27 February 2012
Welcome to the second edition of House Calls with DocDoom, I'm running down a whole new list of just what you need to soothe that Monday morning headache. So here's your prescription for this week, take two and call me in the morning:
Starship Troopers is a cult classic that many of you have no doubt seen. For those of you who missed it, prepare to be amazed at this amazing (if slightly corny) gem. The movie takes place in a world similar to ours but with the small difference of having set social classes (literally) and an omnipotent government. After an alien attack by arachnids (not spiders) we are forced to go to war with these inferior insects. Plenty of laughs, action, and witty Orwellian propaganda commercials thrown in to break up the movie. There is some nudity, and it does come off a bit hokey at times, but go into it expecting exactly what I promise you and you'll fall in love with this series. The trilogy is not exactly a normal sequential trilogy, but rather jumps around in the same universe with three very different styles of movie, all worth a watch.
I can easily say, without a doubt in my mind, that Coheed and Cambria is the band that's defined me the most in my life. They are a progressive rock band from New York who have gone from a little known band to a power-house selling out shows in the time I've been listening to them, and I couldn't be more in love with their sound. If you fused beautiful vocals with hardcore rip your face of metal and a splash of prog rock (think rush/genesis) you've got an idea what they sound like. All of their music is concept music, mirroring the story of "The Amory Wars", a comic series published by the lead singer/guitarist. His vocal range is interesting, but once you get used to the idea of a big burly man singing high like an angel it's amazing. The Second Stage Turbine Blade is the album that started it all for them, fusing their old tracks from their days as a little known band called "Shabutie" into their new image as the title characters in the story. A must listen!
It is hard to argue against someone who makes the argument that Tim Schafer is one of the most influential (and awesome) video game designers in the history of gaming. The Secret of Monkey Island is a pillar of achievement in a bleak world of point and click adventures, but I digress. Psychonauts was originally released for the PC and xbox (not 360). It's a wonderfully quirky platform adventure where you play rasputin, a boy who ran away FROM the circus to go to psychic camp. The basic model for the game is you enter into the minds of your teachers and various other oddball characters where you must battle their demons, deal with their personal baggage, and come out stronger for it. This leads to a variety of different experiences from a bootcamp type tutorial level to a Godzilla-esque level where you terrorize a tiny city of fish people to the inside of a delusional man who things himself to be napolean bonaparte incarnate. There is never a dull moment, and the visuals (while not completely polished) suit the game style perfectly.
The Second Stage Turbine Blade is the first in the aforementioned comic series "The Amory Wars", the series of comics from Evil Ink written by Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. The story is a little bit Star Wars, cold war and shakespeare all rolled in to one. Dealing with a universe in the distant past, taken over by an evil tyrant, Coheed Killgannon and his wife Cambria find out they are actually andriods built by a terrorist to topple the oppresive regime. They are forced to do unspeakable acts under false pretenses and are kidnapped as part of a diabolical scheme that will shake the keywork, a web of energy keeping the universe of Heaven's Fence in line. Each of their albums help tell the story and really it's best to enjoy both mediums to understand the full story. The full series takes a fantastic journey through a wonderful world of diverse characters.
Personally, I have always been partial towards the horror sections of book stores. Something about the macabre always fascinated me with literature, and lucky for me my father was the same way, with an extensive collection of juicy novels for me to sate my need for thrills. Brian Lumley was a staple author on the bookcase in our house, and his Necroscope series was an amazing look into a Cold-War era filled with supernatural beings on each side. House of Doors is one of my favorite works, telling the story of people sucked into a building that appeared out of nowhere and tossed into a strange foreign world where they must choose a door to venture forward, but as the tagline suggests: each door leads to a terrible fate for those that wish to venture forward and make it out alive. As they journey through to discover the secret of this House of Doors they'll need to keep their wits about them if they wish to get out alive.
Please let us know if you've enjoyed any of these things yourself, and feel free to discuss what you liked about each one in the comments!
See you next week!