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Sword Buyers Digest - Halloween 2014
October 01, 2014
Phew this issue I think is running late..!
As I usually write the pre-amble last (after I write the P.S.) I won't waste any time nor risk hitting the dreaded backspace of doom accidentally again and just send it!
1. From the Desk of Paul Southren
2. Collectors Corner with Dan Dacombe
3. Video of the Month
4. Free Online Halloween Game
5. Best Forum Posts
6. P.S. and P.P.S.
From The Desk of Paul Southren
Even though Halloween isn't officially due until later THIS month, it must have known the Halloween issue was coming up and decided to give us plenty of real life horror stories to write up about.
It all started with a
Chris from Ronin Katana had decided to branch out into a medieval line, taking what was available to some excellent European style blades a friend of his at a forge in Longquan was making for him.
It turned out that some of these iron fittings the forge had purchased looked a LOT like direct copies from Sonny's mould over there.
The word got out, and in not the nicest way, through facebook, the forums - got nasty - and when Chris at Ronin learned Sonnys mould was being used and he had bought were direct copies, he ordered them changed (and suitably coincidentally dressed for the Halloween issue!).
While all is well that ends well (Sonny apologized as Chris did not knowingly copy his components and they are readily available) - the forum of late was a breeding ground for general unpleasantness, and needed a change.
You can read about about it in detail in the "best forum posts" section if you must, but to quickly wrap up a bad month, I took a minor (non sword) related injury just towards the end of the month (long story, and not that interesting), the SBG team got sick all at the same time (Merritt in Canada was in the hospital with pneumonia), and we got way behind on everything trying to catch up like a roller train into the tunnel of horror that is the Halloween issue.
Scary stuff, but having survived the curse, with the issue of the digest ready to go out (and assuming it does go out, fingers, toes, swords and everything crossed) and the SBG custom Katana almost ready to take new orders again and getting back on schedule after a minor derailing suitable for the house of Horrors, we found out that in November - the forum would need to find a new host or it would wither and die..
Just as, like Dr Frankensten - ready to pull the switch on the grand experiment of bringing SMG.com (which also needs to find a new host!) back to life from the dead, we had a brainstorming idea.
Why not bring to the two of them together. In a way.
And keep other areas forever apart..!
Cryptic, yes. But as the lease on the servers expires next month, we had better work hard on this one to ensure no-one ends up homeless and nothing gets lost or then we would have a TRUE horror story to report to you next issue.
Luckily, we have a plan and are in good hands. But get ready for some changes, we will try to make them as smooth as possible, but some will just be - I hope - interesting and exciting!
Speaking of interesting and exciting, I lead you
seamlessly into the always terrifying mind of Sir Dan with the Halloween edition of:
Collectors Corner with Dan Dacombe
Collector's Corner has returned as a regular part of the SBG Digest. Complaints about this development can be made to whichever spiritual figure you hold in esteem, but they won’t help one bit.
September 2014: Sword Movie Review – Deathstalker (the Horrible, Horrible Barbarian)
After numerous requests, this month I decided to watch and review the 1983 film “Deathstalker.” A “classic” sword-and-sorcery B-movie that I hadn’t seen yet, it seemed the perfect choice for a review article. That is, I was promised that it would be horrible.
So, so horrible.
And so one fine evening, I started watching Deathstalker. Didn’t realize until 5 minutes in that I was watching it in Hungarian. Started again in English, and it wasn’t making any more sense in my native tongue. This movie was terrible. Off to a great start!
Ez a film lesz szörnyű !
We are introduced to our hero Deathstalker, a mighty warrior and a guy who’s attitude towards sexual assault is what I’m going to call “alarmingly casual.” A young woman is rescued from a bandit intent on her virtue by a group of goblin men (or something), who try and assault her again until Deathstalker shows up to put a stop to it. And then proceeds to aggressively put the moves on the poor woman until she escapes when he is distracted. Geez, dude, she was almost raped twice in five minutes. You wanna maybe give her some time to recover? Maybe to come down from the adrenaline high or re-evaluate her priorities or even freaking catch her breath?
Deathstalker is everyone’s priority.
This should have been a hint for me about how the film was going to go, but alas I kept at it regardless. I actually found the film a bit hard to review, because I couldn’t come up with much in the way of humour about it. I might be a bleeding heart liberal, but I think all of us here in the 21st century can agree: Rape isn’t funny, people! Yeesh.
Putting that aside (as much as one can), I tried to make a go of it and watch the movie start to finish. It was chock-full of hilariously bad acting, direction, and dialogue, including some of the best one-liners I’ve heard in a while delivered without a trace of irony or self-awareness (“YOU WILL BE THE POWER!”). The magic spells were even better, and sounded like they were designed to inform a half-asleep audience what the hell was going on while being delivered as gently as possible. “Transform into a snake,” says an old woman as she casually passes her staff to an enemy (who politely takes it, unaware that snakes are inbound). “With this amulet I change my form and slip your grasp” replies the enemy, who then proceeds to do exactly that while everyone looks on at a respectful distance.
Magic spells – now with exposition!
Moving right along, Deathstalker is sent on a quest to recover a magic sword and defeat the evil sorcerer by a mysterious old woman, who is surely the most annoying mysterious old woman in film history, nagging the hero five minutes out from her house when he stops for a drink of water. “The only thirst you should be having is for the sword of justice.” Damn, woman, give the man some space.
Part of their agreement is that she can spam him mysterious riddles every ten minutes.
Deathstalker is joined by companions on his quest, including the mysterious female swordsman Kaira. She is even more mysterious for the fact that she is completely nude under her cloak (who the hell travels like that? She is mysterious..). A few minutes after meeting Deathstalker has (consensual for a change) sex with him five feet from his two companions, who look on with incredulity. Later she adds a set of leather… well I can’t call it underwear, but it at least covers… something (A bit. Almost.) under the cloak, and then is killed in the only real fight she has later in the film. Made me miss Joanne Whalley’s character in Willow, a righteous female powerhouse who could kick all kinds of ass and didn’t get groped by anyone (except Val Kilmer, and considering that the two of them got married after filming Willow I am going to assume some sort of consent was obtained at some point).
The film unfolds predictably enough, and there is enough half-decent sword action that it kept my attention. I know I would love to have a sword that made trumpets sound and choirs sing every time I unsheathed it. But the repeated scenes of women being assaulted – including a scene later where Deathstakler straight-up tries to rape someone – left me feeling a little cold towards the film overall, and I checked my watch frequently during the second half.
I kept wondering what was up with the writer/director of this film – holy misogynism, Batman. But as I started to think about it, I recalled that a lot of the earlier “pulp fantasy media” had heavy leanings in this area. Anyone else remember the “Gor” novels, taking place in a world where women had no rights? A bit of wish fulfillment on the part of the authors, maybe? Whatever. I’m just glad we’re moving past that as a species into a period of time where we no longer see women as exclusively sexualized objects.
“Well, not exclusively anyway.”
It might be hard to believe, but I think Deathstalker may have actually caused me to reach my “saturation point” in terms of movie terribleness. Will you like it? Maybe, if you can ignore all the sexual assault. Then again, maybe that’s not something we should be trying to ignore…
On that cheerful note – next time I’m going to review a movie with nary a leather bikini in sight. Just see if I don’t! Until then, stay sharp, and stay safe.
(Halloween) Video of the Month
20 seconds or so of pure supernatural sword horror! Jack o lantern with a Hanwei Banshee sword?
Makes me cringe every time he pushes forward towards the guardless hilt like that.. (though good on him for making a video on youtube, tough crowd!)
GORY BUT LIGHT HEARTED FUN no cost, sign up, etc ONLINE GAME OF HALLOWEEN 2014
To make up for the lamest Video of the Month ever and barely passable comeback, we bring you another lame SBG tradition - free, and disturbingly addictive sword related games!
Ok, it only involves a sword once you have thrown your spear. Guess that makes it historically accurate. Can't please anyone these days, sheesh..! ;-)
Best Forum Posts
While it all could have been handled better, the outcome of the war of words on facebook and the forums was a positive one. Not really a 'best' post, but worth looking at I suppose.
While I might be biased (it was an SBG exclusive), I don't think this review was. Indeed, it is exactly the kind of review SBG is all about, check out the gents link for more positive reasons why THIS is what SBG is and will all about encouraging..
Dan's new video series sword points kicks off with a review of the Ronin Katana (discontinued) Suzumebachi sword, and why I named it after a Japanese bug..
SPECIAL NOTE FOR THE FORUM RE-OCTOBER:As we need to move to a new server and find a new host, we will be looking at some technical changes with the (lofty) goal of joinging the SBG sword forum with the old proboards SBG sword forum, and moving forward in a new and we hope very exciting and positive direction.
We plan the move to be as seamless as possible, with minimal re-registrations required, etc. If there are any bumps, check the SBG Forum Page, Blog or Facebook and if it is serious it will show up.
Thanks for reading folks, hope you enjoyed it. Have a Happy Halloween and Happy Swordening all!
P.S. If you are looking for a suitable pumpkin cutter, especially for when pumpkins are sold in bulk in bulk after Halloween, here a rare chance to get a true classic fantasy sword (click the pic for more info).
Its nostalgic, its reasonably priced and having been out of stock for years and with only a handful available, make your Halloween a memorable one and get a piece of sword history!
*USA customers only, no shipping charges.
P.P.S. Hate to finish on a sour note but one final HORROR STORY AT THE SBG SWORD STORE
End to FREE SHIPPING for US customers
Yes, I am sorry to say that due to rising shipping costs that we have not passed on for YEARS we have had no choice but to charge shipping to US customers across the board.
It will take a day or two to fully implement across the board (the internal system for shipping is a bit complicated) but will begin in earnest pretty much as soon as I put this keyboard down (well, I am not holding it up in the air as I type, but you know what I mean) so until then grab a bargain while you still can!
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