Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 2016 comic book reading challenge

Since not only did I have fun doing my 2015 reading challenge,but I also managed to get a nice amount of my unread books read. Plus helped raise some money for charity,I wanted to do another reading based challenge this year.

I was thinking do I do the reading challenge again but set my goal higher? Nah,I rather do something different. Then it hit me. Almost every day I read at least one comic.Between my massive physical collection,my local library,friends and digital comics I have millions of comics to read.

So for 2016 here is my challenge.

1.I must read at least 365 comics in the year.
2.Like with the 2015 challenge,I will post a short review of each comic.
3.I am gonna try to read more stuff I have never read than re-read comics I have read before.

As for giving each comic a score,stealing an idea from Comic Geek Speak. I am using their buy borrow ,pass option.

Buy-This is a comic that I have to own.
Borrow-Worth reading but instead of paying for it see if a friend has a copy you can borrow.
Pass-Don't even bother borrowing this.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 102 Cult Movie Stars

TITLE-Cult Movie Stars
AUTHOR-Danny Peary
FORMAT-Oversized paperback

Having now read all three of Peary's Cult Movies books I wanted to see if he had written any other books on the same subject. Found this cheap on Amazon. And it has been my bathroom reading for months now.

I love the format of this book. You get the stars name,some history on them. Then a listing of the films they are in that are considered cult movies.

As I have mentioned before thanks to the internet reference books like this are not cheap. So now my reference book shelf is almost full.

Cult Movie Stars gets a 4.37 outta 5.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 101 Stairway to Hell

TITLE-Stairway to Hell
AUTHOR-Chuck Eddy
FORMAT-Oversized paperback

Back when this came out in 91 I got a copy. But during one of my moves I lost it. I had actually forgotten about it,until I saw it on Amazon. And was just given it as a gift about a week ago.

Chuck starts the book off explaining why he chose the albums he did. And this is needed,cause there is lots of albums listed that most people wouldn't consider metal. Like The Osmonds,Run DMC,Bon Jovi and other stuff.

Going back now and re-reading this there is more bands that I know of than when I first got it back in the early 90s. Hell I now have a list of albums I want to track down.

The album reviews are entertaining. Even when it is bands I don't like. Really my only complaint is the #1 album. Never have been a fan of Led Zep. And think IV is one of the most over-rated albums of all time.

Stairway to Hell gets a 3.89 outta 5.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 100 The Doomsday Brunette

TITLE-The Doomsday Brunette
AUTHOR-John Zakour&Lawrence Ganem

This is the sequel to Book 98 of the challenge.Got both at the same time. In this one our private dick is called in for what is a locked room murder. 

Seems years ago some scientist used gene splicing and created 4 perfect women. Named Ona,Twoa,Threa and Fora. Each is gorgeous,ultra smart and a few other things. All of them are now fairly rich. And while gathered at Ona's home Fora dies. 

I was very surprised at how much better this was than the first book in the series. And I did really enjoy that first book. The dialogue is much better. And feels like stuff I would hear in old detective films. The pacing is better. 

I looked on Amazon and seems like there is at least 2 more books in this series. Now I just gotta track them down.

The Doomsday Brunette gets a 4.66 outta 5.

Friday, November 20, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 099 The Bionic Man Vol 1 Some assembly required

TITLE-The Bionic Man Volume 1 Some assembly required
AUTHOR-Phil Hester & Kevin Smith
FORMAT-Trade Paperback
PRICE-Free,got it from the Library ILL program

I remember Kevin Smith mentioning years ago that he had wrote a script for a Six Million Dollar Man film. But nothing came of it. Then a few years back Dynamite comics took the script and got Phil Hester to work on it a some.

My understanding is the 10 issues covered in this trade are from the movie script Smith wrote.If so I would love to have seen it become a movie.

The story is the origin of the Bionic Man. Updated to modern day. With lots of little Easter eggs for fans of the franchise.The art is nice,but has this sameness look that most comics from Dynamite have. It never stands out but also never is so bad it harms the story.

Steve is a test pilot who almost dies in a crash. And is put back together with bionic parts. So far we are pretty much following the old TV show.Then we get the curve ball of Steve not being the first person they have done this to. So there is a rogue Bionic Man out there. And of course Steve fights him.

While I liked the story there was no need to make it 10 issues. 5 or 6 would have worked just as well.Hell it isn't until issue 4 that Steve receives his bionic parts.But once he does the comic kicks it into high gear and doesn't slow down.

The Bionic Man vol 1 gets a 3.56 outta 5.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 098 The Plutonium Blonde

TITLE-The Plutonium Blonde
AUTHOR-John Zakour&Lawrence Ganem

The cover is what got my attention with this book. I looked at it and thought "Ok here is a mash up of science fiction and pulp era stuff." And I was pretty much right.

Set in 2057,this is the first novel in a series about the last detective left on Earth. Zachary Nixon Johnson is his name. And he prefers old fashion ways. Like how now most people have flying cars that they let the autopilot drive. Not Zach,he hates them and still tools around in his now ancient gas guzzling car.

In this adventure our private dick is hired out by an ex-exotic dancer. Who is now head of a major corporation. Seems a replica of her was made and escaped. So Zach is hired to track this replica down. Of course there are twists and turns along the way.

The book has a great pace to it.It is a bit over 300 pages and felt much shorter. Now I haven't read lots of pulp era detective fiction. But what I have read,reads similar to this novel.

When I got this book I also picked up it's sequel. Which I hope to have finished before the end of the year.

The Plutonium Blonde gets a C+.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 097 Alien Legion:Piecemaker

TITLE-Alien Legion:Piecemaker
AUTHOR-Carl Potts&Chuck Dixon
FORMAT-Trade Paperback
PRICE-Free(was an X-mas gift)

Until about 8 years ago,even though I had heard lots about Alien Legion,I had never read an issue. Then I got a few real cheap at a con. Tried it out and loved it. So threw a few of the trades Checker books published on my X-mas wishlist. And my Aunt Midget got this one for me.

This trade reprints the last 7 issues of the second series of Alien Legion that Marvel published under their Epic Comics imprint.By this time Chuck Dixon was doing most of the writing and Larry Stroman was handling the pencils. I normally enjoy any military/war stuff from Dixon. And have been a fan of Larry's artwork since he was doing X-Factor.

Most of the stories in this trade are 1 and done. But the one major continuing story is about when the Legion gets sent to a planet being held hostage. And we find out the leader of the group holding it hostage is Jugger Grimrod's father.So we get to meet the man that helped create most Alien Legion fans favorite member. As for why this volume is titled Piecemaker. And spelled that way,well the Legion has a ship. That is pretty much made to be used as a last resort. It blows a planet to pieces. So is nicknamed The Piecemaker.

After reading this I wanted more. But sadly after the second series from Epic was cancelled there hasn't been much new Alien Legion stuff to come out. There was a few one shots in the 90s. And I heard of a new series that was suppose to start this year. No clue if it did.

But if you enjoy military fiction,science fiction and comic books this is  a series worth tracking down. I know besides the two trades Checker books put out there is at least one Alien Legion Omnibus from Dark Horse.

Alien Legion:Piecemaker gets a B+.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 096 World War Z

TITLE-World War Z
AUTHOR-Max Brooks

From not long after this book came out I kept being told how I had to read it. I kept putting it off mostly cause I had a feeling I wouldn't like it. Then a few months before the film was released I grabbed the novel.

This is as the cover states an oral history of the zombie war. A reporter is traveling all over the world talking to people. And we slowly get pieces of what happened. Now as of this writing I haven't watched the film. I do wonder how the hell this translates into a film. There really isn't a a normal plot in the book.

It is kind of rare that horror novels scare me or creep me out. But in a few scenes this novel did just that. The one part that got to me the most was when he find out to help find and fight the zombie hordes the Army has equipped tiny dogs with cameras. Being a dog person,and having always owned tiny dogs,this scene got to me.

If you are a fan of the Walking Dead tv show or comic read this book. If you are just a fan of zombie films read this book. I have only ever read one other thing from Max Brooks. Which was a vampire comic trade he wrote for Avatar Press. Which sadly wasn't that good.

World War Z gets an A.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 095 Heroes Saving Charlie

TITLE-Heroes:Saving Charlie
AUTHOR-Aury Wallington

With Heroes recently making a comeback I dug out this novel. If you watched Heroes during it's original run you will remember a part were Hiro went back in time and met a red haired waitress named Charlie and he feel in love with her. On the show this all happened in one episode. But with the TV show being a huge hit that story was taken and fleshed out into this novel.

Since Hiro is from the future he knows Charlie's fate. And most of the novel is about him trying to decide if he should prevent her death or not. Aury did a great job capturing the feel of each of the characters from the show. And does his best avoiding any time paradox. Which is always something you have to watch out for when dealing with time travel in fiction.

Going back now,after finally seeing all 4 of the original seasons of Heroes,I gotta say this novel is better than seasons 2 thru 4. But not as good as the first season. If you are a Heroes fan and haven't read this book yet go get a copy. It shouldn't cost that much and is a neat piece of Heroes merchandise.

Heroes:Saving Charlie gets a B-.

Friday, November 13, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 094 VideoHound's Horror Show

TITLE-VideoHound's Horror Show
AUTHOR-Mike Mayo
FORMAT-Trade Paperback

Not long after I bought VideoHound's Cult movie reference book I found this one. Which contains reviews of 999 horror films. Since buying it I have managed to see right at 800 of the films reviewed in the book.

As with the Cult movies book,the reviews are kind of short, But give enough info so you can figure out if you want to see the film.

I would love to see a updated version of this. But thanks to stuff like IMDB books like this are dead.

VideoHound's Horror Show gets a B+.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 093 VideoHound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks & Trash Pics

TITLE-VideoHound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks & Trash Pics
FORMAT-Trade Paperback

Sometime in the late 90s I found this book at Hastings. With my love of movie reference books and cult movies I had to grab it.And as you can tell the book has been read many many times.

With a reference book like this the best ones not only include the well known cult movies but lots of obscure ones. And this book does a great job of doing short reviews of some films that when the book came out were pretty obscure. Gotta remember this came out right when DVD was first hitting the market in North America.So it wasn't nearly as easy to find some movies.

Since getting the movie I have made it a point to try to see every film mentioned in the book. At last count I am right at 80% done with that.

VideoHound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks & Trash Pics gets a B-.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 092 The Encyclopedia of Superheroes

TITLE-The Encyclopedia of Superheroes
AUTHOR-Jeff Rovin
FORMAT-Trade Paperback

When I got Rovin's Adventure Heroes reference book I also ordered this one about superheroes.Back in the pre-internet days books like this were very valuable reference tools. Of course now they are kind of outdated relics.

But I love reference books. I keep a stack of them in my bathroom. And they make perfect reading while you are taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.

So how through is this book? It came out in 1985.So I am assuming it was more than likely finished in late 84 or early 85. But even with my huge knowledge of superheroes there isn't one I can think of that isn't in this book. Hell there is so many in here I have never heard of. Each entry seems to be well researched and as far as I know accurate.

I love how in one of the appendixes we get a list of superhero teams. And another appendix for obscure Golden Age heroes.

The Encyclopedia of Superheroes gets a B+.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 091 Infinite Crisis

TITLE-Infinite Crisis
AUTHOR-Geoff Johns
FORMAT-Trade Paperback
PRICE-10 bucks

In 2005 DC started this series. Which is a sequel to the 80s classic Crisis on Infinite Earths. I would listen to the reviews of each issue on the Comic Geek Speak podcast. Then at a con found the trade for about $5 off cover. Grabbed it. But almost didn't,mostly cause I am not a big fan of Geoff Johns. In lots of ways his writing reminds me of Peter David. And I do not like Peter David's comic work. But since this was a sequel to one of my favorite big comic book events I felt like I needed to read it.

This trade reprints issues 1 thru 7 of the Infinite Crisis mini series. And includes all the alternative covers. Some of which are from Jim Lee. I have always said Lee is a great artist for cover,posters and pinups. But that his storytelling skills are lacking. The cover you see above is from Jim and it looks damn good.

So what is the story? Well cause of a recent reveal ,that the JLA mindwiped some stuff from various villains and Batman's minds,Batman is now refusing to work with any other hero. To save the world Wonder Woman had to kill a man which was broadcast world wide. And something has attacked the JLA HQ and almost killed the Martian Manhunter.


So what has happened is this. At the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths all the alternate Earths in the DC multiverse got merged into one. And so that meant no more 2 Supermans and various other things. The Superman of Earth 2,which is the one that appeared in Action Comics #1,along with Earth 2's Lois Lane,Alexander Luthor of Earth 3,a world where all the heroes are villains and vice versa,along with the Superboy of Earth Prime all are shuttled off to a pocket universe. Where they are suppose to live in peace for eternity.

What wasn't known was they could see what was happening on this new merged Earth. And after seeing how dark the heroes have gotten Superman and the others come to believe if they can bring their old world back it will correct this.

Now to me this entire series was Geoff Johns kind of crapping on all the bad ripoffs that happened after Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's Watchmen were such huge hits not long after Crisis on Infinite Earths ended.And I kind of agree with Johns on this. I don't mind so called dark or edgy heroes,hell one of my favorite comics of all time is Miracleman,but most of the ripoffs of DKR and Watchmen missed what made those two series so good. It wasn't that they were so dark and gritty. It was how each writer took the common superhero tropes and used them in new ways.

So how is this 7 issues collection? I enjoy it a bunch. I got it back in 2008 and since then usually read it once a year. The writing it pretty good for the most part. There is a few too many storylines that sadly do not get enough room to breathe.And the art is really good on most pages.And as a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths it works very well. Even if by the time I read this I knew all the big reveals and surprises.

Infinite Crisis gets a B.

Friday the 13th limited edition Ultimate Collection DVD review

Last month while in a local Dollar General I got the numbered Friday the 13th Ultimate Collection DVD set very cheap. Now sure I already owned all the films in this set,this only has the ones Paramount put out AKA the first 8,on DVD. But parts 6,7 and 8 were the old first DVD releases that had no extras. Plus as you will see this set came with some very nice extras.
That is the box. In the bottom right hand corner is a sticker telling you what number this set is. It is 38,283 out of 50,000.I like how the box is mostly blue with some trees on it.

Now lets open up the set.The first thing to come out is...
Yep a nice replica of Jason's infamous hockey mask that he first got in part 3 and wore in that film along with parts 4,6,7 and 8. It is a bit small for an adult sized head.But I bet it fits a kid's head perfectly. Currently I got this mask hanging up on my wall.

Up next is...
Yep two pairs of 3d glasses so you can watch part 3 in 3d. That is the front of them.
And that is the back. Now when the Deluxe DVD of Friday the 13th part 3 first came out I kept seeing online people bitching cause they claimed the 3d didn't work. It does work. But you gotta make sure you are in a completely dark room. Then set the brightness of your TV to the right level. It also helps to have a bigger TV. First time I watched the entire film in 3d on DVD was at my cousin's home. She has a 70 inch TV. And the 3d worked perfectly.I do like how they just didn't throw in some generic 3d glasses. Instead we get ones that on the front look a bit like Jason's hockey mask. And have the Friday part 3 logo and blood splatters on the back.

Then the final part of the set. The main event if you want to use wrestling terms.
That is the front cover to the book like case that houses all 8 films. I really like that picture of Jason. So lets open up the book and see how the inside looks.
Each film gets not only a nice synopsis of the film. But also a listing of the special features.Some Friday facts about each film. And my favorite parts a body count and list of how many weapons are used in each film.Then below all that you get some film credits and a few pictures from the film.

The first film  has a fun commentary with Sean Cunningham and some of the cast and crew. A few short featurettes. And the first part of the brand new Lost Tales of Camp Blood. Which sadly is kind of crap.

The second film has no commentary,BOOOOOO. But has a feature named "Inside Crystal Lake Memories".A feature on horror conventions,Lost Tales of Camp Blood part 2,something called Jason Forever. And finally a theatrical trailer.
Now part 3 gets only one extra.Which is the theatrical trailer. I guess Paramount thought putting it out in 3d was good enough. I would like to have a commentary on this film.

Part 4 gets a buttload of extras. We get two commentaries. One with the director,screenwriter and editor. Then another with huge Friday the 13th fans Adam Green and Joe Lynch.We also get Lost Tales of Camp Blood part 4,no clue what happened to part 3.Some deleted scenes.The lost ending.A feature titled "The Crystal Lake Massacres revisited part 1". Another feature all about Crispen Glover's amazing dance moves. And the original theatrical trailer.
With part 5,which is one of my favorites of the series,we get a commentary from the director.Lost Tales from Camp Blood part 5.Part 2 of the Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited.A making of Friday the 13th part 5 and the original theatrical trailer.

Then part 6 gets a commentary with the director.Lost Tales of Camp Blood part 6.The third part of the Crystal Lake Massacres Revisted. A making of Friday part 6.A feature named Meeting Mr Voorhees.Some deleted scenes and of course the original theatrical trailer.
On to part 7,my least favorite of the series.The commentary this time not only has the director,but also Lar Park Lincoln and Kane Hodder. A making of part 7.A feature on telekinesis.A feature on the make up work in the film.And some deleted scenes.

And now the last of the Paramount Friday the 13th films,Part 8 Jason Takes Manhattan.The commentary this time has Kane Hodder,lead actress Jensen Daggett and Scott Reeves.Then there is a making of Friday part 8.Some deleted scenes. And a gag reel.
There is the back cover of the DVD case. I love the red tint. And how Jason is almost hidden by all the fog.

So since I figure most people reading this have seen either all of or at least most of the films in this set I will not bother reviewing the films. Instead I will review the extras. I love how parts 1,4,5,6,7 and 8 all have really good commentaries. It would be nice if part 2 and 3 had commentaries. The Lost Tales of Camp Blood are all crap. But all the making ofs are good. And it is nice to get to see some of the deleted scenes. The other extras are pretty good also.And you gotta love the mini replica of Jason's hockey mask.

Friday the 13th Ultimate Collection DVD set gets a B-.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 31 Scream Factory All Night Horror Marathon DVD review

Scream Factory 4 film All Night Horror Marathon

Yeah instead of one film doing 4. Got this set right after it came out what 2 years ago.Had seen the Vagrant once and that was it. So took a chance.

What's the matter with Helen?
From 1971 this movie was boring as fuck. Normally when watching a film for one of my 31 Days of Horror reviews I shut my laptop off and give the film my total attention. After an hour I was so bored with this movie I ended up opening up my laptop and while watching the movie working on a few video projects. Set in the 30s in Hollywood this film feels like a made for TV movie. Shelly Winters is decent. But the pacing and story are so slow I just got bored. So this isn't a good start for this pack. This movie gets a D-.

The Godsend
From 1981,this turned out to be a decent killer/evil kid film. A stranger has her kid at these people's house. Then she disappears. The family is kind of forced into keeping the baby.Who when she gets older starts acting weird. And when the other kids start dying this oddball kid is the number 1 suspect. The Godsend gets a C+.

The Vagrant
From 92,this was the only film on the set I had seen before. I remember it getting a decent review in Fango so I rented it.Bill Paxton moves into a new home and has trouble with a homeless man. Who keeps doing stranger and stranger things. To me the pack is worth owning just for this film. But I have seen that now Scream Factory is releasing lots of the films off their old four packs as double feature Blu rays. So it might be a good idea to just grab the Blu ray with The Vagrant.For how much fun I had with the movie it gets a B+.

The Outing AKA The Lamp
From 82 and the only 4x3 film on the set. This is one I hadn't heard of before. A group of white trash rob this old lady's home. And release a genie from his lamp.The get killed by the genie and the lamp gets sent to a museum to be studied. The daughter of the curator of the place gets possessed by the genie and all hell breaks loose. What a fun film. Sure it is kind of cheap and cheesy.But it is never boring. The Outing gets a B.

I think I paid $15 for this set when I got it. And with 3 of the 4 films being worth watching that isn't a bad price.

Friday, October 30, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 030 MGM Midnite movies quadruple feature

Yep 4 films in one day. Last year around October I found 13 or so of these MGM Midnite Movie double feature DVD sets for cheap. $3 new IIRC. The plan was to watch some of them for last years 31 days of Horror. But that didn't happen.

Source-MGM Midnite Movie DVD

From 1961,this giant ape movie was a low budget ripoff of King Kong. And honestly this movie sucks ass. Bad acting and FX work.

Really the only good thing to come out of this was Charlton's Konga comic series.A series that has some very nice Steve Dikto artwork.

Konga gets a D-.

Source-MGM Midnite Movies DVD

Made in South Korea this mid 60s giant monster on the loose film was sent straight to TV by AIP. And while it is much much better than Konga. It still isn't good.

Well that means this double feature DVD is now worth the $3 I dropped. Oh well,win some lose some.

Yongary gets a C.

Mephisto Waltz
Source-MGM Midnite Movies DVD

This turned out to be a interesting Satanic horror film from 1971. Alan Alda is a failed musician who know is a music journalist. And after interviewing a reclusive pianist,Alda becomes possessed by the pianist's spirit.

There is plenty of Satanic horror films from the 70s,and this one is pretty damn good. I never see anyone talking about it. Which makes me wonder how many people have actually seen it.

The cast is nice,besides Alan Alda you also got  Jacqueline Bissett. 

Mephisto Waltz gets a B.

The House on Skull Mountain
Source-MGM Midnite Movies DVD

This is one the earliest 70s Blaxploitation horror films. A woman is dying and sends for 4 family members. They all show up to her home,which of course is on Skull  Mountain. And find out all kinds of crazy stuff. While being chased by a hooded skull monster.

The only cast I knew was the guy that played Lamont on the Jeffersons. And Michael Landon's best friend on Little House on the Prairie. But the other members I didn't know did a good job.

Seeing the film was rated PG I was expecting something kind of tame and boring. I was wrong. If this had come out in the 80s it would easy get a PG 13.

The House on Skull Mountain gets a B+.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 29 Double Feature The Green Inferno/Forbidden Transmission Halloween episode

The Green Inferno

Been hearing about this film since 2012. And really wanted to see it. I have seen pretty much all of the well known Italian made cannibal films. And wanted to see what a life long horror fan like Eli Roth would do with the concept.

A group of college kids go down to Peru to protest the destruction of the rain forest. They are on their way home when the tiny plane they are in crashes. And they end up captives of the local cannibal tribe.

If you have seen stuff like Cannibal Ferox or Cannibal Holocaust,imagine a version of that with a much bigger budget. Better acting and Roth's trademark moments of comedy to relieve the tension.

The FX work is damn good,well besides the CGI ants looking a bit wonky. The acting was much better than I expected. And the camera work is great. I was shocked at how colorful the film is.

Before seeing it I had read lots of non spoiler reviews that hated the film. And really hated the mid credits scene. I do not see why people hate this movie. After 4 films people should know that going into an Eli Roth film what to expect. He has a formula and it is used in this film. As for the mid credits scene,well to me it makes sense and sets up a sequel.

The Green Inferno gets a B.

Forbidden Transmission Halloween episode
Source-Digital files sent to me by the creator of the show

Forbidden Transmission was a two season public access tv show. Created by the Skeleton Farm group.Who are known for creating some of the best video mixtapes.

I had found 2 or 3 episodes almost 10 years ago. And loved them. Then met the creator of the show on a horror forum. Asked him if I could buy both seasons off him. "Hey how about I just make a torrent of every episode?" Which was fine with me. So I have had them sitting on a flash drive for a few years now.

Well after Green Inferno I wanted something short to watch. Saw there was an Halloween episode. And like all the others I have seen this was a blast. We get a few music videos. Clips from various Public Domain horror films. And even the short animated film that inspired the modern Halloween classic Trick R Treat.

Forbidden Transmission Halloween episode gets a B+.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 28 Double Feature Howling IV/Wolf Cop

Howling IV the Original Nightmare
Source-Echo Bridge Midnight Horror Collection DVD

Back in the early 90s I saw this late at night on Showtime. Enjoyed it. Then kind of forgot about it. 2 or so years ago I found one of those Echo Bridge released Midnight Horror Collection sets for $5. It was 8 movies and had Howling IV on it. I took a chance since I remembered liking Howling IV. This set is also the one where I got Vampegeddon.Which until recently was the worst pro-shot horror film I had ever seen.

Marie has been having lots of issues lately. So her and her husband go off to this tiny town for a nice relaxing vacation. But Marie keeps on seeing strange stuff. Like a nun that keeps appearing at odd times.

Of course this being part of the long running Howling franchise we know the town is full of werewolves. And slowly over the course of the film people keep disappearing. The local cops cover it up. But we know they got ate by werewolves.

I have only ever seen the first 5 Howling films. And this is the second best  of the ones I have watched. Been told it follows the book the  original film is based on. And is a much more faithful adaptation.

When I saw it as a teen the lead. Romy Windsor and the slutty shopkeeper Lamya Derval were what kept me watching. But now going back and watching it again most of the actors and actresses do a good job. The FX work is decent for what I assume is a low budget film.

Howling IV The Original Nightmare gets a C.

Wolf Cop
Source-Image Entertainment Blu Ray

Last year in early October got told by a good friend "You gotta see Wolfcop.I am sure you would love it." I checked and it hadn't been released yet. I threw the film on a flash drive planning on one night that month watching it. Then I just forgot about it.

Fast forward to February of this year. Was over at my lady's place.There was nothing on TV. And we wanted something to watch. I had a bottle of flash drives with me. So we picked one at random. And she saw the title "Wolf Cop" and said we had to watch it. Holy hell was it great. So as soon as it got a legit release I got the blu ray and have watched it at least 10 times since then. One cute tangent. I got a bit over a year old toy poodle named Maggie. Normally she pays no attention to anything on TV. But if I am watching Wolfcop and he howls she starts trying to howl. Of course her being a 5 1/2 lb lapdog means her howls sound more cute than terrifying.

The movie is about a cop in a small town.He becomes a werewolf and fights crime as Wolf Cop. Going as far as converting his police car into the Wolf Cop Mobile.

And yeah there is much more to the story besides the above. But this is one you really have to see. It walks the line perfectly between being a serious horror film and being  a comedy. The transformation FX are really really good. And look to be entirely practical FX work. The acting was 10 times better than I expected. And it seems to have been a huge hit. Sometime this previous spring it got added to Netflix streaming. And since that at least once every few weeks I get someone telling me how I must see the movie.

Wolf Cop gets a A.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 27 Double Feature The Return of Dracula/The Vampire

The Return of Dracula
Source-MGM Midnite Movies Double Feature flipper DVD

Ok this was released in 58. And I can see why I had never heard of it before grabbing this set.Last year found like 15 of these MGM Midnite Movies double features. All brand new for $3. So grabbed them. Been throwing them on as background noise. But I see the title Return of Dracula and it is from MGM I gave it my full attention.

Which was a mistake. This fucking sucks. Dracula leaves Europe and comes to Califorina. Pretending to be a distant cousin of this one family.

Really the only thing that makes this stand out at all is at the end we get a bit of color. The film has been b/w all the way through. But in the final kill we see red blood. A neat touch in an otherwise boring as hell film.

The Return of Dracula gets a D.

The Vampire
Source-MGM Midnite Movies Double Feature flipper DVD

From 57 here is another vampire flick. But with a twist. Instead of getting bit by a vampire ,our lead vampire is created by a doctor that accidentally takes some special Bat pills. So  a bit of a science fiction twist on your typical vampire.

But like Return of Dracula this one neat feature is all the film has.Well that and that it is only 76 minutes long. I can handle a low budget kind of shitty movie much better when it is an hour or maybe a bit over that tops.

The Vampire gets a D+.

Even at the $3 I paid this set is a dud. Only reason I can see to own it is if maybe you got nostalgia for either film.Or you want two "scary" films you could show young kids around Halloween. Nothing in either that say a 5 or 6 year old now couldn't handle.

Monday, October 26, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 26 Bloody Pit of Horror

Bloody Pit of Horror
Source-Something Weird Video DVD

I have been hearing about this mid 60s Italian made horror film for decades now. All I knew about it for years was Jane Mansfield's husband was the lead in it. Then once I got online there was a guy,and I can't not remember his posting name,that at every horror forum I found he was posting there and used a pic of Hargertiy's Crimson Executioner as his avatar.

After all these years I finally decided maybe I should see the film.Threw it on my Netflix queue and kind of forgot about it. A week or so ago it had made it's way to the top of my list. And one lazy Sunday I sat down to watch it. But after about 10 minutes I got bored and spent the rest of the film online doing various things. So I figured I should get the movie a second chance. And this time give it my full attention.

A photographer and a group of models are off to do a photo shoot at abandoned castle. They get into the castle and find out the owner is still there. At first he is gonna kick them out. But changes his mind. Telling them they can stay. But are not allowed to go down to the dungeon.

Of course this means they go down to the dungeon to take pics of some nice looking models wearing almost no clothing. Which pisses the owner off. So he assumes the mantel of the Crimson Executioner. And over the course of the rest of the film kills off all but two of the group. Those two end up tricking him and he dies in one of his own traps.

Honestly most horror from before 1968 is hard for me to get into. The pacing and acting usually just doesn't work for me. And this film has those two faults. I can totally see why it has a cult following. I am sure if I had seen this as a kid I would love it. But seeing it for the first time as an adult and after seeing lots of much better Euro-Horror it is just dull to me.

Bloody Pit of Horror gets a D+.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Franchise review Piranha

A few years ago I did short reviews of every film in various horror franchises. And to me a film has to have at least 4 films to be a franchise. So I was thinking "What is a franchise I don't hear lots of talk about?" And after realizing not only I don't want to re-watch all 13 entries in the Witchcraft franchise,I also only own about half of them. Then a few days ago I got ahold of a film that I had forgotten about. Yep got the mid 90s remake of Piranha.

Starting in 1978 with the Roger Corman produced Jaws rip off. Piranha now has a total of 5 films in the series.

The first one I saw years ago late at night on one of the local UHF channels. Where genetically engineered WAR piranhas get released.And they end up in a water resort where carnage happens.

Going back a few years ago when Shout Factory released a great DVD of this film I found it really fun and entertaining. It is very much a 70s low budget horror. But I love that type of film.

3 years later in 81 a sequel hit the silver screen. Directed by James Cameron,in what was his first theatrically released film.Besides some flying piranhas,yeah they can fly in this one. The FX work is decent.But truthfully this is the worst film in the franchise. Just proving to me once again unless he is ripping off old episodes of Outer Limits,that Cameron is a hack and one of the most over rated directors of the past 100 years.

And now we are up to the film I just finally got a copy of. Back in the mid to late 90s Showtime had a weekly Roger Corman Presents show. Where each Saturday you got a new Corman produced film. Really this is pretty much a straight remake of the late 70s original. But it has a neat cast. You got William "Greatest American Hero" Katt,Alexandra"Christine" Paul,Soleil Moon Frye AKA Punky Brewster and in her debut role Mila Kunis. Yeah I was surprised when I saw her. Doing some research it seems this did get a DVD release that is out of print.
In 2010 Piranha was remade for a second time. This time in 3D. And what a fun film this is. You get right at 1 1/2 hours of hot women,gore and a dash of comedy. This time it is set during Spring break in a town on the edge of a huge lake. The cast is pretty fun. You got the almost always good Elizabeth Shue. Christopher Lloyd pretty much playing his Doc Brown role from Back to the Future.And Jerry O'Connell as a sleazy as fuck Girls Gone Wild director.
Then in 2012 we got what as of this post the last film in the franchise. Piranha 3dd,which from what I can find got a very limited theatrical release. And I can see why. This movie is kind of a mess. It uses any excuse to show boobs or blood. And besides David Hasselhoff playing himself the rest of the cast is crap. This and the Flash TV show are what proved to me that Danielle Panabaker lost all her acting talent once she grew up.

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 25 Dance of the Dead

Masters of Horror Season 1 Episode Dance of the Dead
Source-Anchor Bay Blu Ray

When this first aired I missed it. I recorded it and didn't see it for at least a month. All the reviews I read were calling it horrible and "another dud from one hit wonder Tobe Hooper". Now I believe Mr Hooper has had way more than one good film. So when I did sit down to watch it I was ready for it to be horrible or be great.

Set in the near future. After some kind of biological war. Our lead is a teenage girl. She works at her mother's diner. And one day meets some older boys. Who invite her to come out partying with them that night. They want her to come with them to the city and goto a club. But of course her mother doesn't want her to go.

She ends up going. The club they goto is ran by Robert Englund. Who using electric shocks causes zombie like people to "dance" on the stage. We find out these "zombies" need blood to live. And the two boys that brought our lead to the club have been providing that blood to Robert. Then a dancer comes out who our lead girl knows. It is her older sister. The one her mother had told her had died.

Our lead ends up confronting Englund about this right around the time her mother shows up to drag her back home. We find out that the sister got hooked on hard drugs,they are everywhere in this near future. So the mother pretty much killed her then sold her undead body to Robert Englund. The film then skips ahead some time. We are back in the club. Our lead is a scumbag like the two boys that took her. And now her mother has become the new lead dancer at the club.

I have always enjoy post apocalyptic fiction. And this film is kind of a new spin on that.Pretty sure this is based on a short story. I need to track it down and see how much is cut or changed in the episode. I do understand why people might not have liked this episode. Coming after 2 or 3 really good episodes it is a a very different type of horror. And lots of the online horror fans seem to either parrot what certain horror podcasts say or for some reason legit believe the only good film Tobe Hooper has done was Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Dance of the Dead gets a C.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 24 Population 436

Population 436
Source-Mill Creek Where Evil Lies DVD set

Made in 2006 sometime in 2008 I was flipping channels and saw the last 10 minutes of this film on one of the movie channels. I liked what I saw and pulled up the onscreen info. Saw that Fred Durst was one of the main stars.Thought to myself "Well Limp Biscuit was total crap. I kind of doubt Durst is a good actor. I will just skip this movie."

Then it was late last year. I saw the Mill Creek Where Evil Lies set in the $5 bin.I looked at the back to see what 6 movies made up the set. Saw Population 436 and another that sounded decent. So I grabbed the set. But like what happens lots of time when I buy these cheap multi-film sets I end up throwing it on my shelf and never watching it.

I had no idea what I was gonna watch for my movie today. Then I remembered Population 436. Threw it in and was surprised at how good the film is. Jeremy Sisto is the lead. A man that works for the government. And is sent to the town of Rockwell Falls. To learn why the population of the town has stayed at 436 for over 100 years.

He gets to the town and it is like Mayberry come to life. With Fred Durst as a meathead Andy Griffth. Actually honestly Durst does a damn good job as the town Deputy. I haven't heard of him doing any more acting. Which is kind of sad cause his acting is way better than his singing.

Over the course of the films 1 1/2 hour running time we start seeing more and more how the town is just a bit off. Then in the final 20 minutes we learn why the town is so peaceful and why the population has stayed the same for so long.

The film is a nice blending of a mystery and a horror film. And isn't super gory or violent. Hell I am not really sure why it got an R rating. If you know someone that loves a good mystery this is a film they would enjoy.

Population 436 gets a B-.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 090 Clive Barker's Books of Blood 1

TITLE-Clive Barker's Books of Blood 1
AUTHOR-Clive Barker
PRICE-Free,was a gift.

I have owned at least 5 copies of this book. From the various US published paperback editions. To at one time a very nice UK published hardback that contained every volume of the Books of Blood. Well I lost them all over the years. So last year for X-mas I got this UK hardcover as a gift. I love how Barker did the dust jacket artwork.

After an introduction from Ramsey Campbell,we get the first story.

The Book of Blood,where a fake psychic gets attacked by spirits and has a bunch of stories carved into his skin. This is fairly short. And in the final Book of Blood we get a sequel to it. And these 2 stories were the inspiration for a halfway decent film adaptation a few years back.

The Midnight Meat Train,When I first read this story back in the mid 80s I was shocked. It feels like Barker wanted to write a splatterpunk style story. And he wrote a damn good one. Quite a few years ago this story was adapted into a damn good movie.

The Yattering and Jack,Set around X-mas. This is one of Barker's mixtures of horror and comedy. A lower level demon has been assigned to torment Jack. But keeps failing. Pretty sure this was made into an episode of Tales from the Darkside.

Pig Blood Blues,is a fun story set at a bordering school. Which reminds me a bit of Evilspeak.

Sex,Death and Starshine,goes back to Barker's theater roots. And has a nice EC style twist at the ending.

In the Hills,The Cities-My second favorite story in the books of blood. A couple is off in Eastern Europe. They get lost and stumble upon two warring villages. But instead of normal modern warface,the villagers strap themselves into 2 giants.That fight each other.

Clive Barker's Books of Blood 1 gets an A.

Friday, October 23, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 23 Dracula 2000

Dracula 2000
Source-Various Echo Bridge multipacks,really I own 8 copies of this movie thanks to the cheap Echo Bridge movie packs.

I can remember going to see some film in a theater and seeing the Dracula 2000 trailer for the first time. The trailer looked great. And it appeared to have a fun cast. So I went to see it when it came out. Ended up being very disappointed with the movie.

One of Van Helsings decedents has Dracula's body sealed up in silver coffin. Jennifer Esposito allows her shitbag boyfriend and his crew of thieves brake into Van Helsings shop. They see all the security measures put in place cause of the silver coffin. So figuring something that well protected must be very valuable they steal the coffin. And head from the UK to New Orleans with it. During the flight to NOLA one of the thieves,Hyde from That 70's Show,opens up the coffin awakens Dracula. And in the chaos the plane crashes in the swamps outside NOLA.

Honestly this movie is pretty much total shit.Only 3 things make it stand out a bit against all the other modern vampire films. First is the so called "brides of Dracula". They are the three ladies pictured above. I have always thought Jennifer Esposito was a pretty young lady,and Colleen Fitzpatrick AKA Vitamin C is also really pretty. Then there is Jeri Ryan. And I am sure what I am about to say will piss off plenty of Trekkies. But I have never found Ms Ryan to be a good actress or to be that attractive. Sure she has pretty big breasts. But her face looks like someone shaved Gizmo from Gremlins.She has less acting talent than my dead departed dog Peaches. And always has a look on  her face like she thinks she has to fart,but isn't sure if it is a fart or she has to take a shit.The second thing is the male cast of this film. Gerald Butler tries his best as Dracula and does an OK job. Jonny Lee Miller tries really hard in his role,but to me he was only good in one film and that was Hackers. And the final thing from the film that stands out. Is the theory it throws out that Dracula is actually Judas. And the reason why vampires are harmed to silver is because of the 30 pieces of silver Judas was given to betray Jesus. The rest of the film is pretty much your normal late 90s/early 2000s Dimension Films movie.

The only reason I watched this film this year is because of a friend.He is known mostly online as thefuckerfromhell or just Fucker for short. And this is one of his favorite films. So since I own so many copies of it I thought I would give it another chance. And I doubt I ever watch this again. I also own 1 of the 2 sequels to this. But I haven't watched it yet.

Dracula 2000 gets a D-.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 22 Blade Anime series

Blade Anime
Source-Sony Pictures DVD

A few years back on G4 they showed 4 different Marvel comic Anime tv series. Each was 12 episodes long. I am not sure why I didn't watch them when they came out. While I am not a huge anime fan I have enjoyed some of it. And I really liked the Witchblade anime show.

Over the past 2 years I keep finding the 2 disc sets of these Marvel anime tv shows cheap at Dollar General.About 2 weeks ago I was at DG grabbing snacks. Saw they had dropped the price on the Blade anime to $7. I didn't feel like paying that much. But on my way home I saw there was a garage sale near my home. I stopped looked around thinking it was gonna be a bust. Then the husband tells his wife "Go inside get those dvds we bought for the grand kids and they wouldn't watch them cause they said they were too old." She went in and came back out with Thundercats season 1 vol 1 andBl this Blade set. The Blade set was still sealed and they only wanted a buck for it so I took a chance.

In this series Blade is over in the far east. And facing all the different types of vampires that are parts of the various Asian cultures.Which makes for some neat and new vampires for Blade to fight. Deacon Frost is brought back as the lead villain. And at least to me it feels like this anime is set in the same continuity as the first live action film.

Over all the series is decent. The story is nothing special,pretty sure Warren Ellis had something to do with it.But the animation  more than makes up for how average the story is. Done by Madhouse,one of the best anime studios,the animation looks really good for a made for TV show.

One weird quirk about this set I noticed was when you first start the show the audio is in Japanese and the English subtitles are turned on. Cause of my hearing damage I normally keep the subtitles on when watching a film,even if it is in English.And because that first viewing I was more listening to the show than watching it I turned on the English audio. Then I started noticing the English audio and the English subtitles do not match up that often.When I watched the show again today I paid more attention and the subtitles seem to tell the story much better than the English audio.

Blade Anime series gets a C-.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 EXTRA 04 Spider Baby

Sure it isn't the best looking version of the film. But the above video is the full film.

Spider Baby was released in 1968. Directed by Jack Hill.It's two biggest names are a young Sid Haig,and a very old Lon Chaney Jr.

This came out the same year as the horror game changer Night of the Living Dead. And in many ways this film,that was completed a number of years before it was released,pushes the envelope as much as NotLD does in the horror quota.

Chaney Jr is the guardian and driver of what is left of the Merrye family. Which is 3 "kids". Who all look to be mid 20s. They suffer from a rare affliction where once they hit the age of 10 they mentally regress. With Sid Haig being pretty much feral in this movie.

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 021 Trip with Teacher

Trip with Teacher
Source-Gorehouse Greats Collection DVD from Mill Creek

This is part of the handful of rape/revenge horror/thriller movies that came out in the 70s. Coming out in 1975 this is one sleazy ass film.A teacher and a handful of her female students are on a field trip. Going to see some Navajo ruins. On their way their bus breaks down and some bikers offer to help tow the bus.

The bus get towed to an old house and this is when the sleaze begins.Two of the bikers,Al and Pete,start off by raping the the teacher in front of the students. Pete is played by a young Zalman King. Who because of his choice of sunglasses looks like Beautiful Day era Bono from U2.

Trip with Teacher looks like a movie that would be the last film on a triple feature at a late 70s drive in. Sure it is low budget and the script isn't amazing. But it knows what it is. And never strays from that.

Before buying this set I had never even heard of Trip with the Teacher. After watching it,well it isn't anything special. It feels like the only reason this is remembered is because of Zalman King's role as Pete.It is the perfect sleazy drive in film. There is plenty of trashy dialogue. And piles of nudity.

Trip with the Teacher gets a C-.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 020 Stanley

Source-Millcreek Gorehouse Greats Collection DVD

In the 70s there was lots of nature run amok films. Stuff like Grizzly,Jaws and the film I am talking about today.

Our lead is a Native American Nam vet.After coming back from the war he moved into the Florida Everglades and starts training snakes to obey his commands. He also uses the snakes to help the local hospital get anti venom.

So once two poachers start coming into the Everglades,who are also connected to the man our lead suspects of killing his father the shit hits the fan. One of my favorite scenes is when both the poachers are stuck in some quicksand and our lead sends in Stanley to kill them. Stanley  is his favorite snake. And in lots of ways their relationship reminds me of the original Willard film.

I am a bit surprised this film isn't a bigger cult hit. It is full of wacky stuff that normally help  film gain cult status. Just for the scenes of a stripper biting the heads off huge snakes I would think this movie would have a pretty big following.

Before this set came out from Mill Creek,BCI Eclipse released an extras packed version of Stanley.The same print of the film is used for this set. But all the extras are gone. But this was a 12 film set that normally was selling for 5 to 7 bucks.

Stanley gets a C.

Monday, October 19, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 19 The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum
Source-Echo Bridge Midnight Horror DVD

When I was still fairly young I saw the AIP made Vincent Price Pit and the Pendulum film. And I loved it. So when in 90 or 91 I started hearing thru Fangoria magazine that Stuart Gordon was remaking it I wanted to see it. I got lucky and the local video store got in the unrated VHS.I watched it and was very impressed.

Skip ahead now to 2004. I caught a edited for TV airing of the movie on Sci Fi Channel and wanted to get it on DVD. The DVD was out of print. And selling for a bit more than I wanted to pay. I figured one day Full Moon would re-release the DVD.

Skip ahead about 8 more years,I am in my local Walmart waiting for my meds to be filled.So to pass the 30 minutes I had to wait I started digging in the $5 bin. I almost skipped this set. Mostly cause the last few Echo Bridge Midnight Horror sets I had bought were nothing but 2000s era DTV tripe. Then on the bottom of the cover I saw a smaller version of the poster at the top of this post. Thinking there was no way this would be the Stuart Gordon film,I flipped the DVD over and saw that yes it is the Stuart Gordon directed film,but sadly it is the R rated cut. No matter I wanted to see the film bad enough that I was willing to drop $5 for the set.

The plot is fairly simple the town baker's wife is falsely accused of being a witch by Lance Henrikson who plays Torquemada.So she get tortured and her husband seeks revenge. From what I can remember it seems the more sexualized violence is what got the most cuts in this R rated version. Even though with the cuts the film still pushes what you could get away with in an R rated film in the early 90s.

The FX work all looks to be practical FX work. And it is really well done practical FX work. For a Full Moon produced film this has a damn good cast. You got Lance as the lead villain. Plus Jeffery Combs and the late Tom Towels as supporting cast.

Besides it being the R rated cut the only other drawback is this version is full frame. Pretty sure by 91 Full Moon had either ended it relationship with Paramont or it was about to end.I doubt this played more than 20 theaters. And I have no idea what it's OAR is suppose to be. But this full frame version doesn't look like it is framed wrong or missing any major picture info.

The Pit and the Pendulum gets a B.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 018 Office Killer

Office Killer
Source-Echo Bridge Midnight Horror DVD

This is a mid 90s Miramax thriller/horror film. Carol Kane has worked in this one office since she was in her late teens. Jeanne Tripplehorn is her boss and Molly Ringwald is one of her co-workers. To save money the company installs a computer in Kane's home and she can now work from home. But all isn't right. Kane's father died when she was young. In a car accident that also paralyzed her mother.

As the film goes we get to see Kane progressively get crazier and crazier. And also learn that she was the cause of the car wreck that killed her dad.

I have always liked Carol Kane since first seeing her on Taxi. Jeanne Tripplehorn to me is a very under rated actress who does really good at dramatic roles. And while I was never big into the John Hughs 80s movies with Molly Ringwald,I have found her post Hughs work to be really good. She is great as the bitchy co worker that trashes everyone behind their backs.

There is a bit of gore in some of the kills. And the film really feels like part of the early 90s "Fill in the blank from hell" IE  The Hand that Rocks the cradle is the nanny from hell. Single White Female is the Roommate from hell. And Office Killer is the Co-worker from hell.

Since this pack is 8 films spread over 2 dvds for $5 it is worth paying that much just for Office Killer. And there is at least 2 other good movies in this pack.

Office Killer gets a C.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 089 Great Monsters of the Movies

TITLE-Great Monsters of the Movies
AUTHOR-Robert K Davidson
PRICE-25 cents

Back when I was in elementary school I looked forward to the book fairs each year. And almost every year they would have a new book similar to this one. Small paperback book that covered various horror/monster films from the pre-70s era. This book is from 1978.And I found it at one of the local libraries booksales.

After a decent introduction Mr Davidson has 4 chapters. Each about a different type of monster. Up first is a 20 odd page chapter on the Frankenstein Monster.With half those pages being made up of pretty decent pictures. He covers all the Universal Frankenstein movies plus a few of the non-Universal ones.

Chapter 2 is titled Creatures of the Night. Which of course means vampires,but also includes mummies and zombies. Once again half the pages are for pictures.

The third chapter is men that change into monsters. So we get Dr Jekyll,Phantom of the Opera,Dr Phibes,Werewolves,The Fly and final the beastmen from Island of lost souls.And again half of the chapter is pictures.

Our final chapter is all about aliens and creatures from another world. Which on the first page of the chapter it contradicts cause it is talking about King Kong.From there we get the original The thing,lots of alien based films and even the Creature from the Black lagoon.

Back when I was a kid books like this were some of my favorites. I must have had at least 10 of them. But now thanks to the internet and other changes they are just a quaint antiquity of the past.

With the book only being 130 pages it was a very quick read. And I mostly grabbed it cause of the memories it brought back.

Great Monsters of the Movies gets a 2.97 outta 5.

31 Days of Horror 2015 EXTRA 03 Gore Shriek comic book series

 Ahh Gore Shriek the comic book that every reader of Fangoria in the mid to late 80s wanted to read. I use to stare for hours at the ads for this b/w indy horror anthology comic from FantaCo. But being a young teen and having to be 18 or older to order the book,well I never got to get a copy back then.

Every con I would hit I would look for copies but no one would have them for sale. Then the summer after I graduated high school a record/used cd store opened up 2 towns over.Besides all the music stuff the owner had 8 short boxes of random comics. They were 2 bucks each or 15 for $10.While waiting on someone to figure out which "import" White Zombie CD they were gonna buy,the store had a huge selection of bootleg concert CDs. All labeled as imports,and all of them being $30 a pop.I started digging thru the longboxes.Seeinng if I could find 15 comics I wanted.It was the oddest selection of titles. You would have like 10 issues of Peter David's then current Hulk run,followed by an issue of Alan Moore's Miracleman,followed by a mid 70s Whitman/Gold Key Super Goof. Well so far all I had found that I wanted was 2 issues of V for Vendetta,and one of those colorized Judge Dredd reprints from Eagle.Then I saw the below cover.

 So now I had to find 11 more books. But finally after 5 or 6 years I had gotten an issue of Gore Shriek.I quickly grabbed enough comics to get the 15 for $10 deal. Went to the counter paid for my stuff. Then asked the owner if it was OK if while waiting on my ride to finish getting stuff if I could sit on the floor near the front and read my new comics. He had no probem with this.I quickly took the tape off the flap of the bag,for me unless it is a comic worth more than 100 bucks and one I am not gonna be reading often I never put a piece of tape to hold the flap of the bag down,and started to read Gore Shriek volume 1 issue 3.

 And what a nice gory treat it was. I got a front cover and a back cover from Chas Balun. Who not only ran one of the best horror magazines ever,Deep Red,but was a good artist and writer.He also wrote and drew the story Hell to Pay. And there was 3 other stories. Mall Rats written by Bill Townsend and art by Greg Capullo,this had to be the first time I had seen Capullo's work.Rain which was written and drawn by Rolf Stark.And the final story Idle Hands which has Bruce Spaulding Fuller handling the story and art.

 Months later I turned 18 and could now order issues straight from Fantaco. But I also joined the Army and kind of got out of reading comics for a bit.So issue 3 was the only one I had.

 Years pass.I was at my local mall,oddly enough waiting on the guy from the used CD store,but this time he was trying to figure out which Pantera shirt he wanted. I see they are having a general antique/collectibles show going on in the mall. Various booths are set up  and I notice one guy has at least 40 longboxes of comics.I start looking thru one box,noticing that nothing is priced and I see no sign saying prices,and ask him what he is charging. "Well depends on how many you want to buy. They are a quarter each,but spend at least 10 bucks and I can knock it down to 10 cents each.After scanning 3 longboxes I saw I could find more than enough to hit 10 bucks worth. By the time my buddy had picked out his shirt,I had talked the guy into selling me a longbox of comics for $40.And I don't know about yall but I can stuff 500 or so comics into a longbox. One of the  many comics I got was the above pictured issue. Gore Shriek Vol 2 #1.

 But enough on how I found 2 issues of this kind of now obscure comic. How about some history of it. Fantaco was a company that sold posters,vhs,and anything else horror related.The story I have heard if Chas Balum after he had started the Deep Red magazine,which was a huge seller for Fantaco,talked them into doing a b/w comic book. Now Gore Shriek never really had a set schedule. As in it didn't come out say every 2 months or whatever. Issues came out at random. With sometimes a long wait between them.
There was two series of Gore Shriek. The first that started in 1986,lasted 6 regular issues and a limited 6.5 issue,and ended in 1989 with the aforementioned 6.5 issue. The long waits I mentioned mostly happened in this series. Issue 1 came out in 86 and issue 2 wasn't on stands until 1988. Series 2 started in 1990 and we got 3 issues,an annual and a 2.5 issue.

Since finding that issue at the used CD store I have always been on the look out for issues at comic shops and other stores. Call me weird but with certain comics I want to find them "in the wild".Instead of just going on Ebay and getting them.Part of it is I like to support mom and pop stores. And comic shops and flea markets are mom and pop as you can be. Another part of it is I like the thrill of the hunt. And finally I like keeping a list of uncommon comics,stuff that odds are decent I might find copies in a comic shop.I have an almost complete run of Gore Shriek. From the first series I am only missing 6.5.Which you could only buy direct from Fantaco or if you ran into one of the artist featured in the issue at a con or a comic shop signing. At two different comic shops I have left my number with the owners in case someone comes in wanting to sell a copy of this issue.

 With series 2 of Gore Shriek.All I have ever found is issue 1 and Annual 1.I hear that this series had much smaller print runs. I have seen an old ad where issue 2.4 was selling for $20.

So if anyone reading this has any of the issues I mentioned I do not own. Wants to sell them,and doesn't want stupid prices for them please leave a comment.

 The series,well the issues I have read,is damn good. If you like gory horror and don't mind b/w artwork this is the series for you. Plus starting with issue 3 or so of the original series each issue you get 1 or 2 fairly long essays on various horror topics. Like the history of horror in the underground comix written by Rick Veitch. Or this really good piece on the history of the horror/monster magazine. So there is stuff for both the gorehound and the horror historian.
So next time you are in your local comic shop look and see if they have any copies of Gore Shriek. If so and they aren't wanting stupid prices for them,I wouldn't pay more than 5 for most issues and maybe 10 for a few,buy them.