The Toxic Avenger

People probably ask why there is going to be another review of this movie. The answer is quite simple: Because it deserves it!

First The Toxic Avenger is a low-budget trash comedy horror movie released by Troma Entertainment in 1985. Over the past years the film has become one of the most important campy B-Movies of the 80ies.

The story basically is about a boy called Melvin Junko, who is the biggest loser in town. He works as a cleaner in Tromaville’s fitness club and gets constantly mobbed by other teenagers. One day Melvin has to don a pink ballet tutu and gets chased through the whole fitness club. As a last resort he jumps out of the window and lands into a barrel full of toxic waste.

Melvin doesn’t die but changes into the first superhero born out of nuclear waste. From now on he is going to fight for justice and fairness in his hometown Tromaville.
The Toxic Avenger is, in the first view, a cult classic trash movie but a deeper meaning and interpretation can also be recognized. The film can be described as an ironic mirror of the exaggerated cult of the body, cult of physical health and beauty societies. Furthermore, Melvin not only fights against crimes and the bad guys, he also attacks the corrupted local power structures. With this ideas, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz call the viewer’s attention to important social problems (which today seem more relevant than ever) and want to support people´s social criticism. I think it is absolutely genius to “caricaturize” the brutal, dull, superficial and egoistic modern, mainly western societies with the help of an exaggerated B-Movie.

The last intention of reviewing a Troma Entertainment movie is to show my personal support and to promote the greatest independent film production and distribution company on earth. I highly respect Lloyd Kaufman for his devotion to independent movies, his supportive attitude towards movie-lovers and for campaining for Net Neutrality.

Important links:
Lloyd Kaufman
The Toxic Avenger

The Jacob Conspiracy – Colourful Crime

I’m pretty sure that the boys from the Jacob Conspiracy don’t want to hear it anymore (maybe they do, I actually haven’t talked to them), but let’s call a spade a spade: this album sounds like a Foo Fighters album. Is that a bad thing? Not at all!

However, there are two differences between the Foos and The Jacob Conspiracy: I’m quite convinced that Ken Brandenburger is a better singer than Dave Grohl (brownnosing no.1) and that in contrast to most Foo albums this one seems to grow stronger as time goes by (brownnosing no.2). Well then, let’s fill the Josy Barthel stadium! Alright, back to earth, not even the national football team does it. The opening song already gives the direction: sound, refreshing and often catchy rock and pop-rock.

The more I’ve listened to this album, the more I also had the feeling that Danko Jones had his finger in the pie. My personal highlight certainly is track number 4, Desire. A very bright and cheerful song that could have been your soundtrack of the summer if this had been released a bit earlier this year.

At the end of Colourful Crime you can find a handsome ballad and two entertaining acoustic songs. It was a good idea to put those in the end because the rocking flow of the main part of the album won’t be disturbed and the rock’n’roll train can roll on. Emily, the ballad, is perfectly suitable for radio, and guess what, I ejected the CD from my car radio yesterday during Emily to hear that she was played on Eldoradio the very same moment.

Negative points (to get the brown nose a bit cleaned off): the album surely has no downs, but one reason for this is a certain monotony in the refrains, especially during the middle of the album. The other thing is, and that surely is very subjective, that the sound often appears way too clean, too “gracious” in terms of rock’n’roll. I am nevertheless pretty sure that those songs are made to be performed live and that there will be way more dirty energy in the air. Note to myself: get to see them live a.s.a.p.!

At the end of the day, this is a well done rock album from a Luxembourgish band, that surely hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but that still has potential to do some more steps. Thumbs up.

Recommendations: Desire, Emily, Turn the Page (Acoustic).

Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS

This movie, produced in the US in 1975, is a mixture and combines elements of the (Nazi) exploitation and sexploitation film genre.

The story deals with Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne) who is the commandant of the prisoner-of-war camp: Medical Camp 9. Being a doctor with homoerotic and sadistic affinities, she is interested in “scientific” medical experiments to prove that women are more indolent and therefore better soldiers than men.

Ilsa is represented as a raping nymphomaniac, who immediately has her victims (male prisoners of the camp) castrated and killed when those ejaculate before she orgasms. Only one prisoner, who is able to hold back his ejaculations manages to turn Ilsa into a more and more obedient, emotional and sexual dependent woman.

One problem with this movie is that the extreme hypersexual and sadistic fictional violence and torture doesn’t even get close to the real atrocities that happened in the camps during World War II. I got the feeling that the only purpose of using this historical topic was to provoke and to promote.
While I have to admit that the make-up, the effects, the movie set and the backgrounds are rather OK for a low-budget film, I have to complain about the unrealistic and unaesthetic Nazi utensils and the great lack of stagecraft. When even a Dyanne Thorne isn’t capable to imitate a German accent and fails more than once in pronouncing “Reich” correctly, I seriously wonder what the hell they were thinking. I also thought, quite a few times, that the actors rather tried doing a Russian accent than a German one.

If you are an (Nazi) exploitation fan or interested in underground movie genres. If you are not afraid of bad acting and the atmosphere of a trashy B-Movie. If you understand the intension of a low-budget movie. If you like tits, women in uniforms, blood and torture, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is the perfect movie!

Amores Perros

Directed & produced by: Alejandro González Iñarritu

Starring: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo

Love is betrayal. Love is anguish. Love is sin. Love is selfishness. Love is hope. Love is pain. Love is death. What is love?

These are the first sentences on the cover of the Amores Perros DVD.

Amores Perros portrays the lifes and destinies of Octavio (Gael García Bernal), Daniel (Alvaro Guerrero) and El Chivo (Emilio Echevarría), whose futures will be tore off the rails by a tragic car accident in the middle of Mexico City.

There’s Octavio, a carefree youngster who lives in modest circumstances with his mother, his brother Ramiro and Susana, Ramiro’s girlfriend. The young couple share a troubled relationship with the worse matter that they have a baby. Poor as they are and with Susana still going to school, it’s Octavio who tries to convince Susana to leave Ramiro, as he is deeply in love with her and promises that he would be a good father and make good money to take care of both. All he wants is to leave town with Susana and start a new life. So he takes his dog Cofi, a rottweiler, to dog fights to get some cash to fulfill his dream.

Daniel is a successful businessman, married with 2 daughters. He’s cheating on his wife with supermodel Valeria who’s a superstar in Mexico and moves to her new flat with her little terrier Richie. Will Daniel find happiness in his new relationship with a new, younger woman? Or is this new kind of love just superficial, a consequence of Daniels midlife crisis and based on physical satiation?

And then there’s El Chivo, a homeless man who used to be a professor, but then decided to become a revolutionary and joins the guerillas. He lost touch with his family due to his new lifestyle, his daughter thinks he’s dead and his wife died recently. He is a part-time hitman who makes ends meet by killing people, always accompanied by his dogs. All he wants is to see his daughter and get in touch with her but he does not find the courage to do so because he’s ashamed of what he became.

3 protagonists who could not be any more different and even though they don’t know each other, their lives will drastically change after a tragic car accident involving 2 of them.

Amores Perros is a critical movie about love and all its circumstances; a suspicious and destructive piece of art. The protagonists trust their lifes to the people they love and will be disillusioned later on, although the dogs remain loyal to them; a nice analogy about love towards dogs and human beings.

It is most definitely not a movie for sensitive viewers and due to its playtime (148 minutes) not everyone’s cup of tea, as it has a lengthy narration with all its action happening in the last 30 minutes.

It’s the pessimistic point of view about love and the martyrdom that comes with it which makes this movie one of my all-time favourite flicks.

So, if you’ve been disappointed once in your life or if you are in a recent relationship you should check this movie to once again get aware that love is not only about happy times, rainbows and singing unicorns.
Conclusion: hard to digest but most definitely a must see.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

Released: September 2011

Developer: Konami

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, PS2, Nintendo 3DS, Nokia 3310

Tested: Xbox 360

It’s no big secret that I’m a big football fan. When it comes to my favourite team I even tend to become politically incorrect. And as a matter of fact I love playing football games.

Choosing the right football game is like choosing which party to vote when there’s a turd party and a clyster party. Long story short, between the FIFA and the PES franchise the only common denominator is that none of both are perfect football simulations; all having their pros and their cons.


I chose PES over FIFA because, to me, the game had a more realistic approach to my football knowledge hence the inferior graphics and mo-cap. This years release features Active AI, this means your teammates have a better understanding for the game you play and for example defenders that support the winger on the “corridors”.

I always thought of FIFA of being a closed, scripted experience with big flaws in ball physics and AI but then, it’s THE game that’s got almost every league licensed and a better support on bug fixing and so on. On the other hand PES has a better tactics editor which makes FIFA look like a football game for babies.

The best PES release how so ever will still be PES 6 on the PS2, as it was a fast paced simulation of kick and rush with the overall feeling for a “everything is possible here” mentality. But then came the current gen consoles and that’s when Konami screw it completely. The next releases became all known for being bloated bug-ware, not to mention the completely debilitated AI and the stiffness in the players movements.

When I grabbed the demo on my Xbox for this years release I was pleasantly surprised. The controls improved a lot, with the players being more flexible and more responsive and the biggest improvement I’ve noticed directly was that each player tried to get the ball no matter how far or close the ball was, something that had to be fixed after PES 2011 where players didn’t even intervene when the ball rolled a few millimeters past their feet. Yes, that game sucked that much indeed.

But after my initial euphoria for PES 2012 came the great disillusionment. Konami did not succeed in releasing another milestone in football simulations.

At first I thought my controller was fucked but then I noticed what was going on with the game. When you’re playing with the 1st controller on the XBox your selected player is not WILLING to run for more than 10 meters without stopping for a short period of time. This means, if you’re doing a quick counter your striker will not run towards the goal with lightspeed, but stop every now and then with no apparent reason to do so! Just google for “PES 2012 XBox Stutter bug”.

One can say that this is a bug that will be fixed directly but the game’s been out for over a week and nothing has been done yet to fix it.

What’s the point of a developer team having a section for sports games with PES being the MAIN franchise they are working on full time when obviously there’s no one there to test the game on all platforms before releasing it? If for example Polyphony Digital had released Gran Turismo 5 with a bug that forces your car to push the breakes every 5-10 seconds the users would go apeshit on the internet and Polyphony had their name ruined for a long time.

Not so for Konami. Ever since the PES franchise moved towards current gen consoles the games were doomed to fail because of the huge amount of bugs that affect the overall gameplay experience, with the stutter bug being the tip of the iceberg.


I could mention that PES 2012 features the Liga Portuguesa for the first time in its history, but when the only licensed teams are Porto, Benfica and Sporting; I really don’t think that this new feature is noteworthy.

For the non-existent German League you can choose between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen. Yeah…

And this is the next point that pisses me off! What’s the point in featuring a new league when 13 of 16 teams have fake names and logos? Why is there still no Bundesliga featured in PES? Considering the current financial situation in Portugal and the popularity and relevance of the portuguese league in the world of football I do ask myself if Konami did not have enough budget or arguments to license the portuguese league entirely. I’m pretty sure the portuguese federation asked millions and bazillions of euros for the license…

PES2012 had the potential to become a next PES6 for me, but demonstrated once again that Konami does not have enough knowledge and consistency to compete with EA Sports and their FIFA franchise.

I think that the US cover for PES 2012 resumes the skills from Konami. All hail Cristiano “Thalidomide” Ronaldo.

Conclusion: I can not say that I’m disappointed as that would be a compliment

The Giant Claw

Without the incredible James Rolfe from, I probably wouldn’t know this movie. In his great Top 10 Giant Movie Monsters video James puts Giant Claw on first place and leaves movies like King Kong, The Lost World, The Beast, Gamera and Godzilla behind. Even the Godfather of Stop-Motion: Ray Harryhausen was no match for it.

The Giant Claw is a Science Fiction film from 1957 and deals with a gigantic bird (17.000.000 years old) from an antimatter galaxy (!!) which comes to earth to nest and terrorizes mankind. Because of its power shield, the bird seems to be indestructible and invincible as it can’t be followed on radars. The monster can only be outflanked by a special type of isotope which manages to deactivate its shield and allows missiles to kill it.

If you think the story is already fucked up wait until you see the monster! The bird is really, and I mean really, poorly done. You immediately recognize a marionette puppet and sometimes you even see the wires. I can’t find any more words to describe it. Let me show you a picture and you know what I mean:

Directed by Fred Sears, this movie is not to be taken as an earnest monster flick. Even though special effects from Ray Harryhausen’s movie Earth vs. the Flying Saucers were used, King Kong, 24 years earlier, was scarier, more realistic and done better as The Giant Claw.

When it comes to Monster Movies I stick with 3 categories. The 1st one are movies which have everything. Great monsters, a realistic story and are nice to watch. Second are those like Giant Claw: cult trash Monster Movies at its finest. The third category are those movies which just try and/but fail.

Conclusion: Watch this movie, now!

Papa Wrestling

There were times in my childhood I wished I had a dad who would kick some bully’s ass, specially during the first year of high school when I was a fresher.

So here’s the story of little Bruno who’s lunch box got stolen by a group of heartless bullies during a break in school. The poor bleeder starts whining and the bullies drag him to the next toilet and he gets a free shampooing.

Bruno runs back home and tells his father, who wears a superhero costume, what happened at school. Daddy can’t stand that at all, decides to solve the problem his way, faces the bullies at school and has a serious conversation with them.


Papá Wrestling represents revenge in the goriest way possible. It’s the best example for the unbreakable bond between father and son with all the obstacles a man must overcome to protect his offspring from the evil outside world.


This short movie was written and produced by a group of portuguese students called Clones, featuring Fernando Alle, Luís Henriques and Pedro Florêncio, Nuria Leon Bernardo and Tiago Augusto.

You should check their Youtube channel and watch their other shorts, Banana Motherfucker and Blarghaaahrgarg too.

I consider their 3 movies a must-see but I still like Papá Wrestling the most, mainly because of its unmistakable hints on portuguese humor as for the scene with the kid wearing the red Nike cap.

Conclusion: Well done sir!

A big shout out and thank you to my twitter follower @PitWenkin without whom I would never have discovered this gem. Thanks mate!

Dirty Crows – Live at KuFa

Imagine a small bunch of youngsters being at a point in life where lots of things are changing. They are in their mid or end of their twenties, they’re about to start their own lives, maybe they already have started it a few years ago. Also, they all have played in several bands during the years, being grungy, being alternative, being post rock. Now imagine them founding a new band, what will it be? More Post Rock? Pop Rock? I mean, they’re about to grow up, and adults have to play adult music. They could have done some sort of midlife-crisis-let’s-all-go-to-bed-and-have-some-rest-at-10pm-pop-rock-band.

Thank satan, they didn’t! The name of the band is Dirty Crows and that already is the way to describe their musical credo. Listening to them means tasting sand in your mouth, dry, crunchy, dirty. They call it desert rock, in fact it is some sort in between dirty rock’n’roll and stoner rock. To be short: Lemmy would be proud of ’em. Lyrics? Damn, you’re sitting on a motorcycle hitting the road in direction of nowhere and you couldn’t feel any better. Anyone who doesn’t sometimes dream of it? Don’t lie!

Screw perfect rock. People started buying vinyls again because they wanted their favourite music to have that scratchy sound again. So whenever you feel like listening to something which is perfectly imperfect then really go and try to get a copy of their live demo recorded during their first concert in the KUFA/Esch-Alzette. The bass guitar sounds like an electric mower trying to cut a whole tree, the lyrics sometimes interrupt, the entries miss, just the way I like it! Someone has just killed his girlfriend with a Kalashnikov. While trying to get away with his mustang he has to drive through a god damn hurricane. Oh really? Why the hell? Doesn’t matter, the journey is the reward!

Looking forward to their first real album they’re going to record during the next months. And you should too. Be dirty. Life’s too short not to have some fun with simple music. As long as your hips move and your head nods it can’t be too wrong.

Super Meat Boy


Super Meat Boy

Published: October 2010

Developer: Team Meat

Platforms: PC (Steam), Xbox Live Arcade, Wii

There’s not much to say about Super Meat Boy that hasn’t been said before. Although it’s been out on the market for about a year I’ve been playing this game on Steam and on my Xbox lately and it never gets old.

This game is jump’n run madness in perfection and can be described as one of the most challenging platform games of its generation.

The game features Meat Boy, a cube-shaped piece of raw meat with no skin, who is deeply in love with his girlfriend Bandage Girl. They were living happily together until the villainous Dr. Fetus decided to kidnap Bandage Girl. Meat Boy decides to rescue his girl through 300 levels, avoiding all kinds of obstacles like traps, saw blades and crumbling blocks. After each level you get to see Bandage Girl, but evil Dr. Fetus escapes with her “to another castle”, like in Super Mario.

The gameplay is simply perfect.

First for its simplicity: 2 buttons for running and jumping

Second: For its perfection because the controls are fast and very responsive which is a crucial matter, given the perfect timing you need to avoid all the obstacles without dying a hundred times.

The levels are tricky and get harder from chapter to chapter, and you die thousands of times, which in another game would be incredibly frustrating, but not in Super Meat Boy.

Each level will take you 15-30 seconds to solve, and if you die, you reappear instantly at the beginning of the level, thanks to fast loading times. You will never lose patience for this game specially because each time you die you see the bloodmarks of Meat Boy on the floor and the replay of a solved level shows ALL your attempts. In other words, the replay shows you the whole bloodbath to glory.


I recommend this game to all the aficionados of a fun jump’n run platformer with a subtle gory subnote. It is an insane experience and worth it’s money, as for now it costs 14 Euros on Steam.

Conclusion: Awesomefuckingmazing!!!

All hail Super Meat Boy