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Mar 302012

In the classic sci-fi thriller, The Island of Dr. Moreau, castaway Edward Douglas (David Thewlis) winds up on an island in the South Pacific, which is inhabited by many mutant beasts created by brilliant exiled scientist Dr. Moreau (Marlon Brando).

The first person Douglas meets on the island is Montgomery (Val Kilmer) the veterinarian who nurses him back to health.

Soon after, Douglas meets the lovely Aissa (Fairuza Balk), who is Dr. Moreau’s daughter that’s not all she appears to be.

 I still remember what a sweetheart Fairuza Balk was when I met her at Spooky Empire 2009.

Later that night, Douglas becomes suspicious after Montgomery locks him up in the guest bedroom and telling him that it’s for his own good. So Douglas picks the lock and snoops around. As it turns out, Dr. Moreau is trying to combine DNA from various animals with human genes in hopes of creating the perfect life form. The other inhabitants are all of Moreau’s attempts, which result in human-like beasts.

The various beasts do appear savage, but they have laws. One of the main laws is not to kill another animal. To enforce the laws, Dr. Moreau uses a shock device implant within each beast that’s triggered by remote. I guess that’s one way to keep them in line.

Douglas soon meets Dr. Moreau personally along with his little assistant Magi. I never fully understood what kind of creature Magi is, but he sure is a polite hardworking fellow. He even plays piano.

Things start to spiral out of control when one of the beasts, Hyena-Swine (Daniel Rigney), discovers the implant and gets it out of himself with his bare hand, or claw. He gets away and spreads the word to other beasts that wish to follow him in a revolt against Moreau. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that Aissa is a beast also and relies on serum to stay human. When Douglas hears about the revolt, he tries to get serum for her so they can escape the island together. Unfortunately, Montgomery is no help because he has gone insane and destroyed all of the serum.

It’s bad enough that the rouge beasts know how to use guns and explosives. They can also drive jeeps while destroying everything. Aissa soon changes into a wild cat. She’s still as lovely as ever, but with a new edge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Luckily, Douglas isn’t up against all of the beasts. It’s really just Hyena-Swine, who is the real mastermind trying to take over.

This was a great movie. It has adventure, excitement, mutants, and Fairuza Balk all on one island.

Oct 312011

Happy Halloween, everybody! Vampires and zombies are not the only top monsters of the horror genre. Another classic beast is the werewolf a.k.a. lyconthropes. The curse of the werewolf is easily spread like a zombie virus, courtesy of its sharp claws and teeth. When the full moon is out, the victim becomes a wild beast that’s out of control and allergic to silver. These are my most favorite werewolves.

#10) Scott Howard from Teen Wolf: Scott is an underdog teenager, who comes from a family of werewolves. Sure, the full moon causes his transformation, but it can also be triggered by anger. However, Scott is always cautious about anyone seeing him wolf out in public, even when it can be useful.

On a side note, Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard on the original Teen Wolf movie and Jason Bateman played the role in the sequel, Teen Wolf 2, but it was the cartoon series I remember best.

#9) Velkan (Will Kemp) from Van Helsing: He was a werewolf hunter along with his sister Anna until their latest catch broke free and attacked. Now Velkan is a werewolf that can smoothly crawl up walls, run long distances, and has the strength to kill vampires. The transformation was graphical because both his clothes and skin get ripped up. Now isn’t that just creepy?

#8) Jack de Wolfe (Joey Fatone) from Red Riding Hood: Now here’s a unique werewolf. He’s a shape shifter with a huge appetite for human beings. However, Jack’s transformations are limited to only his eaten victims, but mostly prefers the form of his very first victim.

#7) Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) from Ginger Snaps: She was a gothic teen along with her sister Brigitte. After being attacked by a werewolf she becomes more dangerous, not only as a wolf girl, but also as a girl who is not afraid to take vengeance on her tormentors with deadly results. However, Ginger does fear the extra hair from her scratches and the tail growing from her tailbone. Of course, who wouldn’t be?

#6) Fangface from Fangface: Unlike most werewolves, he is eager, friendly, and heroic, like a superhero. Fangface’s transformations are entirely based on whether he sees the sun or the moon. That can be easily controlled with any pictures of the sun or the moon. The only time Fangface gets out of control is when anyone mentions food, which makes him want to eat his friend Pugsy. Rubbing Fangface’s paw is the only way to calm him down if that were to happen.

#5) Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: During Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts, Lupin was the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. When the moon is out, he becomes a werewolf with the posture of a human and not as hairy compared to other werewolves. This curse prevents Lupin from teaching, but still remains to be a great ally in later Harry Potter films.

#4) Oz (Seth Green) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: As a human, he’s a young bass player and Willow’s love interest. Every night of the full moon, Oz becomes a dangerous werewolf. What’s really touching is that Willow still loves Oz for he is still a good soul. It’s too bad the relationship didn’t last after awhile.

#3) Free from Soul Eater: He’s an immortal wolfman with amazing powers that control ice and snow. However, Free likes to brag and is a bit of a klutz, which makes him hilarious. However, Free is still a very dangerous opponent because he’s a lot tougher than most keshans.

#2) Fangster from Ghostbusters: He’s a futuristic ghost werewolf that’s strong and muscular as he is scary. Like his other ghostly comrades, Fangster can sneak into tight places by materializing into spirit form. However, he never reveals his human form and the closest Fangster has ever come to infecting anyone with the werewolf curse is by turning dogs into savage werewolf slaves with a magical arch built out of bones.

#1) Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) from The Wolfman (2010 version): This was the latest remake based on the old movie monster. Talbot was an American citizen, who was summoned to England to search for his missing brother, only to be attacked by a werewolf and possess the curse. Now he’s a graphical beast that smoothly slashes up innocent people at random with his claws. Even though that movie was slow-paced, it still makes me think of how far this mythical monster has come over the years in both movies and TV shows.



Honorable mentions: Believe it or not, werewolves have left their mark on video games also. In the Super NES game Zombies Ate my Neighbors, the werewolves were fierce, but were easily defeated with silverware. Now isn’t that just silly?

The video game I remember best from this category is Werewolf: The Last Warrior for the NES. The hero is a man, who becomes a werewolf by picking up red ‘W’s. (Blue ‘W’s weaken him.) The more wolf he is, the more powerful he becomes in order to fight evil. Here’s an example that I found on YouTube to help set the mood for the werewolf’s howling success.

Feb 252011

The young wizard in training, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is back in the third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Widescreen Edition). It starts with Harry once again dealing with his Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths) and Aunt Petunia  (Fiona Shaw) at home, but this time it gets worse when Harry’s Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris) visits. She hates Harry a lot, but loves Dudley (Harry Melling) to pieces.

Marge also insults Harry’s parents, which makes him so angry that he unknowingly uses magic on her. It serves her right. Of course Harry is the one who gets in trouble, but this time he doesn’t take it. Harry runs away from home and finds a magical bus, which takes him straight to the Leaky Cauldron Hotel. It’s fast and efficient, but is in serious need of seatbelts.

At the hotel, Harry meets up with his pals Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson). However, a major problem has occurred. Convicted killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban Prison and is on the loose. That’s not the worst of it though. On the train to Hogwarts, a dementor nearly kills Harry. Oddly, it doesn’t attack the others.

Dementors are creepy beings that guard Azkaban Prison and kill all happiness everywhere they go. Now they guard Hogwarts until Sirius is recaptured. However, dementors will attack anyone they encounter, good or evil, which is why I hate them.


Since Richard Harris passed away, Michael Gambon takes his place as Dumbledore from this movie on.

The Quidditch match in this film is played in the rainy weather. I guess it’s like football, nothing stops it. Unless there’s a threat that endangers the lives of the students like in the last film.

The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Professor Lupin (David Thewlis). His lesson on Bogarts was interesting. The Bogart turns into whatever you fear the most. Then with the spell “ridiculous”, it becomes something silly, like Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) wearing women’s clothing, or a spider on roller skates. It’s too bad that Harry couldn’t do the spell himself when the Bogart turns into a dementor instead of Voldemort, who by the way is not in this movie.

Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) also gets in on teaching with a lesson on hippogriffs with one named Buckbeak. A hippogriff is difficult to tame, but Harry befriends Buckbeak quite easily. Then it’s Draco’s (Tom Feldon) turn. He insults Buckbeak and gets attacked. Then Draco milks his injury to the point that Buckbeak should be executed, even if it is Draco’s own fault for being careless.

After the Christmas break, Professor Lupin teaches Harry how to fight dementors with a patronus charm. Unfortunately, Lupin has a dark secret. One that relates to an unfair homework assignment, courtesy of Professor Snape.

Other new secrets are revealed in this film also, which include the story behind Ron’s pet rat Scabbers, Hermione popping in and out of classes randomly, and the truth about Sirius Black.

This was a good movie with an exciting climax. I have definitely noticed a lot of growth spurts among the young wizards, especially Neville (Matthew Lewis, who I met at DraconCon 2008), but they still have a lot more growing to do.