Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pulp Consumption : Brick

Posted: September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

Broadswords and Blasters

BRICK is a 2005 neo-noir film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brendan, a high school loner who ends up investigating the untimely murder of his ex-girlfriend, Emily. The action gets kicked off quickly enough. A phone call. A cry for help. The discovery of a body.

BRICK

What follows is an intricate web of deception, revenge, drugs, and rivalry all set against the backdrop of maneuvering through high school. None of the characters, not even Brendan, can be classified as completely innocent. Brendan holds to his own code of honor, not truly a criminal, but willing to act outside of the traditional bounds of morality to accomplish his goals. He’s also smart enough to know that it is isn’t the person who pulls the trigger that’s the real villain, but the person who makes sure that the victim is in front of the gun.

Some of what makes BRICK stand out is…

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Pulp Appeal: Pulp Fiction

Posted: September 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cameron (finally) tackled PULP FICTION (the movie)!

Broadswords and Blasters

Pulp_Fiction_(1994)_posterTime to address the elephant in the room. It’s been quietly sitting in the corner for the last seven months, but today it is begging me for attention.

Say the words “Pulp Fiction” to most adults in America and they won’t think about Robert Howard, Tarzan, the Cthulhu Mythos, or The Maltese Falcon. For a large portion of the American consumer public “Pulp Fiction” means one thing – the 1994 film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Hell, when you Google the phrase, the first three pages of results are about the film. It’s not until about halfway down the fourth page that something else[1] pops into the mix.

Pulp Fiction is not Tarantino’s entry into film, but it is the work that pushed him out into the public eye. The title begs the question: Is Pulp Fiction pulp fiction? Yes, most definitely. And why not? It’s an…

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Issue 3 Cover Reveal

Posted: September 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Issue 3 cover reveal!

Broadswords and Blasters

Luke Spooner/Carrion House knocked it out of the park again! This cover illustrates the creepy pirate tale “Moss” by Will Bernardara, Jr.

Cover3

Need to catch up? Have no fear! Issue 1 and Issue 2 are still available to purchase.

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Pulp Consumption: Yojimbo

Posted: September 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

This week’s Pulp Consumption continues the Kurosawa/Mifune love with YOJIMBO.

Broadswords and Blasters

YOJIMBO, a 1961 jidai geki by Akira Kurosawa, in many ways defines the itinerant swordsman for me. Sanjuro, the titular yojimbo, or bodyguard, as played by Toshiro Mifune, is a scruffy, dirty ronin on his way to nowhere in particular. He is so adrift in the world, that he lets which way a stick falls determine which path he takes.

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yojimbo_2082.jpg

His arbitrary decision leads him to a town under siege from two separate gangs. He decides to make it his mission to clean the town up, playing one side against the other to defeat both. Why? The motivation of the ronin, who gives his name was Sanjuro, is never made explicit, though he implies that he views it as an easy way to make some money. That said, greed is not Sanjuro’s sole motivator. Otherwise, why would he go out of his way to help a young couple, the…

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Cameron talks “Into the Badlands,” which, while not strictly speaking pulp, has some strong roots in it.

Broadswords and Blasters

34b84932f790bf9094c27c763e782219--into-the-badlands-season-Calling Into the Badlands pulp may be pushing the boundaries of pulp too far for some people. I’ll even admit that it’s at the edge for me, but comic books are in many ways the inheritors of pulp, and Into the Badlands is nothing if not a visual comic book. Costuming, color schemes, sets, and camera points-of-view are all clearly inspired by the works of comic writers and artists like Frank Miller, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, and Warren Ellis. In fact, the show was created by veteran writer/developers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the producers of Smallville, another visual comic book. They were also the writers of the genre-bending film Shanghai Noon. Even a casual viewer will see some echoes of both of those products here in Into the Badlands.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future that mixes feudal barons, a strict caste system, and martial arts…

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Want some Weird West? Look no further than High Plains Drifter.

Broadswords and Blasters

If I had to pick one movie that captures the concept of Weird Western, that movie is the 1973 Clint Eastwood vehicle HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER[1]. The plot is enigmatic enough, a stranger without a name rides into the town of Lago. He kills, he rapes, he turns the town on its head… and all seemingly without any motive.

high plains drifter.jpg

Except the town folk were complicit in the murder of a federal marshal, having hired outlaws to beat him to death when he threatened to shut down the town’s primary source of income, a mine on federal land. The town folk than turned on the outlaws that murdered the marshal, and are now in fear of what will happen now that the outlaws are out of jail. And the three gunmen the stranger kills when he enters the town? Yeah, they were there to protect against the outlaws.

This movie…

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Pulp Appeal: Drunken Angel

Posted: August 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cameron talks Drunk Angel, an early Akira Kurosawa film.

Broadswords and Blasters

800px-Yoidore_tenshi_posterDrunken Angel is one of[1] my favorite films by acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, who is mainly known in the west for his samurai films, particularly Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. Drunken Angel is an earlier film, the first collaboration between Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, probably one of the most widely known Japanese actors outside his home country. He went on to star in 15 other Kurosawa films, including both the classic Seven Samurai and Rashomon, the latter frequently cited as one of the greatest films ever made.[2]

drunken_angel_04Drunken Angel is the story of the broken-down, curmudgeonly Doctor Sanada, played by perennial Kurosawa compatriot Takashi Shimura,[3] and his ministrations to the poor in the slums of post-WWII Tokyo. The film’s plot begins with Toshiro Mifune, a low-ranking yakuza gangster named Matsunaga, seeking out the doctor to treat a gunshot wound. In the process, Sanada diagnoses Matsunaga…

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Today’s Pulp Consumption: LA Confidential.

Broadswords and Blasters

Image result for la confidentialL.A. Confidential is a 1997 film based on a novel by James Ellroy, set in the 1950s but filmed in a very ’90s style. It is a master class in adaptation, taking what many people thought was an unfilmable book and boil it down to its essential elements. In many ways it also acts as a spiritual successor to that other great Los Angles noir film, Chinatown.

At first blush, the story is that of two competing story lines. Gangsters are being killed or run out of town in the wake of Mickey Cohen’s imprisonment, as evidently someone is consolidating power in his absence. There’s also been a massacre at a local diner, evidently an armed robbery gone wrong. Three very different types of policeman get wrapped up in the investigations, eventually learning that they are more interconnected than you would think. There’s Bud White, played by Russel Crowe…

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Cameron talks TRUE DETECTIVE in this week’s edition of PULP CONSUMPTION.

Broadswords and Blasters

true-detectiveTrue Detective was[1] a short-lived HBO anthology series, with each season covering a different plot, sort of like American Horror Story on FX. That’s where the comparisons with the longer-lived show end. True Detective combines multiple sub-genres within pulp, including noir, saucy sex, and supernatural horror, and uses a framing device of police interviews to weave together a complex non-linear narrative into a coherent whole, in much the same way that Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan have done with Pulp Fiction and Memento, respectively. This sort of device shows up frequently in literature and film, including pulp, though it becomes far more widespread after Citizen Kane and Rashomon.

TrueDetectiveDVDCoverThe two main characters are Louisiana detectives investigating the possible resurgence of a dormant serial killer. The show is set against the backdrop of a dilapidated and decaying urban infrastructure filled with corruption, decadence, and possible devil worship, all…

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Pulp Appeal: Indiana Jones

Posted: July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

In case you wondered what we meant by “two-fisted action.”

Broadswords and Blasters

The Indiana Jones series is what happens when twopowerhouses of the ‘70s and ‘80s decide to craft a love letter to the adventure serials of the 1930s and ‘40s. Indiana Jones is an adventurer first and an academic second, completing his archaeology in the field with little more than a whip, a revolver, and his hat.

Image result for indiana jonesWhat is striking for me, is the way that you can use the Indiana Jones movies as a template for developing your own stories. There is the MacGuffin (the Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones, the Holy Grail, the Crystal Skull). There are the outright villains (Nazis in the first and third film, evil cultists in the second, and communists in the fourth). There is the requisite love interest. Each follows the same basic formula. Indiana is after the MacGuffin. The bad guys want it too. In some cases (TEMPLE OF DOOM)…

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