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Tag Archive: Army of Darkness


For more than six years we at borg.com have been covering entertainment memorabilia auctions–sales of not merely replicas or mass-produced collectibles, but the real objects seen on film–rare or even one-of-a-kind costumes created by award-winning Hollywood costume designers, detailed props created by production crew, model vehicles created by special effects departments like Industrial Light and Magic, prosthetics created by famous makeup artists, set decoration, concept art, and much more.  Amassing a wide variety of artifacts from classic and more recent film and television history, London and Los Angeles-based Prop Store is hosting its annual auction later this month.  Known for its consignment of some of the most well-known and iconic screen-used props and costumes, Prop Store’s ultimate museum collectibles auction will be open for bidding from anyone, and items will be available at estimates for both beginning collectors and those with deeper pockets.

The Prop Store Live Auction: Treasures from Film and Television will be auctioning off approximately 600 items.  You’ll find the following movies and TV shows represented and more:  3:10 to Yuma (2007), 300, Aliens, Back to the Future films, Blade Runner, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Chronicles of Narnia films, Elysium, Enemy Mine, Excalibur, The Fifth Element, Gladiator, The Goonies, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Jason and the Argonauts, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the Indiana Jones films, Iron Man, the James Bond films, Judge Dredd (1995), the Jurassic Park films, Kick-Ass 2, Kingsman: the Secret Service, Lifeforce, Looper, The Lost Boys, The Martian, The Matrix, Men in Black III, Mission: Impossible (1996), The Mummy (1999), Patton, Pirates of the Caribbean series, Predators, the Rocky films, Saving Private Ryan, Scarface, Serenity, Shaun of the Dead, Shawshank Redemption, Sherlock Holmes (2009), Star Trek franchise, Star Wars franchise, Starship Troopers, Superman films, Terminator films, The Three Musketeers (1993), Tropic Thunder, Troy, True Grit, Underworld: Evolution, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Willow, The Wolfman (2010), World War Z, and the X-Men films.

You can flip through the auction house’s hefty 360-page catalog, or start with a look at what we selected as the best 50 of the lots–what we predict as the most sought-after by collectors and those that represent some of fandom’s favorite sci-fi and fantasy classics and modern favorites.

  • Industrial Light and Magic 17 3/4-inch Rebel Y-Wing filming model from Return of the Jedi
  • Sark (David Warner) Grid costume from the original Tron (1982)
  • Julie Newmar’s Catwoman costume and Burgess Meredith Penguin hat from the classic Batman TV series
  • Buttercup (Robin Wright) Fire Swamp red dress from The Princess Bride
  • Chekov (Walter Koenig) “nuclear wessels” costume, Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) costume, and Sulu (George Takei) double shirt from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Full crew set of costumes (Malcolm, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Inara, Kaylee, River, Book, and Simon) from Serenity (sold as individual costume lots)
  • Jack Nicholson purple Joker costume, plus separate coat and hat, from Batman (1989)
  • Enterprise-D 48-inch “pyro” model from Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Will Munny (Clint Eastwood) stunt shotgun from Unforgiven
  • Star-lord helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Thor (Chris Hemsworth) Mjolnir hammer from Thor

  • Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II jumpsuits made for Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman
  • Witch-king of Angmar crown from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  • Val Kilmer Batman suit and cowl from Batman Forever
  • Maverick (Tom Cruise) flight suit from Top Gun
  • Geoffrey Rush Captain Barbossa costume from the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Curse of the Black Pearl

And there are so many more.  Like…

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The Midwest Comic Book Association is hosting the 24th Annual FallCon “Comic Book Party” at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday October 6, 2012, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Paul, Minnesota, also called the “One Day Wonder.”  Twenty-four shows is a long time for any convention so if you’re in the area this may be a great way to spend up to seven hours tomorrow pouring through more than a half a million comic books for sale and meet more than 135 comic book creators scheduled to attend.

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By C.J. Bunce

No matter how an artist draws Ashley J. Williams–Ash–from the low-budget horror/dark comedy/zombie Evil Dead series, the character is impossible to see as anyone other than Bruce Campbell.  Publishers like Dark Horse and Dynamite Comics have released prior series featuring Ash, but if you missed those and are after a new ongoing series you might check out the new Army of Darkness from Dynamite.  With Issue #3 released at comic book stores today, you can still easily track down Issues #1 and 2 or, even quicker, download the back issues from comixology.com for a lot less than the print price.

If you don’t know Ash, he’s the character made famous by cult favorite actor Bruce Campbell in The Evil Dead (1981), The Evil Dead II (1987), and Army of Darkness (1991), as well as three video games: Evil Dead: Hail to the King (2000), Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (2003) and Evil Dead: Regeneration (2005).  ASh is both funny and wise-cracking, a mirror image of the character Bruce Campbell seems to personify wherever he shows up.  The shows were directed by Campbell’s long-time creative partner Sam Raimi, known for everything from Hercules to Xena: Warrior Princess to Legend of the Seeker, all great fantasy TV series filmed in New Zealand, land of Middle Earth before it was Middle Earth.  And he also directed the first three Spider-man movies.  Bruce Campbell can be seen weekly in the successful spy series Burn Notice as cool-with-his-mojito, ex-spy in Miami, Sam Axe.

Fans of Campbell will pretty much tell you there is no one out there cooler than this guy.  And fans of Evil Dead may be interested that Raimi is in production right now of a remake of the original Evil Dead, with a new young cast, and instead of the tongue in cheek humor of the original comedy horror series, the new film will be a more serious supernatural thriller–probably not what a lot of diehard fans will be after.

But if you want more of the original Ash, then the place to look is this new comic book effort.  But there’s a twist with the new series.  You may find yourself puzzled throughout Issue #1 of the new Army of Darkness, as the “voice”–comments and word choice–of the character is all Bruce Campbell, yet the new Ash is a woman.   And Ash is a man.  And Ash is a woman.  It will all make sense, trust me.  The hero of Issue #1 turns out not to be Ashley J. Williams but new heroine Ashley K. Williams, Ash of a parallel universe that happens to be a butt-kicking woman with the personality and schtick of Bruce Campbell.

And we get the back story of Ash and her/his abilities not through yet another Ash origin story but through this parallel Ash.  And it works well.  The story itself is peppered with both pop culture references everyone should get and, for the diehard fans, references back to the original series only serious fans will likely get.

Ashley K. meets up with some well-timed aliens that prompt her to arrive at a nexus point, that just so happens to be where Ashley J. Williams also turns up.  On first read readers may get the feeling like I did with the New 52 Issue #1 of Green Lantern, hoping for Hal Jordan but getting Sinestro instead.  But what this story sets up is the opportunity for twice the Ash–if one Ash is good, two must be double the fun.  And Ashley J. turns up in full force for Issue #2.

Army of Darkness is written by Elliott R. Serrano with pencils by Marat Mychaels and inks by Chris Ivy.  Some of the best writers and artists today are creating for Dynamite Comics, so if you’re looking for something off the mainstream Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Dynamite has a lot of choices, along with this title there is Bionic Man, Bionic Woman, Green Hornet, Kato, Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon, all discussed here at borg.com previously, and lots more to check out.

As a big fan of Michael Westmore, predominantly because of his alien designs for several Star Trek series and movies, I love the odd show or reference to creating professional aliens for TV and movies via make-up, latex or other prosthetic and mask work.  I’d heard of the Syfy reality show Face Off, through its beautiful promos showing the host and others transformed into bird faces and other creatures, but for whatever reason missed the first season.  Thanks to a holiday marathon last weekend I was able to get a bit caught up and now am looking forward to its second season beginning Wednesday, January 11, on Syfy.

As reality series go, I like to think I am a bit selective.  I am easily annoyed and will stop watching any show that is about people in a confined space getting along or, more likely with reality series, not getting along.   This is why my reality series watching has been limited to Iron Chef America (where the fight is not really personal as much as professional with no living situation squabbles).  I also tried The Next Iron Chef and Top Chef for several episodes, but ultimately gave up when they turned into repetitive experiments in cramming people together who don’t really want to be there.  I am sure I’ve sampled some other reality shows that I have repressed or just don’t remember.  The worst of these was probably Worst Cooks in America, a pretty horrible and valueless show.  So why try another reality show?

Face Off at one level is just another competition show where several contestants compete to outperform their peers.  The difference here is the subject.  Like cooking, there is skill and artistry required, and the ongoing battle between those with professional training and those who are self taught or are naturals.   But the subject here is something cooler.   Food is food.  Monsters and aliens are… just really neat.  In creating great alterations of people into something else, we don’t get a college course in the profession, but we can pick up some pointers.  Like watching Bobby Flay and Mario Batali facing off against challengers and showing us how to improve our food preparation, and unlike the other reality shows out there, I want to know all I can about the craft of creature make-up from these amateurs and up and coming professionals and more importantly, from the guests who hail from Hollywood and actual film work, including Academy Award winning make-up pros.  At least all I can glean from limited investment of my time–about an hour per week.

Face Off appears to leverage some notoriety first through the host, McKenzie Westmore, daughter of Michael Westmore.  Admittedly my focus in watching a show like this isn’t the host (and shouldn’t be).  She does have some film credits, to add to her family name as a bit of “street cred,” including some soap opera work and minor roles in Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek: Insurrection and Ms. Westmore claims she has a background studying theatrical make-up, beauty make-up and appliance work “in school”.  As a hook to entice viewers, the Westmore name got me to watch, and from there I found other reasons to keep watching.*

For sure there are reasons to be doing something else while the show is on, specifically the standard reality show garbage–in particular in the first season the producers felt the need to dwell on two contestants that had some inexplicable vendetta against each other.  If you can cut through those parts (the DVR has a fast-forward, remember!) the good work done by the contestants was exciting to see, and I found myself several times surprised by the skill and resulting images created by the artists in the timeframes allotted.  And in one battle, where contestants had to change actual couples who were engaged to be married from male to female and vice versa, the reality schtick was clever and entertaining, even if the art of the craft seemed to suffer a bit.  The best challenge I viewed was the skin and ink contest where the best works had nude models blend into backgrounds in a stunning way.

The bigger draw in the show are the guests and other judges.  These have included Academy Award winning makeup artist Ve Neill (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands, Mrs. Doubtfire, Ed Wood, Beetlejuice), television makeup artist Glenn Hetrick (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the X-Files, Angel, Heroes, Babylon 5), and creature designer and director Patrick Tatopoulos (I Am Legend, Resident Evil: Extinction, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans). Guests have included Michael Westmore himself, Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) and Greg Nicotero (Predator, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Army of Darkness, Unbreakable, Minority Report, Hulk, Sin City).

The drawback so far is the over-emphasis on monster make-up, as opposed to fantasy and sci-fi.  It goes with the territory, however, that make-up artists spend a lot of time on horror flicks.  Hopefully we’ll get to see more sci-fi work and challenges in season 2, and maybe more film creators from science fiction films and less from the standard horror genre.

*Editor’s Note:  Original article updated.  My initial review reflected my findings after looking for references to Ms. Westmore’s make-up background.  I hoped to find some either on the show’s website or on Ms. Westmore’s website or on other Web sources but had no luck.   Ms. Westmore tweeted today that she indeed studied appliance work in “school”, not just worked under her father.  The show would do a great service to Ms. Westmore and the show by including some of her background relative to make-up work if so.  Viewers want this detail, and it lends greater credibility to the show knowing she has this background.  Here is what Ms. Westmore’s website states as her background and it tends to promote her role as host and actress vs. active involvement in the FX/make-up industry:

“Actress and host McKenzie Westmore is certainly no stranger to the film and television industry. A member of the legendary Westmore family, McKenzie started her career early, at the age of three, when she was cast in “Raging Bull”, as Robert De Niro’s daughter; and can be seen as the host of SyFy’s exciting new special effects and make-up competition series “Face Off.”  Most widely recognized for her 10-year run as “Sheridan Crane” on NBC’s popular daytime drama “Passions”, Westmore’s additional television and film credits include “Weird Science”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Star Trek: Voyager”, “Dexter”, “Surviving Suburbia”, and the Star Trek feature film “Insurrection.” Westmore also played a recurring role on ABC’s hit daytime drama “All My Children.” In addition, she can be seen in the HBO webseries “Apocalypse Wow!” and in the independent feature film “Vile” scheduled for release in 2011. When she is not working in front of the camera, Westmore can be found working hard behind the scenes, writing and producing on several new projects currently in development. A health, beauty, fitness and nutrition enthusiast with a background in personal training and nutrition, Westmore is also developing a line of wellness products created to enhance the health, beauty and well-being of women everywhere.  Westmore is so proud of her rich family heritage and was thrilled to celebrate in 2008 when the Westmore family received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of their pioneering work in the world of film and television make-up and the combined family contributions to over 2,000 films and television series.”

The show’s website says even less about Ms. Westmore’s background.  Again, I think she would be doing herself and her show a favor by including her other work relative to the make-up world in her bio.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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