Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

New Story Idea

BEST. COVER. EVER.

Well, it’s been about 2 years overdue, but I think I finally came up with a new story idea to keep me occupied for the forseeable future.

Bear in mind, when I say “story idea,” I’m referring to something along the lines of a concept for a comic book, short story, or *GASP!*maybe even a novel!

Pictured: "Novelists."

Don’t worry, I promise I won’t go all counter-culture hipster on you guys.

Anyway, at this point in time, with my idea less than 6 hours old, the whole thing is more of a concept than anything else, but even so I think it has a lot going for it.

In interest of saving some time, namely my own, here’s a basic rundown of what I’m shooting for:

Basically, you take the setting of that movie The Village, (I haven’t seen it, but I’ve had the ending spoiled for me)

... Yeah, chances are I'll never sit down to watch this one.

marry it with the aesthetic and monster populated world of Capcom’s Monster Hunter game series,

Haven't played any of these, not sure if I could put up with the grind-fest gameplay. Even so, the art and music alone have got me tempted to pick one up sometime...

and then give it the Dances With Wolves/The Last Samurai/Avatar treatment.

This may as well be the title of said movies.

Actually, now that I think of it, that doesn’t reflect what I’m shooting for at all…

Here’s my idea, in my own words:

Our hero is a young man that comes from a small village of pre-Dark Ages technological status.

The village is surrounded by wilderness on all sides, and aside from a small water source and a single mountain peak visible from over the treeline, completely isolated.

Basically, the villagers live on the assumption that they are the only humans in their realm; that there is nothing for them beyond the forest.

The reason for this isolationist line of thinking is due to the presence of some truly ghastly and vicious man-eating beasts that live in the forest, thereby making travel through the wild all but impossible.

There is a very distinct border between the territory of the villagers and these creatures, crossing it by even the slightest amount agitates the monsters, yet they never cross this border.

These creatures, the wild landscape they inhabit, should be viewed as representing nature, or rather “the wild unknown.”

The real meat of the story, at least at this point, comes from the fact that sometime in the past, maybe a century or 2 ago, someone from the village in question looked upon his surroundings and found them inadequate.

He was disgusted by the sad state of his village and the fact that it’s inhabitants had begun to turn to inbreeding as a means to preserve their dwindling numbers.

He looked at the mountain in the distance and said to himself:

“I want to see the other side of that mountain.”

He was the first man in the history of the village to adopt this progressive line of thinking.

Think of him as sort of the Prometheus of this particular account of human history.

After rallying others to his cause for a time, this man eventually ended up leading a small but determined expedition into the wild.

Most were eaten by the monsters, several became lost in the woods never to be seen again, and that one man, the one that was responsible for it all, found a new life in a clearing at the opposite end of the wild.

He would be the first human to do so in the history of the realm.

This man would be the founder of a new, expansionist and progressive-minded civilization composed people who, like himself, migrated from their respective “island” villages.

Of course, this particular civilization exists without our hero’s knowledge.

The aforementioned people that became lost in the wild would become consumed by the very landscape around them, transformed into horrific and violent man-beasts.

The “wild” in this story is special in the sense that, to most of the characters in the story; it’s still unknown, it’s still dangerous.

In that sense, the wilderness in this story should be regarded as a truly hostile environment, one that not only presents danger to the humans that venture within, but does so willfully.

In this story, the natural world truly hates humanity, such that it produces horrible creatures specifically for the purpose of keeping man outside of it’s borders.

Think of it as a sort of Gaia-like Earth-spirit that exists to keep man in his place, to keep man from discovering the true depths of his insatiable lust to consume and destroy.

Huh, now that I think of it, it’s kind of like Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

With monsters, lots and lots of monster…

Anyway, that’s where our Prometheus throws a monkey wrench into the mix by surviving what was supposed to be an impossible endeavor.

In a symbolic sense, I guess Prometheus’ victory is supposed to signify the power and mystery of nature beginning to wilt under the tenacity, determination, and ingenuity of man.

The man-beast population don’t exactly represent both parties, humanity and nature, as one would expect.

Rather, they are a doomed element in the story, a group of survivors that have grown powerful and ugly due to the harshness of their environment.

No longer fully human, they are nevertheless still regarded by the wild as intruders, thusly making them targets for the monsters, as well as complete outcasts to whatever human elements they may encounter.

They are physically powerful, but inbred and prone to illness and early death.

At some point in the story, they will probably engage in violence with the Promethean settlement, as that is simply the only way the 2 civilizations can encounter one another.

I think the angle I’m trying to play with the man-beasts, is to posit to the reader/audience the possibility that perhaps the various creatures inhabiting the realm this particular story takes place in are all actually cut from the same fiber.

That is to say, perhaps the vicious man-eating creatures of the wild are in fact mutated humans that were trapped in the forest for too long, or perhaps man is result of some of the monsters stepping out of said enviroment.

The world of this story is meant to have some subtle magical elements, (no spells though, I fuckin’ hate that shit…) so such transformations could easily happen over a reasonable period of time as opposed to through genetic/evolutionary means.

I’m rambling, I’m sorry.

Anyway, the story is basically about a young man, a hunter raised in a small tradition-oriented society, discovering the true breadth of the world around him.

At this point in time, the only background I have established for him, is that he is hunter who lost a friend to one of the monsters in the woods, thusly resulting in him seeking revenge on said monster years later.

Near as I can tell, it’s his quest to slay this beast that takes him into the wilderness and beyond.

What happens from there, and why, I have no fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for now.

Don’t steal my ideas.

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In Memoriam: Robert Muldoon

"JP: Jurassic Park! Something, has survived!"

I fucking love Jurassic Park.

As a child raised with the perception that dinosaurs were absolutely the coolest shit ever, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was, and still is, the perfect film to appeal to my young dinosaur loving self.

Pictured: My young, dinosaur loving self.

I suppose it also helped that the movie was legitimately good too.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Jurassic Park as a whole, if it were you’d have to pack your sleeping bag just to read it.

Seriously, this is one movie that I really can talk about FOR-EV-ER.

No, today, we’re going to be talking about a man among men.

A man so manly, even the biggest and most clever of Velociraptor pride leaders wouldn’t dare challenge him without the aid of a comrade.

That's right bitch. Shake in 'dem fossilized bones a' yours...

A man so manly, every hat he owns, even his baseball caps; flip up on one side like a slouch hat.

Pictured: Australia in hat form.

A man so manly, even the mighty Samuel L. Jackson dare not challenge his authority when told to be “quiet.”

"'The fuck told ME to shut up?..."

A man so manly, he can drive stick.

"Get off the stick! Bloody move!"

That’s right ladies and gentleman, today we pay tribute to the manliest of manly men, the paragon of pimp, the head game warden and “great white hunter” of John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) Jurassic Park:

Robert Muldoon.

In short, Muldoon is THE SHIT.

You thought Donnie Yen was badass?

Next to Muldoon he’s a fucking choir boy.

A CHOIR BOY.

Though he was only in handful of scenes, Muldoon nevertheless made a huge impression on me, even as a child.

Personally, I think most of that had to do with the fact that he wore a slouch/Aussie hat, which was something I just happened to think was really fuckin’ cool back in the day.

Still kinda’ do, now that you mention it…

Anyway, Muldoon is a hard-ass throughout most of Jurassic Park, but he’s a loveable hard-ass.

Y’know, he’s that kind of asshole where you’re all like:

"Man, what a dick..."

But after a few seconds you’re all like:

"But goddamnit, he's AWESOME!"

He was the rock of the major players in Jurassic Park.

While everyone else panicked, he just kind of gritted his teeth and toughed it out.

Oh yeah, and then licked his lips, involuntarily twitched his eye, and seemingly intentionally tried his best to scare the ever loving shit out of everyone around him.

"I've got her..."

Y’know, hero stuff.

Anyway, as we all know, Robert Muldoon met his demise at the hands of yet another blatant case of a Spielberg-ian spite killing.

That is, he tracked a Velociraptor in the jungle, only to be flanked by a second raptor much in the same way that Alan Grant (Sam Neill) flat out TOLD US this would happen to someone at some point in the movie:

Poo poo on Muldoon for missing Grant’s informative and decidedly not kid-friendly paleontological spiel at the beginning of the movie.

I suppose it didn’t help either that he decided to wait until the absolute last moment to set up the stock to his SPAS 12.

In retrospect, he probably should’ve done that before he even set foot in the jungle, or failing that, he probably could’ve at least tried to fire it sawed-off style.

Either way, shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re gettin’ mauled by one seriously pissed off raptor.

Actually, for all I know that might be his "Can I have a cookie?" face...

Oh well, at least he got to kill the Tyrannosaur and a shit ton of raptors WITH A FUCKIN’ GRENADE LAUNCHER in the book.

FUCK YEAH.

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole part where, y’know, he lived at the end of the book.

Thanks for that Michael Crichton (R.I.P.).

Anyway, the real reason for this post, is to honor the memory of the actor who portrayed Robert Muldoon, Bob Peck.

Good God he's badass...

I was informed today by a co-worker (the same one that inspired me to take on the Top 100 Goriest Films) that Mr. Peck had died of cancer on the 4th of April, 1999.

I may be 11 years or so late, but this post is my way of honoring his memory.

Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen Mr. Peck in any other film’s or TV series, as most of his roles were in British exclusive productions.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, his performance as Muldoon was pretty much all I needed to see of him to forever believe he was THE SHIT.

That being said, Bob Peck, Robert Muldoon, you shall henceforth be forever remembered as one in the same, a shining example of what it means to be the manliest of manly men.

With that, I shall close with Mr. Peck’s, and therefore Robert Muldoon’s; official theme song:

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Let’s Watch the Top 100 Goriest Films!

He's not nearly on the list, but I guarantee you Pennywise the Clown is 20 times scarier than any of the psycho killers in the Top 100...

Last week, a coworker of mine mentioned that he had stumbled across a list of the Top 100 Goriest Films.

The list originated from the longstanding and well-respected horror news site, Bloody Disgusting.com.

Said coworker was kind enough to inform me that he  had committed himself to eventually working his way through every film on the list.

Upon hearing this, my first response was to say to myself:

Then I got all serious and I was like:

“Shit, that sounds like a fun project.  I should do that too!”

Being as I don’t have a whole lot of inspiration as a writer right now, I figure this may be a good way to force myself into pounding out a post every so often.

That being said, 100 movies is, quite frankly, a shit ton of movies.

Thankfully I’ve already seen 51 of them, leaving me with an almost manageable 49 to deal with.

For those who care, here is a repost of the list (thanks to Tim Wambolt for compiling this, coded for my convenience:

*= Seen it.

$= Want to see it.

?= What the fuck is this shit?…

1. DEAD ALIVE ($)
2. HOSTEL*
3. TAE GUK GI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR*
4. EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN*
5. HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND*
6. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD*
7. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET*
8. VERSUS*
9. ICHI THE KILLER*
10. BATTLE ROYALE*
11. RIKI-O: THE STORY OF RICKI*
12. DEAD OR ALIVE*
13. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
14. THE RE-ANIMATOR ($)
15. THE TOXIC AVENGER ($)
16. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN*
17. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
18. FACES OF DEATH (?)
19. DAWN OF THE DEAD ’04*
20. NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN (?)
21. JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING*
22. THE HILLS HAVE EYES*
23. THE BEYOND*
24. ZOMBI 2*
25. ANTHROPOPHAGOUS THE BEAST (?)
26. STARSHIP TROOPERS*
27. CANNIBAL CAMPOUT (?)
28. ROBOCOP*
29. CANNIBAL FEROX/MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY (?)
30. DAWN OF THE DEAD*
31. BLOODSUCKING FREAKS
32. STREET TRASH (?)
33. KILL BILL VOLUME ONE*
34. SALAD DAYS (?)
35. THE BLOB (Remake)*
36. SEVEN*
37. THE EVIL DEAD*
38. THE DEAD NEXT DOOR
39. THE FLY (Remake)*
40. GUINEA PIG: THE SERIES
41. AMERICAN PSYCHO*
42. APOCALYPTO*
43. DAY OF THE DEAD*
44. HELLRAISER*
45. BAD TASTE
46. LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (?)
47. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN*
48. MANIAC (?)
49. HIGH TENSION*
50. CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD*
51. BUIO OMEGA (?)
52. LAND OF THE DEAD*
53. KICHIKU: BANQUET OF THE BEAST (?)
54. DEADLY SPAWN*
55. DEEP RED (?)
56. CUBE ($)
57. DRILLER KILLER (?)
58. SAW III*
59. CALIGULA
60. VIDEODROME*
61. AUGUST UNDERGROUND (?)
62. HANNIBAL*
63. BLADE 2*
64. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON*
65. AFTERMATH (?)
66. SUICIDE CLUB
67. BLOOD FEAST (?)
68. AUGUST UNDERGROUND: MORDUM (?)
69. NEKROMANTIK (?)
70. THE DESCENT*
71. BOXER’S OMEN (?)
72. MEN BEHIND THE SUN (?)
73. FEAST*
74. FREDDY VS. JASON*
75. SHAUN OF THE DEAD
76. VIOLENT SHIT (?)
77. CARRIE*
78. PREDATOR*
79. COMBAT SHOCK (?)
80. MURDER-SET-PIECES (?)
81. PHANTASM II ($)
82. THE BLOOD OF BEASTS (?)
83. WOLF CREEK ($)
84. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III*
85. TERROR FIRMER (?)
86. TENEBRAE
87. CEMETARY MAN ($)
88. JUNGLE HOLOCAUST
89. IZO
90. MY BLOODY VALENTINE
91. SIN CITY*
92. DOG SOLDIERS*
93. THE UNTOLD STORY
94. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
95. MEET THE FEEBLES ($)
96. THE BOOGEY MAN
97. WIZARD OF GORE
98. FOUR BROTHERS ($)
99. SALO: 100 DAYS OF SODOM (?)
100. TETSUO THE IRON MAN*

For those that are keeping score at home, that totals out to:

49 movies I haven’t seen.

22 movies I don’t recognize by name.

And only 8 movies I want to see.

You see, nobody said anything about this list being populated with good movies.

Contrary to popular belief, I do in fact have some taste in movies, which is largely the reason as to why I’ve seen the 51 films off this list that I have.

Then again, I don’t know of a whopping 22 of them, so there may in fact be some hidden treasures in there.

Doubtful, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.

Color me surprised when I discovered I’d already seen all of the Top 10 excluding the #1 pick, Peter Jackson’s zombie classic, Braindead AKA Dead Alive.

Anybody else remember Braindead 13? Anybody? Bueller?...

Oh well, at least now we know what I’ll be saving for the grand finale…

Anyway, this project could in fact turn out to be a tremendously painful waste of time, but hey, I’m doing this to keep busy, and with 49 movies to get through, something tells me things are gonna’ work out just fine…

Check back every now and again for my thoughts on these movies!

Play me out, Pennywise:

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Crappy Book Covers Are Crappy!

Say what you will, it's still THE BEST COVER EVER.

Yesterday’s post was an example of intentionally bad cover art for a book.

Today I figured I would take a moment to show you a few examples of published book covers that are potentially worse from a design standpoint than the juggernaut that was “Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus.”

Shitty book covers aren’t hard to find, one has only to venture down to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of any book store or library to find them.

Or don't. That would be my suggestion anyway.

All of the images that follow were taken at the University of Washington Book Store.

It should be noted that most of these covers were far from the worst I’ve seen.

I blame myself for this, as Barnes & Noble seems to stock a larger quantity of rubbish books with shitty covers.

Good job UW, way to keep the crappy book cover population to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s begin our journey through the world of shitty cover art with the book that prompted me to start this whole day of adventure in the first place:

Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

The moment I saw this on the shelf, I found myself stupefied, gawking in horror at the masterpiece of ass-itude that lay before me.

Now, first thing’s first, Werewolf Smackdown is a truly awful title.

Unless of course THIS was the subject of the story.

In my opinion, the most frustrating part of this cover isn’t the horrendous graphic of the werewolf character, but rather the typography of the title.

The “Down” part of the word “Smackdown” is on a slightly lower plane than the “Smack” resulting in a rather confusing appearance.

I guess one could theorize that this was done intentionally as a visual metaphor to put emphasis on the fact that werewolves are in fact smacked down in this book, but I seriously doubt most would come to that conclusion on first glance.

Hell, it took me like 20 minutes to even come up with that half-assed explanation.

Werewolf Smackdown, definitely playing second fiddle to Werewolf RAW is WAR.

Next up is Eric Flint Time Spike by Marilyn Kosmatka… Or is it Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka?

Here we have our basic Tyrannosaur eating a Spanish Conquistador cover.

Other than my confusion over what’s the title and who’s the author (thank you very much, shitty typography), this is a pretty crazy-awesome/retardly-awesome/shitty cover that I honestly don’t have problem with.

That doesn’t make anything more than a shitty cover though.

Just ask any of my friends, I have a tendency to find reasons to like truly awful things.

Pretty sure I'm the person I know that actually liked this movie...

Moving right along, next we have Pyramid Power by our homeboy Eric Flint, or wait maybe it’s by that son of a bitch Dave Freer, I honestly can’t tell:

Like the previous cover, this one isn’t overtly bad, it’s just really fucking stupid.

I mean come on, it’s a fuckin’ dragon holding a viking with it’s tail.

On paper that sounds pretty cool, but I would’ve preferred to see a less static representation of this most epic of encounters, you know, something a little more action oriented or dynamic.

Goddamn you Monster Hunter, lookin' all cool n'shit...

Conceptually speaking, this is like looking at a heavy metal album cover.

You aren’t allowed to ask “why,” you just sort of accept it in all it’s insanity and excess and get on with your life.

Either that, or you briefly question the band's sexuality for a moment, then rock until you just don't care.

Pyramid Power loses points for it’s shitty title, however, like the previous cover; the cover isn’t all that bad, just uninspired.

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to look over a couple of covers from an author that seems to have a knack for generating crappy novels deserving of crappy covers, Mr. John Ringo.

Holy shit! He looks like Muldoon!

First up is The Road to Damascus:

In case you couldn’t tell, that is in fact a child in red pajamas, holding a teddy bear in one hand while holding a laser gun in the other.

Oh yeah, he also appears to be facing down a tank.

Based on the color palette and (shitty) fonts, my first instinct upon viewing this cover was to compare it to one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels.

I know they look nothing alike, but I just felt like using this image 'cause I acutally own this one.

Though silly in nature, The Road to Damascus, once again, doesn’t have all that bad a cover.

The image is provocative, with some definite time and effort put into the illustration, with some very straightforward and easily distinguished focal points to the layout.

The fonts are pretty boring, but not clip art bad.

I will say this though, the cover seems a little too busy in places, particularly at the top, where the tag line is inappropriately large given it’s close proximity to the author’s name/names.

Our last cover is another John Ringo book, called Gust Front; and this time it actually is shitty, not just bad like most of the others.

I apologize about my leniency towards these shitty book covers.

Many of them probably deserve harsher words than I’ve given them, but I guess it’s just not in my nature to gripe about and be unnecessarily or overly critical of things, no matter how shitty they may be.

Oh well, here’s Gust Front:

Holy fucking shit that’s bad.

Pretty much everything bad that can be said about cover art can be applied to Gust Front.

The title is ass.

The fonts are ridiculously over-the-top, oversized, and horrendously colored.

Oh yeah, and the composition is off-balance, somehow managing to be both cluttered and sparse, with truly awful original Starcraft quality CG renderings for all the figures present in the image.

Hmm, I don't remember the old Starcraft looking like this. Sadly, no trace remains of it ever since the announcement of #2.

It’s kind of funny actually, the dude in the power armor reminds me of the Starship Troopers CG cartoon, Roughnecks.

Yup, these guys and the Extreme Ghostbusters were my best buddies after school...

Man, that was a good show…

Hang on, now that I think of it, the title font seems to bear a certain resemblance to the Starship Troopers one, at least in terms of it’s alignment.

I'm proud to say that the DVD I own of this film has a MUCH better cover.

I see, so we’re to buy this no doubt shitty novel based on the associations it brings on in our minds in relation to Starship Troopers?

Clever girl Mr. Ringo… Clever girl indeed…

I feel it is worth noting that John Ringo’s section at the UW bookstore was pretty much a shelf unto itself.

That’s a lot of shit novels.

Huh, guess I really can be an asshole when I put my mind to it.

Go figure.

Anyway, this has been a truly half-assed post.

Things will pick up a little bit more tomorrow, promise.

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

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Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus

Doctor Vladimir’s Space Virus

by Eric Burmill

Doctor Maximus Vladimir is the top scientist of the United Star Systems and he believes he’s developed a revolutionary new medicine to reduce the body’s physical deterioration in old age. He delivers his serum to a trusted colleague, Colonel Henry Mortok, without the knowledge that the colonel is member of K.I.L.L., a secret order bent on destroying all life in the universe. Mortok modifies the serum into a biological weapon and distributes it across all of the space colonies. Too late Dr. Vladimir realizes that his friend has used his discovery to unleash a deadly plague across the galaxy. Now it’s up to our hero to battle the secret order, confront his former friend, find a cure to save the billions of lives at stake, and clear his good name before he and the rest of the human race are erased from existence.

(Story Concept and Image used with the consent of Jeffrey Dong)

The above is part of an art exchange project between myself and a good friend of mine, Jeff Dong.

The idea came up while we were at Barnes & Noble rooting through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel section, intentionally looking for the dumbest and most ridiculous cover arts we could find.

And the winner for most awesome book cover EVER goes to...

Jeff Dong came up with the neat idea of challenging ourselves to come up with fake concepts for books that would go well with retarded cover art.

Basically, we were to exchange intentionally retarded Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel ideas, and then produce Photoshop renditions of the cover art for said stories.

The above example is my interpretation of Jeff Dong’s story idea.

Even though it took me more than a month to actually sit down and do this project, (largely on account of me having to write this damn blog!) I have to admit that I genuinely had fun with it.

Even though it’s cheesy, and definitely retarded, I also have to say that I am also somewhat proud of my work on this image.

Anyway, needed a break from writing, so instead I decided to treat myself to a day of flexing my artistic creativity.

Pictured: My "Artistic Creativity"

Hope you enjoyed, be on the lookout for Jeff Dong’s cover image for my story, it’s a hoot!

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