From Horror Western Movie To Horror Western Comic: Night Of The Grizzly (1966)

Nature can be scary as we have talked about here before on Rotten Ink with my updates on that subject like “Final Plague” and “Giant Spider Invasion” and with this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update we are going to take a look at something in that genre and yet a little different. The film and comic we are going to be taking a look at is Night Of The Grizzly, a hybrid of Western, Adventure with a dash of Horror movie that as back in the late 1960’s got the DELL movie adaptation treatment. So I know many of you readers right now are scratching your head and saying, “Night Of The Grizzly is not a Horror Movie,” and for the most part you are correct, but I and others do feel that it at least has Horror Movie elements that tie into Nature Runs Amok Horror films like Grizzly, Night Of The Lupus, Day Of The Animals, Frogs and The Birds to name a few. So let’s travel to the old frontier and watch out for ragging grizzly bears as we take a look at From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Night Of The Grizzly.*

*Note From Matt: It’s got Horror elements…sort of….just roll with it and have fun reading this update.

Satan The Grizzly Bear is this film’s main killing machine, and I think we should take a look at what makes him so dangerous and deadly. Satan is a massive brown furred grizzly bear who has a killer instinct and not only kills for food, but also kills for the fun of it. Satan loves to kill and almost seems to take joy in taking the lives of animals and humans alike. To kill, Satan has multiple tools of death like his razor sharp teeth and claws that he can use to shred and mangle flesh. Satan can also use his massive size and weight to his advantage, plus his size and look also helps strike fear in the hearts of his victims. Satan is also smart for an animal and can use his brains to trick and sneak up on his kill. Not to even mention that Satan is strong, fast and can take lots of damage from guns. Satan also is very vindictive, and once he has his prey’s scent, he goes after them and all they love until they are dead. But while Satan is one tough grizzly, he still is a living animal and can be hurt and killed by bullets, fire, massive falls and stabbing. His downfall comes with a ton of bullets from a rife and even being stabbed! So as you can see, Satan is one tough animal who might not be supernatural, he just is mean as all hell with a thirst for death.

Now that we have learned how the Grizzly named Satan deals with humans and fellow animals, I feel it’s time to take a look at the film he killed in! For this update I will be taking the films write up from our friends at IMDB, and after I will write about the film’s production as well as my thoughts about it. So if you are ready, let’s see what the night brings the grizzly.

The Night Of The Grizzly (1966)

“Marshal “Big Jim” Cole turns in his badge and heads to Wyoming with his family in order to settle on some land left him by a relative. He faces opposition from a neighbor who wants that land for his own sons, and from a grizzly bear, nicknamed “Satan”, who keeps killing Cole’s livestock.”

In the 1960’s both Westerns and Horror Movies were profitable at Drive-In Theaters, and moviegoers could not get enough. And Paramount Pictures decided to slyly blend the two with a film called The Night Of The Grizzly that was about a former lawman rancher who has issues with his property thanks to some troublesome folks who want his land and for good measure they also threw in a convict he arrested years back, and the icing on the cake and the true Horror element of the film is the giant grizzly bear that is tormenting the ranches by killing folks as well as livestock. The script was written by Warren Douglas, and Joseph Pevney was hired to direct, who was known for directing films like “The Strange Door” and “Man Of A Thousand Faces (1957)” not to mention that Leith Stevens was brought in to score the film. When it came to casting the film, the main role of Big Jim went to Clint Walker with Martha Hyer, Keenan Wynn and Candy Moore rounding out some of the cast. The film did pretty well for Paramount at the cinema and over all the film also did well with most critics and movie watchers. When released it was alongside other genre films like Manos The Hands Of Fate, War Of The Gargantuas, The Brides Of Fu Manchu, The Ghost And Mr. Chicken and Africa Blood & Guts to name a few. If you like animal attack films as well as westerns give Night Of The Grizzly a watch.

Night Of The Grizzly is a movie I can remember that used to play on cable network station TBS a lot when I was a young kid growing up,  and I can remember watching it once or twice as I had always been fascinated with Grizzly Bears as I find them both amazing and terrifying as they really are massive meat eating killing machines! But to be honest, I didn’t remember a thing about it besides it was a bear attack film. So when gearing up for this review, I ordered a DVD of it from Amazon and on a cold night in October I gave it a watch…and man this is a fun film for those who enjoy westerns with some comedy elements as well as a dash of horror when Satan the grizzly is on screen. I can say it’s a pretty fun film if you like the 60’s style western films. I think what works the best for this film is just how good Clint Walker is as Big Jim and just how strangely powerful the Grizzly is. Plus as a person who thinks big old Grizzly Bears are scary, this movie does a great job of showing just how massive and blood thirsty they can be. Over all it’s a good little film that I can remember watching as a kid and enjoying more as an adult.

So as you can see, Satan is one mean killing machine grizzly bear who also seems to have some sort of supernatural healing power! We also know that the film only has a tiny, small amount of Horror…but that tiny amount is truly Satan! But let’s get past the question whether this has Horror elements or if it just a normal western adventure and take a look at the Dell Comic Adaptation. I want to remind you all that I grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I want to also thank Ebay for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. So with that let’s head to the ranch and try not to be eaten alive by Satan.

The Night Of The Grizzly # 612  ***
Released in 1966   Cover Price .12   DELL     #612 of ???

Big Jim Cole is a retired sheriff whose grandfather left him a ranch in his will, so along with his wife, daughter, niece and family friend Sam, they want to start a new life of being ranchers so Jim can leave the dangerous life of the law behind. Once at the ranch they settle in and start to clean up the old house and get animals ready for stock, but late one night, Jim’s bull is killed by Satan a grizzly bear that has tormented the countryside. Jim even shots Satan who shrugs off the wound and flees into the woods. The next day Jim trades in some of his former law goods to get a loan, but this would be his last loan as Jed Curry, the ranch’s former owner is rich and owns the largest part of the banks and wants his land back from the Coles. Jim and old Sam head to the woods to hunt Satan who sneaks up on them, and Jim is able to fire a few shots into the beast before the men have to run for their lives. Months pass, and the Coles are doing very well and the town seems to have really warmed up to them, and even better, no one has seen Satan for awhile, that is until the Cole Family gets home and all their livestock and chickens have been killed by the murderous bear. The next day, Jim Cole has to get a loan to buy new animals and has to make a deal with Jed Curry who makes him place his land as collateral, and Curry also puts a large bounty on the head of Satan as the bear killed many farmers’ animals that night. Jim and Sam take the bounty, but so does Cass Dowdy, a man that Jim put in jail for two years and has a chip on his shoulder, and Jeb offers Cass a thousand dollars if he can kill Satan before Jim does. Once home Jim and Sam set traps for Satan and head out to kill the beast, but once more the grizzly gets the jump on them and attacks and leaves Sam dead. And after the funeral, Jim is even more set to kill the bear as his wife is pushing for them to just sell the farm and leave the farm as she is worried Cass or Satan is going to kill her husband. The next day Jim sets out and finds all his traps have been messed with and gets into a fight with Cass, and this fight sparks a huge fight with his wife who threatens to leave…his son overhears the fight and that night sneaks out to kill Satan and he does not return by the next day. Jim sets out to find his son and once more runs into Cass, and the pair are mad but work together to save Jim’s Son and in the end Cass dies protecting the young kid. Jim kills Satan and gets the reward and saves the farm.

This adaptation does a pretty good job of bringing the film alive on comic pages, and while it cuts massive parts of the film as well as characters out, this helps the comic’s pacing. To be honest, the comic cuts all the comedy and goofy moments out, and this comic really does play more like a Nature Runs Amok Horror Movie like Grizzly. The plot follows a former lawman and his family who want to settle down and become farmers but they have so many issues as they must face a killing machine grizzly bear, a greedy rich land owner and even a bounty hunter from their past. Our hero is Big Jim Cole, a man who loves his family and wants to leave the dangerous world of being a lawman to become a farmer and family man, but because of his past he also will not back down when faced with bad odds! He is a tough man who truly is a hero that will remind you of all the classic western heroes you seen in movies and on TV. The Cole family as well are just good people as is Sam, who is an old man who would do anything for them. Jed Curry is a scumbag who throws his power and money around as he thinks these things will get him what ever he wants…he really is a bad person. Cass Curry is a former convict turned bounty hunter who has a grudge with Jim Cole who was the man who put him away, but while a tough guy, he still has a heart as he sacrifices his own life to save a young boys. Satan, the grizzly bear, is pure evil as he kills just to kill and seems to also keep grudges against those who have tried to stop him from his murdering ways. The comic has no blood and guts but does have two kills of humans and the deaths of some farm animals. The cover is great and has a Horror look to it, and the interior art is done by an un-credited artist and is pretty solid classic Dell comic art. Over all this is a great read and worth the pick for fans of Dell movie adaptation. Check out the artwork below.

So as you can see, Night Of The Grizzly is a weird hybrid of multiple genres and delivered one entertaining comic book. Again, this one is up for debate on whether it’s a horror movie or not, and over all I am not sure myself as I do feel it has elements but they are very slim and are mostly just when the killer bear is on the screen. But I will leave it up to you, my readers, to make up your own mind. For the next update we are leaving the Cole Ranch and will be traveling the greater Dayton area in search of the best fried chicken in the land. So until next time, readers and friends read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a deep fried good time.fried-chicken-1000x498

Horror Host Icon: Tim The Enchanter

Many Horror Hosts over the years have aired on TV and been streamed online with some even having direct to video episodes….but what if I told you about one that was only seen on a VHS tape that was passed around to friends…could your heart and nerves survive learning about Scary As Hell Theater and its host Tim The Enchanter! That’s what I love about Horror Hosts, the world is filled with so many that you find new ones all the time and many of them are very entertaining and make you wonder why they did not get the fame that others have. I found Tim The Enchanter while surfing around YouTube and came across some clips of his show and knew that I had to cover him here on Rotten Ink, so it’s with great fun I bring you readers “Horror Host Icon: Tim The Enchanter”!

Tim The Enchanter is a wizard who hosted his show Scary As Hell Theater from 1998 to, well, 1998 for the show’s original run that had him hosting Black Sunday. Tim is a man with a long white mustache and bushy white eyebrows who wears a skullcap, carries a staff and dons a robe who loves to jam out to the sounds of Jethro Tull all the while hosting his creature feature from his living area. He was not an evil wizard but does have a sharp wit with a sinister side and didn’t mind taking a few jabs at people in the film’s productions as well as other pop culture stars. His hosting style has a very The Ghoul vibe to it as he adds his own sound effects and movie bits into the evening’s flick, adding to the comedy aspect. Scary As Hell Theater started in 1998 and only lasted one episode (that Tim hosted, more on that later) that acted as a pilot and a way to entertain friends of the host Tim The Enchanter. Stevie Gothing is the man who created and played Tim and made it for a fake TV network called SPUD-TV that he as well created. So while Tim The Enchanter might not be a household name, he is a Horror Host that you should check out as he has a very classic approach and look. I have also heard a rumor that Tim and his show Scary As Hell Theater might have a return some Halloween season down the line. Oh and I should also note that while only a small amount of Scary As Hell episodes were made, Tim The Enchanter himself made many other appearances on shows that appeared on SPUD-TV.

Tim The Enchanter is a very interesting Horror Host as he truly was a specialty host who was only marketed to friends of the host himself. So while searching the World Wide Web as well as all the magic shops I could think of, I found the one and only Tim The Enchanter who has been nice enough to take a few moments to chat with us and answer 5 Questions! That’s right we are going to have 5 Questions with Tim The Enchanter!

Me: Welcome, Tim The Enchanter to Rotten Ink.  My first question has to be what or who got you into hosting?

Tim: First of all, thanks so much for the opportunity to dust the cobwebs off of the old SPUD-TV footage, and revisit my vintage “Scary As Hell Theater” activities… Well, my formative years were spent in Southern California, during the 1960s, when regional television stations all seemed to harbor a great deal more initiative and creativity than they do these days. My very first glimpses into the realm of Horror Hosts came with the arrival of KCOP Channel 13’s now-legendary “Jeepers Creepers” broadcasts, which was anchored by three different hosts over the years that it appeared on the air. My memories are understandable fragmented, retained in my awareness as marvelously spooky vignettes, steeped in sort of a misty dream state — but that only adds to the macabre allure of it all, I think. Actually, it required a genuine effort for a 7, 8, 9-year-old to successfully keep his eyes open until the 11 p.m. starting time on Saturday nights, and most often, I have to admit, I would typically be able to see the host’s introductory segment, the first piece of whatever movie they were showing, the second host segment, a little more of the movie… and then fast asleep I would invariably to go. But at the heart of it, I was inevitably charmed and delighted by the host’s gloriously spooky attire, their exceedingly creepy demeanor, all of that fake fog wafting in the on-screen atmosphere, and the ornately fashioned coffin as the studio set’s centerpiece. To me, at that highly impressionable age, it didn’t so much matter which movie they were exhibiting — it could’ve been one of those grand old Universal Horror films (so many of them particular favorites of mine, then and now), or it could just as easily have been one of Bela Lugosi’s el cheap-o Monogram flicks, but it was truly the host(s) that lastingly captured my imagination, and ultimately brought me back for more the following week… Furthermore, it cannot be under-estimated how much of an almost spectral presence and massive inspiration dear old Zacherley was during those times. While he was primarily regarded as an East Coast TV personality, enough of his larger-than-life persona and macabre humor seeped into the prevailing mix of things, through various means (novelty recordings, monster magazine articles, and so on) to help reinforce his presence within the wider Pop Culture of those times… A bit later on, more towards the early 1970s, the other measurably significant host whom really made a lasting mark upon my consciousness was the great Larry ‘Sinister Seymour’ Vincent (who notably did time on KHJ-TV and KTLA-TV, respectively). Since I was a bit older by that point, I was primed to understand and appreciate a lot of the over-the-top cynicism and sarcasm employed by him, and to a great degree, that’s where I really got a lot of the sense of how best to conduct my own grass-roots Horror Hosting efforts.

Me: Sinister Seymour, a true Hosting Icon indeed! Tell us how did Scary A Hell Theater as well as SPUD-TV come about?

Tim: My wife, my son and daughter, and I rather abruptly found ourselves relocating (by the mid 1990s) to a small collage town in Idaho, where my wife was employed (following graduate school at U.C. Berkeley) to teach English and Native American Literature courses at the University in Moscow. Truly a wonderful prospect in terms of her early academic career — but as time went on, to be honest, despite the beautiful scenery and charmingly rustic downtown culture, it became a little tedious having to cope with some of the thorny drawbacks of making a life in those surroundings. I won’t go into dreary detail, but some of the indigenous folks could’ve been from another planet entirely, and their strong suit didn’t include tolerance of people basically seen as ‘outsiders’. But hey, it’s entirely possible that they thought we were from another planet as well. Who’s to say? Regardless, all of us tried very hard to make things work, since there was clearly a lot at stake. After my wife and son gave me a video camera for one of my birthdays, I resolved to let off a little steam by creating a mock TV operation, and an exaggerated cast of characters to populate my various video projects, all of it very much fashioned upon the old-school regional TV station dynamic experienced during my younger years. In a way, it was very much a release, and a way to (hopefully) retain my sanity amid some of the lesser desirable aspects of living in Idaho. I lampooned the whole experience through my many video segments, and they were eventually shared with a small circle of friends that resided in other parts of the country (Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Diego, San Francisco, and Minneapolis). Owing to my inherent love of Horror Hosts, one of my characters became a rather arrogant / pompous fellow known as Tim the Enchanter, and he would host an array of short subject offerings, and macabre clips of one kind or another, things like that. Those segments were always delivered under the title of SPUD-TV’s “Scary As Hell Theater”. Well, the time ultimately came, however, to mount a full-blown program, wherein Tim would host a proper Horror film. I selected Mario Bava’s “Black Sunday” (a.k.a. “The Mask Of Satan”), because I had just seen Tim Burton host it on the old incarnation of American Movie Classics for the Halloween season, and off to the races I went with it all. Naturally, I don’t have to tell you exactly how much work it is to put together such an endeavor. And I was just one guy, and I did absolutely EVERYTHING. I wrote it, I taped it, I performed it, I edited it. It was exhausting, but also great fun. I loved it!!! Also, because I was operating in the murky realm of private home video release, I felt as though it was entirely appropriate to stick in whatever snippets I wished from any given source — whether it was a few song samples from a Goth band, or a goofy novelty recording, or even a Monty Python movie quote. I loaded it on pretty thick with Pop Culture references by design, and I ended up being pretty pleased with how the pilot episode came out. Not too terribly shabby for a beginner, but it was like I had been gradually preparing for most of my life to play the part of a Horror Host.

Me: So there is a rumor of you coming back, can you share with my readers what film you’re hosting and what antics we can expect?

Tim: Funny you should ask that. Well, yes, I’ve spent some of the past month or so in feverishly planning a return and a kind of swan song for “Scary As Hell Theater”. Contrary to my earlier hopes, it won’t end up appearing any time this year (2019), due to equipment problems and health care issues. But I have every hope that 2020 will see the return of Tim, perhaps in an ominous threesome of hosting stints, which I would call the “Scary As Hell Theater” Bat film trilogy. Three public domain movies from the olden days: “The Vampire Bat” with Lionel Atwill & Dwight Frye, “The Devil Bat” with Bela Lugosi, and “The Bat” with Vincent Price. And woven into the mix will be something of a behind-the-scenes story thread, which will show Tim in new surroundings, while being required to adjust to these public domain properties, and occasionally vexed and otherwise tormented by his gray-haired CRAB-TV show runner, who will come off as an effective enough foil for Tim’s brand of cranky / never-entirely-satisfied personality. All in all, it’ll be a real pleasure to revisit “Scary As Hell Theater”, and finally see Tim off into the sunset with these episodes. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Me: Amazing news, and I myself am looking forward to Scary As Hell’s return! When you bring back Scary As Hell Theater will a new episode be released every Halloween time?

Tim: Despite what the fortune cookies may say, the future is unknown. Naturally, I would love to say “YES!”. However, we’ll have to see where we stand after the Bat film trilogy. Time and energy are at something of a premium these days, especially with doing everything myself as I would have to do. We’ll just leave it open-ended. A return is always a possibility, of course. I mean, if Universal Studios could resurrect their Frankenstein Monster, no matter how they might’ve cruelly dispatched him in the previous film, and if even Mr. Spock can be miraculously brought back from the land of the dead, then anything is conceivable. Still, we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out. Sorry to be so vague in my reply. As long as my heart continues to beat as it does, I will always adore Horror Hosts (both classic and contemporary), and I very much like the notion of popping up now and again.

Me: So if you could host any film, what would you pick?

Tim: Ah, what a vastly appealing prospect! Geez, how to chose? There are so many wonderful possibilities. Hmm, I would say (mostly because I had temporarily flirted with this idea just recently) it would be a real blast to host Rob Zombie’s “House Of 1,000 Corpses”. Just sayin’. The glorious possibilities for unbridled riffing, for genre-aware jokes, for pounding into the host segments presentation (preferably with an over-sized clown hammer) my own spin on all of the cinematic and real world references — it would be an extraordinary opportunity. Just think, to be able to drag my best Bill Moseley impression out of the moth-eaten closet, and send the audience into it by exclaiming: “I’ll bet you’d stick your head in fire if I said you could see Hell.”, and / or the classic “HOPE YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE!!!” And if I actually did it, sure, it would be massively satisfying beyond all earthly measure. But hey, thanks to the Copyright Overlords, only a very few people within my circle would ever see the result of those ambitious toils, as it would need to be released privately, with a painfully short list of prospective ‘victims’. Oh well, it’s a nice dream, isn’t it?

Me: And lastly, do you have any advice for future Horror Hosts that might be reading this?

Tim: In all likelihood, I would say: “Let your freak flag fly, my children!” No, seriously though. My advice, offered most humbly, would be to throw all caution to the wind and demonstrate your love of the Horror genre by adding your voice to the esteemed crowd. It’s not only a declaration of appreciation for everything which inhabits the realm of Horror (cinematic, literary… in whatever form that you might covet it), but it’s also an opportunity for self-expression and for adding to the magnificent community which is Horror Hosting. It’s also a way to honor the Old Guard, our Horror Hosting heroes. Most of us have them, regional personalities illuminated by the light of our shared times together, during our most impressionable years. All you need is a camera and a little imagination. Go for it, and never let anybody discourage you. Years ago, I sent my hosted “Black Sunday” episode to a friend of long standing, and I was quite excited to eventually hear what her reaction to it would be. Well, it came in its own time, and wasn’t really what I had hoped to hear. She simply said: “Wow! You must have a lot of time on your hands!” I’ll freely admit, I allowed that to somewhat dampen my spirits, and to hinder my momentum in continuing with a series of similar hosting ventures. Don’t let anybody rain on your parade! If you have the energy, the drive, the passion to do it, then by all means, allow no-one to chip away at your resolve. A decade or so ago, I actually had tangible fears that Horror Hosting might be fading away. Happily, I was mistaken. It has come on stronger than ever once again, all over the country, and it shows no signs what-so-ever of being rudely extinguished. You can be a part of all of that, and you will be, if your heart is dark and filled with desire… In any case, I offer my sincere thanks for your time.

Me: Great advice Tim, and thank you for answering these questions that my readers and I enjoyed! I am very much looking forward to seeing the Bat Trilogy, and I will make a promise to you readers that once they are done, I will have them up here on this very update as a well….so I guess you could say it will be an update to an update!

So we have heard from Tim The Enchanter himself and about the future of Scary As Hell Theater…but one thing I am sure you readers did not know is that a second episode with the movie being Evil Dead 2 was made but was not hosted by Tim The Enchanter! That’s right, Tim was replaced by a Host named Graveyard Guy who a little more raunchy and slightly more mean spirited, and yet still held a goofy tone. In fact this version of the show aired on the fake station called CRAB-TV and is surly the nemesis to Tim! So while Graveyard Guy is part of Scary As Hell Theater’s legacy, he is no Tim The Enchanter and let’s hope that in the new episodes Tim gets his show back and he and SPUD-TV show why their Scary As Hell Theater is the only one that matters!

I have always said that to me there is no such thing as a Horror Host that is too big or too small and that every host means something to their fans and viewers, and Tim The Enchanter is a prime example of that. And now we are at the part of the update where I will showcase the episode I have of Scary As Hell Theater. As always, I will not be rating the episode and will take the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB, and I will write about the crazy antics of Tim during the episode. So if you are ready, let’s see what Scary As Hell Theater has in store for us.

Scary As Hell Theater: Black Sunday
Starring – Barbara Steele & John Richardson      Not Rated      1960

Host: Tim The Enchanter starts the episode lip-synching to a Jethro Tull song and then gives us a history of the night’s film as well as cracks a few jokes. During the movie he inserts himself into it to be part of jokes that he plays off the dialogue the characters deliver. He then comes back with a parody of The Blair Witch Project where he apologizes for the show and movie to all the viewers and their families as he freezes outside doing so. He then talks about witches and how much fun they can be! Tim closes the show with his staff and presents a cool look at classic Horror Host Sinister Seymour and then disappears.

Movie: A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch’s beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl’s brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

So as you can see, Tim The Enchanter is one of those Horror Hosts that only a few diehard Horror Host fans know about, and I hope that this Horror Host Icon update brings him more attention and more viewers and fans for Scary As Hell Theater. I am sure many of you also have caught on that Tim The Enchanter got his namesake from Tim The Enchanter, the character from “Monty Python And The Holy Grail”…pretty cool stuff indeed. So for our next update I will be leaving the world of Horror Hosting behind and will be heading to the world of the frontier as we will take a look at Night Of The Grizzly and the DELL Comic adaptation of this adventure/western film with a dash of Horror. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Beware the grizzlies are they are meat eaters!

Horror Host Icon: Rayne

Dayton has had its fair share of male hosts with names like Dr. Creep, A. Ghastlee Ghoul, The Creeper, Baron Von Porkchop, Retina and Dr. Freak all coming to mind and being some of the most popular ones. But when thinking about female hosts from Dayton there are far fewer with Iris being the only full host and the others being co-hosts like Baroness Von Porkchop and Suspira…but did you readers know that we did have a second female host that sadly only lasted three episodes? Her name was Rayne and her show was Studio Cinema. Behind Iris I think she is the area’s second fully fledged female Horror Hostess who had her own show, making her very important when it comes to the rich history of Dayton Hosts. So for this quick update it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Rayne as I continue my look at the Horror Hosts of Dayton for 2020…wait her show is set at the 2020…it’s a perfect year to cover her!

Studio Cinema started in 2015 and made its premiere on YouTube with the first episode being uploaded on September 10, 2015 to give viewers a taste of what was to come. Two more episodes would be filmed, and they would go direct to DVD and could be purchased at the 2020 where the show was set. The show was created by Carl Merritt who directed a vampire film called “Abe’s Tomb” and is the owner of the 2020 as well as Stacy Rayne, who is a model and the show’s host. The show’s vibe was fun and had a real indie horror touch that made each episode feel like its own little mini movie. In each episode Rayne and the models have to deal with goofy, creepy and terrible customers. The show has a really indie horror feel to it and the pacing is set in place that showcases the annoying customer as well as the pushing of Rayne who must deal with the issue by dealing death. The customers in each episode would be played by an Indie Horror Movie director or a local photographer that would go on to be interviewed later in the show about their work. The show would come to an official end on November 2, 2016 when director and producer Carl Merritt made the announcement on the show’s Facebook page. While the show did not last long it still made a splash with local Horror Host viewers and earned its place in the history books of Dayton, Ohio Horror Hosted Shows.

Rayne is a host like none other in our area as she is a manager of a photo studio who does her day-to-day job, and when pushed by terrible customers, she deals with them in brutal ways. You see when Rayne is sent to the edge, she changes into Hunter. a killer who gets joy in dealing with these pains and deals out a helping hand of murder with her knife, machine gun or whatever else she can get her hands on! Rayne wears a pink shirt that has The 2020 on it and while friendly, she does have a sinister edge to her. Meanwhile Hunter wears all black and is 100% violent, as she will kill in order to protect the models and keep The 2020 a safe place for all. Rayne is lovely and deadly and is Dayton’s second Horror Hostess and delivered three solid and fun episodes to her viewers before retiring for Hosting in 2016. Will she ever come back and bring new episodes of Studio Cinema to Dayton…only time will tell.

Like all good Horror Host shows Studio Cinema had its own co-host/sidekick with model MC Arthur who helped the customers at The 2020 as well as delivered her own silly jokes as she wanted to also become a stand up comic. The cool thing about MC is her blonde hair and overly bubbly nature made her a great contrast from Rayne/Hunter. Plus MC is in all three episodes and is the main focus in two of the episodes as the rude customers are the ones who give her guff. So while she is not the host, MC is clearly the show’s co-host and is the nice balance to play off Rayne. I’m not really sure why they didn’t just turn the show over to MC when Rayne retired, as I think she could have done a good job of hosting at least a few episodes.

Studio Cinema and its Hostess Rayne are a part of Dayton history, and I want to thank the show’s creator Carl Merritt for hooking me up with DVD copies of this show as well as allowing me to share some of the photos he has taken of Rayne while she was modeling. So I am sure you have guessed that we are at the part of this Horror Host Icon update where I will be talking about the episodes I own on DVD, and I want to remind you that I will not be grading these episodes and that I will be taking the film’s write ups from our friends at IMDB with the host segments write ups done by me. I want to also say that I had to make the cover for the first episode as it was an online release only, so that’s why it’s not as cool as the official ones. So if you are ready, let’s travel to The 2020 and see what Rayne has in store for us!

Studio Cinema: Giant Gila Monster
Starring – Don Sullivan & Lisa Simone     Not Rated     1959

Host: We start the show and meet Rayne, the manager of photo studio the 2020 that offers not only models to photograph but also Horror Movies on DVD! Ryan has to yell at a customer who is touching the model M.C. rudely as she is trying to book a customer over the phone, but the photographer keeps touching the model and gets his final warning from Rayne to stop! When he does not listen, Rayne deals with the handsy creep once and for all. Rayne goes on to give a fact about the night’s movie before M.C. has to clean up the body parts of the now dead customer. Next she interviews a local actor about his weird roles, and then shares a story about a real life serial killer who killed his own mother. While working on paperwork, Rayne is visited by M.C. and she tells a really bad joke as she says she wants to become a comedian. In the end Rayne thanks us for watching and warns the viewer that Hunter will rip their tongues out if they don’t have nice things to say.

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

Studio Cinema: Brain That Wouldn’t Die
Starring – Jason Evers & Virginia Leith     Not Rated     1962

Host: Rayne welcomes us back to the studio and tells us about the night’s film and also shares what business the 2020 has set up for the day. Rayne next gives some trivia facts about the film and then gets a visit from Ray, a client who wants to buy some Horror Movies and also comes off very sleazy and puts down the selection of films to model MC! And when Ray gets out of hand, Rayne turns into Hunter and uses a switchblade to gut him like a hog! Hunter turns back to Rayne and she once more talks about the film as well as the customers that do business with the 2020. Rayne once more shares a true crime story about a man who threw his own guts at the comics! We next join Rayne as she has a sit down interview with director Ray Basham who made the film “Hillbilly-Bob Zombie”. And once the movie is over, Rayne ends the show and plugs some websites and lets us know she will see us for the next episode.

Movie: Dr. Bill Cortner has been performing experimental surgery on human guinea pigs without authorization and against the advice of his father, also a surgeon. When Bill’s fiancée Jan Compton is decapitated in an automobile accident, he manages to keep her brain alive. He now needs to find a new body for his bride-to-be and settles on Doris Powell, a glamor model with a facial disfigurement. Jan meanwhile doesn’t want to continue her body-less existence and calls upon the creature hidden in the basement, one of Bill Cortner’s unsuccessful experiments, to break loose.

Studio Cinema: Little Shop Of Horrors
Starring – Jonathan Haze & Dick Miller     Not Rated     1960

Host: On this third and final episode of Studio Cinema, Rayne introduces the night’s film as she is very happy to show this classic film. A new model at The 2020 is with a photographer who likes to scare people, and when he scares the model, he is yelled at by both Rayne and M.C. who tell him to knock it off. Once back Rayne once more delivers some trivia about the nights film and is disrupted by a door to door sales man who is way too pushy, and for this Rayne turns to Hunter and he is shot and killed. Once back as Rayne she shares once more a twisted tale of true crime that fits into the death of the door-to- door salesman. Later the prankster photographer sends the model to change as he nabs a nearby Halloween mask and scares the models again, and with this Rayne turns to Hunter and throws the photographer out the window to his death. After this Rayne interviews a Dayton area photographer about what motivates him and his styles. In the end, Rayne chats about her love for the movie and so ends Studio Cinema.

Movie: When the clumsy Seymour Krelboyne spoils two flowers of a client, the owner of a small florist shop Gravis Mushnick is ready to fire him. However Seymour tells that he has mixed two plants of different breeds at home and created a hybrid named Audrey Jr. and Mushnick decides to give another chance to his employee. On the next day, Seymour brings Audrey Jr. that becomes the pride and joy of Mushnick, his other employee Audrey Fulquard and clients. Out of the blue, the flower seems to be dying and Seymour accidentally learns that she likes blood. One day, Seymour is upset since he does not know how to feed the flower and he walks along a railroad. When he throws a stone near a railroad track, he accidentally hits the head of a man that falls on the track and is a train runs over him. Seymour brings the pieces of the man to the shop and finds that the plant likes flesh. On the next morning, Audrey Jr. has grown and become the attraction of the shop. But how will Seymour feed his plant.

So as you can see, while Rayne and Studio Cinema had a very small run, they still are very much apart of Horror Host history in Dayton, Ohio. With the year being 2020 and The 2020 still being opened, who knows if the show will ever return and if Rayne/Hunter will return to deal with terrible customers and bring viewers cheesy Horror Movies….only time will truly tell. So for the next update we will be stepping away from the world of Horror Hosting and will be heading back to the world of comic books as we will be taking a look at a Marvel Horror character Zombie as we will be doing another Marvel Horror Showcase update. So until we meet again, read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Oh and beware of the zombies as not all of them are flesheaters.

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

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

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

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

Godzilla King Of The Monsters (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

King Kong (2005)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe (1995)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Valley Of Gwangi

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

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

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

The Valley Of Gwangi (1969)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horror Host Icon: J.R. Ghul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Ju-On

Some of the creepiest Supernatural Horror Movies are made in Japan, and for me the top two mainstream best series have to be Tomie and Ju-on with the latter being the subject of this “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update in honor of the new Grudge film hitting cinemas this very month here in the USA! For those who are wondering, the Ju-on films here in the US are remade and called The Grudge and both series are very popular in their home countries, and I for one cannot wait to see what this new film in the series has to offer us American Horror fans. But for this update we will only be focusing on the film Ju-on and the Dark Horse Manga releases based on it! So if you’re ready, let’s travel to Japan and enter a cursed house and enter the creepy world of Ju-on.

We must first learn about Kayako Saeki, the supernatural ghost from the Ju-on movies and her ways of killing off humans dumb enough to cross her path. Kayako Saeki was a wife and mother who was murdered by her husband in their home, and her now vengeful spirit haunts all those foolish enough to enter the house where the killing took place. Kayako has many ways of dealing death to those she has cursed that include using her look to strike fear in the hearts of those who gaze upon her. She also can use the spirit of her deceased son as well as a black cat to lure people into her cold grip. She can also play mind games and cause her victims to see things. Kayako is very cold blooded and does not think twice about ending a human life. She is pure supernatural and for the most part an evil spirit who has no emotions and no remorse, she also uses her weird noises and appearance to terrify her human targets. Kayako Saeki is a spirit that seems to not have a weakness and her power comes from the house she was killed in as well as her sadness and want for revenge. I would say that Kayako Saeki could be one of the most dangerous killers we have looked at here on a From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update only rivaled by maybe the likes of Godzilla, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. So as you can see, Kayako Saeki is super dangerous and one heck of a movie villain who while sinister also has a touch of sadness to her.

So as you can see, Kayako Saeki is one evil spirit that appears can not be stopped! But now that we have taken a look at the killer, we should now take a look at the movie she is from. I want to say that I will be taking the film’s write up from out friends at IMDB and it will be followed by my write up about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on it. So if you are ready, let’s enter the cursed home of Kayako Saeki and see what Ju-On is all about.

JU-ON (2002)

“In Japan, when the volunteer social assistant Rika Nishina is assigned to visit a family, she is cursed and chased by two revengeful fiends: Kayako, a woman brutally murdered by her husband and her son Toshio. Each person that lives in or visits the haunted house is murdered or disappears.”

Director Takashi Shimizu created a Horror Movie series in Japan that started with the direct to video film “Katasumi and 4444444444” in 1998 and was followed by “Ju-On: The Curse” in 2000 that as well went direct to video as did its sequel “Ju-On: The Curse 2” that was also released in 2000. In 2002, the series would get its first theatrical release with “Ju-on: The Grudge” and this would set the course for this highly popular series as the film was a success at the Japanese box office as well as had a small US run that did pretty well. And like any good Horror Movie, this loaded up on sequels that included “Ju-On: The Grudge 2” released in 2003 and in 2009 both “Ju-On: Black Ghost” & “Ju-On: White Ghost” were unleashed. In 2014 the next film “Ju-On: The Beginning Of The End” was released with the 2015 film “Ju-On: The Final Curse” following. And so far the final film in the original series, “Sadako vs. Kayako” that pitted our series main star Kayako against the evil spirit Sadako from the Ringu series. And then in America a remake series was made that started in 2004 with “The Grudge” that sparked two sequels, and this year (2020) a reboot has been released. When this film was released in 2002, it did well at the Japanese Box Office and brought in $500 million yen and even did over $3 million worldwide! The year it was released, it was joined by such other Horror Films as The Ring, 28 Days Later, Cabin Fever, Halloween: Resurrection, Red Dragon, Spliced, Wishmaster: The Prophecy and Hellraiser: Hellseeker to name a few. So as you can see, this series is very important to the history of foreign Horror and will go down as one of the better series of supernatural Japanese Horror Movies.

I first saw Ju-on on DVD when Lions Gate released it to try and cash in on the popularity of the American remake. I was home alone when I popped the DVD in and I can remember outside the sky was dark as rain poured down and could be heard hitting the widows as the wind was blowing hard. I remember pouring myself a big glass of soda and turning off all the lights to make the room even darker. This atmosphere made the film’s creepy moments even more creepy, and the scenes when Kayako would crawl down the stairs really did send shivers down my spine and my skin crawl! And at that moment I 100% realized that the original version was the better version and that the US remake tried to capture the spooky nature of the Japanese film but could not lock it fully. I first saw The Grudge, and while it was good, it paled in the comparison to Ju-on! I have watched the film a few times, and each time I find myself enjoying it more and more, this film is the perfect mix of Haunted House and Supernatural Horror and is a must see for fans who love Japanese Horror. Oh and over the years I have had many friends of mine who are into Horror that say this is one of their Top 20 Favorite foreign Horror Flicks. If you have never seen Ju-On, do yourself a favor and check it out.

So as you can see, this film and character Kayako Saeki are very iconic in the world of Horror Movies as they have left their creepy mark on it. Now it’s time to take a look at the Manga inspired by it. So I need to remind you all that I grade these issues on a standard 1-4 star system and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I also want to thank Amazon for having these books in stock and making this update possible. So if you are ready, let’s enter this cursed house and see what Kayako have in store for us.

Ju-On # 1  ***
Released in 2006     Cover Price $9.95   Dark Horse   # 1 of 2

Kayako Saeki is a woman who finds herself being stabbed to death by her husband who later turns his sights to his young son as well. This crime was so brutal it sends shivers down the spines of those who walk past the home it took place in years later. Mizuho is a young lady whose father was a realtor who was brutally murdered after selling the old Saeki house, and worse, the people who bought the house is Tsuyoshi, the grieving girl’s new boyfriend and his family! The delivery guys who deliver the family’s belongings even have an accident and die horribly thanks to the spirit of the murdered young boy of the house. The family also had to hire a tutor for daughter Kanna, who is a mean spirited young woman who seems to get joy in being mean to her mother and bothering her brother, but when the family all have to rush out of the house for errands, the tutor is left in the house alone and she becomes the next to meet her maker thanks to the ghosts. As Mizuho and Tsuyoshi are at baseball practice, sister Kanna is at the park with her friend and she becomes the next victim as a pack of wild cats shred her and even remove her bottom jaw, and the young girl before dying walks home and dies in front of her mother. Meanwhile something strange is going on as Tsuyoshi seems to be stuck in the school and Mizuho who is waiting for him is growing more and more worried. Meanwhile the father is at work and remembers back to when he was told the house he just moved his family into has a bad vibe and almost a curse, and after thinking about what he was told he heads home. Meanwhile the ghost of the murdered son is now at the school, and after Mizuho finds and frees Tsuyoshi from the locked baseball clubhouse, the ghost child stars to follow them, and lucky for the teens Mizuho’s psychic aunt Kyoko appears and the spirit leaves…but she warns her niece and Tsuyoshi that they need to get away as fast as they can. Kyoko does what she can and faces Kayako Saeki who in turn kills the aunt and then also possesses Tsuyoshi who then beats Mizuho to death with a baseball bat. Meanwhile back at the house, the father arrives to find his own wife cutting herself up causing her death, and he himself is left with nothing but a house that holds a grudge.

Ju-On is a great Horror Manga read that tells a twisted story of a family who buys a new home, and they and those who are around them being brutally killed by the spirits of a mom and her son that were murdered in the house they have bought! Mizuho is the main character, and she is a sweet young woman who loves her boyfriend as he and his family has been there for her after the killing of her father. She is very loyal to those she loves and she also is fearless as she wants to save all those she can when the bad starts going down. And because she comes off as such a normal and loving person, her brutal killing makes a big impact on me the reader. Her boyfriend Tsuyoshi is a hotheaded young man, but clearly cares about his girlfriend and her family and stands his ground to protect her from evil, but sadly he is also the one used to possess and forced to bash his love to death with a bat! The other character I really liked in this manga was Aunt Kyoko, who can see dead people and talk to them and tried to warn Tsuyoshi’s family not to move into that house, and even gives her own life to try and save that of her niece. The rest of the characters do a great job of pushing the story along and adding a little of all types of personalities to the story. Kayako Saeki and her son are pretty evil and yet sad spirits as they are part of a curse that they seem to want to escape from, but when they kill, they kill very brutally and painfully. This manga is packed with a few creepy scares of Kayako Saeki lurking in places and does have lots of blood and gore with one of my favorite kills being the death of Mizuho as the panels of blood, her broken body and the bloody bat is pretty great Horror Comic stuff. The over all creepy feel of this manga is high, and I read this during the fall around Halloween and it helped add to my season. The cover for this manga is pretty cool and has that Japanese horror look, the interior art is pretty great if you like the manga style. Over all this is a solid read and while it lacks some of the more creepy elements of the film, this takes a great look at the cursed house and the spirits that live in it. So let’s see what the second manga has in store for us!

Ju-On # 2  **1/2
Released in 2006     Cover Price $9.95   Dark Horse   # 2 of 2

Years have passed and horror actress Kyoko Harase is appearing on the TV Show hosted by Tomoka Miura. They go to the cursed house to talk about the murders and the curse surrounding it. Kyoko is a picks up on the bad vibes of the house once she is near it, but besides a loud noise picked up on the boom microphone, there’s nothing. After the shoot Kyoko and her boyfriend are driving and talking about her acting career as well as their up coming child! Meanwhile the host Tomoka and her boyfriend find themselves the victim of the curse, and they are hung from their ceiling and other TV Crew members find themselves being targeted for death. While driving Kyoko’s boyfriend loses control of the car, thanks to the ghost child that leaves him in bad shape at the hospital and Kyoko also lose her unborn baby…or does she. Things get worse for Kyoko when her mother as well passes away due to the curse, he boyfriend finally awakens from his coma and seems off, she gets the news that the baby is going to be alright and the TV Show producer visits her and informs her about the deaths of those who filmed the show. And after hearing all this, she has a vision of the murders in the house and this sparks her to go into labor…and she gives birth to the evil Kayako Saeki who kills all the doctors and everyone around.

In this second installment a pregnant horror film actress who is about to walk away from acting takes a gig on a TV Show about haunted locations and makes the mistake of entering the old Saeki house and cursing not only herself but also those close to her. The plot of an actress who is known for her horror movie performances is pretty cool when you take a cursed trip with her as she not only has to deal with the evils of Kayako Saeki but also that of her own life and choices. Kyoko Harase really is a good character and as a reader I found myself cheering for her to make it through and survive the curse. The TV production team befriend the actress, but sadly all pay the price of entering the Saeki house with their lives. And her boyfriend is a goof who loses control of their car while driving fast and crashes causing himself to go into a coma and later just wake up to be killed by the curse. Kayako Saeki once more is evil and seems to get more enjoyment in this second manga as she kills with no remorse and targets anyone in her sight. The issue has some great kills and does deliver blood and some gore with the issue’s best death being the murder of the reporter and her boyfriend as their hanging bodies are pretty creepy in panels. I would say that I very much did enjoy this issue, but did find it a little less creepy than the first and at times kind of felt like it was filled with lots of flashback filler and storylines that go nowhere like the fact all of Kyoko Harase’s family only have females when having a baby. The cover for this issue is pretty great and does capture the mood of Ju-On, and the interior art is solid and your typical manga style. Over all if you like the Ju-On movie series, like Japanese horror or just want to check out a creepy manga series I would say give these two a read as I think you might enjoy them. Check out the art below as I think it’s my favorite piece of art from it.

For me, both the movie and manga series of Ju-On are solid and show that creepy cursed ghosts have always been scary. I also hope that this update helped set the mood for you to go see the newest Grudge movie at your local cinema, as if you are like me I always go to the theater to watch the newest Horror Movie. But for our next update we are leaving behind the cursed house of Kayako Saeki and heading to space as we travel with the crew of the Enterprise to search for Spock…that’s right I will be covering Star Trek III: The Search For Spock and the DC Comics adaptation. So until next time avoid cursed houses, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Oh and remember to bring a flashlight for the next update as who knows were we will find Spock.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Jeepers Creepers

We are so close to Halloween now, and the nights are becoming colder and even a little more spooky I think its time for us to take a look at a monster that only appears every 23 years and is hungry for human flesh and wants to collect body parts and of course I am talking about The Creeper from the film series Jeepers Creepers! This is one of those modern Horror franchises that you either love or hate with very few people standing in the middle, most of this films hate comes from the fact its creator and director Victor Salva is a pretty disgusting dude who did something very sickening on the set of his film “Clown House” and served not enough time for his actions. But I do not want to bring this update down with his despicable act and will just say I for one 100% believe he should not be able to make films with children any more and think he should have been in jail way longer. But with that out of the way let’s do our best to avoid the sinister The Creeper and take a look at his comic debut in the pages of Dynamite Comics. I also think that the Creeper is one of the better modern franchise Horror Characters that was spawned in from the early 2000’s as his mysteries backstory and creepy look makes him very interesting.

So lets start by taken a look at the films monster the sinister Creeper! The Creeper is a demonic human eating creature that goes on a killing spree every 23 years in order to stockpile bodies that will not only feed him, but he can also use the body parts to replace his own injured ones. No one knows really what, why and how The Creeper has come to be and his origin is truly wrapped in theories and rumors making him a true riddle. The Creeper has many tools to dispatch his victims that include knives, throwing stars and even a battle axe that he uses to chop, slash and remove flesh. He also shows that he is very strong with a super natural style physical power and could with ease kill a human with his bare hands. He also has his rusty old truck that has the license plate “BEATNGU” that means “Be Eating You” and this truck not only can strike fear in peoples hearts with is creepy appearance and cow catcher front end also is rigged with traps that can bet set off to keep people in as well as out, and even worse its bullet proof and seems to not be able to be stopped. The Creeper himself while can be hurt seems to truly be unstoppable as he has been shot and stabbed and keeps on coming and this aspect as well as his demonic appearance also can frighten a person to death. No known elements have been found that can truly kill The Creeper making him one of the most dangerous killers we have ever covered on one of these updates next to the likes of Godzilla, Michel Myers, Jason Voorhees and The Tall Man. While he can be slowed down he cannot be stopped and this is why The Creeper is one sinister demonic killer.

So as you can see the Creeper is a very violent killer who has no morals when it comes to killing those he has a taste for. But now we should breakdown the first film in the series as well as quickly talk about the two sequels. For the write up on the film I will be taking it from our friends at IMDB and the write up about the production and my thoughts of course will be written by me. So if you are ready and are not to scared lets take a look at Jeepers Creepers!

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

“On their way back home during the spring break, Darry and Patricia Jenner witness a mysterious person dumping something down a tunnel. Deciding to discover what was dumped down there, Darry discovers a huge disturbing hideout full of modified bodies. Darry and Patricia set off to get help, unaware that the individual is now aware of who has been down the tunnel. Darry and Patricia soon realizes that their pursuer is not just a mysterious person, but something even more horrifying, who has more in store than they could possibly imagine.”

Jeepers Creepers is a creature feature that was written and directed by Victor Salva and was released by United Artist on August 31, 2001 and stars Gina Philips, Justin Long, Patricia Belcher and Jonathan Breck played the films killer The Creeper. The film was given the budget of $10 million and had a very tight shooting schedule as filming took place in Florida in the summer of 2000 and they had to remove parts of the script in order to meet their project deadline. The film was a surprise hit for United Artist bringing in a worldwide total of $59,217,789.00 showing that Horror was still valuable in the theaters and came in at # 65 grossing movie in 2001 here in the US and beat out other cult films as From Hell, Joy Ride, Valentine, John Carpenter’s Ghosts Of Mars, Bones, Soul Survivors, The Devil’s Backbone and Session 9. The film when released was meet with some protest from groups and fans over the crime the director committed in the past, but this only slowed down the film slightly as 2001 was a very slow year in general for Horror. The film would later become a bigger hit when it hit home media and truly built up a cult following. The film has been released on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital so if you have not seen it…you can easily find it.

I can remember when this film was coming out as I had seen the trailer and even some of the Horror News websites put some heavy coverage on it. Now in 2001 I was going to the theaters but not as often and decided to skip it as while I thought the Creeper was cool looking and Gina Philips was a good looking lady…it was Justin Long that kept me away as he just had a face that made me want to punch him! Oddly enough none of my close friends who enjoyed Horror Films went and seen this film in the theaters and it would be way later before I would watch it, as in when it came to home video. At the time this hit video I was working for Blockbuster Video and I used one of my free rents for the week to take it home and give it a watch, and I can remember that I enjoyed many moments of the film as I found the atmosphere very spooky, the killer very sinister and the kills pretty cool…downside to the film for me was some of the dialogue was super bad as was the acting of Justin Long. If memory serves me as well my brother Bryan was not a fan at all and he as well disliked the terrible dialogue. As weird as this sounds while I am by no means a super fan of Jeepers Creepers I do find myself wanting to see sequels as well was pretty happy when the comic mini series was announced. One thing that’s crazy is when I hear friends of mine who love Horror Movies talk about how this is one of their favorite movies in the genre.

The first film spawned two sequels with “Jeepers Creepers 2” coming out in 2003. It follows a group of high school football players whose bus breaks down, and they become the target of The Creeper. The second film was # 80 grossing film in America and brought in $63,103,666.00 worldwide. A third film was made and is a prequel to the second film and follows a cop who sets his sights on taking down The Creeper once and for all. This film was a limited release in theaters in 2017 and brought in $2,335,162.00 in the US and was #185 for the year. Both of these films helped add new layers to The Creeper as well as let you a little further into what and why he is. A rumor of a fourth film has been going around since 2017 and as of now nothing has seen the light of day. As far as my opinion on the films, I enjoyed the second film. While it was flawed and filled with lots of eye rolling moments, it still was a fun watch. The third film on the other hand is pretty cheesy and has a real low budget look to it. I saw it in the theater for the Fathom Event and was not overly impressed. In fact for my “Matt Goes To The Movies 2017” update, the third film came in at # 19 out of 20. So while Jeepers Creepers is not the best trilogy, it at least is an entertaining one that has delivered The Creeper who has become a very iconic movie monster of modern times.

So as you can see, The Creeper is an efficient killer and has many tools of the trade to issue death to those he has selected! And Jeepers Creepers is a modern film series that has made a mark on the genre and has gathered a very loyal fan base, and that’s why I find it crazy that it took until 2018 for a comic book series to be made based on it. And now we are at the point of this update that we will be taking a look at the issues. I need to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having these in stock and pulling them for my file making this update possible. I want 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, their entertainment value and art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see what horrors The Creeper has in store for us on the inked pages of these horror comics.

Jeepers Creepers # 1 **
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     Dynamite Comics     # 1 of 5

Devin James is in Mexico City looking into myths for his college project, and he feels like a fish out of water while in America The Creeper is back and along with his death truck hits the streets looking for body parts. While Devin is in Mexico, he sneaks into an old Aztec site and while studying the carving on the walls, he meets a young kid who he shares his theory that the Aztec Serpent God is really The Creeper! This story scares the kid who runs from the temple alerting adults, and Devin is taken to the police station and told never to return to that town and site again! As Devin is leaving, an old lady give him a box that has an old knife used by the Aztecs to do sacrifices in it and she quickly disappears! As Devin holds the knife, The Creeper takes alert and knows that someone is getting close to his origin and story.

This first issue in the Jeepers Creepers mini series is a little underwhelming and our main “hero” Devin James does not have any character development. All we really get from him is that he is a college student, has a sensitive stomach and is really into the Aztec Serpent God. The plot is also very simple and has Devin driving to Mexico to look at a temple that he is not supposed to enter and is kicked out only to have what he seeks delivered to him by a strange person who vanishes….pretty standard stuff…oh yeah and The Creeper really doesn’t do anything in this issue. The Creeper so far is built up by reputation as his horrific deeds over the centuries are what sparks fear, but he himself does very little. The comic as well is pretty much bloodless and besides a heart being shown in a flashback story, the violence is pretty tame as are the scares. To be honest when this issue ended I was entertained but I was also thinking very much so that this was a middle of the road build up for a five issue story arc. The cover is pretty great and eye catching and the interior art by Kewber Baal is solid and good. Over all I don’t have much to say about this issue as they did not give me much to really talk about, I guess I should also say I do like that they are really trying to explain The Creeper’s past or at least give a theory about it. Over all, as I have said, this is very middle of the road and makes me hope that in issue two they add a little sizzle.

Jeepers Creepers # 2  **
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     Dynamite Comics     # 2 of 5

Devin is on his way out of Mexico chatting with his friend Nina on the phone, giving her some info on what he has discovered but not what he has been given. Once off the phone he stops at a bar on a Indian Reservation and tries to strike up conversation with the bartender who has a tattoo of the Serpent God, but is quickly chased out of the bar where he is greeted by an old Native American man who tells Devin to meet him back at the bar in the morning as he can help with the answers he seeks. Devon stays the night in his car at the bar and is woken up by a cop who is giving him a hard time until the old man shows up and cools the situation down and he has Devon drive him to his home that is a tiny cabin in the woods. When inside, the old man has Devon drink a drugged wine that allows him to go on a vision quest and during it he has visions of The Creeper! When Devon wakes up he and his car are no longer in the woods but a shopping center.

Much like the first issue, there just is not much here when it comes to plot as most of the comic is splash pages that feature his vision quest….and the quest is the main plot of the issue. Devin in this issue keeps getting deeper and deeper into trying to find out what The Creeper is about and it’s becoming an obsession for him. The Creeper once more takes a back seat and kills nobody and mostly is just shown in the vision quest….so again no blood and no scares make this yet another middle of the road Horror Comic read. The worst thing is even the vision quest that is supposed to give some answers really doesn’t and is clearly filler. The cover is good and eye catching, and Baal’s artwork for the interiors is still very solid and good. Over there’s again not much to talk about as this was an okay read that was nothing special. I am starting to fear that this series is going to go on this way until the end. Let’s see what issue three has in store for me as I hope we at least get more The Creeper and less splash page filler.

Jeepers Creepers # 3  ** 1/2
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     Dynamite Comics     # 3 of 5

Devin is back at his hotel room, and he is feeling very rough after drinking the drugged wine. Worse, as he tries to feel better he finds that his mind is linked to The Creeper and he cannot trust what he sees as they both are interfering with each other’s lives. As Devin drives to his next site, The Creeper decides that he must find and kill Devon to end this. Devin heads to a reenactment village were cosplayers are all around him acting like they are from colonial times. Devin uses the Aztec knife on himself and finds that it gives him the ability to go back in time and he does so and watches as The Creeper torments people. stealing one’s eyes. In the vision The Creeper even carves a town name in the arm of Devin who wakes back up in modern times and knows that he is now on a path to a showdown with the cannibal monster known as The Creeper.

Devin is closing in on The Creeper and has figured out that the knife he was given also has powers that will allow him to seek out more information on this creature. The plot is thickening when The Creeper himself seems to be looking forward to a showdown with Devin as it’s clear he is bothered that someone is digging deep into his past as well as maybe even a way to stop him for good! Devon in this issue seems to be taking leaps of faith in order to get the answers he needs for his college paper, and this also now makes me wonder if he has more of passion to stop this monster from killing and collecting/eating humans. This issue also adds a little more blood as a gruesome panel is a man from the past whose eyeballs have been removed. Plus they added a little more scares as The Creeper attacking the village in the vision quest comes off spooky as people run for their lives and think that he is a demon straight from hell. I also am interested in seeing if this magical knife comes into play and if it really is means to stop him. The cover is pretty great and has a dark spooky look, and like before, the interior art by Kewber Baal is really solid. This third issue is bringing the story and the characters out more and finally is showcasing The Creeper better than the last two issues and makes me look forward to see what issue four has in store for me.

Jeepers Creepers # 4  **1/2
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     Dynamite Comics     # 4 of 5

Devin is in an old coal mine in Centralia, Pennsylvania, the location that was left for him by The Creeper, and now the two are at battle! Before being knocked down a shaft he is able to use an iron bar to impale The Creeper who is now really mad and heads deeper into the mine to find his prey. As Devin walks deeper in hopes of find a way out, he has a vision of 1962 when The Creeper killed a miner in those very mines and caused the fires that burn under that town still to this day, leaving the town dead and Devin knows that if he can not escape he will die as well. Devin has a stroke of luck when he finds a way out and its right by his car. As he is about to drive away the rooftop is ripped off, and The Creeper grabs him and carries him away into the night sky.

This fourth issue starts right with the action as our “hero” Devin is trying his best to battle a monster that wants to eat him and collect his body parts! Setting this issue in Centralia was a very cool move as that real life town has a very spooky look and feel to it. Plus it helped inspire the video game series Silent Hill…so as you can see, creepy is what that town is. The Creeper in this issue is very bloodthirsty as he wants to kill his foe and it shows and then on top of that in the flashback he goes off and knocks the head off of a miner. And I think at this point Devin realizes that he has bitten off more than he could chew and is in fear of his life, but yet still is very much into trying to figure out what makes this monster tick. The issue does have blood and gore and the head chop off is the most brutal, plus it wins brownie points as they use this murder as the means that started the coal mine fires that rage under the town till this day. I do also need to say while I like that the story starts off strong with the pair already at each others throats, it also feels a little rush and we get no build up to their first encounter in real life. The cover for this issue is pretty good, and the art inside is good and is Baal again. Over all this is a pretty good issue that does have some pacing flaws but was a good read. So with this fourth issue, we have only one left in the series and it makes me wonder how this will play out. I am going to take a guess that Devin becomes yet another victim of The Creeper and will lose his eyes in the end…let’s see if I am right!

Jeepers Creepers # 5  **
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     Dynamite Comics     # 5 of 5

Devin wakes up in the den of The Creeper and is surrounded by dead bodies and a small pond of seasoned human blood. The Creeper walks over to his victim and covers him with the blood and then kisses, licks and throws Devin around the den as he is prepping him to be eaten. As Devin lays on the ground, he grabs a broken bone from the ground and uses it to cut the ropes around his wrists and as The Creeper approaches him with a spoon in hand in order to remove Devin’s eyes! Before The Creeper can do so, Devin breaks free and stabs the bone into his attackers eye, but this does not stop The Creeper and only buys Devin a few more moments of life as The Creeper ends up just taking his eyes and leaves him as another victim in his lair.

Yep, this ended just as I predicted with our hero Devin having his eyes removed and dying…and sadly this issue was just kind of middle of the road leaving the series as a whole just an average Horror Comic read that could have been so much more. The plot of this final issue is very simple and is just Devin’s last moments of life as he is stuck in the den of The Creeper who wants to kill the young man and begin his 23 years of slumber. In this issue and series, Devin is a man who wants to write his paper and find the answers on a monster that has become entangled in his life, but like all that cross The Creeper, he does not stand a chance and only finds his own death when trying to uncover the secret of how to stop him once and for all. The Creeper is as brutal as ever and only has the motives to kill, eat, collect and steal body parts of humans, he also seems to take joy in toying with his victims as he really is cruel to Devin as he messes with him before killing him. The side cast mean nothing and more characters go nowhere like the Old Woman who gave him the knife, the old Indian man, the cop, Nina, Devin’s Mom and so on as they all are just filler who add little elements to the story and could all have been removed and it would have had no major impact to the story as it would have been just as easy to have Devin do the actions they add like finding the knife and such. The issue has some blood and gore and ends on a grim note that helps bring out the true Horror Comic feel and highlights just how iconic The Creeper is in the genre. My biggest issue with this mini series really is that it feels like lots of filler packed around an idea for a story that forgets its direction and has so many dead ends and unnecessary side plots that drag the story down. The cover for this final issue is very cool and as always the interior art by Baal is really good and the way he draws The Creeper really well. I think if you are a mega fan of Jeepers Creepers, you might enjoy this comic mini series. While I was a little disappointed in it over all it still was a fun read this Halloween season. Check out the art below to see what style you are in for.

While Dynamite Comic’s Jeepers Creepers comic series was not ground breaking and left lots to be desired when it came to story, I would like to see them return for a second series and better yet have him tangle with another MGM monster, Pumpkinhead, that they also did a mini series based on. I do think that the Halloween season should be filled with Horror Movies, Horror Comics, Horror Video Games and of course Horror Hosts and I for one am looking forward to the next update that will be our Halloween day update and I will be covering Werewolf At Large a old comic series I read as a kid and am looking forward to once more revisiting and see how well they hold up to my memories. So with a chill in the air and the moon in the night sky make sure to read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Get ready to bark at the moon next update!