Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grimjack Comic Book Covers

Back in my college years (first go round) I read comics to keep my sanity intact. Until those years the comic books that I had read were strictly Marvel and DC superhero books sprinkled with the occasional horror anthology series for spice. But in my late teens I discovered First Comics and fell in love with Nexus, Badger and most especially Grimjack.  The adventures of John Gaunt were the perfect next step for someone like me who loved Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and science fiction stories so when I was able to get my hands on the first thirty issues at one time for a cheap price (thank you comic book convention dealers!) I sntached them up and read them repeatedly. I still have those comics and actually still have my entire run of the series that I periodically reread. I've been tempted to pick up the various trade paperback collections over the past decade but haven't as yet. But don't let that stop you. If you've never read Grimjack give the character a try - you might find a new favorite like I did all those years ago. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015


In this episode Troy and I return to our Controversial Kaiju series to talk about GODZILLA MOTHRA KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL OUT ATTACK (2001) and marvel at more than just the length of the title. The third film in the 'Millennium' run from Toho it follows the standard for that series by ignoring all previous Godzilla film save the classic 1954 original. Yes- this movie is a direct sequel to GOJIRA and that might explain why for some Big G fans it might be considered controversial. I think the only thing controversial about it is that the director (Shûsuke Kaneko) has not been allowed (or forced!) to make several more awesome Godzilla epics!

As is typical with these giant monster movies from Japan, I play catch up as Troy takes me to school dropping knowledge about everything in sight. Luckily there is much to talk about as I complain about the title and suggest a more accurate and less serious alternate name for the film. Troy discusses the originally desired monster lineup and his own preferred roster while I express my amazement at the monsters' stance on Japan's juvenile delinquent problem. We were both surprised by the fun way the film addresses the names given to the various monsters which leads me to rename Gamera the Flaming Flying Death Disc while Troy simply shakes his head in shame. Adding to the discussion (and nearly derailing it) is a sideline conversation about Toho's WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966) because I finally got a chance to see this supposed sequel to the topic of the last episode. We do stay on point for the majority of the show but there is a brief bit about 1950's TV westerns that is apropos of absolutely nothing, so be warned.

If you have any comments or questions the email address is thebloodypit@gmail.com where are thrilled to answer any question you might pose. Indeed, this month we answer several queries and I have to once again confess to not having seen a (not so) classic dinosaur film. Add it to the list and I'll eventually get it! Jeeze! Thank you for downloading and listening to the show!   

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Interview - Stephen Thrower on Jess Franco

This is a fantastic brief talk from Mr. Thrower focused on Franco's cinematic style and his own realization of the director's genius. Fascinating for fans and probably for those on the fence about finally checking out Ol' Uncle Jess' work.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Odd Comics - Tragg and the Sky Gods

I recently came across this issue of Tragg and the Sky Gods in the quarter bins and could not resist. I had absolutely no knowledge of this series but it seems I really lucked out - even though this is numbered 9 it was the last of the series and was a simple reprint of the very first issue. It is certainly interesting and if I could grab the rest of the run as cheap I'd do it! What other Don Glut surprises await me in the cheap comic boxes? 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

1950's TV Westerns

Over the past week I've been checking out sample episodes of several 1950's TV westerns that I've never had the chance to see before Encore's Western Channels made it a painfully simple push-button matter. Until now the only one of these shows that I had been exposed to was the excellent Have Gun, Will Travel because that show was championed years ago by a dear friend, Jack Daves. From what I've seen so far HGWT remains the top of the heap but I'm willing to see more. Many more! In my childhood I had seen a number of the of the 1960's color westerns like The Big Valley and Bonanza in reruns but most of the early half-hour format black & white shows are a blind spot I've been itching to scratch for a while.

First up was Matt Dillon which turns out to be an alternate titling of the first six seasons of Gunsmoke from 1955 to 1961. The show was shown under this title in syndication for some reason and that seems to be the version Encore has for broadcast. After 1961 the show switched to hour length shows and then to color in 1966. I had caught some color episodes as a kid but had not been too impressed then but I found the half hour variety more interesting. That may be because in the ensuing years I've become a big fan of the original radio version of Gunsmoke with Marshall Dillon played by the awesome William Conrad. The black & white shows feel more like the radio show and therefore seem more to my taste. As an added bonus one of the guest stars in the first Matt Dillon episode I saw (Cow Doctor) was the young Tommy Kirk proving that he was one hell of an actor - possibly from birth! This show was made in 1956 and Kirk hit the big time that year playing one of the Hardy Boys for Disney and his career was off and running.

Next up was The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp which does its best to standardize and formalize the events of the Earp family of lawmen into easily digestible chunks of occasional brushes with the Clanton gang. Without any knowledge of the historical reality of the situation I suspect the show could be taken as pretty good on its merits and I enjoyed it on that level. But the simplification of the ongoing conflicts between the two groups seems a little too clean for me to watch more than a couple of episodes. The cast is quite good though lead by Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt and solid character actor John Anderson as Virgil Earp.

Last up was the one I had the most interest in - Bat Masterson. I've heard this show talked about as being in the same league as Have Gun, Will Travel and after one episode I can see how they might be compared. As in that show the protagonist dresses very well in expensive clothing and fancies himself a gentleman and acts a bit like a dandy. But Bat Masterson prefers to use his cane rather than a gun to get himself out of trouble, hence the nickname "Bat". Masterson also is played as a suave ladies' man who seems to use his travels around the old West as a chance to sample the women of the area as well as seek out adventure. Charismatic Gene Barry plays Bat with a twinkle in his eye and a sharp wit that keeps him ahead of the show's antagonists. The show I caught features James Best as a perpetually pissed young hoodlum who is turned around by Bat in a rather clever bit of outmaneuvering - he makes the man's fiancé the town Sheriff!  Good stuff! I really like this show so far and will have to see more of them in the next few weeks for some uncomplicated western thrills.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Amusing Art of Ed Harrington!

He touches on all my geeky favorites - and then some! Check out more of his work HERE

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Do You Remember? - NEIGHBORS (1981)

Am I the only one with fond memories of this bizarre film? I loved this movie and probably watched it a dozen times when it was a cable TV staple. So strange with Belushi and Aykroyd so obviously playing the roles best suited for the other. And until tonight I had no idea the script was based on a novel! Or that the movie was written by Larry Gelbart of MASH fame! Or that it was directed by the man who made ROCKY! Damn. I gotta see this one again soon.