The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

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Goodbye Robert Z’Dar

You know, it was just a month or so ago that I pulled out Tango and Cash (a podcast had been discussing it and it made me want to revisit it) and noticed Robert Z’Dar in it. It had been a long time since I’d watched it and probably didn’t really know who he was back then, but there he was, big as life.

That’s really the way his career went. Always working, sneaking into countless films that you probably saw but never really thought about. In the last year and a half I got to see the first and second Maniac Cop films on the big screen thanks to Cleveland Cinemas and I was really starting to get into his body of work when I met him Cinema Wasteland.

I’m going to miss you Robert. Thanks for leaving such a great cinematic legacy for us to explore. We won’t forget you.

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

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Jodorowsky’s Dune

Movie bannerJodorowskys-Dune-posterOver the weekend I caught the Alejandro Jodorowsky Dune documentary. It was not what I expected. I had thought I was going to be overwhelmed with this visionary film concept. Instead it felt overblown and over important. And that’s really curious. I think that people get caught up in the concepts that were presented here, and the beautiful concept art. The problem with the concept art, is that it bears very little resemblance to the finished product. We frame these images in the context of modern film. But I remember film from the 70s, I remember science-fiction from the 70s. A great time capsule is the making of Star Trek Phase 2 book that came out many many years ago, chronicling the attempted launch of the first Star Trek sequel series. The look of the ship, the concepts that we see, They all change significantly from page to screen. They just do. There’s a look in the 70s that wasn’t quite Star Wars yet, with it’s modular, busy, liney look up on the hulls of spaceships. There is still a soft pastel, white, silverish look to them. Not quite the forbidden planet of the 60s, but certainly not the Millennium Falcon of the 80s.

Chris-Foss-Dune-Guild-Tug1-470x353I imagine this film would’ve ended up looking for great deal more like Dark Star then 2001. Once run through the filter Jodorowsky’s madness, it would not have ended up looking as slick or as fantastic as we really imagine. We’re dazzled with names like HR Geiger, and Dan O’Banion, and Mobius. But those names alone do not necessarily mean success. They do not necessarily mean quality, and the degree of Jodorowsky-Dunetheir involvement is really hard to say. It makes for great documentary fodder, but in the real world with all these different artists, and different visions, how involved with they really be? Would they be there all the way from page to screen? I doubt it.

My end analysis is that this is a good documentary. It’s a fun film and a fun way of wondering what might’ve been. But it doesn’t inspire the longing that I get from something like say, Harlan Ellison script for I robot (Another hopeless cause). No I don’t see how this film ever really would’ve gotten made. And the sort of underdog that this documentary tries to paint it as seems forced. I definitely recommend a watch on this, and make sure you got subtitles involved because there is a lot of French going on here. Judge on your own and I’ll be interested in hearing what conclusions the rest of you draw from this film!

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Captian Video

11058764_937433262967764_1448122600397396713_n10428540_934205623290528_661304230878551443_nYou don’t understand.

Sure that seems weird to start an article with, but I mean it. You can’t possibly understand what this means to me. See, when other kids my age were playing Star Wars, I was playing Captain Video. When I was a teenager drawing my own comics, my go-to was to create Captain Video comics. When I was  a kid playing out in the woods behind my home, or my grandparents home, I was pretending to be Captain Video. I have been imagining and talking about this character all my life…without ever seeing the source material.

See, here’s the thing, when I was a little child, my father would tell me stories about The Shadow, The Green Hornet….and Captain Video. Out of nowhere he’d bellow “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”. If I saw Green  Lantern on Superfriends, he’d talk about the Green Hornet. Captain Kirk? Let me tell you about Captain Video! and his Video Rangers!

The big difference between characters like The Shadow and the Green Hornet vs Captain Video, is most of the adventures of the Hornet and the Shadow survived over the years. Captain Video was on TV for over 1000 episodes, but the vast majority of those tv shows were destroyed decades before I was born. As a kid I longed to see something of the character, 20907_940521695992254_6314234432148090053_nANYTHING of him. I was about twelve when I got my first glimpse – the trailer to the serial was included in a copy of Zacherly’s Horrible Horror, a compilation of old public domain film clips and serial trailers. I wore a hole in that part of the tape trying to eke ever ounce of Captain Video that I could from those two minuets. I wouldn’t get my hands on a copy of that serial until I was in my early thirties. About five years ago I found ONE episode of the TV show…up until then I had thought it must have only existed as a serial.

This book changes everything.

In his foreward, Roy Thomas points out that the TV show was the source material, one of the few TV shows to ever have a serial made from them (it was more common for the serial to come first). I had no idea so many episodes were produced, yet to this day, only 12 survive. Eight of them can only be viewed at UCLA, the remaing four were released on an Alpha Video DVD (and 11068096_940521205992303_8972134773244118693_nfloat around Youtube). Not only that, there was a spin-off planned, featuring the robot Tobar. I had NO idea. It completely changes my perspective on the series!

But that’s not the most amazing part. There were comic books.

Do you have any  idea how I LONGED for Captain Video comic books when I was a kid? No, forget I asked. You can’t possibly imagine wanting something as much as I wanted Captain Video comic books, so much so that I was driven to create my own with no more reference point than a grainy trailer and my fathers fuzzy memories.

Only one other time in my entire life have I been more excited to discover a book exists, when I discovered that my favorite author Roger Zelaznay had written a second cycle to his Amber 11071457_940521202658970_8408108072931108953_nseries. It’s a strange feeling, to discover a book you never even knew existed, and yet to know with utter certainty that you have been waiting for it your entire life.

Robots, laser guns, space cars (oh, and according to Roy Thomas, the inspiration for Ultron – this summer movie seasons biggest bad guy) and my Fathers greatest sci-fi hero – now in the palm of my hands.

In fact, why am I sitting here wasting time writing this post? I’m off to read my book! (and write Roy Thomas a REALLY embarrassing thank you letter)

Go read some Violent Blue.

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Last Week

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The FlashOh my God, did I call it? Didn’t I  call it? After a  SERIOUS Flash episode with huge ups and downs, we have one huge mulligan!

I was still happy to seethe return of our rogues and the real introduction of the Golden Glider. I do love how  this series goes on and even though this  episode wasn’t even remotely a worthy follow up to the previous  week, it’s still better than a whole lot of the dreck on TV.

iZombie came  out with a strong second episode, although I really would prefer if it was a less-sexy series. I don’t know that it needs the sensuality, particularly with the intrigue that we got set up with the intrduction of our new zombie friend. I’m really eagar for the next episode of this….and i’m going to be pissed if we have to put up with a stupid mid season break with this series as well…..

The Walking Dead. Man, I love a quarter staff. Who knew Morgan was going to turn out tizombieo be such a tough guy??? That was a great opening, to say nothing of the rescue he makes later on. On the other hand we start right off hating the people of Alexndria again. It doesn’t really go away either does it? The Mayor, Pete, Nicholas, you just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them while yelling “What is WRONG with you?” Carol’s right, these people are children. Nicholas beef with Glen, and just the fact that they even let someone like Pete exist (not to mention his tantrum(s) this episode), these are the actions of self interested children. They don’t deserve Rick and his group.

I think the image of Sasha laying in the pit of zombies was beautiful.Over-the-top and pointless, but beautiful. And Father Gabriel…I wonder. Has he finally woken up? Does he finally get what this world has become?

I’m not sure how I feel about Daryl’s new adventures out in the wilderness, it’s an interesting direction though and it looks very much like they have a plan.Still, there’s just a sense of dread, especially with the wolves out there. It’s a whole new threat…and the trap with the trucks full of zombies only serves to showcase just how big of  one.TheWalkingDeadPoster

By the way, we have the name now for out Walking dead spin-off. “Fear the Walking Dead”. Let’s look at some of the real positives, AMC has shown they understand the soul of the show and I’m interested in  seeing if they can duplicate it. The idea of exploring the early days of the outbreak is fascinating, and it also provides a built in expiration date just in case the series isn’t received as well – indeed I think this kind of a show would be better served as a mini-series anyhow, but we’ll see.

New Violent Blue tomorrow. Stop watching TV and check it out.

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Duck Soup Sunday!

10847776_10154912268085401_415657839146996113_nHead to the Capitol this Sunday morning to see the Marx Brothers 1933 classic Duck Soup on the big screen. Admission is just $5! Enjoy discounted brunch afterwards at any of our partner restaurants: Luxe Kitchen & Lounge offers 2 for 1 Bloodies, Bellini’s or Beers, Latitude 41n, Reddstone Cleveland & STONE MAD PUB, RESTAURANT AND BOCCE offer 20% off brunch menu entrees.

Capitol map

Prince of Darkness

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Hey guys, I’m also blogging over at the Kreepy Kastle! Check them out, today we’re talking about Prince of Darkness!

http://kreepykastle.com/prince-of-darkness/

Oh and when you’re done with that, check out Friday’s Violent Blue!

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

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Thank you Martien Mull!

Autographs

This is a reare via venue shot. I’ve had no success getting him through his agency, but when “Dads” priemered last year I checked the production schedule and knew he’d be on set through October, so I got a coupel of pics and sent them off.
I have a special affection for Mull, not only was he in Sabrina (which I was pretty obsessed with when I was younger) but he’s also local. I don’t just mean Ohio or Cleveland, no he grew up in North Ridgeville, the city adjacent to Elyria where I live. I go to Church in North Ridgeville. I’ve worked in that city. I’ve acted on the same stage as Mull did (twenty years removed).  So very cool I managed to get his one back I always wanted him!

Martien mull 1 Martien mull 2

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

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