Forgotten Reels: The Island Of The Lost (1921)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 22 Lost Silent Horror Film Countdown

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  For this update we will be talking about Silent Horror Cinema and to be more specific we are talking about Lost Silent Horror Cinema, those films that have been lost to time due to poor film preservation, studio vault fires and the greed of private collectors. The sad thing is that many film professors and historians think that over 90% of silent films are lost and many of them we have zero clue of what even was made way back when. So to be more direct we have zero clue on what all Silent Horror Films are lost that did not have remaining posters or stills found to prove its existence so it’s crazy to think that their was films made that no one will ever see again, heartbreaking I know. I grew up a Horror Movie fan from a young age I watched Universal Monsters, King Kong, Godzilla and Hammer Horror and was hooked and Horror Hosts like Commander USA, Grampa Munster, USA Up All Night, Saturday Nightmares and Dr. Creep with their shows introduced me to so many films with Commander really being the one to bring Slasher films into my life. Magazines and Books also showed me a world of so much different Horror Films. And the home media like VHS and Beta played a big part in me discovering Silent Horror Films as I would buy them cheap and hurry home to watch and I would find so many of them at a Dollar Tree in Sugarcreek Township in Ohio and that’s how I first saw the likes of Nosferatu, Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Golem and Phantom Of The Opera to name a few. And for me Silent Horror has always captured my imagination and love for the genre of Horror. And that’s why I feel I need to bring you this list of My Top 20 Lost Silent Horror Films that I want to see!

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This list is my personal Top 20 picks of what I would love to see found and I spent so much time going through lists and films that fit in the Horror genre and did research on each film and even followed leads to see if copies are at Film Archives in order to come up with this list, and heck I am sure that many of these if not all of them are and will be on your list as well, as each of these films I choose sound so interesting. So let’s dust off our Silent Horror Film knowledge and get to the theater and talk about these lost gems that we all hope one day are found.

# 22

Wasei Kingu Kongu 1933

Wasei Kingu Kongu
Year: 1933       Director: Torajira Saito     Country: Japan

Very little is known about this lost short film from Japan that is one of the nation’s first “giant monster” movies. The movie’s plot is suppose to be about a man named Santa who is a loser who does not have a job and makes all his money finding loose change on the streets of Tokyo. When his girlfriend dumps him and starts dating a new man he does find a job at local theaters as he dresses in a gorilla suit and becomes King Kong to advertise for the film’s Japan release. Well, one night while on stage crushing fake miniature buildings he spots his ex and her new man and decides to go on a rampage of his own chasing after her new man and beating him up.  The crowd loves it as they think it’s apart of the show and this gets Santa a raise and allows him to earn the respect of his former girlfriend and her father and the two love birds get back together. This sounds like it’s a mish-match of film genres that has part of drama, comedy and a hint of horror and that’s why I have this one so low as I feel its very interesting but it not fully a Horror Flick, but keep in mind it is a part of King Kong cinema history so that’s why it has made it to this list. The film is said to star Isamu Yamaguchi, Yasuko Koizumi and Kotaro Sekiguchi and this silent film is said to be lost forever due to the bombings of World War II, as sadly so many of Japan’s cinema was lost due to this.

# 21

The Ghost Breaker 1922

The Ghost Breaker
Year: 1922       Director: Alfred E. Green     Country: United States

This Horror Comedy is about Warren Jarvis and his servant friend Rusty Snow escaping a family feud and meeting Maria who owns a her family’s mansion that is haunted by ghosts, and she hires Warren and Rusty to get ride of them! But are the ghosts real or is someone after the gold that is hidden in the mansion? This sounds like it could be a very fun film that mixes in Horror, Mystery and Comedy and starred Wallace Reid as Warren Jarvis, Walter Hiers as Rusty Snow and Lila Lee as Maria Theresa. What makes me want to see this film is I have always been a fan of classic cinema Horror Comedies as they have their own silly nature of classic stage style antics. The one downside to this film but yet sadly was a product of its time is that actor Walter Hiers plays the character Rusty in blackface, and that is not something I enjoy about classic cinema. Also I really would love to know what the ghost effects of this film looked like and I should note that actor Wallace Reid died shortly after the film’s release of withdraws from a drug addiction.

# 20

The Dream Woman 1914

The Dream Woman
Year: 1914      Director: Alice Guy     Country: United States

This short Horror Drama feature is about a man who is plagued by a recurring dream about a woman in black standing over him while he sleeps and trying to stab him. On his travels he gets lost and stays at an inn were he once more thinks he sees the woman, and this causes him great stress and is a mental drain. Finally he meets a woman named Alice and falls in love with her, but she has a dark side, as she is an alcoholic and after a bad fight she threatens to kill her husband while he sleeps…and after separating Alice ends up finding her one time husband and kills him with a knife. The film’s final is said to take place in the spirit world. Or so it’s rumored that this is the full plot of this missing frighten thriller flick. The film starred Fraunie Fraunholz as Francis Raven the man tormented by his dreams and Claire Whitney played The Woman In Black and Alice Warlock the wife and the knife dream killer. The film sounds really interesting and is based on the novel by Wilkie Collins and I like the idea of a dream world knife swinging Woman In Black being a warning to what the future holds for our doomed lead character. Sounds interesting and I have heard that the film was a super short and as well have read that it was way longer then reported. Let’s hope that this film is found and we can see The Woman In Black for ourselves.

# 19

The Haunted Bedroom 1919

The Haunted Bedroom
Year: 1919       Director: Fred Niblo     Country: United States

Betsy Thorne is a news reporter from New York that travels down south to look into the case of a man who has gone missing and worse she finds out that all reporters are banned from the area, and Betsy being quick witted scares a newly hired maid and takes her place at the home to get her story. But while there for two nights she sees a ghastly figure creeping around the chapel as well as the family cemetery! Can Besty and solve the crime of who the figure is, can she find the missing man and will she be able to do so with out alerting the police so she can get her big break news story? Well all signs point to yes but sadly this film is one of the many lost Silent Films from the Horror Genre. This Horror Drama sounds like a mystery film that would both scare as well as even have the viewers on the edge of their seats as the lead character Betsy tried to solve this case. The film starred Enid Bennett as Betsy Thorne as well as actors like Dorcas Matthews, Jack Nelson, Lloyd Hughes and Otto Hoffman. I think this one would be a blast to watch and almost feels like the early prototype of the classic Horror Mystery films that followed and even to a point Scooby-Doo. One can hope that this film is found someday as it seems like a really fun Horror Mystery film.

# 18

Alraune 1918

Alraune
Year: 1919       Director: Michael Curtiz & Edmund Fritz    Country: Hungary

A scientist creates a child from a union between a mandrake root and a woman and the child is very demonic and evil. Not much is known about this film besides a very basic plot and the cast and crew thanks to some surviving posters. Also the release year as been reported as both 1918 and 1919 with many saying they think 1919 is right. This could also be one of the world’s earliest mad scientists films and that makes me really want to see it. Plus I love that it’s a Hungarian Silent Horror Film that has Sci-Fi elements. The film stars Rozsi Szollosi as Alraune as well as other actors like Gyula Gal, Kalman Kormendy and Boske Malatinszky. It makes me wonder just how demonic and evil Alraune is in this lost horror fright flick and if it played more with the Horror or Sci-Fi elements in its production.

# 17

A Son of Satan 1924

A Son Of Satan
Year: 1924       Director: Oscar Micheaux     Country: United States

A man takes a bet to spend a night in a haunted house that is filled with evil spirits and bad visions. The film is called a “Race” film as its cast and crew were all African Americans and of course due to this the film ran into some distribution issues that lead to many states not playing it and also is what lead to the film being lost now. The censorship board attacked the film for scenes that had a man choking his wife to death, a KKK member being killed and sadly they kill a cat on screen! They claimed all these elements and more that included the name of the film would be “offensive to Southern ladies” and so it was quickly shown and buried with sadly no fan fair. The film was said to star many members of Broadway Musicals with names like Aubrey Lyles, Adelaide Hall and F.E. Miller having parts. Other cast members included Andrew S. Bishop, Lawrence Chenault and Edna Morton. This film sounds very interesting and it would be great to see how well they pulled off a Haunted House and how “brutal” these deaths really are that caused all this drama with the film boards back then. Also it would be amazing to see this Race Film that is a major part of Horror History and more important Black Cinema. The reason it’s so low on my list is if the rumors are true of a cat being killed on screen are true, that element turns my stomach as I am a cat owner. But with that said let’s hope that one day this film is found and we are able to see it.

# 16

The First Men in the Moon 1919

The First Men In The Moon
Year: 1919       Director: Bruce Gordon     Country: United Kingdom

Samson Cavor is an old man inventor who created something called Cavorite and along with a man named Rupert Bedford they travel to the moon thanks to his creation that neutralizing the law of gravity! But things go south when Bedford leaves Cavor on the moon and returns home and steals the old mans invention. But thanks to the left behind old man’s niece Susan and a young engineer named Hogben they find away to talk to her Uncle and Susan turns down Bedford’s advances and marries Hogben and together they show the world the Bedford is a fraud! And Samson himself stays on the moon and lives with the Selenites the alien race that inhabits the moon. This film is based on the H.G. Wells novel of the same name and is even on Brittan’s “75 Most Wanted Films” list, and I would love to see the film as its clearly one of cinemas earliest Sci-Fi films as well as the aliens themselves look so cheesy and cheap that I would love to see them in action. With United Kingdom on the hunt for a copy of this film we can hope that it will be found sooner than later.

# 15

Balaoo The Demon Baboon 1913

Balaoo The Demon Baboon
Year: 1913      Director: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset     Country: France

Dr. Coriolis has turned an ape almost human by the name of Balaoo the Dr. and his niece Madeleine look after this creature who ends up getting captured in a trap set by the evil poacher named Hubert who ends up using Balaoo to kill off his enemies as well as has him kidnap Madeleine…but can this creature truly be controlled and rampage or will it’s human side make the decision to stop these killings and know right from wrong. This sounds like it could be a very cool film if found as it was based on the story by Phantom Of The Opera writer Gaston Leroux and sadly all he have of this film is about four minutes of footage, posters and some stills. In the film Lucien Bataille played Balaoo and other actors include Camille Bardou, Madeleine Grandjean, Henri Gouget and Josette Andriot. The film sounds like it could have been a early version of Nature Runs Amok Horror and while the look of Balaoo was pretty much done with grease paint this is one film I would love to see in full and lets hope someday the missing footage is found and that we will all be able to see this film in all its glory.

# 14

The Last Moment 1923 Poster

The Last Moment
Year: 1923       Director: J. Parker Read Jr.     Country: USA

Alice Winthrop is a young woman who has two men trying to win her hand and they are Hercules and Harry and the three make the mistake of going to a waterfront saloon and become the kidnapped victims of the sinister Captain Finn that makes them go to his ship and who himself wants Alice as his mistress and if she refuses she will have to be looked into a cage with a half-man and half-beast monster who ends up escaping and kills the crew and Alice, Hercules and Harry have to fight for their life in order to get ashore and away from the monster on the loose. This film starred Doris Kenyon, Henry Hull, Louis Calhem and Jerry Paterson and sadly the film has been lost for many decades now and what we have are the poster as well as some publicity stills and the monster looks amazing! This sounds like a very interesting early Horror Cinema creature feature that would be a great chilling watch if it could every be found, but as of this update no known copies are in any Film Archive. Let’s hope this film is found in a private collection or in an archive pile of films that have not been checked yet…we Horror Fans need to see this classic creature feature!

# 13

The Hunchback and the Dancer 1920

The Hunchback And The Dancer
Year: 1920       Director: F.W. Murnau     Country: Germany

This film’s plot was about a man named James Wilton who has a massive hunchback who is a foul man who ends up becoming rich after finding a diamond mine in Java and he ends up dating a young dancer names Gina who is heartbroken after a bad breakup. But things get worse for her when she decides to leave James and return to her past boyfriend who dies after kissing her…as James has tainted her with a poison that really gives her the kiss of death. Gina once she figures it out tries to find out a way for James to kiss her as she wants revenge and only his life could pay the debit she feels she’s owned. The film starred John Gottowt as the Hunchback James Wilton and Sascha Gura as Gina. This sounds like an interesting Horror Thriller that would be a blast to see as its some early work of F.W. Murnau and seems like it could deliver some spooky moments. The film also stars actors as Paul Biensfeldt, Bella Polini and Anna Von Palen. Makes me wonder just how creepy this film is and how evil the character James Wilton is and just how Gina figures out how to trick him into kissing her to poison him and get her revenge. Let’s hope that this film is found in some film vault or even a private collection soon.

# 12

TheGorilla 1927

The Gorilla
Year: 1927       Director: Alfred Santell     Country: United States

A killer wearing a gorilla suit is committing murders and after killing a man his daughter wants to find out who the costumed murder is as she has been blamed for the crime! This Horror film has elements of Crime and Thriller and brings a costume killer to the silver screen and even spawned two remakes one in 1930 and another in 1939! The weird thing about this film is that it also had elements of comedy, as many Horror films did this to bring in a bigger audience and downplay the spooky elements. This film starred Alice Day as Alice Townsend the accused Daughter as well as Charles Murray, Fred Kelsey, Brooks Benedict and Aggie Herring. What makes me want to see this film be found and released so I can see it is that I like the idea of a killer in a massive Gorilla suit causing death and our poor hero having to prove her innocence. But also the deeper you dig into this films history is that many enjoyed the Horror and Mystery aspects of the film…they did not like the silly comedy aspects. Only time will tell if this film will ever be found and how modern Horror Fans will react to this Horror Comedy.

# 11

The Wizard 1927

The Wizard
Year: 1927       Director: Richard Rosson     Country: United States

Professor Paul Coriolos is a man with a plan to get revenge on jury members who sent his son to be hung who he thinks was innocent. In his laboratory he creates a creature that he sends out to kill those he blames, and it’s up to Detective Murphy and reporter Stanley Gordon to uncover and stop the killings as the Judge and his daughter are on the hit list! This creature feature sounds like it would be a fun classic creepy watch that also would have had elements of crime thriller. One major thing I would love to see this film for is the Gorilla Monster in action as from the remaining stills of the film he looks great and he was also played by pro wrestler George Kotsonaros who was killed in a car wreck in 1933 when the car he was driven flipped over. The rest of the cast included Gustav von Seyffertitz as the Professor, Perlie Marchall as Murphy and Leila Hyams as Anne the judges daughter. Sadly the last known print of the film went up in flames in 1931when Fox had a bad studio fire. This film for many fans of Silent Horror is considered one of the most sought after to be found, and here is hoping one day it will be.

# 10

Life Without Soul 1915

Life Without Soul
Year: 1915       Director: Joseph W. Smiley     Country: United States

Dr. William Frawley created a Brute Man with a fluid who has a twisted mind and on the night of William’s wedding his creation kills the Bride and escapes into the darkness. As Brute Man travels across Europe his creator Dr. Frawley is hunting him and once he finds his creation he ends its life with a bullet, and then dies himself from exhaustion. This is the second film based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein and The Monster in this version is very toned down and is just a very strange looking man that was played by actor Percy Standing. I should also say that some people who cover this lost film say that Dr. Frawley killed his creation in the room of his dead wife, that Brute Man dies only after his creator does as well as The Monster was called The Creation and not Brute Man and some reports say that it was a statue given life while others say it was a corpse. Every classic Horror fan loves Frankenstein and I know that I am not the only one who would love to see this version be found so we can see how this one did at bringing the classic horror tale to the silver screen. Plus if Brute Man really was a statue to start with this also kind of has a Golem feel to it and that as well really makes me want to see it! Sadly no clips have survived of this film and only some production stills and ads have.

# 9

The Golem and the Dancing Girl 1917

The Golem And The Dancing Girl
Year: 1917       Director: Rochus Gliese & Paul Wegener     Country: Germany

This film is the second in the Golem trilogy and is also the second one to be lost from the trilogy and is a Horror Comedy that spoofs the original film. The plot for this one is very loose and is pieced together from many sources so we can not 100% be sure that this is really what the film was about. It’s said that in this film actor Paul Wegener plays himself and loves that the character he played The Golem has put fear in the hearts of movie goers and decides to have a little fun as he puts back on the costume and heads to a party in order to charm a young dancer named Helga as well as scare the attendees. This film peeks my interest because I would like to see how The Golem the first monster to have a trilogy of films become a comedy act in one of them. I am not sure how I would feel about this film and that’s why I hope that one day it’s found so I can see it for myself…will it be a great Horror Comedy or would if be a Unfunny mess, lets hope one day this second film in The Golem series is found. Sadly not much remains of this film besides some “Posters” and a promotional shot.

# 8

The Werewolf 1913

The Werewolf
Year: 1913       Director: Henry MacRae    Country: United States

The Werewolf is a lost film that needs to be found for a number of reasons like it is the first Werewolf film made and the other is it’s the first Universal Monster film made! The film is about a Native American witch who’s daughter as well gets powers and turns into a wolf in order to get revenge on white settlers and does again 100 years after her death. The film is a short one running about 18 minutes and stars the likes of Phyllis Gordon, Clarence Butyon, Marie Walcamp and William Clifford and the last known copy of the film burned up in the Universal Vault fire of 1924 that sadly destroyed so many classic cinema films. I would be really interested in seeing if this silent film had a werewolf transformation scene and if it did would it be cross dissolve effects, happen off screen or would it be make-up? I am a huge fan of werewolf films and this is one I would love to see as it really is considered the first film to showcase that creature, plus its great that this film had a Native America legend to it. Lets hope that one day Universal finds another copy tucked away in a vault or some private collector comes forward with a copy. Only a “poster” remains for this film.

# 7

A Blind Bargain 1922

A Blind Bargain
Year: 1922       Director: Wallace Worsley     Country: United States

This sadly is one of many of Lon Chaney Sr. Films that are lost to time due to poor film preservation from the silent era and is one that sounds like it would have been lots of spooky fun to see. Failed writer Robert Sandell is down on his luck and has an ill mother and decides to rob someone and chooses Dr. Lamb, but when the Doctor alerts him that he might be able to help his sick mother, and all Robert has to do is volunteer to help him in his experiments and want to become a published author. But soon Robert finds out that Dr. Lamb is a madman and has ruined many peoples life with failed experiments turning them into mindless monsters and in the end Robert must survive Dr. Lamb as well as his twisted creations. This film sounds amazing and had Lon Chaney Sr. playing two roles as he was Dr. Lamb as well as a hunchback assistant who was made that way because of Lamb. The film was rumored to have gotten a standing ovation at its premiere and the effects used for the experimented people looked fantastic with the Ape Man being the standout for me. Sadly the last prints of this film were lost in a vault fire at MGM in 1965 and lets hope one is found so we can all see this Lon Chaney Sr. Horror film. The film also starred Raymond McKee as Robert Sandell, Wallace Beery as Beast Man and Virginia True Boardman as Mrs. Sandell. Only the poster and some promotional shots remain of this film.

# 6

The Monster of Frankenstein 1920

The Monster Of Frankenstein
Year: 1920       Director: Eugenio Testa      Country: Italy

This is a very interesting sounding film as it was one of Italy’s early Horror Films and was made just before that genre was banned from cinema by Mussolini when he raised to power as well is the third film to be based on the Frankenstein story by Marry Shelley! The film also was considered too scary and was censored by many Nation’s as the film would screen in many languages all over the world. The films plot has Dr. Victor Frankenstein creating a life with not soul out of dead body parts and the creatures escapes the lab and goes on a rampage and must be stopped by Victor who confronts his creation in a cave and is forced to destroy it. The film has gone missing after it’s very long run and no print from any Country that showed is knows to have survived and all that we have left is some stills and promotional items. The film starred Luciano Albertini as Victor Frankenstein an actor who sadly ended up in an Asylum in his later years and Umberto Guarracino as The Monster who was not overly made-up like The Monster has been in more modern Frankenstein films. I would love for this film to be found as it being one of Italy’s early horror films as well as the fact it was censored so much due to its scary factor makes this a must. Lets home some day this one is found and is unleashed on viewers once more.

# 5

Das Phantom der Oper 1916

Das Phantom der Oper
Year: 1916       Director: Ernst Matray     Country: Germany

Das Phantom der Oper is a lost German Silent Horror Movie that is the first film to be based on the novel Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux and is one that I would love to see found as one of my favorite classic movie monsters is The Phantom and I would love to see how this one compares to the more famous 1925 version that starred Lon Chaney Sr. in the role of The Phantom! This early version has very little knows about it but what has been said is that the film is about up and coming singer Christine Day who is being trained by a mysteries man in the shadows known as The Phantom and when Raoul comes into her life The Phantom is now pleased and sets out to force her hand in marriage as well as end the life of her young suitor. It’s said that at the end of this lost film The Phantom is killed when a boiler explodes and he is caught in the blast. The film was not only screened in Germany and the surrounding areas but also the Netherlands and its during these out of country screenings in 1917 is when it’s believed that the film was lost. The film has actress Aud Egede-Nissen as Christine Daae, Ernst Matray as Raoul and Nils Olaf Chrisander as The Phantom! And I am sure you readers as well would love to see how Nils Olaf Chrisander appearance and performance as The Phantom compares to Lon Chaney Sr.’s version. Let’s hope that this Phantom doesn’t stay lost forever.

# 4

The Head of Janus 1920 Poster

The Head Of Janus
Year: 1920       Director: F.W. Murnau     Country: Germany

The mastermind of German silent Horror films F.W. Murnau who was known for the films Faust and Nosferatu also had his own version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that was called The Head Of Janus, but like with Nosferatu with the novel Dracula by Bram Stocker he did not get permission from Robert Louis Stevenson estate to do the film so many changes was made to the story. The story fallows Dr. Warren a man who bought a statue bust of the Roman god of the doorway Janus as a gift for his lady Jane Lanyon who takes one look at the creepy bust and rejects the gift forcing Dr. Warren to keep it himself. That night the statue turns Dr. Warren into a sinister character that goes by the name Mr. O’Connor and he goes to Jane’s house and kidnaps her and brings her back to the lab, the next morning when he turns back to Dr. Warren he is shocked by his actions and tries to get rid of the statue at an auction and finds himself bidding and buying the statue back showing that it has a hold on him. He once more turns back to Mr. O’Connor and goes and a violent rampage and once the law comes after him the crazed man commits suicide by poison with the curse bust statue in his hands. This sounds like it would be an amazing spooky classic film to see and you know that with F.W. Murnau in the director chair this one would have been a masterpiece. Conrad Veidt who played Cesare in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari played Dr. Warren and Mr. O’Connor so again you know that he had to have turned in a very amazing performance! Other actors in the film include Margarete Schlegel, Magnus Stiffer and most amazing is Bela Lugosi who played The Butler! This film needs to be found as I am sure that it will be another Silent Horror Classic that will be in the same prestige as Nosferatu, Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Phantom Of The Opera, Haxan and so many more. Let’s hope that its found in out lifetime and is able to be seen my viewers once more. Sadly all we have is a few promotional material for the film as of this update.

# 3

The Golem 1915

The Golem
Year: 1915       Director: Henrik Galeen & Paul Wegener           Country: Germany

The first film in The Golem trilogy is sadly lost just as the second film is and this one is a film that I would love to be found, in fact I myself have written to film archives all around in order to try and see if a print is locked away in a vault someplace…and sadly at this point besides around 3 minutes of the film nothing has been found. The plot has Troedler an antiques dealer searching an old Jewish temple and finds the clay statue of a Golem that was brought to life by an amulet and helped save Jewish people from persecution, Troedler decides to take the Golem home and use him as a servant but sadly things go wrong when the Golem falls in love with Jessica the dealers daughter and when she does not show back the same affections the Golem goes on a rampage of damage and murder. This sounds like it would have been amazing and when you watch the three minutes of film that was found via YouTube it will really make you want this film to be found as it looks fantastic and super classically spooky. Paul Wegener is one of my favorite Silent Film Horror actors and this being the first in his Golem series makes it a must find and what is crazy so many rumors are around that prints are out in the world in the hands of private collectors who are hording them and not allowing them to be seen by Horror fans, in other words they want to be the only ones with the rare lost films. Let’s hope that one day this film is found or if the rumors are true a private collector lets this film be re-mastered and put back out so the world can see the horror of The Golem once more. The film has some footage and very little promotional material is what we have.

# 2

Dracula's Death 1921

Dracula’s Death
Year: 1921       Director: Karoly Lajthay           Country: Hungary

This lost Dracula film is not like your normal vampire Dracula fright flick as it plays more on mental illness, power of suggestion as well as a nightmarish dream world. The films plot is about a woman who visits an asylum and meets a man who claims to be Dracula and this torments her, as the man also seems to be in her dreams now causing them to become nightmares. The woman cannot take it anymore and escapes the asylum and later in life gets married and starts a new life…but she cannot escape Dracula in her dreams. And the big question is if that inmate is really Dracula or just a mentally disturbed man in the asylum. I think this film sounds fascinating and I for one would love to see if the man in the asylum was really Dracula and if so why has he targeted this young woman as a person to torment with terrible dreams. Many of rumors are going around about the film with most saying it is 100% lost and a few sources claiming a Hungarian Film Archive has a print in their collection and have never shared it. I reached out the film archive to see if I could get answers and as of this update they have never responded. Let’s hope that they do indeed have a print and one day they let the film see the light of the moon for us Silent Horror fans. As of right now we have a poster and production pictures to show us glimpses of this film.

# 1

London After Midnight 1927

London After Midnight
Year: 1927       Director: Tod Browning           Country: United States

I am sure the # 1 spot is not a surprise as London After Midnight really is the Holy Grail of lost Horror films and is one of the worlds most wanted lost film to be found! Over the years so many rumors have circled around the film being found in private collections from all over the world, some even are saying that Cuba has a print in their archives and I tracked this lead and never got a response from the archive. The plot of this film has a man named Sir Roger Balfour being found dead in his home of what is ruled as a self inflected gunshot wound by Inspector Edward C. Burke who is also an amateur hypnotist! Time passes and the new owners of the house are being haunted by a vampire looking man called The Man In The Beaver Hat and a undead looking woman, and the couple calls in Inspector Edward C. Burke who wants to solve the case as he does not think that Balfour killed himself and wants to use his hypnotist powers on the dead mans family members to find out who killed the man who is now missing from his tomb! And who is The Man In The Beaver Hat and his undead female friend and how do they tie into Inspector Edward C. Burke? This sounds like such a fun film and lets be honest all us horror fans love the look of The Man In The Beaver Hat as Lon Chaney Sr. once more designed such a creepy and awesome looking character as the actor played that role as well as Inspector Edward C. Burke. Other actors in this film included Marceline Day, Edna Tichenor, Claude King and Polly Moran. We do know that films poster, promotional stills, the script as well as some still have survived as the films last print is thought to have burned up in the MGM Vault Fire of 1965 along with so many other silent films. London After Midnight is a film that has some many film buffs and historians looking for a print that I think one day we will all be able to see this film again. The film was remade back in 1935 by director Tod Browning and starred Bela Lugosi in the role of the vampire. And TCM also did a fan reproduction of the film using stills from the film and lots of text cards. Lets hope that London After Midnight as well as every film on this list doesn’t always remain lost films.

London After Midnight 1927 1London After Midnight 1927 2London After Midnight 1927 3

Well that’s my list of Lost Silent Horror Films that I hope are found sooner then later and that not only I but all you classic horror fans get to see in our lifetime. And to be fair there is a few more films that could have made it to this list with one being the 1913 film called “The Vampire” from England that is about a Vampire Woman who could turn into a giant snake as well as “Robbing Cleopatra’s Tomb” from 1899 about a man who chops up the body of Cleopatra and by doing so brings her back to life and this one was directed by Georges Melies. And I have not given up my own quest to try and track down these films and will do all I can to try and help bring these lost Horrors back to the silver screen and TV screens the world over, and not to even mention the Silent Film Universe comics that we are doing at Blood Scream Comics to keep these films and characters alive. And over the years this far I have been able to find one “Lost” film in a overseas archive and am working on trying to get the film re-mastered and screened at a local Ohio theater and then get it out on home media…that is if I can get the very large amount needed to do so, but keep your eyes open for details of the film found and if I am able to get it saved. And sorry for not sharing yet I just don’t want to jinx myself with this one and I will say this film is not on this list and is a Silent Horror Comedy film. Well sense this is the Countdown To Halloween 2022 season as well as apart of Rotten Ink’s 10-year anniversary we will be sticking with the Horror theme and will be taking a look at another Anniversary that happened way back in 1998 and I am talking about Halloween H20! So until then read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Silent Horror Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update for Michael Myers big 20-Year Anniversary of being one of cinemas biggest horror icons.

Halloween H20 Preview Logo

Forgotten Reels: The Lost World (1925)

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

Forgotten Reels Lost World 1925 Logo

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

Forgotten Reels Lost World 1925 1

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

Forgotten Reels Lost World 1925 2

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

Lost World 1925 DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

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

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

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

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

Godzilla Dominion GN

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

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

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

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

Kingdom Kong GN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Trek V: Final Frontier (1989)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a super fun film that spawned some great merchandise as well as a fun half finished game for the NES, and we are now at the time of reading and reviewing the comic. I would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having the comic in stock and would also like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s boldly go where no comic reader has gone before!

Star Trek V Comic 1

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

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

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

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

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2021

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 Logo

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

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

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# 2

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

# 1

Addams Family 2 (2021) Poster

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

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

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# 4

F9 (2021) Poster

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

# 3

The Marksman (2021) Poster

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

# 2

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

# 1

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

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

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# 5

chaos walking Poster

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

# 4

Green Knight (2021) Poster

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

# 3

Morta Kombat 2021 Poster

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

# 2

Dune (2021) Poster

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

# 1

Ghostbusters Afterlife Poster

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

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

super-hero-21 copy 2

# 6

Eternals (2021) Poster

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

# 5

black widow (2021) Poster

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

# 4

venom let there be carnage Poster

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

# 3

Suicide Squad (2021) Poster

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

# 2

shang chi and the legend of The ten rings Poster

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

# 1

spiderman no way home Poster

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

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

horror21logo copy 2

# 33

The Stairs (2021) Poster

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

# 32

In The Earth (2021) Poster

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

# 31

The Resort (2021) Poster

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

# 30

Wrong Turn (2021) Poster

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

# 29

Fear Of Rain Poster

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

# 28

Zombie Reddy Poster

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

# 27

Antlers (2021) poster

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

# 26

Separation (2021) Poster

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

# 25

funhouse (2021) Poster

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

# 24

Seventh Day 2021 Poster

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

# 23

The Unholy (2021) Poster

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

# 22

Conjuring III Poster

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

# 21

The Little Things (2021) Poster

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

# 20

shadow in the cloud poster

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

# 19

Resident Evil (2021) Poster

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

# 18

djinn (2021) poster

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

# 17

werewolves within (2021) poster

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

# 16

Old (2021) Poster

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

# 15

Don't Breathe 2 Poster

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

# 14

spiral from the book of Saw Poster

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

# 13

escape room tournament of champions Poster

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

# 12

The Vigil (2020) Poster

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

# 11

halloween kills poster

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

# 10

forever purge poster

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

# 9

Night House (2021) Poster

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

# 8

Malignant Poster

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

# 7

Saint Maud Poster

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

# 6

Army Of The Dead (2021) Poster

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

# 5

Psycho Goreman Poster

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

# 4

last night in soho (2021) poster

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

# 3

Candyman (2021) Poster

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

# 2

Godzilla vs Kong (2021) Poster

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

# 1

Quiet Place II Poster

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

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

Star Trek V Preview Logo

Horror Host Icon: TNT Monstervision – The Moon & Narrator

Back in the 90’s, network TV had cancelled many of the amazing Horror Host shows that graced their airwaves as the TBS show Super Scary Saturday with host Grampa Munster was history in 1989 with that same year USA ended Commander USA’s Groovie Movies and even the original run of Movie Macabre with Hostess Elvira Mistress Of The Dark came to an end by the late 80’s. But in 1991 TNT stepped into the Horror Host game and delivered Monstervision to weekend viewers that became a mainstay for the station all the way to the year 2000! Most of you readers know Monstervision with its Host Joe Bob Briggs, but did you know that the show had more hosts then just him? That’s right before Joe Bob there was The Moon, Penn & Teller and Logo with Narrator’s Voice! And for this Horror Host Icon update we will be taking a quick and yet fun look at The Moon and The Narrator as I feel they are very important to the legacy of Monstervison as well. And I have been itching to talk about Monstervision and my Joe Bob Briggs update is in the works but still years away from being posted, so it’s with great pleasure that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: TNT Monstervision – The Moon & Narrator! So let’s get our MOOOONSTERVISION on.

TNT Moon and Narrator 1

TNT Monstervision started on June 29, 1991 and was a way to bring viewers marathons of classic Horror and Science Fiction films plus TV Shows as special epic feeling events. The marathons would run all night and would keep fans glued to the TV Screens fighting off sleep to watch all the cheesy goodness. And our guide for Monstervision for the first year or so was a smirking Moon who was in the sky who would accompany a Narrators Voice over, and this pairing clearly got joy in bringing you classic films for your late night viewing. The Moon in the sky seemed to always be looking at the viewer and with a half grin and a sinister glee in his eye it was as if he was warning you about the classic films that awaited you that evening’s marathon. While The Moon was silent his expressions really did say everything you needed to know as you entered the world of TNT’s Monstervision! While his run as the Host of Monstervision was very short The Moon made his impact not only with the fans but also in the world of Horror Hosting. And one other very important fact I would like to point out is when The Moon was the host all the films were classics from the 40’s-70’s and stayed clear of the rated R fright flicks the show would go on to be known for.

TNT Moon and Narrator 2TNT Moon and Narrator 3TNT Moon and Narrator 4

Sometime later before and even after comedy duo Penn & Teller took over for a very short time an amazing Voice Narrator was the soul host of the show and would talk over the shows opening as well as logo and title cards. The Narrator would make the show sound so epic as he would stress the shows title and deliver one of the best voiceovers for a Horror Host show in the 90’s. This Voice also helped co-host the show with The Moon and brought the excitement as his tone would boom! But to be honest there was two different voice actors that did the Narration for the show over the years and each brought their own touch or should I say golden pipes to the show. The Narrator would last as the host all the way up until 1996 when the show became a weekly program and had a permit host with a true icon of Horror Hosting the one and only Joe Bob Briggs who had his own announcer…so yeah I guess the show had a total of three…or at least I think three….so many classic voice work on this show!

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Growing up I was much like James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) as I would grab the TV Guide and scroll through to find what monster movies were playing that week and when Monstervision was on it was like an all night marathon of cheesy and fun classic genre films! My Mom and Brother most of the time would remember for me what was coming on and I would rush to turn on the TV to watch the films. Monstervision through out it’s entire run was a very important part of my childhood as alongside USA Up All Night, Moraine Playhouse Theater and USA Saturday Nightmares during this time was must see TV for me and filled the void left behind of Commander USA, Dr. Creep and Grampa Munster being off the air. Crazy to think that Monstervision was the show that introduced me to many amazing classic Sci-Fi and Horror films with the one standing out the most to me being the 1956 film The Werewolf that aired on a Monstervision Marathon on Christmas night in 1993, I even taped it back then and became obsessed with that film for years after….sadly that VHS tape is long gone and I wish I had that airing for this update. While writing this update it was great to remember back to the early years of Monstervision when it was a true event when it came on and the films lasted all night and delivered chills, thrills and adventures to all those who watched. It’s a shame that TNT has followed the path of USA Network and have became a shell of what they use to be, but who knows now that they brought back wrestling to the station with AEW Dynamite so who knows maybe Monstervision’s return is in the cards as well with a new host or even back to the none hosted format, one thing is for sure if this happens I will be tuning in.

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The Monstervision Narrators are as important to the shows history as Joe Bob Briggs and while the Moon might not be as remembered he still was apart of the shows legacy and made his mark on viewers. Now it’s time to take a look at the episodes of MonsterVision I have that feature The Moon or just The Narrator and I would like to thank Ebay and my friend Scott Scarborough for making this update possible. I want to remind everyone that I will not be giving these updates a star rating and I will take the films write up from our friends at IMDB and the Host write up is done by me. So lets get ready and take a look at MooooonnnnsssttteeerrVisssion!

TNT MoonTriple Feature DVD

TNT Monstervision: Spaced Out Adventures
Starring – Zsa Zsa Gabor & Peter Graves     Not Rated        1958/1966/1952

Host: This episode is the combo of The Moon and the Narrator who bring us in and out of the movies. While The Moon looks smug and sinister the Narrator brings his A-Game of making the nights film and theme seem like the most important thing on TV that night.

Movies: Queen Of Outer Space: American astronauts are drawn by a mysterious force to the planet Venus, which they find to be inhabited only by beautiful women and their despotic queen. The Wild, Wild Planet: A deranged scientist is using his employer’s top-secret bio-laboratory to engage in clandestine eugenics experiments. When he starts kidnapping leading citizens for use in his twisted tests, it’s up to rogue cop Mike Halstead to come to the rescue of all and sundry, including his lady friend Connie, who is also being held captive by the madman. Red Planet Mars: An American scientist is able to contact and communicate with Mars with shattering political, economic, and spiritual repercussions.

TNT Monstervision - Outer Limits Vol 2 DVD

TNT Monstervision: Outer Limits Vol. 2
Starring – Leonard Nimoy & Martin Sheen         Not Rated       1963/1964

Host: This second TNT Monstervision salute to the Outer Limits Marathon has just the normal TNT Narrator taking us in and out for breaks. We also get a sneak peak at The Moon as they welcome us to Monstervision and that more episodes are to come.

Movie: Soldier: A soldier from the far future is accidentally teleported back to 1964. The psychiatrist assigned to examine the soldier realizes that he has been bred purely as a killing machine, but he believe he can reawaken the warrior’s humanity. Meanwhile, a second soldier arrives, dedicated to hunting and killing his enemy. I, Robot: A cynical lawyer is hired by a young woman to prove that her uncle was not killed by his invention – a sophisticated robot. Nightmare: A stranded team of soldiers are captured and experimented on by demonic looking aliens. Demon With A Glass Hand: Days ago, Trent awoke with no memory of his past. Since then, sinister men have pursued him constantly. He manages to stay one step ahead of them by following the advice of his hand. Made of glass and apparently capable of speech, Trent’s hand can answer many of his questions. But it cannot tell him who he is or why his enemies seek him until he finds all of its fingers. The only trouble is that they’re in the hands of his enemies. The Bellero Shield: Richard Bellero, a dedicated scientist, is working on experiments involving sending laser beams into outer space. His father, Richard Bellero Sr., believes the scientist isn’t strong enough to take over the Bellero business empire. In the meantime, Richard’s wife Judith has more than enough ambition for the two of them. Richard, through a freak accident, reels in a being from another dimension with his laser experiment. The being has a small device that can project a shield that no force can penetrate. The alien at first wants to learn all about earth that he can and Richard cooperates. Judith, however, sees the alien and the shield-projecting device, as a means to power. While Richard is away, Judith first tricks the alien to deactivating his shield device then shoots the alien to prevent him from departing Earth. She removes the hand held device while failing to notice it was connected to a vein in the alien — whose bodily fluid is the key to operating the device. This is the … Cry Of Silence: A couple find themselves lost and in the middle of a deserted valley. Then, they come under attack by a series of rocks, tumbleweeds and animals. What could be causing this assault?

Note From Matt: This was originally aired on November 30, 1991 on a Saturday night as part of their TNT Salutes The Outer Limits II event that featured a total of nine episodes. This tape only has 5 1/2 of the episodes. The episode Cry Of Silence is only partly there. Its missing the episodes “A Feasibility Study”, “Don’t Open Till Doomsday” and “The Chameleon”.

TNT Monstervision - Outer Limits Vol 5 DVD

TNT Monstervision: Outer Limits Vol. 5
Starring –Don Gordon & Peter Breck         Not Rated       1963/1964

Host: This classic Monstervision marathon has just the Narrators Voice set over TV Screens that show clips of the show The Outer Limits.

Movie: Moonstone: A lunar exploration team from Earth encounters alien life, and must make a difficult decision. The Human Factor: At an isolated military installation in Greenland, Major Brothers has allowed one of his men to die after falling in a crevasse. Suffering from hallucinations, he goes to Dr. Hamilton. Hamilton has invented a device that allows him to read the thoughts of another person. Hamilton and Brothers connect via the device, but then a power surge causes the unthinkable: the minds of the two men switch bodies. The deranged Major Brothers is bent on destroying the whole base. Unfortunately, his mind is in the psychiatrist’s body, and the other base workers know nothing of the mind switch. The Duplicate Man: When a dangerous alien creature called a Megasoid escapes, the scientist who smuggled him to Earth creates an illegal clone of himself to hunt it down. But his plan is complicated when his neglected wife begins to fall in love with his duplicate. The Forms Of Things Unknown: Two female friends poison a sadistic blackmailer, then while fleeing happen upon an isolated house containing a time machine. Kasha, his lover, and Leonora, the daughter of the blackmail target, fight to bury him before the idealistic inventor Tone Hobart is able to re-animate the murdered man, by tilting him back into the past. The Invisibles: Aliens plan to take over the U.S. by recruiting disaffected loners who are themselves “invisible” to normal society. The alien crab-like creatures attach themselves to human hosts and control them. The recruits are assigned low-level jobs of highly appointed government officials so they can get the alien in close proximity to them. A U.S intelligence agent infiltrates the alien organization, but it may be too late. O.B.I.T.: While operating the Outer Band Individuated Teletracer, or O.B.I.T. machine, in a military base, Captain Harris is strangled. U.S. Senator Orville arrives at the base to investigate his murder and learns that there are several bases with the O.B.I.T. machine, which is capable to monitor in a video display the privacy of any person anywhere. Along his investigation, Senator Orville asks for information about the OBIT, such as who is the manufacturer, price, who bought, but no user has any information about the mysterious machine. The Guests: A drifter enters a lonely house, unaware that it is actually an alien creature in disguise. Soon he realizes that he is a prisoner, along with several other half-mad inhabitants, but he is determined to escape.

Note From Matt: This was originally aired on February 27, 1993 on a Saturday night as part of their TNT Salutes The Outer Limits V event that featured a total of nine episodes. This tape only has 6 1/2 of the episodes and at the start the commercials have been removed and later in the tape some commercials are shown and the recorders editing becomes very sloppy as parts of episodes are even cut off. The episode The Guest is only the first 17 minutes of the episode.

TNT Monstervision - House Of Wax 1953 DVD

TNT Monstervision: House Of Wax (1953)
Starring – Vincent Price & Carolyn Jones      Rated PG     1953

Host: Film Director Tim Burton opens the show talking about his love for House Of Wax as well as a little about the films production and history.

Movie: Professor Henry Jarrod is a true artist whose wax sculptures are lifelike. He specializes in historical tableau’s such a Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc. His business partner, Matthew Burke, needs some of his investment returned to him and pushes Jarrod to have more lurid exposes like a chamber of horrors. When Jarrod refuses, Burke set the place alight destroying all of his beautiful work in the hope of claiming the insurance. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit. This time, his displays focus on the macabre but he has yet to reproduce his most cherished work, Marie Antoinette. When he meets his new assistant’s beautiful friend, Sue Allen, he knows he’s found the perfect model – only unbeknown to anyone, he has a very particular way of making his wax creations.

Note From Matt: This was apart of a MonsterVision event that was called “Our Favorite Movies” that had director Tim Burton not only hosting House Of Wax bust also the films Mysterious Island, The Time Machine and 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao. This originally aired on July 28, 1994 on a Thursday night and my friend Scott only recorded this movie.

TNT Monstervision 20 Million Miles To Earth and IT DVD

TNT Monstervision: Fiend Fiesta Pt. 2
Starring – William Hooper & Ray Corrigan       Not Rated     1957/1958

Host: The Narrator ushers us in and out of the film over clips of films with his spooky voice echoing out. This also the classic colorized film bumpers that helped push Monstervision into super popularity. Plus we get cool Monstervision bumpers and ads.

Movie: 20 Million Miles To Earth: The first spaceship to visit Venus crash lands in the sea, freeing a small native Venusian creature called the Ymir. Eventually growing to enormous size, it threatens the city of Rome. IT! The Terror From Beyond Space: In 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars is marooned; by the time a rescue mission arrives, there is only one survivor: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers, who appears to have murdered the others! According to Carruthers, an unknown life form killed his comrades during a sandstorm. But the skeptical rescuers little suspect that “it” has stowed away for the voyage back to Earth.

Note From Matt: These are two of the films that showed on August 27, 1994 as part of the “Famous Last Words/Fiend Fiesta” themed marathon and was the last two films of the night! The first three minutes or so of 20 Million Miles To Earth is missing

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TNT Monstervision in all its forums and all its hosts over the years has always been something very special to those of us who grew up watching it and is truly missed by late night TV watchers. I for one would like to see it return to air with a new host (as Joe Bob Briggs is hosting the Last Drive In on Shudder and is delivering one of the best Horror Host programs going) or even just bring back The Moon and Narrator as the world truly needs this and I feel that if Ted Turner was still in charge of TNT the show would have never went away fully as by 2001 most of what made stations like TNT and TBS special was washed away by AOL and Time Warner and as I have stated before they are both just a shell of what they use to be and only delivering a small amount of programing that is worth watching with most programs being aired are just bad reruns of crime shows. For me The Moon and Narrator for TNT Monstervision are true Icons in the world of Horror Hosting and helped make my childhood amazing! Sadly I don’t think Monstervision will ever come back on TNT, but what will be coming back in my next blog update as I will be doing another in my From Horror Movie To Horror Comic updates to help ring in the Halloween season as I will be talking about Wolf Cop and the comic mini series based around it! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon for a ride along with a werewolf who has a badge that likes beer and doughnuts.

Wolfcop preview logo

Morlock 2001 Or Should I Say How I Would Save Comics!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! Have you readers ever sat and thought about how little we as humans know about the depths of our oceans as well as the vastness of outer space? I mean think about it, who knows what ocean life lives on this planet with us that we have never laid our eyes on, and who knows what alien life forms are on planets we have yet to discover! Have you readers heard of this weird yellow blob like creature that can heal itself that was on display at a Paringings Zoo? Yeah, this slime mold has no brain and yet can problem solve; it can self heal quickly and can eat plus digest even though it does not have a mouth! The yellow blob creature can also move, and this strange fellow makes me think of strange creatures from space in media like the symbiote in Marvel Comics Spider-Man issues or even the meteor goo from the Creepshow segment “The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill”…in other words Space and the Unknown is scary! And before we get into our comic review for this update that is the Atlas Comic series Morlock 2001, I do have something to say about the state of the comic book industry, but first let’s talk about ‘Wicked Lips” by Iggy Azalea!

As you long time readers know, I am a fan of rapper Iggy Azalea and in 2020 she released another E.P. that was called Wicked Lips and featured four tracks and was sold via her website. So is it any good? Well let’s give it a listen! Track one is “Lola” and features Alice Chater and is a great and catchy song. Iggy is on point with Alice singing the song’s hook and it will get stuck in your head! Track two is “Not Important” and has a catchy beat and is full Iggy. She seems to be rapping with an attitude on this track and this makes the song very entertaining, a solid song but not her best work. The third song is called ”The Girls” and is a girl power song that also features Pabllo Vittar and once more Iggy is on it with her lyrics and rap, while Pabllo delivers the song’s hook! A good song with some great Iggy rhymes. The final track is called “Personal Problem” and is a good track and feels like a diss track toward someone who has crossed Iggy, and reminds me of the classic 90’s style tracks of rappers who had beef. Over all this E.P. is a great release from Iggy to hold over fans for the next full album release. I am sure you are asking what I think the best track of this release is, well for me it’s Lola as it really is a fun and catchy song! If you like Iggy like I do, track this release down on CD, vinyl or MP3 as it’s worth a listen.

All through my youth into adulthood I have been a comic book reader.  I started like most kids my age, reading kids comics and superhero comics that I would pick up at the grocery stores or convenience stores. And characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Superman, Batman and Hawkman were all on my must read list and all mentioned still hold a place in my heart and their classic issues are all still read in my household. I can remember going to a UDF with my mom and brother and getting a copy of Transformers from Marvel Comics off a spinner rack and being so hyped to read it once I got home. I have other UDF spinner rack memories as well like getting the issue Justice League Of America # 240 and thinking the issue’s villain Dr. Anomaly was a major threat to our heroes. Of course he was not, but that issue made me think he was! I also have so many great memories of getting comic books from the magazine aisle at Big Bear, the grocery store my family shopped at, and rushing home to read the newest adventures of Captain America or The Hulk. Grocery stores and convenience stores were a perfect place for me to get comic books and helped not only get me hooked but also kept me hooked. But sadly for some reason comics have vanished for young readers to discover these comic heroes off the shelves of grocery & convenience stores.

Also when I was a kid, comic books used to target what kids liked via toys, cartoons, movies, video games and TV shows. Being a kid of the 80’s, you could get comics based on toys like Masters Of The Universe, Thundercarts, Silver Hawks, Care Bears, G.I. Joe, Transformers and M.A.S.K. to name a few. And cartoons like Camp Candy, Little Dracula, Flintstone Kids, Real Ghostbusters, Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead all had comic books as did WWF Wrestling, WCW Wrestling, ALF and so many more TV shows! Video games got into the action with Super Mario Brothers, Sonic The Hedgehog, Legend Of Zelda and Bayou Billy in readers’ hands delivering enjoyable new adventures for things we loved. And let’s not even get into the fact Star Wars, Star Trek, Last Starfighter, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Robocop, Terminator, Bill & Ted and many more film franchises as well got the comic book treatment. And what was nice was that at garage sales and antic shops you could find old comics based on classic cartoons and shows like Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear, Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, Scooby-Doo, Mickey Mouse, Diver Dan and even The Rifleman…they had something for every kid of all tastes in entertainment. I mean heck even fast food restaurants had comics that they would give away free to kids, like who could forget Adventures Of Big Boy or even The Adventures Of Captain D’s? Oh and let’s not forget that Spider-Man with the kids show The Electric Company had the “Spidey Super Stories” issues for kids in the 70’s that were ones that I loved as a kid! But oddly enough, it seems Marvel and DC hardly focus on making comics based on cartoons, toys, movies or games…and fast food places have cut out the free comics from their menus a long while ago.

Another amazing thing that was around and a big deal when I was a kid was the Sunday Funnies that came in the Sunday newspaper and would feature comic strips of Garfield, Far Side, Denise The Menace, Family Circus, Blondie, Andy Capp and all the others and this felt like another great way to get us youngsters into comic books as who didn’t love Garfield in the 80’s. Every kid I knew read the comic strip and bought the paperback books that collected the strips. I as well always bought the Andy Capp books as for some reason I always liked the drunk…and his snack food. Those paperback comic strip books were so amazing, and I loved getting them from garage sales and book stores and still get them to this day and read them! One other thing I feel helped myself as well people my age and older get into comic books was magazines like MAD and Cracked that had humorous comic strips that made fun of popular movies, shows and pop culture of the time of release. Plus they delivered original characters like Spy vs. Spy as well the two magazines mascots Alfred E. Newman (MAD Magazine) and Sylvester P. Smythe (Cracked Magazine) both who were well loved goofy funny men. But with time and over blown prices, the parody magazines are a shell of what they were with MAD being the last man standing and hardly published. Sunday Comics in the newspaper are hardly looked at by kids nowadays as most households only get their news online. It’s a shame as these events as well are two more ways younger readers are not discovering the joys of reading comics and building the bonds with characters.

Back in the late 90’s, Marvel and DC really did something stupid, and no, I am not talking about flooding the market with mass amounts of comic as they tried to play land grab with each other for retail space. What they did that was dumb was take their issues out of grocery stores and convenience stores and only focused on comic shops. They also sold their souls to Diamond Distribution, a direct market company that has sucked the profits and fun out of comics for so long that in 2020, DC Comics tried to run far away from these tyrants of comic sales. And with kids no longer finding comics at grocery stores or convenience stores, they had to hope that the youngsters would wonder into their local comics shop and pick up issues and discover heroes and villains they liked all the while not being distracted by all the other items at the shop like toys and card games. Marvel and DC also got away from doing kid friendly comics and started to focus on the terrible 90’s trends of poorly scripted comics that only focused on art that would be cool for posters (thanks, founders of Image Comics!) and weirdly proportioned characters. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great comics during this time as well, but there was a ton of bad ones. And when Image Comics came into the game, it really became all about releasing first issues with Marvel and DC mostly doing gimmicks that flooded the market and caused the masses to buy terrible issues with the term collectors edition, and many buyers thinking the had their kids’ college fund in them. That’s right, the 90’s created more buyers than readers, and when the bubble busted, they found out that their Youngblood # 1, Superman # 75 and X-Men # 1 were not worth the thousands they thought. And with that, these buyers moved onto the next big thing they thought would make them tons of money…and these bad stories and generically created characters chased off actual readers.

I now want to share my thoughts on how Marvel and DC can not only save the comic industry but also themselves…and keep in mind I am talking about the mainstream comic industry as the indie world is strong and is delivering amazing comics for all readers! The first thing they need to really do is cut the land grab mentality. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Deliver comics that are well written and drawn! Marvel and DC need to stop looking at each other as the enemy and realize that most comic readers will check out comics from both as long as again they are releasing worthwhile issues. Face it guys, comics is now a niche and we need to all work together. They need to stop bringing in celebrities in to write comics, many of whom don’t help sales and or even finish the run they were brought in to do, and yet cost the company money to bring them in! Again I must also say if the celebrity is really into comics and has a track record of not flaking on projects bring them in for sure, but don’t over pay them as we all know that there is no major money in comics now.

Stop with the massive events that crossover into every book they have going to finish storylines. This disrupts the flow of comics you are reading and if you don’t care about the massive meaningless “epic” crisis, it takes the fun out of reading your titles. I mean if I am reading Superman and am invested into what’s going on with him and his story, I don’t want a crossover with whatever is going on that’s taking away from his story. Don’t get me wrong, epic events are great and can be fantastic, but don’t overuse them. Make them mean something and seem special when they do come around. The current reason they are doing events is to try and pull in extra sales and to help lower selling books by tying them in. I cannot stress enough that when they do a major event, make it mean something that is not forgotten less than six months after the final issue in order to set up the next event.

At this point both Marvel and DC need to listen to their readers and not people on social media who are not reading comics. Don’t get me wrong, fans can be negative about everything, but don’t cater to people who don’t understand comics or ever read them. Everyone has an opinion, I mean heck this essay about the comic industry is just my opinion about what I think is wrong with the world of comics right now…but the difference is that I have been a comic reader since I was a kid and still read comics to this day. And Marvel and DC are also trying way too hard to be topical with current events and topics, and while comics have always tackled real life issues, the modern effort just at times seems soulless, hollow and done for their own back patting cheers.

Stop bringing the movie/TV universe into the main comic lines. Keep them separate as the movies work for the big screen and sometimes don’t on the pages of an issue as they change the history of classic characters as well as storylines in order to fit into the moves at times…and to that myself and I know several other readers say no thank you. If you want to do comics based on the films, create a new branch like “Marvel Movie Comics” and keep the movie lore to those issues. The comics need to be separate from the other media lore.

Both Marvel and DC also have to stop forcing characters into already established characters names and costumes! I am all for updating characters and allowing them to grow, and I am even fine with established characters taking the reigns like Sam Wilson (The Falcon) becoming Captain America as it made sense…but I don’t like when they take characters with no rhyme or reason and place them in that persona just to once more please non-comic readers or just plan lazy writing. And lazy writing is my next way they could make a change for the good. Stop many of these terrible stories and lackluster series from tarnishing characters and chasing off readers!

Getting young readers back into comics is a must! Don’t get me wrong, they do a great job of promoting characters to kids via movies, toys, video games, cartoons and other merchandise…but they have done a poor job of getting them to want to read a comic book. And in order for Marvel and DC to survive as comic book companies, it is very important that they bring in young readers who will grow up and continue to read them. Right now the vast majority of readers are older and with time and bad writing and art even that readership is shrinking. In order to get young readers into comics, they need to first get comics back into grocery and convenience stores and have comic racks in them and allow kids to discover the wonders of comics and get parents to buy them as impulse buys just like candy and soda. They need to lower the cover price, make the comics affordable and by doing so parents are more likely to buy them for their kids while in line as well as allows kids to once more afford them on allowance money. Think about it if a kid has $10.00 with modern comic prices they could only buy 2 issues and not have much money left for snacks…but if they make comics geared towards kids only say $2.00 an issue, they could buy 3 issues and still have a ton of money left over for snacks. Another thing they should do is make comics for kids that are based on popular cartoons, toys, video games and even novels that kids crave and by putting them in stores and in the right areas, kids will see them and want them! I mean stock them in the toy aisles as well as near the registers and even maybe get them in places like Family Dollar and Dollar General. Marvel is owned by Disney who owns the rights to so many amazing properties and they have a playground of cool IPs they could make into comics for kids, why not make comics based on “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, “Star Wars”, “Spider-Man”, “Lion King”, “Maleficent”, “Indiana Jones” and even “Mickey Mouse”! While DC is owned by AT&T who owns Warner Brothers who owns amazing IPs that would make amazing comic books for kids like “Goonies”, “Gremlins”, “Harry Potter”, “Willy Wonkda”, “Lego Movie”, “Scooby-Doo”, “Wizard Of Oz” and even “Bugs Bunny”. And yes I can hear you readers saying but Marvel and DC do have comics based on Star Wars and Bugs Bunny…and while they do indeed they are over priced and issues on Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes characters are not even stocked at many comic shops. Plus comics based on the likes of “Fortnite”, “She-Ra”, “Pokemin”, “Baby Shark”, “WWE Wrestler John Cena” and even something like “King Kong” or “Sports Mascots” would and could bring kids in. Make comics for kids and allow them to find them super easy and build the next generation of readers.

Again bringing kids back into comics is important for the survival of the mainstream industry, as is getting comics back in grocery stores and convenience stores! Writing and drawing better issues is a must to bring in new and older readers back. Stop changing the history of characters by bringing in the movie and show lore, stop putting characters in the role of established characters, enough of just following hot topics to make yourself seem edgy when most of the time it has zero heart to said story or character. I don’t want to read my comics digitally and nor do I like graphic novels but 100% offer them for those who do.   All I am really saying is make comics fun again and make changes soon before comics as we all know it disappears.

Wow, okay I am sorry that I had to get on my soapbox. Normally I only do that for Sparkle/Blood Scream Comic releases, but I just felt I needed to get this off my chest as Marvel and DC I feel could be doing way more to help the comic industry and save not only themselves but also comic shops from going the way of the dinosaurs and sent the to long box in the sky. And I have to stress they need to bring in newer and younger readers by creating high quality comics with character we love, new characters we care about and amazing storylines that draw us in! But let’s not talk about them anymore, and let’s take a look at Atlas Comics. a great indie company that was gone to soon who got lost in the shuffle of DC and Marvel’s retail land grab of the 70’s! Morlock 2001 was a series set in the future and follows a hero who was grown in a lab and helps make the world a better place. I want to think my pal Jason Young for these issues and making this update possible. I want to also remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. Now lets see what Morlock 2001 has in store for us, and if it still holds the same feeling I had about it when I first read it way back many moons ago…see what I did there with the sci-fi themed reference?

Morlock 2001 # 1  **1/2
Released in 1975    Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 1 of 3

In 2001 Professor Kroschell is a man that is doing experiments in his greenhouse in a time when the government has outlawed books and free thinking, and while attending to his plants and genetically made massive pods, the cops appear and murder the Professor in cold blood and take his pods to a government facility. Time passes and one of the pods opens and inside is a man that they name Morlock who can speak and the government takes time studying and teaches him, and when they find out his touch infects people with a deadly mold they use him to eliminate creative enemies of the state who write poems and novels. Morlock hates killing for them and is about to quit when he meets Lynda at the park she tries to friend him as well as talk him into staying with his government job and that killing for them is the right thing to do. Morlock spends time thinking about his job, and decides that he is quitting and when entering the office he over hears Lynda talking to his boss as she is not his friend and was hired by the government to try and get him to accept his job of killing for them! Morlock in a rage transforms into a massive plant like creature and rampages through the government lab and eats Lynda before making his was to Professor Kroschell’s burnt down greenhouse where he finds his journal and learns he was the first in a line of Pod Super beings that was being made to overthrow the government and that the monster inside him can be controlled by a serum that sadly has very little left. As Morlock wonders away the government has issued a reward on his head and has labeled him a threat to society!

This first issue of Morlock 2001 is a great start to this short-lived series and showcases a world that has our government outlawing creative works like writing, books and independent thoughts and when they kill and steal a professor’s experiment they get a tool in their quest to kill those who cross them when a man is hatched from it. But they soon learn that the being can not be controlled and he has his own mind on what’s wrong and right, and well when mad turns into a killing monster! Morlock himself is a man born from a pod who is a blank slate, but learns fast and hates that he has a touch that turns people into mold statues. He knows that killing is wrong, but is torn as those who are teaching him are insuring him he is doing the right thing. You see Morlock is a conflicted and confused hero who has a dark side much like the Hulk from Marvel Comics as if he gets mad he turns into a planet like monster that kills to stop his hunger. The bad guys of this comic is clearly the government and the cops who kill and bully the world in order to fall in line, in other words they are terrible tyrants who crave power and control. Lynda is a young woman you think is truly going to be the friend of the strange planet man Morlock, but you soon find out she is a bad person who is only being nice to him to get him to kill for his job. This is a great start to the series and is way better then I remember it being when I read it as a kid, as when young I thought it was a little boring as it was not action packed like the comics I was reading at the time like Batman and Captain America…now as an adult I find the story well paced and the character of Morlock to be interesting. The cover art his well done for the time and for sure would be eye catching for readers of Sci-Fi comics. The interior art is done by Allen Milgrom and is really sold and reminds me of Marvel Comics are from the same time period. I would say check out the first issue of Morlock if you are looking into Atlas Comics as it’s a good place to start. Now let’s see what issue two has in store for us and if it will be better then I remember!

Morlock 2001 # 2  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 2 of 3

Morlock is stuck in the city and the police and even citizens are looking for him as the government has a massive bounty on his head. And once found his only escape is jumping on a passing train and hiding in a freight-car and after passing out from the stress of the chase he is woken up by a trio of mask wearing goons who try and rob him of his gloves and they pay with their lives as the mold of his touch grows all over their bodies and kills them. But his luck runs out as he is discovered by a train worker and taken to the station, as the worker calls for the cops Morlock transforms into the Planet Monster and kills and eats the worker before escaping into the countryside. Morlock turns back human and takes a nap under a tree, but is woke by a scream of a little girl and he rushes to see what the trouble is and finds that she is surrounded by two shaggy leaf type monsters, and with the help of the girls father who uses a flamethrower on the monsters the threat is over and Morlock finds a new safe place with the father and daughter. The man is Bertling and he as well is working on making planet people in order to fight for freedom against the government, and his daughter is Karen a young girl who is blind but could regain her sight if only her dad could get the money needed to pay for the surgery. While Morlock sleeps, his new friend Bertling watches the news and decides he will turn Morlock into the cops in order to get the money to help his daughter see again. He then locks Morlock into a shed and rushes to call the cops, but Karen hears what’s happening and lets Morlock out and unlucky her he has transformed into the planet monster who kills and eats her! By the time Bertling gets out to the shed he finds the goo that is left of his daughter and swears to get revenge on Morlock who himself is now back human and is upset his monster side killed a kid.

This second issue is fantastic and brings a true monster side of Morlock out as he proves that he does not care who is in his way when he goes full monster! So like imagine if the Incredible Hulk on a rampage killed the kid hero team Power Pack and once turning back to Bruce Banner having the memories of doing so, cause that is the horror Morlock faces by the end of this issue! The plot of this issue has Morlock on the run from the government who want him captured, and also he finds that a scientist is working on more planet people like him, and sadly he makes an enemy of him! Morlock clearly in this issue hates that he can not control the planet beast that lives inside him, and while he kills also by his touch he also clearly has a good side as he want to save the day and do the right thing. And it’s really sad when he kills a total of four people in this issue and not even meaning to! Bertling is a scientist that is creating planet base people as well and his are always in full monster mode and attack anything, and when Morlock as his planet monster kills his daughter he becomes a true nemesis for our hero as he wants revenge more then anything! The Government is trying so hard to find their missing plant man and are hot on his trail. This is a very good issue and has a great mix of action and drama and adds a new layer to Morlock as it shows emotion and sadness from him. The cover is well done and reminds me of a 60’s X-Men Cover and the interior art by Allen Milgrom again and is topnotch stuff. Issue two is better then the first issue and once more is way better then I remember it being, and this is shocking as back in my youth when I discovered Atlas Comics thanks to Hal at comic shop Bookie Parlor I enjoyed almost all of them, and Morlock was on my list of so-so issues…and I am here to say I was wrong as they are great! Let’s see what issue three has in store for us, shall we?

Morlock 2001 # 3  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Atlas Comics     # 3 of 3

The police bust into the lab of a scientist and murder him for owning books, while outside is Morlock who was going to this scientist for help and he needs more serum in order to keep his Plant Monster side at bay, but knows that he needs to turn into the monster to enter the lab and kill off the police and see if he can save the scientist! The police have burned all the books and the scientist lies dead on the ground, but what they don’t know is that the Morlock Planet Monster is outside and kills and eats many of the police before passing out and turning back into his human look. But something happens when the dead scientist as he rises and feels no pain, he is now calling himself the Midnight Man and he finds Morlock and drags him to safety! Meanwhile the government hears from two of the cops who ran away from the planet monster attack and is still gathering information about Morlock to bring him down as he is now considered a threat to the nation of America! Morlock finds himself in the now shut down New York subway system with Midnight Man and a band of freedom fighters who want to over throw the government, the group is calling themselves Midnight Men! As they are gaining numbers their hidden subway base is found out by the police and is under attack and as the Midnight Men are clashing with the Cops, Morlock is starting to turn into the Planet Monster when he is shot and killed by Midnight Man who in turns tells his team to retreat and is about to push a button that will blow them all up…and so ends the issue and the series!

I am going to say this I was wrong when I was a kid about Morlock, as reading it now as an adult I found it to be a really solid and fun read and showcases why Atlas Comics could have been a great alternative to DC and Marvel in the 70’s if they only would have lasted! The third and final issue in some ways is a major letdown as the focus goes off of Morlock and starts to focus on the scientist turned masked rebellion fighter Midnight Man and his band of fighters! Morlock in this issue goes on a rampage as the Planet Monster then passes out, wakes up asks a million questions and then when he is turning back into the monster he is shot and killed by a man he thought was his friend and could be savior…he is way to down played as he needs to be the hero not the generic Midnight Man! Speaking of Midnight Man he starts the issue off as a scientist who owns books who is then set on fire, who survives bad burns with no pain and then decides he is going to put on a mask and costume and become a leader of an army to fight the government, in other words he is very generic and lame feeling and way to much time is spent on him. The group the Midnight Men as well don’t do much besides mindlessly following Midnight Man and agree to is plans that are clearly thought up on the spot…in other words they are sheep that flow a clueless lamb who’s idea is to shoot and kill Morlock when he is the worlds best hope! The government is as cold blooded as ever as they not only want book readers, our heroes dead but also will kill their own to keep things secret. I think it’s a shame that this issue ends on such a bad cliffhanger as it looks like Morkock is dead and that the series would have continued to fallow Midnight Man as even the cover downplays the series original hero, I think a dumb movie was going to be made by this change for sure and I would guess this change was coming due to writer Gary Friedrich taking over and Steve Ditko who was on art as the idea of Midnight Man was very dated even by 70’s comic standards. The cover on this one was ok and pretty eye catching even if the books title Morlock was hidden by the Midnight Men logo. The Ditko art is great and has a real classic comic book look to it. Over all Morlock is a good comic book series from Atlas with the first two issue being sold and kind of jumping the shark with the third. Check out the artwork below to see the styles used in these three issues.

Morlock 2001 has a very interesting storyline that seems right at home with the Sci-Fi films of the 50’s-70’s like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Omega Man, Soylent Green, etc. and tells a cool story about a world that education and having your own thoughts makes you an enemy of the state. Just imagine if all your favorite books in the world where taken away from you and burned in the streets just so you could never read them and have your own ideas that where not given to you by your government…frightening isn’t it? I also really wish that Atlas Comics didn’t close up before they could truly finish their storylines, as how this stands now Midnight Man has not only killed Morlock but also himself and his men with one click of a button, and that’s truly a shame. But we can not cry over split milk and cant wish what never was meant to be, so with our next update we will be leaving the year 2001 behind and will be going out for Pizza and also talking about a Fast Food Mascot turned Horror Host and of course I am talking about the host of Master Pizza Theatre, the one and only Rocky Rococo! So until next time read an Atlas Comic of three, watch a Sci-Fi film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Oh and do you like to buy a full pizza or by the slice?

The Voyage To Star Trek IV

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  Once more we will be heading to space with the crew of the USS Enterprise as we take a look at Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the DC Comic adaptation of it! Many Trekkies find this film to be one of the best sequels in the series only slightly behind Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and I must say this film is fantastic and is one that I have seen many times. I know I have said this before and I will say it again, back when these original cast Star Trek movies were released in the late 70’s and all the way to the early 90’s they were big deals and I can remember the TV ads talking about them being in theaters. I also remember the ads in the local newspaper when they would show theater air times complete with mini black and white posters that I would cut out keep. Sadly Star Trek has lost steam at the Box Office for the most part, but has found a new life on CBS All Access with new series being made. So if you are ready, let’s step foot once more on the Enterprise and go on a space adventure with Captain Kirk and his crew.

So let’s start this off the way we should and begin our talk about The Voyage Home with taking a look at the film itself. As always, the film’s write up will be taken from our good friends at IMDB and after I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on this fourth Star Trek film. So let’s take a look at this fourth and iconic Star Trek flick.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

“The most acclaimed Star Trek adventure of all time with an important message. It is the 23rd century, and a mysterious alien probe is threatening Earth by evaporating the oceans and destroying the atmosphere. In their frantic attempt to save mankind, Admiral Kirk and his crew must time travel back to 1986 San Francisco where they find a world of punk, pizza and exact-change buses that are as alien to them as anything they have ever encountered in the far-off reaches of the galaxy. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy return as Kirk and Spock, along with the entire Star Trek crew.”

Before Star Trek III was even finished and out, Paramount Pictures was already talking about a fourth film in the series, and they wanted Leonard Nimoy to return to direct and come up with the story as they liked the way his ideas were going. You see at this time Paramount was very much behind the Star Trek property and knew they had something special in their hands and started to truly understand that it has a majorly loyal fan base…unlike most modern Star Wars fans. At first the fourth film had a rocky start as William Shatner was not wanting to return to play Captain Kirk and only agreed to after a massive raise that got him $2.5 million to do the film.   Nimoy wanted to make a more fun picture as the first three films were very serious and filled with drama, and this go around he wanted to add a little humor. The original idea had the Enterprise Crew returning to Earth to stop a virus whose only cure was destroyed way back due to the cutting of the rainforests in the past…but people dying this way was not the way they wanted to go and so they went with the idea of returning home to get a whale to sing its song to save Earth from being destroyed by a weapon that only responds to their calls. The original script had a part for comedian and actor Eddie Murphy, who is a Trekkie, to play a professor who believes in aliens…but he disliked the role and went on to make the film The Golden Child instead. The script for this film also had lots of issues as not only was William Shatner displeased with many of them but so was Paramount Pictures who brought back Nicholas Meyer to help rewrite it and he joined names like Daniel Petrie Jr, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes and Harve Bennett all of who, had ideas and wrote parts of this script! And after rewrites, Paramount was finally pleased with the scripts, and the film went into the filming stages. Leonard Rosenman ended up doing the score for the film and when released it was met with great reviews from critics and fans, and over the years it’s rated as one of the best films in the series. When released in 1986, it was the # 5 to grossing film in America bringing in as of this date $109,713,132.00 on a budget of only $21 million and beat out other films like Aliens, Short Circuit, Pretty In Pink, Friday The 13th Pat VI: Jason Lives, Howard The Duck, Legend and Labyrinth to name a few. And when released on home media, it was a top selling film showing that this fourth film in the Star Trek series really is a great film that has kept over the decades its popularity with Trek fans.

When Star Trek IV was being released in theaters, I can remember seeing the ads in the paper as well as commercials all over TV as this one seemed to have more hype around it and to be honest is the one I remember the most from the early films as I was the perfect age. The first time I ever saw the film was in science class in Middle School in Waynesville as my science teacher Mr. York was a big fan of Star Trek and college football and would often uses a Star Trek reference during teaching. He wanted the class to watch the film to show how actions have reactions; he was an awesome teacher. Plus it was a great way to spend a few classes taking a break and watching a Sci-Fi film with your classmates. I remember liking the film as it was cool to see them in more of a modern setting as well as tackling the issue that was the world killing whales and limiting their population, something that is sadly still a struggle to this day thanks to over fishing and whalers killing them to sell the blubber for cosmetics and other products. Kirk and Spock are fantastic as they try and figure out a way to bring a whale to their time, and Scotty talking to the computer mouse is classic stuff. Plus who doesn’t laugh seeing the Enterprise Crew trying their best to fit in to the late 1980’s society and being super awkward doing so. Over the years I would go on to get the film on VHS as well as later DVD and would watch pretty often along with the other films in the series featuring the original cast. This film as well is considered one of the best in the movie series and many place it right behind Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan as being the second best over all, I however would place it in my top three for sure, but at # 3! If you have not seen this one and want to watch Spock put the Vulcan Nerve Pitch onto a Punk Rocker on a RTA Bus after he flipped off, Kirk check this one out.

Like all the Star Trek movies that came before it, Star Trek IV had its fair share of amazing merchandise for fans to collect over the years like a paperback book adaptation, comic book, action figures, posters, magazines, soundtrack, trading cards, t-shirts and even buttons to name a few. This was the one Star Trek movie from my youth that when it was released I can remember the hype train being around and many of these items at stores my family shopped at like Hearts, Hills and Gold Circle. Star Trek IV had some great merchandise and I can remember over the years owning the film on both VHS and DVD. I had and read the paperback book, owned the comic book plus of course had the soundtrack on cassette and later on CD.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home really is a great sequel in the Trek movie series and brought a more modern feel to the series that many younger viewers had started to see as dated. And while not my favorite of the sequels, it is one I 100% enjoy and have watched many, many times over the years. And we are now at the time of this update that we take a look at the comic adaptation, and I am very much looking forward to reading this one again as I have not since I was a very early teenager. I want to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having this comic in stock all those years ago and want to remind all you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s climb aboard the Enterprise once more and go on a trip with Captain Kirk and his crew and let’s save the world and the whales!

Star Trek IV: Voyage Home # 1  ***
Released in 1987     Cover Price $2.00     DC Comics     # 1 of 1

The USS Saratoga is trying to communicate with a probe that is not responding and is draining the ship of all its power. We then cut to a Starfleet Court as Captain James T. Kirk is on trail for many counts that go against the fleet as well as the killing of the Klingon crew as well as stealing the Bird Of Prey ship. The Klingon spokesperson also accuses Kirk of using the Genesis Project and claims all the destruction it caused was part of his plan. Speaking on behalf of Kirk and his crew is Ambassador Sarek who gets the court to dismiss the claims of the Klingons who claim that they will never be at peace as long as Kirk lives! Meanwhile on the planet Vulcan, the crew of the USS Enterprise are stranded as Scotty works his magic on the Bird Of Prey so that they can return to Earth and face the courts. While getting ready to leave, Kirk allows Lt. Saavik to step down and stay behind on her home planet, as the re-born now adult Spock is learning the ways of his culture and decides to go to Earth with his former crewmates. Meanwhile the Probe is heading for Earth and is shutting down all the Star Fleet ships and even their bases and is causing the planet to be covered in a fog! As Kirk and his crew head to Earth, they get a message from the President who is warning all ships not to come close to Earth as a Probe has it under attack by creating mass flooding and can shut down any and all ships, Spock figures out that the Probe is trying to talk to a whale and that Earth is in trouble as they had all been killed in the 21st Century! Kirk decides that the way they can help the Earth is by going back in time and bringing two whales back to their time in order to answer the Probe and save the Earth. Once they travel back in time they do their best to blend in and split off into groups as they not only have to find the whales but also build tanks for them to take back as well as they need a nuclear reactor to recharge the ship’s crystal that gives it the power needed to return! McCoy, Scotty and Sulu head out to try and find the materials needed to build the tanks and even change history a little along the way, Uhura and Chekov find the place to get the nuclear power needed and Spock and Kirk head out to find the whales! Dr. Gillian Taylor is in charge of two whales in captivity, and Spock and Kirk make their way to visit. Spock dives into the tank and mind melds with one of the whales and learns that the female is pregnant and they both hate how people treat them and they are willing to go to the future to save the Earth from the Probe. Kirk goes out to dinner with Gillian after she drops Spock off at the park where their ship is hidden. Meanwhile Scotty, McCoy and Sulu find a manufacturer and give them the idea to make a stronger plastic that they can use to transport the whales on the Bird Of Prey back to the future. Meanwhile Chekov and Uhura are on a ship trying to get the nuclear energy needed they are spotted by the military and while Uhura gets away, poor Chekov suffers a head injury. And now they have to get to the hospital to save him from surgery and Gillian also returns to the park and is beamed aboard as she has bad news that her boss has shipped off the whales to the ocean! Kirk and this crew get to the hospital and save Chekov and then track the whales and save them from blubber hunters and get them on the ship and along with Gillian they return to the future and the whales answer the probe and the Earth is saved! But even after saving the day Kirk and his crew must face the court, and what they get as punishment is Kirk is demoted from Admiral back to Captain and he is assigned a new ship with his crew and their adventures continue.

First things first, this could be the best Star Trek Movie adaptation we have covered thus far as it truly captures the adventure and nature of the film! The plot of this comic and the film is pretty simple: a Probe that can destroy a planet sends out a whale song that is not answered as mankind has killed them off in the future and now they are paying the price as the probe is causing a massive flood on Earth and it’s up to Kirk and the Enterprise Crew to travel back in time and bring whales from the past to the future to answer the Probe’s call. Captain Kirk in this issue is in deep trouble with Star Fleet as he disobeyed orders in order to save the reborn Spock and even blew up his own ship that was high jacked by Klingons that leave all the invaders dead! I also should note that Kirk is an Admiral for most of this issue and even though he is in trouble he and his crew take action and save many lives as well as Earth from becoming a massive swimming pool. Spock is starting to get his mind back after being dead, and is slowly remembering his friendships and memories of being Spock. He also as always he one who figures out how to save the day as well as has the skills to talk to the whales that are needed to save the day. Scotty as well is a lifesaver as his knowledge of space crafts and compounds make the transport tanks possible. Poor Chekov while trying to get nuclear power needed for the ships crystals gets a nasty head injury and must be saved from the hospital and treated by McCoy to heal him up. And the rest of the Enterprise Crew McCoy, Sulu and Uhura are all doing their part to get the stuff they need in the past to save the future. Dr. Gillian Taylor is a woman who loves her job and cares very much for the two whales that have been in her care, and I also respect that she leaves her life behind to travel to the future to stay with them and help teach the future about caring for them. DC Comics so far has delivered two very well done adaptations of Star Trek movies and this one does a top notch job of capturing the true fun, silly and sci-fi action of the film. The thing that works the best for me is the fact that this comic does a great job of capturing the humor of this film, and while “Hello Computer” is a little weak in the comic, other gags work great in ink. The cover is really good for the time and is eye catching as the interior artwork done by Tom Sutton is great stuff as he captures the look and attitude of each character. If you like Star Trek IV, this comic is one that should be in your collection as it will surely entertain you. And to be honest I am very much looking forward to reading the comic for Star Trek V next year as these update are truly a blast for me to write. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Tom from this issue, and I picked panels that are from some of my favorite scenes from the movie.

Star Trek IV is a fun film as well as a fun comic and for me. While I enjoy the other Star Trek shows like Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and Discovery, none of them are as good as the original series and the movies that followed with them. Captain Kirk is for me the best of the Captains, and I wish William Shatner would return one last time to Star Trek and unite with the remaining cast for one last voyage. But for my next update we will be leaving space and heading to the world of Horror Hosts for our first in our celebration of 10 Years of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame as we take a look at Miko Macabre of Cryptique! So until next time, read a Star Trek comic or three, watch a Star Trek Movie or Show and as always support your local Horror Host! See your next time as we cover one of YouTube’s best Horror Hosts from the past.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2020

Hey readers and friends, welcome back to Rotten Ink and the first update of 2021. I am sure so many of you are, like me, and glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror as the coronavirus crisis that has effected the whole world has people very scared and also shut down movie theaters to protect the public and slowdown the spread. And that while that was the right thing to do, it also made me very sad as going to the cinema has always been my time to unwind from stress of work and the world. Plus sadly many of the films that were set for release got pulled from the lineup with some getting new dates and others still waiting. But even with that major set back, 2020 still had its fair share of some amazing films released to the masses to enjoy when we could. And I was able to enjoy these movies at some great theaters like Cinemark and Englewood Cinema. So while many films slated for 2020 got pushed back a year or sadly went to the soulless streaming sites, the good old theater still brought me some amazing joys, and nothing, and I mean nothing, will take the place of watching a movie in the theater! So let’s find our seats, social distance from each other and talk movies here at the Rotten Ink Theater and please make sure in 2021 to support all the theaters in your town as well as drive-in’s as they are the true way of watching films. I want to also stress that this year the movie industry not only had to depend on the Box Office numbers of America but as well those of the Foreign Markets and the sales of physical and digital media to turn profits and bring money in.

Well I think we all needed a good laugh in 2020, so what better way to get a belly laugh than seeing a good old Comedy film in the theater…and well I saw one and it was really good but also very depressing much like 2020!

# 1

Cassie Thomas is a 30-year-old woman who dropped out of medical school and now works at a coffee shop and still lives with her parents. She has a life that no one knows about as at night she goes to bars and acts extremely drunk and has sleazy men try to take advantage of her in order to put them in their places. You see, she dropped out of medical school because her best friend Nina was raped and no one believed her…now when the boys of medical school are back enjoying their lives it’s time for Cassie to get her revenge. This is a fantastic dark comedy-drama-thriller with a dash of horror movie that will leave you laughing, happy, angry and sad all at the same time as it plays with your emotions. Actress Carey Mulligan, who plays Cassie Thomas, is fantastic as the revenge-seeking woman who is righting so many wrongs that were done to her friend, and I found myself cheering for her all the way. The film has an amazing cast with such names as Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Molly Shannon and Alison Brie, all being perfect in their roles. The film was released on Christmas during the pandemic and brought in (as of the date of this posting) $1,094,640.00 for Focus Features at the American Box Office. And it’s a shame more people didn’t go and see this film as it really good and one I cannot wait to own on home media when released.

Seeing action films in the theater was a bust this year thanks to this cursed virus crisis, but I can at least say that I was able to see at least one action film in the cinema and best of all it starred an icon of action films, Jackie Chan! So let’s talk about this film.

# 1

A man and his wife are being kidnapped by a paid mercenary group lead by a man who wants answers about his father’s lost fortune, but unlucky for them security group Vanguard is on the case and save their lives! But when they go after the couple’s daughter, Vanguard must travel to other nations and stop them from finding the lost money as they want to buy a weapon of mass destruction to get revenge on the Americans that killed the man’s father. This is a fun fast Chinese action film that stars Jackie Chan, who is as fantastic as ever and shows that he still is an action superstar at his age. The film is filled with lots of over the top action and some great martial arts fighting. The only downside is some of the CGI looks a little bad and awkward in spots. The film came out during the pandemic and did okay for Gravitas Ventures at the American Box Office bringing in $793,525.00 on an unknown budget. If you like Jackie Chan films that feel like they could have been a direct to DVD release in the early 2000’s, give this one a watch. I really enjoyed this film, and it was a great film to see on the big screen on Thanksgiving week.

Let’s next go with the Sci-Fi and Fantasy films I saw this year at the theater, and again I must stress that sadly due to the pandemic, I did not get to see many films from these genres as most films have been yanked off the release schedule, but with that in mind, let’s take a look at the ones I did get to enjoy on the big screen.

# 3

Captain Natalie Artemis is an Army Ranger and is leading her team to investigate a missing convoy, but after a freak lighting storm they find themselves in another world that is filled with giant monsters who all want them dead! And dead they all become until only Natalie is left and alongside a warrior from that world who does not speak her language, they together must find a way to survive and return Natalie to her own world as well as save this one from the destruction of giant monsters. This film is based on the popular Capcom video game series and was even has ties to Toho the studio behind the Godzilla and other classic Kaiju films. Milla Jovovich plays Natalie and Tony Jaa plays Hunter, her newly made friend, and both do a great job and help bring this scifi-action-fantasy film alive. I really enjoyed this film on the big screen with my only major issue being the fast cut jerky fight scenes as the monsters and acting is well done for this type of film. The film has done pretty well at the USA Box Office during the virus time bringing in $4,216,000.00 on a budget of $60 million at this time of posting as the film is still in theaters. If you like movies about giant monsters and or enjoy the game series, check this one out. I will probably buy this one once out on home media.

# 2

The Protagonist is a member of the CIA who finds himself involved in a strange world altering plot that has events not only happening forward but also in rewind. One mad man plans on ending the world with this tech and he must find away to stop it, along the way making allies and trying to wrap his mind around what the hell is really going on! That is the quickest and easiest way to sum up the plot to this mega budget Christopher Nolen scifi-action-spy thriller film that was used to kick off the big movies are back in cinema campaign. And sadly, the film did not set the numbers the studio was looking for and this made it so many films planned for later in the year got moved from 2020 to 2021 and beyond…and that’s a shame as I also feel that this was the wrong choice to bank all that decisions on as the film was a fun popcorn movie, but was hardly the amazing mind mess flick that Nolan in known for and in fact at times the dialogue was just plan bad! Now I need to stress that I enjoyed this film and the acting was great as John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Dimple Kapadia and Elizabeth Debicki are all fantastic in their roles, it’s just the over all presentation was a little lacking to make it a major blockbuster, and keep in mind I did enjoy the film. The film did good considering the virus crisis at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers bringing in $57,909,000.00 on an over blown budget of $200 million. Please note, however, that Warner Brothers has been a bit deliberately vague about the numbers. Tenet is a fun watch but not the mega hit that I think he or Warner Brothers thought it would be.

# 1

Bill S. Preston and Theodore Logan are now middle aged men whose band Wyld Stallyns was supposed to change the world with their music, but thus far it has not happened and their music career has tumbled and they are playing at small dive bars and family weddings and their CDs are in discount bins! Then things get worse when they find out their marriages to the Princesses are on the rocks and they get a visit to the future and find out they have to write the perfect song that will save time and space as a massive rift in time has opened and is causing chaos and people to be placed out of time! And their biggest fans, their daughters, are trying to figure out a way to help their dads create the song that will bring the world together. This third film in the Bill & Ted series is a fantastic follow up that delivers the laughs and classic delivery that we all love about the characters. Also it brings classic characters like Death, Missy and Ted’s Father back as well as delivers new ones like Kelly who is Rufus’s Daughter, killer robot Dennis Caleb McCoy and Billie & Thea, the duo’s daughters! Hands down this was one of the films I had the most fun watching in a theater and delivered pure entertainment all the way through. The film was released to limited screens during the soft re-openings of theaters and did pretty well for Orion Pictures bringing in at the US Box Office $3,439,660.00 on a budget of $25 million. I for one hope that we get a fourth film in the series as Bill & Ted are two silly 80’s cinema icons we need more of in our lives. And of course I got this on DVD when released.

So we are going to take a look at super hero films now. It’s crazy as 2020 was supposed to have Black Widow, The Eternals, Morbius and Venom 2 all bringing action to the cinemas…now they are all slated for this year (2021) and 2022. But with that let’s talk the super hero films I saw this year at the cinema.

# 3

Max Lord is a man who wants it, all not just for himself but for all of you, as he is a TV salesman who is selling you oil and big dreams, but in reality he is a failure who, after conning his way into getting a wish stone, is now a evil wish granting power hungry business man who has made a big mistake as making himself and the stone become one. But before Max gets his hands on the stone, Diana Prince along with her co-worker Barbara Minerva at the museum make wishes on the stone as a joke that ends up turning Barbara into the Cheetah and Diana gets her love Steve Trevor back…but they all learn that making wishes comes with a price as to get what you want you lose something super important to you as well. With the world in chaos thanks to Max and his wishes, Diana must become Wonder Woman and try to set the world right again. If you readers remember back in 2017, the first Wonder Woman took my # 1 spot for superhero films, well sadly the sequel finds its self in last place. The film was a fun watch at the theater and was a total popcorn flick, but the downside to the film is Diana is barely Wonder Woman in the film as much of the film is spent on her and Steve and their love…and it has a long runtime and could have been cut by a good 20 minutes or so. The film has done well for the pandemic Box Office in the US as of the time of this posting it has brought in $16,700,000.00 on a budget of $200 million for Warner Brothers. Again, Warner Brothers has been a little vague about their numbers. While not a perfect superhero film, it was a fun theater watch and Gal Gadot is the perfect Wonder Woman and it as well has an amazing cast with names like Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright and Lynda Carter.

# 2

Danni Moonstar finds herself in a hospital for mutants after her tribe was killed by a “tornado”, and Dr. Cecilia Reyes is there to try and help her learn what her powers are and how to control them. While in care, she meets the fellow patients Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane), Illyana Rasputin (Magik), Bobby da Costa (Sunspot) and Sam Guthrie (Cannonball) and even she finds love with Rahne….but things get bad when all the young mutants fears are used against them and what was supposed to be a place to help them is really a prison that keeps them inside! Can Danni and her new friends over come the darkness? Watch this final film in the Fox X-Men movies and find out! This was a fun superhero film that had lots of elements of horror in it and has a fantastic cast of young stars like Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Blu Hunt and Charlie Heaton to name a few. The film was released at the start of main theater chains limited capacity re-openings and did what it could for Disney at the US Box Office brining in $23,851,511.00 on a budget of $67 million, making it a good start for Disney and movies in general to return to the cinema. While not a perfect film, it really was an entertaining one that was a blast to see on the big screen.

# 1

Harley Quinn has split from The Joker and her life is going out of control, and worse her actions of the past are catching up with her and many people she has wronged want revenge including crime lord Black Mask. At one of Black Mask’s clubs, Black Canary sings and she ends ups working secretly with Gotham cop Renee Montoya who wants to bring a case against Black Mask….but also on the loose is Huntress, a woman who is going around killing a crime family with arrows! Not to even mention that crazed serial killer Victor Zsasz is on Black Mask’s payroll! And when a young pickpocket girl steals a diamond from Black Mask that is the key to a massive amount of money, the ladies have to stand their ground and fight for their lives as the crime lord is not happy and has an army ready to bring him their heads! This superhero comedy film was super well done and the humor throughout worked really well, not to even mention the acting being well done with Margot Robbie being amazing as Harley Quinn as always, and to me, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress steals the show as her awkwardness is charming. I grew up reading Batman comic and seeing Black Mask and Zsasz as the main bad guys in a movie was really cool. The film did oddly bad at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers only bringing in $84,158,461.00 on a budget of $84.5 million. And overseas it did another $117,700,000.00 showing that it did well for itself. This was a great superhero movie and once more in my opinion shows that DC is doing all the right things to get their movies back on track. Worth owning on home media, and one I did buy when released.

So as you long time readers know, horror is my favorite genre of films and in the short time the cinemas was open in 2020, I did get to see my fair share of them sitting in my reclining chair with some popcorn to munch on listening to the fear of those around me grow every second as the suspense on the big screen kept going along. So sit back in your chair and grab some more popcorn as it’s time to talk….

# 15

Kate Mandell takes the job of being the live-in nanny for the Fairchild children (Flora and Miles) who were orphaned at a young age but come from a family with money. At first she thinks she is going to love this job as she and 7-Year old Flora hit it off and the mansion is very lovely. But something is very odd as the maid of the family Mrs. Grose is very cold and Miles comes off as a psychopath…not to mention Kate begins to hear and see things! Now it’s up to Kate to figure out what’s real, what’s in her mind and if she herself is the true psychopath…or is it the ghosts of the mansion. This atmospheric horror movie is based on the novel “Turn Of The Screw” by Henry James and delivers a none explained and lackluster ending that will surely leave a bad taste in most viewers’ mouths, and the blah ending is why the film is ranking so low on my list. The acting in the film is fantastic with Mackenzie Davis as Kate being the true standout. The film dis so-so for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in $15,472,775.00 on a budget of $14 million. While this film is not for everyone, the slow burn horror, the creepy atmosphere and good acting are reason why you should check it out, but be prepared to be letdown by the film’s ending.

# 14

Lily is a young lady who along with her mother move in with Adam Harrison and his three sons and she has a hard time at school after an accident happens in class that leaves her the butt of many jokes. While feeling down and out, she meets three new friends Frankie, Lourdes and Tabby who invite her to join their witches’ coven, and the four become super close and even use their spells to try and better their town and school. But things turn bad when a jerky guy from school they used a spell on ends up dead, and her friends blame Lily who used her magic on him as she had a crush and the friends disband the coven and distance themselves from Lily…and worse Lily finds out that she is not who she thinks she is and some evil power wants her witchcraft abilities…what is a young witch to do…well call upon her friends of course! This sequel to the 1996 film The Craft was produced by Blumhouse and was scheduled for a full theatrical release before the virus shut down theaters, causing it to be VOD and shown at small theaters via private events (the latter is how I saw it). The film is well cast with Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna all doing great as the new witches, and the only main complaint I have is that they drained the film of all horror and it feels more like a CW teen show. While not a great sequel to the cult classic, it was a fun watch in the theater the way it was meant to be seen…I am looking at you Sony and Blumhouse.

# 13

A small snowy mountain town is being rocked by terrible murders of females and it’s started talks among town people of a serial killer or a werewolf being on the loose! And worse officer John Marshall is on the case and is dealing with a ton of other issues that includes being a recovering alcoholic, a bad divorce, a strained relationship with his daughter, anger management issues and his father who is the Sheriff will not retire even though he is having bad heart issues! The bodies keep piling up as the victims keep getting more and more mutilated and the cops are clueless! And when John’s daughter is targeted as a victim for the killer, he sees that it’s a massive werewolf or is it? This horror comedy was a fun watch in the theater and the werewolf looks great as do the gore effects when used. Jim Cummings plays John Marshall as well as wrote and directed the film and does a pretty good job in all three roles and actors like Chloe East, Riki Lindhome and the late Robert Forster are all great in their roles. The downside of the film for me is the big reveal at the end of who the werewolf is as I felt it was a little flat, but did not fully drag the film down. I also was happy that this film was released in limited theaters in October as it was great to see a new horror flick in the theater just in time for Halloween. The film brought in $185,026.00 at the US Box Office for Orion Pictures on a small budget making it a win for them during this terrible time. This is one that I will pick up on DVD when released as I would like to see it again and see if I can pick up on clues that lead to whom the werewolf is.

# 12

Marquis Woods and his family take their plane to the funeral of his father that is in the Appalachia area, when a storm causes them to crash in the woods. When Marquis awakens, he finds himself with a terrible foot injury and in a bed in an attic being cared for by Ms. Eloise and her husband Earl and hulking farmhand Lewis all who seem to be keeping him not only as a patient but also as a prisoner! And when trying to escape Marquis soon finds these people are into dark magic and he must find a way to escape, find his family and escape the farm all before the red moon as these wicked people have major plans for him. This horror thriller was a fun watch at the cinema and had some good thrilling moments as well as some good effects with one of a massive nail in a character’s foot being really well done. Actor Omari Hardwick is great as Marquis, with actress Loretta Devine doing an amazing job at playing Ms. Eloise and Lorraine Burroughs who plays Veora Woods is beautiful. The film was released on VOD and shown at select theaters and did okay given when released for Paramount Pictures bring in $500,104.00 on an unknown budget. It’s worth a watch for horror fans who enjoy black magic and voodoo style films, and is one I bought when released on home media.

# 11

A house on Reyburn has been the site of many murders since a mother returning from Japan came home and killed her whole family and then herself! The real estate agent who tried to sell the house after the killings as well follows the same path, and lastly an older couple who moved in as well find themselves the victims of death. After her husband passed away from cancer, single mom and cop Detective Muldoon gets wrapped up in a town’s past case that had driven her new partner, Detective Goodman’s last partner, crazy…and she herself starts to lose her mind as the deeper she digs the more madness she uncovers and then she starts to see things including the evil spirit of Kayako Saeki who has marked her with the curse as she made the mistake of entering the home of murder. Now she must do what she can in order save her life and end this curse once and for all. This new reboot to The Grudge series takes place at the same time as the 2004 film and follows how the curse spreads, and is the first in the series to get a R rating. The film is filled with lots of mean spirited deaths and brings some good and solid special effects. This fright flick also brings some great actors like Lin Shaye, John Cho and William Sadler in roles of the damned. The film did pretty well for Sony at the US Box Office bringing in $21,221,803.00 on a budget of $10 million, showing that the series might have some legs left on it. Trashed by critics this super natural horror movie is one you should make your own mind up on. Worth owning on home media if you have the rest of the series already.

# 10

Five strangers have been selected to win a contest to stay on Fantasy Island, a place that is said to grant all your fantasies! Gwen Olsen is granted to have the family she always wanted, Melanie Cole wants revenge on her high school bully, Patrick Sullivan who wants to be a war hero like his father and stepbrothers JD and Brax who just want to live large and have it all! And they meet Mr. Roarke and his assistant Julia who welcome them and let them know their fantasies will start very soon. But when the fantasies start, they are pleasant and magical and then quickly take a sinister turn as murder and torment is on the minds of those in the fantasy. Now the five winners must come together and survive this twisted island and all its secrets…but whose fantasy are they really in as this horror thriller takes a few twists. This film, while flawed, was a fun watch at the theater and reminded me of the early 2000’s released horror movies. The acting is pretty well done with Maggie Q, Michael Pena and Lucy Hale being the standouts. The film did pretty well for Sony at the American Box Office bringing in $26,441,782.00 on a budget of $7 million. While not a perfect film and at times not a full horror movie, this is one silly Blumhouse release that’s good for a late night watch.

# 9

Liza is attacked and suffers a massive head injury during a random home invasion while her husband Sean is at work, all in front of her son Jude who stops speaking after witnessing it. So to try and help both of them heal, Sean rents a house in the woods on the old Heelshire’s estate and things start to look up when Jude finds the doll Brahms buried in the woods and takes him home as his new friend. But things get worse when Jude starts even acting more odd and strange thing happen at the home as the young man blames them on doll Brahms who he is becoming super attached to and even helps him to start talking again. But soon Liza and Sean find out that something is very wrong with Brahms and they must try and save their son’s soul as this evil doll wants a new vessel for evil. This follow up to the 2016 film does a pretty good job adding a new chapter to the story of the evil doll Brahms, but this time around there is no killer in the walls, it really is the doll calling all the shots…and it appears it has all along. The film is not that overly bloody or gory but does pack in a few scares making it a good PG-13 horror film experience. The film did not do well at all for STX Entertainment at the US box office only bringing in $12,611,536.00 on a budget of $10 million, and I am sure this sadly will mark the end of The Boy movies series.

# 8

Rachel Hunter’s life is falling apart as she is getting a divorce, her hair salon has closed and her son is doing his best to deal with all the drama that is going on around him, but while driving him to school, they have a road incident with Tom Cooper who is on the run after killing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend and now wants to show Rachel the meaning of having a bad day as well as teach her respect! So starts a game of life and death on the road as Rachel and all those she cares about are now in the sights of a manic who has a real bad case of road rage. This horror thriller is a great example of how a simple bad interaction or mistake on the road can lead to something bigger and deadlier as you never know who it is that is raging out. Russell Crowe is creepy and great as Tom Cooper a psychopath who has lost it all and now wants to ruin the lives of anyone who crosses him. Caren Pistorius is also great as Rachel, a mom who his pushed to the limits and finds away to fight back. The film was released at theaters right at the slow start of theater re-openings during the virus crisis and did okay for Solstice Studios bringing in $20,831,465.00 on a budget of $33 million. If you like movies set with murder on the roads that has lots of thriller moments, this one is a heck of a fun ride.

# 7

Amanda and her friends are on a bridge and try an urban legend she heard of to summon an entity called the Empty Man, and to their horror, it works! The “rules” of the legend are that you hear him on day one, on day two you see him and day three he gets you! Amanda goes missing and family friend and ex-cop James Lasombra goes looking for her and uncovers a trail of suicide, unknown people, a cult, a Himalayan creature and events of the past. The Empty Man is real and has followers and with Amanda missing and in danger, James must enter the darkness of our world to unravel the Empty Man and his meaning. This supernatural horror movie is based on the comic by Boom Studios and adds in elements of film noir and the X-Files. Actor James Badge Dale is great as James Lasombra. Sasha Frolova who plays Amanda is also great and has a Louise Brooks look to her. The film did well at the US box office for 20th Century during the virus times bring in $2,992,403.00 on an unknown budget. Worth watching if you like supernatural horror done a little different and has a cool looking monster, bought on media when released.

# 6

Oliver is a young autistic boy who uses his cell phone to communicate and spends most of his time watching episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants as he does not have any friends and the one he did have now picks on him at school. One night a storybook keeps appearing on his cellphone called “Misunderstood Monsters” about a monster named Larry who is looking for a friend and has been watching the boy from his phone screen, and after reading part of the book, the lights in the house go out and Larry comes looking for his new friend! Now Oliver’s mom and dad are up against a monster from another dimension that wants their son to come back to his world and become his friend for life. But what can they do to stop a creature that can travel via screens of electrical devices? This was a super fun PG-13 horror film that has a good storyline, interesting characters and a cool monster that, while bad, does what he does cause he is lonely. Plus it really holds an urban legend, storybook feel and you cant go wrong with a monster named Larry. The film did pretty well for Focus Features during the virus crisis at the American box office bringing in $9,505,540.00 on a budget of $9 million. This is one I hope gets a sequel or at least a comic book mini series and will buy when released on home media.

# 5

Charlie and Mina are business partners who decided to rent a massive house in the middle of nowhere that has a great view of the ocean. Josh is Mina’s boyfriend and Charlie’s brother while Michelle is Charlie’s wife and the house is perfect besides the creepy, racist caretaker of the place. But after a night of drinking and drugs, Mina and Charlie end up sleeping together and to make things worse they find a camera that taped the whole event and they think that the caretaker watched and has it on tape! After Mina confronts him about it, as she don’t want her boyfriend to find out, an accident happens and the group of friends must figure out what to do as someone else was responsible for the cameras that has way more sinister attentions then just being a pervert! This is a really good indie thriller film that is mixed with a slasher and is well cast as Sheila Vand is fantastic as Mina and Alison Brie is perfect as the wife Michelle who you find yourself cheering for to survive. The masked nameless killer is interesting and seems to pick who to murder by random as by the end it appears that he has his cameras set up in many different rental properties. The film did well for IFC at the US Box Office given it was an indie film being shown on limited screens and drive-ins as it brought in $1,635,175.00 on a small budget. The Rental was a fun summer release and was the first movie I saw in the theater after the shutdown and lockdowns due to the virus and is a film I own on DVD and is one you should check out if you enjoy a good slow burn Horror Movie.

# 4

Norah Price works for Titan Industries many miles underwater when her station blows up and causes major damage with very few survivors. And when all those who are left meet up, they soon have to make a very dangerous decision as the station is about to collapse on itself and they must suit up and walk the ocean floor to get to a nearby rig that has escape pods. But as they make their escape, they soon find they are not alone as humanoid man-eating creatures are hunting them down one by one, and in the end, the humanoid creatures are they least of her worries as something bigger and badder waits them! This underwater horror film delivers a creepy and hopeless feeling watching experience and all the characters are likable with Norah being the most likable. I have to say Kristen Stewart does a great job in the role. If you like giant underwater monsters, killer fish humanoids and grim moments of horror dread this one is for you! Sadly this film did not do great for 20th Century Fox bringing in the low number of $17,291,078.00 on a budget of around $80 million. If you like horror movies like DeepStar Six or Leviathan, then do yourself a favor and give it a watch, worth owning on home media.

# 3

Gretel and her young brother Hansel has been chased away by their mother as time in their small village is very rough, as it appears the land has been cursed. Gretel takes her brother and runs into the woods and tired, cold and hungry, they run into a Huntsman who feeds them and draws them a map to a family that could house them. Along the journey, they find a house with a table filled with tons of food and they are invited in by the owner a creepy old woman to eat and find shelter, but things are to good to be true and the kids start feeling odd as the old woman truly enters their lives. And when Gretel is taken under the old woman’s wing to become a witch of darkness, things go really bad when Gretel is told she must eat Hansel to become a true powerful witch and the young woman finds out the old lady is a witch who kills and eats children. Now its up to Gretel to save herself and her brother from evil and change the course of their lives forever! This creepy fairy tale movie is filled with creepy moments, great atmosphere and is a sold PG-13 Horror Movie watch that is filled with blood and even guts. The film is well acted and reminded me of a good 70’s style British horror movie. The film did okay at the American Box Office bringing in $15,347,654.00 on a budget of $5 million. This is one film I feel that is worth owning on home media and I hope this spawns a whole dark fairy tale horror universe. It’s one I bought on home media when released as I will watch again.

# 2

Teenager Millie Kessler is having a very rough time as her father passed away a year ago, her mother has been drinking, her older sister has wrapped herself up in her job as a cop and worse kids at school bully her! Well one day after a school football game as she waits for her passed out mother to pick her up she is killed by the town’s serial killer The Blissfield Butcher who is using a special knife that causes them to switch bodies the next morning! So now Millie is in the body of the Butcher who is being tracked down by the police and The Butcher is inside Millie and is killing kids and teachers at the school, and worse Millie has only until midnight to stab The Butcher to switch back into her body, and he doesn’t want to switch back. This horror comedy was done by the team behind the “Happy Death Day” series and is a funny and bloody good watch, not to mention the characters are fantastic and casting is well done with Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn being top notch. The film was way bloodier then I expected and I for one hope for a sequel or even a crossover with Happy Death Day. The film did well during the virus crisis at the US Box Office bringing in $8,702,060.00 on a budget of $6 million. I plan on buying this when released on home media and really enjoyed this one lots.

# 1

Cecilia Kass is in a very abusive relationship with scientist Adrian Griffin and with help of her sister Emily she is able to escape his mansion that is more like a compound! Free from his abuse, she lives with her cop friend James and his teenage daughter Sydney, but is paranoid that Adrian will find her…that is until she gets the news that he is dead by committing suicide and has left her tons of money as a way to say sorry for the bad years they spent together. But this money comes with a price as strange things start happening all around her, and while her friends think she is losing her mind, she knows that an invisible person is tormenting her and trying to drive her crazy and she thinks its Adrian who has faked his suicide and found a way to become an Invisible Man…now with crimes being committed and Cecilia being set up she must fight for her life and prove she is not crazy and that Adrian is not dead and is the true monster she knows he is. This modern take on the classic Universal Monster is a great start for the Blumhouse team up and does a fantastic job of bring The Invisible Man to a new generation of Monster Kids and moviegoers. The film is Rated R and has lots of scares and some shocking murders and delivers a great watch featuring a classic movie monster. Elisabeth Moss is great as our hero Cecilia, and Oliver Jackson is the right amount of crazy sleazy as Adrian Griffin and I for one cannot wait to see what’s next for the Universal Monsters at the cinema. The film did great for Universal at the American box office bringing in $70,410.00 on a budget of only $7 million. Well done shocker and one that I bought on home media when it was released, and proves that the classic Monsters can still bring people in if done right.

I think we all can agree 2020 was a very terrible year, but I do want to say a big Thank You to every Movie Theater, Filmmaker, Home Media Release Companies, Horror Host, Streaming Service and YouTube for bringing entertainment and joy to not just me but so many others during that time. And I want to also say that AT&T and their crappy day of release for Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema films to HBO Max can suck a big one as films like Wonder Woman 1984, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and Conjuring 3 are meant to be seen on the big screen and not used as a tool to save a terrible streaming service. And I for one will not be streaming these films and will be seeing them all in theater as I support cinema and theaters and not a soulless communication company’s terrible decision to cheapen their films by dumping them on a servers that is failing. I am very much looking forward to heading to all my local theaters this year and watching films on the silver screen and ranking them up for Matt Goes To The Movies 2021! So until next time be safe, watch a film of three at your local cinema and as always get yourself a popcorn. See you next update as I talk about Star Trek IV!