Throughout the Summer of Spooks, we will do streams that feature games that have elements of horror and mystery. This is our first stream for our spooky event. The game we are featuring today is Thimbleweed Park. The game is a murder mystery that has a great sense of humor. Stream starts at 3:15 p.m. central time on Twitch at robertfrowniejr.
This will be episode 3 of Ghost of Tsushima. I’m trying to wrap up act 1 of the story, while grinding mythic tales and tales of Tsushima. I’m enjoying the mythic tales the most. They seem so ethereal and otherworldly. The stream starts by 9:10 a.m. central time.
The Summer of Spook Review #3
People fear death and the afterlife. They fear the punishment that they will receive for their sins and misdeeds. Films have explored death, the afterlife, demons, Satan, and Hell, but none have explored it with the same emotional and psychological horror present in Nobuo Nakagawa’s Jigoku. Jigoku doesn’t position the demons or devils of Hell as the tormentors but instead has the people in Hell tortured through their own guilt. The tormentors of Hell do torture and harm the people who have descended into Hell, but the movie shows people as their own tormentors plagued by guilt, and that manifests into torture and horrific bodily harm.
Jigoku tells the story of a young man named Shiro (Shigeru Amachi). Shiro is a theology student that is well-liked by his professor. He has recently gotten engaged to his professor’s daughter, his fiancee is possibly pregnant with their child, and everyone seems to think he has a bright future ahead of him, but Shiro is tormented by a hit and run that he and his friend Tamura (Yoichi Numata) committed one evening that left a man dead. Tamura is much more cold and lackadaisical about the manslaughter, but Shiro is haunted by guilt. It isn’t long before more tragedy begins to befall Shiro. His fiancee dies, and their unborn child dies in the process, his mother becomes mortally ill, he discovers that his father is an uncaring and philanderous man who refuses to aid his ailing wife, and the lover and mother of the man killed hunt Shiro wanting revenge. Nakagawa’s presentation of this material is quite dreamlike–nightmarish probably makes more sense–and surreal. The character of Tamura is unlike any other in the film, and his presence in the film adds to the surreal quality that persists throughout the entirety of the film. Tamura’s actor, Yoichi Numata, even expressed his confusion in the role and was unsure how exactly to play him. He comes across as devilish, and I was waiting for the film to reveal that he was tormenting Shiro as a ghost or Prince of Hell, but instead, he ends up in Hell tormented for his multitude of sins.
Jigoku is an incredibly cynical film. There is no sign of hope or paradise anywhere to be found. The only redemption that anyone can receive comes in the form of endless torment in the depths of Hell. Nakagawa never dangles an ounce of hope in front of your face. From the start of the film, you know that it ends in Hell and torment. The end did leave me questioning whether or not Shiro had gained some form of redemption. In the end, Shiro’s lover and sister beckon him from afar, and where they are standing looks nothing like the Hell that he has just gone through, but having watched the movie I feel that the end may be a trick and a false sense of hope to lure the audience into believing that is some form of a happy ending. Ichiro Miyagawa joked about Heaven being in the sequel, but that was only a joke.
Jigoku is an emotionally taxing movie. The literal and figurative Hell that Shiro goes through is devastating and horrific to watch. Jigoku is a nightmarish portrayal of guilt and Hell. It is probably one of the most terrifying portrayals of Hell I have seen put to film. It is a masterpiece of horror cinema and an essential entry into the genre that shouldn’t be overlooked, but prepare to be tormented by the psychological, emotional, and violent horror present on the screen.
I am featuring Riki-Oh on the Summer of Spooks because it is a gruesome anime OVA. It is violent and it doesn’t hold back with its brutality. Riki-Oh began as a manga series that ran from 1987 to 1990. The manga series spawned two anime OVAs as well as a live-action film that released in 1991. Originally, my intention was to review the live-action film that’s titled, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. The film is a cult classic that’s not available anywhere. Prime Video, Crackle, and Shudder advertise that they have the film on their sites. After checking, the film is unavailable. The film is on YouTube, but the quality is poor. For now, I’m going to review the two OVAS until I can get a copy of the live-action film. I’m going to review The Wall of Hell (first OVA) today and save The Child of Destruction (second OVA) for a later date. These OVAs are available on YouTube with good quality.
The first OVA is directed by Satoshi Dezaki. The short film begins in a post-apocalyptic Japan that has been ravaged by warfare and global warming. We are introduced to Riki-Oh, who seems to be a homeless lone wolf. A car filled with yakuza members are driving down a road, then Riki-Oh absolutely destroys them with his fists. He literally punches a guy’s jaw off and we are able to see this grotesque feat. As we see later on, Riki-Oh intentionally killed these yakuza members in order to get sent to this prison facility. The prison facility is ran by corrupt leaders who secretly run an opium farm for profit. The leaders have certain prisoners who run their own section of the jail. The leaders and evil prisoners try to prevent Riki-Oh from getting his revenge on the chairman of the prison. However, they are not able to stop Riki-Oh and his superhuman abilities.
This OVA is not for the faint of heart. Riki-Oh destroys these vile prisoners with absolute ease and gory kill sequences. He literally punches a man so hard that the man’s guts explode out of his stomach. I feel like this anime perhaps inspired Mortal Kombat and One-Punch Man. Its influence is clearly felt in the subjects that I mentioned above. There are also very innocent people in this story that meet a doom that they don’t deserve. One of them is a child, so be prepared for how twisted this story is.
The anime short does give Riki-Oh an interesting story arc that makes him this mysterious character similar to Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive or Clint Eastwood’s character in High Plains Drifter. The story clearly explains why Riki-Oh is at the prison. He’s there for revenge. However, the mystery is what Riki-Oh was up to for two years. He was a star student and a brilliant musician. Before college entrance exams, he falls off the face of the earth, then pops up at the prison. The mystery is up for interpretation for viewers. It feels as if Riki-Oh has become this being of vengeance, who’s looking to cleanse the evil in the streets of Japan.
To conclude, Riki-Oh: The Wall of Hell is a brief, yet entertaining anime story. I can’t wait to watch the second OVA to see Riki-Oh’s story continued. I recommend the OVA for martial arts fans and fighting game fans. If you like gore too, check this out.
Overall rating: 3.5/5.
We have written 200 posts on the Number One Archives! What a feat. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been around that long. Thanks for all the people that stop by and check our posts out. It means a lot. Thanks to all of you!
The Summer of Spook #1
James Whale’s The Invisible Man, released in 1933, is a classic of horror cinema. Released during Universal Studio’s reign in the horror genre, James Whale adapts H.G. Wells’s novel to the big screen with gusto and flair. The film features incredible effects, a wonderful performance from Claude Rains, and a campy tone and atmosphere that adds to the film’s charm. In 2020, Leigh Whannell, a modern icon of horror cinema, updated the classic sci-fi/horror tale and created something arguably just as classic. I watched The Invisible Man (1933) a few weeks ago but decided to wait on my review until I could talk about these movies together. Each director takes the material and crafts something unique to their visions and unique to the period in which they were created.
Let us start with The Invisible Man (1933). In this version of the tale, a scientist, Jack Griffin (Claude Rains), discovers a way to become invisible, and this method takes a toll on his sanity. He becomes murderously insane, committing atrocious acts of mass murder, and terrorizes a quiet countryside. James Whale, along with Claude Rains’ performance as the titular Invisible Man, uses dark and macabre material to tell a campier and lighter horror film. Leigh Whannell leaves that campy tone at the door and weaves a tale much darker and sinister. One of the primary differences in both Invisible Man movies is how the titular Invisible Man is portrayed. Claude Rains cackles his way through the film, his character is tragic and a victim of his tampering with science; Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), is much more sinister. He is not a victim of science but rather a victimizer and abuser who uses his ability to gaslight and target his wife, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss).
The protagonists of each movie are incredibly different. In James Whale’s The Invisible Man, Jack Griffin is the protagonist. Even though he commits horrific acts, the movie is about his journey into madness. Leigh Whanell’s The Invisible Man has Cecilia Kass as the protagonist. They are both victims of the science that creates The Invisible Man but for many different reasons. Leigh Whannell uses the science of the story to create a very relevant tale about abusers and how people overlook or refuse to believe victims of abusers. Adrian Griffin does everything in his power to control Cecilia’s life. He knows no one will believe her and finds joy in torturing and abusing his power. One thing I find interesting is how both movies use empty space to try and make you guess where the Invisible Man may be. Leigh Whannell uses this to make you guess where the threat may be coming from. I found myself searching the frame for clues of where The Invisible Man could be. This approach is fantastic and helps build the horror and atmosphere. I love how the camera panes to empty spaces making you unsure if you are “looking” at the Invisible Man. Both directors start their narratives in the middle of the action. James Whale starts the film after Jack has already become Invisible, and Leigh Whannell opens his movie with Cecilia in the process of leaving. Whale uses this to create mystery, and Whannell uses it to aid his claustrophobic nightmare. One thing I was happy Leigh Whannell didn’t do was try and make the audience question Cecilia’s story or the reality of the film. I feel like many filmmakers would try to make a twisty narrative that tries to make the audience confused on whether or not there is an Invisible Man but Whannell takes the genre and story seriously, and that is beneficial to the film. The film never feels like it is trying to trick you; instead, it feels genuine in how it plays with the narrative elements of the Invisible Man story. Both movies also feature, what I would call, iconic moments. The 1933 film has the excellent reveal of The Invisible Man as he removes his bandages and his clothes revealing the nothingness that hides beneath. The iconic moment from Leigh Whannell’s remake features a restaurant and a knife–this movie isn’t old enough for me to spoil it. The restaurant scene is truly terrifying and made me let out an audible gasp of shock–I would assume that the 1933 reveal left audiences feeling the same way. These are the kind of moments that are etched in the minds of the audience forever.
People groan when they hear of a classic film getting a remake, and we see this a lot in the horror community, but The Invisible Man proves that remakes are not always terrible. James Whale’s 1933 film is a classic of horror cinema, and Leigh Whannell takes that familiar story and spins it in a new way that makes it relevant but still terrifying. I love that I can watch these two movies and get something unique and special from each viewing. The performances, the direction, the style, the atmosphere, and the tone are all unique. You get familiar concepts and themes but played in a unique way that is not only relevant to the film but to the time in which the film was released. The Invisible Man (1933) is a classic of horror cinema, and Leigh Whannell takes The Invisible Man (2020) to those same heights creating a modern classic of horror cinema.
The Invisible Man (1933): Rating 5/5
The Invisible Man (2020): Rating 4.5/5
Do you like horror? We do! The Summer of Spooks is upon us. Be prepared to get scared! Horror film reviews, comic book reviews, and games are coming your way. Please join us for the event that’s going from May 31st until September 22nd (end of summer). Insert evil, maniacal laugh.
Yesterday was a decent day for gaming. I streamed Ghost of Tsushima that morning. I made a clip that’s my favorite out of all of the ones that I’ve made so far. I recorded a bear throwing a Mongol off of a cliff. It was frightening, yet hilarious.
I also got a new clip uploaded to YouTube of me winning a squad match on Fortnite with my family. It’s always fun when you get to play with other people. The video is brief and shows the action at the end. I’m learning to make efficient clips via the Playstation editing tool. I’m going to keep clips uploaded every 5 days. I want content everywhere.
Now, this is the first time that I’ve streamed this game. I’m counting this as a episode two because I’ve already been working on the story of this game. I just felt like adding it to the rotation. My playthrough is purely for the story. I started watching samurai movies, so I wanted to play this game. The stream, of course, is on Twitch at robertfrowniejr beginning at 11 a.m. central time.
The Mass Effect stream was brief like I said it would be. I did manage to make it off of the Citadel. Now, I’m open to explore the galaxy. There are three different story missions for me to tackle and multiple side missions. I think that I’m going to work on the side missions first.
I also ran a brief Injustice 2 stream with a friend of mine. We ran a few matches together, which is always fun. I’ve gained two new followers due to playing fighting games. I really need to work on my skills and get better. If I do that, I can be more competitive.