Star Trek V: What Does God Need With A Starship?

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and one of the updates that I selected to be part of this 10 year celebration of course has to be another of the Star Trek films as they have always been some of my favorite sci-fi flicks ever made. Rotten Ink and Star Trek go hand in hand as the show and movies are truly parts of my past, and I am sure as Star Trek continues on it will as well be apart of my future. As you long time readers know, I have been reviewing all the comic adaptations of Star Trek films that feature the original cast (you know the ones with Captain Kirk and Spock) and this year we have landed on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a film in the series that was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, but one I am very much looking forward to covering as I have always enjoyed it! So with that, let’s take a look at Star Trek V as well as the DC Comics adaptation as its time to Boldly Go Where Many Comic Readers Have Gone Before and that’s on comic adventures with the crew of the Enterprise.

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Let’s start off by talking about the film itself. I will be taking the film’s plot write up from our pals at IMDB and after I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you are ready, let’s take trip with the Enterprise Crew to a final frontier in space.

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Star Trek V: Final Frontier (1989)

“When the newly-christened starship Enterprise’s shakedown cruise goes poorly, Captain Kirk and crew put her into Spacedock for repairs. But an urgent mission interrupts their Earth-bound shore leave. A renegade Vulcan named Sybok has taken three ambassadors hostage on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace. This event also attracts the attention of a Klingon captain who wants to make a name for himself and sets out to pursue the Enterprise. Sybok’s ragtag army captures the Enterprise and takes her on a journey to the center of the galaxy in search of the Supreme Being.”

William Shatner was finally given the opportunity to direct one of the films in the Star Trek series with this fifth film that he also helped with the story on, a story that he had been working on even before he was offered the director’s chair. Shatner’s original idea was about a false God that turns into Satan that tries to take the crew of the Enterprise to Hell…what a strange and interesting idea that also seems like it would have been an issue of the Marvel Comics series. Producer Harve Bennett was ready to walk away from the Star Trek film series after three films produced and the feuding he had with Leonard Nimoy, but after a meeting Shatner got him back on board. Then some elements of Shatner’s story needed to be changed due to the concern that the subject matter of God and Satan might not sit well with moviegoers. They changed the depiction of God into an alien being that was faking being God in order gain power and then brought on David Loughery to write the screenplay. This idea and script did not sit well with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and the screenplay was put on hold when Loughery was part of the Writers Guild Of America strike, holding up the film’s production. When he finally got back to work and finished it, Shatner was displeased with many of the writer’s changes to his idea and things once more had to be worked out when Nimoy and Kelley had concerns with the script. Once the script was green lit by Paramount, they started the design, production and casting processes and started to film in October 1988. The filming of the fifth film in the series was very stressful as delays, strikes and looming deadlines made it stressful for all involved, but with luck and a hard working crew, William Shatner was able to get the film wrapped and Paramount as well as fans were very pleased to hear that the film was wrapped and would be released in theaters very soon. When the film was edited, composer Jerry Goldsmith was brought in and he made an amazing score that for many is one of the highlights of the film series with tracks like “The Mountain” being a must listen in this blogger’s opinion. The film was released in theaters on June 9, 1989 and was meet with poor reviews from critics who thought it was the weakest in the series, but movie goers seemed to favor it more as with them it was meet with mixed reviews. The film brought in $52,210,049.00 for Paramount at the American box office and ranked # 25 for the year beating out such films as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, The Karate Kid Part III, License To Kill, All Dogs Go To Heaven, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 5, No Holds Barred and Friday The 13th Part 8 to name a few. While Star Trek V might not be the biggest blockbuster in the series, I for one always enjoyed it and think it’s way underrated and offers some fun and adventures moments.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a film that I first saw on VHS when my parents rented it from the video store and we had a family movie night watching it. I remember that we had microwave popcorn, and me and my brother were drinking Kool-Aid. I remember enjoying and loving the film as the bonding between Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy around the campfire singing songs, drinking whiskey and eating beans was awesome and something that captured the three characters’ friendship so perfect. I liked the idea of them searching for God all because of a crazed Vulcan who is a cult leader by all accounts taking them hostage and brainwashing them to do so. Over the years I have seen the film many times and each time I have enjoyed it, and no joke this film has a line that I say all the time around the house to Juliet and I will get to that a little later. I also remember that my Uncle Thurman loved Star Trek V and can remember talking to him about the film while at my grandparents’ house. While Star Trek V is not my favorite film in the series, it’s not one I dislike and find it to be very charming, It’s one you should watch for the first time or watch again with a clear mind and enjoy it for the fun ride it is. I guess before we get off this part of the review I should also point out some things I didn’t like about the film with the biggest for me being the fact that the film’s semi villain is able to use his powers to scramble the minds of McCoy and the Enterprise Crew with only Kirk and Spock being strong enough to fight it off, and damn it, McCoy should have been able to as well as Sulu! To sum it up, Star Trek V is a great sequel and a fun film that I have enjoyed since I was a kid.

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier has one of the greatest lines in Trek history and one that, as I said, I use around the house and even at times while hanging out with friends. Now to set up this line I need to explain the scene as it has Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones McCoy and Vulcan cultist Sybok breaking through the barrier and beaming down to Sha Ka Ree, the planet that is supposed to house God, well to Sybok and his followers at least. Once there they meet The Creator who demands they bring the Enterprise closer so that he can leave the planet and spread his word among the galaxies. And upon hearing that The Creator wants them to bring down the Enterprise…Kirk asks the best question ever asked in a Star Trek film “What does God need with a starship?”! Hands down, this is an amazing line! Say that phrase out loud but do it in your best William Shatner impersonation and stress the word God…Shatner should have won an Oscar for that performance as it really is something I say so much in my life as I find it to be fitting for many of life’s questions.

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Like all Star Trek films that came before it as well as after, The Final Frontier had its fare share of merchandise for fans to collect and add to their Trek collections. The film had magazines, novels, home media releases, soundtrack, toys, posters, shirts, hats, buttons, comic book, jackets, computer games, trading cards and so much more! Over the years I have owned many items based on Star Trek V like the film on VHS and DVD, the soundtrack on CD, the novel and comic as well as at one time the trading cards. So if you are a Trekkie and love Part 5, the world has many of cool items for you to own.

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Did you old school gamers know that a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) based on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was being made by Bandai that was to release around the same time as the film? Did you know that it was cancelled due to the game not playing well and losing track of much of the film’s concept? Did you know that in 2006 a ROM of the game was released that featured four of the stages? Did you know that the game has also made it way to the grey market and is now on a cart that you can play on your NES? Well now you do, and I am happy to say that I have a cart version of this game and man is it a hard one with unforgiving controls and gameplay. The game is a side scrolling adventure game as well as a space shooter and it’s a shame that the game was never finished as who knows what the level that had you fight The Creator would have been, I am guessing the Enterprise firing at a floating head that spit fireballs. The game is a really fun play for fans of classic NES games, as well as Star Trek fans and if you have a ROM on your computer or have a trusty favorite cart maker, make sure to give this unfinished game a try.

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a super fun film that spawned some great merchandise as well as a fun half finished game for the NES, and we are now at the time of reading and reviewing the comic. I would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having the comic in stock and would also like to remind you readers 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 if you are ready, let’s boldly go where no comic reader has gone before!

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Star Trek V: Final Frontier  ***
Released in 1989     Cover Price $2.00      DC Comics     #1 of 1

On the planet of Nimbus III the Vulcan Sybok is on a quest to get a starship in order to find the planet Sha Ka Ree and is gathering the lost souls of the planet to help him do so by coming up with a plan that will make sure one will come. Meanwhile at Yosemite National Park on shore leave Captain Kirk, Spock and McCoy are having a camping trip and Kirk has decided to climb a mountain. While climbing Spock with rocket boots comes to speak to Kirk and this causes him to lose his grip and fall, and if not for Spock and his boots, he would have crashed to the earth below. Back on Nimbus III the ambassadors (a Klingon, Terran and Romulan) of the planet are taken prisoner by Sybok and his makeshift army, and Starfleet calls the Enterprise to be the peacemakers to help them. Also hearing of the hostage situation is Klingon Captain Klaa and he and his crew are more hyped for the idea of fighting a starship than helping. Once at Nimbus III, they try and trick Sybok when Chekov acts as the Captain and speaks to him about terms of releasing them while Kirk leads Spock, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura and a few other crewmembers on a rescue mission on the ground. But Kirk and crew soon find that this was a set up to get their starship and Sybok has even gotten to the ambassadors who believe in his journey to find Sha Ka Ree. Now the Enterprise is in the hands of a religious madman who is Spock’s brother and also Captain Klaa is on the attack! Kirk, Spock and McCoy are thrown in a cell as Sybok uses his mind powers to get the rest of the Enterprise crew under his spell…all but Scotty who breaks them out of the cell. Kirk makes it to his room and sends a call for help! Sybok catches them and tells them of his want to find Sha Ka Ree and then uses his mind control powers on McCoy and Spock by showing them past pains and freeing them from it. Kirk refuses to get his pain taken away, and then they hit the zone that will lead them to the unknown planet of Sha Ka Ree. As Sybok rushes back to the bridge, Spock and McCoy break the hold and stay with Kirk who has been ordered to stay in his room, that is until Kirk is called back up the bridge as Sybok says the ship needs its captain. Then Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok get into a shuttle and land on the planet to meet “God”, and when they land, they meet a powerful being that alerts them that he needs the starship to carry his wisdom away from the planet and the zone. When questioned why God needs the help of a ship, the being attacks Kirk and Spock! And the being shows its true self at being an evil being and Sybok attacks the being just as the Enterprise gets orders to blast it with phasers! As Kirk, Spock and McCoy run to the shuttle, the being now as a rock creature goes on the attack and Scotty is able to beam up McCoy and Spock, but before he can get Kirk, the Enterprise is attacked by Captain Klaa making Kirk stand alone against the rock creature. That is until Kirk is beamed aboard the Klingon ship thanks to the Klingon Ambassador who orders Klaa to save Kirk from that false god and that terrible planet. Once out of the zone and back on shore leave Kirk, Spock and McCoy finish their camping trip.

This DC Comic adaptation of Star Trek V is a great read and captures the adventure and humor of the film really well and even showcases the power of the Fake God even more by allowing him to become a massive rock creature who wants to smash Kirk into the ground! The plot is simple: Spock’s brother hijacks the Enterprise to find a planet that is said to hold the secrets of God only to find an evil being and throw in a young Klingon Captain who wants to make a name for himself by killing Kirk and you have this plot in a nutshell. Captain Kirk goes from a relaxing camping trip to a rescue mission to being a prisoner on his own ship to fighting a fake God to going back on vacation, so as you can see, he had a very busy couple of days! The thing about Captain Kirk is that he is fearless as well as loyal to his ship and crew and lives for his Starfleet command. Kirk really is my favorite Captain in any Star Trek series as he is a rebel, a ladies man, and a great strategist when it comes to battles with the likes of Klingons. Spock in this issue is trying to learn human camping stories and snacks and shows that while he cares about his brother, he is very much loyal to his friends. McCoy as well cares about his friends and we see that he holds lots of pain when he could not help his father with an illness that took his life and a cure was just around the corner. I have to say this again, nothing in the world of science fiction can beat the friendship and bond of Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Spock as they are the perfect trio of friends in any kind of fiction. The False God is pure evil and has been placed in the zone with a force field around it to keep it from infecting the rest of the galaxy with its evil ways, it’s violent and can take the appearance of anyone or thing and is best left on that planet. The Klingon Captain Klaa and his crew are young and crave war and want so badly to make a name for themselves in the history books and think that by killing Captain Kirk they can do so, and they come close until a high ranking Klingon forces them to help Kirk! Poor Sybok, who is the brother of Spock, is not a bad Vulcan at all and thinks that emotions are more important than logic and can even take peoples pain away and mind control them into happiness. All he really wants to do is find Sha Ka Ree, a planet he thinks God lives so all living things can find the answer to life and happiness, but instead he finds a fake and gives his life to try and help Spock, McCoy and Kirk to escape the cursed planet. The best part of Sybok is that he has a strange version of the Vulcan Mind Meld that allows him to fill a being with pure joy and take away their pain. I should also say that Sybok is Spock’s half brother as they share the same father. The comic does a great job of keeping the plot going and taking elements of the film that was cut from the film script like the Rock Creature. The cover for this comic is well done and super eye catching for fans of Star Trek and the interior art by James W. Fry and Arne Starr and is well done and captures the looks of the actors pretty well. If you are a fan of Star Trek V like I am I would say make sure to give this comic a read as I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. Check out the artwork below to see they style used in this comic adaptation.

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Star Trek had to have a place on Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary year as they really are some of my favorite sci-fi films and growing up Star Trek was a big part of my childhood in both TV shows, movies and toys. And while Star Trek V is not one of the most well loved films staring the original cast by Trekkies, it is one that I have always been a fan of. And after reading this update I hope you give this film a watch and sit back and enjoy the silly ride from the mind of William Shatner. For my next update, I am staying in the world of sci-fi but the next topic has a touch of Greek myth and fantasy to it and I am talking about the 1981 classic film Clash Of The Titans! 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. Join me next time as Rotten Ink unleashes the Kraken!

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2021

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 Logo

Welcome everyone to Rotten Ink, my little fun and goofy slice of the world-wide-web. This year 2022 is something very special for my blog as it turns 10 years old! It’s crazy to think that I have been covering comic books, horror hosts, movies, video games, toys and indie films for this long now as it does not seem that long at all to me, but I guess time does fly when you are doing something you love. This year I am going to celebrate in style as I am going to cover all types of things I love, from comics based on toys and cartoons all the way to horror hosts and wrestlers that I consider the best of the best! So 2022 will be a fun year for sure as I get to chat about so many things, and who knows, maybe I will even have a guest writer or two…maybe! But now let’s focus on why we are here at the Rotten Ink Theater as we are here to talk about movies that were shown in my local theaters that I was lucky enough to see on the big silver screen! The coronavirus pandemic was still in full effect so the films coming out were scarce for a while, but it did allow way more indie films to have their time to shine. And let’s not also forget the AT&T and Warner Brothers goofy idea of same day streaming.  I for one went to the theater to see the films I wanted as that was the way they are meant to be seen. I want to thank Cinemark Theaters and Englewood Cinema for being open during these times and help delivering amazing films on the big screen and also allowing private screenings that my friends and I enjoyed throughout the year. And for me, no matter what anyone says, nothing beats seeing films at the movie theaters; streaming just does not pack a punch for me. So with that, let’s grab some popcorn and find our seats as it’s time to talk about the movies of 2021 and rank them by genre, and man horror this year was on point as you will see later in the update. One note: all of the box office figures for the movies are as of the date of this update, January 2, 2021.

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Let’s start with Comedy.  In 2021 I didn’t see many of them, but the ones I did were animated and based on classic characters, so with that let me share with you the two films that tickled my funny bone and kept me laughing at the cinema.

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# 2

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Kayla Forester is a young woman who is down and out when it comes to holding onto a job, and after sneaking her way into it, she finds herself working for the Royal Gate Hotel in New York during the wedding of a rich couple whose event is getting bigger and bigger by the minute. But things do not go smoothly for her when Tom and Jerry bring their fighting to the hotel and causes all kinds of chaos and issues that fall into Kayla’s lap! Can she get these two one the same page, can she guard her secret of having a fake resume and most importantly can she save the wedding from all this madness? This is a fun family film filled with silly slapstick comedy moments that brings the classic cartoon characters to a new generation of moviegoers. Plus it’s well casted with one of my favorite actresses Chloe Grace Moretz playing the part of Kayla Forester and other cast members include Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, Pallavi Sharda, Rob Delaney and Colin Jost. The humor is super silly and is a mix of modern cellphone emoji jokes as well as some dated 90’s gags making it fun for all ages. The only thing I would say that the film could have been a little shorter and that would have made the film flow at a better pace. The film did well at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers bringing in $46,041,123.00 on a budget of $79 million. This is worth watching if you enjoy Tom and Jerry and you would like to see them in modern time New York.

# 1

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Wednesday Addams is having a hard time as she cannot relate to normal people and even her own family, and after a disappointing science fair and skipping family dinners several times Gomez Addams decides that a family vacation is needed to travel to some of Americas most gruesome places like Salam and Sleepy Hollow. But the family gets sidetracked when scientist Cyrus Strange tries to claim he is really Wednesday’s father and that she was switched at birth.  After a DNA test proves this true, she leaves her old family behind to be with her “real” family, and it’s up to The Addams Family to get to the truth and bring Wednesday back home were she belongs, and of course all types of kooky things happen along the way. This was a super fun horror themed kids film that was just as enjoyable as the first film.  It is well casted with names like Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Bette Midler, Snoop Dogg and Bill Hader all lending their voices to the main cast. The film did okay for MGM at the Box Office given that they also did VOD day of release as well bringing in $56,489,153 on an unknown budget. This one is worth seeing and worth owning on home media if you are an Addams Family fan like myself.

So as you can see, The Addams Family took the top spot in comedy.  Now let’s jump into the action genre and see what high explosions I saw on the silver screen.

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# 4

F9 (2021) Poster

Dom Toretto and his fast car driving team once more find themselves helping the government in order to find a device that when used with other parts will bring on a massive nuclear assault on the whole world, and worse Jakob Toretto, his own brother, is working for the bad side.  Now it’s a race around the world and even space in order to save the world from this new threat, and Dom even has to get help from all of his “family” in order to pull this one off. This is a fun goofy over the top action film that by no means takes itself seriously, and because of that, it’s super fun and by all means cheesy. The film has the likes of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Tyrese Gibson and Charlize Theron on cast. The film did well for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in $173,005,945.00 on a budget of $200 million and worldwide it did fantastic. If you are a fan of the Fast And The Furious series, this one is defiantly worth checking out.

# 3

The Marksman (2021) Poster

Jim Hanson is a former Marine who lives in Texas right at the border.  He has lost his wife to cancer and the bank is threatening to take his ranch away due to missed payments. While driving his property, he stumbles on Rosa and her son Miguel who are on the run from a Mexican drug cartel due to a family member stealing money from them, and when Rosa dies from a gunshot wound Jim promises her that he will get her son to family in Chicago.  All the while, the cartel is after them as is Jim’s step daughter who works for the border patrol and needs to take the child back. The film is a drama action movie that has a 68 year old Liam Neeson in the role of Jim Hanson, and he does a great job at playing the moody war hero. Also in the cast is Katheryn Winnick, Teresa Ruiz, Juan Pablo Rada and Jocob Perez. The film plays off the current hot topic of border security and as well as that no matter how defeated you feel in life, someone can come into your life and change that around. The film did okay for Open Road Films at the USA Box Office during the Virus Crisis bringing in $15,566,093.00 on a budget of $23 million. This was a fun way to kick off the 2021 movie going experience and is one that I might watch again someday.

# 2

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Hutch Mansell is a family man who is living a boring life with a wife and two kids he loves but his job is lacking something. His life changes when a pair of robbers breaks into his home and steals a little money as well as his daughter’s cat bracelet, and then his past life comes speeding back into his present.  Hutch was once a government solider who took care of “problems” and after tracking down the robbers and beating up a group of punks on a bus, Hutch has got a price on his head placed their by a very powerful Russian and now he must get his family to safety and teach these criminals that they have messed with the wrong man. Nobody is a super fun film that was made by the same creative team that did the John Wick film series, and this one feels right at home in that universe. The film is well casted with Bob Odenkirk playing Hutch being spot on as he comes off as both a pushover family man as well as a kickass government trained skilled killer. Other names in the cast are Christopher Lloyd, RZA, Connie Nielsen and Aleksey Serebryakov. The film is filled with big action moments and is pretty violent and is a must watch for fans of revenge films. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office during the still on going virus crisis bringing in $27,268,035.00 on a budget of $16 million, showing that this John Wick universe film had some fans and that this is one that you should see.

# 1

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James Bond is living the retired life but does have some sins from his past haunting him including walking away from his true love, but when a new threat to the whole world emerges Bond is forced out of retirement and must team with the new 007 as well as once more see the woman he had left behind heartbroken in order to stop this new threat and save the world once again. This was a great James Bond adventure that has very high stacks and is unlike the others in this series.  Plus this is extra special as it’s Daniel Craig’s final time playing the iconic role, and its so well casted with names like Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ben Whishaw to name a few making up much of the main cast. The film is filled with drama, action and even suspense and is one of the better Bond films I have seen, and that is why it locked the # 1 spot in the action film section I saw in the theater! The film did well for MGM at the American box office and brought in $160,772,007 on a budget of $250 million dollars. If you are Bond fan, make sure to check this one out as it packs a very impactful ending that will pull at your heartstrings.

As you can see, 2021 had some great action films that made it to the theater and did a great job of entertaining my friends and I! Our next section is all about the sci-fi and fantasy films that did the same for us, so let’s chat about those.

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# 5

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The New World is a planet where men cannot hide their inner thoughts.  They can be heard by anyone with what they called the noise. Todd Hewitt is a young man who lives in Prentisstown, where all the woman have been killed, and works at a beet farm, but his life changes when a ship from Earth crashes and the only survivor is Viola, a beautiful woman who once discovered has the Mayor David and his men hunting her down like a wild animal as they think if she contacts another ship, the simple life they have will be ruined…or is it that their sinister secret will be exposed!? Now it’s up to Todd to control his thoughts and help Viola find a radio in order to save herself as well as start a new life. This is a fun sci-fi film filled with some alien creatures as well as interesting characters that is well cast with Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, David Oyelowo and Mads Mikkelsen being in the lead roles. The film did not do great for Lionsgate at the American Box Office bringing in $13,287,908.00 on a budget of $100 million. This is a very interesting sci-fi film that you should check out on home media.

# 4

Green Knight (2021) Poster

Gawain is the nephew of King Arthur and during a feast at the round table, the mythical Green Knight appears and issues a challenge that he will allow any brave knight to strike him, but one year later the one who deals the blow must travel to the Green Chapel and will receive that same blow.  Gawain takes the challenge and shows off by cutting the head off of the Green Knight who picks up his head and rides off laughing. When the year is up, Gawain goes on a quest to the Green Chapel and along the journey comes across thieves, strangers, ghosts, giants and a talking fox before finally meeting his fate at the hands of the Green Knight. This is the classic round table story turned to film and is an epic tale and brings together elements of fantasy and even a dash of horror. The Green Knight looks very cool and is played by Ralph Ineson and the rest of the cast includes Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton. The film did okay for A24 at the American Box Office during the still lingering virus crisis bringing in $17,173,321.00 on a budget of $15million. Over all this is a slow burn fantasy film that will surely please fans of classic tales of King Arthur’s world and round table adventures.

# 3

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Many people on Earth have been born with a Dragon birthmark and this is not by chance as they have been selected to be a fighter in “Mortal Kombat,” a tournament held by realms in order to show dominance as well as used to conquer other worlds. Earth’s champion is Radian and his fighters have been finding themselves being killed off before the tournament as Shang Tsung has sent his fighters Sub Zero, Goro, Mileena, Nitara, Reiko and Kabal to stack the odds in their realm’s favor. But they are not ready when Cole Young as well as Earth’s other fighters Sonya Blade, Kano, Jax, Liu Kang and Kung Lao are ready to fight for the world and take the war back to them. And when Scorpion joins the fight, the big fights start way before the Mortal Kombat tournament. What will be the fate of Earth, who will live and who will die…watch this fantasy video game martial arts film to find out. This is a really fun film and the best Mortal Kombat film to date as the film captures the brutal nature of the game series it’s based on and the effects are well done as well. My favorite character in the film had to be Sub Zero as he is cold blooded (pun intended) and the history between he and Scorpion is well done. The film did okay for Warner Brothers at the US Box Office during the lingering pandemic and their foolish HBO Max day of release nonsense and brought in $42,201,013.00 on a budget of $55 million. If you like the game and like martial arts films filled with crazy characters, then you should check this one out.

# 2

Dune (2021) Poster

Duke Leto and his family consort Jessica and son Paul have been assigned to planet Arrakis to harvest Spice.  The planet was previously under the rule of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen who is not happy that he and his soldiers have been pulled out due to the choice of the Emperor. But when Leto arrives, he finds that the odds have been staked against him to fail as the machines he was left to harvest the Spice aare broken down, the area is surrounded by the massive Sand Worms and the area is also the home of the Fremen, the natives of the planet who are not happy that outsiders are harvesting their land and are at war with them. Paul meanwhile seems to have a gift and is having visions and has to protect his mom when his family and kingdom are attacked by Baron Harkonnen, and his father Leto is killed and all his friends who are warriors are assumed to be dead. Paul and his mom must wander around the desert and avoid the Sand Worms as well as try and get shelter from the Fremen. And man this is a very brief write up as this film has more layers of plot than what I can squeeze in here! This was a film I was not looking forward to, but after seeing it, I loved it and that is why it’s my # 2 film in this category. The film looks fantastic and the effects are top notch and is well casted with names like Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Timothee Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista and Rebecca Ferguson making up the cast. The film did well for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office given that they again did a streaming day of release bringing in $106,985,276 on a budget of $165 million. It’s a really great sci-fi film that in my opinion is leaps and bounds better than the 1984 version.

# 1

Ghostbusters Afterlife Poster

Phoebe Spengler is the granddaughter of original Ghostbusters member Egon Spengler, and she has inherited his love for science.  But she has never knew him due to him leaving his family behind to live in a farmhouse in a very small town many years back. When Phoebe and her mother and brother have to move into Egon’s old rundown farmhouse after his death, she uncovers that the town is a hot spot for the second coming of Gozer! With the help of her grandfather’s spirit, she along with her brother Finn, her new friend Podcast and teenage waitress Lucky find the tools to bust ghosts and have to save the town from the upcoming apocalypse.  Along the way, they get the help of Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman and Winston Zeddemore in order to save the world and let everyone know who to call when paranormal activity enters your home. This fourth film in the Ghostbusters series is a great horror comedy film that does a great job of mixing the two genres as well as capturing that magic that makes the Ghostbuster films so special. And besides bringing in the classic cast Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver the new cast of McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon. Paul Rudd and all the others fit right in with Grace stealing the film. The film also does a great job of introducing new ghosts as well as showcasing some familiar ones as well. The film did well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $122,388,000 on a budget of $75 million. This is a fun film, and like before, don’t listen to online critics and make up you own mind as this film was great, and yes I will be buying it when it’s released on home media.

Lots of great fantasy and sci-fi films was released in the theaters in 2021, and really Dune was a big surprise for me as I was not looking forward to it and after watching it I found it at my # 2 spot! With that, let’s see what superheroes brought to the silver screen in 2021.

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# 6

Eternals (2021) Poster

The Eternals are a race of immortals sent from The Celestial Arishem to Earth to act as protectors and to stop a race of creatures called Deviants. The Eternals are leader Ajak along with Ikaris, Sersi, Kingo, Thena, Phastos, Makkari, Druig, Gilgamesh and Sprite, and each have amazing powers that will help mankind move along. When they think that their mission is done, they disband with many of them going their own ways, but when the Deviants return and their one time leader Ajak is found dead, they must come back together and save mankind again…but is that their real mission as they end up digging deeper and finding the truth about Arishem as well as their true origin. This was a way better then I expected as I was never a big fan of the comic series. The film was well cast with names like Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington and had a few surprise cameos from characters that will be appearing in future Marvel Universe films and shows. The film has done well for Disney at the American box office bringing in $164,611,651 on a budget of $200 million. While not the best superhero film I have ever seen, it sure as hell was an entertaining one that really surprised me.

# 5

black widow (2021) Poster

The Black Widow meets up with her “sister” Yelena Belova who is on the run as she has broken the hold of Dreykov, the man who has warped the minds of many young woman and turned them into killers for hire. Yelena has an antidote for this mind control and this has marked her for death. As Widow and Yelena go and get the help of The Red Guardian who once acted as their father, they find out that the ultimate fighter known as Taskmaster has been sent to kill them both. And now Black Widow along with her “family” must comeback together and fight in order to finally bring down Dreykov and his evil empire that has enslaved and tormented women into killers for decades. This superhero film is filled with action as well as some twists and turns and explores the backstory of Black Widow and allows you to peek into her youth that was filled with so much bad and explains her mental stress as an adult about the actions of her past. Scarlett Johansson is fantastic as always as Black Widow.  I am a big fan of Florence Pugh, and it was great to see her as Yelena Belova, who, by the end of this film is clearly going to be the new Black Widow. It was also great to see Rachel Weisz, William Hurt and David Harbour in big roles as they all did great in their parts. This film did pretty well for Disney at the US box office bringing in $183,651,655.00 on a budget of $200 million. It’s worth watching, and while I was not a fan of the “twist” of Taskmaster, it was still a great watch on the big screen and is one I will watch again for sure.

# 4

venom let there be carnage Poster

With the help of Venom, the alien that lives inside him, Eddie Brock finds the bodies of the victims of Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who is rotting away in jail. And after a last interview before he is sent to die via lethal injection, Cletus bites Eddie and a small piece of the symbiote that is Venom enters Cletus’s blood stream and he becomes Carnage, a cold blooded killing machine that is out for revenge! And worse, Eddie and Venom have a fight that leaves Eddie open to be murdered by Cletus who wants him to pay for getting him on Death Row, and Venom is left jumping from person to person. Meanwhile Cletus breaks his super powered screaming girlfriend Shriek out of a research asylum and the two go on a reign of terror! It takes Eddie’s ex-girlfriend Anne Weying to finally get Venom and Eddie to come back together and to go up against Carnage and Shriek and stop their murdering ways once and for all. This was a good sequel that added more comedy elements as well as some really cool fight scenes between Venom and Carnage that moviegoers have been waiting to see. Both Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson are great as Eddie and Cletus, and it is always great seeing Michelle Williams in films. The film did really well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $212,527,511 on a budget of $110 million. Plus Spoiler Alert Venom is placed in the MCU after this film when he is transported into their dimension while on vacation and sees Spider-Man on the TV.

# 3

Suicide Squad (2021) Poster

Amanda Waller needs two teams to head into Corto Maltese in order to destroy a laboratory that has a very world-threating project going on.  This of course is a suicide mission and she needs super villains to join the squads in order to get time shaved off their prison time. The first team is lead by Rick Flag as well has Harley Quinn, Savant, Captain Boomerang, Detachable Kid, Weasel, Javelin, Mongal and Blackguard, and they are mostly killed by an ambush, with the survivors finally meeting up with the second team that is lead by Bloodsport and consists of Peacemaker, King Shark, Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2.  Together they must take on the mercenaries that have taken over the island and finally have to come face to giant eye with the world changing project that is the massive alien known as Starro! This is a fun, zany, crazy superhero like no other as it’s packed with great jokes, bloody moments and characters that you find your self cheering for! Director and writer James Gunn has a way of making superhero movies more fun and adds his touch of humor and style to them that always seems to work. The film is well cast with Margot Robbie returning once more as Harley Quinn and adds such names as Idris Elda, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone and Daniela Melchior to the cast and all do fantastic in their roles with Stallone as King Shark being funny and awesome. The film was released on HBO Max by Warner Brothers at the same time as the theatrical release but it still did really well for them at the US box office bringing in $55,800,219 on a budget of $185 million. While I enjoyed the first film, this second one was in another league and is one that I think fans of none traditional superhero movies should watch.

# 2

shang chi and the legend of The ten rings Poster

Shang-Chi is the son of Xu Wenwu, the man who has the ten rings, and a magical fighter Ying Li who was the guardian of the mythical and magical village Ta Lo.  When his mom passes away and his father thinks that her old village is really keeping her hostage, he must travel to China and stop his father from unleashing ultimate evil onto the world, as well as work alongside his sister who he left behind at a young age. Will Shang-Chi be able to stop his father or will the universe be in the grip of evil darkness…watch this fun superhero martial arts film and find out. I grew up reading Shang-Chi, and while this film is pretty different from the classic 70’s Marvel comics, I still found it to be very entertaining and one of the best superhero films of the year! Simu Liu was well cast as Shang-Chi and captures the heroic spirit that is making up the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other actors like Awkafina, Meng’er Zhang and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai all do great in their respected roles as well. The film did great for Disney at the American box office bringing in $224,543,292 on a budget of $200 million. This is a fun action film that has cool fantasy elements thrown in, and you cannot go wrong with a film that has a cameo from the Hulk villain Abomination. Check this film out if you are enjoying these Marvel Comics movies as this is a really good one.

# 1

spiderman no way home Poster

The world knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and this has caused him major issues as the press is harassing him and even many New Yorkers have turned on him, looking at him as a masked menace. So Peter goes to Doctor Strange and asks for a spell to be cast that will make people forget he is Spider-Man, but things go off the rails when Peter keeps changing the spell on who should remember his secret and this opens a rift in the multiverse and so enter Green Goblin, Sandman, Doctor Octopuss, Electro and The Lizard (from the past Sony Spider-Man films!) all of whom know Spider-Man’s secret but are confused when the Peter Parker they know is not the one they are seeing. Now Doctor Strange wants to send the villains back to their universe where many are dead, and Spider-Man wants to try and cure them before sending them home. The action and drama is turned up as Spidey tries to save them as Strange is trying to right the wrong of his spell. This is one amazing Superhero film and could be the best Marvel Film made up to this point as it has great surprises and brings together the past Spider-Man films and brings viewers once more some of the best Super-Villains from the past films as well as brings us past Spider-Men! The film has done amazing for Disney at the American box office and as of this update has brought in $572,642,000 on a budget of $200 million. Make sure to see this film on the big screen as it’s a great watch and a must own on home media when released.

So as you can see, both Marvel and DC delivered some great films for cinema-goers in 2021 and it looks like 2022 will also be delivering some great films in this genre. But with that said, let’s move onto my favorite genre: horror! And man I got to see so many limited released films in the theater and want to thank Englewood Cinema and Cinemark Dayton South for making all these horror films available to see on the silver screen.

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# 33

The Stairs (2021) Poster

A young kid and his grandpa go missing after finding a strange staircase in the woods.  20 years later, a group of friends going on a hike stumble upon the stairs as well as a few strange people who seem to be stuck in a loop and even take on a slight monstrous appearance. And soon they are hunted down and killed by a creature that lives inside these phantom stairs and they must fight to stay alive, and even find the missing kid who was stuck inside the stairs and has not aged in the 20 years he was missing! But will they be able to get away from the creature the kid calls Grub Daddy? Or will they all become mangled mounds of flesh that the creature shreds? Watch this indie horror fright flick and find out. This is a fun B-Movie film that has some cool ideas and even uses practical effects, but is lacking a little in the story that is filled with some holes and characters that go no place and are never explained. The creature called Grub Daddy is kind of cool and reminded me of the Fluke Man from the show X-Files. Actress Tyra Colar is fantastic in her role as Jordon, one of the hikers, and Josh Crotty as hiker Dirty Doug steals the show. The film was a Fathom Event and did okay for Wandering Dragon Productions despite unknown box office numbers on an unknown budget. Over all this is a fun creature flick that took place in the woods, was well acted and is worth watching if you like films about unknowns being seen in our forests.

# 32

In The Earth (2021) Poster

Martin Lowery and park scout Alma head into the woods to find scientist Olivia Wendle to check on her and bring her equipment as no one has heard from her in months while she is working on a cure for a virus that has affected the world. But things go wrong for them while they hike to the site as they are attacked at night and their shoes are stolen.  Martin gets a very bad cut on his foot, and they meet Zach, a man who has taken them prisoner and alerts them that woods are alive and nature is mad! Even when they escape, they run into Olivia who as well is a believer that nature is talking to them. A hallucinating mist created by mushrooms is trapping Martin and Alma in the woods and forcing them to witness and see the madness of the woods. Now Alma and Martin must find away to escape the woods as nature does not want them to leave nor do Zach and Olivia and their time and sanity is running out. This is a nature themed horror movie that uses lots of light, sound and editing tricks to throw the viewers off and draws them into this madness. The film was shot in 15 days by director Ben Wheatley and was made during the pandemic of 2020. The film does a pretty good job of bring the slow moving creepy horror and even has a few very bloody scenes. The character of Alma is very likable while Martin is a little bland allowing the viewers to choose whom they really think is the main star and the one nature wants. The film had a very limited release for Neon and did well given that at the American Box Office bringing in $1,113,723.00 on an unknown budget. Over all it was a cool watch that was a great theater experience and one that I will watch again to see what hidden plot details I might have missed.

# 31

The Resort (2021) Poster

It’s Lex’s birthday and her friends want to surprise her by taking her to an abandoned resort on a Hawaiian island that is said to be haunted by many spirits but the worse being the half face girl! The reason they are being secretly dropped off by helicopter is due the fact Lex is writing a book all about hauntings, spirits and ghosts and this is one of her main attractions. Once they get there, the land is beautiful and the resort is creepy but nothing is paranormal, that is until night comes and the legend of the half face girl proves to be true and she is out for souls. This was a fun little horror flick that had a short run time, some cool effects and some good classic horror moments. The downside is the film at times seems disjointed as if scenes have been removed from the movie. The Half Face Girl is a cool looking ghost who can get the dead to be her servants and that makes her interesting as she controls them. The gore is pretty great and unexpected, and the ladies Bianca Haase and Michelle Randolph are very beautiful and good actresses. The film had a very small limited run in theaters and did okay for Vertical Entertainment bringing in $191,996.00 on an unknown budget. It’s worth seeing, and I’m glad I caught it in the theater. This is one I will watch again on home media.

# 30

Wrong Turn (2021) Poster

Jen Shaw and her friends go on a trip to hike the Appalachian Trail so that she can decide on what she wants to do with her life, and while hiking they make the mistake of going off the trail and run into sinister booby-traps as well as a group of people dressed in skulls and brush that call themselves The Foundation who have been living up in the mountains for generations since before the Civil War. But The Foundation doesn’t like trespassers, and they like it even less when strangers kill one of their own and now Jen and her friends are being picked off one by one and judged by the people of the mountain…and just for good measure Scott Shaw who is Jen’s rich and worried father has come looking for her. How will Jen survive and what will be left of her? This remake of the 2003 film series takes the deformed cannibals out of the picture and adds a secret society of mountain people who just want to be left alone, and I give it credit for trying something different, it’s just not a Wrong Turn film and takes more of a Midsommar approach to the tale and should have been called something else. The film is well cast with names like Charlotte Vega, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Daisy Head, Darius Clemons and Matthew Modine all fantastic in their roles. The film also did have a few bloody moments and did okay at the US Box Office bringing in $1,251,184.00 for Saban Films on a very small limited release. Over all this was just okay and will be one I will watch again someday as I got it on its home media release.

# 29

Fear Of Rain Poster

Rain Burroughs is a teenage girl who is struggling with her schizophrenia and has just gotten out of the hospital after a really bad breakdown and finds that she is friendless at school and is only one more bad episode away from being put into a mental hospital. But her luck starts to change as she makes a new friend in Caleb, a new kid at school, and her medication seems to be helping slightly. But when she thinks that her schoolteacher who is also her neighbor has kidnapped a young girl and is keeping her chained up in her house, Rain does not know if what she is seeing is real or is all just in her head. With her father not believing her, her new friend Caleb not knowing what is really going on, her mother being there for her but not taking her side, it’s up to Rain to solve the case of who’s real and who’s not and to come to terms with her own mental illness. The film is a thriller mixed with some horror elements and it stars Katherine Heigl, Harry Connick Jr, and Madison Iseman as Rain. This film had a very small limited theatrical release before it was put out on home media and brought in some money for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on an unknown budget. This is a good little thriller that has you guessing at what and who is real and was worth a watch at the theater, and Madison Iseman was really solid in her role as Rain Burroughs.  I picked it up on home media later in the year.

# 28

Zombie Reddy Poster

Mario is a game designer who along with his developing friends head to a friends wedding that gets them stuck in the middle of a family feud that will lead to their friend’s death! And after running into a stranger with their car, one of Mario’s friends is bitten and so a zombie outbreak breaks out in the middle of all this madness. Now Mario and his remaining friends as well as members of both families must fight together to stay alive and find a cure to the outbreak that only a crazy old man in the woods knows! This is a fun horror action comedy and the first zombie film in Telugu cinema that not only has splatter but also a few good laughs out loud moments. The film is well cast with Sajja Teja as Mario and actress Anandhi being two great standouts. The film had a limited screening in the US and did okay for Geetha Arts at the Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on a budget of $48 million. If you like Bollywood Horror films and films like Zombieland, The Dead Don’t Die and Shaun Of The Dead make sure to give this one a watch, but be warned it’s over two hours and it takes a bit for the zombie madness to kick in.

# 27

Antlers (2021) poster

Julia Meadows is a schoolteacher who has mental scars due to abuse at her father’s hands and when she sees the same issues in a student of hers named Lucas Weaver she tries to help.  But she soon learns that Lucas is hiding a big secret, that his father is turning into a Wendigo as is his baby brother who were attacked in an abandoned mine. And when his father fully turns and starts killing around the town, its up to Julia and her police officer brother Paul to try and save not only the town but also Lucas who is trying to keep what is left of his family together no matter how flesh eating they are becoming. This film has some creepy moments as well as some gruesome scenes and is a creature feature that was a great theater watch during the Halloween season. And I really did enjoy the effects and the film was more gruesome in spots then I expected. The film did okay for Searchlight Pictures at the American box office brining in $10,619,670 on an unknown budget. This is a fun freaky film that is one I bought on home media when released.

# 26

Separation (2021) Poster

Jeff Vahn is a struggling creator and comic book artist who is going through a terrible divorce from his wife Maggie who wants sole custody of their daughter Jenny as she thinks he is too irresponsible to be raising their child. But after Maggie is killed by a hit and run driver, Jeff finds that his daughter is not doing well as she has an imaginary friend that she says is a monster, the babysitter Samantha has a crush on him, and his father in law wants to take Jenny away.  He is working for an old college friends comic book company working on a dark horror comic and it is clear that something evil has entered his house and wants to scare and take. This is a creepy little horror flick that is very much in the same spirit as films like The Conjuring, Insidious and other supernatural horror. The effects of the monster spirit are really cool.  I like that it also adds the world of comic book making into its story. The film did okay for Open Road Films at the American Box Office bringing in $4,509,143.00 on an unknown budget. This is a fun creepy little film that has some cool evil spirits and some cool kills. I bought it once it was released on home media.

# 25

funhouse (2021) Poster

On an internet reality TV Show, the world watches as down and out celebs from internet blogs, Instagram and reality shows are brought together in one house with the promise of winning big prize money! The viewers also get to vote on who is their favorites and the bottom pick has to compete in a challenge in order to stay in the house by spinning a wheel. But soon the competitors and the viewers find out this house is one of horror as the losers are put into challenges that end in death and the celebrities are trapped in the house. One by one the bottom %’s have to compete in killer challenges as onlookers watch live on their laptops and cellphone screens, as the law tries to find the location of this killer red room reality show. Will the celebrities find a way to escape, who will win and why is the man in charge doing what he is doing and killing these internet famous people off in gruesome fashion? Well watch the Funhouse and find out. This was a limited release and was pretty dang entertaining and was filled with some cool kills, beautiful women and even monster themed MMA fighters! The film did okay for such a limited release for Magnet at the Box Office and brought in $110,571.00 worldwide. This is a fun watch for fans of films like Hostel and Saw that is a little less gruesome and gory and is worth a watch.

# 24

Seventh Day 2021 Poster

Father Daniel is a young priest who is teamed with Father Peter to learn the ways of performing exorcisms on possessed people and saving their lives and souls. When Daniel is taken to a home where a young boy killed his family, he opens his mind to evil and witnesses the massacre and realizes that the young boy has been possessed by a demon! Now he must find a way to save the boy’s soul and all the while try and figure out Father Peter and his past priests that learned the ways of the Exorcist from him. Can Father Daniel save the young boy’s soul from this very powerful demon or will he watch as the youngster burns in the flames of damnation? Watch this creepy little horror flick and find out! The Seventh Day is one of many films based on evil demonic spirits that was released in 2021, and like all the others, it was a solid and spooky watch that brought the chills as well as the twist and turns that made it a very entertaining watch on the big screen. I really liked the mood and pacing of the film and enjoyed the moments when the demon would take over the young boy and wreak havoc on those who were in his way. The film had a very limited release and did well given the time of release at the World Box Office for Vertical Entertainment bringing in $963,938.00 on an unknown budget. This was a fun fright flick and fans who like possession films should check it out. I also liked this one enough that I bought it on DVD when released.

# 23

The Unholy (2021) Poster

Gerry Fenn is a disgraced reporter who used to write for the big newspapers and is now writing for a tabloid that sends him to a small town in New England to cover a cow mutilation, but when the story turns out to be a bust, he soon finds himself a new one as a deaf and mute teenage girl Alice starts speaking and claims that the Virgin Mary is speaking to her and has given her the power to heal the sick and dying and crazy enough she is doing the miracles she claims! But soon Gerry, who helps the Catholic Church with this miracle and also gets the exclusive with Alice as the two have started to be come friends, finds out about Mary, a witch that was killed in the town that was the Bride Of Satan, and as strange deaths start happing to those who doubt Mary he must find the truth if Alice has been touched by holy goodness or touched by pure evil. This Sam Raimi produced PG-13 fright flick is a fun film that features a cool demonic ghost witch that is the stuff of nightmares.  The thing I liked about the film is that it has an early 2000’s feel to it and has the Raimi feel of jump scares and a demonic villain. The film did okay for Screen Gems at the American Box Office during the ongoing Virus Crisis bringing in $15,530,440.00 on a budget of unknown. It’s a fun creepy watch that has a cool evil sprit baddy that I ended up buying on home media.

# 22

Conjuring III Poster

Ed and Lorraine Warren are at the Glatzel home to try and perform an exorcism on an 8-year-old boy who is being possessed by a demon. At the exorcism the demon proves to be really strong and gives Ed a heart attack and then goes into Arne, a young man who is dating the boy’s sister. While Ed is recovering in the hospital, the demon makes Arne kills his girlfriend’s boss and now he is in prison waiting for trial. Once out of the hospital, Ed and Lorraine come to Arne’s aid and are a part of his defense team as they have to prove that the devil made him do it! So the Warrens soon find out that a devil cult is to blame as they have left a cursed totem in the Glatzel home, and that this totem was also found in another murder case and that whomever placed these totems has now targeted the Warrens and it makes them have to race against time to save the soul of Arne, stop the cultist and watch out for one another. The third film in The Conjuring series is a good spooky watch that showcases another case file of the Warrens. But while I did enjoy the film, it was the weakest of the series thus far and the demon and cult leader are neither as spooky nor motivated as that of the past spirits and the film just seemed to be lacking the charm that director James Wan brought to the series. But while a little underwhelming, it still was a good fright flick and seeing the chemistry of actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga always is a plus. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the American Box Office bringing in $65,565,074.00 on a budget of only $39 million. The Conjuring III is a good film, and if you like the series check it out. I bought a copy once it was released on home media.

# 21

The Little Things (2021) Poster

A serial killer is killing women in California and has been for a while now and former Detective Joe Deacon meets the new detective on the case, Jim Baxter, and the pair start to work together to try and find who the killer is as the bodies of young women keep being found. They both find clues and start checking off the suspects and that’s when they find the creepy appliance repairman Albert Sparma, a man who is into true crime and even once confessed to a murder he didn’t do, but is he our man our cold blooded killer…or is their more to uncover in this horror thriller noir film? Watch for yourself and find out, and see who you think the killer is. This was a very well made film that reminded me a lot of films like Seven and Silence Of The Lambs.  It takes its time to build the case and has the viewers along for the investigation. The film is well cast with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek as the Detectives and Jared Leto is fantastic as the creepy murder suspect. The film did well for Warner Brothers at the Box Office in the US even during the ongoing pandemic bringing in $15,244,012.00 on a budget of $30 million. This was a great watch in the theater and was a nice edition to the thriller genre of Horror.

# 20

shadow in the cloud poster

Flight Officer Maude Garrett along with a top-secret package come aboard the plane “Fools Errand” on a secret mission and is not well welcomed by the crew and is forced to stay in the Sperry during take off.  Soon things start to get crazy as Japanese Fighter planes attack, and worse, a gremlin is on the plane causing destruction and panic like trapping her inside the Sperry. During all this the crew find out that Officer Maude Garrett is not who she says she is and is hiding a secret that will change the way they look at her as well as their trust in her. But in the end will Officer Garrett be able to save not only herself but also the package and the crew from the attacks from above as well as on the plane? This film was lots of fun and was the first horror film I saw in theater in 2021 and was a great way to kick off the year for horror.  Once more, this film proves why Chloe Grace Moretz is one of my favorite actresses doing cult style horror, action and sci-fi films, and she is great as Officer Maude Garrett who is a great character. The Gremlin is also really cool looking and almost appears to be part bat, rat and creature and is aggressive and very sneaky and destructive. The film was released still during the pandemic of early 2021 and had a very limited release at theaters and brought in $156,932.00 for Vertical Entertainment. This one I enjoyed lots and is one I bought on home media when released.

# 19

Resident Evil (2021) Poster

Raccoon City has been under the care of the Umbrella Corporation and now they are leaving the town and this is causing the town to slowly die…like really die as the townspeople are getting sick and are becoming flesh eating zombies! Claire Redfield returns to her hometown to get to the bottom of this evil plot and along with her brother Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Richard Aiken, Brad Vickers and Chief Brian Irons they must survive the zombie carnage, expose the dirty secrets of Umbrella, find help in a unusual young woman, fight off a evil doctor, deal with a team trader, survive the attacks of mutated monsters and get out of Raccoon City alive. This film combines elements from the first two Capcom games in the Resident Evil series, and while I feel the final act of the film seems rushed, the film does have a few moments that are creepy and the zombies and monsters are pretty cool. One thing big fans of the game series might be annoyed with is that some of the characters do not act like they do in the games, and some are treated like the joke of the film…looking at you Leon. The film did sadly poorly for Screen Gems at the US box office brining in $16,890,005 on a budget of $25 million. Over all this is a fun zombie film that sticks more true to the games than the film series that came before it. And yes, I will buy on home media when released.

# 18

djinn (2021) poster

Dylan Jacobs is a young boy who is mute and witnessed a tragedy the took his mom at a young age and now he and his father who is a Radio DJ have moved into a new apartment. While unpacking he finds a book hidden in his closet and it’s a Book Of Shadows, and after his dad leaves for work the youngster uses the book in order to get a voice, but it comes with a catch as he has to survive one hour in the small apartment with an evil Djinn who wants to eat his heart and steal his soul, and has to blow out a candle that can only be put out after one hour. So Dylan must use his wits and what he can find around in order to keep the creature at bay. Can Dylan do it? Will the Djinn steal his soul? Will his wish come true and if so will it have a big price to pay? Well watch this fun film and found out those answers. This is one part haunted house, one part supernatural, one part Home Alone and one part Conjuring inspired as the Djinn is one evil character who tricks and tries to kill with aggression and glee. The film had a very limited release and brought in $124,772.00 on an unknown budget at the US Box Office for IFC. Over all a cool simple Horror Movie with some great moments and one I got on home media when released.

# 17

werewolves within (2021) poster

Finn Wheeler is a Forest Ranger who is assigned to a small town called Beaverfield after breaking up with his girlfriend, when he gets there its winter time and a big storm is on its way and me meets all the strange people of the town including young mail carrier Cecily as well as Jeanine a woman who owns the towns lodge. Also in town is businessman Sam who wants to build a pipeline through the town and is throwing around money and making the town split. But when a big storm hits, the towns generators are tampered with and the town people have to stay at the lodge for safety and that’s when they find out that a werewolf is loose in the town and is taking them out one by one, will Ranger Wheeler be able to save the town and stop the beast? Watch this funny Horror Comedy based on the video game and find out for yourself. The film stars Milana Vayntrub as mail carrier Cecily Moore who is known as the AT&T Girl and she is fantastic as is all of the cast who help create this strange small town. The film is really funny and the horror elements are well done with yes even the werewolf being seen. The film had a limited release and did good for IFC bringing them in an extra $575,614.00 at the US Box Office. A film that I bought on home media once released and again is a fun Horror Comedy that has a haunted house meets Twin Peaks feel.

# 16

Old (2021) Poster

The Cappa family head to a resort that is amazing and the reason they are doing so is that Guy and Prisca are having marriage issues and will be getting a divorce and want to have one more family outing before they tell their kids Maddox and Trent. But when they are invited to a private section of the beach they find that they are joined by a few select others and all seems perfect that is until a dead body washes ashore and everyone finds out that they are stuck on this beach and time is running fast as kids are growing up super fast, parents are getting older and anyone with a illness is finding that they are getting worse. And now they all must find away to escape this beach and find out why they were brought there with what seems is to die! And like always this film has a twist that was well thought out and helped this film feel like an episode of the Twilight Zone and was well casted with every actor doing their parts top notch with Thomasin McKenzie, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Aaron Pierre and Rufus Sewell all being great in their roles. The film did well during the ongoing pandemic at the US Box Office for Universal Pictures bringing in $48,242,510.00 on a budget of $18 million. M. Night Shyamalan is truly back on track on bringing fans creepy Horror Thrillers and Old is one I enjoyed and bought on home media when released.

# 15

Don't Breathe 2 Poster

Phoenix is a young girl who was grown up thinking that The Blind Man Norman Nordstrom is her father and that her mother died in a house fire, and he does his best to try and raise her to be a survivalist and does not allow her to go into town of have friends. But soon her real past comes calling when her real father who was in prison and was a meth dealer along with his friends show up to tell her the truth and get her back, but this family reunion is sour as her father has no interest in really getting his daughter back as he only wants her heart in order to give to his wife who is dying from inhaling meth fumes. Now its up to Norman to get her back as well as come clean to her on the monster he really is. This is a gritty horror film that in my opinion was leaps and bounds better then the first and while Norman is the “hero” in ways he still is the same cold-blooded killer who assaulted women and now his past and lies are catching up with him. The real hero of the film is Phoenix the young girl who fights to stay alive as well as to live a normal life surrounded by terrible people. Also the film is bloody and has some really cool and interesting kills. The film did pretty well for Sony at the US Box Office even during the then ongoing pandemic bringing in $32,638,038.00 on a budget of $15 million. Worth watching if you liked the first film and if you like you Horror Flicks a little gritty. Bought when on home media.

# 14

spiral from the book of Saw Poster

Detective Zeke Banks is a cop who is a loner after his department treat him like a rat after he turned a dirty cop in for a murder. But things turn weird for Zeke when a Jigsaw Copycat killer starts targeting dirty cops and is putting them into traps of self-mutilation that all end in death. No Zeke must trust his fellow officers who don’t respect him in order to stop the killings and figure out who this Jigsaw copycat killer is! This is the 9th film in the Saw series and takes a new direction and yet still feels right at home with the Jigsaw saga. The film has some great trap kills that are bloody and gory, an interesting story and is very topical about the trail of sadness that dirty cops can leave behind. Chris Rock is great in the role of Detective Banks and goes from funny to serious when he needs to. The film did just ok for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in only $23,216,862.00 on a budget of $20 million. I for one hope that the Saw series continues on as I would like to see what’s next for Zeke Banks and the next chapter of the Book Of Saw has in store for us. Bought on home media when released.

# 13

escape room tournament of champions Poster

Survivors Zoey Davis and Ben Miller head to New York to try and find the headquarters of the Minos Corporation and when they get their they are tricked by a homeless man to get on a subway train, and they soon find that this was a trap by Minos and that the people also on the train with them was former players of their escape rooms. And this time around the traps are more mean spirited and more deadly as Minos does not like when players beat them and escape. One by one Zoey watches as the other players die in traps and she is always trying to figure out the room and keep her fellow players alive, and when she gets the shock of her life she goes truly against the wishes of Minos and does what she can to bring them down from the inside out. This is a fun sequel that adds more questions and delivers some answers and leaves me wanting to see a third film in the series. The films rooms are well thought out and add a level of Saw to them making them more dangerous then ever and the film is also casted really well with Taylor Russell, Logan Miller and Deborah Ann Woll return to their rolls from the first film and new names like Holland Roden and Indya Moore bringing new characters to this sick and twisted game. The film did well for Sony at the American Box Office given the time bringing in $25,188,958.00 on a budget of $15 million, and this I hope makes it that we get a part three. To sum it up if you liked the first film you will more than likely enjoy this second film and it is one I bought once released on home media.

# 12

The Vigil (2020) Poster

Yakov Ronen is a Jewish man who has went through a tragic event that has shook his faith, but running low on money he takes a job to act as a Shomer for a man who has just passed away. While in the house late at night watching over the mans body he meets the mans wife Mrs. Litvak who is battling Alzheimer’s as well as he starts seeing a shadow person as well as has bad visions of not only his past memories but the dead mans as well! Now trapped in this home with something demonic he must find his inner power to forgive himself for his past as well as fight for his soul as well as that of the one he is there to watch over. What a fun little ghost haunted house style film that feels like it could be right at home in the Conjuring film universe, the creature known as a Mazek that is a demonic sprit that’s head is backwards as it is always looking to the past is a creepy and strange creature that is fitting for its own film franchise. The acting is fantastic with Dave Davis, Lynn Cohen and Ronald Cohen being the standouts and the score by Michael Yezerski is top notch. A great and creepy PG-13 horror film that did pretty well for IFC at the American Box Office bringing in $50,439.00 on an unknown budget for a limited release. On a side not it was odd the films USA rights was originally with Blumhouse they sold the film to IFC for release, and that’s odd as this film was a perfect fit for Blumhouse.

# 11

halloween kills poster

Michael Myers survives the inferno trap that the Strode family left him to die in and is now back on the killing rampage in Haddenfield and the people have had enough and are wanting to fight back and kill the evil that has tormented their town for decades. Tommy Doyle as well as other survivors of the original 1978 massacre have came together and along with others are now looking for Michael to make evil die tonight. But they soon find out that Michael Myers might be more than human and his want for murder might just be stronger than their hatred for him. This sequel to the 2018 film is a down and dirty bloodbath that is filled with gruesome kills and showcases that Michael Myers is truly a killing machine who is brutal and cruel and kills for killing sake. This was a entertaining slasher film that was a fun watch on the big screen, but also had lots on puzzling moments that was tied into bad scripted segments with characters making head scratching decisions that didn’t fit the vibe of the film. But keep in mind while I did not like it as well as the 2018 film I did still enjoy it and it was a fun experience seeing it on the big screen opening night with a theater filled with Horror fans. It is well casted as well with Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Anthony Michael Hall, Judy Greer, Michael McDonald and actress Andi Matichak steals the film again as Allyson. The film did well for Universal at the American box office bringing in $92,002,155 on a budget of $20 million dollars. If you like the Halloween series, check this one out and of course got it on home media when it was released.

# 10

forever purge poster

The New Founding Fathers are back in control and the Purge has returned the night that all crime is legal is back as a yearly event, but there is something else brewing as a new movement has gripped the nation called Forever Purge a group of people who are now on a mission to kill any and all foreigners and wrong doers and keep the Purge going every day as their American right! And now ranch owners The Tuckers have to try and stay alive as they join their Hispanic helper Juan his wife Adela and friend T.T. in order to get to Mexico for safety as they have been marked by the Forever Purgers for death! And on their way to Mexico they must fight off their would be killers as well as try and help each other stay alive to see safety south of the border. This was a good Purge sequel that had a Horror Western feel to it and tried to mirror what was going on in society at the time. The film has some great kills, cool effects and some of the masked Purge killers have cool looks. I really liked the idea of a radical group who want to keep the Purge going year round being the ones that even the Founding Fathers do not like as they are to extreme even for them. The film did ok for Universal at the US Box Office during the ongoing pandemic bringing in $44,500,860.00 on a budget of $18 million. Over all a good sequel with a good story and is well acted…bought on home media when released. And I have to say also that this was leaps and bounds better then 2018’s “First Purge” film.

# 9

Night House (2021) Poster

Beth is a schoolteacher who’s husband Owen built them a dream house on the lake, and her life changes when one night Own takes the rowboat out on the lake and commits suicide. She is now alone at this house and strange things start to happen as if her dead husband is trying to talk to her from beyond the grave and the deeper she digs into his life the more strange things she discovers from the occult, to affairs to a weird unfinished home he built across the lake. Now Beth must try her best to find the truth and uncover if she is really being reached out to by the spirit of her husband or something much worse. This was a great spooky watch in the theater and several time throughout it my gal Juliet and my cousin Stephen both jumped from the scares. The blurred line between what is reality and what might be in her mind or even another dimension is really well done and the film has a great atmosphere that captures the feeling of loneliness and sadness. The films cast is also really great with Rebecca Hall killing it as widow Beth and Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Stacy Martin all being fantastic in their supporting roles. The film did well for Searchlight Pictures giving the on-going pandemic at the American Box Office bringing in $7,100,581.00 on an unknown budget. This was a fun little fright flick and is one I got once on home media.

# 8

Malignant Poster

Maddie Mitchell is pregnant and when home from work with labor pains her husband and her get into it and he slams her head into a wall, and oddly enough that night the husband is killed by a long haired, mutated melted faced, disjointed killer who then also kills many old doctors who are all connected to helping kids. And Maddie is starting to have bad visions of the murders and are seeing how brutal they are being committed, and the killers name is Gabriel and some how he and Maddie are linked. Why are they connected? Why is he killing Doctors? Will the cops find the link? Is there more to Maddie then what is seen? Watch this weird and highly entertaining film to find out for yourself. The film has great effects and was way bloodier then expected and the killer Gabriel is really cool looking. And you know the film has to be good as it was from the mind of James Wan one of the new masters of modern Hollywood Horror. The film stars Annabelle Wallis, Marina Mazepa, Maddie Hasson and George Young in lead roles and are all well casted. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the US box office bringing in $13,374,014.00 on a budget of $40 million, and keep in mind they did the same day release on streaming for this film on HBO Max. Very creepy a cool film that is one I bought when released and is one you should checkout if you like weird films.

# 7

Saint Maud Poster

Katie who is now going by the name Maud was a nurse at a hospital that had an accident during CPR to a patient and now finds herself as a home caregiver to a woman named Amanda who was once an actress who is now battling stage 4 cancer and is an atheist. Maud has found religion and wants so bad to save the soul of Amanda who she thinks has been sent her way by the will of God, but when Maud is fired she goes on a downward spiral and feels that she really needs to save the soul of Amanda and goes on a soul searching mission to do so, but Maud is so far gone mentally she does not live in reality and thinks God is always with her and is speaking to her. In the end Maud thinks she has done what has been asked of her she does an act that will deliver her to Gods waiting arms. This is a really downbeat film that captures the creepy slow burn feel of films like Carrie and The Exorcist and is a must watch for fans of A24 Horror! The film is filled with a very uneasy feeling throughout and is a Horror Film that feels real to life. The film had a very limited release here in America and did well for A24 at the Box Office world wide bringing in $1,383,868.00 on an unknown budget. This is a great film for those who like slow burn Horror Films that have a touch of art house film feel thrown in. Got on home media when released!

# 6

Army Of The Dead (2021) Poster

After a military experiment zombie escapes from a road accident he infects all of Vegas to the point where a group of survivors try to save others before the whole area is sealed off by metal containers. After time passes a rich businessman tracks down the survivors and offers them millions of dollars in order to go back into Vegas and get the large amount of cash out of his casino vault before the government drops a nuclear bomb on the city to kill the zombie horde. So this new group is lead by Scott Ward and his daughter Kate as the enter the city and learn that these zombies are way smatter then thought and have created their own savage society. But when something goes wrong and the Queen of the zombies is killed the group is in real trouble as the zombies want to rip them apart to avenge their Queen. Can Scott get the money and his crew out of Vegas before they become zombie dinner or are blown up by the bomb? Watch this Zach Snyder zombie flick to find out! This is an epic and fun zombie action film that had Zach Snyder return to the zombie genre and was well casted with names like Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Harwick, Ana de la Reguera and Nora Arnezeder to name a few. The film is loaded with zombie kills and is bloody and even brings in a zombie tiger! A fun, bloody ride the whole time! The film did well for Netflix on a limited release at the US Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on a budget of $90 million. This is a fun fright flick that I cannot wait to see a sequel to and hope Netflix ends up releasing it on Blu-Ray and DVD so that I can get a copy for my collection.

# 5

Psycho Goreman Poster

Mimi is a young girl who does what she wants to do and is a very strange kid and her older brother Luke just goes along with her strange ideas including her game “Crazy Ball” and after loosing she makes her brother dig his own grave in the backyard and instead they find a jewel stone that frees an imprisoned alien killing machine called Arch-Duke Of Nightmares! While the monster is a killing machine he has to follow the orders of Mimi who holds the stone and she turns this killing machine into her fiend and calls him Psycho Goreman or PG for short! But when a group called The Templers find out they send Pandora to Earth to kills PG once and for all. But with the help of Mimi and her family Psycho Gorman does battle with Pandora and if he wins he can fulfill is mission of murder and destruction and if Pandora wins the world will be filled with slavery and no free will. This is an amazing Horror Comedy from writer director Steven Kostanski the man behind such films as The Void, Manborg and Father’s Day that is gory and funny all at the same time and has what I think could be the next creature feature icon of Horror Comedies along side the likes of Wolf Cop. The film had a limited release in theaters during the ongoing pandemic and did well for RLJE at the US Box Office bringing in $95,182.00 showing that Indie Horror is alive and well. If you have not seen this one yet, make sure to check it out and of course I bought this on home media when released.

# 4

last night in soho (2021) poster

Eloise is a young woman who is going to London for fashion school and finds that she does not fit in and when leaving her dorm to live in a old apartment building visions of the cities past fill her dreams and she finds herself involved in finding out who killed inspiring singer Sandie who’s manager promised her the world, but delivered her into sex work. But when Eloise thinks she has figured out who has killed Sandie she tries to bring them to justice as well as find Sandie, but this causes her classmates and the police to think she is crazy! But is Eloise crazy and will she uncover what really happened to the missing singer…well watch this film and find out. First thing I have to say is that this film made me fall in love with Thomasin McKenzie who plays Eloise as an actress and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite newer actresses in the Horror genre. The film does a great job of going from modern times to flashing back to the 1960’s and the characters and story had be drawn in and that’s surprising as I am not a big fan of most of Edgar Wright’s films but this one I think is his best. The film had a few spooky moments and enough twist and turns to really help add to the chills, and yes some of the twists can be predictable but I still enjoyed it. The film is well casted with names like Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp and Michael Ajao making up the lead cast. The film sadly did not do well for Universal at the US box office bringing in only $10,127,625 on a budget of $43 million. This was a really cool stylish Horror Film that does a great job also on the use of lights, and yes will buy on Home Media.

# 3

Candyman (2021) Poster

Anthony McCoy is a visual artists who has it all, a beautiful and successful girlfriend named Brianna, he lives in a upper class high rise apartment and is loving life even if he is having an artist block that is keeping him from painting his next masterwork, but when hearing the legend of Helen Lyle and Candyman he gets the inspiration for his next series of work. Anthony has made a big mistake though as he has gotten the attention of Candyman and he learns the legacy, roots and horror that is behind this hooked handed boogeyman killer…but he also learns that his own life just might be connected to him and that the hive is many when it comes to Candyman. This is a great sequel to the 1992 cult classic film and helps add to the legend of the film series and even does a good job of not totally forgetting about parts 2 and 3 in the series. The film is well casted with names like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Michael Hargrove and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett all being fantastic in their roles and it was also amazing seeing Tony Todd and Vanessa Williams returning in their roles from the first film. The film has some bloody and creepy moments and really was a fantastic fright film on the big screen. The film did well at the American Box Office given the pandemic was coming back around with a new wave as it brought in $61,186,570.00 for Universal on a budget of $25 million dollars. If you like the Candyman film series give this one a watch, and yes bought on home media when released.

# 2

Godzilla vs Kong (2021) Poster

Godzilla is running wild and attacking company Apex factories and they seem unprovoked turning mankind against the titan they once called a protector. Their only hope is to use Kong to find out if the Hollow Earth energy is true as it is the place they think the titans might have came from and was the place Godzilla and Kong’s kind had wars with one another making them bitter enemies. With mankind taking Kong from Skull Island and taking him to the gateway to Hollow Earth in Antarctica Godzilla is annoyed that another alpha Titan is present and goes on the attack causing the two Titans to be at odds with each other even when the battle ends and this makes it that Godzilla and King Kong are bitter rivals that while they respect each other they also clearly hate each other. While Kong enters Hollowed Earth and learns about his own families past as well as finding a powerful axe that holds lots of power. All the while Godzilla is stomping around and destroying Apex factories causing Monarch and mankind to fear his wrath! And when Kong shows up in Hong Kong he and Godzilla have a massive fight that leaves them both wounded and one Titan near death, and worse for everyone Apex has been working on a project that is creating their own Titan made of metal and is called Mechagodzilla! Who will win this epic battle of Kong vs. Godzilla and what terror does Mechagodzilla have in store for the winner? Check out this Monstervese movie and find out for yourself. What a fun film that pits the worlds two most iconic Kaiju against each other for the amusement of the viewers, plus for me I am always up for a new King Kong and Godzilla film! Plus its been way to long sense we seen these two Titans of cinema in the same movie again as it was 1962 when they last shared a film, and that’s crazy. The film did great for Warner Brothers at the US Box Office bringing in $100,563,133.00 on a budget of $200 million, even though WB tried their best to ruin the release with the crappy HBO Max same day release. You can never go wrong with Giant Monster Horror, and this is one that I bought on physical media when released.

# 1

Quiet Place II Poster

Evelyn Abbott and her kids Regan, Marcus and the baby are leaving their farm behind and heading towards another survivors shelter and find that the long time family friend Emmett is the one that has been signaling to the family for years. And once inside his shelter in a factory they find out that a radio station has been playing the same song “Beyond The See” by Frank Sinatra and Regan has an idea to get onto the air and use her hearing aid to broadcast over the airwaves and give the humans a chance to fight back, and she sneaks away from her family to become the hero the world needs. Emmett goes after her and together the two go on a quest to get a boat and get to the island to pull off this plan and along the way must dodge the creatures as well as the corrupted humans who want to steal what they have. In the end Regan and Emmett make it to the island and find that its filled with peaceful families and survivors…and one creature has also made it ashore. So now it’s a race to the radio station to give humans a chance to strike back against these killing machine monsters. This was a great sequel that I would say is on par if not slightly better then the original and that’s saying something as the original was an amazing fright flick. They also did a great job of making sure the original cast of Millicent Simmonds, Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe returned as well as added names like Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou to the cast. The film did great for Paramount Pictures at the US Box Office bringing in $160,072,261.00 on a budget of only $61 million. A great film that took my # 1 spot and once released on home media I for sure bought a copy.

What a fun year of seeing movies at the theater as during these last stressful years, getting lost in films on the silver screen is a great way to relax and forget the issues that are plaguing the real world. And man I have to stress that so many amazing horror films got released this year and many are sequels to series that I really have enjoyed and glad to see horror alive and well at the cinema and I am looking forward to the films of 2022! While we are sitting here in the Rotten Ink Theater, I also want to think you for reading Rotten Ink as its amazing that this blog is now 10 years old, and I would also like to let you know that the next update will continue our look at the original cast Star Trek movies and we are on “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” so that should be a fun one. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie at the theater or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for another voyage with the crew of the Enterprise.

Star Trek V Preview Logo

Have Yourself A Very Mighty Max Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve! I am sure you are like me and are shocked about how fast 2021 has flown by, and after the terrible 2020 I think we are all just happy to have life back to somewhat normal. And like the updates before, for this countdown to Christmas Eve I decided to have some fun and take a look at a comic that was based on a toy series and cartoon from when I was a youngster, a toy that had many playsets released and all of them featured something like a monster, madman, alien and even dinosaurs…and I am talking about the one and only Mighty Max! It’s a very cool toy series that started in 1992 and spawned a cartoon, video games and more and helped bring tiny mini figures with playsets to the boys. And thanks to Game Players Comics, Mighty Max also got a comic book based around the toys, cartoon and video game! So if you are ready, grab some eggnog and let’s sit around the Christmas tree and wait for Santa while we talk of Mighv Max and his adventures in all things nostalgia.

Now let’s talk about the figures in the Mighty Max series as Bluebird really made these figures to cash in on their success with the Polly Pocket line that was super popular with young girls in the UK and later America. You see Bluebird started in 1980 as a toy company created by Torquil Norman with their first major hit being the “Big Yellow Teapot House.” While they had some major hits, by the mid 80’s they started to struggle and it was Polly Pocket that saved them from closing their doors! They had the girl market but they needed something to capture the boys, and that’s when they created Mighty Max in 1992. It was a major hit as it brought the tiny figure playset craze to kids who liked monsters and aliens. And this helped them even more stay afloat and many sets were released. Sadly by 1996 Mighty Max toys came to an end, and by 1998 Bluebird was bought out by Mattel who carried over many of the company’s toys. It’s crazy to think that Mighty Max was so popular when I was a kid and many of my friends had them, but now it’s unknown to modern kids! Growing up for some reason I never had any Mighty Max figures but I really wanted them and can remember seeing them on the shelves at Big Bear/Hearts, very cool figures and a great idea for kids to take on trips. I do remember my Mom saying that the figures were too little and we could lose them easy.

Following the success of the toys, Bluebird Toys teamed with Bohbot Entertainment to deliver to the fans a cartoon series that would follow Mighty Max, a young box who travels trough time to fight evil all the while being stalked by the henchmen of the sinister Skullmaster. During his adventures, Max makes friends with Virgil, a humanoid who has a fowl look, Norman a warrior who will protect Max with his own life as well as his family, friends and pet iguana named Thor. The cartoon was well liked by fans of the toys and brought a story and new characters into the Mighty Max universe with many of them making it into the toy series. But some parents were not as keen on the cartoon as it was filled with reference to death, characters died and at times it had a very grim outlook, and like all annoying parent groups, they had to complain and cause issues for the cartoon. But these sticks in the mud did not bring the toon down as it ran for 40 episodes and a total of 2 seasons. Episodes of the cartoon have been released on VHS and weirdly enough has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray and no official release of the full series has ever been made. You can find the series on the Grey Market as well as episodes on YouTube.

Like any great toy and cartoon series from the 80’s and 90’s, Mighty Max got the video game treatment thanks to Ocean who delivered a fun side scrolling game for systems Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, heck even a Tiger Handheld game was made featuring Max having a pixel adventure! The cool thing about the SNES and Genesis release was that Ocean packed them each with a different VHS episode of the cartoon, making players get more bang for their money spent. I have played the Genesis version of this game as I can remember renting it from K&L Video many years after it was released. The Genesis game had you trying to fight and bring down the evil ways of the Skullmaster and was a pretty fun play. So if you are an old school gamer and enjoy the Mighty Max toys, I would say give the game a play. As far as the Tiger Handheld version, I am sure it plays just like every other Tiger game…and that is both a bad and amazing thing.

Plus like all good toys Mighty Max has had its fair share of other cool merchandise that includes comic magazines, posters, board games, card game, a puzzle and even his trademark red hat with the M was sold to fans! Max even had his fair share of bootleg merch showing and proving just how popular the character was around the world as fake stuff was being passed off to fans. Sadly I never had any of these cool items growing up, but as I have stressed before I wanted them! Oh I should also say that some of this merchandise was released overseas only like the comic magazines.

But in 2020 I finally cracked down and decided that I needed to collect the toys, keep reading for my collection breakdown, and man its going to be a long one. The first Mighty Max playset I want to chat about I own is called “Hammers Ax Man” and this one is really cool and plays up a slasher killer theme! The compacts look is that of a monster with green skin and wooden handles and a blade sticking out of his flesh! He has bloodshot eyes and purple teeth and looks like he is ready to eat your face off. It’s a medium sized playset and is called a Horror Heads release and is from the second series of the lines release. Below is a look at this playset closed and open that is from my collection, give it a look!

The top part of the set has a man chained to a wall and he looks super skinny and while I think he is alive, he could also be a zombie! It’s clear that he is in a dungeon and is being held captive by the sets bad guy and is clearly his next victim if Max fails to save him. The bottom part has a massive blade trap as well as a metal trigger that Max can set off to chop up the bad guy! Also there is a massive wooden pillar and almost all the floor and walls are green. A very cool over all set in the Mighty Max Horror Head series. Take a look below to see the layers of this playset.

The figures that came in the Hammers Ax Man set of course is Mighty Max who is in an almost flexing pose, and he has a goofy smirk on his face. And the sets bad guy is Ax Man aka Spike is a Viking warrior who was buried alive and has now returned with murder on his mind and is armed with an ax and a chainsaw! Very cool figures and Ax Man is badass and one of my favorite figures in the line! Check them out below.

Next lets take a look at the set called “Brain Face” and is from the Shrunken Head series and this set is a little different as its smaller and comes with only one figure and that’s Mighty Max who in this set is holding a pair of wire cutters as he will need those to bring down the playsets villain! The compact is a face one what looks like a surface of a brain and is a light green in color and he has bronze probes on his head and silver teeth! His eyes are red with his pupils being green. When opening the compact we get the sets bad guy who is called Brain Face and he is brownish in color and well has a brain for a head and is wearing a white lab coat as he was a scientist who’s experiment went wrong and now wants to use his knowledge in electricity to fry Max! A pretty cool bad guy and it’s a shame he is built into the set and never got his own mini figure. The bottom of the compact has a trap for Max that has wires connected to a metal floor plate. A pretty cool mini set that showcases a fun scenario for you to try and get Mighty Max to safety and stop the evil Brain Face from frying his brains with his trap. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like.

Next up lets take a look at the some of the mini figures I have and two of the loose figures I have are the good guys Norman the warrior who is rocking his green and grey armor and humanoid Virgil who has his purple robe on, these figures are really cool and where sold in figure packs that where tie-ins for the cartoon. These two are really great and if I were a kid they would have been helping Mighty Max on his adventures! Again I really wish I had got some of these when I was a kid. Take a look at Nathan and Virgil’s mini figures below.

The next playset we will take a look at is called “Totally Toy Holiday 93” and was a playset that was given away in McDonalds Happy Meals in 1993! This compact has the face of the Yeti on it and for a fast food toy the design is really cool and is the Yetis face! Once opened the top of the compact has two Yetis on ice and snow and hidden away is golden treasure. The bottom of the compact is Max and a massive Yeti surround by a blue ring of ice that appears to have eyes! This playset is also very different as its figures are both attached to the base as Max runs around the Yeti that’s in the middle. Max is very generic in appearance and is all yellow with a green cap on, while the Yeti is really cool and is all white with a snarl on his face. This is a really cool novelty item for fans of Mighty Max to add to their collection. Check out below to see what this Happy Meal toy set looks like.

I also have the set called “Battles Skull Warrior” and is a pretty cool little playset that’s compact show cases a weird green teethed mutant with a big green eye and a nose and a ears like a bat humanoid, he looks like a comic book bad guy! This is a medium size playset and is form the first set of Horror Heads line. This ones theme is a bounty hunter from space, so basically an alien attacks feel. This was one I was able to get off Ebay for a good price. Here is the compact closed as well as opened to show you the style of this set and what you had to work with during play.

The top part of the compact has gears and a platform for Max to stand on and with some skill you can remove the platform and make it into a flying board for Mighty Max or Skull Warrior to ride! The top part of this set is a little boring and is not all that exciting of a place for Max to battle Skull Warrior! The bottom of the compact is also not all that eye catching as its brown in color and just has a few broken robots on the ground, its clear that this set wants you to take the villain Skull Warrior and place him on his flying board and to chase Max outside of this so-so playset. To sum that up when closed the compact looks really cool…when opened its kind of bland. Check out below to see what the top and bottom halves look like.

The figures in this set is of course Mighty Max who is rocking a purple hat and has a really awkward side pose, but he does have his hands in fists so just looking for a reason to punch a baddie in their eye. The bad guy for the set is Skull Warrior a green skinned mutant cyborg bounty hunter from the Skull Territory who thinks Max is a fugitive and uses his sky board and his pistol to try and deal out intergalactic justice! Skull Warrior by all accounts sounds like a generic throwaway baddie, but I think his look helps bring him to the level of cool. Over all this is not my favorite set, but is a good one to own. Take a look at Skull Warrior and Max below.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set that I own is called “Vampyre” and the Mighty Max figure in this set is holding a massive wooden stake, he is a very cool figure for Max and breaks the norm of his generic posses. The compact has a purpled skinned, red-eyed vampire with bloody fangs! A cool little compact for fans of classic monsters like Dracula as if really does play up on the look of a vampire that we grew up with on cheap Halloween decorations. When opened the top part of the compact is our villain who is the vampire called Von Viesky who looks like Sesame Street character The Count strung out on blood from an addict! Really Von Viesky looks like a pissed off Muppet, and he is awesome for that reason! The bottom of the compact is an open grave, very spooky and once more packs that classic horror movie feel into it. Over all a cool tiny playset that youngsters and collectors of vampire and Dracula merchandise will love. Check out the pictures below to see Max and Von Viesky in all their tiny glory.

The next figures I have that I would like to take a look at is Skull Master and his evil fire henchman! For those who do not know Skull Master is the main villain of Mighty Max and is a super bad guy who wants nothing more than to kill Max! Skull Master’s figure is pretty cool and has him wearing a purple cape and looks like he is ready to jump out and scare anyone foolish enough to enter his Mountain base. He is a living skeleton as well and was created for the cartoon and latter shows up in the play sets as seen here with this figure. I also have one of Skull Master’s Orange Lava Henchmen who is pretty dang cool as he has a sword and shield and is ready to slash Max’s head off! Check out the figures below and see these two villains.

I also have another of the McDonalds Happy Meal Mighty Max releases and this one is called “Totally Toy Holiday 95” and this one is pretty cheesy and hands down the worst of the Mighty Max play sets! The compact has a cool look as it is a blue ice skeleton and really does have a cold horror look to it. The compacts upper layer has nothing, and the bottom has our figures that are built into the set and is an ice maze that has a bottom pit that is filled with stolen Christmas gifts! Mighty Max is in a running pose with as cheesy smile on his face, and also features Ice Creatures that are the sets villains. Over all this one is just kind of blah and wish they would have had mini figures and not things built into the toy. Check it out below and see it in all its lameness!

The next major set and in my opinion one of the most iconic in the series we will be looking at is called “Escapes From Skull Dungeon” and is from series one of the toys. The compact looks like a giant skull with sharp fangs, has one red bared out eye with the other being a yellow and red in color. The color of the skull is grey and looks like concrete and it also has the Mighty Max classic MM logo on its forehead! A very cool looking set and really has a creepy Halloween horror look to it. The theme of the set is Mad Scientist in a creepy castle dungeon and surly is inspired by classic Universal Monster films. Check out the over all look of this set below and see how cool it is, oh yeah and the jaw of the skeleton also opens!

The top inside of the compact has many levels with the top being a study that is filled with a desk, books and lab stuff, the next level has a hidden door as well as a skeleton chained to the wall, and the final level has stairs that lead up stairs as well as the front door. The bottom of the compact is the lab that has electronic equipment as well as the table for the Monster as well as levers and desks. I am missing two parts of this set and it the two rods that go next to the table. Over all a very simple and affective design for this play set that really does bring a classic monster feel to the toy series.

The three figures in this set include of course Mighty Max who is rocking a blue cap, has big bug eyes and is given the arms up victory pose like he just ate a bowl of Wheaties. The bad guys of the set are Dr. Gore a mad scientist who has a hunchback and is wearing a white lab coat, the other is a green skinned Frankenstein’s Monster looking creature that is named Smasher! The figures are really cheap looking and not as detailed as the figures in later sets but this lack of detail also gives them some charm. Check out the picture below to see what the figures look like.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set I want to talk about from my collection is called “Head Case” and the compact has a melted zombie look with two shades of green and purple skin with an eyeball out of socket. When opened the top of the set has the villain known as Dr. Toxin standing among lab items, he looks like a melted green skin zombie, as he loves toxic chemicals! Max from this set is holding a flamethrower and looks like he knows that he is going to torch Dr. Toxin and still have time to go to McDonalds for a kids meal! This Max figure is really cool and one of the best in the series and Dr. Toxin is a great looking villain who reminds me of the 80’s film Return Of The Living Dead! Very cool set and make sure to give it a look below.

The next solo figure I want to showcase is a very cool one as it’s a double-headed orange dragon that was apart of the “Trapped In Skull Mountain” play set! This figure is really cool as beside having orange skin and two heads he also has green eyes and is looking for Max so he can end his adventures once and for all! This was a must have figure for me when I started my Mighty Max collection, check him out below.

Next up is another from the Horror Head series and was called “Survives Corpus” and has a cemetery theme! The front of the compact has two openings and has a face of a zombie with green goo coming out of his noise and worms coming out of his eyes and crack in his skull. The face also has tan skin and brown metal plates screwed into his skull. He also has a weird purple color around one of his eyes and crack in his skull! This one has a creepy look to it and is pretty dang cool over all, check out the pictures below and see what I mean about its creepy cemetery vibe. Wait now looking at it again it also has a generic b-movie Frankenstein’s Monster look as well!

The top part of the compact is a creepy stairwell with a tiny door, boards, a green goblin head, a torch and lots of skulls and bones. This is clearly the steps that lead to our bottom part of the compact that is a crypt! In the crypt are some bones that have been left behind as well as an old wooden coffin that is broken and busted! This graveyard theme is very classic and creepy and will remind you of classic horror movies as well as Halloween ghost stories. Check out below to see this play set open!

This play set as well came with three figures with one being Mighty Max of course with this figure having him rocking a red cap and a weird stance! The bad guys are Mort The Gravedigger a short chubby guy with a shovel who likes to dig up bodies, as well as a massively tall zombie who wants to drag the living into the grave with him. Great figures for Mort and the Zombie as he looks great with purple skin and red eyes! I will say the Max of this set is just ok…but give them a look below!

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I own, this one is called “Mummy King” and the compact is a purple skinned Mummy with brown wrappings and blood shot eyes and reminds me of old Halloween decorations in appearance. When the compact is open the top part is the bad guy mummy named Thanatos who is in pyramid and is standing with a snake and scorpion and has a true undead look to his face! The bottom of the compact has sand and some treasure and has a very generic Egyptian horror look. The Mighty Max figure of this set is pretty cool and has him holding a torch and ready to use it to not only light his way but also to also use it against the Mummy, snake and scorpion! A very cool set that features a classic monster, check out the pics below and see what this set looks like.

Next up let’s take a look at another loose figure from my collection and it’s from the “Skull Mountain” play set and his name is Rock Monster and he is a henchman of Skullmaster! He is made of solid rock and wants nothing more to bring down Mighty Max and will do whatever it takes to do so! This figure is really cool and has red eyes and looks super mean! Hands down this was a must have figure for me to add to my collection.

The next play set I have is called “Trapped By Arachnoid” and is from series one Doom Zone set! The compact of this set when closed looks like a massive spider with six green eyes, a furry back complete with a batch of purple spider eggs, has two fangs and eight legs. It also has the massive MM (Mighty Max) logo as well. A great and creepy looking compact that surly fits the mood and style of this toy series. This is another of the sets I remember the most being on toy shelves as well as friends having on the playground, with Escapes From Skull Dungeon being the biggest one from my childhood. Give it a look below and see how cool and creepy it is.

When open the top part of the compact has lab equipment that is also covered with purple webs as well as skulls, also a massive circle window is present. Clearly this is where the sets villain does his evil deeds. The bottom of the compact has a stone floor that has well has bones as well as a purple teleporter and a small web cage. Also some blood splatter covers the floors showing that many of people have lost their lives in this lab. A great looking set that fits the theme of this release.

The three figures of this set are of course Mighty Max who in this set is rocking a blue cap and has a go-getter pose, very fun and cheesy Max figure for sure. Next up is Arachnoid a four armed, green-eyed spider person mad scientist, he is pretty dang cool and a great bad guy for this set and he reminds me of a monster from a 50’s sci-fi film. And last is Creep a massive spider and creation of Arachnoid who is also like his bloodthirsty pet! This really is an amazing set with some great figures and leads to some great adventures you could have with Max.

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I have that’s called “Rat Trap” and sadly is one of my least favorite mini sets I own as it over all feels very lazy. The compact when closed does look great, as it’s a yellowed sharp toothed, dark purple furred rat with red and silver eyes with a patch of red fur on his forehead. When opened we get a look at the sets bad guy the giant rat himself Rat Trap who is standing on a silver shelf and looks awkward and poorly thought out, one of the worst bad guys in the Shrunken Head sets. The bottom of the compact has a dirty floor and is ok looking and the Mighty Max figure of this set is also pretty cool as he his holding a lantern and a sword! So what the best thing about this set being is the Max figure and the compact when closed…the main villain and the rest are at the bottom of the barrel in the Mighty Max world.

Next up I want to take a look at some more loose figures I own and these figure are from the “Takes On Terror Talons” large play set that sadly I don’t own fully. I have from this set Space Aliens # 1-4 with each having their own look and Space Alien # 2 being my favorite as he has a sharp yellow teethed grin! Alien # 3 and 4 are small red guys and are pretty dang cool with one being dinosaur like. Very cool figures and check them out bellow.

The next Horror Head set I will be looking at from my collection is called “Defeats Vamp Biter” and is a creature themed set. When closed the compact has the appearance of a massive grinning bat with razor sharped teeth and red eyes, to be honest he is very menacing looking and a very frightful looking playset. The ears of the bat for this compact are also made up from the bad guy figure from this set. This is a great looking set that once more almost has a classic Halloween feel to it. This is a medium sized set and features two figures so take a look below to see just how cool this set is.

The top of the compact when opened not only acted as a perch for the massive bat, but also has stones, slime and stairs. The bottom of the compact is rocky and has bats as well as a pool of blood! Very cool and fitting for the style of this playset and is what I would imagine a lair of a giant bat would look like! A very cool compact for this set and makes good use of the medium size.

This play set comes with two figures with one of course being Mighty Max and this time around he is rocking a blue hat and a stance that makes it look like he is going to punch you in the face! The sets baddie is the giant bat that is called Nightwing and this massive guy is looking super mean and is flashing a sinister grin with a mouth full of teeth! And his backstory is that Nightwing is not only a blood drinker but also is super smart! While only consider a minor villain Nightwing really is a cool looking bad guy!

Next I want to take a look at a single figure I have and that’s Lava Lord who was from the “Blasts Magus” set and to be honest is the second biggest villain in the world of Mighty Max as he was once a minion who rises up with a goal to overthrow Skullmaster and be the one to capture and kill Mighty Max! Lava Lord is a cool looking figure and is lumpy and red and green in color and looks mean and ready to smash the face of Max, check him out below.

I want to next take a look at another medium sized Horror Head set I own that’s called “Pulverizes Sea Squirm” and this is a cool ocean monster compact when closed and like before the bad guy figures help bring the look of the compact complete making up the creatures tongues, eyes, horns and nose! The blue color of the compact is also very eye catching and to be honest when seeing Mighty Max sets used at toy and comic stores around here in Ohio this is the one I have seen the most showing that it had to be a big seller and a well liked one among Max fans. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like closed as well as opened.

When open the top part of the compact showcases a underwater cave look with some sea creatures around the walls, nothing to special and a little bland in look but fitting for the set. The bottom of the compact is like the bottom of the oceans floor and has shells, bones, sea creatures, an anchor, slime and a treasure chest all things you would surly find one any water based floor bed! I like the treasure chest as kids could use it as to the main reason of why Max is wondering around in the water. This set is well thought out and while not the flashiest or even the coolest set in the series it’s a solid one with a basic and yet super fitting design.

The Pulverizes Sea Squirm set comes with three figures with one being our main man and hero Max and in this set he is rocking a green hat and is standing looking like he is scared our of his mind, I am guessing he is scared of drowning as he is not wearing any diving equipment and is probably wondering why he has made such a poor life choice. The first of the sets villains is the black and blue skinned, red teethed Sea Serpent a wicked creatures that wants to kill the foolish Max for entering his watery home. And the sets main baddie is the massive Krillor that rocks blood stained claws and bright red eyes who is the protector of this cave as well as the watery graveyard…so you can see he wants to kill Max cause he is in the cave with the idea of stealing money and jewels from the treasure chest that belongs to those who are buried there…in other words Max is being a real drag! Check out the pictures below to see what they all look like.

Another of the Horror Head Series I have is called “Hounds Werewolf” that is really cool as I am a massive fan of werewolves in pop culture and Horror. The compact when closed is a werewolf face that has red eyes, yellow teeth and blood coming from his mouth. The ears of the werewolf is made up from the wings of the sets bad guy figures and he has like a purple/grey fur and this is a really cool looking set. Take a look at the pictures below to see the Werewolf in all his glory as well as open so you can see it fully as it has a kind of castle theme.

Once open the top part of the compact you see grey stones, green stairs, an iron gate as well as a dead rotten tree and a tombstone. Some of the stones at the top also have blood splatter on them and this has a classic spooky Horror vibe. The bottom part of the compact has more grey stones as well as more graves with one cross tombstone being broken and on the floor. Also a gold iron cage is present as is more blood splatter. This really is a cool playset and has lots of danger for Mighty Max to face.

The Hounds Werewolf set comes with three mini figures with one being our hero Mighty Max himself, this Max is rocking a red cap and is in a flexing pose like he is showing off his massive muscles…that he has none of. The other two figures are the Horror Hounds a pair of winged purple skinned wolves that are ready to attack and maul our hero. The Horror Hounds are cool and help make the ears of the werewolf compact, but I do wish they would have just had a normal werewolf in the set and not these winged hounds. Check out the pictures bellow to see them in all their glory.

Ok this is getting out of hand as you readers and friends can see I went on a Might Max shopping spree so I am only going to cover one more from my collection and its my favorite and is from the Doom Zone sets…and this one is called “Tangles With The Ape King” and is hands down one kick butt set! The compact when closed is a very angry looking gorilla who has black fur, purple skin and blood on his fangs! Truly a menacing looking creature who plays on the old Jungle Adventure movie vibe. The set when open as well has a great jungle them and really is one of my top picks when it comes to Mighty Max sets!

When opened the top part of this set features green thick vines, a golden cage, bottles and even shrunken heads! A part of the vines also swings out and make a platform for some of the figures to stand on, this is really well done and designed. The bottom of the compact is also fantastic and features the jungle floor, a dead warrior, a pot filled with with bones simmering over a fire, bloody skulls and even a massive purple cobra snake! Great classic Jungle Adventure stuff here.

The playset comes with three figures with one being of course Mighty Max who is wearing a red cap and has a pose and a look on his face of being surprised. It also comes with a native who looks like he is ready to fight both Max and the Gorilla and last of course we have Ape King a massive gorilla who is looking to eat some human meat and deal out some death…very cool figures and some of my favorites in the toy series. Check out the picture below to see them.

Mighty Max is as classic 90’s toy that while I never owned in my youth but as I said always wanted to, and in 2020 as you can see I went a little crazy and ordered so many of them! It’s crazy to think that kids of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had so many amazing toys that are now in days very collectable. Thanks for taking that walk through my collection as its crazy to say at the age of 42 I find this toy series to be really cool and just wanted to share with you my readers and friends.

So now that we have taken a look at the Toys, Video Games and Cartoon of Mighty Max we need to now get to the Promo Comic that was released by Game Players in order to promote the video game that was being released of the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. I would like to thank an Ebay seller Holiday Comics for having this comic 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 your are ready lets jump into the portal and go on a adventure with Mighty Max, Norman and Virgil as we all try and save the day.

 The Adventures Of Mighty Max # 0  **
Released in 1993   Cover Price $0.00   Game Players     # 0 of 0

Easter Island is being plagued with earthquakes and the cause is coming from Skullmaster who is using his lava men to try and open a portal so that he can return to the above world from his underground prison. Meanwhile Mighty Max and his friend Felix are at a baseball game and enjoying their time, when a home run is hit Max’s way he catches it only to find a message from Virgil that he is needed and where to find the portal that will take him to his destination. Max rushes to the portal that is located on the ball field and finds himself at Easter Island along with Virgil and Norman and find that the Lava Men are hard at work working on the hole that would bring Skullmaster back! But after Virgil reads old scrolls Max gets an idea and jumps onto one of the Easter Island Statue Heads that triggers them to come alive and use the near by ocean water to cool off the Lava men that’s now dead bodies seal the hole trapping Skullmaster even more. After the fight is over Max along with Norman and Virgil return to the baseball game being the heroes of the day once more.

This Mighty Max promo comic was just ok and while entertaining it also was very uneventful as Max does not really fight any monsters and the only danger he finds himself in is when a Lava Man throws a rock at him. The plot has Skullmaster trying to escape his underground prison only to be easily stopped by Might Max and his friends. Mighty Max in this promo comic is a very young ego driven lad who is kind of a brat, but does rush to be the hero of the day and even figures out what the scrolls mean in order to stop the plot of one of the worlds super villains. Norman is shown to be on alert and takes his bodyguard statues of Max very serious and leaps into action when ever he thinks he is in danger and that means when a rock is thrown or even a foul baseball is coming his way. Virgil is around and mostly just makes the call for Max and reads the old scrolls, a cool character that is just not given much in this comic. Skullmaster besides causing the earthquake doesn’t do much besides scream orders at the Lava Men who as well don’t do much. I do think it was a wise choice to also feature Baseball in this promo comic as MLB was very popular with the youth of America in the early 90s as Baseball Cards had a major boom. I am not going to lie and act as if this comic is fantastic, while I do think it does justice to the Mighty Max toys and cartoon I do find this promo comic to be very underwhelming and nothing special at all. And it’s really a shame as to be honest there just is not much of a plot nor a threat to really write about. The cover is eye catching and is just the reused cover for the video game. The interior art is really good and captures the Mighty Max vibe is done by Gary Hartle who worked on may Marvel Comic titles like Thor, Daredevil and Conan The Barbarian. Over all this just an ok kids comic that is a fun read for fans of Might Max…but will not change your life. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Hartle.

Mighty Max in the early 90’s was a to series that I am sure made many of kids Christmases brighter when Santa brought them their most wanted play set and that is why I truly enjoyed writing this update for Christmas Eve 2021! That’s one great thing about doing this blog as it not only brings back memories of my youth for me but I hope it does the same for many of you. While Mighty Max is no longer a toy nor cartoon being made it’s still a very iconic one from the 90’s that helped make so many childhoods awesome. For the next update I will be of course talking about my favorite films that I seen in the theater in 2021 and I hope you will all return and join me for that one. And again I would like to send a heartfelt thank you for joining me this Christmas Eve and because of you this blog has been going for 10 Years!! That’s right 2022 marks 10 Years of Rotten Ink and next year I will be covering many things that I find near and dear to my heart and has captured my imagination in youth and even some more modern day discoveries that have got my attention. So until next time enjoy this Holiday Season, spend some time with a friend or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you at the movies!

Horror Host Icon: Ghoulardi

Everything changed in Cleveland, Ohio when Shock Theater began airing on WJW-TV Channel 8 on January 13, 1963 and viewers got their first look at Horror Host Ghoulardi! In the fine state of Ohio I would say that Cleveland probably has the richest history when it comes to Horror Hosts with Dayton being the only other city that comes close to matching that legacy.  The man who started it all for Cleveland is Ghoulardi who is considered by many to be the king of hosts in the Buckeye state. When selecting hosts to cover for the 10 Year Anniversary of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame, I knew Ghoulardi had to be on the list as his impact is still felt to this day in the city’s culture and entertainment. I also feel that this Horror Host Icon update is way overdue as many of you readers and friends have asked for it, so it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Ghoulardi. So sit back, turn blue and for gosh sakes, stay out of Parma!

Shock Theater with host Ghoulardi started in 1963 and from the first airing took the viewers by storm as it seemed like the whole city tuned in, and as Horror Host rumors go, when he was on, crime would drop in the city as even the criminals were watching! Shock Theater would last until 1966 and would spawn two other shows hosted by Ghoulardi with one being a kid’s show and the other, another movie show. While Shock Theater only lasted a short three years, Ghoulardi’s popularity knew no bounds and Clevelanders could just not get enough. Ghoulardi himself was a beatnik who had a fright wig on, a fake black goatee and would wear a blue button up shirt covered in buttons. He was a sharp tongued beatnik who could fire off jokes and insults with the best of any stand up comedian and took joy in making fun of many of the nights movies as well as fellow local celebrities. His hosting style at the time was very original as he totally played it from a “too cool for school” standpoint and would even add his own sound bites and soundtracks into the film, at some points even adding himself into the night’s movie for a good laugh. Ghoulardi was also known for having his own catchphrases that Cleveland youngsters would say to each other like “Turn Blue”, “Stay Sick” and “KNIF.” He also was known for using fireworks on models and toys, which made him a target from some parents and schools. He really was a Horror Host that made his viewers feel like he was their strange friend who would spend his time watching Horror Movies with them and like they were part of something very special when they watched Shock Theater, almost like they belonged to a new culture.

Ernie Anderson was the man behind the fake beard of Ghoulardi. He was born on November 12, 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts and was raised in Lynn with his parents Emily and Ernest Anderson. During World War II Ernie joined the Navy and did not see combat or so it’s believed. After the war, he attended Suffolk University for only two years and then took a job as a DJ on a radio station in Vermont, and this would lead to radio gigs in New York, Rhode Island and finally Cleveland at station WHK. But while he enjoyed his time on radio, with a format change his time at WHK came to an end in late 1958 and with this, he started his career in TV. His first major hit was a movie show called “Ernie’s Place” that had him also doing skits with comedian Tim Conway. But like all good things the show came to an end, and in 1963 Ernie was offered the horror show “Shock Theater” that would air Friday nights. This was a mega hit and really did kick start his career in showbiz as besides Shock Theater he would also host “Masterpiece Theater” on Saturdays and weekly kids show “Laurel, Ghoulardi and Hardy” showing that Ghoulardi was Cleveland’s most beloved Host. And like before, all good things come to an end as Ernie would leave Cleveland and end Shock Theater in 1966 to move to Los Angeles. While in LA he would get acting and voice work on such shows as “Rango”, “Hollywood Palace”, “The Carol Burnett Show” and his most iconic non-Horror Host role was when he became the main voice for bumpers used in ABC programming. He would also go on to do voice work for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” as well as commercials for RCA and Ford Motor Company. Ernie would also lend his golden voice to cartoons “Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors”, “The Adventures Of Super Mario Bros. 3” and “The Powerpuff Girls”. During this Ernie was married a total of three times and had ten children, one being famous director Paul Thomas Anderson known for his films like “Boogie Nights”, “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood” to name a few. Ernie Anderson was a smoker and sadly on February 6, 1997 he passed away after a battle with lung cancer. While Ernie is gone, his impact in the world of entertainment is still felt to this day and what he did for Ohio Horror Hosting will never be outdone.

Being born in Ohio, the name Ghoulardi is one you know as his popularity was talked about here in Dayton and even Waynesville. I can remember Ghoulardi being talked about in many of the old Monster Magazines my brother and I had, and then later of course Drew Carrey on his sitcom “The Drew Carey Show” use to wear a t-shirt that had his picture on it, showing that Ghoulardi was indeed a major part of Cleveland culture and is a Horror Host that helps define the city’s entertainment. I first saw Ghoulardi via a VHS tape that had clips of Horror Hosts from all over and can remember enjoying the little I saw as it was clear his style had made so many others in his area mimic his humor, sayings and even look! I have been a part of the Horror Host trade lists, fan sites, groups and boards for many, many years, and one host that is always on people’s want list is Ghoulardi. But like so many hosts from his time, most of his shows were not saved and no home recording machines like Beta or VHS were in homes yet, leaving the world with only some clips and hope that something more will be found for his legion of fans. While I enjoy Ghoulardi, I am not a major fan like so many other Host fans and friends I have, but even if he is not one of my all time favorites, you have to respect what he has done for Horror Hosting in Ohio as well as the world.

Ghoulardi is such an iconic Horror Host that he has had lots of amazing merchandise items made with his image on it! His bearded beatnik image has graced cups, posters, shirts, magazines, books, toys, magnets, art and even comic books by artist Derf of “My Friend Dahmer” fame as well as Bob Ferguson who made a comic in 1998. So as you can see, if you are a fan of Ghoulardi there is so much out in the world for you to collect and enjoy. I would say Ghoulardi only may be matched by Vampira as a Horror Host who lasted a very short time on TV and yet sparked so many fans and so much merchandise that allows their legacy to live on. In my collection I do own both comic books as well as a magnet.

When thinking about Ghoulardi one thing that always comes to my mind is all the Horror Hosts that followed him that were inspired by his look, humor and style of hosting. The first name on the list has to be The Ghoul who was the chosen successor as Ghoulardi passed the mantel to him! Spawned from there, we have Son Of Ghoul, Dr. Shock, and even Janet Decay’s show was called The Daughter Of Ghoul for a short time before she started hosting “The Mummy And The Monkey” with Grimm Gorri. While many of them did or do the classic Ghoulardi bits, they themselves have also made that style their own. I don’t want to spend too much time on The Ghoulardi Family Tree as I am sure each of the above mentioned will get the Horror Host Icon treatment as some point. But just know that Ghoulardi has inspired many of Cleveland’s Horror Hosts who have shared some of his classic bits with their viewers for generations.

On October 12, 2019 a journey to Cleveland was made by Juliet, myself and our friend Scott Scarborough as we attend Ghoulardifest, and this was a first time to attend for all of us! The event was held at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds and Event Center that was also the site of the haunted house attraction “7 Floors Of Hell.”  We arrived a little after 4pm; it was a pretty cool location with a very small town feel. It was $15.00 to enter the convention, which was being held in two buildings. The first room was filled with all types of vendors selling movies, comics, magazines, toys, model kits, books, vinyl records, food and cards with companies like Monster Bash and Cinema Wasteland on hand. In that room as well were guests like Alison Arngrim from TV show Little House On The Prairie who played Nellie Oleson as well as Victoria Price author and daughter of Vincent Price. Plus in the first room was tons of Ghoulardi merchandise at the official table for the Horror Host Icon that had items like buttons, mugs and so many shirts! The second room was really cool as they had a stage set up and a band called the Geeze Cats were playing and also had vendors like Scary Monster Magazine selling goods. But this room’s main attraction for me was the Horror Hosts from the area! The first host as you walked in, was Lamia of Horror Hotel, who was a very nice person as was her crew. Then true Ohio Horror Host royalty Big Chuck, Lil’ John and Hoolihan were meeting with many of their fans. While I saw Chuck and John, I did not spot Hoolihan. Next we spotted Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri from the show “Mummy And The Monkey”, these two are true class acts and are some of my favorite people to chat with at any convention. Drac and his lovely wife Carita were next to them, and I wanted to chat with them but they also had a line of fans, so sadly I did not…one day, Drac, we shall talk in person. Next up was Dale Kay from Dale Kay’s Spookshow, he was not at his table and crazy enough I did not see him at all the whole time we were there. Also on hand was The Midnight Movie cast as well as Don O’Malley from Don’s Breakfast Serial and lastly Son Of Ghoul was on hand! It was very cool to see that many of Cleveland’s talented Horror Hosts in one room and to see fans around them talking and supporting their hometown ghouls. The show closed at 6pm and we spent the whole two hours we had soaking up all the cool people and stuff around us. I ended up getting a few DVD’s from Lamia and Janet & Grimm, as well as picked up a cool mini Phantom Of The Opera figure, a Ghoulardi comic book and some bags of homemade cheese popcorn! Over all this was a very cool event for fans who love Horror Hosts as well as classic monster stuff and I am glad I got to do and see what Ghoulardifest was all about! And on that note it was very cool to see Cleveland come out and support their local hosts like this and they showed them all so much respect. This was an event I am glad I attended and it’s one that I think if you love the rich history of Cleveland Horror Hosts you should at least attend once. Below are some pictures from that day that include me with Hostess Lamia

So as you can see, Ghoulardi is the definition of Horror Host Icon as well as Horror Host Hall Of Famer as his popularity and impact have held strong for decades! Now we are at the point of our update where we will take a look at the episodes of Shock Theater I own, and sadly as I said before, most of Ghoulardi’s episodes are gone for the ages and only some video clips have survived and the one episode I have is in fact a fan reproduction of some of the surviving clips. I want to also remind you all that I will not be giving this episode a star rating and I will be taking the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB and the host segments portion will be written by me. So if you are ready to Turn Blue, let’s take a look at Ghoulardi.

Shock Theater: The Atomic Man
Starring – Gene Nelson & Faith Domergue     Not Rated       1955

Host: We start with Ghoulardi smoking cigarette and showing footage of a baseball game he was apart of. It’s the highlights with Ghoulardi giving commentary as a version of Take Me Out To The Ball Game plays. He then fans himself with a Stay Sick Fan and we go to the movie. We next join Ghoulardi who has blown up a hat and puts on glasses and makes an off color joke and then back to the movie. Next Ghoulardi sets off a boom-boom next to a monster head and then once more smokes a cigarette and shows his book “The Life Of Ghoulardi” and reads from it. Ghoulardi next is playing skull bongos and then reads a fan letter about a club that hates him, he of course roasts them in his own smooth way and then answers more letters. Ghoulardi ends the show showing off a “Ghoulardi Box” that shocks one of the station workers and then laughs as the episode ends.

Movie: An atomic scientist is found floating in a river with a bullet in his back and a radioactive halo around his body. The radioactivity has put him seven-and-a-half seconds ahead of us in time. He teams up with a reporter to stop his evil double from destroying his experiments in artificial tungsten.

Note From Matt: This episode is a fan reproduction as no known broadcast versions of the show exists. And while a fun watch at times, the reproduction gets a little sloppy with static and picture role.

While Ghoulardi is gone, I feel his legacy will never die in the state of Ohio and beyond as his iconic voice, sayings and image will forever have its place in American pop culture. And while Ghoulardi has been off the air for over 55 years as of this updates posting, Cleveland is still in good hands for all the hosts who have been inspired by him and those hosts of years ago he inspired. And with that we will be leaving the magical land of Cleveland and Ghoulardi behind and will be heading to Parma…no wait, I mean back to the world of Mighty Max as we spend Christmas Eve with him and his crew! So as always, read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you on Christmas Eve friends and readers!

The Marvel Adventures Of Doc Savage!

Welcome to Rotten Ink and the first post in our countdown to the Christmas Eve countdown.  It’s crazy to think that we are so close to Christmas 2021, and I for one am looking forward to being around my family to enjoying a good meal with them as well as sharing fun conversations about life and entertainment. And as you friends and readers know, I like to try and cover things in December that brings back memories of not only my youth, but also yours and that’s why I chose to cover classic pulp icon Doc Savage as our first update! Growing up, I can remember Doc Savage not only in the pages of comic books, but also novels that I would pick up at used book stores and garage sales. He was a classic style hero that I liked when I was a kid and unlike Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon and Tarzan for some reason I lost interest in him over the years, and that forgetfulness ends  during this update as I will dive back into my love for Doc Savage and his epic adventures! So sit back, grab a mug of hot coco and let’s chat about the Man Of Bronze.

Doc Savage 1

Clark Savage Jr. aka Doc Savage was the son of an adventurer and and scientist who was trained from birth to become the perfect man with the physic of a bodybuilder and the intelligence of a genius! He was trained in many skills to fit his training of being a perfect man as he learned engineering, chemistry, archeology, electricity and even to be a surgeon. He was trained in fighting, being stealth, disguises, driving and other skills needed to be a master spy and man of action. He can fly planes, drive any kind of land vehicles as well as sail any boat. He can play music, throw his voice, remember anything, has a keen sense of smell and can take high levels of pain. Think about your favorite athletes from every sport and times that by 10 and that is how good Doc Savage really is! He started his life as a crime stopper and true hero after his father was murdered and along with a skilled group he calls The Fabulous Five, they save the day and solve mysteries. For his hero life he also has tons of fleet of vehicles of all types at his finger tips, has a base set in a New York skyscraper and has a company called “The Hidalgo Trading Company” and has a hideaway in the Arctic he calls “The Fortress Of Solitude”! He was given the nickname The Man Of Bronze and in his early days of being a crime fighter, those he would captured would be forced to have a brain operation in order to remove the parts on their minds that caused them to be criminals. Doc Savage is considered a true golden age superhero, and while he is not as popular now, he still has made a massive impact in the world of pulp heroes and beyond.

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The first Doc Savage novel was released on 1933 and was called “The Man Of Bronze” and was written by Lester Dent who was one of the creators of the character alongside John L. Nanovic and Henry W. Ralston. And the last novel in the series was released in 2018 as of this writing and was called “The Valley Of Eternity” and get this a total of 203 novels were written about Doc Savages adventures! Doc Savage while he made his way to comic and even cinema was more well known for his novel adventures and this is were he built his loyal fan base and fans that kept coming back for more and more adventures. Growing up I can remember seeing many Doc Savage paperback books at garage sales as well as the antique stores in town, and I know that when I was a kid I bought a few of the books…but I don’t ever remember if I read them or just had them. And I know that I got them because I knew of the popularity of the character and had to have the books just in case I wanted to read them and be hip to what was popular why before my time. And to be honest growing up I always loved many of the classic heroes of movies, TV, novel, radio and comics as Dick Tracy, Lone Ranger, Tarzan, Zorro, The Shadow, Captain Kirk, The Phantom, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and Flash Gordon where all classic characters I loved and could not get enough of…while Doc Savage was in that category of classic heroes he was always sadly on the bottom of the list. Also growing up I can remember that some relative of mine had a large collection of the Doc Savage books, I want to say on my Mom’s side like maybe my Uncle Thurman or even my Grandma or Grandpa. If I have read a Doc Savage novel in my youth I don’t remember, but I know as I get older and have a little more free time I have plans of picking one up and given it a read. Oh and I should note many of the classic Doc Savage novels have fantastic cover artwork!

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Did you know that in 1975 a movie was released based on Doc Savage and was released by Warner Brothers? Did you know that actor Ron Ely played Doc Savage in the film? Did you know that originally back in the 60’s Chuck Connors was casted to play Doc Savage in a film that never was? Well now you do! Lester Dent, who was one of the creators of Doc Savage, owned the radio, film and television rights to the character and wanted to get the character on the big screen so bad, and tried to get Hollywood’s attention for decades…but they just would not bite and Dent went to his grave without being able to get a Doc Savage film off the ground. After his death in 1959, the rights went to his widow Norma Dent who as well tried her hardest to get the film to be made, and she got a bite in, well sort of you see a 1966 film was in the works with Chuck Connors on board to play Savage and producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were super hyped to develop the film, so hyped that they forgot to secure the rights from Norma and by the time all was worked out, the filmmakers had moved on and made the western film “Ride Beyond Vengeance”. One funny thing about this never made film is that Gold Key Comics in 1966 released what would have been the comic book adaptation! I should also note that Lester did get a very short-lived Doc Savage Radio show off the ground, but sadly it did not have an impact and was canceled.

Years would pass and producer George Pal secured the rights from Norma with the idea of making a massive film series that would rival James Bond in classic spy type action. George wanted Steve Reeves who was known for playing Hercules to play Doc Savage, and while he said yes to the part, a writers strike put the film on hold and with that Reeves left the production. When the dust settled it was George Pal and Joe Morhaim who ended up writing the film and casting started with Ron Ely playing Doc Savage, Paul Wexler as Captain Seas, Pamela Hensley as Mona Flores and even Hills Have Eyes actor Michael Berryman played a small part. Michael Anderson was then selected to direct with Warner Brothers agreeing to disrepute and the film rushed into filming. The film when done went up against Jaws and was buried and bombed and worse critics and fans alike seemed to not like the films forced humor and bland story. But the film did have one major fan and that was Norma Dent who praised Ron Ely’s performance as Savage!

The film was a bomb, and this ended the idea of a film series as the sequel that was to be called “Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy Of Evil” was set with even some press shots even being taken, but that was as far as the film got. The film would end up getting released on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray later on. And this one 1975 film was the only film version of Doc Savage ever released. It’s a shame that this film had to be released alongside Jaws as that locked the film for failure and this also killed the push for this to become a major film series! It also makes me wonder if Chuck Connors or Steve Reeves would have played Doc Savage in the film would it have done better? Or would it have been doomed to the same fate? I saw the film only once and it was on a bad VHS bootleg some many years back. I do own the Warner Archive DVD and should dust it off and give it a watch sometime soon.

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Doc Savage was a mega hit in the world of pulp novels, but failed when it came to radio and film, but he was a semi big hit in the world of comic books as some of the biggest publishers have released issues of Savages adventures! I mean look at these publishers that released comics based on Savage: Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Dynamite, Dark Horse and Millennium all gave fans something to read. Growing up I had the Marvel Comic issues as well as the DC and Millennium ones. It’s crazy that Doc Savage comics are not going still and I would love to see the character return to Marvel Comics as imagine Doc having his own series as well as mixed in with other Marvel series like The Avengers and even Predator!

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Doc Savage really is one of those classic characters that to me belongs in the same standing with Tarzan, Zorro, Dick Tracy and James Bond to name a few and I for one am glad that he is finally getting the Rotten Ink treatment. I want to think Ebay and Etsy sellers for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you that I as well 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, let’s travel to the Marvel Universe and see what Doc Savage is up to, and I also need to say that I am looking forward to reading many of these issues again, and some for the very first time so also let’s see if they hold up!

Doc Savage Marvel 1

Doc Savage # 1  **1/2
Released in 1972     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 1 of 8

A man dressed in green and yellow climbs a skyscraper that is being built with a sniper rifle in hand, he finds his target window that is the office of one Doc Savage…who happens not to be in at the moment but his five friends are who are all on edge. As Doc Savage arrives at the office he gets some very bad news that while he was away his father has passed away from an unknown sickness. This triggers Doc Savage to go to his fathers hidden safe and finds very important papers and a land grant…but before he can read them all the way through the assassin takes his shot and Doc and his friends hit not only the ground but the lights and start their work of figuring out who has shot at them and from where. The group acts fast and figures out the place the shot came from and as Doc and most of his friends rush off to get the would be killer the groups lawyer Ham Brooks rushes off to get legal papers ready so they can fly out in the morning to the land from the grant. As Doc Savage and his remaining four friends arrive the rush up the to be built skyscraper as their killer is annoyed that Doc Savage still lives and he thought his shot killed him. When the service elevator jams Doc Savage climbs out and makes his way to the gunman all the while dodging laser blasts from his gun, and when Doc Savage reaches him the fight ends fast and Doc alerts his friends that the man is speaking ancient Mayan. The only thing they get from the assassin is that he is a follower of The Son Of The Feathered Serpent and jumps to his death as he would rather die than to speak. Doc Savage and his friend return to the office to find a warning written on the wall from another of the cult members of The Son Of The Feathered Serpent and they swear as a group to get revenge for Doc Savage’s father who they all think now was killed.

The first issue in Marvel Comics Doc Savage is a very fun classic hero read for an aging comic reader like myself who enjoys a slow burn adventures…but I am sure most modern younger comic readers would not enjoy this comic as it really is very “old” in feeling. This issue’s plot has Doc Savage returning home to his office only to find out that hid dad has passed away, he now has a grant for lots of land out of the country and also has someone trying to take his life all this in a matter of minutes! Doc Savage is a hero who shows zero emotion to everything that is going on around him, and uses his skills and training well in order to achieve his goals. We also see that he not only is super strong but is also very skilled in using his brain to win. His friends are called The Fabulous Five and are Ham, Johnny, Monk, Renny and Long Tom all who have skills that help Doc Savage and each other on their world adventures. It’s clear that right now our bad guys are all from The Son Of The Feathered Serpent cult who might even been the ones who infected Savage’s father with the illness and seem to really want the land grant that was left for Doc Savage in his fathers safe. They are dangerous for sure as they do not seem to care about taking another persons life and also seem pretty set on ending their own if it comes down to it. While the plot moves pretty fast and feels like the old novels as well as even a hint of James Bond films the downside is that the comic is very wordy and much of the time the things characters are saying really don’t mean much to the over all story, and while some will find that to be a reason not to read this comic…I found it charming in a old school kind of way. The cover for this first issue is pretty cool and I think captures the elements of Doc Savage while also adding a Marvel Comics touch. The interior art is well done and is done by Ross Andru who is an artist that I feel does not get the recognition he should in these modern times. While not a perfect start for a comic series I do think it’s a good one and I am looking forward to reading the second issue.

Doc Savage Marvel 2

Doc Savage # 2  **1/2
Released in 1972     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 2 of 8

Doc Savage and his five friends are flying above an airfield in South America and are being fired at by enemies of the government that causes them to crash land…and to the government of Hidalgo they are happy to find Doc Savage and crew to be ok and they also give them another plane to use as our heroes fly deep into the jungle to find the location that was left on the land grant. The area they land in is called “The Valley Of The Vanished” and once out of the plane they are attacked by The Son Of The Feathered Serpent cult and as the fight starts to truly break out they are all commanded to stop by King Chaac and Princess Monja who welcome Doc Savage as they knew and respected his father, but this welcoming is not liked by all when the tribe warrior chief Morning Breeze alerts the King that he and his warriors do not like outsiders in their land! The King informs Doc that he was sent to his kingdom in order to be judged as their land has so much gold that they would like to share with him as well as the Hidalgo people…but only if he is deemed worthy in the next 30 days. That night Morning Breeze and his warriors sneak into the sleeping area of The Fabulous Five and kidnap and drop three of them into a deep well, but unknown to the warriors Doc Savage had over heard the plan and hide in the well and saves his friends before they fall to their deaths fully, and he uses parlor magic the next morning to expose Morning Breeze as a would be killer as well Doc makes himself look even more powerful. Looking like a fool Morning Breeze sulks away and meets with a man who is calling himself The Son Of The Feathered Serpent who informs his defeated warrior that he is now going to unleash The Red Death the same illness that took the life of Doc Savage’s dad. The Son Of The Feathered Serpent places the red death into the water supply of the kingdom and so many are fallen ill, and Morning Breeze and Son Of The Feathered Serpent are spreading rumors that its Doc Savage and his men that have brought this deadly illness, while in reality Doc has studied some of the people fallen ill and has made a cure that he is rushing around given to the ill as the warriors following the word of Son Of The Feathered Serpent try and gun him down! In the end Doc Savage saves the lived of all that are infected, is able to kill Son Of The Feathered Serpent by knocking him off a temple, watch as Morning Breeze is gunned down, proves he is worthy of the gold, breaks the heart of the Princess who has fallen in love with him and loads up gold and flies away with his friends.

This second issue cracks the case of what and who killed Doc Savage’s father as well as who is the man who put a hit on Doc was and it was a crazed man who ran a cult that called himself The Son Of The Feathered Serpent who was really a member of the government of Hidalgo who would fly back and fourth from the civil world and the lost Mayan one. Doc Savage is one tough hero who can duke it out with the best of them and can also use his quickness to dodge gun and laser fire…plus he has a rule that he will not kill…well that is unless he can kill you with an accident! One thing that I think Doc does in this issue that is awesome is he uses smoke bombs and his friends with ropes to appear as if he can bring back the dead. I also like that he is willing to risk is own life in order to save the lives of those in need. The Fabulous Five are around and help during the case with even Monk able to fight with some Mayan warriors, but to be honest for the most part in these first two issues you could have cut them and they would not have effected the story all that much. Now I know that sounds like I don’t like The Fabulous Five as I am saying they at this point don’t add much to the comic story, but I do like them and hope they get more to do in the upcoming issues. Morning Breeze is a sneaky warrior who is pure evil that he goes along with a plot the spread a deadly disease into his tribes water supply…what a goon and then tries to run away from battle only to be shot in the back by the one he served. The Son Of The Feathered Serpent is a man with no morals who is ruled by greed and power and who has no issues with killing lots of people to get what he wants, and because of his greed and evil ways he finds himself going splat after falling off a temple. I also like that the cold blooded main killer and villain of this two issue story arch is of course also a member of the nations Government…classic spy stuff. While the pacing is once more semi fast it does also feel like a slow burn like the first issue making it drag a little in spots. The cover is great as is the interior art done Ross Andru again, and with that let’s see what issue three has in store for us.

Doc Savage Marvel 3

Doc Savage # 3  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 3 of 8

Ham and Long Tom and hanging out at Monks house when the office of a cruise ship company is blown up! The three friends rush up to see if they can help and watch as one of the workers is shot in the back with an arrow fired by one of the members of the Silver Death’s Head group…the three friends give chase but are out stepped and worse then they go to call Doc Savage a whole attack armored vehicle filled with members bust in and take them all hostage and then flee the scene. Doc Savage rushes to his friends place only to find them missing and the cops on the scene not having any real answers. Doc Savage decides to go to the docks and snoop around the dead man’s business and finds his secretary Lorna Zane knocked out and another worker Harry Pace hiding the shadows. After a few moments of speaking to them members of the Silver Death’s Head as well as their leader Ull come busting in and want to finish the job of killing Lorna, but Doc Savage just in time hides both workers and takes a beating at the hands of the Silver Death’s Head just so he can fake being knocked out and hear them mention the name of Bedford Burgess Gardner who runs another of the cruise ship companies as well as they are looking for blueprints to something. After the baddies leave, Doc Savage along with Harry and Lorna leave as Doc leaves Lorna at his cousin Pat Savage’s beauty saloon for her safety as he takes Harry with him to find the home of Gardner. Once there they find the butler dead and Gardner is not happen to see them and as Doc Savage searches the house for the killer he is attacked by members of the Silver Death’s Head and in less then a minute he takes them all out and even manages to find a man named Hugh McCoy tied up in the closet who claims Gardner shot his own butler! By the time Doc Savage makes it back to Gardner’s room he finds Harry knocked out and the member of the Silver Death’s Head group swallows a poison capsule. And after all this drama Doc Savage is now really mad and wants his friends back!

This third issue is has a strange story plot that follows two owners of cruise ship companies that has one dying in a terrorist attack and another being accused of killing his own butler we then even have three of The Fabulous Five kidnapped by a group that calls themselves the Silver Death’s Head. Doc Savage in this one starts off just minding his own business at his office when three of his friends drag him into a murder investigation as well as a kidnapping plot as three of his friends end up missing. Doc Savage uses all his skills in this issue as he not only uses his fists he also uses his detective and chemistry skills as well in order to follow the clues to solve the crime as well as save his friends. Poor Monk, Ham and Long Tom are in the wrong place when an explosion goes off a few floors above Monks house and this leads them on the bad side of the issues bad guys. The Silver Death’s Head group wear costumes made of silver dollars and while they are lead by Ull it’s clear that some one else is calling the shots and while this issue wants you too think that its Gardner one of the cruise ship company owners I think that that the shots are being called by Harry Pace a man I just don’t trust at all! I do like also that this issue introduces us to Pat Savage an owner of a beauty shop who is also an adventurer who is the cousin of Doc. The look of the Silver Death’s Head group is really cool and reminds me of bad guys you would see in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man or Captain America at the time of this comics release. This issue has a really fun detective feel to it as I felt as a reader I was along for the ride to solve the case with Doc Savage and I also feel that the stakes are high in this issue as three of his friends lives hang in the balance. Great interior artwork from Ross Andru and a eye catching cover for this issue and I feel like this is the best issue this far in the Doc Savage Marvel Comic series…let’s see if issue four keeps up the good work of making Doc Savage apart of the Marvel Universe.

Doc Savage Marvel 4

Doc Savage # 4  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 4 of 8

Doc Savage along with Harry Pace and Hugh McCoy find an old waterfront warehouse that is being used as a base for members of the Silver Death’s Head and after taking out many of the members and chasing off many others, Doc Savage finds his friends Monk, Long Tom and Ham tied up in a roof and sets them free. And after searching around they find a map that they will follow, and Doc Savage sends Ham to find all he can on Gardner as he has a hunch. Doc Savage and the rest head to the docks and all get aboard his own designed submarine as Doc informs them that he thinks that the Silver Death’s Head have their own and that’s how they get around to commit their crimes as well as avoid the police. And as always Doc was right as their sub is attacked by the Silver Death’s Head groups and when some of their members in scuba gear try and break into Doc’s sub he and his friends are forced to get into gear and fight them under water! Once Doc makes quick work of them he then follows a boat that Ull and the real head of the group are escaping on…he of course grabs a rope that is on the boat and follows them to a secret hideout. Doc busts in and knocks out Ull fast and then takes down the leader who ends up being Hugh McCoy who was also Gardner…you see Hugh created Gardner in order to have a fake face in order to mastermind these crimes.

Ok, Ok I was wrong as I was thinking Harry Pace was the main brains behind the Silver Death’s Head group and it was that slime Hugh McCoy the whole time, but hey Doc Savage didn’t figure it all out until the un-masking either! This issue’s plot has Doc save his friends and then find a map, go underwater to fight goons in scuba gear only to follow the two leaders of the crime group to a hidden hideout to kick them around and solve this case that involved murder and kidnapping! Doc Savage is a man of few words, but a man of action and you can always tell when his mind is working on solving a problem and coming up with a plan to end the issue. Doc Savage also we find out hates when people brag about the things he does as he does them not for the glory but because they are the right thing to do. Glad to see Ham, Long Tom and Monk alright even if as always they really don’t add much to the story and are just around for a reason to fully get Doc involved when they are kidnapped. Well I guess Ham does his job as he does dig up info on “Gardner” and his business that rose to power super fast in the world of shipping and cruise vacations. Hugh McCoy is a mastermind as he uses a fake persona to open a business, murder his computation, work alongside a murderous group and try to match his wits with Doc Savage all in the quest for power and money. Hugh also does a great job of acting friendly with the good guys, all the while playing them for fools. Ull and the Silver Death’s Head group are killers for hire who have the money and power to make people dead, but also wear heavy outfits that make them noisy as well as smell like silver…so stealth they are not. This case aka story arc of Doc Savage is very interesting and had me guessing all along on who the main man calling the shots was, and while I was wrong it made the ending a little more fun! The cover is great and pretty eye catching for the time of release and like before the interior art of Ross Andru is top notch. Another solid issue of Marvel’s Doc Savage, and I cannot wait to see what the next issue has in store for me.

Doc Savage Marvel 5

Doc Savage # 5  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 5 of 8

A hunter is attacked and killed in his cabin and is discovered by his friend, the man’s dying words is for him to track down Doc Savage and hire him to crack this case and avenge him! The other hunter who’s name is Carl MacBride makes his way to New York and while traveling meets Jean Morris a country girl who fills him in on how Doc Savage works and takes cases. But once Carl arrives at Doc Savages office and once there before he can say a word a mobster with a tommy gun comes up the other elevator and blasts the man with gun fore before running away. Doc Savage along with Monk and Ham give chase and find that the shooter runs to a mansion that was is highly protected and find that Jean is also inside as she has a job interview and been hired by a man named Griswold Rock who owns a small railroad in Michigan and before they all know it the floor beneath them gives way and a giant monster appears causing them all to fall to the floor below and as they Doc Savage and his men get to their feet the watch as a red truck speeds off with the monster in the back and the gunman behind the wheel…and oddly enough Jean is also missing. Before the leave they find Griswold Rock locked behind a door who tells them he has been held prisoner by one of his former employees named Pere Teston who forced the man to sell his stock and bonds. Doc Savage along with Ham and Monk call in Long Tom, Renny and Johnny as he is going to need all their help in order to track down this red truck and crack this case. Renny in his plane is the first to spot the red truck, but he is shot down by the tommy gun mad man and taken from the wreckage and kidnapped. Renny watches as the gun man is joined by other hoods and they set a bomb that will blow up the truck, the monster in the back and him! He also sees that they have Jean with them…and as they all leave before the big explosion Doc Savage just in time arrives and saves Renny…but the poor monster is killed. Doc Savage has a hunch now with all the clues he has gathered and wants to solve this case of murder and crime.

This is a very interesting issue as of course it’s an action detective story, but it has a dash of horror added into the mix with monsters and a creepy cabin in the woods. This case has Doc Savage watching a man who was coming to him for help to solve the murder of his friend get gunned down only to follow the killer to a mansion that houses a giant monster and even more questions and no answers…yet. This issue Doc Savage is the hero like always but also seems a little confused by what the giant monster is and why a man was murdered in his office before he could speak. And Renny of The Fabulous Five owes his life to Doc as he was about to be blown sky high, before being rushed out of the way of a car bomb, but to also be fair Renny did a great job of tracking down the truck that the gang was looking for. Who is Jean Morris , Griswold Rock and Pere Teston and can any of them be trusted…only the next issue I am sure will give us that answer. The Monster was massive and looked like something straight out of a 40’s Atomic Age Horror Movie…but for some reason I have a feeling it was not real, as it’s a robot or a prop. The pacing for this issue is a little faster than the others as the killing and then the case really kick in fast and this one also seems a little more confusing as in the case is not as easy to piece together. The cover is pretty cool and looks more like a Marvel Horror cover or even a Doctor Strange one and the interior art once more is done by the underrated and under talked about Ross Andru, another solid issue in the series, and I cannot wait to read the next issue!

Doc Savage Marvel 6

Doc Savage # 6  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 6 of 8

Doc Savage and his two friends Ham and Monk are flying above a lake in Michigan the area that the hunter was killed that started this whole case, but to their horror they are attacked by two massive giants that come out of the lake and if not for Doc Savage’s grenade that scared them off they could have surly all meet their deaths. Doc Savage on the time they bought away from the giants searches the cabins around and finds no clues, and when walking through the woods the tommy gun gunner tries to take them out, but slips and falls into a bog and drowns. Doc Savage uses rope to get the id and body of the man out of the bog and finds a note that says Death Mill! Doc Savage sends Ham and Monk to town and looks into the mill and finds Griswold Rock inside who claims he got a telegram from Savage to meet him there. With all of them back in town they get word that Renny in a helicopter has been shot down and as Doc Savage and Monk rush to his aid…its clear this is a trap as giants and gunmen are all around and Renny is not even there yet! As a gunfight breaks out and the Giants run off into the woods on a mission, the fight is a standstill and the gunmen flee and Monk follows them as Doc Savage hitches a ride with the now arriving Renny back to town as Doc has a bad feeling. Once back in town they find that the giants had attacked the hotel and took away Griswold Rock and left Ham injured! But now Doc Savage has it as he knows that the giants are old prisoners who have been given a chemical to grow that size, he thinks that Pere Teston is apart of these monster attacks in order to get money from towns that he has threatened with attacks and that the murdered hunter stumbled onto their plan and was killed for it. Doc and his crew go and try and solve this case and even along the way save Jean Morris who as well had been captured back at the mansion…but they are all captured by the giants that take them to the criminals base and Doc and his crew are thrown into a hole and left to die. That night Doc Savage has a plan and after making a human ladder he climbs to freedom and gathers papers that prove his chemical made giants theory as well as bugs the office of the main man in charge before sneaking back into the hole. Doc Savage then uses his brain and has the guards turn on each other by informing them that the chemical used will make the prisoners forever giants and that they are being used…this causes the hired guards to be attacked by the prisoner guards! Doc Savage then once more exits the hole during the battle and tosses down a rope for the rest to escape and run down to the water as he wants to bust the boss all his own. But things turn south real fast when a giant busts open a tank filled with very poisonous gas that kills everyone who breaths it in, as Doc Savage and his crew flee they find Pere Teston tied up and rescue him as it was Griswold Rock all along who was the mastermind of the giants.

This is a pretty solid issue that has Doc Savage and his friends heading to the woods of Michigan in order to solve some murders as well as battle giants…but the payout at the end seemed very rush and they could have cut down on the plane attacks and crashes and it would have allowed for more panels to be used for the big ending that seemed very underwhelming. Doc Savage who is a great hero and detective sure did make many mistakes in this one and his plans seemed to almost always lead to danger and even allow the bad guys to hear their plans as he took in the crime families leader on his word that he was kidnapped and held prisoner…you would have thought Doc would have been smarter then that. But I do give Doc credit when it comes to fighting the giants as he knows he is strong, but not match for them…but would die swinging if he had to fight them hand to hand. Being six issues into a only eight issue series its clear that the two main members of The Fabulous Five are Monk and Ham as they seem to be getting more adventures and are clearly the two most important in these comic series, but I will say Renny gets a tiny bit of time to shine in these last two issues. Jean Morris who was a lion tamer is around and really adds nothing to this story besides a female character. The Giants are dangerous as they are just prisoners and criminals who are turned into these monsters and who are being used as test rats by a man who just wanted more and more money and power and that man is the chubby, sweaty looking Griswold Rock who was a small time business man but a large con-artist. The Horror element of the first part of this story arch kind of fades in this second part as it becomes more of a crime adventure thriller. I do like also that this issue takes us out of the big city and takes us into the woods of Michigan and has Doc Savage having to fight in water, woods and even a hidden island. The cover is pretty great and is pure 70’s Marvel style and as always Ross Andru interior art is A+ stuff. The next two issues are the ones that I read in my youth so let’s see how well they hold up.

Doc Savage Marvel 7

Doc Savage # 7  ***
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel     # 7 of 8

In the Canadian woods on the estate of Alex Savage the uncle of Doc Savage a man transforms into a werewolf and has the want to kill and murder Alex…and he does just that. The next day Doc gets a phone call from his cousin Pat Savage about the attack and murder and this puts Doc into a thinking mood as the murder was said to be very beast like. Doc Savage decides that he is heading to Canada to be with his cousin Pat during her sad time as well as he wants to find out what killed his uncle and why their household seems to be under attack. Doc along with Ham, Monk and Renny take the train to get there and even while ridding gets a fake telegram warning him not to go to his uncles house. As Doc and Renny make their way to the railcar of Ham and Monk they get all types of stares from passengers many who think they are dangerous killers with many having plans to protect themselves. When Doc gets to his friends he finds that he has gotten there just in time as some one has gassed them and left an image of a werewolf on their window. And this same thing was done to El Rabanos and his friends the Ovejas whom all thing Doc Savage and his men are bad people, and worse after the gas clears they find another werewolf image on a window, watch a black painted plane fly away from the train and are forced to a stop as logs now block the train from moving forward! As Doc Savage removes the logs his friends give chase to El Rabanos who runs into the woods, after clearing the way Doc as well gives chase and his jumped by four men with guns…they are no match for Doc who defeats them and rushes to find his friends. Meanwhile Pat Savage is home with her two Native American friends Tiny and her husband Boatface when they hear the howl of the werewolf, Pat grabs her gun to look for the beast only to find nothing and to return home to Tiny and Boatface knocked out from gas and she checks on a ivy cube with a werewolf on it that is very priceless. Unknown to Pat her cubes hiding place was seen by Boatface who steals it and tries to sell it to the werewolf, but the mans greed delivers his death as the werewolf murders him over the price of the cube. Pat and Tiny awake from the sound of a howl from the werewolf and notice Boatface missing so they head into the woods with gun in hand to find him. Meanwhile Doc Savage finds his friends at a tiny airfield in the woods and watch as El Rabanos and his friends make an escape in a plan and even kill one of their own airmen in the leave, before he dies he tells Doc Savage a string of clues. In the end Doc Savage with Monk, Ham and Renny make it to his uncles house to find Pat missing and the body of Boatface now in the living room of the home, Doc orders his friends to stay at the home as he rushes off to find his cousin only to be shot while walking across a rope.

All I can say is 100% this issue held up for me after all these years and has a super classic werewolf horror movie feel to it and that’s why I enjoy it so much! In this issue Doc Savage gets the sad news from his cousin that his uncle has been killed in a savage way and this makes the Doc head to Canada to figure out the murder as well as all the strange things going on around his uncles estate. This issue takes Doc Savage from his city office, to a train traveling across countries, to the snowy woods for Canada all the way to his uncle’s home in the middle of now where, and all the while he had to fight and use his detective skills. Doc Savage and his cousin Pat Savage are going through a very hard time as their loved one has been brutally murdered and all signs point to it being the work of a werewolf, but they also have to deal with shady people as well and thieves who want to steal an ivory cube that the Savage family owns. El Rabanos and his group are very shady and are clearly involved in this killing as they are also trying very hard to spread rumors of Doc Savage himself being a cold blooded killer and a curse to those who see him. As always Monk, Ham and Renny are around, but do very little in the over all story besides their friendship. Pat Savage is a warrior her own self as she along with her trusty gun have zero issues running off into the woods to face the werewolf, as she wants revenge really bad for her fathers death. Tiny is a loyal housekeeper to the Savage family even if her husband was a thief who allowed his own greed lead to his death. And finally The Werewolf is a talking beast who wants the Ivory Cube and who is also savage in his attacks and plans for murder, a classic looking werewolf that reminds me of Jack Russell the Werewolf By Night another Marvel Comics series that was running around the same time. The Werewolf while very beast like in nature and look, also has a human side as well that allows him to talk and plan. One has to wonder who the man beast is and if he is truly a werewolf or just a man in a suit playing a legendary creature. The cover is awesome and eye catching and the interior artwork by Ross is amazing stuff. A great issue and my favorite in the series this far in both art and in story, so let’s see what issue 8 the final issue has in store for us!

Doc Savage Marvel 8

Doc Savage # 8  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .20     Marvel     # 8 of 8

Doc Savage is holding onto the rope when the man fires one more bullet knocking him off and sending him to his death, or so the man thinks as he returns to camp he is meet by the Werewolf who is in charge and is told of the news that Doc Savage is dead and with this the Werewolf is happy as he knows now nothing will stand in his way of entering the Cave Of The Werewolf. Meanwhile in a tent in that very party we find Pat and Tiny tied up and being held captive and when they try to escape the ones holding them captive inform them that they are no longer needed as her cousin is dead so their worth is low, but before Pat and Tiny can be killed Doc Savage rushes to their rescue and after beating down the bad guys the Cousins and Tiny start to head back to the Savage home as Doc Savages is sure that El Rabanos and the Ovejas are involved in this murder and werewolf attacks, as they make their way home Doc Savage is challenged by the Werewolf and after a quick fight the beast is knocked out and his mask taken off to show just a thug in a costume. Once back at the Savage home Pat finds that the cube is missing and just then Senorita Cere Oveja comes busting in screaming that the werewolf is going to kill her father and El Rabanos if Pat does not give him the cube, Cere tells them that the original werewolf was just a nickname for one of her relatives that was a pirate and that the cube holds the location to all his stolen treasure and that she and her father along with El Rabanos was just trying to find it as they think the gold is theirs due to heritage. Doc sends Ham, Monk and Renny to search the pine trees in the area that has a birds nest in it as feathers and needles was found on the body of Boatface. After some time Ham finds the cube in a nest Doc solves the puzzle of it and unlocks the hidden map inside. The werewolf shows up and uses his gas on Pat, Tiny, Monk, Ham and Renny and takes Doc Savage hostage as he informs the hero its been a trick all along and El Rabanos and the Oveja’s are his partners in crime! Doc Savage awakens in a cave with his friends as El Rabanos is bragging to him that he was the mastermind behind this plot all along and killed his Uncle to draw Doc their to figure out the map puzzle, he also says he will turn on the Werewolf and the Oveja’s in order to keep all the treasure for himself! But surprise Doc Savage is free and his friends are not knocked out as Monk made an antidote for the gas and they are ready for a fight. After knocking out El Rabanos with a punch Doc Savage does after the Werewolf as his cousin and his friends go fight with the rest of the gang. Doc Savage out fights the Werewolf and after El Rabanos wakes up and fires his gun the cave collapses with only Doc Savage, Pat Savage, Tiny, Monk, Renny, Ham, The Oveja’s and the treasure escaping…all others are dead. In the end they inform The Oveja’s that they will not get a penny of the treasure and it all will go to build hospitals in Canada and also that Pat Savage is now apart of the group.

This issue holds up as well and while some of the horror elements are gone, by middle of the issue it becomes a crime thriller that has some twists and turns that many of true crime lovers will see coming, but are still super fun to watch unfold. Doc Savage through out this issue as well as the whole series is a man who keeps care of his mind and body and will risk it for good, as he believes that doing the right thing and helping others is very important. He will not kill unless he has no choice and has nerves of steel and is not shaken by anything and that includes near death experiences as well as facing monsters. And one thing about Doc Savage as well is that he is always one step ahead most of the time and has back up plans in order if things go wrong for he and his crew. The Fabulous Five are the best friends of Doc Savage and while around they don’t do much in this series, but with that said I would very much miss them of they were not around as the friendship between Ham and Monk is fun as they poke fun at each other all the time and while Renny, Long Tom and Johnny do very little they are still cool background hero characters. Pat Savage is the touch as nails, sweet and strong cousin of Doc who is an hero in her own right and who rushes into danger to avenge and save the innocent, and after loosing her Father to murder she is ready to join her cousin in the hero business. Tiny who’s husband Boatface was a loser shows that she is close to the Savage family and when all hell breaks loose in the cave she even fights with the hired thugs and bear hugs some of them into submission! The Oveja’s and El Rabanos are slimy and play all sides in order to get what they want and that’s the hidden pirate treasure, and would even turn on each other in order to get it. The werewolf is not a real creature but is a mad man in a costume who seems like he really does think he is one, he as well is motivated by greed but also has pride as he wants to be the man who kills Doc Savage! While he fails and is made quick work of and is later killed in the cave in, I find him to be a cool bad guy who a great classic werewolf look and has a Marvel Horror look. The story of this case is really cool and is set in the woods of Canada with a werewolf on the loose and oddly reminded me of the silent film Wolf Blood from 1925 that is a semi werewolf film set in the snowy woods of Canada. The Doc Savage series from Marvel Comics reminds me why I loved the 70’s era of Marvel as they had some many amazing comics going beyond their Superhero and original Horror lines with titles like Godzilla, Planet Of The Apes, Tarzan Lord Of The Apes, Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica showcasing they knew how to make good comic based on film, novel and TV properties. The cover for this one is eye catching and really cool and again like clock work Ross’s interior art is amazing and he really was one of Marvel’s talented artists of the time that should be way more respect in these modern times. Over all I have to say I enjoyed the Doc Savage comic run at Marvel Comics quite a bit and while Doc Savage is a dated character and even by 1970’s he was a little out of date, they did a great job of bringing the 1930’s into the 70’s and making it seem right at home in the disco era. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Ross and see how this series looked.

Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 1Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 2Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 3

But wait there is more as the Doc Savage fun continues, as we will be also taking a look at his two other Marvel appearances that had him teaming with the likes of Spider-Man and The Thing! I also want to say that a Giant Size Doc Savage # 1 was released by Marvel but was just a reprint of the first two issues in the series. It also makes me wonder why Doc Savage only lasted for eight issues, I would guess poor sales…but I could not say for sure. So if you are still up for some classic detective adventure, let’s go on two more adventures with Doc.

Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic

Giant Size Spider-Man # 3  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .50     Marvel    # 3 of 6

Desinna is a strange woman from another world and time who has sent a message to Spider-Man to meet her at an old building in New York that is set to be torn down, and while inside she shows Spidey a look into the past as Doc Savage in the 1930’s also has gotten a message to investigate that very building as something is just not right with it. Back in the 70’s before Desinna can inform Spider-Man on what is going on the ground shakes knocking her out and Spider-Man is faced with a giant goat legged monster that wants him dead! The giant is named Tarros and he is also from the past and his body is made up of an electric field, and Spider-Man out smarts the giant and over loads the field and sends him away. After the fight Desinna wakes back up and once more has Spidey take a look at Doc Savage in the 30’s at this same sight. While Doc and The Fabulous Five are looking around they meet Desinna who informs them that she is from another dimension and that her world they have created a time machine, but something has went wrong and scientist Tarros had his life spirit taken away and now its twisted and evil and is about to run wild in New York, just then the Giant Tarros appears and Doc Savage and his friends spring into action fighting the creature and Doc Savage being the man he is figures out a way to trap Tarros into a dated stone that’s in the building trapping him inside it as long as the building stands. Back to Spider-Man’s time he figures out that Desinna is worried that when the building is demolished the next day the evil will be unleashed again, but Spider-Man has figured it out and Tarros is not the bad guy it’s Desinna who tricked the old man and had him stuck in time! Spider-Man frees the spirit of Tarros and Desinna is sent back to her world to face punishment.

This is a fun idea of a crossover between Spider-Man and Doc Savage that could have been a heck of a lot better as the major downfall for me is that Spidey and Doc never really meet nor do they even really team up! The plot has a lady from another dimension playing victim to heroes from two different decades in order to try and cover up her evil actions in her own world. Desinna is a pretty woman who has a sinister side that is hidden deep in her charm, she is a mastermind that tricked a wise old scientist from her world and is still using her charm to trick heroes into covering up her mistake and doing her dirty work. When she is figured out and sent to face punishment she still tries to use her charm and beauty to save her own hide. The man she tricked is Tarros who’s spirit was stuck in a field of energy and can not speak English and because of his monster look is easily judged by those tricked by Desinna’s charm and words. Doc Savage comes to the aid of a woman in need and battle a massive electric monster to save our world and hers, and uses his brains and strength to bring the creature down, but sadly he was played a fool all that time ago and was tricked into just beating down a victim even more by the one who started the crime. In other words the hero Doc Savage that has always been shown to be a very smart man as well as a great detective was tricked by a pretty face and the old time belief that women cannot be bad. Spider-Man meanwhile has to sit and watch the events of the past and then solve the case that he is about to be made a fool of just like Savage was by a lady who is evil. I like that Spidey quickly figured it all out, and even after fighting with the spirit puts the pieces together to help save him and allow justice to happen in another dimension. Also I get the feeling that Spider-Man knows that Doc Savage really dropped the ball bad, and is in his own way making excuses for him by saying he was a product of his time. While this was a fun way to bring two heroes together from two different periods of time, I felt that it could have been done better like why not have Desinna take Spider-Man back in time to team with Doc Savage in order to bring down her enemy, and have them both figure out she is the real bad one, or even vice versa. The lack of real interaction between Spidey and Doc was a major letdown and much of the issues pages are spent on Desinna’s lies and tricks. But with that said I did enjoy the elements of each hero doing their thing, that’s why I have given it a slightly above average star rating as while flawed it was still a fund read. The cover is pretty cool and reminds me of an old Marvel Team Up cover and the interior art is great as once more Ross Andru shows his talents. Over all a fun issue and a good read for fans of Spider-Man and Doc Savage, just don’t go in thinking you will see them fight the monster together. Check out some artwork below from this Giant Size issue.

Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 1Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 2Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 3

Up next let’s see how Doc Savages team up with Fantastic Four member The Thing goes! And again what a strange crossover for our hero of the 1930’s!

Marvel Two In One 21

Marvel Two-In-One # 21  **1/2
Released in 1976      Cover Price .30     Marvel     # 21 of 100

At the Baxter Building The Thing is working out and The Human Torch goes to the elevator and is greeted by Janice Lightner who faints once she enters, meanwhile in 1936 Mrs. Lightner travels up the elevator and as well faints once hitting the office of Doc Savage! And in both times the Lightner ladies tell the story of abuse, crazy ideas, madness and wasted fortunes and Janice is the daughter of Mrs. Lightner and it seems like the past and present are playing out the same. The ladies asking for help both speak of The Sky Cannon a powerful weapon that pulls down star energy and places it into a human host and in both cases the weapon is about to be used by the males of the family to show that they are not mad and true power is out there and can be placed into one man! All the heroes from both decades rush to the lab and have their flying vehicles struck by The Star Cannon merging both words together so Doc Savage, Renny, Monk, The Thing, Human Torch and Janice Lightner fall from the sky as inside the lab father and son merge into a new super villain named Blacksun. As the heroes shake off the fall and introductions happen Blacksun appears and is ready for a fight using his beams of energy to try and bring down the heroes, Monk and Renny uses their none kill bullet to no effect and an attack by the Human Torch is shrugged off. The Thing is next up and tries to clobber Blacksun only for it also to fail, but Doc Savage is up next and notices that when the clouds black the stars he has a chance to land punches and does just that causing Blacksun to try and run away into space as he wants to enter a black hole. The Thing and Doc Savage hold onto the villain for as long as they can before falling back to solid ground, but Blacksun as well learns that he can not breath in high altitude and falls to Earth hard causing an end to his rampage and also sends Doc Savage and his crew back to the 1930’s. In the end The Thing and Human Torch promise to Janice to get Blacksun (her brother and father as one) the help that he needs.

See this issue of Marvel Two-In-One was done right as Doc Savage comes to the then modern time and fights alongside a Marvel superhero in order to stop a villain from destroying the universe. The plot for this issue has the Lightner family in the 1930’s and the 1970’s following the same path at using a weapon called The Star Cannon in order to draw pure power from the stars and when they fire it up it merges Doc Savage and his crew into the 70’s in order to help The Thing stop the end of the world and light as we know it. The Thing and Human Torch show why they are heroes as these two members of the Fantastic Four rush to aid a woman who needs them to stop her brother from doing something really stupid. The Thing is as strong as ever and tries his best to use his strength to k.o the issues villain as The Human Torch uses his fire blasts, and while they both fail in their attacks when teaming together with Doc Savage they are able to save the day. I also like that The Thing is a fan of Doc Savage and wants his autograph and is even star struck when he sees him! Renny and Monk are apart of Savage’s crew and while they try and help they really are background players. Doc Savage is as always quiet, watching and figuring out how to defeat the bad guy that is in his way! He is the one who figures out the clouds can be used in order to land hits of Blacksun and as well seems to understand that he has time traveled and just rolls with getting help from a man that is one fire and another that is massive and made of orange rocks. Blacksun is a interesting bad guy that is made up of star energy, a living son and the dead spirit of his father and as well almost like the backside of the sun who can fly, shoot energy beams and even has a dark force field around him, but his ego helps bring him down as he tries to fly to space only to blackout and burnout. Again I can not stress that this is a crossover done right as Doc Savage meets The Thing and Human Torch and works alongside them for the greater good of mankind. The cover is amazing and eye catching and has The Thing and Doc Savage rushing to action and the interior art is top notch and done by Ron Wilson. Oh and this issue also has a cameo from Tony Stark (Iron Man) and they mention Donald Blake (Thor) and this is also a part one of a three issue story but this one is the only one to feature Doc Savage as the next two issues has Thor teaming with them. Over all this was a solid and fun read that brings a classic hero together with superheroes and is well worth checking out. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Ron Wilson used in this issue.

Marvel Two In One 21 Art 1Marvel Two In One 21 Art 2Marvel Two In One 21 Art 3

As you can see, Marvel Comics did a good job of bringing Doc Savage to the pages of comic books, and while the novels are better, these comics are still a great read for fans of the character. For me it was lots of fun to look back at this character and it was nice to go back to my youth and relive the fandom I had for a character that sadly I have neglected for many years now. Next year 2022 Rotten Ink turns 10 years old, and I am going to cover the whole year stuff I love from comics to movies to horror hosts and will really go back to my youth and the joys of growing up in Waynesville! So for my next update, I will be of course covering a Horror Host to celebrate 10 Years Of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and our last host for the year will be Ohio’s biggest one, and I am of course talking about Ghoulardi! So until next time, read a Marvel Comic or three, watch a cheesy action film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update and remember turn blue!

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Beware The Wrath Of The Satan’s Six!

I think if you ever have read comics at any time in your life, one creator whose work you have seen or at least have heard of his legend being spoken about in comic shops and or blogs is Jack “The King” Kirby, a man who created some very iconic characters for both Marvel and DC as well as indies! I mean he is the creative mind behind such characters as The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Captain America, The New Gods, Darkseid, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury, Devil Dinosaur, Silver Star, Captain Victory, OMAC, The Eternals, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Doom and so many more! Jack Kirby really is a true icon in the world of comic books, and when people talk about how much he made an impact on the industry, they are not lying! And that’s why in 1993 indie comic publisher Topps Comics wanted to make a impact in the superhero genre and talked to Jack Kirby about bringing some of his characters from the past as well as new ones to readers hands with the Kirbyverse line. For this update we will be taking a look at one of the comic miniseries from that line call Satan’s Six! So if you are ready, let’s travel back to the early 90’s when the comic boom was going strong as we take a trip with Kirby and a pack of strange heroes of sorts.

Topps Comics was trying really hard to be a force in the world of comics, and in 1993 they licensed mostly unused characters Jack Kirby created many years in his past that other companies passed on as well as brought some of his indie comic characters like Captain Victory and Silver Star back to the comic world. This was called The Kirbyverse and was Topps’ way of entering the superhero market.  They thought that they had a very big chance of making a massive splash with Captain Glory, Bombast, Satan’s Six, NightGlider and TeenAgents…sadly, this proved to not be true. Topps Comics pushed the Kirbyverse hard and even comic retailers were itching to get new first issues  of the Kirby-created characters on their shelves so copies were ordered and shelves were well stocked, but the readers just was not there. They even gave away very cool chrome trading cards of the comic with issues, trying to give readers a little extra for their bucks. Diehard Jack Kirby fans bought them but were disappointed that Jack did none of the artwork or if he did, it was a page or so.  Some casual readers checked them out and of course the oil stain of comic collecting, the none-reading speculator resellers, bought the first issues thinking that they could sell in the future for millions, but sales dipped bad after the first issue and the line was considered a failure. Topps ended up canceling the titles with some of them never even finishing up their mini series run. And the worst part of it all is that the comics were really good and had a very classic superhero feel to them.  I think now in modern times the series is a little more respected and readers have discovered that they are good reads with interesting superhero characters. Topps pulled the plug on The Kirbyverse only one year into its run so 1994 marked the end. Sadly Topps Comics would close up shop in 1998 and thus ended an indie comic company that was doing some amazing and fun stuff. I hope that one day Topps gets back into the world of comic books and that they pick up were they left off as they did some really cool comics based on horror movies and I always say we need more companies doing that.

The Satan’s Six is a team of evildoers who are brought together by Satan himself to cause chaos and strike fear in the hearts of the living, well and he finds them to be dull and dolts and wants them to return to Earth in order to get their pitchfork and find their own place in Hell. Placed in charge of them is Odious Kamodious, a demon who made the deal with the Devil as well as our “heroes” to return to Earth to do evil deeds. The team consists of Knight Brian Bluedragon who’s evil deeds always seem to turn good, Dezira is a temptress who is too sweet to do any real harm, African warrior Kuga The Lion-Killer is a skilled warrior who has a soft side for animals, Doctor Mordius a failed serial killer who is much like a tame Jekyll and Hyde, Gambler and con-artist Hard Luck Harrigan is always looking to cheat and lastly is demon Frightful who is a member of the team to make sure they stay in line and do the deeds they are asked to do. And while these fiends are in limbo waiting to get into Hell they for some reason also have hero qualities to them as they fail in all things evil. Just wanted to give you a quick crash course of who the team members are before we head into the review part of this update. I also should state that Satan’s Six was an old concept that Jack had that was not picked up by a publisher until Topps Comics came along and gave them a shot on the comic shelves.

Did you know that also in 2000 Dark Horse Entertainment bought the film rights to Satan’s Six with the idea of developing a movie based on the comic? As of this posting of this update the film has never been made. I would also like to thank Bookie Parlor and Mavericks Cards And Comics for introducing me to this comic series when it was released back in 1993 and making this update possible. 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready let’s travel to the offices of Odious Kamodious and see what The Satan’s Six has in store for us, and keep in mind I have not read these sense they first came out and I can remember liking them when I was a youngster so let’s see if they hold up now that I am in my 40’s!

Satan’s Six # 1  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics    # 1 of 4

Pristine is an angel who watches over comic books, comic creators, comic characters and sometimes comic fans and she is acting as our narrator in order to introduce us to our “heroes” a group of souls that are trapped in limbo as they have not got called to take their place in Heaven nor Hell. In limbo hanging out together is Dezira, Doctor Mordius, Hard Luck Harrigan and Kuga The Lion-Killer and they are looking for their friend Brian Bluedragon who is on a quest to get into Hell and ask demon Odious Kamodious to place them who argues that they have not done enough evil to be in Hell nor have they done enough good to be in heaven and as the pair go back and fourth Pristine cuts in and wants us readers to know a little more about Brian Bluedragon who was a knight that wanted to take his place with King Arthur who was insulted by the cocky nature of Bluedragon and had him kicked out of Camelot, while outside the gates he made a bad decision and signed his soul over to Satan and as the contract was signed he was ran over by a cart…and this made it impossible for him to go to Hell as he did nothing bad and the contract with Satan had him barred from Heaven and now limbo is his home. Pristine then gives us a brief history of the others that will make up this team. Back at the office of Odious Kamodious he comes up with a mission that will allow Bluedragon to earn his way into Hell and that’s by returning to Earth and the living and sway people to give their souls to Satan, he then gives him a team that is Morbius, Harrigan, Dezira and Kuga as well as two minor demons named Narvag and Sucnip who will drive the Hellicopter that will take them to Earth. Once on Earth they find that a place called Club Inferno is their base and the club uses a Satanic-Tech to make those who enter feel like they are wherever the desire, they meet Virus the man in charge of the club as well as full fledge demon Frightful who is the real boss of Satan’s Six!

The first issue of Satan’s Six is a great way to introduce this new team to readers as we get a quick crash course of who they all are and why they are stuck in limbo, we also see that they are not really evil and are just bored with being in limbo so would even take a deal to get into Hell in order to have a change of pace in the after life. Brian Bluedragon is a knight who’s ego seems to always get the better of him, and when he insults King Arthur of Camelot and is banned from his holy kingdom, he out of spite gives his soul to Satan. While Bluedragon is a screw up and clearly has an ego the size of the Empire State Building stacked on top of the Statue Of Liberty he is not a bad person, he just makes very bad decisions. And that can be said about the rest of his team as Dezira is a wannabe temptress from the Babylon days who is just an airhead, Dr. Morbius is a liar who wants to act as if he is a world infamous serial killer with a super high body count when he is just a scientist, Kuga The Lion-Killer is a warrior who is really a softy and Harrigan is just a guy with a gambling addiction. Virus seems like he is really into the Satanic-Tech and really wants to help send souls to Hell, he also seems like he is just following orders of the demons that are above him. Narvag and Sucnip are two goofy demons that can fly the Hellicopter and fight back and fourth like brothers. And Frightful we don’t get to see much of in this issue but its clear Hell is his business and business is evil. And poor Odious Kamodious is something of an accountant for Hell who wants to be ride of the hassle that is Bluedragon storming the gates every decade or so and comes up with this idea to get these lost souls to Satan but also wishing for a promotion if his team and idea pays off. Pristine is around and while an Angel she is mostly their to break the fourth wall and allow us the readers on the inside for a good and silly ride, oh and also Superman is flying around Heaven as he had died in the comics, while they do not call him Superman its clear that is who it is. What I like about this comics story is that while it is a Horror Comic the writers Jack Kirby and Tony Isabella do a great job and bringing humor into the mix as well as a dash of superhero and this makes for an entertaining read. And because of this Horror Comedy feel the characters are all super likable in their own ways with my two favorites being Brian Bluedragon and Kuga The Lion-Killer as I feel they are interesting and have a cool look to them. The cover for issue one is also amazing as its Jack Kirby and Todd McFarlane together and is super eye-catching and awesome. The issues interior art is done by two artist Jack Kirby and John Cleary and while the styles clash it some how works for me in a very odd way. I should also say that this issue has many guest inkers for the Kirby pages and its pretty impressive as Topps got names like Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Terry Austin, Joe Sinnott and Mike Royer to lend their inking talents. Over all I myself would say that the first issue of Satan’s Six held up for me and was just as enjoyable of a read now as it was back in 1993! So with that let’s get onto issue two and see what’s next for our motley crew team.

Satan’s Six # 2  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics     # 2 of 4

The female angel Pristine once more opens up the comics and gives readers a quick look at the first issue as well as a quick bio again of our Satan’s Six members. She also goes to Club Inferno and has Virus tell the viewers what Hell’s plan is for our team as well as the souls they help send their, and once she is done we join the team in action. At a museum two security guards are attacked and knocked out by Bluedragon and Kuga as Frightful is talking to a Professor Jacob Simon a man who is selling his soul to Satan, but does not want to see the guards be hurt. You see Professor Simon is a man down on his luck when he was fired from his job and made of joke out of by being called a fraud after discovering a massive old cocoon in a temple in South America of what he thinks is the ancient god Kalazzar, his peers and the board call it a fake and so his troubles begin as he is a man left with nothing. You see Professor Simon is only selling his soul to Satan in order to get help to stop the cocoon from hatching and allowing Kalazzar to walk the Earth again and he needs the supernatural hands of the Satan’s Six to help by touching it while he reads a spell at midnight, and things go wrong when Frightful’s watch was off and the creature God breaks free and is ready to rule the world! Professor Simon argues with Frightful that the contract was not meet and Pristine shows up and agrees with the old man! Professor Simon rushes Kalazzar who snatches him up as well as the team’s new pet dog Fury and this causes Kuga and Bluedragon to go into action and they start fighting the massive godlike being Kalazzar! Pristine informs Frightful that if either of his Satan’s Six members dies in battle trying to save the life of another will be a one way ticket for them to get into Heaven and this forces the demon to now get involved in the fight as he can not loose the souls! As the fight goes on Professor Simon and Hard Luck Harrigan run to Super K-Mart and buy a ton of insect killing sprays and with Doctor Mordius throwing a bomb into the cart the gas comes out and kills the Kalazzar! As the bomb goes off Frightful uses his body to cover Pristine showing that even this demon has a good side. In the end at Club Inferno Bluedragon and his team celebrate the win as in the other room Frightful is upset that he allowed them to fail in their mission. As for Professor Simon he finds that the two guards woke up and watched as he helped save the world and will try and help him get his job back.

The Satan’s Six in this second issue shows that they are kind of clueless when it comes to being evil and tricking humans into giving their souls as they act more like noble heroes as they risk their lives in order to help save a normal mans life who they are suppose to get his soul, and this makes them heroes and opens them up to become angels in Heaven! Poor Professor Jacob Simon is a man who is good at his job and discovers the gateway for a massive insect world destroying creature and is told that he is a fake and a fraud and is fired from his job, and is willing to sell his soul to Satan in order to get help in order to stop the creature from returning showing that while what is did is wrong the reason was noble as he wanted to save the world from destruction. Kalazzar is the insect God like creature that is back on Earth and wants to take over but is stopped by the Satan’s Six as well as incest killer that were bought from K-Mart! While I am sure Kalazzar was super dangerous in his time he is no match for Raid bug spray! Pristine is awesome in this issue as she uses her powers of good to point out to Frightful that not only does he have good in him but so does his team and this is awesome as it forces them all to do good in order for the Demon to not loose total control of his team! Frightful is always ready for a fight and loves being a tricky demon that wants human souls, but also shows that he is not great at his role as the teams leader as he does not stop them from doing good deeds. But I also think that Frightful has a major crush on Pristine as he is willing to risk his safety in order to save her. The Satan’s Six are anti-heroes who think they are doing bad things when in fact they are doing good things and are helping save souls and not taking them, also its clear that Bluedragon and Dezira are becoming boyfriend and girlfriend and that they are all working well together now and are meshing as a team. They also now have a pet dog named Fury that is mean and ready to bite those who stand in the groups way! I would say that once more Bluedragon and Kuga are my two favorite characters as they are the ones who fight the insect creature hand to hand and have no fear and are true brave and noble warriors. The cover for issue two is pretty great and shows the Satan’s Six in battle with Kalazzar and is super 90’s and cool looking. The interior art is done by John Cleary and is good in its own way and has the true 90’s indie comic look to it. Over all another great issue of Satan’s Six that held up for me after all these years and makes me look forward to reading the next again as well!

Satan’s Six # 3  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics     # 3 of 4

Film director Lloyd Kaufman is walking down the street in California and he is disappointed that his actor Samson has turned into Samantha and quite acting to become a showgirl in Vegas and that leaves his new movie “Ugly Annihilator” without his star! While in Limbo two demons have been ordered to guard a hole that has been caused by human pollution and the powers that be are mad that Elvis Presley escaped in order to eat at a Burger Barn, but when the Hunchback Of Notre Dame himself Quasimodo is upset that his ex-girlfriend Dezira has been sent back to Earth he makes a break for it as he wants to save her from Satan’s deal but instead once on Earth he runs into Lloyd Kaufman who casts him as the lead in his film! Meanwhile at Club Inferno things are slow when Frightful gets an order from Hell to bring back Quasimodo and when Bluedragon finds out that the deaf bell ringer use to date his lady he gets jealous and swears to re-kill Quasimodo and send him back to limbo! At the Mann’s Chinese Theater the premier of Ugly Annihilator both Lloyd Kaufman and Quasimodo are being interviewed by a entertainment show about the film and speaking about Dezira when the Satan’s Six show up and Bluedragon wants to start a fight with Quasimodo! The fight is brutal and Quasimodo is besting Bluedragon when Pristine appears and stops the fight an alerts Quasimodo that he had gained his ticket to Heaven as he risked his own soul in order to return to Earth to warn Dezira of her bad deal with Satan! Quasimodo is so happy to be going to Heaven and decides to stay on Earth for a little bit as he now has a three picture deal with Troma! In the end Dezira and Bluedragon are happy to be together and as the Satan’s Six are going back to Club Inferno outside is another of Dezira’s ex-boyfriends and its Attila The Hun!

This is such a crazy issue that brings together so many amazing elements that include classic literature character Quasimodo, Troma Entertainment co-owner Lloyd Kaufman, Hollywood and of course our stars Satan’s Six! The plot is simple and has Satan’s Six having to bring back an escaped soul back to limbo, but like before instead of getting souls for Satan they help a soul go to God. The Satan’s Six are hired guns from Hell who are really just being used and while they try to complete their tasks they just are not very good at it, and with Dezira being a temptress and a sweet woman she has a charm to her that makes people fall in love with her and that’s why her new boyfriend Bluedragon is so protective of her and when he finds out that her Ex is back on Earth his pride and ego kicks in and leads him to making bad decisions that has him getting beat up. Really while Satan’s Six get along with each other, they are also very much at times disorganized and seem very reluctant to help at times in battles and that goes more for the likes of Harrigan who is not a fighter and is just a gambler. And this failed mission of soul gathering is the fault of Frightful, who sends the team to Hollywood alone as he claimed he has an allergy to Hollywood, and is not their to truly guide them from winning God a soul from Limbo. Quasimodo aka The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is a man who has fallen in love with a temptress by the name of Dezira and escapes limbo in order to try and save her soul from Satan and in doing so ends up not only becoming a movie star for Troma Entertainment but also gets a ticket into Heaven! Its also really cool to hear why Quasimodo was in limbo as he was a good soul but he did kill a person inside the house of God making him a strange case for where is soul would end up. Pristine once more comes to the team’s rescue as she saves another soul and is clearly doing her best to not allow the members of Satan’s Six to damn their own. And good old Lloyd Kaufman just wants to make his movie and make big profits and find his next big star, and let’s just say its awesome that they have Kaufman in this issue and I will speak more on that a little later in this update. The cover is cool and is a spoof of TV show Entertainment Tonight and has Bluedragon and Quasimodo fighting it out! The interior art is solid indie 90’s stuff and is still being done by John. Like before this issue has held up for me after all these years and I am shocked that I forgot that Lloyd Kaufman was a character in this series. Well let’s see what the fourth and final issue has in store for us.

Satan’s Six # 4  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics      # 4 of 4

At the Inferno Club Odious Kamodious is yelling at everyone and is really mad at Frightful as the Virus alerts them all that the number of souls being sent to Hell has dropped sense Satan’s Six has been sent to Earth so the team has done the opposite of what they have been contracted to do. Odious Kamodious then tells Frightful that he has a replacement as the Leader of this team set and its Jason Voorhees! And with that Jason Voorhees is in the Inferno Club and from the start tries to attack everyone and while Bluedragon, Kuga and Frightful try to hold Jason off the one who summoned him Odious Kamodious uses a spell and sends him back to Hell. Odious Kamodious then alerts them that they will no longer be trying to win over souls for Hell but they will now be soul collectors who are sent after people who have sold their souls and their first collection is a guy named Big John Gavin who signed his away for help against crime bosses and to rise to power and wealth in the city of Chicago’s crime. The team gear up and get ready as Harrigan seems to be bothered as they are returning to his home town, and they also learn that Angel Pristine is going along this bounty collecting mission. While Big John knows they are coming for him and alongside his friend and muscle bound trainer Bjorn they come up with a plan to fight the demons off and to save his soul. Satan’s Six shows up at Big John’s home and we find out that he was once a bad guy but has now turned his life around and was once the best friend of Hard Luck Harrigan and changed his life after Harrigan was killed in a Mob shootout. Frightful doesn’t care about the change as the contract was signed and its time for his soul to be collected, while Big John runs from Bluedragon and Kuga his friend Bjorn has a fist fight with Frightful as Dr. Mordius by accident turns his own head into a giant flower from a bad potion all the while Pristine and Dezira watch from the sidelines. While all this madness is going on Harrigan disappears and all of a sudden lawyers for Big John show up and discover that the world soul is spelled wrong in the contract as its sole so Big John pays up with one of his old smelly shoes and the Satan’s Six is forced to return to base with one shoe as their prize. Later that night Pristine visits Harrigan and informs him that she will put in a good word for him in Heaven as she knows that it was he who changed the wording on the contract to save his friends soul from damnation. Harrigan tells her thanks but he now has new friends that need his help as Fury is chasing Dr. Mordius around who still has a flower head mistaking him for a tree.

Satan’s Six is not for everyone as it really is a very silly Horror Comedy comic that has elements of Superhero to it and the humor is super cheesy as is the plots and jokes. The final issues plot has our team going to collect a soul on a contract date and soon finds that the one they are after was the best friend of their teammate Harrigan and he uses his gambling under hand tricks in order to save his friend from an Eternity in Hell. The Satan’s Six members seem to know that they are failures and go along with the job change as it seems like it would be more easy to do, and like always the fail in their mission and another person is saved. Hard Luck Harrigan is the main focus of the team in this final issue as we get to know that he is from Chicago and only sold his soul in order to save his but from some bad dudes he pulled a con over on, we also know that he died via being shot multiple times by Mobsters. While Harrigan has done bad things in his life he also clearly cares about his friends old and new and will do the right thing to protect them. The other member that takes a spotlight is Frightful the demon who is saddled with having to lead these goofs in mission that they always seem to fail, he is super annoyed by them and it’s clear he knows that this experiment will not end well for him nor Odious Kamodious who came up with this earn you place in Hell plan. And that’s the thing while all the members of Satan’s Six stay the same for the most part, their more good nature is brought out over the four issue mini series. Having a cameo by Jason Voorhees that also acts as a plug for the film and comic adaptation was also a nice touch and helped add to both the Horror and the Humor as he tried to slash Odious Kamodious with his trusty machete causing the demon to scream for help. And just like the Lloyd Kaufman cameo, we will talk a little more about it later in this update. The comic is bloodless and goreless and the Horror elements more come from the fact it’s about Hell and souls being taken to it than your normal 90’s Horror Comic flare. And I am proud to say that I enjoyed this mini series in 1993 when it was released and in 2021 still found myself enjoying it and wishing that Topps Comics would have given us more, well they kind of did with the three issue mini series “Satan’s Six Hellspawn” but that will be for another update in the future. The cover for this issue is eye catching as it has stars all around a chrome version of Jason Voorhees’s hockey mask and would surly bring Horror Comic readers in. The comics interior art is done by John Clary again, and I have to say I think is art got better every issue. Now one thing that many readers had issues with is that Jack Kirby only did a few pages in the first issue before John took over, and I get it as we all love Kirby’s work but keep in mind this comic series came out very shortly before his death. I would say that if you enjoy 90’s indie Horror Comedy Comics, enjoyed Topps Comics, like the characters of Jack Kirby then make sure to check out this mini series as its worth a read and is pretty dang enjoyable. Check out the artwork below with the first being Kirby and the other two being Johns to see they styles used in this comic.

Ok so let’s now quickly talk about how issue four of Satan’s Six has a cameo from Jason Voorhees from the Friday The 13th film series and the coolest part about this is that this is Jason’s first comic book appearance! The version of Jason used is from Jason Goes To Hell and that makes sense as Topps was also gearing up to do the adaptation of that film. While many reviewers trash the cameo from Jason as they use terms like “Shoe Horned In,” I myself feel like the cameo was well done and showed that even in Hell Jason can not be controlled and just has the urge to kill and kill! And even during the cameo Pristine points out that the cameo was to advertise from the film and comic, as the cameo is used as a humor bit as well as a horror one. It’s also cool to see The Satan’s Six team up on Jason to keep him at bay until he is sent away again. Take a look at the art below to see how Jason looks in this comic.

Ok the other shocking and super random cameo is from Lloyd Kaufman, director and co-owner of Troma Entertainment! That’s right, the mastermind behind the films Toxic Avenger and Class Of Nuke‘Em High shows up in issue three of this series! And Uncle Lloyd being in this comic just shows how much fun Topps Comics had making these issues as they did not follow the normal rules of mainstream comics and added crazy cameos as well as took chances on some classic heroes as well as unproven properties. I just wanted to quickly address how random and awesome this comic cameo was, and let’s be honest, more comics need Lloyd in them! Again all you Troma fans, make sure to check out this issue in order to see Lloyd hire the Hunchback Of Notre Dame for a movie roll.

Satan’s Six might not be the most iconic Jack Kirby created team and in reality they are not even really known to many comic readers as they failed to make a major impact on readers and comic history. But for me, a comic reader who grew up reading Topps Comics, they are a very cool and iconic part of my childhood that brought me some laughs as well as chills and even delivered some amazing cameos that pleased the Monster Kid that I was and am. I really like all the members of the team, and my favorite is Kuga The Lion-Killer as he is truly a brave warrior who has a soft spot for animals. But while Satan’s Six is over, do not worry as we will visit that world again when I do cover the Hellspawn mini series and this will also not be the last time that we take a look at the Kirbyverse here on Rotten Ink as at some point I will cover Captain Glory, Bombast and the others. But for now its time to leave the Kirbyverse as we will next be meeting up in the 1930’s and will be going on some heroic adventures with the one and only Doc Savage in the Marvel Universe! So until then, make sure to read a Topps Comics or three, watch a Horror Comedy film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in a few weeks for a classic hero good time.

The Wild West Tale Of Brave Eagle

Western films and shows are something I have always greatly enjoyed, and when I think of them many things come to my mind as growing up I loved The Lone Ranger and was into watching many western films and shows on TV with The Rifleman still to this day being in my top five favorite shows of all time. I mean heck I even helped produce a western film in 2015 called “Calamity Jane’s Revenge” directed by Henrique Couto and starring Erin R. Ryan, Julia Gomez, Todd The Fox, former WWE wrestler Al Snow and even my cousin Stephen Alexander had a small role! But the main thing I think of is my Grandpa John Salyers, who was very much into old westerns as he loved John Wayne films had a ton of old western films on VHS and as well had a collection of old paperback western books. My Grandpa John was an amazing man who had Native American blood in his veins and was a hard workingman who was a sharpshooter in the army as well as a self taught handyman, factory worker and an amazing farmer who would grow massive fields of vegetables. Hands down in my real life my three biggest role models of my family are my Grandpa John, my Dad and Brother who are all outstanding people who are hardworking and creative people. Wait I need to get back to the topic at hand and that’s Westerns, and this update is about a TV show from the 50’s that I discovered in 2020 and even had some comics released thanks to DELL Comics! The show I am talking about is Brave Eagle, and I am really exited to bring you this update as I am looking forward to reading the comics and watching the show for the first time! So sit back, relax and enjoy!

Brave Eagle 1

Brave Eagle was a CBS TV series that started in 1955 and would air at 7:30pm and would go up against Disneyland on ABC! The show was filmed at Roy Rogers’ ranches in California and was way ahead of it time as it was the first series on television to feature a Native American character as the lead and as well focused on issues that tribes had to face from racism to smallpox and really helped bring these issues to the light and educated viewers who for decades had seen Native Americans as savages in media. This showed them as people. Brave Eagle was set in the old west and followed a young Cheyenne chief who leads his tribe in a time when white settlers are taking over the land and fellow tribes are at war with each other. Other characters included Morning Star, the show’s love interest for Brave Eagle, as well as Keena (his adopted son), Smokey Joe, Black Cloud and Black Raven to name a few. The show was well liked but sadly could not bring in the numbers that Disney did on the other station, and after only one season and 26 episodes, the show came to an end. And being from 1955-1956 sadly over the years many episodes have been lost making reruns on stations like MeTv impossible. The series also had many guest stars from the world of westerns like Lee Van Cleef, Rick Vallin, Ann Doran and Steve Rains to name a few and what really is awesome for me is that Roy Rogers and his production company made the show as Roy is one of my all time favorite classic western actors not to mention is Restaurant chains are also amazing. So while Brave Eagle only lasted one season, its impact on Western shows really did make an impact as it showcased that Native American characters could be the lead in a series. I will say that it’s a shame they cast a white actor in the role of Brave Eagle and not a Native American actor, but at least it was a start for change.

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Brave Eagle has been released on home media, but of course not as the full series as I have said sadly many episodes are missing and are lost. But thanks to the folks at Alpha Video, all the episodes that have been found have come to DVD in three volumes! And honestly it’s a big thanks to Alpha for alerting me to this show as while shopping their website for Lon Chaney Sr. silent films I came across a three pack of Brave Eagle and being a western fan I had to order it and of course learn about it and once I did I knew it had to get the Rotten Ink treatment! And once I got the DVD’s in from Alpha Video I was set some time aside and gave them a watch, and here is my thoughts on the show as well as the DVD’s put out by Alpha Video. And on a lazy day in 2021 I decided to pop the DVD into the Blu-Ray player, and Juliet and I watched an episode while we ate dinner and I have to say that the show while very cheesy for todays viewing audience, when you sit back and relax and look past all the flaws it really is a fun show! It’s as basic as basic can be in plots and the acting at times is a little stiff and the narration seems like its from a bad documentary, but to be honest all of that added to the charm for me. The prints of the episodes from Alpha Video are ok and some episodes are better than others as issues include soft sound, tape to digital transfers and even at times a little off center. But for this rare and sadly forgotten TV Series this is the best as of now you are going to get them on DVD.

Brave Eagle DVD 1Brave Eagle DVD 2Brave Eagle DVD 3

Keith Larsen was born Keith Larsen Burt on June 17, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah and had a normal childhood for that time growing up. During World War II, he served in the Navy, and after his military career ended he got the bug to start acting! And once he started he could not stop as he not only became an actor he also directed, wrote and produced films and shows. His first role was in 1951 as an uncredited part in Operation Pacific as Crewman, his first credited roll came in 1952 in episodes of the TV series Space Patrol and from there, his acting career took off with some of his biggest roles being in such shows and films as Fort Vengeance (1953), Chief Crazy Horse (1955), Brave Eagle (1955-56), Apache Warrior (1957), Northwest Passage (1959) and Trap On Cougar Mountain (1972). For me his role as Preacher Ezra Jackson in the 1970 film Night Of The Witches is pretty dang awesome as it was a Horror Comedy he also wrote and directed! His final role came in 1982’s western film Whitewater Sam that he also wrote and directed. Keith Larsen was also married three times with his second wife being actress Vera Miles who is known for being Lila Crane in Psycho 1-2! He also had three kids, and I should also say that he was a true icon of that era of westerns. Keith Larsen passed away on December 13, 2006 at the age of 82, and while gone he is not forgotten.

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The series lead actress Kim Winona was a full blooded Sioux Indian whose real name was Constance Elaine Mackey was born on October 10, 1930 in Nebraska and in her youth lived on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and later would go on to live in Spokane, Washington at the age of 17. While in Washington, she meet her first husband, a man named Harvey Buck. The pair married in 1951 and would move to Los Angeles where she would become a sectary for a commercial artist and while working this job her natural beauty caught the eye of many and she would go on to do modeling as well to earn extra money. From her modeling she caught the attention of a talent scout who encouraged her to try her hand at acting and she read for a part in the 1956 film “The Last Hunt” and while she did not get the part she was hired to promote it as “Miss Apache”. Her first role came in 1955 as Morning Star on Brave Eagle and she was a lead in all 26 episodes. The show’s executive producer Mike North hired her for this part as he thought she was perfect and captured the essence of the character. Constance would take on the stage name Kim Winona at first and would as well go by Connie Buck for future roles after Brave Eagle ended. She would go on to be in such films and shows as The Man Called X, Cheyenne, Rough Riders, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and 1961’s film Gun Fight. Kim walked away from acting to focus on her art, as she was a very talented painter and sculptor with one of her sculptures being on displayed at the Carnegie Institute! Kim was married three times and had two daughters from those marriages. Sadly Constance Elaine Mackey passed away on June 23, 1978 at the age of 47 from suicide by gunshot due to depression, and the world lost a truly lovely and creative soul. Rest In Peace Constance Elaine Mackey aka Kim Winona, your art and roles will live on forever.

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While the show only lasted one season, it like all western shows and movies of that time, got tons of great merchandise for fans to collect that includes comics, a coloring book, metal lunchbox, episodes on DVD and a Little Golden Book even! Since I found out about this show I have myself got the DVD set, all the comics and am on the hunt for the Lunchbox! I have heard rumors that Marx Toys did figures based on the show, but besides hearsay I have found zero evidence that they were made…but if they were I would definitely buy the figures of Brave Eagle and Morning Star! Check out below to see some of this awesome merchandise.

Brave Eagle BookBrave Eagle Lunch BoxBrave Eagle Coloring Book

I also want to take a brief second to say that on October 3, 2021 while at the Springfield Antique Center Building 2, Juliet and I found something very cool and that was a plush doll of Irwin Troll of comic strip Broom-Hilda fame! And if you remember back in the review for the Irwin Troll paperback comic strip book that I did on September 12, 2020 I talked about wanting one of the dolls and finally a little over a year later I own one! And the shocking part is that it was only $5.00! So I just wanted to update you readers on the fact that Juliet and I finally found an Irwin Troll doll, and we got it for a great price and we both think it’s super cool. And for those of you who have not read my update on Irwin Troll please make sure to check out the update here. And below is two pictures of our Irwin doll on the day we got him.

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The Brave Eagle comics by DELL were part of their Four Color series that featured comics based on cartoons, TV shows, movies and famous people. And I must take a moment as well to say just how awesome DELL was as a comic publisher as they did some many comics based on so many amazing properties like Universal Monsters, Vincent Price Films, Steve Reeve Hercules films, Looney Tunes, Walt Disney Characters. Three Stooges, Yogi Bear and so many Western films and shows! No modern comic company does what they did back in their time and that’s why DELL is one of the most important independent comic publishers for fans of licensed properties. I want to think Ebay sellers for having all these issues in stock at great prices and I also want to think my gal Juliet for ordering them all for me. 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 its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see how well Brave Eagle translated to the world of comic books. Oh I will also be numbering these in the number they were released as well as using Brave Eagle as the title and not Four Color. So let’s see what Brave Eagle has in-store for us in these comic pages.

Brave Eagle Comic 1

Brave Eagle # 1  **1/2
Released in 1956     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 705 of 1354

“The Mask Of The Manitou” Brave Eagle and Smokey end up saving the life of a Blackfoot Warrior who was being attacked by Comanches, after run off the wounded warriors asks via his Chief Sun Bear if they could bring his tribes women and kids to his land for safety and he agrees. While Brave Eagle and Smokey help the Blackfoot settle into their new temporary home, and young Keena is hunting and bags a massive elk that will feed both tribes and so badly wants to share this news with his father and almost gets crushed by a mountain landslide to do so! The landslide destroys all the Blackfoot’s food and Brave Eagle and Smokey at night decide to sneak into their camp and deliver food as a surprise, and Keena as well wants to bring his big elk on his own to surprise them. But a Comanche Warrior that was a prisoner escapes and meets him with his fellow warriors and pins down Brave Eagle, Smokey and Morning Star who arrived to warn them of the prisoners escape by firing arrows at them. Brave Eagle fights back and takes down the Comanches and is able to deliver the food before sunrise, and as he and the others leave he watches in pride as his son delivers the elk. “The Gold Of Haunted Mountain” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey meet up with Chris Wilkins who is a miner who is a friend of the tribe and he asks them for a favor that he is owed to show them the entrance of a haunted mine in the mountains that is said to be filled with lots of gold, and when then do so a pair of bad guys follow and try to steal all the gold and even hold Keena as a prisoner! And it takes Brave Eagle and Smokey to act like ghosts to scare the bad guys away and into the arms of the law, and once Keena is safe they even leave Chris a gold nugget to make the old man rich who is a friend and once down on his luck.

This is a mix bagged western comic that captures some of the charm of the TV show and also added a little bit more of a comic charm to the normal western stories. This issue has two stories with both being interesting with the first story really focusing on Brave Eagle being a noble Chief to his people and fellow tribes and gaining pride in his son who does what is right to got get the glory that would come with it. And the second story is more of a Brave Eagle stops criminals from stealing gold and gets a deserter captured by the Calvary. Brave Eagle is a tough fighter in this issue as be brings down three warriors who want him dead and by doing so saves his best friend as well as his love interest, he is also very given as he tries to help a fellow tribe with food and shelter, he also helps his white friend escape the grip of two scummy gold thieves as well helps his son learn how to be a good man. Smokey is also a good guy who follows his Chief and does what he can to help him at all times and trusts in his word. Keena is a good kid who as well seems to always want to do the right thing and wants to be just like his father. The downside to this first issue is that I feel that they really down play Morning Star and she is barely around or used in the first story and does not even show up in the second…and that’s crazy as she is a lead in the TV Show! The issue has some good action as well as some cool spooky moments with the likes of the Haunted Mountain, but also has a few moments of being a little slow in spots making it slightly drag. The cover is cool and if you are a fan of the TV Show is eye catching as it shows Keith Larsen as Brave Eagle and is clearly a promotional still for the show. The interior art is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and captures a very comic book look for all the characters with each looking like they should given the year this was made. Over all a good comic that does its best to do the show justice and I could see how kids of the time would have enjoyed it very much, so with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Brave Eagle Comic 2

Brave Eagle # 2  **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10      DELL      # 770 of 1354

“Shield Of Honor” The Crow tribe shows up and steals many of the horses of Brave Eagles tribe including his own horse White Cloud, and this cause Brave Eagle, Smokey and other warriors to give chase to try and get them back. Meanwhile back at camp Chief Great Bear of the Pawnee arrives and chats with Morning Star and Keena and even teaches Keena some warrior tricks that he could do while riding a horse. Once back to his people Brave Eagle has not gotten the horses back and meets with Great Bear who wants to ask for both tribes to come together to go after The Crow that is lead by Chief Iron Hand who he says is a threat to all tribes. The two Chiefs separate and Brave Eagle and his council think that Iron Hand is innocent and that Great Bear was really the horse thief and after visiting Iron Hand and finding the horses near Great Bear’s camp they know they are right. And worse Keena has given Great Bear one of Brave Eagles arrows that has his markings and the Pawnee are headed to The Crows in order to start war as one of their warriors has fake arrows that have the mark of Brave Eagle! But after a fight Brave Eagle defeats Great Bear who promises that he will not get them involved in his war again. “Fury In The Forest” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey head into the forest to hunt food for the winter and when they bring down a big bison it is stolen by white hunters, and Brave Eagle must teach them a lesson as well as get the bison back to feed his people.

The second issue of Four Colors to feature Brave Eagle and his tribe is a pretty good read and does I think a slightly better job of bringing in the action and drama of the TV Show to the pages of the comics. The two stories are also well done with the first being another tribe Chief trying to get Brave Eagle involved in a big war between tribes and the second has hunters trying to steal the food of Brave Eagle’s tribe cause they wanted to sell the animals pelt. Brave Eagle once more shows that he is a hero, caring and wise whenever things could affect his tribe and people. I like in this issue how he beats Great Bear who is a warrior that others fear, but to be honest while Great Bear is a good Chief to his people he is also very dishonest as he will do what ever he can to make his tribe beat out their rivals. Keena does some pretty silly things in this issue like given Great Bear and arrow of his fathers even though that is against the tribes rules, and he also should be looking up to his father and not another Chief he just meet. Smokey is around in both stories and is wise and as helpful as ever. And it was cool to see White Cloud the horse of Brave Eagle get a little bit of time to shine as it as well is in both stories. But like before they downplay Morning Star and it’s really starting to annoy me, as she should be way more involved and important in these stories besides being reduced to cameos. I have to say great action as well because I have to praise the quick fight between Brave Eagle and Great Bear as it brought a nice TV Western feel to the comic. Another cool photo cover for the issue that is eye catching for fans of the show and the interior art by Dan Spiegle is once more well done. Over all another good issue that leaves me wanting to read more Brave Eagle….but for the love of Jack Kirby could they please make Morning Star a big deal in these comics.

Brave Eagle Comic 3

Brave Eagle # 3   **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 816 of 1354

“Search For The Sun” A band of renegade Natives have started to rob and kill white men who are mining for gold, and the Calvary is trying to stop them but are failing. The last attack left only one man left alive by the name of Gusty who is now in the care of Brave Eagle and his people as they are trying to nurse him back to health. The renegade robberies puzzle Brave Eagle as gold means nothing to his people so along with Smokey they set out to find out who these renegades are and what they are up to. Meanwhile back at camp Gusty spends his time telling tall tales to Keena and Morning Star, as Keena is a little upset as he feels Brave Eagle ignored him before he left camp as he made him a ring and needed to try and fit its size. When Brave Eagle finds a cabin that has been burnt to the ground he also finds a wounded renegade Indian who spills the beans that they are stealing the gold as another group of white men give them rifles for it! Brave Eagle takes his prisoner to the army fort, and later that night Keena decides that he will return to his real tribe as he thinks because Brave Eagle is not his real dad that he does not love him and once at his family tribe he learns they are working with the gold thieves and he spills the beans on Brave Eagles gold in order to get his own rifle! Meanwhile Gusty is upset that a story he told about Keena’s tribe is what drove him to find then and sets out to bring the young man back. But we find that Keena has sent the renegades to an empty mine and gets word back to Brave Eagle who takes Smokey and some warriors and brings them down. In the end Keena returns to Brave Eagle and a great feast is made to celebrate. “The Iron Trail” Bull Larson is in charge of building rails for trains that will be going through the area and while working he injures one of Brave Eagle’s tribe and keeps him as a hostage. When Brave Eagle goes to check on his missing friend he over hears Bull talking about robbing the payroll train and blaming it on the Natives, and Brave Eagle comes up with a plan that has him on the train and he stops Bull from pulling off the robbery and once more is the hero.

The third issue in the Brave Eagle comics is really good and like before has two stories with one being the longer of the two and each having almost a lesson in them. The two adventures has Brave Eagle and his tribe stopping gold thieves as well as a payroll thieves and also his son learns that just cause you are not from the same blood dose not mean they don’t love them like you are their own. Brave Eagle truly wants his people and the white people to be able to live in harmony, and this clearly angers some of his own people as they want to retake the land and will steal and kill to do so. Brave Eagle as always shows that he is also a great warrior as he fights for what he thinks is right. Keena in this issue gets his feelings hurt and says some things to Brave Eagle he regrets, and when Keena returns to his original tribe he finds that they are on the side of chaos and learns that his true place is with his father. Smokey and Morning Star take a back seat in this issue and while around they sadly do very little. Gusty is a white man that is injured and is being taken care of, but while a good man he does tell some stories that bend the truth and is what causes some issues between Keena and Brave Eagle. And man Bull Larson is a terrible person who is willing to kill and steal the money of his workers and by doing so could start a war between Brave Eagle and the Calvary. While the action is a little slow in this issue when it comes though its lots of fun and makes for another above average read that brings the entertainment to the reader. The cover is good and once more is just a promo photo and the art is done by Dan Spiegle and is good stuff for this time of adaptation comics. So with that let’s take a look at the next issue to showcase Brave Eagle and his Tribe.

Brave Eagle Comic 4

Brave Eagle # 4   **
Released in 1958     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 879 of 1354

“Forbidden Land” Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena ride out to check on a wagon when two scared horses entered their camp, but they find that it was a set up by white men who wanted to stage a fake death and robbery in order to start a war between the Soldiers and the Indian Warriors. And worse when the white men escape they trick the Calvary into believing that Brave Eagle and his tribe attacked them and stole the horses that ran into their camp earlier! Because of this the Calvary with orders from the Government is taking Brave Eagles tribes land! The Tribe is upset and the talk of war breaks out, but Brave Eagle wants a chance to make this right and follows one of the accusers to a cave and learns that the plan is for the Calvary to move gold just in case of war and for them to steal it and blame Brave Eagles tribe once more for the robbery. But once Smokey captures one of the thieves and the Calvary learn of the plot they along with Brave Eagle’s tribe stop the gold robbery and the land is returned to the tribe and the misunderstanding is patched up as the crooks are taking in for their crimes. “The Plight Of Red Thunder” While hunting Brave Eagle meets up with Red Thunder a chief that he has been friends with for decades and the two along with Smokey head to his camp in order to enjoy some dinner, but while there they meet Spotted Colt the son of Red Thunder who loves to pull pranks and jokes. To teach him a lesson Brave Eagle fakes being hurt and Spotted Colt has to find a way to get help from people who do not believe him and as well learn that jokes have a time and a place.

The fourth issue in the Brave Eagle comics is at this point the one that packs less impact and in some spots is a little boring. The main story of the gold robbery really is the plot of many of the stories that have came before it and adds nothing new besides more faceless and nameless bad guys. The second story is fun and is a take of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” as Spotted Colt is a young man who likes to have fun, but has terrible timing. Brave Eagle is much of the same a hero, warrior, wise man and a teacher to those that are around him. Smokey and Keena are around but do very little and most annoying Morning Star is nowhere in site! Red Thunder is a kind hearted Chief who has an annoying son and needs help to teach him a lesson. The cover is another promo pic from the show and has Brave Eagle with a bow and arrow. The art is done by what looks like an Unknown Artist and the first story is kind of sloppy in the art department with the second one being way better. Not much to say about this issue besides it’s ok and while entertaining it was also kind of a slow moving read. Keep in mind I did not dislike this issue it was just a little underwhelming and also just kind of did not capture the Show very well.

Brave Eagle Comic 5

Brave Eagle # 5  **1/2
Released in 1958      Cover Price .10      DELL      # 929 of 1354

“The Ride For Life” Smokey enters his tribes land and falls from his horse as he has been shot and is injured by a pair of white men who are also tracking him and he has heard a plan that they have in the works. Brave Eagle and his warriors wait for Smokey to wake up in order to find out who did this to him so that they can make them face justice. The two would be killers creep into the camp and one cuts free the horses while the other creeps into the tipi and tries to stab Smokey, but it’s a trap and Brave Eagle is inside and fights off the attacker and in the commotion both outlaws escape into the night forest. Brave Eagle is then asked by Morning Star to visit Smokey who is having a very high fever, and Brave Eagle decides that he must ride to the Calvary fort and try and get medicine and once there the two men who shot Smokey are already inside and blame Brave Eagle for a raid the killed Calvary solders and stole gold that they were escorting! But when one of the bad guys slip up they are arrested and Brave Eagle takes the Fort Doctor to Smokey, but also finds out the Keena is near a creek that the raiders use when they stole the gold, and he gets there to find his son kidnapped by the remaining gang! And with the help of his Braves they bring down the rest of the crooks and rush back to be with Smokey. “Mustang Trail” one day Morning Star and Keena notice that three of the tribes horses are missing and they go and tell Brave Eagle who notices that the line that the horses were hitched to has been cut by someone. We see that the horses are taken by a group of outlaws who uses the horses to drag flaming brush behind them causing a wild fire all around the camp. And while Brave Eagle and his tribe put out the fires the outlaws go and steal almost all the tribes horses! And Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena start tracking to get their horses back and uncover a whole horse thief ring, and using his mind Brave Eagle is able to bring them down and get the horses back.

The fifth and final issue of Brave Eagle is another entertaining issues that does a pretty good job of capture the mood of the TV series it was based on, I will say that it is missing a little bit of the humor of Smokey as well as the shows narration by Brave Eagle is missing and I really dislike that the comics barely use Morning Star as they act like she was not a big deal when she very much is in the source material. And while I really liked the comics I do feel that the lack of Morning Star really was a big flaw. These two stories are pretty good with the first story being really good and the last story being average and slightly dull, but still a good read. Brave Eagle throughout the comics was a great leader to his tribe, who gets things done and really watches out for his people. He is a good fighter, a man who uses his mind to issue solve and is loyal to his friends and tribe. So really Brave Eagle is a good honest hero who is pretty interesting and transfers from TV to Comic pretty well. Keena is the son of Brave Eagle and is always up for adventure and to be at the side of his father during any situation. Smokey is Brave Eagles best friend and is also his most trusted as he as well is always at his Chief’s side and is willing to risk his life for him as well as the tribe he calls family. Morning Star is the daughter of Smokey and the little we see her she is caring, brave and wise. The Calvary in this series seem to be very washy with Brave Eagle and his tribe as at times they act like they trust them and then the moment any white man says a negative thing about them they turn on them. The series had some pretty good action but oddly more of the stories had to do with gold or horse thieves with most being about gold…very weird as it seemed the writer or writers just had one basic idea for Brave Eagle to go after. The comic cover is another promo photo of Brave Eagle and is eye catching for fans of the TV Show. And the interior art once more is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and has that classic Dell Comic look. Over all the Brave Eagle comic series is pretty entertaining and while not fully like the show it does its best to try and capture the magic of the show. Check out the artwork bellow to see the art style used in this comic.

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Brave Eagle is a great western TV Show that sparked entertaining Dell Comic issues via their Four Color series and I am sure readers that where viewers really did enjoy giving these a read and continuing the adventures of Brave Eagle. And for me this was a fun comic to start our countdown to Thanksgiving with as this time of the year always makes me want to visit the past and even discover new things from the past like I did here with Brave Eagle. So for the next update we will be still celebrating 10 years of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be taking a look at USA Up All Night and all the classic hosts like Gilbert, Rhonda and Caroline that made up that iconic show! So until next time read a western comic of three, watch a western show or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time and be ready to stay Up All Night!

USA Up All Night Preview Logo

SOV Flashbacks Classics – “Hatchet”

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and another entry in my “SOV Flashback Classics.” This one will be short and sweet and something very fun! The film we will be talking about is one that I know very little about as it was a found gem that I was able to get on DVD thanks to the guy who discovered it on a VHS tape and made it available to fans of Shot On Video Horror. The film is called “Hatchet” or so its said by the tape finder and this could be the original Hatchet film and could even maybe be the start of Victor Crowley as this film was made sometime in the 1990’s. So I know you are really excited to learn about “Hatchet” as I am to share the little information I have on it! So sit back and relax as we take a SOV Flashback look at a film that was once lost and now has been found, the spooky slasher flick dubbed “Hatchet”. And with that also Happy Halloween as what a better way to spend this spooky Holiday than with a SOV Horror flick!!

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The story for this little shot on video gem is that it was found on a VHS tape by a guy and he saved it by transferring the short film to a DVD and then shared it with the fans of SOV Horror. The short seems to have been shot in the 1990’s and was filmed in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and had a cast of maybe four people tops with only two of the kids being the stars and sharing duty of also being the camera guy. The odd thing about the film is that it feels like it was very influenced by films like “Blood Hook” and “Savage Weekend,” but I doubt if these kids making this film had seen those films before making it. The film could have been made by the friends for the fun or it or even could have been made as a school project. And if these kids made this film for the fun of it I wonder if they made any more Horror Movies and if either of them grew up to continue to make films, I mean who knows, maybe one of them is a famous Horror director now or could even be on the crew of the newest Blumhouse Horror Film. It’s a shame that “Hatchet” does not have any credits as the identity of the makers of this flick are truly unknown at this time and makes it hard to know the history of this short Horror film as well as that of the makers.

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So it’s now time for us to take a look at “Hatchet” the film that could have started it all for these young unknown filmmakers and who knows maybe one of these kids in this film was Adam Green, the creator of The Hatchet film series…yeah I doubt it too, but it’s fun to pretend that this might in fact be Hatchet 0! This will in fact of course be a first time watch for me, and I would like to thank the guy who discovered this tape and sold me a copy on Etsy for having it in stock and making this SOV Horror Flashback Classics update possible. I also want to say that for these SOV films, I will write about its plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale and will only be judging it on a scale that is ONLY for SOV Horror films as I feel it would be unfair to grade it on a scale that Hollywood or even bigger budget Indie films are graded on. So with that let’s head into the world of “Hatchet”!

Hatchet SOV DVD

“Hatchet”
Starring – ????? & ????     Directed by ?????
199?     Not Rated     7min     Unknown     DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: A hillbilly in sunglasses with a flashlight to his face talks to the camera about a group of missing people that headed to a old haunted shed and never where seen again, and says that the only way to find out if the legend was true is to go to the shed yourself. We then cut to a warehouse and a delivery driver is asked to make a drop off to the old shed and as he packs up some VHS tapes and heads out his boss goes home and sharpens an ax with a file. Back to the shed, the driver makes the mistake of entering and finds a bloody ax hanging on the wall and learns that he can not leave now as he is trapped in this spooky place and he starts to freak out as he finds that there is no way out! As the deliveryman sits in the dark questioning his life choices, he hears music and follows it only to find a bloody faced dead man in the corner of the shed and then a man with a hatchet appears and starts to chase the deliveryman around and then kills him with the hatchet. We then cut back to the hillbilly from the start of the film and it shows that he is really the Hatchet Killer of the Haunted Shed.

Thoughts: “Hatchet” really seems like a short film that two friends made in one day over the weekend to have fun with a VHS camera that they got in contact with. They filmed in one location with the Haunted Shed clearly being a work shed that is connected to a garage and they did a really good job of using the environment around them to try and pull off a spooky film. The garage does have a great atmosphere as its dark and dingy looking and the only one thing I would say is they should have shot the trapped inside parts at night so that no sunlight would appear in the film. The killer is great as the kids did not go for the normal Halloween masked killer as they used the look of a creepy guy you would see hanging around a fishing pond on a Sunday morning who is trying to make small talk about the bluegill not biting all the while he is looking at you deciding if he could gut you like a fish in 40 seconds flat. The acting is not terrible for this level of SOV Horror with the Deliveryman and the Hatchet Killer only grinning a few times. The film has very little blood and when shown it’s clearly ketchup, the blood substance that all young filmmakers started with. And oddly enough the film also has a first person scene that reminded me of a part of my old film Werewolf Of Ohio as it was shaky as hell as well and was filmed by the films lead as he was fleeing the killer. Over all this little short has charm and was clearly made by friends who were bored one weekend and wanted to make a Horror Movie for them to share with friends and laugh at when they got older.

Grade: B

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I love that this film was found and saved and is now out in the world for fans of cheesy zero budget SOV Horror films can see! Nothing bothers me more then knowing that so many of these types of films as well as Horror Host shows are floating around on Beta and VHS tapes rotting in garages, basements and landfills when so many people out in the world would love to see them. Films like “Hatchet” also show that creative minds are everywhere and that fans of Horror will always find creative outlets to showcase their love for the genre as well as show the viewers their skills in chilling the blood of viewers, readers and listeners. I also want to say that this might sound silly but I would love to see “Hatchet” get a SOV sequel or even a remake and I could do one heck of a fun comic book based on this tale of terror for Blood Scream Comics. Well it looks like the tape is over and the film is starting to rewind, so before we end this update I would like to alert you all about the next one that will be taking us away from the world of SOV Horror and will be taking us back to comic books and better yet one that is based on a Western TV Show, and I am talking about Brave Eagle! I hope you are having a spooky Halloween this far and that this look at “Hatchet” made your holiday a little more dark and spooky! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Shot On Video Horror Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for out time with Brave Eagle and his tribe.

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Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Porkchop

Dayton, Ohio really does have its fair share of Horror Host history, with many of them being household names and each meaning something to their viewers. Names like Dr. Creep, The Creeper and A. Ghastlee Ghoul have graced the TV Screens of many late night viewers and each have inspired and entertained generations of Monster Kids and each of them helped shape my creative mind in their own ways. And in 2010 the Dayton market was pretty dry when it came to Horror Hosts as Iris & Retina of Mondo Smash A’Go-Go had slowed down and reruns of New Shock Theater and The Ghastlee Movie Show were hard to find on the access stations DATV and MVCC, and then that void was filled when Baron Von Porkchop and his Terrifying Tales of the Macabre hit DATV like a frightening freight train! And still to this day Baron Von Porkchop is the cities current King of late night viewing and a fan favorite to many. This Horror Host Icon update will be one that will not only talk about Baron Von Porkchop and his Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre, but will also give a little behind the scenes and facts that many do not know. So it’s with great honor and pride that I bring to you readers Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Porkchop. So let’s travel to Porkchop Manor and see what BVP has in store for us.

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Baron Von Porkchop is a ghoul who originally died in the 1800’s after a wagon accident that also left his wife The Baroness dead! The couple was buried in two different locations when their enemy Count Van Lambchop paid for their burials as a fake act of kindness to impress the townspeople of New Burlington. Decades passed and in 2010 Baron and Baroness Von Porkchop where dug up and come back to life and while Ghouls they continue their lives at their now moved Manor as their old town of New Burlington was flooded and the town moved to a hidden location in Ohio. And while their pork meat empire slaughter houses are now closed they did generate money while they were dead and their bank account is well stocked with cash and making it very easy for them to continue on and have all types of adventures around the state of Ohio. Baron Von Porkchop dresses in a nice black coat, with a top hat, blue vest, glasses with a magnifier and has very pale grayish skin. While he is a ghoul he is not a flesh eater and has a very fun loving nature with a hint of an ego. He really enjoys hosting the movies and bringing his viewers his show as his “Piggies” as he calls them are like his close friends. Baron is very much in love with The Baroness as he would do anything to make her happy, and his best friend is the family butler Bean. Baron Von Porkchop besides his show has done lots of cool things in and around Dayton as he has hosted a Halloween Theme Dinner party at Lily’s Bistro, he has been a guest and attended conventions like HorrorHound Weekend, I.C.E. and Cinema Wasteland to name a few. He has hosted movies at theaters Englewood Cinema and Danbarry Huber Heights. He has hosted verity show “Dirty Little Secrets” at Wiley’s Comedy Club. At Gilly’s Jazz club an event called “Baron’s Ball” was held that had many great music acts play for Baron and his guests, not to mention he even hosted the freakshow event called “Captain Johnny’s Whiz Bang” at Gilly’s. He has attended Halloween Parties for fans and even has done charity events. Plus he has appeared in comic books namely “Shocking Macabre Theater” by Sparkle Comics. As you can see Baron does lots of great things for fans to enjoy, and he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Stephen Alexander II is the man who plays Baron Von Porkchop and is not only my cousin but also was a founding member of the “Gem City Gentlemen Of The Gilded Beard” a beard club that did events for charity, he also is a writer for comic book company Sparkle Comics and is a pretty creative guy who also makes custom Funko Pop! Figures, creates enamel pins and repairs old smoking pipes.

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Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre began in 2010 and started airing on DATV, MVCC and The Monster Channel with host Baron Von Porkchop and took viewers by storm as the area of Dayton, Ohio was in need of an active Horror Host as many of the hosts had taken time away or retired. Out the gate Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre gained a great following with loyal viewers who enjoyed Baron Von Porkchop and the crazy world around him. The show is still going strong as of 2021 and has had a number of regular episodes as well as many specials, showing that BVP is here to stay! The show is one that takes Baron all around the city of Dayton as well as conventions and events and even has guests and story arches…it’s like a Horror Host sitcom wrapped around cheesy films. Baron on the show not only hosts classic public domain films but also hosts many independent films of all types of budgets. Baron has even hosted wrestling matches from Rockstar Pro Wrestling for a special. Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre is a staple of Dayton airwaves and still has many more episodes and specials to come.

But did you know that Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre was original going to be new episodes of Shock Theater and was slated to be the return of Dr. Creep as Dayton’s Horror Host? For years Dr. Creep and I talked about bringing his show back as while his health was on a decline he had the itch to get back to hosting movies and entertaining viewers. So to prepare for his return I wrote out several episode ideas and decided to film a Horror Host show that would be just seen by my friends in order to truly get ready for Dr. Creep’s return. So while chatting with my cousin Stephen we decided that he would act as the host and the name Baron Von Porkchop was created by me due to his sideburns. We came up with an idea of Baron going fishing to capture a Creature From The Black Lagoon type fish monster in order to serve him to dinner guests, Baron was more of a snarling sinister type Host with a toned down voice, in other words he was more played on fear and not laughs. We choose the movie Night Fright to host and once filmed I made generic opening credits for the show we were calling “Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre” and once edited I burnt it onto a DVD and gave copies to a few fiends including Rick Martin and Andy Copp both who brought back Dr. Creep with New Shock Theater back in the late 90’s, and the response we got from the episode and Baron Von Porkchop was overwhelming with everyone saying that we should do more episodes and turn him into an ongoing Horror Host! Andy Copp told me he thought I had something special with Baron and even said that he could get it aired on public access station DATV, and with those kind words among many others Stephen and I decided that we would indeed keep Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre as it’s own series and when Dr. Creep’s health would get better I would do both shows! Sadly Dr. Creep’s health only got worse and on January 14, 2011 the world lost this amazing man and host, and this was very sad for not only Dayton but for all who enjoyed Dr. Creep’s antics.

As the show grew I knew that I had to cast my friend and then co-worker Stephanie Stidham in the show so she became Baroness Von Porkchop, and the show just kept growing from there. While working on Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre BVP has had the pleasure of working with many of the Horror Hosts from Dayton’s past like A. Ghastlee Ghoul, Dr. Freak and Iris & Retina and this to me shows the bond that our area hosts have together. Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre has become a true Friday night tradition for many viewers as we have gotten fan snail mail and emails from viewers as even our home station of DATV has gotten mail about how much the shows means to our viewers and one amazing thing was a local retirement home have movie nights watching Baron! Heck even during the 2020 pandemic we even filmed a few Specials to help our viewers out and give them some laughs during the hard time. I truly love creating the show Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre alongside my cousin Stephen and we have more ideas and spooky, silly adventures planned for Baron coming up over the next few years.

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As like all good Horror Hosted shows Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre has it’s fair share of amazing cohosts and sidekicks that live in and around the Porkchop Manor. The lovely Baroness Von Porkchop is the voice of reason when it comes to the decisions made in and around the Manor, she is elegant and stunning and was a former Miss Slaughterhouse Pageant winner and is one of New Burlington’s most beautiful women, The Baroness is played by Stephanie Stidham. Bean is the longtime hunchback butler for the Porkchop’s and is the one who for over a century took care of Porkchop Manor and is responsible for finding them and bringing them back to life, he is a silly goofy man who helps BVP get into all types of wacky adventures and always encourages his off the wall and lazy ways. Bean is played by Bruce Lerma who is the nephew of Horror Hosts Iris and Retina from Mondo Smash A’ Go-Go! Jenkins The Pigman was the first pigman experiment that BVP and Bean created and they decided not to kill him for his meat and keep him as a member of the manor, Jenkins is very strong and also has a darkside and will do whatever he can to protect Baron and Baroness. Jenkins The Pigman was played originally by Gary Wolf and later on by myself among others. The manors cook is JD The Meatman a loyal and skilled meat cutter who has worked for Baron in his old slaughterhouse and now works in his kitchen, JD is played by artist Eric Shonborn. Viola Poison was at one time the maid for Porkchop Manor and was skilled in not only cleaning but also using Poison, she also had a massive crush on the Baron and this is what lead to her leaving the Manor, Viola was played by Emily Marshall. And these are the main sidekick characters that make up Porkchop Manor!

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The Baron also has some friends in and around town that includes his neighbors Sleazy Tom a laid back ladies man who while sleazy does have a good heart who was played by Max Ervin (who sadly passed away in 2013) and on the other side is Mr. G the lizard headed mascot form the closed down Renaissance Music Media store who is enjoying retirement and is still played by Geoff Burkman. The Son Of Hercules a strong man of myth and legend and is one of Barons best friends and is played by Mike Ritchie. Melvin is a monster-faced goofball who is the helper of Stephen Von Frankenstein and enjoys hanging out with Baron and is his Halloween buddy, Melvin is played by the legendary local actor Josh Weinberg! And this is just a drop in the hat of the townies that live in New Burlington as names like Oliver The Werewolf, Mr. Pepperton, Susie The DJ, Beerwolf, Wolf Hunter Duke, BK King, Reporter Ted The Fox, Mr. O and so many others make up the townies.

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Also Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre has had some review hosts that make up one of the shows segments with the original being Reverend Zealot who brought back The Cult Corner that he use to do on New Shock Theater that was hosted by Dr. Creep! Filmmaker Andrew Copp played Reverend Zealot for the second season and sadly he passed away in 2013 making another loss for the show. Brett does video game reviews on his Bad Or Rad segment that started in the third season and he is blogger Brett Prescott. Both Zealot and Brett help make episodes of Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre more special for viewers and both are vital to making the show even more fun.

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But while BVP has his fair share of friends he also has those in New Burlington who dislike him and the fact he hosts movies for viewers of Public Access, and these sticks in the mud want to end Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre…or even take it over! His main nemesis is Count Van Lambchop the poultry King played by Thomas Smith who is extremely competitive and is upset that he did not become the host of Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre as he and his wife the lovely Countess Van Lambchop played by Jaimie Mazzone were resurrected before the Von Porkchops. They also have a very loyal butler named Cornbread who dislikes Baron, but he truly cannot stand Bean! The three of them do whatever they can to annoy and be thorns in the side of Baron as they think they should be the center of attention. The next major hater of BVP is Baron Von Porkchop Jr. played by musician Todd The Fox is a crazy fraud he has the people of New Burlington believing that he is truly his son, he is manipulative as well as short tempered and dangerous! And this is just a drop in the hat of the villains of the show as names like Chicken Man, Fulci Zombie, Headless Horseman, The Sadness, Crazed Fan and David J. Getz also cause issues. Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre is like no other Horror Host show from the area as it truly does have a massive world and tons of characters that make it up.

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When Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre started up as a full show I spent so much time building the world of New Burlington and knew that I wanted it to be filled with all types of townies from normal people, monsters, retired mascots and even movie characters from indie made films…and one other character that was planned was Baby Von Porkchop who was going to be The Baron and Baroness’s daughter that was going to be played by my friend KD Cyr, the character would have been stuck in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and would have sent video messages to her parents about her adventures from the haunted woods. You see KD lived near the barrens and was a creative soul that I meet on social media and we hit it off as both of us loved Horror and cheesy movies, and when creating the character I had her 100% in mind and she as well helped create the attitude and storyline for Baby. I was so excited to have her on board for the show and at one point an episode was planned that would have had Baron, Baroness and Bean heading into the Pine Barrens to find her only to have a run in with the Jersey Devil of course! KD would do some trial run footage with a friend and make-up designs, but would never share as she always said that footage was bad as she was nervous in it, and I would encourage her and of course put no stress on her. We put off the characters debut so that she could find what worked for her with playing Baby, and all was going well. But sadly in 2015 the world lost a truly amazing person as KD passed away from a car accident when a reckless driver crashed into the back of her car. Truly heartbreaking news when I found out and even if she never made an appearance on the show she is still to all of us a part of our cast family, and I felt it was only right when writing about the show that she gets the respect she deserves. My deepest sympathy goes to her family and friends as she was an amazing and creative soul.

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One thing that I love seeing is fan art done by our viewers as well as just fans of Horror Hosting and over the years we have gotten some pretty amazing pieces of art sent to us! Crazy even some of the artists have who sent us some of the art ended up being on the show! As a creator of Baron Von Porkchop and Sparkle Comics when anyone takes the time to make art for us it’s very appreciated and we love seeing them! Below is some art from many of the talented artists who have drawn BVP over the years. And I want to also send out a massive thank you to everyone who has ever sent us fan art or done art featuring Baron Von Porkchop or any of the cast of Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. Artwork below features ones done by Brett Prescott, Eric Shonborn, MonkeyGoatBoy and Bradley Beard.

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Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre has had many regular episodes as well as specials over the years and each of them I enjoyed making, being apart of and even watching, but one has always stood out as the most important episode to me and that was Episode 8 as it was the tribute to the late Dr. Creep who passed away before the episode was filmed. The original idea for the episode was it was suppose to be Baron Von Porkchop hosting a dinner party that the guest of honor was to be Dr. Creep who would have taken over the episode sharing stories of his years of being a Horror Host and they would have hosted a Bela Lugosi film. But sadly Dr. Creep who was in poor health passed away on January 14, 2011 at the age of 69, and this was a sad day for all of Ohio and those of use who grew up watching Dr. Creep and knew the man behind the grease paint. And the episode that was suppose to be his comeback to TV ended up being turned into a celebration of his life and memory. The episode was turned into The Baron and Baroness throwing a dinner party to honor Dr. Creep’s memory and had many of his friends on talk about his life and tell fun stories. Many names showed up like A. Ghastlee Ghoul, Dr. Freak, Jeff McClellan, Rick Martin, Geraldo The Hunchback, Reverend Zealot, Mr. G and even characters like Melvin, Duke The Wolf Hunter and Son Of Hercules showed up to pay respects. After the guests shared their stories we showed classic clips of Dr. Creep from Shock Theater. It was very magical hearing each of these guys sharing their stories of traveling, hanging out and working with Dr. Creep. Many also told stories of meeting him for the first time or shared stories he had told them…it was very magical and was something that I hope he would have been proud of. Below is a picture from that film shoot with all the people involved in one shot. Well I need to also say thanks to Juliet Fromholt, Emily Marshall, Maurice Smith, Josh Weinberg and Eric Shonborn all who helped makes the special possible but are not in the picture.

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For me one of the greatest honors of doing and creating this show was when on September 11, 2021 when Baron Von Porkchop was inducted into the Horror Host Hall Of Fame as part of the 2020 class in Ohio! BVP took his place with the other Icons from Dayton that was placed in the Hall Of Fame like Dr. Creep, A. Ghastlee Ghoul and The Creeper! This introduction was well attended and BVP was inducted by “The Mummy and The Monkey” an amazing Horror Host duo from Cleveland, Ohio. It was really cool seeing Baron on stage getting the honor of being inducted in, as the years of hard work paid off and it was awesome to see the fans clap for him to get this honor. While the Hall Of Fame was very odd as it was a smaller event due to the on going pandemic and some audio issues plagued the start of the ceremony it was something very special for BVP and myself.

Baron Von Porkchop and his Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre as you can see is a show that has became a main stay in Dayton, Ohio and has expanded to the world thanks to the online stations like The Monster Channel and even the online viewing streams of DATV and MVCC. And really one of the biggest honors making this show is getting feedback from the fans as well as being inducted into the Horror Host Hall Of Fame thanks to fan votes as well as votes from his peers. And we are now at the point of this review to talk about the episodes and I decided to not cover all of the episodes of Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre as I will cover Baron Von Porkchop again in the future so I decided to cover seasons one and two as well as the specials that went along with those two seasons. The movies plots will be taken from our pals at IMDB with some being written by myself as well as all the hosts segments. So if you are ready lets spend sometime at Porkchop Manor and have some fun with BVP and his friends that make up New Burlington.

Baron Episode 1

TTOTM: House On Haunted Hill
Starring – Vincent Price & Carol Ohmart         Not Rated       1959

Host: Earl The Gravedigger leads Baroness Von Porkchop and Bean to a dug up gravesite and when the coffin opens its Baron Von Porkchop! Once back at the manor that is located in New Burlington they get cleaning as the place is dusty and Baron even meets his neighbor Sleazy Tom for the first time that wants him to watch his 1900 # dating ad. In the end Baron informs the Piggies at home that we will be returning next week with a new spooky film to share with them.

Movie: Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted House” party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors.

Baron Episode 2

TTOTM: Driller Killer
Starring – Abel Ferrara & Carolyn Marz     Not Rated     1979

Host: Baron Von Porkchop and his friend and butler Bean are working in the manors garage on making a pig man in order to raise and then slaughter and sell his meat as Pig Man Sausage! Throughout the episode Baron and Bean work on the Pigman trying to give him life and add organs as well as use electricity to try and start his heart. In the end when all looks as if it has failed the Pigman rockets up to life and runs from the garage…Baron and Bean end the issue by shooting the Pigman dead so that he would not run amuck in New Burlington.

Movie: Reno is an artist struggling to survive in NYC. He draws inspiration from scenes of daily street life and occasional random violence. Under pressure to finish his oft-delayed grand masterpiece, his psychotic alter-ego takes over and he begins killing random vagrants to boost his creativity, not quite realizing that it is happening in reality. When an art dealer grimly rejects Reno’s finished masterpiece, Reno’s mental condition quickly deteriorates.

Baron Episode 3

TTOTM: Frankenstein ‘80
Starring – Gordon Mitchell & Xiro Papas     Not Rated     1972

Host: While walking through the woods Baron Von Porkchop runs into a weird looking creature man named Melvin who informs him that Stephen Von Frankenstein needs his help! As Baron follows Melvin to Castle Frankenstein he is told by Stephen that his Monster is now free and wondering the woods! So Baron along with Melvin go looking for The Monster only to find him in a very bad mood!

Movie: A mad scientist creates a monster called “Mosaico,” who breaks out of the laboratory to hunt down and kill beautiful women.

Baron Episode 4

TTOTM: Ulysses Against The Son Of Hercules
Starring – Mike Lane & Georges Marchal     Not Rated     1962

Host: Baron, Baroness and Bean get a call from The Son Of Hercules that he needs their help in order to get back a golden apple that is in the hands of an old witch that is inside a haunted collage! So brave Baron and Bean take the quest and leave Baroness behind, while on the quest the encounter a zombie and ghosts before coming face to face with the witch…the coward out and run away before getting the apple. On their way back to face The Son Of Hercules they are coming up with a story in why they failed in the quest only to be greeted by the Baroness who had went the quest along and retrieved the apple!

Movie: Ulysses offends the gods by blinding the Cyclops, so they send Hercules to capture him and bring him to them.

Baron Episode 5

TTOTM: Five Minutes To Live
Starring – Johnny Cash & Ron Howard     Not Rated     1961

Host: Baron and Baroness head to grocery store Big Bear in Lebanon, Ohio in order to sell them his freshly made Pigman sausage as when he was alive that chain was very much into stocking his quality pork products. But to their horror Big Bear is out of business and hanging around was one of the stores old managers who tells them they should sell their meat by going door to door…and Baron and Baroness do just that and turn it into a computation on who can sell more! The split up and meet all types of strange people trying to sell them this meat…in the end The Baroness comes out the winner!

Movie: Fred narrates the film in flashback, detailing a suburban bank robbery that goes awry. In his simple plan, he hires a hard-up hood, Johnny Cabot to take the wife of the bank’s vice president hostage. Cabot will hold her until he gets a call alerting him that Fred has been successful in getting ransom money. Cabot waits, and watches the Wilson house as the husband leaves for the bank and their young son heads off to school. Posing as a door-to-door guitar instructor, he forces his way into the house and takes Nancy Wilson hostage. At the bank, Fred talks his way into Ken Wilson’s office, and presents his personal check for $70,000, intending that Wilson will withdraw the funds to cover the check as a ransom for his wife. He has Wilson call home to prove that Nancy is being held by the unstable Cabot, and gives Wilson 5 minutes to make his.

Baron Episode 6

TTOTM: Fury Of The Wolfman
Starring – Paul Naschy & Perla Cristal     Rated PG     1972

Host: Baron Von Porkchop gets the invite of a lifetime as he is able to sit down and have a one of one interview with world famous werewolf hunter Duke! Duke The Wolf Hunter was seen in the second shot on video film “The Wolf Hunter II” and shares is secrets of hunting down werewolf scum. Also along for this amazing interview is Bean who is star struck by the hunter, as well as a heck of a lot of blood sucking Cicadas who are trying to ruin Baron’s show!

Movie: Waldimar Daninsky, a lone survivor of a Tibetian expedition, returns home to find his wife has been unfaithful to him. Carrying the curse of the pentagram (or pentagon, as stated by the monk who nursed him back to health), the fury of the wolfman is unleashed! After disposing of his cheating spouse, he finds himself captive in a castle by a female mad scientist conducting mind control experiments. In a vein attempt at escape, he discovers the freaks left over from past experiments dwelling in the dungeons.

Baron Episode 7

TTOTM: Night Fright
Starring – John Agar & Dorothy Davis     Not Rated     1967

Host: Baron Von Porkchop is going fishing to try and snag a fish creature using Beans brain as bait! He is trying his hardest to capture this creature as he wants to serve his meat to his dinner guests that are gathering the next episode to honor the late great Dr. Creep! In the end Baron is able to snag the creature!

Movie: A government space experiment into the effects of cosmic rays on animal life goes horribly wrong, creating a mutant monster that terrorizes a rural community.

Baron Episode 8

TTOTM: Dr. Creep Tribute
Starring – Dr. Creep & Dow Thomas     Not Rated     1970-1990

Host: Baron and Baroness Von Porkchop are throwing a dinner part to honor Dr. Creep the Dayton, Ohio iconic Horror Host. They have JD The Meatman cook up the Creature Meat and have snacks and treats for the guests as Bean escorts them to the dinner table. Guests include Rick Martin, A. Ghastlee Ghoul, Jeff McClellan American, Dr. Freak, Geraldo The Hunchback, Duke The Wolf Hunter, Son Of Hercules, Melvin, Mr. G and Reverend Zealot and they all share amazing and fun Dr. Creep stories and myths.

Movie: Clips of Dr. Creep over the ages from his shows Shock Theatre, Saturday Night Dead and New Shock Theater. As well as some of his public appearances over the years at events.

Baron Episode 9

TTOTM: Independent Short Films
Starring – Dave Wean & Kipp Poe     Not Rated     1990’s-2000’s

Host: The Baroness wants Baron and Bean to clean up the garage as its getting out of hand with boxes that is filled with old media, toys and forgotten relics…but cleaning is no fun so they decide to dig out some independently made horror short films and share them with the Piggies at home! They also find out that Mr. G has moved in next-door and he as well shares a short film! And when all said and done Baron and Bean do nothing and the Baroness is not very happy!

Movie: Indie short films shown on this episode are “The Cask Amontillado”, “Dreadful”, “Callback”, “Songs In The Key Of Satan” and “Outpost 31”.

Baron Episode 10

TTOTM: Phantom From 10,000 Leagues
Starring – Dave Wean & Kipp Poe     Not Rated     1955

Host: Baron Von Porkchop is very distracted from hosting the nights film as he has gotten himself a video game console and is playing the game Space Invaders as he thinks that by playing the game he is saving the Earth. He is so focused that he is ignoring the issues of the manor as well as his wife The Baroness and friends Sleazy Tom, Bean and Jenkins The Pigman!

Movie: An unusual radioactive rock on the sea bottom mutates the ocean life into a horrible monster. When charred, radioactive bodies begin to drift ashore a scientist and government agent investigate the phenomenon, and it’s connection to a local marine biology professor.

Baron Epiosde 11

TTOTM: Quiet Nights Of Blood And Pain
Starring – Amanda DeLotelle & Loren Goins     Not Rated     2009

Host: Baron Von Porkchop has cult indie filmmaker Andy Copp over to the manor to chat about his legacy of making films, television shows as well as his work with Dr. Creep. And of course Bean is around to make sure their guest is uncomfort