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PCR #216  (Vol. 5, No. 20)  This edition is for the week of May 10--16.

Florida’s Commuter Airlines from the 1960s to the 1980s: Part Three
 by William Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
"Van Helsing"  by Nolan B. Canova
Horrible Horror
 by Andy Lalino
Photos of Tortured Iraqi Prisoners....Kerry vs Bush....Terri's Law
 by Joshua Montgomery
The Return of the Monsters....Van Helsing
 by John Lewis
Who's In Charge Here?....Eat All You Want--That's Enough....Tank You Beddy Much....Radio Edit....Meet The Beatles, Part 16
 by Mike Smith
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Creature's Corner

Hello Fellow PCR Afficiandos;
Finally I have access to a keyboard for more than five minutes. So much to talk about and so little time. Where does one start. Ah, I know, (one of the etereals here in the Castle has whispered a suggestion, sending a chill down my spine) The Return of the MONSTERS!!!!!

The Return of the Monsters
Yep, those wascally cwitters that haunt Universal's back lot are at it again. Yes we're talkin the terrrorific trio; Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolfman. It don't get no better than this Baby.

First we saw the release of Famous Monsters of Filmland #237. There's something about that logo that really catches the eye. It surely is an original though I'm sure we all wish it were still being produced by the originals (Jim Warren, and everybody's favorite 4-E Ackerman) who started the classic monster craze in the late fifties. Still, I had to buy it.

Right on its heels came the Trio of DVDs featuring the lion's share of the original films featuring Universal's legendary Creatures. "Buenos noches, Señor Harker." That's right, even the Spanish Dracula which used the same sets at night for filming is offered in this collection.

Van Helsing
Then, last Friday, the movie every monster fan has been waiting to see, "Van Helsing," arrived at over 3000 theaters in this country as well as several overseas markets. On Saturday everything from the Castle slithered, crawled, flew, or ambled their way to the movie, dragging me along with them. Evidently scads of others saw it on opening weekend as well as the box office reported earnings of 107 million on the first weekend.

I was grabbed as soon as the movie started with the angry villagers storming castle Frankenstein with a huge battering ram. I felt the same elation as I did when I was a child seeing those villagers for the first time. My blood began rifling through my veins when I heard those famous words "It's Alive!" Then...something happened. Dr. Kettering and Dr.Bohmer were replaced by that dastardly Count Dracula. And so began the downward spiral of this long anticipated offering.

Now, don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but mostly from an action standpoint. If you want lots of heroic action you've come to the right place. By the time you walk out of this movie you'll feel like you've gone twelve rounds in a boxing ring. It's all there; Heroes (both male and female), babes (Dracula's wives, 'nuff said, and Monsters (Hyde, and the trio, oh and a very forgetable Ygor) so what are we waiting for, let's dive in.

There were three things I really liked in this movie; 1)Anna Valerius (the ever beautiful Kate Beckinsale), 2) Frankenstein's Monster (with all his updated features like see-through heart protector and brain case, very cool), and 3) those cute little Draculings (I made that up) that appear in the thousands.

No spoilers, I know many of you haven't seen it yet but I will say that the acting (for the most part) is up to snuff and Hugh Jackman adds quite a bit to his role as Gabriel Van Helsing (the other Van Helsing). The action is good, the sets phenomonal, but the story is rather weak. I actually expected that so it didn't bother me that much. I also feel the Wolfman should have been an actor in costume and not a CGI extravaganza. I thought the Wolfman may have curiously been bitten by a certain radioactive spider but maybe that's just me. All in all I think Stephen Sommers handled the retelling of the classic Monsters story well using many of the trappings that appeal to the children of today. Now a whole new generation will have something to talk about to their kids concerning those classic Hollywood Monsters. Despite the weak story, I give this one a full "Three Screams" on the Creature Scale.

Have a Great Week!!! C-Ya!

The "Creature"  The Creature from Clearwater

"Creature's Corner" is ©2004 by John Lewis.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.