Star Trek VI: The Rotten DC Country

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

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

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Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country (1991)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Man Of Steel vs. The Mole Men!

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

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

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Superman And The Mole Men (1951)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Love At First Bite (1979)

It’s almost October and that means we are so close to Halloween 2022 and I have to bring you readers and friends another Countdown To Halloween update and of course that also means another “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and for this one I choose one of my favorite Horror Comedy films that I have enjoyed sense I was a kid and was even released the year I was born in 1979, a film that spoofs Count Dracula and I am talking about Love At First Bite a super silly, super fun look at Dracula coming to New York. And something I am sure many of you are not aware of is that Love At First bite was given the Photo Comic treatment in a paperback book, and that’s what we will be reviewing! So if you are ready lets put on our best cape, slick back our hair and head to a New York dance club and see what Count Dracula is up to as I proudly bring to you From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Love At First Bite!

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Lets take a look at the one and only Count Dracula from this film and his way of dealing with humans that cross his path or ones he sets his sights on to become one of his vampire brides. Count Dracula has many ways of dealing with the living like he can change into a bat or dog and cause fear and chaos to those that cross him. He can use his cool and calm voice to help put his victim into a trance and make them do his bidding like fall asleep. He also has the ability to control devises like phones and TVs causing distractions and cutting off those from calling for help. He can call on “The Children Of The Night” like bats, rats and wolves to use against his victims, as he can also call on his faithful butler Renfield to help attack, get information from and subdue the target. He can also use a very powerful breath to push back against attackers as well as keep them off balance making them easier to bite. He has a super charm that makes humans feel at ease as well as draws them to him. And his main way to deal death is via his sharp fangs that he can drain the blood of his victim or even turn said person into a vampire and be under his control. But Dracula does have weaknesses like sunlight that will burn him up, he also can be killed with fire as well as a stake to his heart, he can also be stunned by a cross and garlic as both are very irritating to him. He also is very much out of touch with the times, is egotistical and sarcastic and this also leads him to trouble and can give his attackers a chance to stop him once and for all. Also this version of Count Dracula lacks the killer instinct and makes him less likely to take an innocent life and therefore not a massive threat as all he wants is love from his chosen lady, and that as well is a weakness. While this Count Dracula is not the most dangerous creature I have covered here on Rotten Ink he still is one that can deal death as well as charm the pants off any woman he wants.

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Count Dracula from Love At First Bite is more of a lover then a killer but we have to keep in mind he still is a blood drinking vampire so he is dangerous. Now that we have taken a look at Count Dracula lets now take a look at the movie he is from and I will be taking the films plot from our friends at IMDB and will then write about the films production as well as my thoughts on it. So if you are ready lets take a night on the town with Count Dracula in New York!

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Love At First Bite (1979)

“This vampire spoof has Count Dracula moving to New York to find his Bride, after being forced to move out of his Transylvanian castle. There with the aid of assistant Renfield, he stumbles through typical New York City life situations while pursuing Cindy Soundheim. But her boyfriend, Doctor Jeff Rosenberg, realizes she is under the influence of a vampire, and tries his bumbling best to convince police Lt Ferguson of what is going on, and to help him stop Dracula.”

This Horror Comedy started out when George Hamilton was doing an impression of Bela Lugosi for screenwriter Robert Kaufman and the pair laughed and decided that they should write a Romantic Horror Comedy that was about Count Dracula! The story they created had Count Dracula in New York during the 70’s falling in love with a woman who is engaged. When shopping the script around Melvin Simon was interested and bought the script for $1000,000.00 and while he was only a man who made his money from shopping malls he had a passion for films. Melvin Simon was the money man behind many cult classic films like The Manitou, When A Stranger Calls, The Stunt Man, Zorro The Gay Blade and all three Porky’s films, but later in life Melvin Simon would say producing films was a mistake as he lost millions of dollars doing so. When casting of course actor George Hamilton was hired to play Count Dracula and actress Susan Saint James was hired to play his love Cindy Sondheim and fellow actors Richard Benhamin, Dick Shawn, Arte Johnson and Ralph Manza were brought on to complete the main cast. The director brought on was Stan Dragoti who would go on to direct Mr. Mom and Charles Bernstein was hired to do the score, and he would go on to score such films as The Enity, Cujo, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Deadly Friend, April Fool’s Day and Rumpelstiltskin. The film brought in $43,900,000.00 at the box office on a $3 million dollar budget and was the 13th highest grossing film in 1979 in America. It was released alongside other Horror Movies that year like The Amityville Horror, Phantasm, Tourist Trap, Nosferatu The Vampyre, Alien, Driller Killer and The Brood to name a few. The film was met with mostly positive reviews from critics and fans and was the top grossing indie film until the release of Amityville Horror that same year. The film would gain a following when released on cable and home media and is still well loved by classic Horror Comedy fans to this day.

Love At First Bite no joke was a film that I have loved sense I was a kid and I cannot count how many times I watched it when it aired on HBO or regular TV! I can remember laughing at how silly the film was and this flick also made me a life long fan of actor George Hamilton as he was perfectly silly as Dracula and played the part straight faced for the most part no matter how goofy the world around him started to get. And for years a rumor has been going around that a Love At First Bite sequel was in the works and that George Hamilton got the rights for the film back in 2009 and it would take place in modern times and have Count Dracula going to Hollywood for his sons wedding and meeting the brides family that are TV preachers…sadly as of this update the film has not been made. The scene in Love At First Bite that always gets me is when the character Dr. Jeffrey Rosenberg goes to visit his one time fiancé Cindy Sondheim at her apartment and she tells him that she is marring Count Dracula and were they have registered for wedding gifts and he is a rage is screaming about how they will get nothing from him as he leaves on the elevator, no kidding I laugh every time. Also actor Arte Johnson who plays Renfield does a great job of being creepy, spooky and his laugh is based on Dwight Fryes with a touch of his own style. Richard Benjamin who plays Dr. Rosenberg is hysterical and next to Dracula almost steals the show with his crazy humor. And even Susan Saint James is funny as hell as Cindy Sondheim, and Susan I remember mostly from TV Show “Kate & Allie” as I remember my parents use to watch that one in the 80’s. I think that when it comes to straight Horror Comedies I would place Love At First Bite over such films as Dracula Dead And Loving It, Shaun Of The Dead and Dead Don’t Die but would say its not as funny as Young Frankenstein and Zombieland to name a few on both sides of the fence. If you like Dracula, Horror Comedies, George Hamilton and just having a good time make sure to check out love At First Bite.

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So as you can see Dracula from Love At First Bite is both dangerous as well as humorous and this really is a fun and silly film that I am glad got the Photo Comic treatment so that I can make this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic possible. I would like to also thank an Ebay seller for having this FotoNovel in stock. I would also like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets head to New York and spend some time with Count Dracula.

Love At First Bite Photo Comic 1

Love At First Bite # 1  **1/2
Released in 1979      Cover Price $2.75       Fotonovel      # 1 of 1

Count Dracula is in his castle in Transylvania with his assistant Renfield who delivers the mail including a fashion magazine that has model Cindy Sondheim on the cover and Dracula has fallen in love with her even though he never meet her, but yet maybe he has because her soul is an old one and keeps being reborn! At one point in time Cindy was even Mina Harker and many other loves of Dracula. Later that night Dracula get a visit from the Government who informs him that he must leave his castle as they are taking it over as a training camp for athletes. In two days time Dracula walks to his carriage as the towns people insult him and this forces him to use his breath to keep them at bay. Dracula and Renfield head to New York to find Cindy and while in his coffin in the luggage area Dracula tries to read up on the lingo of the 70’s in order to fit in. And once in New York a mix up happens and Renfield takes the wrong coffin with him to the hotel and Dracula ends up in a church in Harlem and has a run in with some people before finally finding his hotel and Renfield. The next day Renfield gets Cindy’s location from her agent thanks to his pet cobra and Dracula shows up and when held back by the cops as Cindy models he turns into a dog and gets close to her, but it taken to the pound for his efforts. Dracula is depressed as he drank the blood of a drunken homeless man that made him sick and has decided to just give up, that is until Renfield gives him the address of a club that Cindy is at and when meeting her the two fall in love and start an affair as Cindy is the girlfriend of Doctor Jeff Rosenberg who is a descendent of Van Helsing and when he notices the bite on the neck of Cindy he knows he has to stop Dracula before biting two more times as if he does so she will be damned to be a vampire forever. Cindy is in love with Dracula and while at a dinner out Jeff comes along and he and Dracula have a showdown at the dinner table, and their argument leaves Cindy to leave the pair and Jeff alerts Dracula to who is bloodline is. Later that night Dracula comes to Cindy’s apartment and tries to bite her for the second time but sunrise stops him, and this causes Jeff to have to try and get the help from the police and even breaks into Dracula’s hotel room and sets his coffin on fire with him still inside! Jeff is then arrested and taken to an Asylum and once out he tracks down Cindy and Dracula at a restaurant and shoots three silver bullets into the chest of Dracula and this attack fails and causes Cindy to faint and as Jeff is arrested Dracula takes his soon to be bride away and bites her for the second time. Jeff is taken back to the asylum and along with the cops tries to stop Dracula from taking Cindy back to England for the third time, and they even have a run in with Renfield. In the end Jeff confronts Dracula at the airport but before he can drive a stake through his heart Dracula bites Cindy for the third time and the pair turn into bats and fly off into the night as Jeff can do nothing but watch, and well take Dracula’s cape that he left behind.

This is a fun Photo Comic Novel that does a pretty great job of capturing the film’s goofy nature, but in comic form I do have to stress that much of the film’s humor is lost and does not pack the belly laughs. The plot is very simple: Dracula is kicked out of his castle and comes to New York to fund a Super Model he has a love for only to win her heart and must fight off her boyfriend and the cops in order to have his blood drinking happy ending with the love of his afterlife. Count Dracula is a vampire who is sick of being lonely and finds his true love in a model form New York and travels to try and win her heart, and yes along the way drinks a little blood from those who are in his way. He is not pure evil, but does have a little bit of an ego that tends to flare up. Renfield is loyal and dimwitted and does whatever Dracula tells him to do, but also it’s clear that he and Dracula are also friends. Cindy Sondheim is a magazine model who is a party girl who loves the night life and is drawn and falls for Dracula even though she is the on again off again girlfriend of a Van Helsing! And Doctor Jeff Rosenberg is our hero of the story a psychiatrist who is the grandson of Van Helsing and is part crazy, but also will do whatever he can to save his lady from the bite of Dracula, but does also have his folklore mixed up and fails many times to kill Dracula. As I stated before the humor is there, but is a little lost on the pages as the delivery from the actors is lacking. The Horror parts are still intact as they are light hearted to begin with and I do really like the parts in this Photo Comic Novel that has Dracula and Redfield stealing from the blood bank as well as the moment of him waking up in the coffin at the funeral in Harlem. The Photo Comic is bloodless and that’s fine as the film is as well, and for the most part this was a fantastic and fun read and a great way to kick off of Halloween Season for 2022! While elements of the film are missing in order to fit in this comic and at times the story jumps very awkwardly it is a must-read for fans of this very underrated 1979 Horror Comedy film. The cover is very cool and eye catching and the photos used in side are well selected. Give this one a read if you can find it, and check out the photo below to see the style of this Photo Comic Novel.

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The Fotonovel version of Love At First Bite is a fun read and while it does not fully capture the silliness of the characters humor and feel of the film fully, it does do a great job of entertaining the reader. I for one would love to see a full comic book done based on the film with a solid artist on board like Jeff Potter, but sadly I don’t think that would ever happen. Well for our next update we will be leaving Count Dracula and New York behind and will be covering something that I have been working on for a very long time and that’s my list of my Top 20 Lost Silent Horror Films! This is something I really have wanted to talk about for so many years now and I think my blog’s 10 Year Anniversary is the perfect time to do so. Plus let’s be honest, it’s a great way to kick off October 2022 and I hope helps bring awareness to these lost films and one day they become found films. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Comedy or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a talk about Silent Horror Cinema.

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Forgotten Reels: The Lost World (1925)

Forgotten Reels is a new update theme here at Rotten Ink and will take us to the Rotten Ink Theater to sit around and talk about Silent Cinema! As I am sure you all know by now, I am a major fan of all types of films and genres, but did you know that I am a huge fan of Silent Films? And when it comes to Silent Horror Films as well as Silent Science Fiction films, I am a major geek for them and have been trying to figure out a way to cover them here on Rotten Ink and thanks to the success of the “Wild West Round Up” updates I have found the formatting that would work to share my love for them! When covering the Silent Films, I am also going to cover a different bag of my favorite kind of snack food and I am talking about potato chips! And like before, I will be given a star rating to both the film and the chips. For these Forgotten Reels updates I will be covering releases from companies like Alpha Video, Grapevine Video, Creature Feature Video and Madacy Entertainment. And yes, I know that Kino Lorber and Criterion a lot of the times has the way better prints that have been restored and re-mastered, I just feel that the companies above have the look and quality I remember seeing these types of films for the first time as a kid. I also want to give my friend and amazing artist Jason Gilmore a big thank you for the Forgotten Reels logo that will be used for these Silent Film themed updates. Oh, I almost forgot the first film we will be covering for Forgotten Reels is a real classic in cinema as it’s the 1925 film The Lost World! So let’s find our seats and get ready to talk some Silent Cinema!

Forgotten Reels Lost World 1925 Logo

The Lost World is a 1925 film that was based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was released by First National Pictures and had a budget of $700,000.  Harry O. Hoyt was brought on the production to direct as he was the man in the director chair for such films as “The Moth (1917)”, “The Rider Of The King Log (1921)” and “Sundown (1924)” to name a few, and they had screenwriter Marion Fairfax in to adapt the novel for screen as she had a long history of being behind the pen for many classic silent films. The film brought in classic actors like Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Arthur Hoyt and Bull Montana to fill roles, and the film is considered one of the first in cinema to use stop motion special effects.  Willis O’Brien, the godfather of this style, was the man behind these amazing dinosaur effects, and he is one of the all time great effects masters and would go on to work on the 1933 King Kong among many other iconic films of cinema. The dinosaurs of the film were based on the artwork of Charles R. Knight and decades after the film, it’s said that Forrest J. Ackerman had many of the O’Brien models in his private collection. Ackerman was a true lover of classic Horror and Sci-Fi cinema and saved many items like them from being lost to time. The river scenes of the film were said to be shot behind MGM studios in an open sewer area, or so the Hollywood story goes. Another great story about The Lost World is that in 1922 Conan Doyle showed a ton of magicians including Harry Houdini test footage of O’Brien’s dinosaurs and would not tell the origins of the footage while they all viewed it and they as well as the press was said to have been blown away by the effects. The film over the years is said to have made $1.3 million dollars and was the first film to be shown on a flight in 1925 via a nitrate film reels and is as well what kicked off the dinosaur movie craze that is still going to this day. Over the years some prints of the film have fallen into the Public Domain and have been shown on many Horror Host programs as well can be found on many budget VHS, DVD and on YouTube. And over the years Lost World has had some lost footage found as well as has been re-mastered.

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The chips I chose to pair with this film are “Grippo’s Bar-B-Q,” a chip that I have loved since I was a young kid and a potato chip company from the great state of Ohio. Growing up as a kid, popcorn, Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and potato chips were the snacks of choice for my brother and I as we watched USA Saturday Nightmares or WWF Monday Night Raw, and one of our favorites hands down when it came to chips was always Grippo’s! You see my father has always worked in the grocery business and he would from time to time bring home different styles of snack food for not only him to eat but also for my brother and I to try, and Grippo’s was always a popular eat at our house during movie and TV watching. Grippo’s started in 1919 and is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio and was founded by Angelo Grippo.  The company over the years has made all types of snack foods from Pretzels, Sugar Cones and their most popular item is Potato Chips that comes in many flavors from the overly popular BBQ as well as Cheddar, Salt & Vinegar as well as a few others. Grippo’s is still going strong to this day and so many of my friends love these chips. Below is a shot of a freshly opened bag so that you can see these BBQ Grippo’s in their natural habitat.

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Forgotten Reels is a themed update that will be sticking around for a very long time here on Rotten Ink as being able to share my thought and the wonders of Silent Films is something that I really like to do! And I will be grading both the film and the chips on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film rating, I am basing it on a scale that is for silent films of all budgets and eras. So sit back in your theater seat, grab some chips and a soda and let’s travel to The Lost World with Alpha Video. And yes, the stills used in this review update are indeed taken from the Alpha Video print and the DVD that I own.

Lost World 1925 DVD

Lost World
Starring: Wallace Beery and Bessie Love      Directed: Harry O. Hoyt
Not Rated     1925   63min   Alpha Video   DVD   Full Frame

We open in the office of the London Record Journal, and the Editor is upset as he has just gotten word that Professor Challenger is going to sue them over the paper doubting his story of living dinosaurs, and they are also worried, as Challenger has attacked three reporters just that day! In order to get the interview with Challenger, they send eager reporter Edward Malone who stumbles into the editor’s office and has to hurry to Zoological Hall to cover a lecture that Challenger is giving and try to score the sit down interview for the paper, as well as sneak in as reporters are banned from the lecture. At the Hall many people are in line for the lecture including Sir John Roxton who is an explorer and hunter who wants to disprove Challenger’s claim of dinosaurs. And it seems like many of those attending are there to mock Challenger and his claims. Malone is able to easily get into the lecture thanks to Roxton who brings him in on his pass. As he starts the crowd mocks Challenger, who in turn wants to get a committee and a group together to head to the Amazon and to this Lost World with him! And some in the crowd who believe and disbelieve take him up on this chance to see the Dinosaurs and they are Professor Summerlee, John Roxton and Edward Malone. But when Malone alerts Challenger of his profession, the Professor goes into a rage and tries to attack the young man and chaos breaks out. And Challenger, mad that a reporter got in, returns to his home.

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As Professor Challenger gets home for the night, still mad over the lecture, he soon finds that Edward Malone has entered his home via a window, as he would like to talk to the Professor and says that he really needs to go on the expedition in order to impress his fiancé who will not marry him until he faces a major challenge, and this means nothing to Challenger who attacks Malone and they two fight and struggle so much that they end up in the street! A Police Cop witnesses the fight and when Malone refuses to press charges and even takes blame for the fight, Challenger ends up listening to Malone when he finds out that he is also close friends with Sir John Roxton. Once inside the parlor, Challenger has his butler call upon Miss Paula White, and also Roxton comes to the house and they talk about the diary of Maple White and as Paula shows up the story of the Lost World that is populated with Dinosaurs is discussed.  Paula explains how her father discovered a plateau in the Amazon alone as she was back at camp sick from a fever, and as she speaks Malone flips through the pages of the diary and sees the explorers drawings of Dinosaurs that he said he saw! And then Paula claims that she has seen them herself and that her father is lost on that plateau as his crew left him behind in fear of the beasts. And as they talk, Mrs. Challenger enters the parlor and is upset that her husband has kicked out everyone up to this point has come to the house to help. Edward Malone then comes up with the idea to get the paper to pay for the rescue mission as he can pass it off as a good human-interest story as they might think that the talk of Dinosaurs is fake but saving an explorer in a exclusive story they would bite on. Challenger agrees to this pitch and everyone is happy. Malone asks Roxton to go talk to the editor with him, and before they leave Roxton tells Paula that he is going on this mission for her. Paula looks both happy and taken back by this, but is happy they help is on its way for her father.

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The London Record Journal funds the rescue mission and Professor Challenger, Sir John Roxton, Professor Summerlee, Paula White, Austin and Edward Malone meet up with some natives and boat down the river to the secret location deep in the Amazon. Once they reach the plateau they all make camp and Malone is writing to his editor as everyone else is enjoying the rest and wildlife around the area. But watching them is a strange apeman who is monstrous in nature and watches and Roxton talks of how Paula said her father used a fallen tree in order to get to the plateau and Challenger says in the morning they will knock down another tree and get across. The apeman then pushes a bolder off the cliff and tries to crush the rescue party, his attack fails and causes the men to look around and they see a massive Pterodactyl flying around and then landing and eating, and Challenger then declares that everything in Maple’s diary is true.

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The next morning Challenger leads them to the top of the plateau and chops down another tree to make a bridge across a cliff and while doing all this dinosaurs start to pay attention to the noises being made by these human invaders. One by one they cross the fallen tree and then watch as a Brontosaurus feeds on leaves. They are scared and yet also so amazed by this sight. The massive creature then does the unthinkable and knocks their tree bridge off the cliff and causing them all to be stuck now. All the while back at the camp native Zambo with his pet monkey Jocko and Austin, the butler of Challenger watch on and are helpless to save them from being stranded.

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As night falls, the group starts a fire to stay warm and try and come up with a plan, and unknown to them the apeman once more is watching them this time from the trees. Malone heads to Paula and tries to find out what is on her mind. She tells of the worry she has that something bad has happened to her father as she feels he would have made his way to the fire if he was still alive. Malone tries to comfort her as Roxton watches on and is not pleased that someone else talking to the woman he loves. But before anything else can be said, the whole group gets a scare as a T-Rex appears and attacks and kills another dinosaur before their eyes. They then watch as the T-Rex’s path of murder doesn’t stop as it goes after a Tyrannosaurus and its baby. He fails in his attempt to kill and gets a horn would to his side that makes him even more mad as he heads out into the jungle and into the camp! Challenger and Roxton armed with rifles open fire on the T-Rex and Malone throws a lit torch at it scaring it off and back into a battle with a Tyrannosaurus. As the group then finally spots the apeman and Roxton shoots him in the arm scaring him away. Meanwhile the T-Rex kills the Tyrannosaurus as well as then kills a Pterodactyl. Meanwhile at the base camp, Zambo and Jocko are drinking water when Austin has an idea that they can make a giant rope from the hammocks and have Jocko climb the mountain plateau to give it to them.

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After all the excitement of the T-Rex attack, Challenger and the group find a cave to seek shelter in from the craziness of the jungle. They decided that this cave would be their home until they are saved or for the rest of their lives and then Challenger tries to design a catapult weapon out of bent down trees in order to fight off dinosaurs. While in the cave Roxton is looking around and finds a skeleton of a human that has a locket, and inside that locket is a picture of Paula…the hunter thinks he has found the remains of her father Maple White, he then also finds an open at the back of the cave that leads straight down the mountain and fires his gun and gets the attention of Austin and Zambo who yell back and fourth with Raxton that they will be turning the rope into a ladder and will send Jacko up with it in the morning, but the monkey needs to see Paula to make the climb. Meanwhile alone in a part of the cave Malone tells Paula that he loves her, and is breaking his promise to his fiancé as he wants to be with her. Roxton walks in on the two embracing and sharing loving words, Malone informs his friend that he and Paula are going to marry each other in the cave as Summerlee was once a minister before he was a professor and goes off to find him. As Roxton says he needs to tell Paula something very important.

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In the jungle Challenger and Summerlee are watching a Brontosaurus feed and are following it, as back in the cave Raxton gives Paula the locket and tells her the bad news of her father’s death. The T-Rex shows up once again and this time goes after the Brontosaurus and knocks the massive creature over the cliff, the T-Rex is mad that he did not get to eat his victim and wonders off into the jungle. Meanwhile in another cave the apeman along with his chimpanzee friend sulk over the humans being around and him being wounded by a bullet. Paula and Raxon are waiting for the others to return as they have been gone for hours now and they are worried, but Raxton tells her they must wait for them in order to lead them to the cave opening so they can all escape. And also a volcano on the plateau is about to erupt adding more danger for Challenger and his crew as the lava starts to flow the dinosaurs start to stampede and it’s making it hard for Challenger, Summerlee and Malone to get back to the cave for shelter. The T-Rex is attacking his fellow fleeing dinosaurs as fire is breaking out all around in the jungle! And they are finally able to make their way to the cave as the volcano calms down and the fires stop and the dinosaurs go back to their normal lives.

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Back in the cave Raxton shows Paula the opening as she calls for Jocko, the little monkey, who with the ladder makes his way up the mountain to get to her, and does so delivering their way to escape the Lost World. The Brontosaurus who fell from the cliff is shown to be alive and stuck in mud, and it’s the mud that spared its life and cushioned the landing. With the ladder now in place Paula White starts making her way down the mountain, Jocko the monkey is next, then Professor Summerlee, Professor Challenger, Edward Malone and lastly Sir John Roxton gets on the ladder. But the apeman and his chimpanzee friend and a score to settle with Roxton and they start to pull the ladder up with him still on it as his friends below try to pull it back down, but the apeman is just too strong. They fire a rifle up at the mountain and hit apeman in the chest and Roxton makes it down to land safe. As they are heading away from the mountain, Challenger spots the wounded Brontosaurus and with the help of Major Hiddard of Brazilian Geodetic they get the dinosaur out of the mud in a month’s time with a one-way ticket to London.

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In London Professor Challenger is giving another lecture to a roomful of people and he tells them that they are brining a living Brontosaurus to London and that reporter Edward Malone is on the ship that is bringing the creature to them in mere moments. Challenger then gets a phone call from Malone who informs the professor that during unloading at the dock the straps on the cage broke and now the Brontosaurus is loose in the streets and causing panic and chaos. In the streets people are running and driving away in fear as the dinosaur is on a rampage. Challenger tells the crowd at the lecture to stay inside as his dinosaur is free in the streets, and the crowd starts to think that this is a scam and begin to boo and turn on Challenger who they think is a liar. All the while the Brontosaurus is stomping around the city causing destruction and ends up on the London Bridge and it ends up breaking under its weight and it falls into the water and swims away. After the dinosaur is gone Paula and Malone come together and Roxton pushes his feelings for her aside and is happy for the couple. And Professor Challenger sits on the bridge and watches as his dinosaur fades away into the horizon.

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Review: The Lost World is a truly amazing early cinema film that allowed the team of Harry O. Hoyt and Marion Fairfax to truly bring the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to life on the big screen and offered thrills, chills to movie goers who left the theater wondering if they had just seen footage of real dinosaurs! The film really focuses on reporter Edward Malone and his quest to cover the big story of the lost world as well as him falling in love with Paula White who his own friend famed hunter Sir John Roxton also is crushing on. And all three of these characters are great and their story is interesting and helps add more drama to the story and also adds a good amount on tension to a group that is already stuck in a land of dinosaurs who want to eat them for dinner. But I think like most people who have read the book as well would agree that the real star of the film is the eccentric Professor Challenger whose anger, passion and personality sets him apart from the rest of the cast of characters and Wallace Beery was the perfect actor to cast in that role. The Dinosaur effects were done by the true legend and godfather of early day special effects Willis O’Brien and this film was a great warm up for him as in 1933 he would bring us the masterpiece of cinema King Kong. And the T-Rex in this movie is such a jerk and gets his jollies in just killing other dinosaurs as well as trying to kill our heroes. And let’s not forget to point out the awesome Brontosaurus rampage in London, a scene that influenced many Kaiju and Giant Monster movies over the decades. One thing I have to point out is that actor Bull Montana played the Apeman on the Lost Planet and he is one of cinema’s early creature actors as he would wear that suit or one just like it in the 1920 Horror Comedy Film “Go And Get It” and had the movements of creatures down, but that I am sure this is due to his years of being a Pro Wrestler. This film is also very much the inspiration for the Jurassic Park book and film series, and The Lost World is one of the world’s best Silent Films from that era as it brings so many emotions with it and best of all its super entertaining from start to finish. If you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy from Alpha Video or another home media copy and give it a watch.

Now let’s briefly talk about the Grippo’s Bar-B-Q Potato Chips, a snack food that has always been a favorite in my family’s household growing up. When eating this bag I can see why I loved them as a kid. The BBQ seasoning on these chips is very flavorful and have a nice spice taste that makes it so easy to eat a full bag in one sitting. They have a taste like no other BBQ chip and that is why those who have tried Grippo’s always put them at the top of their shopping list for snack food. And they are not afraid to coat the chip in the seasoning and hands down these are some amazingly good potato chips!

Movie: ****
Chips: ****

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The Lost World really is a fantastic Silent Film. The effects that they pulled off in 1925 are amazing and set the guidelines for special effects to come in Hollywood, and really the film is a mix of Adventure, Sci-Fi and Horror and really was one of the early versions of a Giant Monster movie as the end of the film has a Dinosaur running wild in a big city that would go on to be a staple of the kind of films. And as you can see, this first Forgotten Reels update starts off with a perfect Silent Film as well as a perfect bag of chips. But the house lights have been turned on and that is our cue to head out, but before we do, I would like to let you all know that our next update will take us to New York and the time that Dracula visited it as the topic is the 1979 film Love At First Bite and the photo comic book based on it! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a Silent Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon as we continue our countdown to Halloween 2022 and spend some time with Count Dracula.

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Eating Raoul (1982)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! For this “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” we will be doing something a little different as the film and comic we will be talking about are not fully a horror film but a very dark comedy that has some major horror themes and is also one of those gems that I feel gets over looked and I am talking about the 1982 film Eating Raoul that was written and directed by Paul Bartel and would become a cult classic over the years. And Paul and the crew of this film did the right thing when they made a promo comic to go along with their move as I have always said Horror Films and Comic go hand and hand and comics are a great way to advertise for the film. With that said again I think it is time that we have dinner with The Blands and hope that it’s not human meat we are having for dinner!

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Before we dive into the movie Eating Raoul we should first understand The Blands and their personalities and their ways of dealing death. Paul Bland is a highly intelligent man who loves wine and wants to open a restaurant with his nurse wife Mary who stumble into becoming killers by accident when they kill a swinger and learn that he has money that they need. Mary uses her sex appeal and good looks to draw in strange men and once she has them at the apartment Paul uses a frying pan to bash them on the head killing them, and yes even Mary used the pan to deal out death as well when she must. The two are super skilled and can only hit their victims once in the head with the pan to cause sudden death. They also have ways of getting away with the murders by hiding the bodies in the trash shoot as well as later given the bodies to lowlife conman named Raoul who sells the bodies, and yes even has helped them in a murder by using a neck tie to strangle the victim to death! Besides the Pan also at times things like a metal comb with a sharp end is used to stab into victims guts, and even electronics thrown into water tubs are used. And when in a tight spot to hide a body they have been known to eat the human meat! They are nice semi snobby people who are determined to open their dream restaurant and this also allows them to go under the radar, as no one would expect them to be killers. But while they are becoming skilled killers they are just human after all and run the risk of being caught and taken away to jail, and they can be killed by stabbing, shooting, burning, crushing and all other ways a normal human can die. Also Paul’s over protection of his wife can make him rush into things, and Mary’s want for sex can also cause some issues and drama. While not as psycho, unstoppable and brutal as other killers we have covered Paul and Mary Bland are still dangerous when they want to be and swing one mean frying pan.

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So as you can see, Paul and Mary Bland are dangerous with a pan and are killers when money comes into play as nothing with stop them from getting their dream restaurant opened. But now let’s take a look at the film they are from the dark comedy horror flick Eating Raoul. Keep in mind that the film’s write up will be taken from our pals at IMDB, and after that I will write about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on it. So with that, let’s pull up a seat at the Country Kitchen and see what is on the menu.

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Eating Raoul (1982)

“When a Paul enters his apartment to find Mary fighting off a swinger who has gotten into the wrong apartment (and thinks that Mary is just playing hard to get) he hits the man with a frying pan, killing him. Their dreams of running a small restaurant seem to be in jeopardy until they decide to dispose of the body, keep the wallet, and to advertise for other sexually oriented visitors who are summarily killed, bagged, robbed and disposed of. This goes along quite well until one night a burglar named Raoul breaks in and cuts himself in for a piece of the action.”

Paul Bartel was a name in the horror and cult cinema scene throughout the 1970’s through the 2000’s and was a jack of all trades as he was a director, actor and writer in many films during his career including such films as “Private Parts (1972)”, “Death Race 2000 (1975)”, “Piranha (1978)”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)”, “Killer Party (1986)”, “Chopping Mall (1986)” and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)”. And around the 1980’s he wanted to make a dark comedy film with a dash of horror and wrote a script with Richard Blackburn and had to raise the money that was put in by his parents and himself and they got around $230,000.00 raised. Paul Bartel, besides writing and co-producing the film, was also on board to direct and star in the film as one of the lead characters Paul Bland. Producer Anne Kimmel came on board as well, building the budget up to $350,000, and the film would be distributed by 20th Century Fox. Other names brought into the cast included Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, Ed Begley Jr., Buck Henry, John Paragon and Susan Saiger, I should also note that Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov ended up being casted together in many films after this film. When the film was done it was released in theaters on March 24, 1982 and brought in around $1.1 million dollars making the film profitable. The film was released the same year as other Cult and Horror Films as “Jekyll And Hyde…Together Again”, “Cat People”, “Beast Within”, “Amityville II”, “The Beastmaster”, “Halloween III”, “Death Wish II”, “The Thing”, “Creepshow”, “Blade Runner”, “Tron”, “Friday The 13th Part III” and “Conan The Barbarian” to name a few. The film was also well received by critics and moviegoers alike and over the years has become a Cult Classic Film that is well loved by fans of Dark Comedies. And one thing also that I have to point out is that Paul Bartel hired underground comic artist Kim Deitch to make a single comic issue based on the film in order for promotion, and this is something that I think modern filmmakers should be doing to this day!

Eating Roaul was a film that I had always heard about and always wanted to watch, but never got the chance to sit down and watch it until I was much older. I think a part of me put it off due to the fact it was not 100% Horror and was a Dark Comedy and it just always seemed to fall down my to be watched list because of this and it’s a shame as I really enjoyed the film lots and I think it has just the right amount of humor and horror killer elements blended together to make it just work as a whole. The writing and acting by Paul Bartel, who was prefect as Paul, and actress Mary Woronov was the right choice as Mary as she is sexy and also just so good at playing the role of a housewife who has to turn sex object. Growing up I do remember that this movie use to play all the time on Cinemax and I also seem to remember that my parents watched it as I seem to remember them talking about it with my Mom not liking it. I also remember when I worked for Blockbuster Video people renting the film out on VHS and I always saying to myself I should use one of my free rentals to check it out. To sum it up I sadly do not have any past memories of seeing the film as I waited way to long to see it and now that I have I really enjoy it.

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So now that we have talked about Paul and Mary Bland as well as the film Eating Raoul, I think we should dive into the promo comic about it and see what it has in store for us. I first want to thank a seller on Ebay for having this comic in stock and making this update possible, and then I would also like to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I am very much looking forward to reading this comic as it will be a first time read for me and after seeing the film and liking it I want to see if the comic holds the same magic, so let’s dive in and see.

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Eating Raoul # 1 ***
Released in 1982     Cover Price $2.00     Mercury Films     # 1 of 1

Paul Bland is working at a liquor store and watches as his boss shoots a robber in the head killing him and then start yelling at Paul for the type of wine he ordered. Meanwhile his wife Marry is working at he job as a nurse and is sexually harassed by a patient who is really scuzzy. After their shifts are over the two drive home and talk about the idea they have of opening a restaurant that Mary would like to call “Paul And Mary’s Country Kitchen”. As the arrive home they get stuck on the elevator with a bunch of people who are heading to a swingers party that is happing in their apartment building. Once inside Paul alerts Mary that he has lost his job just as they have a knock at the door and busting in is a man who thinks he is at the swinger party, and when he goes after Mary he is punched in the stomach and gets sick and almost drowns in the Bland’s toilet! Paul walks him to the right apartment and is surrounded by people making out and he himself is trapped by Doris The Dominatrix, and while this happens the creepy man returns to Mary and tries to attack her but he is brought down by the returning Paul with a frying pan! Worse is James their relator shows up as they have a dead body in the kitchen that they latter drop down the trash suet, and James has a place for their dream restaurant but they need $20 grand as a down payment in order to get the spot! And after Paul gets ripped off selling some of his wine from his collection and Mary does not get a bank loan approved they find that killing swingers might be the way to get the money after a creepy patient from the hospital follows her hope and they kill him with the pan! Between the first two murders they have already made over a grand from looting the wallets. And that’s when the talk to Doris and come up with a scam to lure people in and take their money after they kill them with the pan, but they are discovered by Raoul a man who changed the locks on their apartment door but really is a thief and they make a deal that they Blands keep the money and he will take the bodies and sell them to a dog food company and make extra money! One night Mary is attacked by a late customer as Paul has left to get them dinner and its Raoul who saves her, and before Paul gets back Mary and Raoul smoke a drug and end up having sex, and do it again the next day at her work. Paul while leaving a shop is almost ran over by a car that was being driven by a masking wearing Raoul and Paul gets revenge by given in saltpeter via Doris acting as a nurse so that he could not make love. But bad news comes when the place for their restaurant has another offer and they need $25 grand by Friday to get it! So Mary and Paul have an idea and they go to a swinger party and electrocute everyone there when they get into a hot tub and steal the money as well as sell all the cars. Once back home Raoul with a gun is waiting as he wants to run away with Mary and kill Paul, but Raoul is the one killed with the pan and is later survived as dinner to James as they sign the papers and the restaurant is theirs!

This comic is lots of fun and does a good job of capturing the characters and the dark humor of the film on its pages. The story follows the films pretty close and is about a couple who kill swingers and perverts with a pan in order to get their money to buy a home that they want to turn into a country restaurant and along the way they meet a sleazy thief who helps them but also gets a crush on Mary and ends up becoming dinner one night. Mary and Paul Bland are two people who live a simple life and work hard and have a dream to open that restaurant together and stumble on being serial killers by accident and when they learn that they can make quick money and ride the world of creepy sex perverts they get into their kills as it almost becomes just a normal job for them. And even though they are killers they enjoy wine, food and good talks and by all accounts are your normal boring married couple. Raoul is a scumbag who is always working a con and trying to get money fast and easy, and he also sets his sites on another mans wife and will do anything to get the husband out of the picture so he can have her. But because he is so slimy this is what leads to his head being bashed and his body being used for an important dinner meeting. James and Doris are around and add that extra background characters to the Bland’s life that makes their journey into killing a little more interesting. The comic does add way more nudity and does cut out characters and kills like the Bank Manger and lots of the kills in the comic are fast paced and are not bloody. The dark humor is there are some parts of the comic or so over the top that I found myself chuckling a few times. The cover is odd and yet great and eye catching and the interior art by Kim Deitch and while the characters don’t look like the actors some how his art does capture their personality very well. This comic is by no means a blood bath, but is a great read for fans of Horror themed comics based on films. Checkout the artwork below to see the style used by Deitch in this comic, and if you are a fan of the film track down a copy as its lots of fun.

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Eating Raoul is a great Dark Comedy Film that has Horror elements to it that I feel people should checkout as while the humor is very dray in spots it just some how works so well and I truly think that it has the perfect combo of a good script and fantastic actors that make it as good as it is. While the comic is most ways follows the film the changes do make the comic fly by and in a faster pace to the murders and delivers a highly entertaining read. But with that I think its time that we leave Paul and Mary’s Country Kitchen as our next update will take us to the world of Silent Cinema as we will be chatting about the 1925 Sci-Fi with a dash of Horror classic The Lost World! So until next time read a Horror Comic or two, watch a Horror Movie or three and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update as we have tickets ready and the Rotten Ink Cinema doors will be open to watch some dinosaurs running wild.

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Will The Real Spartacus Please Stand Up!

The Rotten Ink Coliseum is crowded today, as all of you readers and friends have showed up to see the one and only Spartacus as he enters the arena and shows why he is the most iconic Gladiator in history…and not just in cinema as Spartacus was indeed a real man who led slaves and fellow fighters in an uprising in 71bc! And while it is said he was murdered in a battle in the Third Servile War, many said his body was never found and that he might have lived out his life a free man and away from the horrors of war. But we of course will not be looking at the real life deeds of Spartacus as we will be focusing on the 1960 film staring Kirk Douglas and the amazing comic adaptation of it! So grab your gladiator gear as we are heading to the coliseum and we are watching the legend of combat death sport Spartacus in action.

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Spartacus was a Thracian who was forced into slavery by the Romans but when he fights back against his attackers he is sold and is forced to be trained as a Gladiator and while at first he fights it, his skill comes out and he becomes one of the best gladiators that ever entered the arena. Spartacus has heart and his personality helps bring the gladiators in his camp as well as slaves to come together and rise up against those who are oppressing them and keeping them down as well as treating their lives lower then slime all for those in powers amusement. And the thing with Spartacus is that he is not only a skilled fighter he is a symbol of freedom and rising up for the down, beaten, poor and is a person that has the respect of the people that they would die for him to show that his name and movement means something to them all. And this is just a very small bio on a real life person who inspired one of the greatest Gladiator films of all time…and before you ask yes this bio is based on the movie version of Spartacus.

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So now lets take a few moments and talk about the amazing 1960 film Spartacus that was a middle of career film for director icon Stanley Kubrick and starred Kirk Douglas. The films plot is taken from our pals at IMDB and then I will write about the films production as well as my thoughts and such on the film. So if you are ready lets step into the Gladiator Arena and see Spartacus in action.

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Spartacus (1960)

“In 73 B.C., a Thracian slave leads a revolt at a gladiatorial school run by Lentulus Batiatus. The uprising soon spreads across the Italian Peninsula involving thousand of slaves. The plan is to acquire sufficient funds to acquire ships from Silesian pirates who could then transport them to other lands from Brandisium in the south. The Roman Senator Gracchus schemes to have Marcus Publius Glabrus, Commander of the garrison of Rome, lead an army against the slaves who are living on Vesuvius. When Glabrus is defeated his mentor, Senator and General Marcus Licinius Crassus is greatly embarrassed and leads his own army against the slaves. Spartacus and the thousands of freed slaves successfully make their way to Brandisium only to find that the Silesians have abandoned them. They then turn north and must face the might of Rome.”

The film idea of Spartacus was sparked by the film Ben-Hur that was released in theaters in 1959 as actor Kirk Douglas tried out for the lead role of that film but lost out to Charlton Heston and after reading the novel Spartacus Kirk bought the film right options from writer Howard Fast and quickly got Universal Studios to finance the film after locking in actors Charles Laughton, Laurence Olivier and Peter Ustinov in big rolls for the film if made. While the film was in the early stages another actor Yul Brynner was working on a Spartacus film of his own that would have been released by United Artists, but in the end Douglas’s version would win out and be the one to be released and to be made in general. The script was originally being done by Howard Fast who was having issues with formatting the screenplay and then one tome blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo was brought in who originally was going to use a fake name “Sam Jackson” but it was Douglas who demanded that Trumbo get credit for his work and this helped break the blacklist that was on his name and helped get him back to work in Hollywood as he even was able to show up on set when filming. Other actors brought into the cast was the lovely Jean Simmons as well as names like Tony Curtis, Nina Foch, Herbert Lom, Woody Strode and Joanna Barnes. And the film would be directed by Stanley Kubrick and was given a budget of $12 million and was an epic filming experience with parts being filmed in Spain and even cheers of the crowd being recorded at a collage football game! Once the film was done they had Alex North score the film and it was released in theaters in America starting in October 1960 and was a huge hit with critics and fans and would bring in $60 million at the box office and would even win Academy as well as Golden Globe Awards! And in 1960 it was the highest grossing film of the year and beat out such other films as Psycho, The Alamo, Ocean’s 11, Magnificent Seven, Time Machine, GI Blues and Butterfield 8 to name a few.

The first time I saw Spartacus it aired on network TV when I was a kid living in Waynesville and by brother Bryan had already seen the film thanks to school and he talked about the film a lot and when we watched it that night on TV he kept telling me that parts coming up that he thought was great, and when it aired I also remember that the whole family gathered in the living room with bowls of popcorn and we watched it. And he was right as this film became one of my favorites in The Gladiator genre and my brother and I would quote the film all the time and we would even do the “I’m Spartacus” from time to time and our all time favorite “No Talking In The Kitchen Slave”. There is just something about the character Spartacus that makes you cheer for him throughout the film and he really does give you the feeling that no matter how much the odds are against you as long as you stay true to who you are and stand up for what is right you can be like Spartacus as well. The scenes of the Gladiator fights and training are great and I really like the character Drada played by Woody Strode who is a badass and could have killed Spartacus in a arena fight but instead spares his life and tries to kill those who are watching waiting for death to be dealt and while he pays with his life and his body is hung up for his follow gladiators to see as a message to not cross those in power he as well showed true heart. Actress Jean Simmons is beautiful and plays Varinia the love interest of Spartacus and after seeing the film it made me want to see more of her films. The film is also one that I made sure to own on VHS and later on DVD and is one I watch at least once every few years. And while I am sure some of you readers only know Spartacus from the 2010 Starz TV Series, I really want to say do yourself a favor and get Spartacus on DVD or Blu-Ray and have some of your family and friends over, order a pizza and have a movie night and sit back and enjoy this amazing film that blends so many genres together from Drama, Romance all the way to Action and enjoy a true classic Hollywood film.

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I want to take a very brief moment to talk about Kirk Douglas the iconic actor who played Spartacus in the film and who really was on of Hollywood’s biggest leading men in his time. Many people worldwide also say that Kirk Douglas was their favorite actor as he starred in many amazing films over his long career like The Juggler, 20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea, Ulysses, Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, The Vikings, The Final Countdown and The Man From Snowy River to name a very few. And I know many people who were heartbroken when on February 5, 2020 when Kirk passed away at the age of 103 as he really was a respected actor who brought so much entertainment to fans. And while over his career he had some controversies namely the allegations from actress Natalie Wood, he is still very much remembered fondly and was a truly loved actor. And I for one will always be a big fan of his mostly due to his roll as Spartacus! So this update is dedicated to you Kirk Douglas and thank you for being in some amazing films.

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So now that we have talked about the film Spartacus as well as actor Kirk Douglas I think that it’s time that we take a look at the Dell Comic based on it. The comic was apart of Dell’s Four Color series that was comics based on films, cartoons, TV shows and folklore icons like Santa Claus. And I would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s give the Gladiator Salute and see what the comic version of Spartacus is like.

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Spartacus # 1  ***
Released in 1960     Cover Price .10     Dell Comics     # 1139 of 1354

Batiatus is the owner of a gladiator school and buys a new batch of slaves with one being Spartacus who has a fire and is doing well in training that is being conducted by Marcellus, and during training in the food line Spartacus meets Varinia and he falls in love with her. And later during fight training he also meets Draba a skilled African warrior that he feels a friendship bond with. Time passes and Roman senator Marcus Licinius Crassus arrives at the school of Batiatus and pays a big fee to watch some gladiator fights to the death and he also buts Varinia to now come work at his home. The final match has Spartacus fighting Draba and the two men fight hard and its Draba with his net and trident that gets the upper hand, but he does not kill Spartacus and instead he charges at senator Crassus and pays with his life. As Spartacus watches as Varinia is taken away to Rome the next morning he has had enough and fights back and kills Marcellus with boiling food and this causes his fellow gladiators as well as the slave women to join his cause and this spreads as slaves from all over joins Spartacus’s new growing army. As they make camp Spartacus on a raid run sees and is reunited with Varinia and the two are clearly in love and happy to be back together. Over the months Spartacus and Varinia get married, have a child together and the slave army grows and defeats many of Rome’s armies. But things go bad for Spartacus when the ships that was to take his army out of Italy do not arrive its all out war, and this time Rome wins the battle and many of the slaves are killed and Spartacus and many of his warriors are taken prisoner and Varinia and her child are taken back to senator Marcus Licinius Crassus home as he still favors her even though she ran away and married an enemy of Rome, she is latter given freedom thanks to another senator who hates Crassus. In the end Spartacus is found out and is sent to death, but before he dies he finds peace as he knows that his wife and son have been given their freedom.

First thing I do have to point out is that I really enjoyed this comic adaptation of the classic 1960 film Spartacus, but I do have to point out that Dell Comics did cut out lots of moments and violence to fit into these pages and some moments are missed like the murder of Draba is not as impactful in this comic as it is in the film. The plot follows pretty well the film and has a gladiator slave named Spartacus who has had enough and fights back and leads an army of slaves against Rome. And that is why Spartacus is such a great hero as besides him wanting to do the right things he is became a symbol of hope for those who were oppressed! He was a skilled fighter, a thinker, a loving husband and father who would die for his morals and those he cares about. Varinia is a slave woman who falls in love with a gladiator and is torn between sides as her heart is with the rebel gladiators but she is bought and paid for by the Romains who are playing games within their own ranks. Our main villain is senator Marcus Licinius Crassus who is an ego driven man who rules with an iron first and leads an army to slaughter and kill Spartacus and the rebel army, and sadly is able to do so! A very terrible person is Crassus who also uses his money to buy what he wants and that includes private gladiator fights to the death, and yes he has zero issues killing. And I have to stress while for the most part the comic follows the movie, it does rush and cut scenes out that fans of the film will notice. The cover is really cool and is eye catching as it shows Kirk Douglas as Spartacus and the interior art is done by John Buscema and its good classic Dell style, but they characters do not look like the actors who play them. Over all this Spartacus comic is a great read and a fun comic for fans of the film. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Buscema.

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Spartacus is one of my favorite gladiator films of all time as it has a classic hero story, a tragic ending and is so well casted. And I do also need to point out that the films score by Alex North is really good and is one you should find on vinyl or CD and give a listen to! And I can not stress enough if you have not seen the film make sure to have a movie night with family and friends and give it a watch. Also a few years ago on social media I asked my friends a question “Who would win in a gladiator arena to the death?” and it was Spartacus or Maximus from the 2000 film Gladiator that was played by Russell Crowe…I myself did not answer who would win as I still will not, but my friends ended up voting Maximus as they said his army training would help him, but I do feel that they downplayed the skill and heart of Spartacus. Now lets leave this Gladiator Arena and for our next update we will be heading to the Rotten Ink Stadium and for another MLB Mascot countdown and this time around it’s for Retired Mascots! So until next time read a Dell Comic or three, watch a Gladiator movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some baseball fun via the mascots of the sports past!

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Wild West Round Up: War Of The Range (1933)

Welcome to the first ever “Wild West Round Up” update. Now I am sure many of you are wondering what the heck have you gotten yourself into and what this update is all about…well let me tell you what this new themed update is all about! First thing, these updates will be a way to celebrate classic Western films of the past and I will be taking a look at films from the 1920’s through early 1970’s, and will only be covering films that are released by Alpha Video as I feel they are a company that holds the charm of the films that I want to cover, plus I am a fan of Alpha Video as they have released many amazing Silent Horror Films that other companies have ignored. I am sure many of you friends and readers did not know that I am a big fan of old western films and this is my way of sharing my love for this classic film genre. Each update will only have one film that I will breakdown and talk about the plot of the film and will also use pictures to do so. I will also very quickly talk about the films production as well as the lead star of the film, and sometimes even the director, as they are very important to the film as well. Also for these updates I will find a chili recipe online and cook up a batch and watch the movie while eating a bowl or two…and the chili and the film will be graded on a 1-4 star scale! This should be a fun time as Rotten Ink Ranch has been kind enough to allow us to sit around a campfire and cook some chili and chat about good old western films. So if you are ready, let’s start this first ever Wild West Round Up themed update and take a look at the film War On The Range. Also want to thank my friend Jason Young for the logo that will be used on all the Wild West Round Up updates.

Wild West Round Up War On Range Logo

War Of The Range was created in 1933 and was a B-Movie that was quickly made by Producer Burton King and Monarch Film Corporation in order to cash in on the American Western boom with the birth of talkie films. Director J.P. McGowan was brought in after a very long history of directing western films and was selected cause he knew how to make a film on a budget and make them entertaining. The leading man for the film was Tom Tyler who was a super popular western superstar who thrilled audience in the silent era and was still a draw in the world of talkies. And let’s take a moment to talk about Tom Tyler who really was a very iconic actor! Tom Tyler’s real name is Vincent Markowski and was born in Port Henry, New York on August 9, 1903 and had many amazing jobs in his life time from as he was a seaman, a coal miner, lumberjack, prizefighter, amateur weightlifter and finally landed on being a actor! Some of his none western roles that have made an impact in Hollywood are “Adventures Of Captain Marvel” as he played Captain Marvel, “The Phantom” as he played The Phantom and the Universal Monster movie “The Mummy’s Hand” where he played The Mummy! Tom passed away from complications of scleroderma and heart failure on May 3, 1954 at the age of 50. Other actors brought into the film included Charles K. French, Ted Adams, Caryl Lincoln, Lane Chandler, Slim Whitaker and Lafe Mckee to name a few. The film when released was a minor hit, but sadly over time it has been mostly forgotten and even has fallen into the Public Domain and has a middle of the road user rating on IMDB.

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For this first Wild West Round Up review I looked for a film that I have never seen and one that had a star that I have heard of and enjoyed in other films and that’s why War Of The Range was selected! And for the first meal of chili we decided on “Creamy Italian Sausage Chili” a recipe by Emily Walker that sounded oh so fantastic! So I am going to eat a bowl of this chili and watch this classic western film and after talking about the films plot I will of course give both the film and the chili star ratings! But before we start the review I would first like to show you all what the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili looks like in a bowl with some cheese on top with a dash of sour cream.

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili

This is going to be so much fun and something I have been thinking about doing for a few years now! And I will be grading both the film and the chili on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film ratings I am basing it on a scale that is for this era of classic westerns. So pull up a rock and gather by the campfire as its time to eat some home cooked chili and watch a western flick brought to us from the folks at Alpha Video.

War On The Range DVD

War Of The Range
Starring: Tom Tyler and Caryl Lincoln      Directed: J.P. McGowan
Not Rated     1933    58min    Alpha Video    DVD    Full Frame

Tom Bradley and Tony head to the end of the ranch and see a group of workers putting up a fence, and Tom goes down to question them why they are doing so and is told that is own father Duke gave the orders. He is not happy with this and heads to Box Ranch to talk to his dad as he is upset that by putting the fence up it will hurt other ranchers who need to move their herd as it keeps them away from water and makes them go a longer route. Tom also says this could start the War Of The Range again as Bull Harris a fellow rancher is itching to go to war with the Bradley family. Duke yells at his son to go back to work and Tom and Tony ride off, just as this happens from the other side of the ranch comes Bull Harris and several of his men, and they are not happy and Bull threatens Duke with death, the only witness is James Warren who is a worker of Dukes…but when Duke walks away we find out that Bull really works for James and they are stealing cattle!

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Tom and Tony while working the ranch see Bull and his men trying to steal the cattle and some of Bull’s men open fire on them! Tom tells Tony to head to the ranch and warn his father as he goes after them. Tony ends up capturing one of the thieves who before he can tell Tom who the leader of the gang is takes a bullet from Bull who is hiding up on a hill and does not what the secret out. Tom in turn opens fire and kills Bull’s horse who is forced to run away on foot, but Tom does not get a look at Bull so the mystery of who is stealing the cattle is unsolved. They are able to save the heard, run off the thieves and turn the cows over to the Cartwright Packing Company. They also get news that nesters have taken shelter on the old ranch house on the land and Duke sends Tom and others to run them off, Tom does not like this but does what his Dad tells him and rides off to the old ranch house.

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The Carlysle family (Father George, Daughter Grace and son Jimmy) with a wagon full of stuff is at the old ranch home at Bradley Pass as the Box Ranch hands show up they tell the family they are no welcome and start bulling them as well as knocking around their belongings. Grace tries her best to stand her ground as she tells them that they now own this ranch house, but they men get them on a wagon and send them packing as the wagon is out of control, due to the men scaring the horses. Tom sees the wagon out of control and leaps from his horse onto the wagon and is able to bring it to a stop. Grace then shows Tom the deed to the house and land as his father Duke was not the owner of that land and it’s now the Carlysle family. Tom takes the family back to their home and tells his fathers men that this family is here to stay and to tell his father they own the land proper. As the men leave Tom stays to help the family move in, and Grace is shocked that he went against the wishes of his own father. Later in the day Duke shows up at the Carlysle home and he and Tom scuffle and Duke even punches his son in the face as the ranch hands watch on, and James is loving every second of this family meltdown. Tom shows his Dad the legal papers and this angers Duke so much that he threatens his son that he will find a way to get the land and run the Carlysle Family and Tom out of the state! He disowns his son in front of everyone and Grace is upset that her family has causes such a rift. And Tom is happy to see that Tony has decided to stay and help the family as well as he and Tom are friends. James on the way back to the Box Ranch questions Duke about if he is wrong on owning the land, and Duke says he is never wrong and tells James to go get the sheriff as he thinks the law might be able to fix this mess and get “his” land back.

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Back at the Carlysle house Tony is trying to teach Jimmy how to mount a horse fast, and is goofily failing at his task. While Tom is also helping with chores around the house and its clear that love is blooming between he and Grace as they share glances and smiles. Bull Harris then shows up and talks with Grace and George and says he is there to give them a big welcome to the area as well as give them a proposition. Tom and Tony head to the house to see what’s going on, while inside Bulls deal is that he will give the family a herd of cattle if they do not allow other ranchers to move cattle through the area unless they get permission from Bull. And just before George signs the agreement Tom enters and punches Bull out the door and by gunpoint Tony runs him off the property. And Grace says she trusts the word of Tom who wants to alert all ranchers that they have permission to use the land when moving their cattle, and wants to also try and patch things up with his father with this news. And Tom takes young Jimmy with him to deliver the news.

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Duke has just got paid for his shipment of cattle and James watches were he hides the money, as Tom and Jimmy show up to the ranch its untrustworthy James who informs Duke they are coming. Once inside Duke does not want to hear the deal that could end this war on the range as James has his ear and yells at his son. Tom and Jimmy head to a room to rest for a moment as well as gather Tom’s stuff, but Tom has faith in his father and Jimmy thinks Duke is a hardass. As Tom is getting his stuff the Sheriff shows up and Duke goes outside to explain the situation of the land deed, as James rushes to steal the hidden money he is caught red handed by Jimmy! James knocks out Jimmy and then as Tom comes in looking for his young friend James grabs him from behind and screams for help and acts as if Tom was going to steal the money! James acts as if Tom had Jimmy run away with the cash and now Tom is under arrest but breaks free and gets to his horse and rides away and the law is on his trail. Duke is heart broken over this all and once back inside hears the moans of the injured Jimmy and finds him and takes him to a room to get better, as he thinks the youngster can tell him the truth of what happened to his money and who is the thief, James agrees and is also very worried.

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Tom has a good lead on the law that is tracking him for the crime he did not commit, he jumps from his horse and hides in a tree as the officers ride past him and follow the tracks of his horse. He does how ever drop down on the last lawman and knocks him from his horse and then punches him out, steals his horse and heads back to his dad’s ranch. Meanwhile back at the ranch Duke is sitting with the knocked out Jimmy, and is feeling bad for the youngster as well as is making him think of his own son Tom. James is peeking in on them and pulls his gun out and takes aim as he is going to clearly kill the youngster as well as his boss to get away with the crime, but he is stopped by Tom who has arrived just in time, but James is able to smash Tom with a chair and then escape. James meets up with Bull Harris and his men and alerts them they are all heading north and that they need to steal all of Duke’s cattle as they leave.

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The Sheriff and his lawman give up the chase on Tom, as James leads his men into the pasture to start stealing the herd and lucky for Duke the Sheriff takes notice of them doing so and head back to get Duke and his men to stop the steal. Meanwhile at the Box Ranch Jimmy is awake and tells Duke that it was James who stole the cash and with that Duke has a change of heart about the Carlysle Family as well as his son as they patch things up. The Sheriff arrives and Duke goes to get his men as Tom heads to the Carlysle house as its in the path of the cattle rustlers and he has to make sure Grace is alright and unharmed. While at the Carlysle house Bull and one other man arrive and Bull enters the home and roughs up Tony as well as George, but Tony tries to fight back against Bull and by accident Bull even knocks out his own man! As Tom arrives Bull tries to shoot him, but Tony is able to yank the rug from under Bull’s feet and causes his aim to be off. Tom and Bull exchanged punches as the Tom finally knocks out Bull and Grace, George and Tony tie the knocked out bandits up Tom heads out to meet up with his dad to stop the rest.

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James has his men take down the newly built barbwire fence so they can sneak the cattle out and across the Carlysle land, but James sees the posse lead by Duke is coming and they try and get away, but the posse does not stop the chase even with the cattle safe. Both sides have a shoot out in a wooded area, and The Sheriff is hit by a bullet and is injured badly. James’s men are loosing the gunfight and he gets on a horse and tries to run away, but Tom sees him and gets his horse and gives chase. Tom and James meet near a cliff and have a fight still while on horseback, and James ends up falling over the cliff to his death. Later at the Box Ranch Jimmy is still injured in bed and is visited by Tom, Duke, Grace, George, The Sheriff and Tony and they declare this is the end of the Range War. In the end its shown that Tom and Grace are getting married and that Duke has truly grown to love the Carlysle family like they are his own.

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Review: War Of The Range is a good very cheaply and poorly shot western that uses an epic sounding title that promises big gun fights between feuding ranches but delivers a way slower paced story that is about a father and sons differences on how to protect their ranch and how to treat strangers. I really enjoyed the film over all and feel that while it was not very action packed the story was a familiar tale of bad guys never win and you are never to old to change. Tom Tyler does a great job in the role of Tom Bradley who is a good hearted man who just wants to be fair and do the right thing for all, its crazy to think this smiling cowboy would be wrapped up and play the Mummy for Universal seven years later. I was also a little puzzled by some of the camera angles used in the film as at times they are wide shots that just look awkward and lack the impact that they intended. It’s also very clear that the film had a very low budget as much of the film is shot outside and many sets that are used are clearly on sound stages. The worst part of this film has to be Tony the Box Ranch hand and close friend of Tom’s who was played by Billy Franey as this old man character is just so bad and brings comedy elements to the film that fall flat and most of his dialogue is just him saying “Not So Good” and that’s how I would sum up him in the film. But while that character was bad I did find Jim Warren to be a great cheesy classic western bad guy who smirked and hammed up the screen whenever he was on and Ted Adam was a perfect casting for that role. Caryl Lincoln who was the actress that played Grace Carlysle was also a prefect casting as she is super cute and plays the sweet girl next door who is also strong willed. I also love the over sold fist fights in this film that at times are so over done that it looks like when two friends are fake fighting in a combat sports event for the camera. Over all I have to say this is a good 30’s western film that is nothing special but does a good job of delivering an entertaining simple watch that has some fist fights, gun fights and has some really bad cowboy slapstick jokes. I should also note that the Alpha Video print is not great and has many flaws to it, but I loved it as the flaws brought back many memories of watching these type of western films at my Grandparents house growing up. Also the cover has Tom Bradley with a rifle and that never happens at all in this film.

Now lets talk about The Creamy Italian Sausage Chili and my thoughts on it! Making of the chili was easy and took Juliet 15 minutes of prep time and around 45 minutes of cook time! And first impression of the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili once cooked was that it looked really tasty and it smelled really good. And when adding some cheese and a little sour cream it looked even more tasty! When sitting down to watch the movie and I took the first bite of the chili it was a good creamy taste and the sausage really popped with the cream cheese flavor. And after eating a few more spoonful’s the flavor really kicked in and I found that I really liked the chili! It was not overly spicy nor hot and almost to be honest would have been a great dip for tortilla chips or even corn chips. In fact when we make this chili again as yes I would make another batch I might try it with corn chips. And the weather outside the day we ate this chili was slightly chilly and this chili was a great way to warm up and was a great meal to watch a western to.

Movie:   **1/2

Chili:   ***1/2

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Well I hope you enjoyed this first ever “Wild West Round Up” update as it was really fun as well as tasty to do for me as not only did I get to watch a classic western film, but I also got to eat a bowl of chili that was a great meal. While War On The Range was not an amazing film I also really did enjoy it as well and to be honest while I was really hard on the Tony character in the review, he did serve a purpose in the film and his friendship with Tom was well done as the two were loyal to watching out for one another. And to be honest I am looking forward to doing another of these updates that I will say should happen sometime in 2023! So lets put out the old campfire and cover up the chili pot as the sun is setting here at Rotten Ink Ranch and it’s time for us to turn in for the night, but before we do I would like to tell you that the next update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and will be about 2001 film The Mummy Returns! So until next time read a western comic or three, watch a western film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a horror filled adventure.

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. For another “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and for this one I will be taking a look at the battle of the worlds two most popular Kaiju those being Godzilla and King Kong and their battle that took place in 2021 in the theaters thanks to Legendary Pictures, and like all good monster movies this film spawned not one but two comic graphic novels to help promote the film and each one showcased the individual monsters before they even meet up on the silver screen. And before we get into this update I want you to think about which of these Giant Monsters is your favorite now and growing up even, as truly here in America these two are the Titans that made the biggest impact in not only movies but culture and they still have massive loyal followings and both have made impacts worldwide. So with that let’s take a look at Godzilla vs. Kong and the two graphic novels this film spawned.

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So to start this off right lets take a look at both Godzilla and King Kong and their styles of battle and killing! And we will start off first with Godzilla who stands at 393 feet tall and weighs over 90,000 tons and is a massive destruction Kaiju who lets nothing stand in his way. He is very aggressive as he wants to be the Alpha Titan and will attack any creature or human base that stands in his way of ruling as if he views you as a threat he will kill. Godzilla is massive in size and can crush people and things under his feet, his massive tail can also kill and destroy people and can be used as a weapon against other Kaiju’s that he comes across. Godzilla’s look also is very scary and this can freeze people in fear and this could lead to their deaths. While Godzilla don’t target humans for the most part those who are in his way learn that he can deal them the death card. Godzila also has super powerful atomic breath that can burn through the Earth, can level buildings and can burn humans to bits as well as can cause serious damage to fellow Giant Monsters that get into his way. Godzilla will also use his teeth and claws to attack and they both as well can cause some big damage to his fellow monsters. He can be fast on land when in a rage, but is always super fast in the water swimming. Godzilla is also smart but one of his weakness is that he is driven by instinct and as well ego as he wants to be the top Alpha among Kaiju and will kill any other creature that gets in his way and opposes his rule. But because of this drive he also heads straight into battle and will not stop until he or the other creature is dead. Godzilla can be hurt as well by atomic blasts, giant battle axes as well as attacks from other Giant Monsters. Godzilla does not have much weakness and this is why many call him King Of The Monsters.

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King Kong while more friendly to mankind still is a Kaiju and can deal death to those that cross him or those he cares about. Kong is super powerful as he can use his strength to overpower his fellow Kaiju as well as can smash human war machines like planes. And do to his size standing 335 feet and weighs around 50,000 tons and this size alone makes him a wrecking machine if he chooses to be. Kong’s look that is a massive gorilla can also strike fear in the hearts of humans as they fear that he could smash them with his feet, hands and his razor sharp teeth is a frightful sight as Kong lets out his massive roar. Kong is super fast and moves much faster then Kaiju like Godzilla, and Kong is also very smart and can use his environment to his advantage. Kong also uses weapons wither it’s something like a tree or his trusty battle-axe that he finds in Middle Earth he is truly a force of nature that can deal death to humans and Kaiju if he chooses. He is an Alpha when it comes to Kaiju and he knows that he really is a King among them. But while Kong is massive he does have some weaknesses like that fact he is caring towards humans he bonds with, he can be hurt via atomic breath, he can be cut by fellow Kaiju’s teeth and claws and because he has normal skin he can be hurt badly by this. Kong also can be sent into a rage as he is a Alpha and that means he does have an ego that can lead him into fights that he might not win if not planned out. Kong also can hold his breath for a while but can be drowned and smothered, as he does need air in his lungs to survive. While Kong has some weakness it’s a matter of luck in order of getting the best of him and he truly is one of the most powerful Kaiju’s due to his smarts, strength and speed.

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As you can see both Godzilla and Kong as super dangerous if they want to be to humans, but to be honest they both in the Legendary Monsterverse series acts as protectors to humans and only kill them when attacked or protecting…and well by accident. But as you can see when it comes to other Kaiju’s they can and will kill them to be the Alpha and to be the protectors that their instincts tell them to be. Well I think its time to take a look at the film that pitted these two against each other from 2021 and as always the films write up will be taken from our pals at IMDB and after that I will write about the films production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you are ready, let’s chat about Godzilla vs. Kong an epic Kaiju film for the ages.

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

“Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash on the big screen in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans’ very origins and mankind’s survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.”

Godzilla vs. Kong had seeds planted in 2015 when Legendary Pictures was able to get Universal to let Warner Brothers release the King Kong reboot that they were working on as they had already done Godzilla with WB in 2014 and fans knew that Kong would be joining the planned Monsterverse and finally they announced that yes a Godzilla vs. Kong film would be in the works after a few films would be released based on them both in order to build up the showdown. And this caused Kaiju fans to be cheering so loud for this giant monster showdown, but they were told it would not come out until 2020…so a wait was in store for us all as they confirmed this in late 2015. The next major news came in 2017 when they hired Adam Wingard to direct the film and he was a good choice as he already had films “A Horrible Way To Die (2010)”, “You’re Next (2011)”, “Blair Witch (2016)” and “Death Note (2017)” under his belt and at one point he was even selected by Peter Jackson to be the director of his never made sequel to the 2005 King Kong remake. Next they started working on the script and after many ideas and rewrites it was Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein who got the job based on the stories of Michael Dougherty, Terry Rossio and Zach Sheilds and they all added elements from the past three films in the shared universe. And in 2017 through 2018 they started also casting parts in the film with Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler coming back in their roles and names like Julian Dennison, Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Eiza Gonzalez and Brian Tyree Henry among others all getting roles in key parts. The film began filming on November 12, 2018 and took place in Hawaii and Australia and was your normal big budget film shoot with reshoots coming later to even add and help to the story. And from there the film had the visual effects added by a massive team-up from companies Moving Pictures Company, Scanline VFX and Weta Digital and this had to be done by so many companies as Warner Brothers really wanted to release the film in 2020 like they first promised. And then the film was scored by Tom Holkenborg who did a fantastic job of adding new sounds to already iconic songs in some pieces and his new songs are fantastic. The film had big promotion around it and posters were shown and Comic Con even got to see a clip and the buzz around the film was at a fever pitch as fans wanted to see it bad, and when pictures of the toys by Playmates based on the film leaked on line it was on as new character where shown and fans started wondering what these new Kaiju were. But sadly Godzilla vs. Kong was not released in 2020 due to the pandemic and movie theaters world wide had to shut down in order to slow down the virus. And the film was pushed to 2021 and even then people thought that it might not even be release until 2022! But the film did make it to the theaters on March 31, 2021 and even with the annoying pandemic still being around it did really well at the Box Office, but on the same day released in theaters Warner Brothers and there parent company AT&T also decided to put the film on their terrible streaming service HBO Max and this was cool for people who was scared to go to theaters due to the virus and was understandable at the time. The film did $467,863,133.00 worldwide via its theater run and was # 2 for the year at the Box Office in America and was released alongside other films like “The Conjuring: Devil Made Me Do It”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Candyman”, “Mortal Kombat”, “Snake Eyes”, “The Green Knight”, “Chaos Walking” and many more. The film was pretty well loved by both critics and fans and was the first big movie for theaters once they were able to open once more. And once on home media I of course bought it and have watched a couple of times sense its release.

Godzilla vs. Kong was one of the films of 2021 that I was most looking forward to as it was one that my gal Juliet and I would talk about all the time as well as many of my friends as we all debated and took sides on who they wanted to win the big fight! And our household was split as Juliet was team Godzilla and I was team Kong and even before the films release I ordered us both shirts that featured the Kaiju we were cheering for, and yes, we wore them when we went and seen the film at a Cinemark Theater. I invited many of my friends as well to watch the film and it was a blast seeing it in the theater and all of us had a great time eating popcorn, snacks and having some drinks all the while watching the monsters battle on the silver screen for our entertainment. And while Kong should have won the fight I enjoyed the heck out of the film and that’s why it ranked #2 on my Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 update in the Horror section. The film made me feel like a kid again in the theater as watching two of cinemas biggest iconic giant monsters fighting on the screen was something very magical and truly was a film that needed to be seen in theaters and not at home via streaming! And it was great as everyone of my friends who came with me to watch the film enjoyed the hell out of it and the best part really being is how split we all were on who should have won, and even in the end when the winner was shown no one was rubbing it in the other sides face. The effects of the film were great and I think that Legendary Pictures has done a great job of showing the age progression of both Titans in each film and have done a fantastic job of also giving them personality and growth over the films that make up the Monsterverse. The thing that really worked in the film is that several times Kong and Godzilla fight and after each battle one of the Titans has the upper hand given fans of each of them something to cheer and feel good about and making neither look weak. I am glad that Legendary Pictures was able to get Toho, Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures to come together and allow this and the other films in the series to be made as they truly are “Event” films that are super enjoyable to watch in the theater and with friends. I hope that this is not the last we see of Godzilla or Kong as both have many more battles to be had in the Monsterverse. To sum it up I really enjoyed Godzilla vs. Kong and while in my opinion the wrong Kaiju won the battle it took the two to really bring down the threat that was a giant tech company and their Mecha monster.

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As you long time readers know, both Godzilla and King Kong are big time favorites here at Rotten Ink as both are characters I grew up watching and will always be covered here and with Legendary Pictures and Legendary Comics making new media about both of them this is great news as they will always be covered here. And I want to thank Amazon for having both of these graphic novels in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that, let’s head to the world of Titans and see who has the better graphic novel!

Godzilla Dominion GN

Godzilla: Dominion # 1  **1/2
Released in 2021     Cover Price $16.99    Legendary     # 1 of 1

Godzilla is trying to protect his territory and find a new home and comes across the Titan Scylla who has been driven mad with hunger and has set her sights on a bomb at the bottom of the ocean and Godzilla knows that if the bomb goes off it will hurt the Earth as well as people and fights Scylla and makes her retreat into the ocean. Godzilla next appears to break up a fight between Amhuluk and Behemoth as they two are fighting over territory as well as are both hungry and as Amhuluk takes down Behemoth with plans on eating him Godzilla steps in and breaks up this could be feast and Amhuluk and Behemoth go their separate ways. Godzilla returns to the ocean and lets a strong current carry him as he rests and remembers back to a time long ago before man took over the world, and he then is attacked by meat eating giant fish that he ends up using his atomic breath and fries them. And as he continues his quest to find a new home Godzilla even remembers back to Mothra giving her life for his and that is when he runs into the Titan Na Kika as well as Warships and Helicopters that are attacking him once he surfaces, after defeating the war machines he once more finds a place to rest and recharges. Godzilla then finds his new home and must fight the Titan Tiamat in order to claim it and after a big fight Tiamat bows down and leaves Godzilla deep in his thoughts that is all about his real rival the one known as Kong.

Godzilla Dominion is a fun read and has some cool fights as well as features some other Titans that make up the Monsterverse. The Idea of this basically being a day in the life of Godzilla as he tries to find a new home is kind of a fun concept, but it is also flawed. While I really do want to stress that it’s a fun read and fans of Kaiju or should I say Titans will really enjoy all the monster fights as well as seeing many of the ones we are briefly introduced to in the 2019 film “Godzilla King Of The Monsters”, but the downside is that the comic feels like just scenes put together and at times it feels slightly underwhelming and also disjointed in spots. But while flawed in my opinion the comic still is a fun time if you love monster fights. Godzilla in this graphic novel is very much trying to be a protector to Earth as well as King of the monsters as he is trying to get them to behave as well as understands that their food source and territories are over lapping causing them to be at odds with each other. He also shows that he is a Titan who is always thinking as his past as well as the past of his bloodline is always on his mind and his hatred for Kong and his race is also boiling in his blood. The GN also has many other Titans with the coolest one for me to see being Behemoth the giant wooly mammoth with the long tusks, even though he looses a fight with a fellow Titan and almost becomes a meal, he still is my favorite of the other original Titans shown in this comic. I also like that this really feeds into the hatred that Godzilla has for Kong and it really does have to do with the history of war between the two races. The cover is really cool and has artwork by Art Adams and showcases Godzilla in all his glory. The interior art by Drew Johnson is really good and I love the way he draws all the Titans and also the way he draws battles is pretty interesting and well done. Over all this is a good read if you are a Godzilla fan and I cannot wait to see what the Kong graphic novel has in store for me. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Drew.

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So now that we see what Godzilla has brought to the table in this Graphic Novel showdown lets head to Skull Island and see what Kong has in response.

Kingdom Kong GN

Kingdom Kong # 1  ***
Released in 2021     Cover Price $16.99   Legendary     # 1 of 1

Monarch have called in their top pilots and are sending them to Skull Island on a secret mission as they might have found a new entrance to the Hollow Earth and they need a team to go in and secure the area so that scientist can enter and study the believed birth place to all the Titans. Audrey Burns a woman with a past dealing with Titans is selected to lead the group and they all run drills on Skull Island to get ready for the mission. Meanwhile Kong is around and a little annoyed by the new group of humans but still protects them from the likes of a Spirit Tiger that he ends up breaking the neck of. Worse a massive storm is heading the way of Skull Island and if it reaches the island it could cause death of many of the species that live on the island including the tribe of humans. The scientists also are starting to wonder if Kong is out growing Skull Island as he seems to be growing to large for the land to supply him with enough of a food source among other issues. When the drilling team starts to uncover the cave that could be the vortex to lead to Hollow Earth they soon find out that they have all made a big mistake as the winged Titan Camazotz is what was in the hole and he wants to challenge to make Earth his Kingdom! Meanwhile Captain Audrey and her men have a moment to chat about how Titans have effected all of their lives before they are sent out to check on the drilling crew that has went silent…and to make things worse the massive storm is now at Skull Island! Kong fights off Camazotz as Burns and her team enter the fight to help Kong against the Titan and his smaller minions while other get the drilling team out and safe. After Burns uses her airplane to hit Camazotz with a sonic boom, Kong finishes the beast off with a hit that crushes his skull and kills the evil creature. Once the battle is over Burns takes a leave to visit her best friend who was hurt in a Titan attack, the Skull Island Hollow Earth portal is closed as its unstable, Dr. Ilene Andrews takes over as head scientist watching over Skull Island and Kong and Kong himself gets fired up when he thinks about his bloodline’s past and knows Godzilla is out in the world.

Kingdom Kong feels more like your traditional Kaiju comic and follows humans on a mission as well as the featured giant monster doing what they do best and that’s fight, protect and be a giant scary creature in the eyes of humans. And in this comic Kong is as awesome as ever as he tries to protect life but also has no regrets on taking lives of threats to him or what he views as those in need of his help. The way he snaps the neck of the Spirit Tiger shows that Kong does not mess around, and the fact he fights off another Alpha Titan shows that he is not one to turn away from a fight. The main evil Titan in this issue is the winged terror called Camazotz who hides in the dark and wants to make the planet Earth his kingdom and also feels that by beating Kong he as well will become a Alpha Titan, and while he is a threat to Kong he ends up dead thanks to a crushed skull! The human parts of the story do drag a little mostly in the Scientist stuff, with Captain Burns and her crew being a little more interesting due to their PTSD over Kaiju attacks they faced in the past. The Titan fights are great and while at times in some panels the fights do loose a little of the impact as the art sometimes is mudded up with other elements. It was cool to see characters from the film make appearances like Dr. Ilene Andrews, Jia and we even see Dr. David Lind the brother of Nathan Lind who dies trying to enter the Hollow Earth as spoke about in the film. The cover is great and eye catching as its Art Adams artwork again and his stuff always looks amazing. The interior artwork is done by Zed and is solid stuff and I love the way he drew Kong as he captures the Titan very well. Over all this is a really good comic that captures that magic of Kong and tells a pretty interesting story that leads into the events of the film pretty well and also builds the hatred that Kong has for Godzilla. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Zed used in this comic.

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So as you can see, while Godzilla might have won the battle in the film Kong won the showdown between the two Titans in the world of Graphic Novels as his was just a better read and had a more solid plot that did not have that random scenes thrown together feel like Godzilla’s did. But I do feel that if you are a fan of either or both of these classic giant movie monsters you should give these graphic novels a read for sure as both are entertaining in their own ways and are a great lead in to the epic film and act as a fill in for the gap that takes place between the film series. But with that we have all survived another Kaiju attack here at Rotten Ink and our next update will take us all to a place to relax around a camp fire enjoying a bowl of chili and watching a classic western film released by Alpha Video and the first of our new Wild West Round Up update theme. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a Kaiju film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you on the ranch for a War Of The Range!

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From Horror Manga To Horror Film: Tomie

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. For this update we will be taking a look at a manga that spawned one of my all time favorites Japanese horror film series, and a manga that has been reprinted many times for readers over the years to enjoy and be not only spooked by, but also grossed out by! The film and manga I am talking about is Tomie, a film series that has truly creeped out readers and viewers since the late 80’s and still does to this day for those who uncover it. And this is one that I have been looking forward to covering for a very long time as it’s one that I think all fans of horror manga and Japanese horror should read and watch. So it’s time for us to get really spooky and creepy as we talk about Tomie in this From Horror Manga To Horror Film update!

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Let’s start off by talking about Tomie Kawakami and her powers of killing and warping the lives of those she enters. Tomie in appearance is a cute young lady who uses her charming good looks to seduce and give her attended victim comfortm, letting her get close to them. But when the evil side of Tomie is coming out, her appearance changes in the way she smiles as well as her eyes change a creepy yellow demonic color causing those who see her to be frightened. She has the power to make men fall in love with her and become obsessed with her as she flirts her way into their hearts and brains. Once Tomie has you, she drives you to do terrible things like murder and will also force you into killing her as she can clone and regenerate herself! So if you remove Tomie’s head, her body will grow back, if you chop Tomie up, she will grow back as well as clone herself into more versions of herself from the other pieces and blood. Her hair can also go inside the bodies of her victims and clone itself and destroy the organs of the person before busting out of them. Tomie gets joy knowing that she is immortal and can live on forever and takes pleasure in killing, causing pain and ruining people’s life. She loves driving them mad and forcing them to kill her, themselves or even others. Tomie is pretty much unstoppable because if you kill her, she will return again and again so knives, guns and chainsaws are useless. The only way that she can be stopped or at least rumored to be stopped is by setting her on fire and having every part of her burn up, every single piece because if even a skin cell survives, she will return. So while she does not look like it, Tomie is one of the most dangerous and evil killers we have ever looked at here on a From Horror Comic To Horror Movie update!

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As you can see, the demon known as Tomie Kawakami is dangerous and will not only take your life but can also take you soul as she will drive you to murder. But now that we have spoken about Tomie herself, let’s talk about the film she inspired! I want to remind you that I will be taking the film’s plot from our friends at IMDB and then will write about the film’s production as well as my thoughts about the film. So if you are ready, let’s dive deep into the evil mind of Tomie.

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Tomie (1998)

“A traumatized young woman is trying to recover her memories with the help of a psychiatrist. During her hypnosis sessions, she repeats the name “Tomie” but is unable to recall where she knows it from.”

Tomie started out as a manga that was created by the mastermind of creepy horror Junji Ito back in 1987 and would be long running and would scare readers up until 2000 when its original run would come to an end. In 1998, filmmaker Ataru Oikawa decided to direct and write a film based on the manga that he would call a “fairy tale in bad taste” and would work alongside creator Ito in doing this spooky film right as he had his own vision of what Tomie could be that included taking out the graphic violence and adding more of a spooky teen drama feel. He also decided that he was not going to adapt the manga directly and would rather make it almost a sequel to the events that took place on the pages. When casting took place names like Mami Nakamura, Yoriko Douguchi, Tomorowo Taguchi were tapped to play key parts and actress Miho Kanno was hired to play Tomie Kawakami direct by Junji Ito who thought she had the look he wanted for the character on the big screen. The film went into production and was your standard lower budget shoot and was released in theaters on October 6, 1998 and was met with pretty good reviews as well as a lower decent box office in Japan. It would make its way to America first on the grey market via bootleg VHS and later would get a legit DVD release around 2004 and this allowed American horror fans to become a fan of the film. The film would go on to have about eight sequels and would gain a major cult following. The year Tomie was released in Japan, it was joined by such films as Ringu, Spiral and Tumbling Doll Of Flesh. I also would like to say that actress Miho Kanno only played Tomie once but did take a role in another horror film called Saimin (The Hypnotist) that was released in 1999.

I first saw Tomie when it was released on DVD in 2004. I was working at Blockbuster Video at the time and bought it from one of our used sales bins. At the time of the release (at least in my circle) Japanese horror was very big and my friends like Rick Martin and Andy Copp were all about them. So I had seen so many Japanese horror films leading up to watching the film, and this made me want to see Tomie when it was there right in front of me. I can remember I also bought a bag of Tom’s Hot Fries and a bottle of Coke and got home after work and watched the film in my room late at night. I had all the lights off, and it was late so the stars and moon was out. The glow of the TV filled the darkness and the film began, and I was glued to the film from start to finish and by the time the film ended I was hooked and became a major fan. I told all my friends who were into horror to check it out and every time a sequel was released I was in line to buy it! Miho Kanno who played Tomie was fantastic and her evil grin alone could chill one’s blood. I also loved the odd nature of the film’s plot as Tomie, no matter how she is killed and no matter how many times, keeps coming back and repeating her ways of driving people to kill. I also liked the weirdness of the pieces of the puzzle as to what is going on really falling into place all out of order and randomly as it kept me on my toes. For me the big four 90’s Japanese horror series are Godzilla, Ringu, Ju-On and Tomie, all of them are fantastic in their own ways and I feel Tomie is the one that is often overlooked and it’s a shame as it’s a fantastic film series that if you like the style of Japanese horror you should check out!

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Tomie is a sinister character who invokes violence and murder in those whose lives she enters, and that’s what makes her film series so interesting as no matter what you do, you can never get away from her! And now it’s time for us to take a look at a comic book version of the manga, one that was given away at Halloween Comic Fest in 2016 to get readers hooked and make them want to buy the massive graphic novel that Viz Comics was gearing up to release. The comic is 32 pages of the story, and I chose this as I found it to be an interesting release and will give us only a taste and I hope will also make it so that you my readers will want to check out the manga as well as the film. I want to thank Gotham News Stand Books, an Ebay seller, for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. I also would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, I am ready as we have a meeting with Tomie planned, and you don’t want to make her wait as you will not like her when she is mad.

Tomie 1 Comic HalloweenFest

Tomie # 1  ***
Released in 2016     Cover Price FREE     Viz Comics      #1 of 1

Tsukiko returns to town. Her camera has been stolen, and her friend Yamazaki has been missing for sometime. Once she is back and walking down the street lost in her own thoughts, a car pulls up and the driver is Tomie! Tsukiko is shocked to see her so soon again and then tries her best to ignore her, but when she says that Yamazaki is at her home and is very weak and sick and has been asking to see his friend…Tsukiko against her better judgment gets in the car with Tomie and they head to her home. Once inside Tsukiko meets Tomie’s “Dad” an old man who also has her stolen camera and informs her that she can have it back as he wants her help to find out why his daughter comes back from the dead, can multiply and why she uses her charm to seduce men into killing her! He then shows Tsukiko a bowl of acid that houses a mutated Tomie head and claims that the acid stops it from growing! Tsukiko has no interest in helping the father as she wants zero to do with Tomie, and when she is told that Yamazaki is not at the home she gets mad and starts to leave. But Tomie has plans of her own as she uses some of the acid from the head bowl to burn her father’s face (who turns into a young man) and then brainwashes a person in a suit of armor to attack Tsukiko who is forced to run up the stairs in order to not be chopped up by the knight’s sword. While trying to hide, she finds an old man in a cage who informs her that Tomie and her friend took over his home and have done experiments on his daughter and that the one saying he is her father is not and is a young man with shape shifting powers. Tsukiko promises the old man she will save him and then runs back into the knight who by accident lets out the home owner’s daughter who now is a massive creature that has many Tomie heads growing out of her. She takes out the knight and Tsukiko comes downstairs to see Tomie and her friend waiting on her as from behind the creature is making its way downstairs. Tsukiko grabs her camera and uses the flash on Tomie and then wakes up outside the mansion! By the time the police show up, they are able to rescue the old man from the cage, but Tomie and her madness are long gone.

This story is called Tomie: The Mansion and is one of many creepy Tomie stories from the mangas, and man I have to say I loved every second of it! The plot of this issue has Tsukiko who has been a target for Tomie for years being tricked to go and be stuck inside of a mansion with the idea of having her be experimented on in order for Tomie to understand the mutations that are happening to her body now that she has returned from being murdered so many times. Throw in a creepy dead eyed teenage boy who can take on the look of others, a poor teenage girl who was experimented on that is now a massive misshapen creature that bares the cursed look of Tomie with many heads as well as a old man in a cage, and you have this twisted tale. This story has really does have a haunted house feel to it and that adds a true classic horror feel to it and by throwing in a creatures locked in a room and a knight wandering the halls it feels like it could be a William Castle film! Our hero is Tsukiko Izumisawa, who was a school mate of Tomie’s many years ago who loved taking pictures, over the years she has escaped the wrath and attempts at her life by the demon Tomie and in this one once more she has luck on her side as she escapes her trap. Tsukiko shows that she is a caring person as she puts herself in danger in order to check on a friend and that her love of picture taking is what helped save her life. The Old Man in the cage and his poor daughter are sadly victims of Tomie as the daughter made a big mistake of letting her into their home on a rainy night, and for her kindness she was turned into a grotesque creature and her father forced into a tiny cage. The daughter is really the saddest character in the comic as her life is over and she is no longer normal but is now a massive monster who has lost her soul and her own identity thanks to mad scientist type experiments and tests. The shape shifting teenage boy is a creepy young man with black dead eyes who almost wears a false skin to take on another appearance. He is also wanting to find out why his friend Tomie is the way she is and he is cold and cares nothing for human life. Tomie in this issue is as evil as ever as she uses, lies, charms her way into getting what she wants and she takes pleasure in torturing those who cross her path. She as well even hurts her own friend with acid to his face in order to make him turn back to his normal look. She also has zero love for her own clones, and you can tell she really wants to kill and make Tsukiko suffer as she hates her one time classmate. Tomie is just so evil it’s hard to explain; all I can say is that she is cold and uncaring. I do like how mad she gets about her picture being taken with the flash on, as she gets so made she even starts name-calling! I wish Viz would have released more and more Tomie comics for Halloween as it would have been great to get one every year. Plus it would be a great way to try and get more and more American readers into the story of Tomie. The cover for this FREE comic is pretty cool and is black with Tomie is silver in the background and the interior artwork is done by Junji Ito and is fantastic stuff! If you are a fan of Japanese manga horror or even want to test the waters and see if you like it, track down a copy of this comic and give it a read. Also take a look at the artwork below to see they style and the mood of this comic by the one and only Ito.

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Tomie is a great spooky manga as well as film series and is one that you should really check out if you are into Japanese horror as it really is up there with Ringu, Ju-On and One Missed Call and will surely send a shiver down your spine and become one of your favorite foreign film series. And I for one would love to see more Tomie movies and manga to come out soon as after the terrible past couple of years I think we all could use a good fright. For our next update, we are leaving the horror behind and will be entering the world of Hanna-Barbara cartoons as we take a look at Inch Eye Private Eye as well as his one old school comic appearance! So until next time, read a horror manga or two, watch a horror film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as we have some cases to solve with Inch High!

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80’s Fantasy Unleashed: Clash Of The Titans (1981)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and our third update for my blog’s 10 Year Anniversary. For this one I want to take a look at one of my favorite fantasy films based on myth and folklore and that’s the 1981 film Clash Of The Titans! This is a film that I grew up watching and even had the action figures from Mattel.  It was a staple of movie watching at our house in my youth and this is one update that I have been looking forward to since I started Rotten Ink all those years back and now for this big anniversary, it’s time to finally cover it as it’s long overdue. And I think kids of the 80’s and 90’s will really love this one as I am sure it will bring back lots of memories, so with that, let’s go on an epic quest with Perseus and Pegasus and try and save the day by bringing you one epic update

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The first thing I would like to do is take a moment to really showcase the 1981 film Clash Of The Titans as sadly many younger readers might only know the 2012 remake film that is not even in the same league as the original. Plus for many of you, just sitting back and reading about the classic film might feel you with nostalgia like it did for me writing about it. So I will be taking the film’s write up from our friends at IMDB, and from there, I will write about the film’s production and then my thoughts and connection to the film. So with that, let’s get to Clash Of The Titans, one of the many great fantasy films from the 80’s.

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Clash Of The Titans (1981)

“Perseus is the favored son of the god Zeus, but he has unwittingly ticked off the sea goddess Thetis. Just to make things worse, Perseus falls in love with the lovely Princess Andromeda, who used to be engaged to Thetis’ son, Calibos. Soon Perseus is off on one quest after another, with Zeus helping, Thetis hindering, and lots of innocent bystanders getting stabbed, drowned, and squished.”

Fantasy films were very popular at the cinema in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Script writer Beverley Cross had an idea for a film that would be called Clash of The Titans, and he wanted a rating that would allow young and old to enjoy his adventure masterpiece. But many changes had to be made to the script before it could get a softer rating: removing nudity from the character Andromeda, the Kraken killing the flying horse Pegasus as well as part of the fight between our hero Perseus and the creature man Calibos. And once the script was green lit, stop motion effects master Ray Harryhausen was brought on board to create the creatures as well as co-produce the film and would retire shortly after the film’s release. While films like Star Wars, Star Trek The Motion Picture and Superman had newer state of the art effects, Clash Of The Titans relied on the more classic effects of cinema that was made popular in the 1933 film King Kong. The film had a rocky start when it came to distribution as Columbia Pictures was originally on board but dropped the film due to the budget being too high for them to want to invest. Then Orion Pictures wanted them to have bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger to play the lead. He was coming off the films Hercules In New York and Pumping Iron, but the film’s producer rejected this so they had to try MGM who ended up liking what they read and saw of Ray’s creatures and the film found its home with MGM even giving more money to get more cast added. Many name actors and up and coming ones were brought into play parts in the film with Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier and Ursula Andress playing lead roles and director Desmond Davis was selected by producer Charles H. Schneer to helm the film as he had history of working on period pieces. The film was shot in many locations like England, Italy and Gozo and was a very normal filming production for the time. Once done, composer Laurence Rosenthal was brought in to score the film, and it was released to theaters on June 12, 1981. Clash Of The Titans would bring in $41,092,328.00 at the American box office and would be ranked # 11 for the year and would gross more then such films as Tarzan The Ape Man, The Fox And The Hound, Excalibur, The Great Muppet Caper, An American Werewolf In London, Halloween II, Escape From New York, Friday The 13th Part 2, Mommie Dearest, The Howling, Caveman and The Legend Of The Lone Ranger to name a few. The film was mostly met with positive reviews from both film critics and viewers and has become a classic film over the years. The film went on to be released on cable TV as well as on home media and is well watched and loved to this day.

Clash Of The Titans is a film that I can remember my brother seeing first at school and rushing home to tell me how awesome it was, and a short time later I remember seeing it on TV and being drawn into the adventure it brought to the screen. As a kid I was always very much into mythology and the Greek and Roman ones captured by imagination and films like Clash Of The Titans helped fuel that love. The classic story of an epic quest to save the day as well as help a ladylove is stuff of classic fables and is why films like Clash Of The Titans, Beastmaster, Legend, Krull, Excalibur, Lady Hawk, Robin Hood and so many other films in the fantasy genre are some of my favorite films from my youth. I can also remember first time I saw the film on VHS and not on TV, I was mesmerized by the fact that the film had brief nudity and also just how awesome the effects are in the film as all of the monsters and strange characters look so cool and nothing can beat the effects of such an icon of movie special effects and that is of course Ray Harryhausen. While I liked the characters of Perseus, Medusa, The Kraken, Zeus and Princess Andromeda, my favorites as a kid were Calibos, Bubo and Thallo who I always felt was one of the film’s unsung heroes who is loyal to his kingdom and to protect the princess and when he died in the film, it held a big impact. I also remember reading the novel adaptation when I was a youngster and had many of the toys, but more on that later. Say what you will, but the 1981 version of Clash Of The Titans is one of the best fantasy films of the 1980’s and is one that I feel everyone should at least see once just for the effects alone. Really do yourself a favor and go and buy a copy of this film on VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray and sit back and enjoy the epic ride.

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The creatures of Clash Of The Titans are very epic as the main baddy is Calibos who was turned into a devilish looking satyr by Zeus, and besides his monstrous appearances, he is very sinister and sets up schemes and evil plots. For some reason his look always reminded me of the gargoyle leader played by Bernie Casey from the 1972 made for TV film Gargoyles. Calibos is a great movie villain and one of my favorites from the film as he just is so selfish and sinister. Another of the great monsters of Clash Of The Titans is Medusa who is half snake and half human woman who has crawling snakes as hair and whose stare will turn any man into stone. She is a character from classic Greek mythology and her appearance in this film is fantastic as Ray Harryhausen did a great job designing and bringing her to life on the big screen. And the big monster attraction of this movie of course is the monster of the sea The Kraken who wants to kill our film’s leading lady and is a truly sinister creature who kills with no remorse and keeps a whole city gripped in fear. While most reports of what a Kraken should look like is that of a giant squid, Ray Harryhausen made it more look like a Kaiju monster straight out of the world of King Kong or Godzilla films. And these three are only some of the monsters and creatures of the film as we also have the winged horse Pegasus, the two headed guard dog Dioskilos, a giant scorpion, the skeleton boatman Charon of the river Styx, a giant vulture, the three blind Stygian Witches and even the tiny golden robot owl Bubo. This movie has all types of cool creatures and horror themed baddies to make for a great watch for Monster Kids from all ages.

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When I was a kid, Mattel was one of the biggest toy companies only rivaled by Kenner and Hasbro and in 1980 they decided to make action figures based on Clash Of The Titans with four figures around 3 ¾” tall, Perseus, Calibos, Thallo and Charon. And a figure of Pegasus and The Kraken was also made with The Kraken being a rare figure these days that fetches a good amount of money on the second hand market. Growing up my brother and I owned many of these figures. We had several Thallo as we would find him at garage sales all the time and would buy him and we also had Perseus and Pegasus and I can remember them all being on the side of good in my toy wars and teaming with Star Wars Jedi Luke Skywalker and G.I. Joe leader Duke. As I got older I was able to find Calibos and Charon at local comic shops and now have them in my toy collection. And sadly I have never owned The Kraken even though I have seen it for sale at local comic shops as well as at toy conventions, but the price is always super high. And after all these years, I still own the figures minus Pegasus who sadly broke when I was a kid as he was made of cheap plastic and cracked. These figures are super cool and fans of this film series should track them down and add them to your figure collection. And for those wonder my favorite figure of this series is Calibos with Perseus not too far behind in second. And no, the pictures below are not from my collection.

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Besides the very cool Mattel action figures, many other cool merchandise was and has been released based on Clash Of The Titans that include a lunch box, comic book, t-shirts, posters, the soundtrack, novelization of the film, stickers, lobby cards, magnets, magazines and of course fan art. And for me the novel and soundtrack were must-have stuff and I have played tracks off the soundtrack on the radio show Alpha Rhythms. So again if you are a fan, there is lots of really cool stuff out there for you to collect.

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Clash Of The Titans was always a film that was popular at our house when I was growing up as it was a great adventure with some great monsters and brought the classic stories of Greece to the big screen. And with that said, it’s also very cool that Golden Book decided to bring the film to the world of comics, just like they did with Gremlins another from them we have covered here on Rotten Ink some years back. And also I have to say that with Clash Of The Titans I have two copies of this comic book thanks to a vendor at Monster Bash Convention as well as Game Swap Kettering, so a big thanks to them for making this update possible. I would like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that, let’s have Golden Book unleash The Kraken!

Clash Of The Titans Comic 1

Clash Of The Titans # 1  ***1/2
Released in 1981     Cover Price $2.50       Golden Book      # 1 of 1

King Acrisius of Argos has angered Zeus when the King has placed a woman and her baby son Perseus into a wooden box and had them thrown into the ocean. And for this crime against the Gods, Zeus orders Poseidon to unleash a terrible storm as well as the last of the Titans, The Kraken, on the city as he wants them all dead…and the deed is done. And some time later Perseus and his mom are discovered and spend their lives in a new village and Zeus watches with pride as Perseus is really his son. But one goddess Thetis is not happy as Zeus has turned her son Calibos into a monster after he has hunted down and killed all the winged horses besides one named Pegasus, and this curse makes it so he can not marry princess Andromeda due to his monstrous look, but yet has given Perseus everything. When Zeus is away, Thetis sends Perseus to the city of Joppa that is very dangerous, and when finding out Zeus asks his fellow goddesses for help and they make his magical and powerful tools like a sword, helmet and shield. While in Joppa he also befriends the old poet Ammon who is watching after him and knows who he is. While in town Perseus meets Thallo, a royal guard who tells him that death comes to those who wish to win the hand of the princess Andromeda but cannot answer the riddle put before them, and just like that Perseus puts on the helmet and sneaks into the castle and watches as a giant Vulture takes the spirit of the princess away as he body remains on the bed. The next day Perseus and Ammon come up with a plan in order for our hero to follow the vulture to the lair of Calibos who they know is the one doing this to her. In order to fly, Perseus tames and rides Pegasus and follows the vulture that night to the swamps where he hears the answer to the riddle and also has a fight with Calibos who ends up getting his hand chopped off and later begs his mom to help him get revenge, but Perseus loses his magical helmet in the swamp. Perseus solves the riddle and on his wedding night, the goddess Thetis gets angry and curses Andromeda that she has to be sacrificed to The Kraken and if they do not the Titan will destroy all of Joppa! So now Perseus along with Thallo, Ammon, Andromeda, Guards and a robotic owl named Bubo begins a quest to find a way to stop The Kraken once and for all! Along the way Perseus gets the all seeing-eye from the Stygian Witches. He travels the River Styx to the island of Medusa, fights her two headed guardian Dioskilos, beheads Medusa to use her head to fight the Kraken but in the process loses his shield as well as many of his men. As Thallo and Perseus, sleep Calibos creeps into their camp and poke holes in the bag that holds Medusa’s head and her spilled blood turns into giant scorpions and sadly are defeated but not before killing Thallo and one other guard. But Perseus gets his revenge when he kills Calibos with a sword through his gut. In the end as Andromeda is chained to the cliff and The Kraken and Perseus appears riding Pegasus and uses the head of Medusa to turn The Kraken to stone and save the love of his life.

The first thing I need to say is that I really do think Golden Books did a great job of capturing the film Clash Of The Titans in this kid friendly comic book adaptation and while they cut some of the more racy and violent moments, they really do capture the adventure elements of the film well. The plot is that of a classic quest as our hero Perseus must find a way to defeat a massive Titan that is set to kill his bride all because a goddess is jealous of his attention from Zeus. Perseus is your classic hero who is the son of Zeus who is a skilled fighter, brave and true to who he is. He is willing to risk his life in order to fight for the life of his new wife the princess Andromeda, but to be fair during is very dangerous quest he does have the help of the gods. But over all a very great hero and the comic does him justice. Bubo The Golden Owl who was sent by the gods in order to help on the quest really is a hero as well as he is the one who finds the way, saves the head of Medusa from falling into the ocean and even brings Pegasus to Perseus to make the rescue in time. And sadly Thallo is down played in the comic as they only had so many pages, and it’s a shame as his death in the comic does not pack a punch at all. All the baddies do their part with Calibos being the biggest pain in the butt as he wants revenge and to deal death out to those he feels wronged him. The Kraken as well is pretty cool and does his damage to people and that is what he is a major danger…but I should also say so is Medusa who can turn people into stone as well as have poison arrows and blood. I really do feel that Golden Books did a great job with this comic, and I would have love to seen them continue making comics like this as they covered the ones that the other companies like Marvel and DC failed to do that really should have had comics. The cover for this comic is pretty eye catching and showcases the classic painting as well as promo pictures from the movie, and I am sure if you were a fan of this film this would have gotten your attention. The interior art is done by Dan Spiegle and is simple and yet really great and reminds me of the adaptations done by companies like Gold Key and Dell Comics, and I feel his art for the monsters is great and who ever also did the coloring deserves praise. Over all if you love Clash Of The Titans you should check this Golden Book Comic out as it is very much worth reading. Check out the artwork of Spiegle below to see his style.

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Before I wrap up this update, I would like to touch on the “What If” of other films that Golden Books could have made into these comic book graphic novels that would have been awesome to have in the world. I am sure remember you long time readers know that Golden also gave Gremlins the comic treatment as we covered it back in 2016 and you can read that one HERE. Let’s take a look at the years 1980-1985 and choose some films that fit the kid friendly nature of Golden as well as ones that did not get the attention of other comic companies going at the time. So for me these could have and should have gotten the Golden Book treatment: The Beastmaster (1982), The Last Unicorn (1982), The Secret Of NIMH (1982), Hercules (1983), The NeverEnding Story (1984), Legend (1985) and The Peanut Butter Solution (1985) and if they went a little into the PG era of horror since the 80’s was a hotbed for that genre I would say Poltergeist (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) and Cat’s Eye (1985) would have all been great picks to get the comic treatment and give readers something cool to go along with the films they enjoy. Again just imagine these as a What If, that sadly never happened.

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Clash Of The Titans is a great fantasy quest film that ended up getting the comic book treatment thanks to Golden Books. And if you have not seen Clash Of The Titans from 1981 make sure to give it a watch as it really is a fun film that has some really cool creatures in it and will surely deliver you with a few hours of entertainment. So for our next update, we are leaving Joppa and heading to Japan as we will be talking about Tomie one of my favorite Manga and Japanese horror films. So until next time read, a comic or three, watch a fantasy film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a truly scary update that will surely send shivers down your spine.

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