Monday, September 18, 2017

Gotham Season 4: Dawn of the Dark Knight!!!


Of all the current, superhero/comic-book adaptations on commercial television, "Gotham" remains the best and most honorable. It's not politically slanted in the sneaky way that "Supergirl" has become, nor does it get into the "I wanna marry my surrogate sister" motif of "The Flash", let alone pad itself with tiresome verbosity like "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."  


As promised from the get-go, "Gotham" concentrates on young Bruce Wayne, and we watch his development through the versatile guise of David Mazouz. "Gotham" is also Jim Gordon's story; and thanks to Ben McKenzie, it never fails to be a rocky, realistic and engaging one. 


In addition, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee); Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue); Oswald Copplepot/Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor); Edward Nigma/Riddler (Cory Michael Smith); Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy (Maggie Geha) and Selina Kyle/Cat Woman (Camren Bicondova) are equally developing souls, each in search of something elusive, but with an implied, fervid hope of fulfillment, whether good or bad in the ultimate run.


I suppose the same will be said of Jonathan Crane/the Scarecrow (Charlie Tahan) when he psychologically enters, as well as Ra's Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) when he expands his influence, or at least tries to do so on our adolescent hero-to-be. It also seems destined that other favorites, new and old, will surface during the interludes, even if they're not yet publicized: After all, secrecy and surprise are part of the show's crafty scheme. (All the same, I'd love to see the Joker indisputably established through Cameron Monaghan's Jerome. Heck, wouldn't we all?)


Regardless of the various characters and their varying ways, it's imperative that focus remain on the Dark Knight's inevitable ascent. The path seems secure. "Gotham" is inherently Batman's tale, even if the Caped Crusader has yet to be seen or mentioned. However, the producers appear intent in mounting his reveal, for Season 4 (labeled "A Dark Knight" for its first half and for its second, "Dawn of Night") are culled from the comic-book sensations, "Batman: Year One" and "The Long Halloween".


While other superhero shows skirt around what they've promised to be, it's ironic that the once thought series-on-the-cusp is now the most faithful to its mythological core, both in heart and spirit.


As a Batman fan--as a superhero fan--I'm grateful that Fox is continuing its noble campaign. My gut tells me the best is yet to come; the vibes certainly feel sharp (and dark) enough.

Season 4 commences Thurs, Sept 21, one week ahead of its otherwise projected debut: further proof of the network's commitment to reward and widen its popular program's viewership. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

APOCALYPSE: SONOLOGYST SIGNALS AN END TO ALL ENDS!!!


Raffaele Pezzella's Sonologyst (Italy's outstanding, experimental music project) offers a new, mood-setting anthology. Pezzella's electronic-kissed album (available via Eighth Tower Records) is entitled APOCALYPSE. Its atmospheric entries certainly live up to its label and then some...

Pezzella asked me (a fan of such unpropitious essays as "I Am Legend", "Mad Max" and "When Worlds Collide") to pen a lead-in to his latest, thematic concept, which I'm now honored to share...


Everyone predicted it would someday arrive, but so few believed in the inevitable, for within the deepest recesses of people's hearts and minds, the world's destruction was little more than a foolish and faraway myth. Nonetheless, the insinuations...the ghastly omens...were always there, whether in the way nature's wrath surfaced through disasters or in the manner in which tyrants continued to rise proud and tall, with no apparent consequence to their shackling actions. However, when Earth's cataclysmic conclusion finally hit, it manifested not so much through the rumblings of some inner, core force; tumultuous storms; famine; economic collapse; mind control...nuclear devastation. It came predominately from out the darkness of our soiled souls. We caused the end of the world by not caring, by letting charity, good will and compassion die. It was ironically our selfish obsessions for heartless conformity, for sadistic self-preservation that spawned our demise. This album's tracks represent and punctuate the ultimate end to all ends, with all the melodious sorrow and impetuous anguish that humankind's collective sins could ever dare conjure--and (bet your bottom dollar) will. Listen close. Listen hard. Learn and prophetically see and prepare, as each segment drags you deeper into the fetid, despairing annals of...the Apocalypse!


In actuality, Pezzella's track titles say it all in their own straightforward right: Abandoned city; Sulphurous rain; Hypnosis; Stay in your homes!; Global threat; Dying oceans; System collapse; Towers of sand; Prayers from nowhere

Pezzella's gripping, soul-searching chords are certain to build woeful and enraged images inside your head. It's your choice to enhance these moments as you see fit, with alien invaders, talking apes, volcanic explosions...the walking dead. Sonologyst has a special way of sparking a listener's imaginative uniqueness. I still maintain, though, that we remain our own worst enemy, no matter how awful the fringing upheaval, but I'm sure you'll decide for yourself upon listening to Pezzella's evocative selections. 

Indulge now at ... https://eighthtowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/apocalypse.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

SO LONG, HARRY DEAN STANTON...


As a top-notch, character actor, you weren't afraid to roam all genres, from westerns like "Ride the Whirlwind" and the "Missouri Breakes" to prime dramas like "Cool Hand Luke"; "Wise Blood"; and "Paris, Texas". To fans of the fantastic and the macabre, you'll be best remembered for your roles in "Alien" (as good ol' Brett); "Alien Autopsy"; "Christine"; "Death Watch"; "Escape From New York" (as the crafty Brain); "The Green Mile"; "Marvel's Avengers"; "One Magic Christmas" (as the angelic Gideon); "Rango"; "Repo Man"; "Twin Peaks"; and "Wild At Heart".

There was only ever one Harry Dean Stanton, and the cinema has never been the same (or better) for it. 

RADIO ARCHIVES/AIRSHIP 27 PRESENTS SCOTT GLENNON'S READING OF MICHAEL F. HOUSEL'S THE HYDE SEED

It's here, folks (drum roll, please)...from Radio Archives...actor Scott Glennon's dramatic reading/performance of my Airship 27 Productions novella..."The Hyde Seed"!!!


In case you've not yet read "Hyde Seed", the story details the emotional fall of a boxer, Pepe Rodriguez, and his big bout with an inner demon: a strange, weed-like formation that grows through reveries and craves an existence beyond its host. Will the old pugilist defeat his Hyde or succumb to his counterpart's insidious ambitions?

Glennon gives my tale a crisp, combative edge, which immediately draws one into the woeful action. As "Hyde Seed'"s author, I'm more than pleased with the results.


You can purchase the audio version of "Hyde Seed" (as well as the paperback and Kindle editions) at ... https://www.amazon.com/Hyde-Seed-Michael-F-Housel/dp/1946183105/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505519781&sr=1-1&keywords=the+hyde+seed

God bless and thanks for your support!

Friday, September 15, 2017

AIRSHIP 27 PODCAST #31 (SEPT '17): READY FOR TAKEOFF!!!


Airship 27 Productions' Captain Ron Fortier and Chief Engineer Rob Davis are at it again, bringing us their jovial insights on the New Pulp scene in Podcast #31. 


Gear up your ears for cool scoops on Fred Adams Jr's "C.O. Jones #2: Skinners"; Richard Kellogg's latest "Barry Baskerville" entry; Jim Beard and Barry Reese's "Captain Action #3: Cry of the Jungle Lord"; plus exciting details on the Captain's "Tales of the Macabre, Vol 1": a new, comic-book compilation from Redbud Studio!!!



Listen now at ... https://player.fm/series/zone-4/airship-27-podcast-31-skinners.

Don't delay!!! Take your fun-filled, hour-long flight today!!!

FAREWELL, BASIL GOGOS...


I can't tell you how many times your wonderful work uplifted me, with colors that thrived, pulsated and inundated my dark soul. You covered amazing, sacred and macabre ground, Mr. Gogos, paying homage to so many of my monstrous friends, from the Frankenstein Monster to Count Dracula, from King Kong to Godzilla. You were one of the true, deserving, celebrated masters of your field. That you will no longer paint another portrait or imaginative scene upon this Earth is a tremendous loss to us all, but your marvelous legacy is carved in proverbial stone--your name destined to spawn sighs of gratitude among those of us who savored your work through Famous Monsters of Filmland and beyond. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RIP LEN WEIN...


You co-created Swamp Thing with the late Bernie Wrightson, and without you, such legendary names as Lucius Fox; Wolverine; Storm; Colossus; and Nightcrawler wouldn't cross our lips. Your contributions to Green Lantern; The Incredible Hulk; Spider-man; Fantastic Four; Justice League; The Avengers; Watchmen (to name but so few) have been nothing short of monumental, not to mention your work on "House of Secrets" and "House of Mystery": two of the greatest, horror-comic anthologies ever produced. 

You covered unbelievable and inspiring ground, Mr. Wein: a behind-the-scenes giant who lovers of the imaginative will respect and adore for lifetimes to come.