Thursday, May 14, 2015

Season 3, Episode 10: Solomon Kane Goes to The Movies

"There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful..."




Hail, Cromrades! We have returned to the Road of Vengeance, and this week we discuss Solomon Kane directed by Michael J. Bassett and starring James Purefoy in the title role. (Note: this title is unavailable on Netflix Instant, but you can rent a digital copy of the movie from Amazon.) 

The film explores the early years of Solomon Kane, and the reasons behind his never-ending quest for justice (or is it an unquenchable thirst for murder and vengeance?). You'll find stunning cinematography and scenery, a great supporting cast, and a good effort by Purefoy in the role of Kane struggling against his murderous nature. We enjoyed the film to differing degrees. It's a shame we'll likely never see a sequel, this team could produce a great film adaptation of Red Shadows, Moon of Skulls, or Hills of the Dead/Wings in the Night. The source material is all there, and it's so good! Alas, the film fell into trappings of the origin story.  But, the tone seems right, and though the plot is rushed, some character motivations are questionable, and the CGI effects (particularly toward the end) already look quite dated, this is a decent, dark sword and sorcery movie. 

What do you think of the Solomon Kane film? Let us know! 

Three Things (One Thing X 3)
Jon - The Grifters, by Jim Thompson
Luke - Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
Josh - Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix (But read the comics too, particularly The Man Without Fear!) 

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "Cloak and Dagger", the closing theme from the Solomon Kane movie. Used without permission. We hope our content makes you want to go out and purchase music and books and games, don't be a Pirate King like old Solomon Kane used to be!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)

Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook! Subscribe to us on iTunes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Season 3, Episode 9 - The Footfalls Within


"And Solomon Kane shuddered, for he had looked on Life that was not Life as he knew it, and had dealt and witnessed Death that was not Death as he knew it." 

Hile, adventurers! Today's show focuses on The Footfalls Within. This story, first published in Weird Tales in September 1931, is the final complete story on our Road of Vengeance. Needless to say, this turns out to be one of our favorites!
Art by Gary Gianni

One Things for the episode include:
Jon: Justified, which just came to its grand conclusion on FX!
Josh: Sheik, a documentary of one of the greatest heel wrestlers of all time!
Luke: Room 237, a documentary about Kubrick's The Shining!

Next time... Solomon Kane goes to Hollywood!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Since we followed a caravan across a mystic landscape in this episode, our closing song for this episode is "Planet Caravan," as covered by Mercury Rev. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work! Check out Mercury Rev, and dig into some psychedelia!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)

Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Season 3, Episode 8 - Wings in the Night

"Kane poured water from his canteen between the mangled lips, and bending close, said: "Tell me more of these devils, for by the God of my people, this deed shall not go unavenged, though Satan himself bar my way."

It is doubtful if the dying man heard. But he heard something else. The macaw, with the curiosity of its breed, swept from a near-by grove and passed so close its great wings fanned Kane's hair. And at the sound of those wings, the butchered man heaved upright and screamed in a voice that haunted Kane's dreams to the day of his death: '"The wings! the wings! They come again! Ahhh, mercy, the wings!"'
Art by Gary Gianni

Welcome back, Cromrades! We apologize for our tardiness in bringing you this episode, but we had a great discussion about this week's tale Wings in the Night! (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia.)
This is the last Solomon Kane tale to have been published, though interestingly, The Footfalls Within seems to take place after this story. We've been watching Kane's spiritual and mental conditions deteriorate during his journey through Africa, and now we see the feather that broke the camel's back, so to speak. This story is fatalistic, brutal, and bleak, as Kane becomes completely unhinged and deconstructed. What will be left of him? 

(Edit: We mention Michael Wojcik's excellent essay "Finding Subversion in Solomon Kane" which was very useful in preparing for this episode, and we urge you to check it out once you've had a chance to read the story!)

The Madness of Solomon. Another excellent piece of Gianni art.
One Thing (x 3)
Jon recommends It Follows
Luke found a neat copy of The Golden Guide to Stars (and has been watching the skies for celestial bodies and extraterrestrial threats.)
Josh recommends reading On The Origin of Species and is working on a podcast with his friends at work focusing on the writings of Charles Darwin.  
Bonus Thing - Our friend Laurence suggested we check out some of Charles Saunders' sword and soul stories. We found Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and it looks excellent! If you've read this, send us your review! 


The next stop on the Road of Vengeance will be the Solomon Kane tale, The Footfalls Within. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). Until then, Cromrades, watch the skies!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

The closing theme for this episode is "God's Gonna Cut You Down" performed by Johnny Cash and found on the album American V: A Hundred Highways. All music was obtained legally; we hope our inclusion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Don't forget Stitcher!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Season 3, Episode 7 - The Hills of The Dead


"Yonder in the unknown vastness"--his long finger stabbed at the black silent jungle which brooded beyond the firelight--"yonder lie mystery and adventure and nameless terror. Once I dared the jungle--once she nearly claimed my bones. Something entered into my blood, something stole into my soul like a whisper of unnamed sin. The jungle! Dark and brooding --over leagues of the blue salt sea she has drawn me and with the dawn I go to seek the heart of her. Mayhap I shall find curious adventure--mayhap my doom awaits me. But better death than the ceaseless and everlasting urge, the fire that has burned my veins with bitter longing." 
N'Longa stirred the fire, saying nothing..."
[The Hills of the Dead]
Art by Gary Gianni

This week we return to Africa for the third time with Solomon Kane in Robert E. Howard's pulpy vampire-slaying adventure, The Hills of the Dead. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). In contrast to our last story (The Blue Flame of Vengeance), this tale is full of magic and supernatural creatures. We think it's an interesting tale with layers that go much deeper than you might guess at first glance!

Ecoregions of Africa. Based on the descriptions in the tale, we think Kane began his journey to the Hills of the Dead somewhere near Gabon/Congo and traveled north into the Tropical Dry Forest and Savannahs. 

As in Red Shadows, Kane would not have made it through the events of the tale without the aid of the might N'Longa. In fact, without the staff that N'Longa gives Kane at the beginning of the tale, it is likely the initial confrontation with the two vampires would have ended much differently. Though Kane's will is nigh-unbreakable, N'Longa's power far exceeds that of Solomon Kane's and arguably N'Longa is the true hero of the tale, though Kane is not minimized by this statement! What mortal man can hope to stand against magical powers like N'Longa's? We're just glad N'Longa's a good guy!

[The Hills of the Dead]
Kane did serve as a good distraction to buy time for N'Longa to cast his powerful magic, though.
Michael Whelan's interpretation of Roland's fight with The Slow Mutants from Stephen King's The Gunslinger.
Similarities abound!

It seems as though we have been watching the gradual disintegration of Solomon Kane's worldview, and wonder how much longer his faith, will, and sanity can hold out!

One Things

Jon: Netflix's Original Series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

Josh: All Things Song of Ice and Fire, specifically the upcoming Dunk and Egg collection A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and The World of Ice and Fire, a history of Westeros and Essos!

Luke: AMC's Better Call Saul!

Also be sure to check out the new book from Brian Keene, The Lost Level. All of our Cromrades will receive a 50% discount off either the trade paperback or digital copy of this book if you order it from Apex Publications and use the promo code mentioned in this episode... Listen for that promo code! And get your hands on a tale of high adventure!

While you're at it, check out the new publisher, Strange Books, and stay tuned in the future for more discussion of their material!

Our next stop on the Road of Vengeance will be the Solomon Kane tale, Wings in the Night. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). Until then, Cromrades, safe travels!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Our closing theme for this episode is "Africa" performed by Toto and found on the album Toto IV. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Don't forget Stitcher!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Season 3, Episode 6 - The Blue Flame of Vengeance




Art by Gary Gianni

"The Lord hath led my feet into many strange places, and over many queer paths," said he sombrely. "Some were fair and many were foul; sometimes I seemed to wander without purpose or guidance but always when I sought deep I found fit reason therefor. And harkee, lad, forbye the fires of Hell there is no hotter fire than the blue flame of vengeance which burneth a man's heart night and day without rest until he quench it in blood."

"It hath been my duty in times past to ease various evil men of their lives - well, the Lord is my staff and my guide and methinks he hath delivered mine enemy into mine hands."


Hello fellow travelers on the path of vengeance! Today we present unto you the Solomon Kane tale, The Blue Flame of Vengeance. Join us for a swashbuckling tale of civilized savagery, smuggling, the knife fight to end all knife fights, and of course, that constant companion, Death! Luke finds beauty in the humanity of Solomon Kane while Josh and Jon wonder if there isn't something supernatural about the man.  

Tune in and also let us know what you think of the tale down in the comments!

Our next tale of savage and bloody vengeance will be "The Hills of the Dead" (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia.) 


One things
Jon: Dr. San Guinary's Creature Feature (It features creatures!) 
Josh: The Cat Lady, the official old cat lady video game (also a psychological thriller that will make you reflect on the choices you've made in your life...)
Luke: Lore, Elder's newest album (THUNDEROUS RIFFS! Really, these guys are good!) 

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 


Our closing theme for this episode is "Blue Flame" performed by Sylvan Shulman and His Orchestra. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Season 3, Episode 5 - The Moon of Skulls (with guest host Jeffrey Shanks!)


Hile, adventurers! Today's show focuses on the Solomon Kane epic, The Moon of Skulls. We were lucky to have Howard scholar Jeffrey Shanks join us to discuss this controversial story. Our discussion was a doozy! Be sure, this is an episode for the ages!


Our One Things for this episode include...


Also be sure to check out the new book from Brian Keene, The Lost Level. All of our Cromrades will receive a 50% discount off either the trade paperback or digital copy of this book if you order it from Apex Publications and use the promo code mentioned in this episode... Listen for that promo code! And get your hands on a tale of high adventure!

Be sure to check out Jeffrey Shanks' blog, An Age Undreamed Of, for a taste of Mr. Shanks' perspective on all things pulp! Consider picking up the book that Jeff edited, "Zombies From the Pulps!" And, for a bit of info about Howard's adaptation of Atlantean themes, check out this presentation by Jeff at the 2011 PCA/ACA National Conference.

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 


Our closing theme for this episode is "Vengeance is Mine" performed by Alice Cooper from the 2008 album "Along Came a Spider". All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!