6 Movies this weekend

Inspired weekend and saw some great films: The Big Sick, Dunkirk, Florida Project, I,Tonya, Disaster Artist and Three Billboards Outside.


As a fan of Richard Linklater, Florida Project is right up my

cinema verite alley.  Although it’s tough to watch negligent parents and children run amok, it was a great experience and heartfelt. A completely hateable mother.  This is the type of movie I always gravitate towards and would want to make.  Hated the last minute, almost ruined it for me.


Dunkirk, I really dropped the ball by not seeing this is theaters, I could tell within 10 minutes that home viewing is doing this a huge disservice, still an amazing film, one that I definitely need to see again to absorb the storytelling. I love nonlinear stuff.


I, Tonya was good, might not have hit me as hard as some of the others out there, but I liked it a lot and the interviews sprinked in were great.  The mom was amazing, made the film for me, played by a West Wing Alum.


The Big Sick – This was really good too.  I had no idea that the ending would be like that.  Once I saw the photos I was very surprised. I got misty.


Disaster Artist, I was really looking forward to this. It was good, had heart, not the best this weekend but if you know The Room, you gotta see it. I actually am more excited about the dvd extras for this film.


Three Billboards, I heard amazing things about this one.  I loved this one.  My favorite.  I only wish it was a 6-part series and not just a movie.  Felt similar to Fargo, great acting and dialog.

24 Hour Comic Day: 2017

I’ve known about 24-hour comic day since the late 90’s, but I unfortunately just starting doing it last year.  2016 was such a good experience that I’ve been looking forward to this all year.  Yeah it was that fun.

Last year I used Manga Studio with my 27QHD Cintiq which I had a great time using.  One of the tools in Manga Studio I was exited to use was the zip-a-tone patterns.  I think it worked out pretty well at the time.  This year while I was working on my book, Pariah, Missouri I bought some Photoshop tools and brushes online that I wanted to play with.  I found some brushes that mimicked the feel of traditional brushes and I was planning to use photoshop for the entire day.  I even had a brief period of thinking about importing every page in Illustrator to clean and smooth things out, but I could never have finished all the pages in 24 hours.   I got up and started at 8:00am Saturday and ended 8:00am Sunday.  I finished at 6:00am, and spent 2 hours going back to color and fix a few things.

After the 24 hours I will say that I did like using Photoshop more than Manga Studio, but I still like the zip-a-tone of Manga Studio better and I had some technical problems with the day.  One was that I had to switch out my brushes mid way.  I used a Brush Pen tool and then a Belgium Comics pen, and neither worked really the way I wanted them too.  My lines were okay, but I know on real paper and brushes I can get a line to look really good, so that was a hit on quality.  Also the pressure sensitivity would go out every 5-6 touches/lines, so that was a major pain in the butt of constantly deleting/back action because you’d get this one errant fat line.  Not a fan.  That might just be me going too fast, or the Cintiq not processing it.  It wouldn’t take me more than 5 minutes to find 20 mistakes and corrections that I would like to do, but the idea behind this is to make something quick and dirty and you just don’t have the time to correct, you have to run-and-gun through these pages.

Overall it was another great time working and being creative.  There were a couple of rough moments like around 5pm and 11pm.  It was funny that from 2am to 6 am breezed by.  I listened to music all 24 hours, mostly my vinyl, everything from Michael Jackson, Jesus Christ Superstar complete musical, Nirvana unplugged, Pearl Jam, Parliament, Hamilton, 3 Girl Talk albums, Radiohead, the list goes on.

Next year I’m going to go all physical, no computer all paper and pens.  Very excited about.

Okay, without further delay, enjoy the comic 5th Grade, made from start to finish in 24 hours in all its raw and unedited/corrected form!


CLICK to DOWNLOAD 2016’s Soy Chicano comic

Here are the pages if you don’t want to download it:

Horror Marathon Day 9: Godzilla Resurgence



Godzilla Resurgence (2016)

Man in Suit!!  That’s right!  How can you have a horror marathon and skip out on Japan’s deadliest monster?  You can’t!  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that there was a new Godzilla flick  and that it went back to it’s roots.

If you’ve only seen the more recent western Godzilla films, you should do yourself a favor and see this.  It brings back the great elements of the old black and white movies, and add better effects and modern cinema styles and camera work.  It also doesn’t use un-necessary CGI and…wait for it… THERE’S A MAN IN THE SUIT!  Yes it looks rubbery at times, but this is a Godzilla movie people, we aren’t going for realism here.

This was fun. Full stop.

Godzilla is not a hero, he is a monster, his only motivation is to destroy.  Simple, basic and proper.  He has no heart of gold, no good nature, he’s just a big-honking leviathan messing stuff up.  The way it should be.  And he does it.

We do have some human protagonists that we follow, various high-ranking Japanese leaders that are trying to stop this attack, but we aren’t here for them.  Yeah you’re sad about all this and stressed out Mr. Prime Minister, but watching old men emote is not why we came here.   So we have to follow them and solve the puzzle of finding a way to stop Godzilla, which is pretty good too.

There’s really not much more to say, it’s fun, it’s good, it’s Godzilla!


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com












Horror Marathon Day 8: Raw

Raw (2016)

Raw is a powerful, provocative film that will leave you with some dark thoughts.  It’s foreign (french) and pushes a little further than what American audiences are apt to like.  I have to be up-front and say I really liked it, it’s strong but it will not be for everyone, in fact I would recommend against the mainstream, but since you are reading this, you are not mainstream, so we are good.

It’s on Netflix, so that’s a big plus, easy to find.  You do have to be okay with reading subtitles, but hey if you can’t do that, we can’t be friends.

As you can guess by the posters it’s about cannibalism.  Last year I saw a couple of cannibal movies, Green Inferno (horrible Eli Roth film) and Cannibal Holocaust (which I liked), so while it’s not one of the most popular sub-genres, they are out there and I’ve experienced them.  This one has an interesting take in that the theme is fused with youth, rebellion and sexuality.  When a young a vegetarian girl goes to college and and tries meat for the first time, all hell breaks loose in her world and she becomes insatiable.

This is a powerful film.  The images are strong.  There are scenes that will leave you disturbed.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  Part of the marketing of this campaign was touting that it caused audiences to vomit and become ill, and I have to agree that’s probably not BS.

I liked it, it’s a great story.  It’s powerful and ‘out there’, like The Professional was back in the day.  It’s not for the mainstream, but that’s not you.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com

Horror Marathon Day 7: Carnage Park


Carnage Park (2016)

I really liked this one.  Indie film, check.  1970’s style, check.  Blood, check.  

This is a love letter to those 70’s horror films, the likes that Tarantino is probably well-versed in.  Sometimes you wonder is this director (Mickey Keating) making homages to Tarantino or to the direct source.  Either way, if it’s a homage of a homage, or a direct homage it’s good and it works.  The yellow-sepia filter on the camera works well with the SoCal desert-y location (I swear some of this was shot in Los Padres wilderness).  We have some fun character actors on screen and my feeling is that this was probably a blast to make.

There’s crazies and killers and people who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and for some reason I really like the premise of this.  The idea is simple, there’s a place up in the boonies that is filled with death traps and puzzles.  The owner of this “park” abducts seemingly random people and tortures/taunts them, using high-powered rifles.  We’ve seen stuff like this before, but I still think there’s enough originality that it’s worth seeing.

If you enjoy 70’s exploitation, grindhouse type of movies this is for you.  I think it was worth watching.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com


Horror Marathon Day 6: Hush


Hush (2016)

Home Invasion Horror.  It’s one of the many sub-genres of horror.  Related to it’s cousin the popular Slasher horror, while  it’s not my favorite, but I do find some things interesting about it.  Hush is one of the good ones.   This time the story revolves around a deaf woman.  We’ve seen many blind protagnoists in horror, but deaf is one that I can’t recall.  If you can think of one, drop me a line.

I like this film.  It’s really well made, good acting, good camera and atmosphere and it’s tense, everything you want in a horror film really.

The writers an director are married couple Mike Flanagan and Katie Segal, (who also starred in the film) and they do a great job here.  Mike has directed a number of other horror films, Oculus and Ouija, and you can tell that he knows horror and how to direct a film.

It’s tense and there are great moments in it.

I thought this was very good, a fun take on the Home invasion horror.  Go see it!


Horror Marathon Day 5: Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension (2016)

I love found footage films.  There I said it.  Last year I reviewed Blair Witch (the original) and I still think it’s a very good horror film.  I liked Chronicle, and the VHS series.  When Paranormal Activity came out, I thought it was good.  As the sequels came out, I think the quality of the storytelling waned, but I still watched them.

On Amazon Prime, the Ghost Dimension is out, it’s the 5th in the series.  I actually like the conceit, they find an old handy-cam VHS recorder that can record into the spirit world.

It’s well done, I think on par with the others.  Nothing really sings in this film though, and after seeing it I have to say that it’s jst the same scares.  After 7 hours of the Paranormal films, this just feels rote and I’m feeling the fatigue of the franchise.  Once again the Hollywood machine see a cash-cow and run it into the ground.

It’s okay to good, but unless you are a big fan I’d say pass.  I’m glad “It All Ends Here.”

Horror Marathon Day 4: House of Seven Corpses


House of Seven Corpses (1974)

I found this little gem on Amazon Prime.  Being a fan of older movies (this one is in color) I started it and within a few minutes I knew this was for me.  I really like these older films, how they are staged and shot.  I only wish that someone could re-do the sound.  Sound quality is poor at times for these older flicks.

The story is simple, a film crew are shooting inside a large mansion that a number of deaths occurred, seven to be exact!

It’s directed by Paul Harrison, who also wrote H.R. Pufnstuf, so you know he is “out there”.  If you haen’t seen HR Pufnstuf, and if you are younger than 40 you probably haven’t, go youtube it.  It’s crazy.

He also did All in the Family episodes, so who knows, maybe he’s just a gun for hire.

The make-up is kinda bad at times, and the main villain/monster is so bad it’s laughable.  Normally I can get past that, but it’s hard with this movie.  I’d say that it’s eerie and  I really like the music, but there are times that I can’t say that it’s very good.

Putting myself into the time of production and thinking about what they are trying to do and using my imagination I like it, but I think that modern horror fans will not be able to appreciate it.   Unless you are a big horror fan, I’d say skip this one.  If you can get your hands on the soundtrack, that is epic.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com



Horror Marathon Day 3: Death Note


Today I’m going to talk about Death Note.  The Manga, the Anime and the horrible, must-avoid-at-all-costs Netflix movie.

Some people read “Manga” or “anime” and stop right there.  They conjure up images of big-eyed crazy characters with impossible costumes and  incomprehensible plots.  I’m going to say right now that Death Note is so well done and so thought out and accessible that  any of you gaijins (foreigners) can enjoy this easily.

This is the gateway-drug anime for non-anime watchers.  I read both the manga and have seen the show and while I always prefer the book, this is one that it’s quite close, I’d say go with the anime.  It’s on Netflix, so it’s easy to find.

The premise is amazing.  There are these Death Notes, books that once a name is written that person will die.  The author can have a circumstance to the death and a time to the death.  If you could kill all the worst people in the world, to make it a better place, would you do it?  And from there it’s off the the races. There are many other rules of the Death Note which gets very interesting and the conflicts become extremely well-thought out.  I can’t say enough good things about this show, which leads me to why this whole Netflix live-action version movie is just a complete waste.

Netflix had a property with such potential and so different and to turn it into this just bad, bad movie is a travesty.  What is so baffling is that the writer and producers must be fans  to be able to make it.  You just don’t go into a meeting and want to make a movie not knowing it or being a fan, so they know the story but their execution is so off that you must wonder what the heck happened.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about it.  If you like Horror and GOOD STORIES.  Go watch Death Note anime on Netflix.  I promise there are no “big eyes”.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com



Horror Marathon Day 2: Dead Zone


I am a fan of Stephen King and after watching The Dead Zone I realized the book is probably very good and better than the film.  I am also a big fan of Christopher Walken and David Cronenberg so it’s really weird that I have not seen this movie until now.  Let me say a few more things before I start, people might argue that this is more of a thriller and not a horror film, but it’s on Amazon Prime under horror and who am I to argue with Jeff Bezos?  Also, just stop reading and GO SEE THIS MOVIE!  You should probably read the book as well.

I keep mentioning the book that I have not read because this feels like this could be a really dense and interesting story and knowing Mr. King he adds a deluge of depth to his characters and setting.  This has these great moments, but I always wanted more and I felt there were things that I am missing.  This film is complete, but if there was a 30 minute additional director’s cut out there, I bet your bottom dollar is it well worth your time.

Walken does a great job emoting and I love that pea-coat he’s wearing with the high collar, really wonderful design.  It’s eerie premise is that, our protagonist after a near-fatal accident is revived  with powers of precognition, focused on the untimely deaths of others or their misdeeds.  His fame spreads and becomes known in town as somewhat of a fortune teller, and he uses his powers for good to help the police, and others.

Martin Sheen is in this picture as a politician and he does a great job as always, I love his acting.  There are times that it’s over the top and feels like a theatrical performance, but I like it.  This could be a fun stage-play.

There’s not a lot of horror, it’s more of a Six Sense type of movie, but I will say it’s definitely worth seeing it.  Amazon Prime.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com

Horror Marathon Day 1: Train to Busan

train to busan

Train to Busan.

It’s that time of the year again, where I submit myself to 31 horror movies, show or books for the next 31 days.  This will be my fourth year and each year it becomes harder and harder to find good quality flicks, but that’s part of the fun.

So let’s start this off with Train to Busan.

This movie is a couple of years old, and I’ve been meaning to see it for some time now.  I was/am a fan of the Zombie genre and now finally we have a Korean director and production giving the westerners their take on the genre.  This is not your Romero zombie though, this is more of a 28 Days Later, fast-hyper zombie.  It’s not my favorite interpretation of zombies, but it still works.

The idea is simple, you are on a bullet train going from one city to another and you are trapped with one infected person.  Doesn’t take long for that to spread and now you have a zombie flick.

It’s wonderfully shot and visually very nice.  This is not a cheesy foreign film, it’s serious and it works.  Starts off pretty quick, we get a little character setting up, a father and his daughter and then they get on the train to visit mommy in the city of Busan and it’s off to the races.

The make-up is good, quality that you’d expect in a modern film.  There is some CGI, but it works, and not distracting.  It’s 2-hour run time is longer than most western zombie films which I was intrigued by.  It doesn’t over-stay it’s welcome, I  think it works at this length.

It’s not a shadowy, dark film, everything is day-time and lit, so the horror is not the spooky, jump in the darkness but a more Day of the Dead style where the apocalypse is happening in broad daylight.

You can watch it on Netflix now, and I think it’s worth your time.  It’s not the best horror or zombie film, but better than many of the current horror films out there.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com



Horror Marathon 2016 wrap-up


Ok, this year I went above and beyond the call of duty, I watched 36 horror films in the month of October,  more than I have ever before.  Out of those, only seven of those I had seen before, and you will note that many of those are at the top of my list, for good reason.

Each year this gets harder to do, yeah there’s still plenty of horror movies out there, but they are either really  awful movies, like some of them that endured or I can’t get a hold of the films.  I watched all of these films through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Shudder.  I miss the video stores.  I miss going in to a place where I can look around at VHS covers and pick a strange horror film.  So accessibility is a major problem now and a total bummer.  There are a bunch of films (all genres) that I would love to see, but you either can’t find, or I have to purchase them for a considerable amount.

That all said, here is my list, as it stands today of the films I saw in RANKING.  Yeah, it’s crazy, I will totally change it at some point, and I’m sure people will argue why this one or that should be higher.

  1.  The Thing
  2. Alien
  3. Exorcist
  4. Poltergeist
  5. Blair Witch Project
  6. The Entity
  7. Day of the Dead
  8. The Witch
  9. Monsters
  10. 1984
  11. Cannibal Holocaust
  12. Invitation
  13. Night Train to Terror
  14. The Taking of Deborah Logan
  15. Faces of Death
  16. Santa Sangre
  17. We are Still Here
  18. The Blob
  19. Re-animator
  20. Theater of Blood
  21. American Werewolf in London
  22. House on Haunted Hill
  23. Conjuring 2
  24. Pontypool
  25. House
  26. Hell Night
  27. Phantasm 2
  28. The Circle
  29. The Fury
  30. Brain Damaged
  31. Poor Pretty Eddie
  32. Willow Creek
  33. The Missionary
  34. Green Inferno
  35. Sharknado
  36. Knock, Knock

Now time for my analysis.  The first ones were easy, the last films were easy and everything in the middle is a mess, really hard to say.   Is Night Train to Terror really that much better than Theater of Blood?  Well, it’s hard to say, but I liked it more, felt it had more moments and would recommend it.  It’s subjective.

I’m also not saying that Blair Witch Project is the #5 greatest horror movie of all time, but out of THIS list, I think it has the most horror moments and theme that the others, although that could be debated, surely.  Positions #5-10 is tricky, all of those are pretty good, but not amazing.  The bottom 10 is not a surprise, but I would say ALL these films should be seen as a horror fan, except for Knock, Knock, Green Inferno and Sharkado, just skip those.

The Thing barely beats out Alien, mainly because I consider it much more of a horror film, while Alien has more sci-fi elements but has the best production and art direction of any film.  If the Shining was on my list it would be #1.  Jaws would be #2 probably.  Exorcist and Poltergeist are brilliant and one is barely better than the other.  Blair Witch is in a strange spot, but I couldn’t find a place for it, and as I looked on the list, it kept going higher and higher.

I was really surprised by how much I liked The Entity.  That is a film you should definitely see.  Some might not like that it is higher than Day of the Dead, but I don’t think Day of the Dead is the best of Romero’s films.  The Witch is high I know, but I really liked it.  Cannibal Holocaust is high too, and most probably haven’t seen it, but it struct a cord in me for some reason and I like the ideas that they were trying to go for, plus they filmed in the Amazon, extra points for that.  Night Train to Terror is another must see recommendation from me.  It’s crazy.  Even though Brain Damaged and Pretty Poor Eddie are low on the list, I kinda want to recommend them for you to watch.  There’s also a good handful of forgettable ones, House on Haunted Hill, Theater of Blood, House, Hell Night, Phantasm 2, these are good and have their fans but I wouldn’t say you gotta see them, unless you are a big fan.

That’s it for me.  I’m taking a break from the blood and guts for a while.


Andres Salazar is the author of the horror western comics www.pariahmissouri.com


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