Monday, July 4, 2022



Collectible Time: John Febonio's Clash of the Titans/Medusa '81 Print

My readers are well aware that artist John Febonia has a knack for (re)creating famous horror scenes and characters. He now brings us a monster from a different origin: Medusa of Clash of the Titans 1981.

Ray Harryhausen's don't-catch-her-gaze monstrosity is one of the animator's finest renderings, with amazing, nuanced movements, from her snaked crown to her tremendous, ticking tail. 

Febonio does an equally amazing job capturing the gorgon's stealthy fluidity, as she pursues the brave but cautious Perseus inside her frightful lair. Febonio even layers this titan's fiery backdrop in a way that appears culled straight from celluloid, albeit modified by a warm. inimitable texturing. 

My Medusa, matte print measures an impressive 16" x 20", but Febonia offers this image (as with all his prints) in varying formats.

Enticed? Why not visit Febonio's production site? The Medusa print, plus a hefty smattering of other examples of the maestro's work, await one's appreciation:

Friday, July 1, 2022


Covering all the thespian bases was your creed, and man, did you ever succeed. 

Here's just a sampling of the productions in which you appeared: Cell 2455, Death Row; The Bamboo Prison; Duffy of San Quentin; The Killing; Paths of GloryThe Naked Street; Warlock '59; The Boy and the Pirates; King Rat; Bat Masterson; Wyatt EarpJohnny Cool; Combat!; Savage Abduction (aka Cycle Psycho); Adam 12The Sand Pebbles; Rat Patrol; The Bonnie Parker Story; Adventures of Rin Tin TinWild in the Sky; The St. Valentine's Day Massacre; Here Come the Jets; The Purple Gang; The Andy Griffith Show; The HindenburgThe Beast of Budapest; The Devil's Eight; Portrait of a MobsterVisit to a Small Planet; Tales from the Darkside; Bonanza (on three, stand-out occasions); Land of the Giants; and the H.G. Wells-inspired, exploitation classic, Village of the Giants.  

You stood out, in particular, in three significant (and classic) submissions: as Nick the Blackmailer in the eerie The Tormented; as Lloyd the Bartender in The Shining '80; and as Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner

Your distinct face and nuanced flair sure put you on the map, Mr. Turkel, and on that map you shall stay: remembered, relished and revered for cinematic eons to come. 

I saw Stranger Things: Season 4 (Vol 2)...

Stranger Things: Season 4 has concluded, thus putting a cap on a new, Upside Down monster...sort of. (I mean, in the realm of monsterdom, does any such creature just fade away?)

This particular monster, aka Vecna/Henry (Jamie Campbell Bower), lures the leads into his lair (or is it more a matter of Vecna/Henry reaching out?), elbowing allusions to previous seasons and features (as mentioned in my May post) elements of The Keep, Aliens, The Kindred '87, The Fly '86, The Thing '81 and now that I consider it, Hellraiser, Hellraiser II: Hellbound, Flatliners (either version) and The Gate, though the weaving, Lovecraft/Fulci-esque wraparound owes its largest debt to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.  

In fact, the entire fourth season oozes of Freddy Krueger, and to drive this dreamy point home, Robert Englund's Victor Creel was stitched in, prompting the anguished Hawkins kids to mimic Elm Streeters to defeat their foe. 

As with past Stranger Things seasons/stories, the fourth is elevated by its identifiable character queue: Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhead); El "Eleven" Hopper (Mille Bobby Brown); Jim Hopper (David Harbour); Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer); Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton); Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo); Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke); Steve Harrington (Joe Kerry); Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink); Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin); Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder); Will Byers (Noah Schnapp); Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn); Sam Owens (Paul Reiser); and Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine).

Since Season 4 has (by word of mouth and written testament) left a positive impression on fans, demands now aim for Season 5, enough so that it would be foolish for the Duffer Brothers and Netflix not to move fast on sequelization, especially with a number of anomalies yet unresolved. (Incidentally, the early-July, viewer onslaught for Vol 2's climax caused Netflix to crash. If that doesn't convey shoe-in interest, what the bloody hell does?)  




There are certain albums that swoon and sway the soul, which penetrate outward and inward, leading one to travel back and forth to time and place. Nicolas Picciotto's Beings From the Origins (recorded at the SwissVintageStudio and released through Submarine Broadcasting Company) is one such enlightening example.

Some of Picciotto's compositions are, in fact, historic for what they invoke, even when it's up to the listener to determine when and where they emanate. 

The title track works wonders in this respect, invoking founders from vague, timeworn sectors, with an exotic, New Age beat that builds triumph through sterling invention and by default, possibly even battle.  

"Ancient Traveler" is as riveting for its purpose and plan: smooth as silk across an infinite sky. Picciotto's Whovian vibrations also pump the heart with steadfast focus, and as torpefying as they are to the mind, "Ancient Traveler" struts with an enduring pop-muscularity that suggests pure, Herculean Top Ten.

"Thoth and the Ancient Tablets" is gentler in its epic construction, with a mystical verve that's at once ancient-alien and at another point, grassroots-terrestrial. Its hybrid construction feels like sand and brick, satisfaction filtered through sweat, stoking chords that soar from the past to influence eons to come. 

"For You Jonas My Son" echoes the metaphoric tablets, launching antiquated ways to forge modern ones, in what emerges as a magnificent, two-tiered streak. However, the sumptuous "The Law of One" cements the "Jonas", patriarchal concept, blessing generation after generation with appetizing endowment. 

Other offerings are more autonomous. "Love at First Sight" presents amorous, Blade Runner noir, insinuating one's first android fling. "Sunshine" plays with similar satisfaction, as warm and cozy as one's favorite blanket, but with enough popping force to burn the brain. And then there's "Underground Lofty" and "Step the Reach", which represent interludes of pelvis-swiveling necessity: each devoid of remorse, signaling the existential importance of having lived, struggled and (if only along that rare, galactic plane) laughed. 

My favorite of the album's compositions is the cosmic "Let There Be Light Again", for no other reason than the obdurate hope it strikes. As with "Underground Lofty" and "Stop the Rush", Picciotto probes ever farther beyond earthly restrictions with his disco-tripping creation, and in so doing reminds us of the immanent miracles that spring from all beginnings. The tune is astral but grounded, sanctimonious but welcoming, as it births an original and enriching world.

On the ambitious whole, Beings From the Origins is life-affirming: an opus not only ripe with dancing discovery but inexhaustible recovery. To (re)experience it is to come away forever and always changed.