Wednesday, August 27, 2003


VAMPS: Lap-Dancin', Blood-Suckin' vixens cause havoc for hapless patrons at a satanic strip club. Tongue-in-cheek romp has very appealing girls to cover some lapses in production value. Amber Newman fans should build a shrine to this one. Fun for fans of the genre, and if you're going to do vampire stripper movies, do 'em in style. Directed by my pal Mark Burchett and available lots of places, including their b-plus productions web site.

CAGED WOMEN 2: Eye-popping, hard-boiled, bad girls in prison! No-holds-barred entry in the "wronged woman sent to the slammer" genre, with plenty of twists and turns to accompany some sweat-inducing jailhouse scenes. Plenty of fun for fans, with lots of familiar b-movie faces (Lorissa McComas, Nikki Fritz, Deborah Dutch) up and down the cellblock. A solid outing from my old pal (and PAYBACK MAN director) Ivan Rogers.

SHANDRA THE JUNGLE GIRL: One more guilty pleasure, from the "Surrender Cinema" folks. The heartwarming tale of a young woman who just wants to live in peace with nature, but is forced by some strange malady to sex the life out of people. She is brought to civilization by a pair of concerned scientists, who discover that only the power of a three-way can diffuse this strange disorder. Now that's science! Plenty of fun for fans of the genre, lots of nice-looking women, with a brain-searing theme song and an offbeat cameo by cult b-movie director J.R. Bookwalter as a disgruntled strip-club patron.

DC did some great stuff with their short-lived sci-fi imprint HELIX. One of the most impressive entries was MICHAEL MOORCOCK'S MULTIVERSE, written by none other than the master himself, Michael Moorcock, creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Count Brass, Corum, Jerry Cornelius, and countless other variations of his "Eternal Champion" theme. Elric and his soul-stealing sword Stormbringer is probably one of the more famous fantasy heroes of the 60s and 70s. Moorcock brought Elric and a host of other characters along for this twelve-part miniseries.
Each issue is split into three stories. "Moonbeams and Roses" is the first segment, and I have no idea what the hell it is about, except Michael Moorcock himself is a character, and is playing a game at some sort of "table of fate". Complete hoogly-boogly. That's too bad, because it has butt-kicking art by Walt Simonson, of all people. The second segment is "The Transtemporal Detective", which also has good art and sort of a Sherlock Holmes flair. Our hero rather casually averts World War II early on, rewriting history(!), then starts in on an epic quest. This rather neatly dovetails into "Duke Elric", the third segment, which is just classic Elric sword-and-sorcery action the whole way.
I found myself skimming "Moonbeams", enjoying "Detective", and grooving on "Elric". One neat thing about this book is that the storylines start to blend and merge as the issues progress, sharing variations of characters between all of them. A real overlooked gem for comics and Moorcock fans.

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