Review - The Annotated AvP: The Story, part 2

Last month, I opened up the Pandora’s Box that was my 13-year-old self’s attempt at writing a novel. Without spoiling too much, it’s an adaptation of the excellent computer game Aliens versus Predator 2 and an unintentionally hilarious example of fan fiction at its near worst—though not the absolute worst. Thankfully, late grade school me had little interest in crafting harrowing slash fiction, unlike some of the borderline sexual deviants prowling the Web. Make no mistake, however: it’s thoroughly terrible, so much that I felt this poor excuse for literature deserved a Mystery Science Theatre 3000-esque treatment.

This week, I’ve selected some of the funniest/weirdest/most embarrassing moments from AvP: The Story, focusing on the introduction of the Predator protagonist, the aptly-named Swift-Death.


Review - Esquire of Darkness

I watched John Carpenter’s 1987 film Prince of Darkness this weekend. I’d caught the final third or so of the movie on AMC back in my first year of university, and while I remembered it being low-budget and kind of inexplicable it nevertheless intrigued me enough that I was more than happy to watch it in full when I stumbled across it on Netflix Saturday afternoon. With the day off from work and no obligations to speak of, I plopped down on the couch, put my feet up on the coffee table and hit play.

Roughly an hour and a half later, the credits were rolling and I was rubbing my chin, processing what I’d just seen. It wasn’t a mindbender by any means but neither was it trash. It’s actually a fairly solid film from start to finish, occasionally clumsy acting and dodgy pacing balanced out by Carpenter’s cinematography and pulsing synth score, and while it wasn’t nearly as good as The Thing, I could easily see how its cult status has endured over the last quarter of a century.

But later on that day, strolling through the Glebe with a drink in my hand and the thawing ice crunching beneath my feet, I slowly realized that buried within this admittedly unsettling doomsday flick was the potential for what could have been one of the greatest horror films ever made.


Fiction - Prologue

“‘And this also,’ said Marlow suddenly, ‘has been one of the dark places of the earth’.”
                                                                                     —Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Dad clambers into the boat with the grace of a roller skating giraffe. Clutching the tackle box in one hand and lugging our rods in the other, he’s able to muster up enough balance to keep him from toppling right over the other side and into the lake. Me reaching out and grabbing the edge of his lifejacket probably helps as well.

“Whoa geez,” he mutters. It takes him a second or ten to regain his equilibrium, the now sharp rocking of the boat from side to side not aiding the process in the slightest. Arms spread, he shuts his eyes, takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. By the time he’s fully exhaled the boat’s perilous oscillations have been reduced to a slight lateral bob. His eyelids flick open and the corner of his mouth turns upward, removing a few lines (and a few years) from his face. “Thanks, hon,” he says.


Review - The Twisted Adventures of Animal Man

Late last August, I wrote about the impending DC comics reboot, wherein I detailed a few of my hopes and concerns in the process. A full five months have passed and as of this writing a quarter of the “New 52” series have put out six issues each—the typical length for a completed storyarc, or at least enough to gleam where each series will be headed. I confess I haven’t read much of the new material, with most of what I know being cribbed from ComicsAlliance reviews or from flipping through individual issues at the Silver Snail; this doesn’t make me a very good critic, but my income doesn’t exactly support my habit, so to speak.

That being said, I’ve managed to invest—monetarily and intellectually—in two series. One of them, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman, is pretty much a given, with the former's tight writing and the latter's fluid art combining to make an incredibly enthralling addition to the Bat-legacy. But as you might expect from glancing at this article’s title, I’m not here today to talk about Batman. Actually, I’d be surprised if you’ve even heard of the character I’m about to mention—provided you haven’t talked comics with me over the last few months. It’s not a bird, nor a plane, but the humble Animal Man.