Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Links: Conan in Love, The Demon Samurai, and Last Rites for the Vulture

Melvin Williams AKA "Little Melvin," a former drug kingpin in Baltimore, has died. This kind of news normally wouldn't be relevant to this blog, except that I met and worked with Little Melvin, albeit briefly. It was an interesting experience.

And now, on with the Friday Links.

At this time of year I envy my friends who live further north, with snow and ice and slush and...

Actually, I don't. Let's see what happened this week in the world of the unusual, the bizarre, and the horrific:
  • Sean Eaton discussed Conan in love with a lady pirate at his always readable R'lyeh Tribune: "There are a number of Lovecraftian themes in Queen of the Black Coast, including the reference to an elder race, the devolution of a once proud civilization, concerns with cultural and racial purity, bizarre vegetation and haunted ruins.  The winged creature Conan eventually fights is similar in some respect to the monsters in Lovecraft’s earlier ghoul stories, that is, in being devolved."
  • Ghost ships full of rotting corpses are washing ashore in Japan. Go figure.
  • For real pulpy goodness, Breakfast in the Ruins brought us Simon Quinn's novel Last Rites for the Vulture: "Despite the blatant horror / witch-smut come-ons of the cover and the papal evil-hunting nature of it’s protagonist, ‘Last Rites of the Vulture’ is a more or less generic globe-trotting, Bond-esque action adventure story, very much in line with other mid/late ‘70s ‘action’ series like the ‘Enforcer’ or ‘Destroyer’ books. There are plentiful exotic locales, daring crimes, gratuitous pop history info-dumps and cartoon tough guy antics... but very little hint of any supernatural/ or occult elements, insofar as I could tell. Oh well."
  • A Mexican lobby card for The Last Starfighter flew out of Zombos' Closet. I loved that movie as a kid, though I saw it in a theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and not in Mexico.
  • At Confessions of a Reviewer!!, Nev Murray reviewed the novel Demon Mania: "It’s eighteen months after the attack at Blackwood. Amy Malone along with her husband Shane and daughter Emily think they are safe and sound in their new life. They are wrong. The Lost Society have found them again."
  • Ruined Head reviewed the 1978 classic novel The Demon Samurai: "Kirk, seeing a psychiatrist in Tokyo to combat his nervous exhaustion, undergoes an experimental treatment involving the injection of an LSD-derivative drug. The psychedelic dose transports his mind to a stylized landscape reminiscent of an ancient Japanese scroll, where he glimpses the threatening figure of the samurai. Meanwhile at the studio, a screen test of Monster Valley unleashes the spirit-samurai, who physically erupts into the corporeal world from the spools of film."
  • Sharon Day showed us some unusual rock spheres at Ghost Hunting Theories (it's cooler than it sounds, trust me): "In the 1930s, hundreds of huge stone balls were found in Costa Rica. They have ranged in size and up to 16 tons. They were made of a hard stone, granodiorite. There were deemed made by man and not made by nature (such as was the case in Mexico)." 
  • Soiled Sinema took on the movie A Safe Place, starring Tuesday Weld and Jack Nicholson: "Based on a play by Jaglom that he originally performed in NYC in 1964 with his then-girlfriend Karen Black in the lead role and himself portraying a character that would eventually be played by Jack Nicholson for the silver-screen, A Safe Place was mainly aesthetically influenced by both improvisational theater and European arthouse films by Fellini, Godard, John Schlesinger, Ingmar Bergman, etc., among various others. "
  • Here, I talked about the new edition of The Blessed Man and the Witch.  Nev Murray gave it a very kind write-up.
Illustration by Earl Geier for Call of Cthulhu's Blood Brothers supplement.

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