Thursday, August 19, 2010
Anyone who loves Red Sonja sooner or later ends up browsing the colaborative tribute blog RED SONJA: SHE-DEVIL WITH A SWORD, a shrine to all things Sonja, from comics to pin-ups to films. As from today, and thanks to the benevolence of über-webmeister Darius Whiteplume, I've joined the ranks of scribes paying homage to the most famous and sexy red-haired warrior ever to grace a printed page. My first post, a sketchy comment on the reasons why Richard Fleischer's RED SONJA (1985) was such an unmitigated disaster, can be read here (if you feel so inclined).
On another front, and as if to compensate from these past few monthes of total inactivity on this humble abode, I took advantage of the bruhaha surrounding J. Michael Straczynski's take on Wonder Woman (from DC's Wonder Woman #600 onwards) to start a new blogue (yeah, if you don't update your blog frequently, what else to do than to divide even further your scant attention, right?) directed at super-hero(ine) comic books. You can find it here. I'll try to keep some regular posting on all three blogs, so please drop by any of them when you have a free minute or two to spare. For the moment, the updates on HOUSE OF SIN will follow closely my thematic concerns on both CAPES AND BUSTIERS and RED SONJA: SHE-DEVIL WITH A SWORD, so expect a lot of superheroines, sword & sorcery and some hot debate about rape fantasies in comics and films.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Saturday, October 31, 2009
About a week before Halloween, I couldn’t help but feel delighted reading all those wonderful blogs that embark on a now traditional October Halloween countdown. I must confess that I particularly appreciate this special festivity where demons threat to tear through the flimsy walls of our imagination and run amok among us. Hailing from a country with no such tradition, in a way I feel that I enjoy Halloween even more, although in a mediated fashion through movies, novels and comic books. Safe from the inevitable perks of the real experience, I can live Halloween as a constant joy ride of dark frisson.
As I grew up without such an holyday, I tend to have a loose memory of this time of the year, associating it with the plethora of national holydays clustered around the months of October-December that I did enjoy while living in Portugal: October the 5th, November the 1st and December the 1st and the 8th were all national festivities. Cold and rainy days that I spent at home watching the GROOVIE GHOULIES and SCOOBY-DO on television, or reading SWAMP THING comic books by Bernie Wrihtson and Len Wein.
For me this time of year will forever be associated with 70s horror icons, with go-go boots, mini-skirts, wide belts, gothic castles, muddy and winding roads and lost young tourists seeking shelter in cob-webbed sinister abodes.
And so, each year, I spend Halloween watching groovy movies: BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1968), TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE (1971), LA LLAMADA DEL VAMPIRO (1971), LA ORGIA NOCTURNA DE LOS VAMPIROS (1972) or EL JOVENCITO DRACULA (1977) all get a spin from my DVD player, alongside Hammer classics and old forties spokies. On recent years I’ve found a strange and eerie fascination with ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1987) as a symbol of Halloween, a strange mix of October thrills and late summer nights, dry leaves and polyester cobwebs, a promise of sexy frills and wonderful horrific FUN.
So, have fun all you partiers. Happy Halloween!
Just forget about context. Pretend you don’t know these two… pretend they don’t know each other. Discard the fact it may be a cheesy horror movie and that the spray pistol may be charged with a potentially lethal fluid. Just read the situation. Read their bodies. Did you ever tried to hold someone like that? Do you really think it is easy? Watch the fingers of his left hand. He’s not a lefty. He’s holding the gun in his right hand so he can’t be a lefty. Observe how he compensates the imbalance, leaning onto his left – not ambidextrous either. So, the way he is holding her… it’s just not practical.
Now, consider the girl. She clearly has beautiful, firm, round breasts. If you want to immobilize a girl of such a build it would be natural to grab one of her tits. It would give you purchase, it would hurt if she ever tried to pull away from you.
And suddenly, she seems to sense all this. She looks down. She sees the flaccid muscles on his arm. She knows – she feels it, she sees it – that he’s well aware of the swell of her left breast under is forearm. And yet, his left hand has climbed up her arm onto her shoulder, not down towards her bosom. She must now be thinking, is this guy a faggot?
Or, she asks herself, maybe he really doesn’t mean me any harm.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Why should I think of you as a damsel in distress, Laura? You surely don’t have that old-fashioned doe-eyed innocence that we’ve grown accustomed to. When we see you for the first time you’re a girl on the run, with vicious killers on your tail. But you’ re not hiding, cowering for your life. No. You’re just sunbathing, topless, idly browsing an inconsequential magazine.
It’s only when Schneider comes out of his expensive European Mercedes and comes shooting at you that you think of running. But you’ve been running for a long time, haven’t you, Laura? That’s the story you tell to that bloke whose car you’ve jumped into. That’s the way you deal with problems, Laura, you just drag anyone into them?
Well, you know he can’t resist helping you. Even if he doesn’t seem at first to believe your crazy story. But you see the way he keeps throwing glances at your slender naked thighs, and you know he’s as good as yours to command. You sure know that your body is a powerful weapon, a precious instrument of survival on a world of vicious men that believe themselves masters of the game although they’re just children playing at grown-ups.
And you know how to deal with them. When you went to your auntie Mary in L.A. begging for help she wanted to send you to sell dope to school kids. She knew your young body and your beautiful face could sell anything. You look harmless. That’s what that guy thought, your auntie’s henchman, when he came onto you after your shower. But you sure taught him how to behave. Pretending to be seduced, kneeing him where it hurts the most. And there you go again, running, escaping yourself. At that time you still haven’t met Schneider. That came later.
He saw you alone and haunted and beautiful and offered you easy money just to escort some important business men. At least, that’s what he said. And you accepted. You appreciated the money. And I’m sure you enjoyed the dare, the risk. And yes, I’m sure you’d have enjoyed the sex. That is, if you didn’t find out the scheme Schneider was keeping with some Chinese general, selling American guns to kill American soldiers in some war in far-off jungles. That did it. You fucked their scheme. And they want you dead.
So why should I think of you as a damsel in distress, Laura? Well, it’s the look you get sometimes, the air of a lost child in a cold indifferent world. You may be almost bare-naked, and still, in those fleeting moments, you really do seem innocent.
And I know the thoughts that surround you in those brief instants. You’re thinking of when you stopped being innocent. Of that morning on your mother’s boarding house when one of the gests, taking advantage of your mother’s absence, abused you… made you a woman, as he surely would refer to it. You think of the shame you felt. The humiliation. The shame of the rape, and worst of all, the shame of having enjoyed it. Not the rape. The sex. And thinking of that fateful morning that forced you to flee from home, you ask yourself if you became really lost… or just found yourself at last.