Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Doctor's Regeneration Week: Castrovalva

Howdy all and welcome back to Day 3 of Doctor’s Regeneration Week and once again we will bounce through the years in a completely different direction as we take a look at the end of the 8 years of Tom Baker’s standing as the Doctor.  So let’s take a glance at Dr. Who: Castrovalva.

Hmm not as much fun as the how to book claimed it to be.

The Doctor: I am the Doctor or rather I will be if this spoiler works out.

After averting all entropy of the known universe and jumpstarting existence with the equivalent of the big bang, thwarting the Master’s plans and plummeting almost 600 feet to the ground all looked lost for the Doctor (Tom Baker of Doctor Who, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Black-Adder II, The Silver Chair, Selling Hitler, Cluedo, Medics and Dungeons & Dragons) when his on growing crew of the TARDIS comes to his aid, finding it is over for him in this life and regenerates in front of their eyes and they are astounded as this particular capability was not mentioned to them. 

Performance over the top?? There is NO SUCH THING!

The young lad Adric (Matthew Waterhouse of To Serve Them All My Days, Doctor Who and The Killing Edge) a mathematical genius hailing from the planet Alazarius in a parallel univers of E-Space.  Tegan (Janet Fielding of Hammer House of Horror, Shelley, Minder, Doctor Who and Hold the Back Page) an aspiring flight attendant of Air Australia and lastly Nyssa (Sarah Sutton of Alice Through the Looking Glass, Late Call, The Moon Stallion, The Crucible, Doctor Who and Unnatural Pursuits) daughter of the consul of the Traken Union whose father’s life force was abducted by the Master as a means to regenerate himself.

In his act of rebelling over his previous life the Doctor (Peter Davison of The Tomorrow People, Love for Lydia, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, At Home with the Braithwaites, Distant Shores, and Law & Order: UK) ransacks the old wardrobe closet for something appropriate to match the new him.  Mentally he needs time to cope with his new parameters that is his body.   After a near stroke from previous lives, insurmountable information on technology, cultures and languages, the Doctor feels it best to relax his mind in the Zero Room a healing chamber allowing him recovery time while all three of the companions attempt to pilot the TARDIS but find that they are travelling at a rapid rate to a time and destination known only as Event One.

 Trapped by the diabolical Master in what will be the Big Bang, Tegan and Nyssa scoop up the Doctor from his healing trance in order to get the TARDIS operating at a normal speed through time and space.  The usage of the word normal in that sentence was one previously uncharted.   Unfortunately in his haste to make the TARDIS transverse normally he had to eject   ¼ of the TARDIS to reduce mass and speed and regrettably the Zero Room was in that ¼ ejected. 
Honestly though, 15 corridors just to get to the bathroom.

Tegan goes through the star charts to find a subtle planet for the Doctor to rest on and they make their way to the Dwellings of Simplicity on Castrovalva.   But the girls realize that Adric has been missing for some time, the world they have landed on is straight out of a M.C. Esher and they may all be in great danger.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Doctor's Regeneration Week:The Power of the Daleks

Hey there kids and welcome back to Day 2 of Doctor’s Regeneration Week and as promised from last blog I am jumping back into the first regeneration ever and its reason why.  The very first Doctor William Hartnell of While Parents Sleep, Nothing Like Publicity, They Drive by Night, Too Dangerous to Live and They Came by Night was suffering from arteriosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries) making it difficult to say lines and often quite winded after the physicality required of running about.  So the producer Verity Lambert suggested the Doctor is an alien why not have him renew himself with a different body and thus the series was saved.   Hartnell even suggested Patrick Trouton (Hamlet, Doctor Who, Scars of Dracula, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and The Omen) as a possible Doctor.  Without more fanfare this is Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks.

Dandruff shampoo!...not working!!!

Hensell: Now look here- I run this Colony. I’m entitled to know why you have come to Spoiler? What is your brief?
The Doctor: I am the Examiner.
Hensell: Why are you here?
The Doctor: To examine. And I intend to start my examination at once!

After defusing the Z-Bomb, being exposed to radiation and tiring his body completely out the Doctor strolls into the TARDIS telling both Ben and Polly this old body is a bit worn down then collapses on the floor.  In replace of the cantankerous grump with a heart of gold lays a younger man who bounds upward and babbles profusely about the Doctor, his collection and discoveries.  Ben and Polly both are startled that this man seems different than the Doctor they have come to know pulling them out of scrapes and danger but try their level best to inform him of who he is.  The Doctor starts reading vigorously through his own journal taking in all the accounts and tales of woe and triumph in the journal when the TARDIS comes out of flight has landed some time ago. 

Yes, a mercury filled swamp is ideal for a picnic.

The Doctor feels like a stroll and proceeds to head out with Ben and Polly in hot pursuit.
Finding themselves on Earth Colony Vulcan they move about looking at the technology and see a ship that is being unearthed (or unvulcaned) holding three complete Daleks.   The Doctor warns Hensell to leave them where they are but he will hear nothing of it as the Daleks promise to be subservient to Vulcan.   Quicker than you can scream, “This is a dreadful mistake and you are best to walk away, now.” The Daleks loose the benevolent ways and right back into the genocidal tendencies of extermination all things not Dalek.   Yes I am sure a few Whovians saw that maneuver coming more than a light year away.

 Polly, Ben and the Doctor must come up with a plan to defeat the Daleks and save Earth Colony Vulcan before the Daleks can send word back to their empire on Skaro.  Can they manage with all the madness or will they themselves become servants of the Daleks?   Oh go and watch it.   It is a great episode!

Either we exterminate these drapes or I am leaving...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Doctor's Regeneration Week: Twin Dilemma

Welcome to Day 1 of Doctor’s Regenerations Week.  I will be skipping around throughout the years and reincarnations if you will just to give you folks a bit of a headache or possibly just a slight case of heartburn but I will be succinct as humanly possible.  In this episode particularly we get to see a completely different Doctor not merely just in body but also spirit so check the atmosphere,  try to not get separated and for crying out loud fix that chameleon circuit this is Doctor Who: Twin Dilemma.
So which one of us will be Horton then?

The Doctor: I am a living spoiler to the universe!

Moments from dying of Spectrox formula the Doctor (Peter Davison of Doctor Who, Anna of the Five Towns, Mystery!: Campion, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries and The Last Detective) managed to crash land a large vessel, free its captors and come up with an antidote for the Spectrox poison that both he and his companion Peri (Nicola Byrant of Doctor Who, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, More Than a Messiah Holby City and Doctors) were to perish.  As always, he tended to her first only to die from the poison and was regenerated in the process.  Peri regains consciousness and tries to rouse the Doctor when he changes before her eyes.

Elsewhere in the universe a pair of identical twins computate formulae to the likes that have not been seen before.  Their complex calculations would provide a means for immeasurable power on a catastrophic level.   The power to collapse a sun and use that energy as you see fit.   The possibilities are mind boggling as these young lads are kidnapped by a former Timelord, Edgeworth (Maurice Denham of Animal Farm, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Day of the Jackal and 84 Charing Cross Road) in order to save the people he cares for.

No, I did not spill salt in your way and that will be the last of it!

The Doctor proceeds to change his wardrobe and is annoyed of Peri’s prattling on as he puts it and explains that he is quite happy with his change as his previous life was a load of rubbish and nicety.  Peri defends his former self in explaining he was nice and thoughtful and the Doctor not fully in control of his faculties, attempts to throttle her.   Hey I think we have all been there at least once.

The twins have been concealed on a dilapidated asteroid known as Titan 3 which by a strange coincidence the Doctor feels he must now go to as well in order to purify these sudden outbursts of deranged rage.   I thought he could just expel Peri out into space just as easily too but hey my opinion clearly did not matter in the course of this seemingly innocent plot device.

Soon the young ones find that their equations are being put to use by an order of ancient beings evolved from the common gastropod (slug) for the survival of the species.

I think you need to hit Radio Shack for a new rabbit ears set.

The Doctor and Peri find the wreckage of a star vessel and find a young pilot who joins them in pursuit of the twins but all the while the Doctor seems very out of sorts from being brilliant one moment, petulant the next and finally a degree of cowardice.  As it is with every regeneration, it takes the Doctor a few to regain his space and time legs.

Doctor's Regeneration Week

Howdy folks and welcome back to this madcap blog.  I thought I would tackle some more of Doctor Who given the impending 50th Anniversary celebration on its way.  This time around I will be focused on the stories leading up to or directly after one of the Doctor’s lives is spent.  So with that in mind I welcome you to The Doctor’s Regeneration Week!

For those that are not aware of this particular aspect of the Doctor, as a Timelord they can cheat death by rearranging all the atoms in their body giving them a chance at another life.  The only reason why the Doctor has little to no control over this simple and basic Timelord ability is he didn’t pay attention in his university classes as a young cadet of 325 years of age.

From a

to a bit of a dandy!

Friday, October 25, 2013


Thanks to the magic of DC Artist this almost looks professional.   For those that need a great graphic artist to make you a decent logo for work, blogging or heck an original T-shirt design.  Head on over to You will be glad you did.  I know I sure am!

Even Number Star Trek Movie Week: Star Trek: First Contact

Back again boys and girls to round out our Even Number Star Trek Week and I had a few issues with this particular movie but all will be explained momentarily.  Moving beyond the original cast this film would be the second of the Next Generation crowd so prepare yourselves for absolutely no racial slurs about green blooded hobgoblins and such.  So strap yourselves in, prep that Steppenwolf CD and blast past the moon.  This is Star Trek: First Contact.

Yes Data, the movies revolve around us...what's your point?
Cmdr. Riker: We finished our first sensor sweep of the neutral zone.
Captain Picard: Oh, fascinating. Twenty particles of spoiler dust per cubic meter, 52 ultraviolet radiation spikes, and a class-2 comet. Well, this is certainly worthy of our attention.

Jean Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart of Dune, Excalibur, Gunmen, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Conspiracy Theory and X-Men) awakes from a nightmare that makes him relive his assimilation into the Borg six years prior. Starfleet contacts him priority channel letting him know that a Borg attack is incurring along the borders and their destination will allow them to reach Earth in record time.  And rather than have the flag ship of the Federation there at the ready, Starfleet orders Enterprise to the Neutral Zone along the Romulan region of space in the unlikely event they may join the Borg in this attack. 

Resistance is futile. Every orifices will be probed!

The communications chatter points out the Federation is losing so Picard and the Enterprise crew disobeys orders and joins in the fight.  In the nick of time the Enterprise is able to save the crew of USS Defiant commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Worf (Michael Dorn of CHiPs, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Gargoyles, Fallout 2, Cow and Chicken and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and he takes up his former place at tactical.  The fleet under the command of Picard fends off the Borg but not before they open a time portal (plot device) and the Enterprise follows after them.  The Borg have changed the past before Starfleet could be created and the valiant crew has to put things right.

Meeting the very creator of the Warp travel Dr. Cochcran (James Cromwell of L.A. Confidential, The Green Mile, Babe, Spider-Man 3, Six Feet Under and A Lonely Place for Dying) our trekkers need make sure the doctor is safe for his first contact with an alien species that will aid humanity unite and create the uptopia of Earth…but get portrayed in Enterprise as swaggering know-it-alls.

Gasp! It's Loctus of Bald!

I’ve just a few reasons I did not immediately love this film.  Picard in the films is almost a separate entity from his personality in the series.  More the space cowboy of Kirk’s standing and while that makes for better film experience it really detracts from the character.   No Wesley Crushers allowed to even make an appearance but hey apparently there was bile and hatred of the only teen in space that was never allowed to be human and screw up more often.  This was also Jonathan Frakes’ first film directorial debuted aside from episodes of the Next Generation and overall was a smash hit aside from some nitpicking on fans’ behalf.  All in all this is an enjoyable film.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Even Number Star Trek Movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Back again trekkers and welcome to Day 3 of Even Trek Movie Week and I feel this is a bit underrated as a Star Trek film.  Admittedly I may have been one of those nay sayers…well I am copping to it.  So let’s break out the Romulan Ale, quote Shakespeare and find out what it is all about.  This is Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Reservations for three please.

Captain Spock: Logic, logic logic.  Logic is the beginning of spoiler, Valeris, not the end.

More than 70 years the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been trading blows, insults and the destruction of their collective fleets. From border disputes, planetary conquests thwarted and out and out space battles this struggle has spanned generations.  The U.S.S. Excelsior is on patrol near the Neutral Zone with Captain Sulu (George Takei of Star Trek, Batman Beyond and Kim Possible) witnesses firsthand a major gravimetric explosion of the nearby moon of Praxus, the Klingon mining operation and they were told to mind their own affair. 


Cut to a main chamber of Starfleet Intelligence meeting in under way and the senior staff of the Enterprise has been dragged in session?  Kirk who had been demoted before the Final Frontier is looking to retire after 3 months and is informed that in 50 years time the ozone layer around Kronos (Klingon Homeworld) will be bathed in solar radiation and due to the massive amount of expenses wasted on their expanding military budgets, they have no means of repairing this damage let alone fending off its effects.  The Empire must ask for help. 

Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner of Time After Time, Time Bandits, The Omen, Tron and Doctor Who) and Captain Spock have been in conference for months now and they both concur that peace talks need to be held in order for the survival of the Klingon people.  Captain Kirk has been tasked with escorted the Chancellor and his party to the summit.  With a long standing hatred of the Klingons, Kirk is reluctant to trust or chance his instincts he has honed over the years.  Is this an end to the onslaught of battle with each other or merely some breathing space so they can rebuild and slaughter them all in their sleep or enslave them outright?  

These feelings aside, the Enterprise must embark on one last mission until…the Chancellor’s vessel is struck by a photon torpedo rupturing the hull and causing more than a few deaths.   With the Enterprise being the only ship in the quadrant and is on the hook for the damage to the battle cruiser and the possible murders within.   Kirk and McCoy go to the ship in order to save the Chancellor only to have him die on the very table he was lain on.  Under Empire law the two are immediately whisked away to trial for Gorkon’s assassination.  But if this was not orchestrated by Kirk…then who did it?
Bet you can't see the strings.

This one requires a meerschaum pipe and a deerstalker hat to figure out what is going on, is there a conspiracy to sabotage the peace talks and who stands to gain from it all??

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Even Number Star Trek Movie Week: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Welcome back Trekkers and I do apologize for yesterday’s lack of blog but do to a herniated disk I was kind of down yesterday.  Let’s play another rousing game of “RECAP”.  When last we left our heroes, Spock was rescued from the clutches of death, Klingons were being jackasses and Kirk battered up his ship yet again…So returning to Vulcan with Spock the crew spend 3 months there so Spock can be mentally sound again before they face their charges of mutiny, piracy and disobeying the Prime Directive.  Without further adieu, this is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Damn Skype.  Is this working now?

Kirk: Spock, where the hell’s that spoiler you promised me?
Spock: One damn minute, Admiral.

After sacrificing the Enterprise that was almost scuttled and ready for decommission anyway, Kirk and crew manage to kill almost entire Klingon Bird of Prey agglomeration, nick it and take off to Vulcan all to save Spock and McCoy.  They must journey back to Starfleet headquarters in beautiful San Fran…CISCOOOOOOOOO…. um to face the charges they have committed and accept whatever punishment comes their way.   On the way there an alien probe proceeds to disrupt almost all technology on Earth firing some sort of audio modulation in the deepest of oceans.  To what purpose no one on Earth knows.

Sir, the Star Babies are attacking after 400 years!

Spock has a theory after researching the sounds for a bit coming to the conclusion that it is the exact same sound a Humpback whale makes; which species is now extinct in the 23rd century due to whaling not being outlawed.   Spock begins to calculate a slingshot maneuver the Bird of Prey will have to take around the sun in order to travel back into a time line where these whales exist, snag a few and have them speak on behalf of the planet.  Easy peasy, right?

Our gallant crew land in San Francisco in barbaric time of 1986.  These savages still have fossil fuel based vehicles, carry firearms and even swear.  Soldiering through this Dark Age, Kirk and Spock find a pair of Humpback whales in the Sausalito Institute.   They join a tour group led by Dr. Gillian (Catherine Hicks of Peggy Sue Got Married, Child’s Play and 7th Heaven) who is avid in the survival of the whales and is against whaling for the blubber and oils for perfume, skin cream and cologne.    Yes the evils of across the pond and Mary Kay is in full swing demanding the heads of these noble creatures.

I have a quick couple of notes for this movie.  This would be Leonard Nimoy’s second time at bat for directing film after the success of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock which netted Paramount a cool $76 million on a 17 million picture.  Not too shabby, eh?  Nimoy along with writers Harve Bennett (Mod Squad, The Invisible Man, Riding with Death and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Steve Meerson (Back to the Beach, Double Impact and Anna and the King), Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Sommersby, Voices and Fall from the Sky) and Peter Krikes (Back to the Beach, Double Impact and Anna and the King) colluded together to flesh out this story and offer their collective tidbits to an entertaining film that the CGI generation would sneer at the blue screen effects and scale models.  To which I say, don’t like it, well no one is forcing you to watch it.

Read the Tek series, people. I worked hard on it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Even Number Star Trek Week: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

Hey there readers and welcome to Even Number Star Trek Movie Week.  The title kinda gives the idea away but for those of you doing whippets I will explain.  The concept behind this week is most Trekkies feel the odd number films were too long, dull or baffling on how it even got made.  One thing the trekkers agree on is that the even number movies were enjoyable and memorable.  So with that in mind I take you back to the far away time of 1982 continuation of an episode 24 in first season of the Original Series known as Space Seed.   So grab your road warrior apparel, juice up on those roids and dare to be superior.  This is Star Trek II: Wrath of KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!

Still tending to that Pon Far issue, Captain Spock?

Kirk: Khan, you spoiler. You’re going to have to do your own dirty work now! Do you hear me?! Do you?

Stardate: 15 years after the success of Space Seed, we catch up with the crew of the Enterprise after the mishaps of the Motion Picture, the loss of its commanding officer Captain Decker (Stephen Collins of All the President’s Men, 7th Heaven and Blood Diamond) and the newly promoted Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy of Gunsmoke, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Star Trek Into The Darkness) with an inexperienced crew and senior staff of the original series.   Admiral Kirk (William Shatner of Dr. Kildare, Incubus, Impulse, Barbary Coast and 3rd Rock From the Sun) is doing a routine inspection of the Enterprise after its repair and refit from the V’ger incident to see the performance and that they are ready for the field. 

Hailing COOOOOOOMMMMSS open, Captain. Oh my.

Light years away a group of scientists led by Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch of The Day After, Steel Magnolias and Tremors) are developing a project called Genesis to bring life to dead planets.  As the U.S.S. Reliant is done with their progress update and recon they find a distress beacon on the outer system and go and investigate.  

Oh get up! I think one of you is sitting on Tattoo!

Captain Terrel (Paul Winfield of Damnation Alley, The Terminator, Presumed Innocent and Mar Attacks) and First Officer Chekov (Walter Koeing of Star Trek, Moontrap, Babylon 5 and War of Heaven) go to investigate only to encounter the former crew of genetically engineered humans of the Botany Bay led by Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban of Battleground, Mystery Street, Fantasy Island, The Colbys and Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams) who holds Kirk responsible for the planet they were marooned on this wasteland of a planet being ruined by their neighboring one exploding.

 Khan and his crew seize the Reliant and could have left for planets unexplored and ripe for conquer but Khan wants both the Genesis project as a weapon and Kirk’s head on a pike.  He’s old school like that.

The crew of the Enterprise must deal with a madman they so long ago forgot and must put an end to his diabolical schemes for the sake of all creation.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one after all.

So none of you used the crews' showers?? 

Even Number Star Trek Movie Week

So I was racking my brain on some Science Fiction this week when it dawned on me I have never touched base with Star Trek from TV or Film and that is actually surprising.  The mere possibility that somehow I have not spoken or written a single nuance of this amazing series that spawned 5 spin-off series, 9 movies of the Original and Next Generation series, two reboots as well a plethora of video games, RPG , board and card games.

Men can wear girdles too Lieutenant!

This prodigy of TV Science Fiction has spanned the generation gap for many, the stories have enriched us and some...well some are Spock's Brain but hey it was still a fun episode.   With that in mind I think that many can agree that the even number Star Trek films DO NOT SUCK.  We shall explore this notion together so get ready to do the bridge shimmy, tilt your camera and for God's sake be careful with that model.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Horror of 1970 Week: Count Yorga, Vampire

Welcome back to the madhouse kids for Day 4 of Horror of 1970 Week and say what horror week would be without a good vampire movie and trust me this is nothing like a good vampire movie.   So grab your crosses, snag gallons of holy water and grab a lot of sharp pointy stakes.  This is Count Yorga, Vampire.

I come from your Techicolor Nightmares!!

Count Yorga: Doctor Hayes, what an unexpected spoiler.

Our story opens with my most favorite thing in the world…narration.  Relax; it is not a Uwe Boll film.  A truck is loaded up at the Port of Los Angeles and whisked away to a gated mansion up in the California Hills and its cargo is revealed to be a coffin. BUM BUM BUM!!!!  The hostess of said manor Donna (Donna Anders of Laredo, The Arrangement, Dream No Evil and Werewolves on Wheels) has invited her nearest and dears to a séance in the hopes to contacting her dead mother.  Not exactly certain why she is bothering the dead but maybe there was a typo in the will.  In order to prepare for this séance the party is lead by the unfathomable Count Yorga (Reggie Nalder of Perry Mason, Madhouse, Dr.  Phibes Rises Again, Rapid Assault, Jungle Boy and Dear Santa), a renowned psychic from Bulgaria to perform the channeling but Donna is disturbed during the proceedings and Yorga uses hypnosis calm her nerves.  The party breaks up and Donna’s friends Erica (Judy Lang of Dr. Kildare, The Trip, The Psycho Love and Count Yorga, Vampire) and Paul (Michael Murphy of Manhattan, Batman Returns, The Island, Magnolia, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Bridge) offer to drive the Count home to his own posh mansion.  

Psst. Debbie, can I borrow your conditioner?

Shortly after dropping off Yorga, Paul cannot seem to restart his van outside the mansion (must have ran out of gas. Wink wink) and the two opt to spend the night in the van.  Naturally this leads to diddling each other in the van as Yorga plays spying Torgo outside then attacks them both.  The next day Paul cannot recall their attacker and Erica doesn’t seem to even remember the attack one bit.   Erica visits with her doctor James Hayes (Roger Perry of Arrest and Trial, The Thing with Two Heads, The Elf Who Saved Christmas, Dirty Love and Wreckage) about this mysterious bite marks at her throat.  Unable to proper diagnose the cause of her being listless he notices she is also minus a pint or two and prescribes her a high protein diet and some bed rest.  OMG, that will go right to her hips.   Ahem…moving right along Hayes contacts both Paul and Michael (Michael Macready of Something Evil, Terror House and Rescue from Gilligan’s Island) to hold a pow wow and discuss how this could have occurred when they walk in on Erica having a snack…her pet kitten to be exact.  To add to the wacky Erica threatens to destroy the menfolk but then attempt to seduce Paul before breaking down.   Could vampirism be the key to Erica’s plight and who would be the dastardly monster responsible?

I’ve got just a few more notes on this film.  There are truckloads of nudity and sex scenes due to hypnotism and vampiric nature so this is definitely not for the kiddies.  The film feels rushed and conclusions are made a bit too early but the film attempts to be taken seriously even if you, the viewer find it a bit laughable.   The print I was watching had more lines than a renaissance faire porta-potty stalls after the turkey leg didn’t agree with you.  The police as always with these films are depicted as incompetents and leave our heroes on their own and pacing of the film seems to just vary from slow and steady to a crescendo of action and hand held work.  Good film for the chuckles but not one to log on your horror shelf.

I swear I heard something.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Horror of 1970 Week: The Werewolf Vs the Vampire Woman

Hi there kids and welcome back to Day 3 of Horror of 1970 Week and again I want to apologize for Mark of the Devil, I also was not prepared for that level of Eurohorror.  Today is a total different story as seen from the absurd title alone so grab your silver bullets, prep a flame thrower and get some garlic.  This is The Werewolf Vs the Vampire Woman.

Hey, do I have anything in my teeth?

Beware of the moon, for it brings spoilers in the night!!

Journey into the realms and recesses of the mind of writer Paul Naschy (Seven Murders for Scotland Yard, The Mummy’s Revenge, The Man with the Severed Head, Curse of the Devil, Vengeance of the Zombies, Devil’s Possessed, House of Psychotic Women and Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood) a Spainard warped by the love of Universal horror movies, Hammer films and comic books such as Eerie Tales and Tales From the Crypt causing him to write more than 40 different movies for Spanish and Eurohorror films as well as produce and direct.  With his very dark humor and satire he brings an unusual blend of unintentional comedy with his horror and vice versa.  Mixed with director Leon Kilmovsky (Desert Warrior, Leap to Fame, Django, a Bullet for You, Vengeance of the Zombies, The Dracula Saga and Devil’s Possessed) the two have worked hand in hand trying to push the horror envelope without a huge budget to work with.   As for our movie this is a continuation of the title: Fury of the Wolf Man.

Necking takes a new meaning.

A now dead werewolf, Count Wladermar Daninsky (writer PaulNaschy) slays the two doctors performing an autopsy on him after removing the silver bullets from his heart.  Well that is gratitude for ya.  Heading back to his ancestral home, the disheveled Count hides and manages to look civilized.

Making their way across the French countryside (which is shot in Madrid) two students and friends Elvira (Gaby Fuchs of Girimm’s Fairy Tales for Adults, As You Like It, Die Geisha and Tatort) and Genevieve (Barbara Capell of Lolita, The Love Mad Baroness, All Kitties Go for Sweeties and Madame Pompadour) explore the lands and stop at a foreboding castle and go in to visit only to be greeted by our Count who feels the need to tell the tale of a forgotten vampiric countess that ruled these lands in the 13th century.  Yeah that is a different ice breaker.  Rarely do I take people around the house and tell them about a possible double homicide.

So intrigued by these tales of sin and debauchery that the girls go and investigate the tomb of Countess Nadasdy (Patty Shepard of Glass Ceiling, My Dear Killer, Hannah, Queen of the Vampires, Ella and Edge of the Axe) Elvira accidently resurrects the countess causing Daninsky to morph into the wolfman to do battle with the countess.

I had just a few comments on the film.  Now given budget wise this B movie has good pacing, excellent sets and even good lighting and camera work.  Given their timeline and lack of deadline this movie did the very level best that it could on a shoestring budget.  The only real annoying aspect of it was the English dubbing was a bit painful to hear but watching it in Spanish with subtitles gave it almost an art quality. 

Join us!.. we have cookies.

Take my advice people, skip the dubbed version.  Yes there is a fair amount of blood given well gee it is a werewolf/vampire movie but it is actually tastefully done.  There is brief nudity so the fellas will be thrilled of course but all in all it was pretty fun and I dare you to not laugh at the first appearance of the terrifying lycanthrope.  I spat up my drink and sniggered for a few.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Horror of 1970 Week: Mark of the Devil

What’s goin’ on kiddies?  Back again for Day 2 of the psychofunkadelic Horror of 1970 Week and I gots to warn you all, this one is a bit over the top.   Yeah I know I have said that before but frankly it was a bit stomach turning so as always I am giving the heads up. Dig?   So let’s get caught up in some witchcraft, enjoy an outdoor cookout i.e. witch trial and not to disturb the eternal beast.  This is Mark of the Devil.

Medieval dentistry.

Albino: I accuse you of having trampled on the cross, of having ridden to the Sabbath, of throwing the Holy Cross of our Savior into spoiler so the that the skies grew dark, and the rain fell upon the earth!!

Yes boys and girls, this one again random choice fell to an infamous titled film.  In the 18th century hailed in Austria witch hunters roam the countryside reading to accuse any strong willed woman that refuses these simple minded gits of being the Devil’s pawn.  One such witch hunter Albino (Reggie Nadler of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Felini’s Casanova, Zoltaan: Hound of Dracula and Salem’s Lot) struts and preens about the village instilling terror of the merest possibility of being viewed as a witch.  It is only rumored amongst the villagers that he tortures the accused with hot pokers, lashes and possibly removes the tongue from their heads. 

I just want your um I mean save your soul.

He is but a mere foot soldier to the Grand Inquisitor Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom of Spartacus, Count Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Dark Places and Ten Little Indians) who is instilled by the Crown to take jurisdiction for the witch trials is also instructing his young nephew Count Christian von Meruh (Udo Kier of Johnny Mnemonic, Blade, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Barb Wire and Modern Vampires) who behaves as a courtly gentleman in every sense of the word takes a shine to a lovely lady that was falsely accused to burn at the stake.   Christian proceeds to spy on the good Lord Cumberland only to find out that the witch trials is nothing more than a land grab scheme, an accumulation of vast riches and being able to have his way with the farmers’ daughters. 

I’ve just a quick few more warnings offhand about the film. With the standing of fascism taking full swing, it is my belief the point of this film was to bash the fear mongers of the time and point out how Lord Aton was correct in absolute power corrupts absolutely.   Very similar how Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was a bit sneer at the Red Scare era of the 1950’s and that being said…dear God I really wished I skipped this film.  Our opening credits have nuns being violated, the rack being implemented as well as the removal of fingernails by the root.   Oh yes I can definitely say this will not be on my shelf for viewing pleasure and frankly I am a bit concerned the man or woman that needs this in their VHS/DVD collection.

Well Art, I think we had a good turn out for the witch weenie roast.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Horror of 1970 Week: Scars of Dracula

What’s happenin’ babies?  Okay got that out of my system and welcome to Horror of 1970 Week.  This week we trowel some B Movies of the year and we shall see if we find any gems or diamonds in the rough rather than a polished turd.  So let’s commence with a Hammer Film of the vampiric nature starring our favorite Prince of Darkness, Dracula so fasten your crosses to a lapel, prep your rings of garlic and put an edge on that stake.  This is Scars of Dracula.

His eyes are so scary the credits tremble.

Klove: You fools!  You think you can destroy my spoiler??!!  The flames will never reach him!

As in the previous films there is of course the recap from its predecessor giving us the highlights of what was then and why the monster returns yet again to wreak chaos on the land and the villagers. We see Dracula’s remains, his cape and a pile of dried blood and dust left on the altar in said church.  Alice saved by Paul shudder at Dracula’s agonizing death and leave.   However, a large bat flies in the church dribbling blood from its fangs on to the powdered, desiccated remains only to resurrect the vampire once again.

Villager rabble and cookout!

A year later the villagers summon the nerve to attack the Castle Dracula after yet another village girl died at his hand and they burn the Castle while the Count is actually snoozing away in a crypt away from the castle.  After their arsonist deeds, the villagers return to find every woman and child hid in the church to be slaughtered by bats.  

Accused of raping the burgomasters’ daughter (she was spurned by Paul) Paul Carlson (Christopher Matthews of Some Like It Sexy, Scream and Scream Again and See No Evil) fled from the Kleinenberg officials by leaping into a handy coach and while it lacked a driver it takes off with great velocity.  The coach deposits him off to the slightly ruined Castle Dracula where the lord of manor and his mistress Tania (Anouska Hempel of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Tiffany Jones and Black Snake).    After dinner and given his room to stay Tania and Paul…have a brief little liaison of the flesh when Dracula comes barging in, slaps Paul aside like a rag doll and skewers Tania with a dagger.  He locks Paul in his room and hands Tania to Klove (Patrick Troughton of Hamlet, Doctor Who, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The Omen and Knights of God) to dispose of her.  Paul attempts an escape but is trapped in a room with a locked door and a coffin at his feet.

Now the frat's hazing can be...rough.

Sometime later Paul’s brother Simon (Dennis Waterman of The Sweeny, Sweeny!, Sweeny 2, Back in Business and New Tricks) and Paul’s fiancée Sarah (Jenny Hanley of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Flesh and Blood Show, Saturday Night at the Mill and West Country Tales) are attempting to retrace Paul’s whereabouts and remove this stigma on his good name.   The reluctance of the authorities makes Simon a bit concerned but little does he know what truly happens in this village.

I wanted to make a few points of interest in this film.  Christopher Lee has a lot more to do, better dialogue and still quite menacing.  The cinematography as always amazing and their collection of scale model and deep woods was so impressive and the landscape paintings were quite detailed. The violence is greater and sexuality a bit more freely than back in the day however I feel the ending is a bit anti-climatic as it feels like they were running out of ideas.   Just my take on it but if you are a Hammer fan give it some love and the once over.

Horror of 1970 Week

Howdy campers!  Welcome back to another helping back to my roots.  For more than 3 years I was self-inflicted into a niche that was nothing but horror and sci-fi movies.  The occasional TV series here and there but mostly became a bit too proficient in spotting my scream queens of yesteryear and modern era.  Observing actors and actresses that are so far removed from the Oscars the last award they got was in Little League, The Boys Scouts or possible The Brownies.  F-Grade films is what I speak of and the odd thing is I found them entertaining from time to time.  Oh not every one of them was a gem but somehow there would be a defining moment,actor or musical score that captured my attention.  

Cute but there is the whole eternal damnation issues.

Alas most of these films do not exist in this current timeline and I found a certain fascination with the year of 1970 and its horror genre.  The true hallmark of the thriller slasher, touch-up on the traditional monsters and transition from red dye to the blacken red caro syrup mixture since the 1980's.

So dust off your bell bottoms, break out your Zep or Pink Floyd and spark one for me.  This should be a wild ride or a disappointing canter.   Let's find out.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tom Clancy Week: Op Center

Welcome back ladies and gents to Day 5 of Tom Clancy Week.  No, we will not be reviewing the Sum of All Fears due to I have not found a decent copy of it so we will hit another TV movie of excellent portrayal with a top notch crew so get to analyzing, predict the next move and get ready to thwart the terrorist acts.  This is Op-Center.
Now move the coffee table!!
We can’t let the spoilers win!

As we all know the first day of the job can be hectic but nothing compares to Paul Hood’s (Harry Hamlin of Clash of the Titans, L.A. Law, Ink, Movie Stars, Veronica Mars and Mad Men) first day.  Nuclear missiles have been hijacked from the former Soviet Republic by a former KGB leaving little to no trace.  With more than a few attached to the body count and 20 hours behind the clock our crew is deeply concerned about what will be.

As head of the National Crisis Management Center or Op-Center, an organization that handles both domestic and international crises Hood is required to report to the President himself which he jokingly calls Op-Center an information clearing house with SWAT capacity. With units comprised with British SAS, Russian Spetnaz and US Green Berets, Navy SEALS and Rangers, these individuals tackle the problem head on.  As a post-Cold War operation based on statistics and simulations is deemed a waste of tax payers money attempts to point out its worth when the crisis is made known.

The secret meet and greet of Hollywood pretty boys.

Our terrorists/entrepreneurs seem to be selling said warheads on the black market to even more morally corrupt individuals in the Middle East.  Despite the best efforts of the military and joint intelligence teams trying to block the cargo shipping, the terrifying tonnage is in motion.

Hood becomes paranoid about how easily these KG used to Bs have been able to thwart them at every turn and is convinced that there is a leak of information.   At first suspects his teammates but brushes that thought far from his mind.  He comes to the conclusion that the leak has originated in the White House.    Can the threat of a nuclear holocaust be halted, the villains responsible jailed and puppies’ tummies rubbed?

Well now we are at the part where I put my two cents worth in.  This film in question is actually a four hour mini-series that allows for more for more character and plot exposition giving the story a more rounded view of the scope of the story.  The main characters are fairly flushed out and the tension is well sorted.  I do have a few complaints on how easily our intelligence agents come to their results.  It felt a bit too child’s play for them to crunch the numbers; hit the contacts and draw conclusions but again I know next to nothing about spy work.  You know with the exception of time zones and SAT calls, being able to organize a full military team in a matter of hours on set mission may be out of my area of expertise.  

Day of Our Lives fans will be happy to see Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans) playing a strong and capable woman that has NOT been possessed by the Devil nor been dropped into about 10 comas.  Also the VHS released version is only 114 minutes and does not cover HALF of what it should.  The only version to view is the 170 minute version which gives the full view of the story.

Required reading prior the Bush Administration.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tom Clancy Week: NetForce

Welcome back avid readers to Day 4 of Tom Clancy Week.  Because of this man 20 years of gaming via computer and console systems thus making several FPS fans happy as could be with titles such as: Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, EndWar and H.A.W.X. to name a few.  So the small screen was the next logical choice and kids we have a decent TV Movie on our hands.  So shoo the dog off the couch, plunk your feet on the ottoman and have a healthy snack.  This is Netforce.

You ain't payin me enough for this role.

Jay Gridley: Good Morning Spoilers!!!

Set in the far away time of THE YEAR 2005!!!...A new division of the FBI has been dubbed NetForce, a investigations team monitoring the policies and practices of the Internet as well as keeps tabs on computer crime of any sort.   Alex Michaels (Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise, The Informant!, Chuck and Men of a Certain Age) has been named Deputy Director of NetForce following succession of his boss and mentor Steve Day (Kris Kristofferson of Convoy, Songwriter, Stagecoach, Blade and Bloodworth) who was assassinated for an ongoing investigation. 

Cable companies...OF THE FUTURE!!!

As our NetForce begins to dig into Day’s findings there seem to be more than a fair share of clues that Web pioneer and owner of Januscorp Will Stiles (Judge Reinhold of Fast Time at Ridgemont High, Beverly Hills Cop, Vice Versa, Zandalee and The Santa Clause) may have been the cause.  Unbeknownst to our valiant computer crew, Stiles has developed a web browser that allows him to bypass all forms of encryption and hack into any computer in the world and gain complete and utter control of the Internet.
Michaels and his team on hot on the case looking for Stiles and looking forward to uploading a little justice.

Take that, Bill Gates!!

Okay, yes this is the part where I am going to nitpick just a bit.   The events around the technology are a bit laughable in how the internet was completely hooked to every major system…with no redundancy or safety protrocols and heck why have anyone monitor those systems?  For crying out loud Net Nanny has better security than this fictious world.  Lines like “Phew the Internet is still intact!” made me grind my teeth.   Veteran character actor Brian Dennehy’s performance seemed flaccid and ineffectual to Bakula’s take charge attitude.

The Lex Luthor wannabe portrayal that Reinhold is trying to pan off on us of the evil billionaire trying to take over the world feels made for cartoon rather than TV and boy oh boy they sure skimped on the technical aspect and most action sequences revolve around the computer room…but no proper jargon or explanation. 

Coach slugs and deeply devoted Tom Clancy fans were probably ecstatic with this rather impressive cast of characters but most felt like they were foisted on us.  The effects were fair and incidental music was spot on…boy it has come to this.  Main problem was all these secondary characters tossed in a large embankment of computers and cubicles to I guess look busy and on the job when they didn’t get any real development or characterization.  Just a name on a plastic badge getting the cliché, “Dammit, Johnson we need everyone on top of this,” speech. 

In case you forgot the title of the TV movie.