It’s been a busy second half of October for Teleport City.
Back in the late 1970s, when we had our first huge zombie movie glut, it was thanks in large part to the Italian exploitation machine latching onto the concept and cranking them out. Sadly, that machine, once mighty and seeming insatiable, petered out and died during the 1990s. When the microbudget horror revolution started to bloom in the 2000s, a lot of budding horror filmmakers turned to the zombie movie. It was an almost entirely American affair, though, with Japan chiming in with slightly higher budget zombie fare from time to time. Eventually, thanks most likely to 28 Days Later, other countries started getting in on the undead fun. Before we knew it, the zombie outbreak had gone international. But something just didn’t seem right. There were still no Italians.
Neraka Lembah Tengkorak
The world presented in Neraka Lembah Tengkorak (English translation: Hell Skull Valley) is similar to the Martial World of Chinese fiction, complete with various feuding clans and schools, as well as every chance meeting between strangers resulting in a brief fight before anyone bothers to figure out whether they have a beef or not. This is, at least, what seems to be happening during the first half of the movie. We spend a good deal of time watching as the members of one particular school fend off challenges from whatever random lone fighters shows up at their doorstep. Thanks to their advanced martial arts skills, they don’t appear to have much trouble doing this — until, of course, the real villains of the piece make their entrance.
So I decided that I might as well take the plunge. Or maybe not a plunge, but at least wade slowly into the waters of modern horror writing. But still, I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy one of the many books with a sword-wielding witch girl in skinny jeans and a crop top on the cover. I’m not a man who is especially prone to shying away from things “not meant for men,” but if I was going to test the waters of horror, I was going to do so via a setting more suited to my particular tastes. In other words, something with waistcoats and cravats. Some random poking around lead me to think that Gail Carriger’s Soulless – a thoroughly modern take on traditional Victorian England — might be just the thing for which I was looking.
|F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon
With it being October and all, I was in the mood for a decent horror video game that fulfills my basic requirements for a game — that it be old enough so everyone else has lost interest in it, thus driving the price down to an affordable ten bucks or so. Of the many recommendations I got, I decided to go with F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon, because I thought the blend of supernatural horror with a SWAT type first person shooter would be interesting. Plus, I’d been told the game was genuinely scary in many places. Seemed like the perfect late-night indulgence. And for portions of the game, it was. It’s a fast paced shooter that does indeed boast some incredibly effective spooky material. But it’s also too repetitive, and the horror often gets forgotten in favor of room after room of shooting it out with basically identical opponents gussied up in the same sort of assault team gear your own character is wearing.
|Creature with the Blue Hand
The movie begins with a frantic Dave Emerson (Klaus Kinski) being convicted of murder despite frantically pleading his own innocence. He is committed to a sanitarium run by the slightly shady Dr. Mangrove (Carl Lange) while his family — including twin brother Richard (also Kinski) bemoans the sorry state to which Dave has fallen. But all is not as it seems, which becomes evident when Dave escapes — with suspicious ease — and suddenly people are finding themselves ont he deadly end of the blue metal claw. Is Richard really Dave, or is Dave Richard? Is Dave pretending to be Richard pretending to be Dave? Man, as if krimi weren’t convoluted enough, this one goes and throws twin Kinskis — Twinskis, if you will — into the mix.
And finally, our impressions regarding this year’s New York Comic Con are being posted here.