I’ve been sending out some re-ups in anticipation of working on Cramhole #4.

Here are links to a few new stores currently carrying Cramhole:

Steady Sounds Richmond, VA

Record Grouch Brooklyn, NY

Co-Op 87 Brooklyn, NY

We’re still going strong at Smash! Records- Washington DC and through Pioneers Press

Sadly, Tucson oasis Toxic Ranch Records is closing its doors this year. I worked there for a year while I was living in Tucson and it was a great store.

Here’s a nice piece about them in the Tucson Weekly.


So, it’s been a while. 2013 has had its middle finger lodged firmly in my ass, but I’m back in DC., working on a new Cramhole and working a new dog walking job. I’m also filling in at Smash. After cancer and divorce, things are coming together. I’m also reunited with my computer, so look for more updates on things coming up. This year will finally see the publication of The League and hopefully Cramhole #4 with new artists and no cancer anecdotes. I’m leaving that for the experts.
Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive over the last few months. In spite of how shitty things have been, I had a nice time travelling to Austin, being a part of Ben Tankersley’s wedding, and spent some time in Mississippi with my grandfather and at flea markets. I wrote some stories and am still doing reviews for  Razorcake.
So here I am restating my intention to post more and looking forward to a productive year. I stored my computer without remembering my passwords, otherwise I might have posted more from the road. Below is the cover of the next Cramhole and an article I wrote about a film called Nightmares (1983).

Nightmares (1983)
Director: Joseph Sargent
MCA Home Video

The 80s was a great time for low-budget horror anthologies. Creepshow (1982) helped revive a tradition that was going strong in Britain in the early seventies with films like Tales from the Crypt (1972) and Vault of Horror (1973). While Creepshow had a one two punch with a script by Stephen King and direction by George Romero, 1983’s Nightmares did not have the same cache.  However the film has a respectable cast and a few good short stories with some interesting twists.

The film opens with “Terror in Topanga,” a story about an escaped psychopath terrorizing a small community. It wouldn’t be a story if someone didn’t go out for cigarettes. The twist in the story closely resembles an urban myth, but it’s a fun story and Fear frontman Lee Ving is among the players. The most unique story in the anthology is the second story:  “The Bishop of Battle.” This chapter finds Emilio Estevez between his success in The Outsiders and his eventual ascension into cult stardom in Repo Man. Estevez plays J.J. Cooney, a video game hustler (I only hope there really were video game hustlers.) Cooney goes from arcade to arcade listening to Fear on his Walkman and hustling people out of their allowances. Cooney does this because he’s obsessed with a video game called The Bishop of Battle. Cooney is convinced there is an unreachable 13th level that will validate his existence. The story is one of the best video game horror stories considering that there aren’t that many.  A clandestine moment can be had with fans of the movie with the game’s opening warning: “Greetings Earthlings. I am the Bishop of Battle, master of all I survey. I have 13 progressively harder levels. Try me…if you dare.”

If you consider what can go wrong here for a moment, you can probably work out the twist ending, but for a glimpse into early Estevez and a good representation of early arcade culture, the second chapter of Nightmares is a must see.

Story three has two things working for it: one is the ever effective Lance Henriksen playing a priest, and two, it recognizes the length of time the man vs. car plotline can remain interesting. Henriksen plays Macleod, a priest struggling with his faith until he is faced with battling a satanic car. It sounds a little trite, but Henriksen makes it work. His ability to struggle with evil is inherent and he makes the story work. There is a similar dynamic in “Night of the Rat,” where professional hysteric Veronica Cartwright makes a typical giant rat narrative better. Cartwright is a freak out expert, bringing her pushed-over-the-edge persona to films like Alien (1979), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and The Right Stuff (1983). Nightmares won’t blow your mind, but it’s a great Saturday night horror anthology with good performances, punk undertones, and a few surprises. It’s been released a couple of times on DVD, but it’s an easy video to run across in s dollar bin as it’s usually in the throwaway section of stacks of horror videos. It’s easily a dollar or two’s worth of fun.

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