A Look Back at Superman #5 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1980s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1987 and explore a chapter of the post-Crisis DC Comics universe through a Superman tale.

To put things in perspective, John Byrne became in charge of redefining the iconic Superman during the post-Crisis age and he sure had a lot of creative freedom to not only modernize the character but also make him relevant to the public while also pleasing long-time fans. To say the least, the post-Crisis era was a time of daring concepts with the established superheroes of DC Comics. For more insight on Byrne’s handling of the Man of Steel, read my other retro comic book review by clicking here.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Superman #5, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story written and drawn by John Byrne.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Clark Kent having an outrageous dream in which he and Wonder Woman fight powerful enemies together. Shortly after arriving at the Daily Planet for duty, Clark learns from his boss Perry White that his office rival Lois Lane is already in South America literally digging on a significant discovery there. After being sent there by his boss, Clark flies to the south as Superman.

Upon arrival, Superman does a super speed reconnoiter at the dig site in the middle of a forest before changing back into Clark Kent. He eventually finds Lois Lane who is very surprised to see him. Even though he explained things to her, Lois remains doubtful of Clark as she still sees him as a journalistic rival who could potentially ruin her hot scoop…


In his civilian form as Clark Kent, Superman fights the huge mummy figure.

I can say that John Byrne’s brilliance is very evident in this comic book. Firstly, this is a story that sheds light on the journalistic rivalry between Lois and Clark that brings back memories about what happened with the Superman hot scoop in The Man of Steel limited series. Here, Lois remains doubtful about Clark and even shows some bitterness as she is on the verge of a major discovery in South America.

Secondly, this story is also an accidental adventure that creatively has a mix of Indiana Jones, UFOs and ancient horror all throughout. The build-up here is pretty strong as the tale focused strongly on the discovery aspect of the dig site which eventually led to a series of action-packed unfortunate events that really pushed Clark Kent both as civilian and as a superhero. Here, Clark has the tough task to fight an over-sized enemy (note: Byrne’s own take on the mummy) to keep Lois and the others safe while also making certain that he keeps his identity secret.

Along the way, Byrne inserted lots of in-depth details backed with observations (by the characters) which made this action-packed tale a cerebral read. This is a fine example of being creative with handling Superman while catering to readers who love spectacle as well as satisfying those who enjoy a smart presentation of the icon. In other words, there is nothing brainless or dumb to find here.


The journalistic rivalry between Clark and Lois Lane is really engaging to read.

Superman #5 (1987) is a very good read and this is fine showcase of the brilliant handling of the Man of Steel done by John Byrne. Aesthetics aside, this comic book is a relic that highlights the time when Lois and Clark were rival writers and the idea of them getting romantically involved seemed very unlikely at the time of its publishing during the early stage of the post-Crisis era. It was in many ways a defiance of the status quo of the original DC multiverse that had Lois and Superman as lovers. As an adventure, this comic book is very entertaining and engaging and the thing here is that it is only the first part of its arc.   

Overall, Superman #5 (1993) is highly recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

The prayer scene of V: The Original Miniseries

Welcome back my readers, fellow people of faith and those who love entertainment. Today, I want to emphasize something within the 1983 sci-fi epic TV miniseries V: The Original Miniseries.

Before I proceed, I want to address the newcomers reading this. V: The Original Miniseries was about alien humanoids from space who arrived on Earth “in peace” but gradually took control of the world and its people through varied means. Told through the viewpoints of affected Americans in California, V: The Original Miniseries was a cerebral and reflective form of science fiction entertainment that strongly parallels Nazi German’s occupation and takeover of countries in Europe in relation to World War II. As expected, a group of resisting people forms led by a reluctant young woman.

I personally love V: The Original Miniseries as well as its 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle. I own Blu-ray discs of the two mini-series (click here and here) and I encourage you to check out my retro reviews (click here and here). To this day, both mini-series remain solid to watch and are worth replaying all over again in my experience.

Going back to the subject matter of this post, the one significant scene of V: The Original Miniseries I want to emphasize is the prayer scene in the 2nd episode. The prayer scene took place just before the human resistance (led by Julie Parrish played by Faye Grant supported by Mike Donovan played by Marc Singer, Caleb Taylor played by Jason Bernard and others) execute their desperate moves to free their people from the Visitors (the aliens). Watch below the video clip I recorded off-screen while replaying V: The Original Miniseries on Blu-ray disc…

The prayer scene of V: The Original Miniseries.

As you can see in the above clip, the affected people were about to pull off a major push back against the Visitors from outer space. They no longer had the local police (who are already working with the aliens) nor the National Guard, nor the State Government of California nor any American authority to help them. Caleb, who lost a son, reminded Julie of having a prayer as he knew that without the Lord, everything they will do will fail. Caleb knew that as a rebelling force, they could not succeed against the Visitors by focusing on themselves, their resources and their abilities. Caleb knew they had to look up to God even though he does not know the state of each group member’s personal connection with Him. It was also symbolic to see Julie Parrish declare amen before finally giving the go-signal for their next operation which eventually served as the series of spectacle (action scenes) and suspense serving as the big pay-off for viewers.

Within the context of the what happened in the 2nd episode of the mini-series, Julie and her crew moved to secure essential equipment and military hardware at a local facility guarded by the Visitors which results in acts of violence as both sides fire at each other. These scenes happened after the prayer scene.

That being said, I want to make clear that I am not emphasizing the concept of praying to God to be able to win against the opposition by means of violence. Violence and using the very methods of wicked people as a means of getting back at them are clearly not the ways under the watch of the Lord. God has a plan for each and every one of us and we have Lord Jesus to follow to save the lost and unsaved souls. The Lord has His ways of defeating Satan and his pawns, and we only need to follow the Lord instead of taking matters on our own hands.

If you are oppressed and you truly need the Lord’s help for favor and breakthroughs, let the Holy Spirit guide you instead of giving in to your fleshly desire of using force on those who attacked you. Do not even think about using the ways the evil ones used against you. Trust in Him, not the worldly and certainly not your flesh. Always remember that vengeance is the Lord’s. Read the bible verses below…

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:19-21 (NKJV)

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.

But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.

Romans 12:19-21 (AMPC)

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, in the time when their foot shall slide; for the day of their disaster is at hand and their doom comes speedily.

Deuteronomy 32:35 (AMPC)

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

Romans 1:18 (NLT)

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

As seen among the bible scriptures above, Romans 12:19-21 should remind you all that vengeance is the Lord’s and we only need to follow Him because He knows best and has the means to help us overcome the forces of evil. In relation to that, this should remind you all that V: The Original Miniseries is not a faith-based story. Rather, it is a science fiction tale designed to entertain viewers while emphasizing the concept of what the world would be like if people welcomed foreign entities to come in peace pretentiously and take over societies by means of force, violence and fascism. Take note that the mini-series was released at a time when science fiction movies and TV shows were in high demand arguably due to George LucasStar Wars.

The prayer scene should serve as a reminder that we the faithful in real life should keep trusting in the Lord and we need to support each other and strengthen our faith in Him no matter how twisted the world is around us. That is what makes it significant as part of the mini-series. Learn from the scriptures below…

For wherever two or three come together in honor of my name, I am right there with them!

Matthew 18:20 (TPT)

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6 (NKJV)

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).

Ephesians 3:12 (AMPC)

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)

Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ’s appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life.

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (AMPC)

Finally, while focusing on being with other people of faith and praying to the Lord together as a united body of His, learn from the scriptures below pertaining to Lord Jesus’ ascension to Heaven and His faithful followers (the early Christians) who stayed united together at the Upper Room in Jerusalem and prayed together knowing they are living on with His victory. May this encourage you to be with your fellow spiritual family (God’s family) members and pray to Him together.

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 1:9-14 (NKJV)

Now watch this video I recorded during my first-ever visit to the Upper Room in Jerusalem which was part of the pilgrimage tour I joined with my local church.

This was from my 2nd visit to the Upper Room in Jerusalem. I went to Israel on a pilgrimage tour with my local church because I desired to seek God’s kingdom there (read Matthew 6:33).

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Did a religious and idolatrous extremist ruin your life? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool you and abused you? Were you involved in the terrorist activities of Iran or the Palestinians? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, Antifa, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt?

All of the darkness related to what was mentioned above can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord. Also, do not ever hail Mary (the mother of Lord Jesus) because all the praise and honor belong to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit only.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantlyonly He can lift you up and restore you fully,  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers, the ritual practitioners and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Carlo Carrasco’s Movie Review: Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching the movie and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, readers! For only the 2nd time since the COVID-19 pandemic affected the world, I managed to watch a movie inside the local cinema at SM Southmall in Las Piñas City. What is intriguing is that the movie I saw is actually a carefully edited compilation of footage sourced from an upcoming live-action series that is an ambitious Philippine adaptation of a certain giant robot anime from Japan. The movie I saw was Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience. Behind it all, the movie is part of GMA Network’s strategy of building up awareness for the Voltes V: Legacy TV series set to launch on May 8, 2023.

For the newcomers reading this, the original Voltes V anime series (Japanese title: Chôdenji mashin Borutesu Faibu) was launched in Japan in 1977. Shortly after, it made its English language debut here in the Philippines (note: Japanese characters’ names were Westernized) and ultimately it became very popular and it made an impact on millions of Filipinos who saw it and replayed it in the many years that followed. I noticed that many Filipinos of my generation think of Voltes V first when anime comes to mind. While I myself never became a fan, I saw lots of Voltes V anime episodes on TV at a time when Internet access, video streaming and social media were not yet realized here in the Philippines. I even saw GMA’s edited Voltes V anime movie (containing footage of the final five episodes of the anime series) in the cinema in 1999.

In recent years, GMA Network and its local talents joined forces with Toei Company of Japan to create a live-action TV series adaptation of the anime and there will be eighty episodes (double the anime TV series’ episode count) for broadcasting nationwide. This is Voltes V: Legacy and already the local production team went through lots of hard work making the episodes, the sets, the props, the costumes and the computer-generated images (CGI) to bring the classic series into life in coordination with Toei which reviewed and supervised the production. A lot of money has been spent into Voltes V: Legacy which was felt in GMA’s increased production costs.

So far this year, Voltes V: Legacy is in the minds of many entertainment-loving Filipinos. Already the big TV series trailer opened 2023 with a loud bang attracting millions of views. Toei Company itself was delighted and expressed thanks to the Filipinos for their support of the anime. 

As for Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience, the so-called movie contains varied footage allegedly from the first three weeks’ worth of TV episodes and it was exclusively screened in SM Cinema sites around the country for a limited time.

With those details laid down, here is my review of Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience directed by Mark A. Reyes and written by Suzette Doctolero with a cast composed of Miguel Tanfelix (Steve Armstrong), Radson Flores (Mark Gordon), Matt Lozano (Big Bert Armstrong), Raphael Landicho (Little Jon Armstrong), Ysabel Ortega (Jamie Robinson), Martin Del Rosario (Prince Zardoz), Liezel Lopez (Princess Zandra), Jeffrey Quizon (Zuhl), Carlo Gonzalez (Draco), Gabby Eigenmann (Commander Robinson), Albert Martinez (Dr. Smith), Carla Abellana (Mary Ann Armstrong), Christian Vasquez (Emperor Zambojil), and Dennis Trillo (Hrothgar/Ned Armstrong).

The movie poster.

Early story

The story begins in the planet of Boazan where people with horns live in prosperity and privilege while those without horns have no choice but to live a hard, lower life. A gifted young Boazanian man named Hrothgar – who was born into royalty without horns and lived with his personal secret long enough into adulthood – was exposed by Zambojil’s group to be hornless and unworthy of Boazan’s throne. Sometime later, Hrothgar leads several fellow slaves and prisoners in an uprising against Emperor Zambojil’s authority. Before getting overwhelmed by the imperial forces, Hrothgar escapes into space with an Boazanian spacecraft and crashes into the sea on Earth.

He is discovered by Mary Ann and he gets introduced to Dr. Smith and Commander Robinson. Hrothgar informs them of his Boazanian origin and he expressed to them that Earth’s defenses are too weak to protect its people from alien invaders. As he adjusts with Earth life, Hrothgar changes his name into Ned Armstrong, marries Mary Ann and have children together. After several years on Earth, Ned Armstrong worked closely with Dr. Smith to prepare the people for future invasions…


The iconic Voltes V looks bulkier and more mechanical in CGI form and the good news is that the overall quality is great and there is a lot of fun seeing the giant robot in action. (photo source – the Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience trailer)

To begin with, the creative team of GMA managed to establish a cohesive narrative for the cinematic experience which is not an easy thing to do considering all the content from many selected episodes that had to be edited and arranged properly. This involves the presentation of the story details, the live-action elements, the CGI-heavy shots and the human performances to create a narrative that was easy enough to follow and absorb in my experience. I noticed that the so-called movie moved at a medium-to-fast pace which is not surprising because the goal of GMA was to entertain moviegoers and convince them to anticipate the live action TV series. Considering the speed of the pacing, there were some moments when I felt that some scenes were missing which only reminded me that the slower and more dramatic moments were being saved for the TV series.

When it comes to adapting the classic anime’s elements into live action, the creative team did a pretty good job most of the time. The costumes of the five pilots were made with a more practical physical design (note: they are not body tight) while retaining the classic colors and the V logo. The interior set of the Camp Big Falcon operations room looked more futuristic complete with having many people simultaneously operating. The interior set showing Prince Zardoz and his trusted companions closely resembles that of the anime. There was one particular physical set that did not look convincing – the outdoor street market in Boazan early in the movie had that indoor feel which not even the lighting could hide and the CGI shot showing the rest of the outdoor area and the far distance did not match with the place.

More on the artistic side of the presentation, I enjoyed the way the production people emulated the classic anime designs of not only the characters but also the key structures (places) and the giant robots (Voltes V and the two beast fighters) into live action. The cinematic Prince Zardoz looks so much like his anime counterpart and the same can be said about Dr. Smith and Mrs. Armstrong. The two beast fighters here were rendered to look much like their anime versions but were animated in a way to emphasize mass and scale.     

The strategic posing in this notable shot is a fun and honorable throwback to a key moment in the very first episode of the original Voltes V anime TV series. (photo source – the Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience trailer)

There were some notable artistic discrepancies and flaws however. The cinematic Princess Zandra, Draco and Commander Robinson clearly did not quite match their anime counterparts. For some reason, Princess Zandra appeared with a very different costume displaying subtle sexiness instead of royalty. Could it be possible the creative team took inspiration from the Fatima Blush character (played by Barbara Carrera) in the 1983 James Bond movie Never Say Never Again while modernizing Princess Zandra? As for Draco, he does not look as intimidating as his anime version and he even looks more like a cosplayer! Commander Robinson here does not display the maturity of the anime version due to the questionable quality of the costume provided and the actor’s appearance. In my experience watching the anime series, Commander Robinson looked and felt like a military man in his early fifties which the live action version never captured. 

Now I want to talk about Voltes V itself. The highlight of the CGI combined with really good art direction is the iconic giant robot, including the five vehicles that compose it. To begin with, the use of CGI emphasizing multiple moving mechanical parts to emphasize Voltes V is a very smart move done by special effects team. While each vehicle has a new visual aesthetic to match the live action approach, they still remained recognizable to me. The biggest visual highlight in the movie is the volt-in sequence when each vehicle combined to form Voltes V in robotic form. As each vehicle connected to each other, the classic sequence from the anime was replicated excellently. Given the artistic direction and the CGI’s emphasis of multiple moving parts, the volt-in sequence here is much more detailed than the anime version! I should state that it is very likely that the visual effects team worked overtime to achieve the high-level of detail, the vibrant colors and the impressive animation on Voltes V.

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With the approach on multiple moving parts, Voltes V itself looks bulkier in a mechanical fashion which I really admire. It should be stated that showcasing the iconic giant robot in action – complete with CGI presentation of the many Voltes weapons – is a visual feast complete with very vibrant colors! Each time Voltes V hits a beast fighter by punching or using a weapon, there is strong impact felt with each blow! The sound effects team really did good work adding weight and power to the action.

The work done by the special effects crew in this external shot of Jamie Robinson’s cockpit is very impressive and detailed! Ysabel Ortega acted convincingly to what happened. (photo source – the Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience trailer)

Considering the high detail and strong animation on Voltes V, the two beast fighters shown in this movie had very similar visual qualities. There was no major discrepancy on visual quality between the iconic robot and the enemy during battles.

More on the CGI, I can declare that the locally produced visual effects (by GMA Video and Riot, Inc.) looked very good for the most part! Apart from the battles between the giant figures, the sequences of animating the Voltes V vehicles, the Boazanian flying saucers (with fast moving sharp edges that make them resemble motorized wood-cutting blades), the fighter planes and physical damage of places were nice to see. There were, however, several explosions that were badly rendered (note: even looking flat and out of place) in key scenes and there were moments when military vehicles looked more like they belong in video games from a few console generations ago. The formation of the blade of Voltes V’s laser sword clearly needs more work as it looks unpolished. In the post-credits scene, CGI for Octo 1 was badly done!

Apart from action scenes, the giant robots and their weapons, CGI was also used on established places or structures. Camp Big Falcon really looks magnificent while the floating mechanical Boazanian skull appeared very creepy. In shots showing the far distance, Camp Big Falcon in the background still looks good even though the visual quality falls short of capturing true photo-realism.

Considering the way GMA edited the footage and selected visual effects shots for this so-called movie, the overall quality of the CGI literally landed some notches short of photo-realistic levels. That’s not criticism at all but a confirmation that Filipino-produced CGI showcased here is the best I have seen yet! All in all, an impressive ton of work by the special effects teams using computers.

As for the human performances, I can say that the cast collectively did a good job bringing the characters to life and this includes paying special attention to details from anime while adding certain elements that reflect modernization. Zardoz was portrayed to be sadistic and obsessed on conquering planet Earth which reflects his imperial task and the pressure that comes with it. Sometimes, Zardoz looked and acted even psychotic. Mary Ann Armstrong is the definitive mother figure here and the producers emphasized her more with scenes showing her as a very focused authority during crisis as well as a tender and loving woman during her time with the family. In some ways, Mary Ann Armstrong is almost like the protagonist of this so-called movie and the live action version looks deeper than the anime version. While the live action Commander Robinson needs a lot of improving, Dr. Smith here really looks and feels like he was instantly ripped off the anime resulting in a very straightforward version fans will recognize. The live action Ned Armstrong here has some elements that deviate from what was portrayed in the anime (note: a very skilled fighter whose moves were so obviously choreographed during an action scene) while retaining key elements that still made him recognizable.

The actors who played the five pilots of Voltes V performed nicely. Even with all the layered Tagalog expressions (including gestures that we Filipinos are familiar with), Steve, Big Bert, Little Jon, Mark and Jamie are all very recognizable not in terms of looks but through the dialogue, character details and acting. The production team really worked hard to not only balance their respective shares of the spotlight, but also get good enough performances from the actors. Take note that apart from the on-set dramatization, the actors of the Voltes V team had to perform accordingly in their respective cockpit scenes (note: the special effects teams painstakingly provided all the CGI to specifically reflect what had been happening with the pilots and with their machines) and this includes internal communications between the members. What we have right now are the best actors available portraying Steve, Big Bert, Little Jon, Mark and Jamie and making them recognizable in terms of characterization.

With regards to the music, I can say that this one clearly needs improvement. There is orchestrated music in this cinematic experience that played new tunes while also redoing/recycling classic tunes from the anime TV series. When the anime tunes were played by the orchestra with a modern approach, they were recognizable to my ears but the power and essence of the original tunes were not replicated successfully. Sometimes, I just wished that the anime tunes were played more while the orchestra focused more on providing new music.

As for the famous Voltes V theme song, the new version performed by Julie Anne San Jose is a letdown! I’m not saying San Jose is a bad singer but her version – which even used the Japanese lyrics – lacked impact compared to the original version. While the volt-in sequence proved to be a grand visual feast for the fans and viewers who love great looking CGI sequences, its cinematic impact was brought down a bit by San Jose’s version of the theme song. How I wish that the movie producers just used the classic song from the 1970s anime series!

This original theme song should have been used in Voltes V: Legacy instead of the new version.


As expected, Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience has a mix of strong points and flaws. The good news is that the good outweighed the bad and I pretty much enjoyed this cinematic version of the live action adaptation done by GMA, its strategic partners and the local talents. As this so-called movie was a mix of content from several episodes edited to form a suitable narrative, it succeeded in entertaining and engaging me. Yes, there were flaws and there were some parts showing weaknesses but those things did not damage the viewing experience too much. There is a good amount of fun with this so-called movie.

Obviously this cinematic version is part of GMA Network’s strategy to build up anticipation for the upcoming TV series (which has a declared 80 episodes for broadcasting). While some people will perceive Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience as a blatant form of marketing or even as corporate gimmick, I personally see it as a worthy showcase in the local cinema (note: cinemas here in the Philippines are still recovering from the massive damage of COVID-19) and it just might not be repeated. Let me remind you readers that this newest Voltes V adaptation highlights the peak of Filipino-produced CGI visuals and the Filipinos’ collective efforts to really make a worthy live action adaptation of a foreign entertainment property. This so-called movie is clearly not perfect (note: it is not deserving of perfect 10/10 scores that others gave it) but it is pretty good to watch in the cinema.

Voltes V looks better than ever and made a big entertaining impact in the cinema. How will Voltes V: Legacy turn out on TV given the fact that there are so many episodes set for broadcasting? (photo source – the Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience trailer)

As mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of the Voltes V anime and I’m not exactly anticipating the Voltes V: Legacy TV series. I do confirm that the long-lasting legacy Voltes V is clearly thriving here in the Philippines and the new TV series could potentially make a deep impact on Filipinos who love entertainment and possibly replicate what happened in the 1970s and 1980s when the classic anime TV aired on TV nationwide. How the new TV series will turn out is clearly GMA’s own problem.

Overall, Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Armorines #3 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Armorines monthly series.

In my previous retro review, the armored Marines and their US Navy SEALs counterparts encountered mutated sharks as they struggled to accomplish their mission. Along the way, one of the Armorines literally got swallowed by a huge, organic object that went directly to him during the struggle.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Armorines #3, published in 1994 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jorge Gonzalez and drawn by Jim Calafiore.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins deep under the sea as the Benchley explodes and falls down further as a result of the mission. Gunny finds himself falling down as well as he no longer has his ballast and propulsion unit. Fortunately, an armored teammate of his saves him and pulls him up to the surface.

Several kilometers away from the site of the ill-fated Benchley, a huge organic-looking object enters the large hole on the side of a derelict ship. Strangely enough, the interiors have an alien design and the organic-looking object turns out to be a ship of its own. Two human figures with unnatural physical features come out of it and told their alien-looking troops to enter the refrigeration unit to “bring the ‘meat’” to Chantilla.

Inside the refrigeration unit filled with lots of dead human bodies, the armed aliens approach the Armorines suit only to find it empty. As they did not bother to search around to find answers, the Armorines pilot cleverly concealed himself among the other dead bodies pretending to be dead. He gets up after the aliens leave…


The first display of the Armorines in action without the aquatic environment.

After a good amount of build-up executed by the creative team in the first two issues, this particular comic book served as a big pay-off as well as a creative build-up of its own with the future events in mind. In fact, the sci-concepts introduced here along with new figures of opposition (specifically the humans with physical aquatic features) really lifted the storytelling to a whole new level of imagination laced with intrigue. Instead of seeing armed terrorists or an opposing force with military hardware to counter the high-tech Armorines, we see people who have a sinister plan, have been organizing violent operations on Earth and are of alien origin. These aliens, who are even studying human characteristics, were involved in conflicts with X-O Manowar and Turok elsewhere within the Valiant Comics shared universe. In fact, the two individuals who arrived early in the story came from their act of destroying X-O Manowar’s armor (read X-O Manowar #28). I should also state that the duo of Gonzalez-Calafiore cleverly emphasized the aliens’ plan to weaken the coordination and security of Earth’s forces so that they can escape undetected. What is even more intriguing within this comic book is the visualization of the aliens’ secret scientific developments and experiments on Earth.

Going back to the Armorines, you will see them in action without the aquatic environment. The way the creative team showed the Armorines in action against their alien counterparts turned out to be entertaining to read.


Given the fact that Democrats in America today love illegal immigrants so much, can you imagine them and their hordes of woke/socialist/Communist/Marxist/liberal/LGBTQ/transgendered voters welcoming aliens from outer space and allowing them to do bad things against humanity here on Earth? Imagine Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton making secret deals with these aliens.

I can say that Armorines #3 (1994) is a well-executed story that successfully paid off what was built in the first two issues and raised the stakes further with sci-fi concepts and a force of opposition that made impact elsewhere in the Valiant Comics shared universe. As I enjoyed this old comic book, I am looking forward to the next issue.

Overall, Armorines #3 (1994) is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Harbinger #3 (1992)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Peter/Sting, Kris, Faith/Zephyr, Charlene/Flamingo and John/Torque not only found a place to stay in thanks to a really generous doctor, they went ahead infiltrating the top secret facility of the Harbinger foundation which also brought them face-to-face with the leader. At this stage, Sting and his team have established their purpose not just for survival but to achieve something they believe is right.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #3, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins at 9:20 AM of July 6, 1991 inside the fine summer home of Dr. Heyward. As Sting tells his teammates that they have to move to catch a flight, Faith (wearing her superhero costume) flies through to find Kris and Torque. She finds the two of them seated next together with Kris having her two hands on Torque.

Meanwhile, Flamingo fixes her face as Sting talks to her. She rejects his declaration that she is a part of their team and reveals that Torque does not care about her. Flamingo considers herself as just another hosebag. Sting then tries to lift her up by telling her that she has to take care of herself and that she is part of their team.

Sting, Faith, Flamingo, Kris and Torque then leave for the airport in a brand new vehicle they just bought (having used the money they stole from Harbinger). Their vehicle flies off to the airport with Sting on the driver’s seat…


Sting, his teammates and newcomer Ax in the heat of action.

Without spoiling the plot, I can say that the story in this comic book got even wilder than I anticipated. The high intensity of wild turnout of events in issue #2 do not even come close to what was told right here. At the same time, this particular story clearly showed this comic book series’ own place within the literary universe of Valiant Comics and anyone who read XO-Manowar comics of this particular era will instantly recognize the recurring creatures (opposition elements) from outer space.

As expected, the character development of the main characters progressed smoothly revealing some amusing character moments that I found interesting and other times amusing. As Sting continues to act with a sense of leadership as well as a false sense of maturity, you will get to see more of Kris providing him analytical and personal support.

The dialogue in this comic book was written to be more dynamic and this is highlighted in the scene in which Sting and his teammates discuss what to do with their new team objective, and what to do with the computer hacker Ax who has shown Harbinger potential. That being said, Jim Shooter carefully crafted the dialogue to reflect how American teenagers in the late 1980s and early 1990s expressed themselves.

When it comes to superhero spectacle, there is a lot to enjoy here. Action scenes and the use of special abilities or super powers were executed at a moderate pace yet they were intense to look at. Each of the main characters had his/her own share of the spotlight even as the spectacle moved.


Meet Ax, the guy who specializes on cracking and hacking.

Harbinger #3 (1992) is a very engaging story to read which was balanced with a good amount of spectacle, nice character moments and the wildest turn of events so far in this particular comic book series. On face value, this comic book’s core concept (which involves a lot of science fiction elements) seemed over-the-top but Jim Shooter and David Lapham succeeded in telling a story that is believable and at the same time fun. It is also within this comic book that readers will get to see more of the Valiant Comics universe elements without the need of a crossover or a cameo appearance of an established Valiant hero. This is definitely the tale of Sting and his team that was simply taken into a much higher flight of fantasy. That being said, I am looking forward to the next issue.

Overall, Harbinger #3 (1992) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Better than Streaming: John Carpenter’s The Thing 4K Blu-ray combo coming out on September 7, 2021

Calling all fans of director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell as well as Blu-ray collectors fond of science fiction and horror films!

Get ready because Carpenter’s classic sci-fi horror film The Thing (1982) will be released in 4K Blu-ray format (in a combo including the Blu-ray disc and digital code) on September 7, 2021. In addition, those who insist on having the best 4K visuals with the classic movie will be delighted over the early confirmation that The Thing has been rendered in native 4K.

The cover of The Thing 4K Blu-ray combo.

As of this writing, there is no suggested retail price yet. Still, here are the product descriptions and specs from Blu-ray.com’s articles about The Thing 4K Blu-ray. Some parts in boldface…



Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)


Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1


English: DTS:X

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1


English, English SDH, French, Spanish


4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)


Digital 4K

Digital copy included


4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region A



  • Audio Commentary with Director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
  • John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape
  • Outtakes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles for the main feature


  • Main feature
  • Audio Commentary with Director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
  • U-Control: Picture in Picture
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles for the main feature

For those who are not too aware about this old sci-fi horror movie, The Thing tells the story of an American research team stationed in Antarctica whose lives turn upside-down after a sled dog comes to them after being hunted by a helicopter from the Norwegian research team.

Historically speaking, The Thing was released in cinemas in the United States just two weeks after Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The Carpenter-directed space alien monster film was trashed by movie critics of the time and in the American box office, Spielberg’s movie about a friendly alien creature from outer space was simply unbeatable. As time passed by, The Thing found its audience on TV and home video and its critical reception turned from negative to positive overall. In the awards circuit, The Thing was nominated for Best Horror Film and Best Special Effects (credit to Rob Bottin who went on to work on effects for RoboCop and Total Recall) in the 10th annual Saturn Awards given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Fans of actor Keith David will want to see his performance in this particular film. David also went on to work again with John Carpenter years later.

To get to know more about John Carpenter’s The Thing through trivia, watch the video posted below from Minty Comedic Arts. Be warned of potential spoilers…

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-ray, The Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-ray, Mortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-ray, Space Jam 4K Blu-ray and V: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray disc of Warner Archive (read my retro review).  


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Better than Streaming: A close look at V: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (by Warner Archive)

Welcome back, my readers, fellow Blu-ray disc collectors and fellow pop culture enthusiasts! Last time around, I informed you about the approaching June 15, 2021 release of the respective 4K Blu-ray discs of Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and In the Line of Fire (1993). If you missed that article (which contains lots of details and links), check it out now.

In this latest edition of Better than Streaming, I want you to join me in taking a close look at the Blu-ray disc of V: The Original Miniseries (1983) which was released on August 27, 2019 as part of the Warner Archive Collection. I bought this Blu-ray release only this year and I can confirm to you all that I had a great time replaying it from start to finish and in high-definition! Having seen V: The Original Miniseries on TV and video tapes in the 1980s and to its early digital form on DVD in 2001, the Blu-ray release is the best visual experience yet!

If you have not seen my retro review, head on to https://carlocarrasco.com/2021/05/08/a-look-back-at-v-the-original-miniseries-1983/

Going on with the Blu-ray release of V: The Original Miniseries, posted below is a new picture of my copy that I photographed for this article.

My Blu-ray copy of V: The Original Miniseries.

The cover really gives V: The Original Miniseries its own distinct look. A look that fans of V will instantly recognize and given the fact that it does not feature any pictures of the actors and only had images of the alien motherships (read: very huge saucer-like space ships that can carry thousands of people plus equipment) on the cover, I can imagine this Blu-ray release standing out when placed with many other Blu-ray discs on store shelves. The tag line on the top – Humankind’s Last Stand – adds punch to the cover.

When it comes to the technical specifications, it goes as follows…

1080p High Definition

16×9, 1.78:1

DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Single disc – Region free

To be clear, the above specs were written on the back of the Blu-ray box and they refer specifically to the main feature…the 2-episodes of the miniseries totaling 197 minutes (3 hours, 17 minutes).

Speaking of the main feature of V: The Original Miniseries contained in the Blu-ray disc, it is entirely presented in one single selection. The two episodes are not presented as separate selections. It means that once you are done with watching the first episode, you only need to wait for the end credits to finish and just let the video play on with the opening credits of the second episode to start and lead further to the story. However, if you saw the first episode and decide to watch the second episode at a later time, only then will you need the remote control of your Blu-ray player to go through chapter selection (skip the chapters of the first episode) to start the second episode.

As mentioned earlier, V: The Original Miniseries was presented in 1080p high-definition and for me it is the best-looking form to date! If you want specifics about the visual quality (as opposed to the high-definition look of the mini-series), I can say that its visual aesthetics from 1983 are still intact but with added benefits due to the higher resolution and digital format. To put things in perspective, the level of visual details, the color-grading, the textures seen on the actors’ faces and the natural look of their skin tone are all improved over the 2001 DVD.

As this is a 1980s production, the film grain also made it and even though it intensifies or weakens as the main feature plays, it never was annoying to watch. If there are any weak spots on the visuals, it’s the fact that the high-definition state made the matte lines in key special effect shots (note: specifically in the scenes of people on the street looking up at a mothership above them) look very obvious and fake. As for other visual effects, the laser blasts look even better and the perfect timing on simulating on-set explosions (specifically the spots that got hit by the laser blasts) add a lot of punch to the spectacle!  

The disc.

As for the extra stuff, I regret to say that V: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray only has the exact same stuff the 2001 DVD had…the feature-length commentary by Kenneth Johnson and a behind-the-scenes documentary. Nothing new at all and this easily reminds me of the words describing this release – Warner Archive Collection.

To be clear about the extra stuff, I really find it very disappointing that the 24-minute behind-the-scenes documentary was presented only in standard definition and had a sub-par quality visually which kinda ruins the fascinating stuff of the production (Johnson and crew filming scenes, Marc Singer and Faye Grant being interviewed, etc.) shown.

The real meat of the extra stuff is the feature-length commentary of Kenneth Johnson. All throughout the two episodes, Johnson provided a lot of insight on the filmmaking, the creative concepts, the symbolism connecting the mini-series with the rise of the 3rd Reich in Europe, etc. I replayed the mini-series entirely with Johnson’s commentary turn on and it was really engaging as a viewing experience!


While the lack of new extra stuff somewhat hampers it, I still had great enjoyment with my Blu-ray copy of V: The Original Miniseries (1983). Its main feature and the Kenneth Johnson commentary are the best things about it and therefore make it worth buying. I can only speculate that if more V fans (plus the many people out there who have yet to discover V of the 1980s for their home entertainment and sci-fi craving) bought a lot of copies of this Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray release, the executives at WB could be convinced to release another Blu-ray of the 1983 mini-series with all new stuff involving the participation of Johnson, the other production team members and the surviving actors (note: it would be great to come up with brand new interviews with Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Jane Badler, David Packer, Blaire Tefkin, Robert Englund and others). It would be great to see pop culture convention footage related to V compiled not to mention an all-new feature commentary with the actors participating.

Overall, the V: The Original Miniseries – Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray is highly recommended! Fans of V of the 1980s will love it and all others who have yet to discover it will find something new and compelling to watch at home with this. Add this to your shopping list and your Blu-ray disc collection!

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below for your enjoyment is the 43-minute YouTube video of the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel that had Kenneth Johnson and Marc Singer as guests focused on V.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at V: The Original Miniseries (1983)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching V: The Original Miniseries and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Way back in 1983, I was fortunate to watch the 2-episode sci-fi mini-series on television titled V: The Original Miniseries. Because there was no Netflix, no YouTube, no Internet access and no DVD at the time, getting to replay the said mini-series as well as its sequel V: The Final Battle was really hard. Replays of them on local TV rarely happened.

Then in 2001, V: The Original Miniseries was released on DVD format and I got to watch it all over again with a good amount of enjoyment. In recent times, I purchased the Blu-ray release and replayed the original miniseries in high-definition at last!

You must be wondering if the original mini-series aged well through the decades, and is it still good to watch by today’s standards? While I will comment about its overall quality below, what I can say is that its theme about people fighting to be free from fascism, oppression, terrorism and dictatorship remains relevant to this day.

For his part, star Marc Singer stated: “I think themes of what holds society together and what tears society apart, those themes are universal themes and I think they’re always going to be relevant. I think there’s going to be a necessity for things like V to be revisited in order that society remember what it is that’s cohesive and coherent about it and why is it that we should all stand together and treat each other well.”  

With those details laid down, here is a look back at V: The Original Miniseries, written and directed by Kenneth Johnson. The first episode was broadcast on television in the United States on May 1, 1983.

V: The Original Miniseries

Early story

The story begins in El Salvador where camera operator Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) and his companion Tony risk their lives capturing footage of an armed conflict. As the two tried their best to move away from the heat of battle, a helicopter of the enemy tracks them and corners them. Just as hope seems lost for Mike Donovan, the helicopter suddenly flies away. He turns to the other direction and witnesses the presence of a huge, floating saucer-like space ship coming his way. He begins to record footage of it.

Soon enough, several other space ships arrive and float above many other cities around the world. In America, medical student Julie Parrish (Faye Grant) and her colleagues carefully watch the TV news coverage. In a nice neighborhood, several residents – including Robin Maxwell (Blaire Tefkin), Eleanor Dupres (Neva Patterson), Daniel Bernstein (David Packer) and his grandfather Abraham (Leonardo Cimino) to name a few – marvel at the sight of a space ship above them. At another location, the research of scientist Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell) and his colleague got interrupted with the arrival of a space ship.

The Visitors formally begin their new relationship with the people of Earth.
Diana of the Visitors played by Jane Badler.

Some time later, the Visitors make verbal contact with the people around the world using varied languages of Earth. In a special arrangement held at the top of the United Nations (UN) building in New York closely viewed on TV by the general public, the Visitors reveal themselves represented by John (Richard Herd) who expresses their message of reaching out peacefully to the people of Earth, seek their help and, in return, share with them their advanced technologies that could help humanity a whole lot for future generations. The Visitors are human in appearance but speak with very distinct sounds.

As a result, the governments of Earth agree to the offer of the Visitors and establish ties with them. Symbolically, a large group of Visitors’ engineers led by Diana (Jane Badler) and security chief Steven (Andrew Pine) arrive at a refinery to formally begin collecting chemicals and minerals.

Then things start to turn bad…


I can clearly declare that the writing and directing done by Kenneth Johnson remains great, and for many reasons why. On storytelling, Johnson (who was inspired by the anti-fascist novel It Can’t Happen Here and made an adaptation of it before finally coming up with V) clearly took his time on establishing the core concept stage-by-stage, and he also found efficient ways of explaining details to viewers by using in-story news reports and videos and retrospective as effective tools of exposition (these helped cut down the reliance on expository dialogue).

As the story goes on, Johnson carefully introduced the many characters on-screen (including the use of quick introductions of some characters who are located away from others they are connected/related with), established who they are and, most notably, showed how the events that took place affected them.

The Visitors (and one member of their youth auxiliary movement wearing brown) posting propaganda material to condition people’s minds they are friendly and trustworthy. These posters are familiar to many Nazi propaganda materials used in Europe decades earlier. Prior to the release of the Original Miniseries, a real-life marketing campaign of putting up such posters happened in real life.

Johnson also used symbolism which reflects what happened decades ago in Europe with the rise of the Third Reich. The Visitors’ symbol resembles the Nazi Swastika while the persecution of scientists (as well as their families and associates) resembles the Nazi persecution of Jewish people, and the scene of Daniel Bernstein joining the Visitors through their “Friends of Visitors” movement recalls memories of the Hitler Youth. I should state that Earth citizens who chose to collaborate with the aliens from space (strongly symbolized through Eleanor Dupres), images of the armed Visitors watching several helpless Earth people being taken away from their homes and the dominance of propaganda over the free press also reflect what happened back in World War II when the Nazis occupied many parts of Europe. The fact that Johnson used alien humanoids as the Visitors make them a more universal antagonistic force that viewers can relate with.

When it comes to the cast members and their respective performances, there is a whole lot to enjoy here and I can confirm that the quality of dramatic performances is pretty good and adds a whole lot of believability to the story. The most notable performer here is none other than Faye Grant who believably portrayed Julie Parrish on her in-depth transformation from a promising medical student to a reluctant organizer of a movement of freedom-loving people called the Resistance. Faye Grant excellently portrayed emotions and even showed the fragile side of Julie as she struggles to strengthen herself to lead her fellow people who seek freedom and survival. Julie also is the most charismatic and likable character in my view.

Marc Singer’s Mike Donovan is the closest thing this miniseries has to an action hero. Donovan is not a soldier, nor a policeman, nor a combat specialist. He is a hard-working media employee who has covered a lot of armed conflicts overseas and along the way he learned how to fight. As he is not a fighting machine, Donovan was portrayed to be vulnerable and really ends up struggling a lot. In a way, Donovan symbolizes people who take action once they realize what is wrong and what lies they have been fed with. It should be noted that before Bruce Willis wowed audiences as the vulnerable hero John McClane in Die Hard, Marc Singer’s Donovan was the vulnerable and struggling action performer realized ahead in time. On the dramatic side, Donovan’s talk with his mother Eleanor is a great scene to watch, and his contrast with Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan) must be seen! If you ask me, Mike Donovan is Marc Singer at his best!

Faye Grant’s portrayal of Julie Parrish is highly believable complete with a good range of emotions. Her character development all throughout the Original Miniseries is very believable.
Marc Singer as Mike Donovan.

The other most notable role is none other than the Visitors’ commander Diana excellently played by Jane Badler. Diana was played to be charismatic, powerful, and sadistic at the same time. She is not a mere evil figure nor is she your typical pure evil antagonist. In fact, she is the powerful extension of an unseen high authority of the aliens and this alone makes her worth your attention. Also, through her interactions with her fellow aliens Steven and Brian (Peter Nelson), you will see very interesting traits of Diana’s personality. I should state that Jane Badler’s eyes and expressions really gave her character a very commanding presence on-screen. Even though her screen time is not dominant, Diana’s impact remains very strong.

As for the other cast members and their contributions in the film, I can state that Robert Maxwell was excellently portrayed by Michael Durrel to be the very caring father striving to protect his family even as society has been manipulated to demonize scientists like him. Daniel Bernstein is clearly the traitorous Earthling who has gotten so involved with the Visitors, and I am confident that David Packer will get on your nerves. Willie is the good-natured Visitor who tries to fit in with the people of Earth and his friendship with Harmony Moore (Diane Cary) is very symbolic. Given the reputation of Robert Englund as a horror icon, his performance as Willie is a must-see!

The most notable of all the supporting cast members here is none other than Leonardo Cimino’s Abraham Bernstein who is a Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and survived to establish the family in America only to see evil return in the form of the Visitors. His dramatic scene of protecting a certain family is a must-watch, and most likely it will stir your emotions.

This scene shows the contrast between Abraham Bernstein (Leonardo Cimino) in the background and his grandson Daniel (David Packer) in the foreground. Abraham is an old Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and lived on. Daniel, who is 17-years-old, willingly joined the Visitor’s youth auxiliary movement which parallels that Hitler Youth.

In addition to being successful with telling the story, spreading the details and getting solid performances from the cast, Kenneth Johnson also proved to be really crafty with the way the camera captured images and how the very important moments were presented to captivate viewers. Johnson’s work here is clearly a labor of love. As for the music, Joseph Harnell did a good job overall. His style gives V a distinct aesthetic on tunes and I noticed his music becomes more lively late in the 2nd episode. Harnell also knew how to add musical excitement when the narrative needed a boost of energy or speed.

People of Earth, including children, are helpless under the Visitors.

Last but not least, I want to talk about the action and visual effects here. The action is, for the most part, raw and believable to watch. The action performers dressed as the Visitors never looked like they were trained but at least their ways of positioning themselves to fire their laser weapons made up for it. The hard action has that raw aesthetic which I actually liked because the action performers – including Marc Singer himself – were convincing with the way they exerted efforts. In this modern age of wire works and digital effects, seeing raw action and real human effort combined with risk taking is refreshing to watch.

More on the action scenes, I should state that the concept of showing the humans using conventional guns against the laser-armed Visitors was done in a satisfying and believable manner on-screen. Such concepts could have turned out bad had Kenneth Johnson and his team lacked talent and precision. As for the visual effects, they resulted a mixed bag as far as quality and artistry are concerned. While the laser blasts still look very good (and their impact was felt thanks to excellent timing with the on-set explosions and fireworks), the huge motherships really look dated as they were matte images (not miniatures), and in a few shots the matte lines were clearly exposed in high-definition which broke the immersion for me. The smaller space crafts that were shown flying also had that similar, out-of-place look (note: they did not match the lighting of the live-action footage). Still, the practical effects used are good to see and the matte paintings used for two key shots in the 2nd episode were photo-realistic.  


The free and righteous praying to the Lord.

As it is clearly still great and engaging to watch, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) certainly aged well, it remains essential to watch even by today’s standards and most of all, its theme about the conflict of freedom and dictatorship makes it completely relevant to this day. It is a reminder about what your part in your society is, who you are, what your values are, and why you have freedom in your local society which can be destroyed by an alienating force once your fellow people refuse to resist it. As mentioned earlier, the cast is great and I am confident that you readers will find a character or two to relate with.

The focus of this miniseries on fascism invading the lives of the free people easily reminds me about how, in this modern age, sinister influences like Marxism, socialism, Communism, unrestrained political correctness and fascism poisoned the minds of millions of people through the academic system and turned them into social rebels, domestic terrorists, looters, rioters and new criminals who are so determined to go against their fellow people who do not share their beliefs. In modern-day America, the ongoing movements of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, SJWs, the anti-Semitic BDS movement, the rabid LGBTQ+ movement, the so-called democratic socialists and other agents of Satan have been harming patriotic Americans, attacking their values, taking the innocence of the youth and children away, destroying businesses and tearing down societies as we know it. The 1983 mini-series will remind you that from time to time, social order will be pushed hard by the invaders (be it people or be it influences so alien to the society) and the people who are righteous can choose to restore the said order as well as their respective lives.

Seriously, if you value your freedom, your culture, your values, your people and your faith in the Lord, you certainly would not want to submit yourselves to a foreign people who intend to destroy you.

No matter what happens, people should never lose faith in the Lord and they must look up to Him for deliverance. The Lord will punish the wicked and make ways happen to lift up the faithful. Clearly, V’s theme about the fight for freedom is truly universal.

Symbolism and socio-political relevance aside, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) also comes with a good amount of spectacle that make sense within the narrative. Do not expect to see extensive, over-the-top action scenes of modern-day cinema/television here but I assure you that the spectacle (note: even with the flawed matte imagery of the visual effects) in this production paid-off nicely in relation to the build-up of events throughout the story.

I strongly recommend you acquire V: The Original Miniseries on Blu-ray while it is still available. Watching it in high-definition is a great experience on my part.

Overall, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) is highly recommended! That being said, I strongly encourage you to buy it on Blu-ray disc format while it is still available and affordable. If you want more of Kenneth Johnson’s other work related to V, I suggest you to look for his book V: The Second Generation. Don’t forget to visit Johnson’s website at http://www.kennethjohnson.us/


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more V-related writings of mine, check out my retro comic book reviews of the V comic books (published by DC Comics) issues #1, #2, #3 and #4.

A Look Back at Night of the Creeps

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching the movie and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

When you craft a story meant to entertain people, it is already tough to mix genre elements and make them work together while still telling a cohesive story. Imagine how hard that could be when making a movie with the mentioned creative mix?

Back in the mid-1980s, a young film enthusiast named Fred Dekker not only pulled it off but actually made a feature-length film titled Night of the Creeps which was his cinematic directorial debut. Before making that science fiction/horror/comedy movie, Dekker grew up watching movies of horror, science fiction and fantasy and developed a passion for movies (and movie production eventually).

After much learning through UCLA, Dekker broke into Hollywood and started a professional career in film and eventually got his dream project in the form of Night of the Creeps.

“Night of the Creeps is very much a first feature with the attitude of many first features. The I-may-not-get-to-do-another-movie-so-I’m-going-to-do-everything-I-want-to-do-in-this-movie attitude. It’s an attitude that often backfires, but in this case, it’s exactly what makes Night of the Creeps so much fun,” Dekker stated.

With the short film history lesson done, it’s now time to take a look back at Night of the Creeps written and directed by Fred Dekker, and released in 1986 by TriStar Pictures.

If you were the police chief, how many police officers would send to corner one zombie?

Early story

The story begins inside a space ship where one alien creature (carrying a canister) is running away from two armed personnel. With the two chasers delayed, the creature manages to shoot the canister into the realm of space.

On Earth, the year is 1959. In a typical American suburb, a college student visits a sorority house to pick up his date. Together, along with a few other pairs in cars, they spend time at a parking spot with a nice night view. A young police officer, who is aware of the news about a potential killer on the loose, approaches the pair and recognizes the lady from the sorority house. He tells them to go home for their safety, and then leaves them.

Shortly after, the canister from space arrives and crashes nearby causing the college student to drive the car (with his date with him) and find the spot of the crash. He parks the car by the woods and moves into woods leaving the sorority girl alone, sitting and waiting. He finds the canister and decides to look at it closely. Through an opening, an alien slug suddenly jumps from the canister and into his mouth. Meanwhile, the lone lady in the car hears the news about the loose killer and realizes the details about their location (being the destination of the killer). Slowly creeping up on her is a man with an axe.

What teenagers in America used to do in the 1950s.

Someone closing in…

In 1986, at the same locality, college students party around and engage in lots of activities in relation to pledge week being organized at a local university. Among the students walking down the sidewalk are Chris Romero and his handicapped friend J.C. Chris spots a pretty girl from a distance and instantly falls for her at first sight. With the help of J.C., he decides to pursue her…


Even with a low budget, Night of the Creeps is very creatively done and comes with a good amount of fun for viewers who enjoy elements of horror or sci-fi, 1950s romance, 1980s teen comedy and even detective story. What made this movie a cinematic gem is that Fred Dekker and his creative team combined their strengths with the talents of their cast members specifically Jason Lively, James Marshall, Jill Whitlow and Tom Atkins.

At its core, Night of the Creeps is a zombie horror flick that had sci-fi elements of UFOs and the 1950s as a strong foundation (in addition to serving in the background of the plot). Those combined genre elements alone (backed with a plot that is cohesive enough thanks to Dekker) made this movie solid and yet, the implementation of detective/crime storytelling and 1980s teen comedy (specifically college culture) further added more punch and variety in making the film really engaging and fun.

That being said, the actors delivered the goods with their respective performances. Jason Lively and Steve Marshall have excellent chemistry together as the 1980s college boys Chris Romero and J.C. They started their acts as typical college guys trying to achieve something when it comes to campus achievements and winning the girl’s heart. They also delivered strong performances on the comedy and they pushed their dramatic limits further when the film’s tone shifted to horror. Jill Whitlow is interesting as sorority girl Cynthia who has that girl-next-door charm. She proved to be talented with acting as she had convincing romantic chemistry with a certain jerk and Chris.

Steve Marshal, Jason Lively and Jill Whitlow as J.C., Chris Romero and Cynthia.

The horror film genre legend himself, Tom Atkins!

The standout performer among them all, unsurprisingly, is Tom Atkins as detective Ray Cameron. Before making this movie, Atkins worked in horror movies and a few cult movies, and got involved with the legendary John Carpenter. As such, playing the veteran detective Cameron here was a natural fit for the actor. As the aging and troubled detective, Atkins portrayed him dramatically and because of his very rugged touch, the actor really looked like he actually lived through decades of police work in the fictional town. Atkins also proved to be very good with quotes, specifically with “Thrill me!” It should be noted that this is Atkins’ personal favorite role in the horror genre.

When it comes to telling a cohesive story to emphasize the mixed genre elements, I should say Fred Dekker and his team succeeded. The pacing ran at a medium pace for the most part and even during the slower scenes, there was never a boring moment. More on storytelling, Night of the Creeps’ concept made sense for the most part (about how a slug from outer space would gradually cause zombification on people and even animals, in the midst of college-related events happening) and still had room for suspense, spectacle (note: Jason Lively and Jill Whitlow themselves used dangerous weapons near the end of the film) and, yes, character development! All of that pulled of nicely in roughly ninety minutes and the viewing experience was ultimately fun and engaging.

I wonder if this image would be considered offensive by the SJWs…

Perhaps this will inspire you to research what American life was like back in the 1950s.

It should be noted that, in terms of presentation, key scenes were very well directed and strong performances from the actors were realized. The scene where detective Cameron and Chris had a private talk was intriguing to watch, and that one had the strongest act Tom Atkins made in the film. I should also mention that, apart from the dramatics and performances, I enjoyed the cinematography done by Robert C. New especially with the way the camera moved as the actors delivered their lines in key sequences. There were closeups that perfectly captured the moments when the actors delivered their strongest acts. Last but not least, the music by Barry De Vorzon fit the film’s tone and concept smoothly.


Here they come…

I really love Night of the Creeps and I want you – my readers and fellow film buffs and pop culture geeks – to watch it from start to finish. I never saw this movie in the cinemas in the 1980s but was fortunate enough to watch it on cable TV on a late night in 1998 (twelve years after its cinematic release). That was a night I’ll never forget because Night of the Creeps delivered the fun and exceeded my expectations. Then years ago, I finally acquired the Sony Pictures Blu-ray disc release which I replayed from time to time at the comfort of home with my Xbox One console as the disc player. The film looks even better in high-definition!

The best thing I love about Night of the Creeps is its big mix of genre elements which was supported by solid storytelling and performances. When it comes to spectacle or shock moments, it should be stated that the practical effects used (note: no CGI or computer-generated images here) in the movie still stand up strongly until now although I must say that the aliens creatures in the early part of the story were just not convincing enough.

Even by today’s standards, Night of the Creeps is enjoyable and gripping to watch, and the fact is nobody in Hollywood is making anything like it, nor are there any filmmakers willing to do a big mix of genre elements and tell a cohesive story with good performance from hired talents. This alone makes Fred Dekker’s directorial debut a cinematic gem that has been overlooked by too many people

In light of modern society and its norms, I declare that Night of the Creeps will give you a good dose of escapism not only from real life but also from the corrupted and highly politicized culture of Hollywood which points to the Political Left (whose central figure Barack Obama supports Iran, the terrorists and illegal immigrants) and its trouble makers (examples: social justice warriors or SJWS, the socialists, the radical feminists, the LGBTQ) who managed to infiltrate the American film industry and even the American media (note: you can tell if a movie review was written by an SJW who only writes something to fit his/her social justice agenda). This old movie was made to deliver fun without any political garbage whatsoever. That being said, it will make you wish that Hollywood would just focus on making their movies truly entertaining and be free from political poison at the same time. Movies that carry political overtones or emphasize identity politics are major turn-offs.

Overall, Night of the Creeps is highly recommended! That being said, I urge you to order a Blu-ray copy of Night of the Creeps now at Shout Factory and Amazon. Whichever Blu-ray version you acquire (note: the Shout Factory version has newer and more extra stuff), you can’t go wrong with Night of the Creeps in high-definition.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com