Weng’s Chop #3 (magazine review)

The more I am delving into the old issues of the most prominent cinema magazine today – and it’s no hyperbole, especially when considering the content (and the quantity of it) – the more I am re-discovering stuff I should remember to get (and watch) but for some strange reason I’ve forgotten. Well, second time’s the charm, isn’t it?

Weng's Chop #3 cover image
Weng’s Chop #3 alternative cover 1

By the issue #3, released in April 2013, Weng’s Chop magazine start to bulk up, so to speak. 117 large pages of texts and images about all kinds of exploitation, horror, obscure, old, forgotten – and whatever other label you can come up with – cinema well designed to appease your hunger for new and unknown flicks/books/comics/zines. Hidden under the cover with a picture of (in)famous auteur director Jesús Franco Manera (Jess Franco and his other pseudonyms), which is the cover I’ve opted for (not that the other two were less interesting, but Jesus rules, you know).

This issue also marks the arrival of the third member of now-stable editorial team – besides Brian and Tim we welcomed Tony Strauss, who debuted with his long, detailed analysis of Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (a flick I still need to watch, straight after I remember where did I put it).

Well, in April 2013 the cinema lovers’ world lost one of its greatest – aforementioned Jesús Franco. OK, the „greatest“ might be a little stretch, but yeah, considering his output and the lasting influence, no matter how we tend to look at him and his work, it‘s not an exaggeration. At least not for me, so there‘s that, take it or leave it.

So pages 3-5 are dedicated to some kind of obituary/testimonial of that great Spanish guy, with quotes of various folks from cinema world, which also testify to lasting influence of Franco on generations of film lovers.

Now we‘re getting somewhere I haven‘t been before – pages 6 – 11 bring us to Christploitation and I have to admit I haven‘t heard that term before reading this great article titled „Please Bow Your Heads For Prayer.“ by Andrew Leavold.

Pages 12 – 15 continues the narrative with the article by Brian Harris about a subgenre in Christploitation, namely something strange called „Rapturesploitation“. I grind my teeth as although I am Christian myself, the so-called „Rapture“ is not in my belief system, so it‘s quite strange, nay, to check these movies out, but I will do it just for the hell (pun intended) of it. Back to the article, Brian discusess movies A Thief In the Night, A Distant Thunder, Image of the Beast and The Prodigal Planet. And I‘m little tempted to get them and watch them. But just a little. So it might not gonna happen.

Weng’s Chop #3 alternative cover 2

Steve Ronquillo writes in his „column“ Steve‘s Video Mania on pages 16 and 17. This first installment deals with movies of the First Family of Mexploitation, the Cardonas (René Sr. and René Jr.) and the real beauty here is – I actually now know who they were! Yeah, that’s what you call “a progress in knowledge”, to the boot. Seriously, when perusing so many reference books/mags/zines/webpages, you really get some strong knowledge of the stuff. Sadly, not that it stretches your time available to allow you to watch more movies, but hey, remember The Rolling Stones? You can’t always get what you want. Exactly. But I am now hooked up and curious to see Cardona’s take on Jonestown massacre (his movie Guyana: Cult of the Damned) from 1979.

We have some more Mexploitation coming, on pages 18 – 20, in the article about post-apocalyptic Mexican cinema by Aaron Soto. I have to admit I like when I can watch movies with their original soundtrack, Spanish-language movies no different (the only exception are 70’s kung-fu movies dubbed into proper posh British English, that shit is absolutely hilarious). So with a majority of those movies not being available with English dub is still OK with me.

The importance of underground publications in keeping the memory of certain less known personalities and disseminating information about them and their movies can’t be stressed enough. Case in point? Pages 21 and 22 with the article “Distant Dreams: The Haunting Career of Mary Mendum” by Jeremy Richey. I wouldn’t have a clue about that actress and her movies!! And it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad, it’s the knowledge of their existence which prompt many of readers (of this I am sure) to try to find them and see for themselves.

Mexploitation back again! This time with the Douglas Waltz’s articles on Mexican monster movies on pages 23 and 24 and what I have stated before, still applies. I just crave watching this madness, although, on the other hand, I also cringe before expecting quite a lot of crap along it! But that’s the way it is, baby! Bring ‘em on!

Next article we have is Ryan Carey’s presentation of The Incubus, starring John Cassavetes. I can’t even remember reading this one, so allow me to get a little break.

Done and we can move to the next interesting segment of the issue in discussion. Pages 27 – 38…yes, 11 long pages, folks!!!! Remember me mentioning Tony Strauss as a new member of the editorial staff? Well, his detailed, hell, well-beyond-detailed dissection of Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession would leave Zulawski himself speechless and he might learn a thing or two about his own movie. Amazing article and I am pretty sure after reading this article you won’t look at Possession the same way again.

An article by Larry Conti “From Jakarta With Love: Ferocious Female Frightmakers” deals with Indonesian phantom female (female ghost) movies and I am not the only one falling in love with Asian cinema beyond the usual Japanese or Hong Kong output. Of course, Indonesian cinema is not neglectible, they going strong for years and to get acquainted with their movies is just pure pleasure. Won’t you agree?

Page 42 contains a list of contributors to this issue and I came to like it on its own. Why? Well, you can find quite a few names to get familiar with, some old faces, some fresh new, and what’s better than to network with your fellow cinephiles/culturologists?

Pages 43 – 61 are full of interesting reviews to not-always-interesting movies, but believe me, you’ll want to watch them all, if for nothing else than to have the ability to say “I’ve seen that!” when talking to your friends. Well, if your friends are similar to mine, they won’t give shit either way, but hey, it’s their loss, so no problem!

Page 62 brings a welcome break in the movie narrative, presenting a review of “The Seven Deadly Synths”, which deals in a collection of rare video recordings of synth-punk banks of the 80s from “Harrah” club in NYC. If you’re into this stuff, make sure you check this out!

Ryan Carey strikes again with his appreciation for Simon, King of the Witches in an article “All I Touch, I Corrupt” (on a totally unrelated point, the title reminds me of Swedish death metal band Demigod’s song “As I Behold, I Despise” – what a strange association, lol). From what I’ve read, it looks like another interesting experience of a movie, so – to quote Chris Jericho – “You’re just made the list!” 🙂

Continuing through the part of page 64 and the 65 with the ads we’re getting to “Cult Cinema Under the Gun” by Danae Dunning, another batch of reviews of classic and not so classic cult movies, pages 66 – 68.

And that’s not all from Danae, folks! Page 69 shows her article about Ronny Yu’s triple feature (The Bride with White Hair 1 and 2 and The Phantom Lover) and man, I need these in my life! I particularly like Danae’s writing for it’s short (like mine) and to the point (looking at the man in the mirror smirking…well, I’m trying!).

Brian Harris introduces us to Dancing Yeti Stephen Tako in the interview he’s conducted with the man himself (pages 70-71). And it’s interesting to see me caring also for the stuff I wouldn’t give a damn about not so long ago. That’s how deep the love for the cinema and culture goes. Once it gets you, it will hold like a superglue. And that’s the quality we want.

Pages 72-98 (26 pages! I repeat, 26 PAGES!!!) Drumroll, please! Tim Paxton just killed everyone with his exhaustive discussion about Indian movies which includes snakes, or better to say, persons somewhat connected with snakes, snake ladies, snake goddesses…basically, snake everything. And while I won’t watch majority of those (and apart from some silly stuff like Anaconda, Piranhaconda and similar dreck) due to my strong disaste for snakes, the article is one hell of a reading. Just amazing.

Pages 99-102 are dedicated to printed stuff, i. e. book/zine reviews and I don’t have to say I’ve found some goodies in this section (and some are already in my collection). I especially love zines (well, soulmating is a nice thing), so anyting zine-connected is right my alley.

Pages 103-113 and oh noooo…errr..hell, yes, more Mexi-madness!!! But with an added bonus, these pages contain a reprint of Steve Fentone’s article from Monster!International #2 about Mexican monster movies. And it’s interesting to see how professional Tim Paxton’s work from 1992 was. Hell, I want to read the whole issue!! I want it all – and I want them now! Alas, it’s not gonna happen, at least not “now”. But I’ll gladly wait, because you know it – all good things come to those who wait.

Pages 114-116 and another interesting reprint, this time from Video Voice #9 from 1988, an interesting (and for me quite a rare) interview by David Todarello with Michael Weldon, the man behind legendary Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, Psychotronic Video Guide and, of course, Psychotronic Video magazine!!! What a material!

And that’s almost the end. But not before finishing Weng’s Chop B-Movie Krisword Puzzle #1 by Kris Gilpin. Don’t worry, the answers are on page 61, but try to do it without looking at them first!! I dare you!

And that, folks, was Weng’s Chop #3 in all its glory. Now, you know what to do, don’t you?

Available at Amazon.

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

Related Posts

Drowning: Lost City Riders (a 2008 TV movie review)

Lost City Riders, well, its title, has caught my attention almost immediately. I admit, I am a sucker for “lost city” stuff.

I’ve watched the movie once before, but I don’t remember anything of it, which is usually a bad sign, however, with the plethora of movies (and other spare-time-killing activities) available, that’s not really something to go along with – and you probably agree, you remember movies from your childhood, but hardly something you’ve watched a month ago on Netflix.

That might have to do something with the overall quality of the modern cinema, but I guess I am digressing here a bit..so let’s get back to our flick.

The movie was directed by Jean de Segonzac, mostly known for directing episodes of various TV series, and starring James Brolin, Ian Somerhalder, Bettina Zimmermann, Jamie Thomas King, Elodie Frenck, Michael Mendl, Jeremy Crutchley and Benn Cross,

Well, Lost City Riders is not a movie you’re gonna remember. A co-production between German TV channel ProSieben and Sci-fi Channel (before its rebranding to SyFy Channel), you’ve seen the plot rehashed a million times before (and couple hundreds after 🙂 ).

The global warming caused the flooding of the Earth, only 10 % of the surface is habitable, and we’re encountering our – you’ve guessed it – Lost City Riders, a family unit (a guy with two adopted sons), raiding the submerged buildings for profit.

Our family unit planning the entering and escaping.

Unbeknownst to his two adopted sons Jack (Ian Somerhalder) and Thomas (Jamie Thomas King), their stepfather John Kubiak (James Brolin) is on the mission of finding the legendary scepter of Sobek, Egyptian god of Nile, who – according to legend – controlled by it the rising and falling down the waters of the great river.

And as it’s usually the case, he’s not alone! Enters Nicholas Filiminov (Ben Cross) as a nefarious businessman trying to claim the scepter for himself to – well, you’ve guessed it again – make money!

Our villain Nicholas Filiminov (Ben Cross) confronting Giovanna Becker (Bettina Zimmermann)

To complete the picture, we have Bettina Zimmermann as Giovanna Becker, Jack’s old love, and because it would be bad to leave the other boy alone, here comes the rescue in the form of Elodie Frenck (Cara Cahill).

You know how it plays, right? Yes, it’s pretty straightforward, with a bad underwater CGI effects, the story doesn’t allow for any twists or surprises, but the scenes in the Chinese cave (yes, we are all over the world, from Vatican to Dresden to Chinese cave system) with the secret room built in it got me in stitches. The acting there was on the level I’ve expected it turning to a scene from a adult video movie any second! Anyway, don’t shoot at the pianist for the piano not being in tune, as they say.

Putting the rod into the hole…or something like that.

I am not sure if it’s me getting old and more tolerant of everything, but I myself was surprised to actually watch the whole movie without any interruptions. I think I can safely state it was due to the level of watchable silliness on the TV screen, quite certainly unintentional by the creators of the movie.

But it’s about entertainment, right? In that case, they’ve succeeded.

Not that I’m gonna re-watch it any time soon (if ever).

Official trailer:

Fragment Soul – Axiom of Choice (a review)

The link for these Greek doom melancholics arrived to my mailbox a long time ago, and I’ve almost forgotten about it. Yes, I know. Im am irresponsible sometimes.

However, I’ve started my spring cleaning also in my accounts and so I’ve come across Axiom of Choice – and what a beautiful album it is.

4 long compositions in 3 seconds over 42 minutes, that’s the progressive doom dessert from Greece. No feta cheese, though, that’s for sure.

You might know already that my musical tastes are all over the place, and although some might argue it won’t allow me to concentrate fully on a particular genre, I think it gives me an opportunity to enjoy music without too much of a comparison.

And therefore I can enjoy Fragment Soul and their work of art for what it is. And it’s a beautiful, melancholic, gloomy collection – however, not a depressive one, I’d say. It’s something you would play during the rainy day, laying alone in your bed and just floating in space of your thoughts and memories. For the fans of Draconian it might be pointed out, that Heike Langhans collaborated on this album, and there’s also a guest person – Egan O’Rourke from Daylight Dies.

I like it a lot. For a seasoned fans of the doom genre it might not be earth-shattering, and I’m not gonna argue it is. But if you want to spend 42:03 minutes of your life with an aural balsam for your ears and soul, this might be something you might like to check.

Album stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQupuFFlbOo

Malauriu – Malauriu (a 2022 album review)

Recently I’ve lent my ear to some nice black metal releases, so when I’ve got this promo from Italy for a review, it’s been only a matter of time when it will attack both my ears.

…and the day has come.

Malauriu are certainly no new-comers, haling from the Italian underground since 2013. I am not familiar with their previous output, but with the opening track, “Morto Era L’oro”, it is clear what they meant by “a new chapter of experimentation between dark ambient and Mediterranean sound”, which was the description they’ve used in the promo e-mail. Well, they haven’t lied.

The album contains 4 long compositions, the shortest one clocks in 10:52 (“Corpo Tempio), the longest will stay in your aural orifices for almost 12 minutes (11:50 long “Specula”).

A mix between ritualistic darkwave and a poetry reading, lyrics in Italian, along with the music itself, evoke the best moments of watching Italian horror/occult/supernatural movies – minus the video segment, of course.

Not much of a black metal per se, nevertheless, this is right in my comfort zone, as I’ll never say no to the atmosphere inducing soundscape.

The album will be released on April 1st, 2022, in a CD and digital format via the Italian label Nero Corvino, so if that’s your kind of music, you definitely won’t go wrong getting it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malauriuofficial

Costectomy/Nyctophagia – “Drone Hunting Missionaries For Sport” (a 2021 split review)

After some time spent checking not so usual music with my other webpage Indokult, dedicated to the Indonesian music , I’ve started craving some more unhinged underground music again. To be precise, good old goregrind and gorenoise. No, I won’t call it a “fix”, haha, but truth is – sometimes it’s just what the doctor has ordered. You know…going full circle and so forth…

Now, with the genre selected, the next important question was – with so much to choose from, what to play? For that, I’ve checked a Olga Lazarus’ new label Strangulation Furrow on Bandcamp. You might remember Olga from the interview I did with her for the Rubber Axe webzine here. Since then she’s relocated to the USA and started a new label, it’s only logical to show her some support! Yes, freaks, some support!!!

Olga is a busy bee and so far she has released some nice releases (mostly tapes, but also a CD and a 7” EP), plus she’s printing the t-shirts herself. Talk about some dedication here!

So, with that being said, I’ve chosen to review a split between Costectomy and Nyctophagia titled “Drone Hunting Missionaries For Sport”. 14 groovy tracks in total.

A tape version from Strangulation Furrow label

First to offer the putrid sonic fruits is Costectomy, which is Chud’s (Ulcerated Offal, Cystoblastosis, ex-Hit-Run Drivers etc.) project based in Eliot (Maine, USA). 6 tracks in total of great sounding goregrind (yes, the aforementioned groovy kind), enriched by the samples from the horror/gore movies, exactly the way I like it. You know, I love intros/outros! Damn, thinking about that, I am pretty much easily pleased, haha! Well, it’s true. However, when you are faced with stuff like this, that’s not so hard. Great stuff here. Oh, not to forget, the last song is a cover of Dysmenorrheic Hemmorage, “Affliction”.

The rest of the release belongs to Nyctophagia, currently an 1-man unstoppable grinding machine from Ohio and if you can count on your rotten fingers, you know that means 8 tracks left to enjoy!

Unlike Costectomy, Nyctophagia plays more of a little faster death/grind, more of a bulldozer than a groove, however I can’t complain here neither and so won’t you. Really, what’s here not to enjoy?

The split is over almost in no time – which is probably the only negative I can say about it. For those collectors of the physical release, this was released in 2021 on a pro CD-R by Costectomy Records (but according the info it’s already sold out) and Olga’s label has released it on in a tape version. Go check and grab it while you can!

Bandcamp: https://strangulationfurrowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/costectomy-nyctophagia-split

VA – Gorenoise megasplit vol. 1

It’s been quite a while since I’d reviewed anything gorenoise related. Gorenoise Megasplit volume 1, the compilation I’m going to write a few words about, was sent to me by our friends in the Italian label Nosevomit Records quite a long time ago, and I am ashamed to have waited for so long before reviewing it. Well, time to wait is over, let’s have a look how ugly this boy turned out to be!

Opening the compilation is Italian gorenoise project Bronchospasm with the track “Pneumoconiosis”, the cool 4:05 track and it’s quite interesting, not the typical blasting sh*t I’d expect, it’s more like an experimental noise track, with drums beats here and there, but straight away, I am impressed and I need to check this project little more closer. And, by the way, they are associated with this little record label: https://www.facebook.com/unauthorizedsurgeonsclub/

The second to dissect is another Italian pathology combo – Conforming To Survive – with the three tracks, “Severed Mutation of the Upper Limbs”, “Gnawing the Intestines” and “Cursed Flesh Grimoire”. Rehearsal recording, with a rather goregrind/noise chaos, and again, I am revelling in this! Building from the shortest track to the longest one (which clocks in 3:39), there’s plenty of filth to like here!

But then…it’s a gorenoise proper! American project Hydroencephalocystocele steals the show with its “13 Traxx Untitled” and for all those looking for a really cool gorenoise, now it’s the time. Bubbles and noise, what can go wrong, right? I’d welcome more variability here, but otherwise, can’t complain.

Mucopurulence’s section opens with a cool intro, which intro-duces (lol) us to to f*ckin awesome goregrind track “Copro Corpse Copulation”. This stuff raises the dead! Mucupurulence hails from Finland and because they kick ass, they offer 5 tracks here – Copro Corpse Mutilation, Putrid Bile of Shit, A Collection of Colons and Entrails, Ceaseless Violent Defecating, Choking on Swollen Tongue and Vomit – all the future classicks, I am sure! Not too long, not too short, they are perfect! I really enjoy these, and the song titles remind me of the times we used to come up with the most insane titles too!!!

This nice compilation closes with 5 gorenoise tracks (Adiction, Another Disease; Ear Atrocities, Head Hole, Inhuman Glass and Taenia Solium) from Saccopharynx. This Mexican project offers an interesting mix of blasting drums, bubbling, gurgling vokills…and probably even a kitchen sink thrown in for a good measure, and it works.

The whole compilation can be heard on the Nosevomit’s Bandcamp, and what’s even better, you can get a CD-R of it too!!! What are you waiting for then?

https://nosevomitrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gorenoise-megasplit-vol-i

Where fire burns eternally: Eternal Kingdom of Fire, volume 5 (digital promo review)

Those of you who read the Rubber Axe regularly, will might recall the review I’ve written for a previous release of this compilation series, namely volume 2.

Well, time flies and a few days ago a new batch has arrived to my mailbox, this time it was the latest invocation, namely the volume 5.

10 bands, 10 songs. However…what songs these are!

Opening this compilation tape is Winter Eternal from Greece (lately of Scotland, according to available information) with the song “Crown of Stars” (also on this project’s 2021 full length “Land of Darkness”). F**king brilliant tune, I can hardly think of a better opening. Interesting, well thought of, well played. And a well received here, that’s no doubt about that. I like the use of instruments and the melodies.

Russian strikeforce Ophidian Malice, on the other hand, take no prisoners and relentlessly bash the listener with their furious black metal vibe. “Saviour” is the song from their debut 2021 full-length “Disgusting Ritual” and it definitely shows the band in the good (un)light.

So far, I am really enjoying the comp.

With Skorbvstr, the raw black metal ferocity from Kentucky (USA) we have first exclusivity here, as I think their song “Diskusjonen er avsluttet” is available here only. I might be wrong though. I am little surprised with the use of, what is it Norwegian language?…but the guy might be from Scandinavia, so there’s that. As for the music, I have to admit I am starting to develop a certain liking for the raw BM (which, as many might know, is not one of my favourite subgenres), and there are some elements I really enjoy here.

“Pain Enshrouded Dirge” from Desecration Rites is our very next song, and the second longest offering from this compilation. I’d say there’s a certain inspiration from old Burzum (which is not a bad thing, what do you think?), and even it delivers the goods (so to speak) even with the simplicity of melody, riffs and hypnotic drumbeat. Well, you know…the old school, the good way.

Alpgeist hails from Bavaria (Germany) and presents to you their hymn “Moor in der Todtenau”. Yes, I can definitely say I like this approach a lot more than the raw BM subgenre. Dark, melancholic and melodic, I really like the guitar riffs here…the whole song is one welcoming energy boost in my current depressive mood. Can a black metal song be viewed as a positive booster? I’d say so, so this applies. I am really loving this one.

Zmyrna can be classed as Alpgeist’s neighbour, as guys come from Czech Republic, and their “Pagus Maledictus” offers yet another fascinating look into the black metal subgenre – guys not only sing about mystical stuff and medieval life, their music also evokes the fires of the dark ages and the suffering through the ages. This song is certainly a weird one, very unexpected, but as I’ve said – fascinating (in a good sense). The song itself comes from their only material to date, the 2021 self-titled EP.

And now, ladies and gentlemen – the longest track of this compilation. Necrodes and “Swept Away”, from its 2021 full-length “Isolation”. Wow, what a vocal! Imagine maniacal, hysterical cries with some gurgling and you might start to have an idea. Although, I guess the best bet is to have a listen. However, I think more of DSBM than atmospheric BM here, but that’s just my opinion. Unfortunately, these days I am rarely fond of long compositions and I’ve got a little bored here, sorry.

Necrocarnation hails from Germany now, but from what I could find, they are from Argentina, and on this nice compilation they bring to your attention their black/death metal sacrifice with their song “Antarctic”, which is also the opener of their 2020 EP “Fragments of Dark Eternity”. And I have to say, I like this stuff! Especially vokills, which sound really killer! Kudos to the compiler, as I really welcome the diversity of the subgenres while still being true to the black metal genre as a whole.

Finnish duo Svartheim play strict black metal, which might sound a little generic nowadays, but I think they are aware of that, so they enrich their song “Vaiettu” (which comes from their 2021 full length debut “Black Metal Finland”) with the interesting dual vocals. And it works. Personally, I don’t really give a damn about similarity between songs or bands – if I like it, I like it, period. And Svartheim would be on my playlist. It’s simple, yet effective.

And the last band to enjoy from this compilation is Necro Forest from Croatia, with the song “Hate Divison”. Raw black metal, with little NSBM leaning, I’d guess. I am little disappointed with the sort of a ripping off Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon” in the beginning of the song , because when it starts properly, it’s not bad at all! But I think Norwegian legends have their impact on many bands…it’s not that big of an issue, but I thought it would be good to mention that. Also, likeable song.

So, that’s all, folks. Good, bad? Well, for me, undoubtedly a great compilation. I think I can safely say – I can play this without skipping a song. And that’s quite a feat.

Get it from Ancient Cult Records, while you can. Get in touch with the label via e-mail: aniquilacionsatanicapro@yahoo.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.