The X From Outer Space


After a rip-roaring musical opening, the starship AABGamma embarks on the latest Mars expedition. Every previous attempt has failed but this one is bound to work thanks to the wacky misfit crew of experts. However, the ship encounters a UFO that is defined as looking like a ‘half cooked omelet,’ prompting a stop over at the moon base. This future world has such a well run space program that a trip to the moon is a five minute journey and the moon has a fully stocked bar.

Eventually the mission is back underway but the UFO traps the craft in its gravitational pull. When the crew tries to fix the atomic engines, they find that small glowing egg-like things are draining the ship’s thrust. After returning to Earth with one of the eggs, the crew decides to relax and party only to later find that the lab where the egg was left to analyze (after many nightcaps) has hatched. The rapidly growing bird/lizard-like creature goes on an all-too-familiar rampage throughout Japan as the scientists scramble to find a solution.

Revered as a kaiju epic by film historians, The X From Outer Space was part of Shochiku Studio’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of giant rubber monsters. The movie is a delightful snort fest of its time. If you are looking for a fun monster film to watch with friends or that special someone, this could be it.

The X From Outer Space can be found on the Criterion Eclipse Film DVD set When Horror Came to Shochiku.


New Comics 7/11/18

Comics_HeroesIt Came Out On A Wednesday #1, $1.99
Batman Death And The Maidens TP (New Edition), $19.99
Blue Beetle Volume 3 Road To Nowhere TP, $16.99
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #48 (Cover A Doug Mahnke), $2.99
Ragman TP, $16.99
Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes Volume 2 HC, $49.99
Superman #1 (Cover A Ivan Reis & Joe Prado), $3.99
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen The Tempest #1 (Cover A Kevin O’Neill), $4.99
Weatherman #1 (Nathan Fox 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Cover A Ryan Ottley), $5.99
Daredevil #605, $3.99
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Volume 10 HC (Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 262), $75.00
Star Wars Darth Vader #18 (Cover A Giuseppe Camuncoli), $3.99
True Believers Fantastic Four Galactus Hungers #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Hulk Vs Thing #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Marvel Two-In-One #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Vs Doctor Doom #1, $1.00
DC Comics Batman Vinimate, AR
DC Comics Batwoman Vinimate, AR

Doctor Who – The Bodysnatchers

Body_snatchers_cover.jpgStrange goings on are afoot in Victorian London. Massive creatures stalk a local factory late at night and the owner, Nathaniel Seers, is not the man he once was; having transformed from a once kind and friendly individual into a cold and stern man. The Doctor and Sam arrive just in time to see a man devoured by a monster from the sea. Noting the time period, the Doctor calls upon the aid of his old friend Professor George Litefoot who had proven so helpful against the dreaded Magnus Greel a number of lives ago. Against an army from another world utilizing bizarre technology, the Doctor and his friends must take up arms against the Zygon horde for the future of the humanity.

The Body Snatchers is something of a mish-mash of stories, combining The Talons of Weng Chiang with Terror of the Zygons (two of my all time favorite adventures), although the novel gets quite gruesome at times. Set during a time when men were worked to the bone in unsafe factories, corpses were stolen in the night, grisly pub punch ups grew relentless in their brutality, bodies washed up with regularity from the Thames and bodies of children were uncovered with the thaw, nestled together into frozen blocks… it’s all quite unsettling.

The flippant and witty Eighth persona of the Doctor along with the unflappable Sam Jones and the quaint gentleman George Litefoot, provide some offset to the violence. However, the Zygons themselves, a monster that strangely only appeared once in the classic series are powerfully threatening. Their organic technology and bizarre physiognomy are fleshed out (if you can excuse the term) in this novel, even expanding the race into different strata from warrior to scientist and different genders as well. Fans of Zygons have a lot to chew on here.

A lovely blend of Victorian adventure and mystery along with body horror alien invasion, The Body Snatchers is a memorable and thrilling entry in the adventures of the Eighth Doctor.

New Comics 7/4/2018

Ghoul Scouts I Was a Tweenage Werewolf TP, $14.99
Jim Henson’s Beneath The Dark Crystal #1 (Of 12)(Cover A Benjamin Dewey), $3.99
Conan Omnibus Volume 5 Piracy And Passion TP, $24.99
Incognegro Renaissance #5 (Of 5), $3.99
Lone Wolf And Cub Gallery Edition HC, $99.99
Aquaman Volume 5 The Crown Comes Down TP, $14.99
Batman #50 (Cover A Mikel Janin), $4.99
Batman By Grant Morrison Omnibus Volume 1 HC, $75.00
Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Edition HC, $39.99
Batman Thrillkiller TP (New Edition), $16.99
Wonder Woman By John Byrne Volume 2 HC, $39.99
Action Comics #1000 (Curt Swan Variant Cover), AR
James Bond Volume 2 Eidolon TP, $19.99
Elvira Mistress Of The Dark #1 (Cover I Kyle Strahm Black & White Variant), AR
Project Superpowers #0 (Cover A Francesco Mattina), $0.10
Thief Of Thieves #38, $3.99
Ant-Man And The Wasp #3 (Of 5), $3.99
Astonishing X-Men #13 (Cover A Greg Land), $3.99
Captain America #1 (Cover A Alex Ross), $4.99
Doctor Strange #3 (Cover A Jesus Saiz), $3.99
Immortal Hulk #2 (Cover A Alex Ross), $3.99
Star Wars #50 (Cover A Travis Charest), $5.99
True Believers Fantastic Four The Coming Of Galactus #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four The Wedding Reed And Sue #1, $1.00
Doctor Who The Seventh Doctor #2 (of 4)(Cover A Christopher Jones), $3.99
Fantastic Four 2018 Poster By Alex Ross, AR
Thor Ragnarok Thor And Thunderbolt Effect S.H.Figuarts Action Figure Set, AR

Black Sabbath (1963)


The work of Giallo grandfather Mario Bava, Black Sabbath is an anthology film containing three short stories; The Telephone, Wurdulak and The Drop of Water. Hosted by horror legend Boris Karloff, the movie is a tension filled yet thoroughly enjoyable delight. Each part of the trilogy stands on its own and deserves praise; the thrilling Telephone simmers as an innocent young woman is terrorized by repeated calls from her ex lover, recently escaped from jail and eager to enact revenge. As she frets about her apartment, more phone calls come detailing her every move. Its a nail-biter in the tradition of Hitchcock and a great opener.

My own favorite tale, the Wurdulak, is based on folklore not dissimilar to the Wendigo. A killer who has tasted human blood yearns for the lives of its loved ones. A spine-chilling story, the Wurdulak stars Karloff as a weary man who has returned from a mysterious hunt after this famed beast and appears changed, as if the murder of the creature has changed him. The lighting and cinematography is stunning and the sound design, an unholy night in the middle of nowhere, will make your hair stand on end.

The final tale, The Drop of Water is a cautionary story of the supernatural when a woman is called in to assist on the preparation of a body after an untimely death. The corpse is horrifying with an inhuman open grimace peering back at the viewer. After snatching a piece of jewelry from the body the woman is haunted by what she saw and driven to madness.

I was lucky enough to see this film at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC. A double feature is screened every week and this one (paired with Dario Argento’s Deep Red) could not be missed. Accompanied by trivia and period trailers, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Robo Vampire

robovampire5.jpgDrug smugglers are getting frustrated with the DEA who seem to be one step ahead of them. In order to get the upper hand, they make an obvious decision to employ vampires as both mules and muscle. Their connections are a bit baffled by all this but figure that the bad guys know what they’re doing. When a girlfriend (who may be a ghost) of the alpha vampire (who wears a gorilla mask) shows up, she is allowed to stay so long as both cooperate. Everyone is very sweet and understanding toward the drug smugglers.

These vampires, it must be noted, are the hopping kind (or jiangshi). They can be controlled by special notes and dust. They hop, shoot sparkler flames from their sleeves and smoke from their mouths. They also possess an uncanny knack of martial arts and flipping making any battle five times longer than it needs to be.

But where’s the robot you ask? One of the DEA agents is killed in action and revived using what appears to be manikin limbs painted silver, random computer parts and silver oven mitts. The robot is an amazingly ineffectual machine of tedium whom the drug smugglers, along with their army of the undead destroy. But since he is a state of the art robot, the DEA quickly repairs a ‘short circuit’ (he was actually blown to pieces by a rocket) to get him back in action.

Robo Vampire is a lurid film with standard action, drama and torture along with a weird love scene between a ghost and a gorilla-vampire. It’s tastefully done. The robot is so laughably bad that it nearly makes this film worth seeing for his ridiculousness alone. It’s a great flick for a night when you have a bunch of friends over and plenty of adult beverages.

Like Hyper Sapien, Robo Vampire can be found on the Sci-Fi Invasion DVD set.

This week at your comic shop 6/27/18

Vintage Comics previewFor the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Doctor Who Main Range Volume 237 The Helliax Rift Audio CD, $24.99
Astro City #52, $3.99
Legion Of Super-Heroes The Silver Age Omnibus Volume 2 HC, $75.00
Man Of Steel #5 (Of 6), $3.99
Doctor Who The Complete History Volume 72 The Twelfth Doctor Doctor Stories 253-254 HC, $18.99
Bloodstrike #23 (Cover A Michel Fiffe), $3.99
Avengers No Surrender HC, $50.00
Marvel Two-In-One #7, $3.99
Moon Knight #196, $3.99
Star Wars Doctor Aphra #21 (Cover A Ashley Witter), $3.99
Thor #2 (Cover A Mike Del Mundo), $3.99
Invader Zim Volume 2 HC, $49.99
Shadow Double Novel Volume 130 SC, $14.95
Alter Ego #153, $9.95
Back Issue #105, $8.95
Godzilla Kaiju 8 Inch Series Hedorah 1971 Version Previews Exclusive Figure (Landing Version), AR
Grendizer Metaltech MT10 Goru Goru Figure, AR

Doctor Who: Vampire Science

Vampire_science_coverFrom the 1980 adventure State of Decay, vampires have been a major part of Doctor Who lore. In the televised story, the Fourth Doctor explained that the Time Lords have a sworn responsibility to eliminate all vampires as part of his people’s war with the creatures many centuries ago. That said, it is surprising that there are so few stories on TV in which the Doctor faces this moral conundrum. Happily there are quite a few novels.

Following up on the rather challenging novel, The Eight Doctors, Vampire Science is an enthralling adventure which challenges the intelligence of the Eighth Doctor as well as his nerve. In the opening chapter it appears that the Doctor has embarked on an all-out war against the vampires, cornering one in an alley and stabbing it in the chest. A young woman named Caroline witnesses the whole affair and it has such an impact that years later she has a scrapbook of vampire stories in the news and follows any clues when she is not busy trying to cure cancer.

The Doctor and his companion Sam rejoin Caroline after her boyfriend becomes kidnapped by a clan of vampires and finally the Doctor shows his hand. He has no intention of wiping out his enemies. He intends to cure them, or at least create a food substitute to prevent them from preying on the living. To accomplish this he must walk a very fine line and risk the trust that his followers have in him. He must also try to reduce casualties as much as possible and escape death himself.

The vampires operate out of a kink nightclub (which strangely serves coffee and salad) and has strata of social structures. The old guard are barely cognizant of their surroundings while the ‘youngsters’ (turned in 1957) are wild and dramatic, led by a charismatic grandstander Slake, who is more than happy to borrow from pop culture vampire myths. But the young gang is far more deadly than they appear while the old guard is led by a brilliant woman named Harris with hundreds of years of medical knowledge who has secret controversial plans for their future.

When Harris and the Doctor pool more than their resources, they become entangled in blood. Harris has the challenge of convincing her people that they can trust a Time Lord, a mythical being who should be sworn to exterminate the vampires. And the Doctor has the soldiers of U.N.I.T. chomping at the bit to charge in guns blazing. Yet the Doctor is determined to find a solution that does not include genocide and instead a promising future of hope.


Sam Jones

The new companion Sam Jones has a spotty rep with fans. A seventeen year old who is very passionate and fiery while also being quite mopey and catty… she’s a perfect teenager. Early on Sam is attacked by a vampire and spends much of the book seething with revenge. She is also very jealous of Caroline who moons over the Doctor. She struggles to find common ground with the Doctor who, in her opinion, has sided with murderous creatures who suck the life out of innocents. At the same time, she tries to take the high road and extend compassion to her enemies no matter their undead status. That said, she’s not above taking matters into her own hands and getting them very dirty. I’m not sure where the negative reaction comes from for Sam, but so far I quite like her.

Paul_McGann_EighthDoctorVampire Science is a very dense book filled with twists and turns and plenty of nerve-wracking moments. The Doctor is also still coming to terms with his new incarnation and is oblivious to the impact his attractive new face has on others. His added responsibility for Caroline is especially trying as she becomes enthralled by the appeal of a dreamy bachelor who travels through space and time (Russell T Davies was obviously paying close attention to this. There are some lovely scenes in the TARDIS in which he shows Caroline a room filled with butterflies which flutter in his hair as he welcomes it all. This is a romantic Doctor, no longer the scheming manipulative 7th incarnation. This Doctor lives in the moment and is far more impulsive than previous personas.

After the slog that was The Eight Doctors, Vampire Science was a welcome change. Filled with drama, action, horror and even humor it is a grand start to the new Doctor.

Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star

During a visit to Earth, a pair of young aliens decide to remain and discover what life on this strange planet is like. Trailing along with Robyn and Tavy is a weird triple-limbed muppet named Kirbi. Both girls have massive coifs of hair that shift color after prolonged exposure to Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily, during their long trek through the wilderness of Wyoming, they meet Dirt, a young lad with a love of the outdoors and a bizarre habit of sleeping in a suspension hammock.

Passing themselves off as simply ‘visitors’, Dirt eventually realizes his new friends’ alien origin. Luckily, his Grandpa is an open minded guy and is more than happy to host a pair of extraterrestrials. Even Kirbi, a truly mystifying creature which consumes gasoline and charcoal is welcome. Kirbi also helps Grandpa hustle some local in poker.

The film is a charming story that sees Robyn and Dirt grow attached to each other as their obvious differences filter away. Oh and the magic of a community barbecue and local politics doesn’t hurt. 4BBoSI4XrXo76D0tpqFo7GKCqrUDirected by former Bond film editor Peter Hunt, Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star is pure 80’s cinema. The performance from Keenan Wynn as Grandpa is especially touching and sadly marks the famed character actor’s final appearance.

But nothing can prepare you for the oddity that is Kirbi.


Hyper Sapien can be found on the Sci-Fi Invasion DVD set, which I recommend for a fun few nights. If nothing else it’s the only opportunity to catch the rarity Morons From Outer Space.


This week at your comic shop 6/20/18

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Planet Of The Apes Ursus #6 (Cover A Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera), $3.99
Hellboy Omnibus Volume 2 Strange Places TP, $24.99
Aquaman #37 (Cover A Stejpan Sejic), $3.99
Batman The Golden Age Omnibus Volume 5 HC, $99.99
Batwoman #16 (Cover A Dan Panosian), $3.99
Future Quest Presents #11 (Cover A Aaron Lopresti), $3.99
New Challengers #2 (Of 6), $2.99
James Bond The Body #6 (Of 6)(Cover A Luca Casalanguida), $3.99
Wild Adventures Of Edgar Rice Burroughs Swords Against the Moon Men HC, $34.9
Beef #5 (Of 5), $3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #801 (Cover A Marcos Martin), $3.99
Avengers #3 (Cover A Ed McGuinness), $3.99
Champions Classic The Complete Collection TP, $39.99
Daredevil #604, $3.99
Doctor Strange #2 (Cover A Jesus Saiz), $3.99
Tony Stark Iron Man #1 (Cover A Alexander Lozano), $4.99
Tank Girl All Stars #1 (Of 4)(Cover A Brett Parson), $3.99