RIP Martin Landau

Posted in RIP with tags on July 16, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

RIP George Romero

Posted in RIP with tags on July 16, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

Important and legendary horror film director George Romero has passed. Here’s a snapshot I took at Horror Hound Indy.

Romero’s Obituary

RIP Elsa Martinelli

Posted in RIP with tags , on July 13, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

Modern Day Dragon?

Posted in Cryptids, Miscellania with tags , on July 6, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

Shot with Pentax KP. 55-300mm @ 300mm.

PXKP6777.JPG

Godzilla Meets Gamera

Posted in Kaiju with tags , on June 28, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

Man this would be so cool….

Thylacine

Posted in Cryptids with tags , , , , on June 15, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

While in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia I picked up this 1896 color lithograph print by naturalist Richard Lydekker. It’s a Thylacine, an extinct marsupial carnivore once found in Tasmania. Some people believe there are remnant populations still around in the rural areas of Tasmania. The proprietor of the antique book store from which I purchased the print conveyed a story which I will paraphrase.

Some time ago a Tasmanian woman was in the shop, and thumbing through some prints came across a sketch of a Tasmanian Tiger. She nonchalantly noted, as if talking about the weather, that she had once seen a “tiger” some 30 years ago crossing a road in Tasmania. The shape and stripes, and low drooping hind-quarters were unmistakeable.


Here’s a famous water color by AE King, available as a post card from the Museum of Natural History in Sydney.


Here’s a reconstuction of an ancient Thylacine from the Sydney Museum.

The Mummy (2017) Review

Posted in Re-Boot Films That Suck with tags , on June 12, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

the-mummy

Spoilers —I guess.  The film is pretty easy to figure out. 

Meh.  I’m not giving a plot as there really isn’t one.  This film serves as a vehicle to introduce us to the Dark Universe. Universal’s second re-boot of the mummy series is yet another muddled quagmire of a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is this a horror film as Universal’s Dark Universe theme suggests? If it was meant to be one it sure had a lot of explosions and awkward comedy elements.  The film suffers in many ways, but I’ll point out some positive aspects.

I liked Russell Crowe as public domain character Dr. Henry Jekyll, perhaps last seen in the equally confusing League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)(the film that inspired Sean Connery to call it quits). Here Jekyll is the head of a covert occult research group Prodigium which is akin to MU’s Shield or Mike Mignola’s and Hellboy’s home Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.).  Yes, we see Mr. Hyde, but when he appears it detracts from a key sequence involving the escape of Princess Ahmanent (Sofia Boutelle) from a mercury embalming harness. Boutelle makes for perhaps cinema’s most exotic mummy ever.  She reminds me a bit of the equally stunning Zita Johann (The Mummy, 1932). As far as monsters go, don’t expect to see remarkable makeup effects. I thought she delivered as an evil entity.

Overall, the film looked good and the prologue sealing Ahmanent’s fate grabbed me.  Unfortunately 10 minutes of explosion, bombs, air strikes and buddy film humor between Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson, flat-out killed the opening moments for me.  I wrestled with the thought of walking out of the theater then.  I’ve grown accustomed to Tom Cruise and liked him in the last two M.I. films.  He’s basically the same character in most of his films (Tropic Thunder, 2008 being an anomaly) and his acting to me is very narrow bandwidth, but in this film he seems lost and barely going through the motions.  A punch-out sequence with Mr. Hyde ranks as an all-time low for him. This isn’t camp. This is just bad film making.

Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) plays the love interest. The script does nothing to fortify any semblance of attraction between Wallis and wise-cracking Cruise.  She’s a bit stiff too and doesn’t offer up any hope that she will deliver in any more of these Dark Universe films (assuming she returns).

I’m tired of sand storms in films. How many times are we going to see a howling face in a sand storm? I’m also tired of minions of walking dead.  Why do we need resurrected corpses?  Isn’t Mr. Hyde and Princess Ahmanent enough?

It’s hard for me to believe that the Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz film is 18 years old. Those were unremarkable films but they succeeded in combining horror and comedy elements, which is not an easy task.  This new film is recycled, loud, mediocre, and basically a 2 hour waste of my time.  I hated the Wolfman remake (2010) and this is a close second. The Dark Universe has started with a dud.

I give this fim maybe **.  Wait for free streaming or on a flight somewhere. This film is so bad I created a new category “Re-Boot Films that Suck”.