Friday, June 29, 2012

RZA's Directorial Debut "Puts The F-U in Kung Fu"

Wu Tang Clan's RZA's first film The Man With The Iron Fists is coming! We have a red band trailer and a kick ass poster! Produced by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) (who also co-wrote the script with RZA), this looks exactly like you'd think it would and that's awesome!
Starring RZA, Russell Crowe, Jamie Chung, and Lucy Lui.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

But He Wears It Well

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 15


 I've been a Punisher fan since middle school when I started reading Marvel Tales which were reprints of old SpiderMan comics. I started buying them with the appearance of The Punisher and continued to follow the exploits of Frank Castle through various series with all their highs and lows. Though morally and politically I've been more of a Daredevil guy, but I've always been a violence head and The Punisher always delivered on the action. But eventually the character lost my attention with a decline in quality story telling and, hell, hasn't he killed all the mob guys yet? I came back to Punisher with the Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon Welcome Back, Frank mini-series and the following on-going series, but that hit a wall creatively as well and I had to walk away again.
Then Dark Reign happened, when Norman (Green Goblin) Osborne takes over SHIELD and sets up some bad guys as  the new Avengers. This spun out of the event mini-series Secret Invasion, which I didn't care about, but Dark Reign was one of the most compelling ideas Marvel had come up with for a while. With Dark Reign came a new Punisher series by Rick Remender with Norman Osborne in his cross hairs. This was the Punisher doing everything you loved to see the Punisher doing, but with some new gadgets (Ant Man's helmet) and some new twists. Remender lined up some back from the dead D-Listers (like a guy in a bear suit) controlled by The Hood for Punisher to burn through.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, because you should really check it out, but all you have to do is look at the images above to get the idea and we get the return of the Legion of Monsters (minus Ghost Rider).
For me this was a geek dream come true. Bringing back the Legion of Monsters and finally doing something new and unexpected with the Punisher was a sure fire way for Marvel to get my cash. It's rare that either of the big two puts one of their A-Listers through such a radical change (and make it work; see the blue and white Superman post Death of...). I know a lot of comic readers who groaned over the story, but really-you can accept multiple individuals getting exposed to various kinds of radiation and getting super powers instead of cancer, but you're gonna bitch about Punisher being resurrected as a Frankenstein monster? Well, I hope they're happy because Frank is back to normal. The current series is still very good, but I think we've seen the high water mark and it's full of stitches and mechanical parts.

King Vulture's Sound Attack

The Afghan Whigs' full, uncut video for Miles Is Ded!
This is probably NSFW, not because it's particularly graphic, but there are a couple of scenes you wouldn't want an overly sensitive supervisor seeing over your shoulder.
I've been a fan of the Whigs since Congregation, but really started loving them with Gentlemen. For the uninitiated, the Whigs make audio films. Greg Dulli's songs are dark and intense short stories and the albums are ALBUMS. They need to be listened to as a whole and not have songs cherry-picked off I-Tunes.
They back on tour this fall and will be in my neighborhood and King Vulture will be in attendance!
You know what? As long as we're already going NSFW, here's the uncut Honky's Ladder from Black Love.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

King Vulture's Sound Attack

I have been a Misfits fan since I was 16 and I've greatly enjoyed every era of the band. I had the pleasure of catching the Jerry/Dez/Robo/Marky Ramone line up at the Middle East in Cambridge MA. Here's a sweet fan made vid I found on YouTube for the song Astro Zombies.

Put Some Clothes On, You Primative Screwhead!

I'm a t shirt kinda guy. I hate polos and only like a button up if I can wear it open with a t underneath. It's probably the part of me that will forever be 12 and looking to piss off everyone around me. So, if you're like me, you're probably always on the lookout for a kick ass t and Fright Rags is a cool website to check out! 



King Vulture is always happy to promote cool people. He also likes free t shirts. Or toys. Ya know whatever. ;)

Steph Murr's Rocket Pop

The wifey's gotta her Etsy Store up and running, called Steph Murr's Rocket Pop. Follow the link for her prints, because your living room desperately needs some new art!

"Conspiracy of Birds" copyright Stephanie Murr

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

V/H/S...the Red Band Trailer!

"While looking for a rare piece of footage they have been hired to steal from an abandoned house, a group of criminals watches a number of the disturbing video tapes."
I am no fan of found footage/shakey-cam/fake documentaries etc, but I'm digging this. Let's have this be the last word on the found footage thing though, and get back to making movies!
Absolutely NSFW

Oh, the Tragedy of Death (and Undeath)

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 14

James O'Barr is responsible for one of the great enduring cult icons of the last several decades, The Crow. I see no need to rehash why The Crow was a great comic that spawned a pretty good film (with sequels to both that no one seems to think lives up to the originals). The comic was a landmark achievement and it's shadow looms large to this day. 

 What I would like to bring up, though, is this; why isn't O'Barr's name all over the place? His art holds a very distinct moody style, he's a master of shadows and just the simple fact the he created The Crow should have had the bigger comic companies clawing at his door...Imagine O'Barr on the Punisher, Daredevil, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Moon Knight, Batman. Oh the years of missed opportunities! Actually, he was supposed to do an issue of Batman Black and White, but that never happened.
You can see his list of credits on his Wikipedia page, he has work out there, but it's a dirty shame his work isn't more readily available.
Oh and there is another Crow film in the pipeline too. Eh. I doubt it'll be based on Nick Cave's script, but hopefully who ever winds up helming the project won't blow it.

In the mean time, let's enjoy what we have. Here's the extended shoot out scene from the first film.
Keep watching the sky, nerds!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Folly of Youth by Pere Ubu from Ray Gun Suitcase
A personal story about this band; back in '06 or '07 I emailed the singer, David Thomas, and asked if it would be all right if I wrote a book about the band. I had this high concept idea for the narrative that would go outside the structure of a normal rock bio. Apocalypse Now inspired the basic skeleton of the book and I planned to collect several interviews with various past members and people who were obviously inspired by Ubu's music. Mr Thomas said go ahead, though he didn't think there would be a market for such a book. So I made an extensive list of people I would interview and reached out to Greil Marcus (Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces) for advice and he told me not to bother, because no one wanted to read a book about my favorite punk band no one had ever heard of. Undaunted I went forward, spending weeks emailing rock stars, almost none of which got back to me. John Flansburgh, from They Might Be Giants, agreed to an interview, even gave me his cell phone number and set up a time. But all I got was a voicemail and he never returned my call. The ONLY person who agreed to and went through an interview was Brother Wayne Kramer from the mighty MC5. His wife set up the call and we chatted for about ten minutes. Kramer only played one show with Ubu, since the tour he was hired for was ultimately canceled. He told me a funny story about a rehearsal when he and the keyboardist were tuning and suddenly Mr Thomas shouted, "Stop that! Stop that right now! You weren't hired to play music, you were hired to make noise!" Kramer thought, 'what an asshole', but turned out it was just Thomas' sense of humor. I had to abandon the project, because I started focusing more on my novel Conspiracy Of Birds, which suddenly started to take shape and it's begging for my full attention became undeniable. It bummed me out for months the book wasn't happening, but that's how it goes with ideas and dreams they drift in, some hang around others drift away. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

E(h) News

Paramount has shut down preproduction on the live action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, pushing back the release date to May 2014...All together now; YAWN.
Remakes, reboots, redos, please God, make it stop! Is there no originality left in Hollywood..?
Apparently there may be a problem with the script and there's definitely a problem with the budget. Of all the things that should be hard to screw up.
I roll my eyes uncontrollably whenever news of this film comes up. We've had four theatrical goes with this franchise, how about giving someone else a turn? Flaming Carrot anyone? How about The Tick?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Exploding Toy Box

Oi! NECA are adding to their Freddy figures with this version from Nightmare on Elm Street 5 The Dream Child. Of all the impressive figures they've released I really dig this one, because it's based on one of my favorite scenes of all the Elm Street films. Here ya go...

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Man or Astro-Man? "9 Volt"
Los Straitjackets "Tempest"
Let's twist!

Monday, June 11, 2012

What Did King Vulture Watch This Weekend?

Well, not Prometheus. Not yet. Hopefully this coming weekend, but we did watch another sci fi classic that's possibly just as good!...probably.
Trying to cash in on Star Wars in 1979 (just like Alien that same year) Disney released the Black Hole. I scored the DVD at the Salvation Army for a whopping $1.50 and it was STILL SHRINK WRAPPED! In a nutshell, there's a ship with a small crew, including Norman Bates, the Ernest "Mermaid Man" Borgnine (aka the old guy from Air Wolf), the bail bondsman from Jackie Brown, some lady, and a floating robot with eyes you can get lost in. They find another ship chilling out on the edge of a black hole. They board the ship to investigate. If you've seen Event Horizon or Sunshine, then you've seen two excellent films and you might get a vague idea that something bad is going to happen. Something bad does indeed happen! Exposition. Lots and lots and lots and lots of exposition about all kinds of cool things that happened twenty years ago (which would've made a great movie), and the thing that's going to maybe happen at the end of the film (which would have also made a great movie). They expositionize the hell out this story! Now I learned in elementary school that when you are writing you need to show, not tell. Could no one tell the writer and director this helpful little tid bit?There is so much potential in the film. It gets off to an incredibly slow start and when it finally gets moving we've almost reached the end.
Is the Black Hole a GOOD movie..? Eh, no. If you haven't seen it, it's worth checking out.  The end is a trippy high light, but it's over so fast! Is it Shakespeare? You be the judge...
That's Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens in their greatest roles!

Also, I shared one of my faves from childhood with the family, The Monster Squad. Still as good as I remember it. What I didn't remember was how inappropriate it is for eight year olds. Lots of excessive picking on the fat kid, casually tossing around the word 'faggot', and middle school kids being creepy peeping toms, oh, and the Wolfman getting blown apart into a bloody mess! Still awesome though. Tom Noonan is a cool Frankenstein monster. Dracula is better than Tom Cruise's Lestat. It's the makeup f/x on the Wolfman, the Creature, and the Mummy that steal the show. Too bad we don't see them more. 
Needless to say I've lost my movie picking privelages again! I just got them back after losing them for The Great Rock and Roll Swindle eleven years ago. That's ok...Eleven years from now I'm breaking out Holy Mountain!

King Vulture's Sound Attack

The Wedding Dice by The Flesh Eaters!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

"I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it."- Mr Bradbury

We lost Ray Bradbury Tuesday night, he was 91. The author of seminal sci-fi works like Fahrenheit 451and the Martian Chronicles he was a giant of the genre.

The Illustrated Man, with Rod Steiger, was one of the many cool works of Bradbury's adapted to film, including François Truffaut's Farhenheit 451.

But the books were first and by far most important.

Thanks and farewell to a true trailblazer.

King Vulture's Sound Attack

The Beastie Boys with Intergalactic.
A favorite at Castle Vulture!

Playing With Fire

King Vulture 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Heroes Have Been Monsters Part 13

 When I was in the 4th grade my family got HBO. There must have been some promotion/special price, because there was never any money for such extravagence, but we had it and I had something special to go along with it...a lack of supervision! This was during the slasher boom of the 80's and on top of the cable I had a friend named Joey who collected Fangoria and brought them to school all the time, so I was hip to what was coming out and what was worth watching. And by my recollection there was no escaping the tv spots for Friday The 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. Hell, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince did a song about Freddy and Robert Englund appeared on Nickelodeon!
 When I was a teenager I started working my way through my local video store's horror section, finding brilliance and stupidity in equal numbers. Halloween become my favorite of the slasher franchises. For some reason Michael Myers captured my imagination and I continued to love all the sequels up to H2O. I thought the Friday the 13th films were a bit spotty, my favorites being parts 4, 5 and 6. Part 3 was the only one I found to be unwatchable (until Jason Takes Manhattan...bleh).
The thing about these films was that they were cool and sometimes cartoonish, but never very scary. Halloween and Friday both had moments that would haunt me, but I didn't find them to be particularly horrifying. Then I watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Leatherface hit a nerve with me and I found myself half buried under a blanket on the couch by myself at two o'clock in the morning hating myself for putting the movie on...but I couldn't turn it off. I had to see how it ended. Gritty and grainy, super realistic. I mean, look at that pic to the left! Freddy's wise cracking doesn't compare. Even though you knew they would be back for another film, Freddy and Jason always got beat in the end. Leatherface was just left on the side of the road pissed off! Free to torture and maim beyond the credits! Nothing new now, but I was only in the 6th grade and had only experienced these mainstream slasher films, nothing so nihilistic.
 Unencumbered by rationale, the Nightmare On Elm Street films were by far the most imaginative and fun. Anything could happen, because it all happened in dreams. Freddy could be anywhere or anything, leaving the series wide open and limited only by the imagination of the writers and directors. Johnny Depp's death scene, in the first film, is still one of the most memorable death scenes I can remember. The only time I found myself disappointed with the series is about half way through part 6, Freddy's Dead, where what started off so promising began to feel like the film was just running out the clock trying to get to the conclusion with standard slasher filler. Wes Craven's return to the series (first time since the first film) with New Nightmare was nice and a fresh take and would have been a good final farewell to Fred, but who can say no Freddy vs. Jason, even if it sucked how could you not see that film if you grew up on these this stuff?
So these days we have all these modern classics getting remade. When they announced the TCM remake I was entirely unenthused, I watched it of course, and it wasn't bad at all, the same with the remakes of Friday, Halloween, Nightmare, My Bloody Valentine or whatever. The remakes are fine movies, sometimes they even improve some aspects of the original (remakes of The Fly, The Thing, and The Blob in the 80's certainly did), but why don't the studios just run the originals in the theatre again? I'd pay to see TCM 2, Nightmare 3, or any of the first five Halloween's on the big screen and I know I'm not alone. The other aspect of the remakes that rubs me the wrong way is that for every remake coming out that's an original film not being made. As a struggling writer I'm not encouraged by the trend of repeating. Of course, how many different Frankenstein films have I paid for? Oh well, when is the Halloween 3 remake coming out?
And just because I don't want to hear any complaining that I didn't mention Child's Play...
...that first one is still creepy!
Keep watching the sky, nerds!

Guest 'Toonist

My Kid, age 8 1/2, 2012

Exploding Toy Box

Apparently, the people at Lego don't understand I'm friggin' poor! Besides the new Batman sets they've unleashed Monster Fighters. We took the boy to the Lego Store having no idea this new line existed, but POW! there they were-

He settled on the Wolfman and the Mummy, understanding that big daddy vulture would get a second job to afford the Frankenstein lab and Dracula castle...and the ghost train...and the Creature from the Black Lagoon...Oh boy.

These new sets are sweet, which is par for the course where Lego is concerned. Hopefully this will be a growing line and include the Invisible Man or the Fly, there's tons of classic monsters to choose from, but even if this is it we still have a Frankenstein lab set that rivals the rare old Remco Monsterizer!