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Then & Now

Sep 30, 2010 05:00PM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print




ALBUMS

THEN:

Holy Diver – Dio
One of the true legends of the heavy metal world, Ronnie James Dio, passed away this May. While his career spanned an unbelievable 50 years, there may not be a greater monument to his voice and lyrical talents than 1983’s Holy Diver. The double onslaught of heavy riffs and Ronnie’s soaring vocals leave a mark. This Halloween, honor the great man as loud as you possibly can, on the holiday that is rightfully his.

NOW:

Final Frontier – Iron Maiden
What holiday is more metal than Halloween? Final Frontier is Maiden’s 15th(!) studio album. The original British metal heads are still producing new material, still packing stadiums worldwide with devoted fans of all ages – from diehards to newbies – and still firmly planted at 11 on the intensity dial…with no sign of easing up in their “old age.” Maiden is heavy metal’s metal.

—Sharon Penny

BOOKS

THEN:

The Best of Joe R. Lansdale by Joe R. Lansdale
If there were a monarchy in the horror universe, Lansdale would be king. Or court jester. For horror fans of all types, the name Joe R. Lansdale is legend. Best known for the short story Bubba Ho-Tep, Lansdale weaves with ease the absurd and the frightening, the ironic and the sincere – in a way that surpasses the generic “horror” tag and becomes deeply satisfying literature.

NOW:

John Dies At The End by David Wong
Originally a Web-serial story, then indie-published hit novel, cult horror sensation John Dies At The End is finally getting a wide mass-market release this Halloween. A cleverly-penned cross between wry-pop culture observation and genuine, terrifying, capital-H-Horror, John Dies At The End has already been optioned for a movie by Bubba Ho-Tep and Phantasm director Don Coscarelli. Bandwagon’s pulling out of the station, folks: time to climb aboard!

—Sharon Penny

FILMS

THEN:

The Karate Kid (1984)
A great story complete with bullied underdog and his peaceful-but-deadly teacher, one exceptionally cool move (“The Crane”), and a lot of snappy dialogue still pack a punch 25 years after The Karate Kid was first released. After all, no other film during the Rambo-era would have dared allow the meditative mantra “wax on, wax off” to trump the violent outcry “Strike First! Strike hard! No mercy sir!”

NOW:

The Karate Kid (2010)
The presence of Jackie Chan, endearing in the role of Mr. Han, and the high-kicking Jaden Smith save The Karate Kid remake from entering “just another rip-off, but not a good one” territory. Some of the bullying scenes feel tailor-made for the video game set – i.e. a little much and not wholly appropriate for younger viewers.

—Jenn Thornton


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