I didn’t see the original ‘Descent,’ but bouts of insomnia coupled with a Netflix membership that allows me to watch some of the netflix catalog online results in a situation where I end up seeing some films that I might otherwise have never rented. Descent 2 is (obviously) a sequel to the 2005 Descent movie and apparently takes place shortly after the events of the first film.
Descent 2 is a good (but not a great) horror film, but if you are a ‘Dungeoncrawl’ enthusiast, you might want to rent it just to see some of the rather effective claustrophobic underground scenes where something is stalking a group of humans who have set out to rescue another group of spelunkers who have gotten lost in a maze of underground caves.
The film begins with a bloodied woman named Sarah wandering into a wilderness road somewhere in the rural US (perhaps in Appalachia?) and nearly being hit by a passing truck. After law enforcement is informed, it is determined that this woman (who is in a state of shock) is the member of a group of spelunkers who entered a cave several miles away(thus, she is a survivor of the events of the first Descent movie). Another team has been searching the cave system with some urgency; time is running out for the missing cavers. Not all of the blood on Sarah’s clothes is her own; the sheriff suspects she may have attacked her partners. An abandoned mine is known to be in the area in which Sarah was found; the rescue team speculates that if Sarah got out through the mine, perhaps they can find her companions by entering the cave system through the mine. A local whose grandfather worked in the mine tells them that the old miners spoke of having found a link to a series of seemingly endless caverns in the course of their diggings and a group of miners entered the caves to explore but were never heard from again. The sheriff, his deputy, an expert caver and his two assistants all enter the mine. Although Sarah claims to be unable to remember anything, the Sheriff insists on taking her along, perhaps because he thinks she will be able to help them retrace her steps to her lost comrades.
Of course, it all goes screwy. After finding a video camera lost by the first expedition, they review the tape and see the first group being attacked by something or someone in the caves. Things go from bad to worse; Sarah panics and runs off, the group gets split up and soon the would-be rescuers are in need of rescuing themselves.
The caving scenes are quite effective at portraying the claustrophobia and confusion of getting lost in a cave where unknown enemies may be lurking, making this good inspirational material for the dungeoneering crowd. The characters are not particularly memorable or well developed, but they seldom are in horror so that should come as no big surprise. The film ends, like most horror movies, somewhat ambiguously; thus the producers have the possibility of a ‘Descent 3‘ on the table.
I was entertained enough that I will probably hunt down the original Descent movie for watching, although I suspect it would probably be more fun to watch them in order.
I’ve been interested in Richard S. Shaver, an artist, author and fascinating part of American popular culture for a while now (link to my blog entries on Shaver). Some time ago, I decided to attempt to draw a comic book about Richard Shaver’s life, his work, his art and his unusual ideas. I’ve presented the first three pages of this effort below; I’ve decided to try to tell the story out of chronological order, trying to touch on what I see as some of the important moments.
Until his death in 1975, Richard Shaver insisted that everything he described (which many would dismiss as paranoid delusion) were the absolute truth. The first chapter in the comic deals with the story of how a mysterious woman named ‘Nydia’ befriended Richard while he was in prison and, through mysterious methods, engineered his release. Subsequent chapters will deal with other events from Shaver’s life.
As author and artist, I don’t consider it my duty to tease fact from fiction or to try to debunk Shaver’s stories. There is no search for an objective truth here. I’m going to try to tell the majority of stories of Shaver’s life as he told them with occasional references to dates and places as needed. I am exploring my own fascination with the interesting body of work that Shaver left behind and the very compelling story of his own life (and the life of the planet and her people) that he told.
There is, of course, going to be a lot more that the three pages below (click on the images to see an enlargement). When I get further I will be interested in attempting to place the book with a publisher (although finding a publisher interested in publishing black and white comic book bios of outsider artists might be tricky).