April 30th, 2005


Van Helsing

Van Helsing
{XXXIX A.S., Director: Stephen Sommers; Starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale}

Into the macabre world of classic horror monsters brought back to life in this quaint film, where, not since Mad Monster Party, the three primary icons in Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankentein's Monster reunite here to do battle in a rather ingenious plot wherein Dracula desires to bring his progeny life, but needs Frankenstein to complete the experiment.

In the beginning, Mr. Hyde makes an impressive cameo appearence, although this seemed a bit unecessary, and could have been saved for a subsequent film, along with perhaps The Mummy - even with the other monsters for that matter. Unfortunatey, the characters in this depiction are rather one-dimensional, and the scenes move by much too quickly - the overall impression of this presentation seems more like an action-adventure fight movie, rather than a horror film, so the true fear element is absent here, but is fun nonetheless.

I enjoyed the impressive aesthetics of The Wolfman, done to perfection in My opinion, although Count Dracula could have been better cast, but the brides are exquisite in their beauty and ferocity. I thought it adorable when the "draclings" were released from their cocoons, flying down to feed upon the villagers below. Frankenstein is a tormented creature here, inspiring pathos in his apparent selfless nature and terrible desolation.

Van Helsing himself is presented in a more contemporary manner, wielding remarkable weaponry, particularly the rotary crossbow and the shiroken-like blades. He is commissioned by The Vatican to purge these 'evils' from the world, and during his travel to Transylvania, meets with a gorgeous brunette warrior-princess, who joins him in his quest, whose brother just happens to be the wolfman. Eventually, Van Helsing is infected by The Werewolf curse, that proves to be a key ingredient in his battle with the demonic Dracula. I did like that idea - that The Count tranforms into a magnificent Vampire-Demon - a decided improvement on his humanoid counterpart.

CGI effects abound here, the soundtrack is pretty good, and the credits are actually quite creative as well.

Rating: 3/5.

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{XXXVIII A.S. Directed by Ang Lee. Starring Eric Bana,  Jennifer Connelly}

"That which does not destroy Me, makes Me Stronger." - Frederick Nietzsche.

That quote could very well be The Hulk's motto, for no matter what is levelled against him, he grows stronger with increasing rage. The Hulk is another Marvel character I have enjoyed since peering into the pages of comic book legendry and watching the series with Lou Ferrigno {who also briefly appears herein}, and I must say that this film does him justice. in My opinion. Ironically, Dr. Bruce Banner just wants to be left alone, yet antagonists repeatedly attempt to get a rise out of him, to their horror.

The Hulk/Bruce Banner dichotomy definitely exemplifies the were-creature of The Id, at odds with himself, instead of accepting and controlling his own darkside, which in the comics, he eventually does accomplish. We also see this symbology in the characters of Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, and of course, The Werewolf. If these emotions are seen as natural proclivities, balance is attained, thus expressing them in constructive ways.

The CGI kinematics are very well done, flowing gracefully and believably - yet the question remains, how does The Hulk attain those purple pants? At no time does Banner wear purple pants, yet they appear mysteriously every time. But I digress. The Hulk presented here is an absolutely inhumanly large creature, sometimes growing to about 12" tall, his massive frame supplemented as his adrenaline increases.

I thought one of the most impressive scenes was during the mutant dog battle, as he heroically saves his love interest Betty from their fearsome jaws, and the desert sequences when he jumps miles across land, and in San Francisco - the savage beast is quelled by the gentle hands of the lovely girl, whose father is a general persuing him relentlessly through desert and urban environments, using everything from tanks to fighter planes, which The Hulk tosses about like toys.

Banner's father appears as an unassuming janitor working at the lab, released after years of government captivity, with a chip on his shoulder, and is intent on gaining revenge for his incarceration. His opportunity arrives when he uses the solution combined with Gamma Radiation to acquire his own powers of melding with whatever object he touches, and absorbing energy, which proves to be just too much for him when he and The Hulk lock together during the final battle scene.

Unfortunately, Banner must seclude himself from his beloved Betty for her safety, and dissappears into the world, but a force such as this cannot be contained forever, manifesting when angered again.

Rating: 5/5.


Walpurgisnacht XL

On this Sabbath's Night, so The Children of Darkness gather in their Lairs with revery and Power, conjuring forth the Daemons within to cast The Will upon The Black Earth. By the tolling of The Bell, The Gates of Hell are flung wide open, and The Forces of Darkness arise through The Flesh, as candles burn with fury and Might! The black flame rages within and without, as Spells are cast by Zam Zam's tide. The Great Abyss dwells agape - arise! And speak The Names! May the celebration begin!

In Nomine Satanas,
Draconis Blackthorne
Warlock, Church of Satan


The fires burn bright in the dark of the night
Hell's Flames awakened on black candle's wick
And Baphomet, benevolent
Gazes down upon the rites
Incense curls and passion swirls...
Upon Walpurgis Night.

The Altar of Satan is prepared
With regal and Magic delight
The Western Gate doth dwell agape
Opened with the Key of the Mind
The oil of Zam-Zam is poured, aloft The Sword...
Upon Walpurgis Night.

Wishes brought forth
Alight unto Ether
The Blessing of Lucifer ascends
Winds doth blow and We know
The Presence of The Dark Force well...
Upon Walpurgis Night.

The Festival of Flesh
Kundalini's Dance
As life springs forth
From earthen crevasse to Daemon Seed
Echoes on the Nocturne Tide...
Upon Walpurgis Night.  

Secret deeds as devils leap
The infernal font of the mind
Diabolical manifestations
Conjured forth this Sabbath's Night
Gathered here, among us now...
As We proudly Hail Victory and Might!

...Upon this Walpurgis Night!

Upon this Walpurgisnacht Sabbath's Night, we keep the anniversary of the formation of The Church of Satan by Our Founder Anton Szandor LaVey, in mind, that night of nights, Year One Anno Satanas, revelling in this Nefarious Cabal, this infernal brainchild was born, issued forth from the fertile womb of both enchantment and reason in their perfect balances. We have grown, thrived, and continue to garner both influence and increasing Strength in this Age of Fire. May Our Wills enforced upon Evolution bear great fruition, and may our celebrations yield secret desires realized, as we feast and indulge in the pleasures of Satan's Black Earth with wisdom and delight! Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!


Infernal Empire Updates!: A splendid holiday message from High Priestess Nadramia, a Lust Magazine evilution, some intriguing bibliography, and an enhanced explanation on the heritage of The Baphomet Sigil. HS!

Black Book of Shadows UPDATE IV/XXX\XL: The completion of The Curse has come full circle, from one Walpurgisnacht to the other. Received the following message on Walpurgisnacht XL evening:
Greetings Draconis,

I Am contacting you to inform you that My friend Rex has shed this mortal coil. It is likely already known to you, but I had the thought cross My mind and a moment free to execute a note; so be it!

This news has been verified.

Hail Victory! Hail SATAN!