THE CALL OF CTHULHU (2005) – The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced this terrific – but decidedly niche – horror film based on Lovecraft’s tale The Call of Cthulhu from 1928. The clever approach employed by the producers was to present this black and white film as if it was a Silent Movie made in the 1920s.
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog may remember that I’m a silent film geek so I fell in love with this movie immediately. The Lovecraft Historical Society players threw themselves into this labor of love, terrifically adapting the broad over-acting, dialogue boards and cinematic grammar of the Silent Age.
The running time of The Call of Cthulhu is just 47 minutes, so we get the actual story with no pointless filler or additions. You can count me among those who consider this unlikely project to be the purest film adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Continue reading
As far as Balladeer’s Blog is concerned, the search for a successor to Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy may be over. Author Will Jordan from Scotland isn’t even out of his thirties yet and, if you’ll recall, Ludlum didn’t pen his first novel until he was in his forties. If Jordan continues to master his craft – and if he stays in the espionage genre – he could well become one of the giants of spy fiction.
Will has worked as an extra in assorted movies & television shows, often in action or military stories. He went through boot camp and weapons training as part of that process. Jordan also reviews movies and television as the Critical Drinker, the most notorious “sustained role-playing” film critic since Mr Plinkett. Will’s hilarious but insightful reviews can be found at his YT channel HERE.
REDEMPTION (2012) – The novel that introduced Will Jordan’s character Ryan Drake, a former British soldier now working for the CIA. Drake leads the elite Shepherd Team, which tracks down missing agents whether they’ve disappeared willingly or unwillingly.
In this debut adventure our hero frees a woman codenamed Maras and returns her to the U.S. only to wind up going on the run with her as assorted hostile forces emerge to prevent what she knows from ever being revealed. Ryan and Maras must dodge friend and foe alike as they piece together the ongoing conspiracy. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog is once again proud to cover an exciting new work from some of the most daring and visionary creators in graphic novels today. BATTLE BRICK ROAD is a post-apocalyptic take on Frank Baum’s Oz stories twisted through the ingenious prism of artist ERIC WEATHERS and writer ZEB HATFIELD with lettering by FARAH NURMALIZA.
Get ready for Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion like you’ve never seen them before – as technologically and biologically enhanced warriors in a dystopian world that not even Mad Max could survive.
Battle-hardened, survival savvy Dorothea Gale – Thea for short – searches for her father through the futuristic technological wasteland called OZ (Operation Zephyr). At her side is the hovering A.I. named TOTO (Target Objective Tactical Overwatch) and the mysterious Scarecrow, a vigilante skilled with firearms AND a deadly scythe.
The bleak world of Oz has wound up divided into four separate spheres of influence, ruled over by the Watchers of the North, South, East and West. And some of those Watchers are downright WICKED!
The villains are served by their armies of perverted biological and technological creations, with only Thea, Scarecrow, TOTO, the Tin Man and the Lion standing against them.
Order your copies of this 52 page epic today via Indiegogo: Continue reading
For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HERE . For background info on George MacDonald Fraser’s infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman you can also click that link.
9. FLASH FOR FREEDOM (1971)
Time Period: 1848-1849
Favorite Book Blurb: “Only Harry Flashman could start out running for a seat in Parliament but wind up fleeing England over a gambling scandal, shanghaied onto a criminal slave ship, clashing with one of the African kings selling his own people to slavers, conning the American government, reluctantly working for the Underground Railroad and ultimately facing down a pack of southern slave-hunters side by side with a young Congressman named Abraham Lincoln.”
Synopsis: Wealthy John Morrison, Flashman’s hated father-in-law, still has Harry under his thumb money-wise. Morrison decides he wants a Member of Parliament in his control and figures Harry’s status as a hero of two wars and an amphibious campaign against Borneo pirates will make him a can’t-miss candidate.
For his part our scurvy protagonist gleefully anticipates all manner of graft money and getting to vote to send other people off to war for a change rather than being sent himself. With Morrison’s financial backing, Flashman finds himself in the political arena – an arena where other people are more skilled at cheating than he is.
Harry being Harry he also finds himself snogging in the grass with the real-life Fanny Locke (later famous as Fanny Duberly) and trading parlor-room insults with the likes of Benjamin Disraeli and Lord George Bentinck. At length a card-game scandal coupled with a charge of violent assault wind up forcing Flashman to flee the country for a few years.
With very few transportation options open to the on-the-lam scoundrel, Harry ends up on an outbound ship owned by his father-in-law but finds that he has once again gone from the frying pan into the fire. To Flashman’s great shock he learns that the ship he’s stuck on is a slaver – and that the illegal trade is a large part of John Morrison’s shady fortune.
Amid all this bad luck fate at last smiles on our protagonist when a crew-member that he befriends turns out to be an undercover Royal Navy Officer assigned to infiltrate and bring down Morrison’s sizable slaving operation. That officer – Lieutenant Beauchamp Comber – has clandestinely assembled a mound of incriminating evidence against Morrison and his agents. Continue reading
FOR A LOOK AT MY PREVIOUS DYSTOPIA NATION POSTS CLICK HERE
THE NEW COLONIALISM – Here’s another situation to embellish and extrapolate from in standard Dystopian Literature format. It’s the way that isolated, heavily-populated regions of pompous snobs, cowardly hypocrites and hilariously pretentious asses consider themselves the rulers of the entire rest of the nation.
Part of the inspiration for this installment came from the way Ben Franklin observed that – leading up to the Revolutionary War – even everyday citizens in Great Britain would snobbishly refer to Americans as “OUR subjects in the Colonies.”
That possibly apocryphal account easily puts one in mind of the snobbish way that Democrats pompously think they know how everyone else should live their lives. And if the people they consider to be THEIR “subjects” don’t agree, well, in the words of the fictional Darth Vader “Then they should be MADE to agree!” That’s the Democrats’ mantra. (I’m an Independent voter.)
Anyway, in our fictional future for this time around, the isolated areas of Democrat Supremacists or “Blue Meanies” began to panic as they felt their tyrannical grip on their “Colonies” slipping.
As far back as the early 21st Century the Democrat Supremacists had formed masked hate groups like Antifa – really KLAN-tifa – to inflict violence on dissenters.
The Dem-Sup control of the media, internet and film-making ensured that the only opinions that got wide-spread exposure were the opinions shared by millionaires. Dem-Sup contempt for the working class and the poor grew in direct proportion to the way in which the working class and the poor rejected the “One True Worldview” being forced upon them by Dem-Sup plutocrats. Continue reading
Here at Balladeer’s Blog I write plenty of items about myths from around the world. I often mention that my blog posts about figures from the American West are along the same lines to me since I think the exaggerated tales of whatever their real-life stories were originate the same way that many religious fables do: the usual human tendency toward superstition and embellishment.
Dystopian literature is similar but instead of embellishing figures and events from the past this type of fiction involves taking contemporary problems and/ or trends and extrapolating them into larger than life menaces in the near or far future.
Soylent Green did it with overpopulation and food shortages, One Blade of Grass did it with environmental issues and Orwell’s 1984 did it with totalitarian political forces which still threaten to use his nightmarish novel as their road map. Countless other examples could be cited.
THE TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – The modern-day versions of the disgusting old Robber Barons might well be the corporate fascists aka techno-fascists in assorted tech industries, not just regarding Silicon Valley but also privacy-violating rich pigs at Facebook and elsewhere.
In fact, you could make the case that people like Mark “Skippy” Zuckerberg and his fellow corporate fascists are even worse since I don’t recall bloated rich pigs like E.H. Harriman or Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to police other people’s every thought, word and deed. The invasive and ever-expanding tentacular reach of techno-fascists or in this fictional case Techno-Tyrants would make these villains a very credible threat to political freedom and freedom of expression. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s “Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead” segment strikes again with this shoutout to Pearl Jam and Corduroy.
The incredibly lovely Teddi Barrett, who models as Edward Wozniak’s Mordillo Blush.
Teddi Barett, the World’s Sexiest Woman, is furious that there are people who have missed out on some of her adventures modeling as Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine Mordillo Blush! Dr Blush is like a sexy version of Dr Who and if you’re one of the holdouts who hasn’t sampled her adventures yet here’s a look at what you’ve been missing:
1. MORDILLO BLUSH – Our buxom heroine’s debut adventure! Millions of lives in Los Angeles will be lost if Dr Mordillo Blush cannot track down the mad scientist behind a string of nightmarish deaths. The madman’s creation: Continue reading
Teddi Barrett, the Sexiest Woman Alive who graciously models as Edward Wozniak’s Mordillo Blush.
… a glimpse of the long-awaited arrival of Spring PLUS the onset of more adventures of Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine Mordillo Blush. Teddi is kind enough to model as Dr Blush in her “risque version of Dr Who” escapades.
FOR MORE OF TEDDI AND SUMMER CUMMINGS CLICK HERE: Continue reading