Streets on Fire Again? [2008]

I was a major Walter Hill fan. I was one of the few who really enjoyed “Streets of Fire.” Yeah, I even have the soundtrack. So how do you think I reacted when I learned that there may be an unofficial sequel in the works? Yeah, I liked the idea.What’s that? How’s a movie become an unofficial sequel? Click here and read what Mr. Beaks posted at AICN and you’ll know!

Debunking the Found Vampire [2008]

Remember when I wrote about Harry at AICN saying that there was a possibility that the long lost silent “London After Midnight” might have been found? Ivan Shreve points us to Stacia at She Blogged By Night. Stacia makes a case (that Vincent Bugliosi would be proud to claim) and her conclusion is that Harry’s original source is a fraud.I can’t say that I’m shocked. Disappointed, but not shocked. At least we still have the lost scenes from “Metropolis” coming our way.

UFOs, Aliens & Big Foot

According to an article, tests on hairs said to be from a Yeti in India have failed to link the strands with any known species! Boy, how many times have we heard something similar only to be let down later? The results end up being: it was a prank, the hairs/photos/sound recordings/etc. turned out to be an ape, a bear, a man in a funny suit.Arrrgh!

When I read articles like the one linked above I feel like Charlie Brown being coaxed by Lucy to come kick the football. Charlie Brown knows that every time he gives it a go, she yanks the ball away and he ends up falling down. He’s always left disappointed… yet he’s always willing to try it again. Every time I read one of these type articles [UFOs, big foot, aliens, paranormal events, etc.], I know that the football is going to be yanked away. I’ll end up disappointed…

Then before too long, like Charlie Brown, I’ll hear the call to give it another go…

Big Crime for a Small Price

I love well told crime stories. I love well done comics.

How do you think I reacted when I found out about The Mammoth Book of the Best Crime Comics?  Edited by Paul Gravett and designed by Peter Stanbury, this 480 page monster features stories by Dashiell Hammett & Alex Raymond, Will Eisner, Johnny Craig, Mickey Spillane, Bernie Krigstein, Alan Moore, Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, Neil Gaiman, Alex Toth, Jordi Bernet, Paul Grist, Jack Cole, Charles Burns, Max Allan Collins, and José Muñoz & Carlos Sampayo.

If that’s not enough to get you reaching for your wallet, then maybe the fact that you can get here for less than fifteen smackatoons is.

More Terminator Salvation

If you’re into the Terminator series and are looking forward Terminator Salvation you’ll be happy to know that IDW Publishing has the rights to a four-issue prequel to be written by Dara Naraghi with art by Alan Robinson, as well as a four-issue adaptation of the movie written by Jeff Mariotte with art by Don Figueroa. You can read all about it here.

He’s a Horror Show

If you enjoyed 30 Days of Night [the graphic novel and/or the movie], then you might want to keep your eyes open for “30 Days of Night: 30 Days ’til Death” by award-winning writer/artist David [Stray Bullets] Lapham.

Lampham, who will write and draw the mini-series, describes it by saying:

The basic set up is that the elders are getting fed up and organize kill squads to come to America and “thin the heard.” My story focuses on one vamp named Rufus who escapes the kill squad once and decides the only way to survive is to live ‘off the radar’… These are not traditional vampires with all the usual vampire rules. They’re just vicious creatures… Rufus is only a hero by way of comparison to what’s going on around him… but make no mistake, he is a vampire. When it comes down to it, he’s a horror show.

If this sounds like something that you’d like, then click here to read the full interview at Newsarama.

The Ruins Comes Together

The Pitch: I was all set to go with “Hostel” meets “Little Shoppe of Horrors” without the comedy. Then I read Jeremy Butler’s pitch [at] of “It’s ‘Hostel’ meets ‘Day of the Triffids’” and liked his better.The Overview: Two couples of young vacationing Americans meet a stranger who tells them about a little-known Mayan temple. The five of them decide to go out and take a look. Once there, bad things begin to happen. Very bad things.

The Good: The acting. The cast was made up of relative unkowns so it was possible that any of them could be killed at any point. The screenplay by Scott B. Smith based upon his novel of the same name [and which he changed up for the big screen]. The fact that you believed what was happening. That each of the bad things that happens to the characters basically stems from them trying to do a good thing or at least the right thing. That the movie takes you in one direction and suddenly you’re going in another and it works. You care about the characters.

The Bad: What happens when you’re trapped on the top of an ancient ruin by unfriendly locals and something much, much worse.

The Ugly: “He won’t last much longer like this. We’re gonna have to cut them off.” “Cut what off?” “His legs.”

The Summary: I love a good scary movie. I’m not much for gore. “The Ruins” is scary and contains gore. Some very gory scenes in fact. I really liked “The Ruins.” A lot. At some point I’ll add it to my movie collection. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes horror movies and doesn’t mind being a bit grossed out.

Baker Shut Out

Quick, name a person famous for doing special effects make-up. I’ll bet your answer [if you had one] was Rick Baker. That’s because Rick Baker is a genius… a legend.

Look at his list of credits and you can see that Rick Baker is the go-to guy for special effects make-up. He’s won 6 Academy Awards for his work in this area. But that’s just the tip of the ice berg. Baker has earned so many honors for his work that the list is, as they say, longer than your arm… unless of course you’re Lurch and then it’s just as long.

So… can you imagine that Rick Baker would be hired on to do the effects for a movie and then not only be shut out of the process, but treated with disrespect? In an interview with Capone at Ain’t It Cool News, Baker said, “They would shoot scenes using my work when I wasn’t even there… Other times when I was there if I try to look at the monitor, someone would literally stand in my way and block it.” Baker also spoke to MTV about his displeasure.

I had high hopes for “The Wolf Man.” Perhaps the movie will still be good, but I don’t see how I’ll be able to watch it without wondering how much better it could have been had they allowed Rick Baker to completely work his magic.

Robert B. Parker’s Resolution

The Pitch: Themes from Robert B. Parker’s Spenser written as a western.

The Good: Robert B. Parker‘s writing. It‘s sparse and conversational, but I really like it. The verbal interplay between Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole. How Hitch becomes the town “protector.” What happens when the person you sided with turns out to be the “bad guy.” Cole‘s reputation as a gunfighter. “Sometimes you got to kill one person early, to save killing four or five later.” When Cato and Rose ride in. Major Lujack and his twenty versus Everett, Virgil, Cato and Rose.

The Bad: Virgil Cole‘s love for Allie.

The Ugly: What happens to someone blasted with an eight-gauge shotgun.

The Summary: Resolution is a direct sequel to Appaloosa. It’s Parker’s third western. His first was Gunman’s Rhapsody which took a look at the events involving Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons and an incident at the OK Corral. You may have heard something of it. At any rate, all three books get my recommendation. [And you really should read Appaloosa before Resolution!]

Isolated Incidents

My buddy, Raf, is constantly busy. If he’s not training a group of soldiers martial arts, choreographing knife fights for movies, doing conceptual drawings for films or Broadway, working on comic book pages for publication, then he’s probably drawing something for his own entertainment.

Quite often Raf will sketch while listening to music, watching tv or whatever. As the mood strikes him, he will file away a piece and begin working on another — only to return to the first piece later. Working this way has led to some pieces that are truly amazing in their detail. Just as wonderful are some of Raf’s quick sketches — you can see in just a few lines that everything is there. I’ve been fortunate over the years to watch Raf creating and the number of drawings that he’s completed is astounding.

Thankfully, Raf has decided to start publishing the best of these drawings in “Isolated Incidents: The Art of Rafael Kayanan” books. “Volume I” is available now and you can read more about it here. I ordered mine the day I saw it was available. You should too.