Saturday, July 28, 2012
I can't possibly imagine what might have persuaded Marvel to finally release the 22-years-in-the-making Man-Thing: Screenplay For A Living Dead Man story at this particular point in time. It's an odd, backwards-looking move, especially as the House Of Ideas gears up towards a massive relaunch this fall (titled Marvel Now, no less). Maybe shambling muck-monsters are back in vogue these days, what with the success of DC's newest Swamp Thing series, or maybe it's connected to Man-Thing's well-received turn as a supporting player in Thunderbolts. Whatever the reason, it's a welcome sight to finally see this long-vanished tale on the racks, even if its presentation is a bit lacking.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
When my pal and fellow monster enthusiast Ben Jeddrie admitted to me a few weeks ago that he’d never seen The Creature From The Black Lagoon, I was stunned, but also thrilled, because that gave me an excuse to watch Jack Arnold’s 1954 classic again. The 1980 Roger Corman-produced offshoot Humanoids From The Deep came up in conversation around the same time, and the idea for a double feature was born. this fall’s forthcoming Blu-Ray release (as part of Universal’s Classic Monsters 8-movie set), but we’re talking about the Gillman here! Who can wait? By today’s standards, this film’s pacing is pretty stodgy, but as far as old school monster SF goes, you can’t really do much better. It has all the hallmarks of the period—lots of casual smoking, healthy yet occasionally fisticuffed debate amongst two leads (one who wants to study the newfound Creature and one who just can’t wait to jam a harpoon up its ass), lots of local flavour from the ill-fated South American guides and the jolly captain of the Rita, a gorgeous Julia Adams on board for eye candy, and, of course, one of the still-coolest monster designs ever put to film. Clint Eastwood’s earliest screen appearances as a lab assistant), and 1956’s The Creature Walks Among Us, which sees the poor guy trade in his gills for a sensible pantsuit. Steve Niles’ Tumblr, which is jam-packed with cool old monster images, and is possibly the greatest resource for Black Lagoon ephemera on the web. Also, feast your eyes on Francesco Francavilla’s stunning Creature poster, previously available as one of those beautiful but super-limited edition prints from Mondo. Shout! Factory) have only one thing on their mind—sexy dames and plenty of ‘em. Oh, sure, they’re just as happy to rip the faces off the unsuspecting men of the small fishing village of Noyo, but what they really want is to procreate.