It looks like after that awful Wonder Woman costume redesign it’s time for the nerds over at Project Rooftop to come up with a new costume for Captain America. Let’s hope this one gets done right. After all there is nothing like cruising around in a skin tight red, white and blue spandex suit and shield. I mean how cranked up can you get with that costume on? Walk onto a plane with the Captain America costume and the terrorists will run for cover. Go out to a club on any random night and have your pick of over obsessed fans. People will be buying you drinks all night. Of course as Captain America you would have to refuse alcohol. But of course you could let girls do body shots off your foam six pack. After all whats more American than that?
If you’re a vampire fiend and happen to be in Bucharest this summer, check out the exhibition “Dracula – Voivode and Vampire”–but not if you want to keep your darkest fantasies about the notorious Romanian prince Vlad Tepes. Turns out, at least according to the exhibit’ curator, Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, was just a regular Medieval prince who was no more brutal than any other powerful Medieval guy. Which, to be fair, is pretty brutal, but still.
So why was Tepes singled out as a monster? Bigotry, apparently: The Western European PR machine painted the Wallachian ruler in such a way that reinforced the notion that Eastern Europeans were evil.
Interesting, but don’t fret! If a quarter of the stories of Vlad’s atrocities are true, he was still pretty monstrous. And, no matter what, he’ll always be known as the guy who set off the original vampire craze.
Everyone needs a little summer reading, to pass the time as you hole up in the basement from the sun’s brutal rays… or, you know, “beach books” to pass the time as ghoulishly as possible on your summer vacation. In no particular order, five books to check out this summer, if you haven’ yet:
1. “The Changed” by B.J. Burrow: Zombie novels from the POV of the undead are tricky. A zombie novel about a zombie running for the Senate sounds like the worst idea ever, but Burrow pulls it off. The key is that everything we think we know about zombies is wrong (not a new concept, of course, Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” notably dealt with the theme using vampires). Plenty of gore from the very first scene, black humor, and dark romance. If you have a Kindle or a Kindle iPhone or PC app, download a free sample for a taste, and be prepared to drop $2.99 for the full Kindle novel, or purchase it in book form for about 12 bucks.
2. “Toe Tags,” Edited by Brian Barnett and William Pauley III: I picked up this collection of short stories because one of the authors, Jimmy Calabrese, contributor of “The Sleepwalking Corpse,” is a member of one of my very favorite bands, Calabrese. Zombies, vampires, demons, scary tattoos, dolls–this creepy collection has it all. Well worth the $18.00 for the book, or download it in PDF form for $10.
3. “Grande Illusions” by Tom Savini: Brush up on your special effects makeup techniques with the legendary master Tom Savini. Remember, there are only three months till Halloween! $25.
4. “Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your… Brains” by Ryan Mecum: A book of zombie haiku is an awesome enough of a concept as it is, but what makes Mecum’s book of zombie haiku brilliant is that it’s actually a linear story. A quick and memorable read–if you haven’t read this or his “Vampire Haiku” book, you’re missing out. And, FYI, if you’re going to be at Comic Con International in San Diego (and if you are, I hate you), Mecum will be among those featured on the panel for “Reading with Brains: The Rise and Unrelenting Stamina of Zombie Fiction” on Saturday July 24th from 11-12 am in Room 7AB.
5. “Massive Awesome #1” by Stephen Lindsay: Picked this up at Philly Comic Con last month–this is a 215 Ink comic by the creator of “Jesus Hates Zombies.” Basic plot: this anthropomorphic piece of bacon, Commando Bacon, and his buddy Zombie Pickle, a pickle who thinks he’s a zombie, have an extreme-action adventure. Includes a JHZ one shot. Awesome!
We probably all are familiar with the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. It’s a classic story: Girl meets boy, she moves to be with him, they fall in love, get married, and have all sorts of freaky marital relations after the wedding. The last part is from my imagination, but you get what I mean.
However, the Disney tale has its roots in a much darker story. In the original version of the story, written by Hans Christian Andersen, things do not go as well for the mermaid as it does for Ariel in the Disney version. Firstly, when the mermaid sells her voice to get legs from the sea witch, there is a very significant catch. When she has legs, whenever she walks, it will feel as if she is walking on knives with every step. Secondly, the prince and the mermaid do not fall in love; he meets another, very human, woman and marries her instead, leaving the poor mermaid tossed aside like chum over the side of a boat. It gets even better. In the original deal that the sea witch gives the mermaid, if she does not marry the prince, she will die and turn to sea foam. However, if she stabs the prince in the heart on his wedding night and lets his blood spurt over her legs, she’ll be able to turn back into a mermaid, saving herself in the process. Does she do this? No. Instead, she decides to be a total doormat and save him, sacrificing herself. After her death, however, she is transformed into a “spirit of the air” in reward for her “goodness”. Anyway you look at it, it’s a bum deal.
I knew I should have held on to that “Hotter than Hell” post for a REAL heat wave to hit… so, instead, we’ll just think about how it might feel to be engulfed in ice cream right about now.
If, for some reason, you’re wearing a costume today in the heat (or, hell, even if you’re not but are stuck without AC), be sure to wear a Kold-Vest:
Vest has pockets for frozen inserts, to keep you cool for up to two hours. If money’s an object, try the Kold Kollar.
May your 4th of July be explosive. Try not to lose too many fingers this year.
And since it’s Independence Day, get some holiday drinking ideas and help Bacardi donate $100,000 a buck at a time to the USO via 60 Second Cocktails on Facebook.
Even though I left my Gothic lifestyle behind years ago, I still love vampires. Up until recently, I’ve kept this love under wraps, lest I be labeled a total weirdo. However, with the resurgence of vampires in the media (even though it includes Edward Cullen, who is probably the lamest vampire ever), liking vampires is now acceptable. When I heard that my favorite show, True Blood, was renewed for a fourth season, I thought to myself that now is the perfect time to “come out of the coffin” and treat my friends to a vampire-themed party.
The premise is simple: get a bunch of people together, nibble on some snacks (or a fellow partygoer), and watch vampire movies until the sun comes up. If somebody decides to don a pair of fangs or a cape, well, all the better.
Sounds fun, right? So invite some people, make some vampire bite cupcakes, and celebrate all things undead. Who knows, maybe Dracula himself will show.
When the zombie apocalypse hits, one thing most survivors can really use is a dad — someone to protect them, make sure they have food and shelter, and who always, in theory, knows what to do. Zombie movie dads do what they have to do, sometimes, like moms, even if it means their own doom. In honor of Father’s Day, here are five notable zombie movie dads (spoilers ahead):
Harry Cooper, Night of the Living Dead: Antagonist, bully, devoted dad. And, not for nothing, right about staying in the basement, no matter how much more appealing Ben is. Of course, the basement isn’t quite so safe if your sweet daughter has you for dinner.
Frank, 28 Days Later: Frank is the dad you’d want to have when the shit goes down: smart, nurturing and badass. Daughter Hannah had a sense of security and reason to live that few movie survivors have, at least until Frank’s infection. In an alternate ending, Frank is actually cured and reunited with Hannah — it didn’t really work, but part of me wished it could have.
Patrick O’Flynn, Survival of the Dead: O’Flynn is one of two hard-headed feuding patriarchs on a tiny island, and the father of a couple of its inhabitants, including Judy. Judy wasn’t dealt the best hand in the dad department, but she’s one of the few adult zombie movie characters to have one. She doesn’t take it for granted: it’s Judy who acts as protector of her dad from the rival patriarch and suggests his banishment when things get ugly. Well, one of the many times it gets ugly.
Andre, Dawn of the Dead (2004 Remake): A newborn baby introduces the concept of instant, unconditional love to a lot of new dads. How unconditional? Andre didn’t seem to even consider being anything but a proud new daddy when his zombified wife, Luda, gave birth to his beautiful undead daughter. Kind of shocking, but pretty sweet.
Tallahassee, Zombieland: Tallahasse is not quite right, more than a little bit as a result of the fact that he’s a father who lost his son. Who he talks about as if he could be a dog. But a dog he really, really loves.
Now go give dad his annual tie, and make sure your emergency plans in case of zombie apocalypse are synchronized. You wouldn’t want to have to navigate it without him.