Roadtrippin for Final Battle

Over the last couple of years my road trips to watch wrestling, more specifically Ring of Honor, have dwindled. There are various reasons as to why, which I wont get into at the moment. So far this year I've been to Phoenix for Wrestlemania weekend and to Chicago in October. So with the big Final Battle weekend approaching I decided it was beyond time to head out to the East Coast and hang with buddies to watch grown men grapple each other.

A buddy from Michigan, let's call him Beatty, and myself decided to hop in the car and drive. We met up at our usual spot, some outlet malls by toll road. I've never had a problem leaving my vehicle here, even though I am always leery about it and nervous it will be towed when I returned.

We headed out on Thursday because of weather and wanted to get at least one decent night sleep on this trip, especially since I'd been battle a cold all week. We got a later start than we wanted and traveled until 2am, putting us about two hours outside of Boston. We had some slight hotel reservation issues. Beatty flipped out and then all was well. It was a sight to witness.

We contact our friend Paul, who live in Boston and graciously offered to but us up for the night as we come near. Change of plans. Instead of going to his house we are to go meet him and some other people we know, Jay and Tristen who flew in from Chicago, at a beer bar called The Lower Depths located near Fenway Park. This is not a problem for me. I do enjoy craft beers. After a delicious Mad Elf and S'muttanator we head over to another place called Boston Beer Works (), a local place who makes their own brews. I had a nice pumpkin ale complete with a sugar & cinnamon rim. The last stop before the wrestling show was Harpoon Brewery. This is the oldest brewery in Boston. We arrived just in time for the hour long tasting. I sampled about six different things which I never had before. The IPA, a hard cider, Raspberry Hefeweizen, Chocolate Stout, Oak Aged Dunkel, UFO White, and my favorite of the tasting Leviathan Barleywine. We took a growler of that one to go.

It was time to rendezvous at Paul's house. Our other friend from Boston, Larry, was going to meet us at the show. From various reasons we got a late start. The venue was actually about 30 minutes outside of Boston in Plymouth, MA. We got there about halfway through the first match. The venue was great. I really liked it. The card, not so much. I couldn't get into anything until the last match. Partly because of buffoons yelling out stupid ass comments trying to get themselves over. Nothing ruins a wrestling show quicker. The main event was great. American Wolves vs Kings of Wrestling. It was every bit as good as I expected.

We got to Paul's and sat around drinking barleywine and chatting until around 2:30am. It was time to get a few hours sleep before heading out in the morning.

We got up, around, and left for Manhattan by 11am. The easiest drive I've ever had into NYC. We got to our hotel, which was located right beside Ground Zero. None of us had never seen it before, so we strolled over. With all the construction being done the impact was slightly less emotional then I thought it would be. Still hard to imagine two giant towers being there ten years ago. We through our bags into the room and caught a subway over to the New Yorker Bar to meet "The H" for our tickets and pre-show drinks & eats. Everything there was great as usual. We slide over to the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in time to say hello to many familiar faces and people before the bell.

Final Battle was amazing. It's been a long time since I was that emotionally invested into a show. It started out hot with a tag match pitting The All Night Express against Kyle O'Rielly & Adam Cole and kept it up to the dual main events. The RoH title match was spectacular. Champion Roderick Strong outlasted Davey Richards in an epic battle. Even though I really wanted Davey win, it was still a damn great match. The final match was a Fight Without Honor, a no holds barred "unsanctioned" match to settle a year long feud between former friends and tag champions Kevin Steen and El Generico. If Generico lost, he lost his mask while Steen put his career on the line. I have witnessed many matches in my day, but this was one of the most brutal and sickest I've seen. It was an instant classic.

The after party was at Irish Times Pub. After filling my belly with tasty shepherd's pie and many, many beers (Yuengling, Brooklyn Lager, & Sam Adams Winter Lager) it was time to say goodbye to those remaining and head back to the hotel. It was late. We crashed for a few hours.

In the morning we said later to the Boston guys, and started the drive home. A pretty uneventful drive home which was made easier by the ability of my iPhone to pick up most of the Colts vs Jags game. After a 12 hour drive, I found myself home once again.

A fun and great trip.

One thing of note. All these friends I spoke about are people I have met through watching Ring of Honor over the last 7 years. You go to enough shows, see the same faces, have a person to bring fans together like "The H", you are bound to build bonds.

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Horror Movies Watched & Books Read (Nov 2010)


# Destination Truth Season 4, part 1 (2010) ***
I have to drop this season down a notch as there seems to be a lighter note to the series. It often shows the "lighter" f their travels and adventures. However, I do not watch the show for to see such antics. I want strange monsters, exotic locales, and, unexplainable things...which the show continues to do.

Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010) **1/2
A family of werewolf hunters are in for a rough time when a truce is broken with the local clan and the werewolves realize they can change at will. A SyFy movie with a decent, yet predictable, story and their usual low rate CGI effects. But hey, I've seen a lot of worse movies.

Nightmares in Red, White, & Blue (2010) ****
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film
While there really isn't new ground covered for hard core horror fans, this is a well made documentary which hits all the right points.

Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) ***
Dr. Frankenstein's second attempt at creating life once again doesn't go as planned. Will he ever learn? Another solid entry from Hammer Studios

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) ***
Dr. Frankenstein creates a female monster hoping its gender will bring upon reason. Again, a solid entry to Frankenstein lore from Hammer.

Suck (2010) ***1/2
A horror-comedy-rock and roll hybrid movie which has a band start gaining fame after their hottie bass player turned into a vampire. Hijinx, mayhem, and gore follows. Great cameos by Henry Rollins, Alice Cooper, & Iggy Pop.

After.Life (2010) **
Solid acting from Liam Neison and an oft naked Christina Ricci cant save this movie about a mortician who helps the recently deceased make the transition to death or his just a common serial killer. I'm usually alright with not having answers if the plot is good enough. This one wasn't.

Tales of Terror from Tokyo (2004) *1/2
Several shorts bound together, all dealing with supernatural elements. I watched this because many top Japanese directors had segments. Too bad the entire movie was boring.

The Norliss Tapes (1973) **1/2
A made for TV movie from the early 70's that has to do with a writing trying to debunk supernatural phenomenon, only to be proven wrong by the discovery of a vampire. A decent movie for it's era (and for being produced for television) but the years have not treated it kindly.

Frozen (2010) ***
Friends get stuck on ski lift. Friends battle the elements and each other. While I have a couple of small gripes with the movie, it is none the less a movie worth watching as it plays of the basic terror of isolation and survival.

Tony (2010) **
A sociopath goes about his days killing people in London. The concept seems over done at this point and I couldn't get into the flick.

And Soon the Darkness Comes (1970) ***
Two female friends go bicycling across France. One goes missing and the other is determined to find what happened to her. Not exactly what I expected. Nice suspenseful movie.

Road Kill (2009) **
A supernatural semi stalks it's latest victims of young people on a trip through the Australian outback. The movie is as ridiculous as it sounds.

Grimm Love (2008) **1/2
For a thesis paper, graduate student researches a famous case of cannibalism. Told in flashbacks between the eater and the giver with the present day. A difficult and uneven movie, yet interesting to watch.

Pontypool (2008) ***1/2
A tale with an interesting premise. Certain words in the English language become a host to a virus which causes people flip out. A small town radio crew reports on the chaos as the terror crashes in around them. A fine film with plenty of tension and smarts.

Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) *1/2
Another unnecessary remake which flat, cardboard characters and basically zero reason for me to like the movie.

Siren aka Erotic Ghost (2006) **
A siren comes from the sea and feeds on the greed of a group of bank robbers. Not much to this one except the stunning Sola Aoi as the siren.

Jonah Hex (2010) *1/2
Another interesting comic book character gets the Hollywood treatment which turns out unspectacular. Another waste of good actors.

30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010) **1/2
A strong first half is severely weakened by the rest of the movie as cardboard characters who are suppose to be expert hunters do dumb things to get themselves killed.

In Dreams (1999) **
A strong cast delivers horrible acting in the movie about a psychic who mind seems to be connected to a serial killer. The same killer who took her daughter. I found this flick to be very badly done.

Big Tits Dragon (2010) **1/2
I do enjoy low budget, Japanese splatterfest flicks. This one has a group of dancers discovering the book of the dead and opening up a portal to Hell, letting the dead walk. Campy fun. Just dont take it too seriously.

Animals by Craig Spector & John Skipp ***1/2
A crazy chick, who is a werewolf, recruits a guy to protect her from her equally crazy, werewolf boyfriend. It doesn't work out. The guy now must deal with his inner wolf and his new girlfriend, until the crazy girl returns once again. Not a typical wolf tale with loads of sex and gore.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer by Seth Graham-Smith
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
A revisionist history which has the great emancipator living a secret life as a vampire. A fantastic piece of work which adds a supernatural element to US history.

The Goon: Heaps of Ruination (vol. 3) by Eric Powell ****
The Goon continues with great stories of a horror-comedy nature. This group has the debut El Hombre de Largato which ends up in a Godzilla vs King Kong like battle, a Hellboy crossover story, and a cool of vampires.

Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles ****1/2
Criminal Macabre: A Cal McDonald Mystery (Dark Horse Comics Collection)
The first book in the Cal MacDonald stories which deals with ex-cop & drunk Cal trying to figure out why all the vamps, wolfs, and zombies are working together. A very unique, horror-noir tale. I will continue this series.

The Lost by Jack Ketchum
Ketchum is never one to hold back on making the reader uncomfortable. This tale is about a sociopath in small town Maine during the early 70's is no excpetion.

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Horror Movies Watched & Books Read (Oct 2010)


Babysitter Wanted (2008) **
A babysitter discovers the child she is sitting for is the son of the devil. This movie moves slowly & tries to build suspense, but fails.

The Psychic (1977) **1/2
Lucio Fulci directed this tale of a clairvoyant who finds a skeleton in his house. The mystery ensures. Not the usual gorefest from the director, but not a bad mysterious.

The Commune (2009) **
A teenage girl goes to spend the summer with her father at a Commune where things aren't as they appear. The DVD skipped during the last 15 minutes & I didn't care because nothing up to that point really kept me interested.

Acolytes (2008) ***
High school kids try to blackmail a murderer into taking out a guy who's been bullying them, but they find out it's a dangerous line to tow. An interesting Aussie movie

Reflecting Skin (1990) ***1/2
Set in the 1950's Midwest, this story is about a kid who believes his neighbor is a vampire & tries to stop his brother from falling in love with her. Also a subplot about murdered children. A very unique and bizarre movie.

The Tomb (2010) **
A modern version of Tombs of Ligeria presented by Fangoria. It had potential & actually kept me watching to the until the end. But quite frankly this movie is a sloppy mess.

Salvage (2008) ***1/2
A subtle piece where a community is over ran by creatures, well turned humans jacked up on medical experiments. A mother fights for survival and tries to save her teenage daughter.

Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009) ***
A far better than expected zombie comedy as the dead take over a small New England community who thinks a terrorist attack started by Al Queda. The movie pokes fun at a lot of different prejudices, which I like.

Dark House (2010) **
A house where child slayings is bought by a schylock, played awesomely by Jeffrey Combs, and is turned into a state of the art haunted house. The spirit infects the computer system and starts wiping out people. Nothing too bad but nothing original. The twist is seen a mile away.

Pighunt (2010) **1/2
What happens when you cross a group of military trained friends, backwoods locals, a hippy commune full of naked women who are lead by a black Jesus figure, and a myth of a giant 3000lb wild boar...well you get this movie. The first half of the movie is a really solid suspense thriller, but then all hell breaks looks and it becomes way too much for one to digest.

The Haunting (2008) ***
Fangoria FrightFest Presents - The Haunting
A solid ghost story from Spain which has a couple moving into a house where Catholic priests performed supernatural experiments. Soon the ghosts of the pasts want redemption. Great tension can make me forgive about the slight lack of logic at places in the film.

Slime City (1989) **
An ultra low budget movie with a decent plot and special effects, but horrible acting by the main character. It did make me not ever want to turn into slime.

Fragile (2005) ***
Fangoria Frightfest Presents - Fragile
Director Jaume Balagueró constructs a fine ghost tale which suffers only the characters waiting too long to resolve their situation. And Clasitina Flockhart didn't impress me either. However, this ghost tale set in a children's hospital is still well worth watching.

Dont Look Up (2009) *1/2
With the first English language film from Fruit Chan I expected...well something to at least keep me interested. The story was murky, the acting was bad, and just found the majority of this flick dull. A couple of decent specials effects are the only thing halfway decent.

Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) **1/2
A bizarre flick full of naked Japanese women from the 60's. I'm still not exactly sure what was going on but the it's full of horrific imagery that makes it worth watching.

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (2010) **1/2
Werner Herzog is a madman who has never been afraid to tackle a project. This movie, much like the main character (an always incredible Michael Shannon), is a descent into madness.

Curse of Frankenstein (1957) ***
Hammer Studios revitalized the Frankenstein legend with this outstanding movie. Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee are amazing as always.

My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen (2008) **1/2
I had reservations about this MTV produced film and while not perfect, it's a decent throwback to 80's slasher flicks. Just get beyond the fact of hot, early twenty-something actresses playing 15 year olds and sketchy dialog (do teens really talk that way these days?).

My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen 2 (2010) **
This sequel had far more unbelievable characters (this time 20 somethings playing 13-16 year olds) to go with a fairly decent story, which made sense. The movie did nothing for me though.

Monsters (2010) ***1/2
The only real horror in the movie is the aftermath caused by the aliens (The Infected Zone) as two people try to get back to the US. Not exactly what I was anticipating but this is still a good movie to watch.


The Goon: My Murderous Childhood & Other Stories (Number 2) by Eric Powell ***
A bunch of short tales involving The Goon in his continuous battles against the zombie priest and all things wierd. Fun stuff.

Dark Harvest by Norman Patridge ****1/2
Dark Harvest
A great story centering around a small Midwestern town with Pagan beliefs and the boy who is trying to escape it by winning "The Run" and slaying The October Boy.

Left For Dead: Sacrifice **1/2
I've never played the games or seen any other of the comics, if there are any, but decided to give this a quick glance one day due to it being a free download. It's alright with interesting variations on the zombies.

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My Favorite "Pure Terror" Movies

This is sort of a potpourri category which contains movies that dont quite fit into the other categories. One thing they all have in common: each one filled me with pure terror and horror when I fist watched it. Here are my final eight.

* Martyrs (2008)
This is one of the most talked horror movies of the last decade. It is absolutely brutal to watch. When a film makes me physically uncomfortable, I consider it something special. Again, the links human will go in the name of a god never seems to astonish me.

* Session 9 (2001)
Session 9
I find Brad Anderson to be one of most under rated directors working today. His movies are nothing short of brilliant. This one is about an asbestos removal crew cleaning up an old psychiatric hospital. Nothing here is as it seems as this strange place begins to take a toll on the workers. A tension filled movie.

* Phantasm (1979)
The Tall Man and his silver balls full of jacked up blades and tiny minions. This is the one which started all the weirdness. Creepy is an understatement.

* Audition (1999)
Audition: Collector's Edition
This Takashi Miike movie is an execution in the slow burning bizarre. The first third of the film things are very...well, boring and mundane. Then we find out the sweet, wholesome woman is anything but nice. Chills go up my spine just thinking about the piano wire scene.

* Inside (2007)
Inside (Unrated)
Another French movie on the countdown, this one about a woman who will do anything to get an unborn child from a the soon to be mother. I cannot even phantom something like this occurring me.

* The Devil's Rejects (2005)
The Devil's Rejects (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Again when I film makes me uncomfortable watching, it's doing something right. The motel scene where the Firefly clan is torturing the two couples does just that. I remember several people leaving the theater when this was happening. A very good movie which shows why Rob Zombie should be making movies (unlike his recent outings).

* Videodrome (1983)
Videodrome (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
James Woods is on the search for answers as he gets deeper into a bizarre mystery known as "The New Flesh". The imagery in this movie freaks me out. He gets a video tape inserted into his chest. Director David Cronenberg has never been better.

Frailty (2002)
A multi layered tale which has Bill Paxton killing demons masked as people as told to him by God. His two young sons try to make sense of it all. A fantastic flick which has you guessing, and freakeded out, until the end credits.

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