Saturday, September 10, 2016

Benoît Sokal's Inspector Carnado

 "Le Chien debout" - Benoït Sokal (France, 1981)
Et hundeliv (Danish edition, 1982)

34 years after this comic album (graphic novel) came out and I finally get to read it. I didn't buy the series 34 years ago as I was sick of funny animals and comics with Donald Duck style characters - who were funny. This isn't in retrospect - I do remember seeing the albums back then and deciding not to buy them.

Skip to 34 years later and I'm kicking myself in the head for not getting them back then. But then again, maybe the jokes and adult humour would have gone over my head, haha. I found the album in a big pile of unread comics on the floor sitting between, well, other stuff. It was a pile of ex library comics that I bought at a big indoor market 6-7 years ago.

This is awesome stuff and although it's full of humour it's nowhere near funny-animals funny. This is full of mean spirited characters, violence, death, dark humour and sarcasm.
I'll have to track down the other albums. Apparently there's four more in Danish.

I checked English Wiki but whoever made the entry didn't do a very good job of it. All the French albums are listed with English titles but I'm certain most of them are just translated titles, they're not actually release in English (you don't list translations as titles when they're mere translations). And no info on the few albums that did actually get a release in the English speaking world. Wiki is only as good as the last guy who made an entry.

And kudos to Søren Vinterberg for the Danish translation. It has a flow and crispness that borders on sheer poetry.

The first issue (in French) is from 1979 and Benoît Sokal is still churning them out. The newest issue is #23 from 2015. Don't tell me I have to learn bloody French to read the rest of the series!
(actually I don't - I see the entire series is released in Germany as well)

Tapes, Tapes, Everywhere ...*

I found a video display ... holder/cabinet ... whatever you wanna call it at a second hand market a while back. It doesn't hold too many tapes but it's pretty cool and means you can have a bunch of tapes sitting in your lounge room next to the tv, your chair or wherever. The tapes are just random tapes, there's no system here.

*Okay, I'm misquoting Samuel Taylor Colridge's old poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" there so sue me. :P

Friday, September 9, 2016

One shelf at a time

It's been going for months now, and the getting everything sorted out and put in place (i.e. the tidying up nightmare) is still in progress. The past few days I've got my ex-library hardcover comics (i.e. graphic novels mainly from the French/Belgian school of comics) in place, my records (most of 'em anyway) and a few shelves of non ex-library graphic novels. One shelf contains graphic novels that I had in a closed cupboard since the mid 80's!!! (they're almost still in mint condition). I guess it's about time for a reread.

Hardcover graphic novels (all ex library copies)

Soft cover graphic novels, also ex library copies. No, you don't usually put comic books in a pile when you're a collector but these are worn copies from the library and they're totally bent in all directions so I'm trying to get them somewhat back into their original shape.

LPs. I began to buy records around 1980 and I've still got most of them.

Most of the graphic novels from the cupboard I mentioned atop the original post.

I collected Jonah Hex when the original magazines came out. I discovered the mag early on and bought them all from ish #1 and thru to the end. I love the fact they're reprinting them now. Also Tomb of Dracula and House of Secrets/House of Mystery are comics I used to read back in the day. Very cool to finally be able to get complete reprints. And I love that they're in black & white which suits these comics much better than colour.

Blurry piccie of yours truly in front of some of my films. They are NOT placed in any kind of order yet!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

STAY SICK! Newsletter

If you're one of my Scandinavian readers who don't subscribe to the news feed on this blog's Danish section you might wanna check this out: I've just posted a new issue of my SS NYT - the newsletter companion to my old zine STAY SICK! It's all in Greek of course.

Go here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tracking down old SOUTH PARK box sets

I've always loved SOUTH PARK, ever since my ex girlfriend sent me one of the very first VHS releases from OZ in the 1990's. Recently I've started to collect the series on dvd but since I'm skint most of the time I go for the cheapest sets on Amazon UK.

There's quite a few different releases; UK PAL, US NTSC, volumes as part of a season, full seasons, old releases, repacked releases. Last week I received season 2 and season 11. What a difference between the two sets! Season two is an - dare I say - oldskool dvd box set in which they've simply collected volume 4-7 in a big carton box; i.e. four dvd's in individual cases and four identical four page booklets + four identical 28 pp video catalogues! Season 11 is a compact set of three dvd's in one digi type pack. The latter takes up a fourth of the other set but the oldskool set is way cooler.

Monday, July 11, 2016

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (usa 1951) dir: Christian Nyby

It's half past three in the morning on these shores and I've just finished watching the original movie adaptation of "Who Goes There?" entitled THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951). And I liked it quite a bit! You'd probably be hard pressed to find anybody who thinks it's better than Carpenter's remake, THE THING, but I thought it was pretty good, not cheesy at all and no wooden acting or bad effects (and I'm not the only one, check out Michael Weldon's review from the original Psychotronic Video book!). And I do like snapper cases (in contradiction to everyone else).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lost zombies finally walking

Way before zombie films infested the film landscape as much as the living dead do the real landscape (at least in said films) Ian Helstrup made his 30 minute, shot on 16mm, black & white zombie film debut NEKROLOG in Denmark in 2000. The film is piece of work on its own but was ultimately meant as a teaser for a real feature length film. Unfortunately, Helstrup passed away in 2001 a year after finishing the film. The scarce info that I have about cinema runs is the film had a very few theatrical screenings and then disappeared due to the director's passing away.

The film was never released in any home cinema format and has never been shown on television. Don't hold your breath while waiting for an official release. 16 years down the line I don't think we're gonna see one. A few first generation VHS screeners were sent out for review and one of those screeners has finally made it to YouTube - over a decade and a half after the film was finished! I remember seeing Ian Helstrup talking enthusiastically about his film in an episode of a Danish TV3 talkshow (I reviewed the episode in my zine Stay Sick! #1 in 2000). I've still got the programme on a VHS somewhere and I guess I ought to pull it out and upload at some point.

Needless to say, I wish Ian Helstrup could have made his full length zombie film that he dreamed of. Unfortunately, that wasn't meant to be. What we have here is a fine 30 minute short that shows a lot of potential. And do keep in mind this came out way before zombie flicks started popping up everywhere, rivalling the sheer numbers of the living dead that rise from their graves in these films.

The YouTube upload is in Danish sans subtitles. Hopefully some fan is gonna do a subbed version at some point but until that happens I urge you to watch NEKROLOG even if you don't capisce the lingo. You'll get the gist of the story line even without the dialogue and it's a fine wee new millennium film about rotting cadavers rising from their graves.

PS: If you read Danish you might wanna check the links on the YT page, one of them is for an interview with the director (from 2000).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Legendary heavy metal shop Rock Uglen to close soon

The legendary Copenhagen heavy metal and horror movie store ROCK UGLEN is going to close down soon. Rock Uglen has existed more years than most of you have been alive and this is indeed sad news. Rock Uglen has existed for 33 years. I live far from Copenhagen and I'm far from being a regular customer, however, in the early to mid 2000's I used to go there on a regular basis. The photo is me in 2003. That year I was a zombie in a lowbudget Danish zombie flick called RÅDDEN KÆRLIGHED (aka Rotten Love) and at some point someone rang me and said "there's a poster of you at Rock Uglen!" And sure enough when I got there there was a poster of zombie-me on the wall. Not very big but, hey, it's a poster.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Black Cat 2: The Assassination of President Yeltsin (HK, 1992)

I just rewatched Stephen Shin's Hong Kong film BLACK CAT 2 from 1992. Not surprisingly it's a sequel to BLACK CAT (1991) also directed by Stephen Shin. The film's original cinema title is actually BLACK CAT 2: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT YELTSIN, hahaha.

Anyhoo, while the first film is a direct remake of Luc Besson's French film NIKITA, the sequel is a film all of its own. I remember when it came out 20 years ago, nobody - as in NOBODY - had anything positive to say about the film and, uh, maybe I bought into that notion a bit. I remember watching the film many years ago and disliking it not least because I thought there were simply too many gwailos in it. LOL. 

It's been a number of years since I watched the first film so this time I was able to watch the sequel as a stand alone film and quite frankly I enjoyed it quite a bit. No, it's probably not all that well written in the plot department, and no, the main character of the film, the "Black Cat" aka Erica, isn't even really the main character in the film. She's so two-dimensional that she comes across as a cartoon character, no depth what so ever. 

What saves the film are the action scenes, the shoot-out scenes and the fight scenes. And they come aplenty. As I said the first film is a remake and maybe because Stephen Shin & Co. actually had to come up with a plot of their own this time they kinda forgot what kind of character Erica is (a hitman). Instead they turned her into almost a cyborg. If part 1 was Nikita this film is Terminator 2!!! 

The ending is terrible but, hey, that's just Hong Kong for ya. But don't worry, there's two more sequels, BLACK CAT IN JAIL (2000) and THE BLACK CAT AGENT FILES (2003). Part 3 is right out terrible and part 4 only exists on unsubbed DVD (after having owned part 4 for something like a full decade I still haven't bothered to watch it). 

I highly recommend part 1. It's a better film than the film it remakes! Part 2 is recommended for those of you who are able to accept a wild action movie with a shit plot. Forget about part 3 and 4 and watch part 1 again. 

PS: it's a old (and now stained due to being right next to the coffee machine) poster from one of the Chinese cinemas in Melbourne on my wall. I actually watched BLACK CAT there in the early 90's.