The Second Richest Kid In Comic History: Royal Roy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! As you can see, we have found ourselves in the kingdom of Cashelot, a place that has the old world and modern mixed over the watchful eye of King Regal and Queen Regalia as well as their son Price Royal Roy, who love those who live on their land! But I guess I should say that it’s time once more to step into the world of Star Comics and talk about one of their original characters that tried to make Star the place for young readers to go when it came to kid’s comics! And for those wondering, Royal Roy was Stars answer for Ritchie Rich and caused the company a little bit of a headache, but we will get into that a little later in this update so if you are ready, let’s enter Cashelot and see what the Royal Family is up to.

Royal Roy 1

Royal Roy is a young prince of the Kingdom of Cashelot, and he is loved by the people and is a well-behaved and noble kid who will do what he can to make things right to all he rules over. His parents are King Regal and Queen Regalia, and they are as well good people with King Regal being a little silly and Queen Regalia being sweet natured. Roy’s pet is a toothless crocodile named Gummy that acts like a dog and is as well friendly and protective of Roy. Speaking of protection, Roy also has a bodyguard named Ascott who watches after him as well as his parents. The castle also has some butlers including the older gentleman named Shuffles and the snooty Lord Proper who are also around and both watch after and help Roy. The creator of Royal Roy was Lennie Herman who was a longtime veteran of comic art and stories for Harvey Comics who sadly passed away in 1983, or so it is reported. The series of Royal Roy would only last six issues and almost got Marvel Comics, the parents company of Star Comics, into a lawsuit with Harvey Comics who claimed the character was too close to theirs…you guessed it, Ritchie Rich…nothing came of the lawsuit. And strangely enough in the early 1980’s, Harvey Comics was having money issues and Marvel was in talks to publish many of their classic characters, that is until two of the Harvey Brothers clashed over this and the deal was void. But really thanks to Harvey as Star become something better than just publishing comics based on dated characters for the then modern kids. Give me Royal Roy over Ritchie Rich and give me Star Comics over Harvey Comics any day! And with that said, I do enjoy some of Harvey comic series and characters.

Royal Roy 2Royal Roy 3Royal Roy 4

I know this sounds like a broken record for you long time readers, but I have to stress that I truly think that Marvel pulled the plug on Star way too fast as some of the comics clearly found their readers as Top Dog, Thundercats, Care Bears, Heathcliff, Muppet Babies and Spider-Ham all lasted for pretty long runs, and I knew many kids from school that were reading them with Muppet Babies and Thundercats being very popular among my classmates. But also comics like Masters Of The Universe, SilverHawks and Ewoks were also read and discussed in the halls and on the playground. The part of the history of Star Comics that I find really weird is when Marvel decided to remove the Star brand from the covers of releases new and old but left the Star Comics Presents on the first interior page and ones that come to mind are Camp Candy and Police Academy both of whom started with issue one having Marvel on the cover and Star on the inside…just odd. And with it being 2023, I still would love to see Marvel Comics bring back the Star Comic line as younger readers right now are not being reached and it’s a big missed opportunity as the comic readership market is shrinking, and while I think bringing back Star would be a great idea, you know as well as I do that Disney will not invest any more money into the comics as they are way too busy flooding the market with the similar plotted and brand fatigued Marvel Movies and Streaming Shows to the masses. I miss the classic Marvel Comics Universe that for me defined the 1960’s-1990’s as I felt like the comics had great stories and that the company in general took more risks and the creators put more passion into the issues. The modern Marvel Comics seems to be more concerned with getting social media fans that are non-comic readers to be excited about social topics that they are shoehorning into the Marvel Universe in comics as well as all media. While I doubt this ever will happen, I hope that Marvel Comics one day can break away from Disney and become the leader in comic book industry and masters of creativity that they used to be.

Royal Roy 5

When I was a kid, one of the things that I loved to get in the mail next to my comic subscriptions was the Del Monte Country Yumkins Plush Dolls, very cool plushes based on vegetables, fruit and even other things you would find on a farm like Scarecrow and a Black Bird. If I remember, you would have to send some proof of purchases and a little cash to Del Monte and they would then send you the plush you chose. Now I had a ton of these growing up as my Mom seemed to really enjoy ordering them for me as well and my top three favorite ones were Cobbie Corn, Cocky Crow and Sweetie Pea. They were made by Trudy and to me these little guys were great promo items to promote Del Monte canned & frozen fruits and veggies and as well was a great way to get kids to eat these types of foods. The County Yumkins started in 1982 and ran through around the early 1990’s and really was the company’s most popular promo items of all time and to say that the promotion was a hit would be an understatement. And in 2022 I was chatting with Juliet about them, and we decided that we were going to order four of them and display them in our upstairs workspace. And the first one I was able to get was Sweetie Pea from Etsy and then I got Cobbie Corn & Reddie Tomato from Ebay and finally we got Cocky Crow from Ebay to make up our shelf. And I broke down and had to get Snappy Bean that I picked up on Ebay and also got Country Stawberry off Etsy as they both had to join the collection as they were some of my favorites as well as a kid. Now I am not saying that all the other fellow Country Yumkins plush will not be bought to join the collection in the future, just not anytime soon. Check out the pictures below for the plush we bought as these are the pictures that the sellers used at the time of them being for sale.

Country Yumkins Sweetie Pea PlushCountry Yumkins Cobbie Corn and Reddie Tomato PlushCountry Yumkins Snappy Bean PlushCountry Yumkins Cocky Crow PlushCountry Yumkins Country Strawberry Plush

So as you can see, Royal Roy was truly Star Comics attempt to capture the readership of Ritchie Rich and also I think was a “slap” to the face of Harvey Comics for not allowing Marvel to publish their characters and this was a way of saying see we can just create our own and compete for that kids comic market. And now it’s time for me to reread the Royal Roy series and see if it not only holds up to what I remember but also if it was a good alternative to Ritchie Rich. I would like to thank Lone Star Comics and Bell Book And Comic for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. So before we dive into the money pit, I would like to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that, let’s see is Royal Roy holds up from what I remember as a kid reading.

Royal Roy Comic 1

Royal Roy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 1 of 6

“Mystery Of The Missing Crown” in the Kingdom of Cashelot the people are happy to celebrate the birthday of their Prince Royal Roy and his father and mother (King Regal & Queen Regalia) are very proud of him as well, as he is kind and an over all great kid. But when King Regal and their bodyguard Ascott go to the royal vault in order to fetch the royal crown for the prince they find that it’s missing! King Regal gets all his men to search the castle and even his sister the Duchess Of Muchess shows up and lend her time to try and help. Meanwhile Roy and his toothless crocodile pet Gummy also start looking around and find that the missing crown is in a picture of their ancestor William The Warhorse and he was not wearing it earlier, but before Roy can show his dad, the crown is gone again. That night Roy gets a visit from the ghost of William The Warhorse who tells him that he stole the crown as a test and that he is proud of him and returns the crown and Roy wears it for the ceremony before all his people. The second story is called “Crocadog” and has Royal Roy and his toothless pet Gummy capture some bad poachers that have been hunting in the kingdom.

The first issue of Royal Roy really is a good standard 80’s Kids Comic that really would have been at home at Archie or Harvey Comics showing that Star Comics really was a competitor in that market at the time. The first story’s plot has a the ghost of a multiple-great grandfather of Roy stealing the youngster’s crown in order to test him to see if he would look for it himself, and after Roy does that The Ghost is proud of him and gives the crown back and all ends well as the people of Cashelot get to see their Prince get his crown. The second story is a quick one and has Gummy and Roy stopping some animal killers. Royal Roy, while rich and the Prince of a whole kingdom, is very caring and well behaved and is well loved by all that meet him. His pet Gummy is also very good and acts like a dog. Because he is missing his teeth, he is harmless and Roy also has parents that care and watch after him as well as a whole staff that works for his family that also seem to adore him. This issue has two stories with the first one being the best as I like the idea of a Ghost from his bloodline testing him to make sure Roy is worthy of caring on the families legacy. The stories do have a touch of Ritchie Rich, but has its own touch to the kid comic trope of a sweet rich kid whose money does not affect him being a good person. And best of all, I feel that they stories are charming and hold a very magical feel for young readers who wanted something more than just superheroes. The cover is eye catching for the time fit right at home in layout and design for kid’s comics. The interior art by Warren Kremer is great stuff and you can tell he was a veteran of Harvey Comics. Over all a good start to this series and let’s see what Roy has in store for us next.

Royal Roy Comic 2

Royal Roy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 2 of 6

“The Grand Ball” Royal Roy is giving a tour of the castle and after the last one The King shows up and says he is happy it’s over as it makes him nervous having hundreds of tourists in the castle, and with that he runs into a young girl named Crystal Clear who he ends up giving a late tour to and then asks her to be his date for the ball that night, but this annoys Lorna Loot who has a crush on Roy as she wants to be a princess and is very rich and does not understand why Roy would choose a commoner girl over her. And she gets an idea after seeing the book Cinderella on her bookshelf. “Strangest Stranger” the night of the ball Roy and Crystal are having a great time when Lorna now dressed as Cinderella shows up complete with glass slippers annoys everyone trying to get Roy to notice her, and of course this does not work and Lorna leaves without Roy’s attention. The next day Roy calls Lorna to invite her to go on a hike with Crystal and him only for Lorna to yell at him cause her feet are swollen from the slippers. “Maneuvers” Royal Roy is woke up early in the morning by General Battlescar as it’s the day that Roy must attending the maneuver drills for the kingdom’s army, and Roy soon finds out the drills are just he and the General as Cashelot does not have a full army as they have not been in a war for over 900 years and all their weapons are made of cardboard! After playing along for a bit the drills are over, and Roy and the General head back to the castle and Roy is praised for his skills.

This second issue is just as fun as the first issue and has two tales of Royal Roy and his kingdom with one story being told in two parts. And I have to say all the stories in this one is lots of fun and I would say the two part story is the better of the two and that is barely as both are silly fun. Royal Roy once more in this issue shows that he is a caring young man who loves the people that make up his kingdom as well cares about the feelings of everyone, even people who annoy him. It’s also cool to see him fall in love in this issue and also shows that he kind of has a stalker who wants to be with him in order to become royalty. Crystal Clear is a young blonde girl who is very nice an captures the heart of Roy who clearly is crushing on her, and while she is from the common side of town, the Royal Family seem not to care as they see she is a good person. Lorna Loot is a very rich dark haired girl who is mean, pushy and has a crush on Roy’s power as she wants to become a Princess so bad, and will do whatever she can to get his attention. General Battlescar is crazy and seems to want a bigger army with weapons as he so wants to be in charge of soldiers, plus I love that he acts as if the cardboard weapons have real effects. This issue also has cameos by King Regal, Ascott and Shuffles all help add to the fun of the issue. The cover for this issue is pretty fun and showcases Roy pushing a crown that has a massive diamond on the top of it an the interior art by Warren Kremer is great as always. Another fun read an was just as entertaining as I remember it being as a kid, so let’s see if issue three holds up.

Royal Roy Comic 3

Royal Roy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 3 of 6

“Curse Of The Prince Roy Dollar Bill” King Regal & Queen Regalia have decided to make a new dollar bill for the kingdom that will feature the face of Royal Roy who is a little embarrassed by this act. Meanwhile Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, the second cousin of the King wants to take over the kingdom and adds itching powder to the ink of the bills that way everyone who handles it will have a bad case of being itchy! And as this spreads all over the kingdom Roy along with Crystal Clear head to the creepy castle of Von Krunch to get answers as Roy knows his relative is to blame. “Into The Kreepy Kastle” Roy gets Ascott to drive him to the castle and tricks Von Krunch into touching the itchy dollar bills and finds that he has a cure for the itching that Roy takes to his kingdom, and also even though he did a bad thing Roy gives Von Krunch a gift of a box of coal and that makes him happy. In the end new Royal Roy bills are printed this time featuring the back of his head in order for people to tell the difference between the good and bad ones. “Driving Him Crazy” Royal Roy wears a mask in order to take his driving test and Ascott goes along for the ride, the tester is in a bad mood and makes the test super hard for the youngster who ends up passing due to the car having some hidden features. “What’s In A Name” a world famous mapmaker named G.O. Graffic gets a tour of the land by Royal Roy so that he can make a map of the kingdom and finds that the land is filled with pearls, oil, gold and silver and that the shape of the kingdom makes a dollar sign, hence the name of the kingdom being Cashelot.

This third issue delivers three tales of adventure for Royal Roy with one being told in two parts. And I would say that the best story has to be the one featuring the itchy dollar bills as its classic kid comic stuff and even features Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who has a castle that is protected by robotic skeletons as well as werewolves and masked henchman and this adds a kids horror comic feel to the tale. And this issue takes Roy from a haunted castle to getting a diver’s license to finally giving a tour of his land, and all are silly tales that deliver some cheesy entertainment for readers. Royal Roy shows that he also has the skills of a detective as he cracks a case that is affecting all the kingdom as well as knows how to drive like a stuntman and once more proves he is a good tour guide. Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is a jerk who wants to bring down his second cousin all because he wants to be the King, and he puts the townspeople through itchy pain in order to try and bring chaos, plus he also surrounds himself with monsters and ghouls. This issue also has many cameos from past issues including Crystal Clear, King Regal, Queen Regalia, Ascott, Lorna Loot, General Battlescar, Duchess Of Muchess, Lord Proper and added a new character to the lineup of sidekicks with that being G.O. Graffic. One thing that is odd is that Gummy, Roy’s pet toothless alligato,r disappeared for many issues and is not even mentioned after the first issue. The cover is pretty cool and has Roy standing being a giant cardboard cutout of a dollar bill and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great stuff and is what comes to mind when you think of classic kids comic artwork. The third issue is another good one and keeps the fun nature of the series going as well as keeps building on the world of Royal Roy by showing more people who live in the kingdom as well as landmarks in it. I will also say that this issue is just as fun as I remember it being when I first read it as a kid and I do love that they added some spooky stuff in the issue to add a truly amusement park haunted house feel.

Royal Roy Comic 4

Royal Roy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 4 of 6

“The Curse Of The GoldEngaged Bridge” Royal Roy and Crystal Clear are hosting a TV Show about the sites and legends of Cashelot and all the while hiding and watching is Lorna Loot who is mad that Crystal is on TV and not her. But when Roy tells the legend and law of the GoldEngaged Bridge that is if a man is captured by a woman on the bridge they are set to be married in three days, it’s Lorna that rushes the bridge and captures Roy and now the two are set to be married so Lorna can be The Princess of Cashelot! Roy is upset by this law and tries to talk sense into Lorna only to find her to be a Bridezilla ordering massive cakes, rings and being just a spoiled brat. While on the bridge Roy and Crystal are talking and something she says gives him an idea to get out of this wedding. “Practice Makes Prefect” Roy has a great idea and with the help of his friends they are setting up Lorna for a tiring Princess training! She first is woke up super early to run war drills with General Battlescar, she then has to take Gummy, the toothless crocodile, for a wild walk, Lord Proper makes her wear over sized and heavy robes and crowns, the ghost of William The Warhorse tries to scare her away and the final straw is when she had to mix with the common people and she calls off the wedding and Roy is single once more. “Space Race Ace” General Battlescar is behind on time and wants for Cashelot to send a person to space and join the space race, but he only has around $24.00 to make the rocket ship! And he makes the ship from weird parts including a rowboat and a hot air balloon and quickly forces Royal Roy into a suit of armor and then onto his ship, and unknown to them all Gummy is asleep on top of the balloon! But things get scary when the balloon gets a hole in it via a hawk, Roy crashes into a river and it’s Gummy who gets him safely to shore! And in the end Gummy gets a medal for being Cashelot’s first every astronaut.

This is another fun issue that has two stories as well as a single page joke that is at the expense of Lord Proper. The main story has Royal Roy being forced to marry Lorna Loot because of an old legend and law and has to find away to break up the engagement as he wants nothing to do with her as she is a brat! The second story has Roy and his pet Gummy being forced into a make shift rocket ship that when crashing could have lead to Roy drowning if not for the help of his loyal crocodile pet. Both stories are really good but if I had to choose one, I would say the best is the Rocket Ship but only slightly as both adventures are really good! This issue also show cases many of the classic characters we have seen in past issues and is the return of Gummy who has been missing for many issues up to this point. I also like that the ghost of William The Warhorse makes a return as well and tries his best to scare away the would be Princess. We also now get a clear view that Royal Roy is in love with Crystal Clear and even thinks about making her his bride, and that they are now also co-hosts of a TV show. Lord Proper also shows a side of himself as he is helpful in the quest to break off the wedding of Roy and Lorna, showing that while he is a snob, he still does care about the Royal family he serves. The cover is pretty fun and has Royal Roy and Lorna Loot in the middle of her massive engagement ring and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great kid comic stuff! I am also very much looking forward to what the next issue has in store for me.

Royal Roy Comic 5

Royal Roy # 5   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 5 of 6

“The Royal Olympics” The Kingdom of Cashelot has been selected to be the place to hold the Royal Olympics and Roy is selected to enter the games and has to be run through Royal training by the likes of Lord Proper, General Battlescar and his aunt Duchess Of Muchess and is all about things like eating soup right, pinning medals as well as proper hand writing. This goes on for days and Roy finally snaps under the pressure and is upset that he will let his parents down, but of course his father calms his nerves and assures him that they will love him no matter what. The next day is the Olympics and the first event is the soup eating, but before it can begin, a massive thunderstorm breaks out and the crowd starts to panic and almost riot to get away from the rain and lightning, and it’s Roy who ends up grabbing a microphone and getting them all to calm down and to get to shelter and out of the rain, and due to this behavior and the events getting rained out that Royal Roy is given the gold medal. “Ship Shapes” Royal Roy takes Crystal Clear to the family’s yacht that is something very special as he plans to race it that weekend in a contest, but also in the water is Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is wants to sink the boat so that he can save Roy and he thinks the King will give him whatever he likes for doing so, but every time he tries he fails as the yacht can turn into a submarine, a helicopter as well as an off road vehicle. In the end it’s Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is saved by Royal Roy as he almost goes over a waterfall and to show his gratefulness he becomes the janitor of the yacht during the big race that Roy of course wins.

We get two Royal Roy adventures in this issue and both a very different in nature with the big connection is both are about competition with one being how to be Royalty and the other being ready for a boat race! The first story is about the Royal Olympics and that Roy is feeling the stress of it all do to all his training that is all about being perfect, and this makes him feel like if he screws up that he will be letting his parents down. The second story has Roy on his super yacht sailing around and he is trying to show off to his crush Crystal, all the while his relative is trying to sink the ship in order to be a “hero” that saves him. Both stories are entertaining in their own way but the better of the two is the Royal Olympics that has Roy learn how to eat soup and even has cameos from many of the characters we have meet along the way in previous issues. Also I have to mention that the Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is a blood relative to Roy so badly craves power and riches that he is willing to put his own family in danger in order to try and gain them both…like he uses bombs and such to try and sink a ship…the explosions could have also killed Roy! The cover on this issue is okay and has Roy running a race to get to a crown finish line, The Royal Olympics art is done by Warren Kremer and is great and the interior art done by Ship Shapes was done by Steve Stiles and is as well good stuff. The fifth issue keeps up the entertaining value of this Star Comic series and let’s see if the sixth and final issue has in store for us.

Royal Roy Comic 6

Royal Roy # 6   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 6 of 6

“The Secret Power Of Cashelot” while in the Royal Library in the castle Roy and his friend Crystal Clear find an old map in one of the books that leads to the power of the kingdom! And of course Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who was visiting the King over hears the kids talking about the map and decides that if he can find this power than he can be in charge of the Kingdom! Royal Roy, Crystal Clear as well as Ascott head down a secret passage deep into the basement of the castle and all the while behind them is Von Krunch who ends up getting lost and is so mad that he jumps up and down in a fit of anger. Roy and friends end up finding that the power that is spoke about on the map is just a big fuse box! And in the end the floor under the silly Von Krunch gives way and he falls into the fuse box and gets burnt up and has to make up a lie in order to explain why we was following them. “Great Scout” in this adventure Roy wants to become a Royal Scout and learn about nature and camping, but sadly he is shutdown when Lord Proper gets involved and takes the fun out of all things camping. But after a bear scares Proper and he and Roy get lost in the woods, it’s really like scouting that gets them back home and causes Royal Roy and Lord Proper to come up with a new club called Roy Scouts.

Well we are at the final issue of Royal Roy and it has been a six-issue adventure that really was a fun and silly read and showcased why younger readers in the mid 80’s enjoyed this comic series as for me Royal Roy was way better than Ritchie Rich who I did read when I was a kid as well. The two stories in this issue are pretty good with the first one being a mystery map that is said to lead to the power of the kingdom that of course is just a big fuse box and then the second one is all about Lord Proper taking the fun out of scouting and learning a lesson that learning about the land and nature is better than royal rules. The first story called The Secret Power Of Cashelot is the better story of the two as it has a mystery feel and even a hint of spooky haunted house as Roy and his friends travel down a dark staircase with only a candle to light the way. While I feel that the story Great Scout is good is also is slightly bland compared to the other stories we have had in the past issues. In the final issue we also get two small gag pages and one of them allow Gummy to have his final appearance in the series. Speaking of other characters, besides of course Royal Roy the other characters that appear in this swan song issue includes Crystal Clear, Lord Proper, Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, Ascott and King Regal. And I have to say that sadly this does not feel like a final issue and it’s clear that the creative team was not aware that the series was coming to an end as it seems like the characters as well as the readers just did not get closure and that’s a real shame as for an original character like this for Star Comics he should have gotten a true final issue. The thing about Royal Roy is that at first glance to really do get that Ritchie Rich knock off vibe, but when you read his issues you see that he truly is a different character and the only real connection between the two is that they are young and rich. It would be interesting if Marvel Comics would revisit the classic Star Comics characters and set them in modern time so characters like Royal Roy, Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard would all be older and we could then follow the relative of Top Dog! For me that would be an interesting idea, and I think they make them for the ages for the readers who grew up with these characters so we see what their lives are now like. The cover for this issue is cool and has Roy opening a glowing door and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as good as always and his kid comic work is top notch. Over all Royal Roy is a great kids comic and a great Star Comics original characters and if you have not read this series you should check it out and I would also say it could be a good comic series to get younger readers into comics that are not superheroes. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Warren Kremer used in this series.

Royal Roy Comic Art 1Royal Roy Comic Art 2Royal Roy Comic Art 3

Royal Roy and the people of Cashelot sadly have been long forgotten at Marvel Comics and with Disney in control I fear that they never will see the light of print again in new stories and adventures, and we will be lucky to get them in reprint paperback novels and digital comics (Yuck!). But while I feel Marvel Comics has been a shell of itself for decades now I hope some day the House Of Ideas returns to it’s full glory, and we get the amazing stories and characters back as the focus away from pleasing social media none comic readers with “topical” tales that lack heart. Well for your next update heart and muscles is what you would have to have in order to win as we will be heading to a “Made For TV” update and cover the 1977 World’s Strongest Man contest! So until next time, read a Star Comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Oh and make sure to lift those weights and drink that protein shake as this Strongest Man contest is all about the power.

Worlds Strongest Man 1977 Preview Logo

R.I.W Wrestling Legend: George “The Animal” Steele

The doors are open at the Rotten Ink Arena, and the fans are pouring in as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is one that will please the young and old. Our main event is the missing link wild man known as George “The Animal” Steele who in the 80’s was a major star for the WWF, and as you can see at the merchandise table, his shirts and Mine Dolls are selling like crazy. And it looks like in George Steele’s honor they are serving green drinks and food at the snack bar, so let’s grab some green hotdogs and a Mountain Dew and find our seats as this update event is going to be a crazy one. The lights are dimming and the matches are about to start, so let’s get ready to cheer on the one and only George “The Animal” Steele. Oh and we should keep an eye out as who knows if we will see Mine or even if George himself will go wild and run crazy in the crowd!

George Steele 1George Steele 2George Steele 3

George “The Animal” Steele started his pro wrestling career in 1960 and was trained by Bert Rubi and started working the indies around Detroit, Michigan under the name The Student that was a masked wrestler as he wanted to hide who he really was as he was also a high school teacher at the time. During his run as The Student, he would be managed by Gary Hart who also acted as his mouthpiece and would hype of his brute strength. Around 1967 The Student would be no more and he would be called up to wrestle for the WWWF (that later would be WWF/WWE) and would also work a few other NWA territories and would be called George Steele and would be booked as a solid heel who would even challenge Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight title. He would feud with Bruno and many other of the federations’ top baby faces and would headline matches in Madison Squared Garden and would have a small run against Chief Jay Strongbow before taking a small time away to work more on his crazy wild man persona. And once back George “The Animal” Steele was fully wild and would rip up and eat the turnbuckles, had a green tongue and would have a strange wrestling style that had his arms wiggling around, which confused and worried his opponents. And his heel persona continued and allowed him to feud with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, Ivan Putski and Jimmy Snuka to name a few. And while he would never win a title, he did get many chances at them as a heel. During this time his interviews would be him loudly speaking a string of words, or yelling much like a young child would who is learning to speak. And I should also note during this time as a heel, he would also capture a few title from smaller NWA companies before he went to the WWF.

George Steele 4George Steele 5George Steele 6

On May 11, 1985 on NBC was the first every Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the opening match George Steele teamed with Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a losing effort against The U.S. Express and Ricky Steamboat. But after the match, George is blamed for the loss and is attacked and this makes baby face manager Lou Albano save him and in this moment Steele went from heel to face. And very quickly George became one of the company’s top faces as fans loved this wild man who would put on silly cartoonish matches. In 1986 George Steele would start to get a crush on Miss Elizabeth, the manager of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and the two would have a feud and this would last well into 1987 with Steele even managing Ricky Steamboat as he went for Savage’s intercontinental title at WrestleMania III, but in the end Steele would be on the losing end of the feud and would never get the affection of Elizabeth. And keep in mind, Elizabeth was so nice to George and it was Savage, who was one of the company’s top heels, who hated the attention George was trying to get. During this time as well Steele would be getting big wins against such names as Hercules Hernandez, Iron Mike Sharpe, Iron Sheik and Bob Orton Jr. to name a few. In 1988 George Steele would introduce the fans to his stuff doll friend named Mine and he would bring him to the ring to watch his matches as well as would have the doll in his promos. He would be involved at WrestleMania IV and would be in the Battle Royal, but due to a real life knee injury he would just stay outside the ring and annoy the heels in the match. It was also starting to be clear that George was falling down the card and also his health was starting to be an issue and by late 1988 he would retire from the ring for the first time and would become a road agent for the WWF working backstage. He would be let go in 1990 and a short time later hired back, and he would hold that job until around 1997 when he left the company.

George Steele 7George Steele 8George Steele 9

After leaving WWF in the late 90’s as a road agent George Steele would start working the indies taking bookings and appearances. He even returned to WWF for an episode of Monday Night Raw in order to team with Taka Michinoku against Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher. And again in 1998 he would work for WWF as apart of The Oddities and would leave again in 1999. He would make a big mistake and be a part of the disaster wrestling PPV called “Heroes Of Wrestling” and was managed by Sensational Sherri and would face Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and this was in late 1999. At the start of 2000, he would have a match against Jeff Jarrett on an episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro. His last match took place in late 2000 at an ACW event against Sgt. Medallion. And even late in his career, he was very loved by fans and he helped many indies draw when his name was on the card. But while George Steele’s in ring work came to an end in 2000, he still made appearances for federations in including Impact in 2008 and WWF in 2010. And even all through his time working the indies, he was also working wrestling themed conventions. Sadly George “The Animal” Steele would pass away from kidney failure on February 16, 2017 at the age of 74. As some of you might know, George battled Crohn’s Disease starting around the late 80’s and battled it for much of the rest of his life. He also was an actor in such films as Ruthless People (1986), Ed Wood (1994) and Small Town Conspiracy (2003) to name a few. And he also was inducted into the WWF Hall Of Fame in 1995 and has appeared in a small amount of wrestling video games.

George Steele 10George Steele 11George Steele 12

Growing up through the 80’s and 90’s was a great time to be a wrestling fan as Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in the sport and business was great and so many icons stepped foot into the ring as we also still had stars from the 60’s and 70’s competing. And one older star that I was a fan of was George “The Animal” Steele, the crazy man who would yell, chase around his opponent and would eat the turnbuckles all the while showing his green tongue. And yeah I know what you are thinking and you would be right, George Steele might not have been the world’s greatest wrestler and by all accounts he was just a gimmick wrestler who put on comedy matches, but man when I was a kid it worked. I had the George Steele LJN figure as well as his Bendy toy, and I always wanted a Mine doll and still do want one to this day. The best part of George Steele is that he was a heel that people believed could rip a person apart with his brute strength, and when he turned baby face, he was loved as people thought he was simple and misunderstood and fun loving. And let’s be honest, everyone in the stands and watching at home would mark out when George would eat and rip apart the turnbuckle having the stuffing go all over the ring. Also his cartoonish nature when wrestling, as a face would cause fans to laugh at his odd style of waving his hands around and silly faces that he would make at his opponents. When booked as a heel I have to say that George Steele really did come off as a threat as he would be totally wild and his hairy missing link look seemed to scare the fans as well as would through his baby face opponent off their game as he would wiggle his arms around and come off as a total crazy man. George “Steele” is also a wrestler I would pop for even way after he was winding down his in ring career but when he would show up on WWF or WCW I would cheer as seeing him in the ring brought back memories of my youth. Plus on a side note, Tim Burton and his team did a fantastic job of hiring George Steele to play Tor Johnson in the 1994 cult classic film Ed Wood based on the filmmaker’s life. Also the first ever WWF Ice Cream bar I ever got had George Steele on it and inside had a trading card of George as well! With that said George might not have been the most skilled in ring worker but he sure as hell was a very entertaining one.

George Steele 13George Steele 14George Steele 15

We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank George Steele for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down the matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with George Steele.

RIW Legend George Steele DVD

Best Of George Steele

Match 1: George Steele vs. Hulk Hogan

As the match starts, George starts by wiggling your hands around and Hogan stops his antics by flexing and stopping George in his tracks and as George gets out of the ring Hogan goes out after him and beats him up as the fans go crazy. Once back in the ring Hogan and George size each other up and neither wants to make a mistake and its George who makes the first move and with a wrack to Hogan’s eyes he takes the lead of the match by working over his eyes and even biting him. George takes the padding off of a turnbuckle and tries to ram Hogan’s head into it before he reverses it and rams Georges into it and then Hogan takes the match momentum and even bites the head of George! The two exchange hits and punches and with the help of brass knuckles George hurts Hogan and keeps using it to keep the Hulkster down. But after a while Hogan has had enough and after Hulking Up and some punches and a big boot to the face of George and when going for the legdrop, Mr. Fuji cheats and trips Hogan and as George distracts the referee he throws powder into the eyes of Hogan blinding him and causing him to fall out of the ring and is counted out and the fans are very mad by this. This is a match that on paper should not work well as both Hogan and Steele are wrestlers who work their own styles with Steele’s really being more of a gimmick and yet the two made it work as they blended both together and really got the crowd into it. No big moves are thrown and nothing really fancy is delivered, but the way Steele cheats and gets the heat from the crowd and the way the fans pop for Hogan at every move really does make the match feel big. I was also really surprised when Steele is the one who gets the win via pinfall. Over all a good match that had a big fight feel and showed that George Steele could have been a big heel even in the 80’s if booked right.

Rating: ***

George Steele 16George Steele 17George Steele 18

Match 2: George Steele vs. Pete Mitchell

George Steele is managed by Freddie Blassie in this match and as soon as the bell rings, the weird movements of George throws of Pete and George moves in and attacks the face and head of Pete even biting him. George then destroys the turnbuckle and keeps his attack on Pete going who is helpless at this point and is just being destroyed. George even tosses Pete out of the ring and Blassie even delivers a kick to him, and George will not let him back in the ring. Once back in the ring George starts working on both arms of Pete stomping on them, and at this point Pete has not even landed one punch or move in the match. George continues beating up and tossing Pete around and in the end with a lifting hammerlock George gets the win when Pete is forced to give up. And after the bell George still beats up on Pete and Blassie loves it. This match is a total squash match and has George Steele destroying Pete Mitchell by just biting, knocking him out of the ring and stomping on him. George looks great as a heel in this match as he is vicious and does not allow his opponent to even fight back and his lifting hammerlock is fantastic looking. Poor Pete Mitchell looks like a total jobber and does nothing in the match besides sell like crazy for Steele. Not much more to say besides this is a very one sided match that while entertaining of seeing George be mean heel, is not much of a match.

Grade: **

George Steele 19George Steele 20George Steele 21

Match 3: George Steele vs. Adrian Adonis

George starts the match by chasing Adonis around the ring and causes him to escape by getting out of the ring. Once back in the ring George charges at Adonis who is able to land a punch first and even chokes him with his scarf, and even uses the ropes to try and take the breath away from George. But with a quick punch to the face George makes his comeback that allows him to unleash a series of stomps and punches. George even slams Adonis on the entry ramp as the fans cheer with joy. But while hurt Adonis is able to land a few punches to the gut of George and then gives a few stomps, but George as well brawls his way back to being the one on top of the match momentum for a moment until Adonis takes back over for a brief moment with some punches. Adonis climbs the top rope and George crotches him and Adonis then elbows the referee knocking him out for a moment, George gets Adonis into the hammerlock and causes him to tap out but there is no referee to see it. George goes to check on the referee and when doing so Adonis rolls him up and gets the pin and the win. This is a brawling match that is kind of bland as Adrian Adonis is very lazy in the match and spends most of its short time resting on the mat or ramp and throwing very sloppy moves. This clearly was during a time when Adonis just stopped caring about the quality of his matches and he and George’s style just did not mix well at all. I do feel that he did sell really well for George throughout the match. George as well does his basic punches and stomps with his lifting hammerlock to Adonis being the most impressive move in the whole match. Over all it’s a very sloppy match that George Steele did his best to try and make it look good and entertaining and while he tried it just was not a good match.

Grade: *1/2

George Steele 22George Steele 23George Steele 24

Match 4: George Steele vs. Greg Valentine

As the match starts, Greg tries to attack George from behind and it backfires, as George is able to see the attack coming and lands a punch to his gut and then starts beating up Greg more and more even ramming his head into the turnbuckle. But Greg makes a comeback after George botches an attempt at a bulldog headlock and Greg drops chops and elbows onto the down Animal and then unloads many elbows onto him as George tries to get up. After trying to land a top rope axe handle that misses Greg finds himself getting beat up by George who is now worked up with some anger and the fans are clearly behind him. And George then goes after Jimmy Hart the manger of Greg Valentine and starts to chase him to the back as Greg ends up going out after George to try and save his manager. And with that George Steele is counted out by chasing Hart around the ring and Greg wins the match via count out. This is another sloppy brawl that showcases two powerhouse wrestlers from the WWF from the 80’s slugging it out and showing once more that when pitted against the right opponent Georges limited move set can work and Greg was a good opponent for him to be working. Greg also does a great job of selling for George and does a good face flop when hitting the turnbuckles. George pretty much does his normal stomping, punching and acting weird while limited the fans love every second of him in the ring. The end being a count out was a little of a letdown but it did at least make both wrestlers look strong with Greg Valentine getting the win and George Steele still looking like a top baby face in his loss as he was not pinned and even was able to scare Jimmy Hart who was a hated heel manager. Over all super sloppy but entertaining for such a quick throwaway match that was clearly just a way to give Greg a win.

Grade: **1/2

George Steele 25George Steele 26George Steele 27

Match 5: George Steele vs. Gorilla Monsoon

We start the match already in progress and Gorilla is down on the mat and is injured as George starts to work over his arm by stomping on it and keeps the pressure on Gorilla and even almost gets a three count on him. George starts working on the shoulders of Gorilla, who then ends up getting out of George’s hold and locks in a big bear hug as the crowd starts cheering for Gorillas comeback, George lands a big punch to his forehead and both men crash to the mat. Once back up George starts using an object to punch Gorilla who is very injured and weak by now, and George almost tosses Gorilla over the top rope and once Gorilla gets back in the beating continues as George uses an object to punch him in the head over and over. And after a sloppy comeback Gorilla locks on a bear hug again and like before George uses an object and the hold is broke and the pair fall to the mat. In the end Gorilla gets ahold of the object and George leaves the ring and gets himself counted out and Gorilla wins the match via count out. This is a very slow paced match and Gorilla Monsoon spends most of the match on the mat sweating like crazy and kind of so-so selling for George who is doing all the work and trying to make this match at least somewhat good. The match has the most basic moves thrown with most of them coming from George who is doing his normal brawling style that is mostly throwing punches. This match is really bad and many spots in the match happen several times making them very uninteresting. Not much more to say then George Steele looks good in the match and does his best to work with a clearly out of shape Gorilla Monsoon and while George has a limited style it was clear Gorilla was even more limited at this time. And really silly that they gave the count out win to Gorilla when they should have given George the win as he was becoming a great heel.

Grade: *

George Steele 28George Steele 29George Steele 30

Match 6: George Steele vs. Mike Powers

As the bell rings, George Steele rushes Mike Powers and lands some clubbing blows and tosses him over the rope and goes after him and rams his head into the rails, and George will not even let Mike back into the ring. Once back in the ring Mike is placed in an arm bar and his arm is even bitten by George. And then George gets Mike into his lifting hammerlock and Mike quits and this give George the very quick win. Wow, this was 100% a squash match as George Steele busts out his brawling moves and his finishing move the hammerlock to make Mike Powers look like a jobber as he is unable to even land one move. The only move that stands out in the whole match is once more George Steele’s lifting hammerlock. And I have to say Mike Powers does a good job of selling for Steele throughout this quick match. Nothing special here but did its job of building George Steele.

Grade: **

George Steele 31George Steele 32George Steele 33

So as you can see while George “The Animal” Steele was a wrestler who had a brawling gimmick style that could get fans to cheer when a face and boo him like crazy when heel and while not a technical wrestler he was one hell of an entertaining one that was one of my favorites growing up cause he made Pro Wrestling fun. And that brings me to this, in 2023 I feel like doing something very fun and will be a major treat for fans of wrestling like myself as I think every month this year I will have a “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” update! Remember back in 2021 we did this same thing for “Horror Host Icons”, but in April, what our household calls WWE WrestleMania Month, I will deliver two updates showcasing wrestlers! Again I know you fans of the squared circle are looking forward to seeing who we cover, now with that said our next update will take us out of the Rotten Ink Arena and back to the world of Star Comics as we go on adventures with Royal Roy one of the companies most popular original characters. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers. And yes the land that Royal Roy rules over is called Cashelot…just think about that.

Royal Roy Star Comics Preview Logo

Star Trek VI: The Rotten DC Country

As you can see, you have found yourself on Rotten Ink and on another trip down memory lane with the crew of the USS Enterprise as this time around we will be talking about Star Trek VI that has Captain Kirk and his crew once more at odds with Klingons when he is framed for the murder of a high ranking Klingon. And like most of the past films in the series, DC Comics was the company who took up the task of making the adaptation. This sixth film has an interesting back story of cheap budget, anniversary and even rumors of a star taking naughty photos on the set, so with those teasers lets get to the bridge and take flight through space with Captain Kirk and his crew as we try and beat a murder wrap and find that undiscovered country.

Star Trek VI 1

So let’s take a few moments and talk about the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I will be taking the films write up from our pals at IMDB, and then I will talk about the films production as well as a little about my thoughts on the film. So let’s jump to warp speed and talk part six.

Star Trek VI 2Star Trek VI 3Star Trek VI 4

Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country (1991)

“On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.”

The fifth film in the series was a disappointment at the box office for Paramount Pictures and the future of the Star Trek films was on shaky ground, but they knew that they needed to do something as the series 25th Anniversary was coming up and they wanted to do something to celebrate it but also did not want to spend a lot of money on a new film. And then ideas and scripts started to be pitched and considered with the first one being about The Starfleet Academy and would feature younger versions of Kirk, Spock and other characters from the classic series and would have focused mostly on Doctor McCoy who would be telling the story of how they all meet to recruits at the academy. And this cool idea was viewed very negatively by most of the original cast, heads at Paramount and even Gene Roddenberry himself and this caused Harve Bennett to be fired from Star Trek projects. And during this time even Walter Koening tried to create a new script that would have Starfleet and the Romulans teaming up to go to war with the Klingons and would see almost all the cast die in the end besides Spock and McCoy…this as well was not green lighted nor was an idea for the original cast to meet the cast of Star Trek The Next Generation. And it was an idea by Leonard Nimoy and the screenplay by director Nicholas Meyer that ended up being the bases for the sixth film in the series.

After the screenplay was locked Paramount gave the film the small budget of only $27million and filming started April 16, 1991 and needed to wrap on September 27, 1991 as Paramount wanted the film in theaters in December for a Holiday release. And during filming many coast cutting measures was used to keep the film in the given budget and they even filmed some parts at the iconic Bronson Canyon in California that has been the set for many iconic TV Shows and Movies over the years including such Horror and Sci-Fi films as “White Zombie (1932)”, “The Vampire Bat (1933)”. “Robot Monster (1953)”, “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)”, “Return Of Dracula (1958)”, “Equinox (1970)” and “Army Of Darkness (1992)” to name a very small few. I should also note that many classic heroes films, shows and serials has been shot here as well like Superman, Batman. Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon and Captain Marvel. The film would be scored by Cliff Eidelman and it would be released in theaters of December 6, 1991 and was meet with mostly positive reviews from critics as well as fans. But one sad thing is that Gene Roddenberry would pass away on October 24, 1991 at the age of 70 from heart failure and never got to see the film released. Star Trek VI would go on to bring in $96,888,996.00 worldwide and be the # 15 top grossing films in 1991 beating out such films as JFK, What About Bob?. Boyz In The Hood, The Rocketeer, Thelma & Louise, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, People Under The Stairs, Child’s Play 3, Ernest Scared Stupid, Drop Dead Fred and Suburban Commando to name a few. Over the years this film is also considered one of the best in the Original Cast Star Trek films and is still talked about and respected to this day. And I can see why I have always liked this film and have good memories once more of seeing the film in school and enjoying it for all the strange moments of the prison and the aliens that made it up. This film is also iconic for me as it marks the final film that features the classic crew all together and truly marks the end of a era of Science Fiction characters for me as while I like the reboots of Star Trek no once can replace these actors in those roles.

Star Trek VI is such a fun film and from the first time I seen it via renting it on VHS when released I was a fan as I felt that it was a great story that once more pitted Captain Kirk against the Klingons and really built up the bond and friendship between Kirk and McCoy. While the cast was getting older it was awesome to see the character they played as well grow as well as be promoted and yet all still remain friends and stick by each other during the ups and downs. It’s crazy to thank that this film is the last to feature all of the original cast together and while it’s not my favorite film in the series I feel that it was a fun one to go out on as it brings Captain Kirk and the Klingons back together and a healing moment happens for Kirk. I also think that casting David Warner as the Klingon High Council member Gorkon was very cool as I knew him from the films Tron, The Omen, Nightwing, Time Bandits, Waxwork and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret Of The Ooze and seeing him as a Klingon was fun. And growing up I owned this film on VHS and later DVD, I also had the paperback and comic adaptations as well as the films score on CD. I need to also point out that while they cut the films budget very low the film does not feel cheap, just a little less polished than the other films in the series. If you have not seen this film and enjoy Classic Star Trek make sure to give this one a watch.

Star Trek VI 5

Like all Star Trek films the merchandise machine was in full effect as they wanted to make a little extra money off it just in case if the box office numbers needed help. And besides the comic and of course home media release you also got the soundtrack, magazines, toys, novel, posters and shirts and like all other Star Trek movie merchandise that came before it fans flocked to buy it all up. And over the years I have had and have much of this as I still own the film on DVD as well as many of the toys, the novel and soundtrack. And at one point I had a few magazines featuring the film. I must say I do really like the classic Playmates Star Trek toys as they were well done for the time and covered all eras of the classic series and films. So if you are a fan of Star Trek VI, make sure to track down some of its merchandise for your collection.

Star Trek VI Novel 1Star Trek VI Soundtrack CD 1Star Trek VI Toy 1

Ok before we move onto the comic review part of this Star Trek themed update we need to talk about the fact that actress Kim Cattrall and her character Valeris are super attractive in this film I mean Kim was already a 80’s Actress Sex Symbol with her roles in such films as Police Academy, Big Trouble In Little China, Mannequin and Honeymoon Academy to name a few all adding to movie goers noticing her beauty. And when she took a roll in the then newest Star Trek film the world of Sci-Fi started to really take notice of her looks and her acting talent. And man did she look great as a Vulcan and in a Star Fleet Office uniform! And come on any of you fellow Trekkies out there know just how great it is to see an attractive woman in a Trek uniform. Rumor has it that Leonard Nimoy was not a fan of Kim’s on set as he thought she was driven by ego and again just a rumor is that she and her boyfriend at the time took sexy pictures of herself on the USS Enterprise set and this was the final straw for Nimoy who caught her doing so and forced them to destroy the pictures and made it that she would never work on a Star Trek project again…but again this was all just a rumor. But one thing is for sure and that’s Kim made her mark in the world of Star Trek and looked good doing it.

Star Trek VI 6Star Trek VI 7Star Trek VI 8

Well I think we are at the point to travel to that Undiscovered Country with the crew of the USS Enterprise and DC Comics and see how this comic adaptation compares to the film it’s based on. And this is a comic I am looking forward to re-reading as its been a very long time sense I did so, and I also would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. I would like to also remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets head to the criminal trail of Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy and see how and if they can beat the murder rap they are on the hook for.

Star Trek VI Comic 1

Star Trek VI # 1
Released in 1991     Cover Price $2.95     DC Comics     # 1 of 1

Captain Sulu and his crew have just finished up a three year mission and as they are returning an explosion from a Klingon owned moon rocks the star ship and worse when they call the planet to see if they need help the Klingons refuse it, and Sulu ends up calling for the Starfleet for help. Days pass and at a big Starfleet meeting Spock gives a speech about helping The Klingons who’s ozone is damaged after the moon explosion and that in 50 Years their planet will be unlivable and that Klingon Ambassador Gorkon is willing to call for peace in order to get help, and the Starfleet are torn on if they should trust them and help and Captain Kirk is against helping them! But after talk they majority vote to help and Spock has volunteered Kirk and the Enterprise to host Gorkon through federation territory and to the meeting, Kirk is not happy as he hates them but does so with his classic crew as well a new crew member Valeris a Vulcan who graduated at the top of her class. That evening Captain Kirk and the Enterprise Crew host Gorkon and his crew for dinner and that includes General Chang who clearly does not like Kirk, and the dinner ends in arguments between the two sides. Latter the ship of Gorkon is attacked by torpedo’s being fired by the Enterprise to Kirk and the crews shock as well as two masked men beam aboard the Klingon ship and shoot and kill Gorkon! After the attack General Chang blames Kirk for the attack as well as Doctor McCoy who tired to medically help Gorkon for his murder and this forces the two to be put to trial via Klingon law and are found guilty and sent to a frozen prison planet. Meanwhile Spock, Valeris, Scotty, Uhura and Chekov are all trying to figure out what happened as the ships computers are conflicting with each other on if the torpedo’s came from the Enterprise as well as some interference is keeping them from talking with Starfleet. While on the frozen prison planet Kirk and McCoy meet female alien Martia who fills them in on the rules of this prison, while on the Enterprise Spock leads a search of the ship in order to find the assassins. Kirk and McCoy are able to escape the prison with the help of Martia who was a spy for the Klingons and is killed during the escape and are beamed back to the Enterprise where they have discovered that a new cloaked Klingon Bird Of Prey ship is the one who fired the torpedo’s and that Valeris is the one who was the traitor of the Enterprise and helped set up the assassination. Kirk gets the help of Sulu and they head to the peace talks as another assassination is going to take place and they bring down General Chang who was one of the masterminds behind this framing of Kirk and is in the Bird Of Prey that is now blown up that fired on Gorkon’s ship. Once at the peace talks Kirk and his crew stop the assassination and expose the members of both sides that wanted the peace talks to fail, and Kirk forgives the Klingons for the death of his son and as all things change for the good Kirk knows this was the final ride for the Enterprise with him in as Captain.

This comic adaptation is very well done and DC Comics once more proved that they knew how to adapt the Star Trek films into comics! The plot is best summed up this way Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy are framed for the murder of a high ranking Klingon and are sent to a prison planet were they have to try and escape the clear their names and expose the Klingon traitor who has set up the whole thing to cause more tension and possible war between Starfleet and the Klingons as he thinks his people have gone soft. This plot is very cool and is kind of deep as it shows Race Tension between several different alien races and shows that all people are the same and there is good and bad in everyone as we all have the goal of just living our lives, and it also shows that people will come together for a common goal and that can be something positive or something foul. Captain Kirk goes from being very angry and hating the Klingon race for the death of his son, and by the end learns that forgiveness and change is what is best for the galaxy. And like always Kirk is a ladies man and a hero and risks his life several time in order to escape and do the right thing and that’s solve a murder, make sure peace is meet and to clear his name of murder. Doctor McCoy who does not trust the Klingon’s does do his best to save the life of one, but does not understand the biology of them and is not able to help. Spock along with Scotty, Uhura and Chekov do what they can to solve this murder mystery and of course figure it all out and save lives and Spock is the key to help Kirk grow as a person. Valeris and General Chang are the two masterminds behind the killing of Gorkon as they both on the side that The Klingons and Starfleet should never trust each other and that being at war is what is needed. I think what is great is that General Chang is so ego driven that even before he is blown up he is bragging and thinking he is in charge of the battle, such a great and sleazy bad guy. The comic does a great job of keeping the pace of the story going and yet also keeps all the important speeches and exchanges between characters. I also have to say that while they are around Sulu, Scotty, Uhura and Chekov do kind of seem like background players in the issue as they are helpful and around they just are not major players in the issue. The cover for this issue is awesome and showcases all the major character from the film and the interior artwork done by Gordon Purcell is really good and he does a great job of capturing the likeness of the actors. Over all a great comic adaptation and is a very fun and entertaining read. Checkout the artwork below to see the style of Purcell.

Star Trek VI Comic Art 1Star Trek VI Comic Art 2Star Trek VI Comic Art 3

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a great film and as you can see DC Comics did a great job of turning the movie into a fun comic and capturing the mood and adventure elements of the film on paper. I also want to say that I was really sad hearing about the passing of Nichelle Nichols in 2022 who played Uhura, as she was an amazing actress and will be missed. But with the review coming to an end it also makes me a little sad as we only have one more film and comic adaptation that features the some of the cast of the original series to cover and of course that is Star Trek: Generations and we will be covering that in 2024. But as our time with Captain Kirk and the crew come to an end I want to let you know that the next update will take us out of space and into the wrestling ring as we take a look at George “The Animal” Steele and kick off our year long celebration of Pro Wrestling and WWF WrestleMania! So until next time read a Star Trek comic or three, watch a Star Trek film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update and lets hope that Turnbuckles is not the only snack food offered at the Rotten Ink Arena snack bar!

George Steele Promo Logo 1

Matt Goes To The Movies 2022

Best Of Movies 2022 Logo

Happy New Year! It’s crazy to think that 2023 is here already and as you can see, we are here again at the Rotten Ink Theater to talk about the films that I saw in the cinema. It was once more a great year of films, and movie studios have been turning up the great amount of Horror films that have graced the silver screen. But while 2022 over all was a great year, it also brought a little sadness for me as early in the year my best friend and lovable cat Leslie passed away at the age of 16…it was hard losing her as she really was a one of a kind cat who grew up watching Horror Films with me and I had her since she was a baby kitten. I really do miss her every day.  The year then ended with another big loss, as around the holidays, my cat Streets J passed away at the age of 14.  Streets was a lovable goofball who my girlfriend and I rescued as a stray off the streets of downtown Dayton.  If you’ve read Sparkle Comics’ Defenders of the Planets series, there’s a character based on Streets.   But enough of the sad stuff as we are all here to talk movies! I saw some great films at such theaters as Cinemark Dayton South, Cinemark The Greene, Little Art Theatre and Regal Cinema, and each of these theaters deliver a different watching experience and are all awesome in their own ways. And like before I will be breaking this Best Of List by genre, and please remember that there might be some spoilers, so read on if you don’t mind. So let’s grab some popcorn and a drink and find our seats and sit back and relax and talk some movies!

Cinema 2022 Logo For Theaters

For me nothing beats seeing a film in the theater and all this Direct To Streaming stuff is not for me as I love the theater experience, so let’s start off with taking a look at the Drama films I saw this year.

Drama 22 Logo

# 2

Death On The Nile (2022) Poster

The world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot finds himself invited to the wedding of Simon Dotle and Linnet Rideway that is taking place in Egypt, but along with the wedding guests is Jackie de Bellefort who was Simon’s ex-fiance and one time best friend of Linnet’s as the two love birds hooked up when Jackie made the mistake of introducing them to each other. And once the wedding party all find themselves guests on a private boat cruise, Jackie is also on board. After a fight with Simon, she shoots and wounds her ex and later that night Linnet is killed in her sleep and now Poirot must uncover the dark secrets of all the guests as Linnet informed him before her death that she did not trust any of them and this makes the world’s greatest detective have to work over time in order to solve this murder case. This movie is fantastic and just like “Murder On The Orient Express” is a great way to get modern moviegoers into Hercule Poirot. The film is very well cast with Kenneth Branagh once more playing Hercule Poirot with other names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Emma Mackey and Jennifer Saunders to name a few. The film did okAY at the American box office bringing in $45,630,104.00 on a budget of $90million. This is a great watch, and if you love who-done-it detective films, make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Elvis (2022) Poster

Col. Robert Parker was a conman who is blamed by many as the man who killed Elvis as he pushed the classic music legend with a constant flow of drugs in order to get him on the stage so that he could make money. And Elvis’s star grows the more Parker tries to control not only his career but his life, and this film touches on the rise and fall of Elvis from innovator musician to addict, and this perspective comes from the side of Parker as he is the one narrating the movie played by Tom Hanks. This is a very entertaining film for fans of Elvis and while they do bend some truths as well as mix up some dates, this still is one that I truly enjoyed! The film stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and he does a fantastic job, also on the cast is Olivia DeJonge, David Wenham and Helen Thomson. This film was directed by Baz Luhrmann and makes great use of Elvis’ music for the soundtrack. The film did really well for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office bringing in $151,040,048 on a $85 million budget. If you like Elvis and want to see a different take on his life and death, give this one a watch.

As you can see I did not get to the theater that much for drama films and for me Elvis took that # 1 top spot as I felt that it was a great film and one that was best I saw on the Silver Screen. So with that, let’s take a look at the Comedies I saw in the theater in 2022 and see what took the # 1 spot and gave me the biggest belly laugh!

Comedy 22 Logo

# 3

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Poster

Actor Nicolas Cage is in a slump when it comes to acting roles and worse, his personal life with his wife and teenage daughter is not going good. In order to get some money to help him get out of debt, he takes a booking to be a guest at a millionaire named Javi Gutierrez’s birthday party…and the two quickly become good friends and start working on a film idea. But Cage is also working for the U.S. government as they think that Javi is a crime lord for a weapon and drug group who has kidnapped the daughter of a presidential candidate in Spain…but is he really a criminal or is he really just a fan of Cage and cinema in general? Watch this silly action comedy to find out. This film had some really funny moments and in fact Nicolas Cage, who is playing a parody of himself, was fantastic and shows why the actor has such a big cult following. While I did think the film would be funnier then it was, I still think many of the moments hit the spot and tickled my funny bone. The film is cast well with names like Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Sheen and Sharon Horgan with cameos from Demi Moore and David Gordon Green. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $20,300,157.00 on a budget of $30 million. If you are a big fan of Nicolas Cage and enjoy goofy comedy action films, then make sure to check this one out.

# 2

Jackass Forever Poster

Johnny Knoxville and his goofball cohorts along with newer thrill seekers once more tackle crazy stunts with some being borderline dangerous all to get a laugh from the audience. They run across raging animals like bulls, snakes, scorpions and vultures. They put their private parts through extreme measures, and of course they crash, fall, ram and smack their way through funny moments. Of course they have guest cameos like Tony Hawk and Machine Gun Kelly who get wrapped up in the overall silliness of the pranks and stunts. It was cool seeing the likes of Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Danger Ehren and even a cameo from Bam Margera doing what made them famous to teens and early 20 somethings of the 2000. It was a little sad not seeing more of Bam and his crew being involved, but being out of control like he is will make you lose jobs. The film is a mixed bag of funny stunts and ones that fall flat and the new cast for the most part are nice additions. The best stunts in my book are called “Silence Of The Lambs” and “The Cup Test;” watch the movie and see what they are about. The film did good for Paramount at the America box office bringing in $57,743,451.00 on a budget of $10 million dollars. A fun raunchy reality stunt comedy film that will surely please the fans of the TV show as well as the other films in the series, plus for those of us who grew up with the show will feel very old.

# 1

Bobs Burgers The Movie Poster

Bob and Linda Belcher go to the bank and cannot get an extension on paying back some of their loan for the restaurant and must come up with the money in a short amount of time, but things go terribly wrong for them when a giant sink hole opens up in front and a dead body is found inside it. The murder is blamed on their landlord Mr. Fischoeder and all this causes no one to come in for a burger, making their goal to save the restaurant seem very grim. But their kids Tina, Gene and Louise are on the case to probe that Mr. Fischoeder did not commit the murder while Bob and Linda listen to their friend and best customer Teddy’s idea of doing a Bob’s Burgers food cart in order to get the money. All this comes together as things work out for the Belcher family and the true murderer is found and captured and the restaurant is saved. I should also say that the Belcher kids as well have their own drama going on as Louise wants to prove she is brave, Gene doubts his music ability and Tina struggles with asking Jimmy Pesto Jr. to be her summer boyfriend. This is a fun film and is a must see for fans of the TV show as it fits right in with its silly plot, musical numbers and zany characters. The film did all right for 20th Century at the U.S box office bringing in $31,933,830.00 on an unknown budget. A great attempt to bring Bob’s Burgers from the TV screen to the big screen, and I hope it gets a sequel.

You have to love Bob’s Burgers as it’s a fun animated TV series that made a great leap to being on the big screen with the series’ first feature film. I do have to say also that all three of the comedies I saw on the big screen in 2022 were very funny and fantastic! Now it’s time to take a look at Action Films! And we had some good ones…

Action 22 Logo

# 5

Lost City (2022) Poster

Romance novel writer Loretta Sage is on a book tour when she is kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax due to her now passed away husband’s knowledge of ancient cultures, and set to save her is Alan Caprison, the cover model for her romance books and while a dimwit he means well….now can the two escape the jungle and avoid being killed? Will Loretta find true love again? And will they really find the lost treasure! Watch this Romancing The Stone style film and find out. This is a fun Action Comedy film as the humor works as do the action moments of their adventures to get away from their captors. The film is well cast with such names as Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt and Da’Vine Joy Randolph all in big roles. The film did well for Paramount Pictures at the US box office bringing in $105,344,029.00 on a $68 million dollar budget. This was a very fun film and a big surprise on just how much I enjoyed it, and I will say that the Brad Pitt cameo as rescuer Jack Trainer was great stuff.

# 4

Uncharted (2022) Poster

Nathan Drake has always been good at history and has always wanted to find lost treasure and go on big adventures like his older brother.  He gets the chance when he meets Sully, and the pair team up to find the hidden treasure that takes them across the world as well as makes them targets of billionaire Santiago Moncada and his hired hand Jo Braddock. But Nathan and Sully are also joined by Chloe Frazer, a fellow treasure hunter that they might not fully be able to trust. The film then takes the viewer on an action packed adventure filled with twist, turns, backstabs, murder and of course treasure and is of course based on the popular Sony Playstation video game series. This is such a fun thrill ride and for me it was like it took the adventure elements of such films as The Mummy (1999), Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider and rolled them together to deliver a big budget action ride that was a blast to see on the big screen and to be honest it did the game justice. The film stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Antonio Banderas and Tati Gabrielle and all do a fantastic job. The film did well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $148,648,820.00 on a $120 million budget. This clearly will become a franchise, and I am very much looking forward to a sequel as this film leaves us on a cliffhanger revel.

# 3

Bullet Train (2022) Poster

Ladybug is an assassin who has been sent on a mission to get a briefcase off a bullet train. But what should have been an easy mission turns into a very dangerous trip as other killers and assassins are also on the train, and many of them want him dead or want the case as well…and the kicker is at the end of the line The White Death, one of Japan’s most feared crime lords, and his men are waiting for those who are on the train as the briefcase belongs to him and so does a person on the train….and now Ladybug must find away to get off this train alive, finish his mission and possibly trust some of those on the train as a battle with White Death is on the horizon. This movie is awesome as it’s a great mix of action and comedy and was one hell of a great film to watch on the big screen. I took a bunch of friends with me to see this one and we all had such a blast. The comedy moments work really well, and the action as well is fast passed and well done! The film also has an all star cast with Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada and Joey King, and all are fantastic in their rolls. The film did alright for Sony at the American box office bringing in $103,368,602 on a budget $90 million budget. If you have not seen this film and like fast paced action comedies, then make sure to check this one out, as it is truly a blast.

# 2

Violent Night (2022) Poster

On Christmas Eve the Lightstone family is gathering at the family mansion, but things get crazy when a man calling himself Mr. Scrooge shows up with heavily armed associates and hold the family hostage to get $3 million that is suppose to be in the family safe. But what these naughty baddies didn’t count on is for Trudy, the youngest of the Lightstone family, to call on Santa Claus for help and he deals out more than coal for these evildoers. Santa, armed with his fleeing Christmas cheer (due to kids only wanting money and video games), his magic and a sledge hammer goes on a rescue mission in the style of John Wick! Can Santa save the Lightsones and find his Christmas Spirit again? Watch this super fun, violent action comedy film and find out. Wow, this is a Christmas classic for sure as it is over the top, lots of fun and showcases Santa Claus as a full fledged action hero who takes down the naughty kidnappers in brutal fashion. The film is well casted with David Harbour as Santa Claus, John Leguizamo as Mr. Scrooge and other cast members including Beverly D’Angelo, Leah Brady, Alex Hassell, Andre Eriksen and Mitra Suri, to name a few. And the film was a big hit with everyone I saw it with in the theater as people were laughing throughout. The film did well for Universal at the American box office bringing in around $48,060,295 (as of this update) on a budget of only $20 million. This is one you have to see if you like over the top action and/or Christmas movies.

# 1

top gun maverick Poster

Maverick is working for the Navy as a test pilot, and after breaking orders on flying a super fast test jet, he is sent to be a instructor at Top Gun as his rebellious nature has caused him to almost being fired and if not for Admiral Iceman Kazansky, he would have been! Now he must get a group of top recruits ready for what could be a suicide mission to blow up a reactor core at an enemy base before it can cause serious harm. But these young pilots have a lot to learn and need to work together and not try to be the shining stars as this is very dangerous and will take lots of skill. And for Maverick, this class is even harder as the son (Rooster) of his former wingman Goose is in the class and blames Maverick for the being held back from joining Top Gun and ranking up for years. Can Maverick get these pilots in shape? Can Rooster forgive and find out the truth? Can they make this mission a success? Watch this amazing sequel to find out! Top Gun 2 took many decades to get made, and when it was finally was made and released they hit a home run as this film was well written and felt like it was right in the groove of the original allowing us to catch back up with Maverick, Iceman and even Rooster. The film of course brought back Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in their famous roles but also in the cast included Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell and Ed Harris to name a few. The film did amazing for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $718,732,821 on a budget of $170 million. If you love the original film or just like films about the Navy or military in general that adds a dash of drama, make sure to watch this film. I have to also say that it was great seeing Val Kilmer on the big screen again, and it was great that the production worked around his health limitations.

Really action this year was packed with some great watches and really for me Top Gun: Maverick was just such a fun watch and shows that sequels beat remakes any day. But now I think its time that we see what the world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy had to offer in the theaters in 2022, and I will give you a hint there were lots of great ones.

SciFi Fantasy 22 Logo

# 3

Northman (2022) Poster

Amleth was once a young prince who watched his uncle kill his father The King in order to take the throne, and Amleth ends up running for his life and ends up becoming a part of a Viking tribe with the goal of avenging his father’s death as well as saving his mother from his uncle’s side. As Amleth has gotten older, his skills as a fighter have grown and he is now a unstoppable warrior who along the way back for revenge meets and falls in love with Olga, a sorceress who has been taken as a slave. Once he catches up with his uncle, he finds that he has ruined the kingdom and now he and his people live on farmland in the middle of nowhere. With the help of a magical sword, he takes out those close to his uncle, fathers a child, finds out the truth about his mother and fulfills his destiny of revenge and arriving in Valhalla. This is very much a modern take on the classic Barbarian films of the 80’s and 90’s but done with director Robert Eggers touch as it is filled with weird characters as well as awesome imagery. The film’s cast is great with Alexander Skarsgard as Amleth and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga being amazing in their roles. Other actors include Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Willem Dafoe, Bjork and Gustav Lindh making up some of the cast. The film sadly did not do well for A24 at the US box office only bringing in $34,233,110.00 on a budget of around $90 million. While not a mega hit at the theater, it really was a great and odd film to see in the theater.

# 2

jurassic world dominion Poster

Dinosaurs are now roaming the world and humans are trying to learn how to live alongside them as the world has truly changed. Claire Dearing and Owen Grady are trying to protect the dinosaurs from poaching and illegal breeding and they both are watching over clone child Maisie Lockwood who ends up getting kidnapped by Dr. Lewis Dodgson of Biosyn who wants to use her genetics for the company’s own gain. They also take the child of Raptor Blue for research. But also in the world, a horde of massive locusts are attacking the world’s crops, and this causes Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant to follow the trail to Biosyn as well and now they all must come together along with Dr. Henry Wu, Dr. Ian Malcolm and a few others try their best to save those kidnapped, stop the locusts as well as bring form Biosyn and their evil genetic creations. And this is just a small part of this film’s plot as there is also dinosaur fights, high-speed chases and even more of the evils of Biosyn among much more as this final film in the current Jurassic Park series. And what made this such a great watch for me is the fact that they brought together all the big characters from the series together for one big adventures, and we even get one more look at the T-Rex and we see that he really is the King Of The Dinosaurs! The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, BD Wong and many more. The film did great for Universal at the US box office bringing in $376,009,080.00 on an $185million budget. This is a must see film if you love the Jurassic Park series like I do, and is one that I bought on home media when released.

# 1

Every Thing Every where All At Once Poster

Evelyn Wang along with her husband Waymond and daughter Joy run a laundromat that is not doing well financially, and she also has the stress of taxes as well as her father Gong Gong is now living with them. But things really turn weird for Evelyn when she meets a different version of her husband who warns her that the fate of the Earth is in her hands. Now Evelyn must fight for the lives of everyone as she gains the powers of other versions of herself to fight off Jodu Tupaki who is the bringer of the destruction of all the multiverse and who is also her daughter in her own reality! Can Evelyn save the multiverse as well as save the fate of her daughter in those worlds…watch this super fun sci-fi comedy action film to find out! And this is just a brief way to try and describe this plot as there is so much more to it. The film is lots of fun, and Michelle Yeoh is amazing as Evelyn Wang as her martial arts skills have not slowed down a bit. It was also great to see Ke Huy Quan back on the big screen as he is best known for playing Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Temple Of Doom. Other actors in the cast include James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu. The film did really well for A24 at the box office here in American bringing in $70,008,593.00 on a budget of $25million. This film deserved all the hype it was getting when released and is one that you should see as I feel it did the multiverse better than most of Marvel’s films and shows…minus Spider-Man: No Way Home. Make sure to give this film a watch if you like artistic sci-fi films with action and comedy.

So as you can see Sci-Fi and Fantasy had some really great films out in 2022, and all of them were such a fun watch with “Every Thing Every Where All At Once” being the big surprise for me on just how well I enjoyed it. But now it’s time that we take a look at the Superhero films that filled the cinemas in 2022 and like always, there was a lot of them.

super hero 22 Logo

# 6

Morbius (2022) Poster

Michael Morbius has a rare blood disease as does his childhood friend Milo. Morbius has spent his life trying to find a cure, and after using vampire bats in one of his experiments, Morbius turns into a vampire! And while he tries to find a way to get ride of this curse, his friend Milo wants to as well turn into one as the pain of the blood illness goes away, and after taking the treatment himself Milo turns into a vampire and now he and Morbius are on a one way track to fight and only one of these blood drinkers and leave alive. This superhero film plays more like a B-horror movie that would have been released direct to DVD back in the mid-2010s, and that is not a bad thing for the most part, it’s just the film seems to never truly find its footing or pace. The film, while not terrible, is also not that great and is starting to show that some of these Marvel Comic inspired films are starting to show cracks of having franchise fatigue. Jerrod Leto plays Morbius, and the film also stars Matt Smith, Loxias Crown, Tyrese Gibson and Adia Arjona. The film did poorly for Sony at the box office here in American only bringing in $73,865,530.00 on a budget of around $83million. While I was not a super fan of this film, I did enjoy seeing it on the big screen and would like to at least see the Morbius character in a future Spider-Man film from Sony.

# 5

Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022) Poster

T’Challa has passed away from an illness, and the kingdom of Wakanda is saddened by the loss of their king and protector. His sister Shuri has taken it the hardest as she was not able to save him with all of her knowledge and technology. Now a year after his passing, the world wants Wakanda to share vibranium, an element that can be used to create weapons, and Queen Ramonda refuses and this causes Wakanda to stand alone in the world. But people go looking for the element other places and find it at the bottom of the ocean, and unbeknownst to them, they have caused Namor and his warriors from the Talokan to attack and defend their Kingdom…and one young woman Riri Williams (Ironheart) is the target for Namor and his people as she has built a machine that can detect the element and this makes her a danger. Namor asks Wakanda for help and to bring Riri to him. When they refuse, the two kingdoms go to war and Shuri must find her inner Black Panther. What kingdom is in the right and who will win the fight Black Panther or Namor? Watch this MCU film to find out. I want to first say that this film pays great respect to the late Chadwick Boseman who passes away from cancer. He was a great actor and he will be missed. Now as for the film itself, it is a fun watch but is way too long and has moments that drag, and I feel that they downplay the power and hatred for mankind that Namor has as he and his people seem to be background players to Shuri fighting tradition as well as becoming the next Black Panther. The film is well acted with Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o stealing the show. While I am happy to see the Black Panther legacy continue in the MCU, this film was just a little too long, dragged in spots and I am not sold just yet on Shuri being the new warrior to become the Black Panther. The film did great for Disney at the American box office bringing in $439,645,653 on a budget of $250 million. Over all if you are a fan of the Black Panther or have been enjoying this latest phase of the Marvel films, check this one out.

# 4

Thor Love And Thunder Poster

Thor has decided to return to Earth after traveling around with The Guardians Of The Galaxy and arrives to find that Gorr The God Butcher has been killing everyone he comes across and even has wounded his friend Sif in battle. He also learns that his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster is now also has the power of Thor and that she is dying from cancer and is living on borrowed time. And with Valkyrie and Korg by their side, they together they must try and warn the other Gods that death is coming as well as use all their powers in order to stop Gorr who is on a rampage to destroy the world as we know it. This is a fun and action packed superhero film that sets the odds against Thor as well as makes him face mortality  because even Gods can be destroyed. The film’s humor works well, and the sadness factor of Jane also does its job of toying with your heart-strings. The films is well cast like always as Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Jaimie Alexander as Sif with Christen Bale playing Gorr The God Butcher, and all do a fantastic job in their roles as always. The film is also just a fun ride of emotions and also has screaming flying goats! The film did good for Disney at the American box office bringing in $343,253,033.00 on a budget of $250 million. If you liked Thor: Ragnarok and The Guardians Of The Galaxy and that style of superhero humor, you will enjoy this one.

# 3

Black Adam (2022) Poster

The people of Kahndaq are being oppressed by a military team that is looking for a crown that contains the powers of demons, and one woman, her son and brother have found it. They have also freed a god-like savior who was given powers by the ancient wizards known as Black Adam who goes around and kills the foreign military invaders, but he is not the hero they think he is and his murderous ways gets the attention of the Justice Society (Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone) who head to Kahndaq to try and bring him in peacefully. This of course is not in Black Adam’s nature. And while the heroes clash with him, a group wants the crown to unleash a demon to claim the throne and rule the land…and they do just that, and it’s now up to the JS who has to team with Black Adam to save lives as well as stop the demon. This is a really fun action superhero film that has cool characters, a big after credits cameo and even a death of a superhero and shows that DC really is trying to claim the top spots of the movie comic universes. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and also on cast is Pierce Bronsan, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell, Noah Centineo and Sarah Shai to name a few, and all are great in their rolls. To be fair, I almost wish this film was a Justice Society film as I feel they steal this movie away from Black Adam. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $167,873,355 on a budget of around $195 million. This is a really fun film and really does shows that DC is spending more time on building their universe as Marvel keeps getting stale in theirs.

# 2

doctor strange in the multiverse of madness Poster

Doctor Strange meets America Chavez, a teenager who has the ability to jump around the multiverse who is on the run from monsters who want to steal her powers. When Doctor Strange tries to help her, he finds that its Scarlet Witch that has sent the monsters as she wants to use America’s powers to live in the reality where her children are real, and she will kill anyone who gets in her way! As Doctor Strange and America Chavez jumps from multiverse to multiverse, they are being hunted down and even meets the fates of other versions of Strange as well as meet heroes like Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Professor X. In the end can Doctor Strange stop Scarlet Witch’s plan for murder and show her that this is not the way for a former hero and Avenger. This is a wild ride that is filled with great cameos, undead spirits, odd ball multiverses and has the Sam Raimi spooky touch as he was the director of the film! That’s right, Raimi returned to superhero films and was even able to kind of add a horror film touch to it. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochiyl Gomez, Rachel McAdams and Patrick Stewart to name a few. The film did well for Disney at the US box office bringing in $411,331,607.00 on a budget of $200 million! This is a super fun film and if you want to see Scarlet Witch kill some superheroes as well as a Zombie Doctor Strange, you should really check this one out.

# 1

Batman (2022) Poster

Gotham City is under attack by a serial killer called The Riddler who is targeting people in power throughout the city leaving riddles for Batman who is going on a crusade to clean up the city from crime. And as the body count rises, Batman also comes across Catwoman, a burglar who is looking for information about her missing friend, as well as comes across Penguin who is a crime lord that runs a club and might have the clues to the missing woman and as well might know more about the true criminal who is running things in Gotham City. And all the while Batman is having to use his great detective work to solve each of these cases and prove that crime truly does not pay. Hands down this was the best Superhero movie to be released in theaters in 2022 and is one of the better Batman films overall! The film takes a more realistic approach and while some elements are pure superhero tropes, the more horror film feeling of a masked serial killer Riddler running around town butchering people and gaining a copycat like following just seems true to life. The film is also well cast with Robert Pattinson doing a great job as Batman with other names like Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright and Colin Farrell making up the rest of the lead cast. The film did great for Warner Brothers at the US box office bringing in $369,345,583.00 on a budget of $200 million. This film bring Batman back to being about great detective work as well as kicking the ass of crime, this is one that you need to see if you have not yet.

Superhero films are still going strong at the Box Office and it’s shocking as I think DC Comics films are truly catching up with Marvel Comics films! But up next is our update’s main event and that is of course the Horror Films of 2022 that I saw in the theater! And before we get too far in, I want to also say that I saw Jaws 3D, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Phantom Of The Opera and my friend Victor’s film Thrust all in the cinema as well!

JAWS 3D PosterCreature and Phantom PosterThrust (2022) Poster

And now it’s time to talk Horror as this is the genre of film that I have always loved and I try and see every one I can in the theater, so with no further ado let’s dive deep into this countdown.

horror 22 logo

# 32

Jeepers Creepers Reborn (2022) Poster

Laine and Chase are on a trip together to attend a horror movie party, but after winning a contest at the event they find themselves as well as a YouTube show crew stuck at a house being stalked and killed by The Creeper who has awaken for his 23 days of killing. But things are different this time around as the townspeople are feeding his murderous ways, and Laine is with child and this monster killer wants the baby for his own. Will this couple escape The Creeper or will they find themselves just more victims for his cycle? This is the fourth film in the Jeepers Creepers series and sadly looks very cheap, has a mess of a story and sadly does not follow the three other films in the series as they new creative team behind it has ideas of their own. The film has some kills and oddly is not all that gory, and the use of green screens takes away from the mood and creepiness of the film. The film’s best actors are Sydney Craven and Imran Adams who play Laine and Chase, and some of their dialogue is bad, but you cannot go wrong with Sydney dressing up in costumes to cosplay from a sexy Freddy Kruger to Jennifer from Jennifer’s Body. The film had a limited release as apart of Fathom Events and brought in $2,033,057.00 for Screen Media on an unknown budget. Not a great sequel but worth watching if you enjoy The Jeepers Creepers series…also The Creeper has a new look in this film.

# 31

Umma (2022) Poster

Amanda and her daughter Chris are beekeepers and are making a living selling the honey, but Amanda has issues as the house does not use electricity and she keeps most people away from her home.  This leaves her daughter very sheltered and wanting to see what the world has to offer. You see Amanda was abused by her mother with electricity, and this has made her an odd and protective person, but when her mother’s remains show up to the farm house, her spirit is not done with her torment and wants to once more rule Amanda’s life! Can Amanda break her mother’s spell as well as keep her daughter safe…watch this Sam Raimi produced film to find out. This is a pretty good slow burn horror film that is well acted and has a great small cast with names like Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush and MeeWha Alana making up the lead roles. The Mother’s evil spirit is cool looking and makes for a good villain in a paranormal fright film, the main issue for me is that the jump scares just did not work and felt very paint by numbers. The film did poorly at the US Box Office for Sony as it only did $2,121,025.00 on an unknown budget, and to be fair this is Sony’s fault who did a terrible job of promoting the film and spent all promotion money at the time to advertise Morbius. Over all, this is not a bad little fright flick, it just seemed to be lacking something to make it stand out from the rest of the paranormal horror films that flood the theaters, home media and streaming sites. I bought it on home media when released as I wanted to see it for a second time.

# 30

Fall (2022) Poster

Becky is climbing a mountain alongside her husband Dan and her best friend Hunter when an accident happens and Dan falls to his death. Time passes and Becky is deeply depressed and is avoiding her father and even thinks of suicide, but when Hunter comes back into her life the two ladies decide to do something extreme to spread Dan’s ashes and that’s climb a old TV tower that is the 4th tallest structure in America. But things go wrong, and the friends get stuck on top of the tower and must find away to get help! As hours and days pass, Becky and Hunter gets weaker and have to make decisions in order to stay alive.  Will the ladies get off the tower alive? Well watch this thriller horror flick to find out! This is one of those thrillers that plays off of the elements and this one is heights and gives you that what if you are stuck high in the sky with no clear way to get down, so in other words think “Open Water” set on a high tower. The film can really mess with the minds of those viewers who hate heights and that is where the horror elements come into play, well also with the vultures who swoop down for the attack. The film is well acted and cast with actress Virginia Gardner who played Hunter stealing the film. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $7,240,521.00 on a budget of $3million. This was a fun theater watch and brings some thrills, chills and spills.

# 29

Mean One (2022) Poster

Young Cindy watches a green creature called The Mean One as he tries to steal her family’s Christmas gifts and presents and by accident the creature kills her mom causing it to turn evil and forever ruin the holiday for the small California town. Now as an adult, Cindy returns to town to try to get over the PTSD she has suffered from the event and soon finds that the whole town does not celebrate the holiday. When her father tries to get their old home dressed up for the holiday, he is quickly killed by The Mean One as does anyone in town who happens to have anything to do with Christmas! The sheriff and mayor are no help, and Cindy is looked at as crazy by many of the locals as she is telling them tales of a green furred monster, but soon she finds help with the new Deputy as well as Doc, a drunk old man whose wife was killed by the creature. Will Cindy and her new friends be able to stop the Christmas hating Mean One or will they as well fall victim to his killing ways? Watch this super cheesy creature feature and find out. This holiday horror creature feature flick is a take on the classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” but takes a different path to show what if Cindy never touched the heart of The Grinch to turn him into a holiday loving fool, but instead she called him a monster and set him down a path of murder and eating human flesh. While the concept is a fun one, the low budget and execution is just lacking and makes this one feel like a really cheap made-for-TV film complete with laughable digital blood effects. David Howard Thornton plays The Mean One and brings a little Art The Clown to his performance, with other actors including Krystle Martin, John Bingham, Chase Mullins and Amy Schumacher making up the main cast. The film did okay for Atlas at the box office on a limited release as it did around $585,025 on an unknown budget. This is a super cheesy, goofy, low budget fright flick that steals The Grinch and brings some laughs as you will find yourself saying what am I watching!

# 28

Crimes Of The Future (2022) Poster

Saul Tenser is a man who grows new body organs and alongside his partner Caprice does live performances to remove them as a statement of performance art.  The world has changed and this is the new sex as people cannot feel pain and for some growing new body parts is possible. But Saul becomes involved in a strange case that involves a performance autopsy of a murdered young boy who was born with a defect that allows him to eat plastic. People in high power do not want the world to know about these plastic eaters and will do whatever it takes to make sure their existence does not leak out and that means people Saul knows might be involved in this cover up. This is a weird horror sci-fi film from the mind of David Cronenberg and brings all his classic film tropes into a new film that has a message that is left to the minds of the viewers. Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux play Saul and Caprice and are fantastic, but for me Kristen Stewart who plays Timlin, a worker for the National Organ Registry steals the show, as she is delightfully weird. The film was a mix bag of good and bad digital and practical effects and was not one of my favorite Cronenberg films but was a fun watch in the theater. The movie did okay for Neon at the American box office on its limited run brining in $2,452,882.00 on an unknown budget. And I bought this one once it was on home media to give it another watch.

# 27

Halloween Ends (2022) Poster

Years have passed, and Michael Myers has not been spotted. Laurie Strode is trying to move on with her life, buying a nice house in a neighborhood and raising her granddaughter Alyson who herself has found a job working as a nurse and finds a boyfriend in Cory a town outsider who by accident killed a kid that he was babysitting making him the punching bag of the town. But Cory’s inner evil is unleashed when he is tormented and beaten up by some teens and he stumbles onto the hiding place of Michael Myers and wants the killer to teach him how to murder without remorse…and he does! But now Corey is getting too crazed and after getting revenge on those who tormented him, he sets his sights on Laurie who must fight for her life as well as that of her granddaughter from making the biggest mistake of her life by running away with this serial killer in training. And in the end Laurie has to come face to mask with Michael Myers one last time and must also deal with Corey. This third film in the Blumhouse Halloween trilogy is very much a disappointment for me as it has very little to do with Michael Myers and puts most of the focus on Corey and his descent into evil.  This makes this final film feel like a lame duck way to end a series, as the final fight between Laurie and Michael seems like an afterthought and only lasts a very short time. The pluses for the film are that I enjoyed the Michael Myers’ kills even if they are few and far, Jamie Lee Curtis gives her best performance in a long time, and the effects are pretty cool. I also should say I do like the idea of Corey being the town’s new Boogeyman, but I feel they went about it the wrong way…as at one point Corey bullies Michael to get his mask…lame. The film did pretty well for Universal at the American box office bringing in $64,079,860 on a $30 million budget. Over all Halloween Ends is a film in the series that has been meet with very mix reviews, and while I did not hate it, I was very disappointed in it and it is very much a middle of the road film.

# 26

The Retaliators (2022) Poster

Bishop is a preacher whose young daughter was murdered by a sadistic biker Ram Kady when she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the man of God’s life is turned upside down. But when police officer Jed finds Ram, he offers him a chance to get one minute alone with the killer to make him feel just as much pain as his family does, but things are even more crazy as Bishop finds that Jeb as a underground bunker filled with tortured killers who now act like mindless zombies. Jed is mad at Bishop when he will not take out his hurt on his daughter’s killer. All Hell breaks loose when the tortured killers, bikers looking for Ram and Ram himself all show up to the bunker and Bishop has to fight for his life to survive. This is a fun indie film that gets super bloody in the film’s finale and stars all types of band members from bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Motely Crue and Papa Roach to name a few. The film does have some odd moments as some plot points as well as characters come and go, and I wish the fight between the tortured killers and the bikers would have been a little better and longer. This film had a very limited release and brought in $7,145 for Better Noise Films at the international box office (no domestic figures are available yet) on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should checkout if you like crazy indie films that have a dash of biker crime gangs an tortured zombie like people that were very bad people.

# 25

Bhediya (2022) Poster

Bhaskar is sent the jungles of a small town in Arunachal Pradesh to seal a deal for land development that will have much of the trees cut down to make way for a new roadway. Along with him is his cousin Jana, his friend Jomin as well as local Mr. Panda all who are trying to help to seal the deal with the locals, but things change when Bhaskar is bitten by a werewolf that is called The Virus by the locals; After getting treatment from the local vet Anika, our now cursed Bhaskar must hide the fact he is a werewolf from the locals, avoid killing people when the moon is full, find a cure, fight his feeling for Anika and learn that the spirit of the jungle has its own protector to keep it safe from those wanting to cut it down. Will Bhaskar find the cure or will be forever be doomed to howl at the moon? Watch this fun Bollywood comedy horror Film and find out for yourself. This is a pretty fun silly fright flick that has some scares hidden in with the laughs, with Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerhee, Paalin Kabak and Deepak Dobriyal making up the group of friends. They all do a fantastic job in their roles, with Kriti Sanon playing Anika and she steals the film with her acting and beauty. The werewolf effects are cool and are done via CGI, we get werewolf attacks and kills and the film does have some blood and violence throughout. And like any good Bollywood film, there are musical numbers and dancing, and I should also say this one has messages as well about saving the environment and treating others better. The film had a limited release here in America and did around $609,551 internationally. This is a fun watch and if you like Bollywood horror comedies and werewolf films, make sure to give this one a watch. I would buy this one on home media if it’s released here in the states.

# 24

Don't Look at the Demon (2022) Poster

Jules is a woman who grew up being able to talk to demons and ghosts, and when she was young and doing so, her sister was killed by a demon that she set free. Now as an adult she hosts a TV Show called Skeleton Crew where she enters haunted houses and they film the strange happenings. But while filming in Malaysia, Jules and her crew enter a home that houses a demon that is very powerful and is protected by the souls of his past victims and now wants a new soul for his growing army. The Demon possesses, torments and injures those in the house and now it is up to Jules to find her inner power and try to save the owners of the house as well as her crew’s souls from damnation and will have get the help of a Monk in order to do so…but will Jules be able to do so or are they all doomed. This is a fun spooky little demonic haunted house film that for an indie film tries to bring the scares as well as some gruesome moments and for the most part does a great job at it. Plus the fact this had a limited release around Halloween time made it even more of a good watch late in the evening. The film stars Fiona Dourif, Jordan Belfi, Malin Crepin, Harris Dickinson and the lovely Thao Nhu Phan and all do a great job in their parts. The Demon is pretty evil and what he has done in the past while alive is pretty sick stuff. The film did ok for Outsider Pictures bringing in $849,299 internationally on an unknown budget and a very limited release. Over all this was a decent demon flick that I will pick up on home media when released, and you should check it out if you like demon films or films that are set with Malaysia ghost stories.

# 23

Studio 666 (2022) Poster

The Foo Fighters are working on their 10th album and rent out an old house to do so, and unbeknownst to them another band was killed in the house recording an album. And after some strange things around the house including terrible nightmares, dead animals and a phantom gardener, a demon spirit gets inside Dave Grohl and possesses him to make the perfect satanic rock song that will bring back the glory days of the music genre. And as time passes Dave finds his sound and also finds his killer side as he takes out anyone who stands in the song’s way including his own band members, and in the end what is left of the Foo Fighters must save Dave from the demon’s grip and survive the sinister house. This is a very gory horror comedy film that was from the mind of Dave Grohl and delivers a very cheesy and humors return to the days of Rock N Roll Horror films. While the gore is great and over the top some of the humor is a little childish and is just four letter words thrown around and the middle finger given, but other humor bits hit the spot and are pretty funny. The film also stars Kerry King of Slayer, director John Carpenter, Jenna Ortega, Will Forte, Whitney Cummings and even Lionel Richie in a cameo. The film did ok for Open Road Films at the American box office bringing in $2,513,963.00 on an unknown budget. Over all this was a fun fright flick with some cool effects and fans of Foo Fighters will love it. I bought it on home media when it was released.

# 22

Bones and All (2022) Poster

Maren Yearly is a young woman who finds herself on a quest to find her mother after her father leaves her on her own.  Maren has a serious issue as she eats people, and she cannot help her need to eat human flesh and meat…and her father just cannot keep covering for her deeds. Maren does not want to eat people so she needs answers and as she travels across states to find her mom, she meets Sully another like her in Ohio who teaches her his rules of eating people, and when Maren sneaks away, Sully becomes obsessed with her and follows her in secret just watching. But Maren, while in Kentucky, meets Lee a young man she falls in love with and who as well is a human eater, and together they must find out the history of Maren’s life, deal with the guilt of eating people, avoid Sully and deal with their blooming relationship. This is a very fun romance horror film that is a twisted coming of age tale and has very interesting characters throughout its journey. Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet are great as Maren and Lee with Mark Rylance giving a creepy performance as Sully. The film did okay for United Artist at the American box office bringing in $7,834,907 on a budget of around $20 million. If you like your horror with a dash of romance and lots of flesh eating, then make sure to check this one out. I will get this one when released on home media.

# 21

Cursed (2022) Poster

Baron Seamus Laurent is a man who will do anything to protect his family, village and land and when a band of Roma try to claim the land he has them brutally killed and buried in a field, but the Roma are able to place a curse on the village and land and with silver fangs created from the coins Judas got when he turned on Christ the curse of the beast runs through the town and the curse starts with Seamus’s own son Edward! And after a murder of a young boy, pathologist John McBride comes to town and tries to bring peace to the village and end the curse with a silver bullet. This is an atmospheric slow burn werewolf film that blends elements of an A24 horror film with a dash of Hammer horror and delivers a pretty creepy watch. The film has some good bloody moments, and the werewolf design is pretty original and creepy looking. While some viewers may not like the slower pace I found it to be just right and well done to bring that level of spooky and unknown. I like the fact that the werewolf curse is spread by Roma who use silver fangs made from those coins as that adds the old world touch to the story. The film did well for LD Entertainment during its release bringing $4,588,389.00 on an unknown budget at the America box office. Worth the watch if you enjoy the more atmospheric old world style horror films and is one that I got on Home Media when released.

# 20

Terrifier 2 Poster

Art The Clown is back from the dead and is on another rampage of slaughter and butchering anyone he comes across but this time he is not alone as he has a strange little clown girl along for the ride. But Art makes a mistake when he messes with the wrong high school girl with Sienna Shaw who’s battling trauma and who finds her inner warrior thanks to a magical sword her father gave her…yeah. Can Sienna save her and her brother’s life from the psycho Art The Clown or will they both just become another bloody victim to his madness…watch this gore filled slasher film to find out. This film while filled with some amazing kills that are gory as all hell does lack the charm of the first film, its way too long being almost 2hrs and 30min, is a mess in the story department and goes a little off the rails with some of the fantasy elements added into the mix. The film is well cast with Lauren LaVera stealing the film as the Sienna as she is so good I couldn’t keep my eyes off her and cheered for her the whole final fight and David Howard Thornton is great once more as the sadistic and evil Art The Clown as I don’t think anyone could play that role better. The film also has cameos from Chris Jericho, Felissa Rose and Tamara Glynn with Samantha Scaffidi returning as Victoria Heyes from the first film. The film got a limited release and did well for Bloody Disgusting at the US box office bringing in $10,640,105 on an unknown budget. Over all it was a great mindless bloodbath film that was just lacking the spooky charm of the original.

# 19

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) Poster

David is holding a hurricane party at his mansion and has invited many of his close friends, and a shocker comes when Sophia, who is just out of rehab and her new girlfriend Bee show up to enjoy the party and safety from the storm. But as the party starts and the drugs and alcohol flow tensions start to build and the group decides to play a murder mystery game they created called Bodies Bodies Bodies, but when one of the friends is found dead the fear sweeps the friends who all accuse each other of the murder, and to their horror the bodies of their friends keep being found and the murder is on the loose at this mansion on a very stormy night…or are they in this twisted black comedy horror film. This film has great atmosphere, is well acted and has some chuckle moments…but I also think that it dragged in spots and had characters that were mostly very unlikable people and while that’s the point it can be over bearing at points. Actresses Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova steal the show and the film does have some bloody moments and has that who’s the killer vibe that was made popular in more modern Horror by films like Scream. The film did pretty well for A24 at the American box office bringing in $11,446,602.00 on an unknown budget. If you like Horror Comedies that have a Slasher feel check this one out, and is one I will get on home media when released.

# 18

Firestarter (2022) Poster

Charlie McGee is an eleven year old girl who has powers she can not control nor understands as she can not only move things with her mind and make people bend to her will but she can also start fires and that means from big explosions to lighting people on fire. You see Charlie’s parents have powers as well and they have been experimented on by the government before they had her, and have been on the run from them after her birth due to the fact they wanted to use Charlie as a weapon as well as experiment on her to unleash her full power. But they make a big mistake when the send John Rainbird after the family and this leads to Charlie’s mother being killed and her father captured, now all hell breaks loose at the research lab as Charlie is angry and wants revenge for what they have done to her and unleashes her fire powers. This is a fun remake base on the Stephen King story and is well scripted, casted and scored. Ryan Kiera Armstrong is great as Charlie and Zac Efron is also great in the roll of her father other names in the cast include Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes and John Beasley. And for those wonder John Carpenter and his son Cody did the score. The film did ok at the American box office bringing in $9,589,250.00 on an unknown budget. They foolishly also released this the same day to streaming and I think that hurt its money draw. This is one I got when released on home media.

# 17

Invitation (2022) Poster

Evie Jackson is a woman who works at a catering company who has no family left after the recent passing of her mother, but when she does a DNA test to find out her family tree she meets her cousin Oliver Alexander from England and the two meet up in New York and she finds herself invited to a wedding in England expenses paid by her cousin to meet the rest of her family that will be attending. Also while there she meets the owner of the mansion they are staying in named Walter De Ville who charms her and the two start to have feelings for one another, but thing are not what they seem at this mansion as Evie soon finds that she is the bride to be and Walter his her soon to be husband and her family and the guests are blood drinking vampires…and worse Walter is really Count Dracula! Will Evie be able to escape her fate of damnation or will she have to forever drink blood and be one of the Brides Of Dracula…watch this film to find out. This is a fun slow burn Vampire Horror Film that has elements of Hammer Horror, Anne Rice and A24 all mixed together to deliver a spooky watch. Nathalie Emmanuel is great as Evie and Thomas Doherty was good was Walter, other cast members include Alana Boden, Stephanie Corneliussen, Sean Pertwee and Hugh Skinner. The film does suffer from being a R rated film that was clearly cut down to a PG-13 rating as some of the more bloody moments seem way trimmed down. The film did well for Sony at the US box office bringing in $25,100,080.00 on a budget of only $10million. This is worth a watch if you enjoy vampire tales and is one I got on home media when released.

# 16

Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022) Poster

Tori Tooms is the owner of a used media store that mostly focuses on vinyl records, and her sales are up during the crazy Christmas season and she just wants to get drunk and laid! But things gets super crazy when a mechanical Santa Claus armed with an axe that was created by the US Military goes rogue and starts a bloody killing spree that leaves Tori’s friends and family dead as well as the town police force! And this leaves Tori fighting for her life and trying to find a way to stop this mechanical murderous Santa. This is a fun splatter film that delivers some over the top kills and punk rocker style characters with Riley Dandy being fantastic as Tori and such names as Sam Delich, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jonah Ray, Kansas Bowling and Abraham Benrudi played the killer Santa doing great in their roles. The film packs in some great kills as well as uses neon and Christmas lights to bring a strange glow to the town, plus the film started out as a Silent Night Deadly Night remake so that as well is pretty cool. The film had a very limited release and did well for Shudder at the American box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. If you like Holiday themed Horror Films make sure to give this one a watch, but keep in mind it is also filled to the brim with lots of cussing and characters tend to talk over each other and can be overload for your ears. Will buy once on home media.

# 15

Beast (2022) Poster

A group of poachers kill a pride of lions but the male lion escapes and after killing two of the poachers the lion has a hatred for mankind and is on a quest to kill everyone it sees. Dr. Nate Samuels takes his two daughters Mere and Norah to a trip to Africa to visit a family friend Martin to get away from the sadness of their mother passing away from cancer. The Samuels family is dealing with some issues as Nate’s older daughter blames him for not being around during her mom’s final months. But things get way worse for the family when they are attacked by that rogue lion while far away from any help and must try to fight to stay alive, will this family be able to stay together or will they be hunted and killed one by one…watch this Nature Runs Amok Horror Flick to find out! This was a pretty fun watch as I am a sucker for animal attack Horror films and this one did a great job of making the lion bloodthirsty and yet also sympathetic as he only has this hate due to what man has done to his family. The film as some good thrills, kills and blood spills and is well acted and casted as Idris Elba, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava Jeffries and Sharlto Copley make up the lead cast. The film did alright for Universal at the US box office bringing in $31,846,530.00 on a budget of $36million, and for me was well worth seeing on the big screen! Worth the watch if you love animal attack films and bought when released on home media.

# 14

Nope (2022) Poster

OJ Haywood and his sister Emerald are the owners of a Hollywood horse training ranch after their father paces away from a freak accident of items falling from the sky, but the siblings soon find out that it was no freak accident and was the act of an alien creature that lives in a cloud in the sky near their ranch. Along with Angel a tech salesman at a department store and movie cinematographer Antiers they set out to get proof of this being as well as try and find a way to stay alive from it’s rampage of hunger for flesh and blood. Also throw in a former child actor who survived a animal attack on the set of a sitcom who know owns an amusement park as well as a TMZ reporter out for a story and you have this alien monster film set on a ranch. This third Horror film from creator Jordan Peele was kind of a disappointment for me as while I think many parts of the film worked well, I also thought it was over long and lacked the chills that his other films delivered. I really enjoyed the flashback scenes to the sitcom that had a chimpanzee on a rampage as I felt that was way more scary than the silky looking cloth alien in the sky. I also want to say that it was well caste and I loved the chemistry that all the actors had on the screen. The film did well for Universal at the American box office brining in $123,277,080.00 on a budget of $68million. Over all not a bad film but not a great one as I truly feel this is Peele’s weakest Horror film to date, and did buy on home media when released.

# 13

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (2022) Poster

On his travel to a concert Ruhaan Randhawa meets soon to be reluctant bride Reet Thakur on her way to her wedding and convinces her to get off the bus and go to the concert as they can catch the next one and she can still make it on time, and she is glad she does as the bus she was to be on crashes and has no survivors, and now her family thinks she is dead and her cousin is in love with her groom and Reet is ok with them getting together. Now Reet has Ruhaan travel back home with her and act as a psychic in order to tell her wishes to her family, and after the wedding she will revile that she is alive. But Reet makes a big mistake as she hides out in the family’s old mansion that has a room that houses the evil spirit of Manjulika a relative who practiced black magic and has been locked away for 18 years in that room, and when the spirit gets free all hell breaks loose and dark secrets are exposed and Reet finds real love in Ruhaan. This was a very fun Horror Comedy film from Bollywood that was filled with fun music numbers, great characters, beautiful ladies and an awesome ghost that was played amazingly by Tabu who plays duel roles in the film. Other great actors include Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Rajpal Yadav and the film opened limited in America and made $18,307,258.00 on a budget of around $9million international. While the film is over 2hrs and some of the comedy moments can fall flat, this was a very entertaining film and glad I was able to catch it in the theater on the big screen…would buy on home media if release in America.

# 12

The Menu (2022) Poster

Margo is on a “date” with food lover Tyler who has paid lots of money to have a meal at the Hawthorns a restaurant on an island ran by Chef Julian Slowik, only the rich can afford the meals and only a limited amount of guests are permitted at a time. The Chef has an army of sous chefs behind him as well as other workers that make up a restaurant with his dinner having a theme this night, and unknown to the people there the theme is death…but poor Margo was not suppose to be there and this throws the Chef’s theme off. Now Margo must find a way to get out off the restaurant, off the island or perish with the rest of the guests on this dinner course straight to the grave. This is a delightfully weird Horror film that showcases a mans rise to fame and mental fall to being suicidal, and how in his twisted mind all those there have wronged him or the world in some ways. The film is well casted with such names as Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo, Hong Chau and Judith Light to name a few, and each are fantastic in their role with Fiennes as Chef being one hell of a great casting as is Taylor-Joy as Margo. The film did good for Searchlight at the US box office bringing in ***** on a budget of $35million. If you like slow burn Horror Thrillers that will make you hungry for a cheeseburger give this one a watch. Will own when released on home media.

# 11

Men (2022) Poster

Harper Marlow rents an old farmhouse in order to get away as she had a terrible breakup with her husband that lead to his suicide, and she rents the house from Geoffrey who lives a few doors down in order to relax and clear her mind. But Harper’s peaceful get away turns terrifying when a naked man fallows her home from the woods and attempts to break into her home, and even more crazy all the men from town are mostly odd, rude and all look the same! And her time turns worse when the naked man from the town turns out to be a shape shifting creature that has it in it’s mind that he must get to Harper! This is a very strange, creepy and entertaining movie that plays up on the terrors of an abusive relationship, the effects suicide has on loved ones as well as a dash of folk small town kind of horrors. The film is well acted with Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear in the two leads being great casting calls and some of the effects for the creature are very well done. Sadly the film did ok for A24 at the American box office bring in $7,587,853.00 on an unknown budget. This one has some strange moments, creepy atmosphere, great acting, a cool creature, bloody effects and was a great watch in the cinema. Bought when released on home media.

# 10

Prey For The Devil (2022) Poster

Sister Ann is a young Nun who has been through some bad things in her younger life and has found her calling working for the church. And she really is interested in exorcisms, as she knows that her mother was possessed by a demon and now she wants to help others, but a female performing them is prohibited. But Ann pushes when she meets a young girl named Natalie who’s very soul is in danger as the demon inside her is the same that was in Ann’s mom and it wants to corrupt and destroy Ann. Now Ann along with the help of a young Father must fight the demon for the young girls soul as well as Ann’s as this demon will not go away until it gets what it wants! Is Ann strong enough to defeat it watch this fun possession film and find out for yourself. This film was released around Halloween and was a pretty creepy and fun PG-13 fright flick that delivered some demonic goodness and brought to the screen a cool female hero with Sister Ann who is very likable. Actress Jacqueline Byers plays Sister Ann and is fantastic in the role and I hope she returns if this film gets a sequel and it should in my opinion. Other actors include Virginia Madesen, Ben Cross, Posy Taylor and Christian Navarro and all are great in their parts. The film did ok for Lionsgate at the US box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. I really had fun with this film and will get once released on home media.

# 9

Watcher (2022) Poster

Julia and her husband Francis move to Bucharest for his job and she is a fish out of the water as she does not speak Romanian. And things get worse for her when she notices an across the street neighbor watching her and following her, all the while women in the area are being killed by a serial killer called The Spider…her fears set in as she thinks maybe her stalker is the killer and while her husband is supportive of believing her the police and most of her neighbors thinks she is crazy. Is the watcher the killer? Is she loosing her mind? Are her fears more about the big move? Watch this Horror Thriller film and find out for yourself. This was a great watch on the big screen and was shot and written very well and almost has a Hitchcock feel to it. The film is very well acted with Maika Monroe playing the part of Julia being fantastic and her supporting cast Burn Goreman, Karl Glusman, Madalina Anea and Daniel Nuta all doing great jobs in their rolls. The film does have some bloody moments and plays on your fears of being alone and the feeling of being watched, its very much a slow burn film and if you are looking for a slasher film here its not. The film did ok for IFC at the US box office bringing in $1,961,207.00 on an unknown budget. This is one I bought on home media when released and if you enjoy Horror Thriller films make sure to check this one out.

# 8

Don't Worry Darling (2022) Poster

Alice and Jack Chambers live in the desert town of Victory as things in this private town is great as the men go to work for Frank on the “Victory Project” as the ladies stay home and take care of the house and make the meals and are told never to go to the edge of town…but this perfect life in this perfect town starts to turn into a nightmare as Alice starts seeing things when she travels to the end of town that makes her question what is going on in this town and what Frank and his Top Secret Project really is, and she is ready to leave it all and go to war with Frank about it! Will Alice find the answers? Is Victory really the perfect town? Or is something more sinister at play…well you will have to watch this Psychological Horror Thriller to find out for yourself! First thing I need to say is that Florence Pugh is an amazing actress and does a great job at playing Alice Chambers and her moments of breaking down as well as combating Frank played by Chris Pine at the dinner table truly drew me into the town of Victory. The film really does play with your mind and I enjoyed the reveal at the end and while the Horror elements are toned down it is one heck of a thriller. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Kiki Layne, Gemma Chan and Nick Kroll all who were great in their roles. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $45,309,403.00 on a budget of $35 million. This film had a lot of bad press before and after being released, but I for one really enjoyed it and will buy on home media when released.

# 7

Smile (2022) Poster

Dr. Rose Cotter is a woman who had a rough childhood and is now working at a hospital in order to help patients with their mental health as well as has a loving fiancé and an older sister who cares about her. But her life changes for the worse when one of her new patients takes her own life in front of her after talking about witnessing a suicide and then seeing and hearing something that is always smiling. Now Rose is hearing the voices and seeing thing and all those around her think she is loosing her mind and with the help of an ex-boyfriend who is a cop they try to figure out a way to stop this curse as something is after her and it wants her dead. This is a really fun and spooky film about a creature that feeds of trauma and fear and those that are infected all have a twisted smile before they take their own lives in order to pass the curse onto another. The effects are well done in the film and is also well casted with names like Sosie Bacon, Caitlin Stasey, Kyle Gallner, Kal Penn, Jessie T. Usher and Robin Weigert making up the main cast. The film did well for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $105,935,048.00 on a budget of $17million. If you like your Horror films with a dash of mental Horror and a pinch of creature feature check this one out for sure. And yes I bought this on home media when released.

# 6

Pearl (2022) Poster

It’s 1918 and Pearl is a young woman who’s husband is away at war and she lives with her strict German mother and her very ill father and spends her days working on the farm and dreaming of being a famous dancer on the movie screens. But Pearl is not like other girls as she has a dark side a murderous side and she wants away from the farm and wants to hunt down fame and fortune…and when she meets the local theater projectionist and learns from her sister in law about a church dance off she will do whatever it takes to because famous and that includes murder! This is the prequel to the film X and is such an great film that is very uncomfortable to watch as actress Mia Goth is amazing as the crazed Pearl and you go along for the ride with her as she slips more and more into her murderous decent into madness. The film while a slow burn builds to the bloody Horror and fans of slashers will not be disappointed. The film also stars Tandi Wright, Emma Jenkins-Purro, Matthew Sunderland and David Corenswet all who do a great job in their roles. The film did well for A24 at the American box office brining in $9,423,445.00 on a unknown budget. If you like indie horror films that have elements of slasher and psychological thriller elements smashed together this is one you will want to see, also had to get it when released on physical media.

# 5

Barbarian (2022) Poster

On a stormy night Tess Marshall heads to an Airbnb in a rundown neighborhood in Detroit as she has a job interview the next day to help on an independent documentary film. But once she gets there she meets Keith who also has rented the house for a stay and this makes it that the two strangers have to share the home on the stormy night, but lucky for them they become friends. But on the second day Tess finds a hidden passage and room in the basement that holds a dark secret, and when she and Keith enter deeper into the passage they find that they are not alone! Days pass and the owner of the house disgraced actor AJ Gilbride shows up and he himself finds that someone is in the hidden passage and they are not friendly. And when Tess and AJ find themselves in trouble they must find away to escape the house alive. This is a very twisted and fun film that takes lots of twists and turns and is just the right amount of weirdness and gory to make it a great film for fans who enjoy something different in their Horror Films. The film stars Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, Bill Skarsgard, Richard Brake and Kate Bosworth and all did fantastic in their roles with Long being a scene stealer in parts. The film did well for 20th Century at the American box office bringing in $40,842,944.00 on a budget of $10.5million. This is one that you should checkout as its creepy and the twists are lots of fun and is one I had to get when released on home media.

# 4

Scream (2022) Poster

The Ghostface killing are happening in Woodsboro again and the first attended victim Tara Carpenter survives the attack that brings her sister Sam and her boyfriend Richie to town to check on her, but the attacks keep happing and even Sam herself is attacked while visiting in the hospital! And with Ghostface returning so does those who have solved and defeated the killers in the past Judy Hicks, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and Sidney Prescott…but the rules have changed, motivations have changed and Ghostface has new ideas to freshen up the legacy of the killers before him…in this Scream everyone’s a suspect and the past will always comeback to haunt you. This fifth film in the Scream movie series was a great way to blend in the classic characters we love with new ones that we quickly care about. Seeing Ghostface return to the big screen was a great way to kick off Horror at the cinema for 2022! This film is also very bloody and does a great job of building the “Who” is the killer throughout the film. The film did great for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $81,641,405.00 on a budget of $24 million. A great sequel and its awesome that we are getting a sixth film in the series due to the success of this one.

# 3

Orphan First Kill (2022) Poster

Leena Klammer is a thirty year old woman who looks like a 10 year old girl who is super dangerous and after escaping a mental institution in Russia she takes on the identity of missing American child Esther Albright in order to be sent to America, with the goal of robbing the family and escape being locked back up in the Asylum. Once she arrives in America her cover is perfect, but she does slip up and say the wrong things that makes her “Mother” and “Brother” very suspicious. Everything seems to be going well that is until a police officer starts to look into her and her story of being kidnapped and when she goes to silence him once and for all Esther finds herself in a sinister plot that has her murderous rage being used against her, and what this plot is I can not spoil so you will have to see this awesome slasher film for yourself. Isabelle Fuhrman returns in the role of Esther and is fantastic once more as she really does come off like a psycho, also in the cast includes Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland and Matthew Finian. The film had a limited release and did pretty well for Paramount at the American theaters bringing in $5,413,227.00 on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should see if you liked the original or just like slasher films with a dash of thriller! This was a must own when released on home media.

# 2

X (2022) Poster

Maxine Minx is an adult film actress who along with friends travel to a small farm house in Texas in 1979 to film a porno in order to cash in on the booming home video market and to make money as well as for Maxine to become a big star, but the thing being is the farms owner Howard and his wife Pearl are not the sweet old people they seem as they have a dark side and Maxine and her friends have become their new targets for their sick sexual game. And one by one the crew are murdered and this leaves you wondering how Maxine will survive this farmhouse of terror. This is a great modern slasher film set in the 70’s that has a true grimy and gross feeling to it, and the best part is that Maxine and all the cast and crew are likable making when a character is killed feel more impactful. The film is well casted with Brittany Snow, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Scott Mescudi, Owen Campbell and Stephen Ure all being fantastic in their parts, but its Mia Goth who steals the film playing both Maxine Minx as well as Pearl the old woman. Lots of good kills and bloody gore effects with a great score by Tyler Bates makes this a great watch. The film did good for A24 at the American Box Office bringing in $11,765,309.00 on a unknown budget. With a prequel called “Pearl” in the works this could be a very cool new horror franchise in the making. And bought on home media when released, and if you have not seen it and like the grime feel of 70’s Horror and Adult Films make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Black Phone (2022) Poster

Young boys are going missing in a Colorado town and the police have no suspect and are dubbing the kidnapper The Grabber, and when Finney is kidnapped his sister Gwen has dreams that she thinks can lead the cops to rescue her brother. Meanwhile Finney is getting help from The Grabber’s past victims who are calling him from a discounted black phone in the basement cell he is being kept in, and giving him tools and advice on how to escape this hell alive. Will the cops save him? Will the voices of those lost guide him to safety? Or will The Grabber take another victim to their grave? Watch this well done and creepy film to find out. This Blumhouse produced film is based on a story by Joe Hill and has some truly spooky and uncomfortable moments that will shock the viewers, Ethan Hawke is great as The Grabber and Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Miguel Cazarez Mora, Tristan Pravong, Brady Hepner and Jacob Moran are great as the kids of the film. The film is dark and mean spirited in spots and creeps up your spine with a “this could really happen” feel to the killer. This film did good at the American box office for Universal bringing in $89,870,280.00 on a $18million budget. A touch of slasher and a touch of supernatural made this one hell of a great spooky watch on the big screen and bought once released on home media.

Star Trek VI Preview Logo

Have Yourself A Very Bananaman Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve and welcome back to Rotten Ink. Growing up I watched Nickelodeon at my Grandparents house as their cable provider had it while ours in Waynesville didn’t have it just yet and I can remember being glued to shows like “Danger Mouse”, “Count Duckula”, “Mr. Wizard’s World” and “You Can’t Do That On Television” and one that was also very popular that my brother and I would watch was “Bananaman” that was a silly superhero themed British cartoon series, and sadly as time has passed I find less and less people remember this amazing character here in America and that is why for this 10 Year Anniversary and Christmas Eve update I have chosen to talk about him! So grab some eggnog, get a plate of Christmas cookies as its time we chat about the one and only British superhero known as Bananaman!

Bananaman 1

Eric Wimp is a young schoolboy who was rocketed to Earth as a baby from the moon and when he eats bananas he turns into Bananaman an adult costumed hero who can fly, is invulnerable, can breath in space and has superhuman strength. Bananaman is a superhero who works alongside the police who call him on the banana phone in order to stop crime as well as stop super villains fro hurting his city. During his heroic deeds he also gets help from Crow his pet bird who helps out when our hero is in a tight situation and always brings back up bananas to give him more energy and strength. While Bananaman is a superhero he still is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and this sometimes leads him into danger and traps that of course he will escape from in the end. The character Bannaman was created by artist John Geering along with writers Steve Bright and Dave Donaldson who brought the comic strip to readers that ended up spawning into the cartoon series and made him one of U.K.’s most popular superheroes. And sadly for those wondering artist John Geering passes away in 1999 and the comic strip when not reprinting old adventures is drawn by Andy Janes. A true iconic character for those who grew up reading and watching his cartoon and I for one am glad to have been able to watch his show here in America thanks to Nickelodeon.

Bananaman 2Bananaman 3Bananaman 4

The show Bananaman started airing on October 3, 1983 and was on BBC and was 5 minute cartoons that was based on the comic strip and featured the voice of Graeme Garden as Bananaman and Tim Brooke-Taylor as Eric and was super popular with viewers who grew up loving this superhero that read his adventures in Nutty. The show would last for a total of 40 episodes for three seasons and the series ended in 1986. But even with no new episodes being made it ran heavily in reruns until around 1999. The episodes was written by Bernie Kay and directed and produced by Terry Ward. The show would go on to be released on DVD in the U.K. and those fans from America would have to import it like I did in order to watch again. A fun fact about this show is the British comedy troupe The Goodies are who voiced all the main cast of the cartoon like Bananaman, Crow and Eric! While Bananaman never hit the peak of popularity in America like it did in the U.K. for those who grew up watching it no matter what nation you know just how fun and silly this cartoon was.

Bananaman 5Bananaman 6Bananaman 7

Like all great Superheroes that have came before and after him Bananaman has his fair share of villains that try to bring him down and ruin the city. And to be honest I think he has a great rogues gallery and while not on par with the likes of Spider-Man, Batman and Dick Tracy when it comes to the baddies he still has some great ones like the following that are some of my favorites. General Blight is an evil Army General and is his arch nemesis and is always coming with a scheme including unleashing The Snow Man a freeze and heat caring Christmas style snowman. Doctor Gloom is another great one who is the mad scientist sidekick of General Blight who creates enemies for Bananaman including Appleman. And I also like Rhubarb Man a walking talking piece of Rhubarb who moves around like a human. Other villains include Skunk Woman, Desperate Dan, Bubble-Gum Bert, Clayman, Witchy Woman, Grannie Punk, The Weatherman, King Zorg, The Heavy Mob and Spaghetti Man to name a very few. Really if you get a chance to read any of Bananaman’s comics or watch his cartoons make sure to do so not only to enjoy his adventures but to also see his baddies in action.

General BlightBananaman BaddiesRhubarb Man

Like all great cartoons Bananaman has had his fair share of very cool merchandise for fans to collect over the years with some being official and others being made by fans themselves to show their love for the character. So if you are a Bananaman fan like myself you can get such cool thinks as T-Shirts, Home Media, Stickers, Dolls, Toys, Buttons, Posters, Statues, Trading Cards, Halloween Costumes, Action Figures, Drinking Glass and so much more stuff with most being fan made stuff that is available here in America. So if you like Bananaman make sure to check Etsy and Ebay as I am sure you will find some cool stuff for your collection.

Bananaman DVDBananaman Plush DollBananaman Statues

So now that we have talked about Bananaman and things about him from his merchandise to his baddies I think we should now move to this Comic Capers graphic novel that features some comic book adventures of our hero Bananaman! I would like to thank a seller on Etsy for having this in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets go to Nuttytown and head to 29 Acacia Road and see if Bananaman is home and what adventures he has in store for us!

Bananaman GN 1

Comic Capers: Bananaman GN  **1/2
Released in 2000   Cover Price $0.00     Beano Books   # ? of ?

“Eurovillain Contest” Eric is bored at home and decides to make a cable satalite dish so he can watch better TV when he finds that Lord Zorg has a show that is about what Eurovillain can stop Bananaman, and this of course causes Eric to turn into his superhero alter ego and head to Europe were along the way Weatherman and The Mole try and slow him down, but he ends up finding his way to Europe and the contest starts! The first baddie that attacks is Goudaman and his giant cheese wheel and at first the holes in the cheese are a maze that Bananaman can not figure out that us until he gets the idea to have a bunch of mice to follow him who eat the giant cheese wheel and Goudaman is defeated. Next Garlicman and his foul smelling breath attacks, but Bananaman uses a giant book to smash him after a fake court trail! And so many Eurovillain’s try to bring down Bananaman including Spaghetti Man, Ivan The Terrible, Abzorba, Doctor Gloom, Ragnar The Hairy and The Weatherman and all of them fail and are defeated by Bananaman and worse the judges have given all the baddies the score of zero making it that no one is going to win, that is until Big Rita a mechanic is mad at the poor scoring and shows up at the station and roughs up the judges as well as King Zorg and this makes her the winner of the contest. The second store is “The Secret Of Willie Boggins” on Arcadia Street young Willie Boggins as a secret when he eats a boiled egg he turns into General Blight! And as Bananaman goes after him our hero has a streak of bad luck that even hits his secret identity Eric Wimp. And after General Blight robs a bank he buys a whole big jar of pickled eggs and eats them at once and grows into a giant, and after Bananaman tries to stop him and fails he goes and eats a ton of bananas and turns into a giant himself, but the fight ends when both have stomach aches and have to use the bathroom.

This graphic novel was a fun silly very kid friendly read and showcases the true goofy nature of the hero known as Bananaman as well as several of his foes that all make appearances in this comic including General Blight who gets his own story out of the two presented. The plots of both stories are simple and yet affective with the first being a villain contest TV Show that has baddies going after Bananaman and a panel rates the villains to award the winner. And the second story has General Blight on a crime spree and even grows giant size and this forces Bananaman to have to do the same in growing to end the fight. Bananaman in this graphic novel is super silly and while he saves the day each time he kind of falls backwards into doing so and while he acts as if he knows what he is doing its clear at times he does not. But because he is silly this makes him a very charming hero and reminds me of Captain Klutz another hero we have talked about here on Rotten Ink and you should give that update a read here. And I have to say this graphic novel really did spark my love for the Bananaman character again as he is just such an awesome superhero with such a great nature. Also the fact he his a kid in his alter ego reminds me of Captain Marvel or Shazam as he is called now. Really sad that Crow is not in this as it would have been cool to have seen him around and helping out when needed. While many of his villains appear many of them do not get a lot of time on panels as they are defeated fast and our hero moves onto the next, I will though say that King Zorg gets his time to shine as he is the host of the TV Show contest and gets to say a few cheesy jokes before he his beat up by Big Rita who ends up winning the show. General Blight is the graphic novels main villain and he is able to win a few rounds with Bananaman as he runs him over with his bicycle, is able to rob a bank, turn into a giant and beat our hero is a fight showing he is truly the arch-nemesis for Bananaman! I also like how their big giant fight has to end early as all the food they ate made them have to potty bad and because they are so big they have to use cooling towers at a power station to relive themselves…so silly. The cover for this graphic novel is great and showcases both Eric Wimp and Bananaman and is eye catching with the interior art being done by an artist I could not find the credits for, but whom ever of the comic strip artist who did it they did top notch stuff. Over all this Bananaman Graphic Novel is not for everyone as I think those who do not know the character will find it to British in humor and way to kid friendly, but for those fans like myself it’s a fun read that takes you back to your youth watching the cartoon (or even in some cases reading the comic strip) and enjoying his adventures. Checkout the artwork below to see the style used in this book.

Bananaman GN Art 1Bananaman GN Art 2Bananaman GN Art 3

Bananaman was a great way to spend this Christmas Eve as he is such a very underrated superhero character here in America as sadly besides that very small run on the early days of Nickelodeon and those who imported shows or got on the Grey Market truly remember him, while in England he really is a well loved hero and still has a following and fan base to this day. I really hope that you readers have a great Holiday season spent with your family, friends and pets with lots of great conversations and plenty of tasty food. I also want to thank you for spending apart of your Christmas Eve here at Rotten Ink and making this 10 Year Anniversary very special and I hope you enjoyed the updates over the decade of blogging and hope it brought back great memories of your youth. So with that eat a Christmas Cookie or three, watch a Bananaman cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in 2023 for the best of 2022 Movie’s seen in the theater countdown.

Best of 2022 Movies Preview

SilverHawks Soar Into This Christmas Season

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. As you can see, we are in December and the weather is starting to get really cold and that also means we are getting very close to Christmas! And what better way to get us ready for the holiday then to take a look at a cartoon and toy series that spawned a Star Comic and for this one I choose SilverHawks a very cool and sometimes over looked toy and toon series that is over shaded by the more popular ones like Thundercats, Masters of The Universe, Transformers and G.I. Joe when people talk about the 80’s. So before we get started go get yourself a glass of eggnog or a mug of hot chocolate as its time to talk cartoon, toys and comics and head to space with the SilverHawks! And to be honest I really am looking forward to doing this one because as a kid I was a big fan of these characters and talking about them has been long overdue.

SilverHawks 1

SilverHawks was a cartoon created by Rankin-Bass with the animation being done by Pacific Animation Corporation with Lorimar-Telepictures being the distribution company and was a syndicated show that started airing on September 8, 1986. The show followed a group of heroes called SilverHawks who along with Commander Stargazer are trying to stop the evil Mon*Star and his henchman that are causing chaos and crimes in the galaxy. The SilverHawks are Quicksilver, The Copper Kidd, Bluegrass and the twins Steelheart and Steelwill and sometimes our heroes are joined by their SilverHawk’s that include Hotwing, Flashback, Condor and Moon Stryker. Meanwhile Mon*Star has his own band of baddies that include Yes-Man, Windhammer, Mo-Lec-U-Lar, Mumbo-Jumbo, Buzz-Saw, Poker-Face and Melodia to name a few. The SilverHawks as well as some of the baddies also have weapon-birds that are birds of prey that are part metal and they include Tally-Hawk, May-Day and Shredator among many others. The series would last for one season and have 65 episodes that would later have some episodes being released on VHS and later DVD. The series was popular with the youth but did not bring in enough merchandise sales as well as top other cartoons in the ratings and with production coasts they decided to end the series. The Silverhawks main baddie Mon*Star would appear in a episode the 2011 remake cartoon of Thundercats in a cameo and in 2021 it is said that a remake of SilverHawks is in the works. Growing up I loved SilverHawks and watched the cartoon every time it was on and was sad when it go cancelled for those wondering my favorite characters were Mon*Star, Mumbo-Jumbo and Quicksilver. If you have not seen SilverHawks and enjoy cartoon like Thundercats and even Voltron I would say check it out as you might find yourself enjoying it.

SilverHawks 2SilverHawks 3SilverHawks 4

The SilverHawks action figures were made by Kenner in 1986 and lasted only one wave and had 18 basic figures and six vehicles made with three being life size versions of Tally-Hawk, Sky-Shadow and Stronghold. Some of the figures was just different suited and different accessories like several Bluegrass and Copper Kidd had been released, but all the major cast of character got a figure and many came with their Weapon Birds. In Waynesville I remember many kids having these figures and my friend Jeremy Patton even had the Tally-Hawk and it was amazing as he let everyone play with it, he was the king of the playground that day. I as a kid had many of these figures as well like Quicksilver, Mon*Star, Steelwill, Windhammer and Buzz-Saw who was my first figure from the series I got. Sadly in my area they did not last long in the stores and I can remember being super bummed when I could got get Copper Kid, Steelheart and Mumbo-Jumbo as they were all on my must have list. The figures all had cool action features and looked pretty much like they did in the cartoon. The downside to these figures was that they were made very cheaply and the paint would come off of the SilverHawks leaving their faces and suits to look like a blotchy mess. But while the figures paint jobs was flawed they still were very cool figures and at the time among my classmates they were popular for a short time. I should also note that I remember my cousins Dino and Norman also having SilverHawk figures and Dino even had a sticker of Copper Kid on his door for the longest time. And now that I am thinking about it I think I still have a few SilverHawk figures in my toy collection, they are not the ones I had as a kids as sadly they are long gone but ones I have picked up at Comic Stores, Thrift Shops and Used Media stores over the years. I would have taken a picture of the ones I have but they are buried in the basement and it would take Indiana Jones, Pitfall Harry, Explorer Joe and Lara Croft to find them. And in 2022 Super7 released new figures of SilverHawks to the fans with high detail, but they do have a hefty price of around $56.00 a figure.

SilverHawks 5SilverHawks 6SilverHawks 7

Besides the Kenner action figures and Star Comics other cool merchandise was released when SilverHawks was on the air including a board game, stickers, fast food prizes, coloring books, lunch box, Halloween costume, fighting tops, tooth brush holder, kite, party favor bags, stamps, pencils, home media and much more like all good cartoons of that era had. And even now in modern time fans have made cool collectible items like shirts, posters, pins, buttons, statues, hats, cake toppers and more showing that fans who grew up watching SilverHawks still love them to this day. And who else reading this remembers the SilverHawks kids meal at Burger King?

SilverHawks 8SilverHawks 9SilverHawks 10

In 1987 a weird stage show took place around America that was for kids and featured actors dressed up as cartoon characters from popular shows of the time. The main attraction was Thundercats but joining them was Gumby & Pokey, Karate Kat, Street Frogs, TigerSharks and of course SilverHawks! They would perform skits and would interact with each other and kids just loved this production as the costumes looked great for the time and it was a great way for Rankin-Bass to show off their cool cartoon properties. And while many of us remember Disney or Nickelodeon stage shows, how many of you remember this cartoon jamboree? From the memories of those who went and seen the show it seems like it was a blast and that the actors did a fantastic job in their roles, and lets be honest we just don’t get this kind of stuff as often as the soulless Tech Companies that has taken over most of our entertainment just lack the love and vision to deliver stuff for fans. But while this stage show is lost to time it still is a very cool part of the SilverHawks legacy.

SilverHawks 11

Really Christmas time makes me think of all the cool toys, cartoons and movies that made up my childhood and I hope these updates I do in the month of December do bring back good memories for you as well, and I also hope that for those who do not know the topics learn about them and find a love for them. SilverHawks also was a perfect cartoon for Star Comics to tackle as the universe very much as that comic book feel and the characters are the perfect fit for the Marvel Universe at the time. Reading these comics will be lots of fun as I have not reread them for decades and am looking forward to seeing if they hold up as I was a fan of them when I was younger. I would like to also remind you readers that I these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready to travel to space and save the day with the SilverHawks lets get to it.

SilverHawks Comic 1

Silverhawks # 1  ***
Released in 1987    Cover Price $1.00    Star Comics    # 1 of 7

something very bad has happened and that’s the criminal Mon*Star has escape prison and has busted out all of his gang including the likes of Hardware, Melodia, Windhammer and Mumbo-Jumbo and they are ready to make the worlds pay for their time spent in a cell. The Earth responded by getting a group called The SilverHawks ready for battle and to send to space, and there are five members with Quicksilver being the leader and the other members being Copper Kidd, Bluegrass, Steelheart and Steelwill and they have a ship that’s called The Mirage. Once the SilverHawks arrive at HawkHaven they are introduced to Tally-Hawk a half robot half real hawk that acts as a scout, they also learn of Brimstar the home planets of Mon*Star who is just being told by Yes-Man about The SilverHawks arriving. Mon*Star gets his mob together and heads to HawkHaven in order to take down the SilverHawks before they can get settled in and filled in, but Mon*Star and his men are quickly out moved and defeated by the SilverHawks and this causes Mon*Star to call for a retreat while Stargazer welcomes The SilverHawks home and to the war to save the galaxy.

This first issue is a great read and was a great way to introduce all the characters in the SilverHawks universe to the readers and did a great job of bringing the cartoon and figures to the pages of a kid’s comic. The plot has the sinister Mon*Star escaping jail and also setting his loose his mob that is some of the worst criminals in the galaxy and conquering every planet is what is on their minds. So Earth sends up a team called The SilverHawks that are cyborgs to even the odds and give the galaxy a fighting chance. The main hero Quicksilver is very brave and already taking charge of his team and most importantly leads them to a win over their enemies in a very quick battle. The rest of the SilverHawks come off as good people who understand that they are on a very important mission and have no fear on bringing down the baddies that threaten the lives and freedoms of the planets. Mon*Star is very mean and very powerful as he clearly craves fear and power and seems to know that he a the might and power to shake the universe to the core, and it’s also clear he rules his mob with an iron fist as these criminals will do whatever he orders. Sadly besides the spineless Yes-Man none of the other villains personalities are flushed out and that is something I hope is worked in the next issues. I also have to say I like that Commander Stargazer is very much a take no crap kind of hero who wants to have his new team stomp Mon*Star into the ground as the two clearly have much heated history. The action and story are easy to follow and I have to once more stress how great of a job the creative team did of capturing the mood and feel of The SilverHawks cartoon and action figure line. The cover is super eye catching and showcases the whole team and I know it did it’s job as the younger me had to own this comic based on my love or SilverHawks and just how awesome the cover was. The interior art is fantastic and is done by Mike Witherby who truly must have watched the show and studied that characters as they look perfect, with his Mon*Star being epic. Over all a really great first issue and showcased that Star Comics understood how to make a top quality kids comic and that SilverHawks was a great cartoon for them to adapt into a comic series. Lets see what issue two has in store for us.

SilverHawks Comic 2

Silverhawks # 2  ***
Released in 1987    Cover Price $1.00    Star Comics    # 2 of 7

Mon*Star is mad and wants revenge and sets his sights on Stargazer as he wants to kidnap him and bring him to Brimstar in order for him to murder him in front of all of the mob and he thinks this will scare away the SilverHawks and make them beatable as the thinks the lack of leadership will confuse them. And with that Hardware enters the room and informs Mon*Star that he can get to HawkHaven and enter the base and deliver Stargazer for a price as he has created a lock pick that also shuts down alarms! Mon*Star hires him to do so and Hardware along with Windhammer and Mo-Lec-U-Lar set out to do this plan that includes hijacking a taxi cab to get close to HawkHaven. But unknown to the bad guys the whole plan has been over heard by Tally-Hawk who reports it back to Stargazer who has came up with a plan of his own that will allow Hardware to kidnap him and the SilverHawk will sneak into BrimStar behind them in order to steal all the mob secrets of the crime families computers before making an exit, as what they could learn about from those files could truly help them stop Mon*Star and his mob forever. Hardware makes it to HawkHaven and kidnaps Stargazer and is able to get him into the base, but not before his backpack is knocked off by Stargazer and left outside the gate. But the SilverHawks are late to make the rescue as Windhammer notices The Mirage and attacks them with his tuning fork slowing them down, but once on Brimstar Quicksilver uses the lock pick left in Hardware’s backpack in order to enter the base of Mon*Star and they save Stargazer who is also able to get the files off the computer and they make an escape and get back to HawkHaven and even return the stolen taxi to the driver. Meanwhile Mon*Star is lava level mad at his team who was not able to stop the rescue.

The second issue is more about Mon*Star and Hardware and their plan on how to kidnap and murder Stargazer in order to try and make quick work of the forces of good that oppose their quest of dominating the universe. But they do not know that on the other side Stargazer and The SilverHawks have a plan of their own in order to get the secrets of the mob off their computer system. I love the fact that Mon*Star in this issue once more shows just how evil he is as his main goal of the issue is to murder a man in front of his goons, like really he wants to kill someone as a show of power. Hardware in the issue shows that he has the skills to make tools that could be very useful and he cares more about money then ruling the world as his goal is to pull off a kidnapping and getting paid. I also have to give credit to Windhammer and his tuning fork as he is the one that is able to hijack the taxi as well as slowdown the SilverHawks from their rescue mission. The main good guy in this issue is Stargazer who uses his mind in order to turn a kidnapping plot against him into an Intel gathering mission for himself. The SilverHawks themselves are more of the backup this issue as they do what they are told by Stargazer in order for his plan to go down. The plot of this issue was lots of fun as I like the idea of a evil plan being over heard and a good plan being planned around it, that way as the bad guys think they have won they in fact are the ones that have been played and end up on the loosing end. The cover is great as it shows Mon*Star with a captured Stargazer as The SilverHawks are coming in for the rescue. And the interior art is done by the great Mike Witherby again and like before his work is top notch and truly does justice to The SilverHawks. Another fantastic issue that held up to me after all these years, and with that lets see what issue three has in store for us.

SilverHawks Comic 3

Silverhawks # 3  **1/2
Released in 1987   Cover Price $1.00    Star Comics    # 3 of 7

An old Prospector and his mechanical mule has found gold on a weird planet and is robbed by Bandit who knocks the old man down a hole and scares off the mule. Bandit then goes to a local bar and gets two of his friends to head back to the site to get more gold, but the bartender over hears this and alerts Mon*Star who wants 99.9% of the gold and sends Melodia to go and get his cut. Meanwhile Bluegrass is on a patrol when he finds the runaway mule and gets information on who owns it from Stargazer and then heads to his last location to return his pet, but once on the planet Bluegrass is ambushed by Melodia, Bandit and his goons and is as well knocked into the hole where he and the Prospector are trapped as the bad guys above keep taking all the gold. Bluegrass sends out his guitar bird Side Man to go back to HawkHaven and get help from his fellow SilverHawks, who end up rushing to the aid of their friend and save him and the Prospector as well brings down Melodia and the bandits and they also return all the gold to the Prospector. In the end the old man is rich and is retiring as all The SilverHawks return to base with another win over Mon*Star and his mob.

This third issue is a fun adventure that mostly showcases Bluegrass as he goes on a solo mission and finds himself out numbered and captured and must find a way to escape his captors as well as save the life of an old prospector that has been targeted by space bandits do to the gold he has found. Bluegrass even when the odds are against him tries to do the right thing, and sadly from the moment he lands the odds are against him but he never backs down or losses hope even when he is tossed into a hole. The issue also shows that Bluegrass is teaching The Copper Kid on how to fly the ship and this comes in handy for situations like this. Also you have to give credit to Side Man the guitar bird that is able to escape the hole and get help when the odds were looking grim. The hole filling with oil and pushing Bluegrass and The Prospector out was also a little silly. The rest of The SilverHawks are around and do what they do best and that’s save the day. Melodia does her best to get the gold back to her boss Mon*Star, but she fails when the tide turns with the heroes being in charge. Speaking of Mon*Star I love that as soon as he hears about some bandits finding gold he wants his cut that amounts to basically all of it! The story in this issue is entertaining, but does lack something that I can not put my finger on…maybe it’s the fact it seems like the stakes of the fight are just not really that high…or maybe its that The SilverHawks make quick work of the baddies in just a couple of panels. The cover is ok and has Bluegrass being blasted out of the hole while Melodia is firing at him. The interior art by Witherby is as solid as ever and I have to say I like the way he drew the Space Bandits. Over all a good issue that adds fuel to the fire between The SilverHawks and Mon*Star’s Mob, so lets see what happens in issue four.

SilverHawks Comic 4

Silverhawks # 4  ***
Released in 1988   Cover Price $1.00     Star Comics   # 4 of 7

Percunnius Wadsworth Wellington The 62nd is a gambler who has come to HawkHaven in order to try and get the help of The SilverHawks as he tells them a story of gambling in a space casino and that some of Mon*Star’s Mob (Poker-Face, Hardware and Mumbo-Jumbo) have stolen all his money after he beat one of their rigged machines. Stargazer informs Wellington that The SilverHawks cannot help him because the casino is out of their jurisdiction and this angers the gambler who storms out. The Copper Kid feeling bad for the gambler offers him a ride, and ends up taking pity on him and heads to the casino as Copper Kid is a master of games as he uses math in order to win. Stargazer is furious as Copper Kid has disobeyed his orders, and even worse does not respond when told to return to base. It’s clear that Wellington has not been 100% truthful to Copper Kid and is tricking the young SilverHawk to fight his fight. After dodging his fellow SilverHawks that were sent to bring him back by Stargazer the Copper Kid arrives at the casino. Poker-Face makes a deal that if Copper Kid wins he can have all of Wellington’s money back and if he looses he must join Mon*Stars Mob…and of course with his skills The Copper Kid wins! But Poker-Face is a sore loser and sends Mumbo-Jumbo to smash the SilverHawk, and as the odds look bad for Copper Kid, but it’s the quick mind of Wellington that saves the day as he moves the casino over the line given the SilverHawks legal action to save their friend as well as bring down another of Mon*Stars operations. In the end Wellington understands what it means to have a friend as he and the Copper Kidd are now truly friends.

This is another very good issue and acts as a showcase for SilverHawks member Copper Kid as he takes the star position and saves the day. The plot has Copper Kid head to a casino planet in order to get back money that was stolen by Mon*Stars mob from a very shady gambler who ends up learning a lesson and understands that friendship is very important. The Copper Kid might be the youngest member of the team but he shows lots of heart as he disobeys orders in order to help someone in need, as to him doing the right thing is what is important. Plus you have to give the Copper Kid credit as he not only out maneuverers his fellow teammates but he also holds his own against three of Mon*Stars Mob members! Percunnius Wadsworth Wellington is clearly a conman who loves to gamble and lies to the SilverHawks hoping they will help him recover his lost money, but along his con game he ends up becoming not a bad person at all as he risks his own life and money in order to do the right thing. Poker-Face is the lead baddy of the issue and helps raise mob money by using crooked casino games, while he is not a fighter his brains and trickery is what make him dangerous. It was also nice to see Mumbo-Jumbo in a side roll as the casino’s bouncer. The rest of the SilverHawks are torn as they think that Stargazer is wrong for not helping Wellington and are more puzzled when they are sent out to capture him before he reaches the casino, but they also understand orders are orders. The cover art is great and eye catching and in fact reminds me more of a cover that you would have seen on a Spectacular Spider-Man or Incredible Hulk issue at that time, in other words great work. The interior art like before is top notch and done by the talented Mike Witherby who is very underrated for his work. Over all another great issue that was super entertaining to held up after all these years.

SilverHawks Comic 5

Silverhawks # 5  **1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price $1.00     Star Comics   # 5 of 7

Steelwill is called to a planet to have a meeting with his secret informant that gives him leads on the plans and plots that the Mon*Star Mob has in store, but he soon finds out that it was all a trick by Hardware and Mo-Lec-U-Lar as they lead him into a giant TV that wipes his brain clean and turns him into mindless slave who now is working for Mon*Star! This action causes his sister Stillheart to know something is wrong and Stargazer sends them out to find their missing friend, while Tally-Hawk spies on Mon*Star and his mob and reports back to the team about the mind control TV and what has happened to Steelwill. The SilverHawks head to the TV to destroy it so that is can do no more harm as well as they hope will free the mind of their friend and teammate, but when they arrive they are greeted by an ready to fight Steelwill who has been given orders to keep them at bay as Hardware gets the TV ready and Mon*Star is also on his way to watch the event of The SilverHawks getting their minds wiped, and after a sneak attack Quicksilver, Copper Kid and Bluegrass join Steelwill into becoming mindless goons and it’s Steelheart who uses her skills and mind link to her twin brother to break the hold Mon*Star has on her brother and the two smash the TV that frees the minds of the rest of the SilverHawks and causes Mon*Star and his goons to retreat.

This is a pretty solid issue that this time around acts as a showcase for the twins Steelwill and Steelheart and allows the only female member of the team to be the true hero of the day as she is the one that saves her team from becoming the mindless drones of a criminal madman! Steelheart is awesome and she is as strong and tough as any of her male teammates. Its also shown that all the male teammates that had been brain smashed all have the same fantasy and that is to be turned into Tally-Hawk and to bring down Mon*Star…your going to tell me not a one of them had some sort of weird fantasy about Steelheart? Mon*Star so wants him to kill the SilverHawks and thanks to Hardware he came the closest to finally almost reaching the goal, and who would have thought it would have been a fantasy granting TV that made peoples brains into mashed potatoes that would have been the tool. And while the action of this issue is cool and I like the idea of the TV brain destroyer it just kind of sadly an average issue and like with issue # 3 I can just not put my finger on why. As I like that the Twins have the spotlight and I also like that for the first time The SilverHawks seem like they could be defeated. The cover is pretty cool and the interior art as always is done by Mike Witherby and is good stuff. To sum it up this is a good issue that was a fun read and shows that even the weaker issues in this series are better than most comics being released for younger readers today.

SilverHawks Comic 6

Silverhawks # 6  ***
Released in 1988   Cover Price $1.00     Star Comics   # 6 of 7

Melodia along with Windhammer and Mumbo-Jumbo are robbing a ship of all the money and jewels it’s hauling when The SilverHawks along with Stargazer arrive to stop them, but things go wrong as Stargazer is caught by the bad guys who mock him for his age and use him in order to escape. Back at HawkHaven Stargazer is questioning his usefulness to the team and sends The SilverHawks to stop Hardware and Buzz-Saw from destroying a small shop who will not pay them protection money. As The SilverHawks bring down Hardware and Buzz-Saw their leader Stargazer answers mail and gets the idea that he needs a vacation, and takes some time away from HawkHaven. When word spreads that Stargazer is away Mon*Star thinks that it’s time to attack The SilverHawks as he thinks without their leadership they will be easy to defeat, and he goes after them quickly with his mob and bring down Quicksilver, Bluegrass, Ironheart and Ironwill and Copper Kid with Tally-Hawk are the ones who escape and send a SOS message to Stargazer who is on Earth at a bar with his friends, he returns to find the galaxy under Mon*Star rule and he comes up with an idea to wait for Mon*Star to return to Brimstar in order to take him out, and does so with a big punch and with that StarGazer is able to lead to the arrest of all of Mon*Stars Mob as well as he save all The SilverHawks, showing he is not old and outdated and truly is a hero.

This issue goes from Star Comics to Marvel Comics on the price box and also changes some of the creative team behind it and for the most part the new team does a solid job of keeping the high quality of the series going. This issue is mostly about Stargazer who is feeling old and out of date when he seems to be a factor in some bad guys getting away during a robbery, and must find his faith in himself once more in order to save The SilverHawks from Mon*Star and his Mob. And I have to say seeing Stargazer drop Mon*Star with one punch to his jaw just shows how badass this old Commander is. And it also is very odd that as soon as Stargazer leaves to return to Earth the SilverHawks are defeated by the Mob very easily and loose control of their own base even. I guess proven that without Stargazer they truly do lack guidance and can be defeated. A very cool think is that almost every major Mon*Star Mob member makes an appearance in this issue and by the end they are all arrested ending their evil grip on the galaxy…well for now. The cover is pretty cool and this time reminds me of a cover from The Avengers that would have been released by Marvel at this time. The interior art this time is done by Howard Bender and is pretty solid stuff as he as well does a good job of making the character look just right. Over all another issue that shows just how good SilverHawks was in the world of comics and how great Star Comics was even if they dropped the brand name off the cover.

SilverHawks Comic 7

Silverhawks # 7  ***
Released in 1988   Cover Price $1.00     Star Comics   # 7 of 7

Lord Cash who is in charge of the Bank World lets who he thinks is Quicksilver onto the planet only to be attacked and taken prisoner! Earth thinks that The SilverHawks has turned bad and orders Stargazer to disband them, but thanks to Tally-Hawk they soon find that the SilverHawk who attacked the Bank World is really one called Darkbird and he was created by Hardware for Mon*Star who wants to use him to ruin The SilverHawks as well as kill them! The SilverHawks rush to the bank world and are able to run off Hardware and Mumbo-Jumbo who were set to steal the planets wealth, but they are attacked and Ironwill is hurt by Darkbird. Quicksilver sends his fellow SilverHawks home as he goes after his doppelganger, but unknown to Quicksilver is that Mon*Star is also on his way. Quicksilver and Darkbird fight all around and it’s Quicksilver in the end that takes down is evil clone, but just as he wins Mon*Star arrives and starts his attack on the lone SiverHawk…that is until the rest of the team show up and chase off their enemy. In the end Quicksilver finds and sets free Lord Cash who is sorry for blaming Quicksilver for the robbery to Earth, and all is forgiven.

This is the final issue in the SilverHawk series and while it is a very good issue, it sadly also is not a very fitting ending one as the story is more about mistaken identity and having Quicksilver facing a evil version of himself that was created in a lab and the human side of him removed to make a emotionless being who does what his creators tell him to do. The issue really is about Quicksilver who is the leader of the team and will always do what is right, and that includes sending his team away from extreme danger and he himself going into it in order to right the wrongs being done. Darkbird is mean and careless and not only tries to ruin the reputation of the SilverHawks but also adds kidnapping to his charges as he takes the ruler of the bank world hostage. And what is cool is that both Darkbird and Quicksilver are evenly matched making their fight very close. Stargazer and the rest of the SilverHawks know that Quicksilver is no bad guy no matter what has been reported to Earth, and thanks to Tally-Hawk they see that of course all the bad stuff being reported has been done my one of Mon*Stars minions. Speaking of Mon*Star I do like that he comes into the battle at the end and while he is chased off he is able to stress that they might be winning the battles but that they will not win the war with him and his mob…and the thing is I can believe it as unlike so many other main villains from cartoons and toys at this time Mon*Star was not a goofy character who surrounded himself with goofy henchmen making his threats seem way more impactful. In other words look at Mon*Star just like you do Mum-Ra from Thundercats as both are mean spirited baddies who would kill to get what they want and have an army of henchmen who do what they are told. I also think what this comic series did that was very cool is that it feels like every member of The SilverHawks got an issue that showcased them just a little more than the other team members and allowed for their personalities to shine, plus you know each member had their own following and this allowed some of the issues to feel like they were written just for that characters fans. The cover art for this issue is really cool and has Quicksilver and Darkbird punching it out and it was also cool to see artist Mike Witherby return to the series to end it, as I think his artwork really helped bring this comic series alive. Over all I would say that SilverHawks is one of Star Comics best lines as you can tell those behind it cared and delivered some great issues for readers back then and to discover now. Checkout the artwork below to see the style of Mike Witherby, and bask in its “Hey That Looks Like The Cartoon” glory!

SilverHawks Comic Art 1SilverHawks Comic Art 2SilverHawks Comic Art 3

As you can see The SilverHawks was a great series by Star Comics an would easily be on my Top 5 comics they released based on a Cartoon or Toy as I think the minds behind this series truly understood the characters as well as respected it’s fan base, something I fear that is lacking in most modern comics by the Big 2 these days. I also really do wish that the series had lasted longer than only seven issues as they could have had so many more comic adventures. SilverHawks in general is an often overlooked 80’s Toon and Toy line that I think should get more respect, and lets hope soon it finally does build a bigger cult following and maybe we can even get a live action film or even a video game finally. But its time for us to leave space and HawkHeaven behind and we head to spend Christmas Eve at 29 Acacia Road in Nuttytown as we have a holiday adventure planned with the one and only Bananaman! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a goofy superhero good time!

Bananaman Preview Logo

Man Of Steel vs. The Mole Men!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. For this update we will be chatting about something very cool, “Superman And The Mole Men,” the first film to feature the Man Of Steel and starred George Reeves as Superman who would go on to play the character in the awesome TV series from the 50’s! The thing about Superman is that the character is truly iconic and is a big part of Pop Culture in America and when thinking about topics that needed to be covered for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Celebration, I knew that Superman had to be one of the topics as growing up the character was a. part of my childhood as I not only watched the George Reeves show but also read the comics, played the video games, had the toys, wore the shirts, watched the cartoons and even loved the films that have been released. And what is really cool about this Superman update is that I get to talk about the movie that started it all for many young fans in the 1950’s who loved Superman already from comics, radio show and even the movie serials, and soon after the movie’s release they got to see him every week in action on the TV show. So hold onto your seats as we are going for a quick update adventure ride with the one and only Superman as played by George Reeves.

Superman And The Mole Men 1

Let’s first start off by taking a look at the film that the Photo Comic Graphic Novel we will be covering is based on, the first film to feature Superman. I want to remind you readers that the film’s write up will be taken from our friends at IMDB and that I will be writing about the film’s production, legacy and my thoughts. So let’s dive in and talk about Superman and his run in with the Mole Men.

Superman And The Mole Men 2Superman And The Mole Men 3Superman And The Mole Men 4

Superman And The Mole Men (1951)

“Reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane arrive in the small town of Silsby to witness the drilling of the world’s deepest oil well. The drill, however, has penetrated the underground home of a race of small, furry people who then come to the surface at night to look around. The fact that they glow in the dark scares the townfolk, who form a mob, led by the vicious Luke Benson, intent on killing the strange people. Only Superman has a chance to prevent this tragedy.”

Superman was one of the most popular superheroes and most read comics of the time. This meant that other media was in his future like radio and movie serials, and in 1951 he made his way to the silver screen with his first full fledged movie! The film was written by Richard Fielding and was distributed by Lippert Pictures and was a quick and cheap production as they really wanted to cash in on the popularity of Superman with young comic book readers. Lee Sholem, who before this film had directed “Tobor The Great” as well as two Tarzan films with “Tarzan’s Magic Fountain” and “Tarzan And The Slave Girl,” was selected as he knew how to make kid friendly Adventure Fantasy films. The film’s plot was based on the Red Scare that was gripping America at the time and even has elements of classic Universal Monster Sci-Fi films thrown in to a comic book feel. When casting the film they casted George Reeves as Clark Kent aka Superman, Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane and Billy Curtis and Jerry Maren as two of the Mole-Men. The film was shot in only 12 days at RKO-Pathe Studios in California and survived a double purpose as they wanted to have a hit that would bring kids to the cinema and it was also used to try and see if people had interest in Superman so that a TV Show could be made. And it did both of that as the film was well loved by kids in the early 1950’s and later in 1951 “The Adventures Of Superman” hit TV screens as a syndicated show. The film was scored by Darrell Calker and later the film was cut into a two part episode with changes when the show was released. The movie over the years has been released on VHS, Laserdisc as well as DVD so if you want to see Superman’s first movie adventure it is out in the world for you to be able to do so. And for those of you wonder in 1951 this film was joined by such other Sci-Fi and Horror Classics in the theater and dive-in screens as “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, “The Thing From Another World”, “The Man From Planet X”, “Abbott And Costello Meet The Invisible Man”, “The Son of Dr. Jekyll” and “Bride Of The Gorilla”.

Growing up I was a big fan of George Reeves as Superman as the old classic TV Show would air all the time in reruns on “Nick At Night/TV Land” and I would watch and as a kid I do remember wondering where Lex Luthor, Braniac or Mister Mxyzptlk were, but somehow it never bothered me enough as I was always looking forward to watching Superman bring down the bad guys and save the day. I saw the movie “Superman And The Mole Men” after I had already been a fan of the show as I remember some local area TV Station aired it some Sunday afternoon and my brother and I were glued to the TV and enjoyed every cheesy moment. I mean how can you go wrong with Mole Men running wild in a small town and Superman must save them from an unruly mob who wants them dead cause they look different and have been accused of crimes they did not do all out of fear. The one thing that annoyed me for the longest time is how long this film took to get a proper DVD release that was not just an extra on another Superman release, and even the one that is out now is by Cheezy Movies so it has no extras of its own. And while this film is not the best Superman film made, it is a good one and I would have loved to have seen this film in the theater in 1951 as I could imagine just how awesome that must have been for the youth at the time.

Superman And The Mole Men 5

The Mole-Men who live under the Earth are the “Bad” guys of this first Superman movie but are they really all that bad as they are brought to the up to the surface world due to the actions of mankind who affected their world with their quest for oil and gas. And because they feel they are being attacked they go on the attack and come above ground with their weapons and are looking for answers when one of their own is shot and injured by a mob of humans who hate them because they look different. The Mole Men also have their skin glows in the dark and they are short in height. The Mole Men in the film are played by actors Billy Curtis, John T. Bambury, Jerry Maren and Johnny Roventini all who do a great job in the role and while Mole People might not be the meanest or deadliest foes Superman has fought in the movies they sure are strange and interesting ones.

Superman And The Mole Men 6Superman And The Mole Men 7Superman And The Mole Men 8

George Reeves was born on January 5, 1914 in Woolstock, Iowa and had it semi rough growing up as his father left the family almost after his birth and he and his mother moved around and stayed in Kentucky as well as Illinois. And finally they settled in California and that is when Frank Bessolo entered their life and he married George’s mother and adopted him at the age of 13, and after 15 years of marriage the two separated and his mother would lie to him and say that Frank committed suicide…when in fact he was alive and well and would pass away many years later and George was unaware of this fact for many years. And starting around 1939 is when George Reeves started his acting career and even landed a small role in the film “Gone With The Wind” and through the 1940’s would be in many films including titles like “The Fighting 69th”, “Torrid Zone”, “Dead Men Tell”, “Jungle Goddess”, “Samson And Delilah” and “The Good Humor Man” to name a very small few, as while he was never a main leading man he had that star quality. And in 1951 his luck changed when he was casted as Superman in both the film “Superman And The Mole Men” as well as the TV Show “The Adventures Of Superman” that would last 6 seasons and a total of 104 episodes and was a super popular show among kids and adults and George Reeves was Superman in the publics eyes. And this big role would also be a curse while he would get some small work during and after his run a Superman much of his roles had him playing the superhero such as his 1957 appearance on “I Love Lucy” on the episode Lucy And Superman. But in is personal life Reeves was said to be depressed over the typecasting of the Superman role and on June 16, 1959 it is said that George Reeves committed suicide by gunshot, while other do think that he was murdered and it was cover-up. George Reeves is one of the best actors to ever play Superman and is for me on par with Christopher Reeve as I think both of them embodied the heroic nature and character. While George Reeves was gone from this world way to soon his work lives on and his biggest cursed role is why he is still a well-loved actor to this day.

Superman And The Mole Men 9Superman And The Mole Men 10Superman And The Mole Men 11

The tragic death of George Reeves was really a bummer to his fans and sadly for some has tainted the joy his portrayal of Superman brought them as it’s been rumored that that role is what drove him to depression, but please do not allow this tragic event to ruin your love for the show as it really is a fun and wholesome entertainment that is still enjoyed to this day. And now we are at the part of the update that we will be reviewing this Photo Comic Graphic Novel that was released by Fanzine and thanks to Amazon for having this graphic novel in stock and making this update possible. I also would like to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. Now if your are ready lets look up to the sky as is that a bird? A plan? Or is it just Superman done as a Photo Comic?

Superman and the Mole Men GN 1

Superman And The Mole Men GN  **1/2
Released in 2020      Cover Price $13.00      Fanzine       # 1 of 1

Lois Lane and Clark Kent travel to the small town of Silsby to write about the worlds deepest oil well, but when they arrive to cover it they are shocked when they are told by foreman Mr. Corrigan that the well has been shutdown and word had come down from the top of the company to do so. As Clark and Lois are about to leave he notices that all of the workmen’s tools are thrown into a hole and this intrigues him. When the Oil company puts them up in a motel for the night and keys the a company car Lois and Clark decide to visit the Oil Well again and head toward it, meanwhile at the well three little Mole Men come out of the ground and scare the old night man to death! And when Lois and Clark show up and find the body, Lois spots the Mole Men and freaks out and the sheriff is called up and she has to tell him what she has seen and that she thinks the Mole Men she spotted is who killed the watch man, and when the Doctor shows up he rules the death a heart attack. And while Lois heads back to the hotel Clark stays with Mr. Corrigan to wait for the Undertaker and when everyone is gone Clark gets the truth out of Corrigan about the well closing and that they found possible radiation, living organisms as well as that the center of the Earth is hollow! And things get worse when the townspeople find out about the creatures Luke Benson feeds them all fear and creates mobs in order to kill the visitors as they all now think that they are dangerous because the stuff they touch starts glowing. And when the Mole Men make the mistake of trying to befriend a young girl who’s mother freaks out, the townspeople are filled with rage and go on the hunt, and even when Clark sneaks away to turn into Superman he can not get them to calm down as Luke is the issue as he keeps winding people up. Luke and his mob end up shooting one of the Mole Men that Superman has to rush to the hospital, and they think they burn the other alive in a shed who by luck escapes and goes back down the oil well. As Luke and his mob head toward the hospital when the find out the wounded Mole Man is there as they want to kill him Superman runs them off just as more Mole Men appear with a laser gun in order to get their wounded friend back, and Superman is able to return the would Mole Man to his people as well as save Luke from a laser blast and in the end Superman and Lois watch as the Mole Men blow up the entrance to their world as they just want to be left alone.

What a fun and simple Photo Comic GN that does a good job of bringing the film to the pages and feels like a quick read and is truly a wholesome Superman adventure. As the plot is very simple and has Superman trying to teach a small town that just because someone is different does not mean you should hurt them. Superman does his best to try and keep law and order as a town goes wild and crazed and mob rule is the mindset all do to one mans hate filled words. Superman also does a great job of saving the Mole Men and the town people from being killed and shows that he hates bullies as well as the miss use of guns as at one point he takes all of them from the mob when someone almost shoots Lois Lane by accident. Luke Benson is a total idiot who hates to hate and over takes the town by making every one afraid of the unknown and they even over take the law as they over power and lock up the sheriff! And even after being a scum bag to everyone and causing injuries Superman still saves Luke from taking a laser blast to the chest. The Mole Men are not bad at all and are just discovering the upper world and mean zero harm, and because of their strange look they are hated and hunted and one is injured badly and his own people are forced to try and rescue him and when they do so they blowup the entrance to their world as they want nothing to do with mankind. This Photo Comic also took a black and white film and took stills and added color to them and oddly it works in a charming way, as the colors are basic but some how it adds to the fun nature of this story. And once more I have to stress this comics plot just like the movie is very simple and yet now in days has that classic feel of being good and understanding is what is right. The cover for this graphic novel is a little boring and underwhelming and the interior is stills from the film that have been colored in and dialogue added in, so that is good if you like photo comics. Over all this is a great read if you like the film its based on or just very kid friendly Superman stories, while I do think the cover price is a little high I do say its worth a buy for fans. Check out the photo art below to see they style used in this comic.

Superman And The Mole Men GN Art 1Superman And The Mole Men GN Art 2Superman And The Mole Men GN Art 3

So as you can see, this Photo Comic Graphic Novel is a pretty good and entertaining read, but I know for many of you readers the fact that it is a Photo Comic will scare you away from checking it out, and I do understand as these type of comics are not for everyone. But I say if you like Superman as played by George Reeves I would give this at least a chance no matter how you feel about the style of comic. I should also note that Anthony Koontz is the man behind Fanzine and these Photo Comic Graphic Novels and he has also done ones based on “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” and “Brain The Wouldn’t Die” and yes both of those will be getting the Rotten Ink treatment sometime in the future. So we are now getting even closer to our big Christmas Eve update and the next topic is something that many of you fellow kids of the 80’s will remember as it will be SilverHawks! So until next time read a Superman comic or three, watch a Superman film or two and as always support your local Horror Host…and I know those of you from Cleveland, Ohio did as you guys had Superhost! See you next time for a screeching silver metal hawk good time.

Silverhawks preview logo

Xena The Thanksgiving Day Princess

Welcome to this Thanksgiving Rotten Ink update something that I hope has become a Turkey Day tradition for you just like the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathons use to be for me! And for this update I choose to cover something very special, as this is not only the Thanksgiving update but also is celebrating 10 Years that Rotten Ink has been up on the worldwide web. And normally Hercules would be the one to join us on Thanksgiving but as of last year we are taking a break from spending Turkey Day with him and this year will be our first without him and will instead be about a badass female warrior that is a Warrior Princess and I am of course talking about Xena and the comic series we will be looking at is the original series done by Topps Comics! So while that Turkey is still cooking in the oven and before your guests arrive or you leave to be a guest lets talk about Xena Warrior Princess on this Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Xena Warrior Princess 1

Xena Warrior Princess was a spin-off show of the hugely popular syndicated show “Hercules Legendary Journeys” as Xena first appeared in the 1995 episode called “The Warrior Princess” and she became super popular with viewers as she was a badass female warrior who could handle herself against the likes of Hercules. So because of this on September 4, 1995 she got her own series thanks to Renaissance Pictures. The show in syndication was a major hit and was a ratings draw for all the stations who added it their line up. I for one would watch the show every Sunday Morning and would even set the VCR to tape the episodes I would miss due to family trips and such. The show would have Xena not only face her past of being a raider who killed but would also have her face fellow warriors, amazons as well as even monsters and Gods! And the big thing being is that Xena grew as a character throughout the series run and this added more appeal to the character as she would fall in love, show remorse for his actions and even would doubt herself at time. The show would last for six seasons and a total of 134 episodes and even when the show ended in 2001 it still was one of the most watched syndicated shows on television at the time. During its run it would win and be nominated for many awards including the Emmys and Saturns. It would build up a huge following in the LGBTQ Community, as Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle became role models for young ladies and spawned a lot of merchandise for fans to collect. Xena was a show that was for everyone and the character Xena is still popular even to this day as fans still would love to see her return to their TV screens. And for me it still ranks in my top 10 shows of all time as I was a big fan and still am to this day. The series has been released on home media via VHS and DVD and can be found on some streaming sites from time to time.

Xena Warrior Princess 2Xena Warrior Princess 3Xena Warrior Princess 4

Xena was a feared female warrior who along with his army would loot, destroy and murder any villager in her path and she loved what she did. But her life changes when her own brother is killed in a raid by the Warlord Cortese and she sees the sorrow that her own actions has caused over the years and even her own Mother turns her back on her. Now on a mission for revenge and to right all her wrongs that she has done over the years, she also builds new friendships and trusts and becomes a symbol of change and empowerment from women. She is skilled with a sword as well as her chakram that she can throw super accrete. Xena also has a war cry that sends fear down the spines of her enemies and can stand her ground against any warlord as well as god like being. Xena was played by the lovely Lucy Lawless who was the crush for many nerdy kids of the time and in fact many still do have a crush on her, and I am not ashamed to say I still do as Lucy Laweless is an amazing actress who is beautiful on many levels. Lucy Lawless would go on to be is such shows and movies as The X-Files, The L Word, Spartacus, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Boogeyman and Bitch Slap. She would even voice Wonder Woman in the 2008 animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. For those of use who grew up watching and for those of who discovered the show after its run we truly know how awesome, amazing, beautiful and ass kicking Xena and Lucy Lawless really is.

Xena Warrior Princess 5Xena Warrior Princess 6Xena Warrior Princess 7

Gabrielle was a farm girl from the village of Potidaea and after being kidnapped by a warlord and then freed by Xena she decides that she wants to follow her savior and together the two have many great journies and adventures. Gabrielle is wise, sarcastic at times and becomes skilled with a staff as well as a sword later on and she becomes a warrior in her own right. Her sister is Lila who is her only sibling and they two do get along well. The character of Gabrielle was super popular with fans and growing up for me on TV you could not beat the duo of Xena and Gabriella as they just played so well off each other. Gabrielle was played by actress Rene O’Connor who was in such films as “Night Game (1989)”, “Stone Cold (1991)”, “The Adventures Of Huck Finn (1993)” and “Darkman II: The Return Of Durant (1995)” among others as well as was on TV Shows like “Tales From The Crypt”, “NYPD Blue” and “FBI: The Untold Stories”. Rene is a great actress and Gabrielle is an amazing character and for many Gabriella rivaled Xena at being their favorite character of the whole series, and lets be honest I think it was Rene who’s acting really made the character be so iconic.

Xena Warrior Princess 8Xena Warrior Princess 9Xena Warrior Princess 10

The show had many amazing side character over the years that made up the Xena universe like the goofball wannabe hero Joxer played by Ted Raimi, Autolycus The King Of Thieves played by Bruce Campbell, Cyrene is the mother of Xena and she was played by Darien Takle, Hercules and Iolaus would show up from time to time and they were played of course by Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst. And on the villain side two of the biggest baddies in the series (and man she had many) was Aries The God Of War played by Kevin Smith and female warrior Callisto played by Hudson Leick. And this is just a small amount of the recurring characters that appeared on the show and made it so awesome. My favorite side character has to be Callisto as she was beautiful, crazy and dangerous and was a great villain for Xena and her episodes were always well done. But to be fair Ares is also a very entertaining villain and Kevin Smith was perfect in the role and it’s a shame he had to pass away at such a young age. Man writing this really does make me look back and see just how awesome all of the characters I have mentioned and more really did make this show special. Oh and I need not forget Caesar played by Karl Urban was also a great baddie who was a pain in Xena’s side. Who was your favorite side character in Xena?

Xena Warrior Princess 11Xena Warrior Princess 12Xena Warrior Princess 13Xena Warrior Princess 14

Like I have said I was an every week watcher of Xena The Warrior Princess and hands down one of my favorite episodes was called “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and was a Halloween episode that aired in October 1996. In this spooky episode Xena and Gabrielle go after Bacchus The God Of Wine who has a legion of female vampires, and during this adventure Gabriella is bitten and turned into one of his servants and its up to Xena to save her friend and kill Bacchus and allow all of those he has infected to return to being human. The episode also had appearances by Joxer and Orpheus and the episode played like a mix between a Horror Movie and a Rock Video that was airing on MTV at the time…and you can never go wrong with Gabrielle looking all gothed out…you just cant. The episode also had a very lesbian overtone and the demonic look of Bacchus was badass and it’s a shame that he was not used more often as a featured villain of the week for the Xena series. Long before the episodes made their way to home media this was one that I can remember taping off TV and watching a lot as the episode was just really cool and the plot felt like a good B-Movie vampire film. And the episode would also go on to be praised by not only fans but also critics who site this as one of the series best episodes. Those who have seen the episode know how awesome it is, and those of you who have not seen it track down the DVD set for Season 2 and give it a watch…also Toy Biz should have made an action figure of Bacchus and one of his female vampire minions…just saying.

Xena Warrior Princess 15Xena Warrior Princess 16Xena Warrior Princess 17

Like all great shows Xena Warrior Princess has had her fair share of action figures and dolls with her first figure being in the Hercules Legendary Journeys line that was released by Toy Biz and she had two figures in the line with the difference being coloring on her armor. And at the time of these figures release I was collecting them all as Hercules was one of my favorite shows and it would be cool to have them set up in my room, and Xena at the time in my area was the hardest one to track down. And I have to also say the Xena from the Hercules toys looks nothing like Lucy Lawless and for the most part is a really cheesy figure. But when Xena got her own TV Show Toy Biz also gave her a toy line that featured not only Xena but also all the characters from the show and these figures and later dolls were way better done and captured likeness better than the Hercules line did. And of course I still have many of my Xena toys and if you are a fan of the show make sure to track some of these figures down as they are pretty cool and a part of the shows history.

Xena Warrior Princess 18Xena Warrior Princess 19Xena Warrior Princess 20

When the TV Show was not on one thing fans could do is get the paperback novels based on Xena and her adventures to fill that void and these were good reads for fans. Many of the novels were written by such authors as Ru Emerson and Stella Howard and the novels most popular reads was the Quest Trilogy that was written by Emerson and consisted of “Go Quest Young Man”, “Questward Ho!” and “How The Quest Was Won”. And growing up I had these books and in fact I still have many of these books and while the lack the visional charm of the show Emerson and Howard did a great job of capturing the fun feel of it and really did deliver very entertaining reads. If you love the show make sure to tack down these novels and give them a read in your favorite spot.

Xena Warrior Princess 21Xena Warrior Princess 22Xena Warrior Princess 23

Xena The Warrior Princess made her way to the world of video games and was in a total of three home console games and a few for the PC. In 1999 Titus Interactive released the fighting game “Xena Warrior Princess: The Talisman Of Fate” for the N64. It was met with mixed reviews as it was an odd fighter but did allow you to play as such characters as Callisto, Ares, Julius Caesar and Autolycus to name a few. Also in 1999 for the Sony Playstation and released by EA came a adventure game that had you play as Xena who is on a quest to rescue Gabrielle and must fight warriors and monsters along the way, and this was a game I have played and beat so many times as I just really enjoyed the quest hack slash style game play and plus it was cool to be able to play a video game based on one of my favorite TV Shows of all time. And yet Xena would also get a Game Boy Color game as well this time in 2001, as even the handheld market needed some Xena for gamers to play as. So while I am not a mega fan of the Game Boy Color or N64 versions, I am a fan of the PS1 version and say that if you have the old console at your house and want to play a Xena adventure give this one a try.

Xena Warrior Princess 24Xena Warrior Princess 25Xena Warrior Princess 26

The score music used for Xena The Warrior Princess was done by Joseph LoDuca and is fantastic stuff as the opening theme always built the excitement for the episode and is something that we all remember to this day as it became one of the most iconic themes for a TV Show at the time. Let’s be honest, you have hummed the theme at least once as you have been reading this update. Many of you might not know that composer Joseph LoDuca is the musical mastermind behind scores for such movies as “The Evil Dead”, “Brotherhood Of The Wolf”, “Boogeyman”, “Curse Of Chucky” and “Bad Samaritan” and shows like “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Cleopatra 2525” and “Jack Of All Trades” to name a few. And if you like myself enjoy the music of Xena you can get many volumes of the scores on CD thanks to Varese Sarabande; the musical episode even found its way onto CD! So make sure if you are a music collector to track these down as copies can be found on EBay and Amazon.

Xena Warrior Princess 27Xena Warrior Princess 28Xena Warrior Princess 29

As you know Xena was one of the biggest syndicated shows of all time and this is what lead to it having so much merchandise to be made about it and besides comics, novels, video games, toys and soundtracks, the show also got Home Media, Posters, Shirts, Costumes, Trading Cards, Cardboard Standees, Stickers, Drinking Glasses, Magazines, Clocks, Key Chains, Bags, Jewelry, Snow Globe and so much more official and unofficial stuff! And because I am a fan I do have much of this stuff as I have several shirts as well as some of the trading cards along with the other stuff I have mentioned I own. So if you like Xena and are a collector, the world is filled with lots of cool stuff for you to get for your collection.

Xena Warrior Princess 30Xena Warrior Princess 31Xena Warrior Princess 32

As you can see, Xena was a major force for TV in the 1990’s and sparked a tidal wave of great merchandise as well as gave female viewers a cool character to look up to as she was strong and a badass and at the time this was a little more rare for TV to have such a character in “nerdy” shows like this at the time. She also is an icon in the LGBTQ community as they show was laced with a lesbian overtones and this again was not the norm for this time on broadcast TV. And I want to also note that for fans the novels, comics, video games and even toys helped add new adventures for Xena while they waited for new seasons to start and new episodes to air. I want to thank Half Price Books and Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and i’s art and story. So with that while the turkey is still in the oven and those potatoes are not yet mashe, let’s go on an adventure with Topps Comics and Xena The Warrior Princess.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 0

Xena Warrior Princess # 0  **1/2
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 0 of 2

Xena and Gabrielle are walking along a path and stumble on a tomb at the side of a mountain and just as they notice it the ground shakes and a horde of zombie warriors come from the ground and go on the attack! Xena fights hard but is unable to save Gabrielle who is pulled underground by the zombies. Xena rushes inside the temple hoping that she can find Gabrielle alive inside and meets Psoriasese, the undead caretaker of the temple who warns Xena of the Dragon God who dwells inside and who has already claimed the soul of Xena as he wants her to enter his temple, this does not scare Xena who enters to save her friend as she learns that if she stabs the Dragon’s heart she will not only kill the beast but also free all the souls he has trapped. Xena ends up fighting and killing the three monsters that guard the dragon’s gate and once inside the Dragon taunts Xena with Gabrielle who is now in the zombie trance and this causes the warrior princess to go on the attack! After dodging the dragons attack as well as trying to hit his heart she is lucky to shrug off his attempt to put her into the zombie trance and is able to throw her sword into his heart and kill him and this frees the souls of all those he damned! In the end Xena and Gabrielle come back together as people are back to normal all around them and continue their quest.

This is a pretty fun first comic for Xena The Warrior Princess and does a pretty good job of capturing the mood and feel of the TV Show is based on, but I will say some of the humor in the comic does fall flat at times as the jokes and one liners were cheesy. The plot is very simple and has Xena fighting zombies, monsters and a dragon in order to save her friend Gabrielle who was kidnapped by them, and like always Xena and her warrior skills save the day. Xena in this issue is skilled in her fighting and is confidante in her skills as she has no fear charging into a tomb filled with the dead and monsters in order to protect her friend, she truly is one of the best female warriors in all of fandom. Gabrielle in this issue is very bored and sadly does not get her chance to see much action as she is taken by zombies and turned into one of them before she knew what even happened, and she still is very much around for some comedy relief at the start of the issue. The issue’s bad guy is the Dragon God who is in this tomb to try and collect souls to please Hades and to get his way into being in the underworld. He has the power to use a death stare in order to turn people into his mindless zombie slaves and to send their souls to Hades! He is very mean and evil looking but is also very slow in his attacks and had one big weakness his heart that is the key to free all those he damned. The comics action is well done and I do like the fight she has with the three monsters as she makes quick work of them and makes them pay for the decades of killing of people they have done and sends them all to the underworld. The cover I have is eye catching and showcases Lucy Lawless as Xena and the interior art is really great and done by Aaron Lopresti who can truly draw dragons, zombies and monsters and his work on Xena is good and it looks like Lawless. Over all a good start to this series as its fast paced and has some great art and fun action.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 1

Xena Warrior Princess # 1  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 1 of 2

Salmoneus is in charge of the Spring Fair and a threat has been made toward the hero turned king Perseus’s life and that is why he has called in many of his friends to help protect the king’s life as well as keep the fair safe. On hand is Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer The Brave and for a brief time Hercules and Iolaus are around to stop a drunken giant. As the heroes all come together a strange old man in a cloak offers money to a charity if Xena and Hercules would fight each other to see who the better hero is, they refuse and Hercules leaves to visit his mother. Meanwhile Xena, Gabrielle, Iolaus and Joxer stick around to protect the King during the fair but things go wrong when the Gorgon Sisters show up as they are the sisters of Medusa and want revenge on Perseus for killing their loved one. The Gorgon Sisters can turn people to stone via their eyes as well as firing laser beams from them and they are able to turn Perseus, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Gabrielle into stone and worse a spear has went through Gabrielle right as she turned! Xena tricks the Gorgon Sisters into hitting each other with their stone eye beams, and this kills them both. As Xena and Joxer go to check on their friends cloaked man appears and shows that he is classic hero Gilgamesh and that Xena should join him on a quest to get a plant that gives eternal life as in 30 Days all those turned to stone will turn normal and this would be the death of Gabrielle!

What a fun comic as this brings in so many familiar faces from the classic Xena and Hercules TV Shows and brings them all together in order to protect Perseus who many know not only by the myth of his story but also the film Clash Of The Titans from the 1980’s. The story is that Perseus is now a King and his throwing a big fair for his people that the conman Salmoneus is in charge of, but a threat is looming so he calls on his hero friends to come act as guards and security only for them to have to face the evil sisters of Medusa who turn many into stone and during this fight Gabrielle is hit with a spear right as she is turned, after killing the sisters Xena now must find a way to save her friend in 30 Days as once she turns flesh again she will surely die. Xena in this issue shows that she has no fear as she rushes head on to fight The Gorgon Sisters and out smarts them in order to end their lives, as they are immortal but they could not survive their own attacks. Xena by he quick actions is able to save many lives! Poor Gabrielle tries to help during the mayhem but finds herself being hit in the gut with a spear and then turned to stone at the same time, she has thirty days to live as stone before returning back to flesh and bleeding to death. Joxer is a goofball and during the fight has his helmet fall and saves no lives nor does not battle the Sisters. The one odd thing is that Hercules is around for a few moments, but leaves before the attack to visit his mom…its like could he not wait one day to visit her and help his friends stay safe? Poor Iolaus and Salmoneus find themselves stone, but do try to help during this attack. I for one don’t trust Gilgamesh who uses Iolaus as a human shield, tries to hire Hercules and Xena to fight and then tries to say he has a way to save Gabrielle’s life as well as give him more life as he should have been dead long ago…don’t trust him as he comes off shady. The cover is very cool and eye catching and the interior art by Joyce Chin and is great stuff, I really like her style lots and she captures the looks of the actors who play the characters and adds he own touch and style to them. Over all this is a great start for this mini series and shows that Xena is not only great on TV but also in comics!

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 2

Xena Warrior Princess # 2  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95    Topps Comics     # 2 of 2

Xena and Gilgamesh are on their quest to get the plant that grows every 500 years and gives a person immortality, but they are attacked by some Lion Men and they have to kill the flesh eating beasts and soon find that Joxer has been following them as he wants to help! Gilgamesh opens up to Xena and says that he once touched the flower and that is how he is still alive after all these centuries and that he does not want to die as he feels the effects fading and that watching his friend die before him is what has driven him to this quest as he thinks heroes should not have such fates. The three head to the river and meet the ferryman who uses a sea monster to get them across, once at the location Gilgamesh uses his club and knocks out both Xena and Joxer and then ties Xena up into the air and tells her that he must slit her throat in order for the planet to fully bloom, and she reminds him that he was one of the greatest heroes and that this is murder…he knows she is right and stops his attack. But before they can talk, more monsters appear and Xena and he team up to bring them down. Gilgamesh then says while his life will end he thinks the roots of the flower will heel the wounds of Gabrielle if they can make it back in time. Thirty days pass and those turned to stone turn back to flesh and at the last second Gilgamesh makes it to Gabrielle in time and saves her life! As Gilgamesh leaves to return to his homeland to die, Hercules makes it back from his mom’s home and asks Xena what he missed.

The final issue in this mini series has Xena on a quest for a plant that should be able to save the life of her best friend Gabrielle, but soon finds that she was tricked and a sacrificial lamb so that her blood can help the planet bloom, but her attacker and quest buddy Gilgamesh could not commit murder and they end up using the plants roots in order to at least save the life of Gabrielle as the root heals her wounds. I told you readers not to trust Gilgamesh and while in the end he turns into the hero is was, he had his own self in mind and was willing to kill a brave warrior in order for himself to live forever. Xena as always is brave and kills some monsters as well as goes into the unknown in order to save her friends life as well as help a legendary hero live forever. Gilgamesh is aging and dying and while he was a great warrior at one time its clear his fear of death as well as aging is breaking him down. Joxer is around but is pretty much just used as comedy for the issue. Hercules, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Perseus show up at then end of the issue and add their own charm, but are pretty much just background characters. Gabrielle turns flesh and is saved and still has her sense of humor as she talks about having a tummy ache. This comic mini series has lots going for it as I feel the story is fun and fitting for an episode of Xena, the art is really great and all artists do a great job of making the characters look like the actors and yet also add their own touches, it has lots of action, humor and monsters…plus you can not go wrong with having Hercules in a cameo role. Topps Comics really was a great indie comic company in the 90’s that delivered very entertaining reads and I think their Xena series is proof that they put care behind their releases. The cover is pretty great and showcases Xena being a badass and the interior art in this issue is done by Joyce Chin again and is great stuff, as she even adds a little sexy cheesecake feel to Xena throughout. To sum it up these comics lived up to what I remember and if you are a Xena Warrior Princess fan make sure to give this mini series a read. Checkout the artwork bellow to see the style used by Chin in the series.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 1Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 2Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 3

Xena Warrior Princess was a fantastic TV Show that was a big part of my TV watching growing up and made for a great comic book series thanks to Topps Comics who I feel was gone way to soon as I think the amount of amazing comics they could have released over the years they have been gone could have been very epic. You can tell that the creative minds behind this mini series at least cared about delivering a entertaining comic and great read to the fans of the show and that’s what makes it standout from many of the others that have failed their readers and fans. And I think truly that the show should return for one more season and it’s a must that Lucy Lawless and Rene O’Connor step back into the roles of Xena and Gabrielle, but enough of that talk as I could chat about Xena for days! Thank you so much for spending a small part of your Thanksgiving with Rotten Ink and I hope looking back at Xena Warrior Princess made your Turkey Day a little better. Before we part ways let me tell you that our next update is our kickoff to Christmas Eve and will be about the first Superman movie in cinemas that had him meeting Mole Men, that’s right it’s a photo comic graphic novel based on the George Reeves as Superman film “Superman And The Mole Men” so that should be a fun flashback. So I hope you are enjoying your meal with your family, friends and pets and as always until next time read an indie comic or three, watch a Xena episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon as Superman has some Mole Men to save!

Superman And The Mole Men Preview Logo

Forgotten Reels: The Island Of The Lost (1921)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! As you can see, we have a packed house here at the Rotten Ink Theater as the silent film that we will be discussing on this “Forgotten Reels” is a one time lost German Sci-Fi, Horror flick that was re-discovered in Germany and has not really made its way to America and sadly is really unknown by the masses here and for the most part has been forgotten by the world as well. The film is called “The Island Of The Lost” that was released in 1921 and is a unofficial film based on a classic novel written by H.G. Wells and when Phil of Creature Feature Video brought this film to my attention I knew I had to cover it here at the Rotten Ink Theater as this was a perfect film for “Forgotten Reels” as its one that will be a first time watch for me and this also could be the first time many of you readers even heard of this film! So let’s find our seats and grab a snack and a drink as it’s time for us to talk Silent Cinema.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 1

The Island Of The Lost is a German film released by Terra Film in 1921 and is one part Sci-Fi and Horror and has a dash of Comedy and Romance. The films script was written by Hans Behrendt and Bobby E. Luthge and is very loosely based on the novel “The Island Of Dr. Moreau” by H.G. Wells who had no idea that this film was even made based on his work, and this was a common practice back in the early years of cinema that filmmakers would adapt famous novels into films and not get the permission of the writers who created them. They got Urban Gad to direct who had directed many films before this one with some of his well known ones being “The Abyss (1910)”, “Zapata’s Gang (1914)”, “Cinderella (1916)” and “What A Girl (1920)” to name a few. The film casted Erich Kaiser-Titz as Professor McClelland the films Dr. Moreau and other actors like Alf Blutecher, Ludmilla Hell, Hanni Weisse, Hermann Picha and Nien Tso Ling also made up the cast. The film mostly showed just in Germany and did not make the impact that the adaptation films of F.W. Murnau made the year before and after its release as it was sandwiched between the 1920 film “Der Januskopf” that was based loosely on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and 1922’s Nosferatu that of course was unauthorized based on Dracula. The film also had early effects of human and animal hybrids and was done with makeup and prosthetic effects and I can only imagine how moviegoers reacted to seeing these creatures in 1921. After its run The Island Of The Lost faded away and was misplaced and was forgotten by time. But a print of the film was found in Berlin and it was saved from decay. The film even made its way to America finally as it screened for the first time in 2014 at a Monster Bash Convention and was meet with mixed to positive reviews. The film while still not as known by fans of Silent Horror Cinema has made it mark on those who have watched it. The film can be found on grey market DVD.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 2

The snack I choose to eat while watching this Silent Film for the first time is a classic for me and I picked an Andy Capp snack food and choose the BBQ flavor! Many of you remember my write up for Andy Capp when he went to Camp and I gave the history of the snack named after the comic strip Icon but for this update I will quickly give you a crash course on them. Andy Capp Snacks started in 1971 by Goodmark Foods Inc. and made corn and potato snack food that look like fries and featured the comic strip character Andy Capp as the products mascot and spokesman. In 1998 ConAgra Foods bought Goodmark and they still make this bard of snack food to this day! They had many flavors for their Andy Cap Firs line including over the years Salsa, Cheese, Ranch, Cheddar & Bacon, White Cheddar, Hot Chili Cheese and the most iconic being Hot. And while my favorite flavors are Cheese and Hot my third is BBQ and for some reason that sounded the most tasty to go with this film. So take a look below to see these BBQ Fries in their natural habit of a freshly opened bag.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 3

I am very much looking forward to watching this one as it is a German Horror flick that I have never seen and I love the fact that its American premiere was at a Monster Bash Convention that is my favorite one to attend as I am a big fan of classic monsters as you long time readers know. The print of the movie we are looking at is from Creature Feature Video an amazing company that brings many of these Silent films to home media for fans to collect and own. I will be grading both the film and the BBQ Fries on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film ratings I am basing it on a scale that is for silent films of all budgets and eras. So sit back in your theater seat, grab some a snack and a soda and lets travel to The Island Of The Lost with Creature Feature Video. And yes the stills used in this review update are indeed taken from the CFV print and the DVD that I own.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost DVD

The Island Of The Lost
Starring: Erich Kaiser-Titz and Alf Blutecher      Directed: Urban Gad
Not Rated     1921   61min    Creature Feature Video   DVD-R   Full Frame

Robert Marston reads about a bottle being found with a note inside that has coordination’s and a cry for help from a woman named Jane Crawford. He then heads to visit his fiancé Evelyn Wilkinson and the two walk for a few moments and catch up before Robert is off again, but drops his newspaper and Jane notices that a part has been ripped out. Meanwhile Dr. Ted Fowley a friend of Robert’s is putting up with two paid patients of his Jim and Jess that sit in the waiting room to look like the doctor is busy who are talking about how to get more money and Ted has an idea using ads in the paper about an artificial man.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 4forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 5forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 6

Evelyn tracks down a newsboy and buys another paper so that she can find what part of Robert’s paper was missing while Robert has arrived at the practice of his friend Ted and even runs into Jim and Jess who are faking injuries. As Robert enters the office he alerts Ted of the note found in the bottle and they both agree that the handwriting looks like Jane who was Robert’s ex-fiancé who went missing while in London. Ted asks Robert if he is still in love with Jane and he says no that Evelyn is his love, but you can tell he is torn. Meanwhile people are lining up outside Ted’s office with the promise of the newspaper ad about an artificial man. Ted tells Robert he needs to go to Jane and tell her the truth of what is going on, but Robert does not want Evelyn to find out about Jane. While Ted along with Jim and Jess deal with the people who have gathered because of the ad while Evelyn shows up and Robert and they chat for a moment but Ted begs Robert to get him away as his ad has backfired and the people are getting rowdy and the two run out the back door and onto a submarine and sail away and set sail for the island that Jane is at. As the do so Evelyn has the article about the found message in the bottle that has the location and watches as her lover sails away. Robert and Ted on the submarine dive and the two friends and the crew chat and set sail for the long journey to the island to get to Jane.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 7forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 8forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 9

Time passes and they are at the island and as Robert and Ted armed with rifles go ashore the submarine and its crew head to the mouth of a river to wait for the two to get back from this expedition. Robert and Ted explore the land and nothing is around at first besides trees, rivers and planets and then they spot an animal man that is a mix of ape and human and he does not seem friendly. The friends flee and reach another part of the river and find a massive hut and they take a makeshift boat to get to the hut and to get away from the strange things in the woods.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 10forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 11forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 12

Once they reach the hut via a window they see the shadow of Jane and they rush inside with rifles at the ready and while looking for her the find lab equipment as well as medical books…as this hut is also some ones lab! And while looking around a man in a radioactive suit appears and introduces himself as George McClelland and wonders what they are doing in his hut as this island is were he does his experiments and they are clearly outsiders. Robert and Ted lie and say they came on a yacht and McClelland thinks they are just wondering lost friends and welcomes them and claims that an outbreak has wiped out all the natives of the island and that he is the only living person on it. Ted acts as if he is going to go back the ship to bring a bottle of wine back, but instead looks around and finds a steel door in the hut and behind it is Jane who is happy to see him and to be on the verge of being rescued. But Ted is caught by Fung-Lu who is the assistant to McClelland and when Ted demands the key to the cell Fung-Lu says that McClelland has it and Ted marches into the lab and demands the key!

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 13forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 14forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 15

McClelland agrees and leads Robert and Ted to the cell, but they make a big mistake as they leave the riffles behind and when they walk away Fung-Lu takes the guns away leaving them armless. Once inside the cell Jane is happy to see Robert and Ted but she is still very scared of McClelland who ends up stepping aside and Robert, Ted and Jane make a run for it and leave the hut and get back into the little boat and start heading toward the shore. And inside McClelland and Fung-Lu talk about opium, but they will not get any until these outsiders are dealt with.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 16forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 17forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 18

As the boat gets to the bank and Jane tells them that she was attacked by three people and when she woke up she found herself on this island and that McClelland is a terrible person and she would always hear the screams of animals as she was locked in her cell. As Jane runs ahead of them Ted tells Robert that he must tell her that he is now engaged to Evelyn, but he cannot bring himself to do so. As the three friends run through the woods Fung-Lu is tossing bombs around the docked submarine spooking the crew and destroying the ship or so he claims when talking to McClelland in order to get some opium. McClelland denies his assistant the drug unless he signs a paper that gives McClelland all credit for the experiments that the pair have done on the island, and Fung-Lu does so just so he can get the drug he needs.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 19forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 20forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 21

Robert, Jane and Ted arrive to were they left their canoe and find it missing so the follow the river to opening and see that the submarine is also missing and there is only on survivor and it was the ships butler. Jane says she knows a place that the four of them can take shelter in for the night and it’s an old tree house and before they climb up they take inventory of the supplies they have. Once they get Jane inside and safe they send the Butler out to get wood so that they can make a warm fire for the night and as the butler looks around for wood a Native is stalking him, while in the tree house Ted is getting mad at Robert for not coming clean to Jane that he has found another love, but Robert says he will not as he still cares for Jane. Meanwhile the Butler ends up running into the native who is female and they run off to her hut and they fall in love. While back at the lab Fung-Lu is smoking his opium and drifts away into his own mind.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 22forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 23forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 24

Robert, Jane and Ted later that day make a fire and are sitting around it when Ted makes sure to ask Robert if he has thought about Evelyn and this makes Jane ask who Evelyn is, and this puts Robert on the spot and Ted then tells Jane that Evelyn is Robert’s fiancé in London and while both Jane and Robert look hurt good old Ted looks pleased with himself. The next morning they are now in grounded hunts getting ready for the day and Ted even goes outside and milks a goat for milk and brings it to Jane, and Robert is not pleased that his best friend is flirting with his lady. And when they ask Robert to join them for breakfast he gets pouty and refuses and walks off alone. Meanwhile Ted and Jane end up sharing the goat milk and continue to flirt with one another and finally they even kiss. As Robert is trying to build a raft to get them off this island and forget that his heart is breaking as he still has feelings for Jane who is now falling for Ted after she learns that Robert had moved on once she was kidnapped.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 25forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 26forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 27

Meanwhile Fung-Lu is feeding one of the animal people that is one of the experiment of McClelland who informs Fung-Lu that they will allow Jane to have her freedom for now but when they need her they will go and get her. Once McClelland and Fung-Lu leave the office the animal man sneaks in and trashes the office in a rage and is caught and threatened to be whipped for his bad behavior and when McClelland asks the animal man who is his creator and God the poor soul points at Fung-Lu and this angers McClelland who corrects him and claims that he is his crater and then whips him one and the animal man crawls away. Then McClelland and Fung-Lu talk about how interesting it is that the animal people are starting to take on more traits of humans like even stealing.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 28forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 29forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 30

Jane and Ted leave the hut and start looking around the land for food when the spot the a tribe King, but little do they know yet that the King is the butler who left them the night before and when they realize they have a good laugh as the Butler dances around as the female native plays a drum. Robert has finished his makeshift raft and is about to take off when he is caught by Ted who is upset that Robert was about to leave him and Jane on the island. Ted tries to remind him of Evelyn back in London, but Robert says that she is dead to him as Jane should be his lady again. Robert and Ted walk away from each other in anger and Jane then decides that she will talk to Robert and Ted talks a walk down the beach with his bow and a staff he has made. Meanwhile the talk between Robert and Jane does not help as he claims he still loves her and she questions why he found another woman so fast after she was kidnapped.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 31forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 32forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 33

As Jane makes her way to Ted a boat is sighted in the ocean and they scream for Robert about the approaching ship, the butler hears the news as well and takes off his Tribe King outfit and puts back on his suit to join them as the native woman is not happy he ran off. As Robert is joined by Jane and Ted he alerts them that them being together is ok as he will return to London to be with Evelyn and the three run off to try and get the ships attention, and the butler catches up to them and tries as well. All four are happy as they think they are going to be rescued from this cursed island. They start a big fire and even wave a white shirt on a stick around in order to get attention and alert the ship that help is needed, but sadly the ship does not see them and keeps sailing away further and further. Robert returns to his raft, the butler returns to his native woman and Ted along with Jane return to the hut all now feeling heartbroken and defeated.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 34forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 35forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 36

Back at the lab of McClelland it is decided that its time for them to get Jane back as they need her for the next big experiment and he sends out his animal man with a blow dart and tells him to bring Jane back to the lab, the beast man heads out to do what he is told. And while Jane is looking for roots the animal man hits her with the dart and as she is about to pass out Ted was alerted that something is wrong from her scream and goes rushing to find her and does so just in time as she passes out into his arms as the beast man looks on in anger as he has failed his mission.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 37forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 38forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 39

Ted gets Jane to the hut and places her on a bed, she has a bad fever and he knows that he must get medicine from McClelland to save her life and he rushes to tell Robert what is going on. Meanwhile the animal man is in trouble when McClelland is mad that he did not bring Jane back to the lab when he was given orders to do so, he then sends him back out to get her. Ted rushes to the lab and swims across the river to get there as Robert rushes to the hut to check on Jane and picks her up and takes her away. Once at the lab Ted and McClelland talk and he asks for medicine to help with the fever, but before he answers he wants to show Ted what he has been up to on this island.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 40forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 41forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 42

McClelland brings Ted into a room that is filled with lots of animal people and the mad doctor explains to him that all of these creatures use to be animals and his experiments are turning them all into animal people, and while they hate him they all fear him. Ted is shocked and saddened by what he is seeing as these creatures seem like they are in pain as he looks and sees creatures that were once rams, walruses and birds now these twisted mutations.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 43forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 44forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 45

McClelland then takes Ted to another room and shows him more of his terrible experiments, and with this Ted figures out that McClelland is really Professor Thompson a man who was kicked out of London for his extreme work with artificial men. Ted then realizes that Thompson needs a heart for his new experiment and has seen and heard enough and attacks the Professor! Thompson mocks Ted for his attack and alerts him that he and Robert have only slowed down his work and not stopped it, and with that Ted runs from the lab and dives into the water to swim ashore and heads to the hut to find Jane gone! While Robert is caring Jane the animal man pushes over the tree that had the tree house in it! Showing that he is super strong and is on the trail of Jane and the places she has been as he must not fail and needs to bring her to the lab.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 46forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 47forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 48

Ted hears the tree falling and rushes down towards the river and sees Robert who is going to put June on his raft and the two friends start fighting each other as Jane wakes up and looks confused and its Robert who knocks out Ted and notices that the animal man as appeared and kidnapped Jane and is heading back toward the lab. Robert catches up to the beast man and the two start to fight, meanwhile Evelyn has shown up around the island and along with a sailor and a friend of hers get into a rowboat and head toward the island shore.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 49forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 50forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 51

Once Evelyn reaches the shore of the island her friend and her find Ted injured but being cared for by the butler and the native woman, he tells Evelyn of Robert and Jane and she decides that she is done with Robert but would like to see this woman Jane. The Butler takes them to the hut and informs them of the animal people as well as the evils of McClelland and his experiments. As Evelyn and crew head towards the lab we find that Robert is now a prisoner and that Jane is wanting to know if Ted is dead at the hands of Robert and all the while McClelland and Fung-Lu are figuring out what parts of what animal they want to use for the next animal man. And he then alerts Jane that her heart is needed for this next beast man and he wants Fung-Lu to get it for him. And as Fung-Lu takes Jane to an operating room, the butler has made his way to the lab and finds Robert in a cage, but before the butler can get help he is attacked by the animal man, but the butler stabs the beast man in the heart and wounds him deeply.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 52forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 53forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 54

As the butler runs off its Evelyn who now goes into the lab and sees the animal people who are all worked up as Thompson’s new animal man is alive and as raised from the slab. The new beast man is crazed and we learn that Fung-Lu has given Thompson the heart of a tiger and not Jane’s and this has made the creation more animal than man. Evelyn finds and frees Jane who in turn finds Robert and sets him free and Evelyn then uses fire to keep the animal men at bay as the three escape, the animal people set their rage on Thompson and as the hut is filled with smoke they attack their creator with murder in their eyes.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 55forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 56forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 57

The lab is fully on fire as Evelyn, Jane and Robert watch it burn the bank, they are later joined by Ted and the female native all who watch as Thompson, Fung-Lu and the animal people burn to death in the massive fire. And it’s clear that Jane wants to be with Ted as the two embrace and kiss as the film ends with the lab fire.

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 58forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 59forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 60

Review: This unofficial movie adaptation of The Island Of Dr. Moreau is a fun early German Sci-Fi Horror film that seems to have been forgotten by time and that’s a shame as I found myself really enjoying this one lots as it was a cool mix of drama, horror and even a dash of comedy. The performance of Erich Kaiser-Titz who was Thompson aka McClelland is really good and he looks like a madman at times and when he needs to be mean his face twists and his eye widen and you feel his madness. The shooting locations are very simple and very effective as the use of huts, woods and water is very fitting for the plot of this film and the locations the filmmaker choose to use were well selected. The friendship of Robert and Ted is an odd one as while its clear they have been friends for a long time their friendship will be tested when it comes to the ladies as Ted is kind of a drama magnet as he pushes topics that ends up causing issues when in the end it was clear he was doing this in order to try and win the heart of his friends ex-girlfriend, and for his action he even gets punched and knocked out. And while it looks like Robert and Ted are our heroes in the end the real hero is Evelyn who is the one who saves Robert and Jane from being killed and is even the one that sets the fire that kills the films villains, plus is the one who brings a ship that will allow them all to get off the island. Actress Hanni Weisse is stunning as Jane Crawford and is a great early actress who was also in the film “The Hound Of The Baskervilles” from 1914 as well as 1915, and when she is on screen she steels the show. The film does have some flaws and at times the story is a little weak and some of the characters actions are very unmotivated. The butler character that is played by a black actor and some of the humor around him is very dated and is a little cringe in spots. And for me the biggest letdown is that they very much downplay the Horror elements of this tale as McClelland and the Animal People should have taken more of the spotlight and not the love triangle of Robert, Jane and Ted…but with that even said I still really enjoyed this film! The Animal People are great and for the time look creepy even though they are just actors with fur and animal costumes on, they still hold a weird and creepy look to them that I am sure made movie goers in 1921 very scared by their weird appearance. The print of this film by Creature Feature Video is good and while the film it’s self has flaws like dirty frames and missing frames this is a very good print and made the film even more enjoyable. I say if you love German Silent Horror Films get a copy of this film and sit back one evening and have a great and spooky time with it.

Now for the quick look at Andy Capp’s BBQ Fries and I have to say they are a very tasty corn snack that has a very heavy BBQ taste they are a solid snack to munch on if you are looking for something cheaply priced that packs a good flavor. And I will say while they are good they are not as tasty as the Hot or Cheese Fries as they both have more of a flavor that is not as basic as the BBQ. The mix of corn and potato make these BBQ Fries look like French fries and if you are looking for something very cheap to munch on while watching Silent Films these are not bad.

Movie: ***
Chips: **1/2

forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 61forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 62forgotten reels The Island of the Lost 63

The Island Of The Lost is a really interesting film that due to being “Lost” for so many years I think it really has been forgotten and is really a undiscovered Gem for fans who like early German Silent Horror Films, and I need to really stress that it is by no means a German Expressionist film and lacks those films eerie use of shadows and crooked structures. And while it’s not a good loose adaptation of the classic The Island Of Dr. Moreau story and it is not even the best film inspired by Dr. Moreau, what it is though is a great fun film that I am glad has been found so that it might be able to gain a following among fans of Silent Horror. And make sure to get a copy of this film from Creature Feature Video and see what you think of this film. Well the clean up crew is here in the theater so I think that is our sign to head on out, and as we make our way to the exit doors I want to thank you once more for talking Silent Cinema with me and also that the next one will take us to our big Thanksgiving update and will be about that Warrior Princess Xena! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Silent Horror Film or two and as always support your Local Horror Host. See you next time as we have a Turkey Day date with Xena and Gabrielle!

Xena Preview Logo

Rotten Ink That’s Where You’ll Find Diver Dan!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! Are you as shocked as I am that we are already in November 2022? This year has flown by and crazy to think Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! The 10 Year Anniversary for this blog has been in full effect and we have looked at many classic things that I am sure brought back memories for many of you readers as well as maybe even acted as you first introduction to some of the update topics, and todays update is one that many of you might have grown up watching while others of you reading have no idea about and that is Diver Dan a very cool and yet also cheesy kids show from the 1960’s and when chosen topics for this year I just knew he had to be one of them. As I did not grow up watching Diver Dan but once I was introduced to the show I quickly became a fan and knew we had to go on a deep-sea dive adventure with him! So lets get our deep dive suits on and check our oxygen tanks as its time to enter the water and see what we can find.

Diver Dan 1

Diver Dan was created by cartoonist J. Anthony Ferlaine in 1960 as a spin off of his comic strip “Fish Tales” and was the show was made by Brian Cartoons, and distributed by ITC Entertainment and was aired mostly on NBC stations during its original run. And each episode ran around seven minutes long and it would normally be paired with other cartoons like Felix The Cat and be apart of children shows that were hosted. The show would have 104 episodes and would last until 1970 given it a good ten year run. The under water scenes were shot through an aquarium with the fish on the showing being a mix of real ones as well as puppets that was mostly voiced by Allen Swift who also played the voices of the Narrator and the off screen character Captain Murphy. The lovely Suzanne Turner played the mermaid Miss Minerva. Diver Dan was very well loved by young viewers and would even have many years life after it ended thanks to reruns. And while Diver Dan was not for everyone as lots of kids wanted animated shows and not live action ones, it’s legacy of being a beloved 1960’s kids show is still strong and was one of the favorites shows of my Ex-Girlfriends dad who is the one that introduced me to the show. The show can be found originally on grey market VHS tapes and now can be found on DVD via Alpha Video as well as other budget labels and can also be watched on YouTube. I also have to point out that the shows theme is very cool and catchy, look it up and give it a listen and see what you think.

Diver Dan 2Diver Dan 3Diver Dan 4

Diver Dan is a deep-sea diver who is studying fish and is a good guy and a hero to the aquatic life that makes up the waters he is in. A true good guy character who is likeable and noble and is truly that classic kid show standard of who you should grow up to be like. Diver Dan was played by actor Frank D Freda who was known for being a writer for the animated show “The Smokey Bear Show” as well was Ronald McDonald in some early McDonalds commercials. He was also a Broadway actor and was a sales person for HBO and Cellphones and is the first person to cell a car cell phone in New York. But back to Diver Dan who 100% is a true iconic character in the world of kid shows and has inspired many people over the decades to be a good person, to want to study bodies of water and fish and even helped fuel creative minds. On a side note I would love to see Diver Dan return to TV and do it as the next generation and the show could follow his Grandson who has followed in his grandfathers footsteps and is going on adventures in the same sea. Also if he was in public domain I would totally write a comic mini series based on Diver Dan for Sparkle Comics!

Diver Dan 5Diver Dan 6Diver Dan 7

Ok lets take a moment to chat about Miss Minerva the blonde mermaid who was friends to the fishes and would keep her distant from Dan who she just would call The Diver. She as I said was played by actress Suzanne Turner who was a very good stage actress as she was featured in the play “Auntie Mame” and as for other TV or Movie roles she had no other as Diver Dan was he only work in that field. Miss Minerva had long blonde hair and would wear a crown and speak to the fish who would warn her of the dangers coming or tell what they have seen. She was a kind mermaid who would watch after her friends as well was the target sometimes of the fish of the ocean that are not so kind. After he work on Diver Dan not much else is known about Suzanne Turner as she seemed to drop off from acting, and during her time on the show she was the crush of many young viewers. And when trying to look up information on her it looks like she might have passed away, but sadly not much is out there about her after the show ended.

Diver Dan 8Diver Dan 9Diver Dan 10

The shows two main baddies was the fishes Baron Barracuda and Trigger Fish who acted as stooges and help set up the dastardly plots the plans they had cooked up in their cave hideout by Teetering Rock. You see even in the deep ocean we have gangsters that want to cause harm to the people or should I say ocean dwellers. They are your typical kid show baddies as they have silly plans to just ruin peoples fun and to cause just annoyance to all around them. And to be honest the show really needed Baron Barracuda and Trigger Fish to add that villain element to the show and they both are the spice needed to make the show more enjoyable.

Diver Dan 11

Diver Dan like all good kids shows of the time had lots of amazing merchandise for fans to collect and own! Besides the comic books they made a board game, vinyl record, coloring book, fanzines and later episodes was released on DVD and before that on VHS with many of those being from the grey market. I think the odd thing about all this is that Diver Dan never got an action figure and I for one think he should have. And thinking about it Super7 should do a Diver Dan ReAction figure and Funko should do a Pop! of Diver Dan as well as Clutch Cargo. But if you are a fan of Diver Dan there is some cool stuff for you to collect and I myself besides the comics own the DVD sets from Alpha Video.

Diver Dan 12Diver Dan 13Diver Dan 14

So now that we have chatted about Diver Dan and the characters that made up his show as well as the merchandise he spawned I think we should now move onto his comic adventures and see what Dell Comics has in store for him. I also want to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready like I am lets go on a deep dive adventure with the one and only Diver Dan!

Diver Dan Comic 1

Diver Dan # 1   **1/2
Released in 1962      Cover Price .15      Dell Comics    # 1254 of 1354

Diver Dan is helping Miss Minerva and the fish to set up and have a Masquerade Ball, and as they all go to get ready Baron and Trigger as well as Rocky who is the nephew of Trigger go to the party and break everything down and destroy things as they have a plan to finally take down Diver Dan. When Minerva, Diver Dan and the fish return to find the party ruined they are sad as the ball seems like it will not be taking place, but our dastardly fish baddies show back up dressed up pretending to be party goers and acted shocked that the party has been attacked, and suggests a new location that they have a trap set at via a octopus. When Diver Dan and the party guests get there they set back up as Baron and Trigger even try to get Dan in trouble with his Captain when they snap a picture of Diver Dan and Minerva with the party lights behind them and deliver it above to the Captain who is mad as Dan is supposed to be looking for hidden treasure. But when Baron and Trigger’s plan goes wrong and the octopus gets trapped they decided to try and kidnap a young female fish and get ransom for her safe return, but that backfires when Rocky returns her to her friends and the baddies are chased off by Rocky’s angry mother. And the Ball happens and all are happy as Diver Dan wonders off to find the treasure.

This first issue of Diver Dan is really a kid friendly fun read that has Diver Dan in trouble with his boss as well as trying to help his fish friends to get a Masquerade Ball to happen after it was sabotaged. Diver Dan is a good spirited human who does what he can to bring joy to all his friends that live in the waters and is helping set up a party when he is being paid to find a treasure, and this fact also gets him in trouble with his boss and Dan still just continues to help his fish friends and even gets his boss on the boat to send down a camera! The one flaw of Diver Dan in this issue is that he is way to trusting as he does not see that Baron and Trigger are right in front of him luring them all to a trap and dismisses the concerns of fellow fish who alert him that they think the two are at the Ball! Baron and Trigger are such fishy little jerks as they get joy of breaking and ripping down the Ball decorations all because they want to lure everyone into a trap, and for what reason…cause they dislike Diver Dan and want to ruin his day. Sadly mermaid Miss Minerva really does not do much in this issue and that stinks, but the one thing they do show is that almost all the fish respect and love her. The story is as basic as can be and is very much kid friendly and the message is being mean, a trickster and bad never pays out and that good will always find a way and that friendship and community is important. And with a few odd elements like Dan and Minerva being around each other when in the show that was not the case for the most part, I do feel that it captures the mood and feeling of the show. The cover is great and features Diver Dan, Baron and Trigger and is eye catching for fans of the show, and the interior art is done by an Unknown Artist and is really good and has that classic Dell look but I think this is even slightly better art then the average Dell Comic. Over all I would say this is a super fun and silly Kid Comic read that does Diver Dan justice, and I am very much looking forward to reading the next issue.

Diver Dan Comic 2

Diver Dan # 2  ***
Released in 1962     Cover Price .15     Dell Comics     # 2 of 1

Carolos is leading a band of gypsy fish to find a new queen as his daughter the current one has been kidnapped and Baron and Trigger send them the way of Minerva and the gypsies have chosen her to be the new Queen, and without telling her this news they set up a show for the area to enjoy first, and with tea they knock out Minerva by acting as if they are reading her fortune and flee fast from the area. But not before Carlos also hypnotizes Baron into being a nicer fish to others after he and Trigger tried to rob his wagon. The fish go and get Diver Dan in order to save Minerva and he along the way runs into Baron who goes along to help. But before Minerva can be made Queen the old one shows up as she has escaped and her captor a fellow bands Prince who is after her as he wants to marry her! The gypsies would rather have Minerva as the Queen but after some arguments she is able to kind of get away and to Diver Dan. In the end Baron gets punched by accident when Carlos and the Prince get into a fight and this snaps him out of his trance, and as Diver Dan and Minerva get away the Queen and Prince ride off and Trigger is almost forced into marriage before Baron saves him.

This second issue of Diver Dan is one great read as it has a fun kid friendly story, the artwork is fantastic and I feel that it did a great job of capturing the feel of the show its based on. This one has a band of gypsy fish kidnapping Minerva to make her their Queen, only for Diver Dan and the unlikely ally of Baron coming to her rescue. This issue also is mostly about the mermaid Minerva as she is the target of the gypsy and is the one who has to try and tell them she does not want to be anyone’s Queen and that her home is were she is at in the ocean, I also like that even with her kidnappers she tries to be kind and not hurt their feelings as while they did something bad they are more misguided then evil. Baron and Trigger as well have bigger parts as the Baron is under the trance he turns into a good guy and forces his goofy henchman to go along with him. The Gypsies are cool characters who have Queens and Kings and will do sneaky things in order to honor their culture, but as I have stated I do not feel its to be mean. Diver Dan kind of takes a backseat in this issue as he does not come around until the end of the comic and even then he does very little and I like that as this gave other characters from the show a little time to shine and be the focus of a story that was really entertaining. I also have to say that the cover for this issue is great and features both Diver Dan and Minerva and is super eye catching for fans of the show. The interior art is done by Sal Trapani and is 100% fantastic and he captures the characters likeness so well. Over all a great series Diver Dan was and it’s a shame that the comic series only lasted two issues as it should have lasted way longer on the comic racks as well as on TV. Check out the artwork bellow as I think it showcases the work that went into this series.

Diver Dan Comic Art 1

Diver Dan is one of those classic 1960’s kids shows that I feel just never gets the respect in these modern times like it should as it was a simple concept that made oceans, fish and a deep sea diver cool! And sadly in 2022 I am sure many of you younger readers have never heard of Diver Dan and his show and I hope this update has at least sparked your interest in getting the Alpha Video or Digiview releases or even look them up on YouTube. That is one thing that I hope that Rotten Ink is able to do and that’s help keep vintage and old school stuff like this alive and not only bring joy to fans who remember but also I hope bring new fans into the topic. And with that said I would like to let you know that Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Celebration continues as we head back to the Rotten Ink Theater to chat about Silent Cinema and it will be 1921’s one time lost German classic “The Island Of Lost”! So until next time read a indie comic or three, watch a Diver Dan episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you soon and make sure to be ready to travel to an island filled with mystery and horror!

Island of the Lost 1921 Preview Logo