Spechtreum III
Draconis Blackthorne's Shadowmantium

Powder | The Believers | The Jayne Mansfield Story | Clash of The Titans | Demon Knight | Highlander III | New Nightmare | Dracula | Nosferatu | Lord of Illusions | The Raven | Creepshow | Mazes & Monsters

~ III ~



Indeed, a big fish in an extremely small pond! This movie is a meditation. The exceptional, though unfortunately naive outcast, his sentiments barely burgeoning. It could be said that Powder is a precious character, which, like electricity itself, must be handled with extreme care. A pearl cast before swine into a brutish world of hicks, insensitive scientists, & over-bearing "councelors".

This is a sad story about an intelligent, gifted young man who was holed-up in the basement of his grandparents' home just because of his unique physical appearance. But this is the least of it. Besides his Festerish visage, he attains the sublime ability of lightning & electro-magnetism. He's a human magnet & lightning rod. It is really too bad that Powder never really got a chance to master his powers. Dr. Xavier could use him with the X-Men back at the Mansion. With some support from Individuals like Satanists, ideally, his powers could have been nurtured unto incredible ends.

Demonstrations of Powder's potencies are usually sporadic, except for the electro-magnetism & empathic abilities. Because of his timidity, Powder is taken advantage of by some prejudiced, moronic imbeciles, who, like the damned majority of the subhuman race, lack the compassion, insight, & open-mindedness that elevated, truly evolved persons exhibit.

The Powder character should have been stronger. He should have persevered. He should have realized the enormous potential he had, to benefit himself first, then the world, since he seems to be a more compassionate character.

Powder is a gentle, tender soul, desiring only to be appreciated & loved. Most all of his childhood was spent in that dark, dank cellar with only books as companions. Which in the end, made better friends than any of those ignorant imbeciles could.

If this movie was a real-life sitution, I would not hesitate to jump to the aid of someone I knew to be so special.

Alas, Powder was finally free. Matter into energy. How many of us can relate to this character? There are plethoras of situations that resemble the outcast's, erego, portions of our own lives. Lights flickering on & off, objects becoming charged & magnified, the rotten tray of fish staring, telepathic/empathic resonance, etc.

In all, the film angers one towards the simpletons of the mass populace. And this is the type of trash those deluded ivory-tower blindlight charlatans want persons of quality to bother with? Where no respect is shown, no respect shall be given.

Overall, Powder serves as a sort of ritual. It is Magical, in that all of the emotions come into play. One comes away feeling spent, prideful, a bit melancholy, a bit more angry, but not as to disturb the underlying feeling of serenity, as this film indeed places things into perspective in one's own life, in various personal ways.

I saw this film twice. For Me, the second time was more profound. Although every time one views this wonderful creation, it serves as a compassionate catharsis. By all means, rent it. It has a rather sad ending, but instead, see it as a breaking forth from the low-levels of the simeon herdunto the stars of glory, & unto One's Dark Godliness.

The Believers
{XXII A.S. Directed by John Schlesinger. Starring Martin Sheen, Helen Shaver, Jimmy Smits, Malik Bowens. Genre: Horror/Suspense}

Psychiatrist Carl Jameson {Martin Sheen} returns from his morning jog through the streets of an idyllic New York suburb to find deadly trajedy on that brisk dawn, while washing off in the shower, his wife is electrocuted by the coffee machine conducted by spilled milk at her feet. Hypothetically, all he would have had to do to save her life was to use a wooden broom handle or an otherwise wooden tool to jar her from the current, and all would have been well. Instead, he and his son just scream as she convulses.

Now as a single father, he seeks the aid of a superstitious hispanic maid to help in keeping the house in order and babysit the child, but her meddling increases soon after she discovers Chris has come into 'possession' of a colorfully decorated conch shell found in Central Park at a bloody ritual scene including goat and cat victims*. As an aside, some really nice shots of the Twin Towers, as well as a rock formation used in plenty of media spots, including the film Little Nicky and Magus Gilmore's interview for polish television.

After two mutilated human child sacrifices are discovered upon makeshift altars, Jameson decides to investigate Santeria & Voodoo, discovering the parallels of Orishas {Gods} masquerading as Catholic saints and deities, who were integrated into these peasant religions during the slavery oppression to avoid further punishment. At the time, only they knew of their double-identities. Variations on these multi-cultural religions evolved according to race and tribe. In the movie, the script takes artistic license when a frightened character mentions "Brujeria", the Spanish word for 'witchcraft', more specifically in this context, 'dark witchcraft'.

Jimmy Smits plays cop Tom Lopez, who is tormented with the thought of the cultists acquiring his badge, a potent sympathetic connection, to which he degenerates to threatening other officers, paranoia and eventual suicide, when a remedy obtained at a botanica fails to alleviate his abdominal pain. A subsequent autopsy divulges serpents had filled his intestines as a direct consequence of a Palero {Witch Doctor} binding Lopez's shield with black cord and having a serpent slither upon it within a cauldron. Investigators target Oscar Sezine, the author of a book on these belief-systems, who now runs a children's center, who befriends Jameson, offering 'spiritual' help, and invites him to meet with some of his associates, inclusive of the charity's founder.

When Jameson walks in on the maid performing an exorcism on his son, he has enough and fires her, as well as smashing the holy bric-a-brac she began filling the house with. It is also mentioned that she had cast a love spell on he and Jessica Halliday {Helen Shaver, who incidentally, strongly resembles one Priscilla Barnes / Terri Alden from Three's Company; same actress different names?}.

The plot thickens when Jameson and Jessica Halliday attend a 'business convention' populated by prominant business people and socialites, inclusive most suspiciously, of parents of one of the children sacrificed! A telling clue to the influence of the cult which is confirmed when the Palero appears to perform the possession dance, selecting Halliday, of all people, transmitting orisha energy from his pale eyes into her. Eventually, Jamison is drugged and the nefarious plan unfolds which includes the sacrifice of his own son as well as his own introduction within the cult.** Fortunately for he and his son, a friend's forethought aids him in thwarting the murder, thus barely escaping with their lives, but not before a most impressive concluding scene wherein the Palero meets his demise after a long fall...

A final and most surprising twist reveals the pervasive presence of the dark orishas...

Probably inspirational to the subsequent film The Serpent & The Rainbow, The Believers is essentially a fictional cult movie displaying the psychology of 'true believer' fundamentalist types by whatever name, and its potentially criminal results.


* "Sacrifice" is unecessary in the practice of Magic, and is not practiced in Satanism {see page 89 in The Satanic Bible}. The primary ingredients are mental directive, timing, and emotional force, not blood-letting. Although according to Vodoun tradition, the animal is often used to feed the congregants afterwards.

** In Judeo-Christian mythology: shades of Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac to Yahweh {Genesis 22:2}, as well as Jehovah's successful sacrifice of his own son jesus. Not to mention the countless animal sacrifices.

* For factual information on Palo Moyombe, Voodoo, Santeria, and Candomble, see Satanism & The Afro-Carribean Religions by Kenaz Filan.

The Jayne Mansfield Story
{Year XV A.S., Directed by Dick Lowry. Starring Loni Anderson, Arnold Schwarzenegger}

I had the opportunity to view this movie recently, and I feel that it did a pretty good job relating the story of Jayne Mansfield, although there are a few artistic license moments, but they seem to work in the overall.

Loni Anderson personafies her relatively well, even though she is a bit more angular than the original more curvacious and softer Mansfield, a cartoon cutie to be sure, with that little girl face and entirely womanly body. She works the bubbly charm to the hilt, eclipsing her contemporary Monroe in several ways, many times with a much more pre-meditated exagerrated effervescence, arousing men in her pink field of influence to feats of lustful ennervation, while at the same time either motivating and otherwise disturbing other females in the area. The erotically-powerful 'witchy' dynamics of a bombshell.

Early on, she discovers the formula for success, and by The Art of Deception, utilizes her assets to gain fame and fortune.

Arnold Schwarzenegger portrays husband Mickey Hargitay, a well-meaning man who is remembered primarily for his exceptional physique, which Schwarzenegger actually decreased in bulk for since attaining the Mr. Universe and Olympia titles two years previous. As her husband and confidant, he also becomes among other things, her father-figure and virtual baby-sitter towards the end of their marriage and career, while she became counter-productively selfish and obsessed with being in the limelight at all costs, even accepting roles that he and her agent felt were beneath her, such as sexploitation film roles to stripping gigs at redneck bars, much of which was attributed to alcoholism in the film. This presentation seems to attempt to portray Mansfield as uncontrolled and desperate, although source materials will attest to the opposite - she knew exactly what she was doing, and knew how to get it.

By that obsession and despite such apparent foibles, she made herself a star, establishing her iconographic prominance. It seems that to her, this was all part of the plan; she loved being on stage, in the spotlight, soaking up that raw sexual energy, and really living life to the fullest, following her passions and bliss. She created The Pink Palace, her own total environment, enjoyed being driven around in her Pink Cadillac, all while attired in her inimitable personal style, with all the shwa d'vive of a Hollywood Babylon Goddess.Anton LaVey & Jayne Mansfield

Self-made, Mansfield was a sex-bomb, mother, and business woman.

The film begins and ends with the scene of the 'accident' - the infamous mosquito-spraying truck collision, although the vile and literally accursed Sam Brody is not mentioned by name; and there is no mention of Dr. LaVey being her lover and mentor here, perhaps as a result of the limited information at the time the film was released.* With the exception of one or two, several documentaries fail to mention the LaVey connection entirely, which may be chalked up to the dreaded 'S' word and Satanophobia.

Some women are just so voluptuous, that it cannot be contained within the confines of puritanism, and to deny such innate sensuality would be a tragic waste of enormous salacious potential, which she did not squander, but knew how to wield well, for her own benefit, and that of her admirers.

* For those unwary, Ms. Mansfield was a member of The Church of Satan - there are even photographs and letters attesting to that fact. In brief, LaVey placed a Death Curse on Brody, and unfortunately, Jayne was on ground zero when it manifested, despite The Black Pope's warnings for her to remain distant. Also not mentioned is LaVey's successful Compassion ritual for Jayne's son Zoltan, who recovered after a mauling by a lion at the zoo. {see 'The Secret Life of A Satanist' by Blanche Barton for the full story}.

Clash of The Titans
{XV A.S. Written by Beverley Cross, Directed by Desmond Davis. Starring Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom, Burgess Meredeth, Harry Hamlin. Genre: Action-Adventure/Mythology}

Here is marked the metaphorical 'hero's journey', as Joseph Campbell would put it, depicting all the elements of the epic voyages of olde, which has its equivalent in every culture. This film has even been used in classrooms to demonstrate the fable for both an entertaining and educational account.

Based upon traditional Greek mythology, this film illustrates this legend to a tee. The tale of Perseus in search of the one thing which can overcome The Kraken {a most impressive Leviathan / Cthulhu - like creature unleashed by Poseidon}, which just so happens to be Medusa's head, containing the power to transform humans into stone {Medusa was unfairly cursed by Hera after being seduced by Zeus}. But first, with the sage help of 'Ammon' {Burgess Meredeth}, demigod Perseus must realize who he is, the son of Zeus, and gather the implements to fulfill his 'destiny', including an invisibility cloak. and an impregnable sword and shield.

After passing a riddle test initiated by Hera, he follows a huge vulture upon the winged steed Pegusus to battle Calibos {a demonic archetype and son of Hera cursed by Zeus to malformation}, and is prompted upon his quest to save Princess Andromeda from being sacrificed to The Kraken. Along the way, he meets The Stygian Witches, three cannibalistic hags who share an oracle named 'The Eye'; Charon, or "The Devil's Boatman" {a Grim Reaper archetype} at the River Styx which carries he and his men to The Underworld; Cerberus, {here depicted with two heads instead of the usual three}; and finally Medusa, in a memorably striking humanoid / serpentine representation.

The characters are dynamically brought to life and very well animated with pre-CGI stop-motion photography, and the costumes and sets are rendered to splendid authenticity. The Gods are appropriately displayed with very human traits, considering that man has created his gods in his own image. I especially enjoyed Zeus' coliseum in which he preserves figurines of various mortals which he manipulates at will - would be quite useful as effigies...


Tales From The Crypt
- presents -

Demon Knight

Walking through the graveyard, in the dead of night, amidst the storm, we pass through the creeking, iron gate, making our way up a twisting pathway, passing an old skeletal tree. We find ourselves before an ominous structure of Victorian decrepidness, & enter therein. Down the stairs, & into the crypt. Rising startingly from a rotting corpse, we are greeted by a screetching , animate, rotted corpse - The Cryptkeeper. {or is it Wally George?}

After the customary introductory salutations, the vault is opened, & a death-stench emminates, followed by a comic book fluttering in the cold gusts of the grave.

Don't be fooled by the title. It sounds great, but instead of the Demon Knight being the villain, it is the good guy. The Demon Knight's primary weapon against the hordes of Hell is the blood of jeezwiz stored in a bottle, in the shape of a key.

The best scenes in the whole movie were too fleeting to fully appreciate. Such as the writhing agony of the nazarene. Stupidity & failure upon the cross. The lurking devils on Golgotha looked appropriately sinister, but the ones in the rest of the movie looked ridiculous. Like rejects from a zombie movie.

This Beelzebub has a likeable personality, & an entertainingly cruel sense of humor. He tempts the residents of this little town incessantly, using many forms of imaginative delights.

Demon Knight is semi-gory. The best grotesquery occurs when the devil punches a hole through the head of one of his victims, face first.

Besides the occasional, exceptional special effects scene, & the always delightful beginning, Demon Knight comes off as a B-movie overall. So unless you are a die-hard Tales fan, this movie would probably not be worth that little chunk of your soul.

The Final Dimension

For those of you unfamiliar with Highlander lore, it all started with Connor McLeod of the Clan McLeod, an immortal. These are a race of superhuman warriors who go on from age to age battling for the ultimate power of omniscience - to become the ultimate godflesh. The only way to defeat another immortal is by decapitation. The victor absorbs the loser's life-force by a process called The Quickening. At the end, their own "Armageddon", as it were, they must engage in a final battle at The Gathering, where the last one standing becomes THE ONE. Hence, "There can be only one." alt="H3: The Final Dimension" border=0>

In this third episode, an evil Immortal arises from the snow-shrouded wasteland of Tibet, to join the others at The Gathering. Connor McLeod, the hero from who's land, the Highlands of Ireland, from which the Highlander stories are named, must fight the savage barbarian in order to prevent the world from falling into chaos. He travels to Tibet, where his mentor swordsman Ramirez, warns him against the bestial shape-shifting monster.

Without revealing too much, they end up in New York, where more mayhem transpires.

What keep the movies going, is that they are continuously striving for The Gathering. Unfortunately, Highlander III does not rival the original. The first was incredible. Of course, this is a must for Highlander fans. If you wish to acquaint yourself with this non-stop action, Lex Talionis, & Magical tales, go rent the first two, they do not disappoint.

Wes Craven's

New Nightmare

It's back. The EVIL that destroys innocence, which has existed far beyond man's recording, the cutting up of existence known as time. In one form or another, it has incarnated again in the form of Fred Krueger. Wickeder than ever, it has returned to haunt the realm of concious mortals.

Much of the ridiculous humor has been expiated, which transforms the B-movie quality into a higher callibre of humor, adding a much more crystallized encounter in terror.
Also, the plot is much more compelling, where, if the Imagination runs a bit, you will be asking yourself, "This could be a possibility!" It is done in a way where the sequence of events make practical & parapsychological sense, by the power of the eternal story-teller. You'll have to see it to know what I mean. Speaking of story-tellers, the man himself, Wes Craven, makes a cameo appearance as himself, & is as magus, a-la Ben Kenobe, to Heather Langenkamp. He arms her with the knowledge & confidence to battle the fiend from the World of Nightmares.

This release comes highly recommended, with its sudden switches between reality & fantasy, & if you are not paying close attention, it will delude you. I detected several familiarities in those elusive transition periods.

The 3-D computerized effects are a marvel to behold, which makes it a wonderful Satanic spectacle for all ghouls & boils to behold. See if you can spot the cryptic message in the end credits.

Francis Ford Coppolla
- presents -
Bram Stoker's

Bram Stoker's Dracula

An absolutely fangtastic rendition of the legendary vampire. This version is far maore entertaining & visually stunning than most of the productions made thusfar, due partly because Coppola kept as close to the original story as cinematically possible. Which is what we are seeing a lot of lately. It is raw in its reality-prone situations, but there still are scenes that are left up to the Imagination as well, which makes it that much more entertaining.

Particularly entertaining, are the awe-striking scenes in the beginning, which shows what made Dracula the supernatural creature he has become. Emotional upheaval, rebellion, & empowerment.

Here is the classic story about a solitary vampire who falls in love with a beautiful mortal girl, who reminds him of his lost love who met with a tragic & heart-wrenching death. He turns her into one of the undead, & they WOULD have been happy, but meddling self-righteous mortals compelled by sanctimonious perfidity come encroaching along. Such is often the case. These bastards attempting to make a name for themselves by trying to pull down a superior individual, thus hoping to use him or her as a ladder to their ill-gotten recognition. They might steal credit, or be rotten enough to know that somehow they disrupted someone else's peace of mind, albeit temporarily, until they themselves are exterminated. It makes them feel significant. These psychic leaches, pathetic misdirected masochists.

This DRACULA is one of the best movies I have had the indulgence to have seen. The costumes are elegant & accurate, thanks to Eiko Ishioka, & the panoramic vistas are breath-taking, & it is very well cast. Vlad Dracul, played by Gary Oldman of Sid & Nancy fame, transforms throughout the picture into a bat-like demon, a werewolf, & even green glowing fog. His humanistic forms vary as well. From a stoic, stately older gentleman, to a younger gentleman visiting London.

One thing is for sure, I have never seen Dracula with so much hair! I believe it is more accurate than the mode of appearance portrayed popularly. Indeed, wood-carvings, particularly that infamous portrait of Vlad Tepes, shows the Prince/Count with long hair, which was the mark of nobility in that time. Only peasants had to cut their hair, so it would not get in the way of their common chores. The term "long-hair" can be looked up in most dictionaries as meaning an intellectual, a nobleman. Such was the case from Mideival times, unto the Renaissance. It really is too bad that those damned hippies had to marr the perception! True Long-Hairs would spit on those peacenick peasants!

Satanic Witchery alert! Lucy, a gorgeous redhead, uses her feminine wiles to captivate her suitors, & manipulates them into a frenzy of lust, while pristine Mina {Winona Ryder} looks on in envy.

VanHelsing {Anthony Hopkins} is accuratly portrayed as a stuffy, rude, raving madman who gluttonizes at every damned chance he gets.

The soundtrack, oh, the soundtrack! Composed by Wojceich Kilar, is just amazing. Satanic to the hilt. Effectively employable for ritual use. You may find yourself being whipped up in the emotional tidal wave, in the rises & falls of this masterpiece. As if taken within Leviathan's whirlpool, surrounding & penetrating.

DRACULA is a romantic, dramatic, horror monsterpiece that pleases & excites. After being submerged in this enchanting dark world, this film promises an eventful night with a date, & may leave one in a higher state of mind, reminiscent of the aeshetically-proliferous Victorian Era. Just think, such beautiful surroundings will be available to be experienced in the not-too distant future. Though some of us have already created our own private totalized environments, it would also be pleasing to be part of a whole community of like-minded individuals. Even a whole city, with arcane architecture with modern conveniences.

DRACULA is a must-see for all Satanists, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls, & the rest of you, whatever you are. Bring the son of the devil into your darkened theatres, & let the nightmarish joy begin!

Felix Murnau's


Count Orlock appears in silence, long of nail, sharp of tooth, pale of flesh, bald of head. Creeping forward, ghoulishly menacing, eyes shimmering in the darkness, plagueing his victims with fear & dread. There is no escaping the morbid spell of the nosferatu...

The wraith-like, captivating phantom played convincingly by Max Schreck, haunts one's visions & rememberance as probably the most horrific incarnation of vampiric evil the world has ever seen. A remake by the same name in Year VII A.S., & Stephen King's Salem's Lot, resurrected the eerie spechtre to re-terrify the world of the living.

The original 1922 version of NOSFERATU scared people out of their skins. In that time of puritanical virginity, those who dared to sit in a darkened theatre to witness this first of vampiric movies {up until then, there were only plays}, were in for a scare they were not prepared for.

NOSFERATU is based upon Bram Stoker's characterization of Dracula, but a few names have been modified here & there, which gave it a bit more of an original feel. The looming figure of Orlock still brings chills to the unprepared.

This is a good one to rent for vampire enthusiasts & archivists, who can still appreciate a horror classic. For those jaded, & seeking a new thrill, concentrate on how it must have been like to live in that era, when motion pictures were relatively new, & your life had been sheltered up to the point of walking into the theatre this night. The lights grow dim, let the horror start...

Clive Barker's

Lord of Illusions

A familiar tale about a cult leader, or shall we say, "messiah", who runs a compound inhabited by creatures who worship him. There are several simularities between the cult leader "Nix", & the nazarene. From some of the phrases, such as "Suffer to come unto me, child, & I shall give you peace", & even unto the manner of dress. No doubt, a jesus-possessed zombie would say, ".....there shall be many false prophets in the end times....." parroting off the scriptures, of course, as such a miserable wretch is not worthy to evolve to become its own god.

How clever it was for the lowly carpenter to state that there shall be many "false prophets" in "the end times". Thereby, selfishly absolving themselves while condemning others who would probably become better messiahs than himself. But this way, he can take all the credit, because any true genius who's efforts result in improving mankind in some way, can be attributed to "God" or jeezwiz, because, of course, such a superior was brainwashed & programmed in catechism, &/or the redundant droning & persecution of evangelistic "parents", "peers", & xian propaganda while young.

As the movie progressed, I also picked up similarities between Nix & his crowd, & with that of the Manson family, & the Wacko Branch Davidians, in their twisted blindlight, commune isolationism = paranoia.

Back to the movie. LORD OF ILLUSIONS is a power-play between Sorcerers. One imprisons the other in a vice mask, then entombs him. With the knowledge "the master" taught him, he goes out into the world, & seeks to profit monetarily from his powers. Wouldn't you do the same? And he does for a time, becoming a very successful illusionist, much like David Copperfield. Except this magician really DOES levitate, & demonstrates other supernatural skills. He becomes rich & famous. Things seem to be going well for a time, when one of the cult's members, loyal to the master Nix, frees him from his earthen prison. Then the vengeance begins. This is where the film really comes alive. Nix materializes & dematerializes, & exhibits feats of omnipotent proportions, finally gaining his revenge. Then the expected demoralization kicks in.

During his investigations, a PI & his temporary partner, a novice prestidigitator, search for a Magic Castle for clues to a murder linked to the cult, & are subjected to hokey, yet deadly traps that terrifies the novice into a whimpering fit. The surroundings reminded Me of that jesting chapter in THE DEVIL'S NOTEBOOK. The Magic Castle is a wonderful place, filled with the dark Imagination of the nocturnal persuation.

There's an interesting effect that appears as a marble, floating origami design, or as if the Puzzle Box from Hellraiser was folded out into straight shards. The computerized effects in LORD OF ILLUSIONS work very well, unlike other productions, such as 'Species' for example, when the animation just doesn't quite coincide with the reality-prone situations on the screen, & the resultant look is rather fake.

The combination of Clive Barker's horror-genius, the stunning graphics, the make-up & prosthetics, & the jolting scare-scenes make for another terror-filled, fun evening out.

{1963 c.e. Starring Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Jack Nicholson: Directed by Roger Corman}

Based on Poe's classic, this is a most amusing film about two warring Sorcerers, Dr. Scarabus {Karloff} and Dr. Erasmuc Craven (Vincent Price) who eventually meet up and duel it out one stormy night using their various imaginative Magical talents to out-notch eachother.

The film begins with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' read by Dr. Erasmuc Craven {Price} which leads into a-knocking at the chamber window, in this case, an actual raven scratching at the pane, but there is more to this lovely bird than meets the eye, who happens to speak in Peter Lorre's voice; it seems he is in a jam being transformed into the black bird by one Dr. Scarabus {Karloff}, and rightfully so, for being intoxicatingly petulent during a visit to his castle {after all, "If a guest in your Lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy!" - SROTE #4}. So he nags the mild-mannered Craven to return him to his proper form, quite rudely at that, but when not enough potion is mixed up to fully recouperate him, they must go to the cemetary to acquire one last missing ingredient - that of "hair of a dead man", so Erasmuc figures that his deceased father would not mind a lock cut, but while clipping, is warned by the corpse to "beware". Finally, the familiar form of Dr. Bedlo {Lorre} is restored, a rather bumbling nincompoop on the fringes of "The Brotherhood of Magicians", and off he goes to gain revenge, but not before informing Craven that he actually spotted his dead beloved Lenore at the castle, so the grieving Craven is thus determined to free her 'spirit' from his clutches; but to his eventual surprise, discovers that she never died, but actually left him for Scarabus, placing a decomposing body to mislead Craven into thinking it was she, to which his dedication bade him to turn into a shrine. I found Lenore to be of a particuarly despicable sort, more of an opportunistic "groupie" who fanes "love" in order to leech from the Sorcerers' potencies, merely living in their shadow. An empty creature at best, in and of herself.

Erasmuc and Bedlo are eventually accompanied by their children, Craven's nubile daughter {Olive Sturgess} and Bedlo's strapping son "Rexford"{Jack Nicholson} on the journey to the Scarabus Castle; wherein Rexford is momentarily possessed by some "diabolical mind control" while he manns the cortege', as was Craven's retainer earlier on, a bald trollish brute who wielded an axe against his superiors, until the mysterious influence wore off. Once within the castle, Scarabus is quite the gracious host, treating his guests to dinner until Bedlo becomes intoxicated and against better judgement, decides to act up again, challenging Scarabus to an enchanted bout, yet Scarabus merely toys with the incompetent "wizard", until finally, growing tired of the mediocre display, dispatches him with a bolt of lightning. But it turns out that there were more sinister purposes concocted by Scarabus, beneath this whole spectacle, as Bedlo re-appears to the subsequently imprisoned trio freeing them of their binds. It is at this point when Scarabus' true intentions are revelaed, and the Magical battle begins between he and Craven, resulting in quite an entertaining match where both imagination and skill are pitted against eachother in kind.

Black humor abounds, I rate The Raven at a 9/9.

C r e e p s h o w

{Starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Carrie Nye. Screen play by Stephen King; Directed by George A. Romero}

From the portal that are the wind-blown pages of comic book fane, the skeletal phantom stares outside your window beckoning you into the underworld of darkened imagination. Grasp the boney hand of your robed host and be ushered into the theatre of nightmares...

Prologue: Why God Made Fathers.

A brutish father berates his boy about possessing a copy of a "Creepshow" comic book, lifting a hand to him when admonished about the girlie magazines he himself keeps in his underwear drawer. Even with an apology, the man disposes of the boy's precious acquisition in the trash-can outdoors, to which infernal progeny utters his curse, accompanied by his daemonic projection, which leads us into the first tale...

I. Father's Day.

Family secrets are unearthed at the reading of a will wherein a murdered father takes his revenge upon his killer, his very own sister, as well as his vulturous and pretentious relatives seeking to pick his monetary legacy clean; his rotting corpse rises from the grave to claim his prize...all he wanted was his cake, with an additional main course included on a platter...

II. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.

Stephen King plays an isolated hick who witnesses a meteor fall to earth, and forthwith opportunistically seeks to sell it, in his ignorance, to the so-called "Department of Meteors" at a local college, but ends up cracking it, thus releasing a luminous alien solution which causes everything it touches to sprout a vicious moss-like substance, including Jordy himself. Fearing doctors will amputate his infected hand, he opts for intoxication instead, and subsequent suicide, but not before receiving a "visitation" - a drunken hallucination from his deceased preacher father who appears in a mirror, warning that Jordy not immerse himself in the bathtub, that he would be "signing his own death warrant", but he does anyway, causing him to be covered in the vegitation, and so perishes, begging "God" that his luck may be good enough to accomplish this act "just this once", and so his wish is granted. Amusingly, the constant and ubiquitous drone of the Letharginator announces increased rainfall, upon which the green plague subsists and spreads; ironically commenting to viewers that the county will turn green so fast, that it will be miraculous...

III. Something to Tide You Over.

A man named "Richard" {Leslie Nielsen} gains revenge upon his cheating wife by burying she and her lover "Harry" {Ted Danson} to the neck at the beach at low tide; which will of course, eventually yield full saturation, and it is all recorded on film for his entertainment. As an additionally amusing touch, he positions a monitor where Harry can see his adulterous lover being submerged by the waves. He vows revenge, and returns along with the girl, as seaweed-draped zombies seeking his death, to which Richard is driven insane...

IV. The Crate.

A gutless hen-pecked Professor siezes the opportunity to be rid of his overbearing wife via a demonic creature in a crate, luring her into its jaws that tear limb from limb, after which he ingraciously throws it into the lake, but you just can't keep a good monster down...

I must remark about the appearence of this creature, which is one of the most fearsome in cinema to date {kudos to Tom Savini}, almost rivalling Rawhead Rex, and would make for a wonderful pet.

V. They're Creeping Up On You.

An isolated acarophobic stockbroker penned -up in a skyscraper faces a pernicious legion of roaches who stop at nothing to infest his secured and safe-guarded room, despite his efforts at extermination. The widow of a man he drove into ruin utters a curse, and thus his nightmares consume him, from the inside-out...

VI. Needling Dad.

Two garbage men {the moustached one played by prop-master extraordinnaire Tom Savini} find the Creepshow comic book which is as Billy's incremental bible, and find that the "authentic Voodoo doll" offer has been excised to order. The little devil-child Billy pierces the effigy of his 'dad', causing sharp stabs of pain to assail him with incapacitating torment. And thus with the accompanyment of his grim companion of the night, Billy happily gains his revenge: "I'll teach you to take My comic books..." "...ready for another shot, dad?" and he deserved it.

I really enjoyed the segueways between the stories as well, in which the demon winds turn the pages, displaying all of those fun gadgets and offers reminiscent of The Johnson-Smith Catalog, and then onto the next tale of terror and joy. The DVD also contains the theatrical preview which should probably be seen first. Of note, Creepshow 2 is just about as good as the first, so for more ghoulish entertainment, it also comes highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5.

Mazes & Monsters
{XVII A.S. Written by Rona Jaffe. Teleplay by Tom Lazarus. Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. Starring Tom Hanks, Wendy Crewson, David Wallace, Chris Makepeace}


The film begins with the excitement of a new college semester on the verge - Kate, Daniel, and Jay-Jay travel to school with their seemingly 'normal' stereotypical families'... then there's Robbie, a sensitive sort with an alcoholic mother and verbally abusive father, trying to align his priorities despite his past extreme distractions with a fantasy board game akin to "Dungeons & Dragons" called "Mazes & Monsters", when lo and behold, he spies an "M&M" group advertised on the posting board in the cafeteria... and it begins... the obsession resurfaces, progressing from a gloomy candlelit room to "taking it to the next level" wherein the players actually don the accoutrement of their characters {acquired from Theatre class} and travel to the local caverns where Jay-Jay, the resident "Game Lord" {eq. 'Dungeon Master'; D&D} has arranged several objects including a skeleton which appear on cue when the wayfarers pass through certain spots in the caves, whereupon the Game Lord's voice echoes forth with warnings and instructions. This is where the hallucinations begin for Robbie, imagining a literal "Gorvil" creature stalking the stalactite-laden corridors, which becomes the first indication of his mental degeneration.

He confides in his girlfriend Kate about the loss of his brother 'Hall' on Halloween to a mysterious dissappearence and was never found...

Thus, on Halloween night, while others were living it up, he sleeps and begins dreaming of a dark figure named "The Great Hall" who informs him of his erstwhile 'destiny' as 'Pardu' the Holy Man, who must seperate himself from the group, become {ack!} celebate {there went Kate...}, and seek 'The Towers' by engaging upon a quest, which takes Robbie to New York City where he roams in a hypnogogic state until an attempted mugging by a couple of greasy thugs results in him defending himself by stabbing one of the lowlifes, all the while perceiving himself as this 'Pardu', and the attacker as another Gorvil.

Frightened by this encounter, he almost comes to his senses and calls for help. Being skiddish however, seeing another couple of guys on a street corner scares him enough to descend into the city's subway system and further below into the labyrinthine underworld beneath the streets, and its roaring "Great Dragon"...

Meanwhile, the Police become alerted to his sudden disappearence, and the group are payed a visit by an investigator. Scared that they may be implicated in his missing, his friends scramble to figure out where he may have gone by inspecting his room and find a hand-drawn map, carefully brainstorming to decipher his 'journey'.

Robbie eventually encounters a homeless man who jestingly refers to himself as 'The King of France' - of course, being in a completely delusional state of mind, "Pardu" acknowledges him as such, inquiring for directions to 'The Towers'*, which turns out being 'The Twin Towers', The World Trade Center, to be exact, which one could see coming from a mile away, as it were, both figuratively and literally. Included is some extensive interior footage of the WTC from lobby to observation deck.

His friends eventually catch up to him as he climbs out on the parapet preparing to join with "The Great Hall", until tearfully awakening from the somnambulism. He is eventually committed to a scenic mental home where his delusions persist, and after one last 'adventure' with friends, is left to live out his days in his fantasy world.

Rating: 4/5.


Obviously, Robbie dealt with the loss of his big brother by anthropomorphosizing his memory as "The Great Hall", and his desire to reunite with him. Delving into the board game as a form of escapism taken to an extreme, in this case served as an affectation of his mental illness, but may not necessarily have been the cause of it, but merely placed fantastical definitions and terminology to establish an albeit false identity.

Through a balanced perspective, these games can be an amusing recreational activity, but there may always be the danger of those with a wayward brain who will literalize elements therein and attempt to detrimentally personafy either the characters and/or activities described. While the exercise of the imagination is encouraged and channelled into creative endeavors, care must sometimes be taken with the mentally ill in order to prevent compulsion, lest you travel the "Pardu Path" to insanity.

* 'The Towers' as part of the legend of 'The Lord of The Rings' series writ by sage Tolkien were acknowledged as one of the possible motivations while the group were inspecting a map and gathering clues to his whereabouts, defining his mentality by the persona of the Pardu character. Ergo, "What Would Pardu Do?"

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