Tag Archives: Biography

Lugosi’s All Right in The Rise & Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula

8 Oct

Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula | Book by Koren Shadmi |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster CanadaBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Publication Date: Sept 28, 2021
Available to order on Amazon USA
Spoiler Alert

Ask anyone who their favourite cinematic version of Dracula is, and it’ll either be Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman. The former lived under the shadow of the vampire Bram Stoker brought to life, and the latter is a man who simply upped the ante. From playing Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional (1994) to Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight (2008), these two performers have one thing in common, they played many types of characters throughout their life. They both suffered from alcoholism and married many times. 

Goldman is lucky to not get typecast but Lugosi did. Bela’s life and times are excellently handled in the graphic novel, The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula. We see something of his young life, how his father hated his decision to become an actor, his work before and after Dracula, and how he never got the recognition he truly deserved. His private life became a thing for tabloids to play up.

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The Retrospective in Biography: WWE Legends

12 Jun

downloadBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Please check local listings for a repeat schedule.

A&E Network and WWE Studios are partners in Biography: WWE Legends (formerly known as World Wrestling Federation), a new run of biographies about the legends of wrestling. The decision on who to first focus on must’ve been tough. To see true alumni, namely Hulk Hogan, interviewed about their time with the talents from the past two decades, made for a great retrospective.

There are eight specials and the last documentary about Bret Hart aired last weekend. To binge watch these two hour specials isn’t possible, but to watch them over successive days than wait reveals a lot more about the sport turned entertainment spectacle. Although each piece doesn’t get into the most guarded secrets or details that can be read from a Wikipedia styled biography, I found the series to be a terrific primer to get newcomers and the curious up to date on the talents who became Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior.

Not all of these people stood out, but I did find Booker T’s charm a total gem in the spotlight about him. From those who are still living and are looking back, they’re not talking about all the demons they faced or go into huge lengths about their youth which led to them wanting to partake in wrestling as a proper sport (the part of their life I’m really curious about). Randy perhaps had the most problems to deal with. Not even The Undertaker can exorcise them.

We get a fairly good nostalgia trip and history about what this sports entertainment business is about, even before it became a crazy arena spectacle. One nice mention is in how the South East of America operated as fiefdoms, before it eventually became one huge brand. These documentaries doesn’t always reveal how much of an influence WWE is in other media (missing the boat on crossover into comic books and cartoons) and this segment can use an expansion.

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One Man’s Journey Into the Paranormal in this Book Review…

13 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Beyond the Fray Publishing
Spoiler Alert

I Want To Believe: One Man’s Journey Into The Paranormal is more like two. The title may well have some people curious, because the meme is straight from X-Files. We can blame the UFO poster Mulder had in his office in the tv show, The X-Files.

In Jason Hewlett‘s case, I imagine the poster in his office is either The Others or Changeling. He’s a Kamloops-based film critic, reporter and radio producer whose lifelong passion for the paranormal has taken him down many roads. In this book’s case, perhaps it’s to give a realistic view of what goes on in paranormal investigations. This primary author’s journalism skill serves him well, as the details are told matter of fact. He’s interviewed his friend, Peter Renn, who’s now the leader of Canadian Paranormal Foundation. He was formerly with the Vancouver Paranormal Society, but has recently passed the reins since he’s relocated to the interior of British Columbia.

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Still Waiting for Cyberpunk 2077? Read the World of Instead…

17 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Despite CD Projekt RED‘s video game Cyberpunk 2077 being constantly delayed, thankfully publishing partner, Dark Horse Comics is not late on releasing The World of Cyberpunk 2077. Fans of the role playing game turned video game will need time to read through the voluminous tome, and by the time they’re done, they’ll be up to speed. The latest date slated for the game is Dec 10th.

This product offers everything newcomers need to know about life, the gangs and tech available in Night City. It’s less about the making of the game with concept art but more on what to expect from it narrative-wise. Not everyone will be interested in the Deluxe Edition. The slick binder makes it almost worth it, but to get one in pristine condition means scouring the book stores.

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The Nail in the Coffin is not Firm on the Fall and Rise of Vampiro, a Wrestling Legend

6 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available through: Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Bell, Cineplex and also on iTunes Apple TV

According to Vampiro (aka Ian Richard Hodgkinson), pro wrestling originated in Mexico. A few talents from the WWE got their start there. Lucha Libre, as it’s known, is its own unique world and Nail In The Coffin: The Fall And Rise Of Vampiro is a very deep, insightful and tear-jerker of a documentary about this wrestler as a family man. It’s less about the world he’s still involved in, but more about how much he loves Dasha, his daughter.

In his better years, this wrestler flew back and forth from Ontario and Mexico City, from his home life to work, just to earn a living so to help his family out. It’s not just with his daughter, but also his mom. This piece doesn’t dwell too much on all the reasons on why he left the nest, but instead focuses on those lessons he learned as he navigated the harsh realities of life so that he can prepare his own little bird for the eventuality. He won’t be around forever, especially with the way he’s abused his body as this film unfolds.

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