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

Splatterday Mourning Cartoons: Jeffrey Combs – Man of 1,000 Voices

A very Happy Birthday to the Re-Animator himself, Mr. Jeffrey Combs!

There’s no earthly way to express how much I freakin’ ADORE Mr. Jeffrey Combs!!!!!!!! He’s been in phenomenal fright films, has made many Star Trek appearances, played Doctor Strange (Doctor Mordrid counts!), and is always just the screamiest, dreamiest weirdo in anything he graces! *swooooooooooooooon* 🙂

In addition to being beyond seXXXy, Jeffrey Combs is to Lovecraftian sin-ema what Vincent Price is to Poe. He’s been named “the first Lovecraftian actor” for his frequent appearances in Lovecraft adaptations, even playing the cosmic ho-rror author a few times. Of corpse, of all his great HPL roles, his best and most iconic will always be his masterfully insane performance as Dr. Herbert West in the Re-Animator films. With his insane intensity and wicked wit, Dr. West is easily one of the greatest mad doctors to ever mess with the natural order.

One asss-pect of Mr. Combs that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention is his career as a voice actor. Starting with his freaky-deaky turn as The Scarecrow in The New Batman Adventures, Mr. Combs has done his fair share of voice work for cartoons and video games. While he mostly does the spooky stuff in live-action, Mr. Combs tends to lend his voice to superheroes and supervillains. His wonderous work includes Question in Justice League Unlimited, Kite Man in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Brainiac in Injustice 2, and Ratchet in Transformers: Prime. Way to speak out, Mr. Combs! 🙂

As a testament to his greatness and in observance of Splatterday Mourning, we’ve eXXXhumed some of the epically epic voice work of Jeffrey Combs! First, a video showcasing his many cartoon appearances…

…and a full episode of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated featuring Mr. Combs as H.P. Love… er, Hatecraft! What better way to ho-nor Combs than with his portrayal of the man who made him a fright icon? 🙂


Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated S01E12… by cgssthd

Happy Birthday, Jeffrey Combs! Stay SeXXXy! 😉

#TBT TV Review: Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1 Episode 1: On Leather Wings

(Submitted by Prince Adam, aka Batman’s Bitch Boy… 😉 Thanks, Super Friend. Love ya lots! 🙂 xoxo)

“Batman finds himself tangling with a Jekyll-and-Hyde bat creature after it attacks a night watchman and the police wage a war on the Dark Knight. “

Batman: The Animated Series is a classic show and piece of Batman history. Every classic show needs to start somewhere, and for Batman : TAS, it’s On Leather Wings. I give a lot of credit to Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for having faith in their show to kick it off with a secondary villain like Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat. While more obscure, it’s actually a perfect fit. Man-Bat is the literal physical representation of a bat-man, and is the perfect antithesis to our costumed caped crusader. He’s also an allegory of the Jekyll and Hyde character, and when you watch the episode, you realize, so too is Batman in a way. Both Kirk Langstrom and Bruce Wayne embody the spirit of that story. Both men struggle with duality. Both maintain a good well adjusted persona, and both hide a dark persona that unleashes more of an animalistic violent nature.  The difference being, Bruce Wayne is able to rein his in and uses that darkness as a force for good. The episode does a great job of briefly introducing the other core characters in the show, namely Detective Bullock and Commissioner Gordon. They establish that Gordon doesn’t see Batman as a menace, while Bullock definitely sees him as a dangerous vigilante. The show sets up Batman as a pre-existing figure in Gotham City, that the mayor wants the police to apprehend. The episode spends much of it’s time in showcasing Batman’s detective skill. He spends 3 quarters of the episode discovering and piecing together clues about Man-Bat. This was fantastic, because most non comics adaptations gloss over the detective aspect of the character. My only slight negative is that, the actual Batman Vs. Man Bat confrontation seemed a little too rushed for my liking. That and the fact that Batman was able to get the Man-Bat formula out of Doctor Langstrom off screen and rather quickly.  But hey, given the episode is only 22 minutes, and did just about everything right, I can let it slide.

The animation is fantastic. I love the dark blue/black and grey colour scheme with yellow oval symbol for Batman’s costume. I always viewed it as the animators making a nod to the Adam West costume in a way, but with darker shades. The Bat-Computer was a definite nod to Batman 66, sounds and all.  The Batmobile took it’s nods from Tim Burton’s iteration, but was it’s own beast, being longer and sleeker.  That opening credits montage, is possibly the most beautiful thing, I’ve ever seen lead off any  TV show. Batman cloaked in the shadows taking down bank robbers, the Batmobile roaring through the streets, and it all culminates with a bolt of lightening, illuminating Batman on the rooftop of a Gotham skyscraper! I’ve got chills just describing it! Speaking of Gotham City, I love the look of it. It’s the 1939 Worlds Fair meshed with early 1990’s modern day, and putting those two together, gives the city and the series a sense of timelessness This was definitely not the best episode of the series. This show is filled with episodes deserving of that crown. However, it set the tone for what was to come. It had me speechless when I first watched it 25 years ago, and I was just as excited when I watched it again the other day.  Happy 25th Anniversary to Batman: The Animated Series.  This series had as much influence, if not more on my Batman and superhero fandom. as Batman 66 and Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.  This anniversary gave me just the excuse I was looking for to start reviewing this animated masterpiece.   If you want to follow along, my reviews will go according to how episodes appear on my copies of the DVD!


In another Batman related note, Happy (belated) 66th Birthday to Michael Keaton, the man who took my love of Batman to new heights and I’ve loved the character ever since! Now that he’s 66 and now that Warner Brothers is creating an Elseworld’s division of DC Films, let’s bring things full circle and have Michael Keaton play the older Bruce Wayne in a Batman Beyond film shall we WB!

Splatterday Mourning Cartoons: Monster in My Pocket – The Big Scream

To all you Kinky Kreeps, I say…

It’s another delightfully frightful Splatterday Mourning here at Kinky Ho-rror! You know what that means…

CARTOONS!!!!!!!!!!

This week’s terror ‘toon is based on a cl-Ass-Sick toy-line from the late eighties/early nineties. It’s…

…or am I just happy to see you?

The Monster in My Pocket toys were these little ghoul-shaped figurines made of brightly colored plastic. So, they were basically just Halloween-y versions of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures… and that awesome by us!

Of Corpse, being a toy-line from that period, there was an attempt at a cartoon tie-in…

In 1992, there was an animated special that was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired on Halloween of 1992 on ABC. It concerned a group of heroic monsters fighting evil monsters… and that’s about it. But really, does it need to be any-Fang Morgue than that? It promises monsters and gives us monsters! I’d say this one-off does its job!

This one’s got a mummy, a vampire, an Invisible Man, a Jamaican Werewolf, a  Fay Wray knock-off, and Scream-Fu! Three Stars! Check it out!

News Bleed: The “Mistress of the Old Dark House” Edition

Stephen King is reclaiming the rights to some of his scariest stories. Screen Rant

The fabulous The Old Dark House gets a 4K restoration and will arrive in select theaters this October. 🙂 Bloody Disgusting

Drew Barrymore is developing a new ho-rror anthology series written and directed by women. 🙂 Empire Online

The first reviews of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water are incredible! 🙂 io9

Elvira just released her own clothing line and it’s scary good! (I’ve already ordered 2 of the dresses, if you were wondering… :)) Bleeding Cool

New AHS: Cult promo has Twisty going comic-al. 🙂 Entertainment Weekly

Movie Review: Death Note (2017)

(Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Ho-mies…Apologies for dropping the ball a bit around here for the last little bit. I had some personal matters to attend to, butt now I’m back in action and ready to make the spookening happen. 🙂 First up, a review of something near and dear to my cold, black heart…Death Note. This take on the new NetfliXXX adaptation presented by Mr. Anton Phibes…Thanks for the interesting input, Kinky Kolleague! 🙂 xoxo)

It’s a tired cliche to say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but that old chestnut is given new gravity in Adam Wingard’s Death Note, an American incarnation of the popular Japanese franchise. In the film, a few strokes of a pen etched within a most peculiar notebook are all it takes to kill anyone at anytime. Imbued with the abilities of a literal death god, the titular “Death Note” is the murder weapon to end all murder weapons: elegant, efficient, and damn-near impossible to trace. The notebook’s current owner uses its awesome power to purge the world of those he deems evil, resulting in an epic battle of wits between the wielder of the book and those who seek to stop him.

Since 2003, Death Note has been adapted many times over. Starting with the anime adaptation of the original manga, each interpretation retains the primary characters and certain scenes, but always tells its own version of the tale, with new twists and wrinkles. However, despite the many variations on the same story, it seems most adapters agree that the material is simply too much to tell one outing. The manga spawned 12 volumes, the anime series has 37 episodes, the Japanese live-action films gave its take in two films, and the live-action mini-series had 11 episodes. Regardless of the changes made, Death Note is still a massive story.
And that is where the problems begin. A story as sprawling as Death Note shouldn’t be confined to a little over 90 mins.  The picture feels rushed and overloaded, losing much of the power previous tellings had. What’s worse is that precious screen time is spent on paltry teen drama that exists in no other version. Instead of building up the rivalry between the murderous Light and the detective L that’s so central to the franchise, it places emphasis on a boring girlfriend character who would not be out of place in a Disney Channel movie. Much of the suspense is replaced with teen angst, questions on the nature of justice are tossed out for bland romance,  and the Light depicted here is more of an awkward teenager than a diabolical vigilante. The entire affair has the unfortunate quality of feeling like a man in an iron maiden: cramped and bloodless.

Despite these considerable flaws, I actually did find quite a bit to love here. Adam Wingard’s direction is superbly stylishly, with extraordinary color usage, some fun death scenes, and some truly moody moments. Light’s character is significantly neutered compared to previous takes, but Nate Wolff does an admirable job as this version of the character.  The other performances range from pretty good to downright excellent, with Lakeith Stanfield’s L and Willem Dafoe as the death god Ryuk emerging on top. Speaking of Ryuk, the effects used to bring him to life(?) are simply marvelous, giving him a Satanic grace and a perfectly demonic appearance.

Death Note is likely to disappoint fans of the source material, but may be of interest to those who love teen horror. There are moments that evoke the black magic of the franchise, but it’s best taken as on its own.  Wingard’s film is deeply flawed, but not without flashes of greatness. Perhaps if he makes that rumored sequel, Wingard will deliver a film that lives up to the both his own potential and that of the material. There’s still time to make us see the Light.

Splatterday Mourning Cartoons: Death Note – Rebirth

Ho-wdy, my Ho-micidal friends!

In Ho-nor of Netflix’s brand-new adaptation, our terror ‘toon this week is the very first episode of Death Note!

I’m glad you asked! Death Note is a manga series that revolves a supernatural notebook with the ability to kill anyone whose name is written within its pages. The infernal journal is discovered by Light, a bright young man with a warped sense of justice and a desire to rid the world of criminals. When Light begins to act upon that desire, his murderous campaign catches the attention of Interpol and “L”, a world-famous detective who is as brilliant as he is eccentric. With lives in the balance, L and Light engage in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
The manga was insanely popular, spawning four Japanese live-action movies, a live-action TV series, light novels, video games, a musical, and an anime series. Of corpse, the anime series many people’s introduction to the franchise, and it is a worthy introduction, indeed!  It was thrilling, stylish, well-animated, and nail-bitingly suspenseful… until the second half, that is…


But when it was good, it was brilliant. And we hope the Netflix version of this maniacal mystery hits the right (Death) notes.

See the madness begin below:

Happy Splatterday, Kreeps!

News Bleed: The “Cult of the Zombie” Edition

The new American Horror Story: Cult opening credits are here! 🙂 Variety

Dead Snow 3 is rising from the grave and it will feature Zombie Hitler. :O Entertainment Weekly

Cult favorite Todd & the Book of Pure Evil gets (Re)Animated! Bloody Disgusting

Rob Zombie will bring 13 Nights of Halloween! 🙂 PopCulture

Trick ‘r Treat creeps into Halloween Horror Nights as a scarezone! Inside the Magic

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis has passed away. 🙁 New York Times

Predator‘s Sonny Landham has also passed away. 🙁 #lifeamirite?? LA Times

Splatterday Mourning Cartoons – Beetlejuice: Critter Sitters

Ho-wdy, my recently deceased Ho-mies!


What a fine Day-O it is for some carnivorous cartoon carnage! Today’s freaky funny shows that the dead truly are an animated bunch! On this strange journey through the hereafter, we summon our Ho-st… the Ghost with the Most! Say it once, say it twice, say it three times…

BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE!


Yessiree, Blob! We just love the unholy heck out of ol’ BJ (Ha!) here at Kinky Horror! After all, he is THE name in Laughter from the Hereafter! It’s on his poster! Posters don’t lie!

See?!

Beetlejuice (1988) was a monstrous success at the boXXX office, so (super)naturally Warner Bros.  wanted to capitalize on our striped scare-star’s popularity. What better way to do so than to make a children’s cartoon based on this:

Surprisingly, the cartoon works really well! It ain’t as edgy as the movie, but it’s everything a monster-loving kid could hope for! For all the little Wednesdays and Pugsleys out there, this show’s better  than a bowl of Frankenberry with arsenic!
 

Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose with the first episode of… BEETLEJUICE!


#AnimatedAwesomeness Movie Review: Justice League Dark

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

SPOILERS

“Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.” (DC Entertainment)

I read the first volume of Justice League: Dark from The New 52 and loved it. I thought it was one of the best books of that initiative. So when I heard they were making this movie, I was so excited. I thought it would be a direct adaptation of that story but it wasn’t. It was its own story using DC’s more supernatural heroes. I love how this movie uses the main well known heroes from the Justice League proper team, to transition to this team of darker, mystical heroes. Now I know who these characters are, but the casual movie buyer may not. So this was a smart decision. The film opens with people seeing others around them as demons and monsters. Innocents are killed in the attack, which brings the Justice League, specifically the Trinity into action. Superman stops a husband from killing his wife, Wonder Woman stops an out of control driver, who is mowing down civilians with her car and Batman stops a mother from throwing her newborn out of a window. These scenes, plus Constantine’s language alone, make the film worthy of its R rating. Speaking of Constantine, The Justice League surmises that magic and the dark arts are behind these occurrences. Skeptical of this, Batman scoffs and heads back to Wayne Manor. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne goes through a series of blackouts and when he wakes, discovers the name Constantine seemingly written in blood on walls close by. They look as though they were written in blood. The way these scenes were filmed, it seemed as though Batman was being stalked and attacked by an unseen supernatural villain. We later learn that all this was the work of Deadman, possessing Batman’s body in an attempt to warn him. So Batman turns to my favourite Magician clad in fishnets, Zatanna, to find Constantine. She help Batman and, by extension, Deadman locate John Constantine. The next segment of the film sees John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Jason Blood aka Etrigan the demon and Batman, discuss the culprit of the recent events. Since the likes of John Constantine, Zatanna and of course Batman have all had stints on live action film and television, as well as animation before, the film spends some time on the more unknown quantities in this film. In briskly paced flashbacks, we get the FYI origin stories of Deadman and Etrigan the Demon. For Deadman we see his murder during a trapeze circus act and his post death encounter with a Hindu Goddess, who felt pity on him and granted him his ghostly existence and his ability. With Jason Blood, the flashback takes us back to Camelot, where Merlin magically bonds Jason with Etrigan the Demon after he is mortally wounded. I must confess, I didn’t know much about Etrigan but I absolutely love that his origin is tied to Arthurian legend. I l also got a kick out of the interplay in that scene. Zatanna and Constantine have a history, and their bickering highlighted a past relationship and some sexual tension. This actual played out quite similarly to volume one of the book. When you throw in Boston Brand’s commentary during the arguing, it felt like a episode of The Big Bang Theory, with Penny and Leonard arguing and Sheldon making smart ass comments. Batman’s reaction to the irrefutable existence of magic only adds to the humor. Every time magic is on display early on in the film, Batman grimaces and almost grunts in disbelief.

Magical weirdness kicks off, when the group visits a colleague of Zatanna’s, Ritchie Simpson for help. When they arrive at his doorstep, they find Shroud Spirits of Death waiting for Ritchie’s demise. The group enters his house and they learn Ritchie has a mystical form of cancer. The group surmises that whatever triggered Ritchie’s mystical cancer, likely caused people around the world to start seeing monsters and demons and go on killing sprees. They bring Ritchie back to the House of Mystery and use the mystical Keshanti Key to access one of the unconscious civilian rampagers mind. While inside his head, clues seem to reveal that the culprit for all this chaos is Felix Faust. While the group confronts Faust, Ritchie Simpson reveals himself to be a sinister magician Destiny, from the time of Camelot. He was the character who fought Etrigan in the flashback scene. He lay in hiding to gain access to the House of Mystery, where the other half of the dream stone resides. With the full stone in his possession he has the power to gain vengeance on Jason Blood and rule the modern world. While Batman and the rest of the core Justice League is present during the final battle, it is the teamwork of Etrigan, Zatanna, Constantine and Deadman that defeated Destiny and saved the day. I loved that their plan of action was a combination of mental trickery and magical force. I was happy it wasn’t just fisticuffs the whole way through. I was genuinely shocked that Ritchie Simpson was in fact Destiny. That reveal was deceptive and unexpected. While I don’t know much about Etrigan, this film changes his status quo in this animated universe in a big way. I have no idea if this has ever been done in the comic books before, but for the film to separate Jason Blood and Etrigan, essentially killing Jason Blood, I thought was pretty ballsy. This film is definitely the formation of the Justice League Dark. At the end of the film, Batman extends offers to Zatanna and John Constantine to join the Justice League. So while they took the characters from the New 52 comic books, they definitely went their own way in terms of origin story for the film. My only complaint of this film is the use of Swamp Thing. What a waste of a great character. If he’s in the film for more then 7 minutes I’d be shocked..

The animation is dark and very sleek looking. It definitely takes it’s cues from the art of Mikel Janin. One of my favourite scenes is the twister that occurs trying to conceal the House of Mystery. It’s like Twister, but better because it feature superheroes and the Batmobile. Though, I was cringing to see that beautiful Batmobile get swept up and destroyed. I loved the origin scenes where both Deadman and Etrigan were highlighted. Those scenes had different and distinctive looks and could have easily been their own separate short movies. Also worth noting is the scene where Constantine and Zatanna enter the mind scape of the unconscious rampager. It was very trippy. Like 70’s acid trip trippy. Then out in the real world, Batman is chased through the halls of the hospital by the Shroud Spirits of Death. They look like a cross between the Undertaker’s Druids from the late 90’s WWE and the liquid that spewed from Penguin’s mouth in Batman Returns. The third act finale features plenty of force fields, lit up mystical symbols of energy and corresponding energy blasts. You know, this movie has quite a bit in common with Marvel’s Doctor Strange film. By the way, that’s not a bad thing, as I enjoyed that film. The voice cast was all fairly solid. I am really getting used to Jason O’Mara as Batman. He has officially joined the Bat family in my opinion. By the way, knowing he voices Batman, makes his character on Agents of SHIELD so much cooler. It was great hearing Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine. It was weird hearing him use some foul language but was great that the character was unrestrained by the R rating. By the way, it’s a shame that NBC cancelled the live action Constantine show. I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if Boston Brand is supposed to be from New York but Nicholas Turturro’s New York accent really fit the character. He was distinctive from the rest of the characters. Camilla Luddington is known as the voice of Lara Croft. Here though, she plays Zatanna. There is no trace of Lara Croft in here performance, and I give her a ton of credit for managing the backwards spell dialogue.

Justice League Dark takes the characters from the comic books and manages to tell a wholly original story. That in and of it self is quite the accomplishment. Add the fact that in character origin stories and its villain, this film is better than Marvel’s live action Doctor Strange. That’s an animated film is better than a live action feature film is an absolute win. If you’re a fan of DC’s magical characters, you can be happy they’ve been given the respect they deserve. Buy this movie so that Warner Brothers sees the interest, which will give them confidence to explore these characters in more animated and live action films