Antonio Margheriti – Wild Wild Planet (1965)

Criminali della galassia, I (aka Wild Wild Planet) was one of the early films of Antonia Margheriti, who went on to produce…..Cannibal Apocalypse (aka Apocalypse Domani). Compare and contrast – which would you rather watch??

Wild Wild Planet trailer;

IMDB entry for Criminali della galassia, I

IMDB entry for Apocalypse Domani

Last House on the Left and Cannibal Apocalypse VHS scans (pre-certification, early 1980s)

Further to my previous post, here are the VHS cover scans of both the unsettling ‘Last House on the Left’ and the mediocre ‘Cannibal Apocalypse’;

Cannibal Apocalypse scan courtesy of;

http://www.itsonlyamovie.co.uk/

Last House on the Left scan courtesy of;

http://www.witchmans-precert-horrorvideos.freewebsitehosting.com/

The Last House on the Left radio spot (1972)

One of the most notorious and seedy horror films that made it to a theatrical release, the Wes Craven written and directed ‘The Last House on the Left’ still has the queasy sick thrill of a nasty horror film and has more power and visceral kick than most horror films of the present age. The radio spot that advertised it during its initial theatrical run is suitably gloomy and unnerving;

Last House On The Left Radio Spot

I watched it for the first time in the mid-nineties when it was banned in the UK, a pirate copy on VHS alongside Cannibal Apocalypse (which is rubbish, even though it has John Saxon in it). ‘Last House on the Left’ is not an easy film to watch, but it is undeniably upsetting, unsettling and gripping.

The film finally gets an uncut UK release on DVD in October 2008;
http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/nasties.htm#At_Last_4861
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IMDB entry for the 1972 original ‘Last House on the Left’
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_House_on_the_Left

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An excellent resource for those interested in the film;
http://www.geocities.com/lasthouseuk/home.html
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Also, there is a remake due to be released in 2009 – here is an early, early review;
http://horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com/2008/08/last-house-on-left.html

The Outbreak – who are you – Fly Boy or Rick Grimes*??? (2008)

Not since the days of the Sega Mega-CD and the notorious Night Trap has film based gaming interactivity been so much fun;

http://www.survivetheoutbreak.com/

It’s a zombie movie where YOU make the decisions on what to do. The opening scene is kind of reminiscent of the Romero classic ‘Night of the Living Dead‘ and considering that this must have been fairly low budget, it really works.

*Fly Boy didn’t make it out alive in ‘Dawn of the Dead’, but Rick Grimes, as of September 2008, is still going strong in ‘The Walking Dead’.

Psychedelic Soul – The Dramatics ‘The Devil is Dope’ (1973)


Listen to it here;

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Dramatics/_/The+Devil+Is+Dope

taken from the album ‘A Dramatic Experience’

It is just the greatest damn mess of fuzz guitar and orchestra with soul singers and shouters ever recorded on the planet. It even kicks off with some mini-drama of someone scoring dope. It came out on the Stax label no less (which makes it even more fantastic because by default if you were on Stax you were probably pretty brilliant anyway). It has a social message (don’t do drugs) and although it is around 5 and a half minutes long it never outstays its welcome. Although commonly associated with the likes of The Temptations during the time when the recently deceased Norman Whitfield was producing the likes of Cloud Nine, I believe that this is the epitome of the sub-genre. Unless someone can come up with something even better. Can someone come up with something even better?? Maybe some Funkadelic? Undisputed Truth?

Check out more about The Dramatics here

Review – The Walking Dead #52 (Image Comics)

Well, it’s a bit of a bridging episode this, as we get reintroduced to some old faces and we see more of the change in Rick (his lack of confidence, his hurt, his powerlessness, his disability, his anger). Carl has a few moments where we still glimpse the child who has somehow got this far amongst all this horror and death.

The main returning character plays up to their strengths, and it is great to see them in action again, and it seems as if Rick is glad of the relief. There are a couple more who make an appearance…….but that would spoil it wouldnt it? Go read it.

Not a lot happens, but at the same time the pieces are being put together for something much bigger than this current arc, which now seems to be coming to an end (I assume that this arc was all about Rick and Carl post-massacre). The fact that there are going to be more characters means we lose the intimacy and slower pacing of recent issues, but maybe what we will be getting in the near future is something more dynamic and pacy.

I still love this title.

The Stand (Marvel Comics – 2008)

http://www.marvel.com/comics/The_Stand

If you have any love for the superb Kirkman/Adlard title ‘The Walking Dead’, or get a kick out of apocalyptic comic drama like the Marc Guggenheim title ‘Resurrection’ or the Warren Ellis penned ‘Crossed’, then this is exciting news. The best (in my opinion) work by Horror legend Stephen King, ‘The Stand’ is coming to comics, and it all kicks off tomorrow (10/09/08)!

Here are details on the first issue;

http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?id=9707

and as a treat, Marvel have ‘The Stand Sketchbook’ free to view as a digital comic on their site;

http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.4427.Free!_Read_The_Stand_Sketchbook_Now!

and on the Stephen King site, lots more details;

http://www.stephenking.com/promo/stand_release_log/

IGN have some interior art from the first issue;

http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/896/896718p1.html

The book itself is a huge work, over 1300 pages, and remains an impressive piece of post-apocalyptic ficiton. Judging by the art from the first issue, it looks like Marvel could be doing justice to ‘The Stand’ and creating one of the most memorable series of the year.

VHS! VHS! VHS! (primarily 1980s)

Men of a certain age (and women too!) will feel a certain sense of pride / nostalgia / warmth upon seeing pictures of VHS video art, and even more of a feeling of general well-to-do if they are shown pictures or even video of the films the covers were advertising.

Welcome to the death-throes of true exploitation cinema – the video age! Where else, but in the comfort of your own home, were you going to get a chance to see anything like this when you were 13?

The internet can feel like a massive brain dump for those who caught on to the technologies potential as a huge repository for lost youth. But hey, who cares when I can look at old video covers!

So the reason for this post is to specifically pay tribute to those sites who cherish the appalling or brilliant Video cover art of the past. Some of these sites even do reviews of the generally low-budget, usually poor quality films. Some of these sites even have video clips of the films. Please give them a look and you will be rewarded with nothing more than a lot of fluff, but its good to turn your brain off every now and again and just wallow in the sheer pointlessness of it all.

The covers used to illustrate this blog all came from the marvellous http://www.coverbrowser.com (they do comic covers as well!)

Links!!

http://grindhousefilms.blogspot.com – lots of exploitation goodness – reviews, clips, artwork etc

http://soundtracks.cinema-suicide.com/ – a bit off message, but this site details all the soundtrack news from obscure and cult films and is very, very nice to look at.


http://scandyfactory.blogspot.com/
Not for kids! But well worth a look if you don’t mind nudity.


http://critcononline.com/video_companies_cover_art.htm
Originally a paper based fanzine, the site is great, if a bit pre-Y2K in the design of it and it has some quite disturbing (and pointless) scrolling going on.

http://blondezombies.blogspot.com/ – a few covers, some nudity, but for all round fantastic visuals with little rhyme or reason other than it looks good, then this is unbeatable. Trashy, arty, unclean fun (it is in Spanish, but it really isn’t prohibiitve to the fun the site offers if you cannot speak the language).

Update – The real Walking Dead #57 cover (2008) SPOILERS!!

SPOILERS

Well, in a previous post I put up what I believed to be the cover for The Walking Dead #57, but it seems like that cover, with a backdrop of a deserted Washington DC, will be used for a later issue, because this is the cover for #57, according to the Robert Kirkman board at Image / Kirkmania (http://imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=42885)

this is NOT the cover for #57

because this IS the cover for #57

This new character (with the gun) is really being pushed to the front in all the covers from issue #53. Here he gets priority over Rick, and it looks as if Carl is looking to him for protection. Interesting times ahead.

Post Apocalypse VIII – Steel of Fire Warriors: 2010 AD

Taking inspiration from the early 1980’s Italian Post-Apocalypse film genre, ‘Steel of Fire Warriors:2010 AD’ is a pastiche that will strike a chord with anyone who has been brave enough to sit through ‘Endgame’, ‘She’, ‘Exterminators of the Year 3000’ or ‘The New Barbarians’. For more about some of them, see here.

Available as a series of webisodes, you can catch all of them here;

http://www.funnyordie.com/clarkethevogt/playlists/129690

and just to whet your appetite, here is a trailer for one of the episodes;

Fantastic!