Lady Death (2004)

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She’s wearing a thong garter set with thigh-high stiletto boots, a cape, and a badass push-up bra! But it’s the story I’m attracted to, not her cleavage, I promise. As the daughter of Lucifer, Lady Death’s destiny is to overthrow her father and take over his kingdom in Hell. She uses a sword to slay her enemies and she commands a demon army. Female sex appeal and nonstop action is my kinda story!

I’m reviewing the animated movie, but the original story comes from the graphic novel. The writer, Brian Pulido, was kind enough to chat with me on Twitter and now I’m kind of obsessed. I’m salivating for prints. I want to have it in my hands so I can ogle at will. *Sigh* You can buy back issues from Coffin Comics Shop.

And you can watch the whole movie on youtube if you desire

The movie is predictable but entertaining. It’s a little anime-esque. Large bubbly eyes and mouth flaps that don’t line up with the voice actors’ speech. I like the art in the graphic novels better, but hey, it’s an origins movie so whatever. Before Lady Death became a badass commander, she lived the life of an aristocrat in 1478 Sweden. When her father (Lucifer) kidnaps her boyfriend, Nikolo, and threatens to burn her at the stake, she agrees to join her father in hell to save him. There’s the obligatory training montage where she learns how to sword fight with Mathias, her second-in-command. The less clothes she wears, the stronger she becomes, apparently. Not that I mind, but yeah. Wearing little to no armor, she’s able to withstand blows from various bad guys and defeat all of her father’s cronies. Oh, and she sleeps in a peignoir (how does one find a sexy peignoir in hell? HOW? I want one!)

The movie ends with the expected FINAL EPIC BATTLE when Lady Death marches an army of demons to her father’s castle and defeats him. Sort of. I’ll review the graphic novels after I’ve read them–my hunch tells me the graphic novels are infinitely times better than the movie. At least, I hope they are! Anyway, I hope you guys check it out. It’s a fun, mindless romp with gore and a sexy protagonist.

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Uzumaki, a Japanese Classic (Review)

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I fucking love Junji Ito! He is the master. The legend. If you love comics and weird, supernatural shit, he’s THE MANGAKA to read. Junji Ito is the only horror writer/artist whose work makes me physically ill and or gives me nightmares. Seriously, it takes A LOT to frighten me and Junji Ito’s drawings get under my skin each time. If I think about “Glyceride” too hard, I get sick all over again! Ugh! *shudders*

Newcomers to Ito’s work should read “The Enigma of Amigara Fault” or the celebrated “Tomie” series. Ito’s influences are H.P. Lovecraft, Kazuo Umezo (I’ll review his comics in another post), and Katsuhiro Otomo, the creator of “Akira.”

I recently got my hands on the complete hardcover edition of Ito’s famous spiral horror, “Uzumaki.” I wanted something other than “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac,” and “The Walking Dead” in my horror comic book collection. “Uzumaki” looks so pretty on my shelf now. I’m fangirling, I know, but Jesus Christ, I love comic books in hardcover! Why aren’t all comic books published in hardcover? *drool* There are lush, color pages, too, which is nice. I’ve only ever read Ito’s work on scanlation sites. So it is nice to own a physical copy of the man’s brilliance.

“Uzumaki” is terrifying, gorgeous, hilarious, and weird all at once. Ito steers clear of blood and splatter and uses psychological mindfuckery to frighten his readers instead. The basic premise follows a schoolgirl and her town’s obsession with supernatural spirals. Ito has an incredible imagination–each chapter is more insane than the previous one. The distance between reality and fantasy is what drives the horror, here. Reading his comics is like tripping on literary-acid. The stories seep slowly into your subconscious, scrambling your disbelief, and then throwing your renewed perception together in haphazard, unrecognizable ways. It’s nothing short of genius. His art isn’t beautiful. In fact, it borders on the simplistic. And yet that’s why it works! If he drew elaborate dreamscapes, it would be too fantastical for the reader to accept. Ito’s straightforward approach adds to the story’s credibility. I always feel strange when I read Junji Ito’s comics. I hope you will, too. He really is one of my favorites. He’s right up there with Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, Chuck Palahniuk, and other modern classics, I think.