Super Bad Seed: Brightburn

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Bear with me as I misremember and possibly misattribute a quote.

“At the rate our technology and understanding of genetics is progressing, some day, the first superhuman will rise forth from a tank. What are we going to put in this being’s hands to read? The New York Times? Atlas Shrugged? Or an issue of Superman?”

The quote, not at all verbatim, possibly was from the beautiful Chaos magician and comic book legend Grant Morrison (unless it was from Mark Millar?), a man who has made an exceptional career from superheroes, and who has positioned Superman as a Sun God and as our highest, noblest ideal. I recommend his work very strongly, particularly All-Star Superman, and also his book “Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.”

Morrison makes the credible argument that a superhero comic is the very best thing we could give someone that has a lot of power to read.

And now, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has given us a vision of a Superman who could well have read … Twitter. Or 4Chan. Or whatever putrid corner of the Internet amplifies the worst thoughts and impulses of America’s boys. Continue reading

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Bad Kiddies and Kitties: Pet Sematary (2019)

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Photo by Chillerpop

I come as cold as a corpse to the story of Pet Sematary. It’s a part of the Stephen King canon I have yet to read, I never did get around to seeing its 1989 predecessor, and it’s far from my favorite song by The Ramones. I had no expectations here. All I knew is that it involved family grief, an Indian burial ground (never my favorite horror trope), and that the great Fred Gwynne was in the movie. Continue reading

Your Weekend Frankenstein, Oct 27-29

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This weekend, please enjoy 1971’s Lady Frankenstein. It’s a shlocky Hammer-derivative production with some interesting twists. Pseudo-erotica horror featuring the beautiful, strangely psychopathic daughter of Victor Frankenstein: Tania, a pioneering female surgeon who shares her dad’s tendencies to push ethics and boundaries of pursuing scientific knowledge and achievement. In its own weird, pervy way, it somehow honors Shelley’s mother’s brand of proto-feminism. And the Monster behaves exactly as most modern horror villains do, punishing beautiful women and horny men for having sex.
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Nuts-N-Bolts-N-Hos

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Don’t you just love saying “Frankenhooker?”

I may possibly have watched Frankenhooker on a certain online video platform where it probably shouldn’t be running. I watched it with Spanish subtitles. The Spanish title was just as elegant and flowing as “Frankenhooker”, if even more shocking and vulgar: “Frankenputa.”

The VHS box cover for Frankenhooker used to be on display at the video store near my college. It had a button you could press and one of those electronic voices you find on very expensive greeting cards, very manly, would exclaim “Wanna Date?” It would make me burst into hysterical laughter for no good reason.
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The Bride’s Bloody Revolt

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I expected Showtime’s Penny Dreadful to be an overwrought, edgy attempt at League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the film adaptation, not the comic book series by Alan Moore, which cannot be outdone in ‘edginess’). I expected to see a team of classic Victorian characters fighting crime, and some standard twists, turns and whatnots.

I was wrong. Penny Dreadful is a complicated, high gothic horror thrill ride with a mix of classic public domain characters and original characters, brought to life by amazing actors. Eva Green as Vanessa Ives is an absolute revelation, she should be an icon. And Timothy Dalton should play every last Victorian occult researcher/protector of mankind. Continue reading

A Vindication of the Rights of Moviegoers

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A do do do, a da da da…

And yet, I’m being unfair, because on the surface, The Bride from 1985 isn’t completely without merit. The film was not well received when it was released, and beautiful Jennifer Beals was nominated for a Razzie  for her performance as “Eva”,  this film’s version of The Bride of Frankenstein.  This I found particularly unfair. Beals well served the role that was written, right down to the helpless Gothic heroine hamming. But, the flashes of strength and independence she briefly snuck in, including the reference to Mary Wollstonecraft, were subversive, more important and telling than the Sting character’s pathetic blather about an “equal” woman.

But more on that below. For now, see details….  Continue reading