Posts Tagged ‘vampires’

Library Additions: Three Collections

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Actually more like two-and-a-half collections with some odd additional material. All these were left over from other National Book Auction lots and, after checking them out, I decided to incorporate them into my library for, essentially, free. (There were several books from those lots I’m passing on, so each of these looked to have some point of interest.)

  • Bullock, Michael. Green Beginning, Black Ending: Fables. Sono Nis Press, 1971. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with slight wear to boards at head and heel, dusty page block at head, and small triangular abrasion to top front right board in a Very Good- dust jacket with spine fading, significant creasing and rubbing to top of front cover, 1/2″ semi-closed tear at top front fold, blindside tape at head and top front fold, and general wear. Inscribed by Bullock on the FFE: “With good wishes from/Michael Bullock 2.8.71.” There’s also what appears to be a stock number, a price, and “with odd vampire vignette” all in pencil, the last presumably from the vampire and werewolf collector whose collection this came from. Supposedly surreal stories by someone more famous as a translator and poet. Only two copies on Bookfinder, neither signed. Not in in Carter’s The Vampire in Literature, Bleiler’s Supernatural Fiction, Reginald, or, probably, anything else.

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  • James, M. R. (Peter Haining, editor). The Book of Ghost Stories. Stein and Day, 1982. First American edition (this appears to be a reprint of the UK Book of the Supernatural (with the same contents) from 1979), a Fine- copy with slight wear at points in a Very Good dust jacket with significant rubbing to rear cover. A collection of some of James’ previously uncollected short stories, plus commentary on his work by various writers, Christopher Lee, etc., and even an anonymous piece, “The Vampire of Kring,” that James believed formed the basis of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Looks like an interesting miscellany in a book I probably couldn’t sell, so…
  • Pei, Mario A. Tales of the Natural and the Supernatural. Devin-Adar, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Short story collection by this noted Italian-American linguist and writer. Includes “The Sparrows of Paris” (see Bleiler, Supernatural Fiction, 1298), a short werewolf novel. Reginald, 11279.
  • Movie Review: Vampire Effect

    Saturday, November 24th, 2012

    Vampire Effect
    Directed by Dante Lam and Donnie Yen
    Written by Hing-Ka Chan and Wai Lun Ng
    Starring Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Edison Chen, Jackie Chan, Mickey Hardt

    If you like Hong Kong supernatural martial arts films, you’ll probably enjoy Vampire Effect (AKA Twins Effect, since the two female leads are evidently in the same pop band). Modern-day vampire hunter gets cute new partner who clashes with his cute sister, who just happens to be dating an Emo vampire prince whose essence a vampire king wants to eat to unlock a vampire grimoire. Martial arts ensue.

    You know, the usual.

    Jackie Chan has an extended supporting role that’s pretty much unnecessary, except you get to see Jackie Chan fight vampires. He’s third-billed and gets about 15 minutes of screen time, so it doesn’t even make Top Ten Most Dishonest Uses of Jackie Chan’s Name on the DVD Cover list. (I’m looking at you, Drunken Fist Boxing.)

    This hasn’t gotten great reviews, and it’s not a patch on the best work in the genre by the late, great Ching-Ying Lam. The romance subplot drags a bit. The pace and style of the film does rip off the Blade movies…which in turn were ripping off Hong Kong action films, which ripped off everything they could lay their hands on, so par for the course. But it’s funny, and the action scenes work, which is pretty much all I ask as a threshold for enjoyment for this kind of film.

    The “sequel” Twins Effect II is evidently a historical martial arts epic with much of the same cast, but none of the same characters.

    Supposedly the American DVD (I saw it on-demand) has some scenes chopped that hinder the continuity. When it comes to Hong Kong action films, continuity does not rank high on my list of requirements. I saw the version with lots of martial arts.

    Random Thoughts on Dark Shadows

    Saturday, May 12th, 2012

    I almost missed the news that Jonathan Frid, who starred as vampire Baranabas Collins in the original Dark Shadows, died April 13 (Friday the 13th). It’s tempting to say that he died after seeing the trailer for the Tim Burton version.

    I have extremely vague memories of watching the original when I was very young (including one scene where characters were trapped in a web and menaced by a giant spider that, even to my 5-year old self, looked incredibly fake), but I was never a devoted fan of the original series. Even so, it was obviously a very interesting pop culture artifact, a failing soap opera that desperately threw in a stage actor playing a vampire that turned it into a sudden cult hit.

    Even so, I have to wonder why Tim Burton decided to camp it up like the movie version of The Brady Bunch. They few elements it shares with the original are so attenuated that he could have made the same “18th century vampire out of water” movie and changed a few names without calling it Dark Shadows, and since it stars the always-watchable Depp it would still have made money.

    I can only imagine how real fans of the series must feel.

    It’s sort of ironic that in the late 1960s, Batman was camp and Dark Shadows was melodrama, and now in 2012, Dark Shadows is camp, and The Dark Knight Rises is drama. And we all get ready for the next turn of the wheel…