I know I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but it still really irks me when I mention “fantasy” and people have a set picture in mind. The image that springs to mind is a faux-Tolkien world that’s vaguely like Medieval Europe (while countless other continents lie in the distance and aren’t focused on.) That’s all well and good, since the LotR books and films as well as the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game are indeed quite popular. However, my interests tend to lean towards science-fantasy (a la retrofuturism, Thundarr/He-Man, and Star Wars) as well as modern-fantasy as well. Something about applying futurism (or modernity) to magick and monsters appeals for some reason, that setting it in a specified era of the past just won’t. And even then, people tend to think very troperiffic urban fantasy when they think of what I’m talking about. Ya know, there’s a big masquerade where the supernatural hides behind some veil, locations are almost always some real world city largely unaffected by the magical, there’s probably some romantic sub-plot involving said supernatural or something. All in all, I’m not a fan. I want adventure, mystery, and what have you with a modern twist. Give me bizarre magic-tech that looks much like what we have now (or at least within post-WWII – post-Cold War time frame.) Give me molemen bankers who live in the same vaults they store stuff in, dwarves who have a monopoly on a pub franchise chain, dark warlocks firing enchanted bullets from an uzi, weird stuff like that! See, that’s the kind of weird stuff I like. For reference on what I’m talking about, read “Nightside” and “Perdido Street Station”
Image Source: Kentaro Kanamoto
Looking back, it was a pleasure to write this one. This is in part because I genuinely love this movie, as well as the original graphic novel. I might revisit it some day.
“Believe in Angels”
As far as cult films go, this was one of my favorites. In honor of the Halloween season, I’m coming back to give it another look! It’s a haunted house story with creepy puppets and a team of weird psychics, what’s not to love? But the real question is if this Full Moon Direct early project still as good as I remember. Let’s dive deep into my collection of b-movies on VHS and watch Puppet Master once more.
“Magic. Gives me the shakes what you can buy in this town.”
Cast A Deadly Spell is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek urban fantasy with a late 1940s Film Noir backdrop. This alternate history of LA features a city gone mad after magic becomes just as common practice as sports night at the pub. Occultists and mobsters seek far and wide for diabolic tomes and eldritch artifacts. Even our main character shares his office with a witch. So, welcome to Las Angeles; where you won’t just need a gun, but a book of spells too!
A ways back, I covered an urban fantasy film called, “Cast a Deadly Spell”, which injected a post-War film noir aspect into the realms of modern fantasy. The sequel, “Witch Hunt” focuses on Cold War paranoia being represented by the abuse of magicks.
In the introduction, we’re given a TV newsreel of the world of L.A.! But, it’s not our L.A., as magic is everywhere in this atomic age fantasy. But, this decay in morality is too much for Senator Larson Crockett! His goal is to put an end to magic once and for all! Will he succeed? And of course, what insidious power is really at work here?
Fantasy at its core embraces both the improbable and the impossible. In the realms of fantasy, almost anything can be achieved through the right means! This can be through belief or a bit of ingenuity. It was our dreams that invented both possibilities for the past and present that helped to forge fantasy in the first place after all. But when people hear fantasy fiction, we tend to think of a select few items. These are typically castles, ancient warriors, classic melee weapons, and royal societies. On top of that, fantasy usually takes a Euro-centric turn towards societies from the Dark Ages through the Renaissance. But surely, there’s a lot more to fantastic fiction than this, right? Of course!