First look: The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fox, by D. Shane Trotter

Rocky Horror is a classic, with a massive cult following, but there’s something on the horizon. Some of you will love it, others will hate it, and some will hate it without a single viewing.

That’s just the nature of anything branded as a remake, but let’s be fair here. Remakes do serve a purpose.

There is an entire generation of movie lovers that have never seen the original, and they are very unlikely to even give it a chance. That’s where Fox comes in, and where my expectations of remakes will be proven accurate yet again…

What do I expect of Fox’s take on Rocky Horror? Let’s start with music.

Rocky Horror’s original soundtrack is iconic. It’s enjoyed both during the movie, and as a standalone. It also serves as the glue that made the original film work, and is likely to be close to the original. Don’t fix it, if it’s not broken…

Next up, I expect some visual updates. No matter how much you love the original film, it is very dated. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just got a vintage appearance. Everything from the costumes, to some of the dialogue, is fully representative of the time period it came from. 1975 was over 40 years ago. Times change.

Lastly, cultural differences. Cultural diversity is a thing, and Rocky Horror isn’t safe. Tim Curry is back, but not as Frank-N-Furter. That role has been given to Laverne Cox, a transgender actor known mostly for the character Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. This is a direct reflection of our current cultural environment in the United States, and it makes sense for the casting. Did I mention, she is also a person of color? Yes, this Frank-N-Furter is both a minority, and transgender. It’s a perfect fit for the character.

Overall, I expect the remake will meet or even exceed the quality of the original film. Technology has come a long way in 40 years, as have optics and color evaluation on cameras. Still, some older fans will likely pass judgement on the new adaptation without even giving it a chance. That is to be expected for any remake.

It should also bring a new generation into the Rocky fandom, and hopefully spike some interest in the original film for new viewers. My advice, just give it a chance. If you like it, great. If not, that’s fine too. You can always return to the original.

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Summer Bloodfeast returns in 2016!

It has been 6 years since the last Graveyard Girls / Stiffmag event under this banner, but this coming August is revival time! Our very own gathering of music and horror art is coming back on August 13 at Ground Zero in Spartanburg, SC, featuring The Independents, Nervosa, and Secret Cirkus.

More details and flyer art are coming soon.

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Misfits reunion? This time it isn’t just a rumor! by D. Shane Trotter

This may be one of those days I remember when I get old. You know the kind… Remember where you were when the big news about an alien landing at the White House broke on your local news?

Ok, so that hasn’t happened yet. Don’t worry. Trump’s alien hair piece may make this prediction come true next year. This time though, I’m talking about a Danzig fronted Misfits reunion.


I first heard the news just a few days ago, and I immediately passed it off as rumor. My curiosity did eventually win out, and was my first destination. Confirmation! Confirmation! Misfits with Glenn is a go! Maybe…

Yes, despite an official confirmation on, I was still a skeptic. Onward trusty smart phone, to!

It is official!

Two confirmations, and I am still in disbelief. Both camps have confirmed a 2-show reunion, and I am excited. Still, I hesitate to believe it will actually happen. The history with this bloody ax is just too long, but the promoters over at, seem to have made the impossible happen.

I first discovered The Misfits at around the age of 14 years old. 35 years later I am old enough to reflect on opportunities I’ve had to watch both the Danzig and Only camps in live performances, and I’ve even had a few opportunities to work shows with them back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. There’s only one wish from this fan… Glenn, Jerry, please don’t screw this up.

I do have one wish still in the back of my mind, and it should be obvious. This billing has been pitched as the first time The Misfits have reunited with Glenn since 1983. How about Robo to fill that drum kit?

Finally, here’s a word from a fan, directly to one of you involved in this. I’m speaking to you, Doyle. THANK YOU!

Many of us fans know that you have been trying to get them on civil terms for the last few years. It looks like you finally did it.

Catch The Misfits this coming September at Riot Fest!

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Rob Zombie’s “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser” a review by Michael Blanton

13131685_10153786474728323_3201033467414173812_oIt’s time to pop your earbuds in and rock out to the master of Horror Rock himself, Rob Zombie. In his sixth solo album Zombie delivers in his typical crazy fashion. While it may not be for the faint of heart, it is a fun take on the genre that Zombie has defined over his illustrious career.

The album starts off hard and heavy with the track “The Last Of The Demons Defeated,” which is a short 1:33 worth of Zombie that is reminiscent of White Zombie and some of his early solo work. It also functions as a great introduction and a tone setter for the rest of The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. Although it is a short opening track, it does hook the listener from the very beginning and carries them into the second track, “Satanic Cyanide! The Killer Rocks On!”

The second track doesn’t hold onto the fast pace that the intro track brings, instead opting for a more conservative medium tempo, despite this slowed pace, it still manages to hold the listener’s interest. It does hold a lot of sound bites from outside sources, so if you’re looking for just music, this may not be the track for you. That being said, even the samples are twisted into Zombie’s world in such a fashion that makes them as much of a part of the song as the guitars and drums. After multiple listens, it becomes apparent without these samples the track would just not be a Rob Zombie track. It is a fun listen, regardless of how someone might feel about samples in the track.

From here, Zombie moves onto “The Life And Times Of A Teenage Rock God” and does he ever earn the title of rock god in this song. Starting with the strong build from the drums, the song brings back feelings from one of his earlier singles, “Pussy Liquor,” and takes the listener on a nostalgic trip back in time. This particular song is also a good example of what a Rob Zombie concert feels like. It builds, has a strong climax, then lets the listener drift into their own world of ecstasy while they wait for the next track to begin. Which brings us to the first single off of the album.

“Well, Everybody’s F*cking In A U.F.O.” is an interesting three minutes to spend listening to. While it’s the first single off of the album, it does beg one question and that is, Why? The first single off an album should be a representation as a whole for the album and hook the listener into wanting to hear more. This track does present an interesting listen to say the least, but does not really represent the album as a whole. It could be the fact that, based off of the title, the new listener is expected to want to see what the full album is all about. However, for an old fan, it seems as though it is nothing more than a random title thrown into the middle of an already chaotic title selection. That being said, the track is still worth a listen, but should not be considered as the primary representation of the album.

If you are really looking for a solid representation of the album, then perhaps the tracks that would be a better selection for you are “Medication For The Melancholy” or “In The Age Of The Consecrated Vampire We All Get High.” Slammed right in the middle of the album, both of these tracks are strong contenders for the next big hit for Zombie. They both exhibit the true horror rock form the classic listener has come to expect and manage to pair it with a new side of Zombie that still manages to stay true to his original form. In doing this, they also help to cement this as a solid album for Rob Zombie and show that even after twenty years he still has that touch that can make rockers everywhere still love him. Medication gives you the feel of a smooth driving song that will ensure you have a few speeding tickets to answer to in the near future. Get High, on the other hand, is the song that makes you want to get up and throw your horns into the air. It is, in its own right, an anthem for the rocker to stand behind and scream at the tops of their lungs. As has been stated before, either of these songs would make strong contenders for the best single track on the album. With the rest of the remainder of the album resting on the shoulders of these songs, it will undoubtedly be a success.

Speaking of the rest of the album, it should be noted that there are many good selections to still choose from. While they may not be as stand out as any of the earlier tracks, they do still hold merit all their own. Whether it be the synth driven “Super-Doom-Hex-Gloom Part One” or the strong up beat “Get Your Boots On! That’s The End Of Rock And Roll” there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The album ends on its longest song “Wurdalak,” which is a slow build, guitar driven creep fest. This song drives home the dark and demonic sound that Zombie has always been famous for. Coming in at 5:30, it creates the perfect ending to The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser and leaves the listener ready to start the album over from the very beginning just to reach the apex once again.

While the album itself falls in at a small thirty-one minutes and twenty-three seconds, it does still make an excellent case for a top ten album for Rob Zombie. It does lag in places and has a couple of filler tracks, but overall the effect is not lost, plus a few instrumentals here and there can sometimes build the ambience of an album further. That is exactly what happens here and why Zombie’s new album gets a 4.2/5. So the next time you are looking for some horror rock to listen to, don’t forget the Zombie, because he certainly has not forgotten us.

Michael Blanton is an aspiring writer from upstate South Carolina. He has a degree in Psychology from Winthrop University with a focus in human behavior and cultural patterns. He is also an avid fan of horror movies and comic books.

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Grab your muskets and bayonets, it’s time for Civil War! ……. Give me back the computer, you’ve lost your privileges… Sorry about that everyone! Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you know that Captain America: Civil War was released.  Now it’s time for the full on frontal exposure of all things Marvel of the day.

For starters, let’s look at the lead up to Civil War. Marvel is riding high on its multiyear plan with the success of The Avengers films and the standalone story arcs. While Civil War is technically a standalone Captain America movie, it feels more like a continuation of an Avengers saga. That being said, it is a fun film from start to finish. It provides a myriad of action mixed with just the right amount of plot and character development to keep the viewer hooked. However, if you are walking into this movie to see a shot for shot remake of the comic book, then you may be slightly disappointed, but more on that later.

If you are venturing into this film looking for action, you have come to the right place. Starting off the viewer is thrown into the grasp of Captain America’s grip and held like the Stars and Stripes on his vibranium shield. While I won’t go into too much details of the opening scene, let’s just say that the true believers out there will be happy to see some familiar faces. Speaking of which, there are many returning characters that we see in this film, with actors like Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Renner all returning as their respective heroes, there is no lack of super powered stardom to go along with the superheroes in this film. That being said, there are some new faces that are thrown into the fold as well.

Anyone with a television that can pick up basic channels has probably seen a Civil War trailer with Black Panther in it. Let’s just say, this is a great thing. While not an origin story of the Black Panther, it does provide a good deal of why he becomes the hero in the first place. While Chadwick Boseman is a relatively unknown actor, with only a handful of major films under his belt, it is safe to say that he does not disappoint. His emotional portrayal of T’Challa as a grief stricken prince rivals that of Chris Evans or RDJ. He brings life to a character that is often left in the dark when major Marvel characters come into play. And while he does shine throughout the film, he does not outshine any of his fellow cast members, but rather encourages their respective struggles throughout the movie. His character adds to the overall plot and makes the viewer really feel like they are a part of Cap and Iron Man’s dispute in a way that would not be present without him.

Now to the part everyone is going to hate me and fight me over, the plot. Let me start by saying, yes I am a comic book fan. Yes, I have read Civil War and yes, I am well aware that there are some major pieces of the story that are altered and or left out. That being said, I learned a long time ago to stop going to comic book movies to see a shot for shot remake of the comic, because if I hadn’t, I would never be happy with a superhero movie. A few have come close, I’m looking at you Watchmen, but more often than not, they fail to live up to the source material. This is not because of a writer or director’s oversight or need to change things, but rather because it’s not always completely possible to translate from print to film. That being said, look at the film for what it is, an interpretation, and in this case a damn fine one. We see the general theme, especially in the trailers, as Captain America’s team versus Iron Man’s team. The question is though, what are they fighting over? Well, if you’ve ever read the comics, or spent five minutes on a Wikipedia page, then you know exactly what they are fighting over. If you haven’t, well *SPOILER* it’s over the registration of superheroes or enhanced individuals.

The staple of this story arc is basically the idea that a house divided will not stand of its own accord. If you’ve seen the movie or the trailer, then you know there is a very strong divide in the house that Stark built. Each Avenger has to pick a side and really establish where they stand on the issue, lest they be faced with major consequences (I won’t tell you what they are, go see the movie!). This dispute eventually becomes a full on conflict that leads to a major split between party lines and creates the division we’re teased to in the Avenger camp. However, while the focus is on Captain America’s side of the story, the viewer is treated to some major side plot story with both Iron Man and Winter Soldier. I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say it’s smashing! These side stories tie into Cap’s own story and create the largest rift in the whole movie. If you are looking for a story that builds and climaxes, then you have come to the right place. If you are looking for something a little more action oriented, but still has a good plot, you’re also in the right place. If you’re looking like the topographical map of Utah… Well, you might want to hit up your local R rated superhero to get your fix there.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is an enjoyable movie for both the casual goer and True Believer alike. If you have some free time in the foreseeable future and want to burn a bit of money, I highly recommend this film. It provides you with the fix to hold onto until the next superhero film and provides a unique look into one of Marvel’s biggest story arcs. While it may not be one hundred percent true to the comic, it does bring the feel of its source material to the big screen and drags those feelings out of the viewer. So, whether you’re a True Believer or not, get ready for a nonstop thrill ride into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: Civil War gets a solid 4/5 scars from us here at Stiff Magazine.


Michael Blanton is an aspiring writer from upstate South Carolina. He has a degree in Psychology from Winthrop University with a focus in human behavior and cultural patterns. He is also an avid fan of horror movies and comic books.

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Casting Call: Graveyard Girls 2016


Happy new year Stiffs! 2016 is here, and we have an announcement for you.

Applications for 2016 Graveyard Girls are now being accepted. There will be 2 levels of participation: Amateur and professional.

Participants chosen will be photographed for publication, and no more than 12 from each division will be published during the 2016 offerings.

Shoots will be conducted in both Gaffney, SC and Charlotte, NC.

To inquire, please email samples of your previous work, and a short bio to

Please specify if you are applying as amateur or professional.

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Where were you when the world ended?

4510298485_ef6e22dfba_nI’m quite sure most of you reading that title are wondering what I’m smoking. No, this isn’t a pun. This isn’t a humorous article. I’m deadly serious.

Sure, the earth still spins, the sun still rises, and we all have to go to work. Still, the world has ended, at least for humanity. We are not really here. Not anymore.

This is the age of instant gratification. We are producing more information than ever before in human history. We are creating more than any other point in human history. The problem isn’t what we are doing, but more how we dispose of things so quickly. Nothing is important enough to keep.

When did the world come to an end? I’m not quite sure, and most of the population seems oblivious. Nobody builds things to last. In fact, even trivial things have fallen victim. There’s barely any evidence, other than garbage, that we are even here.

There’s no great monuments to our time period. There’s not even much in regard to printed photographs. Seriously, think about it. When is the last time you printed a photo to keep? Have you ever printed a photo at all?

Sure, there is a lot of information. There’s more information than ever before in our history. None of it is kept. All of it is replaced with newer information in a short period of time. Sensational topics sometimes last a bit longer, at least until the next sensational topic arrives.

Magazines, newspapers, books, and even music have all fallen victim to the digital age. More victims will follow. Let the wind blow, and the evidence of our existence will just float away.

photo credit: Hazey daze via photopin (license)

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Staying highly caffeinated is an art form

Some people want just a “plain” cup of coffee. To me, coffee is anything but plain. The magical cherry seed is just as complex as wine, and can host a wide variety of flavors. Cheap coffee, like cheap wine, needs a lot of sugar to mask the bitter taste.

That’s where the syphon comes in.

What the hell is a syphon? I’m glad you asked…

A syphon coffee is brewed under vacuum pressure. Water is heated, just like any other cup of joe, but it brews by cooling the water source. The bottom bowl creates a vacuum, which pulls the water through the grounds, instead of just letting water fall through.

As the temperatures reduce, a wide variety of flavors are extracted. This allows for a very balanced flavor, and sometimes a hint of the cherry that created the beans.

Why would anyone ever want a “plain” cup of joe again?

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Bracing for Hurricane Joaquin

Hurricane season is on us, and here in South Carolina we have seen a lot of rain preceding this storm. Many areas are already declaring a state of emergency, and the hurricane isn’t even here yet.

Enter the Internet humor version of the storm…

For the love of the Internet, please give us the Johnny Cash version.

(Update: It appears that Hurricane Joaquin learned that there were no fans of rap music anywhere in the projected path of destruction. It has changed coarse, and may stay in the Atlantic Ocean.)


Posted in Completely Bogus, and you know it, News | Leave a comment

Midnight Syndicate “Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering”

Now available on iTunes and Amazon MP3

Midnight Syndicate’s new haunted Yuletide-inspired dark instrumental album Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering is now available digitally on iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon MP3.   A new preview track entitled, Night of the Krampus has been released on Midnight Syndicate’s YouTube Channel.


Response to the new album has been amazing. If you’d like to hear what some fans and press are already calling a Midnight Syndicate masterwork, check out all four preview tracks including: Up On The HousetopCoventry Carol, and Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy on the Midnight Syndicate YouTube Channel.

For more on Midnight Syndicate, visit

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