The surreal swirl of stark futurism, psychedelia, and neon indulgence is…pleasantly overwhelming? Comfortably disturbing? Certainly it’s something that demands one’s attention even as it lulls you into a fugue state.
The official books that continue the adventures of James Bond beyond those written by Ian Fleming constitute a long, occasionally rewarding, often perilous minefield of reading material. For every success in the series, there is a scene of…oh I don’t know. James Bond visiting Euro Disney. Or James Bond sitting down at University of Texas student party hang-out Chuy’s to eat out of plastic basket while slurping flavored frozen margaritas. Which is to say that being “better” than most sanctioned 007 adventures is something of a loaded compliment.
A long time ago, George Lucas hired Alan Dean Foster to write a sequel to Star Wars, operating under the assumption that Star Wars might not make much money, that the sequel would need to be really low budget, and that Harrison Ford would refuse to reprise his role as Han Solo. On the Cultural Gutter, In An Alternate Galaxy Far, Far Away looks at what Foster came up with
Unfortunately, the remainder of the film’s obsession with mythology building and referencing previous films results in a tangled mess that, despite being over two hours in length, still feels like an hour of the film is missing.
This year marks a special edition of Boooo-zy Tales on Alcohol Professor, because we’re bringing it to you live – or are we – from Dublin, Ireland. Like every big town in Europe, Dublin is one of the most haunted. And like many pubs in that part of the world, many of Dublin’s pubs are haunted by former customers for whom death is no excuse for not popping in for a quick pint.
Over on the Cultural Gutter, I’m taking a look at Brian Lumley’s first three Titus Crow novels, in which he turns Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos on its ear. Now Cthulhu is Blofeld examines Lumley’s preference for men of action, eschewing Lovecraft’s terrified academics in favor of two-fisted psychics flying around in magic clocks, shooting lasers at Cthulhu and his minions, which have been reduced to a bunch of B-grade Ultraman monsters.
A crumbling ruin. A mist-shrouded forest. A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a seemingly defenseless young woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men.