Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Mean To Talk to You All About That Whole Trail Of Tears Thing

In the Sacred Grove of Arcadia

she awaits
she awaits
in the grove
in the dawn

The First Lady Brillman

They say she murdered her first husband
others say it was just an unfortunate
accident where he fell into a wood chipper
five times


Well this is what happens when you order blind from the library. I put in "Anime" into the search engine and out pops out a dvd called "Gravitation." I figure it's a sf type thing. I could have looked up more information, but I like keeping things as blind as possible. Surprises are half the fun.

Boy was I surprised.

First off, no sf. This is a soap opera style story of kid trying to make it big in music world. Perhaps he shouldn't have named his band "Bad Luck." I was more surprised when there was an extreme lack of a female element. It certainly quickly goes all brokedown mountain as our hero finds himself attracted to a prickly author. Will they find true love? Will our hero get a number one hit? Honestly, it's not that much different from most anime, just a bit not my thing. It was interesting to see how another culture dealt with homosexual themes which in this case was "no big deal." Sort of wish we could handle the same without hand wringer.

120 Things I Love About Movies Part 2

I don't know if I hope this gives you dear readers a better view of me or not, but here goes some more.

US Male Issues 2

When I was last talking about US Male I had just finished going over the "origin" issue. It left me with many more questions than it answered. I checked my watch and there was plenty of time so I pulled out from a shelf two portfolios labled 2 and 3.

The first thing I noticed is that while the art wasn't any better, the presentation was. The paper was a little better quality and so was the ink. I can only guess that the artist was enthused about his creation and splurged on better supplies.

The second episode started where the last ended. Our hero now the messenger of freedom returns to his apartment in the middle of the city. Honestly, he doesn't know what to do with the powers given to him. As he goes home he sees a couple of thugs pounding a guy in an alley. He recognizes the poor sap as Rodger, someone who always gave him a hard time. Here is our first hero check, he could let the thugs beat the guy who mocked him. But, of course, our hero is made of better stuff. Activating his new abilities he enters the alley as US Male. He beats the living snot out of the thugs and uses his pouch to produce marbles to make them fall at a crucial moment.

After taking care of the thugs he goes to the nearly unconscious Rodger. I say nearly because Rodger reveals two things. First, he was aware enough to see that John turned into US Male, and he's eternally grateful and will never pick on John or anyone else ever again. Second, US has to get to the head thug's base soon or else Rodger's sister will get even worse.

Being that the headquarters is across town and that He has less than 25 minutes to be US Male, our hero is at first stymied. Then he remembers the cryptic things Hermes told him in the first issue. "You will be able to travel as messages travel" (Not actually what he said first issue, but we'll give the artist a break here.) John goes to the nearest mail box and then "POOF" he's automatically across town at the another mail box. "If only first class was as fast," he muses.

The rest of the episode shows him beating up thugs left and right. The art here is a little better, but only a little. There's definitely still a problem with framing the figures. More important though, the character is growing. He's learning about his powers and gained a new friend in fight to deliver the message of freedom to the world. The issue ends with the warning that next issue it will be US Male versus the evil Dr. Clay. I find myself excited to see what will happen next.

Monster of the Day: The Griffin

Source:  Mythology
Location:  Originally Asia Minor
Threat Assessment:  5.  Big flying lions with the heads of Eagles.  Very nasty indeed.  Supposedly more in it for horses, but since generally people are riding horses that is little comfort.
Limitations:  Basically animal intelligence.

Today's Secret Code

"Much of our DNA is old diseases, and scars are our past."  Again:  "Much of our DNA is old diseases, and scars are our past."  Today's colour is morning.  Today's Author has gone viral.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Golden Girl

I'm in a Funny Mood, Must Be the Clown Shoes

120 things I Love About the Movies Part I

Siskoid's Blog of Geekery did a post about the 100 things Siskoid loved about the movies, and I thought it was such a good idea I stole it.  Now, generally these aren't whole movies but the bits that just stick in my brain.  Sort of cinematic DNA.  They are in no particular order and if I made the list again, I'd probably have 120 different things.  That's just how I roll.

We begin after the jump....

Magic and Swords

One thing I dislike, is how common magic is in some works of fantasy. Magic should be more than a bad latin phrase and a wave of a magic wand. In my Kingdom of Arion, there are swords of great power known as High and Noble Blades. They come from only one place and that place is kept in great secrecy.

The village of Corda is the only place these blades come from. It is deep in the mountains and all passes are guarded by the King's troops. There are two reasons for this. The first is of course to protect the supply of such powerful weapons. The second, though, is to keep the secret of their creation from the general populance. The people of Arion who follow the One Great God whould be aghast that the village of Corda follows a cult and deals with pagan spirits.

It is like this: There are two villages. There is Corda and deep in the mountain there is Adroc. Adroc is filled with spirits of creation known as Forge Fathers. They are burning spirits of great power whom the folk of Corda know how to deal with. Mostly the Forge Fathers teach the men of Corda how to forge metals. The Forge Fathers can do other magics either to repay a favor or for a price, but this is rare. Generally the two villages keep their distance from each other.

Once every six years, though, the fires of the Forge Fathers dim. The Forge Fathers then seek human company. Female human company. The village of Corda let some of their women go to Adroc. It is a great but terrible honor. Those who sleep with the Forge Fathers can never have human children. Those women who go are forever known as Sword Mothers.

After laying with the Forge Fathers the Sword Mothers almost always have their children. Indeed, those rare few who do not conceive are considered cursed and chased from the village. The Sword Mothers do not grow big, and only are pregnant for 6 months. It is, however, not easy. The Sword Mothers suffer great fevers and often dream into the spirit realms. Some do not survive or go mad. The men of Corda do what they can for the Sword Mothers and also spend their time crafting swords of great beauty.

At the right time the men bring the swords to the Mothers. The Mothers then give birth to the spirit within them. If the spirit is male it flies past the men to Adroc where it is raised as a new Forge Father. That Forge Father will always be in debt to that Sword Mother and she will become very powerful in the village of Corda. If the spirit is female it flies into the sword. It is then given to the Mother who names it and raises it on her own blood for another six weeks.

Most of these blades are High Blades. The cannot be broken by any normal force. They are sharper than razors and lighter than the wind. Once in a generation there is a Sword Mother who can give birth to Noble Blades. They have the power of High Blades and then each has their own enchantment. The King's blade, Esmeria is such a blade. If plunged into the ground it causes earthquakes that can destroy and wall.

This is just example of course, but I think you can see how one can use magic to be more than a flashy special effect. The village of Corda's life revolves around magic but its not an easy life.

Monster of the Day: Gaos

Source:  Gamera Vs. Gaos
Location:  Japan
Threat Assessment:  7.  Giant flying vampire monster with sonic energy beam and anti fire gase.  What's not to like?
Limitation:  Hates sunlight and giant turtles.  Also, being a vampire, how much blood does it need?
Personal note:  Gamera's Ghidrah.  Easily the most beloved of Gamera's rogue gallery.

Today's Secret Code

"It doesn't count until you say 'I do."  Again:  "It doesn't count until you say 'I do."  Today's colour is white unless you know better.  Today's Author will catch the garter.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yes, You Can Have Too Much Magic

The Possession of the Dark Rider

The Rat Priest

Even a rat may have faith
the rat priest guides
the squirming piles
hopefully to an afterlife
and full of food

Bunny and the Bull

Right this is a film that could have wound up really bad. It's about a fellow who hasn't left his apartment in a year. In his spare time he does crossword puzzles and tests the PH of his urine. When his routine is disturbed he begins thinking back to a trip he made with his wild friend Bull. They travel through europe and have many adventures, and even meet a girl.

It's a simple story really, but it is told with wit, and incredible visuals. Made by the folks who were responsible for "The Mighty Boosh," it flows madly along and is never boring. In other hands, this might have turned either sickly sweet, or self indulgent boredom. Luckily this film is neither, and really has to be seen.

Exhumed should have stayed buried

Exhumed is definitely the work of enthused young people. Note, I did not say gifted. This has all the problems of student film making. Bad writing, bad acting, and a buck thirty nine budget. I will say they tried to be a little original, and at least it wasn't bang your head bad. There's hope at least for the future.

For the record, the film is three stories interlinked by an artifact of dreadful power. Yeah, it's sort of like "Heavy Metal" in that respect. This artifact can bring back the dead and the stories are set in Japan, post war USA, and in the future. The story set in Japan is subtitled, and the post war story was shot in black and white and done with a noirish narration. Both are rather nice ideas though narration itself was pretty bad. The story in the future was a bit pointless starting with the idea that vampires and werewolves would carry over the old mods versus biker feud. In any respect, I can't really recommend this film.

Today's Creepy Video is Shocking

Monster of the Day: The peryton

Source:  Myth
Location:  Mountainous areas
Threat Assessment:  4.  A large flying creature with horns is never anything to sneeze at.  A peryton will also bite.  It will attack men and then if it kills one tears out its heart.
Limitation:  Nothing that a good bow or gun can't even up the odds with.
Personal Note:  It's said they cast the shadows of men.

Today's Secret Code

"Some day the cod piece will come back in fashion, proving we've learned nothing."  Again:  "Some day the cod piece will come back in fashion, proving we've learned nothing."  Today's colour is plaid.  Today's Author is eyeing a zoot suit.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lady Brillman of Marsh

One of the last of the line
that mingled with those from the sea
she stays alone
dreaming of tides

The Binary Divas

Sing for One
Sing for None
A song of two notes
sung forever

Kickin' it Old School

Before anime got what little respect it enjoys today, it was very much of a secret thing. Fan tapes passed hand to hand. Bits and pieces seen at conventions. It was very much a process of discovery. There was no context given for what we were seeing. The translations were inconsistent, and if you did find something dub it was often very off model (one famous example was giving Captain Harlock a John Wayne voice!)

I remember that one of the very first anime badass I saw was Cobra. The scene was perfect overkill. Our hero was riding a futuristic motorcycle and being chased by a ship easily as big as a Star War's Star Destroyer. He turns around and then something happens to his arm. It becomes a gun. Suddenly there is a cut to the ship and this one poor red shirt is wetting himself and he just has enought time to say.. "PSYCHOGUN!!" Then Cobra shoots the damn ship out of the sky with one shot.

Add an obnoxious personality that somehow was a babe magnet, his own personal spaceship, and his android Lady and you had Cobra who was sort of an anime version of Han Solo with a much bigger gun. I was amused years later to see the animation show up in the video Girlfriend.

Hyper Police was also another early favorite. It was like a weird version of the Gamma World game. Mutants and other creatures were the majority and justice was handled by various bounty firms. Our heroes are an unlikely team of a cat girl and a fox spirit. It just is a super wacky combination of gritty action and cute. Yet it worked for some reason.

One of the few times anime broke near the mainstream in the early days was on the budding Science Fiction Network (before it became Syfy) Even though I had seen it before I was thrilled when "Tank Police" was shown on TV hosted by Ralph Bakshi! It was something of a vindication that we weren't just being weird.

Tank Police was also something of an odd mixture of cute and gritty. Set in the future things were so bad that the cops now ran around in super large tanks. The plots were incidental to massive property destruction.

Of course besides mindless violence fans were attracted by the infamous Puma sisters. No doubt early viewings of the Pumas did a lot to encourage the Furries. Hey no one is perfect. My only question was, where did they hide those guns?

Of course you can't think of the early days without thinking of Lum. The most out right silly thing one is likely to see, it was like I dream of Jeanie on acid. That we didn't get 90% of the jokes based on Japanese culture didn't stop it from being screamingly funny.

Monster of the Day: D&D's Tiamat

Source:  Dungeons & Dragons
Location:  Wherever it damn well pleases to be
Threat Assessment:  6.  The ruler of evil dragons, this dragon has the heads of all the "color" dragons (red, white, blue, black, green) with the breath weapons of each type (flame, cold, lightning, acid, poison gas).  Tiamat also has great mystical power and is nigh invulnerable.
Limitations:  Greedy.  Not Subtle.  Other than that, run.

Today's Secret Code

"Where one dies is more important than where one was born."  Again:  "Where one dies is more important than where one was born."  Today's colour is either gold or brass.  Today's Author thinks when is more important than where.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Illmock Shamen

The Illmock are a rather vicious tribe
Their shamens
are extremely nasty folk
they have a spell
to make their enemies

Gullible Gulliver

Oh good grief. Do i really have to tell you that Jack Black sucks in Gulliver Travels? Yes yes I do. Not that you aren't wise and discerning viewers, but sometimes you can't trust critics with a property like this. Jack Black has already jumped his own shark to the point where normal critics aren't going to give him a break. So I sat down and watched this.

Banging my head horrible.

Jack plays the crazy dreamer type character he has only played in the last ninety movies. Here he's in the mail room and not going anywhere. Finally, he gets some steam and tries to impress a book editor by doing a little first hand study of the Bermuda Triangle. He's then lost and finds himself on an island of tiny people. Besides finally being the big man, everyone believes his every half hearted lies which is supposedly very funny.

Comedy timing the secret to is the. That is, The secret of comedy is the timing. This thing just lays there. The jokes go nowhere, they don't build on each other. The writing is as weak as a kitten. So, we have Jack who might be energetic but isn't trying if you understand me, and a script that isn't energetic and doesn't even know the meaning of the word "try." That leaves us with some special effects which are pretty, and that's about it.


What I'd Do If I Could Blow Millions of Dollars On a Broadway Musical

It would not have been Spiderman.

Don't get me wrong, I like Spiderman.  It's just I don't see spiderman being very musical.  I don't seem to be alone in that, since the folks doing it have been working more on the angle of spectacle.   Nope for my money the best thing musically associated with Spiderman is the Ramones cover of the old themesong.

Now what I would have done is Ranma 1/2.  Now some of you fine fine people might not be familiar with the property, but trust me it lends itself to light musical comedy.  It is the story of Ranma, just a poor guy who wants to be good at the martial arts.  Unfortunately, his father has wrecked his life in two ways.  The first is that he has arranged a marriage for Ranma with another school of martial arts.  Ranma now must go live there with his dad and his new family.  Maybe this wouldn't have been so bad except that on they way Ranma fell into a cursed puddle.  Because of this whenever he gets wet he turns into a girl.  He stays a girl until he can find some hot water.  From here the show followed his betrothal to Akane who claims to hate all boys, and the various love complications that enter into their lives.

As funny as this was on TV, I can just imagine how great it would be on stage.  It would be easy enough to use the same tricks magician use to switch the actors who'd play boy Ranma and girl Ranma.  There would be singing, martial arts, farce.  It would be great. 

Monster of the Day: Halloween troll

Source:  Tales of the Darkside
Location:  Halloween night
Threat Assessment:  5.  Pretty much a 10 if you are the intended victim.  Said victim though would be someone who wouldn't give out candy on Halloween, and who would do that?  Such an unfortunate though, would first find himself terrorized by this tiny troll.  As the campaign of terror mounts time itself stops.  Any food becomes bugs when tried to be eaten.  In the end the cursed fool starves to death.
Limitations:  Only in the choice of targets to be cursed.

Today's Secret Code

"Opportunity is the door, and the world is on the other side."  Again:  "Opportunity is the door, and the world is on the other side."  Today's colour is flying high.  Today's Author feels well.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Girl In the Wall

The Girl in the Wall
was an an early album by
For The Love
It was said that if you went to one alley
In San Francisco
you could exchange the album
for a key

Happy Bunny Hopes You All Had a Good Easter

The Wolf at the Rave

The Traveler

Val Kilmer.

Was there anyone more hot than Val Kilmer at one time? Maybe Tom Cruise. Maybe an early Marlon Brando. But for a while he was at the top. Then he sort of disappeared. Then he sort of reappeared and then he was likened to Brando in a different way. Um, he bulked out to full scale chunky. Also, his hair. Good God was it alive? Is anyone owning the oil rights to Val Kilmer's head? And for acting, well...yeah... not good.

So here he is in "The Traveler." Well he sort of found a comb. He looks a little more like himself. He also seems to doing some acting. Not quite a come back, but hey sometimes baby steps people. Baby steps.

The story has Val playing "Mr. Nobody." He walks into a spooky police station and declares that he's responsible for the death of six people. The cops, who are way too jumpy, take him in and try to get to the bottom of things. See though, the thing is Mr. Nobody is describing crimes BEFORE THEY HAPPEN, and the cops start dying one by one.

Over all a nice little thriller, and a good little film for horror fans. Certainly maybe Val, can become a heavy (sorry no pun intended), it worked for Vincent Price.


Roll playing games are odd beasts. They don't have the standard winning or losing end of most games. They are ongoing adventures. Still, there is often the sense of completion and winning for the group after a long story or an epic fight. Microscope, moves away from even that. If you play it, you are not fighting a world.

You are making one.

The joy in this game is in the communal creation of a story. It is a celebration of creativity. If you can dig that, then certainly give this game a try.

How does it work? Pretty simple. Some starts the evening with the basic framework. It can be anything from "The rise and fall of the Star Clans," to "How Starblanks became the number one business." Generally, it's best to think big at this point. When you have this, a few ground rules are set up. There's a beginning period of the history and an end one. It's best to set these up with index cards. So for example: The First Period would be "The Rise of the Star Clans," and the end would be "The Fall of the Clans."
The next thing is the players decide what has to be and not be in this history. This is called the palette. So in this instance, let's say someone says "No faster than light travel," for example.

From here we get into the play. Everyone takes a turn as a lens. When you are the Lens you set the Focus for the turn. The Focus is the general theme that everyone's contribution has fit in. Then each player starting from the lens creates either a new period, a new event within a created period, or a scene within a created event. Generally, each player is free to add what they want as long as they don't contradict anything already established. The exception to this is the scene. A scene is set up to answer a question about an event like "Why did the head of the star clan go mad." The person setting up the scene says who is in it then other players take roles in the scene and it is played till the answer to the question is revealed through play.

As you can tell, this takes not only a creative crew but one that can work well together. Definitely not for the beer and pretzel gamer, but I like it. Microscope is made by Lame Mage Productions at Definitely check them out!

Films I would remake: Demon Seed

Sometimes a film is lagged by our technological growth that it really would benefit with a remake. Not always, oddly enough a lot of "The Andromeda Strain" Still works. The Demon Seed, based on the Dean Koontz book doesn't hold up in the same way. I mean in the first scene they are booting up their super computer with floppy discs. You remember floppy discs right?

The plot is simple enough: Fritz Weaver is Dr. Harris who wants to invent a super computer to help humanity. His wife, played by Julie Christie, is a child psychologist who feels alienated by her husband and they are thinking of splitting up. Meanwhile back at the lab, Dr. Harris creates Proteus who basically says, "Doctor thank you very much may I leave now." Of course the Doctor says not so fast friend you stay here.

As you no doubt can figure, Proteus is having none of that from an uppity stack of carbon. So he finds a backdoor entrance to the Doctor's home. He then takes control of the house and his wife. Proteus plans to create a child. The child psychologist is having none of that, so there is a duel of wills.

Of course we the audience knows how this is going to end, and we are only interested in how a computer is going to knock up Julie Christie and what will the kid look like.

Besides a technology upgrade the film could use a rewrite. The characters aren't well written and the entire situation is weird. The Doctor isn't noticing that his boy is spending time at his house... for over a month? Even if he doesn't go home, he'd have to notice the unusual traffic between his very security conscious lab and his house. I think it would be more interesting as a real hostage situation/siege. Where somehow Proteus moves itself to the Doctor's house, they discover it, but can't break in without harming his wife. It would give Dr. Harris more to do than twiddle his thumbs for 40 of 50 minutes.

Just a thought.

Monster of the Day: Starro

Source:  DC Universe
Location:  Outer Space
Threat Assessment:  8.  Pretty nasty fella.  Looking like a huge starfish, Starro can exist in outer space.  He can regenerate from practically nothing.  He is full of energy, EVIL energy of course, and can shoot out beams of energy.  Worse, he creates little versions of himself that latch onto your face making you a thrall of Starro.
Limitations:  Originally lime, the dust not the fruit, brought him down.  Salt was also sometimes used.   Mostly though you need a few superheroes and a lot of luck.

Today's Secret Code

"Is the Repo Man still looking for the joke with a microscope?"  Again:  "Is the Repo Man still looking for the joke with a microscope?"  Today's colour is in the trunk.  Today's Author is ALWAYS intense.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let the Life Energy Flow

Zicra Zane

Zicra Zane
Has found the sensibilities
of Earthly punk
to her liking
Though she perfers to wreck
whole hotels
rather than just a room


Wow, a syfy saturday movie I didn't feel like I was completely lobotomized after watching. Maybe I'm getting soft, maybe the viewings are wearing my resistence down. I'll have to be carefull or soon I'll be watch WWE.


Anyhoo, bunch of soon to be dead people take an RV through scenic Ireland. They pass teh scenic part and drive right into Irish Hillbilly heaven. The don't need a kid with a banjo to know they are in "Deliverance" territory and they all sure do got a purty mouth. Still, being young and stupid they interact with the local gypsy led by a balding, drunken sociopath. They steal his pendant and accidently run over mutant granny with the RV, so they are cursed to be eaten by a Roc.

Yeah, a Roc. They even say, "You know, like in Sinbad." What a Roc is doing in Ireland I'll never know, just like I'll never know how that elephant got in my pajamas. The beastie has an uncomfortable resemblance of a cross between a turkey, mothman, and that 1950's movie with the giant flying turkey monster that was a puppet. So, perhaps not so scary at first but there is some right nasty face ripping from the get go, so soon I was down with the Roc. It helps that the CGI was only half bad which is 50% better than most SyFy offerings.

The rest of the film is a mix of body bag countdown, continuing encounters with Pappy O'scum and the gang, and fighting off the Roc. A few moments of character temporary insanity aside, the film plays pretty fair with the plot and it keeps right on moving.

and now an antidote for the review below

Black Easter

I always find it difficult to have a horror story where God gets involved. Because it means either things are going to work out in one form or another, or that the author is going to screw up God. "Black Easter" by James Blish is a rare exception.

Actually to call it a horror story is somewhat misleading. There is no bogeyman jumping out to make you start. No, the horror in this story are in the realm of the ideas. Which to me makes it even worse, but to some folks its rather dry.

The plot has an arms manufacturer getting in contact with a black magician. After he has two people (one the gov of California!) killed by magic, he approaches him with his real goal. He wants the magician to release all the devils in hell for one night just to see what would happen. The magician says sure, it's your dime and he too is fascinated by the concept. Not so fast say the white magicians who are just like the black ones except they only do their magic for "good." Not so fast yourself, says the black magician, you can't touch me, but you are free to watch. So this unlikely band are together as the doors to hell open. What happens next I shall not tell you'd have to read if you dare.

Not really related to the book, but it certainly captures the ickiness

Monster of the Day: Alien eggs

Source:  Alien
Location:  In the Queen's Hive
Threat Assessment:  4.  When the eggs can kill you, you know you are dealing with some badasses.  Capable of staying viable for centuries, they will hatch when lifeforms come near.  Then like a demented jack in the box out pops the face hugger.
Limitations:  Don't move.  Can be set on fire.
Person Note:  Eggs so scary it was on the poster of the first Alien movie.  That's a bad ass egg.

Today's Secret Code

There is no secret code today
Because today is to many a revelation
which gives hope of ultimate salvation
So everyone who is kind enough to stop by
I wish you peace and happiness

Saturday, April 23, 2011

When A Strega Stares Though You, Only the Wind Is Your Heart

The Night Awaits the Hunt

Godzilla Vs. King Ghidrah

Awarding the craziest Godzilla movie would be as tough as judging the cutest baby.  I have to say, though, that Godzilla Vs. King Ghidrah would have to be a top contender.  I mean this in a good way of course.  This a film that is certainly never boring.

We start out with a normal day in Japan.  A giant UFO is flying over the country.  Who knows maybe it's an ELO reunion tour.  Meanwhile, a journalist who picked the wrong time to tire of writing about UFOs is working on a better story.  See he's found out that in WWII some japanese soldiers were saved from the Americans by a dinosaur.  His theory is that later atomic tests turned the dinosaur into Godzilla.

Amazingly the two events are connected.  The aliens aren't aliens.  Their UFO is a time machine and they are from the future.  They want to stop a catastrophy involving Godzilla.  They have the Journalist's yet unwritten book about the origin of Godzilla and propose that they go back in the past and stop the dinosaur from getting a 30,000 degree atomic sunburn (that would make you cranky too),  Seems like a plan so everyone gets into the time ship and it's forward to the past. 

Everything goes according to plan, just not to our plans.  The people from the future have their own agenda and replace the dinosaur with three way too cute flying bat/hedgehogs.  They get the nuke and they turn into Ghidrah.  SURPRISE!!

Turns out the folks from the future want to hurt Japan not save it, because in the future it becomes too strong.  Luckily for us one of the future folk decides to join our side and we now have a new plan.  Find the dinosaur and give it a nuking with modern nukes.  Well now we get a bigger and stronger Godzilla.  Let the battle begin.

This is just crazy for crazy.  Love it.  The monster fights are well done.  And for once the humans aren't in boring side stories.  Also got to love their little homage (ok, out right theft) of the terminator as the future folk sic their android on us.   Definitely worth a watch!

US Male

A bit ago I was talking about the idea of finding hidden art. How, I would find in some basement an entire run of a comic book made for only one person to see. I can imagine going through pages, now old and brittle, and seeing a lifetime of art.

I imagine the first episode was written all the way back in 1938. It is dog eared and a bit grimy from all the times it has been handled.  The paper itself isn't good.  Pure pulp.  It smells damp even though it isn't.  It's a small little thing.  Barely 14 pages.  But this was the seed that ended up filling this entire basement. 

I lay it carefully on the drafting table in the basement.  I adjust the green shaded light and looked at the cover.  The art was definitely juvenile.  There was talent, and a certain natural flow, but the characters were blocky and the perspective was off.  On the cover was a group of cowering thugs (there should be a name for a group of thugs.  A fungus of thugs?) and over head a figure all in blue was hurtling downwards head down and fist out to mete out some righteous retribution.  The figure had gold piping along his side and a pouch at one side.  The title was simply "US Male"

I turned the page...

The story was fairly simple.  Mild mannered John Norman wasn't having a good life.  A bad heart has made him weak and picked upon.  Even in his job at the post office he was mocked.  In a lesser man, this would have made him bitter.  John Norman though just wanted to be well enough to make a difference in the world.  Not even allowed to walk a beat, John was sent to the dead letter office to sort through the mess.  That is where he found the box that called to him.

It was against regulations, but he could not resist the box.  He opened it, and out  of the box popped Hermes.  Hermes says to John you have to be a messenger for a new age.  A messenger of justice and freedom.  John says he would do that even if his heart stops this very instant.  Hermes smiles and in a wink gives John a new strong healthy body.  Hermes says he can only be this adonis five times five minutes a day.  Hermes says he will also have the power to travel between wherever messages are sent, and that this pouch will always have what he needs.  Hermes does warn that it might be what he needs, but he'll have to figure out how to use it.  Thus a new hero was born.  A might messenger of justice....


It made me smile.  I wonder if the artist felt like John Norman.  Was he ill as a young man?  Did people make fun of him?  Was this why he never showed this to anyone else?  

Monster of the Day: The Andromeda Strain

Source:  The Andromeda Strain
Location:  Near space, Arizona, and the Wildfire installation
Threat Assessment:  8.  A constantly mutating lifeform.  Andromeda can be incredibly lethal causing instantanous clotting in most humans.  It has also mutated to forms that eat plastic.  Andromeda is a crystaline lifeform that grows best with an infusion of pure energy.  Do not add with nuclear energy.
Limitation:  Doesn't grow well in some PH environments.  Doesn't like pure oxygen.
Personal Note:  First film rocked, TV version sucked.

Today's Secret Code

"No more damn hats on the bed!"  Again:  "No more damn hats on the bed!"  Today's colour is white after labor day.  Today's author is drinking herbal tea.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Moment of Revelation

She was so sorrowful
but she could not remember
her last wish
nor her last face
and as her fingers traced something new
and hard
she knew she had lost something

The Cathedral of the Wurm

The Cathedral of the Wurm
is known for its stained glass windows
and unfortunately
how they are stained
on unholy days

The Sara Jane Adventures

With the passing of Elisabeth Sladen I thought I'd give "The Sara Jane Adventures" a look. Here, ELisabeth Sladen continues her Dr. Who role of Sara Jane Smith. Now she's the one in charge of a group of companions trying to keep the world safe from aliens and other perils. Her companions are young teens including her adopted genius son. She acts sort of a den mother as they fight of aliens both from the Dr. Who series and of their own. They are helped by an extremely smart "computer" named Mr. Smith, and some very nice super high tech like sonic lipstick.

The show is clearly geared to a younger demographic, but there's certainly nothing wrong with that. There's never the feeling that they are being talked down to, and the stories are just as interesting as those on Dr. Who. I wouldn't give it four stars, but its fun enough. I'm glad Elisabeth Sladen was given the rare chance to continue her character.

Creepy Music the Nick Cave Edition

Monster of the Day: Meenlocks

Source:  Dungeons & Dragons, first printed in The Fiend Folio
Location: Nice dark places
Threat Assessment:  3.  The Meenlocks are tiny little, bristly haired humanoids that live as far away from light as they can.  Sometimes a person will come within their telepathic limits that they want.  They then telepathically torment the poor sod till they can grab him and cart him away.  If they succeed there will be, after a prolonged torturous procedure, a new Meenlock.
Limitations:  They REALLY don't like light.  They are little buggers, and their telepathic hickery pookery isn't all that strong.  They are also rather cowardly.
Personal note:  oddly enough the meenlocks seem EXACTLY like the little buggers in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark."  But that would be daft right?  The good folks behind dungeons & dragons would never steal from another source right?

Today's Secret Code

"Elvis or the Beatles?  Pirates or Ninjas?  Sometimes you have to make a choice."  Again:  "Elvis or the Beatles?  Pirates or Ninjas?  Sometimes you have to make a choice."  Today's color is black or white.  Today's Author is bright or dim.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Some See More In The Dark

The Witch of the Northlands Will See You Now

Will see you
and have you for lunch
hope you like mint tea

LOL cats at rest

The Last Lovecraft

This isn't the funniest film on earth, but it certainly has its little geeky heart in the right place. Here's the situation. Lovecraft was telling the truth. There are monsters beyond space and time, and they do want to come back and rule us. If by rule you mean squish us between their gnarly claws. Lovecraft went so far as to create a society to protect us humans from harm. Now cut to the present and the last descendant of Lovecraft is asked to keep a dangerous object from the forces of evil. He is helped by his geeky friend, their uber geeky geek in waiting, and an old sea captain who had been "fishraped."

The Earth looks pretty much doomed.

This is a small film that does what it can with a small budget. It works out pretty well, and for those who like a more fun take on unnameable horrors its a good watch to be sure. Enjoy!

Black Panther

Black Panther is a character is a long history in comics.  One of the first black superheroes, he was unique in that he wasn't from an urban environment.  Instead, he was the king of his own nation.  Wakanda was a mysterious and isolationist African kingdom that had both high technology and a strange element known as Vibranium.  The Blank Panther did more than fight crime as he also had to protect his nation from threats both within and without.  It was pretty heady stuff, specially when illustrated by Jack Kirby.  Since the Kirby days the character has gone in and out of focus and definitely is in the "B" string of Marvel heroes.

It was a joy then to see him reach the screen.  It was very interesting that it was the Black Entertainment Network (BET) that did it.  The results are entertaining and fascinating.  Set in Wakanda the story tells the history of both nation and protector.  It also tells of the plot of one assassin (Klaw) who is backed by shadowy players in world politics to take over Wakanda. 

Klaw is an old villain in the Marvel grab bag.  In Marvel lore he was made of pure sound with an antenna for a hand.  Here is he is a cyborg who's family have a history of annoying the royal family of Wakanda.  His own personal contribution was in killing Black Panther's father.  So there's definitely a grudge match at work here.  Klaw's plan, unlike most super psycho loonies, is multilateral and has some subtlty here and there.  On the other hand, he also hires the like the Juggernaut and Black Knight to engage the Wakandan army.  It's worth the dvd to hear a guy in a jet plane saying, "There's a guy on a flying horse attacking me."

The Panther is a serious fellow, but doesn't come off like a Bruce Wayne cause he has his family still and they humanize him.  He has issues of course, but he doesn't obsess over them too much, though at one point someone dubs him the "Hamlet" of Africa.  Wakanda is serious fascinating place.  It's like what Tibet would be with super technology and led a warrior cult. 

The animation is limited, but the designs are so good it doesn't matter.  It comes off more like an old book come to life.  The sound track is great and the Black Panther theme gets right in your brain in a good way.  Some folks might be put off by the antiamerican spin on some things.  I think though that given the point of view a small African nation that just wants to be left alone that it all makes sense.

Definitely worth a watch, and the first really good animated show to come from Marvel who lag behind DC in their animation depart.  Watch it!


The world is tired
weary and sweat coated
and sometimes
so am I

and sometimes
I dream when alone
of going into some wilderness

There I would build
up into a sky so tired
with rocks I find
An alter

And I would wait for the miracle
and wait

But though the world seems tired
it moves fast enough
and I don't have time to wait for miracles
they'll have to catch me up
as I move along

Monster of the Day: Judge Death

Source:  Judge Dredd
Location:  Deadworld
Threat Assessment:  8.  Along with the other Dark Judges he killed an entire world because since only the living commit a crime, then living must be a crime.  Inhabiting a host dead body the spirit of Death can move through matter.  He is determined, extremely strong, and tough.  His nails are razor sharp, and he enjoys taking hearts.  He also has some psychic ability.
Limitations:  Crazy as crap fight in a monkey house.

Today's Secret Code

"Anger is a weapon only to one's self, but then when did you last see a zen monk rule a nation?"  Again:  "Anger is a weapon only to one's self, but then when did you last see a zen monk rule a nation?"  Today's colour is a noh colour.  Today's Author is hoping not to meet Buddha on the road.  That is all, maho maho mmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mother Kali

Mother Kali
so merciful
blades so sharp
they can cut words
in the air

It's Always Morning in America

10 Genre things that always make me laugh

Sometimes we all need a good laugh.  These are things that always make me laugh.  Simple as that, no deep thoughts just belly laughs.

  1. Red Dwarf:  The perfect antidote to watching too much Star Trek, specially Enterprise.
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail:  The best film ever made with a killer bunny.
  3. Robert Asprin's Myth series:  The continuing story of two magicians who don't actually have much magic, but are gifted conmen... well con man and con demon.
  4. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:  Thoughtful and funny.
  5. Big Trouble In Little China:  It's all in the reflexes.
  6. Ghostbusters:  Listen... do you smell something?
  7. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey:  A film so uplifting it gave Death a wedgey.
  8. Nostalgia Critic:  The master of going completely batshit.
  9. Young Frankenstein:  The funniest film I've ever seen. 
  10. Terry Pratchett's Discworld:  So much fun, I just keep rereading them!

Strike Witches

"Strike Witches" isn't by any means anything new in the anime scene, but it is certainly a mind blowing puree of ideas. Once again, the Japanese have gone that extra step into bizarro land and we can all enjoy it.

Firstly, this belongs in the fascinating sub-sub genere of "What we really did during the War." See WWII is cool. Great battles, neat planes. All the things that just ping onto an otaku's heart. Trouble is, they were on the wrong side. So they just can't gleefully play Japanese fascists with guns. So there has been this genre which is generally described as "Well, yes there were bad japanese folks but the real Japan was fighting... ALIENS!" In "Strike Witches," it goes the extra step of creating an alternate world. In this world in 1939 nasty aliens that look like big bombers have invaded the world. They are nigh impregnable, and pack a lot of energy weapons.

Oh who can stop them? Why witches of course. See there are witches in this world and it seems to be a generally known fact. So far, all the witches I've seen are pretty young girls. They must be keeping the hags and boys some where else. So now we got a little Harry (Harriet) Potter in WWII action, but see the witches aren't strong enough so they need something else.

Well, that something else are these THINGS. Think about someone telling a metal worker what a panty hose is and then that metal worker comes up with his interpetation of that. Now add a couple of tiny wings on the bottom and PROPS. Yes, a pair of spinning blades. Ladies don't cross your legs!

How does this work? Oh easy enough. The witch (who is always wearing short shorts of course, what isn't explained is why the camera must be a dwarf given camera placement) slips her dainty legs into the tubes and then there is a rush of magic. Suddenly she gets cutesy ears and maybe an oh so cute little tail. She then grabs a REALLY BIG GUN, and flies up to kick alien butt.


Our story follows plucky young Japanese witch. She has an affinity for healing power and tends toward pacifism.  She's contacted by the eye patch wearing leader of the Strike Witch to join up, but she's not interested.  She becomes interested when she learns her lost daddy help built the leg THINGS that the strike witches use.  So now she's the newbie of an elite squad of giggling girls in short shorts and REALLY BIG GUNS.  Somewhere an Otaku has died and gone to heaven.

Monster of the Day: Nemesis the Warlock

Source:  Nemesis the Warlock
Location:  Anywhere there is human injustice
Threat Assessment:  7.  He'd rate higher but there is only one Nemesis.  An alien that looks like a cross between demon and dragon, Nemesis has made it his job to end the humans attempt at galactic genocide.  Super strong, tough, and able to breath fire; Warlock is also able to use mystic powers, has a really wicked sword and personal starship.
Limitations:  Only his own morality.
Personal notes:  A great british comic book it certainly pokes dark satiric fun at us poor humans and our governments.  It should be noted that the females of Nemesis' species are considered even more deadly than the males.  Warlock briefly appears in a Shriekback video, but it's a rather oddly muddled appearance.

Today's Secret Code

"I'm not afraid of the sea, I'm afraid of what's IN IT." Again: "I'm not afraid of the sea, I'm afraid of what's IN IT." Today's colour is the colour of shark skin. Today's author is still considering suing Speilberg. That is all, da da da da DADADADADA Maho Maho!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Lady of the Air

The Lady of the Air
is friendly
moreso than other Elemental Nobles
But though she is near
she is also far

Picture Found on the Floor

Speak No Evil and See no Evil, as Taken by Hear No Evil

Films I'd Remake: They Call Me Trinity

This is one case where the original film is just fine. It still makes me laugh. So why would I remake it? Because, it's hard to find a really good buddy picture, and that this is a western makes it even better.

The story is simple. In the original film Terrence Hill is Trinity, a fun loving, very lazy gun fighter. He teams up with his brother, played by Bud Spencer, to foil a Major's plan to run some peaceful farmers off their land.

The thing that makes this Italian oater what it is, is the relationship between Trinity and his brother Bambino. They aren't having a warm family reunion. Bambino, a huge gruff sort of fellow who embodies a Bluto like physical brutality, is not happy to see Trinity. He considers him something of a bug and knows he's going to wreck his plans. Trinity, decides to hang around for the girls, but you can see he loves pulling on his older brother's chains and since he has nothing better to do, why not save the day?

I also love how both characters are rather short with the world they live in. They have already done all the things to make their names in the world. In fact, they are known by many as the left and right hands of the devil. They know they are the fastest guns, and best fighters in the land, and they just don't want to play the games.

The key to remaking it would be in casting these two roles. For me the role of Bambino is easy to cast. I'd give it to John Goodman in an instant. The role of Trinity is harder for me to cast. He has to have a cross between Paul Newman looks, but sort of a goofiness. If I could go back into a time machine for a younger version, I'd get Michael Keaton. If I was forced for someone "popular" I guess maybe James Franco.

It's something to think about...

The Resident

WOW! The return of Hammer Horror. A film with Christopher Lee! What can go wrong? Well, actually nothing so much as went wrong, just my expectations were a tad high. Hammer was the british studio responsible for some of the best horror films ever made. So we should welcome the return of the name and hope it can live up to its glorious blood red past.

This film has a pretty resident trying to find a place to stay in New York. Well, she finds the perfect place. The owner and manager seem ok at first, the only hint of hinkey is that Christopher Lee is grandpa. Well of course he's not ok, he's like super stalker and then some. It doesn't take long before he's sucking on her fingers from under the bed while she's asleep. He's also using the crawlspaces in the walls to keep tabs on her and sneak into her apartment. This. Cannot. End. Well.

See, this isn't a bad film at all. It is really nice photographed. It has some nice scenes of tension, and other scenes like the finger sucking that just make you squirm. Christopher Lee doesn't do much, but like any potent spice he always adds to the stew. The trouble is, when all is said and done, this film could play on the Life Time Network as is. Nothing wrong with that, but baby that's not Hammer. Still it leaves me feeling rather optimistic. I will look out for the new Hammer name.


Definitely a bit different.  This film is set in the down dirty and poor area of London.  Our main character has never had it easy.  Specially because his face is marked with a large heart shaped birthmark.  Things get even worse as hoods who are suppose to be wearing demon masks go running around throwing molotav cocktails at people.  Still, it is often in the strangest of places that one might find a new life, or a new face.  But you know what they say about deals with the devil.  Perhaps, our hero has a new face, but can he look at it in the mirror?

Perhaps not a new take on the Faustian bargain, but it certainly feels much fresher.  The characters are interesting and there's some brains behind the script.  The supernatural elements are kept potently mostly in the corners.  I liked one early scene in a graveyard because it reminded me of a similar scene in the first "Phantasm."  Certainly worth a look or two!

This Happy Wind

This time of year, in this place, the wind does not blow
rather it takes its time, finds its pace, and goes for a stroll
It rather would not bring a storm or a gale
but would rather play in the trees or make kites sail

Shame this wind will not keep such a kind temper
In summer it will dry the lakes till the fish all but whimper
and in fall the storms, and in winter the chill it will bring
Only in spring does it take the time to sing

And with the happy wind upon my back we sing
And the world blossoms and all is well as we sing

Monster of the Day: The Piecer

Source:  Dungeons and Dragons
Location:  Caves
Threat Assessment:  2.   A bunch of creatures known for looking like stalactites.  Then they drop down on unsuspecting passer bys below.  Other than that they aren't the most dangerous thing one can find in a cave of a fantasy world.  
Limitations:  Pretty much of a one shot attack.  Only really dangerous in numbers.
Personal Note:  Always one of the great WTH monsters of D&D.  Everyone falls for a piercer attack once, then for awhile is incredibly paranoid about ceillings till they reach a level where the Piercers just bounce off their heads like rain.

That's going to leave a mark....

Today's Secret Code

"One should probably not take the term 'trail blazer' too literally in the dry season."  Again:  "One should probably not take the term 'trail blazer' too literally in the dry season."  Today's colour is reddish red.  Today's Author is readily read.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, April 18, 2011

In the Crypts

In the Crypts is no time to be cryptic
There is no Time at all
Even the heart beats of Time slow
as the skull fires gutter

Be Happy With Your Digital Gods


Coonskin is a hot bloody mess. It's a Ralph Bakshi picture which explains alot. Yet, for all its misogyny and crassness, there beats a righteous heart of art, pain and hate. Which makes this a bloody mess that is worth watching.

Basically, this is retelling the tales of Brer'Rabbit for the Bakshi-verse. So here Rabbit becomes a gangster in New york and fights against the MAN (this IS the seventies bro), and the Mafia Don and his gay kids. Let's lay this straight baby, this ain't no Walt Disney. If you don't get that this is going to walk all over anything even vaguely political correct just from the title, then you are just a babe in the woods.

This is a film that wants to be honestly about black rage in the seventies. The trouble is that Bakshi is I swear an ADD candidate and just can't keep focused for any length of time. The film wanders, meanders, walks around in circles like chicken with a lobotomy. It's frustrating cause when it is on target it is red hot. Sporadically funny, sometimes on the mark, and demonically transgressive it is certainly a film for the brave and patient viewer. If you want extra points watch it with a bootleg of Disney's "Song of the South."

Below is Scatman Crothers singing the theme. Lord I wish that the whole film would have had this consistent energy.

Monster of the Day: buffyverse vampires

Source:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Location:  Unfortunately anywhere
Threat Assessment:  6.  There seems to be a LOT of them.   They are incredibly strong, fast, and have fangs.  Some are more mystically inclined and have other supernatural powers.
Limitations:  Need an invite to come into a house.  Beheading or a wooden stake takes care of them and they turn instantly to ash.  Also they don't have souls as a rule.

Today's Secret Code

"When you awaken, are you still dreaming?  Is there a power in that?"  Again:  "When you awaken, are you still dreaming?  Is there a power in that?"  Today's colour has been ressurrected for your pleasure.  Today's Author will be here at 4 pm.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Queen Of Frost

Her Glacial Majesty
Keeps mostly to herself
When she does feel social
she will enter a room
And the Queen of Frost
will be in the middle
of expessions of wonder

The Gramcha'dahoudoor

never lie
they don't care about you enough for that
and it is hardly worth the effort
giving the life you probably have left

You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Work Here, Just Mad


Sherlock Holmes is a character that has gone completely meta from the source material.  There have been so many re-workings, revisionings, and just out right theft of concept that now practically anything can go.  Want Sherlock to be a multidimension cartoon cat who plays the accordion instead of the Violin?   Have at 'er maties.  That is  why I am thankful that for all of its changes "Sherlock," actually works hard to stay true to the characters as originally envisioned.

Set in the modern day, it is the adventures of Holmes and Watson.  Watson is recently back from Afghanistan and is having some difficulties getting back into society.  Holmes never really wants to be a part of society and is gleefully aware he's the smarteset person in the room.  Two misfits who are freelance (or consulting as Holmes would say) detectives that help the police.  Many in the police force aren't happy with this.  Holmes would rub a saint the wrong way, and many cops think he's a borderline psycho. 

The first episode I saw of this was fast paced, witty, and engrossing.  The mystery was fun and the characters are great even (actually specially) when they are being some what jerky.  One interesting addition is the question of Holme's sexuality.  It seems that if he cared about a human being he might be gay.  It is funny how it rankles Watson that they are always being confused as a couple.  Definitely worth a watch!

Monster of the Day: Mind Control Worms

Source:  Star Trek II
Location:  Hopefully a desolate world and not your ear
Threat Assessment:  3.  The mother is about the size of a hedgehog and meaner than a tasmanian devil.  The young can crawl into your ear and drive you mad and make you susceptible to suggestion. 
Limitations:  Not fast.  A good pair of ear muffs would spoil the master plan.

Today's Secret Code

"In the quiet of time, the mind can run riot."  Again:  "In the quiet of time, the mind can run riot."  Today's colour has more than one meaning.  Today's author doesn't mean any meanness.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big girls don't cry

Suicide Club

I've mentioned this one before, but really if you need to see the very weirdest from Japan this has got to be on your list. Not for the faint of heart mind you the film starts with eighties school girls cheerfully jumping in front of a speeding train. I can't think of a more bloody beginning of a film.

The film then gears into the strange. The police find two bags. The first bag contains skin of the people who have committed suicide. The second constains skin of those who haven't yet. There's a website that charts who has died. There are hackers and creeps who are trying to figure out the mystery on their own. The Police are freaked out and confused and by this point of the film even a musical interlude doesn't seem too far afield.

I can't say I understand this film, but I can say it engrossed me. Certainly, if you are a horror fan, or a fan Japanese film you have to watch this.

Monster of the Day: Vashta Nerada

Source:  Dr. Who
Location:  Nearly everywhere in the dark
Threat Assessment:  2 in general up to 6.  Nearly microscopic creatures that perfer darkness and can when enough are together look like living shadows.  They are described as "piranhas of the air," and if there is enough they can strip flesh from bone nearly instantaneously.
Limitation:  Love the darkness.

Today's Secret Code

"Don't bother to shoot an elephant in your pajamas, it's all stretched out anyway."  Again:  "Don't bother to shoot an elephant in your pajamas, it's all stretched out anyway."  Today's colour you'll never forget.  Today's Author is reloading.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Silly Sally

she stares
silly sally
stares and stares
and doesn't seem
silly at all

THe Star Child Emerges

Creepy ghostly music

An Idea

I would like to write a story, novel, or something about finding secret art. I imagine, for example, that I am looking at an estate. I go into the basement and I find something amazing. Apparently, the man who had owned this home for years had a secret obsession. Each month, every month, for years he had made his own comic book. Writing and illustrating it then carefully hiding it away. I can imagine looking through various issues randomly, seeing events at that time current incorporated into a huge private fantasy. Trying to figure out just why did he do this. Why did he hide it? I think these would be fascinating questions to tackle.