Danzig’s EVIL Stank All Over This One! “Verotika” reviewed! (Blu-ray, DVD, CD / Cleopatra Entertainment)


Three sordid, macabre tales straight from the controversial pages of Glenn Danzig’s Verotik comic line that slips into the surreal lurid dimension of obscure stories of a subconscious half-human, half-spider manifestation with a sexual appetite and a morbid desire to break the necks of women of the night, of a disfigured and mysteriously alluring stripper who seeks out beautiful women nightly to crudely remove their faces with a knife and overlay their once perfect skin on top of her face as she adds them to her collection of facial distinctions, and, lastly, of a bloodthirsty medieval countess known to her subjects for exquisite beauty and grace emanated by the blood baths of her virginal female subjects.

Legendary metal musician and songwriter Glenn Danzig has been a symbolic (Anti-)God that inspired other metal bands and fans over for more than 40 years, birthing perhaps the original, and still more popular, horror-goth punk bands to ever set the black lit stage, the Misfits in the late 1970’s. Outside his illustrious musical career, Danzig owns Verotik, a comic book publisher, that’s a portmanteau derived from “violent” and “erotic,” geared toward adult-themed material and inspired by his fascination with horror. In comes “Verotika,” a three short film anthological horror feature penned by Danzig and is his director debut while in collaboration with powerhouse musical recording label, Cleopatra Records, under their cinema label, Cleopatra Entertainment. Co-producing alongside Danzig is James Cullen Bressack, whose heavily been the created force behind the affectional indie found footage horror “2 Jennifer” and “From Jennifer” films, and Bressack associating collaborator, Jarrett Furst.

Keeping with the “Verotika’s” motif of scantily cladded women and the elements of horror, each story is driven by a female lead portrayed by actress who’ve established themselves with a scream queen presence, have enter the entertainment industry by way of X-rated programming, or are fresh faced with the presumptive hypothesis that the role secured was for their voluptuous assets. Ashley Wisdom is one of those endowed actresses that fit the latter category. The Instagram model and fling of Glenn Danzig becomes a shoe in for the lead of Dajette in the first segment, “The Albino Spider of Dajette.” Wisdom’s cringing faux French accent and rigid manner doesn’t wholly dilute from her bustier attributes that include prosthetic eyeballs for nipples – all part of Dajette’s character – and fairs better than Scotch Hopkins’s (“2 Jennifer”) absurd Albino Spider of grim free verse prospects inside a stiff, stingy mockery of a humoresque spider. Optimistically, the episodes only go up from her with the following tale ”Change of Face” that follows mystery girl, “12/12/12’s” Rachel Alig, hunting down and slashing off the faces of beautiful women for her collection. Alig is a palpable psychopath amongst a sea of overzealous, conventional orchestrated character types that sells a noir, or hints at a giallo, loom that sensualizes as well as sexualizes a salacious one-person schismatic view of beauty. However, the grand finale saves the best for last with Verotik’s more diabolical and foundational brutal transgressors, Drukija: The Countessa of Blood. Without so much of a setup or without expositional bookends that dive into backstory, conflict blossoming, or even resolution, Drukija’s a voyeuristic chronicle that exhibits the day in a life of a abhorrent ruler soaked in virgin blood with Australian actress Alice Tate fulfilling Drukija’s iron spike studded crown. Numerous scenes linger with Tate just bathing in blood or checking her sangre-moisturized skin in a three-way mirror to just extenuate the picking and choosing of daughtered victims, gleaming of deity-hood inside the eye’s of her maniacal maiden hand, and, in her spare time, amasses decapitated heads of the slaughtered young women as keepsakes. Yet, Kayden Kross dignifies that porn stars can get into the silver screen market, well, at least in Danzig’s irregular one. The director and starlet filmmaker hosts an outer edge story as the witchy-gowned and demonically unholy Morella who introduces each segment in between. Sean Kenan (“My Trip Back to the Dark Side”), Natalia Borowsky, Emma Gradin, with special cameo appearances by Caroline Williams (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre II”), Courtney Stodden, and a number of women from the porn circuit like Kross, such as Bobbi Dylan, Katrina Jade, Emma Hix, Aalyiha Hadid, and Veronica Ricci.

I’m all for the forging of industry realms when comic meet the big screen with adaptation and love Verotik’s edgy eroticism and hyper-violence mantra, but “Verotika’s” pulpy irregular narrative meter coursed a perplexing devolved sojourn through our visual cortex, leading us pleading for a bigger, better version of Danzig’s auteur dreamscapes. Verotik’s a fire and brimstone optical narrative from the illustrated pages that speak volumes of profligate and vivid avant-garde characters and unlimited violence that tremendously lose that tailor-made authenticity when translated to the screen. Danzig’s free-form script works with music symbiotically; for together, the strums and riffs glue together disassociating dialogue to a unison of harmonics, even if Danzig’s prefers harsher rock melodies. For the musician’s first dance with directing, Danzig deserves props creating a gory, pulpy, and colorful piece of his subsequent profession. Yet, there’s always room for improvement in his technique, such as Danzig’s fascination with the zoom feature on the camera. The edit cut is almost too rough for swallow with no segue equilibrium between shots that result in some obvious cue acting and I’m usually a fan of Vincent Guaustini’s work, but his Albino Spider suit, in which the other four arms out of the three sets were fastened together, rolled back years of good effects work.

True to form, Cleopatra Entertainment offers a staggering release for Glenn Danzig’s “Verotika” in a triple-format Blu-ray/DVD/CD release distributed by MVDVisual. For this review, the Blu-ray was covered and the transfer is released in a widescreen, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, shot on an Arri Alexa anamorphic lens camera. The enormity of color schemes offers a wide variety of tints, especially in “The Albino Spider of Dajette,” but revert to more a natural tone for “Change of Face” and “Drukija: Countess of Blood” with stable details inside and outside the black. Slightly hazy (or maybe just smokey?) at times, but the 1080 does too good of a job to see all the nonexistent pores on the ripped off faces in “Change of Face.” The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio mix that, again, has a lossy quality from Cleopatra Entertainment, a sub-label of a major music recording company. The surround faintly register ambient audiophiles inside the channels whereas Danzig’s rock solid and eclectic soundtrack offers more, just a notch more, LFE oomph quality to boost into all areas. The CD renders around the same lossy quality. Bonus features include a trailer, a slideshow, and, of course, the compact disc featuring a new track from Danzig and also features tracks by Ministry, Pink Velvet, Studio 69, and Switchblade Symphony. Like a bizarro “Red Shoes Diaries'” episode, “Verotika” bares no shortage of nudity that’s interlocked with well-nigh arbitrary violence spread-eagled in a gnarled cinema anthology of surreality that lied festering inside Glenn Danzig’s head.

3 Disc Danzig! “Verotika” on Amazon!

Evil Git Er Done in “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf” review!

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In the sleepy town of Broken Taint, dimwitted dog catcher Bubba Blanche is the town joke amongst the rest of the moronic residents even in the eyes of former girlfriend Bobbie Jo, wrapping her needs around the naked muscle-shirt arms of a triple wide trailer owning redneck. Bubba swears that he’ll do absolutely anything to win Bobbie Jo back and his pathetic cries stretch deep to the depths of hell, reaching the ears of the The Devil himself who suddenly appears in Broken Taint. The Devil strikes a dubious agreement with Bubba to make him stronger in order to win over Bobbie Jo, but when Bubba wakes up the next morning, the dog catcher has been transformed into a big, bad, and hairy werewolf. His curse becomes a gift straight from hell as he knocks the front teeth out of triple wide, wins the heart of Bobbie Jo back, and earns the respect of the local townsfolk. That is, until Bubba’s curse starts a chain reaction of unfortunate diabolical agreements between the conniving Devil and the town simpletons. As The Devil turns Broken Taint into his own tarnation playground, Bubba must use his newfound canine powers and some of his old hidden strengths to overpower and to outwit the clever Lord of the underworld.
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Comic book movies. We either love them or hate them. We judge their fantastic value on the precision of who was casted as the hero or heroine and on the accurateness toward staying true to character origins. This may be common knowledge or it might not, but “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf,” a cigar-smoking, shot-gun carrying, jean-overall wearing werewolf, has been a successful comic franchise since 1995. Created by former CRACKED magazine writer Mitch Hyman, the true success of the provincial lycanthrope stems from the classic tale of a downtrodden individual being granted a huge amount of strength to overcome fear, to unleash ambitions, and to reestablish a brick wall of confidence all the while drinking a six-pack and drive a big truck. I’m sure Mitch Hyman would also note that the hilarity of a rootin tootin redneck werewolf with a patchwork heart of good intentions appeals to the masses as well.
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When Two Rubbing Nickels, LLC partners with central Florida based and spoof-specializing video production company And You Films, that’s when Bubba truly comes to life from off the vivid comic book pages to ever critical independent big screen in 2014 where director Brendan Jackson Rogers’ colorful illustration of the hairiest super hero of all time and his barroom dingbats challenge a mischievous and dastardly Devil. What’s even more interesting about this under-the-radar adapted horror-comedy being released by MVDVisual onto DVD is the writer who penned the script. None other than writer, director, producer, and president of Unearthed Films, Mr. Stephen Biro. Yes, the man who delivers spectacular acquired gory avant garde and underground horror films to see a slither of public light puts forth his mighty pen to paper and etches out a perfect blend of comedy and horror that creates a sea monkey world where “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf” radiates with rib-tickling slapstick humor aimed to be darkly unapologetic and fused with embellished illustrations of spew and blood splattering mayhem.
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The ensemble cast doesn’t have one single recognizable name credited and that makes this outrageous comedy that much alluring for nothing is taken overly serious. The very title of the film should be a clear expectation without explanation. Without that thespian pressure mounting on the casts’ shoulders, Rogers was able to build an alleviated atmosphere and let the actors be kids performing on the biggest stage of their careers. Even lead actor Fred Lass, who dons the Werewolf suit, had his very detailed and comprehensive werewolf facial mold conformed to show the expressions and the contours of his face. Bubba creator Mitch Hyman even has a starring roles as the Devil, his thin physique and defined face definably pops under a lush shade of hell branding red under a crown of dual horns; his satanic performance cultivates the very worst of humanity, using their greed against them, and reveling in their agony soaked suffering. Mitch Hyman wins the best ungodly trope since Al Pacino rendition of the Devil in 1997’s “The Devil’s Advocate.” Another unique element to harp upon are the strong female characters. Though the comic routinely objectifies female characters on the front covers with being petite and scantily cladded women of the countryside positioned around the massive werewolf with a baseball cap, only Malone Thomas’ role of Bobbie Jo resembles such a booty-jort, low-cut shirt clothed character, but, at the same time, Bobbie Jo remains a fierce constant show of strength for Bubba. She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and when to take it without shame and selfishness. Sara Humbert and Gail Fleming do the same for their respective roles of the blunt bartender Jamie Sue and the clairvoyant gypsy.
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MVDVisual shotguns a beer and will deliver “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf” onto a region free DVD come 2017! The comic book image quality does well with the slight rotoscope composite with interlaced moments of raw and naturally colored scenes. The darker scenes in the widescreen 1.78:1 presentation comes off unsharp and blotchy, leaving details solely toward more well lit portions. The Dolby Digital audio track clearly puts forth dialogue amongst a balance ambient track. No issues are detected and sufficiently goes beyond being just good quality. A vast batch of bonus material outshines other indie releases, beginning with a 16 minute documentary “From Page to Screen. The Making of Bubba The Redneck Werewolf. Other extras include deleted scenes, blooper reel, Werewolf and Devil Make process videos, “The Ballad of Bubba” behind-the-scenes music video by The Blast-Offs, and the official trailer. Amongst the top contenders of modern horror-comedies and werewolf films, Brendan Jackson Rogers, Mitch Hyman, Stephen Biro, and Fred Lass have, literally, created a winning combination with their monstrous furry feature.
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Buy “Bubba” on DVD @ AMAZON.COM!