Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! "The Batman vs, Dracula" Review

It's Halloween! The last month has been a wild ride. It was hard to figure out what to review for such an occasion. So I settled on something both horror and comic related. The Batman vs Dracula is a direct-to-DVD film released in 2005. It is a spin-off of the 2004 Batman show, and drew some inspiration from the 1991 comic Batman & Dracula: Red Rain. This is probably one of my personal favorite Batman movies. It's not as good as The Dark Knight or Under the Red Hood but it's still good.

The movie starts when the Joker and the Penguin escaping from Arkham Asylum. They are both after a treasure stored in the Gotham Cemetery. Joker is chased by Batman while the Penguin looks for the treasure. During the fight with Batman, Joker meets his demise when falling into Gotham Harbor. Since his joy buzzer was activated it shocked him to death. This is when you realize that this is much more darker then the show was. Meanwhile the Penguin finds a coffin, and accidentally cuts his hand. Some blood goes into the corpse's heart resurrecting it.

Penguin get's hypnotized by Dracula, becoming the "Renfield" of this movie. Batman must stop Dracula, and find a way to save the people who Dracula turned into vampires. The movies is good, it has a great atmosphere to it. It shows how dark this show could have been, especially the scenes with Vampire Joker at the Blood Bank. It also has some allusions to Frank Miller's Batman Year One, with scenes like the Bat crashing through the window and the SWAT team chasing Batman through an abandoned warehouse.

With Bat's being a main focus of this story, Batman is blamed for Dracula's kidnappings. This mixed with the guilt for letting the Joker die, and the life he's trying to have with Vicki Vale is a testament to his sense of justice when any normal person would just quit. Speaking of the Joker, of course it's revealed he isn't really dead. But it does raise the question of how did he survive? I mean he's done this before like in Batman the Animated Series but he was shocked, and sinking in a harbor. Apparently he was caught in a fisherman's net, dude must have some good luck.

I did have a few problems though even if they are nitpicks. First why where Dracula's remains taken to Gotham. I mean, if they really wanted to get rid of him why didn't the just throw the heavy coffin into the ocean. Also why is one bite all it take to turn into a vampire? In order to turn into a vampire in the novel Dracula you must be drained of all blood, and die. Then you become a vampire. Also Wayne Enterprises is conveniently developing a Solar Generator when a vampire outbreak occurs.

However the biggest problem I have is the Penguin. Not the Penguin himself I like the Penguin as a villain. It's just the Penguin in this show is uninteresting, and speaks in mostly bad puns. For example Dracula is watching Vicki Vale on TV when Penguin says "Nice jugulars!"

Despite that the movie is pretty good. I recommend it if your interested. So get some candy, watch a couple of Monster movies and have a Happy Halloween!

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Treehouse of Horror XXII" First Thoughts

Halloween is never over until the Simpsons Halloween special. Despite the Simpsons debatable decline in quality I always eagerly await the new Treehouse of Horror. So let's take a look, and there will be spoilers. The introduction is a parody of "127 Hours", it's funny and a good way to start.

The first segment is a spoof of the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Homer is bitten by a spider which paralyses him. While in the backyard he is bitten by a second spider, which gives him Spider powers. So despite being paralyzed he fight's crime as Spider-man, which gives the funniest lines in the whole episode "He has the proportionate strength of a paralyzed Spider!" It's not bad, but some of the lines are pretty stupid.

The second segment is a spoof of "Dexter." Ned Flanders goes around killing people because he thinks God is telling him to, but it's really Homer. When  Ned finds out he try's to kill Homer. This is pretty funny. The last segment is a parody of "Avatar". Bart and Milhouse become aliens like Kang and Kodos. Bart befriends Kang's daughter, and impregnates her. The army invades and the aliens win. This is the weakest of the segments, and It's been done before. Just like the actual Avatar.

Overall this wasn't that bad. It's better then last years. However I do have one problem what does this have to do with Halloween? I mean the only other show on Fox tonight with a Halloween special was the Cleavland Show, and say what you will about it but at least it had something to do with Halloween. But overall, not bad.

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3 Review

Only 3 more days till Halloween, and there's one more comic to review so let's get started. The comic opens with another flashback, this time it's Griffith before he was transformed. He is worried that he won't be able to change back but Dr.Mazursky reassures him. We cut back to the present where Griffith is injured, and Shrieve is captured.

 The Monster asks the Bride how she's still alive. Apparently Dr. Frankenstein didn't completely destroyed her in the novel, and she's been looking for him since then. She joined S.H.A.D.E. and wants him to join it. However Nina tells them they need to fine the Dr.Mazursky to save Griffith.

Shrieve tells them they will never get away because Lane will always try to kill them. However the Bride tells her Lane was the one who gave the "new" Creature Commandos the order to kill her Grandfather. That's all the evidence I need to prove General Lane is the biggest monster of Flashpoint. He trapped the Creature Commandos, gave the order to kill Shrieve's family, turned Sinclair into a doomsday monster with a god complex, trapped/experimented on a kid Superman because he always wanted a son, inadvertently caused the death of his Daughter, and later he causes mass genocide. What a dick. Anyway the Commandos head to Romania, and it is revealed Lane was watching trough J.A.K.E. and sends a prototype of J.A.K.E. II to Romania.

When the Commandos get to the hidden village the Monster senses "True Evil". Remember I said Lane caused genocide, it's revealed that J.A.K.E. II got there before them, and all the peaceful monsters where killed. I said it once, and I'll say it again what a dick. While looking for survivors Velcoro is staked by J.A.K.E. II. The Monster attacks it, and the Bride tells the others to head to castle as she leaves to help the Monster.

At the castle they find Dr.Mazursky, and he tells them how he turned Griffith and Velcoro into monsters. In 1935, him and some soldiers found the hidden village. When they saw that it was inhabited by monsters the soldiers attack the monsters, and the monsters kill them all but Mazursky. He finds out that they are peaceful as long as there not provoked. He spends the next couple of months researching them, and after the war when the monsters where captured he escaped back to the village. Using the magic there along with science he stayed alive. Also it's revealed Nina is not human, and Dr.Mazursky took one of the monsters when he left.

Dr.Mazursky goes to help Griffith, by turning him back into a human. Meanwhile the Monster, and the Bride are going to be shocked to death when Volcoro despite being staked through the heart and being burned by the rising sun distracts the robot long enough for the monster to destroy it.

 Volcoro dies and turns to dust, and the Doctor succeeds in turning Griffith back into a human. Dr.Mazursky, Griffith, and Nina decide to stay in the village. With a goodbye the Monster leaves. The comic ends with the Monster, the Bride, and Shrieve riding off into the sunrise.

This really is the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins, hell this is better then the main book. Unlike every other Flashpoint book it actually has a beginning, middle and end. Most of the books where unresolved, and where supposed to be continued in Flashpoint #5 but they weren't. The biggest problem I had is that they called him Frankenstein, but hey that's just a small nitpick. Anyway if you still want more Frankenstein you can always watch some Batman. See you Halloween day for a special review.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, October 24, 2011

Comic Panel(s) of the Week: The Blues Ghostbusters

Apparently Dan Aykroyd's characters in Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers was the same person, that's pretty awesome. IDW's new Ghostbusters series is probably one of my favorite comics out right now so I recommend you go read it!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2 Review

It's October 21st, and Halloween is fast approaching. However I still have two comics to review, so let's get started. The comic opens Nina (A female Creature of the Black Lagoon) having a flashback. Mazursky is teaching her about animals. He is about to leave, which leads to something both Sad and Heartwarming.

If you remember last weeks review, Nina is Mazursky's daughter who had to be transformed in order to live. It cuts back to the present where Frankenstein's monster and the Creature Commandos are looking for  Mazursky. Meanwhile back at Project M's base General Lane is sending both  J.A.K.E. (the robot from last issue) and Shrieve after the creatures. The Creatures find Nina's old house, however it's abandoned.

They find a passage, The monster and Nina go check it out. While there down there Griffith (Werewolf), and Volcoro (Vampire thing?) get attacked by Shrieve. Nina finds a secret lab where they find a map of Romania, and they decide that that`s the best place to look for Mazursky. Meanwhile back the surface Shrieve is about to kill Volcoro when the Monster returns, and shoot's her in the shoulder.  J.A.K.E. comes out, and attacks the monster. Nina asks why Shrieve is attacking them when her Grandfather was part of there team.

Shrieve tells her that her Grandfather formed a new team of Creature Commandos in order to rescue them. The team appears to consist of Medusa, Solomon Grundy, the Man-Bat, and a skeleton covered in green fire that looks like Blight from Batman Beyond. So it's no surprise that this team of mostly Supervillians turns on him. Killing him and his Family except Shrieve.

Shrieve shoots Nina but Griffith jump in the way, and takes the shoot. Velcoro stops J.A.K.E. before he shocks the Monster into another coma. The comic ends with a mysterious gunner shooting the remainder of Shrieve`s soldier. The mysterious gunner is revealed to be She-Hulk! Dun dun DUN!! Actual it's the Bride of the Monster, who has four arms for some reason.

This issue is good but not as good as the first. But to be fair it's hard to top "Frankenstein's Monster ending World War 2 by cutting Hitler in half with a sword." Still this is the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins. However Halloween is only a little over a week away, and I still have one more issue to go!

Rating: 3/5

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1 Review

Today we are going to return to Flashpoint one last time since it's Halloween. I don't think I need to explain who Frankenstein is so let's dive straight into Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1. The comic opens in 1942 during World War 2. US soldiers are looking around the north when they are attacked by Nazis. However this wake's up Frankenstein's monster and he kills the Nazis. We cut to one year later where the Monster has joined the USA's Project M. A scientist named Mazursky has created a way to turn people into monsters, and this doesn't go over to well with the monster.

We then cut to 1945, where Frankenstein's monster and the other monsters are attacking the Nazis. Frankenstein fight's but goes into the bunkers to end it.

He finds Hitler, and cuts him in half. So in this universe World War 2 is ended by the Frankenstein monster cutting Hitler in half. That's pretty awesome. Anyway we cut to another year later were Mazursky is about to change the creatures back. However he is interrupted by a man named Crane who is taking the monsters. Frankestein's monster wont go without a fight but Crane has a robot that electrocutes him unconscious.

The monster awakens breaking out of his stasis tube, and releases the other monsters. On there way out the see a giant container where the government was keeping Superman. When they get out of the bunker they find a newspaper, and it shows them that they've been down there for Sixty Five years. They decide to see if Nina's Father is still alive to change them back, and leave. The comic ends with the general saying they need to get Shrieve.

This is a pretty good comic. The art is good, and I really like the characters. Having the Monster first appear in the Snowy north makes it seam like he's been there since the end of the original novel. However if I do have one problem it's the the monster is called Frankenstein in the book. The monster has no name, the doctor who created him was named Frankenstein. But that is just a small problem. But it's not over yet, Halloween is still two weeks away and I still need to review two more issues. So see you next where I will review #2.

Rating: 4.5/5

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Tomb of Dracula #65 Review

Today marks the beginning of my Halloween specials. For the next couple weeks I'm going to review a Horror or Monster Movie comic. So since I don't have to explain who Dracula is to anyone let's get started. The comic opens with Rachel van Helsing shocked to discover that Dracula has lost his vampire powers. She goes to see Quincey Harker and the group to discuss if they should still hunt him if he is no longer a vampire.

Meanwhile "Cowboy" Brown tortures a vampire in order to figure out who killed his employers daughter. The vampire tells him it was Dracula. So Brown kills the vampire, and leaves to find Dracula. Dracula walks around a alley when he runs into a woman named Harriet doing drugs. She calls him John, and asks him if if wants to go to her place. When they get there it's revealed that Dracula still has some of his old habits like needing permission to enter a house and being repelled by crosses. Dracula asks her why she takes drugs but is interrupted by Drug dealers who are after Harriet because she stole drugs from them.

One of the Drug Dealers punches Harriet and Dracula pushes him in to a table. Another one of the Drug Dealers shoots Dracula which injures him since he is now human. In retaliation he pushes the Drug Dealer out a window. The police arrive, and arrest Dracula. At the police station Harriet tells the police the truth and Dracula is free to go. But when a photographer tries to take his picture for the newspaper he attacks him and escapes the police station. The police try to chase after him but he is still fast even without his vampire powers.

Dracula comes up with a plan to find his daughter Lilith in order to regain his powers. But this is difficult due to the fact he`s not use to the sun. He wanders into the street where he is almost hit by a car. He gets into an argument with the driver, and a bunch of people chase after him because he attacked the driver.

Dracula goes to an airbase in order to steal a plane, and the comic ends with "Cowboy" Brown getting ready to kill Dracula. I really like this comic. The art and the writing is great for the 70's and I really like the characters. I think I'm going to read more of this, and I recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

But the Halloween specials will continue next week when we take a look at some thing really horrifying. Another Flashpoint tie-in!!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Lost Post: "Frankenstein 1970" First Thoughts


This was originally posted on July 6, 2011. Since it was an old movie I took it down but since Halloween is coming up I thought I would re-upload it: 

 Instead of going to Transformers 3 this week and wasting my money, I thought I would stay home and watch an old monster movie. Luckily "Frankenstein 1970" was on TV. Frankenstein 1970 takes place in the futuristic year of 1970. The film itself came out in 1958, so the film takes place 12 year into the future(or 41 years in the past depending on the way you look at it) even though everything is the same as it was in 1958. So the date really doesn't matter.

The movie stars Boris Karloff who is most well known for playing Frankenstein's monster in the most popular adaptation of Mary Shelly's novel. In this movie Karloff plays Baron Victor Von Frankenstein the grandson to the original Frankenstein who was tortured at the hands of the Nazis for not creating a monster for them during World War II.

A film crew wishes to make a movie about his grandfathers monster and shoot it in the Baron's house. The Baron uses the money from the crew's rent to buy an atomic reactor and uses it to create a his own monster, transplanting his butler's brain into the thing and using it to kill off the crew for more spare parts.

The movie isn't that bad for it's time, the lighting is great and the set itself is good. Karloff does a great job, evil but sympathetic. He wishes for the Frankenstein legacy to live on, but doesn't have children. So he creates a monster in his image so that the name Frankenstein will live on forever. The monster itself looks more like the Mummy then Frankenstein's monster but at the end of the day it's still pretty cool.

 Rating: 3.5/5