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Archive for the Comic Books-Magazines-Fanzines Category
For example one of the first two covers, Realtos de Presdidio, – which contains some of the most violent cover artwork by Bazaldua – simply shows some dead guy who has flown through a windshield in graphic detail. Nothing more than that. Opening up the article –where the best stuff is hidden away- are twp more Realto de Presidio covers that are more typical of Bazaldua’s approach. One is common theme on some of the covers and shows a macho guy who appears to part of some drug cartel blowing out the brains of some guy who is haplessly crawling away on the floor. The guys getting blasted in these types of covers usually look defenseless and frightened. Draped over him is a dead woman with blood censoring her nipples. Thank god for that, wouldn’t want to see any nipples here and be corrupted. The cover next to that has some guy serenading and fondling a buxom gal while they sit over yet another dead guy with his brains all over the floor. But the next cover for Champeadoras is really the freakiest of the lot and worthy of reviving Frued’s dark theories about what is buried in a man’s psyche. Or what is buried in a woman’s toilet bowel I guess is more accurate. The covers only get more extreme in content and execution. They are drawn and colored in a realistic style that only makes them all the more shocking and grotesque. Probably more of these cover –and maybe some interior artwork- coming in the future once I can find out a little more about the books and the people who create them.
The theme for the covers I selected for this post are around Nazis. Mainly Nazi’s torturing white girls in various insidious methods. And when I say insidious that is just what I mean. These weren’t your fun loving Nazis that you would find at your average concentration camp following some sort of protocol. These were your loose canon type Nazis who did as they damned well pleased and when they did do something they wanted it was to full bodied white girls who were all tied up and hapless. I mean, one cover they have actually turned monkeys with serrated knives loose on some gals, girls get roasted alive on a couple others while on another cover a lass is branded with a swastika while her companions look in from their cage and wait their turns. Only one of these covers has the good white guy sneaking up behind the damsel’s wretched captors. This was common on many of these covers and he may have a gun, or a knife or maybe just his bare hands. But somehow you imagine the girl will be okay. I assume no good white guy sneaking up from behind in the dungeon means the girl’s fate is sealed. The covers are often nihilistic in this sense, but still a lot of fun. I have always felt nihilism was an underrated form of entertainment. And you have to love some of those article titles. Simply priceless.
For a great blog on this subject check out Men’s Adventure Magazines
The story takes place in the small Japanese city of Kurouzu which has come under the curse of evil spirals (or vortexs as they are called in the translation). It is not clear why the town is cursed but soon schoolgirl Kirie and her childhood boyfriend Shuichi are at the center of the escalating nightmare. Kirie finds Shuichi’s father absorbed in filming the spiral aptterns on a snails back one day on the way home from school. Soon there is a suicide at the school when a boy leaps from the top of a very high spiral staircase, landing at the bottom with blood and brains splattered everywhere. Things get more and more out of control as Shuichi’s father loses his mind under the influence of the vortex curse, one night almost losing control when there are no more spiral patterned naturo fish rolls in his miso soup. He convinces Kirie’s father, a pottery maker, that the vortex is the highest form of art and asks him to design a vortex patterned plate. Soon Kirie’s father is pulled into the curse. The situation at home is not the only concerns since at school students are turning into snails and having their hair grow out into elaborate spiral like designs the size of trees. The spiral (vortexs… it really bothers me how these films are translated at times. The term spiral is never once used though sometimes it is the better word to use. We do not say a “votex staircase”) motif appears all over the film, though not as frequently as in the comic book story. Eventually even the dark clouds in the sky assume a menacing spiral pattern.
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Shuichi’s father eventually decides he wants to become a vortex himself. What better way to achieve this than to crawl into the washing machine and click it on. His mother winds up in the hospital in despair and she soon clips off all her hair as to eliminate any spiral designs. Soon she realizes her finger prints are spirals and…well… you can guess the rest right? She kills herself after a centipede tries to slither down her ear and soon her dead husband is calling to her from the other side, where there are perfect vortexes. Shichi himself gets all tied in knots, literally, and in the last scenes we see the towns people all under the effects of the vortex curse, except for Kirie. One memorable scene as her stalker admirer throw himself under a moving car so she will always remember him and he gets all twisted around the wheel and rim. The film ends with unanswered questions but most movies like this do. The comic book seemed to go off into other directions, such as many of the town’s folk turning into dangerous zombie like creatures. While some people in the film appear “zombiefied” they never collect together and terrorize Kirie as they do in the manga story. The film is shot using a greenish hue and it looks eerie. The music score is good and the acting above average. There are no gratuitous school girl panty shots and no sex, which is actually a relief and gives this Japanese shocker a boost in the credibility department. So many newer Japanese horror films are of the Pinku Eiga style, which is simply softcore porn with a few mutilations thrown in to balance things out. Nothing like seeing a young naked Japanese school girl in one scene and then a disemboweled, blood drenched one in the next to push all the borderline personalities watching right over the edge. I thought the film was creepy and well made and the effects and photography are pretty good for this style of movie. If you can get the comic book, if that is your bag, as I think it is actually a better story.