Malibu Comics Ultraverse Memories: Exiles

Remember back in the 1990’s when both Marvel and DC had some competition when it came to superhero comics with companies like Image and more important to me Malibu, who had some amazing heroes like Prime, Mantra, Prototype, Sludge and Night Man to name a few fighting for readers’ attention. Malibu also had many superhero teams like Freex, The Strangers and Exiles with the latter being the topic of this update. It’s sad that in modern times the comic industry is struggling to gain readers and most fans of superheroes don’t read the issues and only know the character from the movies or TV shows based on them. Now that I am thinking about it, I do believe that Sparkle Comics is trying to keep the world of Indie Superheroes alive with such comics as Black Jack, Silver Bullet, Black Lion and Spring Heeled Jack…so I feel good that the company I own with my friends is doing its part! Also this update really did make me miss the days of when comic companies took chances and comic shops had way more variety for readers to choose from. Around here in Dayton, I would say Bell, Book And Comic and Super-Fly Comics do the best job of offering more indies and even locally made comics to their customers and are inviting to readers. So if you are ready, let’s take a quick look at Exiles from Malibu Comics.

Malibu Comics was struggling in late 1993 as sales had dipped. The comic market was being flooded with comics and gimmicks that were hurting many of the independent companies as buyers just were not buying as many comics; the interest was fading as big events and foil covers started to annoy. And going into 1994, things got worse for Malibu as they did what they could to stay afloat and even started to cancel lower selling series as a way to cut costs and stay around in the industry. But like all mega money sharks, both DC and Marvel smelled blood in the water and opened up their checkbooks and both made bids on buying out Malibu to own their characters, logos, back issues and their coloring style and most importantly, so that the other company didn’t own it! And on November 3, 1994, Malibu was sold to Marvel Comics who became the owner of so many great superhero characters. Marvel wasted no time canceling all of the Ultraverse titles and re-launching some of the more popular ones and even crossing them over with such Marvel Characters like Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk and Wolverine all through 1995. But by 1996, Marvel Comics pretty much walked away from the Ultraverse and cancelled all their titles and just stopped using the characters sending them to the long box in the sky and leaving readers and fans of the characters wondering if they ever would return. Over the years rumors have always been talked about in comic shops, comic podcasts as well as websites about the return of the Ultraverse as well as what Marvel could do with the characters to add them into the Marvel Universe.

So before we get into the comic reviews, I am going to take a few moments and give my opinion on how they could add The Exiles into Marvel and where they would fit in. So let’s use the core original group of Exiles that includes the likes of Trax, Deadeye, Tinsel, Dr. Rachel Deming, Mustang, Catapult, Amber Hunt and Ghoul and say that events of the original comic series change when the worlds of Malibu and Marvel meet in modern times. We will also say that all of Marvel’s past Exiles teams were around, just in namesake only and had nothing to do with the original team made by Deming. I would love to see The Exiles be mixed in the world of X-Men with many of the members being mutants – they fit it really well, and to start I would love to see Dr. Rachel Deming use her team as the alternative to the X-Men and allow them to be more flashy in order to make citizens see them as stars and heroes. I would have it that Dr. Rachel Deming and Professor X have a respect for each other, they just have different ideas on how to get things done with their mutant teams. I would also have it that Dr. Rachel Deming and her Exiles open their own school of gifted students as a way to recruit for Exiles. This of course would cause friction between the two mutant groups, and while their respective leaders respect each other, the teams themselves do not and do what they can to outshine the others. I would play up on Wolverine and Mustang really disliking each other and clashing lots. While rivals, I would also make sure to have The Exiles come off as good guys who just are the Pepsi to X-Men’s Coke and are more flash as they have decided to not hide in the shadows in a world filled with super beings. The Exiles could not only be a team in Uncanny X-Men and other X-Men titles but could also spin off into their own series. One thing that would be great for The Exiles is that many of their team members are powerful and could hold their own against the likes of evil mutants like Magneto, Sabertooth and Black Tom to name a few. Just a thought of mine to bring them back, and sadly the way things look for Malibu is that Marvel and Disney have zero plans for them and if the rumors are real, the deal Marvel made when buying them was so bad that the fate of these characters are forever sealed in limbo. That’s right, the story goes that if Marvel does any new comics with characters created by Malibu they have to pay a percentage to the former owner of Malibu as well as the creators of said characters leaving the profits very low for comics being sold and not worth the time and resources Marvel would put into them…or so Comic Store Urban Legend goes.

As you can see, Malibu Comics is a company over the years I find myself thinking about what could have been if they could have survived the Comic Book Crash of the 1990’s and even what they could be if Marvel would do anything with the characters. But we are now at the point of the update for the reviews, and I want to remind all you readers that I grade these issues on a standard 1-4 star system and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic and Game Swap Kettering for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. So if you are ready, let’s gear up and hangout with The Exiles.

Exiles # 1  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 1 of 4

Amber Hunt is a high school student who one day is bored in class when an explosion rocks the school, and she sees that bad guy Supreme Soviet along with his Cybernoids are fighting with members of the superhero team Exiles (Trax, Deadeye & Tinsel) all over her! The battle leaves many of the Cybernoids destroyed, Supreme Soviet tricked and defeated, and Trax injured and having to be rushed back to their base. They also take Amber Hunt who still is confused and angry on why she is being targeted. Once at the island base, Amber meets Dr. Rachel Deming who is the keeper of the team as well as the one who has cured them all of the Theta Virus and soon will also cure Amber Hunt who is infected and has special powers she just doesn’t know about yet. While there, Amber is acting like a brat and even meets team member Ghoul who she also treats terribly! Meanwhile in L.A. Supreme Soviet visits his boss Mr. Malcolm Kort who wanted Amber Hunt killed and for his failure Supreme Soviet is forced into a tube and injected with a virus that kills him and shows that Kort wants to really use this virus as a bio weapon! Meanwhile in a neighborhood in San Diego a young man named Timmy is taking out the trash when he is surrounded by Bloodbath and Bruut who have been sent by Mr. Kort and thankfully Exiles members Catapult and Mustang are near by and step in to help the kid from meeting his maker. The heroes get the upper hand but when Bruut attacks Timmy’s mom an accident happens and Mustang with his electric powers falls into the water from the broken sink and fries and kills Timmy’s Mom as well as Bruut! Bloodbath knocks out Catapult and escapes with Timmy.

This first issue of Exiles is a very good solid read that showcases the style and world of the Ultraverse. It also sets up that our heroes the Exiles are a team of powered beings who are brought together to do the right thing and are watched by after Dr. Rachel Deming going against entertainment tycoon and evildoer Mr. Malcolm Kort and his band of super powered hired guns. The story while it is your normal superhero fare the main plot of the issue is the Theta Virus and one side wanting to cure it and the other side wanting to use it to gain power as a weapon. The Exiles are a rag tag team that has many members who all have special powers and in this issue we meet Trax, Deadeye, Tinsel, Ghoul, Catapult and Mustang all who work well together and have one goal and that’s to save the youngsters who are virus carriers. This far I think my two favorite members are Tinsel as I dig her look and she can fly and fire energy from her hands, I also like Catapult who comes off as a surfer metal head guy who has the power to easily lift and throw things. I also like Ghoul as he is a green skinned zombie who we gather can talk to the dead…but he has not done much yet to make him a favorite. Dr. Rachel Deming who is the watcher of all the team is a very wise and smart woman as she has the cure for the Theta Virus and I am going to guess she as well has some sort of powers. Amber Hunt is a terrible young lady who is self centered, rude and mouthy who treats not only the Exiles like crap even after they saved her life but also fellow classmates as she calls one young lady a “cow” as they are trying to get away from the opening battle! Mr. Malcolm Kort is cold blooded and has no loyalties to even his own hired super powered beings as he will kill them if they fail him! Speaking of his hired guns Bruut, Bloodbath, Hot Rox and Supreme Soviet all are trained killers who don’t mind killing women and children as long as they get paid! This far I like the story that is being set up and it makes me wonder what the outcome will be once the Exiles and the Kort side clash all over a virus. The cover for this first issue is totally 90’s and for me not very eye catching as it looks super cheesy. The interior art is done by R.R. Phipps and is really good and embodies the art of the 90’s superhero titles. So with this lets see what happens next in issue two and see if Mustang can get his revenge for accidentally murdering a young man’s mom.

Exiles # 2  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 2 of 4

Mustang and Catapult are standing in the home of Timmy with the bodies of his mom and super villain Bruut when they are surrounded by the cops who want to take them in for questions, but Bruut is not dead and awakens and goes on a rampage that leave many cops hurt and dead and both Mustang and Catapult can not stop him from escaping by stealing a helicopter. And before the remaining cops can regroup our heroes escape and head back to their island base with news of their failed mission. While back at the base news is spreading of the fight at the house and Dr. Rachel Deming tells Amber Hunt it’s her choice on if she wants to be cured of the virus as it will cause change and Amber learns she has the power of fire. While Malcolm Kort and his team of scientist are trying to force Timmy into letting them “cure” him so his pain will stop as his hand keeps growing and shrinking back to normal. Rachel Deming now calls on the Exiles team and the order is to do a full attack on Kort’s entertainment building and get Timmy back before he can be turned into a henchman tool for evil. Before the Exiles leave Amber informs Rachel that she will take the treatments once the team is back from the rescue mission. In the end young Timmy is being treated by Kort’s science team and things go wrong as Timmy turns into a massive beat man with tusks and breaks free and knocks even the Exiles out of his way as he escapes into the city.

In this second issue the Exiles are forced to face lots of difficult things from one of their members accidentally killing a woman, being caught on camera and now the world knows that they are in town as well as must face a failed mission that clearly looks like is going to cause them major problems in the very near future. The Exiles try so hard to keep their existence low-key, as the world is not keen on the super powered humans walking among them. And worse is the team itself is torn about if they should come out and be seen or hide in the shadows and save the world. Dr. Rachel Deming is clearly in charge of the group and she also knows that they must do all they can in order to save as many of those infected by the virus as they can and do so before Kort and his goons turn them into raging monsters. Mustang in this issue feels terrible and he blames himself for the death of Timmy’s Mom and his powers of electricity is what lead to her neck being crushed by the unstoppable Bruut, even though he played a part in the death he is over taken with guilt. Meanwhile the rest of the team are ready to go to war and try and get the kidnapped kid back and cure him before he is mutated by the bad guys or killed by the virus. Kort once more shows he is an evil man as he forces a young man to be experimented on and all he cares about is power and control. Meanwhile his goons Bloodbath and Bruut one time partners are at odds as it’s clear within their group its all about the money and every super powered man for themselves. Poor Timmy in one day looses his mom, learns he has a deadly virus, is kidnapped and then forced to be turned into a raging monster. And man I cannot see this hulking tusked monster tangle with the Exiles in a battle that I am sure is going to be epic. The one thing that does stink about this issue is that one of my favorite characters Tinsel is just a background team member, and it’s a shame as I would have loved to seen her kick some butt. The cover for this second issue is way better and eye catching as it showcases our team looking like they are ready for action. The interior art is done by R.R. Phipps again and is good stuff. Over all this second issue is very entertaining and has locked me in as a fan of this team this far, and I cannot wait to read the next issue.

Exiles # 3  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 3 of 4

Timmy lands on the street below and is confused and just wants to be left alone, but also landing on the ground is Tinsel as well as Ghoul who try and talk to the enraged teenage monster who don’t want to hear it and just our heroes luck they are attacked by Hot Rox who takes them both prisoner as Timmy escapes deeper into the city. The remain Exiles team chase down Timmy who hides in a closed mall and they try to talk to him, but he attacks causing destruction and injuries before turning back into a young man and running off into the night. Meanwhile back at the lab Amber Hunt is trying to push Rachel Deming’s assistant into given her the treatment as she don’t wanna die from the virus and has no faith in the Exiles returning, the assistant refuses. While back at Kort’s building Ghoul has been thrown into a waste bin and barely escapes as they set it on fire with the hopes of killing him. Meanwhile Bloodbath has Tinsel in his room and is about to sexual assault her, but she is able to use her power and blind him (as she is blind as well) and he grabs his guns and fires wildly into the air and sadly kills her as Ghoul gets to her way to late and this sets him off for revenge!

Well Malibu Comics and Exiles gone and done it they killed off my favorite hero on the team and did so very brutally! You see Tinsel in this issue is taken prisoner and we learn she is also blind and needs her visor in order to see and when she wakes up she is in the room of Bloodbath who wants to rape her….and when she fights back and tries to get away he shoots her a dozen times ending her life! Why would they let a hero die like this? Don’t get me wrong it was very effective and wants me as the reader want to see Bloodbath get his, but it also makes you a little mad at the rest of the Exiles besides Ghoul as they left her in the hands of the baddies in order to save a teen who is now a monster who just wants to be left alone. That is pretty much the major plot of this issue is the Exiles trying to reach a scared Timmy who is now a massive wooly mammoth monster man who don’t trust anyone. Kort and his goons pretty much stay out of the hunt for Timmy as they figure they will just attack and get him back once the Exiles do all the hard work and get him to a safe place. Bloodbath is enemy # 1 for this comic reader as I am glad he is blind now and hopes it permit and that Ghoul once he catches up with him is able to eat his heart out! I must also say I do also really like the look of Timmy as the monster who is called Mastodon because he seems like he could be a villain for the Incredible Hulk and is well designed. The cover for this issue is also very eye catching and is a perfect cover for a 90’s superhero comic. The interior art once more is done by R.R. Phipps and is great stuff and has the 90’s look but yet also still holds a very 80’s style as well. This third issue is a great read and I cannot wait to read issue four that is the final in this very good series.

Exiles # 4  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics      # 4 of 4

The Exiles decide to give up tracking down Timmy and return to the base so they can regroup and figure out a better plan. While at the lab Amber Hunt decides that she is going to just sneak and give herself the treatment so that she can survive the virus. Meanwhile Ghoul makes contact with the soul of Tinsel and gets the name of her killer Bloodbath and sets his sights to really get revenge and massacre the super powered hitman. As Bloodbath gets painkillers and head back to his room he is attacked by Ghoul who is crazed with anger and after a brief fight he is able to kill Bloodbath and not only end his life but also his soul! And once he drained him Ghoul grabs some guns and starts his one-man war against Kort and his people. While at the lab Amber has done the treatment wrong and the machine is over loading and the Exiles and Rachel Deming are rushing back to try to stop the explosion as well as save Amber from dying. Ghoul blows up the generator at the Kort building and the explosion seems to have killed anyone in it. While back at the Exiles Lab the tank and machines explode and kills many of the Exiles in the process as Heather the Assistant, Trax and Mustang are all killed with Catapult, Deadeye and Rachel Deming are all severely injured. In the end, Amber Hunt is now a flying flaming super powered woman who’s selfish nature has killed many.

This comic series had guts as many of the team members meet their maker by the end with most being killed by the hands of a terrible narcissistic spoiled teenage girl that they were helping who ended up dooming anyone around her when she decided to treat herself. This issue’s plot brings everything together for the most part but also leaves lots of things unanswered as this was a lead in to a series called “Break-Thru” that they wanted readers to buy next…and that was always one thing that annoyed me about Malibu Comics and their Ultraverse as they tied in all their comics together so in order to finish stories you would have to buy another title in order to do so, and that was some of the silly stuff Marvel Comics also did very badly in the 80’s and still do it somewhat to this day. Amber Hunt is a terrible person who becomes even more terrible when she gets power beyond most other heroes in the Ultraverse. When you really think about it all the true evil villain of this comic series is Amber Hunt as she is narcissistic and does not seem to care about others or how her actions effect anyone around her. Rachel Deming is a woman who does want to help those with powers, but also slightly seems to be doing so to stroke her own ego as some of her decisions help lead to the teams downfall. Ghoul in this issue is a true badass as he goes for revenge of the death of his friend in the last issue and does so in a brutal way…Ghoul is very cool and a great character that walks the line of superhero mutant and horror character. This series really is a great read and shows why Malibu Comics was a great alternative to Marvel and DC as they delivered good solid stories about interesting characters who had a vast world. The cover on this fourth issue is not as eye catching nor as cool as the three issues that came before it, but while a little plan it still ok. The interior art is once more done by R.R. Phipps and is good and has a very 90’s comic look and to be honest has what I would say is the Malibu Comic house style. For me Exiles is a great series and one that fans of X-Men and all their clones should check out as these characters and stories could fit in very nicely with the Universe that Marvel Comics created for their readers. Check out the artwork below to see the style of R.R. Phipps and see what I mean when I say this looks like Malibu Comics house style.

Exiles is a great team from Malibu Comics who never got the respect from Marvel Comics when they bought the characters rights way back in 1994 and even when they did use the team they only did so in name only. It’s a shame as I do not think comic readers ever will see new adventures of the Exiles as I do feel they had many more in them, but truly only time will tell if Rachel Deming’s team will see a new series. For my next update, I will be stepping away from comic books and will be once more taking a look at a Horror Host from the Dayton area as I take a look at Rayne of Studio Cinema! So until next time read a Malibu Comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update for a spooky good time.

 

Horror Host Icon: A. Ghastlee Ghoul

It’s late night in Dayton, Ohio and you are flipping stations waiting for the midnight hour so that you can turn to public access and catch a Horror Host that was like none other in your area. His show was a mix of Night Flight and Shock Theater and was filled with crude humor and off the wall skits, and if you were lucky the episode might have porn clips (minus all nudity) set to the song “She’ll Be Coming Around The Mountain”! This magical show was called The Ghastlee Movie Show, and its host was A. Ghastlee Ghoul. No joke, this was on my must-watch list every week as this show was so crazy, so fun and so off the wall, it really was something I looked forward to watching while relaxing in my room after a long week of school and laughing my butt off to Ghastlee and his cohorts’ zany segments and skits.

While Dayton has had its fair share of Horror Hosts like Dr. Creep, The Creeper, Dr. Freak, Baron Von Porkchop and Iris & Retina and all of them are top notch, there is only one A. Ghastlee Ghoul. It’s my complete honor to bring you readers this very special Horror Host Icon update that is all about the one and only master of the late night puns, A. Ghastlee Ghoul!

The Ghastlee Movie Show started in 1991 and was spawned off another public access comedy show called “The Underground Sideshow” from 1988 as it started off as a skit about a reluctant Horror Host. And with that skit, a new breed of Horror Host show was born in Dayton as it took over the time slot of the show that spawned it and became a late night hit with viewers.

The show lasted for decades, and Ghastlee was a Horror Host that I can remember kids talking about once I moved from Waynesville to Kettering as everyone enjoyed the rapid fire pacing and the chaos of the skits with the use of music and visuals. His show was like nothing seen before from a Horror Host…at least in our area!

A. Ghastlee Ghoul became such a popular host that he also began appearing on other local access shows like “Media Only” and even “New Shock Theater,” teaming him with one of his biggest inspirations, Dr. Creep! Ghastlee’s zany show even helped spawn the world youngest Horror Host Dr. Freak and this even lead to him appearing on his show “Cult Theater” and giving the film Zombie 4 the old “Mystery Science Theater 3000” treatment. The show’s popularity among public access viewers grew and this lead to A. Ghastlee Ghoul becoming the official second most popular Horror Host in the Dayton market and lead to so many other cool appearances that we will get into a little later.

One of The Ghastlee Movie Show’s most watched episodes had him starring at the camera the whole time looking sad, and this both worried and puzzled viewers as they just didn’t understand what was going on…and that was the point and it had them coming back for more! Over the years The Ghastlee Movie show has slowed down with new episodes coming only in the form of the occasional special or Ghastlee appearing on other shows like Baron Von Porkchops Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. But while The Ghastlee Movie Show might be entertaining viewers and fans with reruns right now, plans of new episodes are in the works as of this update! I will say never count A. Ghastlee Ghoul out as who knows when a new Ghastlee Movie Show will emerge from the depths of Dayton and introduce a new breed of viewers to this innovative and one of a kind show.

When I first moved from Waynesville to Kettering, I hated it so much as I was always the strange monster kid who loved to talk about Horror Movies and draw pictures of monsters and demons…and this new school was not about it as the kids were all fine but 97% of the staff was not and thought I was in some sort of cult and was dangerous…it was the satanic panic all over again! But while Kettering Schools sucked ass, it was during this time that I discovered The Ghastlee Movie Show. I had seen him on other shows like “Media Only,” but while here in Kettering I really got to discover just how amazing his show was.

I watched every Friday night and would even tape it and watch the reruns. His show was that mesmerizing to this then-teenage monster kid. My favorite episode to watch was when he hosted the film The Manster as he inserted himself into the movie and did some great comedy bits that fit perfectly with the events of the film. I also saw his starting at the camera episode and watched the whole thing…in fact several times…I know that explains a lot!

I first got to meet Ghastlee in person at one of the Horrorama Movie Marathon events and became life long friends with him when I answered a trivia question about his show and won a prize. After this, Ghastlee and I emailed each other from time to time, and I was even lucky enough to be on his show once (more on that later) and would go to events he was hosting like screenings at Neon Movies. We also both would be at many of the same conventions once my friends and I started the SOV film company Independent B Movie.

A. Ghastlee Ghoul is like a second father to me and has always watched out for me as well as has always been around when needed and has supported all my weird creative outlets as I have always been around for him. He is a true friend who has helped inspire many of my projects including the creation of Horror Host Baron Von Porkchop that I created back in 2010 alongside my cousin Stephen. I am a very lucky person as I have lots of great people in my life, and I am lucky to call many of the Horror Hosts I grew up watching friends like A. Ghastlee Ghoul, Dr. Creep, Dr. Freak, The Creeper and Iris & Retina of Mondo Smash A’Go-Go all who are Dayton Hosts. So here is a big thank you to Bob Hinton, the man behind A. Ghastlee Ghoul for all his years of friendship and for being an amazing Horror Host and a great person.

A. Ghastlee Ghoul was just that – a ghoul who has a pail white face, a goatee and long hair who has a twisted and fun sense of humor and is filled with random and off the wall thoughts and jokes. His original look was wearing all black with a long black coat and a strange looking glove that was deformed looking. His attire would later change to a long red & black coat with a red hat, and this became his signature look.

Ghastlee’s sense of humor is a little twisted, and he has no filter and a manic style of hosting. While Ghastlee has hosted films, he mostly was known for hosting clips that had a gonzo style of editing that included clips of adult films mixed with old commercials and horror movies all set to music. While a ghoul, A. Ghastlee Ghoul is not the flesh eating kind and is more of the pun infested kind who enjoys making people laugh as well as become shocked by his brand of humor.

Besides his show and hosting movies, Ghastlee is also known for playing in bands in the area as well as hosting a radio show, making him a multi talented Ghoul! Besides being the host of The Ghastlee Movie Show, he has also guest starred and hosted many other shows like New Shock Theater, Cult Theater, Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre, The Spooky Movie, Weird Web Theater and many more! While A. Ghastlee Ghoul might not be of the flesh eating variety, this Ghoul how ever is the type to both humor and frighten you with his quick wit and zany personality.

Like any good Horror Host show, the Ghastlee Movie Show has its fair share of co-hosts and sidekicks! With one of the early ones being the one and only Uncle Jasper! But then was added Lou The XXX-Mas Devil, who is smooth and a ladies man and an amazing co-host that adds lots of fun moments to the show. Then came Jeff McClellan, American, a cigar chomping pro American who has strong right views. Grimsburger The Doorman was his grunting, raw meat-eating doorman, and lastly was the Horror Hostess Suspira who added a horror lady charm to the show. Plus over the ages he had many other guests that include Dr. Creep, Dow Thomas, Dr. Freak and Baron Von Wolfstein! And for those who might not know, I once played a character on his show and was called “Son Of A. Ghastlee Ghoul” who was indeed a fraud when his real life daughter showed up and fronted me out! That was such a fun time, and the episode had both not only me but also my pal Jason Gilmore. All the co-hosts are so important to this show and each added their own touch to making Ghastlee Movie Show even more special for viewers.

Good old Ghastlee has also spread his madness to many great events as well as he is a staple at many conventions over the years with his main appearance being at Cinema Wasteland in Strongsville, Ohio where he even hosts an event called “Ghastlee Night At The Movies” that showcases his zany games and even musical performances and this is a staple for Wastelanders. In 2004 Ghastlee even had his own convention here in Dayton at the Convention Center called “Ghastlee’s Scary Camp” that was a great time for everyone who attended and had many great guests like Sid Haig, Conrad Brooks, Bill Hinzman and Heather Leigh Davis to name a few, not to mention David “The Rock” Nelson was also running around!

A. Ghastlee Ghoul also has been in many bands around here with his two most popular bands being Rat Sass and Splattertude, and they have played at many great venues and has even had “A. Ghastlee Night At Gilly’s” events at the classic Gilly’s Jazz Club! He has live hosted movies at theaters like Neon Movies, Page Manor, Englewood Cinema and even Danbarry Huber Heights and even has co-hosted charity movie marathon Horrorama off and on for years. He also did Frightfest, a meet and great at a Blockbuster Video in Middletown, a very cool idea that brought video rental store and Horror Host together. He has written many short stories as well as co-authored the cult classic novel “Underpants Of The Dead” as well as wrote two of the stories used in the comic book series “Shocking Macabre Theater” that also showcases Ghastlee as one of the main characters! Not to mention he has even hosted comedy and freakshow acts alongside Baron Von Porkchop at Wiley’s Comedy Club!

In his early days as Bob Hinton, he ran many haunted houses….and this is just a drop in the hat of all the amazing things A. Ghastlee Ghoul has done in and around the Ohio area, showing that this Horror Host and the man behind it truly is a creative mastermind. Oh man I should also say that in 2004 he made the horror comedy film “Joe Nosferatu: Homeless Vampire” that also showcased many other Horror Hosts including Dr. Creep & Dr. Freak! And he even has done radio with his show “Wackadoo Wax Radio” with co-host Comrade X…man A. Ghastlee Ghoul/Bob Hinton really is a man of many talents! One more thing that is very important to Horror Host fans around the world is Ghastlee is also one of the founding creators of The Horror Host Underground, a very cool group that allowed viewers from all around the U.S to see hosts from other states!

On March 19, 2016 at Horrorhound Weekend, the “2016 Class of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame” induction took place and in this class was the one and only A. Ghastlee Ghoul. To me this was long over due as Ghastlee truly is an iconic host who had a style all to his own, setting him apart from the pack. For this event Ghastlee was inducted by Halloween Jack and Baron Von Wolfstein, and I was honored that he wanted me on stage with him during this time for him to be honored for all his years of hard work being a Horror Host. A. Ghastlee Ghoul was joined in his class by the likes of Feep, Ivonna Cadaver, The Great Zucchini and Ghost Host to name a few. It was great to see Ghastlee get the respect and honor he 100% deserved as he really is a true icon of Horror Hosting and has done so much for Hosting on screen and off it!

Shocking Macabre Theater has two issues released by Sparkle Comics so far and features Dayton’s best Horror Hosts like Dr. Creep, The Creeper, Baron Von Porkchop and of course A. Ghastlee Ghoul all sharing scary stories with the readers. Artist Damien Brunk is the one who brings the host parts alive on the pages. But what people do not know is that when Sparkle Comics first started in 2016, one of the first comics in development was a comic based on A. Ghastlee Ghoul that would have him and Lou The XXX-Mas Devil going on Scooby-Doo style adventures. The art for this series was going to be done by my friend Brett Prescott who also would have helped write the adventures along with myself, and we would have had A. Ghastlee Ghoul also help with the stories. The idea would have taken Ghastlee and Lou all over the state of Ohio and would have had them running into local legend monsters as well as would have had an enemy known as The Phantom who would wear all black and would almost be like the Super Goof baddy Phantom Blot but way more sinister and mean. This sadly got sidelined and never made it into full production as we mostly just worked on character designs and loose plotlines. As of now, the comic is one the list of comics that are no longer being developed, but who knows, maybe one day Brett and I will work on this comic series and at least deliver a one shot issue. Check out some of the art design below to see how this comic would have looked.

Before we get to the episodes, I would like to take a moment to talk about his most iconic one in which Ghastlee starred at the camera for 30 minutes straight as candle smoke entered the frame. The watchers of Dayton public access were mesmerized by this episode as it was met with mixed reactions! Many viewers just watched in amazement to try and figure out if Ghastlee was pulling a joke; many others thought he was trying to steal their souls or hypnotize them and it was part of some sort of devil worshiping ritual! When I saw the show when it originally aired, I picked up more of a sad vibe, almost like Ghastlee’s heart had been broken and this was his way of dealing with it. Ghastlee himself would go on and say that the episode was an experiment to see if people would watch the full episode and find a meaning in it. This episode lives on still to this day as people who love Dayton, Ohio Horror Hosts talk about this episode amongst themselves, I think one amazing thing about this episode is the fact that people wrote in to the station to complain about it and this causes major stress between Ghastlee and the station. This episode is truly one that needs to be seen as it’s one of the oddest episodes of The Ghastlee Movie Show you will ever see.

So as you can see, A. Ghastlee Ghoul is a true Dayton original Horror Host entertainer who has entertained, confused and inspired many viewers over the years of his show. And now it’s time for me to take a look at some of the shows I have of A. Ghastlee Ghoul on DVD as part of my horror host collection. I want to thank Bob Hinton himself for getting me almost all of these episodes as well as fellow Horror Host tape traders. I do not give these episodes a star rating and the host segments are written by me with the films’ write-ups coming from our pals at IMDB. I am also not going to cover the DVDs of “Best Of The Ghastlee Movie Show” nor “Grimsburger Raw” as those are clip shows and I want to showcase the full episodes. I also have a ton of episodes and these are the ones I selected at random to showcase The Ghastlee Movie Show. Some of these episodes are the ones that made me a fan all those years back. So if you’re ready, let’s dive into the weird and wild world of A. Ghastlee Ghoul and his movie show!

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Alcohol Patch
Starring – Uncle Jasper & Erin Ghoul         Not Rated       2000

Host: Ghastlee, wearing a fur coat, is hanging out with Uncle Jasper and once more welcoming us to the show with his super quick wit and racy humor. He also talks about the theme of the year as well as how only 141 people watch his show. He also showcases the new alcohol patch and then brings on a group of teens who are his live audience. He talks more about the patch and interviews the teens and shows some random clips and skits before ending the show. Also his daughter shows up to end the show properly as he is on the alcohol patch.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Anther Dimension
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul   Not Rated   1998

Host: Ghastlee joins you from another dimension to host the night’s show and treat us to soothing music over psychedelic colors and images. Ghastlee returns to warn the viewers about being trapped in another dimension and tells them all not to get stuck in one as it’s bad! Then back to the music; this time set to clips from movies. Ghastlee comes back and asks for help to escape from the other dimension and that really this episode is just a concept as he has run out of ideas! Then back to clips and skits that include classic skits used on classic episodes. Ghastlee joins the viewers again from the dimension and ushers them out of the episode.

Note From Matt: This is episode 52 of The Ghastlee Movie Show.

Ghastlee Movie Show: Bad Trip At Creepy Crick
Starring – Jesse Nutt & Gary Davis     Not Rated       1992

Host: Ghastlee shows up a little way into the movie and is upset they started the show without him and is even more mad they are showing this shot on video B-movie! Next time we show Ghastlee, he is on set and shows a fake commercial for foot care. And when the film is over, Ghastlee enters the film and beats the actors with a stick! He also shows a music video and a Little Lulu cartoon.

Movie: A group of friends are fishing at a small creek and are warned by a Monster Hunter that a fish monster is on the loose and people have been turning up dead! The group of friends decide to stay instead of leave and to their horror the monster shows up! The group of friends turn the table on the monster and find that the creature is in fact not real and is just the Monster Hunter dressed up. And in the end a twist happens and the film quickly ends.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Bill
Starring – Bill Hicks       Not Rated     1994

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul is sitting in his home and is ranting about how companies are using music from the likes of John Lennon and Janis Joplin to sell products! He also does a silly musical bit about Seattle as well as talks about his sadness of the passing of Bill Hicks.

Movie: What is shown is the last stand-up act of comedian Bill Hicks in Arkansas.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Chili Cook Off
Starring – Dr. Creep & Dave Sullivan     Not Rated   2002

Host: Ghastlee Ghoul, alongside Jeff McClellan, is heading to an Irish Pub in Brookville to meet with Horror Host Icon Dr. Creep to eat chili at a cook off! Also on hand to eat chili is Wild Man Dave Sullivan of show Media Only. Ghastlee and crew eat chili and rate it and are having a great time do so for charity. In the end, they event takes to long to pick a winner, and Ghastlee lets the viewers know in his book # 28 was the winner.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Coming Around The Mountain
Starring – Dr. Creep        Not Rated       1997

Host: Ghastlee starts the show talking about his show being “TV M” and that people should tune in because boobs. And he takes jabs at the city of Moraine as well as terrible commercials being aired. He then shows the classic “She’ll Be Coming Around The Mountain” skit that has the song mixed with porn clips. And then he talks about his most viewed episode –  of him just starring in the camera the whole episode and the how people complained about it. We then show Ghastlee with Dr. Creep at the Inferno club talking about running for President. And once more he starts up about being TV M and how raunchy he can be now because of it and proceeds to tell dirty jokes.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Community Watch
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul      Not Rated       1993

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul is very concerned about the community and wants to talk about censorship of books and how terrible it is that a local church is doing book burnings and how terrible it is that libraries are taking books off shelves. Ghastlee returns to his normal set and talks a little about the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula and says the movie sucks! We are then treated to skits and music montages clipped together in Ghastlee fashion. This episode also shows a live White Zombie video filmed here in Dayton, Ohio. In the end, Ghastlee makes more jokes and thanks viewers for watching.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Death Of A Rude Dude
Starring – Rick Martin & Dr. Creep     Not Rated     1995

Host: On his set Ghastlee tells some jokes and then shows a short film called “Death Of A Really Rude Dude” that ends up just being about him bragging about himself to the female workers of Public Access. And later in his set, Ghastlee starts drinking and being angry with his crew and has a guest named A. Smithee who was flown in from Hollywood. Smithee gets upset when he realizes that Ghastlee has never seen one of his films. After Smithee storms off the set, he plays a few funny spots, and then gets a visit from Dr. Creep minus his makeup who warns him to change his behavior, and after the visit he goes to the control room and gets a package that has a dead rat in it. Once back on his set he talks about boobs on public access and asks viewers if they would like to see them, and once more Dr. Creep visits with a warning, as Ghastlee keeps being rude and crude and his final warning comes while Ghastlee is in the restroom. In the end A. Smithee grabs a knife and stalks Ghastlee down the halls, and finally Smithee with a samurai sword cuts off Ghastlee’s hand and head!

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Elvis Lives
Starring – Lou Vuto     Not Rated     1993

Host: Ghastlee welcomes us to his show while he tells some crude and silly jokes on his set. He also interviews an Elvis impersonator named Lou Vuto and even ends the show lip-synching to an Elvis song.

Movie: The movie section of this episode is clips and music mixed together in a Night Flight kind of way. Also thrown in are some silly skits from Ghastlee and his old comedy troop of friends. Also plays a few Elvis inspired music videos that include the animated “All Dug Up” video of a skeleton Elvis in his coffin.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul & Jimmy Hoffa   Not Rated   1991

Host: This starts with Ghastlee doing a skit about hair loss and a hair club that will help you grow hair…because you are a werewolf! Ghastlee Ghoul emerges from a black and red screen and welcomes the viewers to the show and tells some Halloween and Pee-Wee Herman jokes and does a skit about Jeffrey Dahmer. Ghastlee next talks to a chunk of concrete that is Jimmy Hoffa and a filmmaker who claims he has slept with many famous females. Ghastlee then tells some news from the afterlife and then his friends go and share “ghost” stories. Ghastlee returns and has a segment called “Be Funny Or Be Dead” and if they win they get free White Castle burgers for life or die by them; the comedian dies by a giant burger. Ghastlee ends the show dancing and telling the viewers he will see them next week.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 4
Starring – Sock Puppets         Not Rated       1992    

Host: This episode starts with a man being killed with a hammer, and then Ghastlee starts the episode singing the blues with funny lyrics, that then goes into a talk about discrimination against the dead. And then he goes into silly skits about MTV Camera school that teaches you how to film young women. He then shows Night Of The Living Dead done with sock puppets, and Ghastlee is mad as he thought it was the real film! Ghastlee fires his producer and shows cheesy trailers for fake movies, and then reads the plots for some movies that he could possibly show. Ghastlee then just shows some clip style music video he put together.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 18
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul & Angry Neighbors     Not Rated     1993

Host: Ghastlee starts the show off with his set going crazy and then tells some of his normal crude and funny jokes about dead people and Dhamer! And after skits he returns with some more crude jokes and takes us to a segment called “Life’s Eternal Mysteries.” Then he goes to a White Zombie music video and then a skit about an old people stunt school. Back on the set, Ghastlee is visited by two guys that want to throw Ghastlee out of the neighborhood as they think he is causing issues with their TV as well as all the buried skeletons…and a mob is outside waiting to railroad him out of town for good! Ghastlee escapes, and then he shows a few more skits before the show ends.

Note From Matt: This episode is a little rough in quality at the start.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 59
Starring – The Clapper     Not Rated   1999

Host: The episode starts with a Betty Boop cartoon set to music, and then we are treated to clips and music! The clip is from an old Sword and Sandal movie ,and he has a man clap over and over as a man whips a female prisoner as more clips are overlaid with music and voices added.

Note From Matt: This episode was dubbed the “Labor Show”.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 62
Starring – Erin Ghoul & Dave Sullivam           Not Rated           2000

Host: We start with a skit making fun of hillbillies and Kentucky, and then we are treated to some music over clips. Ghastlee is shown dancing around and falls when his daughter Erin shows up and opens the show. He then takes back over and starts his quick-witted jokes once again. And after dancing and falling again, we are shown more clips set to music and sound effects. Then he shows the trailer for the unreleased horror comedy film “Stop It Your Killing Me!” Back to Ghastlee on the set who ends up talking Wild Man Dave Sullivan for public access show “Media Only” and the pair go back and fourth. We then get some music performance by a metal band. Wild Man and Ghastlee once more share shots back and fourth and then talk about how Public Access is Free TV. We then cut to music with clips, and then Erin Ghoul ends the show and tells viewers not to watch her dad’s show as it rots your brain!

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 64
Starring – Uncle Jasper & Lou The XXX-Mas Devil     Not Rated     2000

Host: This episode Ghastlee is on set and is on the phone stretching his leg high up over his head and is shocked when the viewers are there! He then shows some clips from Neon Movies and one of his Ghastlee Night At The Movie events he held in the theater. During this he also shows shout-outs from other horror hosts like The Ghastly One, Count Gore de Vol and Halloween Jack! And then to the Cannibal Harry’s fake commercial along with other odd skits are played. And then there’s more footage from Neon Movies of Uncle Jasper on guitar playing Werewolves Of London as the crowd howls!

Note From Matt: Sadly this episode has a few audio issues from the master tape at the start of the episode.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Episode 70
Starring – Count Gore De Vol     Not Rated     2000 

Host: This episode starts with clips of Ghastlee, almost like a greatest hits package and then shows a vampire girl mixed with weird clips and footage of Blair Witch Project with the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” playing over it. And then he shows a trailer for a film called “The Devil’s Sex Slave” and then as well shows clip from a SOV horror comedy film. And then once more we go into a crazy music videos of clips from all types of movies, shows and videos set to different music tracks. He plays a fake foul car commercial followed by the zombie Elvis “All Dug Up” animated video. And then we get a quick message from Horror Host Legend Count Gore De Vol about Ghastlee Ghoul. We then go back to the music videos one being the video for “Terror” by the band My Ruin that is mixed with movie clips.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Equinox
Starring – Edward Connell & Barbara Hewitt       Rated PG       1970

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul is in the bathtub with the Necronomicon, and horror hostess Madame Mortem reads from the book and finds that a curse has been put into place that has all horror hosts having to host the 1970 film Equinox! The next break we get a visit from Count Gore de Vol who talks about the real equinox. Next up are Remo D and the following Professor Griffin, Dr. Fear, Halloween Jack, Dr. Creep, Dr. Sarcofiguy, Bone Jangler and more with Ghastlee showing up throughout to spread his zany brand of humor and ends the show with a singing SpongeBob SquarePants and the Necronomicon!

Movie: Four teenagers go on a woods hike and encounter a creepy forest ranger and a crazy old man. The old man is a scientist who had found a mysterious book bound in human skin, the Necronomicon, and when he had read its cryptic symbols it conjured monsters into existence. The teenagers keep the book, and are then pursued by monsters, a demonic cult, and the ranger. The ranger turns out to be a red flying devil in human disguise.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Frightvision
Starring – Jeff McClellan & Sleazy P. Martini      Not Rated      2000  

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul is at Frightvision Convention and is meeting with his fans and takes a few moments to also chat with his fellow Horror Hosts and celebrities like DJ Neil, Sleazy P. Martini of GWAR, and he is joined by Jeff McClellan, American. Ghastlee also shows off his view from his hotel room and shows Jeff dancing on his bed to the song “Jungle Boogie.” Jeff also wanders around and films the antics of the convention, and Ghastlee at one point walks around and chats with some folks. He also shows a clip of Sleazy P.’s new video at the time.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Get Out Of Hell Card
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul       Not Rated       1992

Host: Ghastlee is on his set and is paranoid about people being after him, and then comes the Ghastlee style quick wit jokes! Ghastlee then does an impersonation of George Takei of Star Trek fame and then tries his best to do a female auction and all the girls tell him NO to being on the show. In-between Ghastlee’s jokes, we are treated to music video set to clips and cartoons. In the end after making some God jokes, he tries to use his Get Out Of Hell Free Card and the set blows up in a ball of fire!

Note From Matt: The end of this episode has lots of bad tracking issues and while you can hear it the picture is gone for long moments. And finally before the episodes over the recording stops.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Giant Gila Monster
Starring – Don Sullivan & Fred Graham         Not Rated           1959

Host: Ghastlee Ghoul decides to host the movie The Giant Gila Monster and puts himself in the motion picture and cuts jokes and delivers snarky remarks. And Ghastlee does this for the whole movie with funny results. We later cut to Ghastlee on his set as he has a guest that was a man who was once eaten by a Gila Monster, but when he finds that his guest was a fraud, he really does feed him to a Gila Monster! Then we go back to the movie, and once more Ghastlee inserts himself into it. At intermission Ghastlee eats something from the bottom of his boot and shows a fake coffee commercial before going back to the movie.

Movie: A couple of teenagers are reported missing in a small Texas town, and it is thought they eloped. Sheriff Jeff turns to his friend Clarence Winstead, a garage mechanic and leader of a hot-rod gang, for help. After a series of tragic motor accidents, it becomes apparent that a giant Gila monster is roaming the area depleting the town of its citizens and visitors, including two hot-rodding teens, and planning to attend the BIG record-hop party.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Ghastlee Yule ‘94
Starring – Scott Huff & Dow Thomas     Not Rated     1994

Host: The episode opens with the song Christmas in Heaven set to all types of clips. Ghastlee on his set is with the body of his dead neighbor as a young woman in a bikini dances around. He then shares more clips and skits including 1800-HiScott about a chubby man who charges you to chat with him as well as Scott’s parade footage, and then Ghastlee on his set again ushers us to more skits including Dow Thomas singing Jingle Bells as Bob Dylan. Dow Thomas then joins Ghastlee on the set and gives Ghastlee a skull for Christmas and then treats the viewers to a couple of songs. Ghastlee breaks down the film “It’s A Wonderful Life” and then we get more skit clips. Ghastlee then talks to a man claiming to be Santa, and then a clip of an elf who is mad about his treatment. Ghastlee next talks to a guy named Bo, who talks about seeing Santa and being kidnapped by him! In the end he ushers the viewers out of the episode with a song by Dow Thomas.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Ghastlee Yule ‘98
Starring – Dow Thomas & Scott Huff     Not Rated     1998

Host: Like always, this Ghastlee Yule starts with some music and clips and we then join Ghastlee in studio covered in Christmas garland and is singing his own Christmas song about getting sex for the holiday. He then tells viewers that as always he will be running reruns and so starts skits from the past Ghastlee Yule specials that include “1900-HiScott”, Dow Thomas singing Christmas songs, Bikini woman dancing and of course Ghastlee talking about Christmas in off the wall ways.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Ghastlee Yule ‘06
Starring – Suspira & Jeff McClellan     Not Rated       2006

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul is on his set along with Jeff McClellan, Grimsburger The Doorman and Suspira. While she plays the video 12 Days of Christmas and animated short, Ghastlee leads the guys in carols about William Shatner. Next Suspira and Mayhem Zann of the band Splattertude give a quick gross countdown, and then we are treated to a Christmas Cartoon. Later Ghastlee has a massive joint and then ushers us into a Bob Hope picture being set on fire after he tells some fun jokes. We then are treated to some classic segment from past Ghastlee Yule specials. In the end Ghastlee and his crew wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and he does a William Shatner impersonation on reading the twelve days of Christmas.

Note From Matt: Sadly most of the end credits are missing from this episode

The Ghastlee Movie Show: HorrorFind 2001 Pt. 1
Starring – Bruce Campbell & Michael Berryman    Not Rated     2001

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul and Jeff McClellan are at HorrorFind 2001 Convention and are walking around showing the amazing stuff for sale as well as showcase some of the stars on hand at the event. Ghastlee takes a moment and talks to Michael Berryman from the Hills Have Eyes. He next talks to Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell about making movies and the pair zing off each other. Ghastlee next films the costume contest at the event hosted by Count Gore de Vol and Bruce Campbell…in the end after the winner is picked the show ends.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: HorrorFind 2001 Pt. 2
Starring – Edgar Allen Poe & Drew Williams     Not Rated     2001

Host: Ghastlee and Jeff McClellan are still at Horrorfind Weekend, and before they show more convention hijinks they visit the grave of Edgar Allen Poe and Ghastlee reads a passage from one of Poe’s story. Ghastlee then shows a few moments of Horrorfind, and then we join Jeff McClellan at the grave of Poe and he as well reads a passage! Then back to Horrorfind, and then they walk around a haunted house that was apart of the convention! He then has an interview with Phantasm actor Reggie Bannister, and the pair talk trees, politics and guitars. He then interviews special effects god Tom Savini, and they chat all about getting home after a long weekend.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: I’m Sick
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul      Not Rated       1993

Host: The show starts off with clips as Type Of Negative music plays as well as other rock music, and as well as an animated Jerky Boys prank call. We catch up with Ghastlee who is sick in bed and is under covers and whining and farting….but really he is faking it and wants to go out and party! We are then treated to more clips, music and odd skits and even a Type O Negative music video for Black # 1. We next join Ghastlee as he is throwing up in the toilet, and we go to another music video as the show ends.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Jan-Gel
Starring – Conrad Brooks & Dale Clukey       Not Rated      2000

Host: Ghastlee and Jeff McClellan are on set with a VHS copy of the film Jan-Gel made by director/actor Conrad Brooks! They both take shots at the film as well as Conrad Brooks as they are clearly not fans and say that the film is the worst film in history. And of course throughout the film Ghastlee adds in his own edits and sound bits. He comes back and talks to Athens, Ohio Horror Host Lizzy Ax (who as far as I know never did one episode), and they usher us back to the cheesy movie. When we join Ghastlee next he is with his neighbor and they once more poke fun at the film and then take us back to the film. In the end Ghastlee with Lizzy wraps up the episode by showcasing his show and once more trashing the night’s film. And then we are treated to a music video that features clips from Chris Seaver film “Mulva Zombie Ass-Kicker”.

Host: Without doubt, the most intriguing caveman epic of our time. Jan-Gel, thawed from his 50,000 year sleep, dedicates his new life in the present day to mutilating anyone he can find as he roams the hills of Maryland and West Virginia. Dresses in a leopard skin, and not much else, he wreaks havoc and still finds the time to fall in love with young Beth Simmons. However, special agents Conrad Brooks and Gary West are hot on his trail. Can they stop him before he finds his next victim?

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Jeff McClellan
Starring – Jeff McClellan     Not Rated     1999

Host: This episode has A. Ghastlee Ghoul welcoming Dr. Creep back to Horror Hosting with his public access show New Shock Theater! Ghastlee also lets the viewers know that this marks his 10 years on the air and that he is going to start throwing crap at the viewers and see what sticks…but Ghastlee is soon taken off the air when Jeff McClellan American shows up and hijacks the show and answers calls from viewers giving his pro American advice. In the end, Jeff McClellan pulls out a gun and Ghastlee rushes him and the episode ends with a cliffhanger!

Note From Matt: This appears to be the first appearance of the co-host character Jeff McClellan American and makes this a true key episode in the series as Jeff would go on to be the one of the shows most popular co-hosts. This is also episode # 55.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Jeff McClellan Pt. 2
Starring – Jeff McClellan    Not Rated     1999

Host: This episode has Jeff McClellan having a debate on who will be the host of the show with A. Ghastlee Ghoul who is being backed up by Lou The XXX-Mas Devil and as their secret weapon they bring porn clips to try and get the votes. The pair take calls from viewers and give answers to questions that are all off the wall and with the dash of the classic crude humor. The debate ends with a to be continued!

Note From Matt: This is the second appearance of Jeff McClellan and is also episode 56!

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Koala
Starring – Stuffed Animal & Candles       Not Rated      2000

Host: This episode is just a plush toy koala bear sitting on a counter with candles and incense lit as music plays from bands like Type Of Negative, Phish, Journey and Jim Croce. The whole episode goes this way.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Lap Dance Computer
Starring – Corn Dervish       Not Rated      1999

Host: A. Ghastlee Ghoul has gotten himself a Lap Dance Computer and has fun with the machine and even runs around the set naked! He even has a fan join him on the episode named Corn Dervish! Not to mention, Ghastlee as always has his fair share of clips set to music to entertain the late night viewers, and after messing with Corn, he ends the night’s episode with looking on the bright side of life.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Leslie Nielsen
Starring – Leslie Nielsen & Green Jello     Not Rated     1993

Host: Ghastlee is on his set and starts the show off by telling some jokes and is mad that viewers are mad about him showing White Zombie videos and instead shows a video from the band Green Jello that was filmed in Dayton, Ohio. After the video, Ghastlee shows some things that fans have sent him in the mail like a glass, VHS tape and sunglasses. He next shows a segment of Grace Jones reading Little Red Riding to kids that of course ends with her freaking them out. Ghastlee next pops on and chats with Leslie Nielsen, and the interview goes awkward and the man turns out to be a fraud and is really be a human bomb that explodes on set. In the end, we are treated to another Green Jello live shot video from Dayton.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: The Manster
Starring – Peter Dyneley & Jane Hylton       Not Rated         1959

Host: In this episode Ghastlee decides to host the movie Manster and adds a twist as he adds himself into the film as well as gives his own joke remarks during scenes! And I mean really, Ghastlee shows up on screen in the movie and cuts jokes and one-liners! During a break in the movie Ghastlee interviews a drink Doctor and after drinking the powerful drink, he grows another head!! And then back to the movie… Ghastlee ends the show with his second head disappearing and talking to Neal from Public Access’ Metalmania who gives Ghastlee a bomb that blows up.

Movie: An American reporter in Japan is sent to interview an eccentric Japanese scientist working on bizarre experiments in his mountain laboratory. When the doctor realizes that the hapless correspondent is the perfect subject for his next experiment, he drugs the unfortunate man and injects him with a serum that gradually transforms him into a hideous, two-headed monster.

Note From Matt: This is one of my favorite episodes, and many of the jokes in this one crack me up with the “Wish You Were Here Larry” bath scene one for me being the best.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Messiah Of Evil
Starring – Michael Greer & Marianna Hill       Rated R       1973

Host: Live from the Monstercast on the Monster Channel has A. Ghastlee Ghoul and Jeff McClellan hiding under a bed with their Bozo The Clown doll and are chatting about the night’s first film of the evening Dead People aka Messiah Of Evil and are lured out from hiding with a beer by Suspira! But the movie is really scaring them as Suspira and Mayhem Zann are mad about them being scared so they bring in a man’s man in who makes Ghastlee and Jeff eat raw meat! And at one point Lou The XXX-Mas Devil is trying to sleep as Ghastlee and Jeff talk about the night’s second movie Funeral Home.

Movie: Messiah Of Evil A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

Note From Matt: Sadly this is only the first movie of the Monstercast so the rest of the show is not on the disc.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Moving Show
Starring –Baron Von Wolfstein & Grimsburger     Not Rated         2005

Host: Ghastlee is moving and needs to bring down his set and move all his props as he calls this episode “The Ghastlee Moving Show” his only help is Horror Host legend Baron Von Wolfstein and the crazy Grimsburger The Doorman! After feeding Grimsburger some meat and drinking some beers, they start the task. During this time for breaks he shows some clips of Scary Camp, Twisted Nightmare among many other Ghastlee Ghoul related things as well as shows the short movie Joe Nosferatu. In the end Ghastlee and his helpers show the old set that is now barebones. Clips of Conventions and the short film Joe Nosferatu are shown.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Pantomime
Starring – Jeff McClellan & Grimsburger The Doorman     Not Rated     ???

Host: Ghastlee and Jeff McClellan start to show lip-synching to a trailer of the Caddy that has bad words as bloopers. He then shows music montages before we next join Grimsburger The Doorman who is listening to bad music! We then get more lip-synching between our hosts Jeff and Ghastlee to celebrity bloopers, and of course more montages of clips and trailers thrown in for good measure! Jeff then interviews Rosetta Workman who was at Cinema Wasteland working the table for filmmaker Andy Copp and even chats with Dr. Creep for a second about how women make better sales people at conventions.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Prison
Starring – Neal Turpin & Dow Thomas     Not Rated     1992

Host: Ghastlee Ghoul opens the show from a TV Screen and is in jail for giving the finger to a cop when Neal Turpin from a local music show enters the set and takes over the show! Neal spends the time making fun of Ghastlee and showing music videos from bands like Judas Priest. All the while Ghastlee acts as if he is doing a special to show how bad prison is, and he is scared when a creepy prisoner sneaks up behind him! Between the videos he also shows a comedy short done by Shock Theater icon Dow Thomas. Neal starts to give away some of Ghastee’s stuff, and he gets mad about it and once more appears on the set as everyone leaves him all alone.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Psychomania
Starring – Nick Henson & Mary Larkin     PG      1973

Host: Lou The XXX-Mas Devil is in charge of the show and is at the new set with a drunken guy named Matt, and all the while A. Ghastlee Ghoul and Jeff McClellan are in Tennessee with Horror Host Dr. Gangrene of Chiller Cinema on his set as well as a haunted attraction he was part of for Halloween. In the end Lou shows a very shortened and music over dialogue version of the film Psychomania.

Movie: A gang of young people call themselves the Living Dead. They terrorize the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in it, they will survive and gain eternal life. Following their leader, they commit suicide one after the other, but things don’t necessarily turn out as expected.

Note From Matt: This is episode 84 of The Ghastlee Movie Show, and the episode oddly has no end credits.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Scary Camp Preview
Starring – Reverend Zealot & Ken Kish     Not Rated     2004

Host: This episode features Joe Nosferatu Homeless Vampire pushing for viewers to attend Scary Camp, a very cool horror convention in Dayton that was put on by A. Ghastlee Ghoul. Joe then does his best to showcase the guests that include Sid Haig and Tom Sullivan to name a very few. We are also treated to clips of films some of the guests are in as well as clips from films showing at the event. We then are treated to a revival done by Reverend Joe Bob Billy Jean with guests that include New Shock Theater’s Reverend Zealot as they try and save the souls of those horror fans who like CGI effects.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Staring
Starring – A. Ghastlee Ghoul & Candle   Not Rated     1996

Host: A Ghastlee Ghoul starts the episode with no opening credits, but instead starts it off just starring into the camera with a candle lit underneath his face and nature sounds playing in the background almost making its own ambient music. Every once in a while you will hear someone cough in the background adding a new layer off weirdness to the episode. Ghastlee does not speak a word and just stares at the viewer, he struggles not to blink as his eyes even start to tear up. In the end he swirls some incense around, and the episode ends with a message that thanks the viewers for watching this experiment.

Note From Matt: This is one of the most iconic episodes of The Ghastlee Movie Show as viewers truly were confused by what they were watching! This also was his most watched episode and triggered people to write in to the Public Accesses station to complain about how they felt the episode was demonic. True classic Ghastlee at his best, and this is also episode # 38.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Ted V. Mikels
Starring – Ted V. Mikels & Shanti     Not Rated     2000

Host: Ghastlee opens the show letting the viewers know that he and Jeff McClellan have just gotten back from the horror convention Cinema Wasteland and shares Jeff getting beat up by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle! But the main attraction is Ghastlee interviewing cult film director Ted V. Mikels and actress Shanti about his long history of making classic drive in films like Astro-Zombies, The Corpse Grinders, Blood Orgy Of The She-Devils and is promoting the film The Corpse Grinders 2. Ted and Shanti have a blast talking about the making of the film The Corpse Grinders 2, and it’s clear Ghastlee had a blast chatting with them. Ghastlee ends the show with saying he has to send Ted a copy of this interview and then is amazed that Ted will be watching The Ghastlee Movie Show.

Note From Matt: This is episode 66 of The Ghastlee Movie Show.

The Ghastlee Movie Show: Toxic Zombies
Starring – Charles McCrann & Beverly Shapiro     Not Rated     1980

Host: It’s Ghastlee’s Halloween Special and it starts with Horror Host Remo D wishing us all a happy one! We then show that Ghastlee is hanging out at a haunted attraction with Jeff McClellan and chats with some of the folks going to the haunted path as well as the world’s youngest Horror Host Dr. Freak! Later Ghastlee, Jeff, Dr. Freak and Suspira start to walk around the haunted path and meet some of the creepy monsters and the people who paid to walk it. All the while, Ghastlee breaks the rules and runs wild at the attraction with his band of cohosts. In the end they run into Tommy Gunn of Freakshow Deluxe who tells the haunted history of the land, and they as well see the legend Dr. Creep and they chat about Toxic Zombies!

Movie: After drug crops are sprayed with a chemical by a passing airplane, the growers of the crop are poisoned by the chemical and turn into zombie-like mutants.

A Ghastlee Ghoul is a true legend of Horror Hosting, not only in the state of Ohio, but the world, and any other Host of the past or present cannot match his style and wit. Ghastlee is a host all his own that some have tried to copy, but none have mastered. If you are a fan of Horror Hosts and have never seen an episode of A Ghastlee Movie Show, check out this unique show.

I also hope that Ghastlee himself enjoyed this long overdue Horror Host Icon update as much as I enjoyed writing it. Check back on this update from time to time as I will be adding new episodes from time to time to make this update even more epic!

For our next update, we are walking away from the weird and wild world of Horror Hosts and will be entering the world of Malibu Comics and taking an adventure with the ultra team Exiles! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! I will see you next update as I am very much looking forward to writing about Malibu Comics again!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Godzilla King Of The Monsters (2019)

Kaiju Month comes to an end with none other than Godzilla King Of The Monsters.  He is probably the world’s most famous Kaiju Movie Monster as he has spawned so many films and is a household name all over the world! In fact I have even heard people refer to all giant monsters in movies as Godzilla, showing just iconic he is to the world’s culture. And again as we wait till November for Godzilla vs. Kong, I think Rotten Ink Kaiju Month at least can help add some giant monsters into your life and make the wait a little better. For me, one of the biggest movies announced so far for 2020 is Godzilla vs. Kong as watching these titans clash will surly be a great experience for all us monster movie fans. So let’s not waste anymore time as The King Of The Monsters doesn’t like to be left waiting.

Let’s take a look at the tools of destruction that Godzilla had at his disposal in this film to deal with the enemies he faced. Godzilla stands a massive 393 feet and weighs more than 99 tons, making Godzilla one massive Kaiju that can uses his appearance first and foremost to scare the life out of any human that is silly enough to be in his path. Because of his massive size, his feet also become a weapon of death and destruction as if he steps on a person, it’s instant death! Godzilla’s tail is also a method he can use to dispatch a target and is also very effective against other giant monsters, and would annihilate a human. Godzilla also has razor sharp teeth that he can use to chop down on flesh of his enemies, not to even mention his hands have claws. Godzilla is also pretty smart and uses his brain in his attacks, and even more to his advantage, he does not back down from any fight and will stand his ground. His main attack is his radioactive fire breath that will melt human flesh and bone and even burns and hurts other massive Kaiju, and this power gets even stronger and dangerous when its mixes with the spirit of giant Kaiju moth Mothra! While for the most part Godzilla is unstoppable as he shrugs off bullets and missiles, one human made weapon can zap him and bring him to a very weak state and it’s called the “Oxygen Destroyer.” Godzilla also gets his strength from radiation and if he can find a high source of it, he can heal himself. He can also be hurt by other powerful Kaiju monsters, but as I have stated, only one man made weapon could hurt him. Godzilla is truly one of the most powerful monsters we have covered here on Rotten Ink on one of our From Horror Movie To Horror Comic updates. Godzilla is truly one of the true King Of The Monsters.

So now that we have talked about Godzilla and his power from 2019 we should now talk about the film he is from. So as always we will be taking the films write up from our pals at IMDB and the films production and of course my thoughts & connection will be written by me! So lets seek some shelter and talk even more about Godzilla.

Godzilla King Of The Monsters (2019)

“The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.”

Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers once more teamed up to bring the moviegoers another Godzilla rampage for their Monsterverse, and this time around decided to add more Kaiju that fans know and love like Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah to the plot and used this film to build up the clash between King Kong and Godzilla that will now be out in theaters later this year. For this second film, they brought in Michael Dougherty to direct who had built up a name in the Horror genre with films “Trick ‘r Treat” and “Krampus. He also had a hand in writing this massive film. When it came to casting, they did not pull any punches and brought in heavy hitters like Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi, Bradley Whitford, Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler. And like all big budget film (they spent over $200 million on it), they had their fair share of production woes from script rewrites all the way to studio interference, but they pulled it off. When the film was done, they brought in Bear McCreary to score the film and when they started to release the trailers, no joke both Juliet and I thought they were the best trailers of 2019 as they built the hype so well and did a fantastic job of blending the movie footage to classic and creepy versions of classic songs like “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. The film did pretty good for Legendary and Warner Brothers bringing in a worldwide total of $386,600,138.00! The film was released alongside other Horror and Cult films like “IT: Chapter 2”, “Doctor Sleep”, “Happy Death Day 2U”, “Brightburn”, “Black Christmas” and “Midsommar” to name a few.

Godzilla King Of The Monsters was everything I wanted in an American made Godzilla film and was leaps and bounds better that the 2014 attempt as it delivers some amazing Godzilla moments and gives viewers more Kaiju then they could shake a stick at. When the film’s first teaser trailers hit the theaters both Juliet and myself became kids again as we knew this was going to be an amazing movie going experience, and boy we were right as we enjoyed it and it was ranked my # 1 Horror Movie on my Matt Goes To The Movies 2019 update…that you can read right here. When seeing the film, I made sure to buy lots of tickets to bring my friends along with me as this was one of the films I was most hyped for and it really did live up to what I wanted from it. I loved seeing the other classic Toho monsters on the big screen as Rodan has always been one of my favorites and watching him clash with King Ghidorah and Mothra made me feel like a kid again, not to even mention that the use of the original Godzilla theme on the soundtrack put a massive smile on my face. When my friends and I all left the theater all of us really enjoyed it and all agreed it was what we wanted from Legendary Pictures and their Monsterverse. When the film was released on home media I made sure to buy it on DVD and even after re-watching it I found myself very much still enjoying it! So if you have not watched Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, I want to say shame on you and go and see it now and enjoy the monster fights and the great acting.

So let’s get to the review part of this Kaiju update. We will be taking a look at Godzilla: Aftershock a graphic novel that takes place after the 2014 movie and before 2019’s Godzilla King Of The Monsters. I for one can not wait to read this Graphic Novel as I have had it since it was released and want to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for ordering me it and having it in my file. I want to also remind you that I grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s find a safe spot to hide, as this is surely going to be a Kaiju battle that will leave building smashed and monsters prowling.

Godzilla: Aftershock # 1  ***
Released 2019     Cover Price $12.95     Legendary      # 1 of 1

A giant Muto is attacking in Guam when Godzilla shows up and the Kaiju fight for a moment, but as the Muto escapes, Godzilla leaves by the ocean. Because of this Monarch is called in to investigate, and Dr. Emma Russell and the team are about to travel to Japan and must bring government worker Miles Atherton along for the ride. Once there, they look at the damage and the patterns of each monster with Emma being very negative toward Godzilla as she and her family lived through the events of San Francisco when they get a call that Monarch is needed in Japan. As she boards a plane, Emma is threatened by terrorist Alan Jonah at gun point and he is not able to do anything besides flee when Monarch Security Agent Tarkan Cavusgolu comes to the rescue! Now that the attempted attack is over, Emma along with Tarkan and Miles head to Japan where they enter a temple and find a massive hole that the Muto made. As they try to investigate it, a cave in happens and Tarken and Emma barely escape with their lives. They next get a report to head to Russia as another massive hole has been found. But they have issues as Alan Jonah has hacked into their entail and oddly enough Miles has been secretly talking to Dr. Mark Russell, the ex-husband of Emma. Once in Russia, they enter the hole and find frozen Muto eggs, and once more Alan appears and tries to take Emma prisoner, but this attempt fails as well as Tarken and Russian agents were waiting and take him prisoner. While in France, Godzilla once more fights with the Muto that is now being called Jinshin-Mushi, and the fight has left Godzilla injured and Monarch watching the situation as it’s now clear that Miles Atherton is watching Emma and reporting in his findings on her. It’s discovered that during the last fight Jinshin-Mushi bite and then inserted eggs into Godzilla that once hatched will end up killing the King Of The Monsters and that this seems to be a scenario that has played out for centuries! And in order to stop the eggs from hatching, Emma leads a team with heavy weapons to fight the Kaiju to save mankind from what would be a terrible event, and her plan goes wrong and leads to many deaths at the hands of Jinshin-Mushi and puts Emma in the hot seat with the government. But when things look grim, Miles Athertonx speaks up for her and she is granted another chance for Monarch to try and help Godzilla and bring down Jinshin-Mushi. And with a keyboard and speakers inside one of Jinshin-Mushi dug holes, she is able to use a few notes to kill the eggs in Godzilla who then kills Jinshin-Mushi by stomping on his head! In then end Emma and her young daughter are together, and she warns her the world is changing.

This was such a fun read and to me proves that Legendary Pictures not only makes entertaining movies but also does some damn good comic books and graphic novels and Godzilla: Aftershock is one heck of a great read. The plot of this GN has Godzilla fighting a giant ground digging Muto while Monarch is hot on the monsters tails as a terrorist is stalking them and stealing very sensitive information about the Kaiju. Godzilla is clearly very pissed off about this new Muto that is causing issues in the world and even loses a fight and has eggs placed into his body like a parasite! And while Godzilla is powerful in this graphic novel, he still shows that he can be weakened and that when hurt, his power goes down. The Muto called Jinshin-Mushi is very dangerous and is on a path of destruction and just wants to use another Kaiju to hide its eggs in to hatch and use the offspring to help take over the world, not only is it a Giant Monster killer but it also kills many humans as well. Dr. Emma Russell and the Monarch workers are working themselves almost to death as the world is in chaos over all the Kaiju running wild and a terrorist group trying to hack them and even kidnap one of their leads. Emma is really drained and worried about the fate of the world as she lost so much when Godzilla and the Muto’s fought in San Francisco as her young son was killed. I will say one lackluster part is the payout for Miles Atherton who is a government worker who seems to be collecting dirt on Emma only to help her out and then disappear. The plot of Aftermath is pretty simple and many pages showcase some great monster fights that are the true highlights of the comic, but there are some slow moments that come with Emma talking to the Government that lasts for many pages about plans and history. The cover is pretty cool and has a movie poster look to it and is very eye catching, plus the interior art done by Drew Edward Johnson is fantastic and captures Godzilla and the mood and feel of the Monstervese very well. Over all Godzilla: Aftershock is a great and fun read and does a pretty good job bridging the gap from Godzilla (2014) to Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019), even if the movie as far as I remember never mentions Jinshin-Mushi and his rampage and fights with Godzilla. Oh and before I wrap this up and tell you the fans of Godzilla to make sure to check this out, I was a little sad we did not get at least a King Kong cameo or reference. Check out the art below to see the style of Drew from this Graphic Novel.

With Godzilla vs. Kong being moved and this frightening virus spreading around the world, I really hope that this update helped make your day a little better and your wait for the film at the cinemas more bearable. Godzilla and King Kong really are two of the world’s most popular Giant Monsters/Kaiju movie monsters and each have their own diehard fans. I loved growing up and watching both these titans films on TV and VHS and they were parts of why my childhood was so awesome. And speaking of entertainment that made my childhood awesome besides Monster Movies, another thing that you longtime readers know is that Horror Hosts were a major part of my life. My next update will be about one that, along with such iconic names as Commander USA and Dr. Creep, made me the creative person I am today, and the host is Dayton, Ohio’s very own A. Ghastlee Ghoul of the Ghastlee Movie Show! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Kaiju film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a strange and wild time with one Ghastlee Ghoul!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: King Kong (2005)

Welcome back to the third update in our Kaiju Month series. This time around we will once more be taking a look at my personal favorite Kaiju, Titan, Giant Movie Monster or whatever you want to call him, and of course I am talking about King Kong! Since I was a very young lad, I have been a fan of the giant monster movies that I would watch on TV, mostly station TBS, and would also later always rent and or buy on VHS, and at the top of my list was always King Kong! Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of Godzilla as well and will always cheer him on as he stomps around fighting off other Kaiju or the pesky army…but Kong has always been my top guy. So if you are ready for some Kaiju destruction, let’s get running to this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: King Kong (2005) update!

Let’s first take a moment to take a look at 2005’s King Kong and his strength, weaknesses and ways he can deal with people and things that get in his mighty way. King Kong stands around 25 feet tall and is a powerhouse of muscle and pride and will stand his ground against any enemy that dares to get in his way. King Kong uses his bare hands to smash and crush man and monster alike and as well can use his massive size to stomp the life away from his target. King Kong is also very smart and can think of ways to win fights as well as plan attacks when not in a full rage. Kong can also use his sharp teeth to shred flesh! King Kong’s never back down attitude is both a strength and a weakness as it can lead to his downfall as he does not have any instinct to flee even when he should. Another weakness is his love for Ann Darrow, a stunning human with blonde hair that he would do anything to protect. King Kong can also be hurt with lots of bullets from military grade weapons as well as can suffer injuries from sharp objects like other Kaiju’s teeth and claws. He can also be dazed with blunt force as well as with gas leaving him open for attacks. Just like any living thing, King Kong can be hurt, but I feel sorry for anything foolish enough to try and do so. King Kong might not have the most fancy of powers, but one thing is for sure, he is one massive beast that is smart and powerful.

So as you can see, King Kong is a true force of nature, and while in 2005, he might not have been the biggest Kaiju on the block, he still was one that made an impact in all those who encountered him. So now that we know what King Kong can do when it comes to destruction, we now need to take a look at the film this version of Kong is from. As always, our friends at IMDB will supply the films plot and I will talk about the films production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you are ready, let’s talk about Kong and is 2005 film adventure.

King Kong (2005)

“Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This ‘soon-to-be-unfortunate’ soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann is its grasps. Carl and Ann’s new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. But Carl has another plan in mind.”

Director Peter Jackson grew up a mega fan of the 1933 film King Kong, and he has always credited it as one of his biggest influence in becoming a film director. After the major success of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy he was able to get Universal to work alongside him to make a modern remake, but a little known fact is that his King Kong contract with Universal started before Lord Of The Rings! That’s right, Universal who worked with Jackson on “The Frightners” was so impressed with what they saw, they offered him first to remake “Creature From The Black Lagoon” and after he said no, they offered him “King Kong” and at first he said no…but gave in. And did I mention these original talks took place in 1996 and after getting cold feet, Universal pulled out of the film at the last minute due to the 1998 Godzilla film being on the horizon. So Peter Jackson moved onto making Lord Of the Rings films The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Two Towers for New Line Cinema and with them both being box office hits, Universal once more came sniffing around and wanted him to make King Kong…and once again he agreed to do so and brought on writer Philippa Boyens to spice up his old script/rewrite it and got a budget of $175 million from Universal. Production of the film started in September 6, 2004 and filming was set in New Zealand and actors like Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Colin Hanks, Lobo Chan and Andy Serkis did the motion capture of King Kong himself. The production was a crazy one and was a long and crazy shoot of green screen effects as well other stunts and visual effects. They would bring composer James Newton Howard on to do the film’s score. The film would be released in New York on December 5, 2005 and would go wide on the 14th of December.

The film was meet with positive reviews from fans and critics and even Roger Ebert gave it a glowing review. The film did amazing for Universal at the US Box Office bringing in $218,080,025.00 with foreign did $332,437,332.00 on the final budget of $207 million. It was the 5th grossing film that year at the box office and beat out other Sci-Fi, Horror and Cult films like Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, Saw II, The Ring Two, Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sin City, The Amityville Horror, Corpse Bride, Legend Of Zorro, House Of Wax, The Fog, Doom, Land Of The Dead and Kung Fu Hustle to name a few. So as you can see, King Kong was a big hit in 2005 and showed that this classic movie monster had lots to offer to moviegoers.

When I heard that King Kong was being remade I was very hyped to watch it as I have always been a mega fan…but when I saw that Peter Jackson was doing it off the heels of his overly long Lord Of The Ring films and this one as well was going to be super long…the hyped died a little as I had a bad feeling that Jackson would over bloat the story and production. And while he did do this, when I finally got off my high horse and gave the film a chance, I found that while over done, it was still an enjoyable film that helped keep the King Kong character and story alive for a new generation. Much of the film worked for me as I found all the human characters very likable and all of them had interesting backstories as well as interactions with each other. Naomi Watts plays Ann, and she is fantastic and is one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood. The stuff on Skull Island as well is very awesome with Kong fight off two massive T-Rexes as well as the crew searching around to save Ann as they encounter all the strange animals that inhabit the island. Not to mention King Kong in this movie is as massive and protective as ever. The downside is some of the overly cheesy moments like Kong and Ann on the ice in New York…so cheesy. Over all, while this 2005 is not my favorite King Kong film, it’s still an enjoyable film that brought the world’s favorite giant New York stomping gorilla back to the big screen.

Like all blockbuster movies, 2005’s King Kong had its fair share of merchandise that treated fans to some amazing stuff like novels, comic books, t-shirts, posters, trading cards, action figures, Halloween costumes, plush dolls, score soundtrack, video games among many other items. I myself enjoyed the video game for the PS2 as I found it lots of fun to play as both man and beast, and I also really enjoy the soundtrack CD as I find that James Newton Howard did a fantastic job of capturing the epic nature of the film and is one that I play on WYSO from time to time. I also have one of the massive action figures of Kong that I bought at a thrift store shortly after the film was released on home video. So if you like Peter Jackson’s King Kong, there are so many cool items for you to collect.

Did you know that Peter Jackson’s films King Kong and Dead-Alive are connected? Well they are! That’s right, the unrated gory cult film Dead Alive about reanimated zombies and the Hollywood massive budget film King Kong take place in the same world as in the belly of the ship Venture is a crate that holds the one and only Sumatran Rat-Monkey!! Imagine what would have happened if the Rat-Money would have been on board gotten free and bit King Kong turning him into a massive zombie primate that would have been almost impossible to stop. Just wanted to share this connection as I find it very cool and something I feel many people know, but not all. Oh and if you remember in Dead-Alive the zombie plagued even started on Skull Island, showing these two films are linked!

So as you can see, King Kong truly is a force of nature and is one of the strongest and smartest Kaiju Monsters to grace a movie screen in 2005 and every version to hit the big screen. Well we are at the point now that we will take a look at the comic based on the film and I will be grading it on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I want to thank Game Swap Kettering for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. So if you are ready, let’s travel to Skull Island along with Dark Horse Comics and see what this comic adaptation has to offer.

King Kong # 1  ***
Released in 2005     Cover Price $3.99     Dark Horse     #1 of 3

Ann Darrow is an actress who very much wants to make it big on the stage in New York, but does not have the name value to get the parts she is perfect for. Filmmaker Carl Denham is working on his next epic jungle picture, and the movie execs are not happy with the footage or the fact he is asking for more money in order to shoot the film at an uncharted island, and when he over hears them talking about canceling the production he steals the reels and goes on the run. Denham on his way to the ship Venture finds Ann Darrow and convenes her to be his leading actress and along with his assistant Preston, scriptwriter Jack Driscoll, actor Bruce Baxter and the rest of the filmmaker crew set out to sea and toward an island they don’t know about. While filming on the ship, Ann and Jack start to fall in love with each other and soon the dock at Skull Island! Denham takes his film crew to the shore, and they start looking for places to film. They notice a massive wall built around the land and this sends shivers down many spines. As Denham and the film crew walk further, they are surrounded by spear caring natives who have taken an interest in Ann and as they are about to grab her Captain Englehorn and his crew fire gunshots into the air scaring them away. That evening while back on the ship a massive storm rages on as both film crew and ship crew prepare the ship for sea in the dangerous weather and Jack takes notice that Ann is gone and they find two dead shipmates with spears in them they head off to the native village with guns in hand and to their horror they find Ann tied to an alter and a massive gorilla that’s called Kong about to nab her.

This first issue’s plot builds up our film crew as well as builds the romance between actress Ann Darrow and writer Jack Driscoll and teases the wild land that is Skull Island with a peek at King Kong at the very end. Ann Darrow is our main character as she is a down on her luck stage actress who wants to get her one big break and thinks she has found it in this new jungle film from goofy conman director Carl Denham who is the main person who causes all the heartbreak and drama this tale has coming. Denham really is a scummy person who is even making this film with stolen equipment. Jack Driscoll is a good man who loves writing and seeing his work come alive on stage and screen, and he falls for Ann super fast and clearly would do anything to keep her safe. The rest of our characters are just around and had not been fully developed in this first issue. The Natives of Skull Island in this issue come off as savages in nature as they kill as well as kidnap in order to please their “God” known as Kong. Sadly we only get a small glimpse at King Kong in this issue, and it’s clear he is massive and pissed and wants to claim his prize of a beautiful blonde woman. I do wish we got a little more action of Kong but it was just not meant to be. This issue does have some horror adventure moments like the Natives attacking as well as the appearance of Kong, it packs some none gruesome deaths in with the spearing deaths of two ship workers. The one thing I am sure you noticed is that this comic series was suppose to be a three issue mini series with only one issue ever being released, and later they would just put the whole comic out as a graphic novel…this stinks as it would have been great to have all three issues in hand and made for this Kaiju Month update but Dark Horse dropped the ball. The cover for this issue is ok and showcases a production still from the movie and has King Kong looking very annoyed, it is eye catching for fans of the film and character. The interior art is done by Dustin Weaver and is solid and captures the mood and feel of the film very well. Over all this comic is a great read and does the film justice…it’s just a shame that Dark Horse only delivered the first issue to readers of a three issue mini series. If you love the movie, make sure to check out this comic as I feel you will love it as well. Take a look at the art below to see the style of art Weaver used in this issue.

King Kong truly is my favorite Kaiju, and I do feel like he not only makes for great movies but also comics and even this issue proves that. But Kaiju Month comes to an end with our next update and the next subject is the only other Kaiju who rivals Kong and is his top opponent ever and I am talking about the one and only Godzilla! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Kaiju film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for some quality time with the King Of The Monsters.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Gamera Guardian Of The Universe

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, and welcome to our second update for 2020’s Kaiju Month as we take a look at a giant monster that is friend to all. Of course I am talking about Gamera. While most fans of Kaiju movies respect Gamera, I do feel that he plays third banana behind the likes of Godzilla & King Kong so I think it’s time he gets the Rotten Ink From Horror Movie To Horror Comic treatment! I think most kids my age growing up in the 80’s and 90’s have seen at least one Gamera film as they could easily be found on cheap VHS tapes and would air on TV from time to time. I even knew some kids in High School who would say they even liked Gamera better then Godzilla showing that this Kaiju turtle monster made an impact on those that who grew up watching him. Oddly enough now, even as an adult working at a media store, I have had people tell me that they are bigger fans of Gamera than Godzilla or King Kong…wrap your head around that…as many see him as the top Kaiju in the world. I am sure you are wondering what my thoughts on him are. All I can say is that we will get to that a little further in this update. The Gamera we will be covering on this Kaiju Month update is the one from 1995’s Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe and had a comic mini series made by Dark Horse Comics. So if you are ready, let’s take a look at that destructive turtle named Gamera.

So as always, let’s first take a look at Gamera and the powers of destruction he showcases in this film and what kind of methods he could use to not only fight off other massive Kaiju monsters but also humans that get in his way. Like all Kaiju, the massive size and appearance of Gamera can easily put the fear in the hearts of both fellow giant monsters and humans. His massive size also means he could stomp the life out of a person with one step and his size also offers massive claws as well as teeth in a big mouth that could eat hundreds of people with one gulp. I should also note that Gamera would stand over 262 feet tall making him massive and as stated very scary to human eyes. Gamera can attack on land, water and air as he is a super fast swimmer as well as can soar through the air at a fast speed making him a true triple threat. Gamera can also breath fire that that is one of his main weapons against his enemies as well as the fact his mind can bond with a human mind giving him more smarts then his average opponent. But his bond with a human is also his weakness as he can be controlled and can lose the link making him opened for attacks. He can also be hurt like all living things by violence from fellow Kaiju Monsters as well as some human weapons of war. But while he is not the most dangerous Kaiju in the world, he still is a force to be reckoned with and thank the heavens he is on mankind’s side!

Now that we know what Gamera is capable of and what he can do on a rampage, it’s time we take a look at the film this version is from. As always, I will be taking the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB and then I will write a little about the film’s production as well as my thoughts about the film and Gamera’s legacy. So if you are ready, let’s talk about the film Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe.

Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe (1995)

“A hibernating species of giant carnivorous birds is awakened on a Japanese island shortly after the military encounters an unidentified mass moving beneath the water off-shore.”

The cinemas in Japan in the early 90’s was being dominated by Godzilla when it came to giant movie monsters, aka Kaiju films, and Toho was the studio behind these films…and shockingly enough, they also released the 9th film in the Gamera series that was a reboot to the long running series and was the main rival to Godzilla for box office dollars as well as the attention of kids. The film was directed by Shusuke Kaneko and was written by Kazunori Ito, who wrote a part of the 1993 film Necronomicon, and the series would spark off and have 2 sequels and bring back the popularity of Gamera to not only Japan but also worldwide. The film was met with pretty great reviews, and critics and fans shared a common word on the film, that it was a fun watch and added a film to the Gamera series that was on par with Godzilla films of the time. The film did good at the box office in Japan and in its release year, was joined by such films as Halloween: Curse Of Michael Myers, Project Metalbeast, Sleepstalker, Jack-O, Leprechaun 3, Howling: New Moon Rising, Night Of The Scarecrow, Castle Freak and Vampire In Brooklyn to name a few. While Gamera might not be as impactful as Godzilla, he does have a very loyal fan base who enjoy his saving the universe from other Kaiju monsters.

Growing up I can remember seeing Gamera films, and while I enjoyed them, I was never a massive fan and in fact found many of the films to be way to cheesy and the kid characters who all loved Gamera always annoyed me. The reason that Gamera stayed on my radar was because I really did like his appearance. I was a Godzilla fan, and he reminded me of a character from that movie series. In 1995, I can remember seeing the new design for Gamera on the cover of Horror and Sci-Fi Magazines, and while I dug his new more monstrous updated look, I was in no major rush to check it out. I would see the film on VHS all the time at stores like Suncoast at the Dayton Mall and would pass on it to grab films like The Gates Of Hell Part 2 or another odd Horror Movie. To be honest I could not tell you when I finally did see Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe and who I watched it with or if I even liked it…I know, readers and friends, it’s shameful to say but this film just never left that big of an impression on me, and I didn’t even own the film on DVD until late 2019 when I bought it again to re-watch for this update. And while I am sure many of you are saying “Matt, it sounds to me like you just don’t like Gamera!” I want to assure you I do indeed like the flying turtle, I was just never a mega fan like I am of King Kong and Godzilla. And after watching Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe again in 2020, I find the film to be fun, slightly silly boring and one that took Gamera in the right step of making him an icon in the world of Kaiju films. And while Gamera is not one of my top favorite Kaiju monsters, I do respect the character and would say he is the third most popular giant monster in the Kaiju monster universe.

As you can see, Gamera is a monster who can hold his own in the world of giant monster fights and while he is not as powerful as Godzilla he could sure put up a fight at least. But now it’s time to take a look at the Dark Horse comic based on the film Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe that was released to help promote the movie in America. I want to thank Bell Book And Comic, Game Swap Kettering and Lone Star Comics for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see what Gamera has in store for us in this four issue mini series.

Gamera # 1  ***
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.95     Dark Horse     # 1 of 4 

Young lady Asagi is in Mexico with her friend Mayumi Nagamine who has been hired by he rich lady Patty Smith to search her island for a very rare and massive bird, and what she finds instead is a pile of droppings that belongs to the flying Kaiju Gyaos! Meanwhile Asagi is left behind as she was not welcomed on the island just yet and decides to take a plane ride from Lutz who is a small time business man looking to make a living, while flying around Asagi tells her new friend about how she has a link to Gamera via an amulet and as they are talking it starts to glow as Gamera knows that Gyaus is back! Meanwhile Gyaos has flown inland and is attacking while Mayumi learns that Patty is not who she claims to be as she is really Doctor Karbone and she is guilty of creating Gyaus who escaped his jar and is growing fast, and she wants her help to make giant monsters that are controllable! Meanwhile Gamera has arrived and is fighting Gyaus now in the city and when Gamera is hurt the wound is shared with Asagi who is kicked out of the plane by Lutz, and as Asagi rushes to be closer to Gamera she is knocked down by the scared townspeople who are running for their lives.

This first issue is a nice start for this series as it brings a little history lesson of the film this is a sequel to as well deliver the giant monsters fighting in the city! Plus they do a great job of bringing back characters from the film that help it feel right at home in the series of films. The plot is simple crazy mad doctor Karbone has brought back a Gyaus monster with the idea of being able to control it, but when it runs amok she fakes an identity to con a ornithologist to her island lab to help make her dream of weaponized giant monsters a reality, while Asagi friend of Gamera is also around and must help her giant turtle friend battle once more as Gyaus is destroying a city in Mexico. This far our main hero is Asagi a young woman who has a link with Gamera via a amulet and has a mental link with him while she wears it, while she herself is not strong her will to help mankind is. ornithologist Mayumi Nagamine and small plane driver Lutz are background players at this point but you know as this series gets further they will play an even bigger part of the story. Gamera is as massive as ever and is 200 feet tall and is looking to stomp the life out of Gyaus who is the issues true baddie as its destructive and clearly will kill what ever is in it’s way. Doctor Karbone and her assistant Gusano while crazy are not super evil as I think in a weird way they think what they are doing and have done is the right thing to do! The issue is filled with lots of destruction and a fight between the two big monsters and this helped add a great layer of entertainment to this issue. I must also say at this point I feel that all the characters are likable and interesting and made me look forward to reading the second issue! The cover for this issue is great but also a little cheap as it’s just the films VHS/DVD cover, and the interior art by Mozart Couto is great and has the 90’s Dark Horse look. Over all a very solid issue and one fans of Gamera should check out, now lets see if the rest of the series can hold up.

Gamera # 2  ***
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.95     Dark Horse     # 2 of 4

Lutz decides that he can not leave young Asagi alone in the city when two Kaiju’s are frighting and comes to her aid, and together they make their way to the battle area and she sends Gamera a message via their minds and he is able to defeat Gyaus, before she is two weak to move. Lutz gets he medical help and also swipes the amulet and gets back into his plane to follow Gamera. Meanwhile Mayumi Nagamine is being kept prisoner as she refuses to help Doctor Karbone with her quest to control the giant monsters she is creating, and worse the mad Doctor has a bound with the squid looking Viras who is in control of her mind! Mayumi Nagamine ends up escaping when she sets a fire using a flare gun and while the monsters in tubes are destroyed by the blaze Viras is saved by Doctor Karbone and Gusano who escape with him on a hidden sub. Meanwhile Lutz is having a bad time as his plane runs out of gas and sinks, and he is picked up by French Military who think he is an eco terrorist and he is places under arrest. While on the ship in a jail cell the ship is attacked by a giant fish monster and Gamera once more appears to try and stop the massive threat, but is hurt really quick into the fight and as Gamera is knocked out sinking to the bottom of the ocean we see that a female alien on a ship in space is upset about something.

This second issue steps up the monster battles as Gamera not only defeats Gyaus but also kills him by setting him on fire and burning him alive! Gamera don’t mess around when it comes to protecting the Earth and seems to have his finger on the pulse of giant monster attacks! The story in this issue as well is very fast paced and has a great action, drama and sci-fi blend to it as they give you a some human story and then give you a taste of the main attraction of the comic series the monsters quickly after. Asagi saves the day in Mexico but sadly she is taken from the issue really fast as she is hurt and has to get medical attention, while Mayumi Nagamine is the issues main hero as she is able to get herself free from being a prisoner and while doing so is able to get some backstory from Gusano and as well sets a fire that kills off many soon to be giant Kaijus! Lutz is a goon who steals the amulet from a young girl that he has zero clue how to use, flies his plane over the ocean to run out of gas to be picked up and thought to be a terrorist…he really is a terrible “hero” and is more of a pain then a help. Doctor Karbone is crazy and clearly is in the grip of her greatest monster creation Viras whom she has put her own DNA into, in other words she really is nuts! Gusano is just a man in love who turned away from being a black market dealer in order to be with Karbone as he would do anything for her, and hates the fact she spends all her time with Viras in her lab. Gamera is a butt-kicking machine at the start, but does at the end of the issue leave you on a cliffhanger on if he will get back up and stop the fish monster from destroying the French Army sub. The cover for this issue is great and the art by Mozart Couto is still fantastic! Over all this is another great issue in this mini series that makes me look forward again to the next issue.

Gamera # 3  ***
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.95     Dark Horse     # 3 of 4

Lutz has survived the attack on this ship and is now sitting in prison, when he gets a visit from Mayumi Nagamine and he tells her that Gamera was who saved the ship as when he was knocked out a weird sub shot a missile into his head waking him up and making him very angry and he snatched the fish monster and took to the air with the beast and dropped it into a volcano! While in this meeting Lutz tries to trade the amulet for his freedom when he is roughed up as the guard is really Gusano who gets away with it as Lutz and Mayumi Nagamine are teleported aboard the aliens ship, her name is Freena and she is from Broomark and the giant fish monster was from her planet and she was ordered to take it back, but with it dead she now needs another monster to take home to her client! But things get crazy when Viras attacks their cloaked ship and when the army appears to attack Viras this squid beast is saved by Gamera who is protecting it as The Guardian Of The Universe is now under the ultra crazy Doctor Karbone control now!

Like all good giant monsters you just cant keep a good Kaiju down as it shows that while he was dazed for a moment once he got his second wind that massive fish monster did not stand a chance! The plot thickens in this issue as Doctor Karbone really wants to destroy Gamera and to do so needs to take control of him…and she does with the help of the amulet that her lover and assistant Gusano is able to easily get from the derpy Lutz. That’s the thing about this series Lutz is the one telling the story and he is the one good guy character in the whole series who makes terrible decisions and makes bad actions that ends up causing way more issues for everyone…really Lutz is a Putz! Mayumi Nagamine once more is wise in her words and wants to help capture and stop Doctor Karbone who she knows is a true menace to all human life if she can gain control over Kaijus. Doctor Karbone really is a great villain for this series this far as she is crazy on her own and now mind melded with the sinister Kaiju Viras she is more dangerous. Speaking of Viras he is a very smug giant monster, as he knows he cannot be stopped if his creator is able to control Gamera and has no remorse when it comes to the deaths and destruction he causes. The moment you see Gamera under her control you feel dread as our favorite flying, fire-breathing turtle is taking so much damage from heavy weapons. The cover is great like the others and Couto’s art once more rocks, and like a broken record I have to say this issue made me look forward to reading the next to see just how this storyline will end.

Gamera # 4  ***
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.95     Dark Horse    # 4 of 4

Doctor Karbone is on the Eiffel Tower controlling Gamera making him take all the punishment the French army is delivering and he cannot take too much more! Mayumi Nagamine has herself teleported to the tower and with the help of Gusano who she alerts to the fact Viras is controlling the women he loves and will kill her when he gets what he needs from her, he snatches to amulet and they both fall from the tower and Gamera returns to normal and takes the fight to Viras! Meanwhile Freena’s ship is damaged and she is out fixing it, Lutz is trying his best to fly it and of course crashes it! Gamera is weak from all the damage he has taken from the army and in one last heroic moment Gusano lifts a fuel take and the fire explosion gives Gamera the bust of energy he needs and he makes quick work of Viras impaling the giant squid on a building tower! In the end Gamera flies off, Gusano is dead, Doctor Karbone’s body is missing, Freena is stuck on earth and is trying to blend in while in Paris, Mayumi Nagamine quick thinking helped truly save the day and Lutz is set free from the French prison. But when Lutz find’s the amulet on the ground he is unsure if he will give it back to Asagi or if he will keep it and go on another bad idea adventure.

Wow this was a fun ride of a mini series and really did a great job of bringing Gamera alive in the pages of comics! The plot of this issue has Gamera returning to normal and going crazy on Viras who does not stand a chance! The baddies Doctor Karbone and Gusano come to a violent end with me thinking Karbone is not really dead as he body is not found and I think she is still out in the world looking for a way to control her lab made giant monsters. Mayumi Nagamine once more proves that she is the stories real hero as she is the one who talks reason into Gusano to get the amulet off of Karbone. And Lutz proves he is useless as ever as he crashes the space ship and steals the amulet again in the end…he is such a goofy character. So I guess I should talk about the elephant in the room for me about this series and that’s alien Freena, I find her character so unnecessary as her street talk and her part that means nothing really to the over all series is why I just feel no need to really speak about her as she really does add nothing. The monster fights in the series are all really cool and seeing Gamera kicking some butt is what Kaiju fans enjoy about the movies as well as the comics. I should also say that I feel this series was done right as they showed respect to the source material and fans alike and delivered a fast paced mini series that shows movie monsters like Gamera can make for good comic series. The cover for this issue as well is great as his Couto’s art and this was a treat to read as I found myself enjoying it more then the film that spawned it! If you are a Gamera fan and you have not read this series tack them down at your local comic shop and give them a read. Below is some art by Mozart Couto that I think shows just how awesome his art is in this comic series, enjoy.

While Legendary let me down by moving Godzilla vs. Kong from this month, the fact that here on Rotten Ink I can still make March fun for fans of Kaiju and Giant Movie Monsters I hope makes the wait a little better for you fans, like reading these and writing this month has helped me. And again I want to stress that while Gamera movies are not my favorite of the Kaiju films, I still do enjoy the movies and the character and would love to see him return with a new film and better yet be apart of the Monsterverse Legendary is creating. For out next update we will be traveling once more to Skull Island to spend some time with King Kong and Dark Horse Comics again as they did a comic based on the 2005 film by Peter Jackson! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Kaiju film or two and as always, support your local Horror Host. See you next time on Skull Island, Kong is waiting for another visit from us.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Valley Of Gwangi

Well it’s that time again when the giant Titans awaken and take over Rotten Ink and bring forth not only the second Kajiu Month but also add many more updates in my From Horror Movie To Horror showcases. And this time Kaiju Month is being done in honor of “Godzilla vs. Kong” that was going to be released in theaters on March 13, 2020 and now got moved to November 13, 2020 but remains for me is one of the year’s most anticipated films! To start off, I chose to cover “The Valley Of Gwangi,” an amazing film that pits cowboys against dinosaurs! For many fans of Kaiju films, this one walks the line as some do not consider it part of that subgenre. I am on the side that does belong as I feel that Dinosaurs are the O.G Kaiju monsters. So if you are ready to travel to the old west and fight for our lives against dinosaurs, let’s start this amazing update of From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Valley Of Gwangi. I hope this month of updates helps make the film’s move a little less hurtful.

So before we dive to deep into The Valley Of Gwangi, let’s take a look at the film’s most vicious dinosaur the Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex for short that is simply called Gwangi in the film! The Gwangi is a Kaiju that stands around 20 feet tall and is very aggressive in nature to any man, animal and dinosaur that crosses his path. The Gwangi uses his massive size to stomp on prey that is smaller than him and uses his razor sharp teeth to shred their flesh! He is also very fast moving for his size and can quickly catch prey that is on foot. The Gwangi’s massive and wicked appearance that includes purplish black hide also can shock human, animal and fellow dinosaurs alike into a state of total fear leaving them open for attack and sadly the kill. But while the Gwangi is a creature of rage, he has weaknesses that include the fact he is not all that smart and thinks more with his stomach than his tiny brain. He can also be kind of clumsy and easily outstepped and escaped from. The Gwangi can also be hurt or killed by other Kaiju’s as well as can take damage by fires and guns. While the Gwangi might be one of the weakest Kaiju’s we have covered on a From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update, but while he might not be the strongest, he still is one deadly and mean beast that is a killing machine.

So as you can see, the T-Rex called the Gwangi is a man killing, meat eating, scary as hell dino who really does define the term Kaiju. So now let’s take a look at The Valley Of Gwangi, the film that this Gwangi is from and as always our friends from IMDB will supply the film’s write up and I will write a little about the film’s production, release and my thoughts. So if you are ready like I am, let’s get to our look at The Valley Of Gwangi.

The Valley Of Gwangi (1969)

“A cowboy named Tuck Kirby seeks fame and fortune by capturing an Allosaurus living in the Forbidden Valley and putting it in a Mexican circus. His victim, called the Gwangi, turns out to have an aversion to being shown in public.”

Willis O’Brien is the mastermind and godfather of stop motion creature films came up with the idea of The Valley Of Gwangi that he was calling Valley Of The Mists as he wanted to make something of his own that was much like the story “The Lost World” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! This was a dream project for him that would have had a T-Rex captured and forced to be in a Wild West show that would end with it breaking free, fighting lions and dying when it was knocked off a cliff by a truck. Sadly before the film could go into production, Willis O’Brien passed away and the equally talented Ray Harryhausen stepped in to do the film’s special effects. The film’s script was written by Willis O’Brien but also William Bast and Julian More with Jim O’Connolly coming on board to direct, and lastly they brought on Jerome Moross to do the score. Cast as the leads for the film were James Franciscus as Tuck and Gila Golan as T.J. with supporting actors like Richard Carlson, Freda Jackson and Curtis Arden. The film was shot in Spain and was released by Warner Brothers. The film was a hit at the box office and the year it was released it was joined by other Horror Classics like Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Nightmare In Wax, Night Of The Bloody Apes, The Castle Of Fu Manchu, Dracula The Dirty Old Man and The Oblong Box to name a few. Over the years the film has really built up a cult following and has been released on home media like VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray bringing this fun and cheesy film to a new generation of fans.

I can first remember seeing this film on broadcast TV when it aired on TNT Monstervision hosted by Joe Bob Briggs as well as on the TBS show Super Scary Saturday hosted by Grampa Munster…proving once more why Horror Hosts are so important when it comes to introducing monster kids to films. I can remember on both viewings loving just how cheesy and silly the film was, but loving the classic style effects. Over the years I kind of forgot about the film and it faded from memory, that was until about 10 years ago when I saw a clip of it of on a show and realized I needed to own it on DVD for my collection and quickly ordered it off Amazon, and after it arrived and I was able to watch it again I found myself turning back into that kid that watched Horror Hosts host it and loving every cheesy moment of it. I should also note when I was a kid, like most kids I was really into dinosaurs and watching a T-Rex chase around cowboys was amazing. When Rotten Ink started I knew I wanted to cover comics made by Star of course but also knew that I had to somehow cover the movie adaptation comics by DELL and besides the Universal Monster ones The Valley Of Gwangi was at the top of the list and with Kaiju Month and the From Horror Movie To Horror Comic theme this was the perfect time to unleash it on you readers. If you have not seen Valley Of Gwangi and enjoy films that have classic style stop animation and features a pissed off T-Rex wanting to make lunch out of cowboys, make sure to give this one a watch.

So as you can see, Valley Of Gwangi is one of those movies that walks the lines of many different genres as it not only is a Western and Horror but also has elements of Science Fiction as well as Fantasy. Again lets be honest the T-Rex really is the worlds original Kaiju and this species of Dinosaurs has been the main villain of many of films and fiction stories in novels and even comics. Now that we have talked about the man-eater T-Rex and the film he slaughters in lets get to the DELL Comic adaptation and see how the comic compares to the film. I want to remind you that I grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s head to the valley and see if we can dodge that pesky meat eating Gwangi.

The Valley Of Gwangi # 1  ***
Released in 1969     Cover Price .15   Dell     # 912 of ??

Tuck Kirby is a cowboy who visits his old lover and rodeo show runner T.J. Breckenridge with an offer to buy her prize horse on the orders of Buffalo Bill! She is still very mad at Tuck for breaking off their marriage and sends him away. While in town Tuck meets a young boy named Lope who helps him get a horse and introduces him to Professor Bromley who is a master of dinosaur bones. Carlos who works for T.J. has an idea how to use creatures found from the forbidden valley as a way for the rodeo to make extra money, but also Carlos is feeling a little rivalry with Tuck as he clearly has a crush on his boss T.J. But when Carlos shows off his discovery of a tiny horse, local gypsies show up and end up stealing the horse back to return it to the valley…but also the Professor now follows the gypsies in order to find the valley. And worse Carlos thinks he seen Tuck with the gypsy thieves stealing the tiny horse, and this breaks T.J.’s heart. The Gypsies set the tiny horse free and they think that by doing so they gave stopped a curse, but in reality they lead Tuck, Lope, Professor Bromley, T.J. and Carlos to the valley and after clearing up the mix up they all enter the valley after the tiny horse. While in the valley they are attacked by dinosaurs and almost all killed by a T-Rex they call Gwangi that has set his sights on them, as they try and escape the valley Carlos is killed and ate with Tuck and the crew using boulders to knock out Gwangi and they take the beast captive and put it on display at the rodeo. As Tuck and T.J get into a lovers fight over their future the gypsies strike again and set the creature free that goes on a rampage as hundreds of people try and run for their lives. And in the end Gwangi knocks over some candles and catches the area on fire and burns to death as Tuck and T.J find that they truly love each other.

This Dell Comics is a fantastic read and really makes me wish that they made more comics based on Horror and Sci-Fi films during this time. While this adaptation is really good I also need to stress that like all Dell movie inspired comics this one cuts out large parts of the film and characters to make it fit in a single issue. The plot of this is very simple and follows a down on their luck rodeo that hopes that a tiny horse that a worker found will bring money to them, but when the horse is stolen and a hidden valley is found they get more then they wish for when they unleash a T-Rex. Also throw in a love story between the female rodeo owner and a one time trick rider and you have the story of this comic. T.J Breckenridge is a young woman who loves her rodeo, but money has been tight and worse for her she has fallen in love with a trick rider who has showed back up in her life. By the end of the comic she must make a very hard decision of her career or true love. Tuck Kirby is a man’s man who has made his living entertaining the masses as well as being a risk taker. He also is a very honest and prideful man who does what he can to try and protect his friends, well besides the one time he left the Professor behind. I also want to say Lope, Professor Bromley and Carlos all are great characters who add to the over all story arch. The Gwangi is a killing machine who kills both dinosaurs and humans and seems that he greats joy of taking lives. To be honest the Gypsies are the comic’s main villains as they many times put human lives in danger and even in the end set the Gwangi free that leads to terror and even the death of the creature. The comic does not have any blood but does have death and does have terror filled moments. The cover is great and is taken from the movies release poster. The interior artwork is done by Jack Sparling and has that classic Dell Comics look, and that means its topnotch stuff for this company. Over all this is a great read and if you like the movie make sure to check this comic out. Also check out below for a look at the artwork of Jack Sparling.

Valley Of The Gwangi to me was a great way to start of this year’s Kaiju Month, and I really do hope that this month long updates help make the fact Warner Brothers moved “Godzilla vs. Kong” to November. And while Gwangi might not be the biggest of the Kaiju, he still is one of the icons of Giant Monster Cinema. The next Kaiju we will be covering is the one and only Gamera! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Kaiju Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a giant turtle good time.

Horror Host Icon: Theodore Puertoriquez

Local Horror Hosts have crept their way onto TV screens in almost every small town via major broadcast or even public access. And for those who were unlucky and didn’t have a local host, they most of the time at least had the major market ones like Elvira Mistress Of The Dark, Commander USA, Grampa Munster and Joe Bob Briggs to name a few running on major networks. Now in the day and age of streaming and the internet, Horror Hosts can and have spread across the world via this outlet that allow fans and viewers to discover them. But while many Hosts became household names and subjects of playground talk at school, some just sadly never make it to the game or end their run way too soon. One such host who lasted only a short while was Theodore Puertoriquez who never made it past one episode! But my saying has always been no matter how big or small their impact has been, no matter what they air on from Public Access to YouTube, Horror Hosts mean something to their fans and viewers and that’s why it’s with great pleasure I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Theodore Puertoriquez. This update will be a fun quick look at a Horror Host who could have been bigger if only given the chance.

Theodore’s Creepy Kitchen was a show that never got past a pilot episode and has fallen into the world of obscure Horror Hosts with very little known about it. Heck, if not for my cousin Stephen looking on Ebay and finding a copy of the episode on VHS, I sadly would have not found out about this show! The Creepy Kitchen follows catman and host Theodore Puertoriquez and his co-host Bloody Betty as they teach us how to make quick meals based on Horror themes. The show is shot in a basement with the theme of creepy and tasty horror food from burgers to cookies being made in fast, weird and simple ways. The show also added in not only cooking but also the use of a puppet that acted as the show’s villain named Kitty Kruger. The basement setting and its darkness makes for some great atmosphere and helps add to the Creepy Kitchen namesake. The Creepy Kitchen originally started as planned segments that were going to be used in another show that was set to be a Horror Hosted educational experience. But when this fell through, Theodore’s Creepy Kitchen was unleashed on VHS as well as YouTube for fans to discover and enjoy. While it never got time to blossom, this show has slowly gotten a cult following and is a pretty fun a creative piece of Horror Host History! I should also note the show was created in 2010, making it ten years old as of this posting!

The show’s host Theodore Puertoriquez is a catman who wears red glasses, rocks a Cincinnati Reds jersey and loves to host cheesy movies as well as teach the viewers how to make all type of food dishes that tie into Horror Movies. He talks with words and meows and comes off as a fun loving guy who loved being a Horror Host as well as loved to make quick and haphazard meals for everyone to enjoy. We also know that he loves catnip and only a squirt from a water gun will cool him down. He also seems to really rely on his cohost Bloody Betty to not only prepare the meals but also to act as his protector when things go wrong. Theodore is one strange cat….man! He is played by the show creator Jeff aka Kitty Glitter aka Bunnula aka Pussy Tantrum, a man with many names who not only made this Horror Host show but is also a novel writer and podcaster! So while Theodore might not be a household name nor a Horror Host Hall Of Famer, he has made his mark on Hosting and was one weird and great character.

Like all Horror Host shows, Creepy Kitchen also had a co-host with cheerleader Bloody Betty who acted as not only the host at times but also the hero of the day as she adds a new layer of oddness and over all fun nature to Creepy Kitchen. She also comes off as the voice of reason as well as handles many of the true host duties like ushering the view back to the film. She is also the strong one as when things go bad she seems to be the one who steps up and saves the day. Bloody Betty was played by actress Bettina Mangiaracina ,who was known for her role of Kelly in the film Bullycam, has a handful of other acting parts in indie films and sometimes goes by the name Bettina Taylor. While we only got a small taste of what Bloody Betty had in store for viewers, it’s clear that she would have been a major part of this series if it had continued. So here is to you, Bloody Betty, for making Creepy Kitchen a better place.

So now that we know a little about Theodore’s Creepy Kitchen and the hosts of this very rare and mostly unseen Horror Host show, we should take a look at the one and only episode every made that has them hosting the cult classic slasher film Sleepaway Camp II. This episode was bought for me by my cousin Stephen on VHS from Ebay and when watching it I put it onto a DVD-R, so big thank you to Stephen and the Ebay seller for making this possible. I will not be giving this episode a star rating and the movie write up will be taken from our friends at IMDB and the host write up I myself will be writing. So if you’re ready, let’s enter the Creepy Kitchen and see what Theodore has cooking for us.

Creepy Kitchen: Sleepaway Camp II
Starring – Pamela Springsteen & Renee Estevez     Rated R     1988

Host: Theodore and Bloody Betty are hanging out in a creepy basement that is set up for making food, and they do just that with their first dish made being Jason Voorhees burgers! Bloody Betty and Theodore both enjoy their burgers sprinkled with catnip and ketchup. But to their horror, Kitty Kruger shows up and scares them away from the kitchen. Later during a catnap, Theodore has a nightmare about Kitty Kruger and once up he decides that the second dish will be Kitty Kruger Sugar Cookies! Bloody Betty tells the story of Kitty Kruger who attacks animals in their sleep, but once he shows back up Bloody Betty springs into action and hacks him to death with a sword. In the end Theodore and Blood Betty wrap up the show and go off to bury the bones of Kitty Kruger.

Movie: Angela Baker has undergone years of therapy, electro-shock and sexual reassignment surgeries, and finally landed herself a job in the last place she should be working – camp rolling hills. She has an old fashioned approach as to how camp should be, and an old familiar deadly way of making sure that those who don’t follow her rules don’t get to come back next summer.

So as you can see, Theodore’s Creepy Kitchen is one strange Horror Host show that leaves the viewer wanting more than just this one episode. Who knows if Theodore ever will come out of retirement for one more show, and who knows what Bloody Betty is doing right now, but one things for sure, if you enjoy the strange and silly side of Horror Hosting check on Ebay and buy yourself a copy of this show. For our next update we are leaving the Creepy Kitchen and the world of Horror Hosting, and we are starting Kaiju Month up again this time to celebrate the very highly anticipated “Godzilla vs. Kong” and we will be covering the dinosaur run amok film Valley Of The Gwangi to kick it off. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for some cowboys rounding up some dinosaurs!

Beneath The Planet Of The Atlas Vampires

Space is a vast place and so much of it is undiscovered. Sometimes we consider Pluto as a planet and other times we don’t! Image what and who is out there in the parts of space that we cannot explore and discover…imagine if many of our film/TV/Video Games/Comic aliens and space explorers were real…like what if Star Wars, Star Trek, Flash Gordon, Alien, Predator, The Black Hole, John Carter Warlord Of Mars, Destroy All Humans, Mars Attacks, Last Star Fighter, Space Invaders and all other matters of science fiction in media was real….like what if right now in the universe Buck Rogers is battling Crypto for the last slice of Pizza The Hut and The Predator is trying to hunt down some Klingons as he feels they are the ultimate prey! But in reality, it really is amazing that mankind in my lifetime will never really know what is truly out their in the Universe…heck we don’t even know much about our own deep oceans! For this update we are going to take a look at Atlas Comics and their series that blended adventure, sci-fi and horror together as of course I am talking about Planet Of The Vampires. So sit back, relax and go on a space travel with me here on Rotten Ink and let’s see what these bloodsuckers are up to in the cosmos.

When I was a youngster and first discovered Atlas Comics and it’s series Planet Of The Vampires thanks to Bookie Parlor I first thought this title was based on a 1965 film of the same name that was directed by Horror Icon Mario Bava, well that was until I read it and discovered it was its own world. Mario Bava is the master of Italian Horror and was the director of many great Horror Movies like Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Blood And Black Lace, Kill Baby…Kill!, Hatchet For The Honeymoon, A Bay Of Blood, Baron Blood and Lisa And The Devil to name a few showing that he is a true icon of the genre. American International Pictures released Planet Of The Vampires in 1965 to theaters and drive-in’s and they were happy too do so as they had made a good profit off Bava films from the past. Planet Of The Vampires is a film that follows astronauts who go to an undiscovered planet and find themselves fighting among themselves and learn that something or someone on the planet is causing them to turn on themselves. This film is really good for a b-grade Sci-Fi film and really should have gotten the Dell Comic adaptation treatment, but to make it clear this Atlas Comic series is 100% not based on this film.

Disney has superhero movies on lockdown as the box office numbers for the Marvel Comic movies have broken records! Warner Brothers are still making some great superhero movies as well that are raking in the money with their DC Comic flicks. Well Paramount Pictures and Steven Paul with is SP Media Group want a slice of that comic book movie pie and Paul himself has bought the rights to Atlas Comics and want to turn the characters into movies as well as possible TV Shows! While this has been announced nothing as of yet is set to come out and what characters will get the movie or even streaming TV treatment. And for a long time reader of Atlas Comics I can say that this news is very cool and I can not wait to see movies based on the likes of Grim Ghost, Tiger-Man, Planet Of The Vampires and The Cougar to name a few. But lets also be honest with ourselves just like Atlas failed comeback to the world of comics in 2010 this could end up being gone before it even starts. So only time will tell if Atlas Comics will make an impact in the world of movies and I for one welcome these characters back to all forums of media.

On January 19, 2020 we decided to have a Horror Movie Marathon in order to celebrate the end of the Holiday season and we kicked off the day at 8am with the 1965 fright flick “Blood Beast From Outer Space” about a strange object that falls from space that brings with it a space traveler who is kidnapping Earth’s women to bring back to his home planet. The cheesy “Return Of The Killer Shrews” was next on tap and is the sequel to the 1959 film Killer Shrews and has ship boat Captain Thorne Sherman going back to the island and once more being attacked by killer shrews. The third film of the marathon was “Bat Outta Hell” about a group of wannabe filmmakers being attacked by 4 feet tall bat creatures. Next on the blood tap was the Universal International film “Curucu: Best Of The Amazon” about headhunters, explorers and a monster by the jungle river. Hammer Horror movie “The Abominable Snowman” starring Peter Cushing was next and was about climbers and explorers looking for the mythic monster the Yeti. The 6th film of the day was the indie Kaiju film “Reigo King Of The Sea Monsters” and has the Japanese navy fighting for their lives against a giant monster. “Prison Of The Dead” by Full Moon Entertainment was next and had a group of fans at an old funeral home that evil spirits and killer dead executioners are roaming around in. The Shudder exclusive film “Boar” starring Bill Mosley and Nathan Jones was next a film about a giant killer boar in the outback. What we watched next was “Camp Blood 8” a slasher film that featured the clown masked killer once more on a rampage of blood and carnage. The slasher film “Pickaxe” was next and was about an unstoppable killer returning from death and targeting a group of friends going to a rock concert. The final film of the night was “Haunt” that has a group of friends going into an extreme haunted house that’s ghoulish performers are out for flesh and blood. As always a great time watching Horror Movies with my lady Juliet. Oh and I know many of you readers like to know what we had to eat for the Marathon and we had Breakfast Casserole and Chicken with Oh My Garlic Sauce and for snacks we had Peanut Butter M&M’s and Potato Chips.

So for this Horror Movie Marathon we watched 11 films total and all from different subgenres in the world of Horror. And when it came to the Golden Turkey of the evening Juliet and I agreed that the worst film of the day was “Bat Outta Hell” as some of the acting was terrible, the CGI creatures effects looked cheap and it was kind of boring. But I must say Pickaxe for me almost made the Golden Turkey spot as I was very much disappointed in it and found it to be just kind of bland. For me the top three films of the day was simple as I would go # 1 Haunt as it was a pleasant surprise filled with great gore effects, some creepy moments and likable characters. My # 2 had to go to The Abominable Snow Man as it’s a classic Hammer Horror film and you cannot top Peter Cushing. And lastly my # 3 spot went to Boar as it was a great animal/nature run amok throwback film with some gruesome boar kills. I should also say that Camp Blood 8 was really solid and one of the better sequels that has been released these past few years. Juliet picked the following as her top 3 films of the event # 1 Haunt, # 2 Boar and for # 3 she picked Prison Of The Dead. I love having these marathons whether it’s with just Juliet or a room full of friends, it’s a great time to celebrate the world of Horror.

The Golden Chainsaw Award for most kills for the Marathon goes to the one and only undead slasher killer Alex Black from the film Pickaxe! This hulking killer racked up a body count of over 15 people and did so with brutal glee. One of his best kills is when he guts and kills a cheating boyfriend! While the film was not to best of the Marathon nor did it even come close to making either of our Top 3 lists, Pickaxe’s killer Alex Black did walk away with the Golden Chainsaw Award as he raised the bloody body count and made the event a little more splattery!

So now that we have talked about Atlas Comics and its possible future of being movies at your local cinemas soon as well as talked about the first Horror Movie Marathon of 2020, I think it’s now time that we land and take a look at the Planet Of The Vampires! I want to say that I read this comic series when I was a young teen and can remember liking it then. I want to also thank the gone but always iconic comic store Bookie Parlor for introducing me to Atlas Comics all those decades past. I want to thank the combo of Bell Book And Comic as well as Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock making this update possible. I want to remind you readers that I am grading them on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s sit back and see if these vampires have the bite to still capture my attention.

Planet Of Vampires # 1  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 1 of 3

In the year 2010 the space shuttle Aries VII returns from a five-year mission on the planet Mars, the ships Captain is Chris Galland and on his crew is his wife Elissa among a few other members. Things are weird as they are not getting an response from Mission Control and after they have to land in the harbor near Brooklyn, New York they soon see the world has changed as the buildings are destroyed and crazed gangs of people are running loose and Captain Galland and his crew are saved by a costumed man who guns some of the savages down with his flying craft! Chris and his crew jump onto the ship and the man takes them to the Empire State building that now has a dome around the blocks around it and were what’s left of normal society lives after a war broke out that mostly destroyed the world. The crew are then introduced to The Proctor the man who built the dome and has kept people safe, and Captain Galland tells him about the mission on Mars they had. But as Galland and his people are walked out of The Proctor’s office they witness as guards are taking a savage to another room, and when he lets out a painful scream Captain Galland and crew spring into action and rush to the room to find that they savages are being drained of their blood! Captain Galland saves the savages who is being lead by Bruiser Culhane who comes up with a plan to split up into two teams to escape by air and by underground. Bruiser leads Galland and his wife underground and when they escape they are greeted by a rival band of savages!

The first issue of Planet Of The Vampires is one of those issues that is really slow moving, but is truly the groundwork for what this series was suppose to be all about. The plot takes elements from many different Sci-Fi films I feel like “Planet Of The Apes” and “Omega Man” and has a group returning to Earth after a long mission in space and when back the world is changed and filled with blood suckers and unruly wild gangs. Our main hero is Captain Galland who is a good captain, he is also kind of a firm jerk who seems to bully and talk very strictly to his wife Elissa, but while he is a jerk he is a hero who watches out for his crew, questions the murdering of people and saves countless lives but standing up for what’s right. Elissa seems like a nice woman and the rest of the crew is made up of Craig, Ben and Brenda all as well are good people and Ben was the brains of the team but he is taken down by the savages after landing. The savages are at war with those who live in the dome and are violent, but are the way they are in order to survive this new cruel world. The Proctor and his men claim they are not the bad ones and that they have to steal the blood of others in order to save themselves as the radiation they claim gave them a disease. But while slow the tense feeling is building as you are not sure really what is going on with those that live in the dome and why do they really need all that blood, not to mention those who live outside the dome are violent and act like savages for sure. I also like that our hero Captain Chris Galland while always wanting to do the right thing is also really kind of an ego driven jerk! The cover for this first issue is awesome and has a Star Wars comic look to it. The interior art is done by Pat Broderick and is really good and has a classic 70’s Marvel Comics look to it, Broderick has done art for many companies over the years including DC, Marvel, Eclipse and Devil’s Due. Over all this first issue is a great read that brings this world to life for reviewers.

Planet Of Vampires # 2  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 2 of 3

Bruiser Culhane has lead Chris & Elissa Galland into the arms of some very dangerous people who want to murder them all, but Bruiser comes up with an idea that has him fighting the leader of the group Lenny with the winner taking the lead of both tribes! The fight is brutal with Bruiser coming ahead and running both tribes, he even allows Lenny to live as Captain Chris Galland comes up with a plan that will have all the tribes come together and fight for their lives against the bloodsuckers who is the world’s real scumbag enemies. And after Craig and Brenda trick their followers they land and use the little flying craft as a bomb killing the pursuing vampires. As the savage tribes come together the vampires attack in full force and the battle leaves many dead on each side, and worse Elissa and Brenda have been kidnapped with the idea that they will be baby carries for The Proctor! During the battle Captain Galland is injured, but snaps and wants revenge when Craig informs him of the ladies kidnapping.

The plot of this second issue has Captain Galland bringing all the outside savage tribes together to make an army and pushes them to clash and fight with the larger and better-armed Bloodsucking Vampires…who of course destroy them in the battle. In fact Captain Chris Galland gets the tribes all riled up and acts as if their primitive weapons stand a chance and with them listing many of the savages loose their lives. So in other words Galland did not come up with a real battle plan and uses his own rage to lead people to their deaths. The savage tribes show that they truly are fighters as they do what they can to fight the vampires, and while many lost their lives other are taking prisoners so that they can be drained of blood. The Vampires of the Dome are very mad in this issue and when they come for revenge they are swift and brutal and kill as well as take hostages. Most of this issue is about Lenny’s dislike for Bruiser Culhane and how he learns to respect his one time enemy as well agrees to be apart of the tribe army to fight back. The cover for this issue is great and showcases evil vampires, and yet nothing like this happens in the issue. The interior art is done by Pat Broderick again and is fantastic and I really do dig his style. Over all this is another solid issue and one I can not wait to reread the third and final issue again, so let’s get to it.

Planet Of Vampires # 3  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 3 of 3

The Vampire Dome soldiers are being warned about astronauts Captain Galland and Craig coming to the dome in order to get their ladies back, and while the guards laugh an old fighter plan crashes into them all killing them on the spot and near by our heroes start to make their way into the dome as their plan to wipeout their enemies worked. Captain Galland and Craig enter the dome and make quick work of many more vampire soldiers as they out smart the bloodsuckers, but Craig’s world falls apart when they find the body of Brenda who has been drained off all her blood! Captain Galland leaves his friend to grieve for a moment as he enters the office of The Proctor and kills the vampire leader with a bullet to his head. Captain Galland is then greeted by Craig who has found Elissa hurt but still alive. The three of them make their way to steal one of the bloodsuckers aircrafts and Craig stays behind at the dome as Elissa and Captain Galland take the craft and fly around looking for a safe place to live. The couple end up in LA that is as wild as New York and Elissa is attacked by a pair of giant vampire spiders and Captain Galland fights with all his might in order to save his wife…but to his horror she passes away from her injuries and Captain Galland is a man along in a savage and violent world.

The third and final issue in this Atlas Comic series ends like so many before and after it on a cliffhanger and the promise of a next issue that never was published as Atlas Comic closed its doors before they could hit the comic racks. The plot of this issue has only Captain Chris Galland and his best friend and crewmate Craig left as all the savages have been killed or taken and they want to get their wives back who have been kidnapped by the dome living vampires, and they try their best to do just that but in the end both men loose their wives to the grip of death and both find themselves sad, lonely and in a world that is cruel and unforgiving. Captain Chris Galland is a hero who throughout the series tries his best to take control and act as if his plans and ideas are what will change this savage world, and instead his ideas lead to many deaths of people as well as even his crew. To be honest while I do understand Captain Chris Galland’s want to stand up against the evil people of this new world, a part of me also felt like he did it all for his ego. His wife Elissa Galland is always the victim in these three issues and it goes from being talked down to by his wife all the way to being picked to be the mate of the creepy vampire leader. Craig and Brenda are good side characters and to be honest I think Craig is my favorite hero of the series as he comes off more real and loyal. The Proctor and his vampire soldiers have the weapons and numbers, but when push comes to shove they fall like a house of cards and are easily beaten and killed. I must say Planet Of The Vampires held up for me and I enjoyed it just like I did in my youth and while it’s very slow moving at the start it kicks in to be a very fun Sci-Fi, Action, Horror Comic read. While those looking for solid vampire horror might be disappointed as these vampires are not like Dracula, those who like science mixed in with their vampires will really enjoy it. The cover for this issue is good, and confusing as who in the hell are the blonde astronaut and the short black haired girl? The interior art this time around is done by Russ Heath and is as well has a very classic Marvel look to it. Over all Planet Of The Vampires is a great Atlas Comics series and while it’s not one of my top favorites, it is one that I have enjoyed and suggest to comic readers who enjoy Sci-Fi Horror. Check out the art below to see the style used in this series.

Planet Of The Vampires is a 70’s comic that showed that Atlas Comics had lots to offer in the world of comic books, as did the previous comic titles we covered like The Brute, The Cougar, Tiger-Man, Demon Hunter, The Destructor and The Hands Of The Dragon have all proven. It really is a shame that Atlas Comics closed its doors so quickly as it would have been nice to see were many of their classic characters would have went story wise and what new characters they could have created. But sadly, we cannot live in a world of what if and have to live in the now and lucky for Rotten Ink we have many other Atlas Comic titles to cover in the future. But for our next update we are walking away from the world of comic books and heading to the world of Horror Hosts as I cover a little unknown host named Theodore Puertoriquez who hosted Theodore’s Creepy Kitchen! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a Meow-Tastic good time!

Star Trek III: The Search For Comic Book Spock

Welcome back to Rotten Ink Update Log 434:90. As we are into 2020, a new year, it means that we will be taking another look at a comic adaptation of a Star Trek movie and this leads us to taking a look at Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, the most overlooked sequel in the series and one that I really enjoyed as a youngster and still enjoy as an adult! With Star Trek not being a powerhouse at the Box Office anymore and rumors that Quentin Tarantino might be getting his mitts on the franchise to make a R rated feature, I think here at Rotten Ink it will always have the respect and be a draw for you readers. So if you are ready to beam aboard the Enterprise and go on a search for Spock with the crew and Rotten Ink, we should start this amazing update.

So let’s start this off right and begin our talk about The Search For Spock with taking a look at the film itself. As always, the film’s write up will be taken from our good friends at IMDB, and after I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on this third Star Trek film. So let’s take a look at this third and over looked Star Trek flick.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

“In the wake of Spock’s ultimate deed of sacrifice, Admiral Kirk and the Enterprise crew return to Earth for some essential repairs to their ship. When they arrive at Spacedock, they are shocked to discover that the Enterprise is to be decommissioned. Even worse, Dr. McCoy begins acting strangely and Scotty has been reassigned to another ship. Kirk is forced to steal back the Enterprise and head across space to the Genesis Planet to save Spock and bring him to Vulcan. Unknown to them, the Klingons are planning to steal the secrets of the Genesis Device for their own deadly purpose.”

Paramount Pictures was riding high on the over all success of “Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan” and when director Nicholas Meyer stepped away after an argument with Paramount, they went to Leonard Nimoy who was excited by the aspect of bring Spock back and became the film’s director. Harve Bennett stepped in to not only produce the film but also write it as they loved his work on Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and during the writing stage Bennett and Nimoy worked close together to do the return of Spock right for fans. And once the film was written and all parties involved were happy with it, Paramount gave them $16 million dollars for the budget and most of it went to the film’s special effects as they hired Industrial Light & Magic to make the film’s props and sets look just right. When filming started, Paramount and Leonard Nimoy were very protective of no spoilers being leaked and did their best to try and prevent any of the workers from spilling the beans on any of the film’s major plot points, though sadly in the end the Enterprise’s destruction was leaked before the film hit theaters. The filming of the third film was very stressful and demanding of both cast and crew, and at one point a studio fire at Paramount held up production as an arsonist had set some sound studios ablaze. Rumor has it that William Shatner among others helped battle the fire from destroying their set with water hoses as the set for the Genesis Planet almost went up in a blaze. Once filming was done, they had to add in the special effects and later the score music that was done by James Horner who was returning from Part II. Star Trek III was released to theaters on June 1, 1984 and was a hit for Paramount at the box office bringing in $87 million worldwide and places at # 9 over all for the year in America. Star Trek III beat out such films as Purple Rain, The Terminator, Friday The 13th Part 4: Final Chapter, Dune, The Last Starfighter, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Supergirl and The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai to name a few. The critics gave the film positive reviews and fans as well seemed to enjoy it with President at the time Ronald Reagan being the only major stick in the mud when he was quoted as saying “It wasn’t too good” when asked about it after seeing it with White House staff. The film would later find its way to cable as well as home media being released on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-Ray over the years.

Growing up I was a major fan of Star Trek, both the TV Show and The Movies starring the original cast, as it always seemed to be on my radar when a new one was being released to theaters or even home video, and for some reason this third movie has always stuck with me and I can say one reason why….and it’s cause Spock returns from the dead in the end! When I was younger and watched as Spock dies of radiation poison, I was devastated and I can remember my Mom telling me that he would be okay, and when the next movie was released called Search For Spock I knew her words was true. But I would have to wait till the film hit cable before I could see just how Spock returned, as weird as it sounds my Dad who liked the original Star Trek TV Show would never go to the theater to see the movies so we would have to always wait till it hit cable or home media before we got to watch it. After seeing the film for the first time I found myself truly enjoying this entry in the series and loved the aspects of the Klingons wanting to get their hands on the Genesis Project so they could use it for war purposes, not to even mention that Christopher Lloyd played Kruge, the head Klingon. Even some years later my mom bought my brother and I a Kruge action figure that she found at an Odd Lots. And now being an adult in his 40’s, I can say that Star Trek III still is a great film and I still enjoy watching it ever so often. It’s sad to say that so many of the original cast are no longer with us and that means we will never get a new film or show with the original cats, though I have heard rumors of a streaming show about Captain Kirk played by William Shatner being in development and this old school Trekkie hopes it’s true as I would love to see more adventures of Captain Kirk. To sum it all up, while Star Trek III is not my favorite film in the series, it is in my top three for sure and I suggest you give it a watch and enjoy the return of Spock.

Star Trek III: Search For Spock, like all movies in this series, had its fair share of very cool merchandise to keep fans happy that included action figures, posters, novels, calendars, comic books, soundtrack, card game, shirts and Taco Bell even did amazing collectors glasses! Growing up I had some of the action figures that were built more like classic 3 ¾” G.I. Joe action figures and the novel plus comic adaptation. But one of my favorites was the Taco Bell Glasses that we would find at garage sales and our Mom would pick them up. I cannot count how many glasses of Chocolate Milk, Mt. Dew and Kool-Aid I drank out of them over the years. I must also say that I still do have all these items I had from my youth. While some are not the ones from my past, I made sure to get them back when I got older.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock has always been one of the films with the original cast that has always stuck with me as I found it to be solid and also a great way to end the Genesis Project storyline. Plus no joke, I cannot tell you readers how many times I have watched this film over the years as in 2017 for the longest time I put on the original seven before bed! Well I think it’s time to see just how well DC Comics has adapted the film into a comic, and to be honest I am looking forward to rereading this comic as I had it when I was a kid and want to see if it holds up! I also want to remind you all that I will grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. Also a big thanks to Game Swap Kettering for having this comic in stock and making this update possible and for getting me a copy of the comic again for my collection. So let’s head out to space and see if we can find Spock with DC Comics and the crew of the Enterprise.

Star Trek III: Search For Spock # 1  ***
Released in 1984     Cover Price $1.50     DC Comics     # 1 of 1

The Genesis Planet is growing fast and word is that the vessel that houses the body of Spock has landed on the man made miracle planet, and Captain Kirk’s son David along with Saavik are aboard the Grissom in order to study it. Meanwhile Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise are heading into dock and all are filled with sadness over the death of Spock, and weirdly enough Dr. McCoy is acting very strange and even acting like their deceased friend. Meanwhile rogue Klingon commander Kruge and his crew are obsessed with getting the secrets of the Genesis project, and they are now on their way to the planet to gather what information and secrets they can. When Kirk and crew return to base they are all sent on leave besides Scotty who is to report to a new fancy ship, and the Enterprise is set for retirement and Kirk is told he is not to speak nor go to the Genesis planet! Meanwhile David and Saavik are on Genesis and find Spock’s burial tube empty, but worse the planet itself starts to become unstable! While on leave Kirk and his crew are together when Sarek, the father of Spock, shows up and tells Kirk that he needs to bring Spock’s body and Dr. McCoy to Vulcan so they both can find peace, and Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise know what they have to do and that’s steal the ship, get McCoy out of Federation watch and save their friends! Meanwhile on the unstable Genesis planet David and Saavik find a young Spock who is a shell of himself with no spirit, and they now need to protect him from the world around him and The Klingons have destroyed the Grissom and a land crew are on their way to the planet to take them as prisoners. As the Enterprise reaches the Genesis planet, they get into a space battle with the Bird Of Prey ship commanded by Kruge and both ships take major damage and Kurge uses the prisoners on the planet as his bargain chip, and after killing David things get real cold as Kirk tricks a large group of Klingons to beam aboard the Enterprise as it self destructs and his crew beam down to the Genesis Planet and save the growing Spock and Saavik from the Klingon guards. Kirk makes a deal with Kurge that he will share the secrets of Genesis if he beams his crew aboard, and after doing so Kurge comes down and he and Kirk fight to the death…and this leaves the Klingon dead and the Enterprise Crew taking over the Bird Of Prey and head toward Vulcan. Once at Vulcan they are able to meld the spirit of Spock into the new body of Spock and they crew celebrates as they have their friend back.

This DC Comic adaptation of the Paramount Pictures film Star Trek III: Search For Spock is fantastic and shows that these movie comics can be done right! The plot has Kirk and his crew trying what they can to stop a rogue batch of Klingons who stand between them and the body of Spock as well as they themselves going rogue and disobeying the Federation’s rules making them outlaws now. Captain James T. Kirk is as always our hero and in this comic he breaks all the rules in order to be loyal to friendship, and while some of his choices lead to devastating actions like the death of his son David and even the destruction of the Enterprise his loyal nature to his friends is inspiring. Kirk also shows why he went from Captain to Admiral as his strategies are solid and always seem to work. Doctor Leonard McCoy in this issue has some mental issues as inside his mind is not only his own thoughts but also that of the deceased Spock! It’s also really cool to see that McCoy himself is very upset about the death of Spock and misses his friend and is willing to risk is own safety in order to try and bring him back. Spock in this issue as a person is a shell of a being who does not speak and is growing at a superfast rate, his spirit however does speak through McCoy from time to time. In the end when Spock fully returns its great to see him start to remember his friends and that his own father wanted to see his return. The rest of the Enterprise crew are around and while not major focuses they all are very much important. The Klingon Kruge is a madman who is obsessed with gaining the knowledge of the Genesis Project and has no issues killing to gain it, and he does kill and even orders the deaths of others…in other words he is very cold and self centered. The comic much like the film is a chess game as each move made has a response and each move also has an answer with some being good and others being very bad. I think DC Comics did a really great job of capturing the mood, drama and action of the movie and delivers a great read that shows just why Star Trek in all media means something to the series fans. The cover is very interesting and for the most part I really like it as I find it to be very Sci-Fi paperback novel looking. The interior art is really good and has that DC look and is done by Tom Sutton. To sum this adaptation up I would say if you are a fan of the film or just enjoy the original cast of Star Trek, I would recommend checking this comic out. Check out the art below to see the mind meld of McCoy and Spock to see they style used in this comic.

While Star Trek III might not get the respect it deserves with many fans as I think for them its over shadowed by Wrath Of Khan and Voyage Home, I still find it to be a great film that made a great comic! And be ready as next year we will be taking a look at Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the DC Comic Adaptation of it. And when thinking about the next update I decided I was having fun in space and while we will be walking away from the crew of the Enterprise we will be joining Captain Chris Galland as he and his crew visit the Planet Of The Vampires! That’s right its time to take another look at the world of Atlas Comics. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as he try to survive a world run by bloodsuckers!

Horror Host Icon: J.R. Ghul

Well due to misplacing my issue of Star Trek III comic adaptation by DC Comics, I decided to treat readers to a quick Horror Host update until I can find it. The state of Texas has had its fair share of Horror Hosts over the decades with names like Dr. Zekow, Professor Cerberus, Gorgon The Gruesome, Professor Anton Griffin, Miss Jami Deadly and the short lived one we will be looking at today known as J.R. Ghul! This host is very interesting as while his show “Bloodshot Theatre” carried on for years, his time as host was very short as a host named E.Spanto took over, but he will be covered in a future update I am sure. So as I have said before, in my book there are no too big or too small Horror Hosts as they all mean something to their fans and viewers and I feel that J.R. Ghul’s time to shine here at Rotten Ink is now! So it’s with great honor that I bring to you this fast and spooky update called Horror Host Icon: J.R. Ghul. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a trip to the Bloodshot Theatre.

J.R. Ghul was the singer for an 80’s rock band called Tortured Skull and after playing a gig at a Taco Land restaurant, he was driving home when he crashed into a tombstone at a local cemetery. The impact left him hear death, and as he emerged from the wreck, he crawled toward the headstone he had hit only to fall into the grave that was freshly dug, and oddly enough the coffin inside the grave was filled with VHS copies of Horror Movies. The lid closed shut and J.R. died in the pine box that was reburied. His car was towed, and rocker J.R. Ghul was missing in the public eye. In the early 2000’s, on a Public Access Station in San Antonio somehow the undead spirit of J.R. Ghul has hacked in to the feed and hosted Horror Movies in short 30-minute segments. J.R. would bring his rock n roll style to hosting and would brood and yet take pleasuring in introducing the film to viewers. His cold and cool delivery always made for an eerie opening and his all black clothing played well off the red light that was always present. The undead ghoul J.R. Ghul hosts his show from an unknown tomb-like area and is still a rocker at heart. While it’s not really shown, I would say that J.R. Ghul is more sinister then fun loving and is one that might take a bite out of you. While not a full fledged Icon of Horror Hosting, he did mean something to his viewers who enjoyed his micro dose of horror every week. I want to also say that J.R. Ghoul became a character again when the show turned into an animated series and was joined by a werewolf sidekick.

Bloodshot Theatre started in 2004 and aired on Channel 20 in San Antonio and was a spooky and fun time for viewers. The show was unlike anything else in Texas public access at the time and was a pretty different idea for Horror Hosting as well because instead of showing the full film for the episode he would instead bring you the first 27 minutes or so! The show would air and switch hosts and even at one point became animated and ended its run as far as I can tell in 2015. The show was seen on San Antonio Public Access as well as via The Horror Host Underground (all over the US) and later via the Internet that seemed to be the show’s main source to watch. During the show’s 11-year run, it gained a cult status and fans still remember J.R. and hope someday for a comeback. It’s always so interesting when these lower key shows are rediscovered and the host finds a new fan base.

So as you can see, while not the show Bloodshot Theatre’s host for very long, J.R. Ghul still was the original who first drew viewers in. I am sure you readers are wondering how I heard of Bloodshot Theatre and host J.R. Ghul…well the answer is easy as it was thanks to A. Ghastlee Ghoul and his tape archive of Horror Host Underground episodes! And while helping him archive his show, I came across one single episode on a tape and knew I had to cover it! I want to remind all your readers that I will not be giving this episode a star rating and will take the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB, and I myself will write about the host segments. So let’s see what this one and only episode of Bloodshot Theatre I own has in store for us.

Bloodshot Theatre: The Pit (part 1)
Starring – Sammy Snyders & Jeannie Elias     Rated R       1981

Host: We start the show with a rubber bat on a wall with all the lighting in the room being bright red. We then show J.R. Ghul who is relaxing in a chair and welcomes the viewers to the show and then tells us about the night’s movie The Pit from 1981. He then ushers us into the first 27 minutes of the film before the rubber bat on the wall returns and the end credits roll.

Movie: Twelve year-old Jamie Benjamin is a misunderstood lad. His classmates pick on him, his neighbors think he’s weird and his parents ignore him. But now Jamie has a secret weapon: deep in the woods he has discovered a deep pit full of man-eating creatures he calls Trogs… and it isn’t long before he gets an idea for getting revenge and feeding the Trogs in the process!

So as you can see, J.R. Ghul was a host of few words, and I really wished I could have found more episodes in the Horror Host Underground Archives in order to deliver a longer update and bring you more a taste of his style of Hosting and his show’s format fully. And to be honest I even did some web searching to find J.R. himself, as it would have been fun to have had “5 Questions” with him and got into the undead rockers mindset and motivations of hosting Bloodshot Theatre, but it was not meant to be. I do hope that this Horror Host Icon update does help readers discover this host or even maybe let those who watched him remember him and all the ghoulish good times you had watching spooky movies with him. But for our next update we will be leaving Bloodshot Theatre behind and will hopefully be going to space to finally find Spock! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Let’s hope Spock is found to make this update finally happen!