That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

By Steve Newton When I interviewed guitar legend Tony Iommi back in March of 2007 he was bringing his Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, to Vancouver for a show at the Pacific Coliseum with Megadeth and Down. At one point I asked Iommi whether he was a fan of Dio's … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

By Steve Newton In the past I've had fun posting audio excerpts from my first interview with legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, which took place in 1984, during the group's misguided Born Again phase. Fast-forward 23 years and I got Iommi on the phone again, this time to talk about the Heaven and Hell … Continue reading That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

Reno 911!: Miami’s plot undermines the comical cops-versus-freaks action

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 28, 2007 My wife hates it when I watch Cops. For some reason, she doesn't agree that the sight of macho lawmen busting down doors and tackling white-trash meth-head wife beaters is the pinnacle of entertainment. But we both love watching the Cops parody, Reno 911!, which revolves around the … Continue reading Reno 911!: Miami’s plot undermines the comical cops-versus-freaks action

Gary Moore plays Hendrix on upcoming Blues for Jimi Blu-ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 26, 2012 By Steve Newton The music world was shocked last year when, on February 6, word spread that Irish guitar legend Gary Moore had suddenly passed away while holidaying at a luxury resort in Spain. For some, it was bad news on a par with the tragic death of Jimi Hendrix, … Continue reading Gary Moore plays Hendrix on upcoming Blues for Jimi Blu-ray

Horror review: The Orphanage

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 20, 2007 Somebody ought to kidnap the directors of the Saw and Hostel films, strap them into those torture chairs they're so fond of, attach some eyelid clamps from A Clockwork Orange, and make them watch The Orphanage for a week straight. Maybe then they'd understand that unrelenting sadism and … Continue reading Horror review: The Orphanage

The Orphanage’s Juan Antonio Bayona drawn to the dark side

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 20, 2007 By Steve Newton Most people have a keen recollection of the first film that scared the crap out of them. For Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona, it wasn't anything as fright-worthy as The Exorcist; he got creeped out by seeing Frank Langella go batty in a justifiably overlooked … Continue reading The Orphanage’s Juan Antonio Bayona drawn to the dark side

Horror review: Awake

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 5, 2007In Awake, Vancouver-born Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker in the most recent Star Wars flicks) plays the incredibly wealthy–and terribly ill–Wall Street tycoon Clay Beresford. He inherited a multimillion-dollar company from his father, but he desperately needs a heart transplant if he's going to see 30. Luckily for him, one … Continue reading Horror review: Awake

Horror review: The Mist

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 21, 2007 Writer-director Frank Darabont had skillfully translated the human drama of Stephen King's work in The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, but he seems hopelessly lost in The Mist , his adaptation of the horror master's 1980 novella. Its first half-hour echoes the severe lousiness of Maximum Overdrive, King's first and last director's job, … Continue reading Horror review: The Mist

Horror review: P2

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 7, 2007 As if underground parking wasn't scary enough already. Ever try finding an empty spot in the Metrotown parkade on the weekend? The stress involved with that alone can kill ya. I just say, 'Screw it,' park out on the street somewhere, and deal with the pouring rain. In the … Continue reading Horror review: P2

Horror review: Saw IV

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 31, 2007In Saw III, the murdering genius known as Jigsaw finally got his comeuppance. He was a dead human, with no possibility of a Michael Myers- or Jason Voorhees-style resurrection. But since when has a little thing like death stopped a horror franchise from cashing in?Jigsaw is back–or at least his … Continue reading Horror review: Saw IV

Horror review: 30 Days of Night

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 24, 2007 As 30 Days of Night unfolds, hunky sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) and his pretty wife, Stella (Melissa George), are on the outs. They're living in Barrow, the northernmost town in Alaska, and it's the day before the sun sets and doesn't reappear for a month. She's trying … Continue reading Horror review: 30 Days of Night

Horror review: Hatchet

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 12, 2007 The movie industry can be an incredibly strange creature, case in point being the theatrical release of Hatchet . How this utterly worthless slasher flick managed to avoid going straight to video and then directly to the bargain bin will confound discriminating horror fans for days, if not … Continue reading Horror review: Hatchet

Horror review: The Invasion

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 22, 2007 The Invasion is the fourth film adaptation of American author Jack Finney's classic sci-fi satire, "The Body Snatchers", which was originally serialized in Collier's magazine in 1954. It was filmed in 1956 and 1978 as Invasion of the Body Snatchers one of the best B-movie titles ever, right … Continue reading Horror review: The Invasion

Horror review: Skinwalkers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 15, 2007 Skinwalkers is about two gangs of werewolves, one good and one bad. Elias Koteas stars as Joshua, leader of the nice, family-oriented werewolves who, when a full moon approaches, bind themselves up in leather harnesses so they don't harm anyone. Jason Behr from The Grudge and TV's Roswell … Continue reading Horror review: Skinwalkers

Horror review: I Know Who Killed Me

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 1, 2007 Hollywood is crawling with limo drivers, so how come Lindsay Lohan keeps thinking that she has to drive herself around L.A. whenever she's drunk and packing drugs? Maybe she's taking transportation tips from her agent, or whoever the hell suggested she top-line this ultra-sleazy horror-thriller, an excruciatingly awful … Continue reading Horror review: I Know Who Killed Me

Horror review: Captivity

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 18, 2007 As the distributor of the Hostel and Saw franchises, Vancouver-based Lionsgate Films has a virtual stranglehold on today's gruesome and sadistic horror flicks. But now that Lionsgate has seen how much money it can make with so-called torture porn, it's gotten greedy; case in point being Captivity is … Continue reading Horror review: Captivity

Horror review: Joshua

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 18, 2007 Now here's a certifiable nightmare maker for people with young kids. Anyone who's ever heard (or just imagined) troubling sounds coming from a fuzzy baby monitor or fretted while their fifth-grader traversed a big-city crosswalk will have their nerves seriously jangled by Joshua. It's a wonderfully absorbing shocker … Continue reading Horror review: Joshua

Horror review: 1408

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 20, 2007 Unforgettable haunted-house flicks are extremely hard to come by; the only two I can think of are 1963's The Haunting and The Shining. The subgenre of haunted-hotel-room flicks is promising in that the number of hotel patrons passing through maximizes the potential for untimely death and subsequent souls … Continue reading Horror review: 1408

Horror review: Severance

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 30, 2007 In Severance’s promo material, the British horror-comedy is described as “The Office meets Deliverance”. It’s better defined, however, as a freaky cross between Friday the 13th and Hostel—with some serious chuckles thrown in. Discriminating horror fans should also note that it’s the most exhilarating fright flick to hit … Continue reading Horror review: Severance

Horror review: Vacancy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 25, 2007 Vacancy is an effective horror flick on a few levels. It preys on your fear of getting hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere, and it preys on your fear of being waylaid by murderous strangers. But mostly it preys on your fear of getting stuck on an … Continue reading Horror review: Vacancy

Horror review: The Reaping

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 11, 2007 What's with the recent spate of Oscar-winning actors starring in shockingly bad supernatural horror flicks? Two weeks ago you had Forest Whitaker embarrassing himself in The Marsh, and now you've got two-time Academy Award champ Hilary Swank committing career hara-kiri in The Reaping. Have their Hollywood agents signed … Continue reading Horror review: The Reaping

Horror review: Dead Silence

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 21, 2007 By Steve Newton Ventriloquists' dummies really creep me out. All dolls are inherently freaky, but there's something seriously bent about a little wooden man with bulging eyes, shiny cheeks, and perfect chompers. I recall being quite disturbed by Magic, the 1978 chiller that used the ventriloquism angle most … Continue reading Horror review: Dead Silence

Horror review: The Marsh

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 21, 2007 According to the Internet Movie Database, The Marsh is set for release on DVD in the States next month. The fact that Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for his role as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland must have convinced the marketers behind this sub-par ghost … Continue reading Horror review: The Marsh

Horror review: The Number 23

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 21, 2007 The main concern with The Number 23 was whether or not Jim Carrey could pull off the lead role in a psychological thriller. Could the rubber-faced fartsmith overcome the juvenile stigma of anything-for-laughs flicks like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber, or would the sight of … Continue reading Horror review: The Number 23

Horror review: The Messengers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 7, 2007 Kristen Stewart is only 16, yet she’s already getting typecast as the sullen teen who moves with her big-city parents to spooky, dilapidated old homes in the country. She did it in 2003’s clunky Cold Creek Manor, and she’s doin’ it again as The Messengers’ Jess, a Chicagoan … Continue reading Horror review: The Messengers

Horror review: Blood and Chocolate

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 31, 2007 The ads for Blood and Chocolate proudly declare that it’s “from the producers of Underworld”, as if that’s something to brag about. Wasn’t that vampires-versus-werewolves flick just a pretentious, noisy excuse to see Kate Beckinsale in tight black leather? Apart from having scads of springy werewolves pouncing about, … Continue reading Horror review: Blood and Chocolate

Horror review: The Hitcher

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 24, 2007 Back in 1986, when many Vancouverites were preoccupied with the pricey pomp of Expo, a nasty little horror flick called The Hitcher slithered into town. It quickly vanished off mainstream radar screens, but fright fanatics who happened to catch its split-second theatrical run knew they’d uncovered a gleaming … Continue reading Horror review: The Hitcher