What I’m Watching! Free Shows on ROKU/Amazon Prime!

THE GREAT

GRIMM Season 1- Surprisingly entertaining fantasy show that works in a way that other shows such as WAREHOUSE 13 do not
LIFE Season 1- A wry and off-kilter and charming and undeniably different tv drama. tinged with a whimsy and a bit of magical realism that makes it more than a simple police procedural
TOP SHOT Season 1, 2, 4- I’m not a ‘reality’ tv fan, but this history channel competition show is nothing short of  fantastic. Additive and fun watching

THE OKAY

TOP SHOT Season 3 – One competitor and the drama he introduces (the words functional psychopath come to mind) almost makes the season unwatchable. Thankfully he gets removed, and allows for an exciting season finale.

PRIMEVIL Season 1, 2

THE MEDIOCRE OR JUST PLAIN AWFUL

24 Season 1
24 Season 2- horrible and moronic writing and painfully contrived plot choices, and overblown performances makes this ultimately a waste of time

Book quote of the Day! Guess the quote and Win the Book!


“We’ll make them get out.” Jenny said. “Whatever you do, don’t get out. Do just what I say. There’s only two of them, I think.”

As the car stopped, Jenny reached into the glove compartment. She took out the two knives, and gave one to Peg. The other, she slipped inside her blouse.’
— ???

Okay guess what book the above quote is from, and win the book. Pretty simple. :)

Here’s a clue, it is a book that has been mentioned on this blog. Umm, that may be a bit vague. Okay here’s another one, the writer is primarily a horror writer.

Any guesses? Send them in the comments (include your email address), they’ll come right to me without getting posted. The winner, wins the book.

Art Book of the Day: GRAPHISTES WORLD ARTBOOK 01! CONTEST– Win this Book!

This is a review of the GRAPHISTES WORLD ARTBOOK 01, subtitled BOOK OF CREATION, it is published by Oracom Editions and compiles selected artwork from a French on-line artists collective.

First impressions, presentation. It’s a sizable SC book at 11″ x 9″, and feels substantial at 220+ pages. Nice striking cover image, on a nice pull out gate-fold cover. It’s a matte type paper stock on both the cover and the interior pages, and utilizes a sewn binding (initially had thought it was glued, but is a sewn binding. Pretty spiffy for a soft-cover.).

The Matte paper stock, I can appreciate its use on the darkly illustrated cover to help minimize finger-prints, however on the interior pages I’m not a fan of it, as I think a gloss paper stock would have better worked to showcase the images on the interior. I’ll go into that in more detail in a bit,

Now getting into the content, the actual images themselves, there’s more than a bit of crossover in terms of style and theme and subject. The images are mostly computer generated imagery, a lot of video game like landscapes. Much of it is a bit dark for me, in terms of actual brightness not content. I think this is the printing job, rather than the images. Because the images viewed on-line look great (as in the ones I post with this blog), but in the actual book the images appear muddy and un-dynamic.

It may be what the artists are going for, but I’m inclined to think it’s printed a bit dark. So that is where a glossier, brighter, higher contrast interior paper stock could have helped the images come alive, and not fade into the background as much.

It’s definitely a preference argument, but generally I feel glossy paper works much better for art books, and that this particular art-book, because the images are so dark, would have benefited from a higher-contrast glossy paper stock.

Mainly because the dark muted images, lots of purples on blacks, one after another tends to reinforce the need for a more varied palette. The detail in the images just get lost. There are a lot of images I think I would like, if I could see the detail in the images.

But just when you think the similarity is getting to you, you turn the page and there is a burst of artistry and an unexpected, thematically intriguing image to bring you back into the book.

Among such standouts are [the creator or studios nickname is listed with the image, but the table of contents gives their full name] :

28162 has a lush and beautiful and vibrant image with PINK DREAM and SANS UN DEFAUT

Kiko has a wonderful, futuristic landscape scene with IN THE MORNING, but I do think it looks a bit dark, muddy

Mr. Xerty has a nice collage like work with JING

Pim does the lovely LIGHT PULSE

3mmi Design has several intriguing images with DELIVRANCE and TONIGHT IN HELL

Maliciarosenoire offers us the nicely composed INCERTAIN

Graphic Traveling bring us the imaginative NYX

Grivetart’s NEW YORK 2030 and EXPLORERS are both quite excellent

Graphaddict’s offers us the well composed and lit SPACE MOUNTAINS

Pezcado’s MAINS DANS LA MAIN is quite ingenious

BeautifulReal brings us the sumptuous and strange LAST TRAVEL

KarimDesign’s offers us the attention getting LAST BREATH

Aiven’s 5 PAR is likewise imaginative and compelling

Todavia’s DEATH OF A SIREN

Lord K’s POLAR SUMMER

So these are some of the ones that stand out, and make the book well worth a viewing, despite my issues with the printing. Beyond the brief French introduction, the book consists of all images, so it can be enjoyed by all. Final Grade: B-.

******

CONTEST! WIN THIS BOOK!

This book isn’t currently available on Amazon US, but is available from Amazon UK and Amazon FR. It’s like $50.

But wait a minute! For being a Heroic times follower, I’ll tell you how you can win it for free.

It’s really, really easy to win this review copy they sent me.

Be the 15th person (follower, you have to be a follower of this blog)to comment on this post, you win the book.

Put contest in the comment, include your email address so I can get in touch with you. Comments do not get posted if you put contest in it, and they come right to me.

The 15th person, maximum of 3 attempts per person and consecutive attempts not counted. 15th person (follower) to leave a comment saying “you want this book and love Heroic Times”… wins the book.

Pretty simple.

Okay, that’s all folks. Go hug somebody.

Three Best Werewolf Movies available on Archive.Org!

Three Best Werewolf Movies available on Archive.Org!

I like big WereWolf movies and I cannot lie!

That sounded much better as a rap song, :) Anyhow, I do happen to have a fondness for Werewolf movies.

And this being the age of torture porn, and slasher flicks, and zombie movies (none of which I like)… good werewolf flicks are not that prevalent. Unlike many I did quite enjoy Joe Johnstone’s recent WOLF-MAN.

Unfortunately, at this rate it means one good werewolf movie every decade or so (sorry TWILIGHT and UNDERWORLD, not really interested).

Well for those who have seen all the classic wolf flicks (AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, HOWLING, WOLFEN) and are seeking something to tide them over try these obsure, little seen flicks available on Archive.org. While not exactly good, stick with em, they rise above their flaws :):

WEREWOLF IN A GIRL’S DORMITORY- A zero budget film, sprinkled with sizeable amounts of bad acting. That said there is one actor who gives a compelling performance, some interesting mad scientist elements, and some interesting makeup. Worth a look. Grade: Has its moments. View it here.

WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON- Dean Stockwell who spent his early career playing annoying, conflicted characters is true to type in this zero budget horror flick. Comes off as more the rushes of a film, rather than a finished film. At times laughably bad film. Horror drama as political farce. The Werewolf meets Dr. Strangelove. I know this is one movie Dean Stockwell wishes did not exist. The telephone booth scene being so ludicrous it’s laughable.

I cannot decide if this flick is going for brainless or brilliant, at times both. The licking the midget scene at the feet of Frankenstein was just too bloody much for me!! Add to that a cage-match on the White house lawn?!?

What possessed Stockwell to think this film was a good career choice is beyond me. And is it me or does that President remind you of Bush? A bad movie, that should be at least fast forwarded through. : ). ”Get back people! He may be the President but he’s still a Human Being!”

And yet….

I have never hated the beginning of a movie more, written it off, and been captivated by the last hour! I wrote most of this review before reaching the end of THE WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON. It really turns on a dime, and becomes a film that laughs at itself, and at you. That’s not quite right. It’s not comedy so much as satire, and by the end, very effective satire. Give it a look, I think it may grow on you.

Grade: It may take an effort, but if you can make it through the incomprehensible and pitiable first 40 minutes, the third act, may just salvage it for you as it did for me. I’ll go so far as to say that by the end of the film, I was quite entertained. View it here.

WEREWOLF WOMAN- Softcore exploitation flick, it actually transcends its meager budget, and suspect direction, to have some heart, and some care, and some tragedy. It’s more than you think. There’s a sinister thread to it, a broken morality, a fragmented picture of… abuse begetting abuse. Grade: This movie surprisingly transcends its limitations. And it has stayed with me long after seeing it. Which is more than I can say for most films today. Of the three, it’s the one I wouldn’t mind having a nice DVD version of (Well this and WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON). Your mileage may vary. View it on Archive.org and decide for yourself

[Quick Update: WEREWOLF WOMAN has been removed, like too many movies, from Archive.org. There is a Shriek Video DVD available here, but most reviews state that the Shriek DVD is sub-par, and recommends rather searching out a DVD offered by a Japanese label.]

.

Free Movies of the Day: DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE

No one, and I mean no one is going to confuse any of today’s selections of movies with great movies. Let’s get that out of the way, these are not great movies. They are not even good movies.

That said, they are not exactly horrible. And they have their particular charms. :)

INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS- What to say about this movie… it’s like a porno movie without the porn. :) It’s harmless enough, brain-dead fun, and who is not a fan of uncomfortable 70s acting, and bare bosoms. And hey… it’s free. :)

CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE- Despite its shortcomings, it’s an okay flick. Plus I’m always an easy audience for mad scientist and swamp movies. Also I like how it plays out the local population/voodoo storyline. And compared to other Buchanan films this one at 70 minutes moves relatively briskly… and more or less keeps you watching till the end. So nothing to jump up and down about, but satisfying enough. And this flick is yet another one you can view at Archive.org for the price of a click. :)

COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE- This is more watchable than most of Paul Nashy’s films. Nice bit of atmosphere and an intriguing if absurd story makes for good viewing. Well that and the women. Four pretty gorgeous lasses in various states of undress give suitably nice bosom heaving performances.

Infact the biggest drawback of the film is Paul Naschy himself who defines wooden, he makes a worse Vampire than he does a Wolfman. And the ending is so nonsensical that the entire last half of the movie is this incredibly moronic running voice over to try and make sense of the senselessness you’re seeing.

All those faults acknowledged it sports at times nice photography, a couple decent slow-mo and special effects scenes, and generally is not a bad way to while away 80 minutes or so.

But man that is really one incompetant performance by Naschy as Dracula. And a pretty lame death scene.

But actually there’s an intriguing germ of a script here, and if remade with decent actors, direction, and better dialog could actually be a good film.

You can view all the films here!

Must See Film of the Day! Buster Keaton’s THE SCARECROW

Must See Film of the Day! Buster Keaton’s THE SCARECROW

Don’t like comedies? Don’t like Silent Films? Don’t worry.

Take 20+ minutes out of your day and watch this amazing Buster Keaton short… for free!

You’ll be glad you did and you can thank me later. Just imaginative and fun and funny. Grade:B+/A-.

View it here!

Free Movie of the Day! THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND!

Occasionally I’ll bring you items, freely accessible online, that I think are worth a look.

HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND, available at Archive.org, is one such item. No one is going to confuse this German production from 1960 for a good film. A softcore exploitation-horror flick, originally titled ‘Toter hing im Netz’, by relatively unknown director Fritz Bottger, and sporting a largely German cast, it was first released in the states as a luke-warm Adult Flick in 1962 called IT’S HOT IN PARADISE, and sank like a stone. A few years later it was cut to try to appeal to the Drive In Crowd, and released as THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND and fared no better under that name.

All that said, it’s a harmless enough bit of pap, the dub/voice Actors do a good job, it’s well performed for an exploitation flick, it’s full of pleasant sights and plentiful female form (which happen to be the same thing :)), And the cheesy spiders and monster makeup, is kooky and endearing in a crazy way. Again I’m not arguing with its low IMDB rating, it’s completely brain-dead (One example: the male lead says ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ after they just find a dead body stuck in a huge spiderweb), that said I fast forwarded some of it, but mostly it was kooky, dumb fun and I enjoyed the time it took to watch.

A guy stranded on an Island, with a boatload of beautiful women. What is not to like? :) Well maybe the man-killing spiders mutated by Uranium could be a worry. :)

The version on Archive.Org clocks in at only 74 minutes, a full 15 minutes less than its official time as listed on IMDB (more than likely for the original German version with nude scenes, etc, intact. It’s more than long enough at 74 minutes). And the picture quality is very dark, but is watchable, and again for a way to view the movie without having to buy or rent, you can’t argue with the quality.

So to sample it for yourself, View it here!

(And I always recommend downloading/supporting the OGG format which is a free/open format, unlike mpeg/mp4/mp3 and its derivatives… which one day, if I know greedy companies as well as I think I do, the MPEG rights holders are going to start charging people licensing fees to continue using their compression algorithm. They would be already but thankfully the alternative of OGG keeps them honest. So let’s keep supporting OGG.)

Thanks for looking!