Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Metal Project; 1986

The Metal Project is an attempt to track down every Heavy  Metal song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title and gather them all in one place. 

 Today's belated post continues our journey through the 80s and pulls in at 1986. I've tried to give examples from as many different countries as I could. 
 Take a moment to give praise to the original posters. Without their dedication to unearthing rarities this list would have stopped about six months back. 

Alias Mangler-Bite The Metal (USA)

Honour to; metaloren

Bombarder- Metalni Bog (Bosnia)

Honour to: MetalnaBoginja666

Crowhaven- Heavy Metal Darlin' (USA)

(I do rather like this one)
Honour to: zephyrous87

Maninnya Blade - Metal Pride (Sweden)

Honour to: FallenAngel333GR

Messiah Prophet - Master Of The Metal (USA)

(A Christian band but don't let that put you off. They're pretty good.)
Honour to: godzmuzicman777

Metalmorfosis - Somos De Metal (Bolivia)

(There's some unusual sound effects applied to the guitar solo on this one)
Honour to: jaitapor

Pokolgep - Totalis Metal (Hungary)

Honour to: thrashersdi

Slammer- Metal Anguish (USA)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

The Kill - Murder By Metal (USA) (Rehearsal tape)

Honour to: deadhorse99

 XES - Metal Tunes (Belgium)(demo)

Honour to: heavymetaller1978

Hope you found something that made you throw the horns and nod your head. 
See you next time. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Story: The Dinosaur in the Garden

  There was a dinosaur in the back garden. It lay under the shade of the old willow tree with it’s long heavy tail disappearing into the tangle of thorns at the bottom of the garden that no one ever got round to clearing away.
  At first Bobby thought it was dead. Strange enough that there was a T-rex (and he knew it was a T-rex from the book he’d got for Christmas) in the garden , stranger still for it to be dead. Then it opened one yellow eye and stared at him.
  Not at the house, not at the window where he stood. At him.
 Hard to tell with a dinosaur, but it didn’t seem to like him very much.  Maybe it was that way with everything. From the way the book told it, the T-rex was in a permanent foul mood.
  Bobby trotted downstairs to find his mother. She was watching Tv, one of her chat-shows. People with cockney accents shouted at one another. Whatever they were discussing seemed important, at least to the people on the screen.
“Mum” he said carefully. “There’s a dinosaur in the back garden.”
 She nodded and said “That’s nice dear.” Without casting a single glance in his direction. “Quite a big one” he added, hopefully. “And I think it might be hungry.”
 She gave him one of those looks. One of her looks that said “I don’t want to play your game at the moment"  and turned back to the TV. 
  Bobby shrugged his shoulders and made to go back upstairs but then he looked out of the living room window. The dinosaur was standing right outside. It was a dusty grey-green, with a pale belly and it’s teeth were big and yellow. Bobby tugged on his mother’s sleeve. This seemed something she ought to know. “It’s outside the window Mum, it’s looking in at us.Mum.”
  She shrugged off his hand and took a long drag on her cigarette. “Look, very imaginative and all that, but can you go play outside instead.” She told him at last.
  One look at the huge shape standing outside and Bobby said “I think I’d rather play upstairs.”
  Mum nodded again, till not looking at him, and said “As long as you’re quiet.”
 The dinosaur edged closer and the breath from it’s nostrils puffed against the window, leaving a smear of white.
  Closing the bedroom door Bobby risked a look out of his window. The dinosaur had moved away and was now investigating his bike, abandoned in the long grass last night. He could hear it snuffling from here.
  Abruptly it spun around, tail scything out to lash the willow’s hanging branches. It stared up at him and again he heard it sniffing the air, tasting his scent.
  He pulled the curtains closed and sat on his bed heavily, contemplating the next day. A schoolday, so he would have to leave the house.

 Monday morning came around after a long night huddled under the covers listening carefully and when his mum opened the curtains he expected her to scream in surprise. Well, you would wouldn’t you? Even an adult would be surprised.
  Nothing there. He checked for himself. No dinosaur, no sign that a dinosaur had ever been there and the living room window was perfectly clean.
  He left the house and walked to school, checking over his shoulder frequently, and spent the day looking out of the window, not sure what he hoped to see. In the end the teachers got a little upset with him and he couldn’t really blame them. And he couldn’t tell them why either.
  The walk home was a more pleasant affair. He chatted to his friends about tv and which teacher was the biggest jerk and then he was at his front door waving them goodbye. “I’m home” he cried
  There was no answer, even when he yelled again, worried this time. That was when he knew what had happened. His mother had gone outside and the dinosaur had eaten her.
  But then she walked in from the kitchen and said “hello dear” and his heart stopped pounding.

  He went into the back garden then and sat under the willow tree.

 Hot, foul breath brushed his cheek and he opened his eyes.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Axa: Post-Apocalypse Warrior

Axa Romero comic The Sun
 In the year 2080 the world has been devastated by war and pollution. Humanity survives in a sterile domed city, repressed and regimented and wearing shiny jumpsuits.
 Then one day a young woman  makes a break for freedom and escapes into the outside world.
   Free from the restrictions of the dome and the need to wear much in the way of clothing Axa sets off on a series of adventures, driven by an incurable wanderlust and a refusal to be anybody's puppet.
 Axa gets tooled up.
 Axa was introduced into Britain's "The Sun" newspaper in 1978 and quickly proved a big hit. The series ran until 1986 before being cancelled mid-adventure although the sword-swinging blonde would also appear in a miniseries for America's Eclipse Comics as well as publications in Spain and Sweden.
  Considering the limitations of the three-panel set up and the time period creators Donne Avenell and Romero managed to create  a surprisingly thoughtful merger of Post-Apocalypse sci-fi and fantasy.  "Logans Run" meets "Red Sonja" basically.
  So it is a bit of a shame that Axa tends to be remembered as "Blonde bird with a sword. Got her tits out a lot." 
 Blatant fanservice aside, some of Axa's adventures were nothing but inventive.
Axa Romero Comic The Sun
 Screw Science. We want Dinosaurs.
    While Axa did spend an awful lot of time lounging about in a state of decorative undress she could be downright fierce when she wanted to be.
   Axa fights a giant ant.
Axa fights a  woman with a perm.
And a tree-mutant ...thing. While naked.
  From time to time she would travel in company with some bloke or another who were mainly there to act as an anchor to Axa's free-spirited ways. Invariably they would part company, choosing to settle down once they'd found somewhere to their liking or a new girlfriend that didn't keep dragging them into mortal peril. Meanwhile Axa would shrug her shoulders and head on out over the next hill. 
 I loved this series when I was a kid, for all the reasons that you'd expect, but Axa  did always have more going for it than boobs.  The heroine was brave, passionate, always willing to take on injustice and even in her dumber moments remained likeable. 
 So maybe this is a strip that deserves more respect. 

There were a series of paperbacks collecting the freedom-loving blonde's adventures.
Volume 1.  
The Beginning - Axa makes her escape and acquires a fur bikini and a sword.
The Chosen - Axa meets her first non-dome people. In something of an ongoing theme, they have certain customs that prove actively dangerous.
Volume 2
The Desired - Axa arrives on an island of rich bastards then has a run in with an undersea city full of man-hating feminists. 
Volume 3
The Brave - The one with the dinosaurs. It makes sense in context.
The Gambler -  Axa arrives in Post -Apocalypse Las Vegas. Which has managed to get even more rapacious.
Volume 4
The Earthbound - The one with the killer tree. Also makes sense in context.
The Tempted - Axa deals with pirates and a charming nobleman who's too good to be true. 
Volume 5
The Eager -Axa meets a tribe of tree-dwellers on the verge of crisis.
The Carefree- Axa arrives at a mountain city full of artists. Unfortunately, so does an old foe.
Volume 6
The Dwarfed - Adventures in an unusual garden. The title is a bit of a clue. 
The Untamed - Axa makes friends with a horse and falls out with some Gypsies. 
Volume 7
The Mobile - Axa has a go at being a racing driver. Yes, really.
The Unmasked- A tale of illusions, masks and alien spacecraft. 
Volume 8
The Castaway - Axa gets shipwrecked and meets  a boy raised by apes.
The Seeker - Another story where somewhere perfect has a nasty secret.
Volume 9
The Escapist, The Starstruck, The Betrayed. - No idea what these are about as I haven't read them. Sorry. May possibly involve casual nudity.
  Good luck finding a copy of any of these.

 It maybe says a lot about the enduring appeal of Axa that not only has a film been mooted but there's now a computer game!
So perhaps there's more adventures yet for the blonde with the big...heart and the broadsword.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Terrible Metal Album Covers - Chapter IV

  I love Heavy Metal. I love Metal album covers, even the cheesy ones.If it's got a dragon, a woman in a chainmail bikini or a tank on it then I'm happy. (Someday I hope to find one where a woman in a chainmail bikini, riding a dragon, does battle with a tank.  Betcha the band are German.)
  But some covers you just have to look at and ask..."How did you think this was a good idea? "
      

 Black Hole - Land Of Mystery (Italy 1985)

 I'm guessing there's some sort of hidden message, possibly about The Vatican or the Masons.
 Fools. Don't they know the Milk Marketing Board are secret masters of the Earth? 

earthquake - Theatricals (Sweden 1993)

A sumo wrestler as drawn by Hieronymous Bosch, basically. 


 No Inner Limits - Balance  EP(Germany  1995)

Oh. Rolling the bones. I get it. Still looks like it was drawn by...me. And I suck at art. 

Majesty - Keep It True (Germany 2000)

I quite like this band. They are clearly big fans of Manowar so write a lot of songs with "Metal" in the title. And when I saw them live they were good, old-school, headbanging Metal.
 That's still a crap album cover though.


Hydra Vein - Better Death Than False Of Faith (UK 1988)

Great album title. Pity about the album cover. 

Raising Cain - Crusade (USA 1996)

(This one seems to have been done with MS Paint. By a child)

Sanctions- s/t (USA 1996)

(Nice idea. And if they'd given it to an actual artist it might have worked.) 

That's it for now. I have a folder full of these so expect more dodgy composition, dubious grasp of anatomy and enthusiastic use of crayons. 



Monday, 20 August 2012

The Metal Project: 1985

The Metal Project is an ongoing mission to find every single song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title and gather them in one place.

 Today's batch of songs all date from 1985 and are, hopefully, a decent cross-section of countries and sounds. Hope you find something to like.
In no particular order

 Evo - Sangre Y Metal (Spain)

Honour to: tankard1987

Restless - Metal Chains (USA)

Honour to: GORDIATTACK

Stiff - Heavy Metal Mad Attack(Italy)(demo)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

Be warned. This one has yodelling in it.

Wallop- Metallic Alps (Germany)

Honour to; Cricchio427

Halloween - Don't Metal With Evil (USA)

Yes, I did check to make sure they are actually singing "Metal" rather than "Meddle"
There's also a certain ambiguity as to whether this album came out in 1984 or 1985.

Honour to: doomslayer133

Mark Lowrey - Metal Legends (USA)

Honour to; SlauterXstroyes

An interesting vocal interpretation on this next one.

Stonehenge - Heavy Metal Woman (USA)

Honour to: heavyload75

Outbreak - Made in Metal (Canada) (Demo)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

I won't lie to you. The sound quality on this one is dire.

Metal Warriors - Metal Race (Germany)(demo)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

And to finish, one of the cult US bands.

Manilla Road - Metalstrom (USA)

Honour to: ImpendingDoom01

That's it for now. See you next time. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Film review: Xanadu (1980)-Too cheesy even for the 80s.


Youtube can lead you to some funny places.
   What I was looking for

Where I ended up


   "Xanadu" starred Olivia Newton-John, fresh from the megahit "Grease", Michael Beck, tipped for big things after "The Warriors"  and Hollywood legend Gene Kelly.
 It also featured ELO, who were currently  one of the world's biggest bands, cutting-edge visual effects and a cameo from theatre-rock loons The Tubes. The producers then sat back and waited for the money to start rolling in. 
 The sound track did pretty good business, going Double Platinum in the UK and US alike . "Magic" and the infectious title track hit the #1 spot on both sides of the Atlantic and the other singles did quiet nicely too . (Didn't do The Tubes  much good though, not that they cared.)
 The film?
Crashed hard
 After a critical beasting the movie was a financial disaster and hurt the careers of everybody involved. The highlight of Michael Beck's subsequent filmography is the equally disastrous "Megaforce" while Olivia Newton-John teamed up with John Travolta again for the flop "Two Of a Kind"which seems to have put her off Hollywood for life.

  The story is very, very simple. Struggling artist Sonny Malone bumps into a mysterious young woman who keeps disappearing every time he takes his eyes off her. (Almost like she has magic powers in fact. Hmm.) In the process Sonny meets Danny Maguire, retired jazzman, and they hit it off so well Danny decides to go back into the entertainment business, provided Sonny can find him a premises with potential.
 Sonny has just the place. An abandoned theatre up the road that happens to be where a certain teleporting blonde named Kira practises her rollerskating.  
 Danny and Sonny open their club. Kira, who's actually one of the nine Muses so technically a goddess, sticks around long enough to see it happen then disappears in a flash of light. The end.

"Xanadu" opens with a gaggle of young women stepping out of a mural and launching into an enthusiastic modern ballet to the strains of ELO. Oh, and they are all glowing. 
It ends with a ten minute musical medley that has to be seen to be believed. (Bodypopping Zootsuiters? Gene Kelly on rollerskates leading a mass, tribal chant?  Olivia Newton-John doing a C&W number for no apparent reason? )
 In truth this film does rather come across as being a clutch of music videos chickenwired together. 
 There are enjoyable bits - there's an animated sequence that Walt Disney would be proud to put his name to, the soundtrack is good, cheesy fare and whenever ONJ & Gene Kelly get to show off their talents it's worth watching.
 But while "Xanadu" is good in places the framing story is sparse in the extreme. Why does Kira fall in love with Sonny? Why would she want to?  Never explained.
Why is it so important Danny and Sonny set up this club anyway? Your guess is as good as mine.
  And some of the musical numbers really don't work.  As a general rule, the more people involved, the more it looks like they rounded up a busload of jobbing dancers and told them to improvise.  The director not really knowing where he's supposed to be shooting doesn't help.

  I have heard this film described as a deliberate attempt to take the musical fantasies of classic Hollywood and give them an 80s polish.  That was always going to be tricky to pull off. And while it's not quite the rainwreck I was expecting, you do end up with a film that can't quite work out where it wants to go and how to get there.
 I can't help feeling that if  "Xanadu" had contained more glowing ballet dancers I might have had a better time watching it.
Let's finish with some screenshots.
  Olivia Newton-John wonders why she's glowing
Some houses have poltergeists. Danny's is haunted by a jazz band. 
Sonny wonders how the hell the weird blonde got into his flat and whether she has a knife.
 Will you loonies sod off and let me shop in peace?
 I did rather like this bit. 

Kira and Sonny accidentally fall into a video game. Now they must fight to the death.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Metal Project: 1984

The Metal Project is an attempt to find every single "Metal" song on Youtube and gather them in one place.   I'm mildly surprised that nobody has done it before.

  1984 was another vintage year for Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, seeing classic releases from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica. Twisted Sister, The Scorpions, W.A.S.P and others.
 Most of these bands below are somewhat less well known. Enjoy. Feel free to headbang if you like.

Armed Forces - Let There Be Metal (USA)

Honour to: Likeyoucare 

Axel - She's A Heavy Metal Thunder (Belgium)(Demo)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

Blackout -Screaming Metal (Netherlands) 

Honour to: KixKidsMusic

China White - Heavy Metal Thunder  (USA)

Honour to: metalmeltdown12

Iron Grey - Metal Item (Belgium)

Honour to: heavymetaller1978

  Mercy - Heavy Metal Warriors (Sweden)

(An early appearance from Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin)
Honour to: SuzieSmiled

 Metal Church - Metal Church (USA)

Honour to: HammerFallman

Overkill -Heavy Metal Forces (Germany)

(Not the better known American outfit)
Honour to: heavymetaller1978

Steel Warriors - Metal Forces (USA)

Honour to: crgreyf

Syron Vanes - Sound Of Metal (Sweden)

Honour to:JoeEduard

That's all folks. Tune in next time for more metal  delights.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Grievous Errors of Kram Blackhair

 (A short story I wrote a few years back)


Of the many errors which put Kram Jastsson, known as Blackhair, in his grave this was perhaps the greatest: When King Hrol died childless he expected to be given the crown.
 Now even his enemies would grant Kram his due as a warrior and leader of warriors. On the battlefield he was like a storm, cold and hard and unstoppable.
 But a King cannot solve all his problems with an axe. He must judge and cajole and above all have wisdom and in this Kram was sadly lacking.
 So it was that Iel Iellsson, a wise man indeed,  was named by Hrol in his last breath as the next king.
It is said that when he heard the news Kram flew into a rage, hurling his stool across the feasting  hall and then slaying his favourite dog.
 Iel heard of this and sighed deeply for Kram had been a great friend. He dispatched messengers to bear Kram gifts and offer him a place on his council. But knowing Blackhair all too well he also began gathering his sworn men about him.
 The messengers arrived at Kram’s hall to find him gone.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Weird Crushes: Nina Petrova - The Angel Of Death

   After picking up the first two "Johnny Red" collections  (Writeup HERE) I then went and had a bit of a binge at the online "Johnny Red" archives and that led me to rediscover a character I was rather taken by during my younger years.  

 Nina Petrova.

  

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Metal Project : 1983

  The Metal Project is an ongoing mission to track down every song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title.  

     By 1983 Metal was starting to splinter into different factions. The success of Quiet Riot had made the record labels cast an interested eye on LA's burgeoning scene and the pages of Kerrang would start seeing an invasion of flashy, anthemic Americans with really big hair. Meanwhile a generation of disgruntled youngsters were experimenting with a fast-paced, ferocious blend of Punk and Metal called "Thrash".  And of course there were always those who held true to the ways of Judas Priest and the NWOBHM.

 Despite this, I haven't managed to find as many songs as I was expecting so this post is something of a short one. 

 Air Borne - Temple Of Metal (Sweden)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

Scarlet -She Tastes Like Metal (USA)

Honour to; SlauterXstroyes

Slayer- Metal Storm/Face The Slayer (USA)

Yes, I'm cheating as Metal Storm is more of an intro. 
Who's blog is this? Mine. 
Who gets to make the rules? Me. 
Aren't you glad we cleared that up? 
Honour to: thrashmetalrulz

Steele - Heavy Metal (Demo - USA)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

V8 - Hiena De Metal (Argentina)


That's it for now. See you next time for more of the same.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Johnny Red

  19 year old John Redburn was an RAF cadet pilot until a burst of temper wrecked his career. Since he has nowhere else to go the hot-tempered Liverpudlian signs on aboard a merchantman bound for the dangerous Arctic convoy route.
 Not an ordinary merchantman though. This is a CAMship carrying a catapult -launched Hurricane fighter.
 When the convoy comes under attack the pilot is killed and Redburn takes his place, savaging the German bombers. But with fuel running low and nowhere to land he heads South in hopes of finding an airfield.

 Forgotten by the Soviet High Command, beat-up and demoralised, the men of Falcon Squadron have lost all hope.
 And then a strange new plane touches down, bringing an English pilot to join their ranks.
 Russians and Germans alike will soon give John Redburn a new name.

 The Red Devil. 

Johnny Red was one of the more successful strips ever to feature in "Battle", running for almost ten years and these two volumes are hopefully the first of many more.
 In keeping with the darker tone of the era, the war fought by  the Red Devil and his comrades was a brutal one.    
  Granted there were still improbable heroics and Johnny Red could climb into anything with wings and fly it like an ace but the butchers bill was always high, mercy was a weakness and the strain kept mounting up...
   Look over at the two book covers at the top of the page. The one at the top shows John Redburn at the start of the series - clean-cut and confident, a standard British comic hero.   The cover underneath shows what The Red Devil became. Scruffy, scarred and bordering on the insane.
 A suitable hero for the Russian Front. 


  This is a war where Allied pilots murder German flyers dangling from parachutes.

 This is a war where Soviet Commissars machine-gun their own fleeing troops

 This is a war where starving civilians try and rip a man apart so they can steal his clothes.

 This is a war where the men of Falcon Squadron hate their German enemies so much they are willing to ram them in mid-air.
 Yes, this happened in real life.     
    
   Little savage that I was, I lapped up the blood and guts but even then the message that War is a hateful, hateful thing managed to get through
    

 Over the years Johnny Red would slaughter his way through half the Luftwaffe and the occasional Allied pilot after his head, lead his Falcons over the burning city of Stalingrad and even, briefly, find himself flying for the RAF.  He would also find that rarest of things in British boys comics, a badass female character in the shape of "Night Witch" bomber pilot Nina Petrova.
 This is all to come. These two handsomely-presented volumes present the early days and are well worth a read.
   I genuinely believe that British comic artwork is highly underrated and the work of Joe Colquhoun is among the best. His aircraft are flawless, his faces rich with expression and his battle-scenes bloody and compelling.

Praise is also overdue for write Tom Tully who created one of the most memorable characters in British comic history and by and large managed to steer clear of the "Plucky Brit" cliches.
 Sadly both men are now dead but "Falcon's First Flight " and "Red Devil Rising"  are not a bad tribute.
 
    Volume 3 comes out next year. I hope there's plenty more to come.
 If you want more info on these books, The Falcons and the creative team then there's an extensive fansite, including a generous library of scans.
http://www.falconsquadron.sevenpennynightmare.co.uk/
 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Metal Project: Heavy Metal 1982

The Metal Project is an ongoing mission to track down every song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title. 

The common theme for today's batch of songs is that they all date from 1982. So before Metal really started to splinter into sub-genres. Even so, there's a decent spread across different countries and styles. Hope you find something you like.

Aloha - Heavy Metal Virgin (USA - Hawaii to be specific)

(And if I didn't know better, I'd swear this was Lee Aaron)
Honour to: rumblephist

Black Diamond - Metal Warriors (USA)

Honour to: RockobscurE

Bodine - Heavy Metal Heart (Netherlands)

Honour to: ufobrn2

Captain Kill - Heavy Metal Pirates (Italy)

Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

Execute- Heavy Metal Army (Demo) (Sweden)

Honour to: heavymetaller1978

Fire - Metal Breakdown (Demo) (Italy)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

Heavy Load -Heavy Metal Angels (Sweden)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

That's it for now, my droogies.  See you next time for more of the same.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Warrior Or Assassin (2005)

AKA "Killing Cupid"

Starring: 

Jenya Lano

Jeff Fahey

Lorenzo Lamas

Michael Worth

Christa Sauls

Dan Southworth

Written & Directed by Michael Worth

  Orphaned at a young age Valentine was taken in by the mysterious "Trainer" and raised to be an assassin. 
  When legendary hitman Cupid goes rogue Valentine and her team are sent to take him out.  Valentine succeeds in putting a bullet in Cupid's gut but before he dies he asks her a simple question ; "Warrior or Assassin. Which are you?"
 This triggers something of an epiphany and Valentine takes off to find a new path for herself, eventually finding herself in a remote desert town and meeting Cupid's son.
 Naturally the rest of her team do not take kindly to one of their own taking early retirement and they come looking for her. 

  The charity shop up the road from me has a surprising stash of Continental DVDs -  This one is apparently a Dutch release. And although it's in English there isn't an option to turn the damn subtitles off, adding an extra level of oddness to the viewing experience. 
  A quick look at the cast list reveals that the writer also directs and takes one of the lead roles. This is rarely a good sign, especially in a low-budget movie.
   The DVD cover suggests a full-on martial-arts experience and despite frequent references to Kung-fu movies there's not too much facekicking action until the end of the film. What you get is a quirky item with a certain amount of semi-meaningful musing and some understated humour.
 Which is the problem I have with this movie. There's some good bits, there's some amusing bits and when the action arrives it's worth seeing, but there's too much sub-Tarantino arthouse dialogue to wade through and it brings the whole thing down. 
  With a little pruning and tightening-up Warrior Or Assassin/Killing Cupid could have been a lot better.
 Since adding pics to a post always seems to go down well, time for some screencaps.

Considering she just put a bullet in him, he's surprisingly friendly. 
I think there's a law that says female assassins have to be hot.
Valentine and her crew. Not really getting the "Discreet" part of the job.
Our redheaded killer finds herself chatting to the decaying corpse of one of her previous victims. Why? Some sort of dream-sequence I guess. 
You see what I mean about this movie being "quirky", don't you?
 He starts dancing in a minute. 
No, Seriously. 
The Trainer. Spends a lot of time hanging about his warehouse being all Zen-like. 
 Valentine contemplates a new career that doesn't involve shooting people in the face.
...and shares a moment with a guy dressed as a giant rabbit.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Terrible Metal Album Covers (Chapter III)

Another selection of album covers that really could have been done better.
bad Terrible awful metal album cover

Surface - Race The Night (UK 1986)

One of the classier NWOBHM bands and worth a listen but dear gods that cover is a mess.
bad Terrible awful metal album cover

Karisma - Sweet Revenge (Brazil 1983)

Includes the delightfully-titled "We are here to F*** your ears"
bad Terrible awful metal album cover

Jag Panzer - Chains Of Command (1987)

At this point I'm not sure whether the unfortunate victim is going to be beheaded or anally violated. 
bad Terrible awful metal album cover

 Vault - No More Escape (Netherlands 1983)

A loving couple fail to notice a dinosaur creeping up on them. It could be a pet I suppose.
bad Terrible awful metal album cover

Liquid Mirror -Kicked Out Of Fantasy (USA 1987)

You're thinking "Tacky, but not that bad." aren't you. Now take a closer look at her face.  

That's it for now.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sarah J Maas - Throne Of Glass (2012)


Eighteen year old Celaena Sardothien was once one of the most feared assassins in the world but after being betrayed and caught, she's a prisoner in the salt mines and unlikely to survive the next winter.
 Then somebody arrives from the court of  the brutal  King of Ardalan with an offer. The King has gathered the most savage killers from across the land to compete for the chance to become his new Champion. Win and Celaena has a chance at freedom. Lose, and she comes back to the salt mines.

 Assuming she survives the experience, obviously.

  "Throne of Glass" is, I think, the first novel from Sarah J Maas and it's not a bad way to start a career.
  There are a few things I would take issue with: A couple of things are, I felt, skipped over as if the author realised she was running out of pages.  Also, considering Celaena is set up as a badass quite early on, it would have been nice to see her in action more often.
 The competition and the training for it doesn't occupy as much space as you'd expect although the bad guy is given enough time in focus to establish him as a credible menace and the climax delivers the required drama.
 Maas spends a lot of time on the interplay between Celeana and those surrounding her - allies and rivals - and although that could have gone horribly wrong, manages to make a decent fist of it.
 The title blurb "A heart of ice. A will of steel" is somewhat misleading, by the way. Celaena Sardothien isn't the Alpha bitch you'd maybe expect and, in fact, is curiously likeable for somebody who kills people. Tellingly Sarah J Maas lists Buffy The Vampire Slayer as one of her influences  and you could maybe draw a parallel between the two: Both teenage girls who can chew up the bad guys but still people you would want to hang out with.
  When it comes right down to it, "Throne of Glass" is a book that made me want to keep reading to the end and made me wonder what happens next. If a book does nothing more than that I reckon I got my money's worth.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Labels

Airboy (2) aircraft (9) album covers (96) Alestorm (2) anime (18) AOR (7) art and stuff (13) Attractive women. (82) B-reaction (1) Big D talks bollocks (9) Big D talks bollocks. (34) Big D talks bollocks. aircraft (2) blatant fanservice (127) blatant plug (5) Books (32) British comics (17) Buses (1) Captain America (1) cartoons (10) Catgirl Nuku Nuku (1) Change 123 (1) Cheapo DVD Review (60) Children (1) Christmas (2) comics (25) David Gibbins (1) Dejah Thoris (1) dinosaurs (6) dogs (1) Dragonforce (1) DVD artists are lying bastards (10) Elvis impersonators (1) Eric Roberts will work for food (3) eurovision (15) Fathers Day (1) female cyborgs (1) Film (118) films (48) First Squad (1) German Comics (2) Getting started. (1) Ghosts (1) gig (3) Goolie abuse (4) Grappling Gertie (4) Green Lantern (1) Guest post (2) Hard Gay (1) Hawkgirl (1) Heavy Metal Artwork Blog (100) Heavy Metal Blog (25) Heavy Metal Cover Girls (75) History (1) Horror (29) Judge Anderson (1) Lawnmower Deth (1) Lesbian Bed Death (2) List (10) Lords Of The Trident (2) Manga (10) marrow fighting (1) Martial Arts (13) Matthew Reilly (2) men's issues (6) Merlin (1) metal (266) Metal songs about metal (24) Mind Wars (1) models (5) monkeys (2) Monsters Of Rock (1) MRAs (1) museums (3) music (18) Nice cover (1) Nightside (1) NWOBHM (3) Oatcakes (1) Olympics (1) ponies (6) Portsmouth (5) Power Girl (2) puroresu (1) rant (12) Redheads (5) Roswell Conspiracies (2) rules (1) Sci-Fi (34) sexy witches (6) shame about the book. (1) Sharktopus (1) Sigismund (1) silliness (1) Southsea (7) Spitfires (4) Sport is bollocks (1) Starblazer (1) Stockings (1) Story (8) Strike Witches (1) Strip magazine (1) Stuff with armoured cars (1) Stuff with axemurdering lumberjacks (1) Stuff with big flying lizards (5) Stuff with blokes in kilts. (2) stuff with cute banshees. (2) Stuff with enormous birds (1) Stuff with Giant Crabs. (2) Stuff with Girls In Eyepatches (1) Stuff with Gladiators (7) stuff with kickboxing teachers. (1) Stuff with killer cricketers (1) Stuff with Killer Rabbits (1) Stuff with mermaids (1) Stuff with Nazi Vampires (2) Stuff with Ninjas (2) Stuff with Robot Maids (1) Stuff with Roller Derby (1) stuff with rollerskating Muses (1) Stuff with soulsucking mummies. (1) Stuff with strippers (3) Stuff with talking statues (2) Stuff with Vikings (3) Stuff with violent clowns (1) Stuff With Walking Fish (1) Stuff with werewolves (4) Stuff with Wolves (1) stuffed animals (1) Stupid films about sharks (8) tanks (1) Terrible Metal Album Covers (25) Terry Pratchett. (1) The Hangover pt 2 (1) The Lost Fleet (1) The Metal Project (188) Thundercats (1) Ticket Tales. (1) Top Ten (6) Truffle (1) Valkyrie (2) Vampires (7) voyager (1) War Films (3) weird crushes (4) weird shit (5) White Pigeon (1) women in blindfolds (2) Women with Scythes (1) women with spears (4) women with swords (41) women with wings (7) women's wrestling (40) womens wrestling comics (10) Wrestling (24) Wrestling Books (3) Wrestling Magazines (12) WTF? Japan (7) Yamato (2) you do this shit deliberately don't you? (1) Zombie Films (4)