Friday, May 22, 2009

RIP, Stevhan Gobble aka Face of John Constantine

It's been announced this past Wednesday, May 20th, that Stevhan Gobble has tragically past away in a car accident in Chicago. Gobble, for 7 years, was the face of wise-cracking bastard, John Constantine, in Vertigo's Hellblazer series as he graced the covers illustrated by brother-in-law Tim Bradstreet from issue # 134 - 215. It's a sad time for his family and Hellblazer fans. My condolences to his family. May Stevhan always be remembered.

Oh, The Horror! #29: Drag Me To Hell

Okay, first off let me say that I was not looking forward to this movie. The trailer didn't do much at all to appeal to me and I felt it reminded me so much of the Unborn, a movie I wouldn't recommend unless you were bored with nothing to watch, but only if it was showing on cable. Anyway, as weeks went by I've started seeing a bit of good reviews here and there and I thought, "Eh, it's Sam Raimi. Why not?" Well I just came back from seeing it today with one of my best friends and I must say it was awesome! Don't worry, as sucky as the trailer looks, the movie isn't. It's nowhere near sucky. It's a really good horror movie and a complete great time. Great scary jump scenes and lots of great laugh out loud moments. Sam Raimi has returned to horror and I must say he is in top-form.

The story revolves around a young woman named Christine Brown played by Alison Lohman. She's a bank loaner on the verge to being promoted to Assistant Manager. Her one problem is that her boss doesn't believe she can make the "tough decisions" as well as her seedy rival, Stu. In an act to prove herself worthy, she denies a strange old woman, Mrs. Ganush played by Lorna Raver, a third extension on her mortgage. Ganush, desperate to keep her home gets down on her knees and begs Christine. Christine calls security which then leads Ganush to attack Christine. The guards lead Ganush out of the bank. Thinking everything is over, Mrs. Ganush attacks Christine on her way to her car which leads to a new definition of cat fight. The two women really go at it and it's beyond intense. Without the charm of Raimi's film-making, I can't imagine this fight any other way. It was beyond brutal and at the same time filled with good humor. After the fight, Mrs. Ganush curses Christine and vanishes. As the day goes by, Christine starts getting attacked by invisible forces and is getting terrible nightmares. She finds out a demon by the name of the Lamia is after her to take her soul to hell. Now Christine stops at nothing to stop the Lamia from taking her away.

Filled with non-stop scares, this movie does not let go. Scares pop out nearly everywhere as Christine starts to go crazy from all the haunting around her and they are pretty much all effective. There does come to a point where some of the scares start to seem pretty cheesy but if you know Sam Raimi from his other films, you can catch the satire in them. Heck, tons of stuff in this movie were damn hilarious. The thing that made this movie so much fun was how much fun it made of itself. Heck, even the demon Lamia had a ball in this film and led to some chuckles. There were also things that seemed rather convenient to move along the plot, but they were used so obviously that if you were a Raimi fan, you'd get the joke of it all, thus not taking everything too seriously once again. This movie is simply a film to have a ridiculous great time watching and it surely doesn't disappoint. The story was solid, humor was on-point, effects were great, and the music and sound effects were beautifully utilized. A huge element of making horror films and scares effective are the use of sound effects and tension rising music, and Christopher Young provides it well. I actually can't wait to pick up the soundtrack some time soon.

Also, I do know there are tons of people online complaining how terrible it will be due to being a PG-13 movie. This movie here shows how effective a PG-13 horror movie could be. They do exist and could be done really well. And no worries, either. Although no specific gory moments, there is a scene with a ton of blood that will catch you so off guard, so you PG-13 haters can rest easy.

But yes, as I conclude this, I know many folks reading or hoping to see this movie do have one more thing on their mind and that's if our man of steel, Bruce Campbell, makes an appearance. I must say with a frown on my face, "No." But I'm sure he'd like for you all to see this movie and enjoy it. Don't let the weird trailer fool you. Go and enjoy paying the 11 bucks it costs to watch a film now. It's well deserved. Horror is indeed alive and fun and it's name is Drag Me To Hell.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Disney's The Princess and the Frog

If you know me, you'd know that I'm a big fan of Disney flicks, more specifically the older 2D animation. Pocahontas, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame being among my absolute favorites. Now for years I've been complaining to many people that I want to see a return to 2D animation for Disney again and this winter I get my wish. And not only that, but finally a black princess as the main character (also sharing the name with my best bud, Tiana) AND an evil Vodou priest voiced by the man Keith David!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Channelling Forth My Inner Brother Voodoo

Well, some of you know that I used to draw. Not as much as I used to but from time to time I'll still doodle. But I've never been really good at it. In art school I was always better doing stuff like sculpture, paper mache, all that kinda stuff. For a while I tried to get back into drawing because it's damn hard to find an artist when you're a writer, but that went nowhere.

A few nights ago I was rewatching The Serpent and the Rainbow with one of my best buds, Nadia, and for some reason that excited me. I thought of Brother Voodoo, an underrated Marvel character and a favorite of mine. I really want to write a buddy book with Voodoo and Blade. I can definitely see it working out. At the same time I REALLY want to see a horror Brother Voodoo book with someone like David Hine, or Phil Hester, or Mike Carey writing and someone like Leonardo Manco or Ashley Wood on art. Damn, just think of the craziness!

But yes, due to that excitement, I started drawing the character... then I did another... and another... and quite frankly I don't recall the last time I've been so excited about drawing so much. Man!

So below are the Brother Voodoos I've been churning out for the past few days now...

The next one has to be my favorite, thus far. Love the snakes. And if you look close enough, you'll notice a Batman voodoo doll. Ha!

Wanted to do one of the Bro sitting on a throne looking scary with a woman on his lap. I was at my local comic shop and was getting idea suggesting from some friends. It came down to Witchblade, Jean Grey, or a zombie. I decided for a zombie Jean. Drawing didn't come out how I wanted it to, may do another draft later on.

And lastly is some doodles I did in class yesterday in sound class. I keep trying to make Voodoo look scarier, but to not much avail or what I have in mind. These doodles seem to be pointing to the right path, hopefully. And I love the way the one on the bottom came out. May make it an actual drawing.