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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

FIGHTS: Review - 'Godzilla' (2014) brings traditional kaiju fun to the modern era

TRADITIONAL TOHO-INSPIRED THROUGH-LINE WITH QUALITY CGI HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW FILM
by
Bowie V. Ibarra

Godzilla (2014) was a great ride that hearkened back to the Toho film days set in modern times.  Sure there were plenty of dumb/weird plot points in the movie.  But I didn't show up to see 'Godzilla' to see Academy Award-calibre story and performances.  I came to see Monster-on-Monster Fights to the Death!

I really don't have to tell you the plot.  It's really this simple:  Bad monsters show up and start wrecking shop, Godzilla shows up and fucks them up.

Okay, the human element adds a little more complication to that.  But that's really it.  Here are some notes from the flick.  Also, lots of spoilers.  Sorry.

I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE BRYAN CRANSTON

The previews to this flick promised lots of Bryan Cranston.  Boy, was I surprised when they offed him early in the flick.  I'll be honest with you, I kind of felt hosed.  The guy put his acting chops on display with his kooky character, and it was great.  But, alas, we lost him early.

THE CONSPIRACY EDGE

As a noted and open conspiracy kook, I was so happy they played up this angle.  If they're going to modernize the story, then having one of the main characters be a part of this global subculture was a cool choice.  Because, let's face it, they don't tell us the truth about ANYTHING.

NODS TO MOTHRA

There were some nods to the classic Godzilla kaiju-friend Mothra in the flick, including a screen in the young (kids) classroom, and a weird 'MOTH RA' lettering on an old fishtank in their old house.

RODAN HAD TO BE AN INFLUENCE ON THE FLICK

I'm not sure how the MUTO's were developed, but I stand by the theory that they stole concepts from the story of Rodan, another one of Godzilla's classic kaiju battle buddies.  You don't think so?  Check out this previous speculative blog HERE.

BUILD UP TO THE MONSTER

Like the old Toho titles, a majority of the movie is the buildup to the monsters.  You get a lot of story, the human element, and teases of the monster.  There's even a mid-film fight scene in Hawaii that's pretty cool.

KAIJU SUPERFIGHT

Check it out.  Like in the original Rodan, two monster mates are trying to make more MUTOs.  They communicate with each other.  But that communication is also intercepted and interpreted by Godzilla, who, apparently, lives underwater.  A crazy element of the movie is that Godzilla is some sort of prehistoric balancer of nature who lives to fight it out with big monsters to keep the earthly peace.  He finds them both and they throw down in San Francisco, just trashing the city.  It's a great CGI/non-costume battle that finishes with Godzilla vomiting electric fire into the mouth of Mama Muto for the big finish.

AND SPEAKING OF THE BIG FINISH

I had to cheer at the ending, because that's exactly how a Godzilla movie has to end.

Godzilla had been knackered after the fight and passed out in downtown San Francisco.  But later that morning, he woke up, got back up, and drifted back out to sea.  I immediately knew that was it, that was the end of the movie, because every Godzilla movie ends that way.  Godzilla shows up, kicks ass, then goes home.  Loved it.

Was it a perfect movie?  No.  I have to admit, there were some ridiculous aspects to the story that I chuckled at.  But I let it slide because I came for the hoss fight, and I got what I wanted from it.

Look, if you haven't seen the movie yet, go check it out.  It's a good time.

And if you liked the blog, support the blogger by getting a book for yourself at ZBFbooks.com.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press.
Down the RoadDown the Road: On the Last Day, and Down the Road: The Fall of Austin.  Pick them up in paperback or Kindle today.






BOWIE V. IBARRA earned his BFA in Acting and MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  Network with Bowie at his official website,ZombieBloodFights.com today.

ZOMBIES: ZBFbooks Book Recommendation - The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski

SEVERED PRESS BRINGS THE ZOMBIE HORROR
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


Zombie horror has taken the world by storm over the past few years.  And that's good for all of us fans of zombies and blood because we get treated to the biggest wave of zombie movies, books, and other related materials.

One of the latest authors biting his way through the zombie world maelstrom is Stephen Kozeniewski.  ZBFbooks.com is always up for finding out about the latest zombie titles and ghoulish authors.  And we've found a good one with Stephen Kozeniewski.

Here's the lowdown on one of Severed Press' authors:

Stephen Kozeniewski lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. He was born to the soothing strains of "Boogie With Stu" even though The Who are far superior to Zep, for reasons that he doesn't even really want to get into right now. 

During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow. 

He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor's degree is in German.

Here's the lowdown on his title, The Ghoul Archipelago

After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain. 

A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown. 


To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of...THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO. 


Here's your chance to check out this title today.  Click on the links below to get a copy of The Ghoul Archipelago below in paperback or Kindle.  Then network with Stephen at the links below.

LINKS 

Purchase link - http://www.amazon.com/THE-GHOUL-ARCHIPELAGO-Zombie-Novel-ebook/dp/B00FTP5URO/ 
Amazon - amazon.com/author/kozeniewski
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KozAuthor 
Twitter - https://twitter.com/outfortune 
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7183355.Stephen_Kozeniewski 
Blog - http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press. He lives in Texas where he lives the dream. Network with him at his official website, ZBFbooks.com today.

ZOMBIES: Interview - Dawn Peers brings UK zombie horror in Great Bitten: Outbreak

It's a great privilege to have one of Permuted Press' rising stars on the blog today.  

ZombieBloodFighters, please welcome straight from the UK, Dawn Peers!

ZBFbooks.com - Great to have you on the blog, Dawn. How are things across the pond?
Dawn Peers - Ha ha, thanks! Great to be 'here'. Things are good - it's finally starting to warm up, and the World Cup will be here in a few months' time. This means the entire nation will be gearing up for that magic week where we can all wear tshirts and bemoan our national side going out of a major tournament on penalties. Again.
ZBFbooks.com - I hope you don't mind doing an interview with a Yank like me. And a Texan at that. I hear there's a lot of regional pride in the UK as well. Is that true?
DP - I don't mind at all! I've never been interviewed by a Texan before *winkwink*. There is a fierce amount of regional pride. As I've moved from my homeland of the 'shires (Warwickshire) down to the Sussex coast, I feel more strongly and more defensive about my home than I ever have been. It's nice though, experiencing different parts of the country, even as small as the UK is.
ZBFbooks.com - You seem to have an interest in alcoholic beverages. What a coincidence. I do to! Tell me about the Whiskey's you enjoy and recommend.
DP - You noticed that, huh? Whoops! Yes as I get older I find myself more and more interested in spirits - specifically at the moment single malt whisky. I seem to have an unconscious leaning towards Speyside malts. When I first started drinking whisky the tagline was "the more it tastes like dirt, the better" however on my sideboard now is a very nice variety. I would recommend, every day of the week, Laphroiag (which by the way does taste like a heavenly peat bog) and a very good offering from the Yamazaki distillery. Don't underestimate how good Japanese whisky is. If you're after something simple and blended, I would recommend Monkey Shoulder any day of the week. Blimey, I talk a lot about whisky...
ZBFbooks.com - I'm drinking Canadian Hunter now. It's a poor man's Crown Royal. Have you had it before?
DP - I've not heard of it before, but now I have, I'm going to have to find some and give it a whirl.
ZBFbooks.com - Tell us about your title with Permuted Press.
DP - My debut Permuted title is called Great Bitten: Outbreak. It follows the survival efforts of the protagonist Warren Fiedling. He is an early observer of an outbreak in the UK, and decides to abandon his home in London to find his sister. I decided to make it a UK-only story, and not for insular purposes. Over here, people do not carry weaponry, and even personnel such as the police force rarely go fully-armed. My intention is to explore the basic reactions of real people. My story isn't full of armed kung-fu experts and tactical geniuses; they are normal people making normal decisions. They make mistakes, and in a post-apocalypse scenario, the consequences for mistakes are, as you might guess, pretty dire. It's a first person story; I feel that first person present works really well in the horror genre, as you can really get in to the heads of your characters.
ZBFbooks.com - Zombie tales seem to have similar elements. What are some things in this story that set it apart from the field.
DP - Apart from it being solely in the UK - the country is placed under quarantine not long after the outbreak starts - as I've intimated before, it's a story I feel people could relate with. Over here, we don't enjoy the range of personal weaponry people in other countries can use to defend themselves. So in GB you will find people running around with axes, hammers, kitchen knives and tools from the garden shed. I think in some ways that's more relatable than a military-based offering. For some readers, at least.

ZBFbooks.com - Name a few zombie books you've enjoyed.
DP - I came relatively late to the genre - my first love was fantasy fiction. I seem to be making up for lost time, though. The first zombie book I read was ZA Recht's "Plague of the Dead" and it therefore remains a favourite for 'opening the door'. Tankbreak by Paul Mannering is a very original action-orientated title that was incredibly enjoyable. And "The Valley of the Dead" by Kim Paffenroth and "What Our Eyes Have Witnessed" by Stan Litore are historical-based zombie books which gave a nice alternative slant on a genre which is usually set in contemporary locations.
ZBFbooks.com - What are some of your favorite zombie movies?
DP - Now this - don't laugh - is an awkward question. I can't watch horror films. Unless I have a pillow. Or something to distract me. They're too jumpy. Well... I'm too jumpy. I can watch the Resident Evil films because they're more action adventure - and the same goes for World War Z. I did manage to sit through most of Cabin in the Woods the other day, and thought the zombies that featured throughout that were pretty sterling.

ZBFbooks.com - Where can readers find your books?
DP - My Permuted book will be available through Amazon and will be available to your local bookstore - they may have to order it for you, but I promise you it will be worth it! I will also be running promos on my networking platforms to win signed copies, so it might be worth readers keeping an eye out.
ZBFbooks.com - Where can readers network with you?
I work in IT as a 'day job' and so like very much having an online presence - I am most comfortable behind a keyboard! I am most active on my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/dawnpeersauthor
I am also maintaining a blog as I try to build up my ability to watch horror films, and you can find that at www.zombie-horror.com
You can reach out to me at my website, www.beyondapocalypse.com
And then there is the mandatory Twitter account, which is @dawnpeersauthor

ZBFbooks.com - Cheers, Dawn.

After you've networked and picked up Dawn's book, pick up a ZBFbooks.com title and support the blog.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press. He lives in Texas where he lives the dream. Network with him at his official website, ZBFbooks.com today.

FIGHTS - Repost - Results: In Their Blood – 5.25.14 — Inspire Pro Wrestling

Here's another great write up of the Inspire Pro show from last weekend.

Check it out!

Results: In Their Blood – 5.25.14 — Inspire Pro Wrestling

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

FIGHTS: The Sammy Guevara debacle

HOT-HEADED TEXAS INDY RISING STAR BLOWS TOP, BURNS BRIDGES AFTER CHAMPIONSHIP CORONATION
by
Bowie V. Ibarra

A stunning bit of controversy erupted at the Inspire Pro event 'In Their Blood' at the Marchesa Hall in Austin, Texas.  Rising Texas indy star SAMMY GUEVARA was crowned the first ever Inspire Pro J-Crown champ in front of a large crowd of Austin wrestling fans.

But what started as a great victory celebration degenerated into a dark vibe as Guevara took the mic and ran down a promotion that purportedly gave Guevara a start in wrestling:  River City Wrestling, one of San Antonio's best pro-wrestling promotions.  Guevara put the promotion on blast, singling out the promoter, Brandon Oliver, for overlooking him.  It was a strange rant that has some unfortunate ramifications for both promotions.

The rant was made known to Oliver very quickly, who took to social media to share his disappointment and disgust at what he felt was a betrayal.  Inspire Pro officials stated the moment was not part of their plans and was a decision made by the indy star.  Even another RCW star, Honky Kong, was affected in a high-profile matchup between Inspire Pro's own The Great Depression.  The fallout was RCW publicly severing ties with Inspire Pro and continuing on their own way.

I'm not going to pretend I know all the facts.  I'm just going to respond as a fan who has watched the sad circumstance play out.  I felt the rant was very inappropriate for several reasons.

Number one, very few people (dare I say NOBODY) in Austin, Texas, cares about a promotion outside of the city of Austin.  Sure, I can name a handful of folks like myself who support the Texas Indy wrestling scene when they can and know some of the goings-on around the state.  But I've seen this kind of stuff go down before.  And though I understand the context and ramifications of the allegations, a majority of the folks attending the event could give two shits about a wrestler's hurt feelings toward a promotion outside of town.  All we give a shit about is getting a show for our money, not hearing some wrestler air dirty laundry most folks would know nothing about.

Second, as mentioned, the tantrum severed a delicate relationship that Inspire Pro was taking great pains to develop with RCW and, perhaps, other promotions in Texas.  Leadership in Inspire Pro wanted to take the non-traditional approach and support other indy organizations in a spirit of cooperation to nurture the Texas wrestling scene as a whole.  Time, money, and sincere effort were being sacrificed to make that goal happen.  RCW seems to take a guarded and traditional approach to wrestling, which lends itself to caution and distrust of other organizations.  Any inroads to collaboration between the two organizations was emphatically put to an end after the outburst.  Work, plans, time, and potential paydays for talent between both camps were now thrown out the window because this dude put himself above all of that.  Even Honky Kong, who was a part of the Inspire Pro show and had a match after the rant, was affected.  He lost out on future paydays with Inspire.

(Incidentally, Honky Kong was an instant hit with the Inspire fans.)

On that same note, RCW fans of Guevara were disappointed to hear the news.  Some folks commented that Guevara was their favorite or a family favorite.  This included kids who enjoyed his work.  Now they won't see him in San Antonio again, at least in RCW, for a very long while.

Third, the event marked the announcement of Inspire Pro's inclusion in the National Wrestling Alliance.  Some of the top brass from the NWA was in attendance.  And though it's been made emphatically clear by members of Inspire Pro management that Guevara's actions were his own, it was still a really bad lead-in to the announcement, which came soon after, as well as a potentially bad first impression to the NWA brass.

And fourth is simply my opinion.  Is Guevara good?  Of course he is.  He's got a great look, clearly lots of passion, he's got a pretty good foundation and good skills, and he is a daredevil.  He's even been tested by the likes of Texas standout and rising Ring of Honor star ACH and the dangerous veterans Masada and Homicide.  That counts for something.

But is he THAT good?  I don't think so.  He's got lots of talent, sure, but it needs more time to marinate, to get better.  I'm not going to lie.  I got caught up in the hype as well.  Lots of folks on the Texas Indy scene were talking him up.  I got it.  I knew what they were saying, and I didn't have too much of a problem with it.  He's good, and fun to watch.  Guevara relishes being rude to crowds and opponents, and telling everybody he's the best in the world is a LOT premature.  But I know that kind of attitude is part and parcel for being rude to crowds.

But maybe he's honestly starting to believe it?  Maybe with so many folks blowing sunshine up his ass, he's taken a self-centered approach that Millenials are accused of doing and forgotten that there's still an element of respect that should be considered and earned from the people he works with and the opportunities he's presented with.

Look, I think Guevara has talent and can go a long way.  I also plan to continue to attend any and all RCW events when I can and am most definitely going to attend another Inspire Pro show in the near future.  I still love and support all of the folks putting their heart and souls into the events for the enjoyment of fans like me, keeping the tradition of quality Texas pro-wrestling alive.

Here's hoping all the fences can get mended, that Sammy can make some peace with folks he's upset, that the good of Texas wrestling can be emphasized over the dirt that's in most every wrestling promotion, that no more bad blood boils over publicly at an event, and everyone can learn from this experience for a better Texas wrestling scene.

I sincerely look forward to watching how Guevara develops from here, and hope his stock continues to rise, even though I'll probably be booing his Millenial ass.

Somehow, I don't think he'd have it any other way.

For more information about Inspire Pro and how you can get tickets to their next event, check them out at their official website HERE.

For more information about River City Wrestling and how you can get tickets to their next event, check them out at their official website HERE.

And if you enjoyed the blog, consider picking up a book for yourself from the ZBFbooks.com library to support the blog.  Books are available in paperback or Kindle.  Suggested titles:  The combat sport series 'Pit Fighters' from ZBFbooks.com.  It's the adventures of several fighters from around the world who form a stable to compete in the early days of MMA competition.  One of them is a Mexican luchador.

You can pick them up today in paperback or Kindle HERE.

Network with Bowie and check out all his other cool books featuring zombies, blood, and fights at his official website, ZBFbooks.com today.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

FIGHTS: Action, Controversy, History at Inspire Pro's 'In Their Blood'

HOT AUSTIN WRESTLING PROMOTION 
BROUGHT EXCITEMENT ON MANY LEVELS TO THE ATX WRESTLING SCENE
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


Great times were had by all at the latest Inspire Pro event at Marchesa Hall in Austin, Texas.  Folks came from all around Texas and even as far as Alabama for the outstanding pro-wrestling event.  And boy did the folks see some fun, drama, and history like only professional wrestling can provide.  Here are some snaps from the show.


One of the guests was noted combat sports pundit Jessica Hudnall (Twitter handle @LegKickTKO).  Here she is in one of her signature hats holding a flag featuring the Dewey Decimal number for 'Wrestling'.  The flag was made for one of the night's competitors, the book lover PAIGE TURNER.


Speaking of Paige, here she is, shushing the crowd as her mom, MISS DISS LEXIA, also does her best to keep the folks quiet.


What was supposed to be a tag team match turned into a one on three match when CAT GREEN agreed to fight Turner, Lexia, and KC WARFIELD, who was supposed to be her tag partner.  But it turns out she joined Turner's BOOK MARK stable.


THE HOLLYWOOD KNIVES took on JODAN and ERIK SHADOWS.  Here's Steve McEnroe putting Jodan in La Campana.  Great science from the Knife, who had to do most of the work when his partner was KO'd very early on the apron.


Texas indy standout JOJO BRAVO took on Japanese sensation TADASUKE in a spectacular bout that I would consider the Match of the Night.  Science, speed, and true wrestling skill were put on display in this outstanding matchup that is Tadasuke's last match in the states for a while.  And the dude loves his beer, as he was two-fisting two 16oz Coors Original cans.  Pretty cool.


Also one of my favorite things about Tadasuke was his choice of battle gear.  Shades of Great Kabuki and classic Muta.


'UNHOLY GREG JAMES took on 'THE TEXAS PRODIGY' HOUSTON CARSON in a competitive bout.  James used his speed and some chicanery to his advantage.  But it wasn't enough against Carson's power and skill.  Both dudes put out a great energy and vibe that worked for both of them since I've last seen them compete.


Homeless fuck CHRIS TREW was in attendance with his developing stable of fighters.  You might remember Christ Trew as the hobo dirtbag who debuted at an Anarchy Championship Wrestling show a few years back.  Well, he's still around and making some bones off the backs of his wrestlers.

Here's what I thought of the New Orleans-born comedy dildo.


His charge, California rising star DELILAH DOOM took on the evolving JESSICA JAMES.  James had spent some time in Japan, developing her skills and a new attitude that served her well in this match.  She abused Doom with locks, throws, and strikes before putting her away late.


Doom was fucked from the get-go, with just enough skills and strength to make it out of the match alive.


A match scheduled to be a three-way dance became a one-on-one bout for a shot at the Inspire Pro Women's title.  ATHENA took on VEDA SCOTT when ANGELUS LAYNE could not attend because of two broken wrists.  So the two ladies threw down.


Athena has a great new battle flag featuring her newest crest.  That was pretty cool, in my opinion. 


Here's Scott using some science on Athena. It was one of the only moves that Scott was able to effectively put on the crafty Athena, who dominated Scott with power and skill.

Below is one of the few pics I took of the 3-Way Ladder match featuring three of the hottest up-and-coming stars on the Texas indy scene fighting it out for the Inspire Pro J-Crown:  SAMMY GUEVARA, RICKY STARKS, and BARRETT BROWN.


Pictured above is Brown fighting with Starks to get to the Inspire Pro J-Crown.  Moments later, Guevara uses the two to climb to the crown and win the match.

Then what was a pretty fun match turned ugly when the newly-crowned champ Guevara got on the mic.  Instead of giving thanks for being there, or providing some other kind of heartwarming speech on the struggles it took for him to get there, the dude put now-former employer River City Wrestling on blast.  He ran down the company and the promoter, Brandon Oliver, for alleged transgressions and disrespect.  I can't speak for anyone else, but it was kind of a buzzkill for the vibe the event had created up to that point.

More on that in another blog post.


The actions of Guevara had unforseen consequences for the following match, what was promoted as a fun and wacky matchup between THE GREAT DEPRESSION and RCW fan favorite, HONKY KONG.  The vibe had changed in the arena, affecting the performance of the two competitors.  It's been noted publicly that the match didn't work out as anticipated.  But more on that later HERE.

The mood, fortunately, was brought back up to amazing levels when a surprise announcement was made that is going to help take Austin wrestling to the next level.  


Noted pro-wrestling blogger and official Inspire Pro ring announcer BRANDON STROUD introduced NWA Official TONY BROOKLYN to make Inspire Pro an official NWA licensed promotion.  Word on the street was the two organizations had been in talks for a while, and the crowd welcomed the announcement.  Both organizations are dedicated to promoting quality wrestling that hearkens back to the tradition and history of the NWA.

The following match would set that bar for high standard of wrestling.


Current NWA World Women's Champ BARBIE HAYDEN made her way to the ring ready to take on Canadian challenger PORTIA PEREZ in the first official NWA sanctioned match in Inspire Pro.


The tradition and ritual of a title match was observed, led by Brooklyn.  The presentation of the title was a subtle, but professional, display of respect to the past and the importance of the titles.


Perez took it to Hayden, but Hayden was able to defend the title in a tough matchup that found Perez leaving the ring in frustration at not winning the prestigious title.



Here are some great snaps with some of the stars of the women's division.




It was my first Inspire Pro show and it only made me wish I could attend the shows monthly.

If you live in the Austin, Texas area, you've got to get down to a show.  It's a fun show, a fun crowd, and always filled with surprises like a good wrestling show should be.

And the best thing?  They have made their commitment to honor the classic tradition of pro-wrestling and to the future of the sport to do their part to preserve it alongside the NWA.

I'm stoked, and look forward to watching them grow.

For more information about Inspire Pro, check out there official website HERE.

If you enjoyed the recap, support the blog by picking up a ZBFbooks.com title.  There's even a combat sports-themed book that features a Mexican luchador as one of the main characters.  

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the combat sport series 'Pit Fighters' from ZBFbooks.com.  It's the adventures of several fighters from around the world who form a stable to compete in the early days of MMA competition.  You can pick them up today in paperback or Kindle HERE.

Network with Bowie and check out all his other cool books featuring zombies, blood, and fights at his official website, ZBFbooks.com today.