2014 – A List of Things I Can’t Wait to Enjoy

With all due respect to 2013, I think it may be all but a memory when 2014 is said and done. That isn’t to say that the past year was without it’s gems, far from it. 2013 brought us the return of Anchorman, the best Arctic Monkeys album yet, an instant classic horror remake (Maniac), my engagement, a second Deltron 3030 album, an overindulgent Arcade Fire (and Eminem, and Kanye) record, and many many other occurrences.

Still, I had a hard time feeling great about 2013 while compiling this list of upcoming gems. The more I added to it, the more excited I became. And that was BEFORE 60’s Batman was announced for a DVD/Blu-Ray release ! Hell, that could be it’s own blog entry right there ! It’s not though. Anyway, I’ve separated the gems into 4 columns. TV, Music, Film & Home Video. And yes, I’m still calling it “Home Video”, I fear change !


1) The Return of 24 [season 9] (May 5th)


24_Live_Another_DayI know this won’t mean much to non-diehards of the show, and even those of us who trudged through the last 3 seasons probably aren’t expecting much at this point. That said, 24 was a thrilling show that I looked forward to seeing week after week. Season 5 was the clear standout (best characters, story & villains, least junk), but I’m hoping that a change in format (from 24 episodes to 12) and location (London instead of the US) may be just what the series needs to ratchet up the tension experienced in the first 5 seasons of this groundbreaking show.

2) Better Call Saul (November)


Better-Call-SaulClearly that isn’t the real intro, but I’m sure we’d all still watch it if it was. I actually didn’t catch up with Breaking Bad until this year, mainly because I’d watched the first season (& a few episodes of season 2) with my (now) ex, so it was a bit tainted for awhile. I knew I’d love it (and I did), and now that I’m caught up, I can’t wait to watch this prequel series, starring Bob Odenkirk’s popular Saul Goodman character. Clearly it won’t live up to everyone’s hype, but it’s the closest we’ll get to new episodes of BB, so bring it on !

3) The Return of Trailer Park Boys [Season 8] (TBA)


tpbSpeaking of shows that were once great, then got less great (but still enjoyable), TPB is coming back for an 8th (and 9th, at least) season ! There’s also a third film being released in April (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwJIDrOEPts), though I’m a bit more excited to have a regular series returning. As it turns out, the main cast members themselves have acquired the rights to the series, so I suppose we can look forward to them milking the characters to death for years to come. That said, it’s nice to see them back in TV show form, even if it ends up being online only.

4) American Horror Story [season 4] (October)


o-AMERICAN-HORROR-STORY-570Sadly, neither of those are real. Well, “official” that is. All we know about the upcoming season of AHS is that it will be a period piece set in 1950, and most of the cast will return (including the always excellent Jessica Lange). It may seem pretty far away (seeing as season 3 doesn’t end until tomorrow), but AHS has been a consistently fun watch over it’s 3 season run. It makes me look forward to every October even more than usual.

Home Video



d083576dc96bccb3a19606f4fbc2ddd61e48b12I can’t even begin to tell you how outrageously excited I am for this release. This has been at the top of my list since I was a child collecting VHS and watching Batman re-runs after school. I can safely say that this is one of my favourite TV shows of all time, despite how ludicrous it became. One need only look at the blu ray transfer (and special features) given to the one-off 60’s Batman film to fathom just how good those colours can look in HD. This show was so tangled up in rights issues, I’d assumed that my black market DVD’s of studio master VHS rips was the best I’d ever get. The fact that I’ll have a blu ray copy of all 120 episodes in my hands by the end of the year is almost too much to comprehend. SO STOKED !! (P.S – that’s not official cover art, but it’s pretty sweet regardless).

2) Nightbreed – The Cabal Cut (TBA)


nightbreedcabalNothing bothers me more than censorship or studio fuckery. Many films have been irrevocably ruined by studio meddlers who thought their vision trumped the filmmakers’. It’s rare that the artists get another shot to fix the mistakes of the past, but Clive Barker has been given just that. Not only will we get to see (more or less) his original vision of Nightbreed, but we’ll get it from the brilliant minds of Scream Factory, arguably the best studio for genre video releases. It’s been an ongoing struggle to wrestle the footage/rights from the studio, but this Fall it will all have been worth it (assuming the extended cut is actually good).

3) Anchorman 2 – Recut (April)


anchorman-2-whysoblu-2As much as I enjoyed Anchorman 2, I couldn’t wait to see the long discussed recut version of the film. So much footage was shot for the original Anchorman that an entirely new movie was made with the leftover footage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNWTvzLrWFA). A similar thing happened with the second film, but with a bit of a twist. Although the “recut” version will include 15-20 minutes of entirely new footage, ALL of the jokes from Anchorman 2 have been replaced with alternate jokes, 250 new jokes in total. An ambitious undertaking to be sure, but one I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.


1) Johnny Cash – Out Among the Stars (March 25)



It’s not often that we’re treated to a “lost” album by a certified legend. Recorded in the early 80’s, this album has never seen the light of day. We’ve become conditioned to lower our expectations when it comes to an artist of this caliber, especially for material that’s been buried for 30 years. That said, I’m excited to hear what’s been tucked away for so long.

2) Broken Bells – After the Disco (February 4th)


After_The_Disco_CoverDespite the pedigree of the duo involved (The Shins, Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, The Black Keys, Beck), I think the first Broken Bells album flew under the radar for most people. It was a lovely blend of both artists, an album that rewarded multiple spins and became all the richer for it. I’ve been fiending for a follow up record (though their Meyrin Fields EP was an enjoyable stopgap). Word is that this record is even better than the first. Can’t wait to give it a spin.

3) Kasabian – TBD (TBA)


3004Not much is known about Kasabian’s upcoming fifth album, but they’ve become one of the most consistent and enjoyable UK bands in years. Only Arctic Monkeys can boast a better track record, and their recently released fifth album was their best effort yet. Can Kasabian continue that trend ? Let’s hope.

4) Ratatat – LP5 (TBA)


f3158fdc5db111e3be8c12db5299872b_6Speaking of consistent bands dropping their fifth records, it seems like ages since we’ve had any new Ratatat music to enjoy. Their delicious blend of “Daft Punk meets Legend of Zelda” has served them well over the years, even leading to a production job for Kid Cudi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXaqfllUz3k). Though LP5 hasn’t been OFFICALLY announced for 2014, I’d be shocked if we don’t have it in our hands by the end of the year.

5) Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow (TBA)


Wu-Tang ClanOh, the ups and downs of being a Wu fan. I actually really enjoyed (most of) their last record “8 Diagrams”, but fans have a valid reason for being concerned with the quality of this, their (likely) last record. For years we’ve seen in-fighting, bickering, subpar solo releases and little reason to hope for the best. The latest cause for concern is Raekwon’s reluctance to add verses to the album unless he is paid upfront. Supposedly the album is finished, apart from Rae’s contribution. Truly a sad state of affairs, but either way, we’ll be getting the album soon enough.

6) DoomStarks – Swift & Changeable (TBA)




I’m starting to think we may never actually get this record. Supposedly they’ve been working on it for the past 7-8 years, but so far only 2 tracks have been released. On the plus side, one of those was released last year, leading me to believe that we’re closer than ever to hearing this (hopeful) gem of a record. Of course, both artists tend to spread themselves pretty thin, so who knows when we’ll actually get to hear it.

7) Nas – TBD (TBA)


NasNot much is known about the upcoming 12th Nas album, apart from the fact that it will drop in 2014 and be his last release under Def Jam. It was also recently confirmed that it will contain a track called “Sinatra in the Sands” featuring Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake. It’s also a safe bet that Kendrick Lamar will make an appearance. Can’t wait.

8) Jack White – TBD (TBA)


2010jackwhitejm080112gallery0Much as it pains me to admit, I was pretty letdown by Jack White’s first solo record, “Blunderbuss”. It wasn’t a “bad” album, it just didn’t quite live up to what came before it. That said, I’m a HUGE Jack White fan. I think he’s one of the last real rock stars, and I’ll always check out anything he lends his talents to. Fingers crossed that his second record knocks it out of the park.

9) The Slew – TBD (TBA)


TheSlew_Band_2_16x9_620x350Speaking of albums that flew under the radar, hardly anybody seemed to notice when Kid Koala (Deltron 3030, Bullfrog) teamed up with the 2 former members of Wolfmother (when they were good) to create The Slew. It was an incredible show and album, featuring 2 DJ’s and a live rhythm section. 2014 will bring us the next chapter in their sound, but I urge you to check out 100%, great record.


1) Dumb and Dumber To (November 14th)


dumb-and-dumber-to-set-09242013-102002I wish I had a trailer for you, but that TV spot was pretty great for 2 reasons. First, she said ‘we’ve all been waiting 20 years for this”, but appears to be about 23-25, so there’s that. Second, she pronounced the name Harry “Doon” instead of “Done”. Bit awkward for someone who’s been waiting for a movie since she was a toddler ! ANYway, Dumb & Dumber was an instant classic, much like Anchorman. I never thought we’d get a sequel to either, but to get BOTH seems to make this the best year ever !

2) Sin City 2 – A Dame to Kill For (August 22nd)


Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-teaser-posterSpeaking of sequels I never thought we’d see, this year we’re being blessed with a follow up to the visually astounding Sin City. I couldn’t believe how awesome the trailer looked when the first movie arrived, and the film itself did not disappoint. I can’t help but think this will be a highlight of the summer.

3) X-Men – Days of Future Past (May 23rd)


X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_posterI have to admit, I’m more excited about this film due to “X-Men First Class” rather than the first 3 X-Men films. Not that they were bad (maybe the third one), but First Class was the only one of the four that really blew me away. Excellent acting, cool storyline, good casting, etc. I’m hoping that Bryan Singer (director of the first two) is able to bridge the universes properly, but I’m certainly a bit cautious about this one.

4) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11th)


Dawn_of_the_Planet_of_the_ApesI’m actually a pretty big fan of the Planet of the Apes series, but even I was taken aback by how good the prequel/reboot was. It was arguably the best film of the entire series, and I’m still kicking myself for not catching it in theaters. I won’t make the same mistake twice, I just hope my diligence pays off.

5) REC 4 (October 18th)


REC_4_PosterThe original REC was one of the greatest “found footage” horror films ever made. Unfortunately it spawned a horrible remake (Quarantine), which itself had an unrelated, direct to video sequel that nobody cared about. REC 4 will be a sequel to the well received REC 2, picking up immediately after it ended. I still haven’t watched REC 3, but it’s set at a wedding, so it should coincide nicely with my own impending nuptials.

6) Interstellar (November 7th)


interstellar-christopher-nolan-posterI don’t know too much about this one, but all that really matters is the director (Christopher Nolan) and the cast (Matthew McConaughey, Ellen Burstyn, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow). After The Dark Knight, Memento, The Prestige and Inception, it’s hard to think Nolan will drop the ball on this one. Sign me up !

7) The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7th)


The_Grand_Budapest_Hotel_PosterSpeaking of reliable directors, you either dig Wes Anderson or you don’t. I’m not a fanatical Anderson Defender, but I’ve loved most of his output, including his most recent offering, Moonrise Kingdom (which ranked among his best). As usual, the cast is great, the tone is quirky and the seats will be filled.

8) Grand Piano (January 30th)


Grand_Piano_Official_PosterIt’s hard to believe how far Elijah Wood has come. From “The Good Son” to Middle Earth to Sin City to Maniac, the boy can act ! The premise of this one sounds a bit like Phone Booth meets Amadeus (alright, it’s the first movie I thought of involving a piano), and it’s been garnering rave reviews on the festival circuit. Catch it On Demand in January or in theaters this March.

9) The Town that Dreaded Sundown (TBA)


The-Town-That-Dreaded-SundownSpeaking of Elijah Wood, his turn in last years “Maniac” remake further solidified his acting chops. Will “The Town that Dreaded Sundown” be this years semi-obscure indie horror remake that improves on the original ? In the hands of American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy, I’ve got pretty high hopes for it.

In Closing

There are certainly many other projects that I’m excited about this year, as well as many I’m sure I don’t even know about yet ! There’s been a strong rumour that The Kinks may re-form this year (for the first time since the mid-90’s). I’ve heard those rumours before, so I tend not to get too excited. That said, if it doesn’t happen this year (the 50th Anniversary of their first album) it’ll never happen. Fingers crossed they can overcome their differences and head out, one last time.

Apart from all that, I’ve got my aforementioned wedding to look forward to in 5 months. For that reason alone it’ll be hard to top 2014 as one of the highlights of my life. But then I found out Batman was coming out too. How lucky can one guy be ?!

Till’ Next,

– e


10 Recent Overlooked Horror Gems

With so many hit and miss films out there (especially horror) it becomes taxing to sit through so much potential mediocrity after awhile. I’ve decided to assemble a top 10 list of recent gems worth checking out –

1) Session 9 (2001)



“Session 9” is a criminally underrated psychological horror about a clean up crew removing asbestos from an abandoned mental hospital on a tight schedule. It does a great job of getting under your skin and builds to a satisfying conclusion. Solid flick


2) May (2002)


“May” is an excellent character study of a girls decent into madness. It was a stellar debut by director Lucky McKee, with a powerhouse performance by Angela Bettis.


3) Inside (2007)



“Inside” was one of the titles from the French “Nu Wave” horror films that briefly overtook the genre. Of those (Frontiers, Martyrs, Sheitan, etc) this one is easily the best. It’s a claustrophobic thriller with a shocker of an ending. Brutal, intense, brilliant.


4) The Mist (2007)



“The Mist” is an excellent adaptation of the Stephen King short story of the same name. I loved the story and trusted Frank Darabonts’ vision, but it’s the gutsy ending that really surprised me and divided the audience. Very well done film, also available in a black and white version.


5) The Signal (2007)


“The Signal” is a product of three different Writer/Directors each filming part of the film before combining them into one cohesive story. It concerns a sort of madness outbreak, brought on by cell/cable signals. It’s a hauntingly well done film, especial considering its budget.


6) The Crazies (2010)



“The Crazies” is one of the rare times of a remake being better than the original. I’m actually a fan of George A Romeros’ original, but this one is much better paced and uses its budget and technology to good effect. It’s a very creepy character driven film, and I was pleasantly surprised with it.


7) The Dead (2010)



“The Dead” is the first zombie film to use similar zombie make up to Lucio Fulci’s classic “Zombi 2” (aka – “Zombie”). It’s a great stylistic choice, and this African-shot film boasts gorgeous scenery and a powerful storyline. Quite an achievement for a modern zombie film.


8) Frozen (2010)



When “Frozen” came out we all wondered how a full length film set (almost) entirely on a chairlift with 3 actors could be good. Much like the Ryan Reynolds starring “Buried”, this film uses a potentially gimmicky premise to its advantage and successfully milks the scenario. It really gets under your skin, very unsettling.


9) The Reef (2010)



“The Reef” is everything I’d wanted “Open Water” to be. It’s well filmed, uses real shark footage and is a genuinely terrifying film. Easily the best shark film since “Jaws” (and trust me, I’ve seen my share). Very impressively edited film.


10) Stake Land (2010)



“Stake Land” is a well done indie flick that is essentially “The Road” but with Vampires. The film does a great job ratcheting up the tension while maintaining a glimmer of hope amidst the hopeless surroundings. Nice to see a newer vampire movie adding a fresh fake to the mythos.


Hope that helps ! Happy viewing folks !

P.S – Looks like 2007 and 2010 were big years for horror. Who knew ?

October Horrorthon 2012 – 22 – “The Horde”

Aka – La Horde




I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about this one for awhile now. Zombie flicks have been pretty done to death at this point (no pun intended) but there have been some recent gems that continue to give me hope (The Dead, Dawn of the Dead remake, The Walking Dead series). Having enjoyed a few recent French horror films as well (Inside, Martyrs, High Tension (until the ending)) I was looking forward to this one.


The plot concerns some rogue police officers who are out to avenge the death of one of their own. They bust into a highrise run by local gangsters and are quickly taken out. As the villains decide what to do next, a zombie busts in and devours one of them. After punching, kicking and shooting him, they finally go for the headshot, bringing him down. As the group realizes there is a (cough) horde of the undead outside, they band together to try to escape with their lives.


The cast does a pretty good job for the kind of movie that it is. Lots of yelling, overreacting, screaming, punching, shooting, screaming, etc. I decided to watch the dubbed version because it was late and I was feeling lazy. On the plus side the voices weren’t too irritating, but some of the characters actions sure were.


And therein lies my issue with this movie. Granted, it’s extremely stylish, well shot, ambitious, good story, etcetera. Unfortunately the overly stupid actions of the characters left me completely unsympathetic to them. I was basically rooting for the zombies by the end of it actually. Not that it was easy to choose between the murderers or the cops (aka – justifiable murderers) but still.


The biggest cardinal sin of the movie is the fact that after emptying 40 rounds into the first zombie they manage to bring him down with a headshot. Great ! Like most characters in zombie flicks you’re just waiting for them to realize that this is the way to finally kill them. Except they don’t go for a headshot again for the rest of the movie !!! Really ?! Come on !! No no, you have unlimited ammo ! Keep firing at their chests ! It worked before right ? No wait, it was a fucking headshot that worked you morons ! You’re cops ! Ever tried a headshot ?! Good lord !!


If that weren’t irritating enough, okay, I’m about to head into potential spoiler territory here. Okay, so the group finally makes it down to the basement, but then they realize they need to get to the parking garage. The Tom Savini-looking main guy tells them he’ll stay behind to “hold off” the zombie horde while they escape. Really ?! You have plenty of time to leave WITH them !! Why the fuck are you committing suicide for NO reason ?! Oh well, at least he’ll go for headshots ! Wait, no !! He has 2 pistols and just fires into the zombie crowd till they swarm him !! Sweet plan bud !


I realize that during times of crisis people probably don’t make the most rational choices, but half of these people are already murderous assholes, the other half are murderous rogue cops. The characters are already fairly unlikable, now they’re also ignoring the only thing that actually killed a zombie in the first place ? Fuck !!


Anyway, it’s not a “bad” movie, and maybe the subtitled version is somehow kind of a bit better in a way. That said, there are far too many retarded decisions by these people, to the point that I wanted them all dead by the end anyway. I’m sorry, but I can’t overlook completely ignoring headshots after it was the only way to kill them off. That’s just bullshit stupidity at that point.

Anyway, it looks nice, starts well, angers greatly and fizzles out. Still, not the worst zombie flick I’ve seen. Not sure what is actually. Maybe “House of the Dead”. Yikes


My Favourite Movie Posters

Almost more than movies themselves, I’ve always been a huge fan of poster art. As a child I was fascinated with the lurid and enticing art on video covers, generally horror and sci-fi. The art often outdid the film itself, but it always stuck with me and enticed me enough to become a poster fanatic.

I decided to compile a list of some of my favourite posters I’ve found over the years. Many of the movies I’ve never seen, and I only actually own a couple of these posters, but I thought I’d share their grindhousey goodness with you all, in honour of Halloween !


My favourite horror film, I eventually got a hoodie with this poster on the back. I’ll never got the VHS “big box” of this one.


Easily one of the most iconic posters of all time, it conveys so much with a simple image. Equally thrilling and terrifying.

The Evictors

I first saw this poster as a shirt on a the Fright-Rags website. There’s an eeriness to it that really intrigued me. Sort of a gothic tone to it that I like.

The Mutilator

I actually really like this movie, but the poster is awesome. Great tagline, and pretty much sums up the whole movie nicely.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Another classic poster, this one is amazing because of two things. First, she’s CLEARLY more like 50 stories tall rather than feet. Secondly, whenever someone sees this poster at my house they inevitably make a crack about looking up between her legs. People are strange.


Pretty much a Jaws knock off in poster and movie form, it’s easily the best one. Much like the Jaws poster I certainly remember this one from my childhood. Great flick.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Another classic poster / movie, I love how the tagline really leaves you frothing at the mouth to see how the movie unfolds. Another “big box” classic at its finest.

Transmutations (aka – The Freakmaker)

This movie was originally on my “Horrorthon” list for last year, then got bumped to this year, then dropped off the list. I found this sweet poster by accident while looking for another poster for one that DID make the list. Oddly serendipitous.

The Burning

This is an alternate poster that Mondo made for this excellent Friday the 13th knock off (featuring Jason Alexander ! With hair !). I absolutely love this poster, the colour, balance, everything about it. A classic.

The Mummy

This is another (recently released) Mondo poster. They did one for each of the Universal Monsters, and despite being more of a Creature from the Black Lagoon fan, I really like the sand-effect in this poster. Very well done.

The Prowler

Another overlooked slasher gem, this is an excellent use of black and white. Despite the abundance of black, it conveys a lot about the movie itself.

American Gothic

One of my favourite b-movies, the poster is pretty obvious. Still, I like the tongue in cheek nature of it, and the trapped kids in the background is a nice touch.

Horror Express

I really dig the almost 3D effect of the movie title as well as the train going through the middle of the poster. Very well put together.

The Thing

I’d never seen this alternate poster until a week or two ago. Obviously the movie is a classic, but this poster is simplistic and amazing, especially if you’ve seen the film.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2

No, it’s not the “Breakfast Club” poster this movie is known for, but I always preferred this one. It would look great on a door.


I’ve always liked this one, despite clearly being a Godzilla knock off. I’ve never seen the movie, but you know it can’t be as good as this poster.

Violation of the Bitch

I found this one in an awesome poster art book I got called “Shock! Horror!”. It’s so over the top, but the tagline and the fact that the gun seems to have been fired already really makes your mind wander. Probably a terrible movie though.

The Stepfather

This is actually from the (presumably terrible) remake, but I always thought it was an awesome poster. So simplistic, but quite menacing as well.

Jurassic Park

Another Mondo alternate poster, being a huge fan of this movie really did my heart good to see this fun take on the poster.


Admittedly pretty gross, it probably sums up the movie well. I haven’t seen it, but this is a well done poster, for what it is.

The House by the Cemetary

Another Mondo gem, this one is actually better than the movie itself. I mean, I like Fulci, but this movie sort of blows. Amazing birds-eye poster though.

The Dark

This is a really cool sci-fi poster, but I highly doubt there are ray-shooting giant aliens in this movie. I could be wrong, but nothing can be as fun as this poster is.

The Corpse Grinders

This poster is sweet not simply because both cats look like my two cats (although it helps). It has such a great title, and the idea of being overpowered by two cats is kind of great. Or is it terrifying ?

Die Sister Die

Don’t run towards the severed arms !! What are you thinking ?! Although they almost look more inviting than that asylum-esque building behind you. Carry on.

The Street Fighter

Not horror or sci-fi, but there’s something about this one that I’ve always liked. Mostly that you KNOW he’s gonna beat them all up after this is over.

Invasion of the Blood Farmers

Classic poster for a (supposedly) awful movie. This is the epitome of why I love horror posters. Colourful, macabre and intriguing (in a sick way I suppose).

Schoolgirls in Chains

There’s a lot going on here. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll escape eventually !


Speaking of a lot going on, I found this one by accident, but it’s out there enough to make you wonder what’s going on here.

The Astro Zombies

That’s a pretty big knife !! I was hoping to find the version of this poster in blue, but it’s basically the same. I bet the zombies look terrible in the actual movie.

Dracula has Risen from the Grave

So simple, so effective. Amazing poster.

The Mummy

This one sort of reminds me of “The Dark”. It’s definitely more special effects heavy than the movie itself, but still, cool poster.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

This is another one that looks a lot cooler than it probably is. Still, you’ve got dinosaurs, scantily clad cave girls, a straightforward title. What more could you want ?

Well, that’s all for now. Look forward to more of my favourites in the future ! Or don’t, but either way there’ll be more.

Another Day in Pictures


As some of you know, I enjoy taking pictures. While running an errand for work a few weeks ago I stumbled upon some gorgeous scenery and documented it through photos and a blog post (https://lazron.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/a-day-in-pictures/). Yesterday I was lucky enough to be sent to the same place, so I thought I’d update you with the gems that followed. Please enjoy, another day in pictures –








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