Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Solomon Kane Looks Like Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing

Solomon Kane is a hero brought to comics life by the same man who created Conan the Barbarian in the early part of the 20th century. The writer is Robert E. Howard, a genius of the 1920s and 30s who was ahead of his time like H.G. Wells was when it came to fantastic ideas. But while Wells carved a niche in science-fiction, Howard's made a name with fantasy characters that were said to have given birth to the sword and sorcery genre. In fact, he's been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of the Lord of the Rings stories.

Anyway, back to Kane. This pulp-fiction magazine/comic book character is a loner in the 16th century who basically lives to banish and destroy evil wherever he goes - basically Europe and Africa and anywhere in between. You can consider him to be the undertaker of evil. Howard gave him a mentor and friend, an African shaman who gives him a mystical staff that turns out to be the staff of Solomon. He uses this as a weapon along with his two pistols - an unlikely combination of spiritual and modern tools, but Howard made it work in his stories.

Way back in those pre-World War 2 days, Howard gave Kane a dark profile with a look that's mysterious with a black cloak and wide-brimmed hat. The character's depiction in the movie reminds us of Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing (left). Some fans say the Van Helsing look was "inspired" by Howard's idea. It is a fact that the Solomon Kane "look" was envisioned well before the young costume designers of the Van Helsing movie were even born. Nevertheless, Solomon Kane still remainds us of Van Helsing.

Solomon Kane is directed by Michael J. Bassett with James Purefoy playing the lead character. It also stars Rachel Hurd-Wood who we've seen in other period films.

Before Solomon Kane was a movie, it was in the Weird Tales magazine. Here is a Dark Horse graphic novel which takes you to the good old days of pulp-fiction. It's got bonus stories of Conan the Barbarian and more! It's definitely a Robert E. Howard collectors' item! Click here or on the image above to place your order now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Transylmania Spoofs Dracula

There's never a dearth of vampire movies. They just keep coming out and it's likely it's never going to end. Since the old-fashioned Christopher Lee movies, viewers have become harder and harder to please and the younger generation are always looking for something new. There's not much viewers can do about the classic tale of Dracula, so what filmmakers do is present it in a fresh light and in a different genre. In Transylmania, it's another comedy that sort of follows the footsteps of Mel Brooks's Dead and Loving It starring Leslie Neilsen.

Transylmania takes a group of college kids (it's usually teenagers, you know) into a school semester for an exposure trip to Romania. The picture-perfect holiday suddenly turns less rosy as the darkly hilarious presence of an undead vampire reveals itself. Usually, if the movie is a serious horror picture, the youngsters would be picked off one by one (especially those who "misbehave") until only a handful remain alive. In Transylmania, it's never going to be serious because it's a comedy from start to finish.

You don't need to see any critic's film review of this one. You just need to watch it and try to enjoy it. Guys would like to see this one just for Jennifer Lyons (top) who plays Lynn, the same name given to her in her role in Dorm Daze. The girl in leather (at left) is Musetta Vander who starred in the Hamm Stroker's Suck My Blood "episode" of the Son of the Beach tv series and Mortal Kombat.