Saturday, October 22, 2016

LIVE Play-By-Play from Week 7's Raiders vs. Jaguars Game!

Time to meet Jack Del Rio's ex...

By: Jimbo X

Join The Internet Is In America on Sunday, Oct. 23, for our LIVE play-by-play (well, more like possession-by-possession, but that shit is deathly for SEO) coverage of week 7's Raiders vs. Chiefs game. The shenanigans begin at 1 p.m. eastern time (with updates every commercial break) so be sure to bookmark this shit before kickoff. And as always, do us and yourselves a kindness and let all your fellow Raiders fans know what we're up to by posting links to our coverage on your social media pages. Hey, we're all in this together, remember (#silverandblacklivesmatter)...
12:26 p.m. - Vegas has the Jags as a -2 favorite, with the over/under set at 47.

12:27 p.m. - No major scratches for either team heading into the 1 p.m. kickoff. Offensively, the Raiders are outyarding the Jags rushing and passing this season. The Jags average 20.2 points per game while the Raiders average 25.3 points per contest. 

12:29 p.m. - The Jags are riding a two game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Raiders have an opportunity to go 4-0 on the road for the first time since 2000.

12:53 p.m. - Trent Green and Greg Gumbel are calling the action today. They remind us that the last time the Raiders had a winning season, Derek Carr was only 11-years-old. 

12:54 p.m. - Jacksonville leads the all-time regular season series 4-3.

1:01 p.m. - It's the first game back in Jacksonville since JDR left the team a few years back. The Raiders are set to receive first.

1:02 p.m. - Touchback for Oakland. Raiders take over at their own 25.

1:03 p.m. - Washington gets about five, maybe six on the first down run.

1:04 p.m. - Second and four. Washington the lone back. He gets smacked behind the line for a two-yard loss.

1:04 p.m. - Third and six. Carr tosses the ball away. Here comes the punting unit.

1:05 p.m. - The Jags' return man goes down at the 20-yard line. 

1:06 p.m. - Bortles pressured, almost intercepted on the throw.

1:06 p.m. - Second and 10. Yeldon gets maybe two, three yards on the run.

1:07 p.m. - Third and eight. And Allen Robinson cannot hold on to the pass. Time to punt. 

1:08 p.m. - Jalen Richard the return man. He goes down at the OAK 30. 

1:11 p.m. - Rivera picks up a new set of downs on a running throw. Flag down.

1:11 p.m. - Offsides against Jacksonville. Raiders decline.

1:12 p.m. - Crabtree isn't even looking on first down. 

1:12 p.m. - Second and 10. Seth Roberts gets a couple on the pick up.

1:13 p.m. - Third and seven. And Crabtree gets enough to move the chains as Carr evades a blitz. 

1:13 p.m - Flags everywhere. Neutral zone infraction against the Jags gives the Raiders a shortened set of downs. 

1:14 p.m. - First and five. Seth Roberts WIDE open for a good 30 yard gain.

1:15 p.m. - First and 10. Murray with a five yard run.

1:15 p.m. - Second and five in the red zone. Carr throws it away. 

1:16 p.m. - Third and five. Incomplete pass to Walford. 

1:16 p.m. - Sea-bass comes out. The 26-yard field goal is good. The Raiders go up 3-0 with nine minutes left in the first quarter.

1:19 p.m. - The Jags' return man goes down at the 30 yard line.

1:19 p.m. - Ivory gets maybe a yard on the first down run.

1:20 p.m. - The receiver gets about nine yards, but flags are all over the place.

1:21 p.m. - Holding against the Raiders, so the Jags get some free yardage.

1:21 p.m. - Ivory  with a five yard run, but it looks like he may have coughed up the ball.

1:22 p.m. - Jacksonville maintains possession. Second and four. Yeldon gobbled up at the line.

1:23 p.m. - Third and three. And what the fuck, the CBS feed just switched to the Indianapolis vs. Tennessee feed!

1:24 p.m. - Well, apparently, Bortles got a lot of yardage. A 17-yard run. 

1:26 p.m. - Second and 10. Bortles with a another big run, maybe enough to pick up a new set of downs. 

1:27 p.m. - First and 10 at the OAK 20. And Bortles gets SACKED by Bruce Irvin.

1:27 p.m. - Second and 10. The receiver barely makes it past the line of scrimmage.

1:28 p.m. - Third and seven. The Jags take a timeout.

1:29 p.m. - The pass is intercepted by David Amerson in the end zone!

1:32 p.m. - Raiders at their own 20. Crabtree gets about three on first down.

1:33 p.m. - Second and seven. Murray drives it up the gut for a short gain.

1:33 p.m. - Third and four. And Crabtree reels it in for a new set of downs.

1:34 p.m. - First and ten. Murray with about five, possibly six on the run.

1:34 p.m. - Second and five. Murray with a three yard run. Flags down.

1:35 p.m. - Neutral zone infraction against Jacksonville. 

1:35 p.m. - First and ten at the OAK 40. Another run up the gut from Murray, for about two yards.

1:36 p.m. - Second and eight. Cooper with just a few yards on the catch.

1:37 p.m. - Third and five. Crabtree can't hold on to the rock. Raiders gotta' punt.

1:38 p.m. - The Jags muff the ball on the return and Oakland gets it back within the Jacksonville 20!

1:38 p.m. - Incomplete pass on first down.

1:40 p.m. - Jamize O takes it to the JAX 14 and that's the end of the first quarter.

1:42 p.m. - Third and seven. Seth Roberts can't reel it in, so here comes Sea-bass. 

1:43 p.m. - A 32-yard attempt. It's good. Raiders go up 6-0.

1:47 p.m. - Judges reset the game clock to 14:52. Sea-bass re-kicks it.

1:48 p.m. - The Jags' return man goes out at the 20. Penalty marker is down.

1:48 p.m. - Offsides on the Raiders and they have to kick the ball AGAIN. 

1:49 p.m. - The Jags take a knee so they'll take over at their own 25.

1:51 p.m. - Allen Robinson can't reel it in but penalty flags are everywhere. 

1:52 p.m. - Pass interference against David Amerson. 

1:53 p.m. - Ivory pushed out of bounds at the OAK 10. 

1:54 p.m. - A 43-yard run. 

1:54 p.m. - First and goal. Ivory hit behind the line. 

1:54 p.m. - Second and goal. The Raiders take a timeout.

1:55 p.m. - Robinson overthrown.

1:55 p.m. - Third down. Robinson with a couple of yards, but nowhere close to smacking pay dirt. Here comes the field goal unit. 

1:56 p.m. - The 23-yard attempt is good. It's 6-3, Raiders.

1:58 p.m. - Jalen Richard in the backfield. He takes a knee, so the Raiders will begin at the 25 yard line.

1:59 p.m. - Johnny Holton with a good 29-yard run on first down.

2:00 p.m. - Washington with about a five yard run. 

2:00 p.m. - Murray gets more than enough to move the chains. 

2:01 p.m. - Washington with a five-yard reception.

2:02 p.m. - Second and four. Washington barely gets a yard on the run.

2:02 p.m. - Raiders at the JAX 25. Third and four. 

2:03 p.m. - And Jamize O. gets enough to pick up the new set of downs. 

2:03 p.m. - At the JAX 18. Murray takes it down to the 12.

2:04 p.m. - Second and four. Murray gets maybe a yard. 

2:05 p.m. - Third and two. And Crabtree takes it down to the five.

2:06 p.m. - First and goal. Jamize O. drives down to the three, maybe the two.

2:06 p.m. - Second and goal. And Murray runs it down the middle for the score!

2:07 p.m. - And Sea-bass is automatic. The Raiders now lead it, 13-3.

2:10 p.m. - The Jags take a knee. They'll begin their next drive at their own 25.

2:12 p.m. - Bortles under pressure and he has to throw it away.

2:13 p.m. - Yeldon gets enough to pick up the first down. 

2:13 p.m. - The receiver is underthrown and the pass is almost picked off.

2:14 p.m. - Second and 10. Thomas with a seven yard pick up. 

2:14 p.m. - Third and three. The Raiders call a timeout.

2:17 p.m. - The receiver gets a huge 38-yard pickup. Jags deep in Raiders' territory now.

2:18 p.m. - Second and eight. Thomas bows out about five yards shy of the first down marker.

2:19 p.m. - Third and four. Flags down as Bortles runs for the first down. 

2:20 p.m. - And that puts the Jags back ten yards. 

2:20 p.m. - Third and 14. And that takes us down to the two minute warning. 

2:23 p.m. - And Bortles tosses it out of the end zone with the Raiders blitzing. 

2:23 p.m. - The field goal attempt is good. Raiders still lead, 13-6.

2:25 p.m. - Touchback, so the Raiders will begin at the 25 yard line. 

2:26 p.m. - Crabtree gets about five on the pick-up.

2:26 p.m. - Second and four. And Murray reels it in for a new set of downs.

2:27 p.m. - Murray bobbles the catch.

2:27 p.m. - Second and 10. Murray takes it to the OAK 42. 

2:28 p.m. - Third and five. AND CRABTREE HAULS IT IN DOWN TO THE 10 YARD LINE!

2:28 p.m. - The Raiders take a timeout.

2:29 p.m. - First and goal. Twenty five seconds left in the half.

2:30 p.m. - Roberts ruled out of bounds in the corner of the end zone.

2:30 p.m. - Second and goal. Cooper can't reel it in, but there is a flag down.

2:31 p.m. - And they pick the yellow hanky back up. 

2:31 p.m. - Third and goal. TOUCHDOWN MICHAEL CRABTREE!

2:32 p.m. - And Crabtree gets a 15-yard penalty for the old Chris Benoit throat slashing gesture.

2:33 p.m. - Sea-bass is automatic. Raiders lead 20-6. Actually, Crabtree got the personal foul call for simply putting his thumb to his throat. I am NOT bullshitting you, folks. 

2:35 p.m. - Four seconds left in the half. And the Jags take a knee. 

2:35 p.m. - The Raiders pretty much running away with this one. Oakland has 237 yards to Jacksonville's 151. Oakland is outyarding the Jags aerially 153 to 57, but believe it or not, the Jags still lead the Raiders in terms of rushing yardage, 94 to 84.

2:50 p.m. - Jags with possession to begin the second half. Second and nine.

2:51 p.m. - Bortles gets about seven on a run.

2:52 p.m. - Third and four. Chris Ivory cannot reel it in. Here comes the field goal unit.

2:53 p.m. - The kicker makes it. Oakland still leads, 20-9.

2:54 p.m. - The Raiders will begin the next possession at their own 25.

2:55 p.m. - Cooper with about seven yards on first down.

2:56 p.m. - A Jaguar defender is down on the turf.

2:58 p.m. - Second and four. And Murray gets more than enough for the first down.

2:59 p.m. - Carr scrambles for about five yards.

3:00 p.m. - Second and five. Murray goes down at the line.

3:00 p.m. - Third and seven. Incomplete to Seth Roberts. Raiders have to punt.

3:01 p.m. - And the Jags will start the next drive at their own 7.

3:04 p.m. - Allen Robinson can't hang on.

3:04 p.m. - Second and 10. The receiver gets dropped around the line of scrimmage.

3:05 p.m. - Third and 10. DJ Hayden with the sack!

3:06 p.m. - And a holding call against Jacksonville. Jags have to punt it away.

3:06 p.m. - Richard goes down at the OAK 42. About eight minutes left in the third quarter.

3:09 p.m. - Incomplete to Roberts on the running pass.

3:09 p.m. - Second and 10. Carr with about a two yard scramble.

3:10 p.m. - Third and nine.

3:10 p.m. - And Amari Cooper picks up the midfield pass to move the chains. 

3:10 p.m. - Flags down. Ten yard penalty against the Raiders for holding.

3:11 p.m. - Third and 19. Roberts overthrown. 

3:12 p.m. - Raiders punting. Penalty flags are already down.

3:12 p.m. - False start call against Oakland puts them back another five yards.

3:12 p.m. - The kick return man goes down at the 23. There are flags down.

3:13 p.m. - Holding call against Jacksonville. 

3:14 p.m. - Jacksonville pinned back at their own five. Yeldon with barely anything on first down.

3:14 p.m. - Second and eight. Yeldon steps out of bounds about four yards shy of the first down marker.

3:15 p.m. - Third and four. AND KHALIL MACK WITH THE SACK!

3:16 p.m. - Jaguars punt. The Raiders will begin the next drive at the JAX 37.

3:19 p.m. -  Flags down. Offsides against Jacksonville makes it first and five for the Raiders.

3:19 p.m. - Washington runs down the middle to move the chains.

3:20 p.m. - First and ten. Holton dropped in the backfield for nearly a five yard loss.

3:21 p.m. - Second and 14. Washington bobbles it. 

3:21 p.m. - Third and 14. Roberts makes it to the 26-yard line. Here comes Sea-Bass.

3:22 p.m. - A 44-yard attempt. And it's good. Raiders extend their lead to 23-9.

3:23 p.m. - Touchback, so the Jags will begin at their own 25.

3:24 p.m. - Bortles nearly sacked on a shuttle pass. Amazingly, the Jags manage to turn it into a three yard gain.

3:25 p.m. - Third and five. Penalty markers down.

3:26 p.m. - And it is a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Jacksonville.

3:27 p.m. - Third and 20. Rashad Green dropped at the 20-yard line. 

3:28 p.m. - Richard runs it all the way down to the JAX 20. Flags EVERYWHERE.

3:29 p.m. - A major holding call pushes the Raiders way back to where Richard originally caught the ball. 

3:30 p.m. - And that's it for the third quarter.

3:33 p.m. - Second and 10 at the OAK 28. Richard with maybe one on the catch.

3:33 p.m. - Third and 10. Roughing the passer call gives the Raiders 15 free yards. 

3:34 p.m. - An Malik Jackson commits ANOTHER 15 yard penalty for cursing at the ref.

3:35 p.m. - Raiders at the JAX 42 now.

3:36 p.m. - Cooper with a yard on the catch.

3:36 p.m. - Second and nine. Richard fights for about two yards.

3:37 p.m. - Third and eight. Crabtree hauls it in, but it is probably a yard shy of moving the sticks.

3:38 p.m. - Here comes Sea-Bass. A 52-yard attempt. He's good. Raiders now lead it 26-9 with 11 minutes left in the fourth.

3:40 p.m. - Malik Jackson gets ANOTHER personal foul so he's ejected.

3:41 p.m. - The Jags' receiver is taken down at the 13 yard line.

3:41 p.m. - Lee picks up enough on the slant to move the chains.

3:42 p.m. - The receiver a good yard shy of a new set of downs.

3:43 p.m. - Bortles nearly intercepted on an incompletion.

3:43 p.m. - Second and 10. Bortles scrambles. Two flags down. Holding on the offense, personal foul on the defense, so the penalties offset each other.

3:44 p.m. - Second and 10. Allen Robinson down to the JAX 40.

3:45 p.m. - Third and six. Allen Hurns can't reel it in, and the punting unit is out again.

3:45 p.m. - Richard takes the kick-off to the OAK 30.

3:47 p.m. - Murray with a six, maybe even seven yard run.

3:49 p.m. - Second and three. The back is swarmed behind the line.

3:50 p.m. - Third and seven. Osemele is walking off the field. Murray gets hit behind the line on a throw. Raiders have to punt.

3:51 p.m. - The Jags' return man goes down around the JAX 15. About seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

3:56 p.m. - Intentional grounding call against Bortles. JAX at their own 45.

3:57 p.m. - Another incompletion from Bortles.

3:57 p.m. - Second and 10. The refs add a few seconds to the game clock.

3:58 p.m. - Bortles throws it away on a blitz.

3:58 p.m. - Third and 10. The Jaguars manage to convert.

3:59 p.m. - Hurns overthrown.

4:00 p.m. - Bortles gets tripped up behind the line. And there is a holding call against the offense. 

...this pretty much tells you everything you need to know about today's game.

4:00 p.m. - Second and 20. More flags. False start against the offense.

4:01 p.m. - Second and 25. And Bortles connects to move the Jags into the red zone.

4:02 p.m. - The Jags reel it in the end zone, but there is a flag down.

4:03 p.m. - Offsides against the Raiders. The kick is good. And that makes it 26-16, Raiders, with four minutes left in the game. 

4:06 p.m. - The game clock is reset and the Raiders take a timeout.

4:07 p.m. - The onside kick goes out of bounds. And the Raiders get flagged. 

4:08 p.m. - It is against Jacksonville. The Raiders take over at midfield. 

4:09 p.m. - Murray with about three yards on a run up the gut.

4:10 p.m. - Jacksonville takes a timeout.

4:11 p.m. - Second and eight. Murray with maybe a yard on the run. Jacksonville takes another timeout.

4:12 p.m. - Third and seven. And now the Raiders take a timeout.

4:15 p.m. - And the Raiders get hit with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call. 

4:17 p.m. - And on fourth and 24, Marquette King runs the ball for a new set of downs following a trick play!

4:18 p.m. - We get some scuffling, and both a Raider (Johnny Holt) and a Jaguar (Jalen Ramsey) get ejected. 

4:19 p.m. - And Murray runs it up the gut for a considerable gain on first down.

4:20 p.m. - Second and six and the Jags use their final timeout.

4:21 p.m. - Cooper with a HUGE pick-up to put the Raiders at the JAX 9.


4:23 p.m. - Sea-bass is automatic for the extra point. And the Raiders extend their lead to 33-16.

4:24 p.m. - Offsides against the Jaguars. The point after is still good. 

4:27 p.m. - Two minutes to go. The Jags at their own 30.

4:29 p.m. - Second and 10 with 90 seconds left. AND REGGIE NELSON INTERCEPTS THE BALL. 

4:30 p.m. - You may have had bad days before, but you've never had one as bad as the day the Jags have had. 

4:31 p.m. - And the Raiders will just run out the clock.

4:33 p.m. - That's all she wrote from northern Florida. The Oakland Raiders put in their best defensive showing of the year en route to a dominant 33-16 win. With their fourth road win of the year, the Raiders improve to 5-2 on the year. 

4:34 p.m. - Man ... sometimes, football is just awesome, y'know?

Paying Tribute To The Godfather of Gore ... and Direct Marketing

Herschell Gordon Lewis wasn’t just a pioneer in exploitation movies and aggressive advertising. Indeed, his long, unsung career embodies everything that makes America truly great.

By: Jimbo X

Unless you are somebody really into either gory 1960s B-movies or general advertising copywriting, you've probably never heard of Herschell Gordon Lewis, who died Sept. 26 at the ripe old age of 90. But if you do know who Lewis was, he probably made some sort of palpable impact on your life. Indeed, if you've ever watched a John Waters movie (or tossed a handful of direct mail in the garbage), you are indirectly feeling the second-hand impact of the man himself.

Nicknamed "The Godfather of Gore," Lewis is probably best known for helming 1963's Blood Feast, a drive-in classic often considered the first true "splatter" film in the annals of American cinema. The pastel-colored horror flick (legend has it, the entire thing was filmed in just a couple of days) was notorious for its groundbreaking (and stomach-churning) violence, including scenes in which nubile young women have their tongues bloodily sawed off and their eyes gruesomely plucked out by, of all things, an evil, Egyptian-deity worshiping … caterer. Believe it or not, such fare was probably a step-up from Lewis' previous bread and butter, a series of nudist colony "musicals."

While Lewis' directorial oeuvre only span from 1959 to 1972 (although he did make a few cheapies in the early 2000s), he nonetheless managed to produce a high volume of all-time degenerate cinema masterpieces. Who can forget his 1964 hillbilly magnum opus Two Thousand Maniacs!, which centered on a bunch of Yankees traveling down south only to be held captive by Confederate ghosts (cleverly discussed as Georgian rubes) and mutilated and tortured to death via such ingenious execution methods as being rolled down steep hills in barrels lined with razor sharp nails? Or what about 1970's Wizard of Gore, about a magician who brutally murders women on stage while the audience thinks all of the neon blood splashing all over the place is just a larf? And that's nothing to say of his other genre works, including the moonshining epic This Stuff'll Kill Ya!, the wife-swapping "drama" Suburban Roulette and the juvenile delinquency-fest Just For The Hell Of It. Heck, he even made a couple of kids movies while he was at it, stuffing in offerings like Jimmy the Boy Wonder and The Magic Land of Mother Goose in between A Taste of Blood and She-Devils on Wheels.

Ever the renaissance man, Lewis gave up the B-movie trade in the early 1970s and promptly began his second career - this time, as one of the pioneers of "direct marketing" advertising. Indeed, he wrote no less than 21 books about his experiences in copywriting, many of which - such as Open Me Now and Marketing Mayhem - conveyed the same sensational bluntness that made his cinematic exploits so (in)famous.

Clearly, they don’t make them like Lewis anymore, that’s for sure. The living embodiment of the practically deceased Protestant Work Ethic, the man immortalized as “The Godfather of Gore” was utterly obsessed with production. Whether or not what he churned out was particularly good was an afterthought; the important thing was that he got that damned movie out about a dude who paints pictures of posies with hobo blood or that manual about antique dinner plate collection out under-budget and ahead-of-schedule. Some say he was a cheapskate, others say he was a brass-balled exploiter. Indeed, many call him a legitimate con artist, seeing as how he actually spent three years in prison for running all sorts of schemes to finance his film ventures, including a fake abortion clinic. But the one thing you can’t ever call him was “lazy.” While many of his contemporaries were layabouts complaining about “a lack of funding,” Lewis went out there and made movies, regardless of the budget, the filming locations or even the actors’ basic ability to speak decipherable English. Lewis was a man who was hell-bent on fulfilling his grandiose visions, and no trifling matters like “a lack of equipment” or “the ability to pay the cast” was going to stop him, either.

Lewis was really the reverse hipster. Instead of reveling in the dull irony of modern existence and worshipping effortlessness as virtue, he was dedicated to getting something out there, no matter the costs or production limitations. The artistes out there can spend three months trying to get the lighting on their abstract macaroni noodle portraits against sexism just right, but for a man like Lewis? Life was too short for “perfectionism,” and instead of wallowing in his own idealism as an excuse for never trying, he was more than content pushing out less-than-high-quality works if it meant being able to move on to the next even better idea. The man was an absolute degenerate cinema (and later, direct marketing) machine, pushing out material like a diarrhetic goose. Sure, nothing he produced can rightly be considered a cinema masterpiece, but then again, Lewis wasn’t in the cinema business - he was in the movie-making industry. And that, ultimately, is what separates him from other cult auteurs like Ed Wood and Ray Dennis Steckler - he was actually a competent filmmaker.

It’s utterly impossible to watch something like The Gore Gore Girls and Monster A-Go Go and not be entertained. Lewis may not have had the storytelling chops of Kurosawa or Fellini, but when it came to making nudity-filled, psychotonic, hyper-technicolor bloodbaths, his work remains unparalleled. Try as they may, not even the heavy hitters of Italian gore cinema like Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci could successfully replicate that redder-than-red meat and potatoes aesthetics of Lewis’ filmography. Even trash cinema icons like John Waters continue to sing Lewis’ praises - when it comes to nailing the atmosphere of Vietnam era, burlesque and acid grindhouse blood and guts jubilee low culture, nobody has ever been a better curator of the times.

While Lewis may not be the greatest American filmmaker of all-time, he may very well be the most American filmmaker ever. Nowhere else in the world could a man like Lewis - an advertising professor turned B-movie kingpin turned white collar felon turned copywriter extraordinaire - ever possibly blossom. No other culture or society on earth could have laid down the soil from which films like Blood Feast or Color Me Blood Red - those idiosyncratic time capsules/condemnations they are - could have sprouted. Only in America, as boxing promoter Don King oft states, would someone like Herschell Gordon Lewis not only have an opportunity to make such out-there movies, but actually complete them, sell them and make enough money off them to live in relative financial security for the rest of his life.

Many, many moons ago, an interviewer asked Lewis what he wanted his epitaph to read. His response? “He seen somethin’ different. And he done it.”

Indeed, I can’t think of a better way to encapsulate what made the life of this cheesy horror movie director-turned direct marketing guru so noteworthy. He was just a normal - albeit incredibly dedicated - man, who wanted to make movies and even more money. And where he lacked both financial and technical capital, he responded by pumping out a faster glut of “the advertising sells itself” B-movies than anybody else, with an emphasis on the prurient, the icky and the proletariat baiting so keen, one can’t help but consider Lewis a sort of anti-commercial hero - a DuChamp, if you will, who was really, really deft at making no-budget shlockers involving lots of blindingly bright crimson flying all over the place.

Or as the man himself so elegantly put it?

“History books will point out Columbus as the person who made the Americas available for exploitation,” Lewis once remarked. “I guess I can make the same kind of ridiculous claim.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

An Ode to SNK's 'Beast Busters!'

Long before The House of the Dead, the fine folks who brought us Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown gave us the original gore-soaked, arcade light gun zombie blast-a-thon. But does the 1989 coin-op still hold up all these years later?

By: Jimbo X

don't know if you folks have figured this out yet, but I'm really, really fond of SNK. While just about everybody worth a damn remembers them most for their Neo Geo offerings, the company actually had a pretty extensive background making both arcade and console games before their iconic coin-op/home console hybrid went online - in fact, they were making them as early as the late 1970s

The absolute last arcade game SNK produced before migrating to the Neo Geo platform is an especially interesting little oddity called Beast Busters (not to be confused with the totally unrelated pinball game Bone Busters, Inc., although it's probable that both games were named such to cash in on the success of a totally different kind of "Busters" license.) Although essentially nothing more than Operation: Wolf with monsters, Beast Busters nonetheless has a very idiosyncratic feel to it, with some very detailed (and extremely colorful) sprites for its time. And on top of that? Good lord, is this thing violent, even by late 1980s standards. We're talking showers of arterial explosions in this one, complete with meaty chunks of sinewy zombie guts splattering the screen.

All hail the patriarchy!
My recollections of the game are especially vivid. For one thing, I only played the game once when I was a kid, and it was during vacation in Florida. The cabinet was downright huge - not quite X-Men sized, but definitely bulkier than just about everything else - and I could barely see over the barrel of my gun, even when standing on my tiptoes (indeed, I actually had to hop up and down to target some enemies.) 

Considering the wanton carnage of the game, it always had a special place in my heart - especially because, try as I may to locate the coin-op in my geographical vicinity, no arcade anywhere seemed to have their own machine. Of course, by then I had totally forgotten the name of the game, and since Wikipedia or YouTube wasn't around back then, you couldn't just type a few random descriptors in a query box and find exactly what you're looking for in five seconds. So, for years, Beast Busters remained a super-mysterious relic of my early elementary years - a game I knew existed, although whose existence I could demonstrate no tangible proof.

I don't know ... to me, it looks like the kind of
people who actually use NYC's subway.
It wasn't until recently - as in, the last two years - that I "rediscovered" the game. Of course, it was totally on accident; I was watching some playthrough on YT, clicked a random thumnbail next to the video and holy shit, my brains were almost blown out upon realizing this obscure-ass SNK game was indeed THAT zombie-slaying kill-a-thon from my youth that I have long sought to re-experience. Even better? Thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive, I could play Beast Busters on my home setup any damn time I wanted

Recently, I decided to take an afternoon off and play through Beast Busters all the way through. Does the gooey, gory shooter from the George H.W. years still have that same kick I recalled from my ankle-biter days, or is it just another overvalued oddity from that sentimental miasma we sometimes call childhood nostalgia? Well, how about we dump some virtual quarters in this sumbitch and find out, why don't we? We begin by selecting one of three different avatars (not that it matters, since you never see any of them onscreen again until the very end of the game and they all play effectively the same.) Our choices are some blonde dude wearing a baseball cap, a black dude wearing an army helicopter helmet and a bearded fellow who sort of looks like the main character in Big Trouble in Little China. After that, we get a very, very brief (as in, just two scrolling dialogue boxes) synopsis of the plot: there's a boarded up town infected by some kind of zombie-mania, and you're there to solve the mystery of what went awry. And also, since this is a video game, you are also taking with you enough firepower to last the next five World Wars, because really, who wants to play supernatural sleuth when you can just shoot the shit out of stuff?

Oh, so that's why the team is called "the Eagles."

As soon as the game begins, you are just inundated with action. We've got blue-tinged zombies firing handguns at you from point-blank range, rabid undead dogs jumping at your jugular and holy shit, there are even some reanimated corpses in the background lobbing knives at you! Thankfully, it keeps raining more ammunition from the heavens, so you never really have to worry about running low on bullets. And if you are wondering if this game prides itself on pre-ESRB sadism? Well, the overweight ghouls exploding in a shower of meaty, undead blood and guts and the undead pooches whimpering like scalded pups whenever you pop a cap in 'em pretty much tells you everything you need to no, don't it?

Even in a zombie Armageddon, you just
can't keep women from shopping.
All right, so we find ourselves in a subway system, complete with graffiti-stained trains. Here, our zombies become a little more diverse, complete with a few female zombies shambling towards you in hoop skirts and huge-assed earrings. This segues nicely into our first boss battle - which, basically, is just you versus a million billion zombie dogs, unarmed (but definitely still deadly) zombies and a new foe, some vampire bats, before going toe-to-toe with a brazen clone of Iron Maiden mascot Eddie, who in addition to having some limited pyrokenetic abilities, also has the power to morph into a white werewolf and jump all over the place like a lone rolled up sock in an industrial dryer.

Up next, we've got that tried and true late 1980s\early 1990s rail-gun shooter staple, the elevator stage. Here, we're introduced to a new enemy - what appears to be a possessed golden owl, which periodically, likes to drop ZOMBIE FOOTBALL PLAYERS on you. Oh, and a couple of new zombie types make their debut, too, including some pistol packing brain-eaters with afros and these zombiefied guys wearing motorcycle helmets. Our bosses for this section are not one but TWO musclebound blue dude wearing Jason Voorhees masks and lugging AK-47s, In that, it's probably more a ripoff of The Road Warrior than Friday the 13th, but come on, is there any idea for a video game villain circa 1989 more awesome than fuckin' Jason with Rambo weaponry?

I wonder if skeleton bikers have patches
depicting screaming humans on their
Before we begin section three, we get a very brief cutscene with our characters wondering aloud if all of the zombified corpses running around the place could be the city's living inhabitants who disappeared long ago? So yeah, in other words, our protagonists are dumber than special need rocks. This sequence puts us out on the rundown city streets of - uh, wherever this game is supposed to take place - and now we've got zombies driving around on motorcycles and what appears to be diseased garbage men cruising around in red convertibles. Following a mid-boss battle against a transfer truck full of zombie women (perhaps serving the same reproductive purposes as the truck load of women in Fury Road?), you haul ass through the torn-up roads of a ghost town, playing some automatic weaponry-infused chicken with oncoming vehicles commandeered by the living dead. Naturally, this culminates in a boss battle with three Molotov cocktail tossin' zombie bikers, who appear to be riding the missile-equipped choppers from the cult classic piece of shit Megaforce.

Stage four takes us down to the river ... not to pray, but to slay more undead cretins on speed boats, as well as some new enemy types, including - yes, you knew it was coming - ZOMBIE PIRANHAS, as well as a mid-boss I can only describe as a sentient piece of shit with a humanoid face. Eventually, you make your way down an aqueduct, where after a game of handgun-toting zombie whack-a-mole, you do battle with a flying eyeball that throws NAKED BLUE CORPSES at you as a projectile attack.

Told you I wasn't lying about their being a sentient turd-beast boss...

All right, now we're inside a factory, which seems to produce nothing but scrap heap. Oh, and also, there are now sentient, humanoid, orange cyborg beings shooting electricity bolts at you. Eventually, you will make it to a yellow corridor where you tango with five of the above-mentioned mechanical beings who manage to assemble, Voltron style into one huge assed robotic steampunk cybernetic clusterfuck of a mid-boss.

...or the naked blue gang-bang clusterfuck boss...
Following that, we've got another long walk down a zombie-littered hallway, this time with a whole bunch of cryogenic canisters everywhere ( if you accidentally shoot them, more cannibalistic corpses creep out of them, naturally.) This is a prelude to our first human enemy sighting, what at first glance appears to be a boss battle with a hostage-holding scientist. Of course, after you pop a few caps in his ass he reveals his true form, a giant one-eyed penis with teeth, arms and legs who gyrates back and forth and shoots really, really hard (read: next to impossible) to avoid fireballs at you. Following this epic battle, we are treated to a cutscene in which the penis monster scientist's hostage is revealed to be CIA agent, who cryptically urges you to "destroy the fifth one" with her dying breathe. Huh ... I wonder what that could mean?
...or the living tank meatloaf monster. 

Stage six (subtitled "Friend or Foe?") takes place in an underground parking garage. Honestly, it's just more of the same old, mindless zombie-shootin' shenanigans ... that is, up until the point you have to fight a LIVING tank, which is easily one of the greatest body horror abominations to never seep out of the nightmares of David Cronenberg. Say what you will about the formulaic nature of the core gameplay, when you have character design this fucking out there you can't help but appreciate the experience for all it's worth.

From there, we get to take yet another elevator ride, except this time around it's on one of them fancy-schmancy glass ones. Regardless, it's more or less a carbon copy of the sequence from earlier, only with way more enemies on screen and much, much more frantic firefights. Oh, and the boss battle in this one is against a giant meatball, which looks so much like the monster from Terrorvision that I am SHOCKED a lawsuit never came out of it.

"Were the missing scared to death then brought back to life?" the next cutscene poses. In a section titled "Last Battle," we find ourselves in a weird, very Lifeforce like chamber (meaning, the whole damn lair could be exposed bran tissue or something) and right out the gate we find ourselves rewatching with the Eddie wannabe from earlier. Uh-oh, we don't have the beginning of that old lazy game developer stand-by the boss rush on our hands, do we? Aye, sure enough, we get to fight our old friends Mr. Living Turdpile and Senor I'm-Actually-Made-Out-Of-A-Good-Two-Dozen-Indigo-Hued-Dead-Bodies one more time, thankfully.

Yeah ... admittedly, "generic old Japanese dude sitting in IKEA furniture in a space ship made out of Big League bubble gum" is kind of an underwhelming way to end the game.  
After all of that is said and done, we finally confront the big bad of Beast Busters, a bespectacled Japanese scientist sitting in robotic throne with five eyeballs atop it and these Doctor Octopus arms that keep launching rockets at you. By now, you should know how the video game logic works: you cna shoot at his little mechanical tendrils a million billion times, but he won't truly keel over until you blast out all of his eyeballs. You do that and he reveals his super-duper-true form, a giant metal brain with a cerulean blue eye that has the metaphysical ability to make heat-seeking missiles materialize out of nowhere and chase after your ass. Making it even worse, it also can temporarily make itself invisible, which - as I am sure you can imagine - makes targeting the sumbitch a real hassle and a half. After approximately five billion hits, the brain explodes and the eyeball scampers away, leaving you to do battle with yet another pair of sentient Dock Ock tentacles - and then, because the programmers had apparently run out of things to animate, a couple of boring-old spaceship rocket launchers, just 'cause. And after you anticlimactically shot a laser cannon a couple of times, the little Tribble looking eyeball monster tells you this ain't even close to being finished, then promptly dies. And then, because what good B-horror movie ever has the audacity to close on a note of resolution, all three of the titular Beast Busters tremble in fear as a humongous spaceship begins to lower from the heavens ... and scene.

John Cena's scared, black military man is terrified but bearded white tanktop
guy? Either he's ready to fight or he's straining out one hellacious dump.
Well, it's pretty easy to write off Beast Busters as a product of the times - and I mean that as both a positive and a negative. The no-frills, nonstop blasting action is definitely a nice throwback to the bleeding thumb arcade days, and the horror aesthetics are just awesome (really, it made me wonder what SNK could've done with other light-gun friendly properties, like that old trading card line Dinosaurs Attack!

The only thing gnarlier than a giant penis
By that same (arcade) token, however, the designers clearly took a lot of short cuts with the overall gameplay, with only slight mechanical changes from stage to stage. That, and a lot of the boss fights - in addition to being terribly repetitive - are also terribly overlong, which leads not only to a bad case of the much dreaded Lethal Enforcers finger, but unfortunately, quite a bit of player ennui, as well. 

Thankfully, it's a much brisker - and funner - game with another buddy or two playing with you, so not only is multiplayer encouraged, it's pretty much the only way to truly experience Beast Busters as intended. Granted, this is no all-time classic we're talking about here, but as a quick, throwaway seasonally thematic gaming experience, you could do a whole lot worse, to be sure (especially compared to some other horror-themed multiplayer coin-op offerings from the era, including a certain Smash T.V. precursor starring shitty facsimiles of Peter Venkman and Ray Stantz fighting spectral Klan members.) 
...naturally, it would have to be an
unauthorized cameo from the Terrorvision 
Strangely enough, the Beast Busters property had a pretty long shelf-life. An honest to goodness sequel - subtitled, fittingly enough, Second Nightmare - was released in 1999 on the ill-fated Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade board (which was used for a grand total of just seven games.) As you'd imagine, it was a fairly bland title, which looked (and played) like a really, really ghetto version of The House Of The Dead. That year also saw the release of another Beast Busters game - titled Dark Arms - on the criminally unsung Neo Geo Pocket Color handheld. Believe it or not, that game was actually something of a top-down action/RPG hybrid in the vain of the Game Boy iteration of Daikatana, and surprisingly, it was a really well-done little offering (speaking of, why the fuck haven't I done an article about the awesomeness that is the NGPC by now?) And just when you thought this ultra-obscure franchise had gone away for good, SNK decided to remake the original game as an iPhone shooter in 2014 - and starring the cast of The King of Fighters, no less!

I really can't call Beast Busters a great game by any stretch. It's repetitive, the level design is stubbornly staid and the boss battles, by and large, leave a lot to be desired. That said, as throwaway Halloween entertainment, you really can't complain about the holistic experience too much. The visuals are great, the music, while a little low key, is effective at establishing a nice, spooky atmosphere and the character design is just superb. At the end of the day Beast Busters may hardly be anything more than a slightly above average light gun shooter, but considering its oh-so-awesome aesthetics, it definitely has enough eyeball appeal to keep you blasting your way to the very end. I mean, can you really hate on a game that was enjoyable enough that Michael freakin' Jackson himself took it on tour with them via cargo plane? I think you already know the answer there, mi amigos.