Flying Higher and Higher with Tito and the Birds

22 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tito and the Birds is a Brazilian animated movie that transcends. His avian friends are everywhere, and they symbolize a higher power he immediately recognizes. The alien rocks (that were once human) he finds are bumps on a log for a reason…

Praise is high for this work, and it will soon land on home video on April 23 courtesy of Shout! Factory.

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All The Legends & Lore That Inspired Shazam

20 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Amongst Baby Boomers, The Adventures of Captain Marvel defined the pulp-action superhero who would later be known as Shazam. For Gen X’ers, The Shazam/Isis Hour was a maligned television show of the mid-70s and it has its cult appeal. Jump to 1981, The Greatest American Hero showed how Stephen J. Cannell developed a fun, purposeful superhero sporting a different kind of symbol who wants to do what’s right in a cop buddy sitcom formula. The problems the character faced as the series progressed include learning how to use his powers, talking to the aliens in why he was selected and trying to keep those he loved safe.

To bring all those previous iterations of a superhero sitcom movie, Shazam, took several decades of storytelling in the television world to experiment with and the payoff is terrific. Ignoring the troubled property when it was first introduced in the ’40s to its reinvention by DC Comics, this 2019 movie borrows on many comedic tropes from the small screen as Billy Batson (Asher Angel) tries to figure out what being a superhero means. He has no book to guide him. He only has a comic book superhero obsessed foster brother Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) to offer tips and his own moral compass to keep him pure. The only misfire is in how nothing new is added to make it stand out.

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Finding the Yin and Yang in Scary Stories Documentary

18 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Everything fans wanted to know about Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell‘s collaborative work gets beautifully and excellently explored in Cody Meirick’s documentary Scary Stories. Both talents share equal credit in this exploration of the three-book series, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Not only were Schwart’z family interviewed, but also a variety of talents (from uber fans to fellow authors) profess their love for this team. There’s plenty of talkie moments to narrate the life of these creators, and in what I particularly enjoyed is in how enduring these works are still today. Every generation has a series of books they adored. Whether that’s with Conan the Barbarian, EC’s Tales from the Crypt, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Vampire Lestat, Goosebumps and etc., the culture that’s grown is explored in Meirick’s work.

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Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks, (& Musicals) An Interview Redux

16 Apr

By Ed Sum and Ira Hunter

Release Date: May 13, 2019
Available for pre-order on Amazon

Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl is a wonderful book which looks back at nearly all the music from the greatest horror cinema classics. No, we are not talking about a rerelease of all these tunes, but instead, we will get an opening of a time capsule which looks at the unique history and artwork of these works. This hardbound, full-colour, 240-page book ​spotlights the intricate (and often rare) artwork on the LP sleeves, as well as album reviews, release details, and wild backstories.

Jeff Szpirglas reviews albums and old movies for Rue Morgue Magazine, and his bibliography does not end there. He’s written many books for young readers and is a second-grade full-time teacher. This vocation puts him in an interesting position should he decide to demonstrate his love for horror to impressionable minds. Aaron Lupton is the music editor for the said magazine and is a passionate and nerdy collector of horror soundtrack LPs. He also is the co-host of From My Parents Basement podcast with Eric Gaudet and Gary Pullin.

In what prompted the decision to create this book was when Szpirglas approached Aaron about putting together a special edition digest issue of the magazine focusing specifically on horror soundtracks. At the time, Rue Morgue had been releasing special editions on subjects ranging from horror collectables to Canadian horror, and he felt that a soundtrack book was a no-brainer. In his own words, So much of what makes these films effective often comes from sound and music working in conjunction with the images and the rhythms of editing.

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