In which a guy old enough to know better talks about...stuff.
Including, but not necessarily limited to: Wrestling, Metal, Anime, Books, Comics, Cartoons, Stuff that pisses me off, AOR and songs with "Metal" in the title.
Since Metal Blogger Near Older Rocker was nice enough to add me to his links page, here's a plug for his site.
Go check it out. There's some good stuff over there. http://nearolderrocker.blogspot.co.uk/
Since posts about wrestling are consistently my most popular, I think it's time I did another one.
So this is the first of three posts where I shall introduce you to three different comics about lady wrestlers, each with a different art style and tone. I will also post a few sample pics from each.
(I was originally going to do all three in one post but for the sake of bandwidth and sanity, I split it up.)
1989. The Glam v Thrash wars continued to rage across the pages of Kerrang, British bands continued to slog round the toilet circuit and wonder why Americans and Germans were getting so much more attention and Lisa Dominique managed to make a good career out of wearing low-cut tops.
None of which is really relevant but I thought I'd give you a little period flavour.
This is a short post, sadly, as thus far I've only found these songs - and one of them is a piss-take instrumental.
This is something I came up with a few years back, showed to a few friends and then forgot about.
Please let me know what you think.
The Storm King’s Daughter
Macon Nir Amm came home on the spring tide. He returned without the riches he had sworn to claim, without a single one of the thirty young men that had believed his boasts and of his beautiful longship there was nothing left but a broken steering oar, to which he was bound with scraps of old rope. He was found sprawled in a heap of broken wood and torn seaweed by a farmer gathering sea coal. Thinking him dead, the man reached for his knife so as to hack off his beringed fingers. At that moment Macon opened his eyes and croaked. “Am I home?” in the unmistakeable accents of the Grey Islands. The Nir Amm name was a powerful one in the Islands. This saved Macon from a slit throat. Before the day was out, his kin had been summoned and the newly returned traveller had been laid in a warm bed with hot soup and good ale in his belly. While he slept, friends, family and the merely curious gathered in the great hall eager to hear what had caused him to come back to the Islands in such wretched fashion. As a day and a night went by the throng grew thicker, word having spread rapidly across the island. On the morning of the second day after his return Macon opened his eyes and called for his family. His father and mother and sisters trooped in through the narrow door to fall upon him with much weeping and praising of local gods. Then the old matriarch of the Nir Wath clan came to his bedside and calmly asked him one simple question. “My grandson Luth, that went to be your first mate, is he still living?” Eyes full of reborn pain, Macon slowly shook his head. “Luth fell in battle a year ago and we raised his cairn on an isle far to the south of here.” A shudder of horror ran through him then and he wrenched himself half out of the bed to grasp at his fathers arm. “Tell me, there were thirteen men left on my ship when the storm smashed it. I have been found, what of the other twelve?” They told him that he was the first and last man to have been found and he lay back and wept. From the great hall below came the sound of the womenfolk howling their grief as the old woman told them their brothers and sons were dead and the sound tortured Macon Nir Amm like a thousand nails driving into his head.
Two days later, he told his tale.
“You saw us when we set out in our new-built longship. We were young and proud as lions. The riches of the world would fall into our hands and we would come home to build palaces. After three months some already wanted to turn for home. The coast villages of Mathlam had put up stockades against the likes of us and every move we made was reported by beacon and rider. The only booty we had gathered was a dozen lobsters we bullied out of a boy in a skiff. I decided to head south for lands that had never seen a Grey Isles ship before. Of course this meant all our maps were useless … After another month or so we found rich pickings at last. “ And here Nacom sighed loudly at the thought of his lost wealth. “We took at least a dozen traders, burned five or so villas and ate so much stolen beef that I can taste it still.” “Then we fell into the path of a great storm, the foullest there has ever been, I would wager. It swept us up and dragged us across the ocean like a broom takes dust to the doorway. For a full week we bailed and patched and bailed again, battling with all our might and skill simply to keep our boat atop the waves. Then it grew bored with us and left us behind, lost and thirsty, for our water was now all spoiled by salt. We had lost three men overboard and lost another man on the first island we found, stung by a viper and dead before he knew what was happening. Luth met his end on the next island when the native folk took exception to our raiding of their flocks. We gave their whole village to the flames in revenge, but it could not take the arrow back from his heart and so we buried him and went on our way with sinking hearts. Finally we came to the island of white cliffs and it was all that we needed and more. Fat deer, sweet water and tall, strong trees, enough to repair a thousand longships. When the moon rose she came to me. A beautiful maiden with skin white as foam and eyes like shining sapphires. When she bid me come join her I rose up from my blanket and trailed after, totally spellbound and my men in my wake. She was a goddess. Or so she claimed, daughter to the Storm King. It had been his power that had brought us to these parts, so his beloved child should have a husband and men to keep her handmaids entertained. Naturally I believed not a word, but she was beautiful and loving and her palace by the shore was a place of great wonders, built of shining green jade and red coral.” He smiled, remembered joy tinted with the bitterness of things lost. “I think I loved her, at least for a while.” “But then I grew tired of her palace of jade and coral and her blue eyes lost their spell on me and I began to pine for the feel of a ship under me, a sword in my hand. Most of all, I wanted to come home to the Grey Islands and talk with my kin over jugs of ale, long into the winter nights. I put my ship to rights, gathered up such of my men as wanted to leave their sea brides, a dozen in all and left on the next high tide. To my shame I did not leave empty handed . There was a chest of gold and jewellery in my hold that I stole from my lover’s bedchamber that I thought ample payment for services rendered. By luck and good winds we found ourselves back among civilised realms and set our prow towards the Islands. Two days ago, we found ourselves belaboured by storms again but this time we fought our way northward, running from one sheltered inlet to the next . I wonder now whether the Storm King was not just a young maid’s whimsy because the waves that brought and end to my ship seemed to have a malice and a power to them that mere winds cannot explain.” His father snorted loudly at this “Not so powerful, this Storm King, for here you are after all.” he declared. “And come the summer we shall build you another boat, if you so wish it, and you may seek your fortune again.” And it came as a genuine shock to the elder Nir Amm when his son went pale and began shuddering in fear. “No.” he cried “I shall not walk into his grasp again.” They gave him strong mead until his terror eased and he drifted into sleep, then his kin gathered downstairs to discuss his tale. Madness surely?
That night stormclouds flared again over the Grey Isles and the sea hurled itself at the shore with a primal hatred . Ships drawn far up on the beach were pounded into shards, a hundred precious trees were ripped up and left to lie sadly upon the sodden ground, even the belltower was cast down into the street in a thunderous crash of bricks, the bell clanging and clattering down the hill. Speak of that storm to any who witnessed it and they will shudder and drink deep of their ale and tell you it was no natural thing that struck the islands that day. Some will tell you they saw riders making their way through the fury of the wind and the rain, heedless as if it were high summer. Then they will tell you of Macon Nir Amm. And how he was found in his bed, a long knife driven into his chest. With a hilt inlaid in green jade and red coral.
It's amazing how things can snowball. I had some albums in my music collection with noticeably dodgy covers so I thought I'd post them.
Then I found myself poking about The Net looking for more bad LP artwork and in the process I couldn't help noticing a definite recurring theme.
So today I present a selection of album covers for your entertainment and edification. The theme: Women with Swords. And chainsaws. And knives.
So "Women tooled up" basically.
Quite a few of these are actually done really well. See what you think.
Accept -Accept (Germany 1979)
(Elegantly dressed woman with a big chainsaw. Terrified ex-fiance just out of shot.)
Angeles del infierno - Diabolica (Spain 1985)
I'm assuming she's a goddess otherwise she's terribly underdressed for fighting a sea-monster.
Arpeghy - Mi camino (Argentina 2010)
Sticking with the underdressed theme.
Then again, fantasy women warriors are contractually obliged to shun armour.
I actually thought she was posing in front of somebody's fence until I took a closer look.
Blackwych - Out Of Control (Ireland 1986)
Considering this is an obscure Irish band on a small label, you'd normally expect the cover to be something done with crayons by a bloke the band met down the pub.
Why it isn't is one of music's great mysteries.
Crisis -Armed to the teeth EP (USA 1984)
Apparently those thigh-holsters chafe like a bitch.
Please be aware that her footwear is not suitable for a modern combat environment.
Incidentally, I have this Ep and there's some decent stuff on it.
Lee Aaron - Metal Queen (Canada 1984)
And this woman went on to become a well-respected jazz singer.
Noble Savage - Killing for Glory (Italy 2007)
How are you not freezing your tits off?
Palass - Queen Of The World (Belgium 1989)
No, no symbolism here. Move along now.
Razor Baby - Too Hot To Handle (1988)
Yes, I bought this one purely because of the cover.
There's a couple of decent songs on it, I suppose.
Thinking about it, I am a little disturbed by her unusually large hand
The Metal Project. One man's attempt to find every Metal song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
1988. The Monsters of Rock festival achieved the highest crowd in its history but tragically saw two young fans die in a crowd surge. This was also the year that Guns n Roses suddenly went from being yet another LA Glam outfit to the band everybody was talking about. On the other hand a number of Metal veterans were finding themselves badly out of step with teh current musical climate.
Meanwhile bands worldwide continued to write songs about the glory of metal. Like these.
Michael Worth(Screenplay) and Dustin Rikert (story)
Produced and Directed by
When raiders hit a homestead, a young boy sees his brother and the girl he likes brutally gunned down.
Twenty years later gunfighter John Slaughter hears that his old hometown of Ghost Rock has fallen into the hands of evil mayor "Black Jack" Pickett and rides to the rescue.
Meanwhile a mysterious gun-toting blonde woman has also arrived in Ghost Rock with her own mission.
As far as I can tell, this only seems to have been released in Germany so how the DVD turned up in a Portsmouth charity shop is probably...not that interesting so let's move on.
Michael Worth, Jeff Fahey and Jenya Lano were also in "Warrior or Assassin" (Review HERE if you're interested) and like that film what we have here is a curious low-budget effort with some interesting touches, dialogue trying too hard to be clever and/or profound and a big gunfight at the end.
This film does have a higher-powered cast though, and is all the better for it. Gary Busey chews the scenery like a good-'un, getting increasingly wild-eyed as the film goes on and his character gets more pissed off. Truth be told, he's probably the most interesting thing in this flick. There's also a nice little turn from Adrienne Barbeau as a brothel madam with a fierce right hook.
Incidentally, I was slightly surprised to see Michiko Nishiwaki in the cast list as she doesn't seem to do much beyond a throwaway, one-hit KO - and I only realised it was her after I saw the credits.
Leads Michael Worth and Jenya Lano do an OK job but again, this is Busey's picture all the way.
There's brief action sequences scattered across the film, just enough to keep it from getting too talky, but the best is very definitely saved for last as Worth, Lano and their allies go up against the bad guys in a battle that combines old-school Western B-movie gunplay, a bit of Kung-fu and sneaks in John Woo's trick of having people leaping about while firing two handed. Daft but dang, fun to watch.
So, my opinion would be: Could have been better but a decent way to kill an hour or so.
And now some piccies.
John Slaughter - badass gunslinger, although you wouldn't think it looking at this pic.
One of Pickett's henchmen tries to be all hard and stuff not realising
that his hat marks him forevermore as "Comic relief" It's sad, really.
Why do Western villains insist on surrounding themselves with idiots?
Enquiring minds want to know.
One of the saloon girls has come up with a new way to make money.
"I call it lapdancing" she tells him.
I'm not making this up.
Ah. The striking Jenya Lano. I think I preferred her as a redhead though.
Black Jack Pickett explains to John Slaughter that Ghost Rock is now his town
and maybe annoying him isn't a good idea.
How much notice do you think John takes?
There is, presumably, a good reason why Pickettt didn't just kill John on sight.
The bad guys interrupt Jenya's bath. She does not react well.
In fact, she gets out of the bath and lays a killing on each and every one of them
while butt naked and dripping wet.
The camera stays carefully focused on her head or feet the whole while. Shame.
Gary Busey displaying the tightly controlled performance for which he is justly famous.
The good guys saunter into town ready for the final showdown.
Which includes a kung-fu fight...
Stuff blowing up..
A move blatantly nicked from John Woo.
And Comic Relief Guy getting hoofed in the knackers.
When an oil company drills into a pocket of ice trapped in the rock they inadvertently release a prehistoric shark into a Canadian lake.
Soon after a gaggle of college girls find themselves trapped on an island with a gang of armed art-thieves and a hungry shark stooging about offshore.
The DVD cover is a lot better than this film deserves, frankly.
In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that it cost more to produce the DVD artwork than it did to produce the film because while that cover you're looking at is a halfway-decent professional job, "Jurassic Shark" is strictly amateur league in every single respect.
To begin with, the shark is specifically described as a Megalodon. A five minute flip through Wikipedia reveals that Megalodon was late for the Jurassic by about 116 million years.
Then there's the size.
The one in red is a Megalodon on the small side. The shark in this film is nowhere near that big, more like a slightly bigger Great White. This is still too much shark to be sneaking up on people in waist-deep water. Apparently sharks have been known to stray into fresh water from time to time so I'll let that slide.
I'll also skip past the crack art-theft team making their escape in a rowboat. (Seriously) and the essential silliness of a Shark film set in Canada because there are bigger, easier targets just waving their arms about screaming "Pick me. Pick me"
The visuals for starters.
This is one of the better shots.
Hey, We'll sneak in some stock footage of a shark minding his own
business and hope nobody notices.
The secret Oil company site. Cunningly disguised to look like an abandoned industrial unit. Note the total absence of drilling equipment. Or refining equipment. Or fences. Or signs.
Quite a few weeds though.
Let's have another shot of the shark eating somebody. Because I can never get tired of pointing out how rubbish it looks.
Help me, help me. I'm being menaced by a badly photoshopped shark.
The effects team must have been really proud of this shot because they reused it about four times.
That is a cheerful looking shark, by the way. I'm half expecting him to break into song.
Then there's the acting (woeful), the story (Silly - but not in a good way) the characters (Dumb, obnoxious or both), the ending (which blatantly rips off Jaws yet again) and last but not least the editing. Yes, the editing. There's a few scenes where I'm not sure whether the director was trying to be clever or the guy using Windows Movie Maker got bored and thought "Close enough"
If I was being paid in Subway vouchers I'd be halfhearted too.
When you're watching a low budget shark movie and thinking "I wonder what Roger Corman or The Asylum could have done with this." you know you are in the presence of failure.
It's been made clear to me that my tolerance for terrible movies is quite high. That said, "Jurassic Shark" has no entertainment value whatsoever and I am annoyed with myself for wasting £7 on this shite. .
Maybe next time they should get the team that did the DVD packaging to do the film.
(PS. I can guarantee that at least one person reading this is thinking "It can't be that bad. Let's check it out for myself." Yes, it is that terrible. Be told.)
The war between The Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds had been going on for over a century, growing ever more vicious, with neither side quite able to deliver the knockout blow.
So finally the Alliance gathered up every ship it could spare for a bold strike at the heart of Syndic space.
And walked straight into a trap.
Outnumbered, battered and cut off, with their senior officers treacherously murdered and their new commander a dazed survivor rescued from a hundred year sleep in an escape pod, the Alliance Fleet looks to be doomed .
However, the man in the escape pod was none other than the legendary "Black Jack" Geary and if he's anywhere near as good as he's supposed to be, he might just be able to get them all home.
The Metal Project is an ongoing mission to trawl through the depths of Youtube and find every Metal song with "Metal" in the title. Even the crap ones.
Welcome back my friends to the quest that may never end. Today's post comes from a period when Metal was in a state of flux bordering on Civil War. In the red corner, the radio-friendly Pop "metal" sounds of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, Europe and Heart. In the blue corner, the snarling, angry Thrash of Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and their rapid-riffing kinsmen. Meanwhile, off to one side, wondering what the hell happened, the Trad sounds personified by Maiden and Priest.
As you'd expect, most of these lean towards the Traditional corner of the envelope.
Let's get started, shall we?