CD Review: “Invasion” John 5 and the Creatures

“Invasion”

John 5 and the Creatures

Producer:  Barry Pointer

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures (bassist Ian Ross, Drummer Logan Miles Nix) are back with a brand new studio album titled “Invasion”. The fourth studio release from the Los Angeles based trio features 10 tracks produced by Barry Pointer which plunge listeners head first into the twisted, musical mind of guitar virtuoso/front-man John 5.

Just when you thought guitarist John 5 had taken his unique mixture of “Hee-Haw” infused shred as far as it could possibly go the former Marilyn Manson/K.D.Lang/Rod Stewart guitarist flips the switch to show listeners that all previous accounts were just the catalyst to “Invasion”. From the eerie opening sound-scape “Invasion” to the robotic “I Am John 5” and the quirky “Zoinks” listener’s senses are put through the wringer before being pushed even further with the twang-tastic, “Howdy” and the pedal steel laden “Cactus Flower” both of which showcase 5’s strong country influences. On the back end of the album are tracks like “I Want It All” and “I Like The Funk” both of which are doused with enough funky textures and tones that they will have the one and only George Clinton scratching his head.

You don’t have to be a guitar player to enjoy the music contained on “Invasion”. From over the top molten distortion to funkified wah worbles and sparkly cleans the latest offering from John 5 and the Creatures is a hodge-podge of musical influences which explode out of your speakers with reckless abandonment. Despite “Invasion” not being the most cohesive collection of songs from the group the album does give listeners a wide pallet to choose from making it worth checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Invasion

2.) I Am John 5

3.) Midnight Mass

4.) Zoinks!

5.) Howdy

6.) Crank It/Living With Ghosts

7.) Cactus Flower

8.) I Want It All

9.) I Like The Funk

10.) Constant Sorrow

John 5 and the Creatures Release “Zoinks!” and Details on Album

JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES Release “Zoinks!” Music Video + Upcoming Album and Music Video Details

Watch Video + Stream/Download the Track Here

New Full-Length Album, Invasion, Coming Summer 2019 + More Music Videos!

Upcoming North American Tour Begins February 22, 2019 in Anaheim, CA

JOHN 5 and The Creatures – comprised of world-renowned guitarist JOHN 5, bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix – released a brand new music video for the new track “Zoinks!” January 1! The full video – featuring an innovative blend of classic 2D hand drawn animation, 3D computer generated imagery and a live action performance – clocks in at just over eight minutes. In the tradition of Scooby Doo and Groovie Goolies, the video is written and directed by Disney animator Brett Boggs (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph), with live footage shot by Matt Zane. Watch the full video and download/stream the track here: http://smarturl.it/zoinksJ5Creatures

As previously announced, the video features a cameo from Nikki Sixx voice acting as himself, as well as additional voice acting from Susan Olsen (known for her role as Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch), and Fred Coury. Coury also is credited for scoring the video alongside JOHN 5.

Just like 2017’s Season of the Witch, Invasion – produced and mixed by Barry Pointer and scheduled for release during the summer of 2019 – will be entirely released via a series of music videos. Now that “Zoinks!” has been unleashed to the world,JOHN 5 is announcing the release dates for his next two music videos.

JOHN 5 adds that his new album will feature a very special guest. He says, “My new album will be out this coming summer, and will feature a very secret, special guest that I will reveal in the coming weeks. Up first, on February 1, we’ll release the next music video for the track “Crank It”. Then, on March 1, we’ll release the video sequel to “Zoinks!”, for the track entitled “I Am John 5”. This video, like “Zoinks!”, will also be animated and directed by Brett Boggs.”

JOHN 5 adds that the “Crank It” video is directed by Israel Perez and produced by Nicole Hatley, with art direction by Cody Varona. Wardrobe and masks are provided by Forgotten Saints LA, with additional masks by Scott Blake.

Stay tuned for more details on the new music videos and new album, coming soon.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures will kick off the second leg of their North American Invasion Tour on February 22, 2019 in Anaheim, CA. The tour will feature support from blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols. Tickets and VIP packages are available now via www.john-5.com/store.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures Invasion tour dates:
2/22 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish at House of Blues
2/23 – Las Vegas, NV @ Count’s Vamp’d
2/24 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
2/26 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
2/28 – Albuquerque, MN @ Launch Pad
3/1 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s
3/2 – San Antonio, TX @ Rock Box
3/3 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
3/5 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
3/6 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
3/7 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
3/9 – Indianapolis, IN @ HiFi
3/10 – Akron, OH @ Empire Concert Club
3/12 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
3/13 – New York, NY @ Iridium
3/14 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft at The Chance
3/15 – Teaneck, NJ @ Debonair Music Hall
3/16 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s
3/17 – Lebanon, NH @ Lebanon Opera House
3/18 – New Bedford, MA @ Vault at Greasy Luck
3/20 – Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti Bar & Spectacles
3/21 – Montreal, QC @ Piranha Bar
3/22 – Ottawa, ON @ The Brass Monkey
3/23 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
3/24 – London, ON @ Rum Runners
3/26 – Thunder Bay, ON @ Crocks
3/27 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramids
3/28 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
3/29 – Calgary, AB @ Dickens
3/30 – Edmonton, AB @ Starlite
3/31 – Vancouver, BC @The Rickshaw Theatre
4/2 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Cafe
4/3 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
4/5 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
4/6 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky

About JOHN 5:
JOHN 5 has worked with a varied range of artists, performing as guitarist for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world such as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, as well as playing session with Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Slash has called JOHN 5, “one of the most mind-blowing guitarists around” and Rob Zombie has dubbed him “a fucking shredder”. JOHN 5 has released seven solo albums to date, as well as a remix album, and has written music for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Garbage, Ricky Martin and others. Season Of The Witch followshis previous solo work, Careful With That Axe, which debuted on the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release in 2014.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures is:
JOHN 5 – guitars
Ian Ross – bass
Logan Miles Nix – drums

JOHN 5 online:
www.john-5.com
www.facebook.com/John5official
www.twitter.com/john5guitarist
www.instagram.com/john5official

Concert Review: John 5 and The Creatures “It’s Alive” Tour 2018

“It’s Alive” Tour 2018
John 5 and The Creatures

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Lovers and the broken hearted gathered in Syracuse, NY for an unforgettable night of haunting guitar tones and blistering solos courtesy of guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures. The Rob Zombie guitarist is currently out on the road in support of his latest solo release “It’s Alive”. Only a true virtuoso such as John 5 could turn a quiet love filled Valentine’s Day into the loudest Halloween themed shred-fest the month of February had ever seen.

As the final notes of the opening act rang out the inflatable Halloween decorations rose up from the depths of the intimate Lost Horizon stage. Shortly thereafter master of ceremonies John 5 appeared with a colored flashing LED grin flanked by his band misfits. The trio kicked of the show with “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” which set a face melting pace for the evening. The makeup adorned 5 danced around the stage with various incarnations of his trusted telecaster which only further mesmerized the slack jawed onlookers. Creatures, bass player Ian Ross and drummer Rodger Carter, kept pace as the band followed up with rippers like “This Is My Rifle,” “Season of the Witch,” and “Guitars Tits and Monsters.” As the night wore on the charismatic leader John 5 even dedicated “Behind the Nut Love” to the Valentine’s Day crowd and even offered free lap dances to all in attendance. Easily the most captivating moment of the night was when 5 donned his laser guitar for a medley of hard rock and heavy metal classics which included snippets of “Enter Sandman” and “Thunder kiss 65” to name just a few.

Just when the place was about to burst at the seams, John 5 and Company closed out the night with an encore performance of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” The crowd was overjoyed and as the guitarist took his final bow of the evening and appeared confident that he had made the traditionally lovey-dovey holiday into his very own spooktacular shredathon. The “It’s Alive” Tour runs through April so I highly recommend checking it out.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures to Release “It’s Alive!” Live Album in January

JOHN 5 and The Creatures to Release “It’s Alive!” Live Album in January
Physical Pre-Orders Coming Soon | Available Digitally via www.john-5.com
“It’s Alive!” U.S. Tour to Begin February 1 in Orlando, FL | VIP Packages Available

JOHN 5 and The Creatures (bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix) are set to release a brand new live album, It’s Alive!, in January. Becoming available on Thursday, January 25, 2018, It’s Alive! is the first album released by the world-renowned guitarist to be featured on vinyl. A stunning 24-page, full color tour book covering the JOHN 5 and The Creatures tour journeys so far will also be available for separate purchase.

Pre-orders are available now at www.john-5.com/store, with more options coming soon. Fans can check back to www.john-5.com for updates.

JOHN 5 says about the recording of It’s Alive!, “I remember pulling up to a beautiful venue that we played in Sellersville, Pennsylvania and before we were unloading the equipment, the soundman said, ‘Hey guys, would you like to record the show?’ We said, ‘sure that would be amazing!’ I always wanted to have a really great recording of the show. We were a few weeks into the show so we were really well rehearsed, so I said, ‘Alright guys, let’s not jump around. Let’s just really try to get a great performance because we only have one shot – no other shows if we mess up!’ So, we explained to the crowd that we would be recording. You can hear that on the recording of the album, which makes it very magical. It came out amazingly! That’s the magic of live albums to me – capturing the performance.”

It’s Alive! track listing:
1. Guitars, Tits and Monsters
2. Flight of The Vulcan Kelly
3. Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers In Hell, CA
4. Here’s to the Crazy Ones
5. This is my Rifle
6. Jiffy Jam
7. Hall Haw
8. Season Of The Witch
9. The Nightmare Unravels
10. Portrait of Sydney Sloan
11. Triple D
12. Black Grass Plague
13. Behind The Nut Love
14. Making Monsters
15. Beat It
16. Now Fear This
17. Medley

JOHN 5 adds, “I’m so proud of it that I wanted to put it out and also tour it like bands used to tour live albums back in the 70s. I thought that was so cool! I’ve put out a lot of records, so I thought – goddammit, I’m going to do it!”

JOHN 5 and The Creatures will begin an extensive tour of the United States in February for a first leg, and will pick back up in late March for a second. The tour will start in Orlando, FL on February 1 and come to an end in Tacoma, WA on April 21. Tickets will become available very soon, and VIP packages will be available exclusively at www.john-5.com/store. See below for a full listing of dates.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures It’s Alive! tour dates:
2/1 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
2/2 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
2/3 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
2/5 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
2/6 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger
2/7 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s
2/8 – Richmond, VA @ Broadberry
2/9 – College Park, MD @ Milkboy
2/10 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
2/11 – Stanhope, NJ @ Stanhope Theater
2/12 – New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
2/13 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
2/14 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
2/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock
2/16 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland
2/17 – Westland, MI @ Token Lounge
2/18 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
2/20 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
2/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Vogue
2/22 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House
2/23 – Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
2/24 – Chattanooga, TN @ Songbirds
3/29 – San Antonio, TX @ Rock Box
3/30 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
3/31 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
4/2 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
4/3 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
4/4 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
4/5 – San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
4/6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
4/7 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d
4/8 – Fullerton, CA @ SlideBar
4/11 – Ventura, CA @ Discovery
4/12 – San Jose, CA @ Ritz
4/13 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
4/14 – Fresno, CA @ Full Circle Brewery
4/15 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlows
4/17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
4/18 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
4/19 – Bend, OR @ Volacanic Pub
4/20 – Portland, OR @ Hard Rock PDX
4/21 – Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome – Tacoma Guitar Festival

Album Review: Charred Walls of the Damned “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”

“Creatures Watching Over the Dead”
Charred Walls of the Damned
Metal Blade
Producer: Jason Suecof
Tracks: 9

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Creatures Watching Over the Dead” is the latest release from the heavy metal group Charred Walls of the Damned. The band which features Tim “Ripper” Owens, Steve DiGiorgio, Jason Seucof and Richard Christy has laid down 9 brand new tracks which pull from each of the member’s diverse history in both the modern and classic heavy metal genres. Produced by guitarist Jason Suecof and released via Metal Blade Records on September 23rd “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” is sure to make up for the five year lapse between release from the group which first debuted in 2009.

If you are looking for a near perfect mixture of both new and old heavy metal then the latest offering from Richard Christy’s Charred Walls of the Damned is right up your alley. Extended gaps between releases can often be detrimental to a bands sound and or its members however Charred Walls of the Damned sounded better than ever. Songs like the albums opener “My Eyes” and “Reach into the Light” explode out of the gate with reckless abandonment while tracks such as “Afterlife” and “Lies” which both start off with melodic acoustic intros which give way to the groups new meets old style of metal providing a unique listening experience

For those familiar with the members various other projects the material contained on “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” will come as no surprise. Each of the bands 4 members appear to have given their all making this album as the album’s 9 songs have something for everyone. From thunderous double bass, ripping guitar solos and soaring vocal passages. The latest from Charred Walls of the Damned is a solid package.

Track Listing:
1.) My Eyes
2.) The Soulless
3.) Afterlife
4.) As I Catch My Breath
5.) Lies
6.) Reach Into the Light
7.) Tear Me Down
8.) Living in the Shadow of Yesterday
9.) Time Has Passed

Be sure to check out interview with Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy in the interview portion of the site.

Charred Walls of the Damned’s Richard Christy talks about the bands latest album “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”

Richard Christy may be best known for his work on the Howard Stern radio show however long before his antics made him a regular fixture on the long running show Richard was a heavy metal drummer for bands like Death and Iced Earth. In 2009 Richard formed his latest group Charred Walls of the Damned. The group’s current lineup which along with Christy features Jason Suecof, Steve DiGiorgio and former Judas Priest front man Tim “Ripper” Owens are set to release their fourth studio album titled “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” on September 23rd. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Richard recently about the new album and its creation, possible tour plans and this year’s hot Halloween trends.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album?

Richard Christy: The new album is called “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”. It has nine songs on it and it’s been five years since the bands second album. I took quite a bit more time with the writing on this one than the previous two. A lot of that has to do with Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records who is real cool about letting us take our time when getting an album out. He really understands our schedules and knows how busy we are all. Aside from the schedules I wanted to take the extra time because with song writing there is always a learning process. Just like with anything else the more time you spend doing it the better you start to get at it. I went through each song to make it the best I possibly could. I initially ended up writing 24 songs between the last album and this one. I had always heard about bands writing a bunch of material and then picking the best from that and with this album we were able to do that as well. I always do pre-production for the albums so during that time Jason Suecof and I picked what we thought were the best 9 tracks and those are what took in to record. It took about a year to get everything recorded from there.

AL: What type of process did you have for selecting the 9 songs that make the album?

RC: That’s what the great thing is about having Jason as our guitarist and producer. When he hears these songs fresh for the first time he is able to pick the ones pretty quickly that catch his ear. For me it’s hard to choose as I wrote them and am a little too close to the song to be objective. Jason has a great ear for songs and melody. He is also a really great song writer. I told him the ones that catch his ear right away are the ones we should go with and that is kind of how we did it. When we finally got together for pre-production we started tweaking the nine songs a little further so we had them exactly the way we wanted them on the album. By the time we get in the studio we are pretty much set to go which allows things to flow pretty smoothly.

AL: With you doing a majority of the songwriting where do the other members fit in during the creative process for a new album?

RC: The other guys in the band have total creative freedom. I basically give them the blue print and then have them add to it or make changes if they need/want to. I am not a good bass player or singer. I can do enough to get what I am hearing in my head out but with Steve Digiorgio and Tim “Ripper” Owens those guys are great and can just go crazy. When we go in to record the guitars and drums are already done so I tell those guys just go as nuts as you want to go. I love when Steve matches stuff up to my drum fills. When we do the vocals we are generally all there and we work together with Tim. Jason is great with vocal patterns and melodies so usually what happens is if we can’t come up with something better than what I put down on the demo or everyone really likes what I did on the demo we will go with that but, I like to get Tim and Jason’s ideas for the vocals first and then we just pick the best of those ideas.

AL: The album has sort of a dark title however a majority of the vocals are rather positive. Was this something that happened consciously or did those themes develop more naturally over the course of writing?

RC: I guess it’s sort of a conscious thing. I am a pretty positive person. I have tried to write lyrics about more brutal subjects or what’s going on in the news. When I was in Burning Inside I would write about horror movies and things like that but with getting older these days I like to think about things that make me happy. It’s not that these lyrics are about it being a nice sunny day but I try and make the lyrics about stuff I have experienced and also about things that inspire me. I write about a lot of stuff I see just living in New York City and walking the streets there. I find it’s easier for me to write and things flow better when I am writing about something that means a lot to mean. I do try and write things in a way that doesn’t make them sound too happy or cheerful. I want things to sound cool but at the same mean something to me and to other people.

AL: Can you tell us a little about the album art?

RC: Being a huge fan of Halloween I came across this really great photographer by the name of Pumpkin Rot. He has a website called www.pumpkinrot.com where he showcases his photos of these scenes he sets up where he lives in Pennsylvania. One day I saw a cool picture of his and I decided to just email him and ask if we could use that picture for the album art. He was totally cool about it and with the name of the band and that photo I thought it fit very well together. The title of the album actually comes from me staring at that picture trying to come up with a title for it. I also wanted to come up with something that started with the letters CWOTD to fit in with the theme of our previous album titles. I have been asked if there was some sort of deep meaning to the cover but really it’s just a picture that I liked which I came up with a cool sounding title for. (Laughs)

AL: A lot can happen when a band takes an extended amount of time between albums. Were you ever worry about the effects that it could have not only on the band but also your fans?

RC: I don’t think there was anything that difficult for us as we are all a little bit older as are our fans. I also don’t think the extended time between albums is as much of an issue with metal fans in general. For me once you’re a metal head you are always going to be a metal head. If a band that was around in the early eighties comes out with a new album today I would still be in to checking it out. I am very open minded as a metal head. The culture as well as social media has changed a lot since our last record but we are not really a trendy band. We are a band that has aspects of having a modern metal sound but we also have a very classic metal sound to us as well. We try to blend all that together. Because of all that I don’t think we as affected by changes and trends going on. In fact I think it may have helped us. A lot of people weren’t sure if we were still going to be together but I think people are pleasantly surprised that there is a new album coming out. I think also because all the guys in the band myself included have other projects that keep us busy people may have thought we would do just one album and be done but, we are now on our third album with the same line up and people are seeing this is a legitimate thing. I think those five years as helped us. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

AL: What does touring look like for this release?

RC: It is something that really depends on our schedule. I am excited because have been asking me a lot about if and when we are going to be playing. It shows me people do want to see us and it’s something that I really want to do. Hopefully it is something we will get to do. Festivals would seem to be the best option for us because of all our different schedules. We played Orion Fest with Metallica for our last album and that was amazing! We did a two week tour run for the first album which was awesome as well. We can’t promise anything just yet as we don’t have anything booked but it’s something we definitely want to do. I am really hoping we get to do some stuff. With all of us living in different places we have to make sure all of the logistics will work for everyone so something can happen.

AL: Knowing that you’re a big fan of Halloween and with the day just around the corner what do you think will be some of this year’s hot trends?

RC: Definitely anything having to do with the show “Stranger Things”. I have watched that series twice now all the way through and can’t stop listening to the soundtrack as well. I have been listening to it since August when it first came out. I think anything having to do with that show is going to be big. Also with this being an election year I think there is going to be a lot of Donald’s and Hillary’s. I have heard that the sales of masks determines the election. I want to say that the last few elections have in fact been determined by who sold the most masks. Pumpkin Beers are going to be big again this year as well as haunted houses. I think you will start to see more of the “extreme” haunted houses where you have to sign a waiver to go in because the actors can touch you and stuff. People seem to always be looking to take things to the next level. Me personally I will just stick to the ones where people jump out at you and that’s it. I don’t need people’s hands in my mouth or something like that. (Laughs)

For more info on Richard Christy and Charred Walls of the Damned be sure to check out www.richardchristy.com

 

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Concert Review: John 5 and the Creatures, Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

John 5 and the Creatures
Date: Saturday, March 7th 2015
Venue: Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Guitarist extraordinaire John 5 slid into the frozen tundra of Rochester, NY on March 7th to perform at the intimate Montage Music Hall. John is currently out on his first ever solo tour which coincides with his latest solo release titled “Careful with That Axe”. Though the crowd wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the guitarist who has worked with everyone from Kd Lang and David Lee Roth to Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie all were quickly wiped away.

The trio who along with John 5 includes bassist Ian Ross and drummer Roger Carter hit the stage basked in rays of red and green light before instantly launching in to the song “Flight of the Vulcan Kelly”. As the set progressed through songs like “Sin”, Jiffy Jam” and “Six Hundred and Sixty Six” 5 and company seemingly became more comfortable with the Rochester crowd and paused briefly to thank them for their support before closing out the night with John’s instrumental rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Beat It” for closing out the night with a medley of songs ranging from AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to Iron Maidens “The Trooper” to White Zombie classic “Thunder Kiss 65”. This little medley alone made the night worth the price of admission and then some.

Though this may be John’s first tour as a solo artist he’s certainly no stranger to the stage as his 20 plus years of experience in music certainly showed as he worked the audience like a true veteran of the stage. He often signaled for crowd response or sending his guitar into the audience for them to play. Later on in the set he even brought up a fan play his guitar while he passed out high fives to those in the front row. If John 5 and the Creatures are making their way to your time in the coming month or two definitely make it a priority to get to the show as you won’t be disappointed. For those looking for something a little extra out of the night John is offering special VIP packages through www.John-5.com where you can attend sound check, meet the band along with getting some other really cool limited edition swag.

John5 Set List
1.) Flight of the Vulcan Kelly
2.) Villisca
3.) This Is My Rifle
4.) Sin
5.) El Cucuy
6.) Jiffy Jam
7.) Portrait of Sidney Sloan
8.) Guitar Solo
9.) Six Hundred and Sixty Six
10.) Mad Monster Party
11.) Young Thing
12.) First Victim
13.) Feisty Cadavers
14.) Beat It
15.) Medley

 

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Blu-ray Review “Beautiful Creatures”

Actors: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum
Directors: Richard Lagravenese
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 124 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Ever since “The Twilight Saga” has been done, Hollywood has been searching for the next “Twilight”. “Beautiful Creatures” is the latest in a long line of recent YA book adaptations to film. I have to admit, I have seen the “Twilight” films and I enjoyed them all (except “Breaking Dawn: Part 1”). Ever since I saw the trailers for “Beautiful Creatures”, I thought it was going to be very painful to watch…and I was right. The film runs over two hours long and it really drags hard. Jeremy Irons is always a pleasure to watch on the big screen but he hides his fantastic accent with a not so fantastic Southern one. The rest of the cast is a quite a bore, especially our two leads. Fans of the YA book series might enjoy and some female tweens but otherwise steer clear.

Official Premise: When newcomer Lena Duchannes arrives in the small town of Gatlin she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate, who only wants to escape what he views as a boring and dead end town. He quickly gets more than he bargained for, as Lena possesses strange powers that have long kept her at a distance from others in her life. Lena and Ethan are drawn together, but their budding romance is threatened by the dangers posed by Lena’s being a Caster and her family’s Dark powers, for upon her sixteenth birthday Lena must undergo the Claiming, a process that will decide her fate forever: Light or Dark.

I have to say no matter if I like the film or not Warner Bros delivered a nice Blu-ray presentation amongst its Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet digital copy combo pack. The 1080p transfer looks sharp and works well with the visual effects. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works with the action and the film’s score. The special features are not too bad either and are very featurette drive.  There are a few deleted scenes, but not sure how this film could have been longer.  The featurettes included are “Book to Screen”, “The Casters”,  “Between Two Worlds”,  “Forbidden Romance”, “Alternate Worlds” and “Designing the Costumes”.  There is nice coverage here over the whole production with cast and crew.  Lastly there are Theatrical Trailers and a Book Trailer: “Icons” by Margaret Stohl included.

Beautiful Creatures available on Blu-Ray 5/21/13 at WB Shop http://bit.ly/Xo9tAW

Blu-ray Review “Deadly Sea Creatures: 2-Headed Shark Attack / 2010: Moby Dick / Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”

Starring: Jaleel White, Carmen Electra, Charlie O’Connell, Barry Bostwick
Distributed by: Asylum Home Entertainment
Running Time 264 min
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Release Date: Feb 19, 2013

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Here is the thing about these films…they are very bad but so bad they are good. Yes these are all fun films. “2-Headed Shark Attack”, well has a two headed shark and that is cool enough for me. Please it has Carmen Electra, Charlie O’Connell and Brooke Hogan in the lead. “2010: Moby Dick” is a riot and Barry Bostwick is a riot in the film. Lastly we have Jaleel White in “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”. The film is a follow up to the amazing “Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus”. I mean where else can you see a giant croc eat Shamu at SeaWorld? There is tons of fun to be had here with this 3-Pack if you are up for it.

“2-Headed Shark Attack” Official Premise: A Semester at Sea ship is sunk by a two-headed shark, and the survivors escape to a deserted atoll. When it starts flooding, the coeds are no longer safe from the jaws of the monster. “2010: Moby Dick” Official Premise: A modern adaptation of the classic novel of the captain of a high tech submarine and his obsessive quest to destroy the enormous prehistoric whale that maimed him. “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus” Official Premise: The massive prehistoric shark has survived the last battle, and the world is again threatened when a new, more dangerous foe is discovered in the jungles of Africa.

This 3-Pack marks the first time that “2010: Moby Dick” and “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus” are being released on Blu-ray. I have to admit, I am glad to get a chance to own them but I would have preferred to have individual releases especially for “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”. The main issue with this release is that all three films are all compressed onto one 25GB Blu-ray. The bitrates are a low for a Blu-ray quality and they do not look the greatest with their 1080p transfers. The audio tracks are also only Dolby Digital 5.1, which to me is not even Blu-ray standard.

So why am I still recommending this release? Since if you know Asylum Home Entertainment, if you’ve seen their past release then you should know that they are not always quality. But still they are fun films are since this is currently the only way to own two of the three films, I am down for this sub-par release.  I will keep my hopes up that they will produce individual releases in the near future.

Book Review "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II: Creatures and Characters"

Author: Daniel Falconer
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: April 9, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Last year when I reviewed Harper’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles – Art & Design”, I was blown away.  It was easily one of the best film companion book I had the privilege checking out last year. Click here to see our review. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II: Creatures and Characters” is another amazing book from WETA Workshop designer Daniel Falconer. My wife’s response was “Another one?” but from the moment I picked up the book, I was unable to put it down. There is so much amazing content in here that I can spend hours and hours looking it over. If you are a fan of “The Hobbit” or “The Lord of the Rings” series, this book is really a dream come true.

The first “Chronicles” focused broadly on the “Art & Design” from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” with over 1,000 images of every aspect of the production from concept artwork to photographs and development paintings.  “Chronicles II” hones in a little bit and focuses specifically on the aspects of the “Creatures and Characters”.  Easily there is no stretching of content here there is enough to fill two books on these topics.  Here we get an additional 500+ previously unpublished photographs, behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, which are absolutely breathtaking. We get a chance to go through “The Hobbit” species by species and character by character. If you like the Hobbit’s then you will enjoy the sections on everything from their accents to their feet to their ears were created.  Literally, every aspect is covered in this book. We don’t get stop as the Hobbit’s though, we get chapters on the Wizards, Dwarves, Trolls, Elves, Stone Giants, Goblins, Orcs, Beasts and of course we can’t forget Gollum.  Along with that we have exclusive interviews with the designers, cast and crew to accompany and describe these beautiful photos. 

I should also point out that “Chronicles II”, comes with a great send off from Andy Serkis.  He is so extremely talented and his work on this series, should be awarded. By the time you get to the end of the book and you think you are done…there is still more goodies including a special fold-out Character Size Chart. This chart takes a look at all the major creatures and characters of the film ranging from Radagast’s hedgehog friend to the towering Stone Giants! Like in the first “Chronicles”, Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer has access to these wonderful collection of images and really leave you just starring at the pages. You really get an inside look at how much work and hard labor really went into this film. It makes you have a new appreciation for the talented people involved. Harper really delivered these images in the highest possible quality as well as complete book presentation. I hope that they are planning the same thing for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”, because I will be first in line.

No Safe Haven from The Asylum’s Latest Creatures “Bigfoot” and “Shark Week” Available on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand this August

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 14, 2012) – From the studio that brought you Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Zombie Apocalypse come two new action-thrillers – featuring Alice Cooper, two former teen heartthrobs, an especially tall and hairy beast and a large array of deadly species of shark – that prove that there is no escape from monsters both terrestrial and aquatic.

Two of TV’s most beloved child actors, Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) and Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) unite, assisted by Sherilyn Fenn (Rude Awakening, Boston Public), to make it through Bigfoot’s startling appearance at a music festival in North Dakota in Bigfoot.  Directed by Bruce Davison, Bigfoot is debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand August 14 from The Asylum. And see who survives the shark-infested waters of an isolated island run by a rich madman, played by Patrick Bergin (Patriot Games) in Shark Week.  Featuring Yancy Bulter of As the World Turns and Kickass fame, Shark Week debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand August 28.  Both projects successfully debuted on Syfy earlier this summer.  Pick up a copy of these hits on Blu-ray™ or DVD for bonus features including a behind-the-scenes featurette “The Making of Bigfoot” and “The Making of Shark Week,” respectively. The films will be available for $14.95 SRP (Blu-ray) and $14.95 SRP (DVD).

Synopsis of Bigfoot:

When Bigfoot attacks an 80s-themed music concert, a concert promoter and a hippie burnout will do anything to protect the “endangered species.”

Produced by David Michael Latt, David Rimawi and Paul Bales; directed by Bruce Davison; and written by Micho Rutare and Brian Brinkman.

Synopsis of Shark Week:

A group of complete strangers find themselves isolated by a wealthy madman on his island compound. They are forced into a horrifying gauntlet where they must survive a barrage of ever deadlier species of shark.

Produced by David Michael Lett, David Rimawi and Paul Bales; directed by Douglas-Olen Ray; and written by H. Perry Horton.

Interview with Chandler Riggs

Chandler Riggs is starring in AMC’s new TV series “The Walking Dead”. Chandler plays Carl Grimes, the son of lead characters Rick and Lori Grimes. Movie Mikes had a chance to ask Chandler a few questions about his character and how it has been working on the show.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the TV Show “The Walking Dead”?
Chandler Riggs: First, my agent asked me to go on tape for “The Walking Dead”, and then they didn’t call us back for so long that we forgot about it. They called us two months later and after a couple of auditions, I was told that I got the part!

MG: Tell us about your character of Carl Grimes in “The Walking Dead”?
CR: Carl is the son of Rick and Lori Grimes. Carl is an average kid trying to adapt to this destroyed world and the other survivors. The first step in surviving is to have his mom and dad together and be a family again. That is the first of many problems.

MG: Where you familiar with the comic book series?
CR: I wasn’t familiar with the comic book series. My dad googled “The Walking Dead” and when we found out that it was a comic, we went to our local comic book store and bought a few issues.

MG: How did you prepare for the character?
CR: I prepared for Carl by reading the comic books and thinking about how he must have felt. We also watched a few movies that featured kid actors in intense roles to get an idea of what would be expected of me.

MG: How was it working with so many fantastic actors?
CR: I loved it. They treated me like an adult. Not just a little kid that annoys everybody!

MG: What was the best of working on the show so far?
CR: There are so many things that I loved.I really don’t think I have one favorite part. To see that I am part of something that means so much to so many people is really awesome.

MG: Are you a fan of horror films? Do you have a favorite?
CR: Yes. I love horror films. My favorite is “The Mist”. It was so cool seeing Laurie, Jeffery, Juan, and the amazing job that Frank did in directing that movie. Especially the creepy way that he ended it!

MG: What was it like working on the movie “Get Low”, any cool moments?
CR: It was so cool seeing Bill Murray and Robert Duvall. They were also very nice to me. My favorite part in “Get Low” was a deleted scene and didn’t make it into the movie. I got to shoot Robert Duvall!

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Interview with Steven Yeun

Steven Yeun may be new to Hollywood but he is off the right start. He is currently co-starring in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as the character Glenn. Steven also loves doing improv and is currently part of a comedy duo. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Steven about his role in the TV show and his up-and-coming career.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Glenn in “The Walking Dead”?
Steven Yeun: Glenn is kind of the scavenger of the group. He is a young kid but he is always willing to help do the right thing. He slowly starts growing and turning into a man and finding his family within this group he is in.

MG: What was it like working with Frank Darabont?
SY: I didn’t get to directly work with him. He directed the first episode. My character comes in around the second episode. What was great though was he was behind the show the in every way. He had his hands in every single episode. It was so great.

MG: How has it been working on the show?
SY: I do not have much to compare it to but if this is what Hollywood is, than this is the best. The experience has been unreal. From the cast to the crew everyone is so behind it. Since I came in so fresh, everyone was kind, supportive and willing to help with any questions I had. I tend to ask a lot of questions and they have been so great. All the veterans have mentioned that this is as hard as it gets. We have some really difficult moments in terms of physically and emotionally.

MG: Are you a fan of the horror genre?
SY: I have to be honest, I am not the biggest horror man. Mostly because they scare the crap out of me [laughs]. Zombies I am cool with. Like vampires, werewolfs and othermythology I love. Ghosts…I can’t do ghosts.

MG: Where you a fan of the comic series before working on “The Walking Dead”?
SY: Yeah, actually I was. When I graduated school in 2005, I moved to Chicago and a friend of mine told me to check it out. I picked it up and literally couldn’t put it down. i literally bought tons of issues after that. It was surreal for me actually being a part of this.

MG: Tell us about your film “My Name is Jerry”, which recently was released on DVD?
SY: It is an independent film, I got be apart of like two or three years ago. Doug Jones plays the lead. It is about a guy that is coming to terms with his life. He gets into a bunch of things and meets people. One of the them being my character. It is a pretty fun movie.

MG: What else are you currently working on?
SY: I actually do a lot of improv. I’ve got a lot of live shows here in LA with a friend of mine. It is called Left Hand, the Improv Duo. That is it for now and just trying to see what else is out there for me.

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Interview with Adam Minarovich

Adam Minarovich is making a name for himself on many levels.  He is currently co-starring in the new AMC series “The Walking Dead”. Minarovich has also written, directed and starred in his own projects, including “Ankle Biters,” “Wiseguys vs Zombies” and “Exhibit A-7.”  He also wrote and co-stars in the upcoming film “Chop.”  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Adam about working on “The Walking Dead” and what’s coming in the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role of Ed on “The Walking Dead”?
Adam Minarovich: It’s awesome.  As an actor living in the southwest it was right in my backyard.  It’s something I would have killed to be on.  I read for a lot of the parts that were in the graphic novel and I didn’t really fit any of them for various reasons.  But they wrote the character of Ed into the show and I was lucky enough to get to play him.  Ed is not a nice guy (laughs).  He’s married to a member of the survivor camp, Carol, who is in the graphic novel.  He’s not the nicest guy and he just hangs out at the camp.  I mean it’s an honor to play any character in anything Frank Darabont has anything to do with.

MG: Were you a fan of the comic series before working on show?
AM: A friend of mine has been telling me about “The Walking Dead” for some time but I never had the chance to check it out.  But when I heard this was coming up I started reading it and I’ve never read so long in my life!  I sat in a chair and just read one story after another.  I couldn’t put it down.  It actually gave me a new hobby.  Now I’m obsessed with graphic novels.

MG: What was one of the scariest things that happened on set?
AM: The experience itself was really awesome but I’m trying to think it anything really weird happened.  To sit in the makeup chair with Greg Nicotero was awesome.  He’s really a funny guy.  I’m so used to working on low budget stuff where everything messes up and it’s funny to talk about later but on this set nothings has screwed up so I don’t have any funny stories.  I mean usually somebody catches on fire or someone breaks a leg or the director freaks out but none of that happened so I really don’t have any cool stuff to say.

MG: I am just guessing but you are a big horror fan, right?
AM: I love all genres of movies.  I mean I’m not a real big “date movie” fan (laughs) but I love them all.  And I love horror.  That’s why it was so kick ass to meet Nicotero.  Meeting Michael Rooker on set was awesome too.

MG: You just wrote, directed and starred in a film called “Exhibit A-7.”  What can you tell us about it?
AM: It’s kind of a POV (point of view) film.  I describe it as “Blair Witch meets The Strangers.”  It’s about two couples going to New Orleans.  One of the ladies is pregnant.  The decide to take a road trip and they video tape the trip.  The movie is the “found” tape of their trip.  Half way through they end up in Georgia and come across the wrong group of people.  My character is Adam.  We all just used our real names.  It made it easier to stay in character by not having to remember different names.  My character wants to, for various reasons, document what’s happening to us.  He wants to show the police what these people are doing to us.  But halfway through the film the bad guys take over the camera.  And then they…document the rest.

MG: You also have another film coming up called “Chop.”  Tell us about how that came about?
AM: Trent Haaga at Troma liked the script, got some cash and optioned it.  I went out to Los Angeles and played a detective in the movie. He did a great job, I just saw a cut of it a while ago and it looks fantastic.

MG:  Anything else you have planned upcoming?
AM:  I wrote a script called “The Pawnshop Chronicles”.  It has been optioned by a great director, can’t say much more though.  My last few projects I have really been able to work with people I admire and look up to and I’m so pumped about that.

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Interview with Jeryl Prescott

Jeryl Prescott is what people in Hollywood call a triple threat.  She not only acts but writes and directs as well.  She added a fourth hat, that of producer, with her short film “Multiple Choice” in 2006.  She has appeared in such films as “Skeleton Key” and “Vacancy 2” and on such television shows as “One Tree Hill,” “Brothers and Sisters” and “Hawthorne.”  2011 will find her co-starring in the film “Bolden!,” a fictional look at the life of jazz musician Buddy Bolden.  The film co-stars Jackie Earle Haley, Anthonie Mackie and Michael Rooker. Jeryl can now be seen in the new television series “The Walking Dead.”  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Jeryl about her role in the show and what to come in the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character, Jacqui, in “The Walking Dead”?
Jeryl Prescott: The character was created by Frank Darabont.  She is not in the comic book series, so you have to watch the show to see how she fits into this world.  She’s the kind of woman who can surprise you. Jacqui is a southern woman.  I’m from the south, and the southern women I know and love are often nurturing, but fierce and bold when necessary, and really unpredictable

MG: What has been the best part about working on the show?
JP: The Walking Dead team is such an amazing collection of human beings!  No BS.  From the producers to the cast and crew, everybody connected with it.  It’s like the coming together of some perfect force.  For me especially, doing my first recurring role on a series, it is such a divine experience.  As for my favorite thing, probably watching the zombie magic up close, having lunch with zombies, talking with them between takes–surreal.

MG: Were you familiar with the comic series?
JP: No, but I am now.  I have the Compendium.  It requires a bit of weight lifting to carry it around.  And it’s only 48 of the stories!  There are like 76 of them.  I like to think of it as a giant graphic novel, and it’s fascinating.

MG: How does working on a TV series, like “The Walking Dead”, differ from doing movies like “The Skeleton Key” or “Vacancy 2”?
JP: It’s such a different experience.  With “The Walking Dead” it’s like we’re making a new movie every week.  We’re basically making a new, complete movie every week.  The benefit is that you get to stick with the same character week after week, which is nice.  But the challenge is that you’re processing, mentally and emotionally, a chunk of experience in the course of the week.  But in a film, you have months.  And you’d have those months to read through it.  But on “The Walking Dead” the scripts may change overnight.  I mean we might not even have a script “locked” until the night before we shoot.  So the challenge there is enormous.

MG: Are you a fan of the horror genre in particular?
JP: It must speak to my aura. It must read “she’s perfect for scary stuff.”  It’s an amazing little trend as my career develops.

MG: What else do you have planned in the coming months?
JP: Pajama parties at my place for The Walking Dead on Sunday nights!  And I’m in an upcoming film called “Bolden!”, which is actually being introduced to the world right now by a companion film called “Louis,” which is a silent film.  It is being presented in six or seven major cities with live musical accompaniment by Wynton Marsalis (who is also one of the films’ producers) and his orchestra.  And it is a fascinating and unique film experience.  It focuses on the early childhood experiences of Louis Armstrong.  And it’s a way of introducing to audiences the time period when Buddy Bolden lived.  (Note:  Buddy Bolden was one of the greatest musicians in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th Century and was instrumental in the creation of both ragtime and jazz.  The film is scheduled to open in 2011.)  It really will be a great experience.
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