Friday, June 25, 2010

Booze Reviews: Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss



Subject:
Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss

Brewing Company: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Wisconsin

ABV: 4.90%

Location of Purchase: Brother's (6/1/10)

Date of Consumption: 6/1/10

Analysis: After my dislike of the Summit Maibock, the bartender supplied me with a make good in this Wisconsin-brewed wheat beer. He also gave me fair warning not to expect the thickness of a hefeweizen after a dropped the name Paulaner on him.

At first taste, I was not really a fan but that might have been due to the bitter bite I was still feeling from the Summit Maibock. As my taste buds started to recover, there was still something missing from the taste. And I couldn't put my finger on it until the bartender came back to my bar stool: "I forgot this!" He popped a thin lemon slice into my weizen glass and the rest was history.

At first it seemed maybe a little too sweet, and I would not call it a honey flavor either. The lemon slice helped balanced the sweet and provided an overall smooth flavor. The beer did not produce too much of a head and it was lighter than most wheat beer I have tasted before. In the mood I was in, that was a good thing.

After finishing this weizen fairly quickly, I ordered another round. That is when I found another positive: it''s a lighter consistency in a wheat beer that's light on the alcohol volume, but it's also light on the wallet as well.

Final Verdict: As a fan of wheat beer, this is not the best weizen but it is extremely far from the worst. I am not sure if the lemon is standard for the beer, but he sure seemed to think so and presented the lemon slice as such.

If I order more than two rounds on a night when I want some good taste without getting hammered, that is how I know this is a good one. TRY IT!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy...a retrospect on a retrospective



This documentary has been handled in the bloggersphere more times than a ticket kiosk at an airport, but I really needed to express my feelings on this great body of work. I also wanted to get the word out about how fantastic Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy truly is to those readers who might not have been exposed to the buzz yet.

The four-hour documentary covers every immediate film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well as the Freddy’s Nightmares television series and the Freddy vs. Jason 2003 flick. I had no idea it was four hours long and I’m being completely honest about not knowing that. My wife and I are huge Elm Street nuts and decided to sit down and watch it on a Saturday afternoon thinking it was maybe 2 hours long at the most. Four hours later, we were surprised at not only the film's running time but also how fast that four hours went by. Then I settled in to spend another few of hours on the extras. So my life film was not a "Nightmare", but that more like "A Day on Elm Street".


Never Sleep Again is an example of how to create an elite documentary whether it’s a retrospective about a horror film, any film in any genre for that matter or even something outside the parameters of film like a historical event. When I was in film school, a professor told my class the you should never make a documentary longer than 100 minutes because it will make you seem like you are “tooting the horn” of your subject which in turn will bore your audience. He said to look no further than Hearts of Darkness and the 96 minute running time. Well thank goodness the creators behind Sleep did not have my professor lecture their class because they shattered that myth.

If you are going to make a documentary, and you make it over four hours, you should know the details of the topic at hand like you would know the intricate details of your own life story up to present day. You make it worth someone’s time to watch it. You don't pull any punches and present the true state of your topic in good times and bad opposed to delivering a look of everything through ruby-lens glasses. And most of all, you can’t be afraid to ask the questions. You have your interviewees share intimate stories with the audience no matter how insignificant it seems or worry how that story might present them in a potentially negative light.




For example, the whole ANOES 2: Freddy’s Revenge’s rumored/hinted homoerotic undertones. The creators asked the questions and it was really great to hear the actors and director give their reactions and comment on it. The issue was not covered in a discriminatory way or with any negative intent. Instead, the subject was presented like a fan asking a question they always wanted to know the answer to. Even I wanted to know the definitive statement on the topic and I was scared they were going to tip-toe around it. Even Mark Patton, who played the lead Jesse and is openly homosexual, had fun with it all. And just when I thought I could not love Clu Galager even more than I already did, his sarcastic comment about not getting a blow job on set made me literally laugh out loud.
When tackling something iconic like Freddy Krueger and the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it seems like an easy task to the armchair quarterbacks of the world. But the real challenge is uploading more information on the topic that will generate fresh data to even the most die hard fanatics.

There have been so many books, magazine articles, laserdisc interviews, DVD extras, etc. on most of these films for more than 20 years. I was expecting to see nothing more than updated rehashes of the same ole' things I have heard time and time again. While there was a large amount of rehashing in order to tell the whole story, there was a lot of fresh information delivered by many in the cast and crew.

Here are some tidbits I can remember off the top of my head: Brad Pitt had tried out for the role of Jesse in Freddy's Revenge? Robert Downey Jr. dropped off Robert Rusler at his audition for Freddy’s Revenge after final day of shooting on Weird Science. An FX guy spent over two weeks creating a demonic-looking parakeet for that ridiculous living room scene in Freddy's Revenge only for it not be used at all and being a huge waste of his time. All of the Dream Warriors had crushes on each other in some fashion except for Jennifer Rubin - and how could you not want to hit that of all the Dream Warriors females? The awesome “Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!” in Dream Warriors was an ad lib by Englund. Renny Harlin stalked out Robert Shaye relentlessly to grab the directing job for Dream Master. There was hilarious of Englund dropping the F bomb for being in a water tank too long for Dream Master's waterbed scene. Jsu Garcia confessed to having a substance abuse problem and was under the influence during his prison scenes in the original. I need to stop now because I could go on and on all day with these great anecdotes for another few posts.




There is plenty of humor abound in almost every chapter, which was very welcomed. Ken Sagoes’ explanation that there were too many survivors at the end of Dream Warriors and that was because the creators forgot to kill off Kincaid at the end. Apparently, they didn't realize it until it was too late. Also, the editing and lighthearted comments during the aforementioned underlying homo-eroticism in Freddy’s Revenge by the cast and director were really funny also. Another great set of edited scenes is when the actors recite their characters most memorable lines. Trust me that it’s a lot funnier to see in person.

One of
the funniest moment for me was during the Dream Warriors chapter when I learned about what they had originally in store for Joey’s hottie nurse. Instead of fully appearing as Freddy during Joey’s dream, they originally had the actress naked but with a Freddy mask on. When they showed the production stills of the never before seen footage, I am so glad they decided not to go that direction because it was beyond redonkulous. All I could think was “That's what Freddy would look like with tits”. Creepy, creepy imagery.

Unfortunately there were some exaggerated stories that were unintentionally funny. One that instantly pops into mind is that Johnny Depp did not appear for any interviews, which is unfortunate. Everyone was singing his praises about how wonderful he is and how he loved his part in ANOES. So they show a couple of tightly edited clips of him on Inside the Actors Studio, where he states that it “wasn’t a bad gig”. Um yeah. Guess what? My first job at a video game store was not a “bad gig” either, but if I was asked to come back and talk about it in an interview, I would have to decline due to my reputation in my current industry. But maybe he could not participate because he was just busy…and maybe I’m a Chinese jet pilot.


Another groaner came in an obvious move of nepotism, when Lin Shaye kept weighing in on the original. I almost fell outta my chair when she said that her "blink and you’ll miss it" role as Nancy’s teacher had so much impact on the film that people come up to her all time and say that she was really “like their own teacher” growing up and she was their favorite character in the film. Favorite character? The English teacher? Where was Dr. Evil to come in and say “Riiiggghhhtt”?


Remember when I said to not always present things through ruby-colored glasses all the time and state the truth on the matter? That philosophy is executed in various segments throughout Sleep. There are recurring moments that deal with the strained relationship between director Wes Craven and producer Robert Shaye. At one point, Freddy's Revenge director Jack Sholder comments on not being impressed with the original ANOES and that is why he took Freddy in a new direction in his sequel.

The most uncomfortable part of the whole documentary is the story explained by Toy Newkirk who played Sheila in the Dream Master. She said that director Renny Harlin approached her after viewing some dailies and told her that she was not acting "black" enough. Harlin said that he does not recall saying that to her because that is not something he would say. But Newkirk kept on insisting that that he did tell her that and then went on to say he apologized after a positive audience reaction on her character following a test screening. Harlin still flatly denied the claim. You can tell that she still has some bad blood with him. By the way, Newkirk is a producer on the Howard Stern Show. And as a huge Stern fan, I did not even know that fact.

I think I have said enough to preach Never Sleep Again's well deserved praises. In some ways, this documentary made me feel like I have always known everything about ANOES some times and at other times it introduced totally new factoids that made me feel like I knew nothing about the series. If you are expecting a “making-of” extended featurette, you will be sorely disappointed because you are going to get a hell of a lot more. Sleep is a thorough examination of the entire Elm Street universe and a journey that I will be taking again sometime in the near future. From the amazing title sequence to the very last piece of bonus material, this is a must-see for any Nightmare fan, horror fan or anyone who wants to see how a flawless documentary is done. This is the Hearts of Darkness for the horror fan.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Movie Dirty Dozen: 12 Cheesy Guilty Pleasures




I’m usually not one to jump on blog hops, but thanks to a new follower/followee Alex at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/, I decided to join up and submit my Dirty Dozen of film. The only thing is that there are like 38 other people doing the same thing and picking my top-12 films is way too difficult to narrow down.

So since this is the “Dirty” Dozen and this is ETMC, you know that I never do things by the book. In that spirit, I decided to do my top-12 favorite porn films of all-time! How’s that for dirty?

Just kidding!! Come on, I’m not that much of a sleazebag.

When I think “Dirty” I think “Guilty”, so I decided that I am going to list and discuss my top 12 guilty and “dirty” pleasures of cinema that are pure trash yet pure treasure to my heart. They are not listed in any order of rank either.

Ok enough set up…






Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2

Plot: A murdered prom queen comes back from the dead to avenge her assailant and prove she is even more of a bitch in her second life go-around.

What Me Thinks: The original Prom Night is absolutely horrible and completely unwatchable. Not a “so bad it’s good”, just a “so boring it’s bad”. This in title only sequel takes pieces of The Exorcist, Carrie and A Nightmare on Elm Street and mixes them together to create some awesome Canadian B-Movie Horror Trash. Highlights include people getting smashed in lockers and turning into ground beef, volleyball nets transforming into webs, a demonic rocking horse, and of course Michael Ironside…a true Canadian treasure. I’ll say it again…Michael Ironside! Skip all other Prom Night entries but run to see this one if you have been unfortunate to miss it already.

Favorite Quote: "Hey kids...they're playing our song."





Super Fuzz


Plot: An Italian cop in South Florida develops super powers after he accidentally stumbles across a NASA experiment. He sets out to stop a counterfeit cash ring with his only weakness being the color red.

What Me Thinks: I have loved this film since childhood. Sure it might not have the best acting, sure it is a superhero knockoff and sure the comedy might not be all that funny. But Super Fuzz has a theme song that sticks in your head for all eternity, is pure popcorn entertainment and the lead character can catch bullets with his teeth. What ele do you need in life? Slapstick runs rampant in this low budget flick making it a b-movie for the ages. Good for kids and adults alike. This has already been reviewed on ETMC and you can find it here.

Favorite Quote: “I know who I am and I know who you are. But do you know who he is?”






Head

Plot: The story is…well…umm…there is no actual full fleshed story. As the Monkees craze died out, the band’s film attempts to deconstruct their manufactured image but ultimately puts the last nail in the Monkees fandom coffin.

What Me Thinks: Do I like the Monkees? No. Do I enjoy watching this Jack Nicholson penned mish-mash of a film? Absolutely. Unless you watch it multiple times and know the backstory behind the film’s creation, it makes no sense at all. But it does have very brief cameos by Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper. Works for me. It’s also a very trippy and visualizing disorientating film that entertains me for some odd reason. It might be the underlying theme of the Monkees’ dissatisfaction with their cartoonish image as well as other parodies of the times in the late 60’s. This film might also secretly be the inspiration of Rocky. No one is admitting it, but I can totally see it.

Favorite quote: “Your music is very ‘white’.”







The Last Dragon

Plot: A young martial artist takes on a corrupt music producer to save a beautiful woman and also battles his counterpart martial artist nemesis to find out “Who’s the master?”

What Me Thinks: I don’t care if Berry Gordy cast his talentless relative in the lead role and I don’t care that the villain ripped off Gene Simmons’ hairstyle. Vanity was still hot back then, Ernie Reyes Jr. was an unbelievable mini-kick ass and Sho’nuff the Shogun of Harlem is still one of my favorite on-screen villains! To this day, I still say Julius Carry’s (R.I.P.) catchphrase out loud to joke around with people. And it’s another film where the lead can catch bullets with his teeth. The action is awesome, there’s tribute to Bruce Lee’s classic films (even though Chuck Norris is the man), there’s a piranha tank, and there’s Sno’nuff. Sno’nuff?! ‘Nuff said.

Favorite quote: “Who’s the Master?! Sho’nuff!”







Masters of the Universe

Plot: He-Man and his friends are accidentally transported from their homeworld Eternia to modern-day (at the time) Earth. Skeletor has taken control of Castle Greyskull and He-Man must return to Eternia in order to defeat his foe.

What Me Thinks: I hated this movie when I saw it in theaters as a kid. No Battle Kat? No Orko? Who cares?! Nowadays, this is a film that I can sit back and enjoy its’ goofy charm and while laughing at Lundgren’s horrible acting prowess as He-Man. Frank Langella plays an AWESOME and more evil Skeletor than what we got in the cartoons and puts his full talents to work in playing his role. Goofy film or not, Langella plays it like he is going for an Oscar. Sure there should have been more Eternia, but the small budget didn’t allow it. If there was more Eternia, we would miss classic scenes like Billy Barty chugging barbeque sauce behind a bush. And we just couldn’t miss out on a great scene like that. Keep an eye out for the pink dildo on Courtney Cox’s dresser the film conclusion. I’m totally being serious.

Favorite quote: “I have da’ Power!”






Broken Lizard’s Club Dread

Plot: A murderer is running loose on a tropical party island and it’s up to the Broken Lizard gang to uncover the slasher’s identity and stop him.

What Me Thinks: I love Broken Lizard and every film they make but this one was a disappointment in theaters and is documented as the troupe’s worst effort. Mainly because people were looking for Super Troopers 2 and that’s not what this film was meant to be. The Lizards took the concept of a horror parody and made it as original as they could. Bill Paxton is hilarious as Coconut Pete - the Jimmy Buffet knock-off, you get to see Jordan Ladd doing gymnastics in the nude and a live PAC-MAN maze game. A live PAC-MAN maze game! How f’n cool is that?

Favorite quote: “There's always one fuck-head like you trying to shit in the apple pie. Well you just shat in the one apple pie that knows how to shit back.”







Flash Gordon (1980)

Plot: Flash Gordon goes to the kingdom of Mongo to stop Ming the Merciless from destroying Earth.

What Me Thinks: You don’t think this should be considered trashy? Me neither, but every one keeps telling me it is a stupid flick. Then I tell them they are stupid. Just because this film looks like an acid trip gone wrong, the lead actor’s voice is dubbed and Melody Anderson can’t act worth a shit means nothing to me. It has Max Von Sydow in my favorite role he has ever played as well as Topol and Brian Blessed. Is it campy? Hell ya! This is another childhood favorite that I happily admit to loving now as much as I did then. I juts wish I could have seen what the Bore Worms look like. Watch it, learn it, live it.

Favorite quote: “Fa-da! Damn-you! Fa-da!”







KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

Plot: The band KISS must stop a fired amusement park employee from using robot versions of them to poison the minds of the youth.

What Me Thinks: Think KISS with superpowers. How can you not want to see this crap? Add the fact that their acting abilities are worse than the special effects and you have a classic crapperfest on your hands. The band is embarrassed by the film and as well they should be, but they should hold their heads high around me when I sing its’ cheesy praises.

Favorite quote: “Easy Catman. Dey aw serious.”






Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Plot: A band must collect magical instruments in order to stop a ruthless corporation and protect their town from being ruined.

What Me Thinks: This film totally disgraces the Beatles music, ruined so many careers and has the most hysterical costumes for the lead actors but it is the funniest train wreck to watch. And it is captured on film to enjoy over and over again forever! Where else can you see Alice Cooper in substance abuse recovery, Steve Martin engaging in lightsaber-like combat and Peter Frampton with his long curly locks nowadays? This film has it all. It is lame as hell but great for some laugh. It’s funny to watch it again when you know that the Bee Gees and Frampton actually fought tooth-and-nail to be labeled as the headliner of this shite prior to the release!

Favorite quote: George Burns is the ONLY one who delivers dialogue throughout the film’s running time and I don’t speak ill of the dead, especially someone as talented as Mr. Burns. So the quote here is N/A.







Jaws The Revenge

Plot: The shark follows the remaining members of the Brody family to the Bahamas in order to seek revenge for the deaths of the previous sharks in the series.

What Me Thinks: Sharks seeking vengeance surprisingly enough, this is not the worst installment of the series. That honor belongs to Jaws 3-D. This film has my favorite death of the series (in the extremely dark and “played straight” beginning), but it also contains the fakest looking JAWS shark that roars, swims at hyperspeed, has the brain capacity to hold a grudge, and set traps. And let me add the Mario Van Peeples is in it and makes me laugh my ass off with his horribly forced accent.

Favorite quote: “Roar!” Yes the shark roars like a lion and he’s not even genetically altered. Which brings me to the next film…






Deep Blue Sea

Plot: Genetically-altered sharks trap and hunt a team of scientists in a lab that is rapidly sinking.

What Me Thinks: Hey it’s another shark film! Every one HATES this film and I have no idea why. It has sharks, Thomas Jane and one of the most surprising deaths I have ever witnessed on film. People bitch that it ripped off JAWS? Director Renny Harlin made this as an obvious tribute to the JAWS series and made it publicly known prior to the film’s release. Reviewers and moviegoers were sickened that these sharks swim backwards? Hello??!!! It’s a film about genetically-altered and highly intelligent test sharks. They knew that going in, so what were they expecting? The sharks were going to play chess or something? Hey, Harlin…sequel time DBS 2 with chess playing sharks. It’s gold I tell you…gold!

Favorite quote: the LL Cool J theme song…”Deepest Blue, my hat is like a shark’s fin!”






Hard Rock Zombies

Plot: The band Holy Moses is murdered by a psychotic family and return as Hard Rock Zombies to avenge their death. The only problem is that the undead band makes more zombies and the infection spreads throughout most of the town.

What Me Thinks: This is the Citizen Kane of my cheesy films! Any one that knows me, knows that I will smack a bitch who does love the HRZ! The most poorly acted, ridiculously written and cheesiest soundtrack film of all time…but entertaining as hell. This film has zombies, Hitler, werewolves with switchblades, and the most uncomfortable love angle in cinematic history. I have probably seen this film 50 times and will probably watch it hundreds more. Here’s a link to the first installment of Amateur Hour featuring HRZ.

Favorite quote: “You’re Neat.”


I hope you enjoyed my Dirty Dozen of Gulity Pleasure Films and I cannot wait to check out the reviews of the other Blog Hip Hoppers today! As always...comments, concerns and praise are always welcome in The 'Cave.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Booze Reviews: Summit Maibock



Subject:
Summit Maibock


Brewing Company: Summit Brewing Company


ABV: 6.70%


Location of Purchase: Brother's in Minneapolis, MN (6/1/10)


Date of Consumption: 6/1/10


Analysis: I picked this up on tap off a recommendation from the bartender when I asked for the best local stuff he had available. He really seemed confident to push the Summit Maibock on me since it is available in the Spring season only. It was advertised as having a mix of light caramel and spicy hops. If there was any caramel, I certaintly didn't a hint of it. All I got was a grainy and fried-like liquid. Pretty enticing, no?


Like my previous adventure with the ultra hoppy Loose Cannon (minus the weird effect it cast on me), this bitter beer did not go down well at all. A red flag went up when the color seemed a lot darker than in the advertisement he had hanging by the bar's entrance. Each sip was like a slap in the mouth, causing some seriously grotesque bitter beer face. And that always impresses the ladies let me tell you.


All of these negatives aside, the taste is what really killed any attempt I remotely had at ordering another. I even contemplated a shot of straight vodka to cleanse and purify my saddened tastebuds.


Final Verdict: If you like bitter beer, you might enjoy this one but it does not get ETMC's endorsement. I am pretty indifferent when it comes to darker beer if the taste is right and the feeling going down is enjoyable, but this was not par for the course in the least. I couldn't even finish it. The Summit Hefeweizen is coming in the summer so maybe I will give that a whirl.


So if you are in Minnesota and want to try a local beer, try another one. AVOID!


Side note: the bartender did not charge me for the Summit and offered me another beer to restore good faith in him. He did not disappoint again in his second recommendation and you will read more on that experience in the next Booze Review installment.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Day in SPAM MAIL FAIL!!!! for 6/17/10




It’s been a while since a piece of spam mail was original and entertaining enough to catch my eye, but I could not help sharing this gem from "Sir" Bill Gates with you all. If this is your first endeavor into a SPAM MAIL FAIL post, this is the deal: I put up the original e-mail and then list my response. On to the show...



Microsoft Notification

From: Sir Bill Gates

Congrats.,confirm receipt (£450,000 GBP) by sending your name,address,age,phone number etc to xxxxxx@aol.co.uk


My response:

Dear Sir Gates-A-Lot,

While I admire your attempt to jump on the ETMC bandwagon and become the first celebrity to appear on The ‘Cave, you have failed Mr. Gates. That honor goes to my friend Tate of the band SafetySuit…who is like WAY more fun than you are.

Are the cutbacks extreme enough that you have to send out e-mails on your own? Did you eradicate the Outbound Communications division or something? Shame on you, sir. Now you have to do all of the bitch-ass e-mailing all by yourself. Color me surprised, but why don't you have an e-mail address ending in @microsoft.com or @microsoft.net? Is this your personal e-mail account, Sir Billy? Do you love ETMC? If you do, I don't blame 'ya.

But where are my manners? Congratulations into knighthood Sir Gates! I had no idea you were British, so I guess it’s true when they say you learn something new everyday. Unfortunately I one-up you on that Sir Gates. You are just a knight whereas I am a Jedi Knight. I get to carry a lightsaber and stuff. And I have Jedi Powers beyond your comprehension. Watch…I’m going to use my Jedi mind tricks to make you and your corporation create inferior products to Steve Jobs and Mac. See? I’m such a great Jedi Master that I have already performed that trick on you years ago.

By the way, I am a MAC user….just kidding! I bet that really pissed you off for a second, didn’t it?!

Alright I goona cut the shit. Listen I know this isn’t really Microsoft’s Bill Gates you pathetic f’n douchebag. I mean come on, man! Do people really fall for his silliness? Does your boss consider this “clever, new viral outreach”? Go get a real job. If you are smart enough to create algorithms that can bypass spam filters, go make a spaceship that can land us on another planet. Or better yet, solve the BP Oil Spill and do something worthwhile, you f-bag!


GFY with a chainsaw and I mean that sincerely,

ETMC

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jan Terri's Answer to MJ's Thriller...

Remember the wonderful sounds of Jan Terri that I shared with you all last week? Well the limo driving diva at it again in her take on horror videos like Thriller, Bark at the Moon, etc. Now this video is really, really scary and puts those classics to shame. John Landis could only hope to make such a bold and terrifying piece of work. You have been warned, so please watch with the lights on if you are not feeling courageous. Bow down dogs and worship the Getdown Goblin!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Live your horror matchup fantasy with Terrordrome!

Welcome to...Terrordrome!

Mortal Kombat has been linked to horror an awful lot this week, at least for me. First there was the 7 minute trailer for the new kickass Mortal Kombat film complete with a facelift gearing towards the horror genre. If you have not seen that yet, go check it out. It is everywhere and only one Google search away.

The other MK-Horror instance would be my discovery of something truly amazing via the IMDB message boards. Yes believe it or not, sometimes perusing through the IMDB message boards can have some advantages once you get past the unneeded name-calling, discriminatory jokes and outbursts from people I like to call the “Thought Police”. It was on these boards that I saw a thread entitled Horror Characters in Mortal Kombat (or something of that nature) where the poster stated that you can play as Freddy in a MK-style game. My heart jumped in excitement, but I expected this to be a good ole’ IMDB prank. Expecting to get Rick-Rolled, I click on the link to a site for a game wonderfully entitled Terrordrome by HURACAN, which appeared to have exactly what was advertised by the thread’s poster.

Still not convinced that this was not a link to malware or spyware, I did some research and found demo videos of this game, on youtube. Check it out the trailer here…




So I did find out that the game has been in development since 2007, but it's the first I have learned about it. Either way, the game seems closer to being finalized as ever, so I wanted to pass the good news on to those who were unaware like myself.



Ever since I got into the Mortal Kombat craze in the early 90’s, I always wished that they would make a figthing game using horror icons in head-to-head combat. I remember a fighting game called Time Killers, where one of the playable characters was a punk rocker looking dude with a chainsaw. This character reminded me of Ash and I always thought that would be the closest thing to playing as Mr. Williams in a fighting game against other horror baddies as I would get. That was until I stumbled across the creators and genre fans behind the game Terrordrome, who created this free demo to try out.

The Version 2.5 demo allows you to select four playable characters:
Ashley “Ash” Williams from Evil Dead 2
Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street
Chucky from Child’s Play
Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

and other Non-Playable Characters (NPC's):

Pinhead from Hellraiser
The Tall Man from Phantasm
Ghostface from Scream
Candyman from, well, Candyman
Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th
Matt Cordell from Maniac Cop
Dr. Herbert West from Re-Animator

Not too shabby of a selection for a horror fighting game between some real film icons, huh?

So far, I downloaded the demo and have played a few times with Ash (of course). My battles with Chucky were brutal, but Freddy is near impossible until you develop a more methodic approach to taking him out. After I was lucky enough to make it past the Clawed One, I met up with Michael Myers…and had my ass handed to me in a 3 set sweep!

The game is extremely reminiscent of MKII, which is my favorite all-time fighting game, and like MKII it is in 2D. So those who are hell bent on only playing 3D games should keep going, but good luck finding these characters all in one game anywhere else. Those wanting longer and more engaging scraps against their opponents will be pleased to hear that this game adopts a best-of-five rule opposed to the standard best-of-three, which makes using repetitive moves uneventful against the A.I. Also, the engine is not a combo-happy one because it gauges vitality loss based on the strength of solid, critical hits as opposed to the amount of cheesy little moves that drive players bonkers. So quality versus quantity is good in this case as you need to earn your strikes against your opponent.



There are many key characteristics in the demo that make Terrodrome stand out as a true horror fighting game for horror fans by horror fans. The first thing that you will notice is the relative environments unique to each specific character you are facing. Freddy is in his boiler room, Myers is in front of the Myers house, Chucky is in a toy store with several of his clones aligning the shelf, Jason has Crystal Lake, and so on. The use of actual sound clips from films definitely enhances the experience to a further degree. Whether it is Chuck’s maniacal laugh as he cuts you up, Ash telling us about his boomstick or Freddy simply grunting in pain as he receives damage, you get a great amount of authentic signature sound effects that keep this game as genuine to the source materials as possible.

Another great asset that enhances the gameplay is the special moves of each particular character. For example, a combo of button moves will allow Ash to draw his shotgun and blast away or another button combo will allow him to use his iron fist from Army of Darkness to lay the smack down. He also can conjure up Deadites from the Book of the Dead to do his dirty work for him. Freddy has combos where he jumps on his opponent to dice them up ala Freddy vs. Jason and can grab and drain your character's soul. He also has teleportation, but my favorite is his Dream Warriors snake attack! Chucky is harder to hit due to his low center of gravity, while Myers is a giant whose hits send you flying across the screen time and time again.


This is a demo, so it’s hard to really provide any negative feedback. I have no idea what HURACAN has planned for the other NPC’s, like whether or not they will be usable in the final version or if they have to be unlocked. A correct move set list would be nice to have because sometimes I pull off certain special moves but I have no idea what configuration I pressed to execute them. There is a move set list on the website, but most of the combinations do not work when I perform them. And are there "fatalities" like in the MK games? If there are fatalies, then they are also not listed on the site. I have not seen the cpu perform any against me, so who knows?

The hope is that there are fatalites, more characters to use and a correct move set list will be available once a final version is released. Finally, some plotline to the game would put a nice spin on things with each character having their own personal story arch as to why they are battling their horror counterparts to the death.

The main point I want to drive home is that this is a free game or at least the demo is free. HURACAN's and the rest of their team are true genre fans and that is made obvious by the attention paid to detail to each character, environment and special move list. They are highly intelligent game programmers who made this product with their own money and on their own free time. That is true ambition and dedication to one's craft. And I thank them for creating a fun game that I thought I would never ever get to play except in my imagination.

Whether the final product will be free or not remains to be seen, but if some of the issues I listed above are addressed, I'd drop money on this game faster than Braylon Edwards drops wide open passes.



I urge all fans of both video games and horror movies to download this demo and realize some horror matchup fantasies without having to depend on the studios to colloborate on the next Horror Icon vs. Horror Icon film.


Watch the demo in full blown action mode below and follow this link to download and get in in the action yourself. I for one will be spending more countless hours hacking away.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Minnesota Strikes Back!

Remember my post from a couple of weeks back on the Wisconsin-based mortgage company and their diss on Minnesota?

Well check out what I found during my recent trip to the state of 10,000 lakes:




Smackage!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

John Carpenter added to August's Monster-Mania in NJ!




Ok I had to postpone my Amateur Hour review of Sharks in Venice to discuss the latest additions to Monster-Mania's Cherry Hill roster in August. The biggest news being the announcement of...


John Carpenter!!!

John Carpenter has become the show's new headliner and I for one am completely psyched!!! Sure Carpenter has made some serious cinematic failures over the second half of his career, but this is the legend who also made little films such as Halloween, The Thing (remake), Escape From New York and They Live! Three of the aforementioned titles are among my top-25 of all time. And I always remember Carpenter for the many, many successes of his career over the few messes he has made. Dude is iconic, legendary, epic, or whatever other great descriptive you can apply to him. Meeting him would definitely be something off the bucket list in terms of horror celebrities and I simply cannot wait to do so.


Also...



The Boondock Saints
! Well not the assassins but the actors who played the kickass duo: Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus. I still have yet to see the sequel, but the original is beyond awesome.
The film is not horror-related, but it is indeed the shiznit and provides the actors with their best on-screen performances. And that goes for Flanery's role in Glitter. Haha.

Basically what started off as an "iffy" show is really starting to shape up into something to really look forward to! More news as it comes in.


Here are links to other Monster-Mania updates...


MM Update #1

MM Update #2

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Amateur Hour: Sharks in Venice (2009)




Summer time always brings out the shark film lover in me, so now seemed a good time to finally check out
Sharks in Venice. Or should I call this film Stephen Baldwin gets a free trip to Venice for being in this film?


Don't look at me like that Steve-o. You know you did this for a free vacation


And while I expected it to be a bad film, I did not expect the enjoyable laugh-fest beginning with the opening scene. By the midway point, this film instantly became one of my favorite comedies of all time. Trust me, when I say this is high...wait for it...larious!


Sharks in Venice
or SIV (sounds like a disgusting venereal disease, right?) begins with some divers on an expedition that get killed by sharks...or should I say shark stock footage. In this particular scene, even though our slaughtered divers in our film are surrounded by complete darkness, the shots of the sharks look like they were filmed in the sunshine-filled oceans of Hawaii.


Stock footage and poor CGI like this create the shark attack sequences

We then head to San Francisco at the Oceanographic Institute, where Stephen Baldwin is lecturing his class on diving. Apparently Baldwin is like a hipper version of Matt Hooper, except his specialty is wreck diving. When one of his students makes a lame comment about his own diving abilities in an attempt to be humorous, Baldwin rips on the kid but then continues to play the kid out over and over again for the next several minutes. Geez Baldwin, let it go and learn to take a joke.



How does it feel, Stevie? This is how I looked after I saw Bio-dome & Threesome

I don't want to spoil any of this masterpiece for you all, but I need to tell you some of my favorite parts that left me in tears:

- The female lead, Vanessa Johannsen, is probably the worst actress on this planet, perhaps the galaxy. Whether she is supposed to be happy or sad or scared, she delivers the same expression every time. It's a funny bugged-eyed expression don't get me wrong, but it is never relevant to what she should be emoting at that particular time. My favorite scene happens early in the film, when she shoots that goofy expression to the blonde female cop. When Johannsen gives the woman this extended look while the camera just remains on a close-up of her, I almost died.



This is the same look you get from her the entire film.


- The sightseeing scenes were obvious like really bad ads for Italy tourism. I'm 100% Italian and want to visit the land of my native roots one day, but I was cringed while Baldwin gave shout-outs to the local landmarks. Must be seen to be understood how ridiculous it all was. Let's just say his emotion will do nothing to help boost the tourism influx into Venice.


"See up there? That's where my big brother's career's at."

- Baldwin yells to a nearby guard: "He's gotta a gun!" Well no shit. Did this guard think that the sound of a firing automatic weapon in the hallway was fireworks or something. And was he not tipped off by the other dead guard he saw before Baldwin screamed this obvious warning? No. He was an idiot and got smoked like a Marlboro red.

- Everyone who has an encounter with a shark is easily mauled and instantly killed...except for Baldwin. He is the only one who gets bitten by a great shark but still has the energy to go on a
Raiders of the Lost Ark-like adventure.

- And then after his
Raiders of the Lost Ark-like adventure, he is mauled by a great white again only to wake up in a hospital with barely a scratch on him. Look at this:


"I had a dream again where I baptized Spencer Pratt"


I could only hope to look half as good after getting into a scrap with a great white!

- Damn does William have some big ass nipples. They just scream through his wet shirt at the very end. Dude pimps his boobage early and often, so brace yourself for that.


See? Real Baldwins have man-boobs!

- Speaking of the end, I nearly pissed myself when they showed the motionless shark fin bobbing up-and-down in the water that looked fake as all hell. Looked like a raft floating in the water when it was supposed to be a shark fin cutting through the water's surface.

I could go on and on all month on just how many funny parts this film has going for it. But alas it time to wrap it up...

The Good:


Scenes like this!


- You have to see the film to know what greatness happens in the above scene only seconds later. This scene sums up all of the wacky shit you will see throughout the film's running time.

- The unintentional comedy that comes at you in a rapid fire-like fashion. See my points above in this review for prime examples.

- This is better than anything The Asylum can put out. These creators know how to do shitty film making the right way. And while it is a bit of a Jaws clone, at least there is some originality to it. Hell, even the terrible script in this flick is light years better than The Asylum's many attempts at screenwriting legitimacy.

The Bad:

- None!

Final Verdict:

I bet you are asking "WTF do you mean there is nothing Bad??!!!", so let me explain. Oh this film is bad alright. Real bad. But no one making this film is taking anything seriously. From the opening frames, I could tell that the creators behind this film knew they were making a low budget crapfest, so they intentionally made it flat out ridiculous...and to great success.

Highly recommended for bad film lovers or shark film completists like myself.
And bonus points if you catch it on SyFy and never drop a penny.

ETMC Honors Romero on Freddy in Space



Man am I way late on this one, but I did want to make a mention of it either way...

A couple weeks ago, Johnny over at Freddy in Space ran a George A. Romero-themed week and asked me to write a non-film review post for his site in honor the great Mr. Romero. In all honesty, I NEVER guest posted before because I barely have enough bandwidth to write for my own blog and it causes me stress in the midst of a crazy work week like the one I was having when I was asked write something. But I think so highly of Johnny and respect the hell out of G.A.R. that of course I would actually go the extra mile and participate.

The funny thing is that I submitted it to him so late in the week and never had time to see what everyone else was doing. So I told him I would write something very un-ETMCish and be different. While everyone wrote some creative and funny posts, mine was a dedication to Romero written in biographic prose. Romero was a huge influence on my scriptwriting growing up, so much so that his talents were showcased in my undergrad thesis for film school.


So if you want to see what it's like to read a serious post from me without silly banter and the like, please follow the link below. And I'll give you a nickel if you leave a comment. Currently it has zero...point...zero. Just ask John Vernon.


Click here to see ETMC on Freddy in Space

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ETMC on Big Dave and Company

Boy do I feel mega popular right now!

You all probably read that I was M.I.A. from the bloggersphere in Minnesota last week, so there was little to zero content from me on ETMC. In catching up with my e-mail this afternoon, I received a message from Big Dave over at Big Dave and Company (http://www.bigdaveandcompany.com/) letting me know that my site was mentioned on his podcast and that I could check it out if I wanted...which is exactly what I wanted.


Here is a link to the podcast in question. My mention is about a little under halfway in and is about Chuck Norris and Mr. T. Got your attention now with those big names, didn't I?

This is not because of the plug/mention, but Big Dave and Company's blog site and podcasts are hysterical. I started following Big Dave and Company last summer (and vice versa) because the content on the site is original and incredibly funny. You all know how much I appreciate some good humor, and I don't mean the ice cream either. I highly encourage all of you to check them out and start following them when you get a chance.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Something to make your Monday somewhat enjoyable...

I can lead a horse to water but I can't make you drink it. Wait I'm not calling you a horse, I would never do that, but I am trying to encourage you to watch the entire 4 minutes of this video to see some of the funniest shit on the web. And remember that this is meant to be 100% serious. Please remember that.

And without further review, the wonderful music video by Ms. Jan Terri...


Sunday, June 6, 2010

ETMC back online


A house warming sausage? It was like putting it on a damn tee for me to hit!

I know you have all been wondering where I have been lately? Actually I'm being facetious as I'm sure you slept well without care or worry. But in case you were wondering, I just got back from spending the week in Minnesota with some friends who showed me one helluva time.

The 'Cave will be up and running as usual starting tomorrow and I'll catch up with all my favorite blogs as well. Thanks for the beer review-loving and new followers who joined up this week. I plan to do some more adventures in new cerveza in the near future.

In the meantime enjoy these little pics in typical ETMC style:


More sausage humor: The Twins love the sausage.



The Minnesota Twins are stern. Stern but fair.


That's all you're getting. The rest of my pics are R-rated and can get me arrested.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Booze Reviews: Loose Cannon by Heavy Seas



Subject: Loose Cannon

Brewing Company: Heavy Seas (part of the Pyrate Fleet Beers)

ABV:
7.25%

Location of Purchase:
Jack's Tavern in Media, PA (5/22/10)

Date of Consumption: 5/29/10

Analysis:
I have to admit that I bought the Loose Cannon for two reasons:

1) Never heard about it before so I was curious


2) Loose Cannon is the nickname my friends I have for a co-worker who has been known to fly off the handle at the blink of an eye. Neither of these reasons are a good ones to buy a beer, especially at close to $12 a six-pack, but I did anyway..

It'll knock you on your ass. We are talking about a triple shot of hops and some high alcohol volume here, but it just sat too heavy in my stomach. Definitely for someone having a "night in" instead of a a group/party environment. Maybe that's where it gets the name Loose Cannon or the effect it has one your colon. The first reason is correct and I'm totally kidding about the colon part. Just couldn't resist.

Here's what Heavy Seas states about Loose Cannon on their
official website:

"Burnished gold with a rich citrus hop aroma, it is wonderfully drinkable with a big hop flavor. We’ve knicknamed it Hop
3 (hop cubed) ale to reflect the enormous amount of hops in this beer: over 3 pounds per barrel! It is hopped 3 ways: in the kettle, in the hop back, and dry hopped. Pairs well with strong cheeses and steak. "

Final Verdict: Maybe I should have had this with cheese and steaks instead of hot dogs and pretzels, but what beer isn't good with hot dogs and pretzels? Very bitter from the triple treatment of hops and the following aftertaste noticeably lingers while getting more potent on your breath as the night goes on. And based in the below average taste, the aftertaste refusal to dissipate is a major negative. I saw some other brews by Heavy Seas, so they'll only get one more chance outta me. Avoid.