Matt Goes To The Movies 2022

Best Of Movies 2022 Logo

Happy New Year! It’s crazy to think that 2023 is here already and as you can see, we are here again at the Rotten Ink Theater to talk about the films that I saw in the cinema. It was once more a great year of films, and movie studios have been turning up the great amount of Horror films that have graced the silver screen. But while 2022 over all was a great year, it also brought a little sadness for me as early in the year my best friend and lovable cat Leslie passed away at the age of 16…it was hard losing her as she really was a one of a kind cat who grew up watching Horror Films with me and I had her since she was a baby kitten. I really do miss her every day.  The year then ended with another big loss, as around the holidays, my cat Streets J passed away at the age of 14.  Streets was a lovable goofball who my girlfriend and I rescued as a stray off the streets of downtown Dayton.  If you’ve read Sparkle Comics’ Defenders of the Planets series, there’s a character based on Streets.   But enough of the sad stuff as we are all here to talk movies! I saw some great films at such theaters as Cinemark Dayton South, Cinemark The Greene, Little Art Theatre and Regal Cinema, and each of these theaters deliver a different watching experience and are all awesome in their own ways. And like before I will be breaking this Best Of List by genre, and please remember that there might be some spoilers, so read on if you don’t mind. So let’s grab some popcorn and a drink and find our seats and sit back and relax and talk some movies!

Cinema 2022 Logo For Theaters

For me nothing beats seeing a film in the theater and all this Direct To Streaming stuff is not for me as I love the theater experience, so let’s start off with taking a look at the Drama films I saw this year.

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# 2

Death On The Nile (2022) Poster

The world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot finds himself invited to the wedding of Simon Dotle and Linnet Rideway that is taking place in Egypt, but along with the wedding guests is Jackie de Bellefort who was Simon’s ex-fiance and one time best friend of Linnet’s as the two love birds hooked up when Jackie made the mistake of introducing them to each other. And once the wedding party all find themselves guests on a private boat cruise, Jackie is also on board. After a fight with Simon, she shoots and wounds her ex and later that night Linnet is killed in her sleep and now Poirot must uncover the dark secrets of all the guests as Linnet informed him before her death that she did not trust any of them and this makes the world’s greatest detective have to work over time in order to solve this murder case. This movie is fantastic and just like “Murder On The Orient Express” is a great way to get modern moviegoers into Hercule Poirot. The film is very well cast with Kenneth Branagh once more playing Hercule Poirot with other names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Emma Mackey and Jennifer Saunders to name a few. The film did okAY at the American box office bringing in $45,630,104.00 on a budget of $90million. This is a great watch, and if you love who-done-it detective films, make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Elvis (2022) Poster

Col. Robert Parker was a conman who is blamed by many as the man who killed Elvis as he pushed the classic music legend with a constant flow of drugs in order to get him on the stage so that he could make money. And Elvis’s star grows the more Parker tries to control not only his career but his life, and this film touches on the rise and fall of Elvis from innovator musician to addict, and this perspective comes from the side of Parker as he is the one narrating the movie played by Tom Hanks. This is a very entertaining film for fans of Elvis and while they do bend some truths as well as mix up some dates, this still is one that I truly enjoyed! The film stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and he does a fantastic job, also on the cast is Olivia DeJonge, David Wenham and Helen Thomson. This film was directed by Baz Luhrmann and makes great use of Elvis’ music for the soundtrack. The film did really well for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office bringing in $151,040,048 on a $85 million budget. If you like Elvis and want to see a different take on his life and death, give this one a watch.

As you can see I did not get to the theater that much for drama films and for me Elvis took that # 1 top spot as I felt that it was a great film and one that was best I saw on the Silver Screen. So with that, let’s take a look at the Comedies I saw in the theater in 2022 and see what took the # 1 spot and gave me the biggest belly laugh!

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# 3

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Poster

Actor Nicolas Cage is in a slump when it comes to acting roles and worse, his personal life with his wife and teenage daughter is not going good. In order to get some money to help him get out of debt, he takes a booking to be a guest at a millionaire named Javi Gutierrez’s birthday party…and the two quickly become good friends and start working on a film idea. But Cage is also working for the U.S. government as they think that Javi is a crime lord for a weapon and drug group who has kidnapped the daughter of a presidential candidate in Spain…but is he really a criminal or is he really just a fan of Cage and cinema in general? Watch this silly action comedy to find out. This film had some really funny moments and in fact Nicolas Cage, who is playing a parody of himself, was fantastic and shows why the actor has such a big cult following. While I did think the film would be funnier then it was, I still think many of the moments hit the spot and tickled my funny bone. The film is cast well with names like Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Sheen and Sharon Horgan with cameos from Demi Moore and David Gordon Green. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $20,300,157.00 on a budget of $30 million. If you are a big fan of Nicolas Cage and enjoy goofy comedy action films, then make sure to check this one out.

# 2

Jackass Forever Poster

Johnny Knoxville and his goofball cohorts along with newer thrill seekers once more tackle crazy stunts with some being borderline dangerous all to get a laugh from the audience. They run across raging animals like bulls, snakes, scorpions and vultures. They put their private parts through extreme measures, and of course they crash, fall, ram and smack their way through funny moments. Of course they have guest cameos like Tony Hawk and Machine Gun Kelly who get wrapped up in the overall silliness of the pranks and stunts. It was cool seeing the likes of Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Danger Ehren and even a cameo from Bam Margera doing what made them famous to teens and early 20 somethings of the 2000. It was a little sad not seeing more of Bam and his crew being involved, but being out of control like he is will make you lose jobs. The film is a mixed bag of funny stunts and ones that fall flat and the new cast for the most part are nice additions. The best stunts in my book are called “Silence Of The Lambs” and “The Cup Test;” watch the movie and see what they are about. The film did good for Paramount at the America box office bringing in $57,743,451.00 on a budget of $10 million dollars. A fun raunchy reality stunt comedy film that will surely please the fans of the TV show as well as the other films in the series, plus for those of us who grew up with the show will feel very old.

# 1

Bobs Burgers The Movie Poster

Bob and Linda Belcher go to the bank and cannot get an extension on paying back some of their loan for the restaurant and must come up with the money in a short amount of time, but things go terribly wrong for them when a giant sink hole opens up in front and a dead body is found inside it. The murder is blamed on their landlord Mr. Fischoeder and all this causes no one to come in for a burger, making their goal to save the restaurant seem very grim. But their kids Tina, Gene and Louise are on the case to probe that Mr. Fischoeder did not commit the murder while Bob and Linda listen to their friend and best customer Teddy’s idea of doing a Bob’s Burgers food cart in order to get the money. All this comes together as things work out for the Belcher family and the true murderer is found and captured and the restaurant is saved. I should also say that the Belcher kids as well have their own drama going on as Louise wants to prove she is brave, Gene doubts his music ability and Tina struggles with asking Jimmy Pesto Jr. to be her summer boyfriend. This is a fun film and is a must see for fans of the TV show as it fits right in with its silly plot, musical numbers and zany characters. The film did all right for 20th Century at the U.S box office bringing in $31,933,830.00 on an unknown budget. A great attempt to bring Bob’s Burgers from the TV screen to the big screen, and I hope it gets a sequel.

You have to love Bob’s Burgers as it’s a fun animated TV series that made a great leap to being on the big screen with the series’ first feature film. I do have to say also that all three of the comedies I saw on the big screen in 2022 were very funny and fantastic! Now it’s time to take a look at Action Films! And we had some good ones…

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# 5

Lost City (2022) Poster

Romance novel writer Loretta Sage is on a book tour when she is kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax due to her now passed away husband’s knowledge of ancient cultures, and set to save her is Alan Caprison, the cover model for her romance books and while a dimwit he means well….now can the two escape the jungle and avoid being killed? Will Loretta find true love again? And will they really find the lost treasure! Watch this Romancing The Stone style film and find out. This is a fun Action Comedy film as the humor works as do the action moments of their adventures to get away from their captors. The film is well cast with such names as Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt and Da’Vine Joy Randolph all in big roles. The film did well for Paramount Pictures at the US box office bringing in $105,344,029.00 on a $68 million dollar budget. This was a very fun film and a big surprise on just how much I enjoyed it, and I will say that the Brad Pitt cameo as rescuer Jack Trainer was great stuff.

# 4

Uncharted (2022) Poster

Nathan Drake has always been good at history and has always wanted to find lost treasure and go on big adventures like his older brother.  He gets the chance when he meets Sully, and the pair team up to find the hidden treasure that takes them across the world as well as makes them targets of billionaire Santiago Moncada and his hired hand Jo Braddock. But Nathan and Sully are also joined by Chloe Frazer, a fellow treasure hunter that they might not fully be able to trust. The film then takes the viewer on an action packed adventure filled with twist, turns, backstabs, murder and of course treasure and is of course based on the popular Sony Playstation video game series. This is such a fun thrill ride and for me it was like it took the adventure elements of such films as The Mummy (1999), Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider and rolled them together to deliver a big budget action ride that was a blast to see on the big screen and to be honest it did the game justice. The film stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Antonio Banderas and Tati Gabrielle and all do a fantastic job. The film did well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $148,648,820.00 on a $120 million budget. This clearly will become a franchise, and I am very much looking forward to a sequel as this film leaves us on a cliffhanger revel.

# 3

Bullet Train (2022) Poster

Ladybug is an assassin who has been sent on a mission to get a briefcase off a bullet train. But what should have been an easy mission turns into a very dangerous trip as other killers and assassins are also on the train, and many of them want him dead or want the case as well…and the kicker is at the end of the line The White Death, one of Japan’s most feared crime lords, and his men are waiting for those who are on the train as the briefcase belongs to him and so does a person on the train….and now Ladybug must find away to get off this train alive, finish his mission and possibly trust some of those on the train as a battle with White Death is on the horizon. This movie is awesome as it’s a great mix of action and comedy and was one hell of a great film to watch on the big screen. I took a bunch of friends with me to see this one and we all had such a blast. The comedy moments work really well, and the action as well is fast passed and well done! The film also has an all star cast with Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada and Joey King, and all are fantastic in their rolls. The film did alright for Sony at the American box office bringing in $103,368,602 on a budget $90 million budget. If you have not seen this film and like fast paced action comedies, then make sure to check this one out, as it is truly a blast.

# 2

Violent Night (2022) Poster

On Christmas Eve the Lightstone family is gathering at the family mansion, but things get crazy when a man calling himself Mr. Scrooge shows up with heavily armed associates and hold the family hostage to get $3 million that is suppose to be in the family safe. But what these naughty baddies didn’t count on is for Trudy, the youngest of the Lightstone family, to call on Santa Claus for help and he deals out more than coal for these evildoers. Santa, armed with his fleeing Christmas cheer (due to kids only wanting money and video games), his magic and a sledge hammer goes on a rescue mission in the style of John Wick! Can Santa save the Lightsones and find his Christmas Spirit again? Watch this super fun, violent action comedy film and find out. Wow, this is a Christmas classic for sure as it is over the top, lots of fun and showcases Santa Claus as a full fledged action hero who takes down the naughty kidnappers in brutal fashion. The film is well casted with David Harbour as Santa Claus, John Leguizamo as Mr. Scrooge and other cast members including Beverly D’Angelo, Leah Brady, Alex Hassell, Andre Eriksen and Mitra Suri, to name a few. And the film was a big hit with everyone I saw it with in the theater as people were laughing throughout. The film did well for Universal at the American box office bringing in around $48,060,295 (as of this update) on a budget of only $20 million. This is one you have to see if you like over the top action and/or Christmas movies.

# 1

top gun maverick Poster

Maverick is working for the Navy as a test pilot, and after breaking orders on flying a super fast test jet, he is sent to be a instructor at Top Gun as his rebellious nature has caused him to almost being fired and if not for Admiral Iceman Kazansky, he would have been! Now he must get a group of top recruits ready for what could be a suicide mission to blow up a reactor core at an enemy base before it can cause serious harm. But these young pilots have a lot to learn and need to work together and not try to be the shining stars as this is very dangerous and will take lots of skill. And for Maverick, this class is even harder as the son (Rooster) of his former wingman Goose is in the class and blames Maverick for the being held back from joining Top Gun and ranking up for years. Can Maverick get these pilots in shape? Can Rooster forgive and find out the truth? Can they make this mission a success? Watch this amazing sequel to find out! Top Gun 2 took many decades to get made, and when it was finally was made and released they hit a home run as this film was well written and felt like it was right in the groove of the original allowing us to catch back up with Maverick, Iceman and even Rooster. The film of course brought back Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in their famous roles but also in the cast included Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell and Ed Harris to name a few. The film did amazing for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $718,732,821 on a budget of $170 million. If you love the original film or just like films about the Navy or military in general that adds a dash of drama, make sure to watch this film. I have to also say that it was great seeing Val Kilmer on the big screen again, and it was great that the production worked around his health limitations.

Really action this year was packed with some great watches and really for me Top Gun: Maverick was just such a fun watch and shows that sequels beat remakes any day. But now I think its time that we see what the world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy had to offer in the theaters in 2022, and I will give you a hint there were lots of great ones.

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# 3

Northman (2022) Poster

Amleth was once a young prince who watched his uncle kill his father The King in order to take the throne, and Amleth ends up running for his life and ends up becoming a part of a Viking tribe with the goal of avenging his father’s death as well as saving his mother from his uncle’s side. As Amleth has gotten older, his skills as a fighter have grown and he is now a unstoppable warrior who along the way back for revenge meets and falls in love with Olga, a sorceress who has been taken as a slave. Once he catches up with his uncle, he finds that he has ruined the kingdom and now he and his people live on farmland in the middle of nowhere. With the help of a magical sword, he takes out those close to his uncle, fathers a child, finds out the truth about his mother and fulfills his destiny of revenge and arriving in Valhalla. This is very much a modern take on the classic Barbarian films of the 80’s and 90’s but done with director Robert Eggers touch as it is filled with weird characters as well as awesome imagery. The film’s cast is great with Alexander Skarsgard as Amleth and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga being amazing in their roles. Other actors include Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Willem Dafoe, Bjork and Gustav Lindh making up some of the cast. The film sadly did not do well for A24 at the US box office only bringing in $34,233,110.00 on a budget of around $90 million. While not a mega hit at the theater, it really was a great and odd film to see in the theater.

# 2

jurassic world dominion Poster

Dinosaurs are now roaming the world and humans are trying to learn how to live alongside them as the world has truly changed. Claire Dearing and Owen Grady are trying to protect the dinosaurs from poaching and illegal breeding and they both are watching over clone child Maisie Lockwood who ends up getting kidnapped by Dr. Lewis Dodgson of Biosyn who wants to use her genetics for the company’s own gain. They also take the child of Raptor Blue for research. But also in the world, a horde of massive locusts are attacking the world’s crops, and this causes Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant to follow the trail to Biosyn as well and now they all must come together along with Dr. Henry Wu, Dr. Ian Malcolm and a few others try their best to save those kidnapped, stop the locusts as well as bring form Biosyn and their evil genetic creations. And this is just a small part of this film’s plot as there is also dinosaur fights, high-speed chases and even more of the evils of Biosyn among much more as this final film in the current Jurassic Park series. And what made this such a great watch for me is the fact that they brought together all the big characters from the series together for one big adventures, and we even get one more look at the T-Rex and we see that he really is the King Of The Dinosaurs! The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, BD Wong and many more. The film did great for Universal at the US box office bringing in $376,009,080.00 on an $185million budget. This is a must see film if you love the Jurassic Park series like I do, and is one that I bought on home media when released.

# 1

Every Thing Every where All At Once Poster

Evelyn Wang along with her husband Waymond and daughter Joy run a laundromat that is not doing well financially, and she also has the stress of taxes as well as her father Gong Gong is now living with them. But things really turn weird for Evelyn when she meets a different version of her husband who warns her that the fate of the Earth is in her hands. Now Evelyn must fight for the lives of everyone as she gains the powers of other versions of herself to fight off Jodu Tupaki who is the bringer of the destruction of all the multiverse and who is also her daughter in her own reality! Can Evelyn save the multiverse as well as save the fate of her daughter in those worlds…watch this super fun sci-fi comedy action film to find out! And this is just a brief way to try and describe this plot as there is so much more to it. The film is lots of fun, and Michelle Yeoh is amazing as Evelyn Wang as her martial arts skills have not slowed down a bit. It was also great to see Ke Huy Quan back on the big screen as he is best known for playing Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Temple Of Doom. Other actors in the cast include James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu. The film did really well for A24 at the box office here in American bringing in $70,008,593.00 on a budget of $25million. This film deserved all the hype it was getting when released and is one that you should see as I feel it did the multiverse better than most of Marvel’s films and shows…minus Spider-Man: No Way Home. Make sure to give this film a watch if you like artistic sci-fi films with action and comedy.

So as you can see Sci-Fi and Fantasy had some really great films out in 2022, and all of them were such a fun watch with “Every Thing Every Where All At Once” being the big surprise for me on just how well I enjoyed it. But now it’s time that we take a look at the Superhero films that filled the cinemas in 2022 and like always, there was a lot of them.

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# 6

Morbius (2022) Poster

Michael Morbius has a rare blood disease as does his childhood friend Milo. Morbius has spent his life trying to find a cure, and after using vampire bats in one of his experiments, Morbius turns into a vampire! And while he tries to find a way to get ride of this curse, his friend Milo wants to as well turn into one as the pain of the blood illness goes away, and after taking the treatment himself Milo turns into a vampire and now he and Morbius are on a one way track to fight and only one of these blood drinkers and leave alive. This superhero film plays more like a B-horror movie that would have been released direct to DVD back in the mid-2010s, and that is not a bad thing for the most part, it’s just the film seems to never truly find its footing or pace. The film, while not terrible, is also not that great and is starting to show that some of these Marvel Comic inspired films are starting to show cracks of having franchise fatigue. Jerrod Leto plays Morbius, and the film also stars Matt Smith, Loxias Crown, Tyrese Gibson and Adia Arjona. The film did poorly for Sony at the box office here in American only bringing in $73,865,530.00 on a budget of around $83million. While I was not a super fan of this film, I did enjoy seeing it on the big screen and would like to at least see the Morbius character in a future Spider-Man film from Sony.

# 5

Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022) Poster

T’Challa has passed away from an illness, and the kingdom of Wakanda is saddened by the loss of their king and protector. His sister Shuri has taken it the hardest as she was not able to save him with all of her knowledge and technology. Now a year after his passing, the world wants Wakanda to share vibranium, an element that can be used to create weapons, and Queen Ramonda refuses and this causes Wakanda to stand alone in the world. But people go looking for the element other places and find it at the bottom of the ocean, and unbeknownst to them, they have caused Namor and his warriors from the Talokan to attack and defend their Kingdom…and one young woman Riri Williams (Ironheart) is the target for Namor and his people as she has built a machine that can detect the element and this makes her a danger. Namor asks Wakanda for help and to bring Riri to him. When they refuse, the two kingdoms go to war and Shuri must find her inner Black Panther. What kingdom is in the right and who will win the fight Black Panther or Namor? Watch this MCU film to find out. I want to first say that this film pays great respect to the late Chadwick Boseman who passes away from cancer. He was a great actor and he will be missed. Now as for the film itself, it is a fun watch but is way too long and has moments that drag, and I feel that they downplay the power and hatred for mankind that Namor has as he and his people seem to be background players to Shuri fighting tradition as well as becoming the next Black Panther. The film is well acted with Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o stealing the show. While I am happy to see the Black Panther legacy continue in the MCU, this film was just a little too long, dragged in spots and I am not sold just yet on Shuri being the new warrior to become the Black Panther. The film did great for Disney at the American box office bringing in $439,645,653 on a budget of $250 million. Over all if you are a fan of the Black Panther or have been enjoying this latest phase of the Marvel films, check this one out.

# 4

Thor Love And Thunder Poster

Thor has decided to return to Earth after traveling around with The Guardians Of The Galaxy and arrives to find that Gorr The God Butcher has been killing everyone he comes across and even has wounded his friend Sif in battle. He also learns that his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster is now also has the power of Thor and that she is dying from cancer and is living on borrowed time. And with Valkyrie and Korg by their side, they together they must try and warn the other Gods that death is coming as well as use all their powers in order to stop Gorr who is on a rampage to destroy the world as we know it. This is a fun and action packed superhero film that sets the odds against Thor as well as makes him face mortality  because even Gods can be destroyed. The film’s humor works well, and the sadness factor of Jane also does its job of toying with your heart-strings. The films is well cast like always as Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Jaimie Alexander as Sif with Christen Bale playing Gorr The God Butcher, and all do a fantastic job in their roles as always. The film is also just a fun ride of emotions and also has screaming flying goats! The film did good for Disney at the American box office bringing in $343,253,033.00 on a budget of $250 million. If you liked Thor: Ragnarok and The Guardians Of The Galaxy and that style of superhero humor, you will enjoy this one.

# 3

Black Adam (2022) Poster

The people of Kahndaq are being oppressed by a military team that is looking for a crown that contains the powers of demons, and one woman, her son and brother have found it. They have also freed a god-like savior who was given powers by the ancient wizards known as Black Adam who goes around and kills the foreign military invaders, but he is not the hero they think he is and his murderous ways gets the attention of the Justice Society (Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone) who head to Kahndaq to try and bring him in peacefully. This of course is not in Black Adam’s nature. And while the heroes clash with him, a group wants the crown to unleash a demon to claim the throne and rule the land…and they do just that, and it’s now up to the JS who has to team with Black Adam to save lives as well as stop the demon. This is a really fun action superhero film that has cool characters, a big after credits cameo and even a death of a superhero and shows that DC really is trying to claim the top spots of the movie comic universes. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and also on cast is Pierce Bronsan, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell, Noah Centineo and Sarah Shai to name a few, and all are great in their rolls. To be fair, I almost wish this film was a Justice Society film as I feel they steal this movie away from Black Adam. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $167,873,355 on a budget of around $195 million. This is a really fun film and really does shows that DC is spending more time on building their universe as Marvel keeps getting stale in theirs.

# 2

doctor strange in the multiverse of madness Poster

Doctor Strange meets America Chavez, a teenager who has the ability to jump around the multiverse who is on the run from monsters who want to steal her powers. When Doctor Strange tries to help her, he finds that its Scarlet Witch that has sent the monsters as she wants to use America’s powers to live in the reality where her children are real, and she will kill anyone who gets in her way! As Doctor Strange and America Chavez jumps from multiverse to multiverse, they are being hunted down and even meets the fates of other versions of Strange as well as meet heroes like Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Professor X. In the end can Doctor Strange stop Scarlet Witch’s plan for murder and show her that this is not the way for a former hero and Avenger. This is a wild ride that is filled with great cameos, undead spirits, odd ball multiverses and has the Sam Raimi spooky touch as he was the director of the film! That’s right, Raimi returned to superhero films and was even able to kind of add a horror film touch to it. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochiyl Gomez, Rachel McAdams and Patrick Stewart to name a few. The film did well for Disney at the US box office bringing in $411,331,607.00 on a budget of $200 million! This is a super fun film and if you want to see Scarlet Witch kill some superheroes as well as a Zombie Doctor Strange, you should really check this one out.

# 1

Batman (2022) Poster

Gotham City is under attack by a serial killer called The Riddler who is targeting people in power throughout the city leaving riddles for Batman who is going on a crusade to clean up the city from crime. And as the body count rises, Batman also comes across Catwoman, a burglar who is looking for information about her missing friend, as well as comes across Penguin who is a crime lord that runs a club and might have the clues to the missing woman and as well might know more about the true criminal who is running things in Gotham City. And all the while Batman is having to use his great detective work to solve each of these cases and prove that crime truly does not pay. Hands down this was the best Superhero movie to be released in theaters in 2022 and is one of the better Batman films overall! The film takes a more realistic approach and while some elements are pure superhero tropes, the more horror film feeling of a masked serial killer Riddler running around town butchering people and gaining a copycat like following just seems true to life. The film is also well cast with Robert Pattinson doing a great job as Batman with other names like Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright and Colin Farrell making up the rest of the lead cast. The film did great for Warner Brothers at the US box office bringing in $369,345,583.00 on a budget of $200 million. This film bring Batman back to being about great detective work as well as kicking the ass of crime, this is one that you need to see if you have not yet.

Superhero films are still going strong at the Box Office and it’s shocking as I think DC Comics films are truly catching up with Marvel Comics films! But up next is our update’s main event and that is of course the Horror Films of 2022 that I saw in the theater! And before we get too far in, I want to also say that I saw Jaws 3D, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Phantom Of The Opera and my friend Victor’s film Thrust all in the cinema as well!

JAWS 3D PosterCreature and Phantom PosterThrust (2022) Poster

And now it’s time to talk Horror as this is the genre of film that I have always loved and I try and see every one I can in the theater, so with no further ado let’s dive deep into this countdown.

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# 32

Jeepers Creepers Reborn (2022) Poster

Laine and Chase are on a trip together to attend a horror movie party, but after winning a contest at the event they find themselves as well as a YouTube show crew stuck at a house being stalked and killed by The Creeper who has awaken for his 23 days of killing. But things are different this time around as the townspeople are feeding his murderous ways, and Laine is with child and this monster killer wants the baby for his own. Will this couple escape The Creeper or will they find themselves just more victims for his cycle? This is the fourth film in the Jeepers Creepers series and sadly looks very cheap, has a mess of a story and sadly does not follow the three other films in the series as they new creative team behind it has ideas of their own. The film has some kills and oddly is not all that gory, and the use of green screens takes away from the mood and creepiness of the film. The film’s best actors are Sydney Craven and Imran Adams who play Laine and Chase, and some of their dialogue is bad, but you cannot go wrong with Sydney dressing up in costumes to cosplay from a sexy Freddy Kruger to Jennifer from Jennifer’s Body. The film had a limited release as apart of Fathom Events and brought in $2,033,057.00 for Screen Media on an unknown budget. Not a great sequel but worth watching if you enjoy The Jeepers Creepers series…also The Creeper has a new look in this film.

# 31

Umma (2022) Poster

Amanda and her daughter Chris are beekeepers and are making a living selling the honey, but Amanda has issues as the house does not use electricity and she keeps most people away from her home.  This leaves her daughter very sheltered and wanting to see what the world has to offer. You see Amanda was abused by her mother with electricity, and this has made her an odd and protective person, but when her mother’s remains show up to the farm house, her spirit is not done with her torment and wants to once more rule Amanda’s life! Can Amanda break her mother’s spell as well as keep her daughter safe…watch this Sam Raimi produced film to find out. This is a pretty good slow burn horror film that is well acted and has a great small cast with names like Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush and MeeWha Alana making up the lead roles. The Mother’s evil spirit is cool looking and makes for a good villain in a paranormal fright film, the main issue for me is that the jump scares just did not work and felt very paint by numbers. The film did poorly at the US Box Office for Sony as it only did $2,121,025.00 on an unknown budget, and to be fair this is Sony’s fault who did a terrible job of promoting the film and spent all promotion money at the time to advertise Morbius. Over all, this is not a bad little fright flick, it just seemed to be lacking something to make it stand out from the rest of the paranormal horror films that flood the theaters, home media and streaming sites. I bought it on home media when released as I wanted to see it for a second time.

# 30

Fall (2022) Poster

Becky is climbing a mountain alongside her husband Dan and her best friend Hunter when an accident happens and Dan falls to his death. Time passes and Becky is deeply depressed and is avoiding her father and even thinks of suicide, but when Hunter comes back into her life the two ladies decide to do something extreme to spread Dan’s ashes and that’s climb a old TV tower that is the 4th tallest structure in America. But things go wrong, and the friends get stuck on top of the tower and must find away to get help! As hours and days pass, Becky and Hunter gets weaker and have to make decisions in order to stay alive.  Will the ladies get off the tower alive? Well watch this thriller horror flick to find out! This is one of those thrillers that plays off of the elements and this one is heights and gives you that what if you are stuck high in the sky with no clear way to get down, so in other words think “Open Water” set on a high tower. The film can really mess with the minds of those viewers who hate heights and that is where the horror elements come into play, well also with the vultures who swoop down for the attack. The film is well acted and cast with actress Virginia Gardner who played Hunter stealing the film. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $7,240,521.00 on a budget of $3million. This was a fun theater watch and brings some thrills, chills and spills.

# 29

Mean One (2022) Poster

Young Cindy watches a green creature called The Mean One as he tries to steal her family’s Christmas gifts and presents and by accident the creature kills her mom causing it to turn evil and forever ruin the holiday for the small California town. Now as an adult, Cindy returns to town to try to get over the PTSD she has suffered from the event and soon finds that the whole town does not celebrate the holiday. When her father tries to get their old home dressed up for the holiday, he is quickly killed by The Mean One as does anyone in town who happens to have anything to do with Christmas! The sheriff and mayor are no help, and Cindy is looked at as crazy by many of the locals as she is telling them tales of a green furred monster, but soon she finds help with the new Deputy as well as Doc, a drunk old man whose wife was killed by the creature. Will Cindy and her new friends be able to stop the Christmas hating Mean One or will they as well fall victim to his killing ways? Watch this super cheesy creature feature and find out. This holiday horror creature feature flick is a take on the classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” but takes a different path to show what if Cindy never touched the heart of The Grinch to turn him into a holiday loving fool, but instead she called him a monster and set him down a path of murder and eating human flesh. While the concept is a fun one, the low budget and execution is just lacking and makes this one feel like a really cheap made-for-TV film complete with laughable digital blood effects. David Howard Thornton plays The Mean One and brings a little Art The Clown to his performance, with other actors including Krystle Martin, John Bingham, Chase Mullins and Amy Schumacher making up the main cast. The film did okay for Atlas at the box office on a limited release as it did around $585,025 on an unknown budget. This is a super cheesy, goofy, low budget fright flick that steals The Grinch and brings some laughs as you will find yourself saying what am I watching!

# 28

Crimes Of The Future (2022) Poster

Saul Tenser is a man who grows new body organs and alongside his partner Caprice does live performances to remove them as a statement of performance art.  The world has changed and this is the new sex as people cannot feel pain and for some growing new body parts is possible. But Saul becomes involved in a strange case that involves a performance autopsy of a murdered young boy who was born with a defect that allows him to eat plastic. People in high power do not want the world to know about these plastic eaters and will do whatever it takes to make sure their existence does not leak out and that means people Saul knows might be involved in this cover up. This is a weird horror sci-fi film from the mind of David Cronenberg and brings all his classic film tropes into a new film that has a message that is left to the minds of the viewers. Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux play Saul and Caprice and are fantastic, but for me Kristen Stewart who plays Timlin, a worker for the National Organ Registry steals the show, as she is delightfully weird. The film was a mix bag of good and bad digital and practical effects and was not one of my favorite Cronenberg films but was a fun watch in the theater. The movie did okay for Neon at the American box office on its limited run brining in $2,452,882.00 on an unknown budget. And I bought this one once it was on home media to give it another watch.

# 27

Halloween Ends (2022) Poster

Years have passed, and Michael Myers has not been spotted. Laurie Strode is trying to move on with her life, buying a nice house in a neighborhood and raising her granddaughter Alyson who herself has found a job working as a nurse and finds a boyfriend in Cory a town outsider who by accident killed a kid that he was babysitting making him the punching bag of the town. But Cory’s inner evil is unleashed when he is tormented and beaten up by some teens and he stumbles onto the hiding place of Michael Myers and wants the killer to teach him how to murder without remorse…and he does! But now Corey is getting too crazed and after getting revenge on those who tormented him, he sets his sights on Laurie who must fight for her life as well as that of her granddaughter from making the biggest mistake of her life by running away with this serial killer in training. And in the end Laurie has to come face to mask with Michael Myers one last time and must also deal with Corey. This third film in the Blumhouse Halloween trilogy is very much a disappointment for me as it has very little to do with Michael Myers and puts most of the focus on Corey and his descent into evil.  This makes this final film feel like a lame duck way to end a series, as the final fight between Laurie and Michael seems like an afterthought and only lasts a very short time. The pluses for the film are that I enjoyed the Michael Myers’ kills even if they are few and far, Jamie Lee Curtis gives her best performance in a long time, and the effects are pretty cool. I also should say I do like the idea of Corey being the town’s new Boogeyman, but I feel they went about it the wrong way…as at one point Corey bullies Michael to get his mask…lame. The film did pretty well for Universal at the American box office bringing in $64,079,860 on a $30 million budget. Over all Halloween Ends is a film in the series that has been meet with very mix reviews, and while I did not hate it, I was very disappointed in it and it is very much a middle of the road film.

# 26

The Retaliators (2022) Poster

Bishop is a preacher whose young daughter was murdered by a sadistic biker Ram Kady when she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the man of God’s life is turned upside down. But when police officer Jed finds Ram, he offers him a chance to get one minute alone with the killer to make him feel just as much pain as his family does, but things are even more crazy as Bishop finds that Jeb as a underground bunker filled with tortured killers who now act like mindless zombies. Jed is mad at Bishop when he will not take out his hurt on his daughter’s killer. All Hell breaks loose when the tortured killers, bikers looking for Ram and Ram himself all show up to the bunker and Bishop has to fight for his life to survive. This is a fun indie film that gets super bloody in the film’s finale and stars all types of band members from bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Motely Crue and Papa Roach to name a few. The film does have some odd moments as some plot points as well as characters come and go, and I wish the fight between the tortured killers and the bikers would have been a little better and longer. This film had a very limited release and brought in $7,145 for Better Noise Films at the international box office (no domestic figures are available yet) on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should checkout if you like crazy indie films that have a dash of biker crime gangs an tortured zombie like people that were very bad people.

# 25

Bhediya (2022) Poster

Bhaskar is sent the jungles of a small town in Arunachal Pradesh to seal a deal for land development that will have much of the trees cut down to make way for a new roadway. Along with him is his cousin Jana, his friend Jomin as well as local Mr. Panda all who are trying to help to seal the deal with the locals, but things change when Bhaskar is bitten by a werewolf that is called The Virus by the locals; After getting treatment from the local vet Anika, our now cursed Bhaskar must hide the fact he is a werewolf from the locals, avoid killing people when the moon is full, find a cure, fight his feeling for Anika and learn that the spirit of the jungle has its own protector to keep it safe from those wanting to cut it down. Will Bhaskar find the cure or will be forever be doomed to howl at the moon? Watch this fun Bollywood comedy horror Film and find out for yourself. This is a pretty fun silly fright flick that has some scares hidden in with the laughs, with Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerhee, Paalin Kabak and Deepak Dobriyal making up the group of friends. They all do a fantastic job in their roles, with Kriti Sanon playing Anika and she steals the film with her acting and beauty. The werewolf effects are cool and are done via CGI, we get werewolf attacks and kills and the film does have some blood and violence throughout. And like any good Bollywood film, there are musical numbers and dancing, and I should also say this one has messages as well about saving the environment and treating others better. The film had a limited release here in America and did around $609,551 internationally. This is a fun watch and if you like Bollywood horror comedies and werewolf films, make sure to give this one a watch. I would buy this one on home media if it’s released here in the states.

# 24

Don't Look at the Demon (2022) Poster

Jules is a woman who grew up being able to talk to demons and ghosts, and when she was young and doing so, her sister was killed by a demon that she set free. Now as an adult she hosts a TV Show called Skeleton Crew where she enters haunted houses and they film the strange happenings. But while filming in Malaysia, Jules and her crew enter a home that houses a demon that is very powerful and is protected by the souls of his past victims and now wants a new soul for his growing army. The Demon possesses, torments and injures those in the house and now it is up to Jules to find her inner power and try to save the owners of the house as well as her crew’s souls from damnation and will have get the help of a Monk in order to do so…but will Jules be able to do so or are they all doomed. This is a fun spooky little demonic haunted house film that for an indie film tries to bring the scares as well as some gruesome moments and for the most part does a great job at it. Plus the fact this had a limited release around Halloween time made it even more of a good watch late in the evening. The film stars Fiona Dourif, Jordan Belfi, Malin Crepin, Harris Dickinson and the lovely Thao Nhu Phan and all do a great job in their parts. The Demon is pretty evil and what he has done in the past while alive is pretty sick stuff. The film did ok for Outsider Pictures bringing in $849,299 internationally on an unknown budget and a very limited release. Over all this was a decent demon flick that I will pick up on home media when released, and you should check it out if you like demon films or films that are set with Malaysia ghost stories.

# 23

Studio 666 (2022) Poster

The Foo Fighters are working on their 10th album and rent out an old house to do so, and unbeknownst to them another band was killed in the house recording an album. And after some strange things around the house including terrible nightmares, dead animals and a phantom gardener, a demon spirit gets inside Dave Grohl and possesses him to make the perfect satanic rock song that will bring back the glory days of the music genre. And as time passes Dave finds his sound and also finds his killer side as he takes out anyone who stands in the song’s way including his own band members, and in the end what is left of the Foo Fighters must save Dave from the demon’s grip and survive the sinister house. This is a very gory horror comedy film that was from the mind of Dave Grohl and delivers a very cheesy and humors return to the days of Rock N Roll Horror films. While the gore is great and over the top some of the humor is a little childish and is just four letter words thrown around and the middle finger given, but other humor bits hit the spot and are pretty funny. The film also stars Kerry King of Slayer, director John Carpenter, Jenna Ortega, Will Forte, Whitney Cummings and even Lionel Richie in a cameo. The film did ok for Open Road Films at the American box office bringing in $2,513,963.00 on an unknown budget. Over all this was a fun fright flick with some cool effects and fans of Foo Fighters will love it. I bought it on home media when it was released.

# 22

Bones and All (2022) Poster

Maren Yearly is a young woman who finds herself on a quest to find her mother after her father leaves her on her own.  Maren has a serious issue as she eats people, and she cannot help her need to eat human flesh and meat…and her father just cannot keep covering for her deeds. Maren does not want to eat people so she needs answers and as she travels across states to find her mom, she meets Sully another like her in Ohio who teaches her his rules of eating people, and when Maren sneaks away, Sully becomes obsessed with her and follows her in secret just watching. But Maren, while in Kentucky, meets Lee a young man she falls in love with and who as well is a human eater, and together they must find out the history of Maren’s life, deal with the guilt of eating people, avoid Sully and deal with their blooming relationship. This is a very fun romance horror film that is a twisted coming of age tale and has very interesting characters throughout its journey. Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet are great as Maren and Lee with Mark Rylance giving a creepy performance as Sully. The film did okay for United Artist at the American box office bringing in $7,834,907 on a budget of around $20 million. If you like your horror with a dash of romance and lots of flesh eating, then make sure to check this one out. I will get this one when released on home media.

# 21

Cursed (2022) Poster

Baron Seamus Laurent is a man who will do anything to protect his family, village and land and when a band of Roma try to claim the land he has them brutally killed and buried in a field, but the Roma are able to place a curse on the village and land and with silver fangs created from the coins Judas got when he turned on Christ the curse of the beast runs through the town and the curse starts with Seamus’s own son Edward! And after a murder of a young boy, pathologist John McBride comes to town and tries to bring peace to the village and end the curse with a silver bullet. This is an atmospheric slow burn werewolf film that blends elements of an A24 horror film with a dash of Hammer horror and delivers a pretty creepy watch. The film has some good bloody moments, and the werewolf design is pretty original and creepy looking. While some viewers may not like the slower pace I found it to be just right and well done to bring that level of spooky and unknown. I like the fact that the werewolf curse is spread by Roma who use silver fangs made from those coins as that adds the old world touch to the story. The film did well for LD Entertainment during its release bringing $4,588,389.00 on an unknown budget at the America box office. Worth the watch if you enjoy the more atmospheric old world style horror films and is one that I got on Home Media when released.

# 20

Terrifier 2 Poster

Art The Clown is back from the dead and is on another rampage of slaughter and butchering anyone he comes across but this time he is not alone as he has a strange little clown girl along for the ride. But Art makes a mistake when he messes with the wrong high school girl with Sienna Shaw who’s battling trauma and who finds her inner warrior thanks to a magical sword her father gave her…yeah. Can Sienna save her and her brother’s life from the psycho Art The Clown or will they both just become another bloody victim to his madness…watch this gore filled slasher film to find out. This film while filled with some amazing kills that are gory as all hell does lack the charm of the first film, its way too long being almost 2hrs and 30min, is a mess in the story department and goes a little off the rails with some of the fantasy elements added into the mix. The film is well cast with Lauren LaVera stealing the film as the Sienna as she is so good I couldn’t keep my eyes off her and cheered for her the whole final fight and David Howard Thornton is great once more as the sadistic and evil Art The Clown as I don’t think anyone could play that role better. The film also has cameos from Chris Jericho, Felissa Rose and Tamara Glynn with Samantha Scaffidi returning as Victoria Heyes from the first film. The film got a limited release and did well for Bloody Disgusting at the US box office bringing in $10,640,105 on an unknown budget. Over all it was a great mindless bloodbath film that was just lacking the spooky charm of the original.

# 19

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) Poster

David is holding a hurricane party at his mansion and has invited many of his close friends, and a shocker comes when Sophia, who is just out of rehab and her new girlfriend Bee show up to enjoy the party and safety from the storm. But as the party starts and the drugs and alcohol flow tensions start to build and the group decides to play a murder mystery game they created called Bodies Bodies Bodies, but when one of the friends is found dead the fear sweeps the friends who all accuse each other of the murder, and to their horror the bodies of their friends keep being found and the murder is on the loose at this mansion on a very stormy night…or are they in this twisted black comedy horror film. This film has great atmosphere, is well acted and has some chuckle moments…but I also think that it dragged in spots and had characters that were mostly very unlikable people and while that’s the point it can be over bearing at points. Actresses Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova steal the show and the film does have some bloody moments and has that who’s the killer vibe that was made popular in more modern Horror by films like Scream. The film did pretty well for A24 at the American box office bringing in $11,446,602.00 on an unknown budget. If you like Horror Comedies that have a Slasher feel check this one out, and is one I will get on home media when released.

# 18

Firestarter (2022) Poster

Charlie McGee is an eleven year old girl who has powers she can not control nor understands as she can not only move things with her mind and make people bend to her will but she can also start fires and that means from big explosions to lighting people on fire. You see Charlie’s parents have powers as well and they have been experimented on by the government before they had her, and have been on the run from them after her birth due to the fact they wanted to use Charlie as a weapon as well as experiment on her to unleash her full power. But they make a big mistake when the send John Rainbird after the family and this leads to Charlie’s mother being killed and her father captured, now all hell breaks loose at the research lab as Charlie is angry and wants revenge for what they have done to her and unleashes her fire powers. This is a fun remake base on the Stephen King story and is well scripted, casted and scored. Ryan Kiera Armstrong is great as Charlie and Zac Efron is also great in the roll of her father other names in the cast include Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes and John Beasley. And for those wonder John Carpenter and his son Cody did the score. The film did ok at the American box office bringing in $9,589,250.00 on an unknown budget. They foolishly also released this the same day to streaming and I think that hurt its money draw. This is one I got when released on home media.

# 17

Invitation (2022) Poster

Evie Jackson is a woman who works at a catering company who has no family left after the recent passing of her mother, but when she does a DNA test to find out her family tree she meets her cousin Oliver Alexander from England and the two meet up in New York and she finds herself invited to a wedding in England expenses paid by her cousin to meet the rest of her family that will be attending. Also while there she meets the owner of the mansion they are staying in named Walter De Ville who charms her and the two start to have feelings for one another, but thing are not what they seem at this mansion as Evie soon finds that she is the bride to be and Walter his her soon to be husband and her family and the guests are blood drinking vampires…and worse Walter is really Count Dracula! Will Evie be able to escape her fate of damnation or will she have to forever drink blood and be one of the Brides Of Dracula…watch this film to find out. This is a fun slow burn Vampire Horror Film that has elements of Hammer Horror, Anne Rice and A24 all mixed together to deliver a spooky watch. Nathalie Emmanuel is great as Evie and Thomas Doherty was good was Walter, other cast members include Alana Boden, Stephanie Corneliussen, Sean Pertwee and Hugh Skinner. The film does suffer from being a R rated film that was clearly cut down to a PG-13 rating as some of the more bloody moments seem way trimmed down. The film did well for Sony at the US box office bringing in $25,100,080.00 on a budget of only $10million. This is worth a watch if you enjoy vampire tales and is one I got on home media when released.

# 16

Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022) Poster

Tori Tooms is the owner of a used media store that mostly focuses on vinyl records, and her sales are up during the crazy Christmas season and she just wants to get drunk and laid! But things gets super crazy when a mechanical Santa Claus armed with an axe that was created by the US Military goes rogue and starts a bloody killing spree that leaves Tori’s friends and family dead as well as the town police force! And this leaves Tori fighting for her life and trying to find a way to stop this mechanical murderous Santa. This is a fun splatter film that delivers some over the top kills and punk rocker style characters with Riley Dandy being fantastic as Tori and such names as Sam Delich, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jonah Ray, Kansas Bowling and Abraham Benrudi played the killer Santa doing great in their roles. The film packs in some great kills as well as uses neon and Christmas lights to bring a strange glow to the town, plus the film started out as a Silent Night Deadly Night remake so that as well is pretty cool. The film had a very limited release and did well for Shudder at the American box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. If you like Holiday themed Horror Films make sure to give this one a watch, but keep in mind it is also filled to the brim with lots of cussing and characters tend to talk over each other and can be overload for your ears. Will buy once on home media.

# 15

Beast (2022) Poster

A group of poachers kill a pride of lions but the male lion escapes and after killing two of the poachers the lion has a hatred for mankind and is on a quest to kill everyone it sees. Dr. Nate Samuels takes his two daughters Mere and Norah to a trip to Africa to visit a family friend Martin to get away from the sadness of their mother passing away from cancer. The Samuels family is dealing with some issues as Nate’s older daughter blames him for not being around during her mom’s final months. But things get way worse for the family when they are attacked by that rogue lion while far away from any help and must try to fight to stay alive, will this family be able to stay together or will they be hunted and killed one by one…watch this Nature Runs Amok Horror Flick to find out! This was a pretty fun watch as I am a sucker for animal attack Horror films and this one did a great job of making the lion bloodthirsty and yet also sympathetic as he only has this hate due to what man has done to his family. The film as some good thrills, kills and blood spills and is well acted and casted as Idris Elba, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava Jeffries and Sharlto Copley make up the lead cast. The film did alright for Universal at the US box office bringing in $31,846,530.00 on a budget of $36million, and for me was well worth seeing on the big screen! Worth the watch if you love animal attack films and bought when released on home media.

# 14

Nope (2022) Poster

OJ Haywood and his sister Emerald are the owners of a Hollywood horse training ranch after their father paces away from a freak accident of items falling from the sky, but the siblings soon find out that it was no freak accident and was the act of an alien creature that lives in a cloud in the sky near their ranch. Along with Angel a tech salesman at a department store and movie cinematographer Antiers they set out to get proof of this being as well as try and find a way to stay alive from it’s rampage of hunger for flesh and blood. Also throw in a former child actor who survived a animal attack on the set of a sitcom who know owns an amusement park as well as a TMZ reporter out for a story and you have this alien monster film set on a ranch. This third Horror film from creator Jordan Peele was kind of a disappointment for me as while I think many parts of the film worked well, I also thought it was over long and lacked the chills that his other films delivered. I really enjoyed the flashback scenes to the sitcom that had a chimpanzee on a rampage as I felt that was way more scary than the silky looking cloth alien in the sky. I also want to say that it was well caste and I loved the chemistry that all the actors had on the screen. The film did well for Universal at the American box office brining in $123,277,080.00 on a budget of $68million. Over all not a bad film but not a great one as I truly feel this is Peele’s weakest Horror film to date, and did buy on home media when released.

# 13

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (2022) Poster

On his travel to a concert Ruhaan Randhawa meets soon to be reluctant bride Reet Thakur on her way to her wedding and convinces her to get off the bus and go to the concert as they can catch the next one and she can still make it on time, and she is glad she does as the bus she was to be on crashes and has no survivors, and now her family thinks she is dead and her cousin is in love with her groom and Reet is ok with them getting together. Now Reet has Ruhaan travel back home with her and act as a psychic in order to tell her wishes to her family, and after the wedding she will revile that she is alive. But Reet makes a big mistake as she hides out in the family’s old mansion that has a room that houses the evil spirit of Manjulika a relative who practiced black magic and has been locked away for 18 years in that room, and when the spirit gets free all hell breaks loose and dark secrets are exposed and Reet finds real love in Ruhaan. This was a very fun Horror Comedy film from Bollywood that was filled with fun music numbers, great characters, beautiful ladies and an awesome ghost that was played amazingly by Tabu who plays duel roles in the film. Other great actors include Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Rajpal Yadav and the film opened limited in America and made $18,307,258.00 on a budget of around $9million international. While the film is over 2hrs and some of the comedy moments can fall flat, this was a very entertaining film and glad I was able to catch it in the theater on the big screen…would buy on home media if release in America.

# 12

The Menu (2022) Poster

Margo is on a “date” with food lover Tyler who has paid lots of money to have a meal at the Hawthorns a restaurant on an island ran by Chef Julian Slowik, only the rich can afford the meals and only a limited amount of guests are permitted at a time. The Chef has an army of sous chefs behind him as well as other workers that make up a restaurant with his dinner having a theme this night, and unknown to the people there the theme is death…but poor Margo was not suppose to be there and this throws the Chef’s theme off. Now Margo must find a way to get out off the restaurant, off the island or perish with the rest of the guests on this dinner course straight to the grave. This is a delightfully weird Horror film that showcases a mans rise to fame and mental fall to being suicidal, and how in his twisted mind all those there have wronged him or the world in some ways. The film is well casted with such names as Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo, Hong Chau and Judith Light to name a few, and each are fantastic in their role with Fiennes as Chef being one hell of a great casting as is Taylor-Joy as Margo. The film did good for Searchlight at the US box office bringing in ***** on a budget of $35million. If you like slow burn Horror Thrillers that will make you hungry for a cheeseburger give this one a watch. Will own when released on home media.

# 11

Men (2022) Poster

Harper Marlow rents an old farmhouse in order to get away as she had a terrible breakup with her husband that lead to his suicide, and she rents the house from Geoffrey who lives a few doors down in order to relax and clear her mind. But Harper’s peaceful get away turns terrifying when a naked man fallows her home from the woods and attempts to break into her home, and even more crazy all the men from town are mostly odd, rude and all look the same! And her time turns worse when the naked man from the town turns out to be a shape shifting creature that has it in it’s mind that he must get to Harper! This is a very strange, creepy and entertaining movie that plays up on the terrors of an abusive relationship, the effects suicide has on loved ones as well as a dash of folk small town kind of horrors. The film is well acted with Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear in the two leads being great casting calls and some of the effects for the creature are very well done. Sadly the film did ok for A24 at the American box office bring in $7,587,853.00 on an unknown budget. This one has some strange moments, creepy atmosphere, great acting, a cool creature, bloody effects and was a great watch in the cinema. Bought when released on home media.

# 10

Prey For The Devil (2022) Poster

Sister Ann is a young Nun who has been through some bad things in her younger life and has found her calling working for the church. And she really is interested in exorcisms, as she knows that her mother was possessed by a demon and now she wants to help others, but a female performing them is prohibited. But Ann pushes when she meets a young girl named Natalie who’s very soul is in danger as the demon inside her is the same that was in Ann’s mom and it wants to corrupt and destroy Ann. Now Ann along with the help of a young Father must fight the demon for the young girls soul as well as Ann’s as this demon will not go away until it gets what it wants! Is Ann strong enough to defeat it watch this fun possession film and find out for yourself. This film was released around Halloween and was a pretty creepy and fun PG-13 fright flick that delivered some demonic goodness and brought to the screen a cool female hero with Sister Ann who is very likable. Actress Jacqueline Byers plays Sister Ann and is fantastic in the role and I hope she returns if this film gets a sequel and it should in my opinion. Other actors include Virginia Madesen, Ben Cross, Posy Taylor and Christian Navarro and all are great in their parts. The film did ok for Lionsgate at the US box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. I really had fun with this film and will get once released on home media.

# 9

Watcher (2022) Poster

Julia and her husband Francis move to Bucharest for his job and she is a fish out of the water as she does not speak Romanian. And things get worse for her when she notices an across the street neighbor watching her and following her, all the while women in the area are being killed by a serial killer called The Spider…her fears set in as she thinks maybe her stalker is the killer and while her husband is supportive of believing her the police and most of her neighbors thinks she is crazy. Is the watcher the killer? Is she loosing her mind? Are her fears more about the big move? Watch this Horror Thriller film and find out for yourself. This was a great watch on the big screen and was shot and written very well and almost has a Hitchcock feel to it. The film is very well acted with Maika Monroe playing the part of Julia being fantastic and her supporting cast Burn Goreman, Karl Glusman, Madalina Anea and Daniel Nuta all doing great jobs in their rolls. The film does have some bloody moments and plays on your fears of being alone and the feeling of being watched, its very much a slow burn film and if you are looking for a slasher film here its not. The film did ok for IFC at the US box office bringing in $1,961,207.00 on an unknown budget. This is one I bought on home media when released and if you enjoy Horror Thriller films make sure to check this one out.

# 8

Don't Worry Darling (2022) Poster

Alice and Jack Chambers live in the desert town of Victory as things in this private town is great as the men go to work for Frank on the “Victory Project” as the ladies stay home and take care of the house and make the meals and are told never to go to the edge of town…but this perfect life in this perfect town starts to turn into a nightmare as Alice starts seeing things when she travels to the end of town that makes her question what is going on in this town and what Frank and his Top Secret Project really is, and she is ready to leave it all and go to war with Frank about it! Will Alice find the answers? Is Victory really the perfect town? Or is something more sinister at play…well you will have to watch this Psychological Horror Thriller to find out for yourself! First thing I need to say is that Florence Pugh is an amazing actress and does a great job at playing Alice Chambers and her moments of breaking down as well as combating Frank played by Chris Pine at the dinner table truly drew me into the town of Victory. The film really does play with your mind and I enjoyed the reveal at the end and while the Horror elements are toned down it is one heck of a thriller. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Kiki Layne, Gemma Chan and Nick Kroll all who were great in their roles. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $45,309,403.00 on a budget of $35 million. This film had a lot of bad press before and after being released, but I for one really enjoyed it and will buy on home media when released.

# 7

Smile (2022) Poster

Dr. Rose Cotter is a woman who had a rough childhood and is now working at a hospital in order to help patients with their mental health as well as has a loving fiancé and an older sister who cares about her. But her life changes for the worse when one of her new patients takes her own life in front of her after talking about witnessing a suicide and then seeing and hearing something that is always smiling. Now Rose is hearing the voices and seeing thing and all those around her think she is loosing her mind and with the help of an ex-boyfriend who is a cop they try to figure out a way to stop this curse as something is after her and it wants her dead. This is a really fun and spooky film about a creature that feeds of trauma and fear and those that are infected all have a twisted smile before they take their own lives in order to pass the curse onto another. The effects are well done in the film and is also well casted with names like Sosie Bacon, Caitlin Stasey, Kyle Gallner, Kal Penn, Jessie T. Usher and Robin Weigert making up the main cast. The film did well for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $105,935,048.00 on a budget of $17million. If you like your Horror films with a dash of mental Horror and a pinch of creature feature check this one out for sure. And yes I bought this on home media when released.

# 6

Pearl (2022) Poster

It’s 1918 and Pearl is a young woman who’s husband is away at war and she lives with her strict German mother and her very ill father and spends her days working on the farm and dreaming of being a famous dancer on the movie screens. But Pearl is not like other girls as she has a dark side a murderous side and she wants away from the farm and wants to hunt down fame and fortune…and when she meets the local theater projectionist and learns from her sister in law about a church dance off she will do whatever it takes to because famous and that includes murder! This is the prequel to the film X and is such an great film that is very uncomfortable to watch as actress Mia Goth is amazing as the crazed Pearl and you go along for the ride with her as she slips more and more into her murderous decent into madness. The film while a slow burn builds to the bloody Horror and fans of slashers will not be disappointed. The film also stars Tandi Wright, Emma Jenkins-Purro, Matthew Sunderland and David Corenswet all who do a great job in their roles. The film did well for A24 at the American box office brining in $9,423,445.00 on a unknown budget. If you like indie horror films that have elements of slasher and psychological thriller elements smashed together this is one you will want to see, also had to get it when released on physical media.

# 5

Barbarian (2022) Poster

On a stormy night Tess Marshall heads to an Airbnb in a rundown neighborhood in Detroit as she has a job interview the next day to help on an independent documentary film. But once she gets there she meets Keith who also has rented the house for a stay and this makes it that the two strangers have to share the home on the stormy night, but lucky for them they become friends. But on the second day Tess finds a hidden passage and room in the basement that holds a dark secret, and when she and Keith enter deeper into the passage they find that they are not alone! Days pass and the owner of the house disgraced actor AJ Gilbride shows up and he himself finds that someone is in the hidden passage and they are not friendly. And when Tess and AJ find themselves in trouble they must find away to escape the house alive. This is a very twisted and fun film that takes lots of twists and turns and is just the right amount of weirdness and gory to make it a great film for fans who enjoy something different in their Horror Films. The film stars Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, Bill Skarsgard, Richard Brake and Kate Bosworth and all did fantastic in their roles with Long being a scene stealer in parts. The film did well for 20th Century at the American box office bringing in $40,842,944.00 on a budget of $10.5million. This is one that you should checkout as its creepy and the twists are lots of fun and is one I had to get when released on home media.

# 4

Scream (2022) Poster

The Ghostface killing are happening in Woodsboro again and the first attended victim Tara Carpenter survives the attack that brings her sister Sam and her boyfriend Richie to town to check on her, but the attacks keep happing and even Sam herself is attacked while visiting in the hospital! And with Ghostface returning so does those who have solved and defeated the killers in the past Judy Hicks, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and Sidney Prescott…but the rules have changed, motivations have changed and Ghostface has new ideas to freshen up the legacy of the killers before him…in this Scream everyone’s a suspect and the past will always comeback to haunt you. This fifth film in the Scream movie series was a great way to blend in the classic characters we love with new ones that we quickly care about. Seeing Ghostface return to the big screen was a great way to kick off Horror at the cinema for 2022! This film is also very bloody and does a great job of building the “Who” is the killer throughout the film. The film did great for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $81,641,405.00 on a budget of $24 million. A great sequel and its awesome that we are getting a sixth film in the series due to the success of this one.

# 3

Orphan First Kill (2022) Poster

Leena Klammer is a thirty year old woman who looks like a 10 year old girl who is super dangerous and after escaping a mental institution in Russia she takes on the identity of missing American child Esther Albright in order to be sent to America, with the goal of robbing the family and escape being locked back up in the Asylum. Once she arrives in America her cover is perfect, but she does slip up and say the wrong things that makes her “Mother” and “Brother” very suspicious. Everything seems to be going well that is until a police officer starts to look into her and her story of being kidnapped and when she goes to silence him once and for all Esther finds herself in a sinister plot that has her murderous rage being used against her, and what this plot is I can not spoil so you will have to see this awesome slasher film for yourself. Isabelle Fuhrman returns in the role of Esther and is fantastic once more as she really does come off like a psycho, also in the cast includes Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland and Matthew Finian. The film had a limited release and did pretty well for Paramount at the American theaters bringing in $5,413,227.00 on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should see if you liked the original or just like slasher films with a dash of thriller! This was a must own when released on home media.

# 2

X (2022) Poster

Maxine Minx is an adult film actress who along with friends travel to a small farm house in Texas in 1979 to film a porno in order to cash in on the booming home video market and to make money as well as for Maxine to become a big star, but the thing being is the farms owner Howard and his wife Pearl are not the sweet old people they seem as they have a dark side and Maxine and her friends have become their new targets for their sick sexual game. And one by one the crew are murdered and this leaves you wondering how Maxine will survive this farmhouse of terror. This is a great modern slasher film set in the 70’s that has a true grimy and gross feeling to it, and the best part is that Maxine and all the cast and crew are likable making when a character is killed feel more impactful. The film is well casted with Brittany Snow, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Scott Mescudi, Owen Campbell and Stephen Ure all being fantastic in their parts, but its Mia Goth who steals the film playing both Maxine Minx as well as Pearl the old woman. Lots of good kills and bloody gore effects with a great score by Tyler Bates makes this a great watch. The film did good for A24 at the American Box Office bringing in $11,765,309.00 on a unknown budget. With a prequel called “Pearl” in the works this could be a very cool new horror franchise in the making. And bought on home media when released, and if you have not seen it and like the grime feel of 70’s Horror and Adult Films make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Black Phone (2022) Poster

Young boys are going missing in a Colorado town and the police have no suspect and are dubbing the kidnapper The Grabber, and when Finney is kidnapped his sister Gwen has dreams that she thinks can lead the cops to rescue her brother. Meanwhile Finney is getting help from The Grabber’s past victims who are calling him from a discounted black phone in the basement cell he is being kept in, and giving him tools and advice on how to escape this hell alive. Will the cops save him? Will the voices of those lost guide him to safety? Or will The Grabber take another victim to their grave? Watch this well done and creepy film to find out. This Blumhouse produced film is based on a story by Joe Hill and has some truly spooky and uncomfortable moments that will shock the viewers, Ethan Hawke is great as The Grabber and Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Miguel Cazarez Mora, Tristan Pravong, Brady Hepner and Jacob Moran are great as the kids of the film. The film is dark and mean spirited in spots and creeps up your spine with a “this could really happen” feel to the killer. This film did good at the American box office for Universal bringing in $89,870,280.00 on a $18million budget. A touch of slasher and a touch of supernatural made this one hell of a great spooky watch on the big screen and bought once released on home media.

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Xena The Thanksgiving Day Princess

Welcome to this Thanksgiving Rotten Ink update something that I hope has become a Turkey Day tradition for you just like the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathons use to be for me! And for this update I choose to cover something very special, as this is not only the Thanksgiving update but also is celebrating 10 Years that Rotten Ink has been up on the worldwide web. And normally Hercules would be the one to join us on Thanksgiving but as of last year we are taking a break from spending Turkey Day with him and this year will be our first without him and will instead be about a badass female warrior that is a Warrior Princess and I am of course talking about Xena and the comic series we will be looking at is the original series done by Topps Comics! So while that Turkey is still cooking in the oven and before your guests arrive or you leave to be a guest lets talk about Xena Warrior Princess on this Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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Xena Warrior Princess was a spin-off show of the hugely popular syndicated show “Hercules Legendary Journeys” as Xena first appeared in the 1995 episode called “The Warrior Princess” and she became super popular with viewers as she was a badass female warrior who could handle herself against the likes of Hercules. So because of this on September 4, 1995 she got her own series thanks to Renaissance Pictures. The show in syndication was a major hit and was a ratings draw for all the stations who added it their line up. I for one would watch the show every Sunday Morning and would even set the VCR to tape the episodes I would miss due to family trips and such. The show would have Xena not only face her past of being a raider who killed but would also have her face fellow warriors, amazons as well as even monsters and Gods! And the big thing being is that Xena grew as a character throughout the series run and this added more appeal to the character as she would fall in love, show remorse for his actions and even would doubt herself at time. The show would last for six seasons and a total of 134 episodes and even when the show ended in 2001 it still was one of the most watched syndicated shows on television at the time. During its run it would win and be nominated for many awards including the Emmys and Saturns. It would build up a huge following in the LGBTQ Community, as Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle became role models for young ladies and spawned a lot of merchandise for fans to collect. Xena was a show that was for everyone and the character Xena is still popular even to this day as fans still would love to see her return to their TV screens. And for me it still ranks in my top 10 shows of all time as I was a big fan and still am to this day. The series has been released on home media via VHS and DVD and can be found on some streaming sites from time to time.

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Xena was a feared female warrior who along with his army would loot, destroy and murder any villager in her path and she loved what she did. But her life changes when her own brother is killed in a raid by the Warlord Cortese and she sees the sorrow that her own actions has caused over the years and even her own Mother turns her back on her. Now on a mission for revenge and to right all her wrongs that she has done over the years, she also builds new friendships and trusts and becomes a symbol of change and empowerment from women. She is skilled with a sword as well as her chakram that she can throw super accrete. Xena also has a war cry that sends fear down the spines of her enemies and can stand her ground against any warlord as well as god like being. Xena was played by the lovely Lucy Lawless who was the crush for many nerdy kids of the time and in fact many still do have a crush on her, and I am not ashamed to say I still do as Lucy Laweless is an amazing actress who is beautiful on many levels. Lucy Lawless would go on to be is such shows and movies as The X-Files, The L Word, Spartacus, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Boogeyman and Bitch Slap. She would even voice Wonder Woman in the 2008 animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. For those of use who grew up watching and for those of who discovered the show after its run we truly know how awesome, amazing, beautiful and ass kicking Xena and Lucy Lawless really is.

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Gabrielle was a farm girl from the village of Potidaea and after being kidnapped by a warlord and then freed by Xena she decides that she wants to follow her savior and together the two have many great journies and adventures. Gabrielle is wise, sarcastic at times and becomes skilled with a staff as well as a sword later on and she becomes a warrior in her own right. Her sister is Lila who is her only sibling and they two do get along well. The character of Gabrielle was super popular with fans and growing up for me on TV you could not beat the duo of Xena and Gabriella as they just played so well off each other. Gabrielle was played by actress Rene O’Connor who was in such films as “Night Game (1989)”, “Stone Cold (1991)”, “The Adventures Of Huck Finn (1993)” and “Darkman II: The Return Of Durant (1995)” among others as well as was on TV Shows like “Tales From The Crypt”, “NYPD Blue” and “FBI: The Untold Stories”. Rene is a great actress and Gabrielle is an amazing character and for many Gabriella rivaled Xena at being their favorite character of the whole series, and lets be honest I think it was Rene who’s acting really made the character be so iconic.

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The show had many amazing side character over the years that made up the Xena universe like the goofball wannabe hero Joxer played by Ted Raimi, Autolycus The King Of Thieves played by Bruce Campbell, Cyrene is the mother of Xena and she was played by Darien Takle, Hercules and Iolaus would show up from time to time and they were played of course by Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst. And on the villain side two of the biggest baddies in the series (and man she had many) was Aries The God Of War played by Kevin Smith and female warrior Callisto played by Hudson Leick. And this is just a small amount of the recurring characters that appeared on the show and made it so awesome. My favorite side character has to be Callisto as she was beautiful, crazy and dangerous and was a great villain for Xena and her episodes were always well done. But to be fair Ares is also a very entertaining villain and Kevin Smith was perfect in the role and it’s a shame he had to pass away at such a young age. Man writing this really does make me look back and see just how awesome all of the characters I have mentioned and more really did make this show special. Oh and I need not forget Caesar played by Karl Urban was also a great baddie who was a pain in Xena’s side. Who was your favorite side character in Xena?

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Like I have said I was an every week watcher of Xena The Warrior Princess and hands down one of my favorite episodes was called “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and was a Halloween episode that aired in October 1996. In this spooky episode Xena and Gabrielle go after Bacchus The God Of Wine who has a legion of female vampires, and during this adventure Gabriella is bitten and turned into one of his servants and its up to Xena to save her friend and kill Bacchus and allow all of those he has infected to return to being human. The episode also had appearances by Joxer and Orpheus and the episode played like a mix between a Horror Movie and a Rock Video that was airing on MTV at the time…and you can never go wrong with Gabrielle looking all gothed out…you just cant. The episode also had a very lesbian overtone and the demonic look of Bacchus was badass and it’s a shame that he was not used more often as a featured villain of the week for the Xena series. Long before the episodes made their way to home media this was one that I can remember taping off TV and watching a lot as the episode was just really cool and the plot felt like a good B-Movie vampire film. And the episode would also go on to be praised by not only fans but also critics who site this as one of the series best episodes. Those who have seen the episode know how awesome it is, and those of you who have not seen it track down the DVD set for Season 2 and give it a watch…also Toy Biz should have made an action figure of Bacchus and one of his female vampire minions…just saying.

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Like all great shows Xena Warrior Princess has had her fair share of action figures and dolls with her first figure being in the Hercules Legendary Journeys line that was released by Toy Biz and she had two figures in the line with the difference being coloring on her armor. And at the time of these figures release I was collecting them all as Hercules was one of my favorite shows and it would be cool to have them set up in my room, and Xena at the time in my area was the hardest one to track down. And I have to also say the Xena from the Hercules toys looks nothing like Lucy Lawless and for the most part is a really cheesy figure. But when Xena got her own TV Show Toy Biz also gave her a toy line that featured not only Xena but also all the characters from the show and these figures and later dolls were way better done and captured likeness better than the Hercules line did. And of course I still have many of my Xena toys and if you are a fan of the show make sure to track some of these figures down as they are pretty cool and a part of the shows history.

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When the TV Show was not on one thing fans could do is get the paperback novels based on Xena and her adventures to fill that void and these were good reads for fans. Many of the novels were written by such authors as Ru Emerson and Stella Howard and the novels most popular reads was the Quest Trilogy that was written by Emerson and consisted of “Go Quest Young Man”, “Questward Ho!” and “How The Quest Was Won”. And growing up I had these books and in fact I still have many of these books and while the lack the visional charm of the show Emerson and Howard did a great job of capturing the fun feel of it and really did deliver very entertaining reads. If you love the show make sure to tack down these novels and give them a read in your favorite spot.

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Xena The Warrior Princess made her way to the world of video games and was in a total of three home console games and a few for the PC. In 1999 Titus Interactive released the fighting game “Xena Warrior Princess: The Talisman Of Fate” for the N64. It was met with mixed reviews as it was an odd fighter but did allow you to play as such characters as Callisto, Ares, Julius Caesar and Autolycus to name a few. Also in 1999 for the Sony Playstation and released by EA came a adventure game that had you play as Xena who is on a quest to rescue Gabrielle and must fight warriors and monsters along the way, and this was a game I have played and beat so many times as I just really enjoyed the quest hack slash style game play and plus it was cool to be able to play a video game based on one of my favorite TV Shows of all time. And yet Xena would also get a Game Boy Color game as well this time in 2001, as even the handheld market needed some Xena for gamers to play as. So while I am not a mega fan of the Game Boy Color or N64 versions, I am a fan of the PS1 version and say that if you have the old console at your house and want to play a Xena adventure give this one a try.

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The score music used for Xena The Warrior Princess was done by Joseph LoDuca and is fantastic stuff as the opening theme always built the excitement for the episode and is something that we all remember to this day as it became one of the most iconic themes for a TV Show at the time. Let’s be honest, you have hummed the theme at least once as you have been reading this update. Many of you might not know that composer Joseph LoDuca is the musical mastermind behind scores for such movies as “The Evil Dead”, “Brotherhood Of The Wolf”, “Boogeyman”, “Curse Of Chucky” and “Bad Samaritan” and shows like “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Cleopatra 2525” and “Jack Of All Trades” to name a few. And if you like myself enjoy the music of Xena you can get many volumes of the scores on CD thanks to Varese Sarabande; the musical episode even found its way onto CD! So make sure if you are a music collector to track these down as copies can be found on EBay and Amazon.

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As you know Xena was one of the biggest syndicated shows of all time and this is what lead to it having so much merchandise to be made about it and besides comics, novels, video games, toys and soundtracks, the show also got Home Media, Posters, Shirts, Costumes, Trading Cards, Cardboard Standees, Stickers, Drinking Glasses, Magazines, Clocks, Key Chains, Bags, Jewelry, Snow Globe and so much more official and unofficial stuff! And because I am a fan I do have much of this stuff as I have several shirts as well as some of the trading cards along with the other stuff I have mentioned I own. So if you like Xena and are a collector, the world is filled with lots of cool stuff for you to get for your collection.

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As you can see, Xena was a major force for TV in the 1990’s and sparked a tidal wave of great merchandise as well as gave female viewers a cool character to look up to as she was strong and a badass and at the time this was a little more rare for TV to have such a character in “nerdy” shows like this at the time. She also is an icon in the LGBTQ community as they show was laced with a lesbian overtones and this again was not the norm for this time on broadcast TV. And I want to also note that for fans the novels, comics, video games and even toys helped add new adventures for Xena while they waited for new seasons to start and new episodes to air. I want to thank Half Price Books and Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and i’s art and story. So with that while the turkey is still in the oven and those potatoes are not yet mashe, let’s go on an adventure with Topps Comics and Xena The Warrior Princess.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 0

Xena Warrior Princess # 0  **1/2
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 0 of 2

Xena and Gabrielle are walking along a path and stumble on a tomb at the side of a mountain and just as they notice it the ground shakes and a horde of zombie warriors come from the ground and go on the attack! Xena fights hard but is unable to save Gabrielle who is pulled underground by the zombies. Xena rushes inside the temple hoping that she can find Gabrielle alive inside and meets Psoriasese, the undead caretaker of the temple who warns Xena of the Dragon God who dwells inside and who has already claimed the soul of Xena as he wants her to enter his temple, this does not scare Xena who enters to save her friend as she learns that if she stabs the Dragon’s heart she will not only kill the beast but also free all the souls he has trapped. Xena ends up fighting and killing the three monsters that guard the dragon’s gate and once inside the Dragon taunts Xena with Gabrielle who is now in the zombie trance and this causes the warrior princess to go on the attack! After dodging the dragons attack as well as trying to hit his heart she is lucky to shrug off his attempt to put her into the zombie trance and is able to throw her sword into his heart and kill him and this frees the souls of all those he damned! In the end Xena and Gabrielle come back together as people are back to normal all around them and continue their quest.

This is a pretty fun first comic for Xena The Warrior Princess and does a pretty good job of capturing the mood and feel of the TV Show is based on, but I will say some of the humor in the comic does fall flat at times as the jokes and one liners were cheesy. The plot is very simple and has Xena fighting zombies, monsters and a dragon in order to save her friend Gabrielle who was kidnapped by them, and like always Xena and her warrior skills save the day. Xena in this issue is skilled in her fighting and is confidante in her skills as she has no fear charging into a tomb filled with the dead and monsters in order to protect her friend, she truly is one of the best female warriors in all of fandom. Gabrielle in this issue is very bored and sadly does not get her chance to see much action as she is taken by zombies and turned into one of them before she knew what even happened, and she still is very much around for some comedy relief at the start of the issue. The issue’s bad guy is the Dragon God who is in this tomb to try and collect souls to please Hades and to get his way into being in the underworld. He has the power to use a death stare in order to turn people into his mindless zombie slaves and to send their souls to Hades! He is very mean and evil looking but is also very slow in his attacks and had one big weakness his heart that is the key to free all those he damned. The comics action is well done and I do like the fight she has with the three monsters as she makes quick work of them and makes them pay for the decades of killing of people they have done and sends them all to the underworld. The cover I have is eye catching and showcases Lucy Lawless as Xena and the interior art is really great and done by Aaron Lopresti who can truly draw dragons, zombies and monsters and his work on Xena is good and it looks like Lawless. Over all a good start to this series as its fast paced and has some great art and fun action.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 1

Xena Warrior Princess # 1  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 1 of 2

Salmoneus is in charge of the Spring Fair and a threat has been made toward the hero turned king Perseus’s life and that is why he has called in many of his friends to help protect the king’s life as well as keep the fair safe. On hand is Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer The Brave and for a brief time Hercules and Iolaus are around to stop a drunken giant. As the heroes all come together a strange old man in a cloak offers money to a charity if Xena and Hercules would fight each other to see who the better hero is, they refuse and Hercules leaves to visit his mother. Meanwhile Xena, Gabrielle, Iolaus and Joxer stick around to protect the King during the fair but things go wrong when the Gorgon Sisters show up as they are the sisters of Medusa and want revenge on Perseus for killing their loved one. The Gorgon Sisters can turn people to stone via their eyes as well as firing laser beams from them and they are able to turn Perseus, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Gabrielle into stone and worse a spear has went through Gabrielle right as she turned! Xena tricks the Gorgon Sisters into hitting each other with their stone eye beams, and this kills them both. As Xena and Joxer go to check on their friends cloaked man appears and shows that he is classic hero Gilgamesh and that Xena should join him on a quest to get a plant that gives eternal life as in 30 Days all those turned to stone will turn normal and this would be the death of Gabrielle!

What a fun comic as this brings in so many familiar faces from the classic Xena and Hercules TV Shows and brings them all together in order to protect Perseus who many know not only by the myth of his story but also the film Clash Of The Titans from the 1980’s. The story is that Perseus is now a King and his throwing a big fair for his people that the conman Salmoneus is in charge of, but a threat is looming so he calls on his hero friends to come act as guards and security only for them to have to face the evil sisters of Medusa who turn many into stone and during this fight Gabrielle is hit with a spear right as she is turned, after killing the sisters Xena now must find a way to save her friend in 30 Days as once she turns flesh again she will surely die. Xena in this issue shows that she has no fear as she rushes head on to fight The Gorgon Sisters and out smarts them in order to end their lives, as they are immortal but they could not survive their own attacks. Xena by he quick actions is able to save many lives! Poor Gabrielle tries to help during the mayhem but finds herself being hit in the gut with a spear and then turned to stone at the same time, she has thirty days to live as stone before returning back to flesh and bleeding to death. Joxer is a goofball and during the fight has his helmet fall and saves no lives nor does not battle the Sisters. The one odd thing is that Hercules is around for a few moments, but leaves before the attack to visit his mom…its like could he not wait one day to visit her and help his friends stay safe? Poor Iolaus and Salmoneus find themselves stone, but do try to help during this attack. I for one don’t trust Gilgamesh who uses Iolaus as a human shield, tries to hire Hercules and Xena to fight and then tries to say he has a way to save Gabrielle’s life as well as give him more life as he should have been dead long ago…don’t trust him as he comes off shady. The cover is very cool and eye catching and the interior art by Joyce Chin and is great stuff, I really like her style lots and she captures the looks of the actors who play the characters and adds he own touch and style to them. Over all this is a great start for this mini series and shows that Xena is not only great on TV but also in comics!

Xena Warrior Princess Comic 2

Xena Warrior Princess # 2  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95    Topps Comics     # 2 of 2

Xena and Gilgamesh are on their quest to get the plant that grows every 500 years and gives a person immortality, but they are attacked by some Lion Men and they have to kill the flesh eating beasts and soon find that Joxer has been following them as he wants to help! Gilgamesh opens up to Xena and says that he once touched the flower and that is how he is still alive after all these centuries and that he does not want to die as he feels the effects fading and that watching his friend die before him is what has driven him to this quest as he thinks heroes should not have such fates. The three head to the river and meet the ferryman who uses a sea monster to get them across, once at the location Gilgamesh uses his club and knocks out both Xena and Joxer and then ties Xena up into the air and tells her that he must slit her throat in order for the planet to fully bloom, and she reminds him that he was one of the greatest heroes and that this is murder…he knows she is right and stops his attack. But before they can talk, more monsters appear and Xena and he team up to bring them down. Gilgamesh then says while his life will end he thinks the roots of the flower will heel the wounds of Gabrielle if they can make it back in time. Thirty days pass and those turned to stone turn back to flesh and at the last second Gilgamesh makes it to Gabrielle in time and saves her life! As Gilgamesh leaves to return to his homeland to die, Hercules makes it back from his mom’s home and asks Xena what he missed.

The final issue in this mini series has Xena on a quest for a plant that should be able to save the life of her best friend Gabrielle, but soon finds that she was tricked and a sacrificial lamb so that her blood can help the planet bloom, but her attacker and quest buddy Gilgamesh could not commit murder and they end up using the plants roots in order to at least save the life of Gabrielle as the root heals her wounds. I told you readers not to trust Gilgamesh and while in the end he turns into the hero is was, he had his own self in mind and was willing to kill a brave warrior in order for himself to live forever. Xena as always is brave and kills some monsters as well as goes into the unknown in order to save her friends life as well as help a legendary hero live forever. Gilgamesh is aging and dying and while he was a great warrior at one time its clear his fear of death as well as aging is breaking him down. Joxer is around but is pretty much just used as comedy for the issue. Hercules, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Perseus show up at then end of the issue and add their own charm, but are pretty much just background characters. Gabrielle turns flesh and is saved and still has her sense of humor as she talks about having a tummy ache. This comic mini series has lots going for it as I feel the story is fun and fitting for an episode of Xena, the art is really great and all artists do a great job of making the characters look like the actors and yet also add their own touches, it has lots of action, humor and monsters…plus you can not go wrong with having Hercules in a cameo role. Topps Comics really was a great indie comic company in the 90’s that delivered very entertaining reads and I think their Xena series is proof that they put care behind their releases. The cover is pretty great and showcases Xena being a badass and the interior art in this issue is done by Joyce Chin again and is great stuff, as she even adds a little sexy cheesecake feel to Xena throughout. To sum it up these comics lived up to what I remember and if you are a Xena Warrior Princess fan make sure to give this mini series a read. Checkout the artwork bellow to see the style used by Chin in the series.

Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 1Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 2Xena Warrior Princess Comic Art 3

Xena Warrior Princess was a fantastic TV Show that was a big part of my TV watching growing up and made for a great comic book series thanks to Topps Comics who I feel was gone way to soon as I think the amount of amazing comics they could have released over the years they have been gone could have been very epic. You can tell that the creative minds behind this mini series at least cared about delivering a entertaining comic and great read to the fans of the show and that’s what makes it standout from many of the others that have failed their readers and fans. And I think truly that the show should return for one more season and it’s a must that Lucy Lawless and Rene O’Connor step back into the roles of Xena and Gabrielle, but enough of that talk as I could chat about Xena for days! Thank you so much for spending a small part of your Thanksgiving with Rotten Ink and I hope looking back at Xena Warrior Princess made your Turkey Day a little better. Before we part ways let me tell you that our next update is our kickoff to Christmas Eve and will be about the first Superman movie in cinemas that had him meeting Mole Men, that’s right it’s a photo comic graphic novel based on the George Reeves as Superman film “Superman And The Mole Men” so that should be a fun flashback. So I hope you are enjoying your meal with your family, friends and pets and as always until next time read an indie comic or three, watch a Xena episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon as Superman has some Mole Men to save!

Superman And The Mole Men Preview Logo

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!

Lost Films Archive Lot

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.

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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.

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Will The Real Spartacus Please Stand Up!

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

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

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

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Spartacus (1960)

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

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

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

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

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

Spartacus Comic 1

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

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

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

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

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Mummy Returns (2001)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and this Blogs 10 Year Anniversary and this update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and is one that I have been thinking about doing for a very long tome and that’s The Mummy’s Return and the comic book from Chaos Comics that goes along with it called “Valley Of The Gods”! The Mummy Returns was the sequel to the super popular 1999 Action Horror Film The Mummy that spawned a franchise as well as a spin off franchise and even got not only the comic book treatment but also the video game kind. So with that lets head into the world of The Mummy Returns and talk about this Action Horror Film that is still to this day loved by its fans, so lets see what this Mummy has in for us in scares as well as ways to deal death.

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Let’s start off by taking a look at Imhotep the supernatural Mummy Priest from this film series. Imhotep was a priest who was mummified and entombed alive after he had fallen in love with the Queen that lead to the murder of the King. Once brought back to life by an Egyptian Cult he is as mean and angry as ever. Imhotep has many powers that can deal death to humans with first being that he has an army of undead guards as well as cult members who will do his bidding and have no issues taking a life using knives, swords, staffs and even guns. Imhotep can also control the elements around him causing sand to bend and act to his will as well as water and these powers can cause serious damage to a person as they could drown or even be ripped to shreds by both. Imhotep also eats the life force from his enemies and this causes his undead skin to come back alive and as well can turn him human again. His rotting appearance as well is a great tool in his favor as is strikes fear and shock into the hearts of those who see him and leave them open for his attack. Imhotep is also very skilled in fighting in both hand and weapon and is very tricky causing him to be a foe one would not want to face. He is also a lair and will use false promises as well as lies to enemies to get things in his favor. But while Imhotep is powerful he does have weaknesses as when he is made flesh and blood again he can be killed like any other normal man, he also even as the undead Mummy can be killed via the spirits of the dead. Imhotep also has a very big ego that can lead him into being defeated and make mistakes. Say what you will but Imhotep is a very dangerous and an evil force of nature that ranks up there when it comes to dealing death to mortals.

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So now that we have talked about Imhotep, we should talk about the second film in the remake series. So the films write up will be taking from our friends at IMDB and I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts of the film. So let’s get to The Mummy Returns and chat about this 2001 Adventure Horror Film with a twist of Comedy.

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The Mummy Returns (2001)

“Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion King led a menacing army, but when he sold his soul to Anubis, he was erased from history. Now he is only a myth…or is he? Rick and Evelyn O’Connell are still discovering new artifacts, along with their 8-year-old son Alex. They discover the Bracelet of Anubis. But someone else is after the bracelet. High Priest Imhotep has been brought back from the dead once again and wants the bracelet, to control the Scorpion King’s army. That’s not the only problem. Imhotep now has Alex and with the bracelet attached to him, doesn’t have long to live.”

Universal was ridding high when the 1999 remake to the 1932 monster film The Mummy did well at the box office as well as was loved by critics and fans causing them to want to rush a sequel to the silver screen while people were still very much into the adventure themed horror film and it was fresh in their minds so with Stephen Sommers returning to write and direct the film they were able to get the original cast Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Patricia Velasquez, Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo to comeback for the sequel and new names like Freddie Boath, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alun Armstrong and more joined the cast. The production was your normal big production and was highly stressful and lots of stunts and later effects had to be added to make the film have that Horror Adventure feel that made the first film special. Some issues during production were The Rock getting food poisoning and the most serious being that Brendan Fraser suffered several injuries that plagued him for years. Once done Alan Silvestri was brought in to score the film and did a great job as his work helps bring the film alive. The film was released on May 4, 2001 and was meet with mix reviews from critics and was looked at more fondly by fans. The film would bring in $433,013,274.00 worldwide and was the # 6 grossing film at the US Box Office that year. The year it was released it beat out other Horror and Sci-Fi films like Jurassic Park III, Planet Of The Apes, Hannibal, The Others, Along Came A Spider, Scary Movie 2, Thir13en Ghosts, Jeepers Creepers, From Hell, Ghost Of Mars and Bones to name a few. The film would be released on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital over the years and remains a popular film for fans of the Horror Adventure Film genre.

The Mummy Returns was a film that when released I judged way to hard as like the first film I felt that they took the Horror out of a classic Universal Monster and I was in full swing of protesting the film and not seeing it and even refused to for a very long while, and the crazy part is I went to the theater and seen “The Scorpion King” from 2002 a spin-off from Mummy Returns with my brother Bryan and our friend Andy Copp. Over the years I can remember seeing bits and pieces of the film at friends houses as they would pop in the VHS and DVD at parties and get togethers and I never paid it any attention, as I was still being a royal classic monster snob. And let’s be honest when already judging the film and seeing that cheesy CGI version of The Scorpion King from the film it was easy to dismiss the film as being bad. I worked at Blockbuster Video at the time as well and customers and my fellow employees when it was released on home media tried to get me to watch it, and I refused as again I was being a snob. It took many, many years before I truly gave the film a chance as well as the other films in the series and I have to say that I was foolish for judging these films so harsh as they are fun, fantastic films that while very different from the classic Universal The Mummy series they added their own touch and delivered films that brought some chills, laughs and high adventure. And for the time you have think the digital effects where considered good and while dated now they were state of the art back then. The film was super well casted and this also was the films that introduced me to actress Rachel Weisz who could be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood to this day. To sum it up Mummy Returns is a great sequel to a great Adventure Horror film series that I was wrong about for many years and am glad that I gave it a chance, as it really is a film I enjoy watching.

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So with that brief history lesson of The Mummy Returns and the killing ways of Imhotep we should now get to the comic review that was made possible by Bell, Book And Comic who had the comic in stock. I also would like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that lets head out with the O’Connell’s and dodge the wrath of The Mummy!

The Mummy Valley Of The Gods Comic 1

Mummy: Valley Of The Gods # 1  *1/2
Released in 2001     Cover Price $2.99     Chaos!    # 1 of 1

Professor Winter and his crew are in a tomb and are being lead by Ardeth Bay as they have already sent the Orb Of Destiny a relic to Rick and Evelyn O’Connell and that was a big mistake as they open a tomb evil soul eating animal spirits escape and they all have to run for their lives, but some of the crew are not that lucky and meet their fates. Meanwhile Rick is having a nightmare about the Scorpion King killing Evelyn when the phone rings and its Professor Winter asking them to come to Egypt and to please bring the Orb back with them. Once our heroes get back to Egypt they are greeted by Jonathan who is Evelyn’s brother, and they have dinner and catch up on what has been going on in their lives and the next morning they fly to the dig site location. And it comes out that Evelyn use to have a big crush on Professor Winter and this makes Rick a little uncomfortable on learning this but trusts in the love he and his wife have for each other. Once inside the tomb our team of Rick, Evelyn, Winter, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay are attacked by the weird spirit animals again and they are forced to try and shoot them to save their lives, but bullets are not working! Finally Rick picks up a stone tablet and is about to throw it at the spirits when the tablet turns out to be a map that sends the spirits packing as it has magical powers. The map says that it leads to a unknown place called the Valley Of The Gods and they all rush to the location only to find sand and two giant undead warriors who want them all dead.

I first need to say that this comic does not capture the characters nor the vibe of the films its based on at all and feels like a very generic story with very generic characters as Rick & Evelyn in this comic act nothing like they should, and there is barely any adventure or horror elements taking place in this first issue that does a very bad job of wanting readers to return for a second issue that never came, and I am guessing it never came due to the fact this first issue sold so poorly via word of mouth. The plot is about the Orb Of Destiny and a hidden Valley that is said to be the place of Gods and the O’Connell’s go to find what treasures and history awaits them, but instead find two angry undead giants and spirits of animals that eat souls. Rick O’Connell is our hero who is plagued with nightmares about his wife being killed, is worried about his wives old crush and somehow falls backwards into being the one who sends the spirits away as well as find a hidden map. Over all Rick is just very basic in being a hero and he lacks the charm and goofy nature the character has in the films. Evelyn is a strong willed woman who knows she can do whatever her husband can do, but also her character is all wrong as is her brother Jonathans and Ardeth Bay’s as they all just seem off and bland. Professor Winter is a man who clearly does not care about safety of his crew as he really just wants to uncover what the tombs have in treasures and if evil spirits attack its ok as long as he uncovers stuff, he also is very flirty with Evelyn and he knows she is married. The bad guys of the comic are the evil animal spirits that attack a person’s soul and two undead giants who do nothing as they only show up on the last page. The comic has zero blood, only one death and packs very little spooky moments and the worse sin zero appearances by Imhotep but we are treated to the Scorpion King…yeah. The cover is ok and is eye catching for the time it was released, and the interior art by Matt Broome and is ok but also does not look like the actors that play the characters in the film with them all really looking like generic muscle heroes from say a comic series like Gen 13 and has a pure 90’s look in their designs. Over all this is a very lackluster Adventure Horror Comic that does a very poor job of capturing the mood and feel of the films, and with that checkout the art below to see the style of Broome.

The Mummy Valley Of The Gods Comic Art 1

The Mummy: Valley Of The Gods was a comic series that was supposed to last a total of three issues and was cancelled after only one as if truly failed the readers as well as to capture the eye of fans of The Mummy Return. And I have to say while this is not one of the better comics he have read and reviewed on a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” it is one you should checkout yourself and see what you think. Well for the next update we are leaving the Tombs of Egypt and will be heading to a farm as we chat about U.S. Acres a very cool comic strip by Jim Davis. So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. And hope you are ready to spend some time with Orson and his friends down on the farm like I am.

US Acres Preview Logo

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.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 Cinemark Logo

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.

Comedy 21 copy

# 2

Tom and Jerry 2021 Poster

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

nobody poster

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

no time to die poster

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.

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# 33

The Stairs (2021) Poster

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

# 32

In The Earth (2021) Poster

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

# 31

The Resort (2021) Poster

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

# 30

Wrong Turn (2021) Poster

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

# 29

Fear Of Rain Poster

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

# 28

Zombie Reddy Poster

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

# 27

Antlers (2021) poster

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

# 26

Separation (2021) Poster

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

# 25

funhouse (2021) Poster

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

# 24

Seventh Day 2021 Poster

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

# 23

The Unholy (2021) Poster

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

# 22

Conjuring III Poster

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

# 21

The Little Things (2021) Poster

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

# 20

shadow in the cloud poster

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

# 19

Resident Evil (2021) Poster

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

# 18

djinn (2021) poster

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

# 17

werewolves within (2021) poster

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

# 16

Old (2021) Poster

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

# 15

Don't Breathe 2 Poster

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

# 14

spiral from the book of Saw Poster

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

# 13

escape room tournament of champions Poster

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

# 12

The Vigil (2020) Poster

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

# 11

halloween kills poster

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

# 10

forever purge poster

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

# 9

Night House (2021) Poster

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

# 8

Malignant Poster

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

# 7

Saint Maud Poster

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

# 6

Army Of The Dead (2021) Poster

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

# 5

Psycho Goreman Poster

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

# 4

last night in soho (2021) poster

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

# 3

Candyman (2021) Poster

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

# 2

Godzilla vs Kong (2021) Poster

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

# 1

Quiet Place II Poster

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

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

Star Trek V Preview Logo

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

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

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

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

King Kong (2005)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Mole People

The Universal Monsters are in some of my most favorite Horror and Science Fiction films and have been something I have really been into since I was a very young kid. Looking over my list of comics to choose for a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic,” I quickly decided on the Warren Photo Comic Magazine for The Mole People as I think they are very underrated when it comes to classic monsters and are sadly often forgotten when fans talk about great Universal Horror. So for this update we are going to showcase the Mole People and let them shine in the spooky spotlight of Rotten Ink. So if you’re ready, let’s go underground and visit with the Mole People!

Let’s first take a look at the Mole People who are the film’s bad guys and also good guys as they walk the line. The Mole People are a race of humanoid moles who walk upright and are underground dwellers who have been forced to be slave labor to the Shadow Dynasty who are a batch of albino people who think they are the only living people. The Mole People have a very odd appearance with a lumpy style skin and have big eyes plus weird mouths. The Mole People, while slaves, do act out and have ideas and motives of their own, and they are also very much a horde society that have a history of eating human flesh! The Mole People, while slow and lumbering, use their weird appearance to scare victims with their main source of killing coming from their massive clawed hands that can rip and tear human flesh with ease. They also can burrow deep underground to travel faster and can pull victims under with their raw power that is well above an average man’s. But while The Mole People are killing machines when pushed, they also have some intelligence that makes them loyal to not only each other but also those who are nice to them. But like all things the Mole People do have some weakness like sunlight that blinds them and can possibly also burn them to death. They can be beaten with items as well as killed like any normal human, as they are not immortal. And let’s not forget that they can also be kept at bay with a flashlight that hurts their eyes. The Mole People’s slowness also makes them easy to get away from while walking on land, and they can also be starved to death as they do need to eat in order to get energy like any normal living thing. So while Mole People are not the most brutal nor vicious monsters we have covered here, they still are very efficient when it comes to killing humans.

So now that we have taken a look at The Mole People, we should dig our way into the film that spawned them. As always we will be taking the film’s plot from our friends at IMDB and after I will share some production notes as well as my thoughts on the film as well as other cool little information about it. So if you’re ready, let’s dive into some talk about this great Universal Science-Fiction Horror flick!

The Mole People (1956)

“On an archaeological dig in Asia, Dr. Roger Bentley finds a cuneiform tablet referring to an ancient society, the Shadow Dynasty, that was destroyed. An earthquake soon after reveals an ancient artifact and the scientists discover the ruins of an ancient temple world on a remote mountain site. It leads them to an underground world, lost in time, where people have adapted to low light. The High Priest Elinu doesn’t welcome the presence of the new arrivals and wants them eliminated.”

In the 1950’s Universal had moved away from Horror Films that dealt with Dracula, Wolfman, Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster and headed toward giant insects, atomic age and mixes of science fiction and horror. And in 1956 they made such a horror film when they released The Mole People to the cinemas all across America. The film was written by Laszio Gorog, and produced by William Alland with the directors chair going to Virgil W. Vogel who was originally an editor for Universal, and this was his first film as a director. The film would cast John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, Hugh Beaumont and Alan Napier as its leads and was one of the first Universal Monster films to show a woman disrobing, pushing the limits of what they did for their monster films. Rumor also has it that the film’s budget was $200,000.00 and its returns are unknown. When the film was done, it was released on December 1, 1956, and in some places it was shown with the jungle monster film “Curucu, Beast Of The Amazon”. The film was released the same year as these other classic Horror Flicks: Creature Walks Among Us, Bad Seed, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Godzilla, Rodan and Indestructible Man to name a few. The film over the years has had a very mixed response and mostly is met with negative reviews by critics and fans that enjoyed when it was blasted on Mystery Science Theater 3000. The film went on to be released on home media like VHS and DVD and Blu-Ray in our and foreign markets.

The Mole People is a film I learned about at a young age as I used to read any and all books I could get my hands on that featured classic Universal Monsters and many of them featured The Mole People. One of the books I remember the most was the Crestwood House book that was all about The Mole People and acted almost as an adaptation of the film. Sometime later I can remember seeing the film on broadcast TV and was drawn in by the Mole People themselves and was angry when the Shadow Dynasty were on the screen being mean to them. Some years later I found the film on VHS at an event called Belmont Days from a small video store that had a ton of Horror Films for sale on VHS when it was still king of home media, and in 2014 I got the film on DVD thanks to Universal’s Vault series of releases. Over the years I have shown Mole People to friends who enjoy classic horror and even have toyed with the idea of doing a fan film sequel to it…but that will never happen. So while this film was released many decades before I was born, for some reason it has always been in my life…for some reason I also remember my Mom talking about this movie when I was a youngster! So if you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and track it down and give it a watch.

So as you can see, the Mole People, while not bloodthirsty, can and will murder and eat humans when the time is right! We also learned a little about the film and my connection to it, and now we are at the point of reviewing the photo comic magazine. I want to first thank Mile High Comics for having this magazine in stock and making this update possible. I need to also remind you all that I am grading this comic on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you’re ready, make sure to grab your flashlight to fight off the Mole People and let’s get into this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update.

Mole People # 1  ***
Released in 1964       Cover Price .35     Warren Publishing     # 1 of 1

Researchers Dr. Roger Bentley, Dr. Jud Bellamin, Dr. Paul Suart and Prof. Etienne Lafarge along with others are in Asia looking for artifacts from a lost civilization, and get their dreams fulfilled when they find a tablet and lamp connected to them. They head to the mountains as that is where their finds lead them, and after an earthquake happens at the sight of ruins, a hole opens up and Dr. Suart falls to his death and Bentley, Bellamin and Lafarge are trapped underground! Once down in the dark only armed with a flashlight, they wander the caves and find buildings from the old world, and when they decide to get some rest, a race of humanoids called the Mole People attack while they sleep and drag them underground. When they awake, they are met by two albino guards who take them to see the High Priest who orders them to death as he claims they do not have the food to feed them! Our heroes fight and escape their albino captors and find themselves in a place that has Mole People all around who are being treated like slaves by albinos with whips. While trying to escape, Lafarge is killed by a Mole Person and Bentley and Bellamin figure out that the flashlight hurts both the albinos and Mole People giving them power and are now in the favor of the albino king. Once back at the kingdom Bentley meets a young normal servant girl named Gizelle who he saves from a whipping, and she is given to him by the King as a gift. The pair of doctors try to figure out a way to return above ground and even save some Mole People from being beaten by the albinos, but while they save them, the flashlight also goes dead as its batteries die! The High Priest dislikes the outsiders and thinks they are not gods like the King does but just normal guys and even sacrifices a group of woman to the burning light in order to please their god. The High Priest is able to convince the King that the Doctors are mortal and not gods, and they drug their dinner and set to murder them. But luckily for our heroes, Gizelle runs into the caves and tries to get help from the Mole People who have grown to respect the doctors for saving them from beatings and death sentences. The Mole People attack and kill the albinos, and the Doctors along with Gizelle escape the underground and once back to normal life another earthquake hits and a stone falls and kills Gizelle before she could even live a few moments of life above ground and our tale ends.

This is one cheesy and yet fun Photo Comic that blows through the movie really fast and delivers an entertaining quick read for readers that holds true to the film for the most part, but also adds its own touches with a few twists not from the movie. Our story has a group of doctors on the hunt to find a lost city that end up falling into a hole in the ground that leads them to the lost city as well as to the people still living there and a race of humanoid mole people. The doctors must fight for their lives to find away to escape, and their only weapon is a flashlight that is getting low on power! Dr. Roger Bentley is our main hero and the one with the flashlight. He is also the one who is saving peoples hides from beatings as it’s clear he does not like the albino people of the lost city and their cruel and selfish ways. The one down side to Bentley is that at times he as well comes off as kind of full of himself, and I think gets a slight god complex as he knows he has the power. Dr. Jud Bellamin is a smart man who clearly follows the leader as he is a fish out of water when it comes to the underground world. Prof. Etienne Lafarge is an old goof who leads himself to his own death and also is the weak link of the group and his dead body is also the one who leads the albinos back to the headhunt of our heroes as it showed they are also mortal. Slave woman Gizelle, who is normal, is also very sweet and is the true hero of the story as she is the one who gets the Mole People to help the doctors. The Albinos are very cruel and keep slaves, beat and kill those who cross the King and treat the Mole People like scum. The High Priest is the worst of the albinos as he is very much the one who pushes for cruel punishments and hates the power the Doctors and their flashlight had over the King. The Mole People are starving and will attack and kill people and yet also have a loyalty to them as they will help those who help them. Some of the changes made in the magazine are noticeable and are nice surprises, and I will not spoil them for you readers as you should read it and catch them yourselves. The comic downplays the horror elements and does have some blood via a massive scratch done by one of the Mole People and does have death as many albinos die during the final attack. The cover is eye catching and is that classic 60’s Horror Magazine look, the picture layouts is done by Russ Jones who also did the script for this photo comic. Over all this is one of the better Photo Comics I have read and is cool retro Universal Monster item for a Science Fiction Horror Movie that is often forgotten. Check out the panels below to see they style used in this magazine.

So while many comic readers don’t like Photo Comics (Magazines) and others view it as a dated style of comics, I for one find them fun and enjoyed reading this one. Plus it’s been very fun talking about the Mole People as well as the first time I have covered Warren Publishing here at Rotten Ink. But I fear it’s time we walk away from the underground world of the Mole People. We will be heading to the old west for my next update as we take a ride with the one and only Rawhide Kid from Marvel Comics! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Universal Monster Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. So hope you’re ready for a western done Marvel style!

Land Of The Monster Bash Convention (2018)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. I hope you have your bag packed already as it’s that time of the year once again when you all take a trip with me and Juliet as we head to Monster Bash in Mars, PA for a fun time of celebrating classic monsters and 200 years of Frankenstein’s Monster! I have been looking forward to taking time away from work, filming movies and working on comics for some time now, and what better way to do so than to hang out with fellow classic monster lovers as well as my gal pal Juliet in an area that is starting to feel like my home away from home, Cranberry Township. I cannot wait to see what classic monster car is parked up front and what statues await us inside the convention. I do have a feeling that they will be of The Monster through the ages as that seems to make the most sense. Not to mention, I am looking forward to eating at places like Moe’s and Eat’n Park plus visiting Evans City Cemetery to soak in all the horror movie magic that was shot there. So lets hop into the Mazda 3 and find some music and podcasts to listen to and make our way to Monster Bash! Oh and for this update, I am sure you guessed it, that we will be taking a look at Land Of The Dead, the fourth film in the Romero Dead series and the IDW comic adaption of it! Let’s head out to the highway and have fun along the way.

Juliet and I hit the road on June 21, 2018 and spent most of the drive chatting about comics, music and wrestling and even had to make our way through random rainstorms. As always, we stopped at the Ruby Tuesdays on the border of Ohio and West Virginia where Juliet ate a grilled chicken salad, and I had blackened salmon with rice and a loaded baked potato. It was super tasty! Once back on the road we continued chatting and time seemed to go by fast…that was until we entered Cranberry, and traffic was backed up due to a car on fire! Passing the car that was being surrounded by the fire department, we both hoped the person driving made it out of the car okay. This year we also had to stay at a new hotel as our beloved Comfort Inn was filled, and so we stayed at the fancy Hyatt and man was the room big! After relaxing and watching some TV, we decided to have Eat ‘N Park for dinner where I had a hot turkey sandwich with mash potatoes & gravy as well as fried pickles! And of course, I had to have a smile cookie as what is a trip to Eat ‘N Park without one? After dinner we watched more TV and planned our next day as it was the first day of Monster Bash!

Waking up in the morning, we got ready for our day as Monster Bash did not open until 3pm so we headed to New Dimension Comics to look around for a few minuets. While there, I found a few comics to read and add to my collection like Web Of Spider-Man # 25 & 35, Hercules # 1,7 & 9 from DC, Where Creatures Roam # 8 and Southern Blood # 0. After comic shopping we headed to lunch at Max & Erma’s where I scarfed down a turkey burger with fries, and all the while Juliet and I chatted about our plans for the day. We then went to Barns and Nobles, and I found a really cool Funko Pop Figure of The Mummy based on the 2017 film from Universal. Then we returned to the room and waited for Monster Bash to start! Check out the pics below to see the fun stuff from the morning.

At 3:00pm Juliet and I headed to Monster Bash 2018, and the car outside was not around yet. We got into the line in order to get tickets, and man did it move fast! Once inside, the wonders of all types of classic monsters surrounded us as the amazing statues this year featured Frankenstein’s Monster from the ages as full body versions of The Monster were all around, from the classic 1931 Karloff version all the way to the one in Monster Squad and others had busts like the 1910 Edison version…so amazing and all well done! But my favorite one this year was not Frankenstein’s Monster at all, but John Carradine as Dracula in House Of Frankenstein! Once inside the dealer room, we saw all types of great stuff like toys, movies, comics, books, soundtracks, posters and art and much of it was really, really cool! We were also happy to see Horror Hosts Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri, who are amazing and wonderful people and are super nice. Also on hand was Son Of Ghoul, a true icon of Horror Hosting. While looking around, we saw some amazing Halloween Masks and even took a walk around a room filled with classic posters and lobby cards. Once we walked around for a while, we bought some amazing stuff and headed back to the hotel to unwind and get ready for our first dinner and a movie night. Check out the pics below to see some of the amazing sights of this first day.

So I am sure you’re all wondering what goodies I got on this first day’s haul…and man, did I find some cool stuff! For movies I got Attack Of The 50ft. Woman, Phantom Of Hollywood on DVD for $20.00 each and Creature With The Atom Brain for $10.00! Comic wise, I found The Young Witches # 1 for only $2.00! I found an Imperial King Kong for $20.00 and a King Kong windup for $5.00! And for paperback books I got Ben and Freddy vs. Jason for $5.00 each, and for only $1.00 each I got Tales From The Crypt Demon Knight and Dick Tracy: Secret Files. So as you can see, we did really well this first day and I was very pleased with what I was able to get for good prices. Check out the pic down below to see l my haul in all its glory!

We decided that the first night of Monster Bash would be our night to eat Wing Kings and watch a movie on the laptop with the night’s feature being Attack Of The 50ft. Woman as it’s been one I have wanted to revisit for some time now. So I ordered some Garlic Wings and some fried pickles and a coke to drink! When we are in Cranberry, both Juliet and I look forward to eating at Wing Kings as they have really great wings and we have yet to have a bad meal from them. So huddled by the laptop with our food, we watched a classic science fiction horror film about a massive and mean woman causing mayhem in a city gripped by fear. And after dinner and the movie, we spent the night gearing up for Day 2 and watching New Japan Pro Wrestling and LFA MMA on TV, and I read a some comic book.

Day two started with Juliet and I eating breakfast and then us heading to the Monster Bash! The weather outside was looking like bad storms coming and would make Doctor Frankenstein very happy. To me, this was very fitting weather for this classic monster convention. Once walking in again, a rush of good vibes surrounded me as I saw familiar faces and classic monster movies and memorabilia all around. That’s what sets Monster Bash apart from all other Horror Cons, the vibe is so chill and it’s all about the movies and monsters and not the parties. After walking around for a bit, we bought some amazing stuff and looked at some cool things and headed out to do some more fun stuff in Cranberry!

I am sure you’re also wondering what cool things I ended up getting on Day 2 of Monster Bash. Just like before, I think I found some pretty cool items. I got two wood plaques to hang in my house of King Kong and Gorgo for $25.00 each, a VHS copy of Konga for only $3.00 and a DVD of a documentary called Beast Of Whitehall for $15.00. Plus I got a lot of six Monster In My Pocket figures including werewolf and Lochness for $5.00! Over all another great haul and some very cool items I am looking forward to adding to my collection.

We hit the roads of Cranberry and ended up back at New Dimension Comics where I found 40 dollars books that were sold to me at half price making the whole pile $20.00 plus tax! I found lots of great indie titles as well as a few Avengers comics that I will be reading while here. We then went to Moe’s Southwest Grill for lunch, and I had a tasty chicken burrito. After that we had TCBY and chatted about creative ideas. That’s the thing about Juliet and I, we talk a lot to each other and mostly about life and creative things…it’s nice to have a partner you gel with really well. After spending some time out in the city, we headed back to the hotel to relax and plan our second night of Dinner and a Movie.

For our second dinner and a movie, we chose something more simple and ate Bob Evans takeout where I had roasted chicken with sides, and we watched the 1955 Science Fiction Horror Movie “Creature With The Atom Brain”, a pretty cheesy motion picture that features brain-dead reanimated zombies who are being controlled by a crime boss to get revenge on his enemies. The food was pretty good, and the film was okay making for a start to a fun night. For the rest of the night, we read and watched TV and chatted more about creative ideas for future comics that could be in the works for Sparkle Comics.

June 24, 2018 was the final day of Monster Bash and we started our morning by getting breakfast at Pig Iron Public House where I once again had the Chorizo Hash. If you ever find yourself at a Pig Iron for brunch, I recommend it. And once done we made our way to Monster Bash to once more soak it all in and have one last day of shopping. The last day of Monster Bash is always a sad one as the fun weekend is coming to an end, and I know it will be another year before I can do the next convention. When walking in as well we watched for a moment as they broke down the Frankenstein Monster’s and took a glance at The Blob for the last time for the weekend. We walked around and had good conversations with Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri as well as with Ken and Pam of Cinema Wasteland. As we made our final rounds, I was on the look out for my pal David “The Rock” Nelson as I wanted to pick up some more of his amazing shot on video films and wanted to chat with him about life in general, and I sent him a message on Facebook the night before that he did not get to read and it looked like we were going to miss him until the monster Gods smiled down on us, and we ran into each other at the place I selected in the message! Once catching up with David and picking up some of his movies, Juliet and I headed out, and that was a wrap for Monster Bash 2018.

The last day’s haul were great and all stuff that I wanted and most at fair prices. I got another Imperial Dracula that was in fantastic shape for only $15.00! I also picked up six more Monster In My Pocket figures and paid once more $5.00 for the lot. I got Super Powers Which Way Book 2: Supergirl paperback book for only $2.00! I got issues 1-5 of Escape Of The Living Dead signed by John Russo and released by Avatar for $12.00. And for movies I got Kraa! The Sea Monster on DVD for $8.00, Red Sands DVD for only $1.00 and the best buys of the trip being the three David “The Rock” Nelson film I got for $20.00 each that are “Bigfoot Runs Amok!”, “Dinosaur Woman” and “The Giant Horny Toad Monster” all films I very much looking forward to watching. Not a bad year for finds at Monster Bash 2018.

After leaving Monster Bash, we headed to get more bottled water for our stay and while at the store, we also picked up the Universal and Blumhouse film Stephanie. We then made our way to The Snowman where we hung out near the horses and I drank a Yeti Milkshake. As always the shake was fantastic as was the atmosphere around the Snowman as it had just rained before we showed up. We then left and walked around the small cemetery that’s connected to the Portersville Bible Church, a very peaceful place with a great view of woods and farmland. Juliet and I walked for a while and looked at the land all around as well as paid our respects to the people buried in the cemetery. Once done we headed back to the Hotel and we read, chatted and watched a little TV until dinner and a movie round 3.

For our third dinner and movie, we chose to once more get take out from Eat ’N Park and the 4hr film “Dinosaur Woman” directed by David Nelson as we are both big fans of his independent shot on video monsta movies. While the food was good, the movie was the best part of the night as watching David’s films are an event all to themselves as they are epic and filled with lots of fun and over the top horror and characters. After Dinner and the movie, we ended up watching Kong: Skull Island on HBO and planning our next day of events!

Monday June 25th marked the first day after Monster Bash, and we started our morning by going to Cranberry Cinema and seeing “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” This is a fun one to see in the theater and as always Cranberry Cinema proved why they are better than most major chains as they gave Juliet and I each a free popcorn to munch on as we watched our movie. After the film we headed back to Moe’s for lunch, and we ate and talked about the film as well as the possibility of scientist cloning saber tooth tigers. After lunch we headed back to the hotel and Juliet and I read and played “Super Powers Which Way Book 2: Supergirl” as Juliet read it out loud I had to choose the path of Supergirl! And lucky for me I was able to have Supergirl save the day and make it out of the land of OZ, yep my adventure took me to OZ! After the book adventure I read some more comic books and worked on a few things for Sparkle Comics as well as updates for future Rotten Ink updates. We chose to have Wing Kings again for dinner and watched WWE Monday Night Raw on USA for the evening’s entertainment. After Raw I ended up reading a little more and watched a little TV before bed and geared up for Evan City.

We woke up early and checked out of our hotel and hit the road heading toward Mars in order to get a morning cup of coffee from Mars Brew House as they are also a must when we are in Pennsylvania, and as always the coffee was great! We then walked to the UFO in the middle of the small town and chatted for a moment about the second issue of Wolf Hunter that we hope will be released soon from Sparkle Comics, as well as chatted about the amazing small town feel of Mars. Once done chatting we jumped back into the Mazda 3 and headed for Evans City.

After leaving Mars we ended up in Evans City and were sad when we remembered that The Living Dead Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so we could not go in for a visit. But all was well again once we pulled into Evans City Cemetery, and we walked around once more in the shooting location of Night Of The Living Dead and the atmosphere once more recharged my creative batteries as ideas for comics, movies and blog updates filled my head. This time around we also took time and read tombstones and paid our respects to those buried there, and Juliet and I just talked and enjoyed the sunshine. We spent some time in the cemetery before we headed out and ending our wave 1 of our vacation.

Back home from Monster Bash and Cranberry, I still had a few days left of vacation and so on June 30, 2018 Juliet and I had ourselves a very cool Horror Movie Marathon that was filled with lots of great and independent horror’s from our to be watched stack of DVDs. We also loaded up one some great eats like chips and breakfast casserole and decided on buffalo chicken and baked potatoes for dinner. The first movie of the marathon was the 1931 version of “Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde” that is about a poor doctor who experiment turns him into a sinister foul person who calls himself Hyde. The next film was “The Man With Two Heads” that was cheesy cult director Andy Milligan’s version of Jekyll and Hyde that follows William Jekyll and his transformation into Danny Blood. The third chiller feature was the indie horror creature flick called “Cryptid” about a pint sized government made creature on a rampage! Next up we had “Manhater” about a woman whose anger at men becomes a living demon who gets revenge for her. Shot on video film “Cemetery Sisters” was next and was about sisters who married and killed men in order to get money to open a mortuary. We then watched “Phantom Of The Opera” a modern 2014 reimagining of the classic story. The seventh film of the marathon was the spooky found footage film “Hell House LLC”. We then viewed “Dark Shade Creek 2” that is an independent slasher film. The cheesy “Ghost Of Camp Blood” was next and has the evil spirit of the clown mask killer looking for revenge. That was followed up by “Monkey Farm” a chilling tale about a research monkey that could possible be more than that. The chilling horror anthology “10/31” was next and delivered some frights. And our final fright flick of the night was “Carnivore: Werewolf Of London” about a couple at a cabin fighting for their lives against a werewolf. What a fun filled day with lots of great Horror Movies and a cool way to relax with Juliet.

The day was filled with some great films and some that were just okay and one that was hands down the Golden Turkey winner for both Juliet and myself and that’s Cryptid as this film was terribly paced and had some of the most useless main hero characters I have seen in a film for quit some time. I will say that the creature of the film was cool and well done and shows that this movie could have been something better with a good script. For me picking the top three spots was kind of an easy one with my # 1.) being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) as this is a great classic monster film that was released the same time as Universal started making their Monster films and was Paramount’s way of cashing in, plus the acting is fantastic as is the look of Mr. Hyde. For me # 2.) was 10/31 an amazing modern horror anthology film that has every segment take place on Halloween, I found myself enjoying every segment and the score was top notch, this is one fright flick I think every one should view on Halloween. My # 3.) was a hard one to choose as I enjoyed so many but I had to go with Hell House LLC. as I found it to be one of the better found footage horror flicks I have seen in quite awhile, the mood and feel of the movie is fantastic! I must say that a runner up for 3rd for me was Manhater as I also found it well done and enjoyed the super sexy demon lady. Juliet’s top three of the marathon went like this # 1.) 10/31…#2.) Hell House LLC…#3.) Phantom Of The Opera (2014)! As always the Horror Movie Marathon is a great relaxing time and event I look forward to doing multiple times a year.

I am sure you’re all wondering what fiend for this Horror Movie Marathon won the Golden Chainsaw award, and I am here to tell you it was the weird small monster from Cryptid! This little guy racked up a body count of 16 people and possibly more…while the movie was not great and was the Golden Turkey for both of us, it still wracked up a body count. His best kill of the film is eating the skin off a woman’s face, a brutal and a cool indie effect. So here is to you, Cryptid monster for all your bloodshed.

George A. Romero made a perfect zombie Horror Movie trilogy starting with the 1968 film Night Of The Living Dead and ending with Day of The Dead that was released in 1985. For years afterward, the godfather of zombie films stayed away from the world ruled by the dead he created. But 20 years after his last film, he returned to that world when in 2005 he released Land Of The Dead to moviegoers. So if you’re ready to get aboard Dead Reckoning, and go on a supply run for the rich, I think it’s time we take a look at Land Of The Dead!

In 2004, Zack Snyder and James Gunn released a remake of Dawn Of The Dead for Universal Studios, and the film sparked interest back in fans and Universal for Horror Movies that featured zombies. While the remake of his film Dawn Of The Dead was in production, George A. Romero was trying to also get a fourth film of his Dead series into production and was dealing with 20th Century Foxfor the film he was calling Twilight Of The Dead as it’s working title. Fox wanted him to call the movie “Night Of The Living Dead” as they wanted to own the rights to a new franchise, and even when he said no and wanted to call it “Dead Reckoning,” they came back with the title “Night Of The Living Dead: Dead Reckoning” and this greedy nature of Fox made Romero seek a new studio to produce the new film.  Enter Universal once more to release a new zombie film for movie goers. The film’s script had elements of the original Day Of The Dead script, and the film’s title was changed to Land Of The Dead. Universal put lots of money into the film with the rumored budget being $15 million making it the highest budget in the Dead series! While Romero wrote and directed, he hired lots of talented actors in big roles like John Leguizamo, Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento and Tom Savini to name a few and even had such stars as Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Gregory Nicotero cameo as zombies. Filming went well, and it was released in theaters on June, 24 2005 and was meet with mostly positive reviews from both critics and fans and did pretty well at the box office bringing in $46,770,602.00 worldwide and was #112 for the year at the US Box Office. In 2005 these other Horror Movies were released Saw II, The Descent, Devil’s Rejects, Ring Two, Wolf Creek, House Of Wax, Cry Wolf, Hellraiser: Deader, The Skeleton Key and Boogeyman to name a few showing that the world of Horror was very much alive and bringing in movie goers and home video watchers. So as you can see, Land Of The Dead might have been lost in the shuffle slightly at the Box Office it still has made it mark on the world of horror and shows that no one knew zombies better than Romero.

As a youngster I was really into music and when moving from Waynesville to Kettering I was the odd Monster Metalhead Kid who had a chip on his shoulder and would spend his time after school listening to the likes of Billy Idol, Alice Cooper and Motley Crue on vinyl and cassette and would call the local radio station The Edge and request songs from the likes of Adam Ant and became friends with the DJ Scott Mallory who ended up years later giving me advanced tickets to see Land Of The Dead in the theater before its release date. I was able to bring many of my friends as going with me was my then girlfriend Misty as well as my brother Bryan and my pals Andy Copp and Josh Weinberg, and I can remember waiting in line and all of us being so excited to see it, and after the movie we all left with the fact we enjoyed it but it seemed a little too polished. And what we all liked is the message of the rich using the poor as at the time that feeling among the hardworking low income was dealing with that in George W. Bush’s America. I was also really happy that Asia Argento was in it as she was one of the best foreign genre actresses going at the time. Plus the film’s effects were good minus the use of CGI blood in spots as that always looks terrible. The things from the movie that I was not that big of a fan of was the focus of the film being the rolling armored vehicle Dead Reckoning as it was large and silly and seemed like something from a video game. The other thing I was not sold on was the lead zombie Big Daddy who is showing signs of intelligence naturally and felt pain as his fellow zombies were shot and killed. But with these things I didn’t like I over all really did enjoy this film and found it to be a great sequel to Night Of The Living Dead and proved that with a budget Romero could make something very special for fans. When the film was released to home media I bought the DVD and still own and watch it from time to time till this day. While this might not be the best in the Dead series it’s by no means the worst, as that honor goes to the 6th film in the series “Survival Of The Dead”. If you have not seen this film do yourself a favor and watch it late one stormy night and open the windows to allow a breeze to role in and enjoy this zombie filled romp.

Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek handled the score for Land Of The Dead and brought something fresh and new and yet still has a very classic feel to it. The mood of the music is dark when needed and filled with action when moments call for it. While I feel it’s not as iconic of a score as the work of Goblin or John Harrison from the past two sequels, I still find it very solid and is worth listening to and even have played it on Alpha Rhythms on WYSO during October. This score can be found on CD and via Digital and was released by Varese Sarabande and is a great release for fans who collect Horror Movie scores.

Like the films in the series before it, Land Of The Dead has had its fair share of merchandise that delivered cool items for the fans. Items like posters, soundtrack, t-shirts, buttons and comics all came out. Action figures were made by Sorta Toys that were highly detailed and figures of almost the all the main zombies were made including Big Daddy and The Butcher. Also made was a Video Game that was exclusive to the original XBOX called “Land Of The Dead: Road To Fiddler’s Green” that was a first person shooter that had you trying to fight through hordes of the undead in order to get the promise land of Fiddler’s Green, the game was not well rated by fans and critics but still offered something cool for fans of the film. Over the years I have owned the comics, mini poster and soundtrack of this film. So if you love Land Of The Dead, there is lots of cool stuff for you to collect.

As I said one of the biggest pluses for Land Of The Dead for me has to be the fact the very lovely Asia Argento was cast as main character Slack. For those who don’t know who Asia is, shame on you as she is the daughter of director Dario Argento and has acted in such classic films as Demons 2, The Church, Phantom Of The Opera, Scarlet Diva, xXx, Mother Of Tears and Dracula 3D to name a few. She also has directed some films like The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things and Misunderstood. Sadly in modern news Asia was one of the victims of the scumbag movie producer Harvey Weinstein and sadly was victim-shamed in her own homeland of Italy causing her to have to move to Germany to escape the media’s hurtful words. I for one stand with Asia Argento and hope that Harvey gets what’s coming to him, and that Asia after this drama ends returns to making Horror Movies and Cult Films as I for one am looking forward to her future in films. Check out the pictures below to see Asia Argento as Slack from Land of The Dead.

So we are at the electric and guarded gates of Fiddler’s Green and that must mean we are at the point of taking a look at the comic adaption of our film of the hour Land Of The Dead that was released by IDW. And while we try and find our way in and get shelter from these terrible flesh-eating zombies I would like to thank Bell Book And Comic and Lone Star Comic for having these issues in stock to make this update possible and I would also like to remind you that I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So I can hear Big Daddy groaning off in the distance which means that the zombies are on their way so let’s get to reading these comics before we all become a snack for them!

Land Of The Dead # 1  ***
Released in 2005      Cover Price $3.99       IDW      # 1 of 5

Riley and his crew that include Charlie, Cholo and Pretty Boy (to name a few) control the combat truck called Dead Reckoning and are on a supply run in a small town that is overrun by zombies. Riley is noticing that the zombies seem to be getting smarter and are trying to mimic their old human lives and seem to be communicating with each other now. This is his last night in command of this group, and he wants it to go smoothly but when Cholo goes off track and leads to a rookies death, and one of their biker members is knocked from his motorcycle and eaten by the undead his mission turned sour. The zombies now have seemed to come together and are ready to take the fight to the living. When back safe Riley and Cholo get into it over the antics back in town, and as they separate Riley and Charlie go to find a man named Chihuahua who owns Riley a car at his bar that includes a zombie fight cage! While Cholo is turned away from getting an apartment in the upper class high rise building called Fiddlers Green by the Mr. Kaufman who runs the town. As Cholo is leaving he beats up the security officers who have been told to kill him.

The dead are getting smarter and the living are still fighting among themselves over greed plus power and money! Our story follows the crew of Dead Reckoning and their two men in charge and their lives in a world of corruption and he dead. Our main hero is Riley who is the man in charge of the crew and after their last mission is retiring and is wanting to get a car and leave the area behind him. But sadly for him looks like his money has been taken and his car is just a pipedream and the man he was buying it from is clearly a con man. Charlie is a simple man who has one side of his face burnt and is the closest friend to Riley and is like his right hand man. Cholo is reckless and self-serving but also has most of the crews respect as he gets results, not to mention he also does all the dirty work for Mr. Kaufman and once his rich boss turned on him it’s clear there will be hell to pay! Mr. Kaufman is clearly a smug rich man who enjoys his power over others and does not value those who get him his supplies or keep him safe. The world inside Fiddlers Green is posh and filled with shops and restaurants with armed guards while out side the town is kept safe by electric fences and soldiers with the people being poor and fight for the scraps. The zombies are all around the town and are getting smarter and are bounding together and seem to have had enough of the living! Big Daddy in this issue is really downplayed as he takes a back seat to the female athlete zombie who is the one that uses a tool to knock a biker off his bike for them to all snack on. This first issue holds pretty true to the film it was based on and yet holds a feel of its own making it a really good read. The cover for this issue is amazing and is very eye catching and reminds me of a zombie cover that you could have seen on an issue of The Dead or Dead Walkers. The interior art is also well done and is done by Gabriel Rodriguez who also did IDW’s “Lock & Key” and “Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland”. A very good zombie horror comic first issue that shows he respect to the film and also adds and takes away enough to make it feel like it’s own experience. Lets see what issue two has in store for us, shall we?

Land Of The Dead # 2   **1/2
Released in 2005      Cover Price $3.99       IDW     # 2 of 5

The zombies now being lead by the one called Big Daddy are making their way to the city and are taking the war to the living! Meanwhile Riley and Charlie while waiting on answers about the car watch as a young woman named Slack is thrown into the arena with two spray painted zombies with the crowd voting on what one will get her first. Riley and Charlie make the decision to save Slack and shoot the zombies and even have to kill the little man who was the key to Riley’s car and this leads to them all being arrested including Slack. Meanwhile Cholo and his crew steal Dead Reckoning just as the zombies have broken into the outer walls of the city! Cholo calls Mr. Kauffman and wants five million dollars or he will use the guns and missiles from Dead Reckoning to blow up Fiddlers Green. This worries Mr. Kauffman who refuses to pay the money and brings Riley up from jail and demands that he gets Dead Reckoning back and deal with Cholo once and for all.

The corruption of the ones in power is clearly putting the poor and working class at risk as Mr. Kauffman and his power has put everyone in the small secure town at risk no only from the zombies but also the one man he crossed that has the means and anger to do something about it. Kauffman is such a smug and overly confidante man who lives a posh life style and rubs elbows with the rich but also has his fingers in the underbelly of the town’s illegal activities. Cholo meanwhile is also a very cold person who really only looks out for himself as he wants his money and walks away from a zombie attack leaving people to die so that he can steal Dead Reckoning, and then once had threatens to blow up the town in order to get money. Riley and Charlie clearly make a great team and while Riley acts tough and cold it’s clear he cares about peoples life and that’s why he risks it all to save the life of a woman he didn’t even know. Slack is that woman who is a skilled fighter, but due to her good looks was forced into being a streetwalker by Kauffman and his crime connections, and once they find she is talking to a group of rebels set on one day fighting the powers that be she is arrested and set to be killed in the zombie arena. This issue has some blood, gore and is building the mood to what is to come, the one thing you will notice is that while the zombies are around they seem to be only a background plot. This issue also shows that Big Daddy is the one who is leading the zombie revelation and he and his fellow undead are attacking smartly and have made their way to the cities outer border. The cover for this issue I have is ok and is just a photo still taken from the film and is nothing special, while the interior art once more was done by Gabriel Rodriguez and is once more great stuff. This second issue is solid and builds the story and brings us to the main meat of the story and that’s Riley and crew going out to get Dead Reckoning back. So let’s see what issue three has in store for us!

Land Of The Dead # 3  ***
Released in 2005     Cover Price $3.99     IDW     # 3 of 5

Riley agrees to get back Dead Reckoning on the condition that Charlie and Slack are set free and join him and for a car to leave the city to head north. As Riley and his crew gear up they are forced to also take three soldiers with them that’s Motown a tough as nails female, Manolete a prideful soldier who is named after a bullfighter and the massive Samoan Pillsbury who is a mountain of a man. Once out to get supplies needed they also find the aftermath of the last zombie attack and know that the city is in danger multiple ways! While getting ammo and finding a jeep stray zombies are around the leaves Manolete bitten and having to be shot by Slack, and once far away from the city Riley and Charlie pull guns on Motown and Pillsbury and let them know that they are aware that Kauffman has sent them to kill them after they get back Dead Reckoning and give them an option of going along with the plan of Riley taken the massive vehicle or getting out of the jeep and walking back to the city…they decide to go along for the ride. Cholo and his crew load the weapons and are ready to flow Fiddler’s Green away as Riley and his crew are trying to catch up with them to stop it. But while they are playing war games Big Daddy and his zombie friends have gotten across the river and are on track to attack the city!

Mr. Kauffman is upping the game against Cholo in this game of power and greed as he sends out his own task force to get his stolen war machine back. Riley clearly only takes the job of getting Dead Reckoning back in order to save the innocent people who will be killed in this little power struggle. Riley while a loner and tough as nails always does what’s right and does his best to protect the innocent. Charlie as well is a good guy, who will kill to protect his friends and those who need help he is also very skilled with a gun and always has Riley’s back. Slack who only grew up in the city has never seen the outside world and it’s clear she don’t like what she sees, but she as well is a skilled fighter and has bounded with Riley and Charlie. Motown and Pillsbury are skilled fighters who clearly work for Kauffman and would have killed Riley and his friends when he mission was over, but know that they have to play along or be left for the dead. Cholo really does just want’s what’s owed to him and does not mind killing to get it! Big Daddy and his zombie horde are causing death and destruction and make meals out of soldiers and any human they come across! This issue also brings the blood and gore and shows that while the world is under attack by greed they are the true threats to mankind. The cover for this issue is pretty great and is eye catching for Horror Comic readers, with the interior art once more being done by Gabriel Rodriguez being solid and great stuff! Over all this third issue is fantastic and is holding true to this George Romero film.

Land Of The Dead # 4  ***
Released in 2005     Cover Price $3.99      IDW      # 4 of 5

Riley and his crew find Dead Reckoning and Pillsbury knocks out Motown who was planning on turning on the group and Riley and Charlie stand and meet Cholo and his crew who take the pair as hostages as Slack and Pillsbury hide in the shadows armed and ready to fire if things go south. When Riley uses a master control on Dead Reckoning to shut down its weapons Cholo and Riley get into a fight and this leads to the now woken up Motown to try and shoot them and one bullet hits Cholo and this also leads to her death as a zombie bites her and Slack putts a bullet in her brain. While at Fiddlers Green Mr. Kaufmann is stealing the cities money and is about to flee when he gets the call from Riley that Dead Reckoning has been recaptured, but when explosions in the city goes off they find out that the zombies lead by Big Daddy are in the city and want human flesh! Cholo and one of his friends decide to go and travel to Cleveland while Riley and the rest of them travel to the city and see if they can help as the city really is being taken over by the dead.

Things are really heating up as the zombies are in full force and have entered the city and are killing and eating anyone in their way. Riley and Charlie risk their own lives in order to get close to Dead Reckoning and Cholo and are able to pull off stopping the planned attack on the city. Riley once in control of the defense machine makes the decision to return to the city to help anyone he can from the zombies. Mr. Kauffman once more shows that he is a selfish person as when things get bad he tries to flee Fiddlers Green and is taking all the money of his residents! Kauffman really is a terrible person and one as a reader you really do want to see get his. Slack and Pillsbury are great back up for Riley as they watch his back during the stand off with Cholo. Speaking of Cholo that poor guy just can not win as in this issue he does not get his money, he does not get Dead Reckoning and worse gets shot and bite! This issue really has it all hit the fan as zombies are now working together and have gotten smarter and yet still want to eat and kill. The issue has lots of blood and zombie carnage and a pretty cool cover that features Slack who is played by Asia Argento predominately and again Gabriel Rodriguez did the interior art and is great stuff. So as you can see Dead Reckoning is in the hands of Riley who along with his crew are off to try and save the day. A great solid read and makes me look forward to see how the final issue plays out.

Land Of The Dead # 5  ***
Released in 2005     Cover Price $3.99     IDW     # 5 of 5

Riley and the crew of Dead Reckoning are on their way to try and save the innocent people of the city and they have to get a drawbridge to drop first and once more Riley risks his life in order to do so, and even must come face to face with some zombies! Meanwhile the now bitten and dying Cholo is dropped off near Fiddlers Green as he wants revenge of Mr. Kauffman who is also on the run as Big Daddy and the zombies have entered the building and are eating the rich. After Riley gets the bridge down they rush to the gates and find that many of the people have been killed by the zombies as the now fully dead Cholo has found Mr. Kauffman after he hid in a limo to get away from Big Daddy who had poured gasoline all over the limo and ground. The zombie Cholo attacks Kauffman by the limo and as the two tussle Big Daddy throws a flaming barrel at the limo that is covered in gas blowing up Kauffman and Cholo ending their greed once and for all. Meanwhile Riley is able save many lives when he fires missiles into a horde of zombies, as the survivors figure out what they want to do Riley, Charlie, Slack, Pretty Boy and the rest of the crew of Dead Reckoning all head to Canada as Big Daddy and the zombies head off back to the town they came from as their work and message was sent.

Wow this really was a great Horror Comic that does a great job of adapting the George Romero film and giving fans something more to have based on it. This issue has Riley doing what’s right and stopping Cholo from attacking the city, is able to keep onto Dead Reckoning and save lots of innocent lives from a zombie attack. Riley all through this comic mini series has been a real loner but it’s also clear he values the friendships he has in a world gone dead, plus it’s great that we have a hero in this comic and in the world it created that’s a true caring person with a tough edge. Charlie and Slack are as well loners who are looking for their own place in the world and find good friendship with each other as well as with Riley. It’s clear that Charlie owes his life to Riley who saved him from a very bad fire that left half his face scared. Slack meanwhile was a good soldier who was forced to be a prostitute who wants something better in life and for trying to better herself is sent to be killed by zombies in a arena cage, before she is rescued by Riley. Cholo is a man who has turned cold due to the world around him going to hell, his goal is to live the good life and once that is taken away from him he will do whatever he can to get his revenge. Mr. Kauffman is a rich scumbag who really only cares about himself and I love how in this comic series they keep his face hidden in shadow making him come off even more evil. Big Daddy and the rest of the zombies are flesh eaters who are adapting and learning and with their new smarts come’s skills in killing and eating humans. Land of the Dead is a film that translated really well to comics and IDW did a great job of making it happen and with this and as well as Dawn Of The Dead makes me wish they would have covered more of the films of George Romero like Day Of The Dead and even Survival Of The Dead. I also wish IDW would have made an ongoing comic series of Land as I would like to know what Riley, Charlie, Slack and the rest of Dead Reckoning is up to and what they found in Canada. The cover I have for this issue is fantastic and very eye catching and holds a classic indie zombie comic look, and the interior art by Gabriel Rodriguez is fitting for this title. Over all this is a very solid and good Horror Comic title based on a Horror Movie and is a nice comic series for fans of the film and is worth checking out for fans. Check out the art below to see how it looks in this comic and see the style of Rodriguez.

So as always super sad that our Monster Bash vacation has come to an end as I really do enjoy that Horror Convention and really love Cranberry, Mars and Evan City as they feel like my home away from home! Also sad as this is the last of the adaptation comics of the George A. Romero films based on zombies…I mean there are some more Night Of The Living Dead comics from the likes of Fantaco, Dead Dog and Avatar so who knows what next year will have in store for me to review for my Monster Bash Vacation. But for my next update, I will be leaving the world of Romero’s dead behind and once more be entering the world of Atlas Comics as I take a look at masked hero The Destructor! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Romero film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a bad guy bashing good time.

Horror Host Icon: Ghost Host

The thing about Horror Hosts is that, as far as I know, every state in America has had one and each have meant something to their fans and viewers.  For many, they feel like long lost friends who are guiding them through scary movies, and for others, they seem like the crazy uncle who does the zany stuff to get a laugh around the table during dinner. For Baltimore, Maryland and later Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one host that seemed to capture the attention of the viewers was a ghoul named Ghost Host who would stand in the shadows and host his show “Ghost Host Theatre” all the while calmly and creepily telling you about the night’s movie. Ghost Host was shadowed with mystery as his deep echoing voice would ring out and his face was covered by the darkness with only his sinister eyes peering into the viewer’s very soul! I first discovered an episode of Ghost Host many years back when cruising around a Horror Host trade site, and while I had always heard of him, it was via this trade site that I finally was able to view one of his shows as he hosted the Universal Frankenstein! And after watching this episode, I was hooked and I can see why Ghost Host has a loyal fan base. So I am very proud to bring you this update of Horror Host Icon: Ghost Host! Let’s travel to his mansion and discuss this creepy Horror Host.

Ghost Host is a spirit in his dark mansion surrounded by woods with a rainstorm always raging outside during his show’s opening. Ghost Host wears a nice suit, has a beard and unkempt dirty hair, haunting dead eyes that stare into your soul, and a booming spooky voice that echoes. He also hides in the shadows and seems to enjoy telling the viewers about the night’s movie, and he does so with class. Besides being a spirit, Ghost Host also seems to like to do experiments in the Mansion’s dungeon as well as take strolls in the cemetery that is on the grounds of his property. Ghost Host seemed to take joy in having the viewers as his guests and took pride in introducing the evening’s movies as he would treat them with respect.  He also enjoyed sharing info on the actors and makers of the film or films he was hosting. Ghost Host was not your typical Horror Host as he was not one to incorporate comedy skits or deliver cheesy jokes.  Instead he went the more direct, semi scary route to help add to the chills of the viewers making Ghost Host live up to his name! His quote that he would say in order to close his show was this “Here’s Blood In Your Eye” as he would take a drink of some unknown weird liquid he made.  Ghost Host scared viewers on his show “Ghost Host Theatre” from 1971-1985 and ran in many markets from Maryland to Pennsylvania and became a must watch for many of Monster Kids.

George Lewis was the man behind Ghost Host and was a TV Personality for WBFF out of Baltimore. He started his time as a TV host in 1957 as the host of a kids show called “Steamboat Bill and Mr. Cartoon” that ran until 1970 on WSAZ-TV out of West Virginia. George started his major TV career in 1971 on WBFF Channel 45 in Baltimore, Maryland when he played Captain Chesapeake, a kids show host who was super popular and ran all the way until 1990.  1971 also started his run as Ghost Host a late night horror host for WBFF, and he also delivered news for the station! During his time as Ghost Host, his show was also picked up in Pittsburgh, and the character gained more followers and acted as a gateway for youngsters to wait for Chiller or other shows that introduced them to the classic monsters. In 1990, after Captain Chesapeake went off the air, George retired from on-air roles and spent his remaining days enjoying life and spending time with family and friends. Sadly, George Lewis passed away on December 18, 2000, and while he is gone, the mark he made on kids of the 70s-80’s is still felt and his memory will always live on. I want to also note that George Lewis produced another Horror Host called Gaylord, who was a returning host from the 50’s who got a new show in Maryland in the 70’s! While Ghost Host was a very popular host, it is clear that his time as Captain Chesapeake is what most watchers from Baltimore remember him best for.

I first heard of Ghost Host around the late 90’s thanks to old horror magazines and an old black and white image they printed of him. Some years would pass and thanks to Horror Host show traders, I was able to get my hands on a few episodes and found myself hooked as the atmosphere of the show was top notch! The thing that did throw me off was the fact that the shots used for the show were used episode after episode and only the voice over would change as Ghost Host was really in the video just reciting Hamlet! I heard they went the route of reusing footage to save money on tapes and also that one night The Ghost Host was a little drunk on live air and it made for a crazy and enjoyable watch for viewers.  But keep in mind, him being drunk on air is a Horror Host Urban Legend, and it has never been proven as fact. While looking up information about Ghost Host, the one thing I found interesting is that while he was very popular in Maryland, he was not as favored in Pennsylvania (but still liked) as many of the viewers would only tune into him before their favorite shows,like SNL or before Chiller Theater, would hit the late night airwaves. The thing about Ghost Host and his show is that it very much had a cheap look and feel to it making it a true Horror Host show on a budget, but while he might not have had a huge production budget, he did have a great spooky over all feel and look to the show and I really dig the creepy music that was played during his segments as well like his intro song and credits very much. Did you know that in 2016 Ghost Host was inducted into the official Horror Host Hall Of Fame and finally took his place alongside the immortals of the hosting genre? What he lacked in budget, he made up for in atmosphere and character and that’s why Ghost Host is one of the all time greats to this Horror Host fan.

Most of the time, Horror Hosts feel like your friends who wait for you to join them at their home or base and watch a scary movie all the while they get into some sort of silly adventure with hosts like Commander USA, Dr. Creep, The Creeper and Grandpa Munster all had this quality about them. Ghost Host however does not have the friend feel and has more of a crazy old man who lives in the big run down house at the end of the street that never mows his lawn and the parents of the neighborhood dislike and the kids all share stories of how he has the bodies of missing kids in his basement…in other words, he seems sinister, crazy and spooky, and while a ghost, he sure does love to do experiments and stroll in his graveyard. This is just something I felt I should point out about him as I enjoy his show very much and like this aspect of him as it’s very different from most hosts of his time. Oh and I also love that his mansion is a painting and that the graveyard is clearly a set with cardboard tombstones with names of famous monsters misspelled on them, classic Horror Host stuff!

So we are at the point of looking at the Ghost Host Theater episodes I own, and most, if not all, of them are from his Double Feature show taped off TV from Maryland, and these are all the ones I have been able to collect over the years and want to thank all the Horror Host Trade Lists for having these available for me to watch and now review here on my Horror Host Icon update to honor Ghost Host. I do not give these episodes a star rating and the host segments are written by me with the films coming from our pals at IMDB. So sit back and take a trip to the Ghost Host mansion and see what horrors he has in store for us!

Ghost Host Theatre: The Cat Creeps
Starring – Noah Beery Jr. & Lois Collier      Not Rated        1946

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and ushers us into the first part of the night’s film. The Ghost Host is now walking around his graveyard and tells viewers what will be coming soon to his show as well as that his second film of the night is “Captive Wild Women” and goes back to the first film. And we are treated to lots of Ghost Host name logo bumpers before we join him once more in the graveyard, and as he is telling us about the second film, this DVD cuts off and we miss his bumper and the second film!

Movie: A black cat is suspected of being possessed by the spirit of an elderly murdered woman.

Note from Matt: It appears this was part of a double feature showing, so not a full episode and the commercials have been cut out.

Ghost Host Theatre: Frankenstein
Starring – Boris Karloff & Colin Clive      Not Rated        1931

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and then walks over to his desk and starts to mix potions and tells us the first film of the night is Frankenstein and then slowly takes us into the first part of the movie. We next join Ghost Host in the graveyard, where two bodies are laying and have clearly been murdered, and he tells us that the second film of the day will be “Ghost Of Frankenstein.” He steals a ring off the dead female body and ushers us back to the film as he sits with the dead. We get lots more Ghost Host logo bumpers and no end segment or second film.

Movie: Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again.

Note from Matt: This was part of a double feature showing, so not a full episode with all segments.

Ghost Host Theatre: The Mummy’s Curse
Starring – Lon Chaney Jr. & Peter Coe      Not Rated        1944

Host: This episode starts with a jump cut from the opening credits and has Ghost Host wandering around the graveyard.  He tells us a little about who stars in the film we are about to see, The Mummy’s Ghost! The next time we see Ghost Host, he is closing the show, mixing a drink and giving us his closing line “Here’s Blood In Your Eye”.

Movie: An irrigation project in the rural bayous of Louisiana unearths living mummy Kharis, who was buried in quicksand twenty-five years earlier.

Note from Matt: This was part of a double feature showing, so not a full episode with all segments and to boot it’s the second film shown of said double feature. This also seems like a very poorly edited episode from the person pausing for commercials as most logo bumpers are missing as are most of The Ghost Host skits.

Ghost Host Theatre: Night Key
Starring – Boris Karloff & Warren Hull      Not Rated        1937

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and then walks over to his desk and starts to mix potions and tells us the film of the night is Night Key and then takes us into the first part of the movie. We next see Ghost Host walking around his graveyard, and he chats about 30’s horror films that they will be showing soon on his show and then takes us back to the night’s film. We next join Ghost Host in his lab once more working on an experiment, and he tells us what’s in store for us next week!

Movie: The inventor of a new top-of-the-line burglar alarm system is kidnapped by a gang in order to get him to help them commit robberies.

Note from Matt: Sadly this episode is missing the end segment as well as end credits.

Ghost Host Theatre:  Werewolf Of London
Starring – Henry Hull & Warner Oland      Not Rated        1935

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and then walks over to his desk and starts to mix potions and tells us the film of the night is Werewolf Of London and then slowly takes us into the first part of the movie as he continues to work on his experiment. We next see Ghost Host walking around his graveyard and hypes some upcoming films he will be hosting in the coming weeks like The Mummy and Night Monster and has a sinister chuckle about the viewer being scared over the night’s movie. The Ghost Host ends the show by inviting us back next week and delivers the line “Here’s Blood In Your Eye” as he takes a drink and the rainstorm still rages on outside.

Movie: While on a botanical expedition in Tibet Dr. Wilfred Glendon is attacked in the dark by a strange animal. Returning to London, he finds himself turning nightly into a werewolf and terrorizing the city, with the only hope for curing his affliction a rare Asian flower.

Ghost Host Theatre: Invisible Ray/Mad Doctor Of Market Street
Starring – Boris Karloff & Lionel Atwill     Not Rated       1936/1942

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and then walks over to his desk and starts to mix potions and tells us the first film of the night is Invisible Ray and then quickly takes us into the first part of the movie as he continues to work on his experiment. We next see Ghost Host walking around his graveyard and hypes the second film of the night and just chills standing next to a tombstone while we go back to the movie. We return to Ghost Host and he is still in his graveyard, and we just hear his voice at first and then he appears and takes us to the second film. Once more in the graveyard Ghost Host tells us about upcoming film he will be showing very soon on his show and then quickly we get a Ghost Host logo bumper. The end segment seems to be missing.

Movies: The Invisible Ray – Visionary scientist Janos Rukh convinces a group of scientists and supporters to mount an expedition to the African continent to locate and study an ancient meteorite of great significance. He exposes himself to the highly toxic radiation of the meteorite, and while an antidote devised by Dr. Benet saves him from death by radiation poisoning, his naked touch causes instant death to others. Back in London, the benefits of the meteorite’s controlled radiation offer Dr. Benet an opportunity to restore eyesight to the blind. The antidote’s toxicity excites Prof. Rukh into paranoid rages as he seeks revenge against the members of his expedition, who he accuses of stealing his discovery for their own glory. The Mad Doctor Of Market Street – A mad scientist is forced to leave San Francisco when his experiments become known. He lands on a tropical island, takes control and terrorizes the local populace. The survivor of a shipwreck washes ashore on the island, sees what is happening and determines to free the natives from his rule.

Note from Matt: Sad to say this episode has lots of digital breakup as the person I got it from put it on a very cheap DVD-R, and this made it very hard to see the ending of the film and episodes closing segment that appears to have been cut off.

Ghost Host Theatre: Doctor RX/The Spider Woman Strikes Back
Starring – Lionel Atwill & Gale Sondergaard     Not Rated       1932/1946

Host: Ghost Host is standing looking out the window of the mansion looking out at the rain and then walks over to his desk and tells us the film of the night is Doctor RX and then super quickly we go to the first part of the film. We next see Ghost Host walking around his graveyard and hypes the films coming soon to his show and just stands around before we go back to the film. We come back to Ghost Host who is in his mansion and ends the show with his famous like “Here’s Blood In Your Eye”!

Movies: Doctor RX – A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor investigates one of the “Moon Killer” murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment. The Spider Woman Strikes Back – Jean takes the job of caretaker/companion (before the word took on a completely alternate-life style meaning) to blind woman Zenobia. Also hanging around the house, in this horror/western, is Mario, a deaf-mute servant who evidently wasn’t much help to Zenobia when it came to identifying the source of a noise Zenobia couldn’t see. Jean is a little slow in realizing that Zenobia is slowly killing her by taking her blood. Nothing personal. Zenobia needs her blood to feed some plants. She uses the blossoms of the plants to make poison to kill cattle in order to drive away the local ranchers so she can buy all the land…cheap.

Note from Matt: The second film on this disc is clearly a crappy put together fan reproduction or just a goof from the station as the breaks for Spider Woman Strikes back are those of Doctor RX!

While Ghost Host’s footage from episode to episode only changed slightly and the voice over sometimes was hard to understand from the echo and music playing over it, to this day I find him to be a great Horror Host whose look and style was all his own and his spooky echoing voice is captivating and draws you into every word he is speaking. Also while his show has been off the air for decades, I like to think his old mansion is still out there crumbling as the constant rainstorm batters it and that The Ghost Host is still inside working on his experiments and taking breaks from it by strolling around the rundown graveyard and still watching black and white horror movies for enjoyment. I am as always interested in getting more episodes of Ghost Host so if you, my friends and readers, have some feel free to send me a message and we trade or something. I also would love to hear from you guys about what Horror Hosts you would like to see me cover here at Rotten Ink and give the old Horror Host Icon treatment to.  I always love learning about new hosts and enjoy seeing what joy they brought to their viewers. So to wrap up this update I want to say a big THANK YOU to Ghost Host who was an amazing Host with such a simple low budget show. Our next update will take us away from the world of Horror Hosting and into the world of aliens as I will be delivering another “Alien Invasion” update that will cover the DC Comic adaptation of the movie Alien Nation! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you back here for the next update.