Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’

COMIC TITLE: Heartbeat #1 (2019)
Maria Llovet– Artist
Maria Llovet–Writer
November 20, 2019
Boom! Studios

IMG_5832There were so many good issues being released this week including some interesting new series from companies like Marvel and DC Comics. So, it definitely made it a hard choice for me to make when I picked up my load of comics to decide which one was going to be my Comic Book Of The Week? I ultimately decided to check out and review a comic book from Boom! Studios which was a company I primarily checked out in the past for their WWE titles. This week, they decided to get in the horror game with their brand new title Heartbeat #1 which was written and illustrated by Maria Llovet (There’s Nothing There) who takes full responsibility on her shoulders with this one, but she gets high praise from Brian Azzarello. The comic book follows high school outcast Eva as she navigates life through a school she feels she does belong in and through a life that is less than desirable to most. She doesn’t know who her true friends are, but she certainly knows her enemies, but that won’t matter soon enough. You see one night while strolling through the school, she discovers that the high school heartthrob has a deep and dark secret that could put her in danger. To get more information on the comic, you can do so by visiting Boom!’s website here.

IMG_5831What Brian Azzarello says about Maria is, “Maria Llovet is one of the most important cartoonists today. Her work is bursting with joy, sensuality, and passion.” I will agree with Brian on a lot of what he said because you can definitely tell she put a lot of passion into the story and artwork. The story is your prototypical one about someone who is an outcast who obviously doesn’t fit in the school not only for personality reasons, but for financial ones as well. We can only assume moving forward after discovering his deep and dark secret that he is going to make an offer that she probably won’t refuse just due to the fact that she has low self esteem. That is usually how these vampire stories go and I would be very shocked if it didn’t especially after what the website has described the story to us. The artwork is phenomenal in the fact that it’s not your prototypical comic book like artwork, but very visceral and passionate which you can tell from page one all the way to the good stuff which leaves us at a cliffhanger right at the end. It sort of has a Studio Ghibli Japanese Animation look to it if you get what I am saying which i definitely liked. The panels are easy to follow along with and the comic is sort of a slow burn, but that is because we need to get to know Eva before we get to the good stuff. Check it out and check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A

Entertainment Value: A

COMIC TITLE: Dark Red #1 (2019)
Corin Howell– Artist
Tim Seeley–Writer
March 20, 2019
Aftershock Comics

Dark-Red-1-2019This week was quite a heavy load of comics that come out that I collect so sometimes it’s challenging trying to decide what comic book I want to feature for this week. There is one thing that will always sway my decision when it comes to picking a title and that is when I see that there is a horror title on the stands. So, this week there were two titles that I was interested in, but only one made the cut and it came from Aftershock Comics. The title is called Dark Red and the first issue was created by creator/artist Corin Howell (Ghostbusters: Answer The Call) and creator/writer Tim Seeley (Nightwing). Charles “Chip” Ipswich looks just like your average American male who doesn’t have a cushy liberal arts degree like yours truly, but instead her works the overnight shift at a gas station in North Dakota. Well, there is one thing that makes him different than everyone else and that is Chip is a vampire. He has his identity hidden from most around the town, but that gets threatened when some interesting characters show up to town in search of a girl that he is helping. For more information, please visit their website here to get more on the comic and some of the other series they have.

DARK_RED_Prv_Page_1-1I think I am going to tackle the story overall first because it’s worth talking about before diving into the art. Most think that just about everything has been done when it comes to the vampire genre, but the question going in is what does this bring to the table that is different. I like the angle that he is just this guy who just wants to be a lazy low key vampire living in the middle of nowhere because it’s his territory. I also like the fact that he is helping out a girl that is sick and you see some real conflict starting to happen any time the question comes. It’s almost like a girl wondering when it’s a good time to talk about having kids, but in this story it’s hey turn me into a vampire. So, I definitely like that aspect of the story and they definitely have me interested in what happens in issue #2 just based on how the comic ends. I also enjoyed the fact that they kept the mythos of a vampire alive and intact in this comic so don’t worry they don’t sparkle. The artwork in this comic is definitely one of my favorites as I enjoyed every aspect of it. I definitely enjoyed the final page of the comic too as it shows the brutality in awesome detail. The panels are easy to follow along with so you shouldn’t have any issues there at all. I definitely think this was a definite home run for Aftershock so I look forward to what the future holds. Check out my final grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

TV isolated vintageI am always looking for new and unique films that I may never had heard of that comes up on my radar. I’ve discovered a lot of different types of films from the good ones to the bad ones and everything in between. One actor that I have always enjoyed watching whether it be in Ski School 2, Summer School, Men At Work, etc. has been the one and only Dean Cameron. So, when I was looking at potential titles to watch, I came across the film Rockula which was released in 1990 and was written and directed by Luca Bercovici (Ghoulies) and stars Cameron as the vampire named Ralph. You see, Ralph has a bit of a dilemma on his hands and has since the 16TH century. Every 22 years, a girl named Mona (Tawny Fere) comes into Ralph’s life and on Halloween gets killed every time by a pirate with a peg leg and a ham bone unless Ralph stops him (which by 1990 he certainly hasn’t). Now, it’s 1990 and Ralph has to do something to stop the trend, but will he man up? The film also stars Toni Basil (Easy Rider) as Phoebe, Thomas Dolby (Howard The Duck) as Stanley, Susan Tyrrell (Cry Baby) as Chuck The Bartender, Bo Diddley (Trading Places) as Axman, Tony Cox (Bad Santa) as Big Al, Greg Rusin (Hard Time On Planet Earth) as Elmo, and Nancye Ferguson (Mystery Men) as Robin.

TV isolated vintageIf you were not sold by the description of the film then I don’t know what will sell you because this film is priceless. Now, I will say that if you are looking for genuine cheeseball cinema T&A then you started watching the wrong film because it does not exist in this film. The film certainly could have been enhanced a tiny bit by it, but it wasn’t necessary to have. The film was certainly creating it’s own cheesy moments with all those fun musical numbers that I had to sit through including one of Dean Cameron rapping about how he is a vampire. The film was definitely trying to take advantage of the boom of hip hop/rap in 1990 by having it mixed in the film, but it reminded me of everything that was wrong with Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch which is what made that era so cheesy in the first place. There’s one inconsistency with the film and it’s when Ralph is showing Mona pics of her from the past. He mentions that one pic was from 1918 and I did the math with 22 years and it doesn’t line up with 1990. Other than that, it’s filled with plenty of cheesiness from Thomas Dolby who plays the antagonist in the film and there is a very big reveal at the end of the film that I figured out with the last 15 to 20 minutes left of the film, but you’ll have to see for yourself. On a scale of one being close to an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I am going to give the film an 2.7 for a final grade. Sure, the dance and musical numbers were cheesy, but hey it was 1990 what else do you expect?

BvnRQb5CUAACMykThe interesting thing about Vampires is that there has always been two sides to them that cinema has explored over the last hundred years or so. You have the chance that you will get the attractive, charming, and mesmerizing version like Bela Lugosi in 1931’s Dracula or you get the ugly version like 1922’s Nosferatu (originally played by Max Schreck). In 1979, German director Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo) decided to take on the legend of the 1922 silent film and he remade it calling it Nosferatu The Vampyre. Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) is a man that doesn’t buy mention into urban legends especially when he is tasked with heading out to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski) to sell him a property in Wismar. What happens next is nothing Jonathan could have possibly imagined before making the trip. The film also stars Isabelle Adjani (The Last Horror Film) as Lucy Harker, Roland Topor (The Troubles Of Alfred) as  Renfield, Walter Ladengast (A Big Grey-Blue Bird) as Dr. Van Helsing, Dan van Husen (Enemy At The Gates) as the Warden, Martje Grohmann (Sisters, Or The Balance Of Happiness) as Mina, John Leddy (Goedenavond, Dames en Heren) as Coachman, Jan Groth (Baranski) as Harbormaster, and Lo van Hensbergen (De vier dochters Bennet) as Harbormaster’s assistant.

Nosferatu the VampyreOne thing that I do have to say right off the bat is that this film is a visually stunning film that has carefully taken shots that are just beautiful. A lot of credit has to go not only to Werner Herzog, but the cinematographer himself Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein deserves a lot of credit for all the beautiful shots. If you were taken a film class and the section for Mise en Scene came up, this would be the perfect film to analyze because there are so many incredible shots that help tell the story. On just that alone, this is a film worth checking out and the score for the film helps match the intensity of the shots and it helps tell the story. The other plus to the film is that the acting was well done by all in the film which is dominated at first by Ganz and Kinsky, but Isabelle Adjani takes over the screen time in the second half of the film with a dominant performance, I just wish that things had worked out better for her character than they did. Klaus Kinski was the perfect man for the role of Count Dracula (it was Count Orlok in 1922) because he had that creepy shape to his head that was tailor made for this film. This was probably one of the best remakes of sorts that I have ever seen and I am glad that Shudder had it available to watch. So, I suggest that you check out this film and marvel in the perfect marriage of scenery and music as it helps guide you through this dark tale. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

71wrP9sh2IL._RI_There are certain sub-genres of horror that I enjoy watching a lot like Slasher horror or even Werewolf horror, but there is one sub-genre of horror that I love a lot. That sub-genre that I am talking about is the Vampire genre that for a little while was ruined by those stupid Twilight films. Well in 2010, writer/director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) took the 2008 film Låt den rätte komma in (translates to Let The Right One In) from Tomas Alfredson and he remade it for the American audience calling it Let Me In. The film follows a bullied 12 year old boy by the name of Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who one day meets the very strange, but interesting Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) who has just moved in next door. He soon finds out that Abby is not like other girls as people in town are dying and being drained of their blood, but he falls in love with her. The film also stars Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers) as The Father, Cara Buono (Stranger Things) as Owens Mother,  Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as The Policeman, Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why) as Kenny, Ritchie Coster (The Dark Knight) as Mr. Zoric, Sasha Barrese (The Hangover) as Virginia, and Dylan Kenin (Sicario) as Larry.

download (3)Let Me In is an excellent film that starts off in the present, goes into the past, and then works it’s way through the present. Kodi Smit-McPhee deserves a lot of credit for his performance in the film playing a bullied child that is sort of struggling with reality until he meets Abby who doesn’t have a lot of experience with things unless that was her way of luring him in. Even though she would be considered an evil being because she is a vampire there is an innocence to her because she is only doing what she knows. Dylan Minnette goes from playing the bully in this film to being the bullied one in 13 Reasons Why and for a bully they gave him a douchey haircut. He does an amazing job playing a sadistic bully who just wants to hurt the weak and Kodi’s character is just that until Abby teaches him to stand up for himself. The film has a dark tone to it throughout because it has that feel of hopelessness like no one in this town is in a good situation and that maybe things are bleak. It’s like a sign of things that are about to come for this poor town. The makeup department does a great job with each character and especially with Richard Jenkins and his acid destroyed face. One of the other things I liked about the film is that they treat the rules of Vampire horror like their an urban myth. What do they mean and what happens if we don’t follow the typical vampire rules like you have to invite me in first before I can come in. One thing that I did not know was that it snowed in New Mexico considering how south the state is, but you learn something new through film. If you’re looking for an awesome vampire horror flick that is not like your typical vampire flick then you need to watch this one. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade and now I need to watch the original.

fright_night_part_ii_ver2One of my favorite vampire movies from the 1980’s besides The Lost Boys is the 1985 classic Fright Night. The movie had it all from a fun and great cast, great soundtrack that featured the likes of the J.Geils Band, and some very cool special effects. As soon as I realized that that the sequel Fright Night Part 2 was available to watch on Youtube, I jumped on the chance to include it for today. Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) is still trying to get over the events of the first one telling himself that Jerry Dandridge was not a vampire and that they don’t exist. One day after visiting the great Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), he sees a beautiful women by the name of Regine Dandridge (Julie Carmen) who confirms to him that vampires may just actually exist especially when they are looking for revenge. The film also stars Traci Lind (Class Of 1999) as Alex, Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite) as Louie, Russell Clark (The New Guy) as Belle, Brian Thompson (Cobra) as Bozworth, Merritt Butrick (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan) as Richie, Ernie Sabella (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride) as Dr. Harrison, Matt Landers (Die Hard) as Mel,  Rochelle Ashana (Kickboxer) as Art Major, and the film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season Of The Witch). 

maxresdefaultWho knew that Uncle Rico (Gries) was going to shop up as a mangy vampire in my film? Nonetheless, one of the first things I wanted to talk about was the fact that I think they chose the perfect counterpart to Charlie Brewster and Peter Vincent in the very attractive Julie Carmen. Chris Sarandon was a very good looking guy who made the perfect vampire in the first film and Carmen played the sexy vampire looking for revenge in this one. One thing I will say is that they tried to benefit off of The Lost Boys which came out the year before with the way their vampires looked in this film especially considering it was a gang of vampires. The film was pretty decent, but it had a lot of moments that were just very b-movie level humor which I guess is OK considering it is Fright Night, but the originals humor made sense. The soundtrack to the film wasn’t bad, but it was nothing compared to the first, but I’m OK with it. They chose to use a score rather than actual bands which worked for the film and worked very well. The other thing that I liked about this film was definitely the costume and make up team who did a great job with the vampires. Some of the ways in which they died were very interesting to say the least especially Brian Thompson and even Russell Clark who becomes clear and melts. It was a very entertaining film, but I have one question that still burns in my mind and that is do vampires not enjoy sex? When things get hot and heavy they immediately go for the neck and it’s the end of story. Sometimes, you have to just enjoy the moment! I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.

IMG_3463We decided to be generous today and we are giving you a double shot of Ass Whoopin Wednesdays. For today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, I wanted to explore one bad ass film from a member of The Expendables 3 crew that I hadn’t reviewed a film for yet. Wesley Snipes (Passenger 57) has made a lot of bad ass films in his day, but for today’s film we are watching his vampire classic loosely based on the Marvel Comic Blade. In Blade, Wesley Snipes plays the legendary day walker known as Blade who has made it his life goal to track down and kill Vampires with the help of his handler The Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). One night while on a routine mission, a vampire known as Quinn (Donal Logue) bites a doctor (N’Bushe Wright) who looks a lot like Blade’s mother, so Bade decides to help her out. The only thing is that she leads him to a greater cause and that is to kill a vampire named Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), who is hell bent on shaking up the order of the Vampires for his own personal greed. The film also stars Udo Kier (Flesh For Frankenstein) as Dragonetti, Arly Jover (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as Mercury, Traci Lords (Not Of This Earth) as Racquel, Sanaa Lathan (Out Of Time) as Vanessa, Eric Edwards (Candyman) as Pearl, Tim Guinee (Iron Man) as Curtis Webb, Kevin Patrick Walls (Scream) as Krieger, Shannon Lee (High Voltage) as a resident, and the film was directed by Stephen Norrington (The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some stats.

Blade Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3464This is definitely one of my favorite films of the 90’s because it was a unique film and a very different take on the Vampire genre then what we were used to at the time. Plus Wesley Snipes plays one heck of a vampire wrecking machine bad ass. As far as the stats are concerned for the film, Wesley wracks up a whopping 94 knockout/kills in this film even though the number could be a little bit higher (Those were all I could confirm). As far as an origin story is concerned, it is shown to you in the beginning, but it’s not explained until later on when Whistler explains it to the doctor and gives her the complete story. As far as I can tell in this film, he doesn’t have a love interest even though she helps him out later on. As far as a friend, love interest, or a family member being hurt, his mother is bitten by a vampire when she is pregnant with him and Whistler is attacked in the film and that really pisses him off. The big boss is definitely defeated in this film and you’ll just have to see how it’s down for yourself. Coming soon, we are going to be doing something special every now and again when we take some of our subjects from Ass Whoopin Wednesdays that we have covered and we are pinning them up against each other. For example, when Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee fought in a film or Wesley Snipes going up against Sylvester Stallone. So, you’ll want to stay tuned for that when we bring it to you which is also why we decided to cover Wesley Snipes here.