Robert Wm. Gomez's

The Twisted Ones by Vin Packer (8/10)

The Twisted Ones was another 1950's pulp novel reprinted as an eBook by Prologue Books and available for free download. I rather liked this one. It tells the dark story of three disenfranchised youths' Memorial Day weekend. The three characters' are only tangentially linked via news reports and a quiz show, but the separate plots fit nicely together as their lives spiral out of control. I would have hoped that the stories would have intermingled a bit more deeply in the end.

Spare Parts by Servotron (9/10)


I think this was the last CD that Servotron put out. It is a collection of remixes and live versions of previously released songs. The remixes put a lot more emphasis on electronics and sound effects than the originals which would have been a welcome new direction for the band has they stayed together and recorded more new material. I will miss you my robot overlords. You were superior in every way.

Entertainment Program for Humans (Second Variety) by Servotron (10/10)


Where have all the good schtick bands gone? Servotron were an awesome concept and the music was equally great. Their second album maintains the Devo-esque sound of the first CD with maybe a little more emphasis on synthesis than on No Room for Humans. It's still a solid rock record but the bleeps and bloops get a little more room to shine. Some of the topics covered here: virtual pets controlling their "masters" and the chess dominance of Deep Blue.


These Are the Damned (8/10)

This was the final film in the super excellent The Icons of Suspense Collection: Hammer Films five-disc DVD set. Unlike the other movies in the set, this one isn't a straight up thriller. Without spoiling too much, let's just say this one takes an unlikely sci-fi turn at about the halfway point. Up until that moment it's a sordid tale of set of rebellious teddy boys and their torment of an American who has fallen for the gang leader's sister.

My Brain Hurts by Screeching Weasel (7/10)


This is one of the CDs that my wife owned before we got married. I think she bought it on the advice of my roommate who, along with me, my brother and a few other friends, went and saw Screeching Weasel play at Treno's in Urbana. I thought they were okay, my roommate obviously liked them more than me. I just remember we watched the show from the side of the stage—where the opening band had broken down their drum kit. While Screeching Weasel played my brother was stepping on a kick drum in time with the music. Ah, the stupid things you remember. Anyhow, this CD isn't that bad.

Don't Cry For Me by William Campbell Gault (8/10)

I recently discovered Prologue Books—a publisher devoted to re-releasing old pulp novels in ebook form. This is a company that understands ebooks. Every few weeks they offer a free book and everything else is priced just under four dollars. Don't Cry For Me is a pulp crime novel about a former collegiate football star who has since gone on to associate himself with bookies, crime bosses and the assorted low lifes of 1950's Los Angeles.

More Gone Gassers From The Untamed Youth by Untamed Youth, The (10/10)


One of my favorite records from the early nineties. This is a great mix of vocal numbers and surf instrumentals featuring Derek "Deke" Dickerson's great guitar stylings. And, although they are not at the forefront here, let's not forget Mace's great bass playing. Turn up that bass knob on your hi-fi and you will hear what I am talking about. Most of the songs on this LP were compiled on the Untamed Melodies CD with the exceptions of "Big 'T'," "Alright" and "Beach Party."

The Greatest Gift by Scratch Acid (9/10)


I discovered Scratch Acid after becoming a The Jesus Lizard worshiper. At the time I remember thinking, despite have 50% of the JL lineup, how different the two bands were. Now listening to this years later, yeah they are different, but they don't feel quite so distinct to me. Scratch Acid still falls a little short of the mark. Perhaps they are bit too noodle-y in the guitar department, Or maybe it's just the lack of focus in terms of style. Still, there are some great songs here. "Greatest Gift," "Crazy Dan," and "Albino Slug" are my favorites.

Romantic Fish Eating

The Italian thriller Death Walks on High Heels is not terribly noteworthy even within the tiny cinematic sub-genre of giallo. There is, however, one scene in the movie that does jump out like a breaching marlin. It is the only film that I know of that sexualizes the eating of a grilled fish dinner.

Death Walks on High Heels - The Fish Seller

Nothing foreshadows an evening of passionate romance like a cart of dead fish.

Death Walks on High Heels (7/10)

Although a bit lacking in terms of style, Death Walks on High Heels is another reasonably good giallo. The first part of the movie is filled with corny burlesque numbers and a cringe inducing romance that includes romantic, close-up grilled fish eating. Like a seafood Lucio Fulci. When the movie finally gets around to the business of murder it shifts gears and becomes a very standard detective story with lots of red herrings and the usual twists and turns.