Archive for werewolf

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Posted in Genres, horror, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, werewolf with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by Paxton

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Today I’m journeying back to the heady days of October 2010 when I covered werewolves for Halloween. My intention that year was to actually watch and review Hammer’s 1961 werewolf film, Curse of the Werewolf. It was supposed to go right there during that last week after I covered Universal’s Wolf Man movies. However, plans got away from me and I was not able to cover it that year.

Now, I have that chance back. Plus, I haven’t had a Hammer movie review on AWESOME-tober-fest since 2013’s review of The Plague of the Zombies. So, let’s do this.

Curse of the Werewolf poster

Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf starred Oliver Reed and Catherine Feller.  It was the only werewolf movie Hammer ever made.  It’s very gothic and tragic, lots of sexual subtext and, kind of all over the place.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

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Title cards for this movie. Not quite as cool as the Horror of Dracula cards.

Marques and wife
This is the Marques Siniestro and his new bride. In this opening scene the movie goes out of its way to show you how mean and cruel this Marques can be.  Even his wife is looking at him like, “You’re such an asshole.”

Chef 01 Chef 02
The chef brings out some roasted goose for the newlyweds.  The Marquesa says she doesn’t like goose, so the Marques actually gets up out of his chair, yells at the chef for not knowing the Marquesa doesn’t like goose and throws the entire tray of goose on the floor. Then while the chef cleans up the mess the Marques pushes the chef down into the mess.
ASS. HOLE.

Beggar 01 Beggar 02
After the chef debacle, a lowly beggar comes to the Marques’ table to beg for food and drink.  The Marques offers him a handful of gold to be the Marquesa’s pet.  Then, he completely humiliates the beggar by making him dance in front of everyone for some food and wine.  Then the beggar is sent to the dungeons anyway.

Marques leering
Here’s the Marques leering at his wife before sending the beggar to the dungeons. He just informed her it’s time for them to “retire”. Ugh, shivers went up my spine the way he said it.  She’s clearly re-thinking her life choices at this point.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Dell Comics Monster Squad

Posted in comic books, Dracula, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, werewolf with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by Paxton

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Yesterday, with my review of Dell’s Frankenstein, I finally completed all three infamous 60s Dell superhero monster comics reviews (Here’s Dracula and Werewolf).  I love all three of these zany re-imagining of the classic monsters.  And as I mentioned in my reviews, the only thing that was missing was a team up.  We did see Frankenstein pop up briefly in a one panel cameo in Dracula, but other than that, no other crossover ever happened.  It’s time I rectify this situation.

So, issue #10 of Cavalcade Comics features the debut of the Dell monster super heroes in a team up.  Finally we get the Dell Comics Monster Squad.

Cavalcade Comics 10

How did this never happen? I’ll tell you how, the comics never sold. It’s why we only got three issues of each title. I would love to see these characters come back in a cool retro reboot. I don’t even know who owns the license to them anymore, but with the right writer and tone, they could be fantastic.

I had only three covers of each of the three heroes to try to make work, but I luckily found Marvel’s Where Monsters Dwell #3 (1970) which works as a really nice base image for this cover.

where-monsters-dwell

I love all those 70s horror comics from Marvel. Such good cover artwork and great to use as a base for these types of Photoshop projects.

The Dell Monster Squad logo was going to be a re-interpretation of some awesome original art by Nathan Milliner.

nathanmilliner

Nathan created these awesome EC-style vintage comic covers I just love.  I really wanted to use that logo, but no matter how I manipulated it, it didn’t fit in the 60-70s vintage comic cover I was trying to create, so I sadly had to abandon it. I then went back to the original Where Monsters Dwell logo and just created the new logo off those letters and I think it turned out pretty good. I’m happy with it.

As for the monster heroes themselves; Dracula comes from Dell Dracula #4, Frankenstein comes from Dell Frankenstein #2 and Werewolf from Dell Werewolf #1.  

I also had to change the background a bit and add the night sky with the full moon which I believe I got from Marvel’s Werewolf by Night #11.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Finishing up The Astounding Wolf-Man

Posted in comic books, Halloween, holiday, monsters, werewolf, werewolves, Wolf Man with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by Paxton

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Since this final week of AWESOME-tober-fest is a short week, I’m straying from the movie maniac theme and doing updates to previous Halloween reviews. Yesterday I reviewed the final book in The Strain trilogy which I had previously reviewed the first two books last year.  Today, I’m going to talk about the comic series The Astounding Wolf-Man.

The Astounding Wolf-Man

Two years ago for AWESOME-tober-fest 2010, I reviewed the first 18 issues of the comic that were collected in Volumes 1-3 of the trade paperbacks.  The final fourth volume collecting issues 19-25 had yet to be released.  However, I acquired the final collection earlier this year and read the concluding story.

The last and concluding story arc was called Legacy.  It’s a five-parter that takes place in issues #21-25. So much happens in this concluding story.  Seriously, it’s packed with a lot of action.  We see the main character reunited with his daughter, we see the end game of the Elder Wolf’s plans and we see the final confrontation between Wolf-Man and Zachariah (which is awesome, btw).

astoundingwolf-man21astoundingwolf-man22astoundingwolf-man23

In short, I loved this series. So many great characters written so well. Kirkman really does a great job with so many characters to juggle.  It was actually this series that led me to Kirkman and had me checking out his other work like Invincible, The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies.  But that’s only half of the whole. Jason Howard’s amazingly dynamic art really sells it. I love the dynamics of Howard’s action and how he designs the look and feel of the universe. Plus, his 2 page action spreads are breathtaking. It really adds a lot of character to the story.

Speaking of characters, several of them are standouts. Gary Hampton/Astounding Wolf-Man is great. Zecariah the vampire is also a great villain. The Elder Wolf is BAD ASS. And in this final run of issues, we really see some good character work with Mecha-Maid. I really enjoyed her character and I want to see more of her.  You can see her in the second comic cover above.  Btw, that scene on the cover never happens.  But it’s a great cover, nonetheless.

Anyway, like I said, I want to see more of these Astounding Wolf-Man characters. I think he and Mecha Maid may pop up from time to time in Kirkman’s Invincible, but I want to see more.  This series was just too much fun not to continue.  However, like I said, as of today, issue #25 was the final issue.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Still waiting for the f**king Teen Wolf cartoon on DVD

Posted in cartoons, monsters, TV shows, werewolf, werewolves with tags , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by Paxton

Teen Wolf cartoon
So, I’ve talked many times on this blog about my love for the cartoon adventures of Teen Wolf and my desire for a North American release of the complete series (It was already released in Australia).  Well, I was writing my On the Shelves column this week for Strange Kid’s Club and two very obscure cartoons popped up as having complete season sets being released.  The two cartoon series are Captain Power (1987) and Skeleton Warriors (1994).

Teen Wolf Australian DVD set

Don’t get me wrong, both of these series are pretty good.  Skeleton Warriors is actually a pretty awesome concept, but the cartoon itself is, like I said, rather obscure.  What’s next?  Mummies Alive?  King Arthur and the Knights of Justice?  Oh yeah, BOTH of those cartoons already have DVD releases (here and here).  What the hell is the hold up for the release of Teen Wolf cartoon episodes?  They wouldn’t have to do much more than remaster the Australian set into NTSC format.  I don’t really care about extras.  Why hasn’t this been done?  As I’ve seen the parade of odd 80s-90s cartoons get their releases on DVD I become more and more baffled.  The Herculoids get a complete series release?  The f**king Herculoids?  Frankenstein Jr?  Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor?!  Seriously?  The Teen Wolf cartoon was based on a popular movie.  There’s a fairly decent TV show on MTV right this very f**king moment also based on said movie.  How much more current or relevant can you get?!

At this point, I have to assume there’s a rights issue. Maybe the fact that MTV is airing the TV show is also causing the rights to the cartoon to be up in the air or on hold.  But that’s not my problem.  I want the show.  I’m tired of watching shi**y, grainy episodes on YouTube like I used to watch porn movies on old pay cable stations.  I want these bitches on DVD and I want them NOW.

I mean, The Mighty Hercules was released on DVD.  THE MIGHTY GODDAM HERCULES.

Hollywood, your ancestors are WEEPING!

AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: A Story of Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein book and record set (1975)

Posted in Dracula, Frankenstein, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture, vampires, werewolf, werewolves, Wolf Man with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2011 by Paxton

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Welcome to AWESOME-tober-fest 2011.  For those that don’t know, this is my yearly Halloween celebration.  I do it in conjunction with the Countdown to Halloween Blogathon.  Each week I’ll be looking at comics, movies, TV shows and books that feature monsters.  This year’s theme is Dracula/vampires, so the stuff will all feature Dracula or vampires.

Anyway, we begin the celebrations with comic book week. This week I’ll look at a bunch of comic books and comic book stories that featured the character of Dracula. Today, I’ll start with a different type of comic book. A Power Records book and record set. Dracula book and record This is the book and record set of A Story of Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein.  It was released in 1975 and features awesome artwork by Neal Adams.  Somewhat of a long and awkward title, isn’t it?  I thought this book would be appropriate to look at today because it features the monsters in reverse order of how they appeared in the last three years of AWESOME-tober-fest.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2011 – Dracula/vampires (NOW)
AWESOME-tober-fest 2010 – Wolf Man/werewolves
AWESOME-tober-fest 2009 – Frankenstein’s monster

The book contained one long story incorporating all three monsters.

Frankenstein 01
The story starts as a man and woman are discovered in the woods by a blonde Dracula with a Ted Nugent mustache.  The guy is revealed to be Vincent, the nephew of Baron von Frankenstein and the girl his fiance, Ericka.  He survived the murder of his uncle by villagers (saving the knowledge of his uncle’s work) and is being chased by those very same villagers.  Dracula offers his castle as refuge.  But as soon as the couple settle into the castle, Dracula takes Ericka hostage and forces Frankenstein to create a slave using his uncle’s lab equipment.  Frankenstein builds the monster and imbues it with life.  However the monster goes apesh*t and tosses the fiance out the window (I’m not kidding).  Frankenstein begs Dracula to save her and so he calls The Werewolf.

The Werewolf
The werewolf attacks Ericka, then takes her to a gypsy camp run by Maleva and her son Bela (the two gypsies from the original Universal Wolf Man movie).  Ericka discovers a pentagram on her hand and remembers a werewolf poem, “Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night may be become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is shining bright”.  Yes, apparently Ericka has been turned to a werewolf.  Of course, at that moment, the full moon comes out from behind some clouds and Ericka turns into a wolf and engages in a battle with another giant werewolf.  Bela shoots the other giant wolf and it turns back into Maleva.  As a wolf, Ericka flees and somehow finds her way back to the Castle Dracula.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2010: Review of Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too

Posted in 80s, Halloween, holiday, monsters, movies, pop culture, reviews, werewolf, werewolves with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Paxton

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This is it. The final day of AWESOME-tober-fest 2010. It surely has been a blast. Don’t mind me as I get all weepy and shed a tear for the end of this year’s festivities.  Hope everyone has had as much fun as I’ve had. And for me, it all begins again in a few months when I plan for AWESOME-tober-fest 2011.

Anyway, last Friday for werewolf TV week, I reviewed The Cartoon Adventures of Teen Wolf which was based on one of my favorite 80s movies, Teen Wolf. So, to cap off this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest, I’m going to review Teen Wolf as well as the sequel, Teen Wolf Too, which I think has a clever title (suck it, haters).  Here we go.

Teen Wolf 1985
Teen Wolf (1985) – Michael J Fox actually filmed this movie before he filmed Back to the Future, but Teen Wolf was released a month and a half later in August 1985 (Back to the Future was released on July 3).  I sat down with my wife to watch this movie for the first time in probably 10-15 years (she had never watched it all the way through).  And yes, I still enjoy it.  It’s a bit cheesy.  A bit goofy.  Michael J Fox is wonderful as usual.  Jerry Levine is great as the scheming Stiles.  And it’s just a fun and funny 80s comedy about a teen werewolf.  I will admit though, some of the music is an odd fit for this movie.  In one basketball montage they have what sounds like a Randy Newman song that was rejected from Toy Story.  And the final basketball game has a more typical 80s song over it, but it’s also weird.  However I love the “Big Bad Wolf” song during the school dance scene (along with the horribly cheesy “Teen Wolf Dance”).  The chick that plays Pamela is pretty hot (and reminds me of the hot blond chick from Sixteen Candles) and her neanderthal boyfriend is appropriately douchey.  It’s a good movie.  Not great, but good.  I think, though, people may remember it as being better than it actually was.  But I still enjoyed it, as did my wife.  I don’t think this movie was intended to be anything other than a solid B-comedy.  FYI…the next night after watching this we went to see the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Re-release.  Great double header.


Teen Wolf Too 1987

Teen Wolf Too (1987) – Yes, I saw this in the theater.  I loved Teen Wolf so much that I just had to.  I remember enjoying it, but thinking that it was nowhere near as good as the original.  So, my wife and I sat down to watch this sequel the other night and…it’s exactly as I remember.  Not great.  The story is extremely similar to the original movie.  Replace basketball with boxing and high school with college.  It’s not Bateman’s fault this movie is bad, it’s the script and special effects.  The movie looks extremely cheap, the werewolf makeup is terrible and there’s like three musical interludes, two of which are montages (TWO MONTAGES!).  The third musical interlude is Bateman, as the wolf, singing ‘Do You Love Me’ Ferris Bueller-style at a college party.  And I remember thinking back in 1987 that was a horrible choice of songs.  I guess they were trying to go classic like Bueller did for ‘Twist and Shout’, but damn, they couldn’ t find (or, more truthfully, afford) a better song?  Actually, Dirty Dancing came out a few months earlier, so I believe they may have been trying to capitalize on the success of that movie.  Regardless, it was a terrible scene that brings the movie to a screeching halt.  There are several lame attempts to connect this movie to the original.  Jason Bateman’s Todd Howard is the cousin of Fox’s character from the original.  They even bring back Scott’s dad, James Hampton, for two scenes.  The character of Stiles awesomely played by Jerry Levine in the first movie is recast and played by someone that looks completely different and doesn’t have half the charisma of the original.  They even bring back the character of Coach Finstock but, again, recast him with a goofier actor.  They also bring back Chubby from the first movie.  All of these feel more like the studio saying, “Hey, remember the original movie?  It was good right?  So you’ll remember these guys and like this movie even though it sucks”.  I was really hoping to have been colored by my love of the original when I saw this in the theater, but it wasn’t that.  The movie just blew.  I was surprised to find out Todd’s faculty advisor is played by Kim Darby.  I didn’t even remember it was her.  She was the little girl in True Grit with John Wayne, as well as the mom in Better Off Dead.  She’s not great either.  So, yes, overall this is probably as bad as you remember.  However, I still have a soft spot for it because it’s a Teen Wolf movie.  And I’m looking forward to MTV’s take on it.  I’ll probably hate it, because by all indications they are totally gaying it up like Twilight, but I’m going to watch it.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2010: Review of Universal’s The Wolfman (2010)

Posted in Halloween, holiday, monsters, movies, pop culture, reviews, werewolf, werewolves with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Paxton

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After this, there is one more day of AWESOME-tober-fest 2010.  It’s hard to believe we are almost all done.  I’ve been planning this since January.

Anyway, Day 4 of werewolf movie week. Originally, today’s review was going to be of Hammer’s 1961 classic, Curse of the Werewolf starring Oliver Reed. However, obtaining a copy of that movie was harder than I expected, so I moved the below review from the end of yesterday’s Universal reviews over to here.  What may happen is that I’ll post “Special Edition” reviews in the next few weeks for AWESOME-tober-fest 2010 that didn’t make the cut.  Movies like Curse of the Werewolf and Full Moon High as well as TV Shows Big Wolf on Campus and Hilarious House of Frightenstein would be included. So, without further ado, let’s move on to my review of Universal’s 2010 remake, The Wolfman.

The Wolfman 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, I loved the original Universal Wolf Man movie.  Werewolves have been my favorite monsters for years.  So, yes, I was super excited to hear Universal was bringing back their monster movies. They started with The Mummy back in 1999. Then around 2006-2007 I first read about The Wolf Man remake starring Benicio Del Toro as Talbot. While I’m not a huge Del Toro fan, I could see him as Talbot. Universal also went and got Rick Baker to do the wolf makeup and filled out the cast with other great actors; Sir Anthony Hopkins as John Talbot, Emily Blunt as Gwen and Hugo Weaving as a police inspector. Universal picked Andrew Kevin Walker to write the screenplay which was a great choice as he wrote moody thrillers like Sleepy Hollow, 8MM and Se7en.  And Mark Romaneck was selected as director in January 2007 and he was, to me, unproven but he had all this talent around him so I wasn’t too worried.

Then the production problems started.  Romaneck quit in February 2008.  Universal considered hiring Brett Ratner (NO!!) but came to their senses and hired Joe Johnston to deliver the finished film.  The release date slipped.  It was originally scheduled for Nov 12, 2008, but it slipped several times until it finally landed on Feb 12, 2010.  An interesting choice to open this on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Also interesting was that at no time was the movie slated to be released in October on Halloween.  The closest they got was November 2009.  Wonder what happened there.  Danny Elfman was hired to score the picture, however Universal didn’t think it fit with the tone of the movie so they hired another person to score it, but that too was scrapped and the Elfman score was reinstated.

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