Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Movie: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Of course I had to see this one.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a problematic movie.  For starters it really can't make up it's mind on what kind of movie it wants to be. Horror, action, comedy, camp.  It has it all, but unlike say Army of Darkness the mix here isn't quite right.
Hansel & Gretel are brother and sister like the Grimm Fairy tale, but they are now all grown up and hunting witches.  The seem to be immune to powers of witches, but not the power of candy.  Hansel is diabetic.

The film mixes a historical setting (never quite sure when it is supposed to be taking place) and modern sensibilities. The guns seem bigger for the time for example.

The story though itself is kind of neat.  A gathering of witches of various types is cool.  Two former victims immune to witch magic has a TON of potential.  Even mixing a couple of good witches and troll for good measure is nice.  So all the elements are there, but they never quite jell for me.  Though I won't lie, I had a lot of fun with this one.



Tally: Watched 25,  New 21

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The Art of Eldritch Witchery

One of the things that I love about working on RPG books is looking for art.  Sure there are other aspects I enjoy, but once I am done I love looking for art. It's like a treasure hunt for me.  But for Eldritch Witchery I knew EXACTLY what I wanted before I began.


Back when I was younger and wrote what would become by first ever witch I loved books on witchcraft, demonology and the occult.  I still do in fact. I love all the great artwork from these books, whether medieval woodcuts, drawings on pamphlets denouncing witchcraft on up to the art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

One of the more influential books on my writing was Rossell Hope Robbins's "Encyclopedia of Witchcraft of Demonology".


For me it was not just a great book of ideas for my class in particular and D&D in general, it was also a manual of style.

It features fantastic works of art that I just knew I wanted to include in a book of my own.
Since Eldritch Witchery is my ode to Original D&D, I didn't want to include anything really new.






I also enjoyed adding art about fairy tale witches; an equally important aspect of my witch as the mytho-historical one.





While some of these (or similar ones) appeared in The Witch, for Eldritch Witchery I wanted just these sort of images.

I hope you enjoy this art as much as I do.  For me it really is like picking up a copy of The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology or even a copy of Eldritch Wizardry.

Eldritch Witchery is available now at DriveThruRPG!

Monday, October 21, 2013

October Movie: Les deux orphelines vampires (1997)

You would think I had nothing left to say about Jean Rollin or he would have nothing left to say about vampires.
You would be wrong on both counts!

Les deux orphelines vampires or The Two Orphan Vampires surprised me on a number of levels.

For starters it was much newer that I thought it was.  It was also bigger budget, though not by much.  It also gave us another twist on the vampire story.
In this one two girls, Henriette and Louise, are blind orphans living in a Catholic orphanage.  But these girls have a secret, they are only blind during the day.  But at night they can see and they hunt for food.

The girls seem to recall past lives, of being in New York and other places, and they are the same; blind vampires.

They get adopted. They meet what we suppose is a werewolf woman and later another, but different sort of vampire.  The girls imply, but never really confirm, that they are Aztec Goddess that remember great blood sacrifice.

I like the link to the Aztecs and being blind during the day, really neat touch.

Rollin regular Brigette Lahaie makes a cameo appearance which is cool.
All in all I rather liked this one.




Tally: Watched 24,  New 20

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Eldritch Witchery is LIVE!

Eldritch Witchery is now live!



Here is the official press release:

ELF LAIR GAMES PRESS RELEASE 10/21/2013

Elf Lair Games is pleased to announce that our long-awaited second sourcebook for Spellcraft & Swordplay, entitled Eldritch Witchery, is now available for purchase as an ebook! The print edition will follow soon.

A Return to the New Class of Old School!

Witches & Warlocks.
Monsters, demons and devils. What horrors await you in dark caves and passages forgotten by mortal-kind? What eldritch secrets await in the dark? Will they be yours to claim or will you be claimed by them?

Eldritch Witchery takes you back to the roots of fantasy role playing, back to a time when witches cast mighty spells and demons were new to the lands. Inside this book you will find:

- Two new elite paths, the Witch and the Warlock
- Hundreds of new spells
- New monsters, such as the vile Hags
- Demons, including the vile Calabim, the rageful Shedim, the seductive Lilim, and the Baalseraph, the rulers of the Nine Hells, amongst others.
- New magic items and treasure
- Complete guidelines for running witch-centric adventures or incorporating these spellcasters into your existing game
- And more!

Everything you need to add witches, warlocks, and demons to your Spellcraft & Swordplay game is here...what are you waiting for? Eldritch Witchery awaits...

Due to the nature and content of this book, as well as to some of the artwork involved, we are marking it as an adult product. User discretion is advised.

Get your eBook/PDF copy now.  Print book on the way.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October Movie: Requiem pour un Vampire (1971)

Still on my Jean Rollin kick.  I have one more after this.  Requiem pour un Vampire or
Requiem for a Vampire is an interesting flick.  It features Marie-Pierre Castel without her sister as a thief that hides out in an old castle with her accomplice  Mireille Dargent.  Her they discover a bunch of degenerate men, a couple of vampire women and an old vampire.
The vampires try to bring them into their vampire cult saying that the old vampire is the last true vampire and he is changing the women.
Lots of scenes of near pornographic content makes this one of the more hard core of Rollin's movies I have seen so far (though I do know there are others that cross that line).

The idea of the last vampire in interesting and I'll give Rollin credit, he goes down this vampire road many times, but it is always a little different each time.

Again, not a particularly scary movie but it does have a cool art-house vibe to it.




Tally: Watched 23,  New 19

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Friday, October 18, 2013

October Movie: Lèvres de Sang (1975)

Lèvres de Sang or Lips of Blood is another Jean Rollin Vampire movie.  Like his previous works this one features a lot vampires, lots of nudity, the Castel twins and like La Vampire Nue, a story that doesn't get interesting till the end.

The story focuses on Frédéric. He is at a party for a photographer and notices a castle in one of the photos. He flashes back to a time when he was 12 and was lost. He found this castle and a girl, Jennifer, helped him.   He complains to his mother that he can't remember anything from his childhood since his father died.
He seeks out the photographer (ie more excuses for Rollin to film young women nude. Mind you, I approve) and she says she can't tell him the castle, but if he comes to the aquarium she will tell him.
Meanwhile four mostly naked female vampires are roving about town and killing people.

Frédéric goes at the Aquarium, which turns out to be a movie theater; (bad translation maybe?) We do get a nice little 1975 version of the Easter Egg.


He sees what he thinks is Jennifer but he doesn't catch her.  Later he finds out she isn't Jennifer, only pretending to be (she is later killed by the vampires).  He is then chased by a man with a gun (whom the vampire girls kill), he finds the dead photographer and is even put into a psych ward by his own mother.  The Castel Twins (Vampires, nach) kill the psychiatrist and Frédéric gets away.  During all this time he sees visions of the real Jennifer.

We find out that Jennifer is a vampire and the other four are her vampire minions.   Frédéric's mother and father tried to kill them but only managed to seal them up. Fred's father is killed by Jennifer.

For what ever reason the villagers are now not afraid of the vampires and hunt down and kill the four girls.  Frédéric is the one that must kill Jennifer.  They throw the bodies in a fire and Frédéric tosses in Jennifer's head.   We soon discover the the head was from a statue and Jennifer is still in her coffin.  Many scenes of Jennifer telling Frédéric that they belong to each other now which I guess must be done while both of them are standing on a beach naked.

They climb into Jennifer's coffin and let the tide take them out to sea where they will live on an island and feed on rich sailors.

I thought the bit where Jennifer was trapped but projecting her astral self out to lead Fred to her was kind of cool.

Special shout out to Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience for providing me a list of "must see" for this year.



Tally: Watched 22,  New 18

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