Monday, August 23, 2010


 Well, it's back to school time and I thought I would share my Top 10 List of the best Back to School Movies whether they be comedies or dramas, Enjoy!

#10 The Faculty (1998) Elijah Wood takes on alien parasites disguised as teachers! Awesome!

#9 Stand and Deliver (1988) Edward James Olmos teaches math to Lou Diamond Phillips, 'nuff said!

#8 Renaissance Man (1994) Danny De Vito teaches Shakespeare at an Army school. Fun and impressive.

#7 Accepted (2006) Justin Long and Jonah Hill create a fake college that actually works!

#6 School of Rock (2005) Jack Black poses as a substitute teacher and teaches kids about Rock music! Fun and entertaining!

#5 Freedom Writers (2007) Hilary Swank teaches "The Diary of Anne Frank" to inner city High School students. Very moving!

#4 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) Bill & Ted travel back in time to collect historical figures in order to pass history class! Classic!

#3 Kindergarten Cop (1990) Arnold Schwarzenegger as an undercover cop/kindergarten teacher! "Mr. Kimble, Mr. Kimble!"

#2 Breakfast Club (1985) This is the classic '80s movie that changed detention forever! Bart Simpson's got nothing on Judd Nelson!

#1 Dead Poet's Society (1989) This movie made me want to be a teacher! Robin Williams is great! "Carpe Diem!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010


     With the resurgence of 80's toy properties in movies and TV I felt like I should acknowledge those cartoons which entertained millions of kids (like myself) during the 1980's! It was a great time to be a kid and I like many others spent countless Saturday mornings glued to some of the most groundbreaking and exciting cartoons ever! Here goes...
#10 "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" (1981) After several cartoons featuring the popular web-slinger, Marvel decided to team Spider-Man up with two other heroes: Iceman and Firestar! (and a dog named Miss Lion?)
#9 "Super-Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show" (1984) Although technically a continuation from the 1973 "Super-Friends" cartoon but in a new format with new super-heroes like Firestorm and villains including Darkseid!
#8 "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" (1985) An American version of the Japanese anime series "Go-Lion".
#7 "Robotech" (1985) An American version of the Japanese anime series "Macross".
#6 "Defenders of the Earth" (1986) Flash Gordon: Savior of the Universe, The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks, Mandrake: The Magician and Lothar? VS. Ming the Merciless!
#5  "Thundercats" (1986) This was one of the most popular series of the 80's and one of the longest running. "Thundercats Ho!"
#4 "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (1983) One of the most defining cartoons of the 80's and one of the biggest toy lines also!
#3 "The Real Ghostbusters" (1986) (Not to be confused with Filmation's "Ghostbusters") After the successful "Ghostbusters" (1984) film Columbia created a spin-off cartoon series with the ghost Slimer as a "mascot"?
#2 "Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye" (1984) Probably THE most popular cartoon of the 1980's which have survived in numerous incarnations over the years and spawned the blockbuster movies by director Michael Bay!
#1 "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" (1983) After two successful mini-series G.I. Joe earned its own long running series which ran until 1989. This was ultimately my favorite cartoon and also toy series (for which I had VERY many of, even the aircraft carrier!)

Friday, August 20, 2010


H.P. Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) 

   H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite American authors, an originator of the Weird Tale and creator of The Cthulhu Mythos. Many of his works have been adapted into movies, music, comic books and video games. CHERNOBOG'S LAIR celebrates the 120th anniversary of his birth with a list of his Top 10 movie adaptations.

#10 The Call of Cthulhu (2005) A stylized, direct to DVD, black and white, silent movie made by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society (
#9 The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993) John Rhys-Davies stars in this very low budget adaptation featuring its heroine played by Maria Ford appearing throughout most of the movie in the nude!
#8 Die, Monster, Die! (1965) based on the Lovecraft story "The Colour Out of Space" it stars an aging Boris Karloff as a mad scientist.
#7 From Beyond (1986) Director Stuart Gordon and actor Jeffrey Combs, perfect match in this bizarre and overly sexual adaptation of a very short story.
#6 The Haunted Palace (1963) based loosely on the Lovecraft story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" combined with Edgar Allan Poe's "The Haunted Palace" but it stars Vincent Price and directed by Roger Corman, 'nuff said!
#5 Masters of Horror- Dreams in the Witch-House (2005) Although not a full-length movie, one of the best of the Masters of Horror series directed by Stuart Gordon.
#4 The Dunwich Horror (1970) - A very psychedelic and sexy adaptation starring Dean Stockwell and Sandra Dee!
#3 Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993) A campy collection of vignettes with Jeffrey Combs playing Lovecraft himself in the framing story and an impressive adaptation of Cool Air starring David Warner.
#2 Dagon (2001) - An impressive adaptation by director Stuart Gordon with an odd Spanish twist and creepy fish-people!
#1 Re-Animator (1985) The ultimate Lovecraft movie, Director Stuart Gordon's campy/gory masterpiece starring Jeffrey Combs as Dr. Herbert West!

Also visit my Lovecraft website: 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


     This weekend I had the opportunity to view a special screening of a new Japanese anime feature film King of Thorn at AnimeFest in Dallas, TX! From director Kazuyoshi Katayama (Appleseed, Big O) comes an amazing and intense experience featuring a unique blend of traditional and CG animation based on the manga series by Yuji Iwahara. In the year 2015, the mysterious "Medusa" virus becomes a worldwide epidemic. 160 people are chosen to be put into cryogenic sleep at a laboratory inside an ancient Scottish castle to await a future cure. Among those chosen is a teenage girl named Kasumi, reluctant to be separated from her twin sister Shizuku. Upon awakening, her and seven others find themselves surrounded by strange creatures and find the castle covered with giant thorny vines. As the group struggle to escape with their lives they must try to find what happened to them and the world and reveal truth. King of Thorn is based around the timeless fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and is a running theme throughout the movie. King of Thorn is full of stunning visuals and intense action with some violent imagery. The element of the Medusa virus provides a very disturbing quality to the story as it is very relevant in our world today with the fear of epidemics/pandemics although being set in the near future. Although the supposed effects of the fictional virus does seem somewhat unrealistic as victims are almost literally turned to stone and petrified, it is feasible in this Sci-Fi setting. Like many anime feature films in the past like Akira or Ghost in the Shell there is always an element of confusion in the somewhat convoluted story which is common in many "high-brow" animes which personally I love but the concepts may be lost on many audiences who are not used to anime. King of Thorn is planned to have a short run in American theatres before it is to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 27!
Official Site:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


    I am a huge comic book fanboy ("I have issues"!), although there are many comic book movies that fall extremely far from their original comic there are a select few that actually impress and remain true to their comic roots and succeed.

 #10 Sin City (2005) Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's stunningly beautiful masterpiece!
#9 V for Vendetta (2005) Alan Moore's story and the Wachowski Brothers directing, Amazing!
#8 Iron Man (2008) Beginning the new era of Marvel comics movies for years to come!
#7 Watchmen (2009) Zack Snyder's brilliant opus of a comic classic brought to life!
#6 Hellboy (2004) Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman, a match made in HELL!
#5 Spider-Man (2002) An almost perfect superhero film, Tobey Maguire IS Spider-Man!
#4 X-Men (2000) Patrick Stewart as Prof. X and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, 'nuff said!
#3 The Dark Knight (2008) Christopher Nolan's vision and Heath Ledger as the creepiest Joker ever made it awesome!
#2 Superman (1978) This one started it all, without this movie comic book films would have never made it!
#1 Batman (1989) This movie changed my life and made me a life-long Batman (and Tim Burton) fan!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


   This Saturday, I got to participate in a yearly celebration of the life of one of my favorite musicians. Since the tragic death of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Darrel "Dimebag" Abbott in 2004, local bands get together for a charitable music event to honor 'Dimebag' called "RIDE FOR DIME". This year it was held at the Dreamworld Music Complex in Arlington, Texas. The event started at 3:15pm at Longhorn Harley Davidson in Grand Prairie, Texas where hundreds of bikers rode their motorcycles down to the Dreamworld Music Complex hosting an all-night long concert starting at 4pm featuring: Cowboys from Hell Paso, Texas Hippie Coalition, Pumpjack, White Collar Ghetto, Sweettooth, Soulless Intent, Conviction, Threat Level, Whiskey Dick, and 100 Proof Hatred. The whole event was to benefit "Little Kids Rock" an organization which brings musical instruments to children, the event was hosted by local radio station 97.1 The Eagle. I had been a fan of Pantera and Damageplan for several years and was one of many who was deeply saddened by 'Dimebag's' untimely death at the hands of a crazy, gun-toting fan while performing in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. I had the privilege of seeing Pantera performing live several times in Dallas but was not able to see 'Dimebag' play live with Damageplan. Unfortunately this is the first time I had heard of "Ride for Dime" but was excited to be a part of it. Obviously, I didn't own a Harley so I did not take part in the actual "ride" for Dime but was able to attend the benefit concert held at Dreamworld Music Complex, which surprisingly was more like a converted barn turned into a club. Outside was a sweltering 100 degrees Texas heat and unfortunately almost as hot inside too. Around the complex was parked over hundreds of motorcycles, more than I've ever seen. There were several booths and tents outside, some selling various merchandise along with booths for The Eagle and also The Clubhouse, a local Dallas strip club once owned by Pantera. The experience was unique from other concerts I had been to recently, I was never much of a clubber and the environment of the place seemed more like a biker bar. There was lots of bikers, scantly clad girls and beer, lots and lots of beer! I never felt unwanted as the event attracted all kinds of people. The majority of attendees were mostly bikers and local musicians. I was impressed to see a lot of people donning Black Label Society vests and 'Dimebag' T-shirts and I felt like I was participating in something for charity, and that's good. Some of the bands weren't bad and I admit I had not heard of many of them since I have not been too much into the local music scene since college. One band in particular I was most impressed with instead of all the Pantera "wannabes" was a duo called Whiskey Dick, a duo of acoustic/electric guitar players with a country/metal theme, they were rough and with a raunchy sense of humor but I was really impressed when they performed a cover of Zakk Wylde's "In This River" a tribute to 'Dimebag'. Besides the heat, the whole event was quite an experience, I look forward to next year's "Ride for Dime".