Tagged: pdx

Comic Review: The Dregs #1 Begins an Intense Urban Mystery!

The Dregs is a new series from Black Mask and the debut issue is great, engaging & totally original read. I love comic books that genuinely bring something new to the table and The Dregs is totally fresh one that at least for the time being doesn’t seem like it’s been done before. It take place in Vancouver BC and begins an intriguing mystery to life in a city that’s rapidly gentrifying. The main character here isn’t handsome or rich, we follow a drug addicted homeless man as he embarks on a bizarre journey to find one of his friends who’s suddenly disappeared from the streets without a trace. Lucky for us his whereabouts are revealed to us within the first few pages, very unlucky for him though.

The story starts off with quite an opening that you’re likely to be thinking about long after you put down the first issue. The Dregs looks like it’s going to be tackling some real world issues as we see the hip yuppy filled city from the eyes of the people who actually live within it’s darkest corners. For me I’m seeing a lot of what’s happening within the pages of this debut issue happening for years within my place of residence Portland, Oregon. People have been being pushed out of their homes now for year and recently at a more alarming rate that ever before. Many cities all over are getting complete makeovers, filling quickly with shiny boutiques, high priced coffee houses & hip over priced restaurants. The wealthy are flocking to places while  housing and rent prices have shot through the roof. Continue reading

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Vision Quest: Portland’s Finest Free Comix!

Issue number five just dropped of Portland Oregon’s FREE comic newspaper! Vision Quest is a collaborative effort put together by local comix writers and artists and it’s a great change from all of the mainstream stuff out there flooding the market. It’s got a real feel to it as well, black & white, hand drawn ink on paper quality that will likely bring you back to the good ol’ days of self published comic books and zines of the nineties.

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It’s a ton of fun too as each issue showcases 30 plus full page bursts of old school comic strip mayhem. You never really know what to expect within it’s pages either, stating on the cover it’s recommended for mature readers so it’s not quite the comic book either for your kid. You get a fine collage of the all of the local talent here in Portland and beyond & yeah it’s free and can be found all around town. Cool artists like Alex Chiu, Tim Root, Erin Nations, Liz Yerby to name a few are featured in issue five and some of the artists are veterans in the underground & local comic scene.

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Tim Goodyear (Teenage Dinosaur / Video Tonfa), one of the publishers and contributors elaborated on the  inspiration behind it saying “Vision quest is a boiler plate we got from The Intruder up in Seattle. I have been bummed on the commercial structure of comics for a long time and have tried many times to get comics to folks with out all the barriers that are in place. Ian Sundahl asked me how The intruder paper was structured and I told him what Max Clotfelter had told me. He asked if I’d want to do that here, I said I wasn’t sure. 6 or 8 months later he asked me again and I said yes. It’s been great. I love it.”

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With regards to submissions to be included in Vision Quest, Goodyear advises that “people should write to us at Visionquestcomix@gmail.com – people should look at the paper and they should make the comic that they want. Not everything fits, whether it be math or tone or outside our interests. Hand lettering is a big key.” 

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Check this shit out around town here and I’m certain copies can be acquired via the Vision Quest email! 

Video Tonfa Collected: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of VHS!

I’m super excited to get this brand spankin’ new collected version of ‘Video Tonfa’ just released by Floating World Comics here in Portland Oregon. I’ve posted here before about indie comic artist, writer & publisher Tim Goodyear’s incredibly inventive & honest movie reviews which can be read regularly in Pork Magazine – But now movie maniacs can get a collected version of over 600 pages worth of them.

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Goodyear not only reviews them in his own words but also recreated each movie’s classic and not so classic VHS covers. Any fan of cult, weirdo, horror, action and the like is bound to dig the creativity and time put into this project. Also reviewed are probably a truckload of flicks you’ve never heard of and that alone can lead you to some pretty excellent film finds if you’re willing to take the time to track em’ down for yourself!

Luckily Goodyear has put in the long hours to weed through it all for for you and give you his own take of what’s been overlooked in the vast sea of lost VHS treasures and turds. So yeah, if you’re like me and just can’t seem to get enough of the largely forgotten cinema of yesteryear then this is a book you’ll wanna reference quite often! Check it out here!

Freaky Friday Night at The Movies: 3615 code Pere Noel & Howl!!

I’ve been doing little movie nights at my shop Hollywood Babylon here in Portland, Oregon quite regularly now and I thought it’d be cool to start doing reviews of the flicks that we watch. I’ve gotta say investing in a projector is really one of the best things you can do if you’re a movie buff! The shop transforms into a mini theater and we can get as rowdy as we want! Often we try to pair an old and new movie together in hopes of ultimate cinematic bliss which is a hard task when you’re often trying to view something that’s new to everyone there. So last night seemed promising as we started off with a rare french flick from 1989 called:

                                            “3615 CODE PERE NOEL” aka DEADLY GAMES, GAME OVER

What a treat this one was, I had meant to get this one this year for Christmas but it’s a hard one to track down at least with English subtitles or in real physical form. I don’t do the whole online downloading very often so I went to Ioffer.com which is your best bet for finding really rare movies “on DVD” unfortunately it didn’t arrive quite in time for Christmas this year.

3615 code Pere Noel or as it’s also known as “Deadly Games” is a total gem of a basically lost and forgotten 1980’s french holiday horror movie. The movies plot is simple and awesome. There’s a poor weird bearded guy who’s wandering the streets looking for children to “play” with during Christmas time and he lands himself a job at big time department store as their Santa Claus. Bad move because this dude is bat shit crazy and it’s not long before some little kid sitting on his lap tells him him she “doesn’t like his face”.

This sends him into an abusive rage which ends up getting the weird dude fired and sets him on course to our protagonist’s giant castle mansion. Yep the hero of this film is one cool ass nine year old kid who lives in a crazy mansion that’d make Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons jealous! Continue reading

VHS Verdict: ‘The Kiss’ is Full of Campy Glamorous 80’s Horror!

I pulled out a pretty sweet VHS the other night called ‘The Kiss’ and it totally delivered the goods! This cool 1988 flick is not exactly what I’d call a great movie by any means but it definitely delivers the just right amount of inventive charming cheez to please any true fan of 80’s horror. I’d say this movie also gives us a genre I’d like to coin here as “glamour horror”. The movie follows a suburban family as they cope with the sudden and mysterious death of their mother. Soon on it’s clear some serious paranormal foul play is afoot as the flick opens with a bizarre scene on a train in the Belgian Congo set back in the 1960’s and involves you guessed it “a kiss” that seems to carry with it some sort of crazy ass occult voodoo charged curse. 

Well things get weird after the mom dies her gruesome death and we see her truly odd but totally glamourous cover girl sister burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere. The motherless daughter played by total 80’s babe Meredith Salenger, whom you may recognize as the object of affection in “Dream a Little Dream” immediately gets a bad feeling from her new Auntie played by Joanna Pacula (the classic 80’s model-babe), while her father seems to be pretty down right away with her basically moving in and THEN some!

Yeah from that point it become a bit of a erotic thriller for a moment as she seduces the Dad and starts stalking the daughter and her new cool guy boyfriend. This one really could’ve been edited down about 15 minutes to keep the story moving a little quicker but if you hang in there ’til the half way point things really start cookin’.

Yep this one gets pretty damn awesome, jam packed with ridiculous voodoo, a crazy ass demonic cat and some good solid 80’s gore. The third act of the film is where this one really delivers, the final showdown is pretty awesome and action packed. It’s a great suburban family battle against the glamour gal, a over the top ferocious puppet cat and the ridiculously awesome creature behind or should I say “inside” it all.

This is one of those cheezy gems that make me love collecting vhs tapes, the 80’s was a great era for horror and this one seems to have slipped under the radar for many-so seek this out and get ready for some campy fun that was meant to be a serious affair!

Crazy Crazy Cat Man: “ROAR” Finally Gets It’s Debut in the USA!

Holy shit! I had the pleasure of seeing a screening last night of one of the most insane flicks I’ve ever seen at the Hollywood Theater right here in good ol’ Portland, Oregon! Yep “Roar” from 1981 has been called the most dangerous film ever made. This is hardly an exaggeration- It took about five years to make. It’s story revolves around Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall, (writer, director, actor in the film)  along with Hedren’s real-life daughter Melanie Griffith and Marshall’s real-life sons John and Jerry.

Oh yeah and it also stars their real life adopted family of over 100 dangerous lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs!! This movie is seriously insane, and had me cringing in fear around every corner as Noel Marshall is surrounded by these giant cats for nearly the entire movie. The plot is simple Marshall lives in Africa in a Swiss Family Robinson style house along with all of these man eating cats and a giant pissed off African elephant. The rest of his family (like in real life, Tippi in the movie, is his wife though they’re separated in the film) decide to drop by unexpectedly, only problem is dad isn’t there when they arrive….but the CATS are!

This movie is utter mayhem, filmed with just a loose plot, most all of the one million feet of footage shot depended on what the cats decided to do while shooting. These cats in the movie are considered Marshall’s harmless buddies, though he’s tackled, smothered and in the middle of raging giant cat fights pretty much nonstop throughout the film. To see these actors deliver their lines while in the midst of these beasts is quite a hilarious feat to say the least!

Now onto the other crazy fact of this film, no animals were harmed in the filming but over 70 cast and crew members were!! Much of the injury can be seen on film, though carefully edited. Here’s a list of exactly what when down via the Wiki page:

“Cinematographer Jan de Bont had his scalp lifted by a lion, resulting in 220 stitches. Tippi Hedren received a fractured leg and also had scalp wounds. This occurred after an elephant bucked her off its back while she was riding it. She was also bitten in the neck by a lion and required 38 stitches. This incident can also be seen in the film. Melanie Griffith(Hedren’s daughter) was also attacked, receiving 50 stitches to her face; it was feared she may lose an eye but in the end the wound was not disfiguring. 

Jan de Bont after the lion attack!

Noel was attacked so many times that he eventually was diagnosed with gangrene. One of those incidents, he was clawed by a cheetah when protecting the animals during a bushfire that occurred in 1979. All animals were evacuated, though it took several years for him to recover from his injuries. Due to the injuries, turnover was high as many did not want to return to the set. Some of the lions also suffered from illnesses that reduced their population. John Marshall was bitten by one of the lions and required 56 stitches. His brother Jerry was bitten in the foot while wearing tennis shoes. He later jokingly said the lion had a “tennis shoe fetish.” Assistant Director Doron Kauper had his throat bitten open, his jaw was bitten, and one of the lions attempted to rip an ear off. He was also injured in the head, chest, and thigh. Although it has been reported that the attack nearly proved fatal, the Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 9, 1978 printed a quote from a nurse saying his injuries were acute. He was also reported as being conscious and in a fair condition.

Sound pretty unbelievable huh? Well after watching this movie, which was never officially released in the US until now it’s pretty clear how the insane list of injuries is totally accurate with what you witness before you! There’s a ton of crazy stunts and an angry elephant scene that will scare the pants off of you! The cats were adopted by Hendren and Marshall from defunct circuses, zoos & irresponsible owners and given refuge at The Shambala Preserve  just about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles which they started together. in fact you can still visit the preserve today. Before you do though make sure you do not miss this movie it’s a truly incredible piece of cinema and one experience you’re likely to never forget!

Handmade Monsters From Portland Oregon!

I had to take a moment here to share with you a little something awesome I stumbled upon recently! Being a giant fan of anything and everything monsters it was to my surprise to pleasantly find out about Nightmerriment!

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Nightmerriment is a one man operation out of Portland Oregon run by Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins is a puppet/monster maker and his creations are incredibly creepy, cute and fierce all at the same time. I guess when I first got a glance of his work I pictured him working in the Jim Henson Workshop, putting together monster puppets for movies like The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. Self described as monster art somewhere between sculpture and puppetry, his creations look like they could come to life at any moment despite being showcased like taxidermy on wooden mounts.

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Most of his creations from what I understand are for sale, so in fact we all could own a little creature of our own! Hipsters aren’t the only thing found in Portland these days, now we’ve finally got something real cool to brag about-hand made Monsters!

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Check it out and Nightmerriment’s facebook page and follow his creations!