Tag Archive: Poison Ivy

One to Watch, in 2015

Gotham TV series

In a week that saw Fox’s “Gotham” achieve its best-ever ratings on US television, here’s a link to my article at the Xtreme Entertainment Network, reviewing the show’s first season, for UK audiences.

Dark Nights, in “Gotham”

Oh, and best wishes for 2015. Hope it’s a good year, for all of us.



Batman is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

He was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).

The Premise

Batman is the costumed alter-ego of billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne.

Orphaned as a child when he witnessed the death of his parents at the hands of an armed mugger, the young Wayne spent his formative years developing the skills needed to exorcise the demons of his traumatic childhood experience.

“Exorcise”, in this case meaning “Become a costumed vigilante”.

As the Batman, Wayne prowls the night, striking fear in the hearts of evildoers with his nightmarish outfit, incredible hi-tech gadgets, and fearsome combat skills.

From the archives of YouTube and ClevverU, here’s a crash course on the Dark Knight, for you:

The Tech

Wayne’s Batsuit incorporates the imagery of a bat, in order to frighten criminals.

Though the specifics of the Batman costume have changed repeatedly across various stories and media, the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a billowing cape, a cowl covering most of the face and featuring a pair of batlike ears, a stylized bat emblem on the chest, and the ever-present utility belt.

Possessing the properties of both Kevlar and Nomex, the suit protects him from gunfire and other significant impacts.

The costume’s colors are traditionally blue and gray – a scheme which arose due to the way comic book art is colored.
More recently (and specifically since the Tim Burton “Batman” film of 1989), an all gray / black scheme with gold coloring on the emblem has been the norm.

Batman keeps most of his field equipment in a utility belt.

Over the years, it has been shown to contain a virtually limitless variety of crime-fighting tools. Different versions of the belt have these items stored in pouches, or hard cylinders attached evenly around it.

The ‘Tec

What isn’t widely acknowledged is that Batman is also hailed as the number one detective, in the world of costumed heroes. With deductive skills to rival the legendary Sherlock Holmes.

They don’t call him The Darknight Detective, for nothing.

From YouTube, here’s a collection of clips from “Batman TAS” and “Justice League”, highlighting those mad skills:

Those Mad Skills

Batman has no inherent super-powers. To compensate, he must rely on his scientific knowledge, detective skills, and fighting prowess.

In the stories, Bruce Wayne / Batman spent a significant portion of his life and fortune traveling the world and acquiring the skills necessary to wage his war on crime. As such, his knowledge and expertise in just about every discipline known to man is almost unparalleled by any other character in the DC Comics’ Universe.

He is a master of disguise, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone, a notorious gangster.

Batman is also skilled in espionage, and his ninjutsu training has made him a master of stealth, who can appear and disappear, seemingly at will. He is also well versed in escapology, allowing him to break free of near inescapable deathtraps with little or no harm.

Batman is an expert in forensic investigation, interrogation and counter-interrogation techniques. He has the ability to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and even to withstand telepathy and mind control.

A formidable array of talents. And with his enemies in Gotham City and beyond, he needs them.

Those Mad Killers

Batman faces a variety of foes, ranging from common criminals to outlandish supervillains. Many of them mirror aspects of the Batman’s character and development, and often have tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime.

Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker – a green-haired, chalk white-skinned, clown-like criminal psychopath – is essentially the Batman’s polar opposite.

Other recurring enemies include Catwoman, Bane, the Scarecrow, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Ra’s al Ghul.

Memorable characters, all. And ripe, for mass media.

The Show Goes On

And on.

Since his first appearance in the late 1930s, the Batman has been featured in comic books, novels, stage plays, TV series, and movies (in both animated and live-action formats).

His eagerly anticipated next appearance at the cinema will be in the next installment of the new Superman franchise, which will star Henry Cavill, as the Man of Steel, and a contentiously cast Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman.

It’s your standard comic book adaptation casting fiasco.

Remember the hubbub that erupted back in the day, when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman?

“He’s too short!”

“He’s too weedy!”

“He’s a comedian!”

He was good.

One of the better ones, actually.

So. We’ll await developments.

And I hope you’ll await my next story, in this series.

Till then.


Trick is a short film by Shooting Incident Productions (UK and Germany), based on an original screenplay by Des Nnochiri.

The story of Trick hinges on an encounter with the beautiful but dangerous Sophia – a lady with more than a few surprises up her sleeve.

Sophia is played by actress Jade Hespin.

Actress Jade Hespin, star of the movie "Trick"

Here’s a little of Jade’s story, in her own words:

Q: Tell us about yourself:
A: My name is Jade Hespin and I am a passionate and enthusiastic 22
year old. I live in North Yorkshire and have a cute cocker spaniel
called Cleo, short for Cleopatra – not the car! My passion is acting by
portraying different characters’ personalities in a psychological way.
I like to get behind the skin of the characters. The world would be a
boring place with no creativity!

Q: How did you get into acting?
A: As soon as I was old enough to realize that the people on the TV
are only pretending, I was immediately intrigued. I also decided I
wanted to entertain when I was about 5; wrapping my towel on my head,
pretending it was hair, and that I was a princess! Since then I have
just believed, and worked hard with opportunities that have arrived.

Q: How did you get involved in the movie Trick?
A: Basically I have been doing acting classes with Jay Spencer –
developing skills – and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to get

Q: Tell us about your character:
A: Ok. My character’s name is Sophia, and she is in her early 20s. She
can be seen as a prostitute at the beginning of the film, as well as a
lost wandering girl. However the reality is that she is a strong and
streetwise killer who gets her victims by using her flirtatious side.
She will lead her victims on, but does not sleep with them. Sophia’s
character is very fun to play and I have really enjoyed it!

Actress Jade Hespin, in character, on the set of the movie "Trick"

Q: Any noteworthy events on set?
A: Just that everybody involved worked really hard. It has been great
experience working with such talented individuals – including the writer
of course!

Q: Are there any upcoming projects we should know about?
A: There are films Shooting Incident will be doing in the future, and I
would love to be involved again. But we shall see what happens.
Thank you, very much.

Q: And thank you, Jade.  For your time, and  for your dedication to this project.

Jade’s right. In the movies, a clever and resourcefull killer is always fun to watch.

But in the reel world of cinema, female serial killers are rare. They’re rarer still, in real life.

In their 1998 book, “Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer”, co-authors Michael and C.L. Kelleher created several categories, to describe these individuals:

* Black widow
* Angel of death
* Sexual predator
* Revenge
* Profit or crime
* Team killer
* Question of sanity
* Unexplained
* Unsolved

Black widow. Angel of death. Team killer.

Those sound like movie titles. Some of them are, in fact.

Black Widow (1987) stars Theresa Russell as Catherine Petersen – a calculating seductress who poisons her way through several rich husbands before being discovered by Federal investigator Alex Barnes (played by Debra Winger).

Angel of Death (2009) stars Quentin Tarantino’s favorite stunt woman, Zoe Bell, as Eva – a stone-cold killer driven to the point of quitting by a crisis of conscience, and some potentially fatal errors. The film’s tag line: “People die… Get over it.” pretty much says it all.

Team Killer: The Movie hasn’t been made – yet. But Lonely Hearts (2006) clearly fits the bill.
Lonely Hearts tells the true story of Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez – the notorious “Lonely Hearts Killers” of 1940s America.
Beck and Fernandez preyed on lovelorn widows, enticed through the Personal ads of local newspapers. “Preyed on” in this case meaning “swindled for every available penny, then brutally killed.”
In the movie, Salma Hayek plays Martha Beck, opposite Jared Leto, as her partner in crime.

Revenge is at the heart of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, the 1992 film starring Rebecca De Mornay as Peyton Flanders – the vindictive psycho nanny from Hell.

In Poison Ivy (1992), Drew Barrymore raises a serious question of sanity as Ivy – the seductive teen who’ll do anything to acquire the perfect family.

And the zany comedy The Man With Two Brains (1983) features Kathleen Turner as the predator Dolores Benedict – a woman who sexually frustrates several rich and fragile husbands to death, before meeting Steve Martin’s Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr. She also says the immortal line: “Guess I’ll have to find me a new man, to torture.”

Torture? Maybe. But we accept it, willingly. Because of who’s doing the torturing.

We’re taken in, by what we see. The fascinating. The beautiful.

It’s what we don’t see – the deception, and the danger – that proves fatal.

And don’t we just love it?

The movie world would be a poorer place, without the deadly allure of the femme fatale.
And Trick just wouldn’t work, without Sophia.

Hmm. Deadly Allure. That’s not a bad title, actually.
Maybe I should… Sorry; distracted.


Every trick has two aspects: the player, and the played.

In the next part of this series, we’ll be meeting up with the other star of Trick.
He plays a character named John.

Take care, till then.