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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/27/2023 in all areas

  1. I'm just picturing Victoria setting aside like half her day to film her new entrance. She meets the director and he says "Okay act mean for a minute", "Okay, growl at me once while raising your hand", "Okay pretend like you're looking at a crystal ball." "Alright, I think we got it." And she got like 5 hours of her day back. God, she rules.
    9 points
  2. We paid off our mortgage this week, a little bit more than 6 years ahead of the original schedule. One less thing to worry about.
    8 points
  3. Mary Jane suddenly became 100 times more attractive to me Shit - I said the quiet part out loud
    7 points
  4. "The formula tells me that non-finishers never end matches, therefore I will not go for covers unless I hit my finisher"
    7 points
  5. This topic inspired me by the late, great Dean's Road Reports and my great friend, NikoBaltimore today. As you know I have Cerebral Palsy which affects everything I do and I get tired four times quicker doing the same thing as someone without. I get stiff quick sitting, standing and travelling so it limits things. My first live wrestling show was in April 2015. Originally it was a Monday and it wasn't a RAW taping so I thought I'd get a shitty lineup. The card was moved to a rare matinee. I kept checking the names listed and Daniel Bryan was there so I hoped the dreaded card subject to change didn't come into effect. To see the GOAT in Daniel Bryan at my first ever live wrestling show meant the world with how much I love him, two days later he was pulled off the tour. The roster then had to go to another show which John Cena and Rusev was on. Shame both weren't there. Bray Wyatt's entrance were an experience as head of the Wyatt Family in April 2015 and as The Fiend in November 2019. Seth Rollins the WWE World Heavyweight Champion was booked for November 2015 but badly did his knee in a few dates before required surgery vacating the belt so we got Ric Flair and Kevin Owens. Cool getting one of the GOATs in Ric Flair. I kept wanting to see Luke Harper but he also injured his knee before the April 2016 house show I went to. Never did regrettably. I got to see Chris Jericho's last UK match in November 2016 for seven years till AEW All In 2023. At the fourth time of asking I finally got to see my favourite women's wrestler ever Sasha Banks in November 2016. At the same show I completed my NXT Four Horsewomen bingo card with Becky Lynch. Missed out on seeing Daniel Bryan in November 2019 as it was the RAW roster and not Smackdown. The last house show I attended was November 2021 was awesome, Smackdown and we had a dream match in WALTER vs. Cesaro. Totally delivered. Other shows were supposed to but it was turned into tag matches involving Sheamus, Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre. WALTER rarely did house shows then, ditto Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa. People who had RAW tickets were rightly pissed. Thanks for reading xxx.
    5 points
  6. I think Ethan Page could grow the moustache and play an equally delusional Errol Flynn type. What would be great eventually is to have her husband suddenly appear in full deranged muppet character.
    5 points
  7. God, I'm sorry. Nobody should have to go through that. Are you okay? Do you need someone to talk to?
    4 points
  8. 4 points
  9. You just made Matt D's head explode
    4 points
  10. To be fair, I heard that song like 900 times per month back then and that's NOT including WWE using it. WWE probably figured we may as well overplay this shit too.
    4 points
  11. Once Ari removes Vince completely, he can be Errol Flynn.
    4 points
  12. Or the heel could go in the other direction and just go for endless pin attempts after each move, while shouting that analytics tells him that forcing his opponent to kick out reduces their stamina by .75% each time.
    4 points
  13. The hottest topic on (some parts of) the Internet tonight is 1989. So let's go to.. WWF Prime Time Wrestling (10/30/1989) It's a very special Halloween edition of Prime Time with Gorilla Monsoon dressed as Brother Love (calling himself "Brother Hate") and Bobby Heenan dressed as The Genius. Roddy Piper has yet to appear on camera. Match 1: Greg Valentine vs The Red Rooster. Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred on commentary. Terry Taylor's face run with this name/gimmick was far worse than his heel run with this name/gimmick. Greg Valentine is the right opponent if you want Terry to so some stupid looking strutting. Just remembered that Valentine and Taylor would hold the WCW US Tag Team titles in 1992. At least Greg Valentine's still hitting hard so that's nice. Rooster is on a Survivor Series team with Dusty Rhodes, which is funny if you remember the story of Terry Taylor accidentally burying himself in front of Dusty on the Crockett plane. Greg Valentine threatens his shinguard-aided leglock, so Ronnie Garvin runs out to attack Greg Valentine for a DQ. Gee, I wonder why Ronnie Garvin isn't on a Survivor Series team with Dusty. That's a tough one. More Gorilla riffing on Brother Love in-between matches. From the pages of the World Wrestling Federation Magazine: Hulk Hogan defeated Ted DiBiase recently on Saturday Night's Main Event, then Zeus showed up. Zeus wrenches Hogan's neck. Dibiase puts the Million Dollar Dream on Hogan. Jake Roberts runs out to make the save. Zeus walks away instead of trying to fight a snake. Survivor Series Showdown on November 12th on USA Network! Ultimate Warrior vs Tully Blanchard! Smash vs The Million Dollar Man! Bushwhacker Butch vs Mr. Perfect! Main events in any arena. Meanwhile in Studio B: Roddy Piper is trying to be Bobby Heenan. It looks like Roddy's accidentally riffing on Andy Warhol. Match 2: Tito Santana vs Bob Emory. Got a JCP/WCW enhancement guy appearance on WWF TV. Tito Santana wins with the flying forearm in a few minutes. Schiavone calls it the Mexican Hammer, which, nobody else seriously called it that. Right? Back to Roddy Piper trying to imitate Bobby Heenan. Not sure who the hell their wig person was at this time. Why is Roddy wearing a Ken Patera wig. Match 3: Haku and Andre the Giant vs Mike Williams and Chuck Casey. Vince calling the sign a "poster" makes it sound more prestigious. Arn and Tully join Haku and Andre at ringside. Haku hitting 3 consecutive backbreakers looks impressive. Awesome Haku dropkick. Jesse gets a joke in that we won't be able to listen to The Who because Rock would be dead if Andre squashed The Rockers. Andre tags in and holds Casey for a Haku kick. Andre's elbowdrop is so bad during his later years and he gets the win with that move. Hogan team promo for the Survivor series. "Multi-million Dollar Man" is to Hogan as "Doogan" is to Bill Watts. Jake Roberts standing next to Hulk Hogan is a reminder if you forgot that Jake is tall. Bobby threatens to call Brother Love and tell him what Gorilla's doing. Match 4: Dusty Rhodes vs Joe Cruz. Dusty wins in a few minutes with an elbowdrop. More WCW enhancement guys. Meanwhile Roddy Piper talks about how he stole Bobby Heenan's red jacket a few weeks ago. Sean Mooney reviews the Survivor Series card. Oh yeah, Barry Windham was still around the WWF at this time (he wouldn't make it to Survivor Series). We get some words from Dusty's team. Gorilla has some info if you have a dish or descrambler and you wanna see the Survivor Series. Roddy doesn't get Rick Martel's new attitude. Match 5: Rick Martel vs Mark Young. For some reason Rick Martel scrapped the dancing once he stopped coming out with Slick to "Jive Soul Bro". Mark Young getting some offense in so that this match has a commercial break in the middle. Gorilla namedropping Jamie Farr while mentioning the action is from Toledo. Mark Young with some real Los Gringos Locos level of American Flag tights. Mark Young also got some WCW matches in 1989 (under another name) and he's Chief Jay Strongbow's son. I guess Martel didn't have a manager as a heel after Slick because none of the heel managers really fit Martel or whatever. Martel wins with the Boston Crab. Let's go to another edition of Brother Love. He will be Roddy Piper and his team on with him tonight. Piper, Snuka and the Bushwhackers sure is a foursome. Pretty sure these four all spent quite some time in Portland (and Piper had a Portland feud with the Sheepherders). Brother Love has barged onto Studio B and he is mad at Gorilla. He's also accidentally in the same studio with Roddy Piper. Roddy casually knocks out Brother Love with a backfist. Happy Halloween! Match 6: The Bolsheviks vs Trent Knight and Reno Riggins. Boris gets the mic to sing the Soviet Anthem. Must be a B town if they can't get Nikolai to sing on the mic. Trent Knight! Who brought every NWA/WCW job guy to the WWF in 1989, JJ or Tony? Boris looks a lot more 'developed' in 1989 WWF than he looked in 1983 World Class. Reno Riggins had some WCW matches but worked more WWF. I don't think that Nikolai actually hit the backbreaker on his press into a backbreaker finish but he gets the pin with it. Bobby is back and he tells Gorilla that Brother Love is on the way. Roddy puts a Halloween mask on the unconscious Brother Love. Mr. Perfect is perfect at Ping Pong. This might seem weird, but MJF looks kinda similar to Curt Hennig facially (not hair-wise). I think Hennig is wearing Zubaz or just stripy pants. Match 7: Jake Roberts vs Tony Burton. Not a JCP jobguy. The inset promos during matches might need to make a comeback one day. Jake wins with the DDT. There's a snake drop postmatch too. Brother Love is awake and he is freaking out. And our feature match is: Hercules vs Dino Bravo. Finally a matchup to settle which brand of steroids is the best. So much Wrestling Challenge on this week's edition of Prime Time. Roddy Piper's Heenan wig might actually be a Dino Bravo wig now that I see 1989 Dino Bravo. This Dino Bravo/Hercules match is from MSG for the record. When it comes to the topic of Rick Martel and managers, I think Rick Martel and Jimmy Hart could have been an interesting combo. Certainly more interesting than Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart. For whatever reason, Rick Martel and Dino Bravo almost never ended up in the same match in the WWF (aside from 2 matches in Canada and several battle royals). But I don't think they had any heat that anybody mentioned. Meanwhile, Dino Bravo has Hercules in a bearhug. Kinda remarkable how Hercules turned face and kinda took Billy Jack Haynes role as a babyface for a year or so considering Herc feuded with Billy Jack. You'd think someone would figure out how to do a bearhug that doesn't leave them wide open for a bellringer to the ears. Herc puts Dino Bravo in the torture rack but then drops him and tries for a pin because.. sure? Holy hell, Hercules could get enough air for a sunset flip in 1989? Bravo counters that sunset flip into a sitdown and gets the pin with his hands on the ropes. Hercules reacts to putting Dino Bravo in the full nelson as Dino celebrated. Our hero! Jimmy Hart gets some action and then flees before Hercules could touch him. November 12th, Survivor Series Showdown! Hercules vs Macho King! Tito Santana vs Big Boss Man! The 3 matches announced earlier. Gorilla declaring "So Long Tully" in regards to him facing the Warrior which is interesting timing. The scary thing about Gorilla's Brother Love outfit... that's not makeup on his face. (joke stolen from the Simpsons). Meanwhile in Studio B. Roddy Piper is calling Bobby Heenan a weasel. Roddy Piper also has some rules for the children for Halloween. Roddy doesn't want the kids to get hit by cars or go in strangers houses or eat candy before going home. Thanks Roddy! This might not be the 1989 that everybody is talking about tonight.
    4 points
  14. Now I REALLY want Matt to review Ospreay vs. Speedball. DEAN would have loved that match, btw. He'd have called it postmodern masterpiece.
    3 points
  15. You say that as if 75% of this board isn't married to that.
    3 points
  16. This is by far the best MCU TV series they've made and it's not even close. Both season 1 and 2 so far. I think you could probably credit Hiddleston for a lot of that, but literally everyone is bringing their A game and story wise, it is constantly dropping bombs like the end of Infinity War. I cannot wait until next Thursday night.
    3 points
  17. Spoiled by living in WWE's home market, but: - Austin-Bret, Survivor Series 96 (Honorable Mention HBK-Sid on the same card) - HHH-HBK-[Name Redacted] at Mania XX. - Bayley-Sasha at Takeover Brooklyn - Cactus-HHH at Rumble 2000 Those are the best matches. The best live experience was the story I've told a few times here. Summer 1993, I got to see WWF live at the James L. Knight Center. Had decent seats as there couldn't have been more than a thousand people there. It was headlined by Yokozuna vs. Crush for the WWF Title. Quick Googling said they were running this to build up Yoko(!) to face off against Luger at SummerSlam, where Lex was the heavy favorite (lol). Anyway, the match ends as it normally did. Crush getting beat after a Banzai Drop. But the crowd had been restless throughout a pretty lackluster show, and essentially turning on the whole face/heel dynamic. This was one of the first times, I'd head a crowd vocally cheering for the heel. Yoko did his post match victory gimmick where he hit the Drop again on the face to make him seem more scary. So he did and I guess he was bored too because the crowd face popped BIG for the second drop. And he started actually talking back, breaking character because Yoko did not speak a word back then. The crowd was cheering "ONE MORE TIME... ONE MORE TIME..." Yoko: "Yeah?? You motherfuckers want one more???" Us: "YEAH!!! ONE MORE TIME!" Yoko: "Fuck yeah. Let's do it." Crush (who'd been selling) sees Yoko going up and says "Rod, what are you doing?" Yoko: "These fuckers want one more, so we're doing one more!" Crush: "ugh...fine." BANZAI!!!! I'd been a fan for years long before (see my Mania thread for the "Slick looks like a cricket!" moment to see when I became a fan for life). But this was the first moment I ever got to see behind the curtain and see the characters become the performers. Brian rolled out of the ring and got out of dodge quickly after that third drop. Rod stayed around and shot the shit for a couple of minutes with us. That was the best moment I've ever had as a fan.
    3 points
  18. That was a plus in Loki season 1 too. You didn't know what the overall show would even look like until it was over.
    3 points
  19. I want to remind everyone that he went to Central Michigan University. Antonio Brown was as good as any wide receiver ever. That caliber of player does not end up at Central Michigan on accident. He was crazy long before the NFL. He might have picked up some CTE along the way, but the outlier for his entire life are the sane years.
    3 points
  20. That guy's always had heat with me because my dyslexic brain first processed his name as "Beef Stew" Lou Macaroni, and I thought "that's great, go for the double food pun", then I realized it was "Marconi", not "Macaroni", and I've held a seething grudge for like 28 years. Damn you, "Beef Stew".
    3 points
  21. Shit, now I want them to pair up one of the youngsters with Flair to do a "My Favorite Year" angle.
    3 points
  22. 4/20/91: Dynamite Kid/Johnny Smith vs Furnas/Kroffat: Just four minutes of this but I'm not used to seeing these guys with this level of VQ. Dynamite has slightly longer hair than usual and was moving around ok in there, though Johnny was taking the bumps, of course. Kroffat's beat on to start but eventually gets a fairly hot tag to Furnas who pretty much wrecks Smith. Smith gets to survive the power slam and belly to belly but falls to the frankensteiner. Not a lot to see here but the overall match was probably pretty good. And that brings to the end of this part of the journey. I'm on to 87 NJPW next. UWF guys in NJPW year 2. The return of Choshu. By the end of the year, the debut of Vader. Who knows what else? I suppose I should some some things up. Super Generation Army vs Tsuruta-gun: Hierarchy is the name of the game. They ran so many of these but they were all interesting and enjoyable for the combination of mathematical hierarchy and the sliding, shifting scale. In a lot of ways, despite the heart and fury and fighting spirit, it was mathematical. If you have Kikuchi against Fuchi, there's a ratio of offense Kikuchi could get relative to Kikuchi vs Taue or Inoue or Jumbo or Kobashi vs any of these guys. That, to me, feels different than Revolution matches of 89-90 which were a little more about the numbers game and coming back from a deficit. This was more about hierarchical cycling until you got to a point where the math would allow a comeback. That means you get a very different match if Inoue's in there instead of Fuchi or Kikuchi instead of Kobashi. But like I said, the math shifts. Taue in mid 90 is different than Taue in mid-90. Increasingly, guys like Kawada and Kobashi are able to legitimately chip away at Jumbo more. Fuchi and Inoue are more of a threat to 1990 Misawa than 1991 Misawa. And then there are wedge points, whether it Tsuruta-gun taking out a leg on a table on the outside or Misawa's elbow or Kawada's kick redamaging Jumbo's ear. You can see them experimenting with new spots and segments (the combo Jumbo/Taue tandem moves, Kawada's slam on the floor, the aforementioned table/rail/chair knee destroyer) in TV and HH matches which all builds to the 4/20 match where they put the pieces together. The Pillars: I think I last did this at the end of December 90. In short, they all advance. Taue finally figures out how to work big. HE was getting there in the back half of 90 at times but it's pushing up against Kawada that really opens things up for him. Hansen or Tenryu leaned down upon him trying to encourage him to push back up but Kawada was a stinging hornet forcing him to lash out. I wouldn't say that Kawada himself has a lot of particular growth. I'm not saying he was already the package he'd become by 90 but he may plateau, with the situation around him being the main thing to change. Kobashi is endlessly experimental. He picks up a bunch of new moves and, because he's positioned as more important and higher on the card, for him to fire back like he does is a little less absurd. And Misawa grows increasingly into his Ace role to the point where I would have fully believed him beating Jumbo on 4/18, even though the end result felt right and satisfying and appropriate. The trajectories were clear. I still kind of like Kikuchi best though. The Foreigners: The story of the back half of 90 was the hosses. Absolutely. Even to the secondary goofs you got in the RWTL like Land of Giants. By April 91, you start to feel the tide turning a little bit maybe. MVC may have lost the titles to Hansen/Spivey but Hansen/Spivey seemed somehow more beatable than Doc and Gordy. I could see a local team beating them more easily, basically. Jumbo won the title once more. Jumbo won the carnival. The main events started to shift from having Hansen or Doc or Gordy in them more to others. If they were a bridge, we were heading towards the other side of it. Kroffat and Furnas were settling in to be more than all-spots guys; a hint of Kroffat's character was starting to shine through. Cactus Jack was a disappointment. Foley would bump huge but not come off like a threat and his best stuff was dumb comedy. He was starting to figure out how to put it together by the end of the tour maybe. Ace was figuring out how to assert himself, balancing his positioning as more of an All-Asia tag spot guy with his relative size. Slinger was tiny in comparison but also a useful third man to square off with Ogawa (who I didn't mention but we're just starting to see a real spark from) or Kikuchi. He had his role and played it well. Black and Deaton and the Blackhearts were ok mid-card tag guys as you needed people to put the Super Generation Army over and they had size and could hang. The Undertakers and Land of Giants were pretty painful to watch on the other hand. We had a little bit of Dean Malenko and the 91 version is so much more fun than the 97 version. A nice dynamic opponent for Fuchi. The Carnival: It was just nice to see a bunch of singles matches from random opponents, just like it's always nice to see weird pairings in the RWTL. In this, like the RWTL, it's great we have the handhelds we do. It gave us a bunch of match-ups we'd never have gotten otherwise and you do learn a lot from all of them. I think that's about it for now. I'll watch 87 NJPW. I'll watch a bunch more SWS but then I'll be happy to come back and at least finish 1991 AJPW at some point in the future. For those following along, thanks for doing so. It's tough to get on the treadmill some nights but this is a big part of why I can manage it.
    3 points
  23. Holy fucking shit. That was both an awesome episode and entirely unexpected. Soooo….uhhhh…now what?
    3 points
  24. But then how can anyone look utterly shocked at getting a 2.9 off a move that never gets anything more than a 2.9? Think of the drama we'd be missing.
    3 points
  25. I'd like to see an athletic big man start wrestling like Khali because analytics show that for every inch in height past six feet, any move that takes you off your feet offers a 7.4% greater chance of failure. Maybe they show a sizzle reel of One Man Gang, Kamala, and King Kong Bundy whiffing on second-rope splashes while dude explains the numbers and why he subsequently will only be throwing punches, stomps, and an occasional body slam or lariat from now on.
    3 points
  26. Listen, its really gross for me to even speculate on the health of someone I've only ever interacted with here literally decades ago, but I have ADHD (as evidenced by the way I oscillate between half my posts sounding like Keith Lee, and half of them sounding like Shit Ric Flair Would Tweet When He Is Drunk . Woooo ! ) and I definitely know the classic Vyvanse-and-Caffiene when I see it. I don't think anything illicit is happening, and I think the whole blow meme is or will soon reach a point where it's becoming borderline slanderous - again, absolutely none, zero, of anyone's business but his own, but I think a lot of people need to look at themselves and realize there's a non zero chance they are giving a dude a hard time for some shit that ain't his fault, and for being really, really passionate about something we all love
    2 points
  27. I don't know if I said it here, but I honestly believe that his Hall of Fame plaque should say, "None of you had any idea Antonio Brown was crazy while I coaches him." It should be the first line and I'd be 100% OK with it being the only line. It literally says everything you need to know about Tomlin as a coach. Antonio Brown would have been an easy 1st ballot hall of fame receiver if he didn't piss Tomlin off by live streaming in the locker room. One other thing about Antonio Brown. He's legit the only receiver who I thought could have challenged some of Jerry Rice's numbers. I read some article at his peak and they broke down the stats and he was the best receiver in the league by far by every metric. He was the best deep threat, the best in short routes, the best intermediate route runner, the best down the sideline, in the seam, and across the middle. There was nothing he could not do... except act right.
    2 points
  28. Top hat and fishnets... that is all
    2 points
  29. Hey, when McMahon came up with a coke dealer gimmick, he got Vic Grimes to play him and not himself. Sometimes you have to show restraint.
    2 points
  30. Halfway through, I realized the episode almost felt like a season finale.
    2 points
  31. I read it somewhere, maybe here, that Mike Tomlin should be considered one of the greatest coaches of all time for keeping AB's crazy in check for as long as he did
    2 points
  32. It's like being the second best Michael Jordan. The bar's really high, man.
    2 points
  33. I’m sure someone has typed or talked about it before but 1989 WWF had a “JCP in exile” underbelly which wasn’t just enhancement guys Arn, Tully, Dusty, Windham, Garvin, Powers of Pain, Bossman in mid-88, Bushwhackers, Schiavone, JJ and then almost all of those guys are out of the WWF by 1991 (except Bossman, Powers, and JJ)
    2 points
  34. OR "The formula tells me non-finishers never end matches, so my MOVESET~! will be nothing but finishers! I can't lose!"
    2 points
  35. Not counting attending my first show and a bunch of pay-per-views, I think the coolest things I've seen as a fan were when the World title changed hands. I've witnessed four of them: Steamboat beats Flair at Chi-Town Rumble Yokozuna squishes Hogan at King of the Ring 93 Kane beats Austin at King of the Ring 98 Moxley destroys Punk at Cleveland Dynamite (August 22) I also have to mention the Undertaker-Mankind match at SummerSlam 96. Not only did it result in my dad's outrage against Paul Bearer (Dad wasn't a big fan, but that got him), but two of my friends, "Handsome" Frank Stalletto and "Beef Stew" Lou Marconi, served as Undertaker's druids.
    2 points
  36. The one I seem to remember being used repeatedly is this one. This is the match line-up, but they definitely used it more than once on the show itself: (There's something to be said about Tony being able to run one of these matches again 20+ years later.)
    2 points
  37. I meant the Blue Meanie. But that might be what I was thinking of. Lord at the end... I haven't seen someone promoting Kazaa since forever.
    2 points
  38. This is strangely ominous In other news: Just heard Rollins and Edge did a home invasion angle a couple of years ago that was similar to Swerve’s this week. I’d never seen it so I posted it below, I think Strickland’s is clearly better for threatening a baby and simply not being Seth Rollins
    2 points
  39. THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM (aka The Blood Demon) (Harald Reinl, 1967) IMDB SELECTED BY @Execproducer A 1967 West German production featuring genre stalwarts as Lex Barker, Karin Dor, and Christopher Lee. Based on Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum, the film bears more than a passing resemblance to a Hammer Horror joint. Just a fun popcorn movie, perfect for a double feature with something like an Edgar Wallace Krimi or a nice Italian Gothic. REVIEWED BY @No Point Stance This year I’ve landed on a prime slice of 1960s gothic Euro horror, complete with period setting and sets dripping in atmosphere. It’s a German production with a litany of alternate titles – among them ‘Castle of the Walking Dead’, ‘The Blood Demon’ and ‘The Snake Pit’ – though ‘The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism’ is easily my favourite, despite no one by the name of Sadism (PhD or otherwise) appearing in the film. The version I watched is from a nice-looking German DVD runs 79 minutes; there’s a new blu ray that’s over 83 minutes but I have no idea what material I’m missing here. The film was directed by Harald Reinl, who has something of a fascinating story. Formerly a champion skier and ski instructor before getting into filmmaking and running up a total of 69 directorial credits, he was fatally stabbed by his alcoholic wife at the age of 78. He was nearly 60 at the time of this film’s release. The most notable names in the cast are Bond girl Karin Dor and the iconic Christopher Lee (who thankfully dubs himself for the English language version). Most everyone involved, Lee aside, were regulars in the krimi genre that endured great popularity in Germany for decades. Edgar Allan Poe is namechecked with a partial writing credit, and there is certainly evident inspiration from AIP’s Poe adaptations in this movie; the original German title, ‘Die Schlangengrube und das Pendal’ translates as ‘The Snakepit and the Pendulum’. I’ve probably never read more than one actual Poe story but I suspect the connecting tissue is tenuous at best. Anyway, synopsis time. *** SPOILERS AHEAD *** The setting is the 18th or 19th century. We open in flashback, with wicked Count Regula (Lee) being led to his execution as a bewigged magistrate, Rheinhold von Marienberg, reads out his list of heinous deeds (specifically the murder of twelve virgins). Naturally this gives Regula just enough time to curse von Marienberg and his entire family face before he meets his own gruesome death by having a very ‘Black Sunday’ / ‘Maschera del Demonio’-style gold mask (albeit much goofier-looking, to the point of being frankly ridiculous) nailed to his face followed by a horse-drawn quartering in the town square. Spectating at the execution is Karin Dor, apparently the lone escapee from the Count’s clutches. 35 years later the above events are related in the village of Bergenstadt to a small crowd by an old man, who later follows a newcomer to the town, Roger (Lex Barker) and presents him with an invitation to visit a Count Regula (the same? A descendent?) at his castle in the region, in order to be given some information about Roger’s cloudy past. Shortly thereafter, in the town of Lindenheim, Baroness Lilian (Dar again, playing the daughter of her earlier character) observes the same old man telling his tale to a new audience. This coincides with Roger arriving in the town and asking for directions to the castle, to a predictably hostile response from the locals, who are observing a religious procession intended to drive evil from the area. An elderly saint (as he is described by one passerby) tells Roger of the late count’s horrific crimes but then gives him the perplexing news that the infamous Count Regula left no descendent. The Baroness passes in her carriage and she and Roger make goo-goo eyes at each other. A clergyman named Father Fabian offers to show Roger the way to the castle in exchange for a lift in Roger’s coach. They soon pick up Lillian and her maid, Babette, left stranded after a hijacking. It transpires that Lilian has also received a letter bearing the mysterious Count’s handwriting and seal; this one concerning her late mother’s estate. At this point all Lilian has of her mother’s is a jewelled cross. For his part, all Roger has of his own family is a medallion, which he explains was left with him as a child, presumably at an orphanage. Lilian and the priest speculate that Roger must have been born into an aristocratic family. Onward they go, the coach passing a burnt-out tavern and a wild-eyed vagrant camped in its ruins. Roger’s driver becomes suspicious of the priest, who claims to have dined here just a month earlier. The hobo declines their attempts to communicate but, as soon as they leave, whips off his Scooby Doo disguise to reveal…some guy we haven’t seen before* Roger finds a gold coin in the ruins. The coachman gets nervous and wants to turn back but the priest convinces him – at gunpoint – to continue. It certainly seems that this man of the cloth may not be all that he is letting on. Soon, they run into fog, and the trees lining the road are suddenly littered with human body parts and partial corpses that seem to be fused with the trees themselves. It’s a memorable, if cheap, spectacle. Dialogue says it’s Good Friday. The interminable coach journey continues. Karin Dar constantly gazes at Lex Barker like she’s intent on getting some of his Total Package. It occurs to me that the priest looks a lot like Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Dog Soldiers, Argento’s The Card Player, etc). This film runs less than an hour and twenty minutes, but I’m convinced they’ve spent at least 20 of those in and around the coach. A little further on and the trees are now adorned with hanged men or possibly mannequins – it’s uncertain as to the film’s intent. It’s all to much for the poor man, as he suddenly succumbs to a fatal heart attack. Roger brings the vehicle to a stop and, as he and the priest check on the driver where he fell from the coach, the vehicle – along with the two ladies within – is stolen by the Scooby Doo guy from the ruined tavern. Reduced to travelling on foot, Roger and the priest trudge through a nicely-lit spooky graveyard adjacent to (finally) the infamous castle. The priest somewhat belatedly points out that the castle is now only ruins, but a gravestone marked ‘Regula’ opens a hidden subterranean passage and down they go, into the castle’s concealed underground section. The castle itself is pleasingly gothic, all bare stone walls, flickering torches, creepy statues and unexpected drawbridges that seal the way back. A spiked portcullis is raised by forces unseen and our duo are admitted to a dungeon-like inner chamber. A succession of gates herd our heroes onward until they are greeted by the Scooby Doo villain (now in butler’s livery, and named as Anatole), who reunites them with Lillian and Babette. Things start to pick up pace, as Fabian is revealed to be a professional thief, a wall frieze bears the likenesses of Dor and Barker in their previous incarnations as Lillian’s mother and the magistrate respectively (and I feel like an idiot for not noticing much earlier that Barker was playing the magistrate) and then Fabian shoots Anatole, only for the butler to gloat that he cannot be harmed as he has already been dead for many years. The bullet hole effect here is crude but neat. Fabian gets incarcerated in a cell for his trouble. In a torture chamber-cum-laboratory Anatole unveils the dismembered corpse of his master within a glass case, then performs a little ritual that apparently only works on Good Friday (it’s unclear why the previous 34 were unsuitable). Regula’s limbs reattach themselves, the glass coffin opens and Christopher Lee returns to the film after almost an hour’s absence as Lillian and Roger look on in horror. Lee doles out some exposition in a curiously restrained and unenthusiastic manner (making me wonder if some aspect of the production had displeased him, as he was known for playing hardball where dialogue was concerned if he felt slighted in some way). He calls our heroes’ attention to the twelve (perfectly preserved) female corpses strewn across various racks and slabs, and informs Lillian that her mother was to have been the thirteenth and without her blood – or that of her daughter - he cannot attain true immortality. He’s also keen to carry out his vow of revenge. Anatole chimes in to explain how he was hanged and yet returned to life and it’s all quite the convoluted info-dump. Roger lunges for the Count but falls through one of those nifty trapdoors into a cell below and the Count prepares Lillian for one of those needlessly complicated lethal quandaries so beloved of movie villains. Back to Roger, now tied down, surrounded by rats (which the foley artist has dubbed with guinea pig squeaks) and being menaced by a blade-edged steel pendulum slowly lowering from the ceiling. Regula relents on killing Lillian for now and instead directs her to Roger’s cell, for reasons. Something about the fear she feels making her blood more nutritious (?), cue Lillian running a gauntlet of vultures, spiders, snakes, scorpions and collapsing walkways in 8-bit platforming game fashion as she dashes to Roger’s aid. This is the 1960s though, so Roger makes his own save while, simultaneously, the thief has managed to extricate himself from his own cell. “Why didn’t that butler bring the Count back to life in the beginning?” grumbles Roger, before busting in on the evildoers and running out the clock on their now-brief window to kill Lillian. Regula and Anatole crumble to dust (as do the twelve dead maidens), leaving Roger, Lillian, Fabian and Babette to make good their escape as a very jolly, very-60s tune plays us out. So, yeah, that was my pretty much TLDR rundown of the events (I took way too many notes and once I started editing them they became incomprehensible), so I’ll try to summarise the review portion quickly. I had a lot of fun with this one, having seen it once before but failing to remember anything except the weird corpse-fused trees bit. Count Regula, at least to western ears, is a pretty silly name for a villain in anything other than lowbrow comedy but the only other real negative for me was the iron mask placed on Lee’s face in the prologue. Bava’s mask was a great iron tusked thing and really looked the part, whereas the mask used here looks a lot like a smiley face emoji. It doesn’t exactly convey a sense of menace or dread. Most everything else was good. Great sets and lush Bavarian exteriors are well lit and shot. Our imperilled foursome are all likeable and well cast, and I was actually pleasantly surprised that Fabian didn’t turn heel on his companions once his true nature became apparent. Overall I’d call this a 7 outta 10 on personal preference, and probably a solid 6 if you’re not that into old-fashioned gothic period horror. Thanks to whoever picked it. EDITOR'S NOTE Can be found on Amazon Prime and Tubi (with ads). A good version is also on Youtube
    2 points
  40. Thoughts on Just Another Night Before wrapping up the ECW shows, I discovered this hidden gem. So instead of a slickly produced 2001 pay-per-view, we go back to ... a single-camera shoot in a Pennsylvania high school gym with Stevie and Meanie doing the Fargo Strut? I feel right at home! Indeed, they were our Steel City wrestling tag team champions at one point. They also did the Fargo Strut later in the night with Cactus Jack, who held the Steel CIty heavyweight title and also won the tag belts with Meanie. JT Smith attacked partner Joel Hartgood because he was unable to learn the Tarantella dance. Fun fact: When I was a little kid, my siblings and I were in an Italian dance group, and the Tarantella was our big showstopper number. For a house show in Glenolden, this card was impressive: Cactus-Bigelow, Sabu-Scorpio, and Raven-Douglas. Sandman was the MVP for caning Bad Crew and Hartgood at the beginning of the show, beating Axl Rotten and showing him respect in the middle, and forming a beer-soaked alliance with Douglas with the intent to get the ECW title off Raven at the end of the night.
    2 points
  41. I'm guilty of the misconception that pretty much all of Indian cinema is made up of musicals - a genre I generally loathe - so Tumbbad had to get a lot of traction before I took notice. Even then, it's taken me two or three years of good intentions before I finally watched it. Like you said, very simple thematically but a story so richly told, with a nice eye for detail, and beautifully shot. A solid 9/10 film for me
    2 points
  42. I actually saw Tumbbad in the theaters as RVA has a surprisingly high Indian / Pakistani population and quite a few of the theaters in midtown regularly show the latest Hindi-language joints. I thought it was rather refreshing that a movie came out that simply focused on a cardinal sin like greed without adding needless complexity.
    2 points
  43. Finally got around to seeing Tumbbad (2018), and it just might be my favourite horror/horror-adjacent film of the past decade. That's considering I've really enjoyed everything Jordan Peele and Ari Aster have done in that period. Reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth, in that its horror is essentially baked into a fairy tale. It's included with Prime - in the UK at least - and well, well worth checking out if you haven't done so already.
    2 points
  44. Sang to the tune of the Dead Kennedys. "Baron Corbin/ Uber alles/ Baron Corbin/ Oo Ber Alles"
    2 points
  45. Probably my favorite thing AEW is doing right now is having so many wrestlers gunning for MJF. I know there are many "whys" that isn't the way wrestling usually does it, but even though we are used to it, it never made a lot of sense that so many wrestlers in a promotion are satisfied not going for the title. Some will always have their blood feuds going on, like Page/Swerve or Christian/anyone without a father, but for anyone else, why wouldn't they be going after for the champion? It adds a lot of intrigue on where they will go next, plus the subplot of MJF having no friends except someone with a broken foot, and someone else that wants to be his friend but he doesn't like. Its all been well done I think up to this point, hope they can keep it up.
    2 points
  46. Speaking of arenas changing for the worst, I miss distinctive PPV sets. WWE's the biggest culprit for a long time now.
    2 points
  47. Why? The other commentators probably get to go. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I'm sure JBL will be stepping out in Berlin, with a hearty HEIL to every German fan he sees. This isn't art school where some people just can't get in with their portfolio of work; this is pro wrestling commentating.
    2 points
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