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Archive for May, 2022

Week of 2-25-22

Episodes like last week are really the reason I keep defending the Flash even after a lot of my friends have dropped off. We open with the flash running through Central city stopping Miner Street level crime. A robbery here, maybe push your grandmother out of the way of a truck… All before running home for game night. This he is actually the kind of stuff I’d like to see more of. Especially with such an established casting concept.

The rest of the story is a really straightforward standard adventure with a villain looking for eternal life, and draining the energy from the people of the city. We get to watch the flash grow old as he battles this guy, and it’s just a fun story.

While this episode doesn’t really connect to anything else in the series, it’s very much standalone but still doing the sort of farewell Thing as well, bringing back familiar faces. This time around it’s Captain Singh from the earlier episodes. He stepped down two seasons ago or so, it was never a big character… Always more of a background one. That’s what makes it so weird to bring him back like this. He’s got a substantial role in the story, helping Joe settle into retirement, and it’s weird because he probably gets more screen time in this one episode than in any given season.

Still, the standalone for me is good. And it doesn’t feel like filler. It doesn’t give me the same exasperation in the last couple of episodes have. It’s just a reminder of why I genuinely do enjoy the show.

With no Superman this week, I decided to take the plunge and check out Obi Wan

The first episode actually starts off with about a 5 to 7 minute recap of the prequel series. Not only is that smart, it’s actually better than watching those three movies in full. We get all the salient data, we get the best of the performances, and you basically get to know everything we need to know going into this.

It’s interesting, normally I’d roll my eyes at the idea of yet another prequel series, but this is exploring that’s strange imperial. Between revenge of the Sith and a new Hope. It’s not something that’s ever been explored before, and quite frankly, Ewan McGregor is one of the absolute best things about the prequel series.

I am intrigued by the show. McGregor is actually a surprisingly proficient action hero, and I almost wonder if we really needed this story earlier. A lot of the bloom is off the rose is off Star Wars, but fans have been clamoring for this year well over a decade. Ewan McGregor has basically made the role his – more than Alec McGuniess ever did, and it’s nice to see him back in the saddle.

The portrayal of a child Leia is also interesting. I actually see it. they’ve made her up in a way that REALLY evokes Carrie Fisher, and I can totally see this little girl growing up to be her in another ten years. Likewise, the whole Star Wars world feels right. In fact, the only thing that feels out of place is the Inquisitor Reva. That VERY 2022 hairstyle takes me right out and it feels like there’s more attention paid to her story than to Obi-wans’s….of course they DO have six episodes to fill here, and adding more subplot with her may be one of  the ways they stretched out that original two hour film idea into a six hour mini-series.

That’s at the core of any problems they are going to have here. I could see the filler stretching out Picard, Wandavision and Loki. Obi Wan is starting out strong, and very watchable – maybe the best of the modern Disney Star Wars. But filler may well kill it. I hope not. This one has enough of my intrest to keep me around for another four weeks.


Last weeks pulls

Worlds finest continues to be my favorite of all the current tiles out there. It’s just good straightforward adventure fare with familiar faces. Superman, Batman and Robin, Supergirl on the flash and Green Lantern… No agendas no personal politics just straightforward storytelling. That’s not to say there’s nothing complex, we’ve got an ark going on here along with various DCU characters coming in and out of the story. It’s just all really good. It’s exactly what I want. I almost feel like back in the days where I was losing interest in Superman and Batman‘s main titles, but couldn’t wait for the Superman Batman issues to come out every month. It was the same way with Spider-Man for a while too. While the main line series was kind of meandering and falling apart, I was very much getting into the late run of ultimate Spider-Man… And even, I guess I’ll admit it, Spider-Man loves Mary Jane. 

Speaking of Spider-Man, I really have weird mixed feelings regarding this new run of amazing Spider-Man. If I hadn’t spent the first week of 2022 basically catching up on the last two years of the Spider-Man comics, I swear I just walked into the middle of a storyline or something. We still don’t really know what the status quo is here, and the opening scrawl admits it. It literally says something has happened in spider-Man‘s life, but doesn’t actually tell us what. It’s maddening, especially since I’m really enjoying a lot of what they’re doing here. The whole bit with tombstone is interesting and fun. Spidey himself is being well written and somebody really understands his voice. It’s funny and sad and good adventure all at once… With a story that is fun enough for me to put up with John Romita juniors thin line nightmare style of art. But I’ll tell you what, I really do need to know what the status quo is. I need to understand what’s happening, and it needs to be soon. You got another issue and a half or I’m out. Still, for the moment….I gotta say – this one panel just sums it up.


I’m actually been a big fan of what Dynamite’s been doing over the years. It’s the same model as Dark Horse, lean into licensed properties, but dynamite always seems to pick ones that I’m far more interested in the dark horse ever did. Elvira‘s had a couple of series now, and honestly they’ve been hit or miss, nothing I was really digging, but the new Elvira in horror land has really got my attention. They drop her into an old movie, and she interacts. It’s actually pretty perfect. It’s kind of the thing I really enjoy with horror hosts in the first place! First issue she finds herself in psycho. Psychos got a special place in my heart, especially since I didn’t get around to watching it until I was in my early 40s when they were doing a screening up at the rain palace. I’ve recently screened it for my daughter as well, and this has got it fresh on my mind. It’s well done, poking fun at the tropes, paying respect to the characters, even taking a shot at the remake. I’m really enjoying it, but what’s really interesting for me is the last page.

Elvira escapes the movie alive, and ready for her next adventure. Unfortunately, her next adventure starts in the snow… In a remote mountain resort… With a sinister hotel beckoning in the distance.Yeah, I’m sticking around for a while on this title.

Three issues in and surprisingly enough, I’m still on board with the Punisher. I actually think this would have been a perfect miniseries. Not necessarily the main line title, but a sort of side spin off… It probably would’ve served a character better. Even if it weren’t, advertising it as a mini series kind of assures people that this is just a temporary diversion and things will be returned to the status quo. To his credit, the writer genuinely tried to reassure us of that in the first issue and I respect that. It allows me to settle in and enjoy this interesting exploration of Frank Castle as the leader of the hand. There’s a lot to like here. The concept is strong and smart, and I’m genuinely on board with a lot of what they’re doing.

Or at least, I was until now.

You see that kid on the cover of issue three? The one wearing the captain America mask? That’s Frank. 10 year old Frank Castle is the centerpiece of the story, in response to a question asked to him… “When did you first kill someone?”


This irritates me. It’s not the first time that we’ve seen this sort of deconstruction… This attempt to paint Frank as just an inherent killer. A fundamental bad seed. it pops up from time to time, whether it’s in the punisher showing up in the ‘Nam, or the supernatural run where the angels pick him because he’s just inherently the best murderer out there, or even the attempt at Microsoft deconstructing his personality in the punisher max series.

Wherever it happens, I hate it. It shows a basic misunderstanding of the character and his history.

It’s especially prevalent among writers who have never lived through the 70s. People who never experienced The high crime rates and massive inflation and General loss of hope (but buckle up guys, because we’re there again and in 10 years you’re gonna see a whole new crop of storytelling that represents it). They don’t properly remember Bernie Goetz taking up arms and murdering people in a fit of vigilante rage. They’ve never experienced the sort of stagnation that lead rise to books and films like Deathwish. That’s what the punisher is. He’s a fairly ordinary guy who is finally pushed too far and snapped. He’s a person who is a protector as a cop, deeply religious with training as a priest, loving as a father and a husband… Someone who’s had all that stripped away. Those things didn’t keep the killer in check, those things were who Frank Castle was. The killer is the aberration, not the good man. It always frustrates me when the riders get this wrong. It’s not enough to put me off the title, but man it’s frustrating.

Equally frustrating is the ridiculousness of Harley Quinn. That sloppy artwork just kills me, and this book is simply all over the place. Honestly, I just dropped in to check the series out, but I’m dropping right back out. Harley Quinn‘s always been a little wacky, but she’s also been serious and deadly as well. The Harley that I am reading in this book, quite frankly it’s pinkie pie from my little pony.That’s fine, that’s even fun, but it’s not Harley. 

Maybe it’s time for me to just settle back and dig into some back issues instead. Both fanboy expo and Comicpslooza DID happen this weekend after all.






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

Every Wednesday and Friday



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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Invasion of the Pod People

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take Invasion of the Pod People seriously when it stars someone named Jessica Bork. That’s the sound the Swedish chef makes!

We start pretty by the numbers… A set of asteroids heading towards earth, and abandoned streets. We even get a news report about an asteroid hitting Monterey California. Wait a minute, isn’t that what happened in the Apocalypse movie we just watched?

It’s more than a coincidence probably, because pod people would be that directors next film. In fact, a great deal of this cast was also featured in Apocalypse… Not to mention an earlier film for the asylum called Transmorphers, which the director, Justin Jones, was an associate director on. That is to say, this cast is all very familiar with each other.

After some bizarre and gratuitous schtupping, we get a talent agent driving through California time eating with her boss. He’s demanding the pain new clients. She’s working at her desk, her boss brings in a strange plant to be passed along. It looks a bit like raw ginger or something (a quick check in the trivia section of IMDB reveals it’s EXACTLY that!). Of course, it’s an evil plant, and it walks away to go hatch a duplicate of the person that’s given to… then has to murder you.

Moran gratuitous boinking and a big argument between the girl and her boyfriend, because he travels for work. The thing is, she barely sees him when he’s not working either… she quickly gets her mind off of it though, when somebody breaks into her apartment and warns her if she’s not careful, they’ll be nobody like her left. Then he shoots himself.

Of course the strange thing is, she see someone who looks just like him standing on the street corner in the next day as she cruises through Hollywood. Probably best if she goes and buys a gun for protection.

People around her just seem to start getting weird… And one bunch of her friends invite her for a girls night out and get her drunk, Things get a little suspicious when they pull out our weird evil plant. Maybe some make out action will distract her?

Time to pass the plant on, while she steals some of the girls silverware to pass on to a cop. It’s supposed to come off as paranoid when she starts to describe them. Sexually aggressive, and vacant. She explains all this to the cop but he’s not entirely taking her seriously.

After another encounter with a pod people, she gets the cop the plant as well, warning her friends. Bad stock/CGI storm footage punctuates their escape. Is there? There’s no way of telling who’s in person or not… How can they possibly stop it?

We’ve got a very amateur sounding cast here. The delivery is stunted and fake. Most of these performances are just terrible, and made worse by the fact that we’re working with such low grade equipment. Tons of background distortion and it sure sound like he’s using the built in camera microphone rather than a boom mic. This really comes across in outdoors shots.

I still feel like I should still be cutting Jones some slack here. This is only his second feature film, and really hot on the heels of his first (I wouldn’t be surprised if these things were shot back to back) but on the other hand, he’s been in the industry for a while at this point, even if he hasn’t been doing the big job as much. Either way, the production values really drag this thing down. This story is not nearly well thought out enough to drive the sort of tension that you need for a body snatchers movie. It ends up being a fail on just about every level.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Dead Seven

DollarindexFirst and foremost, I want to start this review off by saying I actually enjoy Dead Seven. However, don’t go into this expecting any kind of a serious horror movie. Don’t go into it expecting a serious Western, or serious action or sci-fi or anything of the sort. What is his is an opportunity for a bunch of former boy band members to get together, hang out, dress up, and play. The tagline is “Larger than life” for a reason! The fact that there’s no music is probably merciful, but you’re almost wonder if it’s a missed opportunity.

Dead Seven is a sort of apocalyptic sci-fi zombie epic with a sort of western theme and homage to the magnificent seven overlaid. Somewhere in the badlands, Deborah Wilson is raising a zombie army, and our cowboy heroes are slowly index2assembled to face off with her before she destroys thier small town.

I’m actually a fan of Deborah Wilson, I know her from her work on MAD tv, and think she’s insanely talented. However I’ve never seen her in a role like this. Comedy, drama, sure. The sort of cross between savage and zombie voodoo queen that she’s pulling off here however, is absolutely terrifying. There’s no trace of that charming comedian in this film, only a brutal, terrifying villain. That’s OK, because we’re juxtaposing her with our band of cowboys…*Takes deep breath*

I wasn’t listening to boy bands in the late 90s or early 2000’s, so while I kind of know Jon Secada and remember names like Nick Carter and A.J. McLean, I genuinely only recognize imagesJoey Fatone.  Of all the boy band refugees out There, he genuinely seems to be to have done the most with his life. Joining the other Cowboys as a drunkard gunman, he provides some of the comic relief as a blast their way through the sci-fi undead.

There’s not enough story here for me to really get into a description, and besides, that’s not really what this kind of movies about. It’s more about a fun romp with a bunch of familiar faces, suitable for airing on any weekend marathon on the Syfy channel. Believe it or not, it’s worth it just for the sheer ridiculousness of it and being another dollar store purchase it’s one I absolutely don’t regret. The DVD’s got some genuinely good extra features to give you a little more insight on how they pulled this whole thing together and it’s definitely worth a look.

Catching up with my CW shows

 You know, I really haven’t talked much about television lately. I get behind, I catch up, and then I get behind again. But at this point it also feels like it would be kind of redundant. “Superman and Lois is the best thing ever”, “I know Flash is getting up there in years, but it’s still pretty good“.

Really it’s pretty much that set of statements all over again. I will say, it’s a little frustrating that evil bizarro Jonathan Kent has one of the best costumes on Superman and Lois. The whole bizarro world saga they’re doing here has been shockingly good. The problem is, this is the CW and I just keep waiting for them to mess it up…

Flash on the other hand, we’ve had two episodes in a row that feel like they’re just filler. I suppose you can get away with that with The Flash, there’s still managing to crank these things out every week whereas Superman and Lois is coming out twice a month and that maddeningly slow pace just ups the anxiety all the more. 
Times are quite uncertain at The CW these days, and probably rightfully so. Stuff like Supergirl and Batwoman should’ve been canceled ages ago, and quite frankly I think the only thing that kept Legends of Tomorrow going as long as it did was sheer  momentum. I still maintain that I wouldn’t mind seeing a Showcase show where we get a smattering of arrowverse characters, somebody shows up each week and you never quite know who you’re going to get. An ensemble anthology like that maybe the CW’s last best hope, now that even a lot of their second stringers are gone.

The one that disappoints me the most is finding out that Stargirl was cancelled. I know I’ve been saying it for months, but I need to go back and just watch the rest of that show. We got no more coming so maybe I’ll add that to TV night with Maddie. We made it about halfway through their second season, and then things just got too busy. I kind of regret that now.

Oh well, hopefully we’ll be back soon with some new comics. There’s been so little I’ve actually cared to read lately, but worlds finest number three did pop up on my radar last week I just haven’t gotten to it yet! See you then.




From IMDB : “A psychology student finds all her childhood fears and phobias becoming real after a traumatic event. ”

They was one of the reasons I picked up this box set in the first place. It seems like a good opportunity to consolidate my DVD collection a bit. I have seen this film before, it’s probably one of the biggest profile releases on this set! Still, I understand why it was collected here. They has gotten a lot of flak over the years, people seem to really, really hate this film – and I don’t understand why. Is it the “Wes Craven presents” conceit? A backlash or a disappointment that it’s not up to the quality of other Craven films? Objectively speaking, let’s face it – Craven’s involvement in this film was probably limited to cashing a check.

It’s a strong story to me, I remember the commercials being intriguing but I simply never made it out to the theatre in time. Sitting at home watching it on my television, the film scared me. It genuinely frightened me.  It immediately sets the tone for this film and the kind of things that were going to start seeing here. It’s got the look and feel of a lot of films from this era, things like Jeepers Creepers and Darkness Falls. The fact that they never really show you the monster is brilliant – you see enough of it to know that there is something there, something exists in that space and is stalking you but man, the fact that we never get a good full-fledged reveal makes it far creepier than anything – whatever these things are just thoroughly creeps me out.

Of the films in this volume, this may well be the scariest and if I wern’t reviewing it for this column, it would almost certainly be a “in defence of “. I love this movie and if you haven’t caught They, it’s really worth a second look. It’s one that seems to have gathered more appreciation of a time, although it’ll never be a classic it certainly deserves to be more than just a footnote in an eight pack of horror movies.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday



Man, even the credits for Transmorphers is designed to evoke Transformers. But to their credit, they get the action going right away. Techy astroids, and transforming robots that look like they would’ve been cutting edge for Captain Power, but perhaps a little bit cheap for 2007. Still, you gotta give them credit for trying, and points for not easing us in with a long and convoluted origin story but plunging us right into the battle.

The machines are advancing, and preparing for war. It’s time for a strike at the heart of the defenses. It’s time to take the planet back.

They decide on a mission to try and capture one of these… zeta bots. The idea is if they can extract its power source, they can better understand it. We get a crack team in hockey pads and Nerf guns (actually, I’m not sure what these things are made out of… Nerf guns probably would’ve been prefreable! ) ready to go. Admit, the brief room is excellent. They’ve put some real effort into these sets. Far more than what I would see and stuff like Atlantic Rim. To be fair, they rented a few sets from the Firefly movie Serenity… But even the ones that they’ve created themselves out of ceiling tile, air conditioning conduit and fluorescent light bulbs end up looking surprisingly effective. The exteriors are interesting as well. Very Matrix like, underground high-tech cities.

The crack team goes in, but all of a sudden, they discover that there’s a bot waiting to ambush them… disguised as part of the terrain. It transforms into a robot, and then into a large cannon, even as other bots fly through the sky. It’s surprisingly clever and curiously compelling. I’m only 13 minutes in, and I feel like I shouldn’t be this invested!

Things are going horribly wrong, and there’s only one man that can save them… A renegade named Warren Mitchell… A cold calculating person who’s mind the machines can’t read. The general (she seems awfully young and pretty to be a general… Even a two star one)
is not happy about having him, but on the other hand, he’s not happy to be woken up into this cold in life this world either. He makes demands that his old cronies get unfrozen to eat him… The general gives him one.

There’s a fun bit of action as he breaks in his new team. There’s still a mission to try and grab one of those fuel cells… If they can alter it, perhaps they can alter the consciousness of the robots and control their thinking.
The post apocalyptic battle looks very Captain Power… But with better FX. Kind of as if somebody was trying to make a Terminator future drama but only had access to late 90s CGI. It’s always a problem when were using lasers instead of bullets, but they’ve done a good enough job of making me want to like these characters in this world that I’m still pretty well all-in on this slightly cartoonish adventure. (seriously, if I can put up with it in Leprechaun 4, I can put up with it here. ) They’re not skimping on the human versus robot gun battles either. In fact, the heavy sci-fi elements and set pieces have me enjoying this more than the actual Transformers movie. That’s not a high bar, but it’s still impressive to see the Asylum clear it.

They managed to grab a bot and discover that while they had always assumed the machines were created by an alien race… They were wrong. The machines are the alien race. Opening it up, there’s a mixture of technology and organic tissue… Surprisingly well realized. Now it’s a race against time to get the modifications made before the rest of the robot army comes down around them… but even if that fails, there’s a back up… And at twist waiting for us all.

The weird thing here is, this is the one we always make fun of. It’s the most high profile of Asylums mockbusters, trying to pass with a title just similar enough to Transformers that it might confuse your grandmother when she’s out buying you a birthday gift. The thing is, it’s really shouldn’t be compared to Transformers. It’s a completely different kind of movie… With the only similarity being that there happens to be robots. They don’t really transform, they just shift into a weapons mode. It’s such a completely different kind of fun, and such a completely different genre that now, a decade and a half later, it actually stands better on its own. I’m not going and expecting Transformers, and the level of storytelling that we get here is just surprisingly good. Seriously, if I had grabbed this off the shelf at the video rental store with my friends back when we were teenagers, we would’ve worn this thing out. I know, I’m just flabbergasted as you are  at how much I like this. And that’s really the true test. This thing passed the watch test completely, not once did I look at the clock or check the run time on the menu. I was engrossed for the full 86 minutes… And smart of it not to overstay as welcome like that too. Truth is, if One weekend afternoon, you gave me the choice between watching this or the Michael Bay Transformers movie again… Pretty sure I pick this.

for a surprise recommend! Asylum is happy to pimp out the license for this thing, so you’ll find it on multiple streaming platforms, even on some of the legit movie channels on YouTube. But I’m gonna tell you right now, if I run across this at record exchange your half price books, I’m going to plunk down a couple dollars to get myself a copy of the physical media. I’m that impressed.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Hazard Con 2022

Maddie and I were so excited to get back to Hazard Con. We only just discovered it before the plague, and that totally shut down our return visit. In our one trip out though, the show it made a big impression with good panels, interesting guests, a beautiful arcade, and a tiny but surprisingly diverse and effective dealers room. We liked Hazard Con. Maddie and I were already to go with our Promised Neverland costumes, breaking both of these out for the very first time. Maddie was dressed as Isabella, the mother figure from the series, and I had crafted a demon that only appears in the Mangas, Arch Duke Leuvis. 

As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed things seemed a bit empty. It was enough for us to almost wonder if it was the right day. I double checked the website and we were definitely in the right place at the right time. Our fears were abated when I saw a couple of other anime kids pull in, jump out of the cars and start to prep their costumes. I handed Maddie the admission money because I have Tentacles rather than hands in that costume, and in we went.

Then they stopped Maddie at the registration table and informed her she would be required wear a mask.

I’ve got a bone to pick here. Because I’ve been watching to see what the rules were. No where on Hazard Con’s website is there any mention of a mask requirement. Nor is there one anywhere on the hotels site. I double checked Pennsylvania’s website. As far as I could see, there was no mandate for masks in all enclosed spaces, though there’s some government offices were still requiring them themselves. I never found an announcement until well after the convention,  after searching for a Facebook account that I didn’t know existed, and digging through past posts. This isn’t really an argument or discussion about whether or not it’s necessary or helpful to mask somebody who has been fully vaccinated and has already had Covid (in that order btw). My beef is that we didn’t know going in and that it wasn’t made clear enough in enough ways. Being on the border, Hazard Con must surely know they’re getting attendees from out of state. Every anime convention I know of does. Ohio’s laws and rules aren’t always the same as PA and that gives them a responsibility to do better.

Then something happened. Maddie impressed me. She decided that she was going to try and have a good day anyhow. Her wig kept slipping, and giving her problems. So she decided to ditch it and just be an original character… (The photo with K-9 in fact, gives me serious Romana vibes.)… perhaps some kind of character that would justify the mask… In fact, we went back to the car, ditched the one that the con had given us in favor of a sleaker black one. We found the arcade and got her on the drum game and her spirits began to lift. We stumbled upon the Guilty Pleasure panel and blew her mind with some new finds. She snatched the volume of Assassination Classroom I had just purchased and started to flip through it, and by the time we hit the Japanese art panel she was having the time of her life again.

I discovered that the mask I was wearing needs some work. I need to create some extra space for my nose, because it was getting smashed down and by the time we were about 2/3 and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Now the fun thing is, Archduke Leuvis is really just a repurpose of my Shadow costume… It’s got extra belts and accessories, but the red neck gaiter was still in the pocket along with my ring. So I detached the mask from the hat, pulled up the red scarf and removed the belts, heading back into the convention.

“A mysterious stranger has entered the room!“ One of the anime girls said in a video game voice as she spied me. This was fun. But I was astonished when I headed over to the game room to find Maddie. No sooner had I entered the arcade then I saw the Riddler walking towards me with a quizzical look on his face.

“The Shadow?“

Because the lower half of my face was covered, he probably couldn’t see my jaw drop. I don’t know what was more surprising, getting recognized in this costume or getting recognized as the demon from the Promised Neverland.

I ducked out of the art panel a little bit early. Despite being fascinating (I got Maddie to catch me up later) It was also scheduled in the middle of signing hours for Barry Yandell. Barry is a personal guy, and happy to chat a bit. Of course, I don’t know most of what he’s done. I probably should watch Black Butler at some point, but I’ve definitely never gotten there. Still, he was participating in Sunday sales with a lot of the other vendors, so even autographs were marked down! I got a nice 5 x 8 with a bunch of his characters displayed signed for $10. Those of you who know me, no I’ve been complaining about autograph prices going crazy for the last two years. I love something like this.

Maddie grabbed a blind box and some pins, I found a few buttons I wanted myself as well, along with a nice glittery skull pen. But the real thing I was there for was Japanese candy and chips and all the curious kind of things you just can’t buy in the US. I love seeing these kind of vendors, and I loaded up. It almost makes me wish I’ve been in a Koro Sensei costume instead. We played more games, as including a claw game that was set up by one of the booths and went over some of the more fascinating wears. Vintage video games, anime music, dolls and keychains and plushies. We went through all the dig bins, and grabbed stuff out of the secondary dealers room… This year’s anime flea market. With the flea market you’ve got to be ready to buy immediately. Seriously, stuff flies out of there quick, and tables increasingly vanish as the day goes on. They’re scheduled all the way until 3:30 or so, but honestly, if you get there around 1:30 or 2, pretty much everything is gone. I was still able to score some cheap mangas, but am still kicking myself for missing that Supergirl trade that just slipped through my fingers while I was checking out another booth!

Hazard Con was not the day we expected. The price, even for just Sunday has increased by 25%. The content however, seems to have decreased. Fewer panels and no anime screenings which I find REALLY weird. One of the entire reasons you go to a con is for screenings – a good way to test out anime you’ve never seen before and share the experience with others. But we had a good day nevertheless. It’s another one of those where it’s just the right size that I wish it was closer to home, although to be fair, two hours is not a terribly arduous journey. We’ll keep our eye on them next year, and perhaps ask more questions going in. There’s still a distinct possibility that we’ll be back.





Critters visit The Muppet Show


Sometimes you have to feel kind of bad for Kermit…





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

Every Wednesday and Friday



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

Every Wednesday and Friday


The Apocalypse

Apocalypse starts off with campers watching a shooting star. Well, it’s not just a shooting star, it’s not just a little meteor, it’s the end of the world! Teeny fiery meteors falling from the sky, killing people individually with the smaller ones, and smashing houses with the bigger ones, until finally one large enough to destroy a city vaporizers Monterey.

They’re messing with the radios as well, and disrupting atmosphere.
Because of this pollen meteor, all eyes are in the sky… The one that fell already was as big as a house. And the one that’s following it in four days is as big as the size of Texas… An extinction starter.

We are introduced to A park ranger and his estranged wife, who’re trying to get to their daughter and her college friends down in LA. But right now they have got bigger worry… Toxic ash and a landslide near their home, And a tornado near their daughters. Even stranger, people are vanishing.

I don’t see any real story here. The film just drifts from scene to scene with the disaster as the background rather than being the main thrust.
It’s a very talky movie, with some strange religious overtones. Not specifically Christian… But more, someone who maybe thinks they know what Christianity is from watching Hallmark movies and UP TV? Considering the Asylum makes terrible horror and sci-fi movies, trust them to mess up religious one too huh?

Ultimately, It serves as a good example of how boring a rural disaster movie can be. That’s really more the province of urban films. Buildings collapsing, cars crashing, fire and smoke in… The end of the world! This is just a tornado here and there superimposed on the background. A sinkhole… CG cracks in the street. People huddling in the wreckage, but no real spectacular destruction. Even when L.A. gets flooded by title waves… It’s quick and terrible CGI. Oh, and everyone dies at the end when the big one hits.

I really don’t know who this movie is for. I’m not a disaster movie fan, so OK, maybe that’s part of my problem, but it’s not for the horror fans. And if you were going to make a movie for Christian audience, you’ve got to actually get the theology right. And the theology in this thing is all over the place…(People don’t get raptured here and there just as they die….or suddenly believe.. I know of no beliefe like that. Even the mid-trib folks don’t go there) I don’t really feel like this was made by believers, but rather by somebody who saw the Left Behind films and thought they’d take a crack at it.

Part of me really wants to give Jones a bit of a pass, because it’s his first film. I think you’d be more likely to get that pass from me if it weren’t for these so severely botched theology in here and the pandering attempt at a religious movie when you obviously knew nothing of their beliefs. This thing is just bad. Pass. Skip. Runaway. Avoid at all costs.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Free Comic Book Day 2022

Free comic book Day was this weekend. It’s a little different these days since the pandemic, and those of us in Cleveland very much miss the midnight release party that Carol and John’s used to throw. It looks like that may be gone for good, it’s a hard event for the staff to do, and John’s literally said flat out he doesn’t know if he’s bringing it back. On the other hand, he’s shifted more towards trying to bring in a high profile guest every year. Last year was Chris Claremont, and this year of course was Jim Shooter. I have a great and abiding respect her Jim Shooter, despite what many, professionals say behind his back. He created the valiant universe which brought me Shadow Man… One of my all-time top favorite characters ever. The man was a prodigy, writing  Legion of superheroes as a teenager, and shepherded marvel into the 80s, finally establishing royalties for creators, and trying to make comics more familiar. He also created one of the first high profile company wide crossover events in Secret Wars… Which is what Carol and Johns were celebrating this year, complete with mock ups of the cover that you could pose in front of.

But before we hit them, we stopped by Comics Are Go… a shop closer to my home, and the other one of my regular comic shops. These are the same guys who throw NEO comic con every year, and hitting both shops would assure that Maddie and I both got the books that we were looking for, as well as a couple of duplicates to give away to kids we know. Maddie was eager to break out her new female Iron Man cosplay – one we’ve dubbed “Toni Stark” It’s a simple, casual one, with just one gauntlet and the arc reactor, as well as a wig and E.D.I.T.H. glasses.

Comics Are Go is a little bit more subdued of a environment, focusing on local artists and not so much on cosplay. Still, they’re friendly and this is a great way to get people into that shop. It’s a hole in the wall, and the more people who know about it the better.

Over at Carol and John’s, this year‘s mural was being painted upfront, while we headed into the side room to grab comics and look over the various artists wares. I pulled out my venom costume again. This was a nice little find right around the end of Halloween last year… Four dollars and it came with a mask. It’s about a half size too small,… A little tight and doesn’t want to close correctly in the back, but otherwise looks fairly good. I ended up doing a new mask for it using the plastic shell the costumes mask had come packaged in. A little bit of spray paint and some marker letting the paint just drip over the clear plastic. It gives an altogether uncomfortable look and makes it a bit more terrifying of a venom. I only scared one child… That’s a good thing. But one little boy did see me coming and just started backing up behind his father going “nope, nope, nope!“

All in all, it was a fun day. Maddie found buttons and stickers she wanted for her school bag and folders. We hit the ice cream store around the corner from Carol and John’s – they were offering an “Infinity Gauntlet” flavor with multi colors and rock candy on top. I found some interesting comics, including a deadpooh issue from one of the artists over at Comics Are Go. It’s amazing. We were in and out in just a few hours, but a nice chance to catch up with friends and get back into the scene a little.






Well I’m not a wrestling fan (Though a lot of my friends are) I do know Stone Cold Steve Austin’s name. He’s been around long enough and has high profile enough that even know who he is and there are a bunch of his films available at the dollar tree, usually I’ll pass over them but I grabbed this one for one reason. Danny Trejo.

Recoil is the story of an ex cop turned drifter after the deaths of his wife and daughter. He drifts into a small town and right onto the bad side of the local biker gang, one that just happens to be led by Trejo. In an even more amazing coincidence, Trejo is the one who murdered Steve Austin’s family. Now Steve Austin is all that stands against and destruction of the small town. And maybe he’ll get a little bit of revenge along the way.

imagesIf that sounds like a really generic action movie pitch, it’s because it is. That’s not necessarily a  really bad thing, I happen to enjoy generic, by the numbers horror movies and I think action fans will get right into this sort of generic action movie.

Steve Austin basically does what he always does. He’s playing the same role he always did even when he was wrestling.  He doesn’t have a lot of range but let’s face it, nobody’s looking to him for range. Trejo is his usual self here as well, and isn’t really given much to work with. Looking at the cover art, I was indexhoping for a team up instead of a face off, but I’ll take what I can get. This is so much about performances as it is just fast paced fun with familiar faces. If you’re up for some fistfights a few interesting action gags and a little bit of been fighting, recoil will probably do the job.

The Sacred

indexThe Sacred tries to creep us out  right from the beginning, with imagery of spiders and blood and eyes over the credits before dropping us into 1709 and Indian (they say Native American, but they sure look Inuit to me) ceremony hosted by a high priest with cockroaches in his being. The creatures that come from the human sacrifice ramp up the creep factor with a satisfying amount of blood before blasting us back into the present day

A group of geology students sail into the wilderness, guided by a mysterious stranger (The doomsayer that’s in evey slasher film). At this point if feels very “Creature From the Black Lagoon”, but I suspect there’s no monsters here – just ghosts. Indeed, upon finding a totem pole, there are strange voices to be heard in the distance.

Creepy things start to happen once they arrive at their cabin. They discover their grounds were a place of judgement, and execution – they’re not the first to come here, but index2.jpgthe last group didn’t leave alive. The land remembers, the land haunts and the land kills.

The Sacred is haunting and creepy and beautifully executed – one of the best films in the set. They’re proficient with the gore but don’t over use it. The film relies more on atmosphere to support some really well done kills and creature effects. I’m overwhelmingly impressed with how well directed and shot the film is – it may not be original material, but they play in this familiar sandbox really well, and the bloody antagonists of the climax to the entire film justice. This movie alone it’s worth the price of admission and a great reason to buy this collection.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Black Dragons

boxclassicsindexI can’t remember if I’ve watched Black Dragons before or not. It’s definitely on my radar because of Bella Lugosi, even if it is one of his lesser films. We get an introduction – fifth columnists are lurking in the US! this revelation is overlaid with several disasters happening around the country. We got a cabal of people there just to make trouble. Bela Lugosi infiltrates as one of their number, then one by one, they start to end up dead, each clutching a Japanese dagger…baffling the police.

Black Dragons drinking game : Drink every time somebody slides the double doors in the house closed, and take a shot every time Lugosi creeps up behind someone.

While it’s not bad, it’s really nothing more than pulp fiction. Lugosi could very easily be playing The Shadow of The Spider and the story would be largely the same. It’s definitely a worthwhile pick, if only to see some early Clayton Moore in his pre-Lone Ranger days. It’s got a wild twist at the end, but it’s definitely a B-movie classic, and served well by its short 61 minute running time.

The Music Box

The music box begins with a little girl playing the music box and repeatedly opening and closing it, It’ll be starting the song, until I spot a little girl behind her. Nice, pretty much tells you exactly what is going to be… Very straightforward. We shift to a mother (we later find out that she’s an aunt six year old selfie’s guardian) and daughter moving into a new home, one with lots of dark oils outside and photographs of statues inside. We got a shot of the mute little girl crying over a Picture of her parents which tells us they’re dead.

As Mom gardens in the backyard, the little girl digs in place. But suddenly she finds a wooden box that’s been buried… And inside it is the velvety music box and she’s entranced. There’s sounds in the house, and shapes that move in the darkness, perhaps it’s just all the gargoyles… Or perhaps Sophie is talking to something more sinister in the house..
We start to get flashes of the ghost girl, in the corner, in the kitchen, even on the ceiling. They’re coming more and more frequently as Sophie interacts with her invisible friend, carrying around the music box like a security blanket.

Things get serious when Sophie‘s counselor spots the ghost in a video of his last session with her, and the aunt tracks down the meaning of the symbol on the box… Possession. The child is trying to take over Sophie, and using the music box as a conduit. But even as the aunt tries to get rid of it, the ghost girl fights back.

The Aunt tracks down the previous owner of the house and discovers the ghosts true mission. She’s looking for a new mother,… But to do that, she hast to kill the child that lives in the house -Sophie.

Ultimately this is a very well shot film, filmed with good cameras and good performances. The ghost looks creepy and has a simple but effective design. The big problem, is the film drags… And at 84 minutes, it can’t afford to drag at all. It’s a very straightforward tale, with no sub plots or character development – just a straight line from start to finish, and that leaves a film a little flat. It’s all good for quality, but not quite as entertaining as it could be.



85% of the cast is under 25

Moving to a new house

Ghost Children (Bonus for white dress)

Kid(s) see ghosts no one else does