Saturday, October 31, 2009

Horror Series Reviews

Happy Halloween!

Ah, horror, how I love you so. Though it seems that there being simply one lone horror movie is becoming a rarity as over the years the idea of sequels just became more and more appealing to the market. So we have a flood of horror sequels (a lot of them BAD) but in the long run it’s given me an excuse to put some horror franchises under the microscope and review them.

The movies we’ll be covering are the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Friday the 13th series, Romero Dead films series and Halloween series. Originally I planned for Texas Chainsaw massacre as well but I refuse to watch all the awful sequels again.

So lets dig in to the brains of these iconic and beloved series!

Romero Dead Films
Films List: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead.

When talking about the Romero Dead films I think I have to let it be known that I find Night of the Living Dead to be some of the best work in cinema ever. Alongside so many other incredible films Night of the Living Dead embodies both horror and great story telling. I love it to death (PUN!)

Though when talking about the series as a whole it’s hard not to want to just talk about Night of the Living Dead. Everything about it is great, from start to finish it’s an amazing film that left a huge impression on me both when I was young when I saw it and even nowadays.

Dawn of the Dead though does come in close as a second place as my favorite zombie film of all time. Dawn of the Dead is almost as good as Night but it lacks some of the haunting imagery and creepy atmosphere. Romero was definitely having a lot more fun with Dawn then he was Night.

Dawn practically feels like a comedy just with horror bits. Not unlike the recent film Zombieland. I think when a director is able to add the feel of comedy and horror it’s a brilliant mix as horror can at times get a little too tense, so some comedy to lighten the mood often helps.

Much as I love Dawn of the Dead I do find the characters not as memorable as Night. Night had a cast of interesting and memorable characters. Whereas the only character that comes to mind when I think of Dawn is Tom Savini’s biker character.

Still together Night and Dawn of the Dead are some of the best examples of Zombie Cinema.

I like Day of the Dead, I do, but compared to the 2 movies it follows it’s not that great. It has more memorable characters then Dawn and almost as many memorable moments as Night. It’s a great movie but at the same time it feels much more downplayed at first when compared to Dawn.

Still it is an amazing film no matter what and I do love it just not as much as I love the first 2.

Land of the Dead was mediocrity at its’ best I figure. While in no way a bad movie, it just wasn’t anywhere near the first 3 films. No memorable characters at all. Nothing about this movie resonated with me and impacted me as a viewer like the first 3 did.

Still for a zombie film you could do a lot worse. The effects are great and there are some solid moments here and there. And I did dig Romero’s message on the supposed “battle between social classes” as it was more relevant then the message of Dawn which was about mall zombies.

Diary was just….painful. I don’t want to talk about it much because it just…wow. Just. Wow. It. Was. Awful. The characters where bland hate worthy and I was eager to see them get ripped to pieces. Not the interesting kind of annoying characters like the family from Night, no, I just wanted them dead. Fast.

Overall the Romero Dead Films have degenerated, just like the shambling corpses that star in them, into husks of their original selves. And I’m aware there is a Day of the Dead remake, do not even begin to ask me about it.

Halloween Series
Films: Halloween, Halloween 2, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: the Return of Michael Meyers, Halloween 5: the Revenge of Michael Meyers, Halloween: the Curse of Michael Meyers, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween: Resurrection

As I’ve said multiple times now, the first 2 movies, together, make the greatest horror movie ever for me. They have all the creepy atmosphere, memorable characters, amazingly frightening moments and are a rare showing that the slasher genre, while predictable, is still great as all hell when done right.

Season of the Witch feels like a completely different film but I still love it. The idea Carpenter had was that the series would now be about different scenarios all set to Halloween night. It was a brilliant idea and I loved it.

Sadly that didn’t work out. Everyone was pissed that Michael wasn’t in Season of the Witch. Much as I loved that movie and the concept, Carpenter caved in and brought back Michael and it was all down hill from there.

4 and 5 tell the story about Michael’s niece and they are both predictable, boring and just all around mediocre in every sense of the word. The deaths are predictable and I see them coming every time, the characters are boring and even Michael himself doesn’t have the same scary feel he had in the first 2 films.

Part 6 was the final nail in the coffin for me. Trying to explain that Michael is being possessed and used by some evil curse and blah blah bullshit. By now the franchise was good and dead even if they kept making movies. Just like Michael, there wasn’t much left of them anyway.

H20 had one redeeming quality, Jamie Lee Curtis, she continues to do well as an actress no matter what awful movie they cast her in and she was great here. Everyone else of course was god awful but hey at least we had one good actor.

Resurrection was just lame. Everything about it reeked of Hollywood forced sequel. Nothing about it felt interesting or creepy or enjoyable. It was a husk and I was watching it, from beginning to end, wondering when the pain would end.

Now there’s of course the 2 Rob Zombie films. If you missed my Horror Movies and their Remake post, check it out, I don’t want to restate my hatred for that awful remake. Though I will say that no matter what, nothing will ever make me see 2. I’m not an idiot. It looks awful and if the first remake was something to go off of, it probably is.

Overall the Halloween franchise started out strong and has 3 of the best horror movies ever to me. Though when 4 came and they brought back Michael it was all over and the series has just turned into absolute garbage.

Friday the 13th Series
Films: Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th part 2, Friday the 13th part 3, Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter, Friday the 13th part 5: A new beginning, Friday the 13th part 6: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th part 7: the New Blood, Friday the 13th part 8: Jason takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X

Oh wow, what have I gotten myself in to. I said the Halloween series turned into a husk? Well if that’s true the Friday the 13th turned into an inside out no handed zombie with several wounds all over the body. It’s been so drained of all life there really was nothing left by the end so much that it got twisted more and more.

As I’ve said the first 3 films are enjoyable, but flawed experiences. Pamela made a great villain though everyone knows Jason as the villain of the movies so often people completely forget about Pamela which is almost sad since she’s just as sadistic, if not even more so, then Jason.

After 3 I was getting bored with the series. So when I found the Final Chapter on the rental store shelves I was confused since I saw several more movies following it. Not a smart idea to label something “Final” if it’s not.

Final Chapter would have been a great ending to the series. Sure it’s as predictable as everything from part 3 but it was still a satisfying conclusion to the series and would have worked well.

A new beginning was bad in my opinion, it had no redeeming qualities at all. I hardly remember anything when I think about it. Save for maybe a couple of scenes and the bad guy but still it was the most forgettable of the entire series.

Jason Lives was okay, I liked the Frankenstein homage with how Jason is brought back and it’s almost funny how they turn Jason into a zombie. Though like the franchise, this movie was incredibly predictable and boring for it.

The New Blood was just meh. Nothing more I can say about it. Similar to new beginning it was incredibly forgettable.

Jason Takes Manhattan was just weird. Nothing really good about it but it at the very least had some memorable moments. Mostly Jason knocking over the boombox and the really weird way he dies in this movie.

To be honest it was actually more memorable then all the other movies following Final Chapter but still not a good movie. Also I didn’t like taking Jason out of his element of Crystal Lake again. This was too an extreme though.

Jason Goes to Hell was just awful in every way. I absolutely hated this movie and if I could erase one movie from existence it would be Jason Goes to Hell. Only one aspect of this movie was good and that was the Freddy Homage and even that wasn’t so great.

The weird supernatural eating hearts crap just was nasty and not even funny nasty, just gross. It was stupid and easily this was the worst film in the entire series no doubt.

Jason X was actually a fun movie. It didn’t seem to take itself as seriously as the other films did and that works.

The space setting was again, a bit too extreme for a Friday the 13th film but they don’t even call this Friday the 13th so I’m not complaining. It was as decent, dumb slasher film that had some great funny moments. Especially Jason beating one girl to death with another with in her sleeping bag. Hilarious.

Overall the Friday the 13th franchise has had some serious ups and downs but it’s been so badly drained of life that I can hardly call it a great series. Still Jason is one of the most iconic killers ever so I can’t really say the series is all that bad as the good movies do at times feel like they outweigh the bad. Even if they are fewer.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Films: A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: the Dream Child, Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Freddy vs. Jason

When talking about the Nightmare series I have both a grand fondness and disliking of it’s main villain, Freddy Krueger.

On one hand I love the way Robert Englund is so versatile with the role. Able to play both dark and scary and over the top and funny. It’s so great see him no matter what it sees. Even the later films, annoying as they are, still have that awesome factor thanks to Englund’s performance as Freddy. It’s also nice seeing consistency with one actor playing Freddy the whole time.

Though still the series definitely had a huge overhaul as it went on.

The first 2 films both had a lot of great moments. 1 was of course better then 2 but 2 had some amazing build up and suspense just as 1 did. Both are great movies and both use Freddy more as an evil elemental force then as a regular character.

That changed come 3, the series slowly changed and became more about fighting Freddy then actually being afraid of him. Up to Freddy’s Dead the horror was gone and this felt more like a thriller action series then compared to horror.

I prefer the darker and scarier Freddy to the comedic wise cracking Freddy though to be honest. I find a quiet and haunting image from Freddy in the first film. He was generally scary there. As the series progressed he become comedic and it wasn’t the same. Much as I still loved Englund’s performance.

I did like some of the things they introduced about Freddy. Such as his mother being an un that was raped by 100 maniacs and that’s how he was conceived. It’s F***ed up and it fits the haunting origin of the character.

Though overall up to Freddy’s Dead I was bored with the series. Freddy’s Dead was just as boring as everything from part 3 and the series should have stayed dead. Or so I thought.

New Nightmare blew me away at how good it was. Mostly thanks to the return of Craven as right away you can tell his influence is in this haunting and creepy movie. I loved the hell out of it. It’s amazing.

New Nightmare is one of my favorite horror films of all time and it’s definitely the 2nd best in the Nightmare franchise. Everything about it is memorable, creepy and incredibly well done. I especially love the twist of Freddy being a devil that is held within a story. So brilliant and at the same time creepy.

Then there’s Freddy vs. Jason, not really a major part of either series but a crossover. When I first heard of this film I was psyched to check it out. It sounded awesome so I was really eager when I got to rent it.

I actually do quite like this movie. It uses both characters well and has a lot of over the top and well done moments. It’s only real problem being that once again the characters are as memorable as a fly. Still this was a fun movie and I’m disappointed that it never got a real sequel.

So overall the Nightmare series is a decent horror franchise really. It never got as bad as Halloween and Friday the 13th did with it’s sequels and it also didn’t flood the horror market with as much bad as they did. So I must say it’s a great franchise even with it’s weak middle movies.

So that’s it from your zombified writer, me, I hope you all had a fun time with these horror based posts and I hope you all have a great Halloween. If you be partying, trick or treating, or just staying home with friends and watching horror flicks I hope it’s a great and scary night for you all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Horror Movies and their Remakes

Horror movies and remakes seem to be a never ending fad nowadays. I’m not sure exactly when it started, I’m guessing with the 90’s remakes but as time has progressed it’s getting increasingly rare to see an original horror film that isn’t either a remake or sequel. It’s a fairly sour time to be a horror fan, luckily seems there are still some creative people out there (Trick ‘R Treat, Paranormal Activity, Drag me to Hell) but for the most part horror is being polluted by remakes.

Honestly I could make a thousand page post about every irksome remake that is either useless or pointless. Though I’m going to try and be as contained as possible and not go off on full rant mode since a lot of these remakes bug the hell out of me.

So lets talk about the classic films and how they compare to their remakes

Dracula (1930’s) / Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Okay I’m cheating here since the 1990’s film starring Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves is a total reimagining of the original story and film. It really is a huge departure from the original source material which is ironic since it’s the one with the title of being Bram Stoker’s official story when it totally deviates in several aspects.

The original film, while not the first movie to star Dracula, is the most famous for the actor of Bela Lugosi who set the popular image of the bloodsucking Count. Though it also isn’t 100% faithful to the story, it still is more faithful then the 90’s film which really is funny.

The biggest different the 90’s film has from the source material is that Dracula is a far more sympathetic character. Also the writers of the film added more of the history of Vlad the Impaler (the real life man that Dracula was based off of) into the character by using the Order of Dragons.

Though my biggest problem with what this movie does is the character of Mina who is given a total overhaul in that rather then being her smart strong confident young woman who really was a likable character even when compared to our heroes, she gets changed into a love interest for Dracula and a stupid one at that.

Now they try to explain the love thing that she’s Dracula’s wife’s reincarnation, but that doesn’t fly with me. They totally ruined a great character in Mina by turning her from her smart strong self into a love sick moron who really I just end up hating for what she does and how easily she falls for Dracula. There was no real general build up to her suddenly falling in love with him. They meet, he charms her a bit, she leaves, he finds her, she suddenly proclaims her love for him. It’s idiotic.

Honestly if the character of Mina hadn’t been ruined I probably would have liked this movie a lot. Also if you’ve never read the novel and aren’t fond of the character Mina like I am then I guess you won’t give a damn but for me it really irks me that the writers ruined her like this.

The movie as a whole is quite good and it does a great job of using dark gothic architecture. Much closer to the HAMMER films that starred Christopher Lee (the 2nd best Dracula)

The 90’s film is also more mature in that it uses more violence and sex. Though the violence never got disturbing for me. Also the sex was for a change actually well done. Usually sex in horror movies is just “oooh look, titties! Please be distracted by our shitty plot and poor character work and look at the titties!”

Here the sex is used in a more intimate way. Though it does still have those flashes of uselessness. In the novel sex was more implied then it was shown, here it’s just…shown. Also the sex does get a bit disturbing (Werewolf sex…ugh…) but it’s all effective and this is a rarity where sex doesn’t feel forced into the film to try and distract me from the stupid.

But what about it compared to the original film? Well they are both enjoyable film with memorable characters, moments and all around a great story set up. Though it really comes down to Dracula in my opinion.

Lugosi set the image, what more can you say about him? Even with his Hungarian accent he did an amazing job and he is THE actor you think of when you think of Dracula. Oldman does a good job, really, but compared to Lugosi it’s just a good job and nothing more. His performance has nothing on Lugosi’s.

I will give the 90’s movie more credit for actually making a decrepit looking Dracula at first. I always imaged a withering old man when Jonathan first met him in the novel and the movie does a good job of showing that.

Reeves as Harker was just pathetic. They seriously couldn’t have gotten someone better to play him? Really? Jonathan Harker is a really powerful and important character that you come to appreciate and like. Here he just feels boring and flat and you almost wonder what Mina saw in him the first place and for a split second, I couldn’t blame her for dating Dracula. I’d pick Oldman over Reeves any time if I where her.

In the long run I do quite like the 90’s film. It’s dark and gothic and incredibly haunting. Not to mention it has it’s fair share of disturbing scenes that they never could have done with in the original film during the 30’s (werewolf sex comes to mind) and it really is, on it’s own a great horror movie that I recommend to all fans of vampires.

Though still compared to the original it fails to really take the source material and fully use it. Mina’s character is so greatly ruined and even with them trying to explain it and at least doing a halfway decent job with her it still didn’t work for me. Also with Lugosi as THE Dracula, I just have to give it to the original 30’s film for being the best adaptation of my favorite book of all time.

Winner: Original (changed this, recently rewatched the 92 version again, original is better!)

The Wolf Man / Upcoming Remake

I just wanted to give my quick thoughts about the upcoming remake from what I’ve seen from the trailer.

Lon Chaney Jr. set the bar pretty high and the only film I’ve ever really felt came close to the original Wolf Man film was the Howling as well as An American Werewolf in London. 2 amazing Werewolf flicks that where able to surpass Wolf Man.

The remake, from the trailer, looks all right. I wish they weren’t using CG for the transformation because honestly I think if they’d gone with real effects it would have been much better. But oh well, can’t win them all.

I will be checking this movie out. It’s nice to see Hollywood remaking a movie that, at the very least, isn’t barely 30 years old. This time we’ve got a movie that could actually use an update, unlike most of the remakes on this list.

Winner: undecided

Halloween / Rob Zombie Remake

This one is really tough since I actually did a forum review for this when I saw it a couple years ago and to be honest my opinion has changed quite a bit over the years. While at first I didn’t mind the remake, it seemed like a decent film, upon rewatching it for this post I can honestly say I hate this remake.

If you missed my top 25 horror movies last year then I’ll fill you in that combined, Halloween 1 and 2 together make the greatest horror movie for me. Carpenter made an instant classic and it really shows. This movie practically defines “indy horror” for me and I love every minute of it all.

When I heard Rob Zombie was going to do a remake I shrugged and hoped he’d do a good job with it. This was before I was catching on to the slew of Horror remakes and before I realized Hollywood was basically giving all us fans a big fat middle finger with the movies we loved.

One thing I loved most about the original was how haunting Michael Meyers was. We knew virtually nothing about this man. He decided one night as a child to kill his sister and ever since then he became a monster. It was a chilling and haunting idea and made him all the scarier.

So Zombie decided that key element that made Michael so scary should be removed. Why? I guess he wanted to remind us all how good the original was for it and make us appreciate that movie more by showing how awful the film would have been had there been an extra chunk explaining Michael’s evil and insanity.

Seriously the first chunk of this movie is all about explaining the Michael was an abused white trash redneck kid who had bullies and had a fascination with killing small animals. He eventually snaps and bam, instant killer. It’s all very boring, uninspired and at this rate it’s amazing I’m not a serial killer since Michael really was a normal kid who had shit to deal with. We all had shit to deal with as kids. Doesn’t mean I’m going to go psycho…often.

Zombie literally ruins the character by taking away all this mystery to his malice. The less we know the better when it comes to Michael Meyers. Just like with the Joker in The Dark Knight, the less we know about the villain the more fascinating and haunting he becomes. Once you break down that villain and show us how he works, he loses that mystique of evil and he becomes a boring regular person.

Now before you think that’s the only reason I hated this movie, it’s not. One thing I loved about the original Halloween was really how clean it was compared to modern horror films. There was very little blood, if any, and the sex was all held more to suggestions rather then actually ever seeing anything. Something horror movies now don’t do at all really.

Zombie basically sluts and bloodies it up. You want tits? This movie has lots of tits. You want blood? This movie has lots of blood. Is it ever used in an important context to the actual moment or horror of the story? Of course not! This is just another mindless gore and tits fest that you can basically sum up as “tits and blood” and then you’re done.

There is no context to the horror here. Nothing scary at all. It’s all bland mild ‘jump scares’ and even that’s being too generous. Jump scares at least startle you, these scares are just predictable and boring. Zombie had to try to be this boring I figure.

Really the biggest thing is this movie has no soul like the original did. It’s just a shambling corpse, trying it’s best to gross out and appeal to the lowest demographic of horror. There’s no suspense, there’s no great interesting characters and it just takes all the magic of Halloween and basically mucks it up and tries to make it more “adult” when it didn’t need any of that stuff.

And really I have no problem with gore and nudity along with sex in horror movies. Done right they can all contribute well to a film. But that doesn’t apply here. We just get big pools of blood but nothing that really sticks to us, we get sex and it’s blatant and dry and about as arousing as seeing your grandmother do it with a rattlesnake. (I apologize for that image, feel free to hate me)

This movie is just bland horror shit 101 at it’s core. It goes through the boring motions and doesn’t ever try to be something special. You’ve seen it all before and it really is one of the biggest waste of an effort ever. There’s no atmosphere and even the classic Halloween theme song is rarely used which just ruins it all.

If you’re really dying to see Halloween, watch the original and stay as far as you can from the remake.

Winner: the Original

Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Remake

After that bitch fest I’m sure you’re expecting me to hate this movie. But no, this is one remake that I think is honestly as good as the original. Almost better, if not for a few things here and there.

Not everyone likes this movie, and to be honest I did not think a remake of TCM was at all necessary. It was a gritty dark realistic look at the horrors of humanity and I loved it for that. Though this takes that gritty realism and cranks up the dark dreary nightmare to 11.

The remake honestly feels like a completely different film to me. Sure it has plenty of similarities to the original but at the same time this feels like a completely different animal and that’s more of what a remake should be. It should feel different from the original while still respecting what made the original great and paying tribute to it.

Also the use of gore this time around actually works better. The original wasn’t anywhere near this gorey but for this movie it actually works better and doesn’t feel so empty and useless.

The characters are still fairly forgettable, just like in the original, but once again I quite like the female lead and still have the feeling of rooting for her to survive.

Overall I find these movies to be equals and I could easily watch them back to back as they are both fun and creepy horror movies that I thoroughly enjoy.

Winner: Tie

Dawn of the Dead / Remake

The original is one of my favorite movies of all time. It had a great cast of characters, fun setting and actually blended horror well with humor. It still had that dark gritty Romero feel to it just like all his Dead films do

The remake? Not so much. It has fast zombies, which I’ll be honest, as a purist, I hate fast zombies. While they work and have their own niche in the zombie sub-genre I still don’t like them. I didn’t like them in 28 Days Later and I don’t like them here.

Compared to the original Dawn of the Dead the remake doesn’t hold up at all. But I will be honest that as a stand alone zombie flick it has it’s moments and actually is halfway decent. I really think this movie didn’t need to be a remake. Change the setting and this would have been a solid original film that didn’t need to bear any semblance to the classic film.

Winner: Original

Friday the 13th / Remake

I had yet to watch this remake until I decided to do this post. I was happy living in ignorance and pretending this remake never happened and just twiddling my thumbs as I enjoy the classic film.

One thing the original already has over it’s remake is Tom Savini. One of the masters of horror special effects, Savini has done some of the best stuff in horror for movies such as Dawn of the Dead as well. He’s an amazing effects guy and it shows in the original Friday the 13th.

Another thing the original has going for it is the actual plot of it all. How Jason’s mother is the killer and why she did it all. It’s all haunting and really brilliant stuff as far as horror twists and turns are concerned as it uses it’s twist brilliantly to make Pamela Voorhees a chilling villain, almost as much as her son is.

So here was the remakes biggest hurdle, the original film only has Jason in it for a split second, memorable as that scene was though. So changing it to Jason as the main villain, immediately you aren’t really remaking the original film but you’re just making a new sequel simply ignoring all continuity though.

I will give this film credit right away for none of that bullshit about Jason being a supernatural ghost that eats hearts. While Zombie Jason has it’s appeal and is kind of cool, supernatural ghost Jason that eats hearts is just idiotic.

The ending does sort of have a little homage to the Jason scene in the original and I did like that.

Honestly this movie was a decent flick. It had some good atmosphere, great cinematography and overall I ended up turning off my TV and not hating myself for renting this movie.

Still, does that actually make it a good horror movie, or even a good Friday the 13th film? Not really. For one it’s not scary at all. While the sequels became more about showing what a badass Jason was, the first movie was honest to god scary as all hell. Mostly thanks to that we never saw the killer until near the end.

Here it never gets scary, save for a couple of jump scares and a few seconds of tension that are, as predicted, thrown away within seconds. The screen writers I’m guessing never understood the idea of not only building tension, but actually using it for something other then a jump scare.

This movie sort of tries to stitch the first 3 movies together which really was a weird idea for me. Each of those 3 movies, while not perfect, are enjoyable viewing experiences on their own so I can’t see why we’d need a movie that basically blends the 3 with how they tell the saga of Jason coming to be.

Speaking of Jason, I kind of liked him in this movie. His redesign was fairly faithful to the original. Of course the only reason he has that damn Hockey Mask is because it’s so synonymous with the franchise by now.

I guess while I didn’t hate this movie, I hate what it does and shows just how lifeless remakes can be. There was nothing about this movie that felt important or that made me glad they made it. It has no real need to exist other then to make some money off of a popular horror franchise that, lets be honest, is long past it’s prime and should stay dead.

This movie has no real punch or interest to it. It’s just Jason going out and killing stupid teens for the billionth time. If you’ve seen the first 3 films you know the shtick by now and there’s no reason to watch it again. You’re just punishing yourself with the repetitiveness at that rate.

If you are dying for a Jason kills teens movies then this is it. But really it’s not much else. They give us a halfway decent protagonist and we actually get a good feel of his struggle to find his sister, but it’s so deeply buried in all the bullshit of the rest of the cast that are all virtually unlikable and bland as can be.

If the film makers had worked harder to build a strong cast around our decent main character I think this could have actually had something decent and memorable about it. What we get instead was a forgettable experience that we’ve gotten a thousand times already.

The first movie was something special. Sure by today’s standards it’s your generic slasher flick, but even nowadays it holds some special mystique and haunting effect to it. The way we see our killer brutally pick people off, then when we hear Pamela’s heart wrenching story of a mother who simply loves her son, it all comes together beautifully and makes for one amazing movie going experience that I never will forget.

Though this movie doesn’t really care about making movie magic. It just wants your 10 dollar ticket and doesn’t care if you leave the theater satisfied or not. It got it’s money so what should the movie care? Just a dull experience that is unnecessary.

Winner: Original

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Remake

Again like the Wolfman I’m going off the trailer. Though I have a much more negative disposition this time.

Now I love the original Nightmare on Elm Street, great movie, one of the best and most classic films of all time in my opinion. It’s amazing, no doubt, loved the hell out of it. So when I heard a remake was coming about this, I was pissed off right away.

Of all the films they are remaking, Nightmare is the youngest. It’s barely 25 and really like Friday the 13th and Halloween has that timeless feel to where it in no way needs to be updated or remade. This isn’t a 1930’s black and white film, this was the 80’s we’re talking about for crying out loud!

Then the trailer, this movie just looks like they reshot the original. Seriously. They actually had the balls to remake the famous bathtub scene. Wow. Just…wow. This is horrendous.

Then the guy who placed Rorschach as Freddy. When I heard he’d be Freddy I was kind of excited, I mean hey he did an amazing job in Watchemn. While that movie had plenty of problems, you could watch that movie from start to finish if you cut out all the parts without Rorschach and it would have rocked.

But here, it just looks pathetic, and he sounds pathetic. He sounds like Rorschach trying to come off as scary and it doesn’t work.

I know I’m judging a lot off of a trailer, but no way in hell am I going to see this. Nor do I need to. This is the most pointless remake of all and I can already tell the original will be a million times better.

Winner: Original, already I can tell.

So that’s my thoughts on horror movies and their remakes. Honestly I really hope Hollywood stops this stupid trend before they run out of classics to ruin. While there are some glimmers of originality it seems the horror genre is literally doomed to repeat it’s greatest moments in history. What a damn shame.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comic Reviews - October 28th 2009

We’ve got quite a lot of comics to review for you all. So to make my job a little easier most of these will be Open Fire! Reviews as I’ll be doing that with all of last weeks comics as well as Blackest Night #4. Why? Well you’ll see in a moment. Though luckily I was able to pick up Green Lantern #47 after hearing such good things about last issue and I must admit I was happy I did so. So lets get to the reviews!

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5
Written: Paul Cornell
Art: Mark Brooks

Opening Comments: After 4 great issues this mini sadly comes to an end. As one would expect with the upcoming YA mini in 2010 this series more or less ends with leaving some loose threads for that to pick up. But of course not while still being a satisfying and great read as this series has been.

Story Comments: This issue’s plot is basically the fight we where promised at the end of last issue. It plays out. The Young Masters retract at the very end to fight another day and the Dark Avengers run away with their tales between their legs.

First off I loved how badass the Young Avengers where here. Usually when up against a major group like the Dark Avengers one would expect the Young Avengers to get thrown around like ragdolls. It’s usual comic practice to make the young teen group be the weaker and put them at a serious disadvantage.

Here they just kick total ass. Especially Patriot. I loved Patriot’s reaction to Norman and his Iron Patriot outfit. He goes ballistic and it was easily my moment of the week. So badass. One of the few times it feels like Eli actually was the leader and is a strong guy as he really left an impression. Apparently not just on me, Hawkeye (the teen one) was impressed.

Character work was spot on once again as far as Cornell and how he handles each individual voice. They all had their own unique voices as they conversed back and fort hand it worked really well.

My only complaint about the character work was how others like Vision and Stature only got brief moments compared to how Cornell has been really great at making sure everyone gets a good amount of time in (minus Hulkling it seems) here they where rather quiet and only got in a few lines which did disappoint me.

It was also great seeing a mega threat like Sentry be dispatched so easily. I know that writers often have to work around the Sentry since he’s so powerful, but this was a rarity where him being taken out of the game felt like it was actually something that could have happened and it was a smart move.

Though lets talk this most obvious problem with this ending as well as the mini as a whole. Importance. In the long run this series introduced us to our Young Masters but it didn’t definitively put them on either side of the board. They remain divided on if they are good or evil.

This is obviously a thread to be picked up in the Heinberg/Cheung mini-series coming out in Mid-2010 (recently announced as a bi-monthly 8 issue mini that starts in July) and to be honest I don’t mind that much. I expected as much and Cornell works around that without turning this story into filler.

Really this was a very satisfying conclusion to the story. If it had more of a definitive conclusion it would have been much better but it was still a great read no matter what.

Art Comments: Once again Brooks impresses with his gorgeous artwork. Not much I honesty can say more other then this book looked amazing. Every character was great and the art moved beautifully making this one of the best looking comics out there.

Final Comments: While not quite a Must Have since it has threads to be picked up, I still loved this issue and I still loved the hell out of this mini-series. I highly recommend it to all that missed it and if you are collection waiting it, get the TPB as soon as you can. This has been one great mini.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Green Lantern #47
Written: Geoff Johns
Art: Doug Mahnke

Opening Comments: Picking this up on a whim, this issue deals much more with the space side of the Blackest Night event rather then earth where the main mini is concerned. Maybe they should switch places since this is a thousand times more exciting and enjoyable then the mini has been so far.

Story Comments: This issue has a lot on it’s plate. Dealing with the Red Lanterns, Larfleeze, Hal along with Sinestro, Indigo and Carol taking on Abin Sur and his sister. It all stitches together nicely as Johns does a great job of balancing all the plot threads and giving them all fair amount of time.

I really liked seeing how the Red Lanterns don’t need their hearts, giving them a huge advantage over the Black Lanterns. It was a really badass scene and shows the Red Lanterns may be the biggest force to help stop the Black Lanterns here.

Of course the best part is Hal along with Sinestro as they take on Abin Sur and we see how cold Sinestro is even when confronted by the body of his dead lover. Johns handles these characters amazingly well.

Action was at it’s high point in this issue as every bit of action scene was incredibly intense and exciting. This is mostly thanks to the gorgeous art by Mahnke but the way it was written by Johns really made it great.

Character work excelled here. Dialogue was solid and it was all really enjoyable. Every line felt important and interesting (which is more then I can say for Blackest Night #4, but more on that in just a moment) and Johns really handled it all well.

Overall this was written incredibly well. If only it weren’t juggling more and could have had more room to breathe and not have so many plot threads it probably would have been a lot easier to read and a little better.

Art Comments: Mahnke gives us some gorgeous artwork here. While he had a couple of not so great moments the art was still gorgeous stuff and it works really well. Seems he was born to draw Green Lantern as he’s really excelling here.

Final Comments: While I wish I could afford to I still won’t be adding GL to the pull list. But I will pick up issues of it when I can and I am really glad I picked up this issue. It was a great read and had some strong art and so far is the best of the Blackest Night tie-ins from what I’ve read.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Now it’s time for 5 Open Fire! Reviews for you all, one from this week and 4 from last week.

Blackest Night #4
Written: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis

UGH. There. That sums up my entire opinion of this issue. UGH.

Okay to be fair this issue had some moments. Seeing Jean (not the read head) come back as a Black Lantern was a cool moment. Even though we all saw it coming. Also the dialogue did have some good moments peppered in through the heavy dialogue.

But when I look at Green Lantern #47, how Johns gives us more concise and important dialogue rather then just rambling on and on, then I see Blackest Night where everyone has to give a 10 page speech about what is going on, it’s a crazy contrast.

This issue was full of NOTHIANG. Nothing happens hat hasn’t happened before. People die, the dead rise, and at the very end Nekron shows up looking like a badass. We get no real revelations or anything major that happens that we didn’t already know about.

Overall Blackest Night is quickly losing all speed it gained from it’s 1st issue. Johns still have another 4 issues to save this event but at this rate I might as well just go throw 16 dollars into the trash and it seems I’d get the same thing I’ve gotten from picking up the first 4 issues of Blackest Night.

Writing: 2 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5
Pass It

Spawn #195
Written: Todd McFarlane
Art: Whilce Portacio and Todd McFarlane

If this issue had come out on time I think I would have been very favorable of it. This was a huge step up from the snore fest last time as McFarlane did a great job of balancing character work and giving us some great action near the end to get the blood pumping and excite me as a reader.

Really this issue didn’t advance much but it did let us know that Jim can turn into Spawn whenever he wants know which is a surprisingly cool new thing. Also it seems Jim is destined to be a hero just as Al tried to be as he saves a woman from being kidnapped and it was really cool seeing Spawn save someone for a change.

The art was a little on the mixed size. While most of Portacio’s art was good, he still had some moments that looked painfully rushed compared to his other work on the title. It still is a damn shame he’s leaving the book.

McFarlane finally returned to doing some pages for Spawn and it looks great. Not much I can say other then great art on McFarlane’s part.

Overall this was a really good read, but the delay really hurt it from getting a higher score.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It

Invincible #67
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Cory Walker

This arc has been a short but fun ride as Kirkman does a great job of both setting up the stage for the upcoming Viltrumite war while still making he developing story a fun and great read. This story is undeniably a nice reprieve from the over the top dramatic and intense Conquest arc.

I loved all the moments of Nolan and Allen collecting the weapons and visiting all the planets .Especially when they try to get the creatures that are so powerful they can rip through a Viltrumite. It was all really cool and fun to read.

The art by Walker was absolutely gorgeous, though I give a lot of credit to the colorist Dave McGaig who did an amazing job bringing Walker’s already great art to life and giving it an extra level of greatness.

Overall this was a great read that only suffers from not being able to do even more with these great characters.

Writing: 5 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Must Have

Mighty Avengers #30
Written: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art: Sean Chen

This series has been hanging on by a thread to stay on my pull list. Luckily seems Slott reminded me why I wanted to read this series in the first place as we finally get the fun Avenger super hero comic I’ve been wanting to read since I picked this up with Slott’s first issue.

A lot was done right here. Mostly Slott taking Hank Pym and turning him into Scientist Supreme. A really cool moment and it seems like Slott’s job of redeeming Hank Pym is really coming along nicely as this was a great twist for the character.

Chen on art was great. While his style was incredibly simple as far as art and detail it still looked great.

Overall I really did enjoy this issue and it was pushing a Must Read, but looking at it in the context of this week story arc it just wins a Check It. Still a great read.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It

Streets of Gotham #5
Written: Christ Yost
Art: Dustin Nguyen

For a filler arc, Chris Yost delivers an enjoyable read. Though still this was not without plenty of faults to take it down from being a great read and turning it into a decent filler story arc.

Huntress has way too much inner monologue. Seriously you could cut out 75% of her useless whining and it would have been much better. Since most of her dialogue is “wah, I wanna kill Manbat but I cant, wah, Batman is such a meanie for not letting me kill Manbat! Waaaaah!” for crying out loud.

One thing that confused me, what the hell was with Manbat? Half the time it seemed he was just wildly flying around attacking people, the other half it seems Yost was hinting at him actually having some hidden purpose. I can tell what the hell was going on, not a good sign of good story telling.

Though I did love the scenes with the young priest as he deals with being a man of faith in Gotham. As a non religious person myself it’s always interesting seeing how comic writers use faith and this was one of the best uses of it in a while. Really compelling seeing this innocent nice guy have to suffer all the insanity of living in Gotham.

Nguyen remains on art despite this being a filler arc and I’m glad he’s still around because this issue looked great. He draws a great Huntress and a really wicked cool looking Manbat.

Overall this was a good read but it’s not at the same level of greatness I’ve come to expect from this series. Still a good read for a filler arc is better then nothing.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Solicit Commentary for January 2010

No sickness can dare attempt to halt the power of solicit commentary! Though late, it still made it to the party.

So the new year is already sneaking up on us. We've got a lot to do to prepare but until then let's take a sneak peak into the year 2010.

Haunt #4

Though the first issue wasn’t a perfect start I remain excited for this series and I’m especially excited to see Haunt clash with this villain, Cobra. As to what happens I’m not sure but I’m sure it will be cool. Also I like that cover.

Image United #3

I’m calling it here, if Image United can make it this far then after this point it will hit a delay. That is being nice and figuring the Image founders can seriously make it halfway with this comic and not hit a delay which I seriously think will happen.

With the announcement of Al Simmons returning as the villain I’m even more excited for Image United, but I’m being realistic with my expectations in that I know damn well it’s going to hit a delay. We all know it. And hey if they can make it half way without hitting a delay, I’ll be satisfied.

Savage Dragon #156

Agh…want…to read…Savage Dragon…again. This sounds so awesome! Damn. All right, it’s official that after Siege and Blackest Night I’ll be adding Savage Dragon back to my pull list as soon as possible! Seriously!

Jersey Gods volume 2

Love that cover by Whilce Portacio. Only mentioning this book to say how disappointed I am to see that Jersey Gods is skipping a month again. I guess I can understand that McDaid needs the reprieve but damn it sucks starting off the new year without some Jersey Gods goodness.

Savage Dragon: Back in Blue

Going to pick this up since I read the story arc from 145 to 150 and it was a great time and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Savage Dragon.

Shadowhawk Chronicles volume 1

YES! While I haven’t read a lot of Shadowhawk, trust me when I say that what I have read I have loved. I cannot wait to pick this up. I think I’m going to preorder this. A huge book all for the sweet price of 20 bucks? Count me in.

While it is in black and white, it’s no secret I love black and white so I don’t mind. And what’s that? A new ongoing? Excuse me as I just died a little of joy. Sadly Jim Valentino says Shadowhawk 2 won’t be the Shadowhawk in it though. I hope this doesn’t mean Eddie will get killed in Image United.

Now as for this new ongoing, will I pick it up? Well I hope it has talent I’m familiar with. If Keith Giffen where to write and draw it I think I’d die of joy (again). Though as for this new ongoing I’m going to at the very least pick up the first issue as I love the character of Shadowhawk and can’t wait to get to read about him on a regular basis again.

Invincible #70

I love that cover, it’s so manic and suffocating. It works so well. I’m looking forward to this story though mostly I’m really pumped up for the upcoming Viltrumite war, which sadly isn’t until #75. Oh well.

Angelus #2

I figured it wouldn’t be long until they pull the “Dani struggling for control” bit but I was hoping it would be a little later in the mini. Still I’m really looking forward to this mini series.

Witchblade #134

Last year the one –shot story of Sara vs. Aphrodite was an incredible read. One of the best one-shot stories of the year and I absolutely loved it. It was also the first ever Comic of the Month. So seeing these 2 collide again really has me excited, especially since it’s a story arc. Can’t wait for this issue.

Pilot Season: Stealth #1

This sounds like a really interesting twist for a character. I may pick up this as well as Demonic in December.

So Blackest Night is taking a break for one month. To be honest I’ll be impressed if Reis makes it to #6 without a delay but hey fingers crossed. DC is giving us a lot of random one-shots which while it sounds nice, none of them appeal to me. So I’ll just wait for Blackest Night to start again, assuming there are no delays, in February.

Green Lantern Corps #44

So it’s official that Guy will become a Red Lantern. I see this as meaning one of 2 things will happen. Ice will arrive on Oa and get killed by a Black Lantern or Kyle will have to kill Guy to stop his friend from living life as a hatred filled beast. Either way I don’t like it and I hope I’m wrong on both of those.

We saw that with the aid of a Blue Lantern the Red Lantern effect can be stopped but I don’t think there will be any Blue Lanterns to save Guy here. Someone’s going to die and either way I’m not going to like it.

Batman and Robin #7

Not sure why this issue was delayed, but oh well. Really excited to check out Cameron Stewart on this series and see what he’s got. A lot of people don’t like his fairly cartoony style but I think that along with Morrison he’ll turn in some great stuff.

Streets of Gotham #8

I love that cover by Nguyen, wicked as all hell. I’m really excited to see Batman take on Zsasz as this issue has been building since #3 and I’m excited as can be to read it. Dini is opening the year by closing the first major arc of Streets of Gotham and it should be a great read.

Siege #1

So I’m going to be reading this, only for the sake that it’s 4 issues. That and I really want to read something with Coipel on art since I haven’t read stuff with his art since House of M and no offense to him or his fans, but that stuff was weak. I’m really excited to see how he’s grown over the years.

As for the event itself? It sounds all right. Norman going after Asgard is a really interesting twist and I’m sure this is why JMS left Thor for now. No doubt. Also the classic 3 Avengers teaming up should be great. I hope Mighty Avengers gets a tie-in.

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #6

This arc seems to be going on longer then I figured. Spider-man isn’t through with Mysterio by #5? Really odd. Also I guess this spoils the upcoming fight. Damn shame.

Mighty Avengers #33

I know I’ve been really hard on Pham, but that cover is pretty cool as he does a great job with Osborn’s wicked face. Now with that said I must admit last issue renewed my faith in this series and has me looking forward to the upcoming confrontation next time with the Dark Avengers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Week Begins - October 26th 2009

Forgive me for being gone so long, yours truly came down with a nasty case of swine flu. But I’m better now and ready to bring you all my comic thoughts. Also don’t worry about the Halloween posts, they are still on I assure you. Now onto the comics!

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5 *Most Anticipated*
Written: Paul Cornell
Art: Mark Brooks

With it being a small week it was this or Blackest Night #4 and I am definitely more excited for this issue. The conclusion to what has been, in my opinion, the best mini of the year. Even though it hit a delay I remain excited for this issue.

This mini has been great so far and I’m really excited to see how Cornell ends it all. Hopefully he closes all the plot threads that he opened with issue #1 and resolves the points like Enchantress and Melter’s place in the world. It’s been a hell of a great ride so far and I can only hope it ends as great as it began.

Blackest Night #4
Written: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis

My excitement for this series has dwindled greatly over the past 3 issues. While the firs 2 where great reads, last issue was just standing around talking and nothing else. We got one death scene but besides that I remain bored and am losing my excitement fast and Johns has to work fast to win it back.

The mid-point of any event comic is crucial. If Johns can really amp the danger level again and throw some big bombs out there then I think he could easily win me back. If he gives us more useless chatter and standing around like last time then I’m going to be annoyed.

Negative as I am about this issue I do remain hopeful. Blackest Night has yet to turn into a bad event for me, just slowed down is all. So I am really hopeful that Johns can save this issue fast and return this event to prominence.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Horror and Comics: A Match made in the Crypt

Comics and Horror are an interesting blend when you think about it. Horror can be very effective in novels as the descriptive nature of a good author can help build the tension that some of the classics (Dracula, Frankenstein, the works of Stephen King) have been best at.

In a film horror can go 2 ways, really building tensions and making you care about characters like the books usually go for, or it can go for jump scares. Jumps scares seem to be most of horror movies nowadays sadly.

Why do I bring this up? Because I want to distinguish that those 2 forms of medium are very different usually with how they use horror. Novels have to be creepier and build tension slowly if they want to be fully effective and movies can go either way. Though comics can have a mix.

Horror comics can both build strong tension and give us jump scares because comics are both a literary and visual medium that blends storytelling like a book and visual medium like a movie. You read and see. So a horror comic is a very unique and special thing since it can 2 both 2 elements of horror easily.

Now I wanted to get that out of the way so I can mention the elements of horror and how they work with comics. I want you to know how that affects my judgment on the horror comics I’ll be talking about right now.

While I don’t have too much to say on them, the old EC horror comics of the 50’s obviously deserve at the very least a mention for being such a vital horror source of the time. Also helping inspire the great movie Creepshow.

I actually have a few EC horror comics such as Tale from the Crypt and I must admit they are incredibly dark and creepy. While they lack the over the top punch that most horror comics nowadays have they still have their own brand of horror that hasn’t been seen in years. Making it a really creepy and fun experience to read.

Now when talking about the horror comics of today I should warn you all my experience is probably more shallow then others. I haven’t fully immersed myself in every horror comic out there nor am I fully aware of every horror comic out there nowadays.

So if I skip a favorite of yours then feel free to let me know about it in the comment section. Just try not to chew me out too hard or you’ll draw blood, and that will attract the zombie sharks.

One of the first major horror comics that comes to mind when I think of this current generation of horror comics is 30 days of night. The little vampire comic that blew everyone away and has since become one of the biggest Indy comics out there. Even going so far as to make a movie.

I could make an entire post all about the 30 days of Night series but I’m going to try and condense this as much as I can since I have other comics to talk about.

The first mini was not the best for me, it was a great read but mostly for Niles doing a good job of establishing his characters. I always feel a horror story is only as good as it’s main characters, not just the villains. If I don’t care about the heroes what’s the point of watching their story of being in danger?

Eben and Stella are 2 great memorable characters that give us a great window into Barrow and the struggle as the vampire hordes attack. Niles succeeds most there for sure. Though he also gives us some great villains with the more ruthless monstrous vampires. My favorite being Vincente, their leader.

Overall the first comic was more like a good start to something that would become better really as I enjoy it’s sequels more. Well specific ones.

Dark Days was just all right, not much I really want to say on this one since I haven’t read it in a long time.

Return to Barrow is undeniably the best of all the sequels and mini’s out there. I hope to one day do a full on big review of this but for now I want to leave it at this. It has the best and most memorable cast of characters, it has the most memorable scenes, the art was much better even though I already loved Templesmith’s earlier work and it has a twist ending that was absolutely awesome.

Long story short if you had to buy one 30 days of night book (and there are quite a few out there) this is the one I give the highest recommendation.

The only other sequels I went through the trouble of buying after that where Eben and Stella as well as Red Snow. The others I’ve just read in my book store and I can be honest and say I wasn’t too impressed with them.

Eben and Stella wasn’t too great either to be honest. I only enjoyed it for filling in the gaps between Dark Days and Return to Barrow.

I already reviewed Red Snow and while I don’t want to completely restate it, I do find it to be the best of the sequels since Return to Barrow. It’s Nazi’s vs. Vampires with memorable and cool moments and beautiful art, what more could you want?

Since 30 Days of Night, Ben Templesmith has gone on and become a very popular artist. Mostly with horror comics as he’s done covers for Halloween, the art for the Dead Space comics, Aliens and even a Silent Hill comic.

I could make  the rest of this post about Templesmith’s horror work, but rather I’m going to pick one: Welcome to Hoxford, his werewolf mini-series from 2008.

I actually skipped this mini in order to collection wait for it. I finally got a chance to read it just recently and I must say I am impressed. Now I’ll do a much bigger more full review of this sometime in the future but for now here are my brief thoughts on it.

Templesmith did a great job with this mini in the span of 4 issues. Building tension nicely for when we finally see the werewolves. We get some really messed up characters that, to be honest, we don’t root for. The only character I can say I cared about was the doctor though she seemed to be the least developed.

Still this has some great villains with the werewolves and I really dig Templesmith’s designs with them. They looks great and wicked as all hell. Of course like always Templesmith’s art here is great.

I’d have to say the werewolf hasn’t benefited much from this resurgence of horror in movies and comics in the last decade. There haven’t been any memorable horror movies recently or horror books or comics. This is the first werewolf story I’ve seen in a long while and it’s certainly a great one. Werewolf fans shouldn’t pass this one up.

Now keeping to the indy comics of horror I want to briefly talk about The Walking Dead. Sadly I haven’t actually picked up this comic, I’ve just read online spoilers, scans and skimmed through it at the book shop.

Friends have told me again and again I should read this and that I would love it. They are probably right. For one thing it’s in Black and White like one of my favorite films, Night of the Living Dead. While I really appreciate the hard work of colorists to me there’s always been some kind of special appeal of a black and white horror story.

I have kept up to date on the characters and it does sound like a heart wrenching story that I would love to read. I’ve been considering picking up the hardcover collections for the longest time now and I think it’s about time I do.

I am a huge zombie fan and even more so I am a huge fan of the Romero films. No offense to Return of the Living Dead, great movie, but I prefer the classic “shoot them in the head and their dead” zombies. Kirkman gives us that and for that I really would love this series if where to start reading it.

What’s kept me from reading it? Really just expense. I have a long list of collection books I want to buy and rarely do I start reading a series I’ve never read before when it comes to collection books. Though I am going to make an exception here.

Robert Kirkman is a writer who I respect a lot so his name on Walking Dead also helps. I will be giving this series a read and trust me, you will all be the first to know my thoughts on it after I read volume 1.

Now there are some comics that are considered horror like Hellboy. Sadly I’ve never read a Hellboy comic except a couple of Free Comicbook Day one-shots. I really want to read Hellboy, but so far my only exposure was the good 1st movie and the absolutely awesome 2nd movie.

Now there have been horror comics from Marvel and DC. DC usually it’s just something like a creepy Batman story or a Halloween one-shot and I never read their holiday specials so I can’t chime in on them.

Marvel usually uses it’s MAX line for horror comics. Stories such as for Man-thing (personal favorite of mine) or Werewolf by night. That’s all good but I think Marvel’s most prominent horror comic in recent years is the ever so popular Marvel Zombies.

I’ve talked quite a lot about the Marvel Zombies series and by now it’s no understatement to say that Marvel has milked this undead cow for all it’s worth and the milk is starting to go bad.

The first mini was an awesome read that proved the concept could work and was fun and over the top. It was insane and really went above and beyond what one would expect. It wasn’t amazing writing, but it was great for what it was.

The prequel comics where all decent to enjoyable. Dead Days was a useless one-shot though and the Army of Darkness crossover was really just a dumb idea that only worked out because of how funny it was seeing Ash’ reactions.

Marvel Zombies 2 was a more serious approach and surprisingly it worked very well. Making one of the best and most enjoyable horror sequels since Return to Barrow.

Marvel Zombies 3 saw a different writer in charge with Fred Van Lente and I must admit he did a great job. Sure Kirkman set the bar pretty high but Van Lente gave us a comic that I can only describe as Evil Dead 2 if Machine Man where Ash.

It was the same over the top greatness only in a different way. We had an actual hero this time and it worked incredibly well. Also Kev Walker’s art was gorgeous even if it didn’t mimic Sean Phillips’ darker moody art.

Then we have Marvel Zombies 4…which in all honest is Midnight Sons simply picking up a Marvel Zombies thread. It was a good read but in the long run a forgettable one. It had none of the Marvel Zombies charm and by now I was getting bored.

I’ve read through most of the Marvel Zombies Returns one shots and I can honestly say BLEH, the fad is officially dead and if Marvel has any good sense on them they’ll leave it dead and buried.

Marvel Zombies was an awesome idea that started out very strong. If Marvel hadn’t quite overdone it so much I’m sure it would remain in fans memories as one of the coolest and funnest comics in a long time.
Now I want to end this off by talking about a couple of younger horror based comics.

The Astounding Wolfman is a series I’ve really wanted to read for a while but the first few issues never really did anything with me. Kirkman’s use of the characters wife just as a dramatic death really irked me as it’s more typical writing from Kirkman and what one would expect.

Kirkman is a great writer but this series seems like something more I should be reading in the collection books. Which is what I’ll probably be doing sometime in the future.

Scarlet Veronica is similar to Astounding Wolfman in that it takes elements of horror but adds the super hero twist to it. Though Scarlet Veronica is much more closer to the original idea of playing within the realms of horror.

I’ve reviewed this comic already and I can’t say much more of how much I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the smartest or most brain picking comic but it wasn’t trying to be the next Watchmen or anything. The writers set out to tell a fun cool story with enjoyable characters and they did so.

Often horror can work when it has some lighter tones and gives us some fun along with the scares. While this comic never actually scares, it does do a great job of giving us a more fun and enjoyable outing like horror can do so well. So for that I really did enjoy the hell out of it.

I wanted to briefly mention Haunt, the new comic from Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman. Looking back at my review of issue #1 I do think I may have been a tad too harsh on the art. Though still all around I stick by the rest of what I said .

Despite issue #1 being a bit of a problematic start I remain hopeful for this series and fairly excited to read #2. I love the twist of ghosts and whatever other horrors Kirkman has in store so I’m really excited to check this book out.

Overall horror and comics has been an interesting marriage. Sometimes it works really well, other times it seems comics just play with themes of horror but don’t go all the way to be a fully scary comic. Either way it’s a great pairing and I love horror comics.

Now excuse me as I go face the greatest fear of all comic readers, watching Batman and Robin from start to finish!