Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 32

I became a William Burroughs fan because I was a horror fan, but when I picked up my first copy of Naked Lunch in my sophomore year of high school, I had NO idea what I was getting into.

I had just gotten into David Cronenberg films with Scanners and The Brood when I caught the episode of Siskel and Ebert where they reviewed his new film Naked Lunch. It looked...AMAZING. I don't remember whether it got two thumbs up or not and I didn't care!

I knew the movie was going to be difficult for me to see so I went looking for the book it was based on. It took a while, because I didn't live near a bookstore and I rarely had a dime to my name prior to my gig bagging groceries. This was pre-internet and I'd never heard of Burroughs before, had no idea what the book was about, or even that Burroughs had several other books.
Not to say I was completely ignorant of the darker side of life- I was reading Clive Barker, immersed in horror films, and collecting Quinn/Vigil's Faust; Love Of The Damned (not to mention a modest collection of adult magazines). But Naked Lunch was all that in a blender and hard to follow. It was bewildering. I went into thinking it was literary fiction, but the porno/sci fi and non linear story telling was something I had no point of context for. The movie didn't help much, but I came back to both several times through the years, and with each viewing or reading things became more and more clear.
Burroughs wrote with a fearlessness that was awe inspiring, an imagination that was dumb founding, and a complexity that demanded to be reread. Even with a book like Junky or Queer that had a straight forward narrative, Burroughs showed himself to be a master story teller that proved he was more than just a weirdo that wrote books that made no sense.
Burroughs has been an essential inspiration to me through the years, making a lasting impact on how I approach a story. I used to make arguments in college that we were wasting our time reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald and ignoring Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. I still think I'm right and in these days of Twilight I think we need that old weirdo more than ever to shake things up and make us really THINK about what we're reading and why and what it's trying to tell us.
"Language is a virus from outer space."-William S Burroughs
Keep watching the sky, nerds! And stay the hell off that bug powder!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man

He is not insane...He simply wants to die.
What better way to spend a Tuesday afternoon than by watching two of the greats duke it out? Even if it is only for the last ten minutes of film. This is Lugosi's only outing as Frankenstein's monster and Lon Chaney reprises his role as the Wolf Man.

When grave robbers make the mistake of disturbing Larry Talbot's (Chaney) grave on the night of a full moon the beast is revived and out to kill again.  Later, Talbot tracks down the old gypsy woman from the first film and she takes him to Frankenstein, because she's heard he has forbidden knowledge of life and death, but when the arrive at Frankenstein's castle they find it in ruins and the doctor long dead.

But what about UNDER the castle..?

A bit slow in the middle and definitely not enough monster on monster violence, Universal still delivers on a film that stands up nicely in their pantheon of classics.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Let's Rock and Roll with the

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Flick Time; American Mary

Oh, Twisted Twins Productions what have you done?
"From the creative team that brought you the indie-smash film Dead Hooker In A Trunk - American Mary is the story of a medical student named Mary who is growing increasingly broke and disenchanted with medical school and the established doctors she once idolized. The allure of easy money sends a desperate Mary through the messy world of underground surgeries which leaves more marks on her than the so-called freakish clientele."
This looks pretty rad. 

Death of the Family Rolls On

The Bat team continues their winning streak with Batman and Batgirl #s 16, the last issues before the big finale in Batman 17. I can't afford to follow all the Bat titles that tie into DotF, but I've tried to keep up each one and everyone's doing a bang up job.
The three I do follow (these two and Morrison/Burnham's Batman Inc) have been flat out amazing. Snyder and Simone are crafting pure gold from these old characters and showing that after more than 70 years Batman can still be as shocking and exciting as ever.
The Joker has been a pure terror, more horrifying than we've ever seen him. With a sick new Leatherface make over and an ever twisting evolution of his traps, few writers have ever made such good use of the Clown Prince of Crime. And as a long time Batgirl fan and always a little pissed over the Killing Joke, it's been a thrill seeing a fully abled Barbara Gordon go toe to toe with Joker.
Now it's all waiting for #17 and and Batman Inc #7...
And oh, GOD, where is Alfred???

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 31


After Treasure Island and a massive book about Greek mythology, the best book in my elementary school's library was a history of monsters in film. I don't remember the title, but it covered all the Universal monsters, The Fly, Godzilla, even Blackula. I checked the book out many times, rereading each entry and drawing all the beasts. When I was younger I had Frankenstein, Mummy, and Godzilla toys, but the one character in the book that I found most interesting and always wanted a figure of was The Creature From The Black Lagoon. For whatever reason The Creature really sparked my imagination. I already had a lust for the sea with all it's potential adventure (Treasure Island) and danger (Jaws). My early short stories were all about pirates and sea monsters, remote uncharted islands and mercenaries.
I never lost my love for the Creature and always hoped for an updated film, nothing ever happened, but Creature like rip offs aren't exactly in short supply.

The Monster Squad certainly has the best Creature, look at that face! This guy needed way more screen time.

Humanoids From The Deep is one that I nearly missed. Someone suggested it as a joke, I groaned and suggested Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. My friend read the back and said, "No, I really think we should get this one." I thought it was going to suck, but you really need to see this one! Check out the trailer-

Here's one I haven't seen yet, but read about through someone else's blog (if I can remember the name I'll add it in here with the link.)

The most recent entry into the fish man genre is the excellent Hypothermia, which I've reviewed below. Highly recommended!

One of my childhood desires came to fruition on my birthday last week when my wife and son got me the new Mego style Creature to go with my Batman, Frankenstein and the Bride. I still have hope of a modern day take on the original movie, but until then I'll just have to be happy with Universal's Creature Legacy DVD. And this awesome Bernie Wrightson pin up I got out of From Parts Unknown-

Keep watching the sky, nerds!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hypothermia Reviewed

After the Frankenstein monster, my favorite movie beast would be the Creature From The Black Lagoon. The monster is iconic and the movies are fun. The Creature was by far the best looking and most original of all the Universal classics. Somehow I've developed a deep fascination with humanoid fish people (see the next chapter of My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters). Give me a walking fish guy and you've got my attention. So when  director James Felix McKenney was talking about his love of the Creature in Famous Monsters back in '10 I was pretty excited.
Hypothermia stars the great Michael Rooker (Henry;Portrait of a Serial Killer, Mall Rats, Walking Dead) and Blanche Baker (Sixteen Candles, Raw Deal, The Girl Next Door) who are trying to spend a relaxing weekend ice fishing with their son and his girlfriend, but a couple of pricks from the city set up just a little ways down the lake and ruin their family time. But that's not all fate has in store for Ray (Rooker) and kin. A vicious 'lake man' is living under the ice and these six humans have gotten it's attention.
Hypothermia succeeds on more than a couple of levels. Starting with the actors and their great performances. Even the two assholes are kind of likable in a way. Michael Rooker was the only one I was very familiar with going in. As the lead of the film and patriarch of the family he's the heart and the anchor. Next the writing-tight, to the point script and well written dialogue. When it seems like so many genre films are about big global threats, Hypothermia is a breath of fresh air, feeling more like a scary down home campfire story. No baggage, no excessive exposition, just story. Third, the directing, while evenly paced we move into the action quickly and the film clocks in at sweet 73 minutes. McKenney lets you soak in the upstate New York environment and really feel how cold it is out on the ice.  Finally,  the monster which closely resembles an eel more than a fish. It spending a good portion of the movie eerily hidden in shadows or under the water, building the tension. I loved the chaotic shots where we got glimpses of the creature in action and how the actors reacted to the insane position they found themselves in stranded out on the ice.
I'm giving Hypothermia 4 Severed Thumbs Up, this is my kind of monster flick, highly recommended.
From Dark Sky Films and Glass Eye Pix, now available on DVD.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Ok, fiends! First installment of King Vulture's Sound Attack  for '13 and it's a triple shot of a band I just recently became aware of; Rusty Eye! Their latest album Possessor features Claudio Simonetti of Goblin, and if you don't know who that is then you need to watch Dario Argento's Suspiria right now! Drummer/vocalist Miss Randall is playing in high heels in the video on their website-I find that pretty bad ass! 

New Flick Time!

Just heard about this, insanely excited about it; Prototype...
And Dark Sky Films is releasing Frankenstein's Army for 2013!
And yea, I'm all in for this remake of William Lustig's classic, Maniac...