Theme from Hawk the Slayer (1980)

Hawk the Slayer – glorious low budget British sword and sorcery from the bowels of the early 80s. From what I remember of it, when I watched it in a VHS frenzy one autumnal afternoon, was that it was not as good as The Beastmaster or The Sword and the Sorceror, but had a Britishness that appealed (it had Bernard Bresslaw as a Cyclops, for goodness sake – the only thing missing was Charles Hawtrey as a nobleman and it would have scaled the heights of greatness). It has Jack Palance as the villain. He should have teamed up with Rip Torn from The Beastmaster and he would have ruled the Universe easily. Would you like to hear the theme tune from composer Harry Robertson? It’s here;


Review – Unknown Soldier #11 (Vertigo, 2009)

Jack Lee Howl returns, drunk, calling in favours, as an ‘enabler’ to Moses, in time for a showdown at the benefit dinner in Moses name Militants with murder on their mind. There, at the Benefit will be Margaret Wells, the American actress and campaigner, who is a target for assassination at the hands of the Militants who would use the instability caused by her death to push their own agenda. Meanwhile, ghosts from Moses past reappear, and Sara battles her own ghosts….

The art is exquisite – whether it be a panel showing the plains of Africa, the dusty villages or the big city, or even a perspective from above a helicopter as it strafes the land, they are all cinematic and beautifully realised.

The story (‘Easy Kill’) is building up to a pulsating finale, and the tension is palpable – the little details again astound, like the assassin, in a roof space, preparing for his deadly work, engage you and drive the narrative. There is nothing ‘hard’ to understand about this story, despite the political backdrop – and that is testament to Dysart and Ponticelli – when Dysart needs a point to be made, it doesn’t need to be laboured, as Ponticelli can simply illustrate it with subtlety.

So, next time, a bloody showdown in a hotel looms. Dysart manages to put his point across, about the state of Uganda, the terrible war there, the state of some African countries and the first worlds involvement in it, without it ever being a polemic, or dreary. This is a big story, with a widescreen, cinematic approach, with the dynamics of a (good) big budget action movie. A title of the week, a title of the month, and a title that will probably go down as one of the greats.

Review – Batman & Robin #3 (DC, 2009)

The hideous Professor Pyg and his deranged dolly followers have Robin trussed up like a pig, while Batman does his best Marv from Sin City impression in interrogation (you’ll get the reference on the first page of this awesome comic). Three issues in and Batman & Robin is simply a joy to read – that is all there is to it. I want to be entertained, I want the Good Guys to get the Bad Guys and I want to look at great art. Well, this title has it all. Does it matter that Bruce Wayne is not the Batman at the minute? Not at all – this Batman is intriguing, mixing street fighting and acrobatics with trying to keep a teenage partner on the team. Robin, precocious, angry and vicious, never outstays his welcome on these pages. In fact, nothing outstays its welcome on these pages.

Pyg is a creepy, hideous villain, the Carny backdrop suited to the Freaks style horrorshow that unfolds. And when one story ends, another opens, and the multi-layered plot of issue 3 rolls to the end with more plots dangling, always tantalising. This comic is really a triumph. One of these a month please, forever?

Atlantis Interceptors Theme Tune (1983)

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I wrote about this film, Atlantis Interceptors (aka Atlantis Inferno, aka Raiders of Atlantis, aka Warriors of Atlantis) a while back – see here. Well, now I have something a little special……the theme tune in mp3 format! Here is that theme tune, ‘Black Inferno’ by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis;

Theme from Atlantis Interceptors (aka Atlantis Inferno)

You can also get it here, with a nice picture of the record sleeve;

Here is the trailer for the film;

2000ad – Garth Ennis enthuses, a flickr tribute, plus a new site dedicated to the art of the 2000ad (2009)

Garth Ennis writes a warm and heartfelt tribute to the ‘Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’, praising the early years of the title. If you have any interest in the comic, or Ennis, you should take a look at it;

And when you have done that, have a look at this flickr page that accompanies / is a response to the text;

While we are on the subject, a new blog dedicated to a piece of 2000ad is up and running – covering the art and covers of the comic, it is here;

and I would urge you to check it out.

The Beastmaster Theme (1982)

I have a recollection of Gary Terzza hosting some School Summer Holiday morning Kids TV (or at least doing the continuity for it) for Central in 1983. Despite Return of the Jedi dominating the cinema that year, when Gary told the Midlands viewing public about this beauty, accompanied by a clip of the movie, I had to watch it. ‘The Beastmaster’ was a load of Sword & Sorcery / Conan inspired nonsense about a man called Dar ( a pre ‘VMarc Singer) who can communicate and control animals in the fight against evil etc…. It was perfect VHS video fare, and is well worth a look (the trailer is below). It has Rip Torn in it (as the Villain, Maax)- and that should be recommendation enough.

Here is the theme tune by Lee Holdridge, a Basil Poledouris / Conan The Barbarian inspired Orchestral piece;

The Beastmaster Main Theme (aka The Legend of Dar)

and here is the trailer;


The Boys #36 Solicitation for November 2009

Written by GARTH ENNIS
Art and cover by DARICK ROBERTSON
32 pages
Mother’s Milk’s story concludes with a bang, as we find out the nature of the debt he owes Butcher and see him bear witness to a great American tragedy. Hughie gets another view of The Boys’ mission, one he hadn’t considered before, in part two of Nothing Like It In The World.

Full Dynamite solicitations for November 2009 are here;

Comics: Anticipated titles of the week (26/08/09)

Here are my picks from this weeks full release schedule;


…a big improvement on last weeks lean pickings – top of the list has to be the new Unknown Soldier, closely followed by the brilliant new Batman title. The other 2 titles bring humour (Deadpool) and some brilliant storytelling (Immortal Weapons). All in all, a great week for comics.

and all of the weeks releases can be seen here

There is a preview of the latest Deadpool issue here

Batman and Robin #3 information here

Immortal Weapons #2 information here

Unknown Soldier #11 information here

Review – Daredevil #500 (Marvel, 2009)

You get the conclusion to the Ed Brubaker / Michael Lark run on Daredevil. You get a preview of Daredevil under the guidance of Andy Diggle and Billy Tan. You get a bonus story (‘3 Jacks’) from Ann Nocenti and David Aja which is quite wonderful, and would easily stand in its own right as an issue of Daredevil. You get a Daredevil 500 issue cover retrospective. You get a gallery of Daredevils from various artists. This is one hell of a way to celebrate the end of the Brubkaer run and Daredevils longevity.

I am quite happy to admit that this is one of the best comic books i have ever read – everything that this creative team have been doing over the last few months comes to together in a near perfect resolution. They manage to finish up all the plot strands but open up a whole new story for Matt Murdoch for Diggle and Tan to work with. The story and art flow in a beautiful way, effortlessly going back many hundreds of years to Japan, and then go back and forth in more recent time, and there is never any jarring in those jumps. The final panel of the main story is dramatic, visually arresting, a closure and a new beginning.

To give away any of the plot would be churlish. It is just superb, and is a testament to the writing of Ed Brubaker (as if he needs references….) and the moody styling of Lark & co. They will be missed on this title, but have given Diggle more than enough to work with. Comic of the year? To be honest, it depends on what The Walking Dead come up with before the end of the year, but this will be very hard to beat…