Archive for Van Helsing

Vampire Volcanoes, Christmas Zombies, Kaiju Sequels

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Slashers, TV Vixens, UFOs, Vampires, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Van Helsing

Feeling super dissed about the TV series Van Helsing basing their vampire outbreak/resurgence on a super volcano (or “caldera”) that goes off in Yellowstone, which spans Wyoming, parts of Montana and Idaho. In the series’ second show the volcano pops its top and leaves a “black rain” of gunky ash all over Seattle and blocking out the sun, thus vampires. This is due to the direction the wind was blowing at the time the volcano was doing the same thing.

Super Volcano

The thing that really sets my pyroclastic flow a’flowin’ is that we already have FIVE volcanoes within GoPro™ distance from downtown Seattle, the two most notable being Mt. Rainier (where flying saucers were first spotted flying in carnival formation in 1947), and the feisty Mount St. Helens, which went off back in May 18 of 1980, and has been declared as “the most disastrous volcanic eruption in United States history.”

To the best of my knowledge, neither volcano unleashed a vampiric plague on this or any other city, and eventually the world — but they COULD HAVE. Why give all the credit to Yellowstone, which is 739.5 miles away (via I-90 West), when we can practically hitchhike to our own dang volcanoes? They can have all the Sharknados they want, but any plague/vampire/zombie/chapped lipped outbreak should come from here, not some overpriced park nearly 1,000 miles away.

Until I can form a formal rally against Yellowstone (feel free to donate to the cause), you can pass the time waiting for a vampire outbreak with these upcoming horror/sci-fi movies…

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories

VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES (available now)
“The story of this one centers around a young couple checking out a house for sale and taking the grand and gory tour given by a sketchy real estate agent. As they go through each room of the house, we’re able to see through flashbacks, the horrors that once unfolded and burned into the house’s horrible history. If those walls could talk, they wouldn’t; They would be traumatically catatonic. Each tragedy is associated with a holiday or some sort of special day which gives great context of each story.”

Love the premise. If my walls could talk, they’d probably tell me to give ’em a new coat of paint. Note to stupid walls: go sand yourself.

Amsterdamned

AMSTERDAMNED (August 29, 2017)
“A half-mad scuba diver hiding in Amsterdam’s labyrinthine canal system embarks on a rampage of gruesome murders, terrifying city officials and leaving few clues for the city’s best detective, who doesn’t suspect that both his new girlfriend and 12 year-old daughter may be closer than he is to finding the killer.”

Half-mad scuba diver should tell you everything you need to know about this cookie cutter Dutch-made slasher flick, which came out in its native zip code back in 1988. Now you can dog paddle watching it for the first time in the U.S. when it gets its official release here with all the bells and whistles. It’s aged about as well as me.

Anna And The Apocalypse

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE (Scotland/2017)
“Anna’s life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical.”

There it is — two words that should never be paired to describe a movie: horror musical. The holiday undead? Fine. Everything else? All yours, Scotland.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (new release date: March 23, 2018)
“It has been 10 years since The Battle of the Breach and the oceans are still, but restless. Vindicated by the victory at the Breach, the Jaeger program has evolved into the most powerful global defense force in human history. The PPDC now calls upon the best and brightest to rise up and become the next generation of heroes when the Kaiju threat returns.”

Finally the official plot, though I believe the above key art is fan made (check out the movie’s release date — FAIL) and not issued officially. (If you’re gonna have giant monsters fighting giant robots, I’m thinkin’ you may wanna include that in some form or fashion.) Disclosure: I’ve been a part of the Jaeger program every since downing my first shot. Drinking a bottle of Jaegermeister™ makes me wanna fight giant monsters and…well, pretty much anything that looks at me sideways. (I’m gunning for that stupid table lamp that always seems to be mocking me.)

Our TVs Are Filled With Horror

Posted in Aliens, Evil, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, Vampires, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Walking Dead

It’s been a banner year for horror/sci-fi TV, the nightly news notwithstanding. While I’ve dipped my couch into stuff like The Strain, Preacher, Van Helsing and Outcast, due to there being only 24 hours to a day, I was only able to watch 1,825 hours of quality genre programming. Doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s out there. That established, here’s a few 2016 horror/sci-fi viewing habits…

THE WALKING DEAD
Like it or double love it, season seven’s opener was one of the all-time jarring shockers of this or any other year, setting the bar unreachably high on all out line-crossing torture porn. New hammy villain Negan (rhymes with “vegan”) makes season three’s Governor look like a Wal-Mart™ door greeter.

Fear The Walking Dead

FEAR OF THE WALKING DEAD
Barely made it through season one. Then I watched the season two opener and walked away from it. Too many unlikeable characters in implausible circumstances. The zombies, ironically, are the most believable aspects of the show.

Stranger Things

STRANGER THINGS
By far and away THE best new horror/fantasy series hit of the year. A monster called Demogogon exists in an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. (I’ve been visiting there every since discovering alcohol.) The darn thing gets into the regular dimension and all mystery heck breaks loose with pre-teens — and the magnificent Winona Ryder — Scooby-Doo’ing the heck out of said mystery. P.S. The Upside Down would be a great name for a dive bar.

American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MY ROANOKE NIGHTMARE
Like goat cheese on pizza, this season did not work at all. The problems? Start with the first episode and end with the last one. I’ll give ‘em props for trying to mix a reality show premise with found footage. But there’s a reason why reality shows and found footage suck. And the muddled, no questions answered season end was indeed a nightmare. P.S. Lady Gaga was vastly underused this season.

Ash vs Evil Dead / Stan Against Evil, From Disk ’Till Dawn

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
As amazingly corny, campy and killer as you’d expect. Why didn’t they think of doing a TV series years ago? (Ash should’ve been elected president.) The evil dead still have it in for Ash after all these years. Good for us. Not so good for him.

STAN AGAINST EVIL
Stan Miller, a grizzled, forced-into-retirement redneck sheriff, Archie Bunker’s his way through an inexhaustible stream of demons stinkin’ up his New England town. One great crack after another: “My shirt smells like low tide at A**hole Beach,” and “Ever been beaten with a bag of oranges?” An easy and obvious successor to Ash.

FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN
On its third season, the Gecko Brothers really flesh out the franchise’s storyline and take it to new extremes with a shocking (and satisfying) amount of blood and violence. Pushing the boundaries of censorship, TV vampires have never looked this nasty cool.

The Exorcist, The Returned, Channel Zero, Salem

THE RETURNED
One of the quiest, unsettling and beautifully creepy made-in-France eight-episode series (based on a French movie of the same name) in 2016. Will make you rethink what a zombie is/should be. Don’t worry about moving your lips to the sub-titles; there’s not a lot of wordings. Or screamings. As I said, quiet.

THE EXORCIST
Who knew they could take one punchline and make a tense and nervewracking TV series out of expunging demons from beleagured souls every week? Looks fun. Wonder if I can schedule an exorcism appointment for myself? My stupid health insurance probably won’t cover it, though.

CHANNEL ZERO
A tooth monster. Yep, you read me right. There’s a monster made of human teeth in this slow-burn awesome SyFy Channel™ original series. The show has bite. C’mon — how could I not say that? The joke was sitting right there.

SALEM
Tried to get through the first season of Salem a while back. Even with plenty of icky, gnarly witches and the demonic gunk/insects drooling/crawling out of their orifices, was not able to emotionally invest in it, which is why I haven’t pursed it in subsequent seasons. Probably should should go back and recommit to evil and see where the show takes me.

Of the sci-fi superhero stuff, watched most but not all. (Looking in your direction Arrow season 5 and D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow.) Speaking of Arrow, his famous line before shooting criminals in the chest with his name always says, “You have failed this city…” At the beginning of season 4 his girlfriend attempts to make him breakfast. He looks at it and says, “You have failed this omelette…” That’s not just funny, it’s dang funny.

Anyway, here’s what else I warmed the couch cushions to…

Supergirl, The Flash, Gotham

SUPERGIRL
Season 2 episode (“Changing”) is where Supergirl gets drunk — on one drink — and her Black-Ops step-sister tells her she’s driving her home. Supergirl: “Well, I’m sure not flying!” I LOL’d over that one. Supergirl gets smacked upside the “S” in almost every episode, sometimes by space alien criminals instead of delicious adult beverages. I’ll give it to that super cutie — she can take a punch. Just not from the punch bowl. Heh.

P.S. Digging the crossover stuff, like when The Flash showed up in Supergirl’s world. Her day job boss at Catco (media conglomerate), not knowing who Flash is, named him The Whoosh. Priceless.

THE FLASH
Turns out there’s hundreds of Earths, each one accessible with the help of a user-friendly meta-human. This means more Flashie knock-offs, more meta-criminals, more storylines and more opportunities for the Flash to get beaten up every time he slows down. Quite nifty they’re invoking Flashpoint (time-travel and the Butterfly Effect) from the cartoons. Even still, a bit on the lightweight side. It’s not like I can change the channel or anything. Wait a sec…

GOTHAM
Pleasantly graphic and unflinchingly violent re-imagining of the classic Dark Knight universe, with a pre-pubed Bruce Wayne (not quite Batman) sporting a bat-a-rang for Selina Kyle (Catwoman as a street kid), the Penguin (criminal turned mayor — there’s a stretch), Edward Nygma (Riddler), Joker (killed off way too soon, but coming back somehow), Poison Ivy (played by three different plant species), and a D.C. sampler of legacy super criminals (Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange). Despite all these tasty elements, it’s police detective Jim Gordon and Bruce’s now-legal guardian/servant Alfred (cast as a former member of the the British Special Air Service) who are the standout ass kickers here.

Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luke Cage

DAREDEVIL
Season one was good at establishing Matt Murdock — blind and struggling public defender — as a serious defender of justice with the business end of his fist. Season two’s storylines were better developed, but it’s the all-out slobber-knocking fight scenes, which often leave Matt a candidate for emergency medical attention, that leaves one’s mouth agape. Simply agape.

AGENT’S OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
This was a personal fav, but the storylines are jumping around like meta-frogs. Finding it interesting that Marvel and D.C., both of whom boast superheroes with the same abilities (Green Arrow/Hawkeye, The Atom/Ant-Man, Flash/Quicksilver, Hawkman/Angel, Aquaman/Sub-Mariner, El-Diablo/Human Torch), are using similar terms, if not story lines with Hive/H.I.V.E. It’s kinda like comparing apples to, um, windows. Heh. And an Aussie beer swillin’, womanizing, obnoxious Ghost Rider? Brilliant.

LUKE CAGE
Best surprise hit of the getting-crowded-by-the-minute superhero TV series. Luke, first introduced in Jessica Jones as her “friend” with mattress benefits, returns as a super smooth, reluctant, big city neighborhood hero impervious to artillery and sharp stuff while dispensing much-needed street justice with super strength, all against a backdrop of current day Harlem. (You’ll forget you’re watching a contemporary show and not back in the ’70s. An excellent homage to Shaft.)

Besides being a top-notch African-American superhero, the show’s music, performed in a criminal’s nightclub with today’s artists (Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, Faith Evans, The Delfonics and more), is beyond groovy. I could easily dance to it. That’s MY super power. (Yeah, I prefer metal, but that’s where I let my neck dance.)

P.S. And why the flip is there not a second Jessica Jones season? Do I need to go all Daredevil on someone’s decision-making process?

P.P.S. And where the flippin’ fudge is iZombie season three? The CW’s™ website says it’ll be a two-hour season premiere on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Get your cookbook ready for more brain-eating recipes.

Turkish Dracula

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Drakula İstanbul’da

1953’s Drakula İstanbul’da — painstakingly translated to Dracula in Istanbul, paints the Prince of Darkness in humorless hues. (Actually, the movie is in black and white, but Dracula was/is a pretty colorful guy.) This Turkish Dracula is balding, has crayon tip fangs pointing opposite directions, and is only interested in real estate deals and juicing your neck.

Drakula İstanbul’da

Drakula İstanbul’da is a re-vamping (heh) of the 1928 novel Kazıklı Voyvoda (Impaler Voivode). And that book was a near photocopied translation of Bram Stoker’s novel that brought Dracula into the mainstream. Only difference is the Mina character is a stripper (um, I mean “showgirl”) and Dracula boot lick Renfield is nowhere to be found. (He’s probably in some basement eating the life force of bugs.)

Drakula İstanbul’da

Drakula is hungry and his feeding techniques look more like he’s leaning in to tell you a bawdy joke rather than a perforation. His target is two young ladies, one of whom has a mysterious secret: sleepwalking. Scary, but assured it’ll go away once she’s married. (Heard that doesn’t work with uncontrollable flatulence.)

Drakula İstanbul’da

Drakula is hunted down in a long and boring process (the only chills would be if you watched this in the Antarctica with the windows open), and dispatched with a medium rare stake through the heart as applied with a rock. Time to take down the anti-Drakula decorations — all garlic must go. “But I use it to cook with,” says Mina, who protests she won’t be able to make her eggplant recipe without it. (No person in their right mind would eat that crap anyway, so better to just move on to mac ’n cheese and give up this eggplant madness and schemes.)

Turkish Batman

Dracula isn’t the only intellectual property grave Istanbul has robbed. Superman, Flash Gordon, Zorro, Captain America, Batman, Tarzan, Satan and Spider-Man (as a green-suited criminal) have all been given a Turkish bath, and look like they were dressed in clothes their moms made them. Final note: You haven’t any idea of what Istanbul is all about until you’ve seen Turkish Batman cavort with ladies of burlesque.

Turkish Captain America

P.S. For some prime hardcore Turkish horror action, check out Baskin (2015), wherein four cops enter the foyer of Hell when they happen upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building. Hope you have a strong stomach. Otherwise it’s recycled eggplant time.

Baskin

The Wrongs of Dracula’s Rites

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Scream Queens, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

In The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) D’s plan is to introduce a new strain of the Bubonic plague to wipe humans off the face of the Earth. I don’t think Dracula was thinking ahead on this one. I mean, aren’t humans his grocery stores?

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

It’s the Eve of the Sabbath – and not the day before Black Sabbath releases a new album. Nope, this is the Sabbath of the Undead, kinda like spring break for those sorta not living. This does not meet eternal foe Van Helsing’s eco concerns, so he confronts Dracula at the very same spot they locked crosses two years earlier in Dracula A.D. 1972. Van Helsing comes prepared with a silver bullet, but AS ALWAYS can’t get the shot off in time before Dracula enunciates and throws a hissing fit.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

The place catches on fire, so the fight spills over into the woods filled with Hawthorn bushes – he only other thing besides silver, garlic, pure running water, holy crosses, biblical scripture, altar boys and daylight that can defeat Dracula and make him soil his cape. Getting a sort of “crown of thorns,” Dracula gets tangled up, giving Van Helsing enough time to impale the evil outdoorsman with a fence post. As with every movie starring Dracula, he disintegrates. (Why can’t he explode just once?)

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

In all, Dracula shows up for a sec in the beginning of the movie and a few minutes at the end. Maybe he had other necks to do in the meantime. Bogged down in long stretches of back-story dialogue, there’s no room left for toothy action. Republican meddling once again. But when you rent a movie with the words “satanic” and “ritual” and “Dracula” in the title, you expect serious evil flavor to go down. Alas, it does not meet your eco concerns.

Sucking in the 2000s

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Scream Queens, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dracula 2000

Drac is back and on the attack. (I should be a rapper; All I need is some fresh beats.) In an interesting updating of the vampire monarch’s diet of throats and human ketchup, Dracula 2000 (2000) takes place in the present, with Van HelsingDracula’s nemesis – also returning, keeping himself alive for 100 years with daily injections of D’s blood, as filtered through wiggly leeches. Eeewww!

Dracula 2000

Van Helsing keeps Drac’s body in an underground vault where hi-tech robbers believe there’s gold or discount coupons for yachts and corvettes. There’s not. So they steal the coffin and let the bat out of the bag.

Dracula 2000

The hunt takes everyone to New Orleans where Dracula 2000 sniffs out Van Helsing’s hotty Daughter 2000, who also pumps filtered vampire blood through her sexy veins. Why she doesn’t take off her clothes to combat eternal evil is anyone’s guess. (Dracula is such a wuss; always chasing after chicks who don’t want him.)

Dracula 2000

A few decapitations, a couple of impalings, a few laughs. The pacing is slow, Drac-Q-Lah isn’t particularly menacing, but there is a brief flash of boobs, Dracula’s other favorite body part to suck on. Otherwise, not the wholesale bloodfest it needed to be.

Space Dracula

Posted in Evil, Science Fiction, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness

When you run out of things to for horror icons to do and still want to keep the rent checks coming in, send ’em into space. That said, it’s about time they did something different with Dracula; this time they plunged him into deep space. Good – his dusty schtick was getting a bit long in the tooth. Heh.

Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness

Instead setting him up with sleek astronaut pants (with optional Van Allen radiation belt –heh), they have Dracula decked out in his dusty old 18th Century clothes. And everything that follows circles Uranus from there.

Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness

Investigating a derelict space ship, Casper Van Dien as Commander Van Helsing (gimme a break) boards the empty craft, but discovers a bunch of wooden coffins. According to the ship’s log, the coffins were picked up on Transylvania Planet in the Carpathian System (good grief). Dracula is in one of the easily-opened boxes, breaks out and bites 187 (Coolio). The scene-chewing rap star turns into a vampire and hams it up good. When in Rome.

Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness

Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness (2004) belongs in a black hole. Sorry, that’s all the space references I could think of. I blame it on gravity, always holding me back ’n stuff.

There Is Only One Vampire

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dracula

While there was a diaper-smudging scary vampire movie that came 15 years prior (Les Vampires/1915), Dracula, made in 1931, is the gold bar standard for ALL vampire movies since. And they did it without blood, fangs, a movie soundtrack or the Internet. All it took was an awesome story, spooky ass atmosphere, a few rubber bats, and Bela Lugosi’s famous arching eyebrows, which McDonald’s ultimately stole for their logo. True that.

Dracula

Renfield works as a leasor for Count Dracula, and travels overseas with some papers for Carfax Abbey, his new rental digs in bloody, bustling London. Once in town, Drac steps out for a bite, then off to a symphony (regarded as a metal concert back in those days.)

Dracula

Dracula needs Renfield to do minion bidding for him, so he unleashes the now-famous Drac stare-down, the evil equivalent of a Clint Eastwood cowboy squint. (Squint Eastwood. Heh.) This turns Renfield into a minimum wage employee who eats company bugs.

Dracula

And here’s where a second star is born. Renfield’s maniacal stare and ultra-creepy smirking laugh STILL freaks one out to this day. No one since has managed to goon people out the way he did. You should know the rest of the story from here.

Dracula

Dracula sucks on Mina, the movie’s hot chick, although Drac’s three vamp brides back at the castle are creatures with some nice features. Now Mina has permanent crampy “woman” problems.

Dracula

Van Helsing, a guy holding a doctorate in doctoring, discovers Dracula’s vampire tendencies, and along with Mina’s boyfriend Johnathan Harker (cool name, even cooler suit) track Drac back to the coffin and…chop, chop, fizz, fizz.

Dracula

Curiously, this classic ended abruptly, with Van Helsing serving up Dracula a nice stake dinner, while Johnathan and Mina walk slowly up the stairs in grief relief. Van Helsing opts to stick (sorry) around. (I bet you anything he was gonna steal Dracula’s wallet.)

Dracula

To revisit the legacy of the modern day (OK, that sounds odd) vampire is pretty dang cool. So, like, I command thee to watch it.