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Archive for September, 2014

The Iron Man project part seven

Iron Man

We have a special edition of the Iron Man project today.

Sometimes people will see me in the armor and ask if it’s hard to get into.

Yes. It is.

The real issue is you have to get into the outfit in a specific order, otherwise you can’t move, or you can’t reach the next part. If I have my gloves on, I can get my arm bands on (besides, the foreams wouldn’t fit over them anyhow). If I have my breastplate on, I can’t bend enough to get my shoes or lower legs on…ect.

So here’s the process. It starts with yellow sweatpants and a red Tshirt. It’s a T because the costume gets hot. I want light cloths under it. The fact that it’s a flash T is just ironic.

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The yellow top is just so I have sleeves. It’s made from a pair of yoga pants so I have loops around my hands. This helps kept the sleeves from creeping up under the armor. I want yellow arms to go with the yellow gloves. Now we need to pull up  the torso and attach the sides.

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Legs are next, while I can still bend to take care of things. Upper leg, lower leg, then shoes. It HAS to be done in that order.

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Breastplate next. It’s hard enough to squeeze my normal arms through those arm holes, with the armored limbs it would be impossible nad the paint would all scrape off.

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100_4058Arms are slid on before the gloves. Upper then lower. Then the gloves. I usually end up having to pull at least one of those gloves on by my teeth.

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And that’s the process. It takes about ten minuets on a good day (when I have help). I can manage to get a helmet on while wearing the gloves, but that’s about it. Next month we’ll go back to the process of making the suit.

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Cinema 2880 Video Festival

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Our friend Douglas Waltz submitted his entry this year for the 9th Annual Cinema 2880 video challenge – You get just 2880 minutes (48 hours) to script, cast, rehearse, shoot and edit a 5-8 minute video short.

He asked me if I could do an explosion for the end and I whipped one up in a couple hours. It’s the last shot of the film. Here’s the short in it’s entirety:

And if you want to see the previous Michigan Smith adventure, it’s available here:

And don’t forget, new Violent Blue this morning!


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

Every Wednesday and Friday

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Angel Lite commission

commissions

An Angel Lite commission. From “The Ballad”

Luciano a.k.a. Bandito  witness his farther get shot cold blooded by a Marshall. His uncle The Meddler took him and raised him and he became part of the  West Texas Outlaws. Now he is outlaw himself seeking revenge against the people who killed his farther. A great shot with a six shooter.

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And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!


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

Every Wednesday and Friday

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In Defense of Joel Schumacher

defense

Schumacher’s name is synonymous with failure. After all, he pretty much destroyed the Batman movie franchise and it took visionary director Christopher Nolan to redeem and reinvent it.

And I don’t believe a word of the above statement.

Truthfully, I think the film Batman and Robin poison everything around them and that’s not fair. Batman Forever was actually a decent film. You have to remember, at the time, the only cinematic version of Batman we had was Burtons, and he had no interest in the source material. Catwoman was interesting, but there’s noting about her that ever remotely resembles Selina Kyle…and the creepy Penguin? I don’t even know what that was.

What Batman Forever gave us were villains much close to their comic book counterparts, and a Bruce Wayne that I actually could believe was the Bruce from the comic series rather than the pointy eye browed, curly haired weirdo that slept hanging upside down (Oh! I get it! LIKE A BAT! um, yeah.)

Sure there was a little more humor…Jim Carey (Who I don’t like that much at the best of times) was being Jim Carey. There was some speculation that Robin Williams should have played the Riddler (and the Joker before that). Can you imagine how hammy THAT would have been? The humor isn’t down to the camp levels of the TV show though. There’s plenty of action, with Schumacher’s flair for zooming shots actually giving it a more comic book feel, and that’s what I loved about it back in 1994. It felt much more like the comics to me and that was a welcome change. I even laughed at the single reference to the old TV show (which I still hate to this day) about Holey rusted metal….

I think however, that some studio exec with warm and fuzzy feelings for that show head that line and a lightbulb went off over his head…

You see, I don’t place most of the blame on Batman and Robin on Schumacher. This was another film (much like Star Trek Five again) rife with studio interference. Not even that. The word “interference” suggests some level creative vision on the directors part. Schumacher walked into a meting, before the script was even written and was handed toys. Cars, costumes and props and was told that these all had to be worked into the film somehow. The original script didn’t even have Bane in it. Ever wonder why the toy looks SO different from the on screen character? It’s because the toy was designed before the role was cast.

Schumacher could have said no. I’ll grant that. He could have breached contract. In retrospect it might have even been good for his career. But back in 1993, I can easily see how quitting this film (Batman films were a license to print money after all) might have looked like career suicide.

This isn’t cockeyed optimism that fuels my devotion to Schumacher. rather it’s he track record. On one hand we have Batman and Robin – a heavily studio controlled film that was an utter disaster on every level. On the other hand we have my favorite vampire film EVER, the Lost Boys. And we have Saint Elmo’s Fire before that. We have Phone Booth and 8MM (both done after B&R, just incase you were about to make the argument that he had talent but then lost it). Phantom of the Opera is another fairly closely controlled property that he was able to make good with.

It drives me mad when I hear him trashed on the basis of (mostly) one film that he had little or not control of, and I’ll stand by my defense of him any day you like.

 

 

 


Stitches and Grabbers

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MV5BMTgyNzE0MzYwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzgxOTA2OA@@__V1_SY317_CR103,0,214,317_AL_I spent the weekend watching foreign films – which sounds so much better than I watched a bunch of irish horror movies…..

Stitches is one of those films I’ve seen listed a million times on Netflix. I’ve passed it by again and again simply because I don’t find clowns scary. That combined with a distrust of Netflix (which has consistently proven it knows NOTHING about horror) has kept me from this film for quite a while, but after hearing a friend recommend it I decided to finally give it a chance.

It’s not an asylum film (so many of the horror movies on Netflix are. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of agreement or sponsorship, much like SyFy has with the Asylum), and I was surprised that it was an irish film. It has a very 80’s feel to it. a ton of practical effects and a standard plot – undead killer returns to murder the group of teenagers who caused his death. In this case it was a clown who died accidentally at a child’s birthday party.

They never explain why he waits a decade or so to return, but the how is touched upon in an interesting way. The film introduces the idea that all images2clowns are part of a secret cult (ironically, I was a clown and in fact WAS inducted into a secret order…no, I’m not joking.) and each has a connection to a weird painted egg – an avatar or something, it doesn’t get more specific than that. We don’t really learn what the magic is, but we do get the impression that the only way to destroy the clown is to destroy the egg. This is a great plot point and the sort of thing we don’t get enough of these days. There’s still a quest like element here , not just a bunch of set pieces.

The set pieces are great by the way. There’s a surprising amount of gore, combined with the tropes and whimsy that you would expect from a clown movie. It stops just short of being a horror comedy, but we certainly reach Hatchet or Evil Dead levels of absurdity in the violence.

It’s a fun movie and they very much leave room for sequels.  I honestly hope to see more of these at some point, but Ireland note images3being Hollywood, I’m not so sure I will.

My second feature was Grabbers. I’d heard this mentioned a year or so ago on the Horror Ect. podcast and it was one of those titles I just kept meaning to get to but never did. Stitches brought it back to mind and I’m glad I finally got around to it.

Curiously enough, this film plays it straight. It’s a stark contrast to Stitches in that, and really surprised me. The concept is that sea monsters are attacking a small Irish coastal town, and they attack people to untitleddrink their blood, but alcohol is poison to them. If ever there was a concept you’d expect to be played for laughs, this is it!

The first act is a bit slow. They take their time introducing the characters and actually try to create some back story here. When we finally see the creatures, they’re striking, but sadly also very CG heavy. The second act is heavily involved in detective work, trying to figure out what these things are and more importantly, where they come from.

The movie really does kick into high gear at the third act and it’s worth seeing. It’s a good film, but watching it I very much get the impression that it really would be better watched with a group.

I’m really enjoying what I’m seeing coming out of Ireland actually. These are both WELL made films despite the absurd premise. It’s refreshing and they really seem to remember what it’s like to make FUN horror. I’m curious to see more from the IFC and think I’ll be keeping an eye on these film makers as time goes by.

 


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

Every Wednesday and Friday

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The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe part nine

filmography

Part nine of The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe! And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!


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

Every Wednesday and Friday

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