Halloween Viewing – Week Two

Pseudo-themes are developing this year in our #31DaysOfHalloween movie-watching marathon. Check it out: “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) – “Frankenstein” ended neatly, yet Hollywood demanded a sequel. James Whale delivered it. This movie pays homage to Mary Shelly and friends while still being a true monster movie that’s also loaded with pathos and humor… all packed…

Halloween Viewing – Week One

I love Halloween month. It’s one of the only times of the year the wife is open to watching horror films, my favorite brand of escapist entertainment. We’ve been married twelve years, so in Halloweens past, I’ve already shown her the all-time classics, like “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Alien” and “The Thing” — and…

Music of the Wild – Sources

I’m fascinated by the 1920s — those few years between world wars saw heavy exploration of the Earth’s dark corners go hand-in-hand with astounding industrial developments that were happening all over the world. The American writer H.P. Lovecraft wrote of the Celtic god Nodens in his story The Strange High House in the Mist; Chris…

Bio

Victor H. Rodriguez is a talent manager, novelist and short-story writer. He’s been a scriptwriter for HBO and published short fiction with Murder of Stortytellers, Jaded Books and White Wolf. He also has short stories in the upcoming anthologies Year’s Best Transhuman SF from Gehenna and Hinnom, and Hyperion and Theia from Radiant Crown.

“Annabelle: Creation” – 8/10

The Blumhouse tapestry of horror films continues to take shape with this well-crafted origin story.  Annabelle first appeared in “The Conjuring” (2013) in a supporting role. She starred in her own forgettable spin-off film a year later. Honestly, the current Annabelle film doesn’t offer anything new, but it’s scary and fun as hell. Good performances…

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King – 9/10

His stories in this special are personal, about growing up with immigrant parents in the über-white city of Davis, CA. Funny all the way through with zero lag. Excellent performance. Streaming on Netflix now. 9/10.

Top Twenty Movies of All Time

“In a Lonely Place” (1950) – My favorite noir. Deeply flawed protagonist. Watching this, I finally understood why Bogart is great — the range of sensitivity and toughness he portrays is astounding. “Seven Samurai” (1954) – I’m fascinated by the role that warriors play within society, how they’re glorified when needed and shunned when the…

Of Art and Man – “Hacksaw Ridge” 8/10

“Hacksaw Ridge,” directed by Mel Gibson, is streaming on HBO now. If you can hadle gory WWII combat, I recommend it. I’ve read that Beethoven was a dick. He also composed some of the most transcendently beautiful music ever written. Gibson knows how to direct. His war movies, “Braveheart,” “Apocalypto” and “We Were Soldiers” are…

What’s In the Case?

“It’s beautiful.” Belloq says it when he looks into the golden glow of the ark in “Raiders.” Pumpkin says it when he looks into the golden briefcase in “Pulp Fiction.” It seems like whenever the protagonists are at a crucial point in either film, the predominant color the directors use is gold. McGuffin? Grace? Power?…

RIP George A. Romero

It’s sad to lose one’s heroes. I’ll always be a great admirer of Romero’s work. Growing up in L.A., his career was important proof to me that a Latin-American man could create important, socially-relevant works of art and still be successful in business. “Night of the Living Dead” was the first thing I ever saw…

Castlevania (Netflix Series) – 8/10

The world of dark Medieval fantasy is horrendously underrepresented in anime. So are good TV series based on video game properties. Netflix just made a giant leap forward for both with “Castlevania.” It’s no “Berserk,” (my favorite anime series of all time), but the characters in “Castlevania” are at vastly different power levels, and while…