In Ecclesiastes it says: “Everything has its time.” You know: “A time to be born, and a time to die,” etc. So, for instance, there’s a time for reading The New Yorker and a time for spraying milk out of your nose laughing at poo-poo jokes. I’m here today to proselytize about the latter, sisters and brothers. Specifically, I want to talk about five comics for the almost mature adult in us all. These are the frosting side of graphic literature, so check your refinements at the door.
Nerd Log, Stardate 59326 point…uhm…Tuesday, June 6.
It has been several weeks since the trailer for Star Trek: Discovery was released. I’m still not completely sure what to think. That first week I downloaded it and watched it repeatedly, then frame by frame. I read the hype machine, or a fair bit of it. All the while I burned through the five stages of fanboi reaction: indifference, manic happiness, suicidal pessimism and spent confusion. (I know, that is only four. I was a philosophy major. You do the math — or whatever.)
There is nothing controversial about the assertation: Star Wars is the most beloved space opera EVAR! Most beloved film ever, slightly controversial. Whatever the case, most of the world has seen it and many who have love it fanatically. As such, the franchise has made billions of dollars for its owners and has spawned other billion dollar industries. It amazes me that a work of fiction has done more economically, not to mention culturally, than some countries.
Before it became the juggernaut it is today, there was the influence it had on the film making community, an influence that spawned countless Star Warsploitation films. One such film is the subject of this month’s walk thru: The Humanoid (1979) by director George B. Lewis, who not only borrowed aspects from Star Wars but also co-oped a name very similar to George Lucas. I thought The Asylum was shameless. The director’s actual name is Aldo Lado, a name befitting an anagram master or a master “sampler” of other people’s work.
Oddly enough though, for all the appropriation in The Humanoid, the movie’s title doesn’t have the word “star” or “war” like most of the other Star Warsploitation films. I guess there was a line Lado wouldn’t cross after all, though I am scratching my head on that one.
That said, let’s see just how much Lado sampled in this walk thru of the 1979 spaghetti Star Warsploitation, The Humanoid:
Today is Xmas, the most wonderful time of the year: a time when everything is perfect, when all boys and girls are well behaved, when man loves his fellow man (and woman, etc, etc.), when dogs and cats snuggle together in peaceful harmony, when fruit cake is a delicious confectionary treat, the time of the year when one’s soul cannot help but sing at the beatitude of the day. Or is it the worst wonderful time of the year: a time when everything is horrible, when all boys are girls are devils, when man loathes his fellow man (and woman, etc, etc.), when dogs and cats fight viciously for dominance, when fruit cake is a chunk of disgusting, the time of the year when one crawls into the darkest of corners and prays for death?
For René Cardona it was the latter. Granted, it was the late 1950s, a simpler time all around, and Cardona was in Mexico, which was a land in an unparalleled Golden Age, all of which likely influenced Santa Claus, also known as Santa Claus vs. The Devil, to fall on the happy-go-lucky side of the spectrum. Or maybe the world really is a candy cane dream in the waning days of the year. Whichever end of the spectrum your feelings on this matter fall into join me for this month’s walk thru where I’ll be seeing if Santa Claus is naughty or nice.
In 1979 George Miller changed the dystopian future. Before Mad Max, dystopian movies were overly cerebral sci fi with nihilistic endings—stories that made you want to shoot yourself. Suicide was not to avoid a dismal fate, but to avoid suffering another God awful movie. Now almost all dystopia are set in a desert that’s inhabited by filthy, blood-thirsty circus freaks driving metal monstrosities.
One of the many Mad Maxploitation films is Charles Band’s Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. I happened upon it in a carwash dollar bin. Though it was priced twice what it’s worth, I needed something for this month’s walk-thru. So, fasten your safety belts and keep a sharp lookout for roaming bands of ravagers, we’re going back to the dark times, 1983.