It’s been quite a while since I visited my local comic book shop (Cosmic Monkey in PDX!!) but but the new ‘She-Hulk’ series I’d heard about gave me enough ammo to figure it would be worth finally stopping in for a visit again. I was pretty pumped to hear that She-Hulk was supposedly going back to her “roots” finally, something that’s been presented as more of a return to form to the original John Byrne series of the 1980s. Count me in!
First I must admit, the cover(s) art for this debut issue is awesome and truly does remind me of the classic She-Hulk I grew to love back in the late eighties. I’m actually quite surprised that Marvel Comics seemingly decided to go back to the “sexy, flirtatious” version of Jennifer Walters. Especially since more recently this version of the character was to an extent considered is somewhat offensive to many.
People claimed that she was only used as a sex symbol by male writers & never truly fleshed out as a character, something that I actually highly disagree with.
Nonetheless I was excited to see exactly what they were going to bring to the table in 2022. Unfortunately my hopes for this debut issue were squashed pretty quickly by what I consider to be weak and somewhat uninspiring storytelling.
Most of the issue revolves around a rather pointless fight with her classic nemesis Titania, that I assume they were trying Inject some sort of witty comedy into. The rest of the issue spends a few pages getting into Jennifer Walters more personal problems as she moves back into her former apartment. That’s really about it in a nutshell. I didn’t really find much of anything to be memorable here, the dialogue was pretty flimsy and the artwork at some points was impressive and at others felt a bit rushed.
I guess a part of me had built up this return to form as possibly being a consisely comedic version of the character and her absurdly over the top adventures of years ago. Instead what I ultimately ended up with was yet another safely generic Marvel Comics relaunch. I guess in a way it was kind of what I was expecting and it’s certainly not the spark that’s gonna get me going back to drop another $4 to $5 on a comic book that literally takes just over 5 minutes to read in it’s entirety. I’m somewhat astounded that as comic prices dramatically increased the panels grew exponentially in size and now only take a matter of minutes to read. I would have hoped that the opposite would have occurred, If you’re gonna charge 5 bucks for a comic book you’d better be bringing more bang for your buck!
I can’t say I’ll be going back for more She-Hulk anytime soon, yet it has inspired me to dig out my old late eighties back issues. Who knows maybe I’m being too damn hard on things and perhaps my memory of the “golden era” of She-Hulk is something that won’t hold up in 2022. If this is any indication though of what the live action MCU series is going to be like I guess I’m gonna be pretty disappointed. There’s so much fun to be had with She-Hulk, a more of a classic “Sex in the City” style approach to the series with some clever writing is what I was hoping more for. I’ll save my true anticipation for the series launch on Disney Plus this year with my fingers firmly crossed....
Are you truly ready for a 1980’s “Vacation of Terror” to Mexico?!! Nope. this ain’t Cancun folks, this here is a sweet horror franchise that started in 1989, starring legendary south of the border pop star turned B-movie horror icon Pedro Fernandez. Yes the lesser known Fernandez, appears to be a sort of “Ricky Martin-type” singer, who started his music career at the tender age of seven and later in the 80’s had a string of rad horror flicks like Trampa Infernal, Panic on the Mountain & this two part creep-out, Vacation of Terror (1&2). Check out his music as a kid when he went by the name Pedrito Fernandez:
1989’s Vacation of Terror is a pretty sweet little horror flick that follows a wealthy family’s visit to the countryside to fix up a crusty old cabin in the woods. Along for the ride is teen daughter’s hot shot occult investigating BF Pedro Fernandez along with his impressive mullet! The family starts to notice a few truly strange things happening in and around the property, and their youngest daughter soon falls down into a creepy ass well. Oddly there’s no water down there, but rather what seems to be some sort of lived in cavern den, with a freaky old doll and a few other odd antiques scattered about. Of course the daughter wants the weird ass doll, so they bring it up to the cabin where it begins to have an evil mind of it’s own that starts to manipulate and possess the young girl.
Good thing Pedro is there to combat the evil forces because this doll is hell bent on destroying the family and any furniture in the way of her telekinetic powers. You’ll see this doll’s evil eyes whisk from side to side about a hundred times as she “uses her powers” and her schtick does get a bit tired by the finale, but still strangely satisfying. However it’s imperative to see this first movie to set you up for the far superior sequel, where only one cast member returns-of course Pedro Fernandez!
1990’s ‘Vacation of Terror: Diabolical Birthday’ (directed by Pedro Galindo III who also did the excellent Trampa Infernal) is one helluva good time-but oddly there’s no damn vacation going on anywhere here. But that’s ok, we’ve got a wild ass halloween themed birthday party to attend instead this time! The best thing is Pedro returns, now a single man (who maybe had enough of the family’s creepy cabin and odd shenanigans), who runs an antique shop and meets by chance a cute lady pop star, Mayra who’s played by real life Mexican pop star Tatiana who wanders in. After some chit chat she ends up inviting him to attend a party later and when she’s about to split he notices a her little sister in the back seat of her car holding the same creepy ass doll from the first movie! Naturally Pedro swings into action at the sight and has a new reason to attend other than being crushed out on his sweet date-to fight evil! Of course part of the fun is to go to the party, where it’s either taking place on Halloween or the little girl just loves horror decor. We also get a super sweet performance from Tatiana of course doing her sweet hit song “Chicos Chicos” check it!
Luckily Pedro gets there just in time to see her rock out! However there’s bigger fish to fry as he’s hot on the trail of the doll. However the there’s a wild birthday cake that just by “chance” gets some blood on it and soon the creepy living doll goes missing and eats the blood soiled cake, transforming it into human sized demon that resembles Angelica Huston’s wicked persona in “The Witches” mixed with Freddy Krueger.
From this point on the creature is out to terrorize all the party goers and it’s now up to Pedro & Tatiana to stop evil from spreading and maybe even find some romance? This one is a lot more fun then the first installment, it’s got a lot more going on, faster paced and a bit of a more playful element at it’s core . However director Pedro Galindo doesn’t skimp on the horror, there’s some great gore and colorful kills to behold as well as the setting. The decaying old deserted Mexican village they end up being chased around in is an excellent place for the spooky shenanigans to occur.
While some may say this is the Mexican “Troll 2” I just think it’s yet another super fun, campy horror movie that fans of the 80’s have got to check out. These two movies certainly need to receive a cleaned up blu ray release with some sweet special features. Otherwise horror fans will certainly miss out, these days it feels like a company like ‘Vinegar Syndrome’ releasing these unknowns gems gives them a sort of sudden street cred/seal of approval. Well you heard it here first though, before the ‘Vacation of Terror’ blu rays are suddenly all the rage-get ahead of the curve and head back to the 80’s to take your own “Vacation of Terror” to Mexico before all the tourists arrive!! You can get it on dvd as a double feature right here at World Cult Cinema!