Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Stanley Ladd (a man "on the wrong side of 30") lets a younger woman he meets outside a health club stay at his apartment...and before long she latently moves in. When they're not having sex or smoking joints, Angela often wakes at night, telling horrifing stories about orgies and being raped by a ram, although she's not sure if these are just dreams or repressed memories.
Things take a ROSEMARY'S BABY-ish turn when Angela reveals to Stanley she's pregnant, and has been since before she moved in. But what eventually comes out of her isn't human...and Angela dies during the delivery (and this is only at the halfway point!). The second half of the story deals with Stanley locating the coven who Angela had mentioned and then sitting in on one of their seances as they attempt to contact her.
THE EXORCISM OF ANGELA GRAY is a typical, trashy early 70s pulp horror novel, full of sex, violence, drugs, and "satanism." I believe this is the only novel Vane wrote, although he did pen 14 screenplays and directed 7 flms (inclding 1983's FRIGHTMARE). If you enjoy a quick read in the vein of a low-budget B-movie, you'll enjoy it.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
This is one of those films where, despite the excellent performances from the entire cast, there’s just something missing. I felt like I’ve seen this a thousand times before and I’m hoping Aronofsky will attempt a different type of ending with his next project (I was told this one was similar to THE WRESTLER…it’s more than similar…it’s basically the same).
I haven’t seen too much mentioned about actor Vincent Cassel, who plays Swan Lake’s director Thomas Leroy. He’s fantastic as a high-class sleazeball, and for some reason reminded me of Udo Kier. I found the much-hyped lesbian scene between Nina (Natalie Portman) and Lily (Mila Kunis) more disturbing than a turn on (especially with the crater-faced Barbara Hershey [as Nina’s mother] banging on the door during some of it). But suffice it to say, it’s going to be weird watching re-runs of That 70’s Show for some time to come…
One element that impressed me was how Aronofsky often changed the colors and shades of the background to highlight the moods and direction of the characters, quite reminiscent of Peter Greenway’s 1989 controversial art-house hit, THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER. The black swan-sequence of Swan Lake during the film’s finale looked great, although I was hoping for a different ending (which I saw coming about 20 minutes into the film).
The relationship between Nina and her mother, Erica, seems solid at first, but in time we begin to wonder how much control Erica truly had. While it’s ultimately left up to the viewer to decide, I was hoping the film would take this a step further.
Natalie Portman should have no problem winning an Oscar for this (she truly does shine here), but it’ll be a long shot if it takes best film.
BLACK SWAN’s a decent take on the classic “good vs. evil” thing, but one I expected more from.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I found myself more interested in the feedback letters from fans, as well as the neat items that were for sale in the back pages than I was in the actual stories. While VAMPIRELLA picked up story (and art) wise as it progressed, these early issues are strictly for collectors. I wasn't aware Forrest J. Ackerman wrote some Vampi tales (and thank goodness stopped), and it was nice to see early work from the likes of Neal Adams and Doug Moench. Dynamite did a nice job reproducing the magazine in its original size. I'm looking forward to archives of later issues.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
A new year is supposed to bring hope and inspiration. Yet during the first 8 days of 2011, no less than four of my friends (two writers, one musician, and one artist) have messaged me asking basically the same thing:
On the post-apocalyptic world of Japan, two brothers (Divey and Reynold) make a living as traveling burrito salesman. Their lives take a drastic turn when they find the remains of a mutilated robot, which eventually transforms Divey into something never before seen. The Burrito Brothers are captured in the desert by a race of Wasp Women and taken to their hive. Desperate, Reymond constructs an old friend out of their stock of buritto meat to help them escape, but things don't go exactly as he planned. Soon, a TV Demon named Vandenboom rescues Rey and 'Meat Pete' and the trio are off to find the (now) missing Divey in this '8-Bit Fack-it-All Adventure in 2-D."
To call THE BROTHERS CRUNK imaginative is a gross understatement. Everything explained above is just the starting point of this "mini-epic" novella that blends scifi, horror, and fantasy into a bizarro-concoction of FRACKING greatness. I was thoroughly entertained on every single page.
With video game controllers used as real weapons, a nifty gang of mutants known as the Damned Dirt Devils, a wonderfully gross female slug-like villain ("Jools Dethbyte") and (arguably) the coolest ostrich to come down the pike in many a moon, fans of offbeat tales just can't go wrong here. There's also plenty of funny dialogue throughout.
As a bonus, there's some funky interior artwork courtesy of Megan Hansen and Brandon Duncan's old-school Nintendo cover design fits ths thing to the tee.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I'm now doing a monthly book review over at THE BAG AND THE CROW. Check out my first, for Nate Southard & Steven Shrewsbury's BAD MAGICK :