Perfect Agent

Perfect Agent
Action/Adventure webcomic every Thursday; contains strong language and violence.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Outlander proposal,Under The Dome antics and Extant wraps up it's first season

Claire was back amongst the English on Outlander this week, finding that they were in some ways not that much better than her Scottish hosts.

She did have a chance of getting the garrison commander to send her back to Craig Na Dun but her outspoken nature and the appearance of Black Jack Randall nipped that opportunity sharply in the bud. I do have to give credit to Toby Menzies for his dual role as the modern day Frank and his vicious sociopath ancestor, who described the brutal flogging he gave to Jamie as a "masterpiece".

It was quite the chilling performance and even as someone who has read the book and knew what was coming, it was still a haunting scene to watch there.

Fortunately, McDougall was around to get Claire the hell out of there but in order to spare her from a repeat visit to Black Jack, she has to become a Scottish citizen. The easier way to do that is by marring Jamie, which suits more than one purpose, yet it does pose an interesting question-is it bigamy if your original spouse hasn't even been born yet?

 Then again, we do have extenuating circumstances here, not to mention a rather mutual attraction, so let's skip the philosophical debate for now, shall we?:


Meanwhile, things are truly getting tight Under The Dome, as the title trap is slowly but surely starting to close in on the town. That, along with Melanie's rapidly deteriorating condition, the need to retrieve the egg has become number one on the Chester's Mill to-do list.

Barbie managed to get his dad over to the Dome in order to negotiate a return and it does help that Melanie happens to be his long lost half sister(no joke and none of this was in the original book, so I refuse to blame Stephen King for such a left field contrivance there). Papa Barbara agreed to get the egg but had some trouble from his own men about that, yet another delay meant to drag the story line out, folks:



As an alternative way of treating Melanie was carried out, Big Jim got another major disappointment  as his reunion with Pauline was cut brutally short.

Lovelorn Lyle decided to fulfill his own prophecy by stabbing his beloved Pauline, with Big Jim only too eager to send him to "heaven" right after her. Granted, I didn't expect anything good to happen to these characters but this send-off is a tad too convenient for my taste.

 Don't get me wrong, I intend to watch the season finale next week but the "make-it-up-as-we-go-along" plotting is working my nerves a little. There's some doubt as to whether or not we get a third season, so it's best to repeat to myself, "This is just a show, I really should relax":


Extant finished it's first season last night and I hope that's it is not the last we see of this series. While the show's initial mystery had a few stiff moments, the overall plot logic was sound and the acting well done, particularly Halle Berry as the bedeviled astronaut mom who uncovered the conspiracies around her being unknowingly sent off as a potential host for an alien species.

As it is in most stories like this, the alien hybrid was vastly underestimated and proved to the greater threat but not without some reluctance. However, once we got into the who,what,where and why of the matter, the story really began to take off. The character motivations made sense,plus there were some well placed surprises along the way that kept you wondering what was going to happen next.

 Interestingly enough, the heart of the show was Ethan(Pierce Gagnon), the "humantic" robot child who made the ultimate sacrifice and turned out to be the most human of them all. At first, I thought he was going to be an annoying little kid-bot but he turned out to be very believable and engaging towards the end.

There is a open door left open for another season and with any luck, Berry and company will be able to step through it at least one more time. If not, then thank you, everyone involved, for giving us such a smartly written sci-fi adventure with heart this summer:



RANDOM NOTES:

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D: Season two starts up next week and so looking forward to what this new version of the show has in store for us. Should be fun and I hope that Melinda May gets more to do(and plenty of ass to kick):






Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Booking some reading related plans for this season

With the fine fall weather starting to come in, making literary plans seem about right, especially for this blog. Don't worry, I'll still be checking in on other pop culture phenomena out there but for my fellow book addicts, here's a preview of some of the bookish posts coming soon to LRG:

FEARFUL PAGE TURNER:

I've signed up for Seasons of Reading's  Fright Fall Read-A-Thon, which takes place between September 29-Oct 5. The requirements are pretty simple, you just have to read one scary book( from the horror and/or mystery genre) and talk about it online-see the full set of guidelines here.

The book I've chosen for Fright Fall is Stephen King's Christine. It's been on my mind since my post regarding Encore's SK film fest this month and since I will be watching that movie again,why not re-read the novel as well?

I first read Christine when the film came out in 1983 and have read it at least twice but it's been several years between reads now. Never hurts to pop the hood on a horror favorite and yes, I'll be doing a book and film comparison there.

There's still time to sign up for Fright Fall and it should be fun to see what everyone else will be shuddering over. In the mean time, I'll be revving up for Christine, with a cautious eye towards the brakes on this "bad to the bone" ride:


Banned Books Week is also on the horizon, starting September 21 and ending on the 27th. The official theme this year is a focus on graphic novels but I may seek out a different focal point for my post.

Graphic novels have been heavily targeted recently, with such titles as Persepolis, Watchmen and Fun Home challenged by "concerned" folk eager to protect the children. Hey, I'm all for age appropriate reading recommendations but not done unilaterally, especially by people who more than likely haven't even read the material in question.

The freedom to read is important and I'm glad that social media has taken to this challenge over the years with great projects like the Virtual Read Aloud and other memes to promote the cause. My two cents on the matter isn't much but I do like to speak my piece for the right to read in this powerful play that goes on, my way of contributing a verse:




Recently, I started reading The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith(aka J.K. Rowling) and found myself so enthralled with it that I splurged on it's hardcover sequel The Silkworm. I honestly wasn't sure that I would get into it, having tried to read The Casual Vacancy and putting it aside.

However, Rowling's knack for keen character development and her eye for detail are well suited to detective drama such as this. Not to mention the nifty names for her book people and not just Comoran Strike, the private investigator/ leading man here.


Lula Landry, Guy Some and Tansi Bestigui are just a few of the interesting names scattered across the casting list for the players in  the first book that looks into the questionable death of a supermodel.

 No doubt there will be plenty of amusing monikers for the next Comoran Strike adventure as he checks out the disappearance of a writer. I am happy to find that J.K. Rowling's writing is just as engaging for this genre as it was for the Harry Potter series.  It gives me hope that when I do pick up The Casual Vacancy again, it'll be an easier read and a welcome delight the second time around.

  I intend to do a double review of both titles in this series and yes, I may be late to the game on this but better late than never as they say:




As to my already scheduled fall reading, I have finished one book so far and should be starting another one very soon. So many books,sigh....

I do wish everyone happy page turning and hope that you tune in for some of my literary adventures, in between binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix there. I won't be partaking in that, due to having the whole series on DVD, but pleased as punch for all of you happy lit fans out there diving into your own Stars Hollow-a-thon with plenty of coffee and room in your bookbag for all of Rory's reads:






Monday, September 15, 2014

Enjoying Ken Follett's triple play of The Century

The historical fiction field is a rather expansive canvas to work on yet, Ken Follett has managed to make his portraits of certain places in time stand out strong on the book shelves.

 After the success of his two fictional forays into England during the Middle Ages(Pillars of the Earth and World Without End), his current conquest of the genre covers a vast playing field of characters in more than one country as well as more than one generation.

 The Century Trilogy began with Fall of Giants, that introduces us to folks such as Earl Fitzherbert,whose ownership of coal mines in a Welsh town draws two members of the Williams family into his circle most unexpectedly. Ethel Williams winds up leaving her loved ones due to being pregnant by the Earl while her brother Billy finds himself in military regiments with the Earl as World War I is soon under way.

 The Earl's sister Maud is more of a free thinker than her brother and breaks away from the expected socialite routine both openly and secretly, as her relationship with Walter Von Ulrich, a reluctant participant in Germany's approach to war, becomes a risky matter for each of them.

 Fitzherbert's wife, Bea, a Russian princess, has earned the ire of a pair of brothers from her home country, Lev and Grigori Peshov, one of whom has fled to America while the other remains and becomes part of the Revolution lead by Lenin. What's interesting about this story is not just the engaging way that history is being presented here(although it does enlighten you about the complexities that went into WWI before,during and after) but the solid set of people behind the scenes, particularly the women.

 For example, Maud Fitzherbert and Ethel Williams,who were once employer and servant, become equals as they both find themselves working side by side for such causes as women's rights and an end to the war.

Their interest in the latter has a strong personal connection with Ethel concerned for her brother while Maud has to pretend that she is unattached despite all the while being secretly bound to Walter, a secret that Ethel does play a small yet pivot role in.

When these ladies do have a serious disagreement that affects their friendship, it is over politics rather any personal drama and yet, they both respect each other despite that upset. That relationship showcases the changing times as well as depicts a pair of strong women holding up under the pressure of such a major event as the raging war that threatens their loved ones:



I truly liked Fall of Giants and those ladies so much that I was happy to see them reunited in Winter of the World, which lands them both in Germany as the Nazi party is starting to come into power.

They're concerned for their countries as well as their children, with Maud's daughter Carla being witness to the cruelties of the Brown shirts while Ethel's son Lloyd is more than willing to fight the encroaching evil.

 The children of other characters will also be drawn into the oncoming global conflict, including the American and Russian descendants of the Peshov brothers. I am still early into WOTW(waited for the paperback edition, which just came out at the end of summer) but eager to read on and see just how WWII impacts the younger set of characters along with the older ones. I suspect that when it comes to Carla, she will strike an impressive blow against the forces of darkness that are not only engulfing her nation but many others along the way:



Fortunately, I don't have to wait for Edge of Eternity, the final installment of this trilogy as a review copy happily came my way(a full review of that book will arrive later this season). The novel hits the stores this week, so many folks should be thrilled to get this great big gift read as soon as may be.

The story lines here touch upon the American Civil Rights movement, the growing Cold War in Russia and the divided Germany, as East Berlin school teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers that her husband Hans is a covert spy who has been tracking her movements for years.

The Cold War aspects of the book promise to be extra intriguing,given the current state of affairs in that part of the world right now. Funny how history repeats itself but luckily, we have smartly written books that remind us of just that. I am looking forward to meeting Rebecca,along with the other characters in EOE, to see if she is capable of raising the bar that her ancestors have set in the previous volumes:



Even if you haven't read any of the Century Trilogy, this is a perfect time to start. Fall does lend itself to taking up historical fiction and since it will still be some time before the new season of Downton Abbey begins, these massively engaging novels are not just the right cup of tea, they're a whole set of splendid brews to savor.

I do hope that Follett's Century novels are adapted for TV miniseries, as both Pillars of the Earth and World Without End did very nicely in that format(plus Starz is fast becoming a rising star in that department).

It would be grand to have such vivid characters come to life onscreen and introduce a potential new set of readers into this new look at old world history into the bargain. We shall see, but at least we still have Ken Follett's marvelous works to appreciate as time goes by:


Friday, September 12, 2014

Rebuilding that Frankenstein's monster for the modern age of pop culture

Recently, an interesting collaboration has occurred between a pair of media forces that have fittingly created an engaging monster story.

PBS Digital's partnering with Pemberley Digital(the folks behind several Jane Austen themed webseries such as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved) has given us Frankenstein MD, which chronicles the experiments of Victoria Frankenstein with some help from lab assistant Iggy(plus pals Eli and Rory).


Victoria's drive and ambition make her charmingly severe but her more vulnerable side was revealed upon the news of the sudden death of camera man Robert. That shocking event is beginning to lead our budding young mad scientist down a very familiar yet interesting new path, particularly with the scientific advancements we have in place right now:


This new series is reviving an interest in Mary Shelley's  Frankenstein, one of the cornerstones of the horror/science fiction genre. Ever since the book was published in 1918, this gripping Gothic novel dealing with the struggle between science and nature has captured our imaginations again and again.

It's hold on pop culture can be traced to the 1931 Hollywood film where Boris Karloff made the monster a household name. Over the years, the not-so-good doctor and his creation have been brought back to the forefront in various guises, depending on the cultural climate at the moment.

A strong number of those revivals have rendered Frankenstein as a figure of fun, ranging from Herman Munster to Frankenberry cereal while some of those parody portrayals keep some of the creature's dark side intact(Rocky Horror Picture Show for one).  A prime example is the Mel Brooks riff on the old school monster films in Young Frankenstein, which was even turned into a Broadway musical in 2007. The loving attention paid to those details from the original 1930s movies really make those punchlines sing out with style:



Frankenstein's monster has for the most part taken over the narrative, with more and more attention given to the reanimated being's plight as he(and sometimes she) tries to find a place in the world.

The horror genre has taken to this tone rather well, with occasionally thoughtful representations of the creature as originally written. As much I love the Karloff films, the book's monster was a more verbally articulate person who was able to express his angst in very poetic terms.

For instance, in the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, Frankenstein is confronted by Caliban, his first attempt at bringing a man to life, upon discovering that the doctor was trying his hand again with a budding new creation. Caliban tore apart his new sibling and demanded that a female be made for him,as his current encounters with an acting company stirred up a few romantic urges. As time went on, however, Caliban started to take a deeper look at himself and mourn his violent inclinations in a way that perhaps brought out not only his humanity but his creator's as well:


More and more often, the Frankenstein legacy has dipped it's borrowed toes into black comedy waters. Supernatural themed shows tend to have at least one Frankenstein story with a touch of humor in them, from Buffy to Charmed, along with plenty of goofy gory flicks such as I Was a Teenage Frankenstein  and Frankenhooker hitting the big screen.

Even other fear franchises have taken a part or two from Frankenstein lore. It's no surprise that Bride of Chucky placed a direct spin on it's beginning to fray plot line with Bride of Frankenstein(the movie even plays on a TV during one crucial scene) and frankly, it was for the better.

 Chucky himself has adopted the well known stitched together monster mug while his twisted bride has reinvented her look,sans the lightning bolt hair streaks. Granted, the initial film framework was still set in the Child's Play killer doll playbook but it can't be denied that this jolt of classic horror certainly breathed new life into this deadly toy story:




That's the thing about classics, they're very much like Frankenstein's monster. While you may think it's been long dead, it is all too easy to bring them back from the beyond and see something both old and new about life and art within them.

Frankenstein MD is the latest in a long line of fresh faces taken from that Mary Shelley mold and doing a great job at that. Hopefully, more marvelous monster tales from the past will find new footing in this format, if not now then perhaps in the not too distant future.

After all, no matter how you tell this tale of terror, Frankenstein still has plenty to say and think about as our science fantasies quickly become science facts.With such a brave new world ahead of us, sometimes it's smart to take a good look back and what better place to do that in than pop culture?:


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Adding some new fall flavors to the TV Thursday menu

Since we're still in that slump period between the summer TV season and the new fall one, I thought this might be a good time to highlight some of the newer fare that I plan on covering for LRG's TV Thursday round-up.

Mind you, I'm not promising anything here but I do intend to give these upcoming series a fair shake and share my initial thoughts with all of you. Hopefully, this trio of new primetime dramas will become a regular part of my routing roster and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about these shows as well.

First up is Gotham, the latest reinvention of the Batman mythos. This is a prequel of sorts, as the main focus is on Detective Jim Gordon(Ben Mckenzie) who has just been assigned to investigate the murder of wealthy philanthropists Thomas and Martha Wayne.

  Along the way towards seeking the truth, Jim runs into a number of budding villains such as Oswald Cobblepot,who works for gangster gal Fish Mooney(Jada Pinkett-Smith) and young street hustler Selina Kyle.  Eventually a full roster of future Big Bads  will make their presence known as they turn the city into a haven for evil that only a true hero can and will protect.

Granted, most of the target audience for Gotham is rather well versed in the lore yet there is opportunity to create new spins on familiar characters(hey, it worked for Smallville and is currently doing so for Arrow) as well as bring to life characters from the comics that have only been featured in animated formats previously such as Renee Montoya(Victoria Cartagena) and Harvey Bullock(Donal Logue). It also doesn't hurt that this show is being paired with last season's surprise sleeper hit Sleepy Hollow, a show that I am champing at the bit for to return.

Hopefully, Gotham will exceed expectations,both high and low, and become a powerhouse series that does justice to the Batman legend, not to mention make waiting for that Superman Vs. Batman movie much more bearable:



While I am still way behind on Arrow, I do believe that my timing is right to catch onto The Flash as it makes it's debut run next month. Unlike the 1990's earlier attempt to give the Scarlet Speedster his own show, this series isn't going down the campy road(although John Wesley Shipp who played that particular Flash will have a reoccuring role as Barry's dad here).

Also, unlike the character's appearances on Smallville, he will be called The Flash and not Impulse(don't know why they felt they had to do that).

This series is sort of an Arrow spin-off, as Barry Allen(Grant Gustin) has appeared in Starling City as a forensic scientist. Upon receiving his super powers via an accident involving a particle accelerator and lightning, Barry forms his own support team to use his new found abilities to help others, along with stopping a few fellow meta humans from tearing Central City apart. This should be fun and I'm looking forward to it:



I know that Shonda Rhimes is a talented producer but due to being burnt out on medical shows(no Grey's Anatomy for me) and having no interest in behind the scenes political dramas(which is why Scandal and House of Cards do nothing for me, plus I have no intention of checking out Madam Secretary), I haven't experienced her style of TV just yet.

That all will change as How To Get Away With Murder makes it's opening statement later this month. Law school hijinks with a sharply charismatic teacher who practices the fine art of getting folks off sounds like a snappy sweet treat to me.

The big bonus,as well as drawing power, is having Viola Davis headline the cast. As Professor Annalise Keating, she truly practices what she preaches in the classroom and involving some of her students in a current murder case should raise more than a few eyebrows, not to mention be an eye-opener for those newbies as well.

It does trouble me that HTGAWM is up against Elementary on the same night and time, but since CBS is planning on Thursday Night Football(ugh), that might make it easier for me to take a few  classes with Professor Keating and see if I want to stick around for her mid-term exams:


So, keep an eye for these shows both here and on your TV and please feel free to suggest any others(except Madam Secretary, because I really do find shows like that boring beyond belief) or just share your thoughts about the upcoming fall TV season.

RANDOM NOTES:

DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY: PBS will air this adaptation of P.D. James' Pride and Prejudice themed murder mystery this October and even if you're not into Jane Austen, you may find this miniseries event engagingly delightful:




Monday, September 08, 2014

Having a Stephen King September

Since this month happens to have Stephen King's birthday in it, the Encore movie channel is doing a cinematic celebration in his honor.

Every night in September, they're showing a different King adaptation, ranging from the 1979 made for TV miniseries of 'Salem's Lot to King's one and so far only time in the director's chair,Maximum Overdrive.

 On his actual birthday,Sept.21, there will be an all day marathon of such SK titles as Stand By Me,Cujo and Secret Window. Now, if you don't have Encore on your cable line-up, that doesn't mean you can't join in the fearsome film fest fun. Here is a short yet sinisterly sweet list of Stephen King adaptations that should put you in the right fright mood:

CHRISTINE: This 1983 take on King's evil car novel is one of the better adaptations and a fine example of director John Carpenter's scary skills. From the slick use of both soundtrack and score to the subtly smart effects that built up suspense via a flicker of headlights, Christine is a ghoulish gal that delivers the gruesome goods.

Keith Gordon plays Arnie Cunningham, a nerdy teen who buys a junky 1950's Plymouth Fury and along with the vehicle, begins to change seemingly overnight from underestimated to dangerously cool and then just plain dangerous. Reluctantly on the running boards are Arnie's best pal Dennis(John Stockwell) and new girlfriend Leigh(Alexandra Paul), who both agree that the real love of Arnie's life plans to take them to their deaths.

Christine was the first Stephen King novel I ever read; the movie was playing at the theater down my street, which had a Hallmark store right next to it that had the tie-in film cover edition of the book in it's paperback rack. I saw the movie and read the book about the same week there. While I'm not a car person, both the book and film spoke to me as a teenage outsider. As an intro to Stephen King, this is a scarily smooth ride:




CARRIE: Encore will be showing the 2002 TV remake of King's debut novel(along with The Rage: Carrie 2) but a definite must-see for any King fan is the 1976 Brian DePalma film.

Yes, it's not perfect but this movie did set the bar first and holds an undeniable place in the modern horror film canon. The key elements to the success of the original Carrie are the performances by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, as mother and daughter locked together in a brutal ballad of love and hate.

Both ladies earned Oscar nominations for their work here and the film still makes many a "Best of.." list today. Christine is often seen as the male version of Carrie and I think that's more than a fair comparison yet when it comes to teen terror, she is without a doubt the belle of the ball:



MISERY: For a more grown-up taste of terror, King's nightmare version of a writer trapped in literary hell is picture perfect. Kathy Bates made movie history by winning Best Actress in 1990 for her work as Annie Wilkes, the "number-one fan" of romance author Paul Sheldon(James Caan), who unfortunately was rescued from a car wreck by this dementedly devoted ex-nurse.

This was a book that many felt was unfilmable, since it's mostly a two character story(I always thought it might make a great stage play, not a musical but a real trapdoor thriller). However, the film gives enough of an expansion to the plot without compromising the intense claustrophobic atmosphere needed for the main characters, thanks to William Goldman's screenplay and Rob Reiner's direction.

 I just saw this again the other night and Bates truly soars with her character's emotional highs and lows, a deadly balancing act that could easily turn into a hammy performance. Instead, Kathy Bates showcases her talents nicely, giving us a chilling aria from a terrifyingly terrific diva:



SLEEPWALKERS: It's no shame to say that being a Stephen King fan comes with a bit of a taste for cheesy film fare and one of my personal guilty pleasures in this category is the 1992 SK script that King wrote expressly for the silver screen.

While the story does get a tad muddled at times and prone to gruesome puns on occasion, not to mention the twisted mother and son relationship of the monstrous title villains that makes Norman Bates' bond with his mother appear almost wholesome, there is something to this movie that makes it engaging to watch.

Part of the reason for that is Alice Krige, who plays Mary, the last of her vampric kind who relies on her son Charles(Brian Krause) to bring her the life force of young virgins in order to survive. She really gives this role her all and then some. Remember, if you see Alice Krige in a movie or TV episode, keep an eye on her character as more than likely, she's up to no good(and will do that well).

The movie also has several horror writer cameos(yes,King himself is included) and is credited as one of the first to use morphing effects. It's a weird one, to be sure, but rather fun in a funky way and besides, how can you not like a horror movie where a police cat is the hero?:


Happy birthday in advance, Stephen King and I hope you get all the cake you want on your special day. As for the rest of us, getting into the King groove might be seen as more suited to Halloween but such a modern master of the macabre is worth cherishing the year round:


Friday, September 05, 2014

The Year of Freddy Fear takes a class with Jack Brooks, Monster Slayer

Welcome once again to The Year of Freddy Fear, where we take a look at the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well as other films by Robert Englund. Our entry today is a bizarre back-to-school special called Jack Brooks, Monster Slayer, a Canadian horror comedy from 2008.

The title character(Trevor Matthews) is a plumber who also takes a community college science class with his eternally cranky girlfriend Eve. Seriously, this girl is constantly complaining about everything, except for the weaselly guy in class who dresses like a hipster and talks like a hippie(his favorite solution to any problem is "hashish").

 Jack is usually pretty mellow but with a quick temper,due to seeing his whole family slaughtered by a monster during his childhood(this is a movie not afraid to show flashbacks where little kids get freaked out big time). Naturally, this makes him very prone to violent rages that cause plenty of trouble for Jack in most day-to-day situations:



Since Jack can be a nice guy, he agrees to help out his teacher Professor Crawley(Robert Englund) with a plumbing problem at the spooky old house that he's fixing up. That bout of pipe cleansing leads to a discovery in the back yard, as Crawley finds an old box of bones with a demon heart that he is compelled to swallow whole.

He soon becomes possessed by the evil within and turns into a Sid & Marty Kroft looking monster during class, with huge tentacles that capture his students for either monster conversion or consumption. That leads Jack to a great opportunity to channel his inner rage as he battles the new batch of creatures that have taken over the school:



This isn't a very complicated movie,folks; it's barely ninety minutes long. However, JB:MS is rather decent fun, especially if you enjoy goofy gore and monster fights.

Englund gives a mainly physical performance, as his sweet natured teacher persona slowly deteriorates into a gruesomely gross fiend who stumbles around his classroom and develops a rather nasty appetite. Not even the professor's dog is safe(small spoiler) but that at least happens off screen.

  He does make this change over rather believable, giving one of the better performances in the film. Most of the acting is wooden at best, which is fine for something silly like this, but I would've liked a little less screeching from the female characters here.

 I know Jack is supposed to be the big hero but that doesn't mean the girls have to be scream machines in order for him to do that. Granted, most of the characters in this film are about as solidly drawn as cardboard cut-outs on both sides of the gender coin yet there was one gal who seemed a tad feisty and flirty towards Jack. She could have joined him in the battle there but was relegated to monster prisoner in the background too soon for my taste.

Back to Englund, his work here is nicely done and shows just how much of a team player he is. It wouldn't be hard to overshadow the rest of the cast here but he wisely chooses to play along well with others. Something tells me that he had a good time making this movie and it shows:


So far, Jack Brooks,Monster Slayer has a small following and there is talk of a sequel but nothing substantial just yet. I think this would make a nice little franchise and maybe that will happen.

In the meanwhile, JB:MS is a great goofy romp that should fit the bill for a monster mash movie watching mood. Tune in next month as  The Year of Freddy Fear lets Wes Craven reveals his New Nightmare and remember to bring that apple for your teacher or you might have to stay after class permanently: