Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Grab Bag 09 - Christopher Lee


Christopher Lee scares the shit out of me. That rhymes, but its also true. There's no other actor I can think of who is so good @ conveying such menace. For years he portrayed Dracula in movies & in most of them he had little dialogue -- but he was incredibly scary. Even today, he still has a frightening presence on screen. Just watch him as Sauruman in the Lord of the Rings films or Count Dooku in the uber-shitty new Star Wars films. His performance in the latter is one of the few reasons to sit & watch those awful films. They are otherwise plagued by giddy production design & cardboard-ish acting by some very fine actors. The only other standout in those films is Ewan MacGregor, but that's another subject. I had heard that in the original Star Wars films, Christopher Lee was considered to play the Emperor (Darth Vader's boss). He would have been a much better choice for that character as the actor who did play the part was not as horrifying as I expected him to be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Grab Bag '09 - Michael Myers



I'm not a big fan of slasher movies. I understand what created & perpetuated them; the breakdown of our society, but I'm still not crazy about them. A big part of that is film serial killers are based on real-life criminals & that itself is unnerving. Read up on Ed Gein, who was the inspiration for Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I'm sure plenty of other fictional murderers. Just look at his picture and you'll crap yourself . . . not unlike some of the people I work with. Anyway, I did like John Carpenter's original Halloween. I thought the poster art was especially frightening: the jagged imagery of a jack o'lantern turning into a hand-held knive is jarring.
So, why did I draw a picture of
Michael Myers? This was based on a recent cover story from Fangoriamagazine that spotlighted Rob Zombie's Halloween 2. The image struck me right away: I liked the disintergrated state of his mask. Myers looked worn & beat up. I'm sure many fans took this as a statement on the character's unstoppable nature (which the filmmakers hope to convey). But, I saw it as him unraveling; tired from all his years, the character is falling apart. Its an anti-serial killer image and I find that appealing.
Finally, for some trivia: the original disguise in the Halloween films was, in fact, a Captain Kirk mask that was either unpainted, bleached, or painted white. Included is a picture of Star Trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry, with that same mask from issue 142 of Famous Monsters. Enjoy, kids!

Remember Brandon Lee . . . .

Killed 25 years ago when he was struck by a bullet loaded into a prop gun, Brandon Lee never lived to see the success he would achieve af...