Archive for the Media Category

Three for Thursday: Marvel Cinematic Universe Edition

Posted in Media on July 15, 2021 by Occult Detective

Long time no post. I’ve been busy, and you’ll see why very soon, but, after finishing up Loki last night, I felt it was time for me to evaluate the entirety of Marvel Cinematic output thus far. And I consider the Disney+ series to be a part of that, so let’s tackle this… from worst to first.

Captain Marvel

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 2

Black Panther

Falcon & the Winter Soldier

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Thor: The Dark World

Captain America: Civil War

Spider-man: Homecoming

Captain America: The First Avenger

The Incredible Hulk

Marvel’s The Avengers

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Infinity War

Ant-Man & the Wasp

Black Widow

Spider-man: Far From Home

Thor: Ragnarok

Iron Man

Wanda/Vision

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Ant-Man

Guardians of the Galaxy

Loki

Thor

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2

Doctor Strange

I was really tempted to go deep and add all of the Marvel output, you know, the tv shows, cartoons, Sony and Fox output and the like. Let’s face it, if I did, a lot of the recent Marvel stuff would slide south. I rate the original 1978 Dr. Strange tv pilot right behind the Dr. Strange movie, and Wesley Snipes’ first Blade outing would be right on its heels, but I’ve still a mountain of things to get sorted so that will have to be a project for another day.

Three For Thursday: National Television Heritage Day

Posted in Media on July 1, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today is National Television Heritage Day, so that leads me to presenting my Top 3 Favorite Television shows of all time. Are you ready? I doubt there will be any real surprises…

NUMBER THREE
CARNIVALE

“…the perfect show for those who thought
Twin Peaks was too accessible”

— Matt Roush, TV Guide

NUMBER TWO
LOST

“Name another network drama that can
so wondrously turn a ? into a !”

— Entertainment Weekly

NUMBER ONE
TWIN PEAKS

Twin Peaks disorients you in ways that
small-screen productions seldom attempt.”

—Tom Shoals, Washington Post

Three for Thursday: Occult Comics

Posted in Magick, Media on May 20, 2021 by Occult Detective

As promised, to avoid the confusion of last week’s Occult/Horror Comics List (emphasis on Horror), this week I’m sharing my favorite Occult Comics. I’m tossing up 10 and I’m not putting them in any semblance of order…

Enjoy.

Three For Thursday: Black Characters Matter

Posted in Media on May 6, 2021 by Occult Detective

BLACK CHARACTERS MATTER

“ORIGINAL black characters remain on
the shelf because of tokenization.”

— Eric July (YoungRippa59)

The internet is ablaze with talk of Black Superman and the casting of a woman of color in the role of Red Sonja. This is nothing new. Both in comics and on the big and small screens, unique characters of diverse ethnicities are often overlooked or downright dismissed unless they get slapped into another hero’s pajamas.

I’ve got to agree with Eric July on this. Taking a traditionally “white” character and putting a POC in the suit is not progress. There are a whole host of great black characters that deserve a seat at the table. A prime example is the demotion of the Falcon from a unique character to a “tokenized” Captain America. We don’t need a black Cap, what we need is the Falcon. Period.

That said, today I thought I would share my three favorite black comic book characters. This was a hard list to make. Why? Because it’s a long list of awesome, unique heroes and villains that need to be propped up. You know what? I’m going to cheat. Were going Top 5, baby!

Let’s get to it…

NUMBER FIVE
THE FALCON

NUMBER FOUR
BLADE

NUMBER THREE
MISTY KNIGHT

NUMBER TWO
ZULA

NUMBER ONE
BROTHER VOODOO

Tarot Tuesday: This Is Not A Love Song

Posted in Media, Tarot on May 4, 2021 by Occult Detective

I’ve known Amber Petty for a few years now. She reached out after becoming enamored by my High Priestess tarot design, which she licensed for her Tarot Tea House business in Australia. Subsequently she wrote a memoir and we collaborated on the cover art over the course of many months. Below is the finished artwork for her debut —This Is Not A Love Song: A Memoir About Mental Health and Love which is available wherever books are sold.

And for kicks, here are a few of the other ideas we knocked around, all Tarot related, of course.

Magick By Trial & Error: The LVX Files

Posted in Magick, Media on May 3, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today, I direct you to The LVX Files, a new podcast from my good friend Shawn Hebert of Lailokens Awen fame. Billed as “A Podcast for Occultists about Occultists”, Shawn expands on Gordon White’s “were you a weird kid?” opener to delve into the origin stories of today’s most prominent occult voices.

In the debut, we are treated to a fascinating introduction to Frater R.C., host of the Magick Without Fears podcast. I believe you’ll find Shawn a personable and erudite host, and if his discussion with Frater RC is any indication, we’re in for a spectacular season of in-depth analysis of the evolution of occultists from a very personal level.

Be sure to like, subscribe, & ring that bell.

And if you want to know a little more about what makes Shawn tick beforehand, you can check out his Last Rites from last September.

Three for Thursday: Wyrd Edition

Posted in Media, Wyrd on April 29, 2021 by Occult Detective

No Wyrd Wednesday post yesterday. I am almost exclusively devoted, during my daylight hours, to the OSR Authentic Magick RPG I’ve been tapped to illustrate, edit, and orchestrate. So, how do I make amends? Well, we bring a little Wyrd into our Three for Thursday.

Today, let’s have my list of the three best “Viking” movies.

NUMBER THREE

THE VIKINGS

Adapted from Edison Marshall’s novel, The Vikings. If you thought the Viking’s tv show was inaccurate, hold onto your horned helm because this tale of Ragnar Lodbrok is a doozy. Oh, we’ve got Ragnar and Aella, Egbert, and the like, but we also have Eric, Ragnar’s secret bastard and Einar Ragnarsson, and let’s not forget the Welsh Princess Morgana.

For all its playing fast and loose with history, the cast more than makes up for it: Ernest Borgnine, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh are all spectacular in this epic sword and sandal production.

NUMBER TWO

VALHALLA RISING

Where do you even begin with this Mads Mikkelsen tour-de-force? Mads plays One-Eye, a mute thrall who escapes his captivity with a young boy and is taken in by cruel Norse Christians intent on sailing for the Holy Land on Crusade. Blown off course, they end up in North America, where One-Eye sacrifices himself to the natives there.

Oh, yes, I have opinions about this film and its meaning. More than happy to discuss with anyone brave enough for an earful.

NUMBER ONE

THE THIRTEENTH WARRIOR

Adapted from Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, The 13th Warrior is loosely based on Beowulf, merged with the chronicles of Ahmad ibd Fadlan. The cast is spectacular, particularly Jahn Dennis Storhøi who manages to steal every scene he is in.

“After my small role in The 13th Warrior, I said to myself, ‘Let us stop this nonsense, these meal tickets that we do because it pays well.’ I thought, ‘Unless I find a stupendous film that I love and that makes me want to leave home to do, I will stop.’ Bad pictures are very humiliating, I was really sick. It is terrifying to have to do the dialogue from bad scripts, to face a director who does not know what he is doing, in a film so bad that it is not even worth exploring.” — Omar Scharif

Well, Omar, I disagree. John McTiernan was the original direstor, and while he was responsible for films like The Hunt for Red October, Predator, and Die Hard, by all accounts he lit a lot of money on fire and delivered a wretched film. Crichton took the reins himself, reshooting the ending and delivering what I consider an exhilarating adventure film.

Three For Thursday: Paranormal TV

Posted in Media, Paranormal on April 8, 2021 by Occult Detective

Thursday are going to be fun. When I wake up, I think of a topic and I throw up a list of my Top 3. It might be anything. Whatever catches my fancy. It just might spark controversy or debate on occasion, but that’s alright. We’re (mostly) all adults here. So, what do we start off with?

Well, looking up at the top of the page, it says this is occultdetective.com, so how about we address our raison d’etre, but with a twist. At some point we’ll tackle literature, tv, movies, comics, and the like, but for our inaugural launch, we’re going to have it hit a little closer to home. Let’s keep it real and leave the fiction behind.

Top Three Paranormal Investigation Series

— Number 3 —

Haunted Highway

“I’m Jack Osbourne and I’ve been obsessed with the paranormal since I was a kid. I’ve wanted to investigate some of America’s scariest cases. But I decided it had to be done differently. I’ve put together two teams–myself and my researcher Dana and my friends Jael and Devin. We shot everything ourselves; just us. This is what we discovered and it completely blew my mind.”

I liked Haunted Highway because, for one thing, it was different. No camera crews. Just two investigators driving across America, sticking their collectives noses into places where they don’t necessarily belong. Jack, of course, is a charismatic host, and his fellow investigators were fun to ride along with.

— Number 2 —

Portals to Hell

Another Jack Osbourne show? Yes damn it. And it’s not because of him, though he is likeable. For whatever reason, you just sort of root for the guy. The premise is a bit contrived, but I enjoy the locations and the production of the series. Jack’s partner in crime, Katrina Weidman, is a familiar face, and she and Osbourne have good chemistry. I also enjoy the people they bring on board to assist, particularly Michelle Belanger. I also enjoy the interaction between the producers, the crew, and the investigators. Everyone is involved and it feels natural.

— Number 1 —

Hellier

“A small crew of paranormal researchers find themselves in a dying coal town, where a series of strange coincidences leads them to a decades-old mystery with far-reaching implications.”

Hellier follows researchers Greg and Dana Newkirk, Karl Pfeiffer, Connor Randall, and Tyler Strand, with special appearances by Allen Greenfield and John E. L. Tenney, as they embark on an enigmatic adventure fraught with cryptic emails, strange synchronicities, goblins, aliens, the Mothman, and more. People often talk about the journey being more important than the destination, and Hellier encapsulates that ethos perfectly. How else do you describe a documentary that begins with a frantic email and ends with an Invocation to Pan?

Hellier certainly came closest to capturing the feel of my own investigations, especially in the mid-1980s, around the displaced town of Somerset, Indiana. Speaking of synchronicities…

Seven ( memes ) to Understand Me

Posted in Media on February 14, 2020 by Occult Detective

We are a culture of memes, and to be perfectly frank, most border on the ridiculous, but every once in a while, a meme strikes at the heart of something, offering an interesting exercise, and sometimes a glimpse into what a person, if nothing else, thinks of themselves.

Seven Films to Understand Me: The Whole Wide World. The Razor’s Edge. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Excalibur. The Devil Rides Out. The 13th Warrior. A Dark Song.

conan-books

adeptseries

Seven Books to Understand Me: The Secret Hide-Out. The Children of Odin. The Adept series. The Illuminatus trilogy. Foucault’s Pendulum. The Lord of the Rings. The complete Conan stories.

Seven People to Understand Me: Robert E. Howard. Frank Frazetta. Jimmy Page. Hans Holzer. Aleister Crowley. Katherine Kurtz. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

My thoughts on Hellier

Posted in Media on January 8, 2020 by Occult Detective

Back when Stranger Things first dropped, one of my twitter followers commented that he imagined that it was a documentary of what my life would have been like as a child. He wasn’t too far off, to be honest.

I grew up outside of a town much smaller than the fictional Hawkins, but the late 70s-early 80s vibe, the bikes, D&D, and altogether ‘weirdness’ that permeated the area certainly was captured, thematically, by Stranger Things. Minus the weird extradimensional creatures and cute psionic teenager of course.

As much as Stranger Things felt like a stroll down memory lane for me, watching the Hellier docu-series on Amazon Prime Video was even more so. Want to have a rough idea what Bob’s life as a late-teen was? Yeah, Hellier cuts pretty close to that bone.

hellier

Of course their adventures were in the caves and small towns of Kentucky, in Hellier and Somerset, where as my cave and woodland adventures with cults and animal sacrifices and the strange and unusual took place in and around Somerset, Indiana, and a place called Hobbitland.

What was Hobbitland famous for, other than a teen hang-out for illegal drinking? Little people, as in ancient Miami legends of nature spirits that lived along the Mississinewa River.

So, yeah, Hellier struck a little close to home. Toss in the gematria, heavy doses of Crowley, and surrealistic contact with otherworldly entities, and you have my late teen years in a nutshell.

So, what did I think? First, let’s tackle the stuff that made my skin crawl (not in a good way). The worst offense were the pronunciations which drove me crazy a bit. Crowley rhymes with holy. Thelema is Tha-LEE-muh. That sort of thing. Some of the numbers were wonky. Some of the leaps in logic were sketchy…

Greg-and-Dana-banner

All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Greg and Dana Newkirk, purveyors of the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult, are charismatic, enthusiastic, and good people. I like the flavor of Dana’s magic. It felt very comparable to the witchery of my youth.

Their journey was a compelling one. And if they want to retackle Kentucky some more, or venture out into some other form of weirdness, then I’m more than willing to be a spectator of whatever adventure is next for them.

As for the production? Man, that was pretty top notch. From an investigation stand-point, they approach things differently than myself, but then most do. They were on point, however, and I never felt taken out of it. They all showed an unbridled curiosity and a fearlessness that was admirable.

If you’ve not watched Hellier, I highly recommend it.

 

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