Sunday, 26 July 2020

We need superheroes


I've probably made clear by now that I love superheroes. I don't love them all. For example, I'm pretty indifferent about Marvel movies. In my opinion a very few movies get the idea about superheroes.

That's a pity, because we live In a world, that seems to get darker each day. In fact, the Western world In 2020 seems eerily like Germany In the 1920's. And we all know how that ended...

We're just recovering from a world wide pandemic. Not a month goes by and violent mobs burn down cities and businesses, anarchy reigns and there's even talk about a civil war in America. And what happens in the USA reflects to the rest of the world, especially Europe.

The world is a mess. Although it would be sweet to see Superman flying to save us or Wonder Woman bringing Peace to our divided hearts, but that's not what I'm talking about.

We need stories about saviours, because we need their inspiration. We need to become Heroes in our own lives. Whatever we've chosen to do, we need to be excellent. No matter, whether it's teaching, nursing, construction work, writing or driving a cab, we need to be excellent. That's where we need stories and Heroes. They inspire us in this excellency.

Another reason, why we need them is because we've lost touch to our spirituality. That's just as dangerous as if a whole nation lost its ability to read all of a sudden. When that would happen, the whole infrastructure would collapse. We wouldn't be able to exchange information in longer distance. We could only duplicate what the closest people around us do.


The same way as reading, spirituality is important. I'm not talking about religion, although that is part of it. Spirituality is being in touch with ones soul. Knowing what the soul needs.

The consequence of losing our spiritual life is just what we see, when we turn on the news. Raging mobs destroying everything in their way, like angry cartoon termites. People killing each others for saying the wrong things. Kain and Abel reborn again and again.

When we lose touch with our spirituality, we need to compensate with something else, such as mindless ideologies that aren't meant to work the way they promise. That's just one way of filling that gab. 

Other ways would be hurting our children, bullying our pairs, getting bullied, because of low self-worth. Even mindless consumerism is part of this. Buing, what we don't really need, even if we never use it.


I'm guilty of a lot of these, just like we all are. But there is hope In the horizon. We can be inspired again. We can just look up In the sky. And imagine. We need to read and get inspired. Superheroes are no longer just saving our planet from extra-terrestrial menace. Or our city from homicidal maniacs trying to poison our water supply.

They're saving our souls, by showing examples of virtue. They're showing us a better way. They offer us guidance we need right now. There's never been bigger need for characters like Hercules, Jason, King Arthur. And Superman.

Be virtuous. Be inspired. Thanks for reading!

-Alex




Sunday, 19 July 2020

Tina Morlock - The Power of Expression


This is an older post from my previous blog, which suits the current one perfectly. It's about a year since I wrote this, in which time Tina has gone incredible amount forward. She just finished a novel in the middle of moving and on top of all this, she's writing a movie script based on Where The Bad Seeds Grow. So, if I had to sum Tina in one word, it would be: Inspiring. Enjoy!

When I had my novel's first draft done, I soon started searching for editors, even though I knew it would take some time and effort to get it out for them. That's how I ran into Tina Morlock. By a pure stroke of luck. Tina is a freelance book editor, but that's not all she is.

She's also a talented author, who just had her debut novel, Where The Bad Seeds Grow out. I'll review the book once I've read it, but now I can only say that it's brilliant. At the first glance it looked like another overtly dark and anxiety driven teen drama, but once you dive into the books world you'll realize the brilliant concept: Where Bad Seeds Grow is a noir detective story, set in the dark world of 90's high school. Think about "Mean Girls" set in the world of David Fincher's "Seven"

Instead of a cynical, seen-it-all detective with gambling and drinking problem it stars ”The Most Popular Girl In School”. But the personal struggle she dives in is the level of any larger-than-life mysteries we've seen in the best noir-films. And considering Morlock's influences, it's not that huge surprise.

So, even without finishing the book, I already recommend Where Bad Seeds Grow (Now that I've read it, even more so!), but before that, it's my pleasure to introduce Tina Morlock in her own words.

What inspired Where the Bad Seeds Grow?


Oh, wow! That idea goes back at least 20 years—back before I ever thought I’d want to write a novel. In my 20's, I was fascinated by films and screenwriting, and I even attended film school for a bit. This story originally started as a screenplay about a girl who had lost her parents, and it chronicled the last 24 hours of her life as she moved from being suicidal to embracing her life, then ultimately being murdered in the end.

Thankfully, that story changed drastically when I turned it into a novel, so there’s no spoiler alert necessary there. From what I can remember, Erica’s story was sparked by watching American Beauty—and also my love for Twin Peaks. I was so fascinated about being able to tell a story about a girl everyone thought they knew—the popular girl, the cheerleader. I wanted to make her real, to make her fragile—to show that we are all connected by the pain that sometimes comes from just being alive.

There are so many stories out there that demonize the popular girl and make her into a stereotype, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to give the world a raw and unfiltered view of what it might be like to live with the world’s expectation of perfection. I wanted to use her as a way to show high school kids everywhere that in many ways, we are all the same. We are all human.

Though the story is entirely fictional, how much is inspired by your own life?


I would say that in a superficial way that some aspects of Erica were figments of my own imagination about some of the nicer cheerleaders at my own high school. And when I was much younger and fighting against being different, I’d always looked up to the cheerleaders, and I even practiced cheers when no one was looking.

I think this is something that so many young girls do because they think the beautiful girls have everything, so they want to know what it’s like to have a life that’s perceived as being perfect. So, maybe in a way, I wrote this for the girl I was in elementary school—the girl who idolized the girls everyone else did. I’d like to think that I wrote this to prove to little girls everywhere that you don’t have to be the most popular or the most beautiful to actually be beautiful and loved. Beauty isn’t something you can paint on with makeup.

Also, in many ways, she represents a lot of the things I learned later in life when I began to struggle with my own search for identity. Erica’s struggles are not only the problems of youth. I think we all struggle with discovering who we really are and trying to line that up with who the world thinks we are.

So many of us are bullied for what people think we are, but they do this because they can’t possibly understand what’s going on underneath the mask we present on the outside. And sometimes, it seems like no matter what we do, it’s a battle we can’t win. So, I suppose she’s a combination of multiple phases of my life: all the awkward teenage years, the discovery as a young adult, the toxic relationships throughout adulthood, and learning later in life that it’s all bullshit in a way.

Where the Bad Seeds Grow is practically a Noir story. Did you think of that when writing?


I did not! To be honest, I hadn’t really read much mystery, but many of my stories involved a bit of mystery to them because I do enjoy writing about the darker parts of the human experience. When I first published it, I considered it a young adult coming of age mystery romance. That’s kind of a mouthful.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write it with a particular reader in mind. I just needed to get the story out. I’ve had some pretty good reviews and feedback recently, so I hope it eventually finds its place in indie publishing world. Though, marketing is not currently my strong suit. I’m working on that!

What’s your favorite genre and why?


Oh man! That’s such a hard question. Though it’s not really a genre, I love reading and writing young adult. Ever since I discovered Harry Potter as a young adult, I’ve loved seeing the growth that young adult literature has been through. I do have a soft spot for dystopian—with novels like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Animal Farm. I’m also currently re-reading The Hunger Games novels, and I just started reading Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series. Somewhere on my bookshelf, I also have Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale waiting to be read—she’s one of my favorite storytellers.

Dystopian literature feels magical to me because it allows us to explore our deepest and darkest fears about government and the society we live in. It shows us that the monsters hiding in these things aren’t so far off, and it allows us to fantasize about what a revolution might do for our lives. Or at least, that’s what it does for me.

It allows us to destroy those systems we feel are evil and gives us the freedom to explore how delightful it would feel to overthrow the government. Jello Biafra once said that creative crime was not only good for the soul, but that it was also necessary in this day and age. And I wholeheartedly agree with that idea.

What made you first want to be a storyteller? Remember when?


As far back as I can remember, I’ve been writing. I remember a relative giving me a typewriter as a gift when I was 12—computers weren’t in every household back in the 80's—and I started typing up my own romance novel. From there, it progressed into poetry and journalism when I got onto my high school and college newspaper staffs.

Though I don’t remember the exact moment, I know that writing and storytelling has always been about escaping my little piece of the world. I was abused by a family member as a child, and as I got older, though I didn’t realize it at the time, I started to get more and more depressed.

Writing gave me the power of expression and the feeling that somebody was listening to me, even if it wasn’t always shared with the world. Now, of course, my writing is intentional, but back then, it was a coping mechanism.

How do you work through that anxiety?


Working, in general, helps keep my mind focused on straying from toxic or negative thoughts that sometimes come from depression. And with much of what I write, I try to include themes that advocate for depression, trauma, suicide, substance abuse, and mental illness. So, it's another way to work through the things I've experienced and observed throughout my life.

So, yes, writing does still help with that. But it's moved from just being helpful to me to translating those experiences in a way that might be helpful for readers.

I've always thought that as writers, we have our own internal language that doesn't exactly translate 100% for readers, so the challenge is in breaking away from that and making your narratives more accessible to give them the power to transform ways of thinking about certain themes.

I find my anxiety increases when I go through periods of not writing because I know how much more work I have to do to catch up. Then, that feeling of success being further away creeps in, and it just continues to build.

In certain ways, creating productive writing habits is sort of like losing weight or quitting smoking. You have to be diligent and intentional, and you have to have the will power to work through those tougher moments when you're having a hard time reconciling a scene or character.

What’s next for you?


My goal right now is to start writing young adult dystopian novels and building an audience there before I start branching out into other genres I’d love to write. My next book, The Secret Memoirs of Bloody Mary, is the first book in my History of Nightmares series, which is a dystopian series with a horror slant to it.

It follows the protagonist, Veina Kythe, a half-alien/half-human teenage girl, as she travels to the future after her planet has been destroyed. She lands on Earth 200-300 years from now and gets involved with a resistance group that’s fighting against a government that has outlawed literature of all kinds.

This first book finds her and her two friends, Techno Tru and Ska Faulkner, traveling back to the 1960s, where they meet my version of Bloody Mary right before she dies. Future books of the series will explore the legends surrounding the first vampire and other horror legends as the work together to overthrow a future government that has turned writers into outlaws.

It’s been a dream project of mine for nearly ten years. (I wrote a short story for an anthology based on this that can be downloaded for free from Amazon or any other eBook platforms. It’s called 31 Overlook Hotel

Ever thought about any other storytelling platforms? (Movies, plays, video games, etc.?)


Oh, absolutely! I have a mind that wants to conquer everything, but I’m trying to take it one step at a time. Ultimately, I’d love to see all my novels turned into movies because I have such a love for film as well as literature.

One last advice to storytellers?

Don't do what I did and wait until you're almost middle-aged to start pursuing your writing dream. I let so many things get in the way of my dreams, and now I'm having to work much harder to achieve them. Just believe in yourself and write every day, no matter what. Whether it's five minutes or five hours, it all counts.


I really hope you got as inspired by Tina as I did. She truly is a living proof that it's never too late to start creating that one dream project you always wanted. The world is definitely much richer place now, that Tina has started giving her brand to it. It will be so once you start as well!

Definitely check Where The Bad Seeds Grow if you haven't already. It's well worth your time and I bet it will earn its place in the list of future indie classics. Here's hoping we'll see the movie version one day! (I said it, didn't I!)

Thanks for reading!

-Alex

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Tom Reynolds - Meta Mythology



For the last two years I've been doing the hardest thing I've ever done: Writing a book (Believe me, writing a novel is way harder than making a movie!). One of my problems was the genre. I was writing a superhero YA novel. Superhero novels I knew then I could count with two fingers. Then I started really searching high and low.

Eventually I stumbled upon few great titles and found out that superheroes offer a whole subgenre to the huge variety of YA-novels. Although I have few series's on my Kindle, such as The Outlaw -series by Alan Janney and the Omega -series by Darius Brasher.

Still, my personal favorite is the Meta series by Tom Reynolds. I've already introduced the world of the books, so I won't go repeating it here. They contain all the tropes of the genre, but add some interesting twists. Also, the balance between humour and seriousness is perfect, which is no easy task. Not to mention, it's incredibly easy to read. The language is simple and works even with my slow mind.

I'm proud to say that I had the privilege of interviewing Tom, who has been an active author since 2012. Reading his texts you can see that he gets better part by part, but still manages to keep the wild and free spirit of his books intact.

Hopefully this interview can share some of his wisdom. I know I gained a lot from it! Hope you will too.

How long have you been writing?

It feels like forever. I remember being around 12 and heading to the library determined to figure out how to write and publish a book, even though I was still just a kid. Meta was my first attempt at a full length novel though.

When did you first decide to seriously attempt this?

The idea for Meta had been floating around in my head for a few years, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to finally sit down and start putting the ideas to paper. One of the fun things about the superhero genre is that it’s practically custom-built for serialization. From the earliest days of comic books there has always been a desire for more stories from the same characters. The idea of exploring characters over the course of multiple books is what interested me the most.

What draws you to superheroes?

I think it’s natural to be drawn to the idea of superheroes. In a lot of ways they’re simply updated versions of the types of stories that have been around since ancient times. There’s something we’re innately drawn to about stories featuring characters with abilities outside of what’s possible in reality. There’s also the idea that superhuman abilities would strip back and reveal who a character really is. We want to believe that human beings are ultimately altruistic, and that if superheroes were real that human nature would shine through. But obviously that isn’t always the case, and that’s fun to explore too.

What was the biggest inspiration for meta?

There are obviously a ton of comic book inspirations, but one of the lesser known inspirations I took from is Miracleman, a character that was initially borne out of Shazam (then Captain Marvel.) I’d read Supergods by Grant Morrison and learned about the incredibly strange publishing history of Miracleman and wanted to do something similar with a little bit of a softer edge to it.

Which characters inspired Connor?

He’s very much inspired by characters like Peter Parker, Dick Grayson, Billy Batson, etc. I’ve always liked teenage superheroes who have to deal with real world problems too. There’s something very relatable about them.

Have you ever thought about trying other story forms (movies, videogames, etc)?


I’ve written a few other projects outside of my books, but for the most part they have remained in the proverbial trunk. Making things collaboratively is tough. A lot of it requires luck, timing, etc. One of things I love about the novels I write is that they’re completely on me. I don’t need to rely on others or outside factors like money to get them done. I love collaborative work too, but it can be nice to work on something solo and know that whether it’s good or bad it’s completely on you. 


From the beginning, it seemed like the ”superpowerless” Midnight was inspired by Batman, but in Rise of The Circle he brought up a twist by revealing his origins. Did you plan this from the beginning?

I knew pretty early on more or less what his origin story would be. I wanted a unique explanation for his technological prowess and I thought it wasn’t something I’d really seen done before. I didn’t want to just wave away everything he was capable of with a simple “he’s rich” although his origin does explain how he’s able to acquire a reasonable amount of wealth pretty easily, which might be something I explore in further books.

How much of the later twists did you know from the beginning?

Most of them are ideas I’ve had in mind from the beginning, but I don’t always know exactly how they would unfold until I see where the story naturally leads me. There are some even bigger twists coming up in New Empire that once again change the context of earlier events fairly significantly.

If Meta was adapted, what form would you prefer (Movie, TV-show, videogame, etc)?

Readers tend to suggest they’d like to see it as a movie, but personally I’d be more interested in a TV show or video game. There’s a lot more possibilities there I think. If someone wants to come along and option it for a movie I wouldn’t say no though.

As a writer, are you a planner or a pantser?


I’m a planner for the most part, but if I discover a new idea as I’m writing I don’t necessarily stay beholden to the plan.

If you had metabands, what power would you like?

I’m going to be boring and say flight. I’m terrible at directions so I think it would be easier for me to get around if I could get a bird’s eye view sometimes.

*After Connor’s Journey ends, do you have anything else planned, either In Meta universe or something completely else?*


I’ve been working on a different series for a bit now that I’m hoping will see the light of day later in 2020. I don’t want to give too much away yet, but it won’t be superhero related. I’m sure I’ll be doing other stories in the Meta universe, even if they aren’t Connor’s stories, in the future too. Connor’s story isn’t over yet though.

Is there any other superhero novels that inspired you?


As for superhero novels, the one that I would point out as being influential is the novelization of Batman: No Man's Land by Greg Rucka. I picked it up at a rest stop while on a family vacation 20 years ago and couldn't put it down. It was the first time I'd seen a superhero story done in novel format and it stuck with me.

Final Words of inspiration

Tom Reynolds's Meta hits at a time, when the world craves for a positive inspiration. Exactly the kind of inspiration superheroes used to be.

A time, when we're just recovering of a world wide pandemic, seeing violent riots all over, is a time when we need superheroes the most.

At the same time we see our childhood icons torn to pieces, like America's statues. Today's Batman is a cold blooded killer. Today's Superman is a dark angst ridden human wreckage just one step away from turning into tyrant. It's the world like this, that needs inspiring new characters and stories.

Tom Reynolds has just given us exactly that. Young Connor Connelly is the character, that shows us the light at the end of the tunnel.

The one that Whisper In our ear to take another step, just as we're ready to give up. Those are the Heroes we need right now, to remind and guide us In our own heroics.

Thanks for reading and thank you, Tom, for writing!

Check out the Meta series here and don't forget that the newest installation, New Empire is out now. And don't forget to relax, enjoy and get inspired!

-Alex


Sunday, 5 July 2020

Meta - The accidental Heroes and Villains


Superheroes, as we now know them, have been around for nearly 90 years. We all know and love Batman, Superman and Spider-Man. Gotham and Metropolis have become as familiar as our own home towns. Themyscira is as popular dream place as Grand Canary. I bet now, that travel won't be so easy, it will only make it more so.

But not all the Heroes are from four-color cartoons from the 40's or Disney/Warner blockbuster films, thank God. There are lots and lots of independent storytellers, giving us the worlds they want to live in. 

Tom Reynolds is one of these authors. And he's given us Meta.

Welcome to Bay View City!

It's an ordinary world, just like ours. Then in the early 2000's something happened, that changed everything. Something other than what changed our world in September of 2001. Tons of curious metal objects fell from the sky and scattered all over the world.

These objects were Meta bands: Bracers that give their wearers unique super powers, known as Meta Powers. Their catch was, that they bind with the wearers DNA, so no-one else can wear them, once they're on. Naturally, in a small amount of time the world was filled with heroes and villains with God-like powers. In a matter of days, the world was beyond recognition.


What we previously saw only in movies we could now see by tuning on the news. Meta Heroes, such as The Governor emerged and showed us the way of righteousness. Unfortunately, as new Heroes emerged, so did villains. Men and women, as colorful, as their adversaries, appeared. Some to gain money or power, some just to cause mayhem. Then came Jones.

The man, who looked as bland as his name was worst of them all. Nobody knew where he came from or what he wanted. Only thing clear was that he was a nightmare come true. He never spoke a word, but created chaos and death where ever he went. It was normal for supervillains to wear colorful and eccentric "uniforms", just as with superheroes. That made Jones even more terrifying: An ordinary man in a business suit, that was as bland as his name. And was more destructive than an atom bomb.


Eventually The Governor defeated Jones, though it took his own life in the process. After him, everyone named Jones rushed to change their names, so they wouldn't be associated with him. The name became just as popular as the name Hitler.

That wasn't the only thing that happened. It also shut down all the Meta bands on earth until...

The Second Wave


This is where Tom Reynolds's books begin. Ten years after the battle between Governor and Jones. It's a time of hard earned peace. But also of pain and sorrow. The battle took its toll on everyone. Countless lives were lost.

Two of these were the parents of Connor Connolly. The tragedy didn't only turn him an orphan. It also made his 19-year-old brother Derrick Connor's unwilling Guardian. Connor is an unmotivated college student and Derrick is an unsuccesful blogger with obsession on all things Meta.


This all changes, when another wave of Meta bands hit the earth. Connor is the first one to find his own bands, which will change his life completely. Trying them on gives Connor all the powers of Superman: He can fly, he becomes invoulnerable, he can see through Walls. He can even teleport. All of these powers are typical with Meta people, but very rare together.

With all these powers, Connor takes his superhero identity. Omni is born.

Like all the teenage superheroes, Connor's life seems to become better at first. Connor's dream girl takes interested in him. His brother becomes rich with his Meta knowledge, that was earlier just a weird nerd thing. But nothing good lasts forever. As Peter Parker's Uncle Ben said: With great power comes great... Headaches.

As tons of new Meta bands fall from the sky, the world fills with super powers, once again. And, once again, Meta bands work the same for the good, the bad and the ugly. It goes without staying, that Connor, who just happens to be one of the most powerful Meta, has his hands full of problems. As if being a teenager wasn’t hard enough.

The momentum builds


Tom Reynolds's Meta series has advanced in its fifth part, The New Empire. To me, it's a refreshing take on the YA genre and got me addicted from the first chapter of the first book.

Although many scifi elements are a bit out of my alley, Meta has been surprisingly inspiring to me. As I'm getting on final stages in my own novel, Shadow of The Vigil, which is very down-to-earth and superpowerless, but dark, take on the genre, it feels good to fly for a change.

I'm so looking forward to The New Empire, which I've already pre-ordered. Make sure you get the whole series now that it's on sale!

Be sure to Put on your Meta bands, and we'll see you on the pages of history!

Check out Tom Reynold's author page here. Be sure to check In next Sunday, when I'll be interviewing Tom. I'm definitely looking forward to that! 

-Alex

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Super novels coming up!


DC, Marvel, movies, comics. Superheroes are huge part of our pop culture. More than that. They have practically replaced religion In our culture. Superheroes are the biggest of Modern myths.

Whether it's from comics or movies, we all have our own take with superheroes. But these aren't the only ways to follow their heroics. Superpowers are also filling pages of novels. Especially the YA genre is tossing more and more masked adventurers to their readers.

One of the most refreshing of these is the Meta series by Tom Reynolds, an author from New York.

I just read The first four books In this series. Next week, I'll give more insight to their world. I'll also interview the author himself, as he gets ready to publish the next installment of this super addicting series, so stay tuned! 

Meanwhile you can check the previous four parts here

-Alex 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

The Vigil - The Don Quixote of superheroes



I've loved superheroes since the age of four, when I first saw the Max Fleischer's animated Superman films from the 40's. When I was nine, I had my first spark to want to become a film maker. Tim Burton's Batman film from 1989 made a huge impact on me. Recently I had the privilege of doing something very few can do: I watched a superhero film, that I made myself.

For years, I had forgotten it, even neglected it. But that was a huge mistake. This film is my child and I love it with all its strengths and flaws. It's a landmark of a dream fulfilled. The dream I had since I was nine.

It took four years and an effort of team, much more talented than I could ever dream to be. A team of volunteers that worked insane hours, just to get this insane dream to the Light of Day.

I was planning to share everything about the process of making this film, but I doubt it would really add anything to the enjoyability of the movie. Making movies is hard work. That's why every film is a triumph to its makers.

This Finnish superhero version of Don Quixote simply reflected my life back then, only ten years earlier. Now that I'm writing a completely new take on these characters, that reflects my life now, it feels so good to return back in time to this innocent and silly world of heroes.

I'm so proud to re-release it and I hope you enjoy watching it. Here it is, just like the first time in 2012. The Vigil!

P.S: The film is naturally in Finnish language, so make sure you turn on the subtitles in the bottom of the video. Enjoy!


              



Saturday, 13 June 2020

It was beauty, killed the Beast


I just watched King Kong again after way too long time. I'm so glad that I did, because it still holds perfectly. That's an understatement. It's one of the best films ever made, if not the best. Incredible visuals, unbelievable effects and a timeless and simple story. Those are the stuff that legends are made.

I rejected it a long time, because I remembered it was racist and sexist (last time I saw it, I was woke enough to know that everything is racist and sexist). I think that's the reason why way too many millenials, sadly, reject the movie. And sure, it does some racist and sexist elements, but only in the 30's style. If you're offended by 30's Hollywood film, then you really don't have enough problems! I'm going to point, why the film isn't as racist and sexist as you remember and why the story isn't least bit of these, but first things first

King Kong is one of the biggest modern myths. It's a story about two world clashing: The Modern, tamed world and the ancient Wild one.

The Modern world is New York, where one of films giant monster live: Carl Denham is one of the biggest, most influential film makers of his time. He's decided to make The Best Film Ever Made. That's why he organized a trip to the ancient, forgotten Skull Island. But not before finding the perfect actress for the film: Ann Darrow, played by Fay Wray.

She is of course welcome sight among the harsh sailors of USS Venture. Well, everyone, except John Driscoll, the ultra masculine head of Denham's crew. This is the first point the former woke me found "problematic". Sure, he hates women, but as he said to Ann: "You aint women". We're not meant to admire his attitude. We're meant to witness, how Ann slowly tames him, forshadowing, what she does to the other gorilla in the movie later.

Skull Island is a place of mystery. It's sealed by a huge ancient wall, guarded by indigenous people. This is where the former woke me lost his sleep. The racist movie has black tribesmen! Oh no! Relax. The movie isn't over yet (though I'm still not sure if the chief of the tribe is wearing a black face or not).

The tribe is guarding the wall, because the other side is filled with prehistoric animals. The biggest and meanest of these is of course Kong. The giant gorilla that the natives worship as their God, sacrificing girls as brides to him.

Come out, Kong! 


Naturally Ann makes the perfect bride, so she's snatched for the ritual to summon Kong. He sees her as perfect bride too and takes her to his home, the jungle.

Kong's life can be seen however you like. To me, it's a tragedy. His every day is a constant struggle between life and death. Skull Island is swarming with dinosaurs, giant bats, giant snakes and lizards. Every living thing is out for each others. So is Kong. He's the King of the island, because he has to. Otherwise he would be T-Rex's snack.

For some reason, Kong has become keen on Ann. It's unclear why, but there are theories. Maybe he sees her as a sex object (the extended version has a scene where he tries to strip her). Or maybe he sees her as a cute pet or even his cub and wants to protect her. Or maybe he's just lonely and wants company, like Peter Jackson's 2005 remake portrayed. Either way, Ann is as safe with him, at least as safe as she can be in Skull Island. 

She doesn't know this. Neither does Denham or Driscoll. They have to save her. But Denham can't leave it at that. 

The way Kong is the King of Wild, unforgiving jungle, Carl Denham is the King of his own jungle, movie making. If he wasn’t, he would be figuratively eaten by his competition. Instead he's about to be swallowed by a much worse enemy: his own ambition.


Naturally Denham wants the King of Skull Island alive, so he can show it to everyone. Bad idea, that everyone will suffer.

This is where we get to why the movie is actually not racist.

As Denham's action drive Kong to panic, he attacks the Village, trembling people, tearing huts. Women and children scream. The cutest little girl is about to leave under his paws.

Tribals before Kong attacks...


...And After
...And after. See any difference?


The tribe we saw earlier as cruel and vicious savages, has turned humans in mere seconds. Under crisis, we're all the same.

To anyone else, this could be a warning of what's to come if you take this animal to civilization. But Carl Denham is not anyone. Of course he has to make some profit too, after the devastating journey, that has already killed half of his crew.

So comes the grand opening of King Kong, The Eight Wonder of The World. And for one of the first times, we're about to witness, what happens when man tries to tame nature. It blows out of hands.

Kong gets to streets of New York, causing all kinds of havok and destroying everything on his way. Though we don't know why, he wants Ann, desperately. And he doesn't stop before getting her. When he finally does, he doesn't know where to go in this strange and hostile new world. The tallest building of the city, the Empire State Building has to do for now

Here the military can take him down by planes. But not before Kong gives his final bitter fight. When the giant body falls and draws his last breath on the streets below, Denham is the first to realize what really brought him down: "It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty, killed the beast"

Beauty of the story


King Kong is not only one of the best films ever made. It's one of the biggest myths ever told. And it shows a true female strength.

Ann Darrow is a unique heroine. She's not bad-ass, like Sarah Connor. She's not fearless adventurer like Lara Croft or a protective supermom like Ellen Ripley.

Ann is a normal girl, who stumbled on an adventure, because she happened to be on the wrong place at the wrong time. But just by being herself, she tamed a wildman like John Driscoll and brought down the wild animal, Kong.

Males in the story, from John Driscoll to Kong himself, are at their very best, when protecting the female. The female has the challenging task of taming the world.

To me, that makes her a true heroine. One of the first ever to be filmed.