

The film’s story was conceived by Paul Jacobson, a former television executive, who has realized the need for children’s films in a contemporary context, and who has also produced SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS.

Featured in the cast are a host of professional Broadway and off-Broadway actors including many youngsters.

[This post is based around a prepared article included in the pressbook for Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Normally articles like this are unchanged (with the exception of adding a theater name) in order to mimic how this would have looked in an old newspaper, but this is a special case. Sample scans from an eBay auction for the Santa Claus Conquers The Martians pressbook did contain the article, but it required enlarging the image and playing with the contrast in order to get something barely readable. After much eye straining and comparing against results found in online newspaper archives, a legible version of the text was discovered. It was also discovered how many newspapers opted to leave off the title and some seemingly deleted random sentences from the article itself! After much research and reconstruction, this is believed to be the most accurate representation of the original article. Even a new promotional photograph had to be tracked down since the ones in the eBay images were presented in a way which made them unusable.]

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