Thursday, October 18, 2018

Halloween Horror: Levithan (1989)


The next movie this month comes from the depth of the ocean in 1989. It is the film Leviathan and it wants to know……”How long can you hold your breath?”


Actually, for little over a minute and I think that is ok for a non-professional swimmer/diver. It is also a tagline that has literally no connection to the film.

PLOT

Set in the near future (so I guess this was supposed to be like now or a few years prior?) a group of underwater miners working for the Tri-Oceanic Corporation are almost at the end of their 90 day work rotation. They have almost their quota and their also their wits end with their, work, crew and life under the sea. While finishing their mining for precious sea bottom minerals, one miner (the over sexed goof-off of the crew named known as Six Pack) wanders off and happens to fall into a random ravine. As the crew rushes to save him he reappears with a discovery. He has found a sunken Russian ship!
Well, of course they are going to investigate this sunken ship and bring back some loot! I mean if they didn’t there would be no real story right? A safe is retrieved from the wrecked ship by the drinky horn-dog Six Pack. Once opened the crew finds a bottle of vodka, some personnel files and a few VHS casettes. The vodka gets pilfered by Six Pack and he skirts off to share it with female crew member Bridget.

Meanwhile….the ship doctor and the mining rig C.O. Beck (Stephen Beck, but everyone calls him Beck )investigate the tapes and the ship, which is named Leviathan. Low and behold the Russian ship Leviathan is currently sailing ocean and not at the sea floor. Wyrd!?!?!?! Also the video tapes show various Russian crew members in various states of being bed ridden, ill and possibly mutated?!?! The doc pieces together that the Russians were trying to make under water soldiers and failed. So they apparently sunk the Leviathan and scrubbed all information about this.
 


Well just then Six Pack and Bridget get all virus-like sick. Six Pack dies from this “virus” but not before getting all fish scaly and gross. OH NO!!! The vodka was the carrier for the Russian mutation stuff! Bridget sees this and kills herself not wanting the same to happen to her. The doc and Beck decide to dump the bodies and hide the fish man story. This sounds great until the dead bodies begin to struggle as they are dumped out into the briny deep. Of course a random leg gets clipped off and squirms away into the depths of the mining rig habitat.
 
"Hey doc does this look infected?"
 

It soon mutates into an eel monster and begins to terrorize the crew. Hell, it eventually forms itself into and amalgam of fish, eel and crew members. Then it begins to destroy the mining rig and chase down the remaining crew. Beck and the remaining gang have to fight for their lives and try to make it back to the surface and safety.
 
Hello there!

BUT WAIT!!!!
There is also the whole story thread of the Tri- Oceanic Corp. keeping the miners below the surface. See there is an approaching hurricane and they can’t bring the crew up at the 90 day limit. They will have to stay down there for safety and might as well work a few more days until the storm passes. Harsh, but fair? Right? Well then the doctor also tells the corporation bosses about the deadly genetic mutation outbreak by calling it a virus. He does this to keep this genetic mutation from getting to the surface. This leads to the Tri-Oceanic corporate goons to make a story of a horrible mining accident and all the crew members were killed. It will hurt their stock, but not as much as a virus or giant fish man mutation getting out to the world. Yup! The evil corporate entity is evil bit.
  
Robocop hashes it out with evil corporate figurehead

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Halloween Horror - The Creature from the Black Lagoon


Halloween month movie reviews. Here I’ll talk plot, star power/actor potential (should this be better or worse given the cast), what was good, what was bad and would I recommend it.
The first from the beneath the water themed October horror movies is the 1954 release of The Creature from the Black Lagoon.


PLOT
A geology expedition in the Amazon led by Dr. Carl Maia uncovers some crazy fossil evidence that could link aquatic and land mammals. Of course the fossil found is a wyrd large skeletal hand with webbed fingers. Dr. Carl heads back to the states to tout his find to his buddy Dr. David. You know what comes next……A full group of science nerds, and for some reason, the girlfriend of one of them heads off to the Amazon to find more fossils and possibly the remaining skeleton that belongs to this fossil hand.
 
"Lets go find us some fish man fossils!"
Now as they search around the shores of the river a heavily scaled humanoid fish-man becomes curious of the party. He beastie is found rummaging around their camp and scares a couple scientists. They panic and attack the fish-man. It retaliates and kills the two of them. The dead scientists are found by Dr. Carl and crew and assume this attack was done by a jungle cat. They continue with their fossil search because why not. I mean these were just lesser assistants and their deaths were just a part of the job. The crew hop a boat and travel down river thinking they will find more fossil evidence in the seclude and mysterious Black Lagoon. A body of water  off the Amazon where nobody has ever returned from!
 
(insert World of Warcraft Murloc noise here)

Well now they have invaded the personal home of the fish man who attacked the camp. He begins to terrorize the science crew, or maybe he is just defending his home from invaders. Either way the scientists and boat crew have a few skirmishes with the fish man. This leads to more scientist and boat crew deaths and plots to capture and /or kill the fish man. The beast also falls for the girlfriend of Dr. David as fish men are want to do. The cat and mouse game of man vs. beast runs for a while until it grabs Kay, the girlfriend of Dr. David, and takes her to his watery lair. Now Dr. David and Dr. Carl give chase to rescue Kay and stop the monster.
 
Now lets go kill the living fossil fish man we found!
He is after our women!
This leads to an eventual showdown where Kay is saved by the Dr.’s and the creature is riddled with bullets. The last we see of the beast is it slowly sinking to the depths of the Black Lagoon. Dead…..OR IS IT!?!?!?!
 
 
STAR POWER
I have no idea if this movie was full of soon to famous or already famous. This is a big pass here since I have no idea who the cast of this film is or was. I can say I didn’t hate any of the characters portrayed so…. Whomever they are/were they did good work for an old school monster movie.
 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Halloween Movie TIme 2018!!


For the Halloween season this year I’m staying away from horror reboots. The last two years have been fairly unpleasant horror movie watching with all the pointless remakes of all the various hooro films.
Now this year I am still going to do a theme when it comes to some horror films.
I thought I would tackle a genre of horror that I haven’t really been a big fan or really enjoyed.
These are creature features from a few different decades.
They are also relegated to B movie status, but that is fairly common for all creature features.
I love me a good monster movie, but how will I fair when the monsters come only from……..
…..beneath the water!!!!!!!

Yup this October I’m going to watch (and re-watch in one situation after a double decade at least from the first view) a quartet of creature features about underwater monsters.
I’m going to start in the 50’s with the best looking of the original Universal movie monsters….The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Then I’ll leap frog all the way into 1989 for a pair of undersea monsters from the same year. Oh how I love when Hollywood comes out with dueling films about similar subject matter. That  always works for  them doesn’t it? I’ll view Leviathan and Deep Star Six.
Finally, I’ll stop in the reciprocal of 89 to 1998 to watch Deep Rising.

So join me if you will as we set sail for proverbial adventure and exploration below the watery depths! Let us see if we can find an underwater creature movie that is as fun to watch as Jaws, less pretentious than the Abyss and better than Sharktopus.

First up……The Creature Black from the Black Lagoon

Friday, October 5, 2018

D&D Post Game 9-15-18 Part 3


The party made their way into the forest and began to travel in the Frost Peak foothills. This is where they lost their way. They found it increasingly difficult to follow tracks in and through the forested hills. Hour and hours were lost travelling one direction only to realize they were off the trail and needed to double back to where they started. It was several frustrating hours later when the tracks had been lost again, but they found something else. Several large shapes were stomping through the forest moving parallel to the party. It was a party of four ogres carrying large clubs, makeshift axes and a couple of bulky burlap bags. They were headed west and up farther into the foothills. The party leapt on their horses and quickly rode over to attack the beasts.

The adventurer’s leapt to action and laid into the ogres with daggers, pistol, fists and bow.  The surprised ogres didn’t have time to mount much of a resistance since they were ( somehow ) surprised by four warriors on horseback charging them from the woods! What happened next was a glorified dust up with the party sustaining limited damage and the ogres being pasted yet again. These heroes don’t take kindly to giant types and their associated ilk that was for sure. A quick recon of the scene and they party found a well-worn trail leading to a large cave in the hillside ahead. The ogres were carrying more foodstuffs in their rucksacks as well. They guessed that all this food was to fuel the voracious appetites of these large creatures. They quickly mounted up and rode off and up toward the hillside cave.

The party dismounted and approached the large and very fragrant smelling cave entrance ( think wet earth mixed with bad onions  and boys locker room ). As they stood there trying to devise a plan they were unaware that they were being watched from within the cave. See for people and horses standing outside of a cave are very easy to see if you are inside said cave and looking toward the entrance/exit. The group soon heard the approaching heavy foot falls of two rapidly approaching ogre sentries. Well it seemed that all their talking and planning was for nothing. They drew weapons and moved to a more defensive posture. Still it was only just two ogres right?

Well yes it was, but they put up more of a fight then the party expected. The rouge took a horrendous hit to the head neck and chest from a wide arcing swinging club. Even the monk was battered a bit by one of the ogres, but he was able to shake it off with help from a couple of healing potions. The quartet of heroes did their best to sneak through the dimly lit cave until they reached a large and loud chamber.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

D&D Post Game 9-15-18 Part 2


The four adventurers mounted their horses and rod e off following the footprints of ogres and at least one giant.

After a few hours of riding, the sun had almost set. It was twilight and they would lose the ability to follow these tracks shortly. It was then that the elf saw the signs of a small fire roughly a ½ mile away. The party dismounted and slowly advanced on the location. Soon they were within sight of a small camp full of ogres and what looked to half-ogres. These creatures were sitting around a large fire and eating drinking and carrying on without a care in the world. The group sent the rouge ahead to sneak into the camp for more information. The dragonborn rouge agreed it was a sound idea and smiled as he slipped into the shadows. The rest of the party prepared to take action if the thief was discovered.

Several moments later an ogre was seen standing to stretch and then he suddenly began to convulse, stumble and grasp at his neck. The ogres in the camp sprang to action! Some went of weapons others began to cry out in alarm. A pair moved to help their companion. It was too late for him as he lurched forward and fell dead all the while coughing and chocking on the stream of blood flowing from his slit throat. Behind him the beasts caught a glimpse of a small dragonman before he seemed to disappear into the darkness surrounding the camp.
Suddenly, arrows began to fly into the campsite. That was followed by the sound of small explosions and hot lead shot infused with magical fire. If that wasn’t enough, an unarmored human rushed into the camp and began punching and kicking every ogre within reach. This was followed by the dragonman reappearing to strike at the backs and flanks of others. It was complete chaos in the campsite! Ogres struck out with crude clubs and axes. Half-ogres fell defending their brethren. An ogre hoisted a ballista like a crossbow only to lose his target in the shadows. The chaos of the battle ended almost as quickly as it began. The ogres and their half-brothers were all dispatched and the quartet of heroes was mildly unscathed. They made a quick search of the camp and found more bags and barrels of food. They also found a barrel full of silverware, silver place settings and candle sticks. These must have been spoils taken from the plantation house. They grabbed some food and the miscellaneous silver goods and made to make camp a few miles from this location. As they bedded down for the night they noticed the nearby forest and the begging of the foothills below the Frost Peak Mountains. This is where the giant an ogre tracks were leading.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

D&D Post Game 9-15-18 Part 1


Three days and four nights of travel and the party eventually made it to the region where the barbarian and giant raids had been occurring. Their first stop was a moderately sized plantation where various vegetables and grains were grown. What they found was a large home, a barn, a silo and workers quarters that had been crushed, smashed and ransacked. The nearby fields had also been cleared of crops. Nothing remained by torn roots, vines and tufts of vegetation. The party dismounted and began to search the grounds.

They found boulders and what looked like ballista bolts in the crushed ruins of the plantation home. The walls of the workers quarters and the barn appeared to have been smashed open from the outside and then again from within. All of these buildings had been ransacked and anything of value looked to have been take. Also any food (even including animal feed) had been taken as well. The grounds were also covered in the deep impressions made from feet from very large humanoids. They continued to scour the grounds looking for any survivors. All they found was the torn and what appeared to be gnawed left arm of some unfortunate victim.

They decided to check out the battered silo before leaving to follow the various giant tracks leading West. As they approached the silo they saw the lower legs of what must be an ogre (by the size) sticking out from behind the silo. It appeared it was lying down, possibly sleeping or relaxing. They made their way toward it and then the legs twitched a little, but the creature appeared to still be lying on its back. They made their way around the building and discovered why the ogre was lying so still. It was dead. A large form was hunched over the body stuffing handfuls of ogre remains into its maw. It appeared to be a hill giant, but it was unlike any hill giant the party had seen before. They were used to seeing a textbook description of a burly, hairy and robust humanoid that stood 10 feet (or taller) and weighing upwards of a ton. What they saw instead was an emaciated giant with mottled sagging skin. It looked like the creature had gone through rapid weight loss. Upon its wrists and ankles were shackles and the remains of think linked chains. Its only attire was a worn and torn large animal skin that was covered in offal and dung. The pathetic looking giant raised its head and upon seeing the quartet of tasty morsels bellowed and lunged forward to try and grab a new and tasty looking snack.

The party sprang to action! The rouge and monk deftly leapt aside. The bard unleased a blast from his pistol as the farmer turned warrior let arrows fly. The giant thrashed about grabbing, swatting and biting at anyone near him. The rouge dodged large fist, but in doing so left himself open to the beast’s gaping maw. The giant latched down on his leg and tried his best to remove it in one bite. Thankfully the bard was nearby and his, limited but still helpful, healing magic kept the rouge up (with both legs) and in the fight. The monk was also able to doge a few swings, but not all of them. A sizeable punch knocked him back, but he quickly recovered. The bard and fighter/farmer continued to fire at the beast. This along with the weight of attacks from the monk and the rouge’s sneak attacks soon laid the giant low. By the look of the beast, they were definitely doing it a favor. They had no idea who could and would keep a giant chained and in this type of starved condition. They policed the area finding nothing but more tracks. They mounted up and rode off as the sun started to set. They now knew there were giants and ogres active in the area and they were going to try their best to stop them from doing further harm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

D&D Pre-Game 9-15-18 Part 2


News of the giant and barbarian issues tricked down through the city of Stonekeep. The city elders had decided to pay for scouting parties to investigate the rumors of these apparent rumors of numerous giants and or ogres invading the lands. After three parties did not return people backed off volunteering to investigate the South West hills and farm lands.
Well that was until the town upped the price and four adventurers thought it was easy money, had nothing better to do or just hated the other options for work around the area.
 
Since the death of their barbarian friend (and the fallout surrounding the return of his human noble family….who arrived to claim the body their tower stronghold, the tavern that was almost finished and 1/3 of their collected fortune) the dragonborn rouge, human monk and occasional elven bard had no home, no job prospects and were looking for something to take their minds off their new homeless situation. The monk happily took the job to investigate these giant/ogre rumors. It seems he has a secret like of killing giants that the party was unaware of. The trio made their way to the stables to procure transport.
 
While at the stables the party’s conversation drew the attention of one of the stable hands. He introduced himself as Chet and offered to aid in this mission. See Chet was a simple farmer, but after the gnoll attacks around Clovershire Keep he had come North looking for a job. His farm had been sacked in the attacks and now he was working in the city and sending back what money he made to his family. His combat prowess was…lacking is a good term, but he was no stranger to a bow. He had even put his meager archery skills to use during those gnoll attacks. The idea of making 100 gold crowns, which is more money than he had ever seen in his life, for just a simple scouting mission was too hard to pass up. The trio welcomed him and his bow to the party.
 
The quartet of adventures made their way out of Stonekeep and rode off to the lands Southwest in search of giants!