Champions of the Cosmos – Episode 1 – Duel in the Sky

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The sound of clashing metal rang out down the mountainside. On a narrow ledge jutting out a few hundred feet below the mountain’s peak two combatants were locked in single combat, battle axe against sword. The two muscular men were bare chested, and gleaming with sweat despite the chilly air. The sword wielder, whose face was covered by a grotesque demon-faced helmet, stabbed at the other man’s belly. Gracefully the man stepped aside and swung his double bladed axe at the swordsman’s head, barely giving him enough time to bring his sword up and block the blow. Both men stepped back to catch their breath and look for an opening.

“Face it, Artur,” the swordsman hissed, his nasal voice muffled slightly by the helmet, “you cannot defeat me. I am your better in every way.”

Brushing his long brown hair from his eyes, Artur barked a laugh which echoed down the mountain.

“You’re deluded, Demogor. I will end your evil once and for all atop this mountain.”

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Champions of the Cosmos

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While I’m working on, shall we say, more substantive stories, I thought it would be nice to do something relative light and fun to put on the blog in a serial format. Something pulpy. The result of this is the Champions of the Cosmos, which will be a regular feature. I’m tempted to say weekly, but let’s see how it goes.

It’s obviously heavily inspired by a certain toy franchise from the eighties, but as we go along I’m sure it’ll find a voice of its own. I’m basically trying to do a cartoon in written form. A slight distraction for when heavy thinking is not the main priority. That goes for the writing as well as the reading. I hope someone will get some enjoyment out of it.

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem

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The new theme has been installed. Calloh! Callay!

After I’ve managed to fix the pictures in old posts, and maybe tweaked some other stuff, there’ll only be the dreaded writing to be done.

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Ave Bossa Nova, Similis Bossa Seneca

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I’ve moved the blog to a different host, which among other things has meant having to switch themes as the other one belonged to WordPress.com. The current theme is temporary so I won’t faff about with fixing what’s broken (e.g. embedded pictures being too wide) until I install the intended theme. It’s a good thing no one reads this blog, really.

Regardless of the non-readership, more to come soon-ish.

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Not of This Earth – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 31

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Not of This Earth

Not of This Earth made an interesting contrast after just having watched Wishmaster 4. Both movies feature similar levels of gratuitous sex and nudity, but while it felt just as lifeless as the rest of the movie in Wishmaster 4, in Not of This Earth it fits right in with the rest of the weirdness. I could not in good conscience call this a good movie, but it’s bad in interesting ways. An alien in the form of a mysterious man in black comes to Earth to assess humanity’s potential to be domesticated and used as a source of blood for the aliens, who are suffering from an ailment which is turning their blood to dust. It’s ridiculous, but in a weirdly interesting way. Traci Lords plays a nurse who gets hired to administer blood transfusions to the mysterious man in black, and unsurprisingly every opportunity to have her wear as few clothes as possible is taken advantage of. Which in a way is a bit of a shame because she may be the best actor in the movie.

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Wishmaster 4 – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 30

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Wishmaster 4

Wishmaster 4 has an unfortunate air of softcore porn about it. Which is only partially a result of the gratuitous sex and nudity. Rather it has the flat, disengaged feeling of something produced only as a vehicle to deliver sex. Only in this case, there’s not enough sex to make it worth anyone’s time. Which is a shame because there are themes and ideas here which would have been worth exploring, such as sexual dysfunction, jealousy, and love. There’s also potential for an interesting story when the angelic adversary to the djinn turns out to be almost as bad as his foe. Alas, none of it leads anywhere interesting, and the journey there is mostly dull despite an occasional flash of the old maliciously entertaining djinn from the first two movies. The problem is that this movie is neither good enough nor bad enough to be interesting.

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Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 29

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Hellraiser 3

I must not have watched Star Trek Deep Space Nine before the first time I saw Hellraiser 3, because I had not realized that Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax in DS9) played the main character. It was really nice seeing her in a different role. And she does a pretty good job as the intrepid young reporter who gets drawn into, well, hell. Like the second movie this one continues where the previous one ended, but this time with an entirely new cast except for Pinhead. For basically being the same thing for a third time, I think it’s a pretty good movie. My main complaint is that the demon Pinhead is reduced to a more mundane evil in this movie. As one character actually says, there used to be rules but now the demon is free to do whatever it wants. The end result is still torture and death. But especially in the first movie you got the sense that the demons were not so much evil as alien. They brought pleasure and new experiences through unimaginable pain. Whereas in this movie Pinhead kills people because he likes it. Which I find a far less interesting concept. Still, as I said, I like the movie.

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Leprechaun 6: Back 2 tha Hood – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 28

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Leprechaun 6

I really like the Leprechaun movies. They’re rather terrible, obviously, but in such a fun way that I find it almost impossible to resist their charm. So I was looking forward to seeing this one, the last one (not counting this year’s reboot) that I hadn’t seen yet. Unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown. I didn’t get the sense of malicious fun that flowed through the previous movies. It felt like this movie was going through the motions, lacking whatever vital spark animated its predecessors. It wasn’t awful, but simply… not fun.

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World War Z – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 27

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World War Z

Perhaps it’s a result of severely lowered expectations, but I found World War Z to be decent, and as I’ve mentioned before I don’t particularly like zombie movies. The science in it is preposterous, of course, but if you manage to turn off the more logical parts of the brain the movie is a fun ride. I will say that I think it starts out strong and then gets gradually weaker as it goes on.

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Resident Evil Extinction – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2014 Day 26

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Resident Evil Extinction

Resident Evil Extinction is more Resident Evil, this time taking place in a post-apocalyptic setting (suitably enough considering the previous movie’s title). Your reaction to that will largely depend on how much you liked the two previous movies. I thought this one was fine, just as I thought the two before were. It’s still an action movie set against a horror background. The movie sets up for a sequel (quite spectacularly so) that I would probably be really excited to watch if I was more invested in the series. As it is I’ll get around to it eventually but I’m in no particular hurry. It’s interesting seeing Iain Glen in another role than the one he’s now famous for.

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