So we happened to take a good, long look at DC Comics’ upcoming March covers. Our verdict? The lot of ’em are pretty damn sweet. Our attention has certainly been grabbed thanks to the creative comic book cover takes on classic movie posters.
Ever watch a movie and see the name Alan Smithee pop-up as the director, or maybe the writer in the credits? Wonder how this one person could possibly write and/or direct so many varied films, and they all…well, happen to not be very good? You may find my questions coy as most of you already know that Alan Smithee is an alias usually regulated to a filmmaker who wishes to have their name removed from a project. This name-change is usually the result of a long, strenuous battle between filmmaker and studio, or when cuts and edits are made to a director’s film against their wishes. Whatever the case, here at Grizzly Bomb it got our gears moving on a new list, this one focusing on the many films in which a director disowned their own film, sometimes using the Smithee alias, storming off set, or staying silent about the film altogether. Some even had the clout (either at the time or later on) to lock the film up away from the public altogether.
If nothing else, figure makers NECA certainly know how to keep a fandom happy. When they are not making superbly sculpted figures out of retro game franchises (Robocop, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Batman are just a few of the characters that have under gone this process so far), then they are creating plastic versions of your favorite scary movie characters.
Now in its third series, the NECA Alien figures have given fans of the franchise the opportunity to own their own versions of characters like Hicks and Hudson from the series one, and exclusive NECA creation – Sgt Craig Windrix in series two. a tribute to NECA employee Kyle Windrix’s brother Craig, who recently lost his battle with stage 4 stomach cancer. Additionally, a whole heap of Xenomorphs are available too.
With series three we have some new entries to the collectibles with Bishop (Aliens), Face Hugger Kane (Alien) and the Dog Xenomorph from Aliens 3. Up until recently we only had some generic, (but well detailed) photos of these figures.
Luckily for all Alien fans however, NECA has released some higher quality images of two of these characters, giving us a much better look at the craftsmanship that has gone into their creation. Starting with Bishop (played by Lance Henriksen in the movie), we get an incredibly detailed facial sculpt of the actor, as well as his attire from the movie. Though not seen in this picture he does come with his trusty knife, so if you feel the need to reenact that classic cafeteria scene in figure form you now have the chance.
Next up is Kane in his Nostromo space suit with an unwanted guest, the Face Hugger. The details on the Nostromo suit are great, as is the sculpt of the Face Hugger itself, which looks just as slimy and horrific as it does in the movie. Looking at it too long can make your throat feel quite uncomfortable! The cool thing about this figure is that the helmet can actually be removed, giving you an even better look at the character design and Face Hugger sculpt.
NECA has also spared no expense on the packaging art, with the movie design of the film the character starred in incorporated into the actual blister pack artwork.
No news on the dog Alien from Alien 3 as of yet, but hopefully it shouldn’t be too long until we get some detailed photos of that figures design. But if you still need to get some Alien action figure freak on before the end of this article, then why not have a look at the soon to be released Alien Queen figure.
If you were impressed by the look and sheer size of this new figure, then wait until you see the box art it will come in which is equally as stunning.
And just so we end on even more Alien action, why not look a this other figure NECA also created, which has to be one of my all time favorite plastic creations.
For more news on NECA and other action figure releases then why not sign up to the Grizzly Bomb newsletter and don’t forget to keep checking the website for more Alien and up coming collectibles news. And remember to “like” us on Facebook.
What Alien franchise character do you think NECA should turn their hand to next? Why not let us know in the comments section below.
Judge Dredd, the Lawman of the Future certainly gets himself into some scrapes in the pursuit of justice in Mega-City 1.
In his many years on the streets, he has fought a wide variety of foes including a future zombie version of himself, vampires, werewolves and even Santa, as well as the regular assortment of law breakers and perps. But some of his entanglements have definitely been odd, even for a guy who sees mutants and undead judges on a semi-regular basis. With the release of the new graphic novel Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens out October 21 (today), it seemed just the right time to look at who else in the fandom universe Dredd has had the pleasure to kick around with.
Judge Dredd / Batman (1991, 1993, 1995, 1998)
Recently collected into a trade paperback, these adventures have both Dredd and Batman turning up in numerous places (sometimes in Gotham, sometimes in Mega-City 1), having a tussle with someone (or each other) and then teaming up to solve a greater problem.
In Judgment on Gotham, the duos’ first encounter used a dimensional portal to bring the two characters together. It works slightly better in this context because the Judge Dredd foes, The Dark Judges, used dimensional devices to first visit Mega-City 1, and Judge Death uses it here to go to Gotham City. Batman believes he has taken out the Judge and ends up accidentally transporting himself to Mega-City 1. After Judge Anderson clears up who Batman is, we get quite an adventure penned again by Wagner and Grant, with The Scarecrow and Judge Death teaming up to wreak havoc at a rock concert in Gotham. The Simon Bisley artwork really adds something special to the story and the way he draws Scarecrow and Judge Death makes them even more chilling than normal.
The second book in the series, Vendetta in Gotham, has a fun (if slightly filler feeling) script by John Wagner and Alan Grant that actually uses this notion of superhero team-ups having a punch first, talk later policy to its advantage. This is seen in a nice plot twist halfway through the story which I will not reveal here, but it comes off as refreshing change, just like the villains, The Ventriloquist and Scarface, who are rarely used in such a way in the comics. This is all supported by Cam Kennedy’s great artwork in the book.
The last two entries are The Ultimate Riddle which has The Riddler getting in on the action, and the story throwing Batman and Judge Dredd into a gladiator styled battle arena, while Die Laughing had The Joker rehashing Scarecrow’s scheme, going to Mega-City 1 to release The Dark Judges with Batman hot on their tails. They were both fun in their own way, with some great artwork by Glenn Fabry and Carl Critchlow. However the stories never had the impact that the first two Wagner/Grant stories had. A little bit of fun but nothing too exciting, maybe the series team up had reached its natural end.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd is a story with limited plot, but enough fun scenes to get it through. Basically it involves a Predator coming down to hunt the Judges, and Dredd has to get down and dirty to take him out. The book does stuff in some obvious links to the other films, mostly Psi Judge Schaefer, a relation of Dutch from the first Predator film. Then there is the scene where Schaefer drinks Predator blood to track him down which seems slightly silly but it mostly reads like a big action epic and is fun enough for that exact reason.
Judge Dredd vs Aliens (2003)
Judge Dredd has met a fair few alien creatures, some on vacation, some with mischief in mind and, in one instance, some used as muscle for the insane Chief Judge Cal in The Day the Law Died. So it was no great surprise that he would eventually tussle with both the Xenomorphs and Predators.
In Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, John Wagner and Andy Diggle (writers) and Henry Flint (artist) do a great job at bringing the Aliens to Dredd’s world. When the usual stomach problems cause a chest burster to emerge out of a perp, it is up to Judge Dredd to try and keep the Alien infestation under control before they get loose and start impregnating the citizens. This all extends out into a bigger plot line and the reasons behind the Aliens actually arriving on Mega-City 1 are satisfying once revealed. With scenes ranging from the hospital where the chest burster first appears at, into the bowels of The Halls of Justice where something sinister is afoot, it all amasses to a fun read.
There are elements of each of the first movies here, with Dredd having his own Verminators helping him to solve problems very similar to the marine help Ripley had in Aliens. The lead up to the hospital scene has the suspense of the original Alien movie stamped all over it. The only downside is that Dredd seems pretty much invincible here, with even acid blooded Aliens not giving him too much stress. However, when he meets the Predator, he has to go into full Arnold Schwarzenegger mode to take it down.
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd (2013)
Dredd did not stop there with the extraterrestrials. His next big meeting was in the IDW universe where he squared off against the Martians. In 2012, IDW started their own Judge Dredd comic, with a separate continuity, but by and large keeping with the general feel of the original UK comic books. Think ‘Ultimate Judge Dredd’ and you get the idea. IDW has recently become quite well-known for their lavish in-house crossovers. Infection 1 and 2 started the ball rolling, with zombies and Cthulhu-styled creatures appearing in comics published by IDW (Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, etc.). In 2013, their cross-over event was Mars Attacks, and while most comics had just one appearance in each of their issues, Dredd had his own mini-series involving the grotesque invaders.
The plot is simple enough (a pattern we have seen before in these cross-overs with Dredd) with a search for a new mob leader that involves a former mob boss’ son turning up with some familiar looking aliens to back him up in his attempt to take over. Dredd gets roped into things when the sector house he is visiting is right in the middle of this mob takedown. Dredd, of course, then does his thing. Yet again there is not much story here, but what is on show works thanks to the Al Ewing story. Seeing these characters fight it out is lots of fun and the mix of violence and comedy flows together smoothly on the page, which was beautifully illustrated by John McCrea.
Judge Dredd vs. The Rest
Even after the Dark Knight and Alien invaders making appearances with Dredd, there are still a handful of others left that may be of interest. Judge Dredd vs. Lobo: Psycho Bikers vs. Mutants from Hell (1995) has Wagner and Grant reuniting for writing duties, with some explosive artwork from Val Semeiks tying it all together. Lobo meets Mean Machine and then Dredd has to get involved. You can pretty much guess the rest, as a lot of property damage gets done along the way! Great fun if you love Lobo as that sense of humor is spliced throughout this book, but Dredd fans may feel a little left out as sometimes it feels like the main man is running the show and he is just along for the ride. Still it’s a short read, so no harm.
The 2000 AD anniversary issues are like having a little homage to all of the characters past and present, with a few short pages dedicated to self-mockery of said characters. These stories are normally very self-aware and have a tendency to wink at the audience to let you in on the joke. It is here in the 25th anniversary of the magazine, a meeting takes place, which would have made a darn fine comic, with Judge Dredd meeting Marshal Law, the hero hunting anti-hero. Though it is only a page long, it makes you think that the two would have teamed up for future endeavors rather than having the usual fist fight.
Finally, there were two events that even the die-hard Dredd fans might have missed. One had him meeting with 1980s UK comedy performer Jeremy Beadle. whose wacky ‘caught on-camera’ pranks got the better of him in Mega-City 1, or when he appeared with Captain Britain, Dan Dare, Lenny Henry and Desperate Dan to celebrate the UK charity event Red Nose Day. That one is just plain strange!
So what is left for Dredd? Well there are plenty of superheroes out there for him to team up with (or against), but also with the numerous versions of Dredd out there now (the Stallone movie version, the Karl Urban movie version, the UK comic version and the IDW comic version) it would be nice to see a cross-universe shakeup involving all the versions of Dredd turning up. Only the future will tell for sure, but if it does happen you can be sure Grizzly Bomb will let you know. If we left out any of your favorite Judge Dredd meetings, let us know in the comments section or on our Facebook page!
Images: 2000 AD, Fleetway Publications, DC Entertainment,
Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Red Nose Day, Cartoon Aid.
Film posters are amazing. Not only do they help advertise to people quickly and easily the content of any film, they also are truly stunning pieces of art in themselves looking great displayed on our walls. However, this is not always the case. Some posters confuse us, so a bad film is made out to be good, while some don’t really tell us anything about the movie and others lose the plot entirely showing us random images or awful art and leave us thinking about what mental state the artist could have been when they devised this monster of a poster. For some reason some of the best examples of these types of poster come from abroad in non-English speaking countries and this is what I want to focus on here, those posters that with out the internet’s help would be lost in a trash can for all time. This week we focus on the Horror genre.
Uproxx has showcased a new and exciting short by a new 22-year-old German director called Kaleb Lechowski. Later this month he is arriving in Los Angeles and this little feature is a hell of a calling card for him. The plot involves a mainly one piece scene where an alien has become trapped by a robot interrogator who needs vital information from him. While watching this please take note that Kaleb made this entirely himself, with CGI over a seven month period.
After watching this the obvious parallels between The Terminator franchise have to be mentioned, but the robots themselves look a lot more like the robotic creatures from The Matrix trilogy. They have an organic fluidity to them that makes them fascinating to look at and quite terrifying. The alien looks very much like an oceanic creature with its smooth lines and gill like curvatures (even though we know their home world looks mostly land based). The plot has a hint of Star Wars to it as well; it unfolds like Darth Vader’s interrogation of Princess Leia in A New Hope.
The solo setting works incredibly well in helping to put the focus on the two leads. Also the way these two characters manage to grip us and keep our attention without actually having a lot of facial features is amazing. While watching this I was enthralled throughout. It is easy to see how this piece was going to end however, with the mechanical creature’s references to how inferior organic life can be, becoming something even crueller than its creators could ever be because of its lack of emotions or empathy. The short looks stunning and the voice acting by Dave Masterton really needs to be commended as it shapes these characters and helps to give them life. Hopefully this will not be the last time we hear from Kaleb, as this piece in six minutes has created a sense of tension and amazement a lot of movies fail to achieve at all.
So we here at Grizzly Bomb have a mammoth Countdown to Halloween going on, focusing on some of the greatest Halloween icons to ever terrify humanity. However, here I just want to give a thumbs up to some of the more obscure creatures of the night who have terrified me over the years.
So welcome to our Countdown to Halloween Special – Top 10 B-Movie Monsters. Click on through our new handy Tabber below and prepare yourself for some B-Movie greatness.
The one creature in the universe that could discourage me from being an astronaut is strangely enough one of my favorite horror creatures. The Xenomorph or Alien was first introduced in the 1979 film of the same name, and although the film came out before my time, it stills bring in the scares. The concept of Alien was brought forward by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, who wrote the script for the 1979 film. However the Xenomorphs design was the brain child of H. R. Giger. The creature is truly alien in the way it looks, sounds and even evolves (I’ll discuss that later on). The Xenomorph has been in a grand total of seven films over its impressive lifetime, and although not all the films were perfect, the majority were some of the best Sci-Fi/Horror films ever made.
Before I start this episode review, I just wanted to let people be aware that it contains massive spoilers about the fates of Rory and Amy, so please be warned. Also because of the dense and in-depth nature of this week’s plot line, I have broken it down to its bare essentials. Enjoy.
Prometheus is a good Sci-Fi film with great acting and an interesting plot, but sadly it wasn’t a great Sci-Fi film and definitely wasn’t this generations Alien. But I would love to see a sequel which could easily fix the problems I found with this film. The best advice I can give to anyone going to see this film would be not to have your expectations to the level that the hype has put it.
Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a ground-breaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was very professional and you could feel the emotion but the main flaw I found with the characters and the film in general were that you couldn’t connect with the people. The main character Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) was the exception to this with a realistic but strong character who survives at all costs (credit goes to her with a great performance). Sadly the characters you start to like get very little screen time and the one’s you don’t really care about (Charlie) get time that was more boring than interesting. Then there’s my main fault with this film. The crew don’t really mix very well and you get the feeling their all in their own little worlds, rather than experiencing something as a group. So in that respect it loses some of its authenticity.
Think I have moaned enough about the characters for now, so let’s talk about something more fun like the visuals. The special effects, physical props and visual landscape shots where both excellent viewing and brilliantly immersive to the universe that Ridley Scott’s created. There’s nothing quite like being four rows from the screen of an IMAX 3D showing of Prometheus and I would definitely recommend that experience. At one point the spaceship felt like it was landing two feet from your seat which was a little shocking because I have never sat that close at an IMAX. The best thing I felt about this films look was the way that the ships interiors and the alien building where all real and built in the Pinewood Studios which gave everything a realistic touch which helps to bring you closer to believing you’re in that world.
The plot is very much its own. If nothing else this film is not like any other and for that Ridley Scott has made a great addition to his Sci-Fi resume. My favorite scene without giving anything away would be the end scene of the film and if you have seen alien you will know why, but the other would probably be anything involving the Android David (Michael Fassbender) because he was such a great character and played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender who was being great as always. So if there is a sequel which after watching the film I would be expecting one, then I hope that they keep David but give him more face time and a better physical presence.
Finally I would like to address the question of whether Prometheus is a prequel to the Alien film. In my opinion it certainly was a prequel and the film does nothing but leave clues to the original films plot and origins. The end gives you the strongest connection to the original; they couldn’t have made that last scene more revealing to the alien origins if you saw the crew of the Nostromo land at the end. Simply put though this film needed to be more like alien and have a more structured and sensible plot that wouldn’t confuse viewers, I did feel that the film alienated (pure coincidence I used that word) people who wouldn’t get some of the more subtle and complicated plot strands. So go watch it because the film is a great viewing pleasure and will keep you thinking for a long time after about what happened.
grizzly rating 4.5