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

Author Archive

176

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_176


He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

 

I wasn’t expecting much. But at least the show was being honest about what it was. It’s a pure reboot, almost a reboot in name only. They wern’t lying to the fans abotu what it would be #kevinsmithlied , They wern’t pulling a bait and switch #kevinsmithlied , and they wern’t attacking fans as they made what few promotional rounds they did #kevinsmithlied (I just can’t let it go. I lost a great deal of respect for Smith over Revelation. #kevinsmithlied You are no longer a “Man of the people” dude. No longer a dude even. Just another hollywood shill. #kevinsmithlied ) I was just expecting a kids show, with kids tropes and kidspeak.  I was never expecting to be so pulled in.

We didn’t talk about Masters of the Universe Revelation on this blog because it probably would’ve been just 1200 words of me griping and moaning about how #KevinSmithLied, and how trying to deconstruct a heroic and pure character like He-Man…or for that matter, Superman or The Lone Ranger, that sort of deconstruction never really works. Even in the Dolph Lundgren film, where things were grittier and more violent and darker, He Man is still pure. He’s still heroic. He’s not haunted and troubled and angsty. Even worse, he’s not actually in Revelation. Oh sure, he shows up for perhaps two minutes an episode in flashbacks (I know, I timed it), but he’s not actually part of the show. Rather it’s Teela that’s the main character… A subject that has been covered endlessly and far better on far better channels and blogs than mine. But really, did they have to make her such a aunt towards everyone she encounters? (Wait, did auto-correct just… Never mind.)


Netflix’s new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe makes none of these mistakes. This is an ensemble piece, with characters that are genuinely likable. Strong female characters that don’t have to tear down the men to be strong, strong male characters that don’t have to disrespect the women to be strong. It’s actually good stuff. Pure heroics, good and evil. The real hook here is that they flipped the script. Masters of the Universe has always been a heavy fantasy-based adventure with dashes of sci-fi in it. This however, is heavy sci-fi with dashes of fantasy in it. And it works. It genuinely does. It’s everything that I wish the ill-fated 1990s New Adventures of He-Man was.

Because it’s current year, they have to do some race and gender swapping, but because this is genuinely something completely new, I find that it’s not bothering me nearly as much as usual. Teela is a dark skinned girl with white hair, and not related to man at arms. They’re both young… Everybody’s young. She’s already a sorceress, so we’re kind of short cutting her legacy and plunging her right into it, redefining the character in a different role in this sci-fi technoscape. Ram Man has been gender swapped to be Ram Ma’am. It’s the dumbest name and drew the most ridicule during commercials, as well it deserved. However, this character is so well thought out, she gets more backstory and depth than poor old Rammy ever did. It’s impossible not to like her. Krass (I swear I thought the name was CRASH -and it SHOULD HAVE BEEN! Seems more appropriate) may actually be my favorite character of this reboot.

Cringer has a new role here as well. Because we don’t have man at arms available to be the wise old mentor, that role has actually been passed on to Cringer. It’s a dramatic departure from what we’ve seen before but, they actually give us an interesting backstory for him, why he has that name, and a real reason for his aspirations to hunt and fight. It has every bit the depth and emotion that Revelation promised, without the whining and angst.

The other big criticism I saw the series was that Orko is now a robot. And that’s true… Sort of. Robots are common in the society ( technology is just a fact of their existence. Almost Star Wars in the matter of fact attitude they have towards it). The little floaty guys are everywhere. Orko is a re-programmed bot who has been input with the memories of the Trollan sorcerer Orko The Great. So now he thinks he is Orko the great… And part of his journey is learning that this isn’t his real identity, as well as figuring out who he actually is. He’s still the comic relie

f, and he’s quite adorable. I was never one of those that hated him, and this new incarnation is more fun than it has a right to be. It fits into the series, rather than just being dropped in for no reason. There’s a build up and a real journey here. Don’t expect to see him until about halfway through. In fact, don’t expect to see any of the villains in full garb until well past halfway through. There is a real story arc here, despite being episodic. The entire series is very much a learning curve story, something I’ve always enjoyed. This whole thing is a slow build up with constant cliffhangers that left me seizing the remote to furiously hit the next episode button – which led me to binge it in two days. Two nice and easy morning sessions, about two hours each. At 10 episodes it’s easy enough to get through, and absolutely left me wanting more. This sort of reboot is not only what I wished new adventures had been, it’s the sort of reboot I wished Princesses of Power would’ve been. I set my 15-year-old down to watch it with me on our weekly television night. She and her sister grew up watching the 80s He-Man and She-Ra on DVD with me, as well as playing with the toys. She knows the series, and while she’s not quite as invested as I am, if the producers were doing it wrong,  it’d be just as likely to piss her off as it is me.


She loved it.

Teela just fasciantes her and she absolutely loves the alternate costume. Krass keeps throwing out lines that she insists need to be motivational posters . (“Every problem can be solved by ramming them with my helmet!”). Neither of us can get the theme song out of our heads. She wants more, and so do I. I had planned on passing on the action figures… I’m not a huge fan of the distorted character design, but it sort of melts away as I watched the series, and now that I’ve finished it, I need every one of these toys. Seriously, I need a second season, and quick. Please Netflix more of this. More He-Man and the Masters of the universe, and less Revelation ( #kevinsmithlied ). I’m totally ready for a new adventure.

 


175

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_175


Ghoulies 4

midnighthorrorindex.jpgI didn’t even realize there WAS a fourth Ghoulies movie – I thought the series died after Ghoulies go to college!

The film begins with a very comic book like Female thief dressed in revealing leather who is able to easily overpower and murder the guards. The killing makes her less than sympathetic but progresses the story quickly. She opens a box from Cairo and extracts a jewel – obviously the prize she was here for. Spray-painting a pentagram on the floor she begins a ritual, and the bodies of the slain guards disappear while in the center a hooded figure materilizes, demanding the jewel. She tried to give it to him but steps over the line, breaking the circle – both men vanish in smoke as the cops arrive. The thief leaves and in doing so misses the arrival of two small Ghoulies.

index1.jpgThese are not the Ghoulies that you may remember from Charles Band’s films, this is really a pair of two little people in suits – more goblin than Ghoulies. They immediately launch into three stooges style violence upon each other before scampering off into the darkness.

I have a bad feeling about this. At least it’s directed by Jim Wynorski.

On the other side of the credits we meet a pair of wacky cops on a stakeout.They foil a robbery at the local liquor store, getting drawn into a bloody gun fight.

In the sewers, our burglar, Alexandria summons the man in the cloak again. He informs her that there is a second stone and that she must find it for him (and it just so happens to be hanging around the cops neck). This means more human sacrifices, fortunately Art index2.jpgCarney’s character from the honeymooners is down there and ready to get killed.

Our two Ghoulies themselves flash back to the first film to try and connect everything… It’s debatable whether or not this was a wise move, it highlights the very different look of the actors in costume from the puppets used in the previous movies. According to IMDb, the puppetry was a cost the film could not afford.

The Ghoulies sneak into the cops trunk to hitch a ride. They accidentally blast a hole in the roof of his car while he is in the quickie-mart getting milk, then run off into the darkness. And this does nothing to inspire confidence from his superior detective Kate. He heads home, too tired to even boff his girlfriend or a hooker or whenever she is… The images.jpgGhoulies follow as he dreams of scenes from the first film.

Elsewhere, the Ghoulies and stop a mugging.

Alexandria luers the cop out by kidnapping his partner, but what she doesn’t know his hooker girlfriend is already absconded with the ruby necklace. It turns out, the cop knows Alexandria – they used to date. When she discovers he doesn’t have the jewel, she commands the brainwashed partner to murder him. We get a fist fight in the warehouse, destroying tons of antiques, conveniently laid out on the table.

Alexandria heads to the cops apartment, but the Ghoulies are already there searching… They pepper spray her and make good there escape.

images1.jpgDetective Kate puts cop to bed and I and meets the hook a girlfriend in a amusingly Catty exchange. Sadly, it’s the last time she’ll see her because Alexandria scoops her up outside the apartment and sacrifices her to hooded guy. Detective Kate notices this happening through the window and it sets the cop off to go look for her. Turns out they used to be Satan worshippers together but she got too into it and he dumped her at the mental asylum.Well now, the inmates are in control of the asylum – and Alexandria is using it as a hideout (And a place to complete her ritual).

Who taught the mental patients Kung fu?

The cop and detective Kate show up just in the nick of time to disrupt the ritual and attempt to save hooker girlfriend.

81JvVEaNr2L._SL1500_In some ways, I really like this.The heavily occult themes of this film really harking back more towards the original movie.I can’t complain that the Ghoulies have minimal screen time, once again that also harkins back to the original film. My main objection is that the Ghoulies are little people in costumes that look nothing like the originals rather than puppets. They are constantly cracking wise – it gets grating .Still, overall it’s a stronger entry into the Ghoulies series then part three and one of the better films in this midnight horror collection


Pekar Park Comic Fest (and Coventry trip)

The Pekar Park comic fest is one of those that’s been on my radar forever, but I never actually made it out to until just before the plague. Of course, they didn’t have it last year, and the one I went to in 2019 was an unusual one. Because of the weather, everything had moved inside… It was not your typical Pekar Park comic fest. But I remember finding myself having so much fun, that I stuck around long enough to make it to the end where they had a screening of My Friend Dahmer, complete with a talk with author Derf afterwards.
This year, the comic fest was back, and it was its old self. Completely held outside, with a family film like Big Hero 6 shown in the park at the end of the day.

It just wasn’t the same.

I miss the addition of Urban Otaku, doing panels and anime talks and shorts early in the day, but nevertheless, I grabbed my daughter and we made our way out to see what was going on. It really feels a lot more like a glorified sidewalk sale… and that’s not necessarily A bad thing, but it’s not necessarily the magic that I felt back in 2019. Still it was interesting, still a fascinating variety of curious comics and artwork and crafts. Maddie found a huffelpuff button I nearly lost her mind, but she was actually far more interested in exploring some of the local Coventry sites, such as the library, it’s community garden, Mac’s paperbacks and Passport to Peru.

I don’t have any issues with the Pekar Park fast, and if it’s your first time out to the Coventry area, this is actually a great way to go. It’s a little bit of extra activity and attraction to keep your interest now that Big Fun and Coventry Cats are both gone. Sadly though, it’s not going to be a regular stop in the future on my convention circuit.

 


174

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_174


Green Arrow Badge

3d.jpg

A friend asked me to create a Green Arrow badge/buckle for his Arrow quiver. Could also be worked into a belt buckle. I’ve uploaded two versions. There’s the big model I was working with, and the smaller one scaled down to the two inches he requested.

bc2f47e033f94b4a0a298e9810410be5_preview_featured.jpg

 

Model can be found here     https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2862615

 


173

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_173


House 3

franchisebannerindexThere’s some conflicting stories about whether this was originally meant to be a part of the franchise or not. I’ve read that the studio wanted a potential new franchise so they marketed it as simply the horror Show in the US, while I’ve als heard that they actually WANTED another House sequel so they changed it to House 3 for the European markets, (much the way they billed Fulchi’s Zombie as a sequel to Romero’s Dawn of the Dead). Sequel or not, you can’t really go wrong with Lance Henriksen and Byron James. T look at it, I’d exect an interesting movie that doesn’t quite fit with the vibe of the rest of the series. Problem is, I watched this once already… and I don’t remember a thing. It didn’t really make an impact, so I’m hoping this second viewing will stick. Sean S. Cunningham’s name is still on it, and Henry Manfredini did the music, but it does have an Alan Smithee writing credit which always raises red flags.

The exterior of the house is beautiful, as Lance Henriksen nervously paces inside, checking on his daughter and son. It’s still the tail end of the 80’s and he still ripped. He stops by his shoulder holster and grabs his gun as he descends the stairs in the gloomy house. Everything is foggy with a tinge of blue and his flashlight ultimately leads him down into the dark basement. The furnace flies open with a blaze a flame and he approaches it, almost mesmerized. This plunges us into a flashback – a police operation index3.jpgto rescue a little girl. Inside the building there is blood everywhere. Hands and heads float in the deep fryer and Henrickson’s partner swings from a chain, his arms gone… it’s an impressive amount of gore this early on. Behind him, James sneaks up, the girl in one arm and a meat cleaver in the other. Her head comes off and Henderson wakes up from the nightmare.

It’s execution day for James, and Hendrickson is going to be there to watch. He’s seeking some sort of closure, but James is defiant to the end. It takes two tries, and they have to increase the voltage until his skin bubbles and boils. James catches on fire and breaks free from the chair to deliver a final dire threat to Henrickson.

index2.jpgWait a minute, is this house three or is it shocker? It’s a valid comparison, ask James rises from the dead in an electrical form then emerges from his cadaver and travels into Henrickson’s house… right down into the furnace. It doesn’t pass by unnoticed though, a professor-type played by Thom Brey, curiously enough, the actor who voiced hero Wilbur Finletter in  the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes cartoons) investigates the body and rushes off to warn Henrickson that James is indeed coming back for him. Henrickson’s not impressed, and he still has his own nightmares and flashbacks from the case to deal with
New line, back at home in the basement, things start to happen. Rattling walls and dire tools moving. the daughter’s boyfriend sneaks in to give us a jump scare, but gets lured buy a disembodied voice among the clutter and ends up the first victim of James. Even as a disembodied ghost, he’s still living up to his nickname “Meat Cleaver Max”.

James continues to threaten Henderson, but he assumes it’s just the reemergence of his PSTD. It’s obviously a power surge and the circuit breakers messing with the furnace. That doesn’t explain the demonic turkey though or the visions of Henrickson’s family dead though. it doesn’t explain him seeing James take the place of the stand-up comedian. It’s all enough for him to go running to the shrink. He sends him off to explore James’s old apartment.

While he’s there, Hendricks and discovers that James had been stalking him and his family, and he’s not the only one. The professor is there as well looking for answers, and as it turns out, now is a good time to explain the plot. James has turned into energy and only more electricity will bring him back into the physical plane where he can be properly killed. In the meantime, They discover the dead boyfriend in Henrickson’s basement and that’s when everything goes sideways. Henrickson is arrested and while images5.jpghe’s stuck at the police station, James goes after the family back at the house in earnest.

Henrickson gets out of the jail and races back home, but the house has been transformed into a horror show nightmare and he must fight through it to save his family.

House 3 really is a different kind of film, and it really stands alone. It’s not just that it has more gore, it has a more brutal kind of violence to it. While the other films lean towards spooky fantasy, House 3 goes for the visceral. It’s a good movie, but a very different one. All of the actors give impressive performances, and Brian James actually cited it as being his favorite role ever. It’s fun to see Aron Eisenberg out of the Star Trek Nog makeup and even more of a treat to see Thom Bray playing more of a straight role. The film suffers from comparison though. To many other films such as Prison and Shocker came out around the same time with too similar a plot, which makes it hard for this one to stand out. I really do enjoy the horror show, but it feels extremely out of place as part of the House series.


Lorain Comic and toy expo – part two!

 

We hit this show back in April, and even then, they mentioned they hoped they’d be back soon.  Well, the show returned this weekend! Still a small con, so instead of me telling you about it, I’m going to let Maddie tell you all about it!


https://youtu.be/J8XQvd0IYzU 

 


172

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_172


171

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_171


Autumn

midnighthorrorautumn_xlgAutumn has some good ideas. I genuinely like the concept where we see the evolution of the Zombie.

It starts off in urban England which gives it an initial 28 days later feel, but soon moves out to the country and we gt far more of a Night of the Living dead vibe. Forget the cover art by the way, it’s not the sci-fi epic about a plague that the cover would suggest. We don’t really see alot of it, we see more of that first shelter that the survivors are huddled in. We see the first zombies, wandering aimlessly…not eve noticing other people…..not hungry. Not yet.

As the film goes on, we se the zombies start to develop senses, becoming  triggered by sound and light. as time passes, the hunger kicks in and they become the real threat we’re used too. The progression is original and fascinating.

81JvVEaNr2L._SL1500_If this movie has a real problem, it that it’s too long, and WAY too talky. It’s a melodrama in the extreme and would really benefit from some judicious cutting of some of those dialogue scenes. I understand how we got here, the film is based on a book and there’s a LOT of ground to cover. From everything I’ve heard, it’s really true to the source material. Still I think it could have been streamlined into something a bit better paced. This is definitely one to watch, but you need to be prepared for a long somewhat PBS style zombie film and be in the mood for more philosophy than horror.


Freddy Kruger

Costume

I redo my Freddy from time to time – Latex doesn’t last that long. one of my favorite elements to this version was the chest of souls exposed!

 

67343294_1632096053587765_8708212798716379136_n67383714_1626540020810035_5767420559109390336_n67561440_1629111537219550_6600438412585467904_n


170

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_170


J.R. Bookwalter

AutographsI’ve met J.R. Bookwalter several tims n the con circuit, not to mention at the actual screening of Robot Ninja. He’s a great producer of trashy horror and an amazing repository of filmmaking in the lat 80’s/early 90’s.69683166_2697189776992095_4322298238783717376_n70393446_2697189716992101_8248238126485471232_n

 

 

 


169

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_169


House 2

franchisebannerindex.jpgI think that Indiana Jones ruined crystal skulls for everybody. The film opens on a crystal skull, and then dissolves into this gorgeous house. If the outsides art deco wasn’t impressive enough, the cavernous interior with stone balconies and Mayan glyphs lining the walls will definitely catch you.

House two was heavily advertised, way more than the original and I remember seeing it on the back of every comic book, on the wall of every theater, and in every other commercial on television. It’s one  of those films I was very aware of but I always assumed that it was a sequel to the original. I even wondered if perhaps the Second Story referred to most of the action taking place upstairs. Of course I was wrong. You have to understand this is an anthology series and this story stands alone, completely unrelated to the rest of the films.

After spiriting away their baby, a couple hears a strange noise from upstairs. They’ve obviously been living with this horror for a while, and they head up to investigate. All we see is a shadowy figure that demands “I want the skull!” before gunning them down.

25 years later

A car pulls up and Jessie, the baby that was sent away, has arrived to take ownership of the house with his girlfriend Kate. He certainly joined by his best friend Charlie and girlfriend Lana in toe. You may recognize Lana as Amy Yasbeck from the Problem Child series.

Downstairs, Jesse finds an article about his great great grandfather discovering a crystal index3skull, then having a falling out with his archaeological partner Slim. The Crystal Skull however, is nowhere to be found and Jessie comes up with the idea I’m digging up his great great grandfather and checking the coffin. The skull indeed has been hidden there, but what he discovers is that his grandfather is also there, and alive. A zombified corpse reaches out and grabs Jessie, defending the skull.  Jesse pleads with him and wins his trust. It turns out, Gramps has been waiting for 170 years for somebody to come and dig him up. He accompanies Jesse and Charlie back to the house, and places the skull back in it’s cradle over the mantle. It starts to glow and Gramps warns them that this house actually a temple, and forces will steal through to try and acquired the skull.

Chris takes Gramps out on the town for some fish out of water comedy and they end up on the side of the road getting drunk and staring at the stars. They set him up in the basement with the TV and they listen to his story of life in the old west. But soon, doors start to open between this world and others and a variety of bizarre forces start to come through to claim the Crystal Skull. A barbarian from the Stone Age storms in and swipes it during a Halloween party, but when he leaves, the portal used remains open. Upstairs in one of the bedrooms they discover a jungle. It’s actually very reminiscent of the devices used in the first House movie. The idea of walking through a familiar door, but instead of finding yourself in the expected room, you find yourself in a very different place. it’s one of those things that makes this feel like a sequel to the original, even while it’s completely disconnected.

They plunged into prehistoric times with an Uzi got that makes the prehistoric man a pushover. The stop-motion dinosaurs are a bit more of a threat. Nevertheless they escape the matte painting prehistoric world, along with a weird dog caterpillar and a baby index2.jpgpterodactyl, all while managing to retrieve the skull and return it to it’s cradle.

In the meantime, Bill Maher is trying to make time with Jesse’s girlfriend.
It’s weird to see him act, over the years we’ve gotten very used to him more as a panel moderator and commentator than a performer. He plays a completely superfluous and ridiculously slimy character in this film, all of which is pretty much the perfect metaphor for Bill Maher’s existence in the first place.

No sooner is the Crystal Skull back in it’s cradle Then the Aztecs come to take it. It’s around this time that John Ratzenberger shows up as Bill. He’s there to fix the wiring but he also has a sideline as an adventurer and finds an alternate universe inside one of the walls of the house. Bill, Jesse, and Charlie head through the portal to the alternate universe to retrieve the skull. A virgin sacrifice tags along with t hem on thier way home – she’s got a thing for Jessie.

index4.jpgIt’s time for Gramp’s old partner Slim to arrive, emerging out of the evening’s dinner as a terrifying visage. Frank Welker provides his best Doctor Claw voice for the dead cowboy and gramps arms Jesse with his six-shooter for the next encounter. Outside, the windows show a Wild West Town and Jessie crashes through to save his friends In a climactic showdown.

House 2 is not so much a horror film as it is a bit of a Dark Fantasy Adventure. There’s a lot of elements here that feel like The Goonies, which make sense. We’ve got a slightly watered down PG-13 rating on this film as opposed to the R rating of it’s predecessor. House two may be a lot of things, it’s spooky and dangerous, But it isn’t scary. Still, you can’t deny the tenor and general feel of the film that links it to the first House film. The addition of John Ratzenberger to the cast is a brilliant bit of backhanded connection as well. It feel like it’s part of something bigger, though it still could probably stand on it’s ow, and even with the very strange (and slightly unsatisfying) ending, it’s still worth the watch, especially in the context of the franchise.


168

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_168


Gone in 60 Seconds 2

In 1989 H B Halicki was trying for a come back. He spent the last several years buying up hundreds of cars – yeah you read that right, I said hundreds. The plan was to do a sequel to his first movie and greatest success, Gone in 60 Seconds – but this time bigger and better. Halicki boarded a semi truck and proceeded to crush dozens and dozens of cars on camera before bailing out the driver side window and making his escape on the feet of a helicopter while the semi pile drove straight ahead into a water tower.

He got as far as shooting the first big stunt, but the water tower fall went wrong, cutting a cable which knocked down a telephone pole – right onto Halicki himself. He never made it to the hospital and was pronounced DOA in the ambulance.

I feel a little devastated to discover this man’s demise, despite being 30 years removed. I love that his wife gathered up enough money, enough crew and enough leftover cars to complete the second chase and then, patching it together with footage from the original Gone in 60 Seconds created a short feature, about 30 minutes in running time, which is essentially just one long car chase that crunches over 250 cars in its path of devastation. There’s very little in the way of plot or dialogue but it’s a fitting eulogy for H B Halicki, encompassing his love of the chase, his love of car crashes and his aspirations cinematically. It would be after this was released that his wife would then collaborate with Jerry Bruckheimer to see the Nicolas Cage remake done, forever immortalizing Halicki’s story with a more mainstream audience.

This short film is available here and there, I’ve seen it occasionally on YouTube and manage to score a copy in a “Fast as Hell” DVD collection of Halicki’s films at the dollar store. It’s worth a watch, if for no other reason as a epilogue to this remarkable man’s career.

 


Catching up on What If?

Of all the marvel cinematic universe shows, the two that I have been looking forward to the most were Loki and What If?. I’m still sad that Loki was such a disappointment, but so far, What If? has fared much better. The thing that strikes me so much about it though is it’s very MCU. This is not merely pulling random marvel characters and doing an imaginary story, this is laser focused on reasonably prominent MCU supporting characters and very interested in re-creating scenes from some of the great Marvel movies -largely fro phase one. The attention to detail is beautiful, the actual actors of been brought into voice their character is wherever possible, and I never feel like I’m looking at a generic re-creation. Backgrounds look like they’re straight out of the films. The costume design still has a very Marvel cinematic feel. I’ve had some people tell me that the animation is a little off-putting, particularly around the eyes. I find that interesting because to me it’s perfect. It actually reminds me a great deal of the animation style used in the MTV Spiderman cartoon that took place between the first and second Raimi movies (It’s underrated, and doesn’t get nearly enough respect. Bridged that gap, and added a great deal more depth to those films. We could’ve used another season in between two and three for that matter!).

There’s still some politically correct elements in here that we probably wouldn’t have paid nearly as much attention to five years ago before The woke went on steroids. I’m perfectly willing to give that stuff a pass… Captain Carter has no real heroes journey, but her strength isn’t at the expense of Steve Rogers he still gets to be a hero and sacrifice. His character is very evident in What If?. There’s some opportunistic journalists right now capitalizing on saying T’Challa is a better star lord than Peter Quill, but he’s really not. He’s just different. A different focus, and apparently Black Panther has a Secret power that everyone just automatically likes him. They should really make that a thing, like X forces domino having a knack for things just naturally falling into place. Then again, Quill starting off being flawed and learning to be a hero was the entire point wasn’t it? If anything, that robbed T’Challa of any character development or heroes journey.

Episode three benefits greatly from being able to showcase most of the original MCU Avengers as well as being focused and voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. There’s an interesting twist that just touches a bit on the later films, but for the most part is still heavily rooted in the early and best of the MCU, something that’s really appealing.

All in all though, I think I’m enjoying what is the most of all of the MCU TV series, and I hope it keeps up the quality. It’s fun, it’s episodic, and is really exactly the sort of thing that I’m looking for… A chance to dip my toe in the Marvel universe, without having to commit to three hours, and whatever her social agenda is fashionable this week.

Next week I really ought to catch up on StarGirl.

 


167

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_167


Mother’s Day Massacre

midnighthorrorMV5BMjMzMTc0Njg4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTYzMTA2MDE@._V1_We begin Mother’s Day Massacre in the most awkward position possible – From the perspective of a woman in the stirrups at the gynecologist office and diagnosis her STD . Upon receiving the news of her venereal disease, she is off to confront the mistress and her cheating partner… We get a baby scarred by hot bacon grease and a frying pan bludgeon…. and we’re not even five minutes in.

Whiplash forward to present day where were introduced to our Ingenue Doreen and her hapless boyfriend Jim – also his abusive father who ruins their quick nookie session.

We get a bizarre first scene with the pervy dad and we are gynaecologist that seems to be completely unrelated to the rest of the film, other them to disturb and pad the runtime to feature length… And they still only managed to stretch this thing out to 77 minutes

Doreen located Jim’s mother (who abandoned him) on the Internet as his dad’s crudeness escalates.Jim and Doreen head into an abandoned ghost town to locate his mom. A bunch of friends decide to tag along since they’ve heard the town is spooky and there’s good weed growing wild.  We manage to get a doomsayer (slasher trope) – a kid this time – when they stop for gas at a rundown joint that remind me of the general store from pumpkinhead.

Once they get there, they drink beer and then split up to explore the town – always a good idea when you’re in a horror film! They search the unfortunately brightly lit houses looking for places to bang, and find creepy things inside them, like the worst Gloryhole 81JvVEaNr2L._SL1500_ever. That’s when the axe wielding rednecks show up.

The movie isn’t shy about spraying blood everywhere which is a good thing because a redneck father and son team of villains aren’t very visually interesting. This isn’t Wrong Turn with grotesque mutants hunting our city slickers, but rather just a guy in  shades with his retarded inbred song teaming up for murder.

All the kids escaped with some of the weed which causes the rednecks to follow them, so the killing can continue.

This is a sloppy movie. (almost as sloppy as this review) There’s no three act structure, no story arc, just a general idea that’s been laid over the bones of a film. It’s one of those situations where I wonder if the filmmakers had access to a cool location and just decided to try and build a movie around it. Whatever the case, this one fails to satisfy.


166

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

Every Wednesday and Friday

New_166