Here’s a pretty interesting little tale of midieval monster revenge, 2019’s ‘The Head Hunter’, a short & sweet little film that clocks in just a hair over 70 minutes in length. We follow a lonely barbarian who’s daughter is snatched up and killed by a monster that roams the nearby wilderness. We see clearly from the inside of his crude living quarters that he revels in killing monsters by his collection of their heads and this time it appears that the conflict is deeply personal. What’s most intriguing is just how simple the plot here is, there’s really only one actor in the whole film if I remember correctly, aside from a brief appearance of his daughter (and maybe a monster or two).
It gives it’s majority of run time featuring the barbarian all by his lonesome and really for the most part ignores his beast hunting almost entirely, only to reveal the aftermath prize of monster heads he brings home every now and again. Though light on the action, it still remains quite an effective slow burn. It takes a brief moment to reveal a world that’s much more fantastic and magical than what we’re mostly shown in a great scene where the barbarian quietly observes a giant troll (who looks pulled straight out of ‘Trollhunter’) towering past a mountain range.
Luckily the film wisely chose a short run time, as it does indeed skimp a bit on showing us any real action at least for most of it’s duration. It instead focuses more on a depressed warrior in solitude, who’s haunted by his daughters death and then late at night, creatures who lurk near his secluded forest home. Whatever budget the movie did have was used wisely with great locations, costuming and effective but subtle monster fx. We really feel the depression, heartbreak and loneliness of the barbarian and all of that set up makes the film’s simple but stunning finale all the more worth the wait. Add to that, a great twist to the whole story that wraps this tale up in a nice nasty bow. When the final confrontation occurs it goes some truly dark places with a creature that at first glance appears as if it’s barely a match for rough and tumble “Conan” style brawler.
For such a short and simple movie it was a real treat, as I’ve never seen a sword and sorcery style flick take this approach to monster slaying. Pretty impressive coming from the guy who directed “Thankskilling & Thankskilling 3” as well as the short film “Critters: Bounty Hunter” from 2014, none of which I’ve seen. After seeing The Head Hunter though I just might give ’em a shot. Check this one out if you dig stuff like Conan the Barbarian, don’t expect a grand spectacle and you’re probably going to enjoy this sweet little tale of revenge quite a bit.
Damn! Nostalgia is running rampant today, but first I wanted to report my thoughts quick on Brightburn, which is currently in theaters! I checked this one out yesterday at a matinee and was pleasantly surprised by this nasty little supervillain origin story. If you’re a fan of Superman you’re sure to find this one quite intriguing. If you’re a horror buff you’ll just might get a kick out of this unique creepy “superhero” tale. Brightburn is essentially the origin story of Superman but instead of him growing up to be the beacon of good we’ve grown to love he goes the opposite direction and gets real nasty to the human race. Once the main character kid realizes (around puberty) that he’s got superhuman powers developing, he quickly decides he’s superior to all humans and sets off on a villainous path of small scale destruction. Playing with people like an evil kid with a magnifying glass on a sunny day around an anthill.
Raised on the farm with his step parents just like good ol’ Clark Kent, he starts off as an innocent nerdy kid right up until his 12th birthday, basically deciding to go on a killing spree, off-ing nearly anyone who gives him a dirty look with his new found ass kickin’ abilities. I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but luckily this is a pretty sweet “smaller budget” mainstream horror movie, unlike anything in the genre I’ve ever really seen before. I guess it might be a good companion piece to say, ‘Split’ which turned out to be a supervillain origin story in disguise. However unlike ‘Split’ this one’s R-rated, so there’s some pretty disturbing gory moments sprinkled about that really took me by surprise & some pretty nice visual fx work as well. It’s tense, well acted and deserves a sequel, as I’d love to see what happens to this evil little maniac next. It definitely exceed my expectations and if they do make a sequel hopefully humankind can figure out some way to put this pint sized supervillain in his damn place!
Next we got a new trailer for the final installment of Rambo! Titled “Last Blood” we get to see just what the hell John Rambo’s been up to since the last extra bloody installment from 2008! Yeah Stallone is back again as the iconic anti-hero and this time it looks as if he’s single handedly (of course) going to battle against a powerful drug cartel. The trailer looks promising, maybe not quite as wild as the last go round, but still, for his age it seems Rambo’s got one more damn fight left in him!
Next is the big one, the trailer for ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’! I never thought I’d ever really see the day we’d actually get a prequel to the beloved 80’s Jim Henson puppet masterpiece. I’m pretty impressed with what we’re seeing here, as it does feature some stunning puppetry. As great as it all looks I’m going to say honestly I’m a bit surprised with how CGI heavy it is as well. I’m not disappointed because I think practical fx and CGI used together tastefully is the best way to pull things off. Also it’s 2019, I hardly expect any mainstream production to go fully practical. Anyway this looks great if haven’t seen it yet check it out and if you have watch it again!!
One thing I love are those weird ass toys of the 70’s & 80’s many of them long forgotten by most. Today I was thinking about a strange action figure line called ‘The Supernaturals’. This bizarre gang of monster toys from 1987 had a gimmick, a spooky 3-D hologram sticker attached to their bodies, often times the heads and torso that really created an incredibly creepy unmistakable look for these action figures. These dudes were pretty damn awesome, each one came with a mini comic book that explained origins of the ghosty heroes and villains.
They also had glow in the dark hands and weapons just to make them even spookier when the lights went out as well as spooktacular vehicles they used in battle. I had a few of these as a kid, they were truly bizarre and that’s one of the main reasons why this toy line was so short lived. Luckily someone was kind enough to upload these old commercials of them so they can truly live on forever!!!
Joining or starting a new Dungeons & Dragons or table top RPG? Wanna make sure you have a great time? Here are 10 things to seriously consider as a player character (PC) or Dungeon Master before committing to the grand adventure. Some of them you might think are common sense but you’d be surprised how many people overlook these important guidelines. I’ve been playing for years on both sides of the table and have found from my experience in the dungeon that a recipe for a successful RPG adventure isn’t quite as simple to achieve as some might be lead to believe. There are a lot of factors that seriously enhance or hinder the experience from becoming the ultimate form of escapism many of us role playing nerds deeply desire. So let’s get started!!
10. Like Minded Adventurers:
Ok, over the years I’ve learned this is easily one of the most important factors for having a truly amazing experience playing table top RPGs. It’s extremely important to really think about just who it is that you’ll be spending hours of your time with trying to trudge through the dangerous and magical realms of the dungeon. I’m not talking about whether or not someone is going to be a wizard or a paladin. I’m talking about the real people you choose to add to the group or the group you join. Make sure everyone who’s joining wants the same thing from the experience.
It’s totally cool to have a group of people who’re getting together to party, hang out and casually roll some dice BUT if you’ve got a mixture of people, some who’re looking to pay attention to the details and really immerse themselves into the story you’re likely to have some unhappy campers among the group. This can also be extremely frustrating for the DM when preparing specific details & important plot points to have a crew of people partying too damn hard to remember what happened the prior week. Make sure everyone in the group is looking for a similar experience. Whether it’s a lighter party style game or a more serious role playing session. Talk this over before starting and maybe keep the first adventure short with a new crew to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you don’t address this it could make for some awkward moments later down the line and likely some seriously frustrated gamers.
9. A Bad Ass Dungeon Master:
Night’s Dominion is a brand new comic from Oni Press that came out today and the first issue is a pretty promising little start to what’s sure to be an epic adventure. I’ve been looking for a cool comic book to quench my thirst for fantasy adventure and stuff like Dungeons & Dragons for a while now. Well this book could end my search with a strong first issue that’s a ton of fun & feels like the opening evening of a great classic game of D&D. The book is written and perfectly illustrated by Ted Naifeh. His artwork and rich colors are quite impressive as well, setting the tone of mystery nicely in this first issue. Excellent artwork is almost always a determining factor of whether I’m gonna drop the cash for a new title. It’s also got some heft in the dialogue so it’s not a five minute blur which is always nice in this age of quick read comic books.
This debut issue essentially starts out much like most D&D campaigns, we’ve got a gang of interesting characters meeting in a dark, smokey tavern where an old bard proposes a dangerous journey in search of an ancient presumed treasure of legend. Of course it’s rumored this treasure is supposedly guarded by a menacing effigy. The group he proposes this to are an interesting bunch, a shady alchemist, his young assistant, an assassin and a bar maid who claims she’s secretly the greatest thief in all the kingdom.
It also in a way feels like a superhero story set in a classic fantasy world as by the end of the issue you’re introduced to a character that reminds you more of Batman than Aragorn. I totally dig it to as I’ve always thought of The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings & the teams formed in a classic game of Dungeons and Dragons to feel much more like a midieval version of The Avengers. It’s also got some nice meat to it as well as interesting character motivations and cool subplots that drive the desire to get rich for this band of vagabonds.
So if you’re looking for a strong, playful new title to pick up this week I think Night’s Dominion is a super solid offering. I’m feeling a bit of an Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings type vibe to the whole thing. if that’s the case then we’re dead set on a path to a ton of fun and hopefully it will take us on a memorable trek through some fantastic and dangerous landscapes. I’ll drop the four bones for issue #2 next month!
This rad series called HamonQuest is fucking awesome. It takes a real life D&D game and puts it into an animated adventure as it’s happening! What a brilliant idea, I wish I would have thought of this. I always imagine what our games of D&D might look like if we could see them on screen with all of the ridiculous scenarios and decision making that ends up going on.
I always as a DM plan for a serious game but then when you get the actual group together and people begin smoking weed, drinking or being caught not paying attention you often times get a totally different storyline than what you may have originally planned for. Ultimate rpg buffoon-ery to the max. That’s fine by me too, I totally dig the unpredictable nature of a D&D session. Well HarmonQuest puts that grand idea into perspective in an incredibly entertaining way. Check this shit out!
Check out the whole series on youtube and get ready to laugh your ass off!
Here’s an awesome Kickstarter campaign to get behind it’s called “Dungeons After Dark” and if you have any interest in the world of Dungeons & Dragons or the like you’ll get a kick out of this. What we’ve got here is an adult coloring book (these seem to be getting quite popular these days) filled with all of your favorite fantasy RPG races in sexy pin ups! Yep you no longer have to wonder what a Gnome, or heck even a Treant looks like when they’re totally feelin’ frisky!
Nope artist Cori Redford has taken the time to give the genre a full on erotic kick in the ol’ booty! It seems that Redford decided for a tabletop game to actually draw a Dwarf in a sexy pin up pose and everyone in the game had a blast with it.
Hence the idea was born for this fantasy coloring book! As a Dungeonmaster myself I too draw the characters for my campaigns and I really dig this girl’s idea as I’ve also been responsible for some pretty outrageous D&D character pics myself! Check this cool little Kickstarter out it’s pretty damn sassy….
Back in 1986 a cool little series came out from Aricel / Adventure Comics for those D&D nerds called The Adventurers! It was a great comic book jam packed with swords, sorcery, monsters galore and yeah…ninjas. My brother collected this series and though I was a Marvel & DC kid at the time I’d often sneak his much more daring and graphic indie comics any chance he’d leave the house. It was interesting as a kid learning that there indeed was more out there than the “big two”. This rad cover is from the first issue of The Adventurers by Peter Hsu and make no mistake each issue had incredible painted covers. I’m going to have to dig these out again cuz I’m feeling the need for some serious adventures lately!
Yes! It’s such a pleasure to do a blog post that I really am totally hyped about these days! This morning I got wind of the brand spankin’ new Kickstarter page for Dragon’s Lair: The Movie and this is something I’ve always wanted to see since the 1980’s.
First let me state that Don Bluth was responsible for my favorite animated movie of all time, The Secret of Nimh, a movie from 1982 that still easily holds up today against the mass produced CG animated movies which have flooded the market. If you’ve never seen it you’re missing out big time. Anyway a year later in 1983 we got quite a surprise in the Arcades, when Dragon’s Lair was released-it was the first hand drawn animated video on the scene and it was a true wonder to behold. Yes the 1980’s were a wonderful era.
I know many people these days don’t even remember what a video game really arcade is, but back in the 80’s it was the place to be. We’d head off to the mall on a saturday afternoon and spend hours there playing video games and then maybe catch a movie afterwords. Ahh, yes, those were the days. I would spend hours watching my brother play Dragon’s Lair and besides it being a very difficult game it was, for me, just fun to watch the incredibly inventive action sequences & adventure unfold before my very eyes. Dragon’s Lair was total eye candy, I was never very good at it myself but I loved it.
So here we are in 2015 and (the now retired from animation) Don Bluth is being challenged by fans to make Dragon’s Lair into an old school style animated feature film via Kickstarter!! The good news is that Don Has officially accepted the invitation. Bluth started out working as an animator with Disney in 1971 having films like Robin Hood & The Rescuers under his belt, he later left and started his own animation company.
So fans we all need to support this venture, get a full on Don Bluth revival going on here, How amazing would it be to see a classic animated Dragon’s Lair feature movie? Who knows maybe if this happens we could get him to do a ‘Space Ace’ movie!!!
I’ve really been missing those classic hand drawn animated feature films, they had so much damn character, I think the world just might be a little better place if we could get this one made, check out the Kickstarter Page right HERE-let’s head into the Dragon’s Lair again!!
Ho Ho Ho & the horror of it all! I just finished the novel “Krampus: The Yule Lord” by Brom the other evening and it was an awesome holiday journey! Now this could in fact be old news to a lot of you out there, but I was only recently turned on to Brom by way of this here book. Even though I LOVE the Krampus mythology to death I wasn’t quite sure about delving into the book until I read one of the endorsements on the back cover by easily one of my favorite comic book writers and artists of all time, Mike Mignola. Yeah the man most well known for Hellboy was quoted saying “Terrific. A wild ride–the idea sounded like a stretch and I’m not sure how many guys could have really pulled it off, but Brom sure has. I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the illustrations are amazing.”
At that moment I knew I was going to love this book to death. Turns out Mignola was dead on (of course), the book is simply an incredible epic ride. It reads more like a comic book and in my mind I had grand visions of Guillermo Del Toro adapting this one to film. It tells a the story of a man named Jesse who’s a down on his luck, boozin’ musician in West Virginia who lives in a trailer and longs to win the love of his ex-wife and daughter back. On Christmas eve though this year, after a night of drinking he spots something quite strange in the sky above, what appears to be “Santa” flying in his sleigh trying to fight off some sort of demonic men. As Jesse is no believer in Santa, he’s downright perplexed until this sleigh from the sky crashes nearby and he’s face to face in the dead of a cold winter’s night with the creatures himself. As he fights for his life he also stumbles upon something else that has fallen from the mysterious sleigh, an odd bag that seemingly has no bottom to it.
This begins a tale full of mystery, monsters, folklore and grand adventure. Don’t be fooled by the whole “Santa Claus” aspect of it though, this isn’t a kid’s book by any means. This story is filled to the brim with gore, scares, suspense and foul backwoods language. It’s also got a some great twists and turns in the plot that will have you guessing ’til the very end. And it doesn’t hurt that Brom has a truly unique way with words that puts you right there in all of the creepy action as he paints the perfect picture quite literally. Yes, Brom is also quite an amazing artist getting his start with Dungeons & Dragons way back in the day(yeah how cool is that!), this book has some truly breathtaking art within. I’m eagerly awaiting checking out more of this guy’s work.
I’ve gotta say it- now is the time to pick this book up it’s a must read this holiday season and appeared first back in 2012. Once you jump into the first chapter you won’t be able to stop reading, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas horror and Krampus mythos. The story is huge, Brom did his homework on the vast Krampus folklore but it’s kept to a very personal level following Jesse (who I picture in my head as kind of like Nick Stahl in Carnivale every time the character opens his mouth). I hope Mignola adapts this to comic book form or someone picks this up as a movie. I’d love to say more about this book but alas I wouldn’t dare want to spoil all of the surprises-Pick this up now, grab some spiked egg nog, a candy cane and curl up by the fire this season you won’t be disappointed! The Krampus is on the move this holiday season!! Here’s a cool interview with Brom: