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March 07, 1995 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-07

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 7, 1995 - 9
Lively acting fails to resuscitate 'Dead' m 7

By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
Chronicling a small POW recon-
naissance mission in Vietnam in 1972,
"The Walking Dead" shows its audi-
'ence that life in Vietnam became
,meaningless as the war lost its pur-
pose and troops were sent to fight
simply for the sake of fighting. More-
pver, the makers of this film seek to
prove that, in particular, African
American soldiers - all of varying
* backgrounds - became pawns in a
great game that pitted a Caucasian
.Jncle Sam against his Asian foe.
The title of the film exemplifies a
,,oncept the five main characters in
his movie learn very early. As their
;lelicopter lands for what appears to
be a routine rescue mission in the
dense jungle of Vietnam, an entire
platoon of U.S. Marines is ambushed
by the VietCong. Seeking to continue
their mission despite their apparent
initial defeat, the five surviving sol-
diers - four black and one white -
begin a trek through the jungle in
which they fight for their lives and
reminisce about their lives at home.
At the same time, they know all too
well that they could have also been
RECORDS
Continued from page 8
those slammin' samples and re-
imixes, but you can't because some
'husically-illiterate "rapper" is
snorting some hard-to-ignore (yet
easy-to-hate) B.S. If you buy "Re-
venge of Da Badd Boy z" prepare to
experience this feeling again.
First of, this CD only has six cuts
- which actually turns out to be a
blessing. Any more of RSO's crack-
erjack attempts at rapping could lead
some to turn on rap music alto-
gether.
With four members, you'd think
at least one RSO guy could spit out
some decent lyrics.
Think again.
But, the irony of the entire situ-
ation is that the beats - some
sampled, some original - are all
fresh. If given to the right rapper,
some really dope cuts could have
been produced, but Murphy's Law
RSO used 'em.
Personally, I think Mack Devil,
Microphone Wrecka, Baddboy DJ
Deff Jeff and Raydog the Jackal
0hould leave rap alone and go back
to school. Obviously these guys have
not yet grasped some educational
basics. How else can you explain
the fact that on this sickening CD,
"The RSO Saga Part 2" is the first
cut while "Part 1" is fourth? When
Warren G spelled next "n-x-e-t" that
was cute. RSOain'tcute; these guys
are ignorant.
If ever a CD of RSO's beats,
minus the pathetic lyrics of course,
is released, it'll probably be worth
buying. But, as long as stuff is
trippin' out of these guys' mouths
in accompaniment with these beats,
none of their cuts will ever fly.
-Eugene Bowen

killed. They are the walking dead.
But through five short flashbacks
which illustrate how each of the sur-
vivors found himself in the Marine
Corps and in Vietnam, we are enlight-
ened to the possibility that, by their
REVIEW
Walking Dead
Directed by Preston A.
Whitmore; with Allen Payne
and Joe Morton
At Briarwood and Showcase
predicaments in American society
these men were "dead" long before
they set foot on the battlefield.
There is Cole (Allen Payne), the
educated man who is neglected be-
cause of the color of his skin; Hoover
(Eddie Griffin), the young hood from
the streets of Detroit; Barkley (Joe
Morton), the former Baptist Rever-
end and murderer; Brooks (Vonte
Sweet), the ignorant 19-year old; and
Pippins (Roger Floyd), the white
gangster who is driven insane by the

horrors of war. All of these men are
worthless in their lives at home, ei-
ther because of a job that they have, a
crime they have committed, or the
color of their skin.
These characters are portrayed
with amazing daring and grace by the
cast of young actors, upon whom the
entire movie rests. Most notable are
Morton ("Terminator 2: Judgment
Day") as Barkley, the stoic sergeant
who leads the group into a proverbial
pit of hell as he keeps in touch with
God, and Griffin (outstanding in his
small role in 1994's "Jason's Lyric")
who shines in his frightening and
funny part as the sly Hoover.
Fresh off of their critical and finan-
cial success in "Jason's Lyric," produc-
ers George Jackson and Douglas
McHenry bring "The Walking Dead"
to the big screen with enlightening dia-
logue, clever cinematography and an
exciting soundtrack of Motown hits.
Once again, this team intelligently
shows a rarely recognized slice of Afri-
can American life through a motion
picture which, from the outset, captures
the mind and heart of its viewer. Unfor-
tunately, what may not be attracted is
the interest of the audience, who might

haveotherwisecomprehendedthefilm's
subtle messages had they not expected
to view an exciting or dynamic Viet-
nam War movie.
In the 90-minute show, not much
tangible action takes place, and when
there is activity it appears as an un-

original war movie combat scene.
Instead, the film uses inventive flash-
backs and interesting dialogue to
motivate the plot and drive its themes
into the minds of its sympathetic au-
dience. But what results is a fascinat-
ing dissertation on the treatment of

African Americans and Marines in
the Vietnam War era that remains
slow and inert. Despite carrying a
poignant and powerful commentary,
"The Walking Dead" fails, as a movie
and more particularly as a war movie,
to ever hit us with live ammunition.'

Killing Joke
Pandemonium
BMG
Mention the name Killing Joke,
and punk and industrial bands from
all over the world will jump out of the
woodwork to sing their praises. They
have been around for quite a long
time, starting off as a fairly straight-
forward punk outfit, and mutating into
more of an industrial group as digital
technology progressed.
On their latest release, "Pandemo-
nium," Killing Joke manages a fairly
successful blend of riff-heavy indus-
trial pounding and trippy dance mu-
sic, often leaning towards the latter
element. The album is also, in great
industrial tradition, filled to the brim
with layers of morbid-sounding
samples. These actually add quite a
bit to the thick sound of the disc.
The opening title track starts things
off in a pretty boring manner, but
things get rolling by the second cut, a
fast-paced rave-romp called "Exor-
cism." While the first two tracks are
definitely dance oriented, we next
slam into a wall of guitar power called
"Millennium." This excellent track is
powerful enough to fit right in on the

last Ministry album.
Other standouts on the album in-
clude the driving rock of "Black
Moon," the techno frenzy of "Whi-
teout," and the gothic-sounding
"Labyrinth."
Throughout most of the songs, the
emphasis is on instruments and se-
quencing, the vocals consisting only
of completely distorted shouting. This
works well with -the music, but cer-
tainly doesn't add much of interest.
There are two big exceptions to this,
one being the aforementioned "Mil-
lennium," on which the singing is
actually mildly catchy, and the other
being the surprisingly sensitive "Jana"
- a song about a girl who discovers
she is HIV positive.
Though Pandemonium has a great
sound and some cool hooks, overall it
is pretty boring. Most of the songs are
between six and seven minutes long
and highly repetitive. With all of its
dark, mystic lyrics and booming per-
cussion, Pandemonium works mainly
as mood music and not much more.
Blak Czer - Mark Carlson
Tales from the Blak Side
Relativity Records
When you begin playing "Tales

from the Blak Side," you will prob-
ably be struck immediately by the
lyrical strength of its 16 cuts.
"The Hood," "Put in Some Work,"
"Think I'm Going Crazy" and "Peace
in the Hood" are mere examples of
Blak Czer's ability to capture what
life in the streets is like in all its
horrific reality.
Blak Czer is an excellent rap artist

who seems to understand what it takes
to make a good album. His rhymes are
straight and the interesting mixes of
beats are boomin'. Nothing on "Tales
from the Blak Side" seems fake or
forced.
Nevertheless, I can't help but to
feel that, in actuality, Blak Czer
isn't as hard as he'd like us to be-
lieve. But, I can't fault him for that

since that's the way most "gangsta
rappers" are. 1
The CD is alright, and if you buy
it you won't be disappointed. Blak
Czer is, however, more proof of the
old adage about gangsta perpetra-
tors like him: "there ain't no such
thing as a gangsta rapper because
the real gangstas ain't rapping."
- Eugene Bowen

READ THE DAILY

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