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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Since it appears that the current state of my year-long-plus job search has come to a grinding halt (the waiting game is a bitch), I think it's time that I finally got back to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and finished the damned thing. I took a break of three full months and am now ready to fill my insomniac hours with something other than samurai films (narratively compelling, but usually very bleak and not conducive to a positive state of mind) or installments of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, so I'm jumping back in right where I left off, namely episode #60, "The Road Less Traveled." I just watched it — it's the one where Starbuck's seemingly insane command of the Demetrius and its mission to find Earth really begins to unravel — and after that one I have a total of fifteen episodes until I'm done. Depending on what else I may have going on or how much of this stuff I'm willing to sit through on a nightly basis for the next week or so, I'd say you can expect my final assessment in less than two weeks (time must be allowed in which to ponder and place those thoughts down on virtual paper). STAY TUNED.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The upcoming Christopher Reeve Superman figure from Hot Toys is simply fucking incredible. IN-CREH-DIH-BULL. I mean, look at this likeness:

I know, right? This is a shot of the prototype, but I've seen other figures this company's put out and they are just as good in the released versions so have no fear. Here are the specs, as per the press release:

- Authentic and detailed fully realized likeness of Christopher Reeve as Superman in the Superman movie

- Real-like facial expression with detailed wrinkles and gesture

- Detailed hair sculpture

- Approximately 30 cm tall

- Newly sculpted muscular body with over 30 points of articulation with extra forceful upper body as in neck and chest

- Three (3) pairs of interchangeable palms including:
One (1) pair of relaxed palms
One (1) pair of fists
One (1) pair of palms for fighting

- Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

Costume :

- One (1) set of costume in Superman style including one-piece blue costume with Superman logo in chest, yellow belt, red triangular-shaped pants and red cape

- One (1) pair of red boots


- Specially-made figure stage imitating the Fortress of Solitude

- Figure stand with Superman nameplate and the movie logo

- Head Sculpted by Arnie Kim

- Head Painted by JC.HONG

- Head Art Directed by YULLI

- Body Sculpted by Joseph Tsang

**Limited Edition Green Kryptonite with metal chain will be offered to Hot Toys’ special channels

A portion of this collectible figure’s sales benefits will be donated to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation by Hot Toys Limited.

Oh, I so totally want one of these, but the predicted $200-$300 price tag is just too rich for my blood. If you can afford one, more power to you. Go here for a gallery of shots of this thing that may just make you faint from geeking-out.


It was stuff like this that led to my sense of humor as a child being considered "strange and disturbing" by several of my teachers during my formative years.


NOTE: The mythos of the Green Lantern Corps has a loooong history and many aspects that need more detailed explanations than I can provide in a simple DVD review, so I'm approaching this hoping you already know what I'm talking about. Trust me when I say that all of this stuff is explained quite well in the film itself, but me doing so here would derail this article onto too many tangents and render it too long for its own good.

At first it seemed as though this straight-to-DVD animated was nothing more than a naked cash-grab to capitalize on the buzz over the upcoming GREEN LANTERN live-action film, but I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised to find it the perfect prerequisite material for seeing the summer blockbuster. This animated effort is basically several "Tales of the Green lantern Corps" short stories brought to life, and the tales contained herein are entertaining as hell and offer the layman a very accessible crash course on the whole Green Lantern thing. In fact, I'll even go so far as to state that this DVD comes from out of nowhere to be a strong contender for the title of "best DCU direct-to-DVD feature."

Rookie GL Arisia, about to experience some very dire on-the-job training.

The film's framing device takes the audience along with high school-aged rookie Green Lantern Arisia (Elisabeth Moss) as she is thrust headlong into an emergency combat situation on her first day as a ring-slinger, and she's understandably nervous because she has yet to receive any kind of proper training. During the waiting time before the threat is met by the entire Green lantern Corps, Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) fills Arisia in on some of the lore of the Corps, and the stories chosen are for the most part winners. Here's what we get:

"The First Lantern"

The story of Avra, a mere scribe who was present to chronicle the birth of the Green Lantern Corps and who became the first GL to figure out the use of the ring's "constructs." The sequence where he implements his willpower as directed through his ring against an armada of heavily-armed star-cruisers is a seriously cool "Holy shit!" moment.


Based on the story "New Blood" by Peter Tomasi and Chris Samnee, this one's a look at the boot camp days that forged the Kilowog we know, love and respect. In an interesting casting choice, Henry Rollins gives voice to Kilowog and I'll be damned if his patented intelligent intensity is not exactly the interpretation the character needed.


Based on "What Price Honor?" by Ruben Diaz and Travis Charest and adapted for the screen by DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza, this segment relates how GL Laira, a royal family member from a planet whose martially-oriented culture bears a strong resemblance to imperial China, is sent to her homeworld to determine why the place has become a hostile "outlaw" world for seemingly no reason. I found this segment to be the weakest in the film, but that's not to say that it's bad. It feels like a Shaw Brothers period piece martial arts film transplanted to deep space and I don't think the two stylistic elements really jibe, but the segment scores extra points for Laira's very creative use of her ring's constructs to form weapons that alter their shape as needed during her wuxia-style set-to with her warlord father, including an impressively-choreographed deployment of a rope dart (pictured) made of sheer will.

"Mogo Doesn't Socialize"

Based on the classic short story by Alan Moore (whose name was not in the credits, probably at his request) and Dave Gibbons (who wrote the screenplay) — which just so happens to be my all-time favorite Green Lantern Corps short story — this is a slightly-retooled version that put an ear-to-ear grin on my face. I won't tell you what's it's about so as not to give away the punchline, but this and the Kilowog segment were my favorites in the film. With wrasslin' legend Roddy Piper as the voice of Bolphunga the Unrelenting.

"Abin Sur"

Based on "Tygers" by Alan Moore (again uncredited) and Kevin O'Neill, with a screenplay by superstar GL comics-scribe Geoff Johns, this is another re-tooled version of a classic GL Corps short story that adds Sinestro and a vision of the Sinestro Corps War to the story of Abin Sur's run-in with a malevolent and precognitive entity named Atrocitus.

It's a very solidly-packed eighty minutes and the visual scope is much more epic than I was expecting. The short story format also greatly works in the film's favor, allowing for brisk pacing that precludes any slow spots. I enjoyed the earlier direct-to-DVD GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT, but this entry blows it out of the water in terms of visual spectacle, action, a cornucopia of geek-candy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, so snag it when it comes out on June 7th.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The titian-haired excellence of DOCTOR WHO's Karen Gillan, aka time-traveling Scotswoman Amy Pond. You're welcome.


I cribbed this one from Topless Robot , and you can see why.

Seriously, what the fuck?!!?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The toothsome Alex Kingston as the title character.

British actress Alex Kingston made one hell of an impression on me with her appearances as the enigmatic River Song in recent years on DOCTOR WHO, so spurred by my enjoyment of her in those I researched her filmography and found out she'd appeared in a reportedly lusty adaptation of Daniel Dafoe's 1722 novel THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS. As a British friend of mine put it, "the British love 'sauce'," so I was eager to see just how saucy this bit of MASTERPIECE THEATER fodder was. Well, lemme tell you in no uncertain terms that it's the most lurid and engrossing item to appear on that show since I, CLAUDIUS originally aired, and it's loaded with Restoration-period costumed romance, humor, and surprisingly graphic sex. In short, it was not at all what I expected from MASTERPIECE THEATER.

The story, told in four episodes, is recounted by the title character (who frequently breaks the fourth wall to directly address the viewer) while she languishes in prison, awaiting her imminent date with the hangman. Born to a criminal mother in the very jail where she later ends up imprisoned, the infant Moll is taken from her mother (who is deported from England to the Virginia colonies) and spends her first eleven-or-so years raised by gypsies, after which she's adopted as a servant into the family of a pious mayor. Moll's servitude goes well enough, until she blossoms into lush young womanhood and catches the eyes of the mayor's sons. In no time, Moll embarks on what becomes an unusually epic sexual and criminal journey for a woman of the eighteenth century, initiated into carnal adventure by the elder brother, who promises to marry her when he receives his inheritance.

Moll's adventures begin in earnest. Remember, kids, this is MASTERPIECE THEATER.

Upon discovering that her first love never really intended to wed her, Moll launches a campaign to marry well, but on her won terms, and from there it's a chronicle of serial marriage and gold-digging, accented by the inevitable abandonment of the numerous children she bears (around seven by my reckoning) to her five husbands. There are numerous shakeups in Moll's level of social status and respectability, and along the way we are treated to shocking cuckoldry, the game of "Mind the Pistols," forays into professional thievery and prostitution, a poignant lesbian dalliance (that's markedly less explicit than the heterosexual encounters), by-name mentions of fellatio and cunnilingus, polygamy in that she is not actually a widow as she repeatedly claims to be, an unexpected reunion and even incest. The TV version's content is supposedly the closest adaptation of the novel to date, so I'm amazed that Dafoe got away with this kind of thing in the early 1700's.

And while Moll Flanders is indeed a woman of lusty adventures and considerable amorality, she's also a very likable character and I found myself rooting for her despite some of her more distressing actions (the repeated and quite unrepentant abandonment of her kids being the worst of it). When things are going well for her, she's very sweet, quite cute — I love her soulful eyes and out-of-control mop of hair — and an unabashedly sensual creature, and I genuinely envied all of the men whom she took to her bed. And while she always married with an eye on financial security being the goal rather than actual love, she did manage to get with one man whom she considered the love of her life: Jemmy (Daniel Craig, aka the most recent man to play James Bond), a handsome fellow who genuinely loves her. Sadly, Jemmy is in actuality deeply in debt and marries Moll for money he believes she has, and upon finding out she's penniless he leaves her after one day of marriage to become a highwayman.

Moll (Alex Kingston) and Jemmy (Daniel Craig), the self-admitted love of her life. Yes, geeks, it's River Song and 007 getting it on, the kind of thing that "fanfic" is made of.

But don't be too sad; the two meet again a few times, most notably in the funniest highway robbery scene since the BLACKADDER III episode "Amy and Amiability" (though minus anything as caustically hilarious as that episode's immortal line, "Aaah, shut up, you pregnant junkie fag-hag!").

Moll's story is a roller-coaster ride that's a women's answer to the many male rogues' adventures set during the same period, and while there's no fighting or swashbuckling, it's every bit as exciting and involving as any of those tales and a damn sight better than a lot of them. There have been other films about ladies of questionable virtue and morals taking place in those days, but this is the one I enjoyed the most, and this adaptation has gotten me interested in reading Dafoe's novel, making it one of three MASTERPIECE THEATER series to so intrigue me. (The other two were I, CLAUDIUS, which was adapted from the titular novel and its continuation, CLAUDIUS THE GOD, while the other was WHITE TEETH.)

So I heartily recommend THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS, a totally entertaining (and enjoyably sexy) way to spend 190 minutes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

After filming, Daniel Craig's wig was released into the wild, where it maimed and devoured several rustic villagers before being put down by a special task force deployed by the SAS.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

THOR (2011)

Marvel Comics' most badassed A-lister makes the transition to the live-action screen in the form of Chris Hemsworth.

When I was but a wee Bunche of about four years old, my first introduction to the Marvel Universe was daily airings of the 1966 THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES cartoon show, a (mostly) faithful assortment of adaptations of the adventures of Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, the Sub-Mariner, and the mighty Thor. To call that show's animation "limited" would be a gross understatement, but it was colorful, it looked just like the panels of a comic book (which only made sense because the images were static art straight from the comics, with minor details like a character's speaking mouth or pointing hand being crudely granted motion by the so-called animators), and it fired my developing imagination. I enjoyed the show as a whole, but my favorite segments were those telling stories about Prince Namor, aka the Sub-Mariner — a regal and nearly-naked Mr. Spock lookalike who ruled Atlantis and displayed an incredible arrogance — or Thor, the Viking god of thunder who fought far-flung mythology and sci-fi-based villainy in the modern day. The characters of Namor and Thor were not dissimilar, what with both of them being haughty princes of fantastic realms who spoke in stilted, faux-Shakespearian dialogue while handing out severe ass-whuppings, and I have loved both of these heroes since first encountering them in 1969. I would have loved to have seen the Sub-Mariner make the leap to the Hollywood screen first, but Namor never achieved the level of exposure or popularity held by his Norse stablemate, so Thor's transition was inevitable once the wave of Marvel Comics-derived movies began to rake in vast amounts of cash at the box office.

Having eagerly anticipated an adventure of Marvel's original answer to Superman (a role usurped in recent years by the unspeakably boring Sentry), I was the built-in audience for a Thor movie from the get-go, and last night I finally got my wish and checked out Thor's big screen debut at Manhattan's venerable Ziegfeld movie palace, accompanied by my usual pack of friends — most of whom are tasty chicks — who aren't comics fans, but who always go to the big superhero films on opening night. Part of the fun of these expeditions is that we hit a nearby bar for post-movie eats, alcoholic libations and erudite discussion of the film's merits and the relative hunkiness of the super-powered protagonist (there was much lusty commentary after IRON MAN), with Yours Truly acting to field questions about how faithful the movie was in relation to its source comics. At times, being the go-to geek is the thing to be, boy...

So we all went to see THOR, and here's the skinny:

The film updates and rewrites the origin of Marvel's version of the Norse god of thunder and opens with the blonde super-hunk's unconscious form crash-landing in a remote desert expanse in New Mexico, where he's found by astro-physicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her Swedish colleague and mentor (Stellan Skarsgard) and an annoying student (Kat Dennings). Upon asking aloud how he got there, the scene flashes back to Asgard, the other-dimensional realm of the ancient Norse gods, and the coronation day of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). His aging father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), intends to pass his rule on to his firstborn son while Thor's frail and dark-aired brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), remains on the sidelines. Just before the ceremony can be completed, the security of Asgard is breached by a trio of Jotuns — aka Storm Giants — who seek to steal an ancient and powerful artifact. When that plan is thwarted, Thor proposes to move against the Jotuns and disobeys his father's direct order to just leave that shit alone. From that act of rebellion, aided by Thor's old pals, the Warriors Three and the warrior-goddess Sif, spirals the threat of all-out war, so Odin strips his favored son of his powers and enchanted war-hammer , Mjolnir, and banishes him to the Earth. It is on Earth that Thor, the toughest of all Asgardian warriors, must learn humility and at least a modicum of wisdom, while his absence leaves the gate open for intrigue back on Asgard that starts closer to home than any of the immortals suspect...

That's all I'll say in regard to the plot, but I totally dug the flick and proclaim it my favorite of the Marvel films released thus far. It was not overlong (it's just shy of two hours), moved at brisk pace, and did not suffer from a weak final act (unlike IRON MAN), so apparently lessons have been learned from the previous Marvel film adaptations. The only thing I did not like about the film was the unnecessary character played by Kat Dennings, the aforementioned annoying student, but even she did not get to Jar-Jar-level annoying because her screen time was wisely limited. As for the highlights, here's what stoked me about this flick (I advise Googling any names in the following list that you are unfamiliar with; explaining stuff here would take up to much space and time):

  • Chris Hemsworth, perfectly cast as Thor.

  • The fact that there are Asian and black Asgardians is actually not a big or incongruous deal, thanks to it being made clear that the Asgardians are aliens. The point being that though they were worshipped by the ancient Norse, who interpreted their spectacular powers and abilities as magic, Thor and his people are not themselves ethnically Norse, so the diversity simply is.

  • Thor explaining that where he comes from, magic and science are one and the same, a point bolstered by Jane invoking Arthur C. Clarke's adage about there being no discernible difference between magic and a sufficiently high level of technology.

  • The reactions of my female friends and gay pals when they witnessed Thor shirtless.

  • Getting to see the Warriors Three in live-action. (Although Volstagg is waaaaaay too thin.)

  • Thor's power and sheer badassery translating perfectly to the screen.

  • The palpable chemistry between Thor and Jane.

  • Academic Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) coming face-to-face with the living gods that he'd heard about in stories told to him as a child.

  • What may be the first screen appearance of Odin's completely awesome war horse, Sleipnir. I nearly shat myself when I saw him in all of his eight-legged mythological glory.

  • Asgard itself being exactly the right fusion of the ancient and the science-fictional.

  • Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that allows the Asgardians access to the various realms of existence, re-imagined as a believable technological construct.

  • The all-too-brief appearance of Clint Barton.

  • Tom Hiddleston's letter-perfect portrayal of Loki.

  • A blink-and-you-missed-it cameo by Walt Simonson, the guy whose '80's run on the Thor comics is second in classic status only to the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era.

  • The Easter egg during the end credits that sets up a major element in the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
I could go on and on, so I'll just stop here and urge you see THOR immediately. The only thing I would advise against is wasting the extra money on seeing it in 3-D. The 3-D effects don't really "pop" all that much and seeing it in 2-D will rob the film of not one iota of its fun and wonder. Verily, TRUST YER BUNCHE!!!


Me at the Ziegfeld for opening night of THOR. (There will be more pics, but I'm about ready to konk out for the night. Patince, o Vaulties...)

Friday, May 06, 2011


I was just fourteen when writer/director Don Coscarelli's PHANTASM first hit the screen, and its memorable TV commercials greatly intrigued me. Loaded with atmospheric imagery and the mysterious (and murderous) flying chrome ball, the ads were the perfect come-on to a young lad who was crossing over from childhood into young adulthood, displaying a tone not unlike some of the previously-encountered "kiddie" horror offerings, but it was rated R and therefore appeared guaranteed to deliver some true scares. It would be perhaps another two years before I actually got to see PHANTASM on cable, by which time the infamous "slasher" boom of the early-1980's was in fully, gory swing, and after being exposed to the avalanche of those orgies of unabashed gore, PHANTASM was perceived as something of a disappointment by many of my peers and even to this day the film is often cited as being an 88-minute load of bullshit that makes not a lick of sense. On the other hand, it is also considered by many to be very deserving of its considerable cult following, so what's the deal with this little low-budget horror offering that so polarizes viewers?

PHANTASM is less of a coherent narrative than a dreamlike stream of weird ideas and images that raise more questions than they answer. It's about an escalating series of eerie events as experienced by thirteen-year-old Mike Pearson (Michael Baldwin), whose parents have been dead for a couple of years and is being raised by his twenty-something brother, Jody (Bill Thornbury ), and when the story opens we're told that the town has been plagued with a number of mysterious deaths. When Mike witnesses the creepy mortician, the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm ), apparently stealing the body of a recent corpse and using superhuman strength to do so, he begins an investigation of the type common to kid's horror stories and Scooby-Doo cartoons. But in this case his world is turned into a never-ending nightmare of encounters with a aged and mute telepathic fortune teller who communicates through her pretty granddaughter, strange dwarves in monk robes, visits to a surreal mortuary that looks and feels like something straight out of a Ken Russell film, dreams that may or may not actually be happening to him, antique photographs that come to life and stare back at the viewer, and more freaked-out goings-on than one can shake a stick at. All of this stuff is followable in a linear fashion and it is a fascinating and visually creative cinematic journey, but nothing is ever explained to any level of real satisfaction. Is Mike actually experiencing all of this shit, or is he going insane? Who is the Tall Man? Exactly why is he stealing corpses to transform them into diminutive robed zombie slaves? Is he an alien? Is he from another dimension? Is this a horror movie or actually a bizarre science-fiction film in disguise?

Is this another planet? Another dimension? Both? Who the fuck knows???

And what exactly is that lethal flying ball, and why is it equipped to exsanguinate anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves its target?

The mysterious ball goes to work.

Fuck if I know, but I can tell you this: PHANTASM is something you should definitely check out at least once, because it's unique in the annals of horror cinema. It's not what I would call actually scary — although it could definitely fuck-up the under-tens if they sat through it — but it is creepy as hell, and its stark, almost fairytale-like vibe make it feel like a film imported from some off-kilter netherworld, a strange alternate place where everything seems just one step slightly removed from reality as we are familiar with it.

Coscarelli was only twenty-three when PHANTASM went into production and he was twenty-five when it was released, and I think that his youth had a solid impact on how different and completely unpredictable this film is, resulting in an odd fusion of the late-1970's horror aesthetic and an art film sensibility. It also displays healthy lashings of pre -EVIL DEAD blending of horror and humor in some of its sequences, especially the business with the severed finger that transforms into a very aggressive fly-monster puppet, and it treads that fine line with great aplomb. As for his intent when crafting the film, Coscarelli has stated he simply wanted to make a horror film with lots of creepy shocks, and that the details cited by some fans as having deeper meaning are simply just there and bear no symbolic significance (for example, the presence of a copy of Roger Zelazny's novel MY NAME IS LEGION on the desk in Mike's bedroom; it was selected "because it had a neat cover and looked good"). I, for one, think he created a thought-provoking study in mood and almost-hallucinatory nightmarishness, and while it may not be scary per se , it has stuck in my head for thirty years and it continues to please something deep within me. It works on what I refer to as "kid logic" and its childlike sensibility kind of makes me think of what would have happened if the adventures of Gumby and Pokey had been directed by a madman. I love it for that. However, those of you who would approach this film in search of genuine balls-out horror, scares, or outright gore are likely to be sorely disappointed and wonder what the fuck the big deal is, but I urge you to set aside whatever preconceptions you may have and meet it on its own terms.

PHANTASM was successful enough to spawn three sequels, of which I only saw the second, and I don't remember much of it so I can't tell you if any of the questions raised in the first film are in any way answered. But, having recently sat through the original for the first time in over two decades and finding my fascination with it re-kindled, I'm curious to check them out.

Poster from the original theatrical release.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


As many of you are no doubt aware, this Friday sees the long-awaited arrival of the Mighty Thor — perhaps Marvel Comics' #1 wrecker in the superhero crowd, this side of the Hulk — and I've awaited this flick my whole life. So, by way of goofy celebration, I'm going to represent at the 7:15PM show at Manhattan's fabled Ziegfeld theater decked-out in an intentionally stoopid Thor costume. I assembled the outfit's elements over the past two weeks and it looks more spectacularly idiotic than I had imagined.

The simplest item required for the costume was a cheap red cape that I was able to procure with no problem, but when I ordered the so-called "deluxe" helmet via Amazon, no mention was made in the product description of the fact that the item was only the front half of the helmet and that the rest was an adjustable velcro strap at the back, however I was not at all pissed about the unintentional (?) deception. The half-helmet design and the straps allow much greater ease of positioning the big, blonde Afro wig I got for the outfit, plus it allows a lot more of the wig to be visible than a full helmet would have. So, win.

The "deluxe" Thor half-helmet.

The next most important component was Thor's war hammer, Mjolnir, and while there are a number of options ranging in price from just over ten bucks to massive metal replicas that weigh around six pounds and cost up to $300, I went for a beautifully detailed plastic/PVC version that went for just over $25 and even has the wrist strap used to whirl the weapon. It also goes that extra-geeky distance and features the famous inscription found on the hammer:

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of THOR." Hey, works for me!

So, with the helmet, hammer, and a cheesy red cape at the ready, I also added a large blonde Afro wig because the Marvel version of the venerable Norse deity is known for his long, flaxen mane. Though I love me some Thor, I felt I could not pull off the straight-haired metalhead look, so the Afro wig is a nod to my own ethnicity and it works well for adding further absurdity to the already absurd idea of a portly black dude rocking the Thor look when my physique would have been a tad more appropriate for the thunder god's pal, Volstagg.

The rest of the outfit consists of a full suit of black thermal underwear (it's still pretty cold out and I don't feel like catching a spring cold) that will look like the low-budget simulacrum that it so obviously is, and over the thermals I'll have a pair of tattered black cutoff jeans, which will allow me to carry my wallet and keys. Over the thermal top, I'll be sporting a t-shirt that reproduces the shirt made available during Marvel's first 1960's merchandising wave, featuring the image of a hammer-slinging Thor as seen on the cover of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #89 (Feb. 1963). That touch may seem a bit incongruous, but there's a method to my madness. It's meant to evoke a stylistic similarity to those horrendous (and cheap) old Ben Cooper Halloween costumes that were mass-produced for ages and worn by many of those my age and slightly older. You know the ones I mean, those ugly, shitty plastic worn-over-your-clothes getups that (poorly) represented your favorite pop culture characters and came with a vision-obscuring and rather fragile mask, held attached to your head by a flimsy rubber band. And as if the costume itself weren't already enough of a blow to the dignity of both yourself and your favorite character, the costumes were almost invariably emblazoned with a large and garish logo that identified who or what you were supposed to be, presumably for the benefit of adults who passed out Halloween candy while having no fucking clue about what the kiddies were into.

Two textbook examples of the awfulness of Ben Cooper costumes. I love how Flipper's tail is rather phallically-illustrated at crotch-level and the water droplets look like ejaculated gobbets of cetacean DNA.

Come to think of it, the Ben Cooper company once issued a Thor costume, but I believe it came out just a little bit before my time.

Just one of several images of the Ben Cooper Thor costume, as seen over at Wonderful Wonderblog.

So my replica 1960's Jack Kirby Thor shirt serves as the kind of embarrassing/awful identifying crest found on legions of Ben Cooper outfits.

The finishing touch for the outfit is the pair of "hypno-spex" I picked up last Halloween as part of my "Dr. Wiggly" costume, and hoo-BOY, does it add just the perfect touch of utter ludicrousity!

Behold in breathless wonder, o unworthy mortals, the magnificence of...Soul Thor!

And thus was crafted "Soul Thor," an alter ego that lends me the aspect of a sepia Bruce Villanch while in the midst of a weekend under the influence of very strong hallucinogens. It makes me look like I should wandering around Thompkins Square Park, muttering incomprehensibly to myself while pushing a shopping cart full of filth-cover Barbie doll heads.

So check back in a few days to peep the whole outfit as seen from head-to-toe, hopefully photographed by the ever-reliable Suzi.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Hey, Vaulties-

It's been a while since I've posted on a regular basis and that's due to a lack of motivation attributable to stuff I've been over previously. I'm still unemployed, facing periodic bouts of insomnia and depression, I'm lonely, and I'm just plain mentally and emotionally exhausted. I'm trying to get my shit back together but it has not been an easy process, and it does not help that with each passing week I see more and more people that I know losing their jobs. What I would not give to have the cash to just fuck off out of Brooklyn for a couple of weeks to somewhere like Martinique, but that ain't in the cards. Bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan.

There. The whingeing part is over.

On the positive side, I have a birthday coming up, my eldest niece (she's thirteen) is having a kickass graduation party that will allow me to cook like a maniac, the summer has several superhero movies coming up, I'll be hitting the Philadelphia Con and meeting Pam Grier, and I plan on joining the gym around the corner soon, so there's all of that to look forward to.

I also have a number of pieces for this blog in various stages of development, some of which I've sat on for months because of the aforementioned malaise, but there will be some stuff coming up soon. Definitely a review of THOR at some point over the upcoming weekend.

So again I thank you for your continued support, interest and patience.