Make a Deal with EVIL, EVIL Will Come Calling! “The 27 Club” review!


Kurt Cobain. Robert Johnson. Amy Winehouse. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix. All these recording superstars have one tragic thing in common: their fame engrossed lives ending horribly, sometimes violently, at the young age of 27 at the height of their careers. Their deaths are a part of an elite group called the 27 Club that incorporates effervescent celebrities from all walks of fame. When another popular rock star ends up mysterious deceased a night after his concert, the same concert that student journalist Jason attended, the eager academic finds himself at the right place, at the right time while researching and documenting the notoriety of the 27 Club. While hallowing out the club’s infamy, Lily, a wild and struggling musician, enters his life on a connective collision course toward his research that evidently surrounds itself around an ancient Latin-based text. The book is binding to those seeking rock star status in exchange for their souls and with a steep decline in her musical career, Lily provokes satanic rituals with exploiting help from the love struck Jason, but the only thing Lily didn’t count on was her unexpected love for him back.

The actual 27 Club lore continues to be an interesting notion. A curiously notorious concept that flew under the radar for this reviewer up until happening upon and diving into the Patrick Fogarty’s written and directed soul-bargaining tale regarding the idea’s parameters as the film’s foundation. Fogarty, the staple music video director for bands such as Black Veil Brides and The Burning of Rome, tests his hand at satanic, soul-swallowing horror, simply titled “The 27 Club,” for Cleopatra Records cinematic sub-division, Cleopatra Entertainment, and is co-written a mythos script alongside “Clownsploitation’s” Joe Flanders and Michael Lynn. Even if nothing more than a freak coincidence, Fogarty processes an innovative take on the 27 Club that has spanned over century and, perhaps, provides a little education and knowledge to those outside the music industry.

Many iconic rock stars rise from the grave to spit philosophical truths and knowledge, constructed as miniature prologues of a chaptered story, intertwined with a relatively unknown cast beginning with headlining leading lady Maddisyn Carter as the toiled Lilly seeking refuge in any drug or sexual partner her beautiful disaster can ensnare in a world of deaf tone destruction. Her character is intended to be refracted by the introduction of the 27 Club research journalist, Jason (“Mutants'” Derrick Denicola), who just happens to be around when another musician kicks the proverbial bucket, but Carter maunders through the relationship with Jason and unable to materialize compassion, losing any slither of internal conflict Lilly may possess. Todd Rundgren, Cleopatra recording artist and a member of the progressive rock band, Utopia, headlines polar opposite of Carter on the cover of the home media release only and not as a chief player in this possession plot. The role downsizes his long legacy in the music biz and though a small role and acting isn’t Rundgren’s first love, the rocker tops as being one of the film’s better moments as a record store wise-guy patron doing the right thing and a creepy video-chatty music professor. “The 27 Club” tortures the cast of remaining souls with Adam Celantano, Kali Cook (“Victor Crowley”), Zack Kozlow (“Devil’s Domain”), Mr. Chromeskull himself Nick Principe (“Laid to Rest” and “Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2”), Jason Lasater (“Death Tunnel”), Zach Paul Brown, Emily Dalquist, Eugene Henderson, wrestling superstar John Hinnigan, Gogo Lomo-David, Tasha Tacosa (“Halloween Pussy Trap Kill Kill”), and, my personal favorite, Killjoy’s Victoria de Mare!

Novel backstory might be one thing, but a comprehensively sound one is another and while “The 21 Club” begins like a John Carpenter cask of embolism-depth imagination and beguiling, if not apocalyptic hinting, descent into oblivion, Fogarty’s film collapses when Lilly and Jason seek out a couple of drug dealers to understand the book’s portentous contents. Conveniency and rushed theatrics push a scene-to-scene overhaul that forgets to breathe and come up for air, losing that dramatic, dire consequence associated with a thriller. No consequences steep the pot to forge a luxury of sympathy or any type of relation toward the characters. Jason and Lilly’s dynamic was hot and cold at best and why Lilly kept Jason around after learning of his possession of the book is a complete mystery. The exposition isn’t conveyed properly in this instance and their coupling wipes on a thin wave toward the finale. There’s also the common motif of a sex tape – Jason records his and Lilly’s sexual encounter after a night of clubbing and Lilly’s record producer explicitly states if there’s a sex tape out there that might risk damaging her career – and then that information goes dark, nothing but crickets to line an explanation to why her sex tape would be important to the story. If a stipulation of her fame agreement with the reaper was to not lie or become involved scandalously entangled, the sex tape would be the perfect real world-relating catalyst that fully encompasses the fame-to-fallen storyline.

Cleopatra Entertainment and MVDVisual release a sweet, multi-format package perfect for home entertainment of Patrick Fogarty’s “The 27 Club.” The all region DVD/Blu-ray combo set also includes the compact disc soundtrack to the movie that features music from Todd Rundgren featuring NIN’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, plus Die Klute, Bestial Mouths, The Anix, Jurgen Engler and more. The full HD, 1080p Blu-ray, which was viewed, is presented in a 1.78:1, widescreen, aspect ratio. The 97 minute digitally shot film has a wonderful color palate that often shutters from natural tones to one or two-toned primary color filters with also a desaturated approach to the 27 Club’s most recognizable members conducting a foggy room soliloquy. Banding issues have noticeable effects in various stages of darker scenes, especially surrounding a humanoid figure. The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound has insignificant bite through the multi channel conduit that denotes continuous issues with Cleopatra Entertainment’s home video releases. With a recording penchant for talent in the music industry, the expectation is high in delivering bombastic results flowing from one through five and presenting a singular comprehensive result, but the range and depth lack beside the powerhouse release and instead, find more solace in the third format of a traditional CD soundtrack content with great musical contents. Bonus features include two interviews with the film’s stars, Maddisyn Carter and Darrick Denicola, slideshow, trailers, and of course, a CD soundtrack all underneath a slipcovered jewel casing. “The 27 Club” spins a concoction of malediction around historical tragedy that’s more heinous hoopla and than harrowing horror and while the release bursts with razor sharp teeth and high pixelating resolution, channelling all the material rudimentary didn’t stay glued together in the end, hurting the character progressional arch and thinning out the hair-raising filament.

Pre-order “The 27 Club” available June 11, 2019!

When Evil Wants to Probe Your Delicate Hind Parts! “Revenge of the Spacemen” review!


Hostile aliens touchdown on the farmlands of a rural Ohio community, intending to rid Earth’s current human and non-human inhabitants. The green and bulbous-headed extraterrestrials’ attack plan is simple, anally probe every lifeform and insert into their cavities an extreme intestinal gas inducing capsule. As the atmosphere fills with the strong and continuous methane gas odors, the Earth will become uninhabitable which would be easy pickings for otherworldly aliens seeking an easy target after years of plucking cows and the occasional rural-ite. While the probed stink themselves into extinction, a ragtag band of moonshine drinking college kids, local law enforcement, and the Johnson family, the moonshine distillers whose farm is being invaded, arm themselves with bullets and beer against the aggressive anal attacking spacemen!

As if to the long for the days of yore, back when humanoid aliens, cladded in tinfoil space suits topped with bulging eyes jetting from big, green heads, landed onto Earth’s soil in the traditionally believed tripod-legged oval of a UFO saucer and armed with hi-tech laser weaponry to formally engaging in a planetary invasion, “Revenge of the Spacemen” dapples in mock-nostalgia and mocks the rudimentary narrative with crude humor of the independent film kind. First time feature film director Jay Summers helms the outlandish Sci-Fi comedy, penned by Conor Duffy as the writer’s first credit, that excruciatingly relies heavily on butt humor and beer banter. Obviously fitting for the forgivable friend to the indie filmmaker, Troma Films, “Revenge of the Spacemen’s” degree of plot and technical quality shouldn’t be a surprise to any viewer familiar with Lloyd Kaufman’s lavishly loony label who takes shameless pride in disrupting conventional filmmaking and creativity. That’s why we adore Troma and Lloyd Kaufman! However, the Jay Summers’ 2014 space invader romp is hard to love and will be found guilty of heresy by celestial geeks and their alien affectionate fandom.

Amongst the college kids, a sense of level headed character dispositions exist and, as a whole, are perhaps the better part of the written characters. George, whose motivation is to investigate the flying saucer that he only saw, is teamed up with a quasi-blind date and roots out the aliens to the core of their dastardly plan, becoming the thin bearing-like hero “Revenge of the Spacemen” couldn’t quite establish. Played by an actor actually named George in George Tutie (“The Brave Souls Who Fought Against the Slave Vampire Women”), Tutie plays the part well with little-to-no extra hamming. His friends Ozzy, Liz (“The Murders of Brandywine Theater’s” Kayla McDonald), Jan (“Easter Casket’s” Janet Jay), and Eddie (“Raw Focus’” Benny Benzino) follow more than embody their own will on the story, but compliment the hero in George to rise and shine, such as a Ozzy being a loyal buddy and Liz being the romance that George was missing in his casual life. On the opposite side of the spectrum and the more radical faction are the Johnson family, led by the matriarch, the rootin’-tootin’ ready for shootin’ and boozin’ Mrs. Johnson, while the Husband away. “Dying 2 Meet U’s” Janine Sarnowski’s no foolishness approach to Mrs. Johnson is hard nose kicked into overdrive with the shifter broken off. Her back and forth spouts with Sgt. Taggart are nicely confident and verbose, a quality needed in a mean old hag! The cast rounds out with Fred Munkachy, Bogusia Chmielewski, Logan Fry (“Clowsploitation”), Brianna Harding, Andrew Santa, Richard Raphael (“Return of the Dead”), Kathie Dice, AJ Nold (“The Demon’s Odyssey”), and Danny Bass as Catfish Bob who I thought was the funniest character out of the bunch.

Aside from the cut out flying saucer spinning through two-dimensional space, hitting and passing the moon, heading toward a blurry Earth in the background, and the composition against a live-action woodsy background, “Revenge of the Spacemen” is zero budget when on the subject of special effects. The green aliens, with bulging heads and bugged out eyes, are not trying to hide anything underneath the latex mask that flashes it’s edges from overtop the silvery foil space suit. The anal probes remind me of Ringling Bros. light up souvenirs and the green skin body paint comes in 50 shades of not grey, but does glow at times and can sprout boils on the face.

The Troma Team entertains the “Jay Summers'” “Revenge of the Spacemen” onto Blu-ray home video in a widescreen, 16:9 aspect ratio, and even though I know very well that this is a Troma Team Video release, the image quality is upsettingly blurry with aliasing and doesn’t colorfully pop, especially when you’re trying turn people green and saucers fly around hillbilly central. Sharpness never comes through the entire 1 hour and 15 minute runtime. The dual channel audio track requires much more filtering to clean up crackling and ambience around one of the more important aspects of any film, the dialogue, and the severe feedback during more shrill moments doesn’t go unnoticed. Bonus features include a classical harebrained Lloyd Kaufman introduction, deleted scenes, and the original trailer. The Blu-ray also comes with some well illustrated cover art that recollects the past and is visually stimulating for the film inside the casing. “Revenge of the Spacemen” is supposed to be a monstrous, alien invasion, and campy homage to the 1950’s science fiction classics, but the aliens versus hillbillies melee is more attuned to a low-rent, laclluster production of “Mars Attacks!”