Saturday, March 30, 2019

1980s Sword and Sorcery Films

Hawk the Slayer

The Archer and the Sorcerer aka The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire

Ator the Fighting Eagle
Conan the Barbarian
Gunan, King of the Barbarians
Sangraal - Barbarian Master
The Sword and the Sorceror
Sword of the Barbarians

Fire and Ice
Hearts and Armor
Thor the Conqueror
Throne of Fire

The Blade Master aka Cave Dwellers
Conan the Destroyer
Sword of the Valiant
Tunka el Guerrero
The Warrior and the Sorceress

Barbarian Queen
Red Sonya
Wizards of the Lost Kingdom


The Barbarians
Deathstalker II
Iron Warrior

Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell
Outlaw of Gor

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II

Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back
Quest for the Mighty Sword
Time Barbarians

Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time
Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans

Not included are similar films set in the Iron Age or after the apocalypse, as well as any kids' movies.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Deathstalker (1983)

Deathstalker (1983)

Image result for deathstalker 1983

The boobiest, rapiest adventure of them all.

Deathstalker goes on a quest to gain three enchanted items to defeat the wizard Munkar and become the power.

Mud wrestling, topless swordfights, gender swapping spells, chain mail half shirts, buffalo shots, pig-headed men, and Hee Haw Honey Barbi Benton.

The was the first of a series of films Roger Corman produced in Argentina.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Terror at Boulder Dam by Michael Newton

Terror at Boulder Dam
by Michael Newton (as Vince Robinson)
1981 Carousel

Starts off as a bog-standard private detective novel.  Down on his luck PI gets a missing persons case from a showgirl he ends up sleeping with.  A couple of mild brawls until things ramp up when the PI accidentally infiltrates a white supremacist compound plotting to blow up Boulder Dam.

A little nut torture and the PI goes full Rosenberger, slaughtering dozens with a flamethrower and grenade launcher.

Kindle ebook from Amazon, currently included for Kindle Unlimited subscribers

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


NBC 4/26/78

With Carrie Fisher, John Ritter, and Art Carney.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden (audio drama)
Audible 2017

This installment runs parallel to the beginning of Aliens, especially the bloated director's cut, and covers how xenomorphs took over the planet she later visits with the colonial marines.  We've got marines at various levels of competency, evil corporate scientists, and everything that's in the other Alien installments.  I forgot the titles I had listened to, and had a hard time telling them apart from the plot synopsis.

A little it of fan service - they work in two "mostly"s.  Golden also tries to write his way out of a plot hole which I actually never noticed and ended up making it work.  Newt survives by hiding in the air vents.  The same air vents that xenomorphs pretty much spend all their time in.  The explanation that Newt can sneak through vents so small the aliens can't follow doesn't work either - we saw where she slept, and adult humans could get there in a low crouch.

Audio drama on Audible

Monday, March 18, 2019

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Things I Didn't Finish: The Beast of Adam Gorightly: Collected Rantings

The Beast of Adam Gorightly: Collected Rantings

This book was a bit of a timewarp for me, taking me back to the early and mid 90s, before 9/11 or the rise of Alex Jones, when conspiracy theories were fun and edgy and counter-culture.  These were the days of the rants, of subgenii, of aging hippies desperately trying to be relevant.

I'm sure I've read Gorightly before in Paranoia, which I read and submitted a couple of BS rants myself to.  We start out with this old chestnut: Did you know that people have actually died at Disneyland?  It's like totally covered up, but my cousin talked to a guy who says it's happened before!

This kind of tomfoolery does not survive into the internet era.  Of course people have died at Disneyland, but in the 90s people acted as if it were a state secret because Disney didn't constantly advertise the fact.  In addition to the availability of news, the internet has also simplified basic fact-checking.

Gorightly discusses the death of an employee at America Sings, which he says was moved to Florida after this incident.  It wasn't, though Carousel of Progress was moved from Land to World before America Sings moved in.  If you're going to peddle bogus secret arcane knowledge, you need to get your basic mundane stuff down.

On Kindle for Amazon

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jackson 5: Going Back to Indiana

Jackson 5: Going Back to Indiana
ABC 9/16/71

Featuring Bobby Darin and Rosey Grier, who were both present at RFK assassination.  Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson have something in common as well.

Ran across this the same day I heard about Cosby sucker punching Tommy Smothers at the Playboy Mansion.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Alien: Out of the Shadows

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon (Audio drama version)
Audible 2016

This entry is set between Alien and Aliens.  Ripley is rescued and she is brought out of suspended animation, only to find herself facing the xenomorphs again.

A mining colony run into an ancient ship with xenomorph eggs, just like in Alien.  Their ship is unable to escape and has a decaying orbit.  Their only hope is to land on the planet, fight through the mines sublevels to retrieve a power cell, and return to the ship.  It sounds like a video game, but Aliens had these kind of mission level progressions before video games did.

Aliens works pretty well in audio drama format, as they are more effective the less you see of them.  I was distracted throughout by trying to figure out how they were going to keep the continuity with Aliens, hoping they weren't going to just cop out and erase her memory like R2D2.  Guess what happens.

Available on Audible.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Gallagher's Gallery

This was actually released in arcades - there was one at the student union of my college in the early 90s.  It was a light gun game, I don't think it was possible to miss, and every time you hit something you got a free life.  You'd walk away from the game and it was still going with my quarter a half hour later.  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Night Touch by Stephen Gresham

Night Touch
by Stephen Gresham
1988 Zebra

A blind kid in Kansas gets touched by a stranger and gains dangerous psychic powers.  After accidentally killing a grad student, and purposefully killing his abusive father, he goes on a road trip with two friends on a quest to have his power removed.  There's a crossover character from Rockabye Baby who's hunting the blind kid to provide an ounce of tension, but like Dew Claws this is more rural fantasy than horror.  There's something comfortable about Gresham's style that I've been enjoying, as long as you don't go in expecting a Zebra bloodfest.

Kindle ebook from Amazon

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

TV Obscura: 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee

33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee
NBC, April 19th, 1969

The last thing done by the Monkees until their 1986 reunion, this is the most baffling thing ever aired on network TV.  Somehow includes Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and Little Richard.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tie-Ins: Highlander

Highlander is a series about immortal sword guys cutting each other's heads off.  With hundreds of years of backstory, the series is ideal for spin offs.  The film series is notoriously horrible, there are some animated versions, with a better reputation, and in the middle there is the TV series, which had it's own novel and audio play spin offs.

The only novelization is for the first film:

  • 1986 Highlander by Gary Douglas aka Gary Kilworth

Continuing adventures from the TV series:

  • 1995 The Element of Fire by Jason Henderson
  • 1996 Scimitar by Ashley McConnell
  • 1996 Scotland the Brave by Jennifer Roberson
  • 1997 Measure of a Man by Nancy Holder
  • 1997 The Path by Rebecca Neason
  • 1997 Zealot by Donna Lettow
  • 1998 Shadow of Obsession by Rebecca Neason
  • 1998 The Captive Soul by Josepha Sherman
  • 1999 White Silence by Ginjer Buchanan
  • 2000 September Highlander: An Evening at Joe's  - anthology written by the crew of the series
There's an authorized fan series Imagine: For Love's Sake, Beyond Infinity, and Code Name Immortal.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Comics on Kindle Unlimited

The Kindle reading app on the Fire still sucks.  At it's best it loses your place and defaults to the library screen instead of the actual text.  I thought the absurd load times were because of my wifi, but even at 100 mbs it can take several minutes to load a single title.

But once you get the title loaded, the comics are perfectly readable, with some adjustments.  If you tap the font size button (aA) it gives you the option for endless scroll on landscape.  This allows you to read the title on landscape mode without a magnifying glass.  If you're so inclined, the images pinch and zoom better than with magazines, and you have the option to load a panel at a time.

The selection may or not justify the subscription cost (currently $10/mo for Kindle Unlimited, $7/mo for comixology).  As of this writing, DC has placed their most mainstream titles for the last five years or so in KU, with fewer Marvel titles, so Marvel Unlimited is still better for those titles.

The KU titles are grouped by trade paperback titles, so you'd look up titles like "Batman (2011-2016) Vol. 1: The Court of Owls" rather than the issue numbers.  Definitely cost effective for DC fans - a KU subscription paid for itself in about twenty minutes of reading.

Speaking of subscriptions, if you're interested in trying out Kindle Unlimited, consider doing so through this link to slide a buck or two my way.

Friday, March 1, 2019