Movie Review: “Dead on Appraisal”
“Dead on Appraisal” is a psychedelic moshpit of unbridled insanity involving real estate dealer John Dante trying to sell a house that carries with it a serious history of demonic baggage.
“The Morning After” is the story of a bunch of kids that just wanna party, hearty but find themselves faced with both a home invasion and some kind of big, bad bug that wants to take a bite out of them all as well. Cue the craziness folks…
Sure the acting is stiff and in some cases bad but hey it’s indie, it’s low budget and it’s massively entertaining to boot! Kudos to the filmmakers for starting the movie out on a fun, positive note that sets the pace for the rest of the movie. I also enjoyed the monster and gore effects in this story which complemented the vibe and direction of the flick well.
“Fatherland” is the next story up about an Iraqi War soldier returning home to stay with his father suffering from what might be PTSD. His father contacts a psychiatrist who happens to be a vet himself to help his son which doesn’t work. The young man, despondent, commits suicide. The father finds his son dead and notices something odd — a bomb had been surgically placed inside him that explodes killing him. The house however survives the blast.
“Fatherland” finally gives us a glimpse of that which dwells inside the house as we see it’s silhouette on the wall in the final moments of this story. I think the filmmakers were trying to convey to us that this demon has been here all along manipulating both past and present inhabitants of the house.
“Freddie and the Goblins,” the third and final installment in this trilogy, involves the nutty lead singer of a death metal band who moves into this house of horrors with the intent to make the most extreme music planet Earth has ever known. And it all starts with an “innoncent” poker game between he and his bandmates. It’s with this story that the filmmakers truly shine taking on a no holds barred approach regarding how horror movies should be, low budget or not.
Each time someone gets up and exits the table a kooky, a Sid and Marty Krofft like creature sits down in his place. Freddie, the lead singer, can’t process what’s happening — is it real or is it his imagination?
In a fit of madness he kills all the monsters at the table and makes a frantic 911 call to report the incident but hangs up when the monsters are gone and in their place are his friends, dead, murdered. And here’s where we cross the rainbow bridge into true madness.
His bandmates reanimate on their own and suggest they perform one final gig together…which he agrees to! When the cops arrive Freddie’s already kukoo for cocoa puffs but musters up enough brain energy to go for his gun but gets shot and killed by the police when he does so.
The final few minutes of “Dead on Appraisal” are some of the greatest in low budget cinema history. As if the entire movie hasn’t been a gory masterpiece already, the final scenes escalate the shock and awe / blood and gore factor to cosmic heights I’ve witnessed before.
Remember John the realtor? He’s the guy that shows up sporadically throughout the movie to bind the stories together. Lo and behold his girlfriend Sarah is hosting an open house to get it sold. The final few moments of the movie redefine the term “insanity” and give me hope that there are still adventurous filmmakers out there who are willing to take a film as far it can go creatively and then nudge it even further across that line.
The demon decides to make an appearance at the open house and kills everyone to a slammin’, heavy as hell death metal soundtrack. The methods of murder and mayhem employed here are brilliant beyond what words can describe.
“Dead on Appraisal” needs to be a permanent part of your horror movie collec tion. Keep an eye on the guys who made this movie, I have a feeling they’re going to be the ones to watch when it comes to horror filmmaking in the future.
Winds of Genocide
“Usurping the Throne of Disease”
The first thing that hits me is the Napalm Death influence, especially on track six, “Millions Lie Slaughtered.” Hear me complaining? Better not, fuck no. Winds of Genocide nail a perfect melding of grindy crust and death metal with “Usurping the Throne of Disease,” a nine track beat down due Jan 26th / 2015.
I can’t say enough good things about this record because it’s not a one trick pony which unfortunately some bands of this genre are. “Deathstrike of the Scythe” has an old school, circle pit, punk rock vibe to it while “Venomous Warfare” and “Into the Darkness of Eternal Nuclear Winter” is straight up death metal.
Winds of Genocide have really come into their own with “Usurping the Throne of Disease” which is more than a solid record to satiate even the staunchest of grind/crust/death fans. I look for this band to really make their mark in 2015.
“Black Magic Fire”
This record is available now
Here’s how this record starts out: A chanting female chorus saying something I can only imagine is Latin over a Slayer inspired guitar and drum riff that explodes into the black metal, mosh pit frenzy of “Apocalyptic Whore.” This is how every record should begin. They hooked me right from the start. This record will cave your skull in.
Ten tracks of black metal mayhem that does it right. The music and vocals are aptly matched which often times isn’t the case with this style of music. Nothing ultra fast but sledge hammer heavy throughout. The guitar riffs on “Black Magic Fire” really get me because they set the tone not only song-wise but what to expect from the record as a whole. And the song writing and vocals nail it head on as well.
The production quality of “Black Magic Fire” as well as the band itself have really shown tons of growth compared to their previous record “Infernal Earthly Divine.” “BMF” finds the band firing on all cylinders and just crushing it with this record. I definitely recommend going out and buying it.
2009 Escapi Records
I know this record has been out for a few years now but Trouble is a band that never receives it’s just due and this particular unplugged record is nothing short of mind blowing. It’s an instant no brainer, must have for every Trouble fan as well as every rock fan.
The ten songs run the gamut from unreleased to acoustic versions of their more well known tunes to a cover (“Heartful of Soul”). “7:00 A.M” destroys me with the vibe and atmosphere Wagner and Co. create acoustically, something I didn’t believe could be done, but has.
The melody is haunting, tragic and hypnotic all at once with hints of Peter Steele in Wagner’s vocals as well as a slight nod to a “Wish You Were Here” era Pink Floyd type sound which reappears again with the song “Flowers.”
“Waiting for the Sun” has a full on psychedelic groove that takes the listener on a heavy mystical trip characteristic of Trouble ala the Trouble – Manic Frustration – Plastic Green Head era.
It kills me how underrated this band is, why more people aren’t talking about them I(past or present) and one listen to this record will redefine the phrase “heaviness” in a way you haven’t even thought about before. How Trouble is able to craft melody to lyric to song is a truly a gift I’m glad they share with us. “Unplugged” is just an unbelievably great record start to finish. RUN. BUY. NOW.
“For Those Which Are Asleep”
Available now, Tee Pee Records
Super heavy, doomified molten metal from the band featuring three former members of the godly Trouble playing a style of music representative of Trouble’s first two records “Psalm 9” and “The Skull” and holy shit does this music deliver the goods! “For Those Which Are Asleep” is ten tracks of pure, organic heavy rock played with feeling and a sense of genuine respect for the genre of music.
It’s hard to listen to this record and not associate it as “Trouble” because you have three former players creating this music but the longer you listen to this record the more you understand and pick up this retro, hard rock, riffy style that makes The Skull stand out on it’s own, especially with a songs like “Sick of it All,” “The Door” and the title track, “For Those Which Are Asleep.”
What I like about this record is that it doesn’t pander to the doom / stoner audience or try to cash in on it’s obvious connection with Trouble, which it could have. The Skull, without doubt, stands firmly on it’s own two legs through a complex, layered, textured sound. It doesn’t try to be Sabbath nor does it try to be Trouble. Instead it finds it’s own unique groove through the talents and influences each member brings to the group and that comes through loud and clear on each song.
I’ll say the same thing for this record I said above with Trouble’s “Unplugged” and I firmly believe this — RUN. BUY. NOW.