Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest 'Toonist; Stephanie Murr Returns!

 If you missed her first 'toon for Stranger check it out here!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The King Vs. The Funk

Bloody Terry Funk vs, Jerry The King Lawler in Memphis back in the glory days!

Exploding Toy Box

Oh look! New Walking Dead figures! The Pets look pretty bad ass. I wonder how long it will take for someone to take that Merle figure and customize it into a Henry figure. Hmmm. #Inappropriatetoys..?

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Eddie Noack "Psycho". A chilling murder ballad written by Leon Payne 'the Blind Balladeer" from San Antonio.
Also by Payne, my favorite Hank Williams Sr song "Lost Highway"

New Flick Time!

Whoa! Late to the game as usual, lots going on and no time to deal with it all....
THE NEW EVIL DEAD RED BAND TRAILER IS OUT AND IT IS #%$@ING VIOLENT AS $#!+! I felt zero excitement for this when it was announced, but now I'm really looking forward to this beast.
There is a lot to love in this 2 minutes. I don't think all us fans of the original have much to worry about.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walking Dead Episode 2

I hope that everyone who complained about last season are happy now. How could anyone not be? No spoilers if you're DVRing it. I'll just say WD is 2 for 2 and next Sunday can't get here soon enough. 

Death of the Family

 I'm late getting around to talking about this, but I just read the first part and I'm incredibly excited. Snyder and Capullo have been kicking ass since the new 52 launched and their horrifying approach to the Joker is something to behold.

If this is half as good as Court of Owls then you do not want to miss out!

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 26

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...a giant, heavy breathing, robotic monster stopped a very small child dead in his tracks and made him walk to the TV like approaching an altar. I was only a toddler when Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope hit theaters, but my earliest memories involve Star Wars. I saw Empire and Jedi in the theatre, but didn't see New Hope until we bought a VCR.

Darth Vader was absolutely my favorite  part of the entire saga and that Luke Skywalker always got so much screen time was a great annoyance to me.

One thing that became more and more fascinating to me through the years was the scene in New Hope where Vader, Tarkin and the other Emperial officers were talking about the Emperor dissolving the senate, and the one smart ass that insulted Vader's faith and got force choked for it.
As I said, I saw Empire before New Hope and in Empire Vader seemed very much in charge, but in New Hope he comes off as more of Tarkin's flunky.  

 This made me, like everyone else, obsess over what must happen in the first three chapters. I enjoyed Revenge of the Sith quite a bit, but the story I want to see still hasn't been made.

At any rate, since my first Vader action figure my love of Star Wars has been cemented-no amount of Holiday specials or Jar Jars or Ewoks will ever change that.

Like Frankenstein or Batman, Vader spoke to some- thing in me and the evolution and demise of the character over the three films is one of my favorite stories in cinema. And like Frankenstein and Batman I never have enough of them in the family collection. (All the photos of from my son's room including figures my wife and I passed down to him). The poster to the right is an actual framed poster from a theatre with little red lights around the border-some idiot threw that out!

To the left in the middle is my original Kenner Vader. Cape and lightsaber long gone.

This is probably the coolest action figure I've ever bought for my kid. I think it's from a video game, I'm not sure, not much of a gamer unless it involves Batman.

My son built this wonderful TIE fighter by himself on a saturday morning before we woke up. LEGO has done a great job with their Star Wars line.

There has been talk about a live action Star Wars TV show that takes place between Sith and Hope and  I truly hope it gets made, especially if it involves Vader hunting down and killing the remaining Jedi. That's the story I've been waiting to see.
Keep watching the sky, nerds!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Double shot of Corrosion of Conformity from the great Blind album. First up Vote With A Bullet followed by Dance of the Dead. And check out their latest album!

New Flick Time! Well almost...

Coming November 9th is a little film called Citadel that I'm quite excited about. Written and directed by Ciaran Foy, Citadel is about an agoraphobic dad who teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from a gang of feral children. I just watched the trailer and said yep I need to see that.
 Check out the trailer and follow on Twitter @Citadelfilm

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

King Vulture's Library

I just finished this and highly recommend it to all horror/exploitation fans. Fascinating insights from the masters of 70's horror. Here we get Romero, Hooper, Friedkin, De Palma, Craven, Carpenter, O'Bannon and more and in depth stories behind their seminal works. Zinoman did a great job and I'm hoping he does a sequel for the groundbreaking work done in the 80's (Hennenlotter, Coscarelli, Raimi, etc...) 

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Tonight we've got Freedom from Alice Cooper and American Witch (mmmNSFW) by his little brother Rob Zombie. BTW Arrow is on in ten minutes, if you skipped last week's debut thinking it would suck like Smallville, well, it didn't. Catch up, junior, but first enjoy some horror rock!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The League; State of the Site

This week's topic for The League is a state of the site report. Well, the state of this site is great!

When I launched Stranger With Friction back in May I had no expectations for readership and have been surprised at by the traffic I've gotten. Not just surprised, but grateful!

Thank you all!

I'm more excited by the possibilities of the blog every week and how I've been able to make it so much more than the zine is was originally meant to be. Since joining the League of Extraordinary Bloggers and the Horror Bloggers Alliance I've seen a big boost in traffic, so I owe a big thank you to both of them as well.

Over the course of the year I intend to grow the blog with longer essays, more King Vulture comics and videos starring the King. I just put up chapter 25 of My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters and that'll keep going until I'm out of heroes! Hopefully I'll be able to start doing some interviews and some other exclusive content. Hell, it feels pretty limitless.

Stay tuned, nerds, and NEVER stop watching the sky!

You may also enjoy these fellow Leaguers...


Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters T Shirt

Aw yea, Titans! King Vulture's got t-shirts, a poster and more at the Stranger With Friction store! Featuring this brand new piece!
King Vulture 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 25

Out of all the monsters-classic or modern- Frankenstein's monster is by far my favorite and the most important to me.

When I was four or five I got the Mego-like Remco Frankenstein monster action figure with only the vaguest idea of who it was. It didn't matter who it was, I had an awesome monster for my Mego Batman to fight. I grew to love that toy almost as much as my Batman and was crushed when it mysteriously disappeared.

Toys just not being there anymore was common for me growing up since we moved every six months and I can only assume things were just trashed.

By the time the monster had vanished I had a favorite character that captured my imagination the way Batman and Star Wars had.
Having no context for the monster allowed my imagination to run wild and when I found out it had multiple movies and a book my interest ignited into a mild obsession.

Cartoons like The Drac Pack and Groovy Ghoulies and the TV show The Munsters gave me a taste of the monster, but I knew these were all played for laughs and the monster was a monster and I needed to see the real movie to find out what the deal was.

But this was pre internet, hell pre VCR and pre cable so it'd be a long wait to enjoy the Universal classic.
With the loss of the toy and no replacement to be found my interests focused on Star Wars and a little later Masters of the Universe (my favorite toy line of the 80's) and GI Joe. I loved action, sci-fi, ninjas, but not horror-not even a shred of interest in it until late in 4th grade. I literally couldn't see a commercial for Friday the 13th without having nightmares for days. I liked monsters though; Godzilla, King Kong, and of course Frankenstein (I gave the novel a try for the first time in 3rd grade, but I didn't fully appreciate it until I was an adult). I saw a distinct difference between monster movies and horror movies.

Monsters tended to be misunderstood and the humans were the real monsters or the concept was so outlandish it couldn't be taken seriously. Horror was about evil, senseless evil and killing and terrifying men in masks who watched you from the bushes before attacking.
I developed a tolerance and then a love of horror thanks in large part to Tales From The Dark Side. By the sixth grade I was becoming a serious fan of the genre. I read Fangoria whenever I could, checked out books about horror films from the library and started working my way through Stephen King's novels. I reread Frankenstein around then as well and that's when the monster took on a whole new meaning for me.

With puberty and middle school came awkwardness and cliques at school. Divisions were clearly defined and being a skinny, short kid from a poor family with no interest in sports I was an easy target for the rednecks and jocks.
I got "Hey, faggot" so much I began to suspect people thought that was my name. Feeling like an outsider in a world I didn't ask to be a part of or even wanted to be a part of deepened my affection for the story. Alice Cooper's "Teenage Frankenstein" from his Constrictor album gave me a theme song.

I finally got to see James Whale's version with Boris Karloff around this time and Robocop shortly after when it came out on VHS. I saw a kinship right away and Empire Strikes Back was no longer my favorite movie.

Sometime around then the awesome Monster Squad came out which featured all the classic monsters, a definite classic of the 80's. There was also an updating of the Bride of Frankenstein called The Bride, more of a gothic romance, but still very good.

The local grocery store had a video rental section and randomly had a copy of Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. I was unaware of Hammer Films at the time, but the meaner, darker Frankenstein was revelatory.

In high school I got to see more of the Universal Frankenstein films when we got AMC and I found more Hammer films on VHS. There were plenty of parodies out there, none of which I recommend (Monster Squad and Frankenhooker are dark comedies that seem to respect their sources not make fun of them).

I'd say all the Universal and Hammer Frank' films are great to watchable and I HIGHLY recommend Andy Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein, directed by Paul Morrisey and starring Udo Kier and Frank Hennenlotter's Frankenhooker, just for their sheer audacity and fun.

You can't overlook Stuart Gordon's adaptation of HP Lovecraft's take on Frankenstein; Re Animator. Sick, dirty, gory and AWESOME!

And one can't forget Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound that puts an interesting time travel spin on the story.

Ken Russell told the tale of the book's origin in the cool Gothic.

I'm forgetting or haven't seen plenty more, but my point is that the story never gets old. Or at least, I never get tired of it.

I hope to some day unleash my own take on the monster and I believe there's plenty of room for more retellings and continuations because it's a story that can be universally understood and never seems to be out dated, especially with the leaps and bounds science makes in genetics, prosthetics, robotics, and cloning. The subtitle of Shelley's Frankenstein was the Modern Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and was punished. Man will never stop trying to steal that fire and Frankenstein will always remind us to use caution in our pursuits.

Keep watching the sky, nerds!

Arrow Premier

The premier of the CW's Arrow, based on DC Comics' Green Arrow aired last night and I really enjoyed it. Aside from stiff/wonky dialogue it was a great action show, faithful enough to the comic and I'm looking forward to what's to come. At the beginning of the show we see Deathstroke's mask, next episode features China White and Deadshot has been confirmed. It looks like they got this one right.

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Tonight's Sound Attack is a six pack of classic murder ballads, well five of them are and one is a death ballad for country music itself. I listen to a lot of classic country, folk and blues and if you're someone who's idea of country music is Rascal Flatt or Toby Kieth then let me make you a list. Here's a start;
Johnny Cash "Delia's Gone"
Nick Cave "Knoxville Girl"
Mike Ness "Long Black Veil"
Dock Boggs "Pretty Polly"
Lightnin' Hopkins "Shotgun Blues"
Waco Brothers "Death of Country Music"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 24

The time line may be off a bit, but as I remember it I was eleven or twelve and it was mid-October. Halloween was looming and there was no shortage of horror movies on TV. I was expressly forbidden to watch anything worse than The Great Pumpkin, but as I've noted in previous posts, there was a distinct lack of supervision to go along with all those restrictions. One channel continually advertised that they'd be playing Halloween 1 and 2 back to back, and even though the commercials alone scared the crap out of me I was bound and determined to see those damn movies.
What I wound up doing was agreeing to watch whatever the hell the family was watching in the living room and secretly slipping off to watch Halloween on the little black and white set down the hall. That wound up being a big night for me as a film fan and Halloween, to this day, remains my favorite horror movie of all time.
Out of all the slasher films I've watched Halloween is still the only one that inspires dread in me and Michael Myers is the only killer that's still scary. I don't think many horror fans would disagree with me, but when you start talking about the sequels fans become far more divided.
The thing that had me so anxious to see these films that night was Fangoria's coverage of the release of Halloween 4; The Return of Michael Myers. My parents would never buy me such a disgusting magazine, but I was able to read nearly the entire issue in the drug store while they shopped next door at the grocery store.
I was up the entire night-not too scared to sleep (although I was freaked out and wouldn't have slept if I'd tried) I stayed up brainstorming super villains for the comic books I made with my friends. Halloween 1 and 2 rocked my world and I couldn't wait to see the next two.
As luck would have it I saw part 3; Season of the Witch the next week. I bemoaned the fact there was no Myers, but I loved the film anyway. People piss and moan about Season of the Witch, but only because it's called Halloween. Call it anything else and a lot of people would shut the hell up and they should anyway. The last thing the world needs is another slasher film and Part 3 gives us a different kind of horror; a halloween mask company has sinister plans for millions of children and our heroes are racing against the clock to uncover their plot and stop them. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't seen it yet. There are plenty of twists and turns and scares, just keep telling yourself, "It's not a Halloween movie, it's not a Halloween movie"...

So, back to Part 4; The Return of Michael Myers...Scared the crap out of me and kicked off a trilogy within the series. 4-6 focus, at least in part, on Myers' niece Jamie, a young girl who's night of trick or treating becomes a night of hell ten years after Part 2 (Return...). Next time (Part5; Revenge of Michael Myers) it's a year later and Jamie is living in a mental institution when Uncle Mike resurfaces and a mysterious man in black arrives in town shortly after. In 6 (The Curse of...) Jamie is six years older, with a baby and on the run from dear old uncle. We learn the identity of the man in black and get treated to a broader conspiracy and hey look! There's a young Paul Rudd as the grown up Tommy Doyle from Part 1.
It's not often I hear anyone praise 5 and 6 and complaints I've heard usually center on the conspiracy, which I won't be giving any details about. But I think the filmmakers deserve a lot of credit for trying to build up the original film and tell a broader story rather than just cashing in and killing one group of dumb teenagers after another. I give 4-6 high marks for what they set out to do and how much fun they were. Of course all three films are tossed in the trash and Stalin-ized with the true cash in films of the series Halloween H20 and Resurrection.
Yes it was wonderful having Jamie Lee Curtis back, but the writers should have been held to a higher standard for H20 and Resurrection is an abomination.  In fact, Resurrection was so bad that it absolutely justifies a remake, almost makes a remake necessary, to redeem the franchise.
Rob Zombie's Halloween films will get an essay of their own later and I'm going to end this here with a bloodbath from Part 6. Happy Halloween!
Keep watching the sky, nerds! And the bushes. And...everything.