Wednesday, 24 December 2014

DVD Review: DeadBall (2011)

Baseball Splatter Comedy
Once Jubeh Yakyu was a teenage baseball prodigy, destined for stardom. But when he accidentally killed his father with a super-powerful baseball pitch, Jubeh abandoned baseball and became the most feared juvenile delinquent in Japan.
 After a wild rampage of mayhem, murder and dropping televisions on people, Jubeh was caught and thrown into the infamous Pterodactyl Reformatory.
 And the only way he's getting out is to put together a baseball team and lead them to victory.

Do you like sports movies?

Do you like prison sports movies where a defiant rebel with a troubled past has to lead a team of misfits to glory?

Do you like Japanese prison sports movies where a defiant rebel and his team of violent misfits are forced to play in a  Baseball league run by Nazis, against a team of mass-murdering psychotic schoolgirls? 

You might like "DeadBall" then. 

  For , I dunno, the first five minutes or so you might think you're watching a normal sports movie as a teenage boy practises baseball pitches with his aging father, while the younger brother looks on with hero worship in his eyes.
 But then the youngster leaps about a mile into the air and unleashes a  fiery missile that turns's dad's face into a bloody pulp. That sets the tone for the rest of the film:  Over the top violence, and a procession of sports film, prison film and delinquent film cliches lining up to get a slap in the mouth and their nipples twisted, all done with daft humour and a knowing wink at the audience.

 There's a  fight between Jubeh and Headmistress Ishihara like something out of an "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon, for instance. Then there's the way Jubeh's cellmate Four Eyes runs through the team's various misdemeanors (Using TNT in a boxing match and so forth) before going on to explain why the girls of St. Black Dahlia High School scare the shit out of him. And the baseball match itself is an utter bloodbath.

 "DeadBall" is not a subtle film. Not even close. It's the sort of absurd gorefest only the Japanese seem able to produce. The small matter of the effects being a bit crap just adds to the enjoyment.
 I loved it.

If you've ever wanted to see a cross between "Shaolin Soccer" and "Ilsa: She-wolf Of The SS" then check out "DeadBall"

 Time for some screenshots.   I'm not posting any of the bloody bits.
Jubeh arrives at his new home. 
Yes, he is wearing a poncho.
No, I don't know why.
It's not exactly the most bizarre thing in this film. 

Jubeh's new friend - the gentle Four Eyes.

Ilsa the warden really enjoys her job. Especially the cavity searches.

Headmistress Ishihara has some interesting political leanings.
And a sidekick who is creepy-looking as all hell.

 The demure young ladies of St. Black Dahlia high school introduce themselves 

Interesting choice of uniform.

Trailer here if you're interested.

 That's all folks. 


Monday, 22 December 2014

At Last! A Christmas Song I Actually Like!

 I don't get on very well with Christmas songs. Most of them are too twee for my tastes and there's usually a distinct absence of  power chords. 
 Would it surprise you to learn that the only Christmas songs I really like are Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" and TSO's take on "Carol Of The Bells"?

Up until now. 

 White Pigeon are a not-entirely serious bunch of British Hard-Rockers from Guildford, best described as "A bit like The Darkness without the eyewatering vocals", and the only rock band ever to do a song about squash.  

This week they release their attempt on the Christmas charts.

 It might be bordering on sacrilige but damn, this song is catchy as hell. Guitarists aren't bad either.

 A song that says more about Christmas than anything Cliff Richard ever put out.

Band homepage here.

Is it too late to get "Baby Jesus" to the #1 spot?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Fistful Of Comics: December 2014

 A slightly belated look at the comics I picked up last time I was in Southampton.

 We shall start with a title I've never heard of before  - but I just found the cover irresistible.

 Sally Of The Wasteland #4

girl kills mutant
 What it's about:  A motley collection of survivors try to avoid being eaten by mutants in some sort of Post-Apocalypse Louisiana.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Confessions Of A Terrible Modelmaker (pt 3)

 In which I finally get this bloody kit finished

Building the AZ Models F6U Pirate
Clothes pegs are an essential part of my modelling kit.

 Don't ask me why but I really like wingtip tanks on jet fighters. Obviously that only works on straight-winged aircraft. This might explain why fighters after about the mid-50s don't interest me all that much. 
 There's a few exceptions - I have a soft spot for the Hawker Hunter and the English Electric Lightning - but most modern fighters leave me cold. Too mechanical and not enough beauty.

 Isn't that a weird thing to say about a machine designed for killing? Aircraft buffs will get it, I think. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Confessions Of A Terrible Modelmaker (pt 2)

 Before you read this post, you might want to read PART ONE

 If you already read it or just can't be bothered, here's a quick recap:
I make model aircraft
I suck at it.
I've just started making this
Making the AZ Models F6U Pirate
AZ Models F6U Pirate (International Version) 
 Now read on...

Does this look like the workspace of a well-organised man? 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Confessions Of A Terrible Modelmaker (pt 1)

 Like a lot of kids I used to make plastic model kits when I was growing up. I even had the classic "Spitfires hanging from a string" display over my bed for many years. They fell down quite a lot.
 But truth be told, I wasn't actually good at making models.  Thanks to a combination of impatience and being epically cack-handed the end result was never going to win any prizes. Gluey-thumbprints, lumpy paintwork, wonky wings, decals slapped onto unpainted plastic - all present and correct.
 Not that this ever stopped me, of course.  I may never have won any "Model of the week" contests but I was having fun and I could pretend that I was Air Marshall of the Royal Dalanian Airforce when nobody was looking.

 After a while I drifted away from Airfix in favour of LPs, comics and alcohol and managed to spend the next thirty years or so without gluing my fingers together even once.

 Then one day I was poking about Matalan and somehow ended up coming home with an Airfix Typhoon kit .
Next thing I knew, the top of my fridge looked like this.
As you may have noticed, I still quite like Spitfires.
I have another 3 or 4 currently sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets while I work out where the hell to put them. 

 Naturally I assumed I'd be a lot better at sticking kits together. I mean, I'm older and wiser...right?


 While I may be a lot more patient and less inclined to rush the job so I can play with the finished product, it hadn't occurred to me that I might still have the dexterity of an 80 year old alcoholic who had his arms amputated then sewn back on upside down.  
 Basically I still have the same cack-handed fingers that I had when I was 12, except now they are twice the size .
 Here's another slight problem. When you are trying to fit one tiny bit into another tiny bit it helps if you aren't simultaneously short-sighted and longsighted. 

 My neighbours think I have Tourettes. Nope, it's just that the bastard radio aerial just pinged off into the gap behind the fridge yet again. 

 But if you think this is going to stop me making kits, you are sadly mistaken.

Here's what I've been building recently.
 I saw it in Waterlooville models and thought it looked really cool, with the little finlets and all.
Plus, it's quite an obscure aircraft in a colour scheme you don't see very often.

 Take a closer look at the cover again. Bottom right hand corner. 
I didn't notice that until I got home.  It turns out that this is a hypothetical version and I can't help feeling that that's cheating. Why not just paint it bright purple and have it belong to the 2nd Fighter Bomber Wing of the Imperial Lemurian Air Korps?
 A bit of research reveals that the F6U Pirate is obscure for a reason. Quite a lot of the early jets were underpowered and tricky to fly but even by 1950s standards the Pirate was an utter turkey. The USN bought a few for trials then quickly got rid of them after they saw what the pilots were putting in their reports. 
 Evidence suggests that if the El Salvador Air Force had bought Pirates, they would all have quickly ended up embedded in one ploughed field after another. 

 In the next post we shall see how I actually got on with building this kit. 

I warn you now, it won't be pretty. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Metal Project: More Metal From Argentina

  Hi everybody. I'm back with another selection of songs for you to enjoy. 
 Now the last time I featured Argentina's prolific Metal scene was back in 2012, 
so I thought it was about time for a return visit. 
As always, I hope you find something you like. 
Feel free to headbang. In fact, I insist on it. 

Angorya - Sinientos Profetas del Metal (20120

(Crunchy Thrash)
 Honour to: pablo costan

K24! - Como Un Dios Del Metal (2013)

(Slow-riffed and a bit Manowar-ish)

Honour to: Blackie DiegoRock

El Dragon - De Cuero y Metal (2012)

(Fast Heavy/Power Metal. Vocalist has that harsh rasp to him
that so many Spanish-language vocalists seem to have.  It works.)

Honour to: Cheko Cardozo

Mackina - Hordas De Metal (2012)

(Crunchy Trad Metal - I am impressed.)
Honour to: BlackieDiegoRock

What the hell....Let's have some more Mackina.
Only faster. 

Mackina - Jinetes (Del Metal)

Honour to: BlackieDiegoRock

MAD - Nuestra Senora Del Metal (2005?)

(AC/DC-ish stompalong)
 Honour to: BlackieDiegoRock
Clearly the channel  to check out if you're interested in Argentinian Metal.

And finally...

Guerrero Inmortal - Heavy Metal (2003)
(Fast and furious and taking no prisoners- which is always cool.)
Honour to: drs1980

That's all folks.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Women's Wrestling Comics: Grappling Gertie's Schooldays (1992)

Lady wrestling comic
The best women's wrestling comic cover ever? Could be. 

  Back in 2012 I did a post about Gertrude Williams aka Leopard Lily, prim teacher turned lady wrestler and star of the only British comics ever to feature women's wrestling.  (Read it HERE
 I said at the time that there was a later prequel and if I ever got my hands on a copy, I'd post some scans. 

Well, it took a while but I finally have a copy of "Grappling Gertie's Schooldays" - a a tale of plucky schoolgirls, Arab princesses, nefarious villains and large, scary women with alliterative names. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

More Wall Art In Southsea

 If you ever happen to find yourself in Southsea town centre, why not take a look down the little alleyway between Debenhams and  New Look. There you will find that persons unknown have used the walls to create an outlaw art gallery.
  Personally I love the idea of taking a drab piece of brickwork and concrete and turning it into something colourful and a little bizarre. If I had the money I'd quite like to just drop statues into random places, just to make life more interesting.  
 Now I have written about Southsea's wall art before before (HERE) but some of the murals have been replaced recently and it seemed like a good idea to post an update.

 If anybody knows the artists - and they aren't likely to end up in court - I'd love to hear from them.

Robot wall painting
This is the last and largest mural. 
Also the only one you're likely to see unless you're actually in the alley.
It's on the side of a building so visible from Kent Rd, that runs across the top of the pedestrian precinct.
Sci-Fi buff that I am, I do like this a lot. 
I also like the little honeycomb thingies in the background.

mural posh woman
The only mural that was there before but it's now got  speech balloon.
Why "Teatray"?
Only the artist knows for sure.

A couple of access panels get brightened up somewhat.

Another one where you'd have to ask the artist what it means.
It is striking, though.

Tagging with a sense of style. 

man in bunny suit art
A little chap with quite a lot of charm.

I think this was somebody getting rid of some stickers they happened to have in their bag.
I'm not complaining though. This does suit the overall tone of the alley.

skull flowers art
It took me a while to realise what was actually going on here.
I wonder if the artist was trying to be sinister?

The first one you come to as you duck in from the precinct.
Simple but cheerful.

 As I've mentioned already, I like seeing art out on the streets as it were, and it seems to me that there should be some record of the artists' hard work online. I hope nobody minds. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Cheapo DVD Review: Killer Pad (2008)

 Best buds Craig, Doug and Brodie have come out to California to start new lives and meet lots of hot girls. 
However, they find themselves in need of accomodation. So a totally not-shady letting agent finds them the perfect place.
I would happily live here. I like the architecture - it's modern and interesting.
I would live here if it weren't for the address.
At this point anybody who's ever watched even a single horror film is going "Uh-oh"

The lads make themselves at home. There's plenty of space, a nice big kitchen and even a swimming pool.
Cool neighbours too.
 The lovely Lucy pops round with a cake. 
You don't get that round my way. Instead you get drunks shouting "Yerrrr wankerrrr" at each other at 1 in the bastard morning. 
Sometimes they leave little presents. Kebab wrappers and broken glass mostly.


Obviously the next step is to hold the most awesome Housewarming party of all time and the boys begin dishing out flyers.
Just so you know, those leather pants have the butt-cheeks cut out. 
If I have to deal with that mental image so do you. 

There is one potential problem though.
The weird, glowing red pool thingie in the basement.
Don't get too close you idiot. You know that's gonna be some evil shit in there. 

But after the Fire Marshall unaccountably vanishes, the party is on!

Lots of people show up. Some of them are hot.
Catholic School Girls in glasses
Nobody actually believes these girls are 16 do they?  

Lucy even brings her mates round.
Boys, meet Delilah and Jezebel. 
I don't see why they don't just have "We are evil succubii" written across their foreheads in Magic Marker.
Except nobody would read it.You'd need to write it across the boobs to get anybody to notice.

Everything seems to be going according to plan...

Until people start having weird "incidents"
Like getting stuck in the toilet.
Really getting stuck in the toilet.   
  Unfortunately her evening just continues to get more shitty. 

The couple of drunk bros who hit on Lucy have it worse.
I wonder what Lucy is short for...?
Now that's just wrong.
Everybody know you put fresh meat on the bottom shelf. 

Can Doug, Craig and Brodie save the party?
Can they avoid having their souls eaten by hot demon bitches from hell?
Is that really Joey Lawrence, star of 80s sitcom "Blossom"?
Anybody know what happened to Jenna Von Oy?
Six was always my favourite character. 

  I picked this DVd up for £1 from Poundland and I'm rather glad I did. You see, I came very close to buying "Killer Pad" from HMV for a whole £7.99 -  in which case I would have been rather annoyed. 

 When all is said and done, "Killer Pad" did not make me laugh once. Not a single titter. 
Come to think of it, I barely cracked a smile. That's a significant failing in a comedy. 

 I can't really fault the cast, most of whom do a decent job with what they have to work with. In the case of the three male leads that's mainly "Be stoopid. Really, really stoopid. Can you do gormless idiot? Lots of that." While the girls get a much harder acting job. "Try and look like you're attracted to these muppets."
 Full marks for trying, guys, and lord knows you almost managed to make this film more entertaining.

 Problem is, "Killer Pad" could best be described as "Dude, Where's My Car?" mashed up with...I dunno...pick any 80s demonic horror.  And it doesn't work. 
 It should work. Just because a movie is cliched and a bit stupid doesn't mean it can't be entertaining. I have an entire shelf full of low-budget films that are fun to watch with a few beers and a kebab.
 Maybe the writers should have put more actual funny bits in it. 
Did I mention that I didn't laugh once? 

How much did I pay for this? £1
Was it worth it?  Not really. "Killer Pad" isn't as painful to sit through as the "Meet The Spartans" and all that "Date Movie/Epic Movie/Disaster movie" shite but unless you're seriously baked and have a comedy age of 12, avoid this one.

 Let's finish with another pic of the lovely Emily Baldoni.  
Emily Foxler sexy

 I'm not going to bother posting the trailer. I don't want you accidentally getting the idea that I endorse this film. 
  That's all folks.  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Metal Project: Paraguay

 The Metal Project World Tour continues with a visit to Paraguay. Bordered by Brazil and Argentina, both of which have sizeable Metal scenes, Paraguayan bands might be easy to overlook.
 I think I can do something about that.  Here's a selection of songs for your perusal. Enjoy.

Caceria - Ataque Frontal De Metal (2009)

Honour to: necroziur 

Patriarca - El Poder Del Metal (2001)

Honour to: Nelson Cabrera

Khymor - Metal Forces (2013)

Honour to: Gabriel Galarza

The Force - Neckbreaking Metal (2011)

Honour to: Alexlayer666

By now you may have noticed that Paraguayan metalheads clearly worship at the altar of Thrash.
Services are guaranteed to be over in 28 minutes or less and always end with a circle pit.

Evil Force - Speed Metal Evil (2013)

Honour to: EvilFerpy

Toxic Avenger - Thrash Metal Addiction (Demo 2013)

 Honour to: Carlitos Luque Thrasher

And finally...

Post Mortem - Metal Force (2011)

Honour to: Ati Fernandez

A big thank you to all the bands here and to the fans who posted these songs on line.
Check out their channels, like, favourite, subscribe and support.

That's all folks..

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Book review - Nathan Long: Jane Carver of Waar (2012)

redhead with sword
Picture courtesy of
"I'd just killed a man in Panorama City and the cops were on my tail"

 Jane Carver is a big, no-nonsense biker chick who just wanted a few beers and a game of pool. But when somebody tried getting gropey in the car park she saw red. The guy went down and wasn't ever getting back up.

  Hunted by helicopters, dogs and way too many police Jane ducked into a handy cave...

And woke up butt-naked on another world.

 Before she can get back home, Jane has to deal with tiger-centaurs, pirates, slavers, gladiators and while she's at it, help a hapless, helpless groom get his bride back.

I was poking about on - a site I can heartily recommend -when one particular cover caught my eye. A ferocious redhead in the classic iron bra/dangly loincloth ensemble was laying into a tiger/man thingie with particular gusto.
"I would rather like to read this." I said to myself  "To Amazon at once!"

  As you've probably guessed, "Jane Carver..." can be best be described as "John Carter Of Mars" - but with a 6 foot plus, ex-army, biker broad in the starring role and is described as "both loving tribute and scathing parody"
  I can't say I picked up on the parody although Jane's ongoing narration is frequently sardonic if not downright annoyed, especially when sidekick Sai is being an utter muppet.
 If you like, try and picture one of the old-school pulp swashbucklers through the eyes of a 21st century woman.
 Jane herself is easy to like. Sophisticated she's not, but that doesn't mean she's dumb either and her motivation is a blend of honest self-interest and wanting to do the right thing. Well, that and revenge on one particular asshole.
  You get the impression she'd be a good buddy to go drinking with but not somebody you want to piss off.

 The story moves through the usual cliches you always get in this kind of story. Jane arrives, realises she's not in Kansas anymore and then gets shunted from point to point meeting all sorts of interesting people and occasionally killing them. Pick up a cheapo paperback from the 1960s/1970s and if there's a bloke with a sword on the cover, chances are it's very similar to this. "Jane Carver" even uses the classic I-got-a- manuscript-in-the-mail device.
 Luckily Nathan Long is good enough that he manages to make the whole thing entertaining while tipping the wink to the old-school. He also manages to take us through his new world without getting bogged down in the details. I need to know where our hero is and who's currently trying to kill her, not all the details of this cool new game the author has just created.
 You' also be relieved to hear that Nathan Long doesn't fall prey to the same kinkiness certain other authors fall prey to. (Looking at you John Norman...)
 Things move along at a steady pace enlivened by liberal splashings of swordplay, there's enough characterisation to make these people interesting and if Jane gets the bulk of the development, well it is her book.

To sum up: Not the sort of book you rave about but an entertaining read that makes me want to pick up the sequel.
And any book that has flying pirate ships is always worth checking out.

That's all folks. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Mermaids

Evening all. Time for another small but select collection of Rock/Metal album covers for your entertainment.

 This time the theme is: Mermaids.  
Forget Ariel. These gals are more like the comely-but-lethal predators from the last Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.
 And I just have to ask...

How do they all get their hair looking so nice?

My Legal Crime - The Siren (2014 Russian?)

Metal album cover sexy mermaid
She looks peeved but I suppose if somebody dumped a 
trawler in my back garden, I'd be annoyed too. 

Band are more Rock than Metal but not bad at all.  

Syren's Call - Fantasea (France 2000)

Heavy Metal Cover Girls Mermaid
To a mermaid, nothing is more humiliating than being stuck on land, naked in public..
and you can't remember how to transform fins to feet. 
Just out of shot - all her mates laughing their gills off.
Luckily mermaids haven't invented cameraphones otherwise she'd never live this down.    

Siren - A Kingdom Aflame (UK 2014)

metal artwork mermaid siren storm
Now this girl has mastered the art of "Legs"
Still working on the next lesson ("Clothes") but give it time.
Right now she's busy drowning some sailors that pissed her off.

I'm always delighted when I can feature a British band on here so please check them out.

Broken Arrow - Abyss Of Darkness (Italy 2003)

Mermaids like tinned food too. 

Err..why is there a monkey in a spacesuit on this album cover?
A dead monkey even?

Honour to: Patrik Matsson

The next two feature mermaids basking. They seem to do that a lot. 

Lyraka - Vol 1 (USA 2010)

album art mermaid blonde

 A concept album featuring some quite high-profile names - Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), Veronica Freeman (Benedictum), Al Atkins (Judas Priest) Tommy Heart (Fair Warning) and Mark Boals (Everybody!) - IIRC, there was a comic involved too. 

Honour to: Lyraka

Trelleborg - In The Name Of Love (Single 2011 Russia)

Clearly posing for the annual Mermaid Page 3 calendar.

The song itself is rather interesting.
It's sort of ...Sea-shanty-Symphonic-Folk-and-other-stuff - Metal
See what you think.
Honour to: Metko Vizigot

And finally, a reminder that mermaids have to fight for their place on the top of the food chain.

Siren's Legacy - The Kraken (Germany 2013)

One of these two is going to get eaten but which?
My money is on the mermaid.
Does she look frightened to you?

And I'm going to go burn my swimming trunks because there's no bloody way I'm getting
anywhere near the sea until somebody offers conclusive proof that this squid thing doesn't actually exist.

Honour to: Siren's Legacy

If you have a theme you'd like to see, I'd love to hear it.

That's all folks.  

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Comic Review: War Stories - Castles in The Sky 1&2

  All-American college boy Leonard Wetmore is sent across the Atlantic to serve his country. While getting used to his new life, Leonard meets a beautiful young British widow and her grieving, angry son.
 But culture shock isn't Leonard's worst problem.  You see, Leonard Wetmore is a gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. And before he can go home again, there's an awful lot of dangerous missions left to fly.

 I've been eagerly waiting for this comic to come out ever since I found out about it. I'm a big fan of Ennis's 21st century take on the classic War Comic so I was curious to see how he'd approach the savage air battles between the Luftwaffe and the 8th Air force.  

 Things open gently, with young Leonard waxing poetic on his journey across the USA.

Then meeting the locals
The lovely Paula Pritchard. Very, very British.  
Then just to remind us that this is  war comic...

 I think that's one of the reasons I've liked the War Stories/Battlefields comics so much. Garth Ennis takes a bit of time to make his characters human so when things suddenly get brutal and ugly, it hits us harder.
 Issue two sees more of the same, albeit with more action.
  Leonard also finds time to get to know Mrs Pritchard a little better, leading to some interesting commentary on America's and cultural differences, all over a nice pot of tea.

 As you can see from the snippets above, artist Matt Martin isn't bad at all. Maybe better at dogfights than he is at people, if I want to be picky, but definitely getting the job done.
 I like the way the story moves along too. Bursts of action broken up by quieter personal moments. You could maybe describe the combination as "jarring" but I'm sure that's deliberate. From everything I've read, the life of a WW2 airman was a strange blend of domesticity and deadly peril.
 If like me you grew up reading the old British war comics then this is a nod to the past and at the same time, moving away from the cliches and into something more grown up.

 So to sum up: I enjoyed these two issues a lot. Not my favourite Ennis war story ("Nightingale" or maybe the heartbreaking "Dear Billy", if you're interested) but definitely worth a  read.

 The thing is, I'm looking forward to issue 3 but at the same time, I have this horrible feeling I'm about to get punched in the heart yet again...  

That's all folks. 
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