Thursday, May 25, 2017

HERE COMES THE WRECKING CREW!



It is with a heavy heart that I announce today the passing of an unsung Cleveland heavy metal legend who has slipped away forever from those who knew and loved him. Don't worry, I understand that you don't recognize the man pictured here. His chosen place was offstage and out of the spotlight of so-called social media. What you need to know is that since 1979 brother "Squeaky" was the first member of the original Black Death inner circle, known collectively as The Wrecking Crew and celebrated as such on the 1984 Black Death 7" single. His name can be spotted on the back cover credits of the debut Auburn Records LP. Squeaky was a formidable guitar player himself and the man responsible for introducing Siki Spacek to Jimi Hendrix and Judas Priest, along with countless more obscure but no less influential bands and musicians, long before Black Death was conceived. In fact, it was Squeaky who first introduced Siki Spacek to guitarist Greg Hicks and drummer Phil Bullard on the exact same fateful day that Siki was expelled from high school in 1977. His introduction directly resulted in the forming of the band and the legacy of great American heavy metal that is carried on today by Black Death Resurrected​ and celebrated by so many TRUE headbangers around the world! Squeaky was known to avoid any personal attention, yet it was his friendship and support that encouraged Siki to overcome his early stage fright to become the incredible performer that he is to this day (if you have any doubt, join us at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on June 16, 2017 for Defenders Of The Old festival and see for yourself). Now take another look at the unassuming dude smoking a cigarette on his porch above and go TURN YOUR MUSIC UP LOUD in memory of Squeaky! The "Four Dark Horsemen," as Siki lovingly refers to the classic Black Death lineup, have lost one of their own. Squeaky will not be forgotten. R.I.P. 

HERE COMES THE WRECKING CREW! 

 UNTIL WE ROCK!!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HOLY BLOOD!



My birthday is coming up and I've decided to make an old private tradition very public. Join me for this one-night-only screening of what I very earnestly believe to be one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of the late 20th century, Alejandro Jodorowsky's absolutely devastating masterpiece of psychological terror and heart-rending beauty, SANTA SANGRE (1989)! 

Loosely based on the presumably true story of a convicted Mexican serial killer who is released from a mental hospital only to become entangled in the familial roots of his madness, acclaimed Chilean-Russian-French auteur Jodorowsky tosses every sacred cow and Freudian symbol into the meat grinder as he propels his audience on a violent mythological journey into the very darkest night of the soul. At turns hilarious, horrifying and utterly perplexing, SANTE SANGRE is ultimately more linear than his more infamous films EL TOPO (1970) and HOLY MOUNTAIN (1973), but is all the more impactful for its serrated clarity of vision. Filmed entirely on location in Mexico City (employing dozens of real prostitutes, circus freaks and riot police), and produced/co-written by Claudio Argento (SUSPIRIA, DEEP RED, DAWN OF THE DEAD, etc.), SANTA SANGRE is a master filmmaker's love poem to the rich history of horror cinema even as it spirals toward the most outer fringes of genre. 

The newly restored digital transfer of the original uncut negative that we will be screening will be nothing less than a rite of passage for your eyeballs (and ears!) on the massive Hollywood Theatre screen. You have been warned. Tickets available NOW. Bring your mom.

Thursday June 1, 2017
7:30pm

Monday, May 01, 2017

VIEWS FROM THE DEVIL TREE



That's screenwriter Randall Jahnson (The Mask of Zorro, Dudes, The Doors) receiving a tarot reading from our guest witches in the lobby before the film.







Thank you to all who joined us this year for a very special Walpurgisnacht at Hollywood Theatre! We stirred the cauldron and chaos reigned, so we apologize for the slightly wonky start time on this event. However, we trust that the absolutely beautiful 35mm print of Eyes of Fire more than made up for any confusion tossed in our collective paths. Special thanks to our witches, Odessa Godoy, Erin Aquarian and Ann Heideman. As always, thanks to everyone at the Hollywood Theatre, especially the staff who very eloquently fielded complaints from offended Christians. You can't please all the people all the time...and that is certainly never my personal goal. That said, 100 of you received a handmade traditional corn husk doll courtesy of Wyrd War, and all of you now receive my deepest gratitude for your ongoing support. May Day is a time to seize the full transformative potential of your being. Take the fire inside you! Witches are real. Witchcraft is alive. From the field to the film...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

R E D R U M

Plays with Danny Torrance once.

I am delighted to announce that I have been summoned to DJ The Overlook Film Festival afterparty on Friday April 28th at the breathtaking Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. This is the first ever fully interactive genre film festival to take place at the beautiful outdoor location of Stanley Kubrick's supernatural masterpiece The Shining, and you can bet I will deliver a black magic horror ritual of vintage vinyl madness to shake asses and bang heads. The days of boring film festivals have been...corrected. Hail Horror Hail.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

GROSS ANATOMY (20)


Since I launched Wyrd War three years ago I haven't had much time to draw, and that's been just fine with me because crawling out of the basement has allowed me the freedom to expand my reach into incredible cinematic events, concerts that have raised the bar for what can be expected of live music and the accomplishment of myriad projects that have been swirling around in my brain for many years. Nonetheless, when my good friend Chris Reifert calls to inform me that Autopsy needs a shirt design to commemorate their 30th anniversary, I can be coerced back into the dungeon. Time to call in sick, get scribbling and post a new installment of Gross Anatomy! This little disaster was torn from the womb in one night and shipped to Scotland quicker than you can sing My Corpse Shall Rise Again. Don't believe me? Take a look...



"In the cemetery now you have arrived / To finally see my flesh from which you stole the life / Though you never were discovered, you're still free / I've got a curse on you, I've haunted all your dreams..."



"You can't believe I'm gone / You must be sure, it must be real / Panic stricken, to the grave / The truth must be revealed..."



"With shaking hands and sickening thoughts / You find my resting place / With pounding heart and bloodshot eyes / The shovel desecrates / The time has come to face reality / And visit death / To see my corpse and stop the dreams..."


"At your feet, uncovered is the box / You're almost paralyzed with fear / Feel the bile creep up your throat / Lift the lid and know I'm here / I lie here rotting / Maggots burrowing / Feeding, swarming / You can't hold back the nausea / Help won't find you..."


"Stomach twisting, violent retching, defiled by vomit / Now my vengeful corpse begins to rise / I've been waiting here for you / Now it's time to see you die!!!!"


With my part of the conjuration now complete, Chris Reifert set his sights on designing the back of the shirt. I am proud to say, my latest Wyrd War release, Until We Rock: The Early Recordings of Black Death, was the inspired soundtrack for the night! 



Next, the artwork is delivered to Adam Rooster Grim over at Nightgaunt Graphics, who laid it down in white without an underbase to give it the soft greyish hue of a moldering grave! And within mere hours...

Live pics courtesy of Ron Falcon.


Autopsy destroys Glasgow, Scotland at Lords of the Land festival, where the shirt is introduced to the world on Saturday April 1, 2017.


For me, the most rewarding moment of this whirlwind project is receiving this text message from the merch table in Scotland, and knowing that the rabid kilt-wearing Autopsy fans are duly pleased! Next up: Maryland Death Fest (Baltimore), Hellfest (France) and Party San (Germany). Grab one if you can because this is a limited edition design for this year's gigs only, and very soon it slithers back into its festering tomb forever...

This is AUTOPSY! They play DEATH METAL!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

R.I.P. BERNIE WRIGHTSON

Bernie Wrightson 
(October 27, 1948 - March 19, 2017) 

I am fucking gutted today by the loss of Bernie Wrightson, one of the greatest horror illustrators the world will ever know. I only met him once very briefly back in 2007 when he received a lifetime achievement award at Portland's annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and, like the class act that he was, he used his five minutes of stage time to condemn what he considered "the real horror in the world": war. He was a gentle, kind, soft-spoken and ferociously talented and devoted artist. He will forever be missed. R.I.P.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

WYRD WAR PRESENTS: EYES OF FIRE



April 30th is Walpurgisnacht - the portentous “Witches’ Night” of European folklore, when it is believed that nightside currents surge with sinister purpose - and Wyrd War summons YOU to Portland's historic Hollywood Theatre on Sunday April 30, 2017 for our second annual Walpurgis Night cinema celebration! 

Join us for a rare 35mm screening of Eyes of Fire (1983), one of the most beautiful, bewitching and psychedelic historical period horror films of the 80s that you’ve never seen! Long before The Witch (2015) rattled audiences with lurid satanic panic, obscure auteur Avery Crounse delivered his own transcendent meditation on blasphemy, witchcraft and place as active agent set in the uncertain American frontier of 1750. A fine art photographer by training, Crounse only directed three films before unceremoniously exiting the industry, and his only foray into the horror genre is an unexpected compositional wonder, meticulously attentive to detail and boldly meandering down its own path to perdition. Sadly, his masterwork was also destined for inglorious VHS purgatory, and still has not received an official domestic digital release. Eyes of Fire tells the tale of a dubious preacher who narrowly escapes execution for adultery, and ventures forth into terra incognita with a small band of loyal colonists, including an insane and psychically attuned young woman. Pursued downstream by Shawnee tribesmen, the exiles make their stand in a primeval wooded valley rife with dire omens and chthonic forces. By the third reel, all hell breaks loose...80s style! This absolutely must be experienced on the big screen to be believed. Do not miss this one-night-only screening on rare 35mm! You won’t guess the ending. I promise. Tickets on sale HERE.

April 30, 2017
7:30pm
Hollywood Theatre
Portland, Oregon

WE POKED AT IT WITH A STICK!


Here I am being strangled by Danny Roebuck while wearing his original jacket from the film. And a vintage Iron Maiden Purgatory shirt just like Samson wears in the flick, naturally.

The beautiful and historic Hollywood Theatre.
Total support!




"You're dead, dude. Here have a beer."
Photo by Greg Hamilton.

Photo by Greg Hamilton


Photo by Tammy Roebuck.

Samson lives!

Our partner in crime for this event, Greg Hamilton wearing "the jacket" from River's Edge!

TFW you bein' directed by Danny Roebuck and screenwriter Randall Jahnson. 

TFW you bein' killed by Randall Jahnson and Danny Roebuck.

TFW you pretend you sippin' Ouzo and Jack in Greece with screenwriter Randall Jahnson and Daniel Roebuck​. Opa!


Killer night, eh Portland? My deepest gratitude to the more than 300 people who filled Hollywood Theatre last night to give actor Daniel Roebuck a proper Portland welcome. Special thanks to Greg Hamilton, Doug Whyte, Dan Halsted, Jamie Victorino, Connor Kirkwood, Matt Cunningham, Erin Eave, Virginia Durost, Alison Hallett, Kristy Conrad, and EVERYONE at the Hollywood Theatre whose names I don't know or can't remember at the moment. It was a truly special night, and your support means the world to me. Very special thanks to our new friends Daniel Roebuck and Tammy Roebuck for delivering the goods. "You do shit and then you die."

Friday, March 03, 2017

UNTIL WE ROCK!



I am very proud to be delivering this amazing relic of heavy metal history to the world! Black Death is widely considered to be the first heavy metal band to feature all black musicians, and this digipack CD collects all of their earliest surviving material from 1983 (before their one and only release on Auburn Records in 1984)! I enlisted the genius of audio engineer Timothy Stollenwerk to digitally restore and remaster this material to sound as amazing as analog demo and live recordings from 1983 can possibly sound. In other words, expect raw unexpurgated noise! Headbangers are in for a real treat! Order NOW!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

SMASH YOUR SKULLS WITH POWER!!!!



I'm announcing this one way in advance, because that's how excited I am! Wyrd War proudly delivers legendary Rust Belt warlords DESTRUCTOR to Mississippi Studios for their first ever west coast appearance on Friday July 7, 2017! This ain't no tour, this is a mission of death!!!!

Formed in Euclid, Ohio in 1983, DESTRUCTOR’s enduring legacy is forged in tragedy and triumph worthy of their epic battle hymns. Following the 1985 release of their debut underground masterpiece Maximum Destruction, on the equally legendary Auburn Records label, the band was poised on the brink of major label success. In 1987 they recorded their second and third demos, Decibel Casualties and Power Aggression, in preparation for their sophomore release, when founding bass player David “Holocaust” Iannicca was stabbed in the heart by a stranger at a New Year’s Eve party, dying where he fell outside of the band’s rehearsal space. The unthinkable loss of their brother precipitated the band’s unraveling, and both DESTRUCTOR and Auburn Records went into hiatus in the terrible aftermath. A few years later they returned with one final demo before unceremoniously disappearing into the fog of obscurity…until an entirely unexpected return to form in 2007 with a Nunslaughter split, an EP and their second full-length, Forever in Leather. International festival appearances soon followed, heralding the true rebirth of pounding evil! In 2016 they released their third full-length Back in Bondage (a nod to their Maximum Destruction roots and sleazy classics such as ‘Bondage’ and ‘Wet Hot Leather’). Join us for this exclusive Pacific Northwest appearance as we smash our skulls with power in memory of Dave Holocaust and the unbending might of American-made steel!!!! 

ANTICHRIST: The Swedish militia of death known as ANTICHRIST sets sail from their hometown of Växjö in longships crafted from the bones of their enemies to decimate Portland for the very first time! Formed in 2007, ANTICHRIST released two underground demo tapes, Crushing Metal (2009) and Put to Death (2010), before unleashing their widely celebrated debut full-length Forbidden World in 2011. Anton Sunesson (vocals), Gabriel Forslund (guitars), Filip Runesson (guitars), Gobbe Hennigsson (bass) and Sven Nilsson (drums) return from the terror dimension in 2017 with their first full North American tour, and a sophomore full-length recording titled Sinful Birth on Electric Assault Records. Hailing the old ways with unexpected influences and unhinged energy, ANTICHRIST has come to kill...’til there’s nothing left to kill! It’s time to raise the flag of violent thrashing metal victory!!!! 

DANAVA: There are many paths to the jeweled gates of liberation: possession, ecstasy, sacrilege, heresy. Paradox subjugates ego in the transcendent thrust toward the eternally expansive. The star studded spacecraft known as DANAVA, dispatched as it was from America's rainy northwest coast, emerged on the midnight horizon with an obscure 4 song masterpiece as a shining symbol of freedom in sound. Critics have done their best to identify this flying object with all manner of convenient but ultimately meaningless qualifiers and all have missed the mark. This is not "stoner rock," even if the pilots are probably stoned. This is not "progressive rock," for the boundless soul thwarts gentrification. This is not "space rock," although their heads are full of meteor dust their boots still waltz in the gutters of Whitechapel sin. This is not "retro rock," because tomorrow calls even as the third eye glances in reverse to hail electric ancestry. Armed to the teeth with Orgone amplification and mesmeric Luciferian aether, the technicolor demon people have risen from primordial depths to dispel all curses and sever all bonds. 

DJ DENNIS DREAD: Dread is an internationally renown artist (cough, cough), beer drinker and hellraiser (true!) who has provided album cover artwork for Dead Moon, Darkthrone, Autopsy and Bobby BeauSoleil among many others. He has exhibited his intricately detailed ballpoint drawings across the U.S. and in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Sweden without the aid of methamphetamine. As "war chief" of Wyrd War Records, together with his darling companion Meadow “Mother Wolf,” Dread co-facilitates vinyl releases and guerrilla action events keenly focused on the advancement and celebration of strange and beautiful music, film and art. On July 7th he returns to the wheels of steel to bang that head that doesn't bang. Don't be a fuckin' idiot, buy your tickets NOW!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

NEITHER THE SUN NOR DEATH CAN BE LOOKED AT STEADILY


The 40th Portland International Film Festival kicks off this week, and my friend Nick Bruno has curated an inspired program of independent films for his sidebar series PIFF After Dark. As the title cleverly implies, these are films that might best be described as "post-horror," with moody existential themes and artsy fartsy angst presiding (cue the digital filter that makes everything look like an overcast car commercial). The title also refers to the fact that these films don't get started until 10:30pm, which is an ideal time to poke yourself in the third eye while drinking beer in the dark. The razor blade party really gets started with a ghastly shudder on night two, Saturday February 11th, with Emiliano Rocha Minter's depraved and beautiful Tenemos La Carne, a.k.a. We Are The Flesh (2016), a post-apocalyptic atrocity exhibition of incest, necrophilia and cannibalism that is loosely strung together with sparse haiku-like subtitles. Something of an inverted parable of the Garden of Eden, this Mexican mindfuck features full penetration and a POV fellatio scene worthy of Jodorowsky that caused my penis to retract into my gut. For the less savage of heart, Without Name (2016) is a milder eldtritch fairytale set in a primeval Irish forest where the trees are decidedly not what they seem. Director Lorcan Finnegan's brooding mystery unfolds as if someone replaced the third reel of Hour of the Wolf with The Secret Life of Plants (sans Stevie Wonder), and exemplifies the sort of genre-bending experimentation that makes this entire series so fun. There hasn't been a better reason to wallow in the splendor of the Bagdad Theater in a long time. Buy your tickets and blow your mind!      

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"You do shit and then you die."



I almost gnawed my tongue off trying to keep this one a secret. Thankfully, I can now announce that Mr. Daniel "Samson" Roebuck will be our very special guest for our 30th anniversary screening of River's Edge (1986) on March 10 at Hollywood Theatre! Yep, he of Dudes (1987), Phantasm V (2016), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), The Devil's Rejects (2005), The Man in the High Castle (2015-2017), Lost (2005-2010) and about a million other flicks and TV shows. And Cavegirl (1985). Immediately following the screening, Mr. Roebuck will blow our minds with a slideshow Q&A featuring rare behind the scenes photos from his personal contact sheets from the 1987 shoot. Get your tickets NOW!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

ALL THE KING'S MEN



Happy Birthday to Roger Tofte, visionary creator of the family built, family owned and family operated Enchanted Forest, who celebrates 87 years today!