Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton Only hard-core fans of Robert Plant’s post-Zeppelin output should invest in the 10-disc Nine Lives set, which includes his nine solo albums—from 1982’s Pictures of Eleven through last year’s Mighty Rearranger—plus bonus tracks and an hourlong DVD. Nine Lives isn’t Christmas music, obviously, but that … Continue reading Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

The Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is freakin’ hilarious

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 4, 2006 By Steve Newton When the Trailer Park Boys debuted on the Showcase channel in 2001, I couldn’t get enough of it. A mockumentary-style series about the day-to-day exploits of three pot-loving trailer-trash buddies and their assorted idiot friends and rivals, it was a raucous, taboo-blasting gas. The sight … Continue reading The Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is freakin’ hilarious

Horror review: Turistas

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 29, 2006 What Hostel did for the Slovakian tourism industry—which was basically to drag it into a backroom and torture it to death—Turistas should do for the backpacking-in-Brazil set. But while Hostel director Eli Roth’s controversial 2005 shocker was about as subtle as an electric drill to the eye, Turistas … Continue reading Horror review: Turistas

Horror review: The Return

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 15, 2006 The Return isn’t a great horror film by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there’s a fair whack of imagination-stretching required to make it through the movie’s 85 minutes. But it’s just so damn refreshing to see a modern fright flick that isn’t bursting with hyperkinetic edits, … Continue reading Horror review: The Return

Horror review: Saw III

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 1, 2006Saying that the newest Saw movie is better than the last one is a bit like saying that your latest root canal was better than your last one. Either way, it’s all about the pain and suffering. Mind you, I had a root canal once and it didn’t hurt that much; … Continue reading Horror review: Saw III

Horror review: The Descent

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 10, 2006A few weeks ago, we went camping at a lake near Powell River, and by camping I mean sleeping in a camper. I chose to crash at the very back of the rig, against the wall in the little bunk above the truck cab. Maybe it was the mixture … Continue reading Horror review: The Descent

Horror review: Bloodrayne

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 6, 2006 After his last movie, Alone in the Dark, director Uwe Boll had nowhere to go but up, and I mean that most sincerely. That shot-in-Vancouver stinker earned a record one of out of 100 at Rottentomatoes.com, with terms like "dreadful", "terrible beyond belief", and "worse than you can … Continue reading Horror review: Bloodrayne

Horror review: Slither

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 30, 2006 Before breaking through in the horror realm as the screenwriter of 2004's excellent Dawn of the Dead remake, James Gunn spent years toiling for Troma Entertainment, the New York company famous for campy, no-budget shockers like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke 'Em High. The gonzo, gore-oriented … Continue reading Horror review: Slither

Slither director James Gunn loves horror movies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 30, 2006 By Steve Newton James Gunn had no intention of waiting until he was a Hollywood director to helm his first horror flick. Inspired by George Romero's pioneering zombie opus, the young Gunn made his splatter-film debut at the tender age of 12. "Night of the Living Dead scared … Continue reading Slither director James Gunn loves horror movies

Horror review: Stay Alive

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 30, 2006 The video-game industry has spawned several action-oriented horror flicks in recent years, ranging from the mediocre (Resident Evil) to the pointless (House of the Dead) to the downright putrid (Alone in the Dark). Stay Alive takes a different tack than those in that its plot isn't built around … Continue reading Horror review: Stay Alive

Horror review: The Hills Have Eyes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 9, 2006 Wes Craven must be the most inconsistent horror director of all time. He created Freddy Krueger, who ruled the genre in the '80s, then Craven reinvigorated the '90s slasher scene with the whip-smart and stylish Scream. But he's also responsible for his fair share of turkeys, Deadly Friend … Continue reading Horror review: The Hills Have Eyes

High Tension director Alexandre Aja tackles Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 9, 2006 By Steve Newton The French are famous for a lot of things, but making horror movies isn't one of them. Just try to name one French fright flick that has caught your attention lately-besides Alexandre Aja's terrifying 2003 effort, High Tension. As Aja explains on the line from … Continue reading High Tension director Alexandre Aja tackles Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes

Horror review: Final Destination 3

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 16, 2006 You can't cheat death. Director James Wong made that point in 2000 with Final Destination, David R. Ellis drove it home in 2003's Final Destination 2, and now Wong is back to remind anyone who may have forgotten. But the former X-Files producer and staff writer needn't have bothered, … Continue reading Horror review: Final Destination 3

Horror review: When a Stranger Calls

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 9, 2006 The original When a Stranger Calls from 1979 is best remembered for the scene where terrified babysitter Jill Johnson (Carol Kane), tormented by a string of ominous crank calls ("Have you checked the children?"), is warned by police that the calls have been traced and that they're coming … Continue reading Horror review: When a Stranger Calls

Horror review: Hostel

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 5, 2006 By Steve Newton The horror scene seems to be in the grip of a hardcore revolution these days. It's as if a cabal of serious fright-film fanatics got together and organized a bitter backlash against hokey Hollywood body-count flicks with cookie-cutter plots and predictable outcomes. In the last … Continue reading Horror review: Hostel

J.D. Fortune went from living in a car to fronting INXS

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 12, 2006 By Steve Newton This time last year, few people knew the name of Canadian rock vocalist J.D. Fortune. A lot of them were familiar with INXS, but at that stage in the group's career-eight years after the death by apparent suicide of its enigmatic frontman Michael Hutchence-they wouldn't … Continue reading J.D. Fortune went from living in a car to fronting INXS

Danko Jones is happily uncool

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 19, 2006 By Steve Newton Danko Jones has no time to snooze. In fact, his current bio claims that he hasn't had a nap since kindergarten. Any time spent in dreamland would just cut into his opportunities to rock your fucking ass off! "I'm firin' on speed right now," claims … Continue reading Danko Jones is happily uncool

Stephen King calls Marah America’s best unknown rock band

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 2, 2006 By Steve Newton Not only is Stephen King among the world's most popular writers, he also has good taste in music. He's long been known as a devotee of AC/DC and the Ramones, and when it came time to choose a pseudonym to put on the covers of … Continue reading Stephen King calls Marah America’s best unknown rock band

Rez guitarist Scotty Hall got neck-tapping tips from Harvey Mandel

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 16, 2006 By Steve Newton Although Rez may be the finest guitar-based instrumental-rock CD ever to come out of Vancouver, the original meeting of the duo behind it was rather inauspicious. Guitarist Scotty Hall and drummer-keyboardist Phil Robertson hooked up when Hall attended a rehearsal for Idle Eyes, the blatantly commercial … Continue reading Rez guitarist Scotty Hall got neck-tapping tips from Harvey Mandel

Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 6, 2006 By Steve Newton Chilliwack was the perfect place for a rock-crazed teenager to grow up during the '70s. Not only could you crank "Free Bird" at full blast without fear of recrimination, but the big-city destination of Hastings and Renfrew was only an hour away. Whether it was … Continue reading Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 20, 2006 What an awesome heavy-metal band Queen used to be. What, you didn't know Queen used to be an awesome heavy-metal band? Maybe it's not common knowledge. It guess it helps if you were a hard rock-crazed, Circus-reading teen back in '73 when the British quartet's self-titled debut LP … Continue reading Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

Rob Zombie says the Allman Brothers are his favourite band

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 3, 2006 By Steve Newton Five years ago I covered the local shoot of Halloween: Resurrection for British horror mag Shivers. I spent several hours on set, and it was lotsa fun--especially when veteran makeup-FX artist Gary Tunnicliffe showed me how he could make giant animatronic rats squirm around in … Continue reading Rob Zombie says the Allman Brothers are his favourite band

Jackass: Number Two’s Johnny Knoxville no sissy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 21, 2006 By Steve Newton HOLLYWOOD--Who's the better movie star: Humphrey Bogart because he embodied macho cool in Casablanca or Johnny Knoxville because he put on a red shirt and a blindfold and offered himself to a charging bull in Jackass: Number Two? Bogie may have been more deserving of … Continue reading Jackass: Number Two’s Johnny Knoxville no sissy

Jason “Wee Man” Acuña gets naked to promote Jackass: Number Two

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 14, 2006 By Steve Newton HOLLYWOOD--It's a poolside reception for Jackass: Number Two at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Various cast members--including Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, and Jason “Wee Man” Acuña--are sitting around, getting quietly sloshed. Maybe a little too quietly for Knoxville's liking. The renowned … Continue reading Jason “Wee Man” Acuña gets naked to promote Jackass: Number Two

Gov’t Mule takes aim at the high and mighty

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 12, 2006 By Steve Newton Warren Haynes spends a large part of his time with a guitar in his hands; for more than a decade he's been doing double duty with southern-rock legends the Allman Brothers and blues-rock kings Gov't Mule. So it's no surprise that the musician is pictured … Continue reading Gov’t Mule takes aim at the high and mighty

James Blunt may be the long lost love child of Al Stewart

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 9, 2006 NOT MANY RECORDING artists get to headline a venue the size of GM Place with just one album under their belt, but only seven months after nearly selling out the 2,800-seat Orpheum Theatre, James Blunt packed several thousand more bodies into the Canucks’ home rink. Apparently, people can’t get … Continue reading James Blunt may be the long lost love child of Al Stewart

Rolling Stones give good bang for big-buck tickets

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 29, 2006 A lot has been made of the astronomical ticket prices the Rolling Stones charged on their recent stop in Vancouver, but considering today’s out-of-control construction costs (see 2010 Olympics), there’s some merit to their exorbitance. It looked as if the Stones’ 300-person production crew had built a five-storey … Continue reading Rolling Stones give good bang for big-buck tickets