Movie Review: Batman & Harley Quinn

(Seemed appropriate for #HarleyQuinnDay…Big thanks to Prince Adam for sharing his Bat-thoughts with us. 🙂 xoxo)

“Batman and Nightwing are forced to team with the Joker’s sometimes-girlfriend Harley Quinn to stop a global threat brought about by Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man.” (Warner Brothers)

This movie had me the minute it was set in the style of Batman: The Animated Series, featuring the voices of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Loren Lester as Nightwing, The new addition to the Bat-Family, comes in the form of Melissa Rauch, of The Big Bang Theory fame, as Harley Quinn. To be honest, it was her casting that worried me. I though her name recognition from TBBT and the signature voice of her character, would take me out of the movie and be a hindrance to the character. However, Melissa was fantastic and except for one time when she screamed at someone in the film, did I recognize it was her and get pulled out of the film, otherwise the actress totally disappeared and all I saw and heard was Harley Quinn. Hearing Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester again, felt so right and sounded like the pitch perfect dynamic duo. It’s like they have been doing this for 25 years straight, with no time lapses in between. Giving a voice to Poison Ivy for this film was Paget Brewster. She was okay, but I don’t think she was distinctly Ivy enough. That’s not necessarily her fault though because, she only had one scene where she employs Ivy’s trademark seductive, hypnotic sexiness to get a man to do her bidding. Poison Ivy’s partner in crime n this feature is Jason Woodrue aka the Floronic Man. The inclusion of this villain fits, given Ivy’s involvement and I really like his inclusion, not because I’m a huge fan of the character but because, he’s never really used. Come to think of it, even amongst Batman’s heavy hitters, Poison Ivy was underused. Even when she featured in episodes of Batman: TAS. The Floronic Man is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. This actor voiced The Joker for four seasons on The Batman but never once did I hear The Joker in this performance, which speaks to his range and versatility. Though, his voice is tailor made for portraying a villain.

As for why Harley Quinn would help Batman and Nightwing, it’s because she’s trying to live her life on the straight and narrow. Especially, since she has separated from The Joker. However, due to her criminal past, no reputable organization would hire someone with a criminal past and record, as a psychiatrist. Though, she makes a point at hinting that late nigh risqué movie producers have shown interest. Instead, Harley take a job at a bar called Superbabes. The waitresses all dress up in skimpy superhero costumes and are often ogled and groped by male patrons. One night Harley is grabbed in the ass, flips the customer over a table and starts a bar fight before heading home. This whole time, Nightwing was tailing her, following her back to a rundown, abandoned apartment. Naturally, there is a scuffle and Harley Quinn not only holds her own against Nightwing but knocks him out. When he comes to, Nightwing realizes that he’s tied up. Harley, changing out of her costume is in her bra and panties. She begins being flirtatious with Nightwing, saying they both have something the other wants. Nightwing protests, in a half assed way, before admitting the idea of being with Harley does sound appealing, The lights go out, the costumes come off and the scene cuts away as the implied sex scene happens off screen. Some reactions online, have people up in arms, throwing a hissy fit over this scene. Firstly, some are calling the moment a glorified rape scene, given that he was tied up and at first refused Harley’s suggestion. If you actually rewatch the scene, you can see that it’s quite clear that Nightwing is more than agreeable to having sexual relations with Harley. Once Nightwing agrees, I view the ropes as some kinky, superhero/supervillain role-play type of scenario. Prior to that scene, when both characters were physically fighting, Harley Quinn was verbalizing that she was tired of people telling her what to be and assigning a label to her. For example, some see her as crazy, others see her only as a villain, while others still, view her as a sex object. She mentions, how she wants to be in control and determine who she is. While some see the sex scene as demeaning, only further objectifying Harley, I saw her initiating the flirtation, and being in control of that situation. I saw it as a moment of empowerment for Harley Quinn. That’s my take on the whole “controversy.”

As for why Nightwing was following Harley and not Batman? The Dark Knight was busy doing detective work, uncovering Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man’s diabolical scheme. Firstly, I love that this film focuses on Batman being a detective. To me, Batman: TAS and issues of Detective Comics, are the only two interpretations, that really key in on this aspect of his character. Speaking of our villains’ plan, it involve using samples of Alec Holland’s (Swamp Thing’s) blood, mixed with a chemical agent, that when dispersed, would turn the human population into plant like creatures, such as Floronic Man and Swamp Thing. I like that the evil plot is perfectly symbiotic with the overall goals and beliefs of our villains, unlike that time when Poison Ivy teamed up with Mr. Freeze in 1997, and their plans were in complete opposition and counterintuitive of each other. Back over at Team Batman, when the Caped Crusader rejoins Harley and Nightwing, he catches them in a compromising position. While he doesn’t say it outright, you can tell he is judgemental of what they did. Nightwing responds with; “Oh right, like you’ve never made out with a villain before.” I loved this line because, it’s a clever callback to Batman’s trysts with Catwoman and Talia al Ghul respectively. It also calls out Batman’s hypocrisy in this moment, but also speaks to the closeness and rapport between Batman and Nightwing, that Dick Grayson can speak to Bruce this way. With Harley assisting Batman and Nightwing, you knew humor would be a key feature of this film and it is. As the three drive in the Batmobile to find Ivy’s location, Harley complains that a burrito she ate earlier isn’t agreeing with her and they should pull over. Batman refuses and Harley retorts; you asked for it, before beginning to fire off some farts. Batman & Nightwing’s facial reactions are hilarious. Yes, I know getting laughs from farts is a bit cheap and childish, but in addition to her sexiness, Harley Quinn has always had a childishness about her, so it works. There’s also a scene where Batman calls the Justice League for potential backup. However, all the heavy hitters are off world, so Booster Gold starts naming a bunch of C and D list superheroes that could help out. As Booster Gold’s voice rattles off names through the intercom of the Batmobile, Harley Quinn and Nightwing shake their head no and make faces in disapproval, before ruffling papers to make it sound like their was static, before hanging up on Booster Gold. This was priceless and had me in stiches. Harley Quinn’s influence is clearly rubbing off on Nightwing. Harley takes Batman and Nightwing to a bar for supervillain henchmen, where she meets an informant, who has info on Poison Ivy’s location. To get info out of an informant, Harley has to sing karaoke. That’s not the fun part though, as Melissa Rauch unfortunately is a terrible singer. However, the henchmen featured at this bar, are ones featured in the Batman 66 TV series, specifically noticeable are Catwoman’s henchmen. They even buy Batman a glass of milk, as a nod to his drink of choice on the Adam West series.

When the unlikely trio finds Poison Ivy and Floronic Man, Harley Quinn pretends to double cross Batman and Nightwing, to gain their trust, However, when she pleads with Ivy to not go through with releasing this pathogen, Ivy realizes Harley lied to her. Even Batman tries to appeal to Poison Ivy’s humanity, pointing out that if she makes even one mistake with the formula, all of humanity will be wiped out. When she still doesn’t budge, Harley Quinn removes her mask and makeup, gives Ivy a “puppy dog” look and begins to cry, lamenting that she doesn’t want to die. Ivy can’t resist Harley crying and agrees not to release the toxin on humanity. She too now turns on the Floronic Man. While some may say Poison Ivy’s turn was too easy, I liked it! It really emphasises the close knit relationship and love that Harley and Ivy share. This is both emphasized in the comic books and animated series. There are a few things, that I didn’t like about this film. Aside from the fight scene between Harley Quinn and Nightwing, which was awesome, the action in this film is extremely limited. And when it is their, the film cuts away from it, When you see the henchman bar fight, you’ll know what I mean. Swamp Thing has a cameo in the third act, condemns Ivy & the Floronic Man for what they’ve done, but refuses to get in the fight. He doesn’t get involved because “It’s not his “fight.” What!? How is it not his fight? They tampered with his blood and what they plan to do, is going to alter The Green, the nature that Swamp Thing is sworn to protect. How is that not his fight? It made no sense. What a wasted cameo. Also, I was let down by the final battle with The Floronic Man and it stems (pun intended), from the reasons I just mentioned.

This film has key voice cast from Batman: The Animated Series, the animation style evokes later seasons of Batman: The Animated Series, which was rebranded The New Batman Adventures but one thing that is different is the tone. Sure, there is some dramatic story telling of the classic animated series, but this is more of a comedy set in that world. So prepare yourself for that but you know what, for me, it really works. I have never laughed so much while watching a DC Animated show, or movie. If you want a good laugh and 75 minutes of fun with characters you love, give this film a buy and a watch. Happy Batman/Harley Quinn Takeover Day everyone!

Goon Review: The Resurrected (1991)

(Submitted by his Goon-y Greatness, Mr. Andrew Peters…Thank you, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

The works of H.P. Lovecraft have been adapted (or at the very least, influenced) many, many times over the years across numerous mediums, most notably video games and movies. I’m sure the Stuart Gordon/Brian Yuzna Re-Animator films or From Beyond come to mind and arguably the most stylish and better adaptations, even if they aren’t fairly accurate. They are modern re-tellings of the source material, but there was a time in the early ‘90s when it felt like there were a handful of H.P. Lovecraft films that came out direct video and kinda fell into the void of forgotten films.

It’s not the fault of the films by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe the blame can be (at least mostly) blamed at the feet of the distributors who seemed to get cold feet when it comes to releasing these films. They don’t seem to want to put the money into making these films, yet except big returns and they can’t quite seem to decide if they want it to be PG-13 or R. Although an example like Necronomicon: Book of the Dead is pretty hard R, The Resurrected comes to mind when I think of a missed opportunity and can’t quite seem to decide what it wants to be. On one end, you have the late and talented Dan O’Bannon directing, but you can’t help to feel he was held back. They hire the guy who wrote a draft of Alien and has other phenomenal writing credits, such as Return of the Living Dead, and essentially shackle him down from doing what he wants. The gore is – or was at the time this film was released – not necessarily tame, but definitely dialed down, the same could be said about the language. The Resurrected has a bit of a case of mistaken identity that it’s too tame for something that would be a theatrical release, but perhaps too much for a TV movie, so it should be no surprise that this was a direct to video release.

Still, for being strapped down to an operating table, The Resurrected still manages to be fun and has that early DTV charm that works in its favor. The thing is shot like a made for TV movie, but has higher ambitions even if the budget won’t allow it. This also plays into the cast and their performances, most notably Chris Sarandon who chew so much goddamn scenery that I’m surprised he didn’t turn into a rat and eat all of the dry wall. His performance as the antagonist is cheeky fun and the same could be said for Jane Sibbett who seems to be putting a PS1 era Resident Evil performance (and I mean that in a good way), but unfortunately not for the lead John Terry, who took me til the end of the film for me to recognize that he was Lt. Lockhart in Full Metal Jacket. Now, I think the man is a terrific actor, I just feel like he was wrong for the part. He’s not quite sleepwalking through his role, but feels subdued and that could be because of the confused narrative of the film. And that ‘90s mullet he’s rocking. Get out of here with that nonsense.

The Resurrected sees John Terry as John March, a private detective that’s been hired by Claire Ward (Jane Sibbett) to investigate her husband, Charles (Chris Sarandon), who has been conducting experiments out of his home and eventually out to an old farmhouse where you can assume only the kookiest of mad scientist shenanigans happen. Charles has been becoming increasingly obsessed with his ancestor Joseph Curwen and eventually Charles quits coming home altogether. This is where John March comes in, who upon his investigation, find that Joseph Curwen had been trying to raise the dead and wouldn’t you know it, Charles is acting rather change. Like, he’s talking like he’s from a previous century and his teeth look like burnt pieces of corn. Yes, what is happening is that obvious, so this mystery isn’t so much of a mystery as it is a race to what you already know and for a movie that clocks in at about an hour and forty-five minutes, it can seem at times like it’s going to take a while.

Upon discovering this, John March just kind of accepts it. He seems rather indifferent, but I think that’s the laid back acting style of John Terry seeping through. His crack assistant Lonnie, who I think is supposed to offer the comic relief, but it often falls flat, and even Claire don’t believe him. That is, until they discover a hatch in the old farmhouse that leads to Joseph Curwen’s secret catacombs, sorta like his own personal Batcave. There’s all kinds of weird beakers and tubes with science-y liquids and human remains… some of which seem to be up and walking around. Suddenly, the film breaks into a really weak zombie flick seeing as how there’s only a handful of creatures. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a slow burn, but the majority of this movie is them beating around the bush and trying to solve something you figured out in the first fifteen minutes. This leads John March to confront Joseph Curwen, where you get to see him tear off an orderly’s head with ease as it shoots out blood and that’s not a bad thing.

Right away, the big problem I had with the film was the old fashioned noir setting and storytelling in this contemporary film. When done right it can work (think of something like Sin City), but maybe it’s the writing or as I mentioned the way this movie is shot, it doesn’t work. John March narrates the events occasionally and the film is told in a flashback form that doesn’t mesh a ‘40s mystery style with a low budget ‘90s gore flick. Throw in some over the top performances and it feels more like a spoof that it does an homage. I was genuinely surprised to learn that this was originally slated for a theatrical release, but the releasing company’s bankruptcy halted that and The Resurrected was then sent DTV, which I feel is a better fit and most likely found more of an audience.

Another negative the film has going against was the number of cliches and The Resurrected is a repeat offender. It tries the same cliches again and again, like it truly believes at some point they just might work. Apparently, the film was taken away from director Dan O’Bannon during editing and he completely disowned this movie and honestly speaking, you can kinda tell. It doesn’t quite live up to the type of quality that’s usually associated with his name. As someone who puts his work out there for others to see, I can respect where he’s coming from, but I don’t think the movie was that bad. Sure, it had it’s share of problems and never lived up to its full potential, but I think it has a charm and is kind of fun.

Speaking of fun, there are a few clever creature designs that do look pretty decent… at first, but the more the camera lingers on them, the more it starts to look like a rubber puppet. Most of the gore happens off screen and you just take a look at the aftermath, as if they had the budget to show it, but not show it happening or perhaps they thought it built mood and suspense (spoiler, it doesn’t). There is the aforementioned head ripping scene that I thought was pretty cool and impressive for the budget, but outside of that the film doesn’t offer much to look at. Even the cinematography is pretty dull and is shot like a TV movie and I even assumed it was at times, but occasionally swearing proved otherwise. It’s not a prime example of either a well adapted H.P. Lovecraft story or the excellent work of Dan O’Bannon, but that doesn’t stop it from trying and that shows, making this film pretty decent and giving it a sense that care was put into making this. I would say check it out for some low budget, ‘90s DTV fun.

#TBT: The “EXXXpress Yourself, Stephen King” Edition

Happy Birthday to the KING of Literary Ho-rror, Mr. Stephen King!
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We’ve been talking about this gentleman a lot recently (but also, always because he rules ;)). With trips to The Dark Tower and visits from IT, the recent ho-rror scene has really been dominated by this man who has been in the public eye for over 40 years.  He has weaved timeless nightmares from the mundane and has created creatures that have haunted us for decades and will continue to do so. Stephen King is truly a SHINING star in terror whose words will CARRIE on through the ages… but do you know what’s truly scary?

Stephen King hamming it up in an American EXXXpress commercial!
That’s f-right, kreeps! King made a ghoulish TV appearance for American Express back in the ’80s!
Like Vincent Price in his numerous commercial appearances, King plays up his spooky persona in a deliciously campy way. Dressed as a villain in one of Corman’s Poe films, Stephen King puns his way through a Gothic mansion before promoting the credit card. It’s truly magnificent!

For some conteXXXt, here’s a groovy 1984 article from PEOPLE:

A flash of lightning, banging doors, scurrying hunchbacks, disembodied human arms…and the cameras are rolling. As fog sifts through the haunted house—an old mansion ghouled up for the occasion—horror novelist Stephen King emerges from the gloom with a flaming taper in one hand and a sinister raven in the other. “Do you know me?” he asks.

Then he gestures toward a table littered with applications for a well-known credit card. “Isn’t life a little scary without it?” asks the maestro of macabre fiction. “The next time you visit your favorite haunt, why not apply for an American Express card?”

King’s gig, which will air in late September, highlights the 10th anniversary of one of TV’s most spectacularly successful commercials. When American Express shot the first spot in 1974 of the now famous ad series, featuring a parade of high achievers whose names are often better known than their faces, only six million people owned Amex cards. Now there are some 18 million. And Amex attributes a big part of the rise to their ads—of which King’s is the 61st and most flamboyant. “We are getting more ambitious with our spots,” concedes Glen Gilbert, director of advertising for Amex. “They’re so well established now, it gives us a chance to experiment and have a little more fun.”

The pioneer flasher of the little green card on TV was actor Norman (Three’s Company) Fell, who did a modest talk piece at the check-in desk of a hotel. And Fell remains the only subject who did not say, “Do you know me?” Rather, he began with “Thanks to TV a lot of people know my face, but not many know my name.”

After Fell the ads swung into the familiar opener that has held through all the spots leading into the spectacular by King, who, like most other Amex guests, confesses he was tickled to be asked to appear. “It’s just such a compliment,” says King, whose new novel, The Talisman, co-authored with Peter Straub, will appear soon after the ad. King did the spot more for laughs than for celebrity. “Certainly it’s not going to do much for my literary reputation, although,” he cracks, “many would say that I don’t have a literary reputation to worry about.”

One thing’s for sure. King, whose writings and film versions of Carrie and The Shining have earned him millions, didn’t do the ad for money. And neither have most of the other guest hosts. The $10,000 payment, plus residuals, has not changed in 10 years.

Despite the modest fee Amex has no trouble finding subjects. Together with Ogilvy & Mather, the Manhattan agency that created the campaign, Amex selects the potpourri of known-unknowns for the spots. Though hundreds of unsolicited requests pour in each year, the agency tactfully puts off the volunteers. “I can’t think of an instance in which we chose someone who approached us first,” says an Ogilvy & Mather executive.

One of the most successful invitations went to the late William Miller, Barry Goldwater’s running mate in the 1964 Presidential election. “It was amazing the recognition he got from the ads,” says his widow, Stephanie. “He used to say, ‘I definitely recommend that before someone runs for Vice-President, they do an American Express commercial!’ ”

Another especially popular advertisement was the one in which Tom Landry, the stonefaced coach of the Dallas Cowboys, appeared in a Western saloon decked out as a cowboy and surrounded by redskins—Washington Redskins, that is, in football garb. “My reputation is sort of stoic, which is planned,” says Landry, “so a lot of people were surprised.”

Other Amex stars were themselves surprised to find that the ads improved not only their image but also sales of their products. “It helped business,” says Roy Jacuzzi, founder of the whirlpool-bath company that bears his name. In 1982 he posed in one of his creations with a rubber duck—and artfully saved the show when the whirlpool quit during filming. Roy jumped out and, off-camera, shimmied under the tub with a pair of pliers and a wrench. The bath soon whirled back to life, with the cameras rolling again and a happy proprietor bubbling inside.

Opera star Roberta Peters agrees the spots provide a business boost. “It definitely helped bring people to the opera,” she says of her 1980 commercial. Peters also admits she is recognized more often since doing the ad. While she was trying unsuccessfully to flag down a Manhattan cab one day, a woman stuck her head out of a car window and yelled, “Do it da way you do it in da cammercial!” Peters obliged. She held up her hand and launched into a soprano trill. “Taaaxiii!”

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the commercial:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEPHEN KING!!! SLEEPWALKERS RULES!!!! 🙂 xoxo

TV Review: GOTHAM Season 3

(Submitted by Senor SuperheroScifi himself, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Super Freak! 😉 xoxoxoxo))

GOTHAM Season 3, picks up right where the second season left off. The Indian Hill Monsters are on the loose. This includes Fish Mooney and Bruce Wayne’s doppelganger. Jim Gordon has once again left the GCPD and now freed from bureaucratic red tape, hunts down the “monster’s and solves other crimes as a bounty hunter. Meanwhile, Lieut.. Barnes and Detective Bullock try to maintain order in Gotham City and straighten out a police force in disarray. All the while, Leslie Thompkins has moved on from Jim Gordon, and is set to marry Mario Falcone, son of mob boss Carmine Falcone. The first half of the season is titled Mad City and sees the freaks from Indian Hill tracking down Hugo Strange, to discover why their powers are actually killing them. Each of the main characters are affected by this development, In his search for clues about the Indian Hill escapees, Jim Gordon teams up with photo journalist Valerie Vale to track them down. Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth are tracking Bruce’s Doppelganger, who is out on the streets, assuming his life and ruining his relationship with Selina Kyle. Penguin meanwhile, is using the Indian Hill chaos to make a bid for mayor, He gets Butch Galzean and his cronies to kill the other candidates, handing Penguin the mayoral seat. Edward Nygma is promoted in Penguin’s organization, leaving Butch out in the cold. Butch secretly joins the Red Hood Gang, and plots to kill Penguin. The show throws a curveball in the Penguin/Nygma relationship, by having Penguin in love with Nygma, However, in a soap opera type twist, Nygma falls in love with a librarian named Isabella, who looks exactly like Kris Kringle, the woman he killed last season. Penguin can’t handle Nygma being with anyone else, so he has Isabella’s breaks cut, causing her to die in a car accident. When Nygma discovers the truth behind Penguin’s motives and actions, he too, plots to drive Penguin mad, before killing him. Back to Gordon’s quest. His Bounty Hunter calling brings him into contact with Jervis Tetch, who comic fans will know as the Mad Hatter. Jervis is looking for his sister Alice, a patient at Indian Hill, who is on the lose and has a blood disease. In reality, Jervis is trying to find his sister to use her blood to infect citizens of Gotham, making them angrier, prone to more violence, and giving them enhanced strength. When Jervis finally finds his sister, he holds her captive and extracts her blood, against her will. At first, he infects Captain Barnes, who later becomes the villain known as the Executioner. In an altercation between Jim Gordon and Jervis Tetch, Alice is killed. Jervis escapes, and sets out for revenge against Jim Gordon. He infect Mario Falcone and kidnaps both Leslie Tompkins and Valerie Vale. Valerie ends up getting shot and wounded, before Jervis is ultimately apprehended and sent to Arkham. With that, the first half of the season known as Mad City ends.

The first half of Season 3 of Gotham was all over the place for me. Given all the hierarchy office politics and corruption Jim Gordon has had to put up with in the first two seasons, I like that he’s broken away and become a bounty hunter, It makes sense story wise, could be plausible for the hard boiled Year One esque Gordon we are presented with, and fits perfectly with the rough and tumble version played by Ben McKenzie. I even like the inclusion of Valerie Vale. Obviously for her familial connection to Vicki Vale. (the former is the latter’s aunt.) What I will say, is that Valerie Vale is tougher, and a better investigative reporter/photo journalist as played by Jamie Chung, than Vicki Vale played by Kim Basinger, Though, it was disappointing, that she was ultimately used as a plot device to prove to Jim Gordon, that he still ultimately loves Leslie Thompkins.. I though everything involving the Penguin and Edward Nygma was great. Penguin running for mayor was both a call back to Batman 66 and Batman Returns. Penguin being revealed as gay and in love with Edward Nygma, is an interesting change, that I’m totally okay with. You can see why Oswald would develop those feelings. Over the course of both seasons, Nygma is the only one that’s supported Oswald and they’ve helped each other in times of need. You get why Penguin goes overboard when Nygma rejects his proclamation of love. Though, having Nygma’s girlfriend killed is deplorable, and the schism between the two is meaningful. The escaped Indian Hill captives on the loose was almost pointless, save for Doppelganger Bruce being on the loose and Poison Ivy coming into contact with a metahuman’s who’s touch, steals her youth. However, Ivy wasn’t in his grasp long enough, and therefore only ages to a mid 20’s adult. The result is actress Maggie Geha assumes the role of Poison Ivy. She’s sexy, sultry and is able to pull off Ivy’s classic mesmerizing and control of men with ease. PS: I’m glad Fish Mooney finally 100% dies this season. It’s about damn time. I absolutely hated Jervis Tetch and the whole super blood virus plot point. It was ridiculously stupid and Mad Hatter was nothing more than a Riddler wannabe. However, this show already has a much more superior Riddler. Also, there’s a sexual tension that Jervis has for his sister Alice, which is extremely creepy. (Dear Gotham Writers, just because it works for Game of Thrones, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.)

Prior to the second half of the season truly kicking off, there’s a three episode interlude that deals with a cult dedicated to Jerome, who you’ll remember is GOTHAM’s version of the Joker. The Leader of this cult has obtained Jerome’s body and resurrects him in a very Frankenstein way. The result literally starts to peel Jerome’s face off. Before killing the underling that brought him back to life, Jerome’s face is stitched and stapled back on. This was horrifically gruesome and was a great callback to the Joker losing his face in the first arc of Detective Comics in the New 52. The show mixed new and old, once again, having Jerome commandeer a TV station to lure Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon to the Gotham fair grounds We saw Jerome commandeer a TV Station last season to get his message out there. Once again, this is a nod tp Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, while also honoring the Joker’s first appearance, where he interrupted a radio broadcast. Jerome is doing all this because Bruce and Gordon foiled his plan the first go around and, inadvertently led to his death. The Fairground setting also has ties to Batman lore, specifically, Batman: The Killing Joke. Much like in that book, where Batman and Joker fight in a Hall of Mirrors, so to, do Bruce and Jerome. The tension, hatred and frustration these two characters have historically had for each other, is beautifully recreated by David Mazouz and Cameron Monaghan The fight between the two was riveting. GOTHAM‘s Bruce Wayne goes full Ben Affleck Batman in the BvS where house scene, and Jerome taunts Bruce like Heath Ledger’s Joker did, in The Dark Knight. I genuinely believe that the performances by David and Cameron belong in the same sentence as those iconic moments in Batman on film lore. The two characters and actors and characters, are so dynamic and electric on screen together that before tis series comes to an end, I want a season long arc with the Bruce/Jerome conflict at its core.

With the Indian Hill Leftovers mostly dealt with, the second half of the season known as Heroes Rise elevates the rest of the season into high gear. Edward Nygma orchestrate a fake kidnapping, so he can separate himself from Penguin, and begins to torment mayor Cobblepot, hiring an actor to play the ghost of Penguin’s dead father. After driving Penguin mad, Edward Nygma steps out into the public as The Riddler, going about committing riddle base crimes. His emergence and criminal activity , leaves Penguin incensed, and starts another mob war, with the villains in Gotham choosing sides. Poison Ivy, Firefly and Mr. Freeze side with The Penguin, while Butch Galzean, Tabitha and Barbara Kean side with The Riddler. What ensues is very akin to the mob war currently going on in the comic books titled, A War of Jokes and Riddles. Though, in that story, it’s The Riddler vs The Joker. The end result of this war, is that there is a schism between Tabitha and Barbara, after she kills Butch. The two start fighting with Barbara getting electrocuted. This whole season has seen Barbara, Tabitha and Butch in the middle of this fracture between Riddler and Penguin’s relationship. Between last season and this season, Tabitha is clearly positioned as a prototype Catwoman, while Selina Kyle eventually transitions into that. Meanwhile, Barbara Kean has gotten crazier each season, going over the edge, specifically this season. What’s interesting is that the crazier she gets, the more I enjoy the character. She’s this show’s prototype Harley Quinn and the producers have hinted she may go full Harley Quinn in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. If the show does go that route, good luck to Erin Richards trying to follow Margot Robbie. While Butch was shot and killed, as he’s being carted to the morgue, it is revealed that his birth name is Cyrus Gold, which suggests he is a comic book character, for whom death is not permanent. Here’s a hint: There’s a good chance he was born on a Monday! This was a shock, a true twist I was not expecting.

Speaking of the unexpected, this season, gives us an ultimate big bad for the season and the series in the first two season’s. As Bruce and Alfred are searching for his doppelganger, they discover that Hugo Strange isn’t the mastermind behind Indian Hill or Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murders. The group responsible for that, is a clandestine group known as the Court of Owls. The evil secret society has a council of members, comprised of Gotham City’s wealthiest and elite. They were the ones who hired Hugo Strange to raise the dead and imbue them with abilities. This was their attempt to find a means to eternal life. They put a hit on Thomas & Martha Wayne because they rebuked the Court, and threatened to expose them. They also had Jim Gordon’s uncle kill Jim’s father, for the same reasons. I like that this further ties Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne together, not just their future’s but their past as well. When Bruce and Alfred take their findings to Jim, he decides to infiltrate the Court of Owls, becoming a member, while Bruce & Alfred confront the Court’s presence in Wayne Enterprises. While Gordon infiltrates the Court of Owls, Bruce Wayne is kidnapped, and taken to what is sure to be Nada Parbat, where he is trained by an elderly shaman of sorts known as the Sensei, who further trains Bruce in the ways of martial arts, as well as using mystical mental techniques to purge him of the mental block Bruce can’t get over, which is his parents death. It is revealed that Sensei is apparently training and brainwashing Bruce Wayne so that he will become a tool to usher in Gotham’s destruction and rehabilitation. To bring about said destruction, the Court of Owls have found a way to synthesize the Alice Tetch blood virus and disperse it in the air. This begins to drive the citizens of Gotham mad, as they destroy each other and the city. Gordon, Bullock and Lucius Fox race against time to find a cure and stop mass dispersal of the virus. This plot point reminded me of the fear toxin/microwave emitter plot point in Batman Begins a little. When Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City, he is under the control of the Sensei, who has commanded Bruce to kill the Court of Owls. With some slicing and dicing, Bruce does so. Why would the Sensei order his employers dead? Well he did because, the person the Sensei is grooming Bruce Wayne for, is none other than Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s al Ghul has designs on Bruce Wayne being his successor, and truly being a part of Gotham’s rebirth and revitalization. To have Bruce prove his allegiance, Ra’s orders him to stab Alfred with a sword .Bruce does, but the sight of Alfred’s dying body snaps Bruce out of his hypnosis. He immediately places Alfred into a Lazarus pit, before taking him to a hospital. In the hospital as Alfred comes to, Bruce expresses his regret for killing the Court of Owls. Alfred tries to reassure Bruce, that he wasn’t of sound mind and wasn’t in control of his faculties and couldn’t be blamed for his actions. He reminds Bruce, that he has been training to help people and make a difference in Gotham and should refocus his efforts on that. The season ends with a mother, father, and daughter walking home in an alleyway. They are held at gunpoint and robbed. Suddenly, a trench coat, ski mask wearing vigilante, swoops down, gives the mugger a beating, coming to the rescue of the family. The mysterious figure leaps and climbs his way atop a Gotham City skyscraper, before pulling off the ski mask, to reveal that he is none other than Bruce Wayne.


I honestly absolutely loved the inclusion of the Court of Owls this season. The group is relatively new to the comic book world, first debuting in 2011’s New 52. Their interpretation, their longevity and control and secrecy within Gotham City is spot on, to Scott Snyder’s original creation. I also enjoy that the show retroactively inserts the Court of Owls into events of the past two season’s of the series. It gives their stated presence throughout Gotham City’s history actual legitimacy. The city of Gotham being such a character in its own right makes so much more sense with the Court of Owls being involved. It was exactly the same way in the comic books featuring the Court of Owls. As for Ra’s al Ghul, his brief appearance on the show was more exposition and set up for next season, but his motivations were spot on and his look, was spot on with the comic books, complete with green cape/cloak. There’s even a Lazarus Pit! As much as I love Liam Neeson in the role, Christopher Nolan’s neutered version of the character left a lot to be desired for me. It’s too early to say whether this version will be better, but, he’s off to a great start. As for Bruce Wayne suiting up in a trench coat and ski mask as Proto-Batman, I say if it’s fine for Tom Welling’s Clark Kent, then it’s fine for Bruce Wayne. Also, we’ve seen a makeshift pre-Batman in both Batman Begins and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. In my head canon, GOTHAM, is a prequel to Tim Burton’s Batman films, with the short lived Birds of Prey TV series, being a sequel to Batman Returns. Since we never saw Bruce Wayne’s early days, and full transition into Batman in Tim Burton’s film, I’m perfectly okay with the show experimenting with that going forward . No matter where your head canon places GOTHAM, for me it keeps getting better, and season 3 was not only its best, but it marked one of the best DC TV shows of the past season! Bring on Season 4!

#TerrorTrailerTuesday: The “Super Monsters” Edition

Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Junkies!
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bat! It’s a demon! No, it’s #TerrorTrailerTuesday!

This week, we’re paying tribute to ho-rrific superheroes who fight for truth, justice, and the A-Scare-ican Slay!

Y’know, fiends, movie monsters and comic book heroes have much more in common than we s-care to admit. Both are often depicted as social misfits, are usually created through some bizarre accident, wear a theatrical outfit with a cape and/or mask, and have fabulous powers. The main difference between superheroes and monsters is whether they use their abilities to save or to terrorize. Well, the creeps in today’s trailers like to do a little bit o’ both!

We’ve gathered up the best trailers featuring creatures who walk the line between costumed crusader and monstrous fiend! Grotesque avengers, slimy saviors, mystic masters, demonic defenders, and more lurk in the trailers below!

Check ’em out, Kinky Kreeps! 🙂 xoxo

#MonsterMovieMonday: Killers From Space

Ho-wdy, Kinky Kreeps! I SEE you there!

Just another #MonsterMonday here at Kinky Ho-rror! This week, we’re spacing out with a sci-fi screamer that’ll make your eyes pop! Jeepers Creepers! It’s the peepers of…

Killers from Space is real eye-opener from W. Lee Wilder, brother of the brilliant Billy Wilder! Sure, W. Lee didn’t direct Some Like It Hot, but…

The film stars Peter “Mission: Impossible” Graves as a scientist killed in plane crash who is resurrected by bug-eyed aliens. The saucer-eyed fiends plan to exterminate humanity using giant animals and take over the world…

This one’s a doozy! Featuring the biggest eyes in ho-rror since Peter Lorre, atomic monsters, and terrifying stock footage, Killers From Space is awesome B-movie nonsense to make your Monday monstrous! If it’s good enough for It Follows, it’s good enough for us! 🙂

Killers From Space in It Follows

Stare into the eyes of Killers From Space below:

Happy Birthday, Elvira!

Happy Birthday to the sassy lassie with the classy chassis… Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!!

Yes, Kreeps… the forever gore-geous Cassandra Peterson turned a fabulous 66(6) today, so it’s time to skull-ebrate!

We talk about Elvira A LOT on this site, but that’s only because there would be no Kinky Horror without her! She was (and is) a major influence on all of us spooky cats here! Her killer style, her wicked puns, her… uh, two big pumpkins… Elvira is definitely one of the coolest ghouls in the graveyard and our most HeXXXcellent inspiration! Whether she’s hosting scary shock schlock on TV or vamping it up at theme parks, Elvira will always be our Queen of Halloween. 🙂

In ho-nor of Cassandra/Elvira, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite Elvira Ho-st segments to showcase her eternal badassery. Enjoy 🙂

TCM and AMC Unleash Their Halloween Schedules!

Ho-wdy, Kinky Ho-mies!

As you creeps know, Halloween is literally just around the corner now! Ghosts and ghouls are already taking over the stores and the Cereal Monsters have made their glorious return. Of Corpse, it just isn’t Halloween without a fright film or two… or eighty…

TCM and AMC have got the tricks and treats covered this Halloween! Both have released their schedules and they are fantastic! Between the two, we have slasher favorites, monster cl-Ass-Sicks, Hammer Horror, exported frights, silent screams, cult films, ghost flicks, and other gruesome greats to make your Halloween a scary one! Plus, AMC will be hosting the world terror-vision premiere of Cult of Chucky!!! Unholy crap! That’s scary good!

To help you get your Halloween viewing schedule sorted, here are both line-ups!

TCM:

(Monster of the Month is Dracula)

Sunday, October 1

Dracula (above; 1931) 8 PM
Dracula’s Daughter (1936) 9:30 PM
Son of Dracula (1943) 11 PM

Nosferatu (1922) 12:30 AM

Tuesday, October 3
Universal Horror

Frankenstein (1931) 8 PM
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 9:30 PM
The Mummy (1932) 11 PM
The Wolf Man (1941) 12:30 AM
Island of Lost Souls (1933) 2 AM
The Black Cat (1934) 3:30 AM
The Invisible Man (1933) 4:45 AM

Sunday, October 8

The Return of Dracula (1958) 8 PM
House of Dracula (1945) 9:30 PM
Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula (1966) 10:45 PM
.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (192) 12:15 AM
Jigoku (1960) 2 AM
Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan (1959) 4 AM

Tuesday, October 10

Cat People (1942) 8 PM
The Body Snatcher (1945) 9:30 PM
Martin Scorsese Presents, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) 11 PM
I Walked With a Zombie (1943) 12:30 AM
The Seventh Victim (1943) 2 AM
Bedlam (1946) 3:30 AM
The Leopard Man (1943) 5 AM

Wednesday, October 11

The Ghost Ship (1943) 6:15 AM
Isle of the Dead (1945) 7:30 AM

Friday, October 13

Kiss of the Tarantula (1976) 6:30 AM
Snake Woman (1961) 8 AM
Village of the Damned (1961) 9:30 AM
The Nanny (1965) 11 AM
The Innocents (1961) 1 PM
A Place of One’s Own (1945) 2:45 PM
The Bad Seed (1956) 4:30 PM
The Curse of the Cat People (1944) 6:45 PM

Saturday, October 14

Blacula (1972) 2:15 AM
Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973) 4 AM

Sunday, October 15

Horror of Dracula (1958) 8 PM
The Brides of Dracula (1960) 9:45 PM

The Phantom Carriage (1921) 12 AM

Monday, October 16

The Indescructible Man (1956) 5 PM

Tuesday, October 17

The Devil’s Bride (1968) 8 PM
The Curse of Franenkenstein (1957) 9:45 PM
The Mummy (1959) 11:15 PM
The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) 1 AM
The Plague of the Zombies (1966) 2:45 AM
The Reptile (1966) 4:30 AM

Saturday, October 21

Willard (1971) 2 AM
Ben (1972) 3:45 AM

Sunday, October 22

Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) 8 PM
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969) 10 PM

The Monster (1925) 12 AM
Eyes Without a Face (1960) 2 AM
Kwaidan (1965) 3:45 AM

Tuesday, October 24

The Innocents (1961) 8 PM
Diary of a Madman (1963) 10 PM
Curse of the Demon (1958) 12 AM
Carnival of Souls (1962) 2 AM
From Beyond the Grave (1973) 3:30 AM

Saturday, October 28

Mark of the Vampire (1935) 6:15 AM
The Devil-Doll (1936) 7:30 AM
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) 9:00 AM
Little Shop of Horrors (1960) 11:30 AM
Village of the Damned (1961) 1 PM
Children of the Damned (1963) 2:30 PM
House of Dark Shadows (1970) 4:15 PM
Night of Dark Shadows (1971) 6:00 PM

The Brood (1979) 2 AM

Sunday, October 29

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) 8 PM
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) 10 PM

Onibaba (1964) 2:15 AM

Tuesday, October 31

White Zombie (1932) 8:30 AM
Mad Love (1935) 10 AM
Dementia 13 (1963) 11:30 AM
13 Ghosts (1960) 1 PM
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1966) 2:30 PM
House of Wax (1953) 4:30 PM
Poltergeist (1982) 6 PM
The Old Dark House (above; 1932) 8 PM
The Haunting (1963) 9:30 PM
House on Haunted Hill (1958) 11:30 PM
The Cat and the Canary (1939) 1:15 AM
The Old Dark House (1963) 2:45 AM
The Bat (1959) 4:30 AM

AMC:

(Not all of the have details released yet, but we’ll update as this list when they are.)

Halloween (78)
Halloween 4
Halloween 5
Halloween 6
Halloween H2O
Halloween II (09)
Nightmare on Elm Street (10)
Freddy vs. Jason
Friday the 13th Part IX: Jason Goes to Hell
Jason X
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Child’s Play
Curse of Chucky
Cult of Chucky
Annabelle
Thinner
Dreamcatcher
Dawn of the Dead (04)
Land of the Dead (05)
House of the Dead 1&2
House on Haunted Hill (99)
Return to House on Haunted Hill
House of Wax (05)
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Army of Darkness
Van Helsing
Lake Placid
Slither
the Leprechaun franchise

Thanks to Bloody Disgusting and Wonder Alliance for making us aware of these line-ups! 🙂

Splatterday Mourning Cartoon: Monster Force – The Rage of Frankenstein’s Bride

Ho-wdy, cartoon creeps!

It’s Splatterday Mourning again, and we’ve got the perfect cartoon caper to make you scream!

This week’s abominable animation is Monster Force, a 13-episode series by Universal Cartoon Studios and Canadian studio Lacewood Productions. The story is set in approx. 2020 and centers around a group of teenagers (with attitude!!!) fighting the Universal Monsters with futuristic weaponry. It’s a series that proves that Universal has been trying to do the “Dark Universe” thing long before Tom Cruise and The Mummy.

Both Monster Force and The Mummy resurrected the grand ol’ monsters, but with less scares and more radical action. The “Dark Universe” was clearly inspired by the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this series actually got Marv freakin’ Wolfman to write some episodes! I guess it makes some sense… there always was a strange connection between superheroes and monsters….
Considering that nobody ever talks about this one, it’s actually a lot of fun! It’s G.I. Joe fighting cl-Ass-Sick fiends with sci-fi weapons…and every bit as cool as it sounds! 🙂 It even manages to sprinkle in some references to the actual films. Heck, the score in today’s episode quotes the score of Bride of Frankenstein! Plus, check out these monsters:
Groovy.
Check it out below…Happy Splatterday, Kinky Kreeps! 🙂 xoxo

#TimeTravelThursday (it’s a thing ;) Comic Book Review: Back to the Future #1

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Superfiend! 🙂 xoxo)

“Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines, part 1: BttF creator/screenwriter Bob Gale returns with all-new tales from the twisting and turning timeline that made Back to the Future a, well… TIMELESS pop-culture phenomenon! Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project.”


Rather than pick up after the third film, I like that this film goes back to the past to tell two stories about our two main protagonists. The first story starts in the early 1900’s and features Doc Brown telling his young son, the story of how he and Marty McFly met. While it’s never stated, given the time period this story starts in, I’m assuming the Doc Brown featured here, is the one who experienced the events of all three films. With that premise in play, this issue delivers on the films title and takes us Back to the Future. We then see Marty McFly being bullied by “Needles”, who wants to take Marty’s interoctpr tube and use it for his guitar. When Marty struggles to get it back, it breaks. At this point. “Needles warns Marty that if he doesn’t get one for him, before he and his band need to perform, Marty’s going to get a beating. As Marty tries to track down a interocito tube, he realizes that they’ve all been sold to reclusive scientist Doc Brown. Marty locates his residence, but is turned away at the intercom. He’s even electro shocked for his troubles. Ever persistent, Marty finds a way to sneak in, only to encounter more booby traps, He finally meets Doc Brown, who applauds him for following the clues he laid to his residence and finding a way into his house, despite all the safeguards. When Marty tells Doc Brown why he’s there, Doc gives him a interceptor tube and offers him a job as his assistant, so long as all the work they do in the lab is kept a secret. Marty agrees and the iconic friendship is born. Having co creator and screenwriter Bob Gale co-write this comic is great, because he thrusts the reader right back into a familiar world. It was fun seeing the reclusive/conspiracy theorist reputation of Doc Brown again. This coupled with a Marty who is shy, meek and being threatened by a bully, made me feel like I was watching the iconic first film again. The classic lines of “Think McFly Think” and “Great Scott” appear in this book but, never feel like they’re there just for the hell of it. They’re used in appropriate instances. The second story takes us to 1943 and the California Institute of Technology, where a younger Doc Brown is furious at his boss, for not recommending him to the committee in charge of selecting the Manhattan Project. His boss said he though of him but, ultimately felt that his chaotic unorganized personality, would prevent him from getting a spot on that committee. Doc brown insists on a meeting anyways. To present a more structured, organized version of himself, he sets up the interview at a neighbor’s house. Despite his deceptive efforts, the government official and General conducting the interview, unearth his lie, thanks to a piece of his neighbor’s wayward mail. Figuring he blew the interview, Emmett heads home, only to find J. Robert Oppenheimer in his basement lab, welcoming him to the Manhattan Project. While the first part of the story is more exciting, I like that this part of the story gives us the more unhinged, unorganized, and chaotic Doc Brown we are used to for the bulk of the films, even though he is younger. His deceptive ways to get what he wants, gives him something else in common with Marty, who snuck his way into Emmett’s house in our main story. I liked the connectivity and similar traits of our to main characters. They were destined to team up.


Art for the first story is by Brent Schoonover. His depiction of Doc Brown in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s looked exactly how we left him and his family in the third film. Likewise, the 1985 initial meeting between Doc Brown and Marty McFly was very much like their first encounter in the original film, at least a nod to it. The look of Marty and Doc Brown is spot on to the appearance of actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, as their characters. It’s so good, you’d be forgiven for confusing this issue to be a cut scene on the Blu-Ray extras. I loved that whenever a date and time was given in this book, it was depicted in the style of the date/time dashboard of the DeLorean. Even though the iconic car is absent from the book, it’s presence is still felt. The back story is drawn by Dan Shoening of Ghostbusters fame. Even though we get a younger Doc Brown here, we get the crazy over the top mannerisms, more so in this story, than the first one. It makes for a funny page. Doc Brown looks like a young Christopher Lloyd, but with an Egon esque hair style. I don’t know if Mr. Shoening did this on purpose, or as a force of habit. Either way, it works. I loved the splash page of Doc Brown’s early lab. It is eclectic, chaotic and cramped, very much like its owner.

I loved being back in this world. I can’t believe I’m just discovering this book now. I like that instead of resting on the laurels of making this book a sequel to the film, the first arc is exploring untold prequel cannon. In addition to that, I can’t wait until this book explores altered timelines too! If you’re a fan of this film series, this is a MUST OWN book! If you’re not a fan of this film series, sorry, I can’t help you!