Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One READY TO BUY!

After months and months of work, it's finally here! The Unraveling: Damaged Incorporated, Book One is live for Kindle, NOOK, and via iTunes for your iReading iPleasure!

But what's it about, you ask? Well...

When a dubious scientific experiment goes awry deep beneath White Sands, NM and unleashes hell on earth, it's up to a twenty year-old psychic girl, a gay monster-hunter, two sixty-something occult investigators, a robot, a brain-in-a-jar, and the most advanced artificial intelligence on the planet to shut it down.

But how do you stop arcane energies that can possess nearly anyone they come in contact with? And what is going on with those comatose psychic teens? Are they really influencing dreams?

It's the end of the world and reality is unraveling all around them. Can these damaged individuals really pull together to save all of time and space?

If that sounds like the sort of thing that's up your alley, please buy it, read it, and let me know about it!

It's around 300 pages for 2.99! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


It's Misfits time again! This time out, Kelvin Green joins Nick Hanover and me to talk about how awesome Simon is.  He's dreamy! You know. In a super-creepy kind of way!

Monday, July 04, 2011


It's time for my turn at bat with What Looks Good!


Kelvin Green and I return to talk about Luther 2.03 and a whole slew of other UK Crime & Espionage shows!


Wherein we take a look at the third episode from Misfits Season One, now airing on Hulu, where you can watch for free!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Kelvin Green and I take a look at this week's Luther and find a little less Crazy, but a little more Batman. Huh?

SHOT FOR SHOT: MISFITS 1.01 & 1.02 review

Wherein we at Comics Bulletin take a look back at the first two episodes of Misfits, which is now streaming on Hulu!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


And finally, last month's Mondo Marvel for all to enjoy!

F.O.O.M. (Flashbacks of Ol' Marvel) #23: "Journey into Memory with The Mighty Thor"

I contributed a short, reworked piece to this collection of Thor memories.


Here's What Looked Good for the week of June 13th.


Here's What Looked Good for the week of May 23rd.


Here's What Looked Good for the week of May 2nd.


Here's What Looked Good for the week of April 11th.


Here's What Looked Good for the week of March 21st.


Here's What Looked Good the week of February 28th.

More Catching Up...

Here comes a few more posts...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Luther is back! And BBC ONE has him!

And we reviewed him!


Oh Game of Thrones, you are a cold, hard bastard.

Maybe the best cold, hard bastard on TV.


And with that, Doctor Who goes out strong with it's mid-season finale.

Seriously. This was good stuff.


Game of Thrones came back strong.

Very, very strong.


This one didn't live up to its first half, but the final moments made this a Doctor Who episode to remember!


The next episode of Game of Thrones wasn't as good as the previous, but was still better than just about everything on television.

Yeah, I said it.


Game of Thrones was next on the schedule.

Oh, it was so good it hurt!


Then came Doctor Who!

This was better than it had a right to be.


First up is a review of the film I Am Number Four.

Eh, it was okay.

Catching Up to Do...

Be prepared for a stream of posts that link to things I've been up to.  For some reason, I've not been updating the blog.  Silly me.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Dir.Paul W.S. Anderson

I should admit up-front that I have a soft spot in my heart (and head) for the Resident Evil movie franchise.  I've loved all but the second film, and as you could probably guess, I really enjoyed this one, too.

But first, some history.  Paul W.S. Anderson doesn't get a lot of respect, but I've enjoyed most of his films.  Mortal Kombat is a guilty pleasure (as much for the soundtrack as for the film making), Event Horizon was interesting and scary until the end (I really need to revisit that film), AVP: Alien vs. Predator was a lot of fun (almost as much fun as Freddie vs Jason), and, of course, Resident Evil is one of my favorites.

Anderson didn't direct Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), that was Alexander Witt (his only directing credit) or Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), that was Russell Mulcahy (Highlander), but he wrote both of  them.  This latest Resident Evil film is actually the first time he's returned to a franchise as a director.

Milla Jovovich returns to play Alice, the star of the franchise (and someone I've had a crush on for fifteen years, since hearing her first album, The Divine Comedy), and is joined again by Ali Larter as Claire Redfield.  Joining the cast this time out are Boris Kodjoe as Luther West, Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) as Chris Redfield, Shawn Roberts as Umbrella Corporation head Albert Wesker, and Kim Coates (Tig from Sons of Anarchy) as creepy film producer Bennett.

A funny note about the appearance of Wentworth Miller: When his character first appears, brooding in the shadows, both Dr. Girlfriend and I thought for a second that it might be Jensen Ackles from Supernatural.  We both said it at the same time and laughed.  Then, today while looking up info about the film, it turns out that in 2007, Jensen Ackles was being considered to play Leon S. Kennedy (from the video games), however the character didn't make it into the film.  Instead, Wentworth Miller plays the new young male lead.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

6.2 LA HORDE (2009)

La Horde (2009)
Dir. Yannick Dahan & Benjamin Rocher

Yes, it was a French double-feature last night, and both films were surprisingly good, even though they are very different beasts from start to finish.

La Horde tells the tale of a group of corrupt cops who, after the murder of one of their own, decide to take the law into their own hands and bring down the drug dealers responsible.  As bloodily and violently as possible.  Needless to say, things don't go as planned and they are instead captured by the Nigerian drug lord.  And then the dead rise, as they are wont to do.

This is another example of first-time feature film makers taking a swing and knocking it out of the park.  Well, that's a bit over-the-top.  It's not a home run, but it's a very nicely done film that lays good groundwork as a crime drama before jumping into the gruesome and apocalyptic zombie nightmare.

6.1 MUTANTS (2009)

Mutants (2009)
Dir. David Morlet

Let me start off by saying that this film isn't really a zombie film.  Like 28 Days Later before it, this is a plague film that lifts most of the conventions of the zombie genre and puts them to good use.  It's also French, so like some of the other French horror films of the past few years (specifically things like Haute Tension, Frontière(s), and, my favorite, Martyrs), it has some intense scenes of violence and gore, along with a brutally devastating existential dread along for the ride.

And even though the infected are not really traditional zombies, the basic structure of the narrative fits with this Easter Movie Marathon is all about.  It's all about the resurrection, baby.

Morlet directs a script he co-wrote along with Louis-Paul Desanges, and for a first feature-length film, this is very impressive.  The performances, particularly by Hélène de Fougerolles and Francis Renaud as Sonia and Marco are gut-wrenching.  The rest of the cast does well with their roles, but aren't really required to do much more than provide sounding boards for the exploration and development of Sonia and Marco.

In fact, once more characters are introduced, again, as with 28 Days Later, the film begins to lose its focus and its intensity.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

5.2 Canceled

Due to technical difficulties and getting too late a start, Evil: In the Time of Heroes (To kako - Stin epohi ton iroon), had to be canceled.  Which is unfortunate, because we really enjoyed the first film last year and were looking forward to this one.

Plus, it has Billy Zane in it!  That's a mark of quality, right?

F.O.O.M. (Flashbacks of Ol' Marvel) #22: "Smothering Our Babies: Generation X (1996)"

The latest installment of my journey through the history of Marvel Comics Movies is live at Comics Bulletin.  This time, I take a look at the 1996 TV movie, Generation X.  And it's not that bad.  Really.  I swear.

5.1 DANCE OF THE DEAD (2008)

Dance of the Dead (2008)
Dir. Gregg Bishop

Wow, is my thumb not on the pulse of contemporary horror critics.

This film has been garnering a LOT of praise across the Internet and was chosen by Sam Raimi for distribution through his Ghosthouse Underground label for Lionsgate.  Even those who haven't been that impressed still find a lot of good things to say about the film.  In fact, I've only found one or two reviews that really didn't like it after a few minutes of Googling (which, I know, is not a statistically reliable research method).

So, I'll go ahead and mention the good and then get to the bad below the break. 

Gregg Bishop shot this film on HD cameras for under a million dollars (I can't find more exact numbers) in Rome, Georgia.  The direction is solid.  Bishop has a good eye for staging a scene and the film looks like a lot more was spent on it than actually was.  Based on seeing this film, I actually do want to see his earlier film, The Other Side (2006), which he also wrote.

A brief look at the credits for this film shows that he got a lot of community support for the making of this film, which partially explains how he was able to put a huge number of zombies on the screen.  Really, the credit list for the zombie extras seems to go on for nearly as long as the feature itself.

There are a number of nice gore scenes, and all of the actors play their roles naturally and believably.

And that's where the trouble starts.

Friday, April 22, 2011


American Zombie (2007)
Dir. Grace Lee

This is the first film of this year's marathon to successfully take on the topic of contemporary zombies with some seriousness.  It doesn't shy away from using humor, but there's a pretty serious, fairly disturbing undertone to the entire affair.  It's also the first film this year with a female writer/director Grace Lee (as well as co-writer, Rebecca Sonnenshine).  Lee graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles film program and was an experienced writer/director of short films before moving into documentary work with her biographical documentary, The Grace Lee Project (2005).

For her first feature-length non-doc film, she chooses to stay close to her comfort zone and produce a mock documentary about the Living Dead among us.  In the world of this film, zombies are real, but they come in three varieties: Feral (we're most familiar with these), Low-Functioning (practically mindless, but mostly harmless corpses used for low-level manual labor), and High-Functioning (the undead with most of their minds intact, can sometimes pass for human).   Lee plays herself in the film.

The idea for the documentary comes from John Solomon (playing himself), a cinematographer and, at least in the film, trauma footage cameraman.  He's not really taken seriously as a film maker, but thinks that by teaming up with Lee, he can finally finish a project.  And not just any project, but a great project.

Spoilers Ahead!


Aaah! Zombies! (Wasting Away) (2007)
Dir. Matthew & Sean Kohnen

Matthew and Sean Kohnen have put together a very entertaining first film, and again, most of that boils down to raising enough money to actually realize their vision of a zombie comedy.  With talented actors and good equipment, they are able to make a script that at first seems like it might be just a one-note waste of time, into something really special.

I just wish they'd gone with the original name.  Wasting Away is a lot stronger than Aaah! Zombies!  The stupid name is part of why I've put off watching this film for so long.  I really wasn't expecting much with that name.

Anyway, the main story goes a little something like this:  A group of four friends are infected by a military-developed super-soldier formula that went horribly wrong.  What makes this one interesting is that our main characters, Tim (Michael Grant Terry), Cindy (Betsy Beutler), Mike (Matthew Davis), and Vanessa (Julianna Robinson), and their new comrade, Nick Steele (Colby French), are the zombies.  They just don't know it.

More below the break...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

3.2 HIDE AND CREEP (2004)

Hide and Creep (2004)
Dir. Chuck Hartsell & Chance Shirley

I'll be honest with you.  I went into this one expecting it to be anywhere from lame to awful.  It was advertised as "Even better than Shaun of the Dead" so I went in expecting the worst.  Because, you know, hyperbole like that doesn't do anyone any favors. 

But I am happy to say that I was completely wrong in my expectations.  This film was pretty damned entertaining.  And for a horror comedy, what more can you ask for?

Hide and Creep is a zombie comedy set in Alabama, made by Alabama film makers Chuck Hartsell and Chance Shirley, from a script by Shirley.  According to the film makers, this low-budget film came in at around $26,000, and while it is definitely low-budget, the money was very well-spent. 

So much so, in fact, that I am now dying to see their follow-up film, Interplanetary.  It's tagline is "Monsters.  Mayhem.  Mars."  For more info on that and their other projects, check out the Crewless Productions website.

But what about Hide and Creep?

Spoiler Shields Up!

3.1 EXHUMED (2003)

Exhumed (2003)
Dir. Brian Clement

Well, this is the first dud of the bunch this year, but it's not for lack of trying.  Writer/Director Brian Clement does everything right in what is probably the most adventurous film of this year's marathon.  However, the end result is a perfect example of one's eyes being bigger than one's stomach when it comes to low-budget film making.  It will still look good on his resume, though.

Exhumed tells its story in three parts.  The first is in medieval Japan, the second in 1940s America, and the third in a weird grab-bag apocalyptic future.  That, in itself, is an impressive attempt.  The stories are all linked in what is, ultimately, a time-travel narrative that, with more money, better actors, and someone who knows how to handle professional lighting, could have been amazing.

Hell, just someone on lighting duties would have made this much more enjoyable, as most of the film is underlit and at times its nearly impossible to tell what exactly was happening.  Which is too bad, because Clement obviously loves film and film making.  There are enough references to classic films in this one to write a book about, and the combining of three distinct genres into one overarching plot is a great idea.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think better lighting would have made me like the film.  As it is, I can't really recommend it as much more than a noble failure.

Although, just listening to the description of the film makes me want to see it remade, a la Evil Dead 2.

Spoilers ahead!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WALKING DEAD Season One Recap

As I type this, the DVD set of the first season of THE WALKING DEAD is on sale at Amazon for $9.99.  That's practically too cheap to pass up, even if you're only slightly interested in checking it out.

If anyone's curious, here's what I thought about the season, episode by episode:

1.1 "Days Gone Bye"

1.2 "Guts"

1.3 "Tell it to the Frogs"

1.4 "Vatos"

1.5 "Wildfire"

1.6 "TS-19"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Tonight's viewing is canceled so that we may raise a glass and watch some classic Sarah Jane adventures.  And probably cry a little.

R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen, 19th Apr 2011

The BBC Press Release.

It is with much sadness that we can announce Elisabeth Sladen, the much-loved actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and CBBC's The Sarah Jane Adventures, passed away this morning. She was 63.

Lis first appeared as Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 alongside the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and stayed for three and half seasons working alongside Jon and the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. She returned to the role on numerous occasions over the years and, in 2007, was given her own spin-off series on CBBC - The Sarah Jane Adventures - where she would appear alongside new Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith.

The Sarah Jane Adventures brought Lis a whole new generation of fans who grew up to love her alien-busting adventures. The series was hugely popular with fans young and old and won this year's RTS Award for best children's drama.

Controller of CBBC Damian Kavanagh said tonight: "I'm deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Lis' untimely death. Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will."

The creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures Russell T Davies said: "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's Lead Writer and Executive Producer said: "'Never meet your heroes' wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen.

"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody's hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah Jane - Lis Sladen herself - she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.

"There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma - but I can't think of one other who's done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. "But that's Sarah Jane," he said, confused "In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?" It's not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that fifty years from now."

Keith Jones, Director, BBC Cymru Wales, said: "The Sarah Jane Adventures has been one of the most successful children's programmes on television in recent years - and without Elisabeth Sladen it would not have happened. A brilliant presence on screen and on set, she brought the excitement and energy of the Doctor Who family of programmes, of which we are very proud at BBC Wales, to a whole new generation. She will be missed by all at BBC Wales who worked with her."

Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said. "She was not just a client, but a dear friend. She was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating. She couldn't believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series."

Lis had been suffering from cancer. She leaves behind a husband, actor Brian Miller, and her daughter, Sadie.

BBC press office 0208 576 1865

Monday, April 18, 2011

2.2 SHOCK WAVES (1977)

Shock Waves (1977)
Dir. Ken Wiederhorn

I went into this one not expecting anything at all.  To be honest, I expected it to be awful.

But as the credits came up, I was reminded that Peter Cushing and John Carradine were both in the film.  So it couldn't be all bad, right?  Absolutely.

This film was co-written and directed by Ken Wiederhorn, who's credits aren't amazing, but does include Return of the Living Dead Part II (which he also wrote), which I enjoy more than anyone else I know.  He's also responsible for directing episodes of Freddy's Nightmares and 21 Jump Street

Along with Peter Cushing (who also played Grand Moff Tarkin in a little indie film that same year) and John Carradine (who will always be a favorite of mine for his role in Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex  * But Were Afraid To Ask), the film starred a young Brooke Adams, who would bust out the next year in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and also star in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven and Cronenberg's The Dead Zone.

That's enough of a pedigree to catch my interest.  And as it turns out, this isn't half bad.


Psychomania (aka The Death Wheelers) (1973)
Dir. Don Sharp

This one had a bit of a slow start, but the ultimate payoff was pretty nicely executed.

Psychomania is a zombie film without any traditional zombies.  Instead, what we've got is a story about devil worshipers and a resurrection that is more about the will than anything else.  The film was directed by Don Sharp, director of The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), and a few Avengers (1968) episodes amongst other works.

Even though this is well beyond the time when the flesh-eating zombie had been introduced to horror culture, Psychomania is something more along the lines of traditional UK occult horror.  It's the sort of film where a guest appearance by Christopher Lee wouldn't be entirely unexpected.

The story centers on Tom Latham (Nicky Henson), the leader of the motorcycle gang The Living Dead.  Tom's mother made a deal with the devil years earlier, and although we never really get a real idea about just what that deal involved, by the end of the film we discover that Tom's fate is intricately tied to it.  But what about the zombies?


Planet of the Vampires (1965)
Dir. Mario Bava

The second half of Sunday night's double-feature was the classic, Planet of the Vampires, an Italian film based on the short story "One Night of 21 Hours" by Rafael J. Salvia.  This film was directed by the legend, Mario Bava, who is best known for the films Black Sunday (1960), Black Sabbath (1963), and one of my personal favorites, Danger: Diabolik (1968).

The film is another science fiction approach to the zombie genre, telling the story of the crews of two spaceships that have crash landed on a foreboding, unexplored planet, while attempting to investigate a mysterious repeating signal that may be a sign of intelligent life.  Oh, it's a sign all right.  The planet is inhabited by bodiless beings who can take over the bodies of the unconscious, or the dead.

And as you can probably guess, mostly they take over the dead.

So the title is a little misleading.  There are no vampires to be seen here.  It's all zombies, baby!


The Earth Dies Screaming (1965)
Dir. Terence Fisher

The first film in the 2011 Easter Zombie Movie Marathon is a golden oldie from 1965.  We decided to go with a chronological order for this year's films, so as the week goes on we'll get closer and closer to the modern conception of what a zombie film is.

But for this first night, we're really dealing with a variation on the classic Voodoo zombie, only with a creepy British Sci-Fi twist.

Terence Fisher is probably best known as the man who almost single-handedly redefined modern UK horror with his run of classic Hammer Horror films, The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Mummy (1959), The Curse of the Werewolf (1960), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), and many, many others.

In 1965 he directed The Earth Dies Screaming for Shepperton Studios in London and filmed in Surrey.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Just a quick post to comment on some recent TV.

BEING HUMAN (UK): After a weak and focus-free start, the return of Herrick has made this show good again.  The only show on TV about Vampires worth watching.  Season Finale this Sunday!

OUTCASTS (UK): Boring and almost entirely imagination-free.  Good actors wasted on weak plots and at time, painful scripting.  Season Finale this Sunday.  Finally.

BEING HUMAN (US): Not as bad as I was afraid it was going to be.  Each week makes me groan, but I watch and find myself moderately engaged and satisfied.  Kind of limp and bloodless compared to the original.

STARGATE: UNIVERSE: Finally back for its last 10 episodes.  Already canceled, but well worth watching.  The characters are good, if a little too grounded in the mundane.  What I wouldn't give for a show with a basic scenario like this, but with insanely free imagination guiding it.

LIGHTS OUT: Just when they introduce a character I can finally get behind and enjoy (Romeo), they drop him.  Lights Out, you are killing me with your borderline entertainment value.  This is the show, right behind Being Human (US) that I am least interested in watching each week, but watch anyway, and get some enjoyment out of.  The end result here is a little better than with Being Human.

SYM-BIONIC TITAN: Best cartoon on television right now.  Genndy can do no wrong in my book.  It's rated PG, so we actually get death and destruction with repercussions and moral implications.  Last week's look at the coup on their home planet was fantastic.

JUSTIFIED: Gets better and better each week.  Boyd Crowder may be the best character on television at the moment.  His only rival is Walter Bishop on Fringe.  Boyd's the best "bad guy" though.  He's starting to rival Lost's Benjamin Linus in my affections.

FACE-OFF: Season Finale this week!  I'm loving this Top Chef with Make-up Effects Artists show.  I really hope enough people are watching that we get more.  Also love that the craft drama involved in designing and implementing the make-up effects are more centrally focused than the personal drama between the contestants.  In the end, anyway.

THE OFFICE: Regardless of what people say, this show still makes me laugh out loud every single week.

PARKS & RECREATION: Only comedy on television that I would actually miss if it were canceled.  So much funnier than any of the other Thursday night line-up.  Most of that crap I can't even watch.

THE MENTALIST: Always entertaining, if not all that smart.  Still love the dynamic between the characters, and Patrick Jane is the most appealing and unapologetic atheist on television.

SUPERNATURAL: Season Six is just as good as any prior season.  Glad they did it.  It's gone until April, when we'll get our final push toward the season finale, and it is going to be mightily missed.  Hopefully, they'll do another season.  Don't see why they wouldn't at this point.  It's all good and still firing on all cylinders.  The most entertaining show I watch.

FRINGE: Tied with Justified for best show on television, in my humble opinion.  With Supernatural coming in at a very tight 1.5.  Every week, no matter what reality we're focusing on, Fringe brings great casting together with entertaining scripts and imaginative plots to make me giddy.  Walter is great.  I'm really hoping they plan on keeping Jorge Garcia around as Walter's late-night pot-smoking buddy.

Nothing.  Finally.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Yes, Mondo Marvel is back for another round of jibber-jabber obsessed with early Sixties Marvel comics.  You know what you're getting into.  No get into it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

F.O.O.M. (Flashbacks of Ol' Marvel) #21: "Shelved - Fantastic Four (1994)"

I watched The Fantastic Four so you don't have to.  Roger Corman produced it in 1994 for 1.4 million after the original budget called for 40 million.  If that doesn't explain just about everything wrong with this film, I don't know what does.

Monday, February 07, 2011


I'm back with another What Looks Good column, and it's all TV, Movies, and Music this week.  Oh, and I do mention a couple of comics, briefly at the end.

Monday, January 31, 2011

BREAKING DOWN (an original screenplay)

Please take some time from your busy schedules to read and comment on this Horror script that I've entered into Amazon Studios' scriptwriting competition.  All comments and discussion would be greatly appreciated.


Friday, January 21, 2011

F.O.O.M. (Flashbacks of Ol' Marvel) #20: "We Are Both Tragedies - Captain America (1990)"

Wherein I go back and re-evaluate what is generally considered one of the worst Marvel movies ever.  Seriously, it's not that bad, when all is said and done.  Here's the link: F.O.O.M.