Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beware the Batman: Nexus

"Nexus" Beware the Batman, Cartoon Network, 24 August 2014

So, we open 6 months after the blackout. Alfred is gone, Batman's back to being a jerk, and mayor Marion Grange (CCH Pounder) is having problems aplenty dealing with the city's various problems, DA Harvey Dent being one of them. More on that in a bit, but she's so distracted she fails to notice the package on her desk...which turns out to be a bomb. I'd say shocking, but in Gotham when isn't a strange bundle an explosive?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beware the Batman: Reckoning

"Reckoning" Beware the Batman, Cartoon Network, 17 August 2014

 Ra's al Ghul is making the pitch to all the rogues who've appeared so far. Pretty standard "help me and I'll reward you beyond your wildest etc., etc." Of course, why should he go to them? They all lost, rely on equipment, or are too crazy. Ra's commands an entire league of highly trained killers. Why not send them out? They did pretty well so far. Or is this an Inverse Ninja law?

Ra's, playing to the old mastermind checklist to the hilt, makes an offer to Katana. His take is original and in character, so kudos to that. Basically he wants her to kill Alfred. If she does, he'll free her father's soul from the Soultaker. He then demands that she avenge her wouldn't mean she'd have to kill him?

And the problem of using rogues just becomes apparent, i.e. they spend too much fighting themselves rather than the bat. Unless that was Ra's intent but I might be giving the show too much credit.

 Aside: Nice character moment between Gordon and Barbara. Also, nice fight scene between them and ninjas.

 Clever moment#2: Batman gives himself up to Magpie, which in turn causes all the other rogues to attack her.

Tobias Whale, however, shows up and offers a partnership. His reasoning makes a fair amount of sense. He considers Gotham his, so Ra's offering to give him a piece doesn't sit too well with him.

Another flashback. It seems Katana's father sacrificed himself to save Alfred. She finally figures this out and refuses to kill Alfred. I'd say giving her the Soultaker was dumb, but she loses it easily enough so I guess it doesn't matter.

Whale and Batman show up, with Batman in cuffs. He frees himself and hands something (Taser? Grappling gun?) to Whale, who then promptly turns on him. Bats expected this though and makes the weapon blow up in Whale's hand. Cute

While this is going on, Barbara and her dad sneak inside the base and hack the cortex, but the big thing is Bats finally decoded the words needed to work the sword. Instead of using it on Ra's though, he unleashes all the souls trapped inside and lets them handle Ra's.

All's well that ends well, as Ra's is dragged off to...hell? The bottom of the base? And Alfred leaves. 

Next time, be here for the debut of Harvey Dent

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Curse (1987)

The Curse (1987), dir. David Keith, Trans World Entertainment

We've come to the end of the Summer of Love (craft) and we're ending it on a remake of an earlier film. "The Colour from Space" was already made as Die, Monster Die! but just because a film was made doesn't mean it can't be made again.

Friday, August 21, 2015

From Beyond (1986)

From Beyond (1986), dir. Stuart Gordon, Empire International Pictures

With the Re-Animator raking in money and praise, even Band could see the profit to be made. Rushing into production, they picked the science fiction/horror yarn of the same name. 

The result wasn't the same.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

HB to HP

On this day one hundred and twenty five years ago, Howard Phillip Lovecraft came into the world. This is a tribute and more rambling thoughts on the man's work.

I'd like to say I first discovered the man's mythos in a dank New England library by the sea, where a wall eyed man thrust a bound and locked copy of the Necronomicon into my hands before muttering prayers to the Old Ones.

The truth is I didn't actually read anything of his until I was well into my twenties. I had seen the name, but mostly on video box titles in the local shops. Delving deeper into horror, it was hard to avoid references or praise to the man's work as everyone from King to Gaiman have made mentions of him.

The first two stories I properly read were something though, and they served a fine introduction to cosmic horror. "Rats in the Walls" and "the Call of Cthulhu" were both gripping yarns, although the rest of his work didn't light up my mind like Howard's did. Lovecraft's academic New England protagonists wore thin after a while, not to mention the racism.

Still; and one of this odd "I like the idea more than the work itself" things that bubbles up every now and then, I did grow to enjoy the Cthulhu Mythos. So crack open a tin of beans, scoop some vanilla ice cream afterwards, and enjoy a good book.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator (1985), dir. Stuart Gordon, Re-Animator Productions/Empire International Pictures

The last time the world saw anything dealing with Lovecraft, bell bottoms were considered the height of fashion. There had a been a few television spots, mostly on Rod Serling's Night Gallery, but the world of feature films had dried up.

In walks Charles Band, who never met an idea he couldn't squeeze at least three films out of. Taking a story that Lovecraft himself hated, Band and Gordon made something that most horror fans would say they never topped.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Dunwich Horror (1970)

The Dunwich Horror (1970), dir. Daniel Haller, American-International Pictures

As time moved on and the 60's gave way into the 70's, drive-in kings American-International Pictures decided to dip back into the brackish New England waters of Lovecraft once more, and who better than the director of Die, Monster, Die!? This time focusing one of Lovecraft's better known stories, the Dunwich Horror told of the strange Whateley clan of Dunwich.