Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Yes the story is even worse than this horror!
Not this Meatloaf...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Zach over at The Lightning Bug's Lair, one of my favorite sites, reached out to some bloggers a few weeks back to participate in his annual Top-13 posts right before Halloween. Of course I jumped at the chance to contribute to Zach's yearly tradition not only because he is one of the best writers out there, but also due to the interesting topic at hand. This year's theme is listing your favorite horror remakes. He even gave the post some beef by adding some awesome foreign posters of the listed films.
So I invite you to read my favorite horror remakes and to check into the Lair if you have not already.
Zach runs a great site and I promise once you Zach, you won't go back!!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Highlander 2: The Quickening - A Rant Review Which Explains the Origin of the Highlander 2 Syndrome.
The original Highander is one of my favorite films of all time. I can watch it over and over and never get bored. I love the original's concept, acting, characters, sword battles, soundtrack...everything. Then came Highlander 2: The Quickening and the shit hit the cinematic fan.
If a film is a hit, Hollywood is going to demand a sequel and in director Russell Mulcahy's case, the same went for his Highlander. Highlander was a self-contained story with a beginning, a middle and an absolute end. And by absolute, I mean that Connor MacLeod killing the Kurgan, won him the Prize and remained the "One" and only immortal left. Hollywood demanded a sequel, so the Mulcahy had to figure out how to bring in more immortals to fight Connor and attempt an add-value to the original...and sodomizes Highlander's legacy in the process.
Not only did he find a way to bring more immortals to fight the now aging MacLeod, once again played by Christopher Lambert, but he also resurrected Sean Connery and his Ramirez character in the process, because good ol' Sean is a big name and massive box office draw. Instead of leaving us the mystery behind the origin of the immortals and what the Prize actually is, the director tells a backstory of where the immortals came from...outer space! Outer F'n Space!!!!
"Ah Chris, the things I do for a paycheck sometimes."
Ok I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me give a quick synopsis. It is 2024 and many years since Connor took out the Kurgan. Apparently the Prize is nothing more than the ability to age. Whoopie! Connor is now a weak old man now and an inventor of a giant shield structure covering the Earth because the ozone layer supposedly depleted per the evil corporation he works for. The corporation, headed by David Blake (played by John C. McGinley), who is fending off freedom fighters looking to overtake the corporation in a useless subplot. Everyone is all depressed because while the Earth is saved, it is always looks like it is nighttime outside.
Meanwhile we learn that MacLeod and Ramirez were castoff the planet Zeist, a planet full of immortals run by General Katana (no not the razor Chinese fan slinging bitch from the Mortal Kombat series), because they are good guys or something and are banished to Earth. Their memories are erased of their home planet and why they are indestructible thus the events from the original unfolded with him living in the Scottish Highlands. God I am having a major GERD attack just typing the premise for you!
"Clearly I remember...picking on the boy. Seemed a harmeless little f*ck!"
Katana learns that MacLeod is taking an eternity to die of old age, so he sends alien immortals, who resemble the white-furred gorilla robots from KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, to kill him. Looks like a good plan until one of the creatures lands on a train track and is decapitated by an oncoming train. Since he is close to the chopped alien, he receives a Quickening and becomes young MacLeod again, although with some really wavy hair. See? The lameness just keeps continuing.
Katana decides to take matters in his own hands by transporting to Earth and going after the revitalized MacLeod. For some reason, Connor summons Ramirez to resurrect and help him fight Katana because he can't handle it alone. Umm didn't MacLeod smoke Kurgan who had previously smoked Ramirez??? This leads to several scenes involving Connery with really bad humor as Ramirez works his way to the U.S. in order to reunite with MacLeod. Oh I don't want to forget to mention that MacLeod's love interest is played Virginia Madsen, who I seriously believe drinks the blood of the young or is an immortal herself in real life. She does not age and is just as hot now as she was back then.
Sorry I let your secret out there, Virginia. You are still hot though.
Let me do a fast-forward here: Katana hooks up with David Blake for some evil doings, MacLeod and Ramirez storm the evil corporation's stronghold with guns no less (immortals using guns, wtf?!), Ramirez is killed...again, and MacLeod lops off Katana's head. Connor uses this mega Quickening to blow off the shield surrounding the Earth, allowing the sun to shine down. The Earth remains healthy and intact as the evil corporation was bullshitting about the ozone danger as a fear tactic. Happy dance all around!
The only saving grace is the villain General Katana played by Michael Ironside, who always kills in his roles. He puts his all into his performance and actually makes some of the scenes watchable.
I love you too, Mr. Ironside
Want to hear a real kick in the ass? Years later, Mulcahy tried to cover his butt by blaming the producers for this mess. In a move to unrightfully cash-in on this pile of garbage, he released a re-edited version called The Renegade Edition (without Lorenzo Lamas). This version eliminates the Zeist angle, but unfortunately it doesn't eliminate the suckiness. You can tell the whole thing was really an afterthought because nothing still makes sense in terms of the original Highlander, even though Mulcahy defends himself to this very day, and is just as bad as the original version of The Quickening.
This film is so terrible that I invented a term for it many years ago: The Highlander 2 Syndrome. I label this term to sequels I act as if they never existed because they are uber-dreck. And don't get me started on parts 3 and 4! Look for those rant reviews coming later.
I had that same reaction the first time I saw this film
Monday, October 25, 2010
The show only lasted for one short season, which included the "subplot of the week" format along with Lucky and his pals running scams and gambling at some low level casinos to regain the money he owed. He also struggles with conflict of submitting to his addiction once again. He also has to hide his table-hopping from Theresa who wants Lucky to stay on the straight and narrow no matter what the cost. One thing that could have benefited the show would have been making each episode an hour because some plot lines felt rushed and could have easily been more fleshed out.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Disclaimer: The word Noid does not mean when someone from 1930's New York City called someone a "nerd".
When the pizza delivery innovation started being considered the pizza industry's standard, Domino's Pizza created the best marketing campaign for their brand when they introduced a silly little character called The Noid in the 1980's. For those of you child products of the 80's reading this, I am sure you will agree with me. While Pizza Hut was promoting their pies stacked with a zillion toppings and Little Caesars was rolling out commercials with congo line dances, Domino's urged consumers to "Avoid The Noid" and buy their pizza.
Here's a rundown on The Noid for the ill informed. He was a shady cartoon character depicting a man dressed in a red rabbit suit whose sole purpose in life was to ruin any Domino's pizzas that came into his crosshairs. Nowadays that would be a lot easier because all he has to do was show someone their over inflated bill after their poor quality pies. Zing! Hey-Oh! Just kidding.
The concept sounds absolutely ridiculous and it was. However, his commercials were entertaining and very catchy. How catchy? Well The Noid became a popular icon during that time and Domino's capitalized on his popularity to reach other ways to generate revenue besides selling pizza. That little bastard was everywhere: t-shirts, comics and even video games. Yes The Noid had his very own game for Nintendo. Look for yourself:
I have played it before back in the day and it is god awful. It's an inferior version of Super Mario Bros. But you'd be surprised how many people I knew owned this game.
Back to our friend The Noid, Domino's brought the character back last year for a limited time. But it was way too limited. Domino's, if you are reading this, please don't Avoid The Noid yourself and bring him back!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Alex J. Cavanaugh's sci-fi book CassaStar is now available!
Unfortunately I have not personally read this yet, but I did scope out some advanced reviews that are giving Alex some real positive marks. Now I can check it out for myself via my Kindle during the next couple of weeks and weigh in with my own thoughts soon enough. The curiosity is simple killing me at this point because I love to read sci-fi space battle novels. Add to the fact that Alex penned it sweetens the deal anymore. If anyone has any links to reviews from other sites, please let me know and I will link up.
If you read my last promo post on CassaStar or checked out my top-side countdown bar over the last few weeks, you probably know all about the book. But for those who have not been initiated, read below to update on the greatness that is CassaStar. And if you have not checked out Alex J. Cavanaugh's self-titled site, please make sure to do so. There you can follow Alex's virtual blog book tour spanning many cool sites.
CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
October 19, 2010 Science fiction/adventure/space opera
Dancing Lemur Press LLC
To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.
Much to Byron’s chagrin the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.
As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?
Monday, October 18, 2010
FIC has some gear that will trigger your inner 80's child even if you don't think you have one deep down inside. And these rags aren't just for Halloween costumes. This site sells gear I'd wear just hanging out on a normal day. But I won't get ahead of myself.
First take a look at my Halloween picks (in no particular order):
Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China- this is just too awesome.
Chris Knight from Real Genius
Danny Noonan from Caddyshack - a great shirt to wear to the range.
Stiles from Teen Wolf
And here are some cool tees that caught my eye which are not on the Halloween Costume list:
Lambdas from Revenge of the Nerds
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Eastbound and Down
If only they had the shark eating a kitty t-shirt from Pineapple Express, my list would be complete. Maybe one day...because I really need that shirt to add to my wardrobe.
This post only scratched the surface with all of their offerings. To see the rest of their awesome FIC apparel, please head over to founditemclothing and check out the rest of their warez for yourself. And if you have some extra time, you should definitely check out the blog behind founditemclothing: It Goes to 11 - a great pop culture site where the QoA Kristy Jett contributes from time to time.
If you do happen to buy anything from their site, please shoot me an e-mail or post a comment letting the world know what item clothing you found. I'd be curious to see the items that are considered the hot items, because they all look full of fo' shizzleness to me.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
CONAN O'BRIEN IS BACK! GO TEAM COCO!
You are probably wondering why I, an uber Conan O'Brien fan, am just now posting about this major announcement made months ago. Trust me when I tell you that I wanted to post about Conan heading to TBS the day it was made known to the world, but I did not due to superstition. The last time I posted about Conan's debut on his new Tonight Show, he was abruptly booted a few months later. Another reason for not posting about it was that November 2010 seemed like an extremely long time, but hey it's October and now is time to start getting excited!
The Man-Cave followed the entire debacle that was Leno/NBC vs. Team Coco for months, but I'm over it now. However, I have stayed true to my promise to never watch NBC on weeknights between 11:30 pm - 12:35 am. No skin off my nose because Leno sucks plain and simple. On the positive side of O'Brien's departure, I got to expand my horizons with my new found fandom for Colin Ferguson and his CBS show.
Conan's new late night talk show premieres November 8 at 11PM ET on TBS. Due to his split from NBC, his characters cannot be incorporated into his new show and I am unsure what new concepts he has in store for his audience. What is known is that Andy Richer will be coming back as well, but unfortunately Max Weinberg will not be heading up the band again. Another good thing is that Conan was able to bring in his entire crew that left their lives in NYC, followed him to L.A. for the Tonight Show and then were left unemployed after the NBC mishap in 2009. An extremely commendable move by Mr. O'Brien.
To promote his new show, TBS is flying a giant orange "Conan" blimp around the country. I was lucky enough to catch it in Philly earlier this month, but am not posting pics because they came out crappy. For more updates on the new show and to see if the Conan blimp is heading to your neck of the woods soon, check out the official Team Coco website.
As the nights are X'ed off the calendar, check out some these hilarious promo videos below:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Dudes also wore a lot of "pink" and "orange sherbet" which was frowned upon by the crowd of the Southern-based WCW organization. Me? I was a Horsemen guy, so they were off my radar. Although Shane and Ace were excellent wrestlers, they were also mid-carders who were constantly thrown in the face of the fans even though their angles were lame and predictable, i.e. the "push" example below.
They got a push with Jim Cornette as their manager after he and the Midnight Express had a nasty separation over his commitment to the Dudes over them. This culminated into a pay-per-view match at Halloween Havoc with Cornette turning on the Dudes and causing them to lose. In later weeks, the fans learned that Cornette only staged the breakup with the Express and managed the Dudes to infiltrate and halt their momentum. In the real world, not only did this act halt their push, but it also sent them to jobber-land and eventually disbanding. So I want to take the time to thank Cornette for his efforts in accomplishing what many wrestling fans wanted to see. Besides, I was rooting for the Midnight Express throughout the entire angle.
Shane Douglas eventually went on to become "The Franchise" and built up a large following in ECW, while Ace went back to wrestle in Japan before returning to the States as a booker and a talent development-er during the Attitude Era. Ace threw the past behind him, but Douglas never forgave WCW or Ric Flair for making his first run in the organization a "Dynamic" one.
I can see why the hate...and you can too by checking out this link I found on youtube by wcwfanforever23. It is full of promo clips and match highlights all the Divas of Dynamania, the Dynamic Dudes...
WorstWrestlingthemes' channel has a nice dedication to the Dudes with captions highlighting the past/present/future history concerning all Dude-ness.
Monday, October 11, 2010
"Break the Wall Down!!!"
Any true Jericho-holic would jump at the chance to see Y2J in a motion picture. I even watched Downfall and Celebrity Duets just to see the Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rollah in action. After I read the press release for Albino Farm, which headlined Chris Jericho and Richard Christy from The Howard Stern Show, the DVD immediately went into the player.
Four teens stumble across a creepy little town on their way to the Ozark Mountains where they learn about the legend of Albino Farm. When they pursue the legend's legitimacy, they find out a major secret that they will probably take to their graves.
Have you seen Freaks? Wrong Turn and the sequel? The House of Wax remake? Rest Stop and that sequel? Hills Have Eyes, original or remake?See the pattern? You take all those films and puree them to create uninspired backwoods horror slasher that adds nothing new to the horror genre or its backwoods sub .
No, Sal does not play his sidekick
Blood-n-guts are decent and there is a particular scene involving breastfeeding that is pretty nasty. Unfortunately that is the most shocking scene in the entire flick, but comes off somehwta comedic even though it tried to generate scare value.
The main cast is surprisingly good, especially Tammin Sursok (Pretty Little Liars), Alicia Lagano (Dexter) and Sunkrish Bala as the lead male. Nick Richey's portrayal as the "party guy" of the group feels a bit overboard, but in actuality the issue might be his eye sore of a Hawaiian shirt. By the way, didn't those shirts stop being considered as "wild" and "zany" seven years ago.
Rockin' Hawaiian rag, dude...for 2002
Chris Jericho effectively plays a creepy, chain-smoking redneck, the polar opposite of his pro wrestling persona. Richard Christy is equally eerie, pretty much par on the course for him. I mean, the man had his balls and taint purposely tasered live in radio and video. It doesn't get much creepier than that, but he is one funny mofo.
Don't be fooled by any cover art or press material because these "headlined" stars have extremely low screen time. Even the presence of genre actors Kevin Spirtas and Duane Whitaker is equally as short as Jericho's and Christy's. And if you are a die hard Christy fan, this film may not be worth it just to see him. He receives the least amount of screen time and his character serves no purpose to the main storyline.
Albino Farm is guilty of borrowing many elements from other backwoods genre films, but that is not the major problem - films borrow from each other all the time. The main offenses are that not only was there was zero attempts to do anything remotely unique that would separate it from other films in this sub-genre but the film was simply not fun as it should have been. Take the fun out of a backwoods horror film and with it goes the value. The budget is not to be blamed either. This might be considered low budget, and if it is, that is a major compliment to the producers for giving it a bigger budget look. Reminded me of Amusement in that regard.
This is not "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
Had it not been for some surprising acting from the leads and the special , this would have been shut off by the 40-minute mark. It takes way too long for things to get cooking and once you learn the secret of what's behind the gates of the Albino Farm, you'll groan in disappointment. Then when you get to the supposed twist ending, that you will see coming from a mile away, you'll probably destroy your DVD. Somehow I was able to resist the urge, but can you?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Most people use the internet to learn useful information, but I always seem to find an opportunity to digest pointless data. Take 1986's Spookies for example. I have always regarded it as a film that suffered from some cinematic personality disorder with a misleading title. The title sounded like it was on par with other 80's small monsters flicks like Munchies and Ghoulies, but that could not be further from the truth. Thanks to the internet I received the whole scoop on this film's shrouded mystery, a topic unimportant to most people but at least now I can sleep better at night knowing the truth.
In order to resurrect his dead bride, a wizard named Kreon, who looks and sounds exactly like "Goldmember" from that Austin Powers installment, summons evil monsters to claim the souls from humans who stumble into his manor. That brief plot summary makes the film sound more sensible than it actually is, because things get more convoluted once the happenings of the film are further explained in detail. The first few scene involve a young runaway named Billy, the stupidest 13-year old character ever in cinematic history, who gets his face slashed up then buried alive by one of Kreon's werewolf/were-cat minions. Besides his hook hand, he's a snazzy dresser and all, sporting a white dress shirt and yellow vest. The were-cat, not the idiotic kid. It is a rarity to see kids slaughtered on camera, so this film kicks things off with a bit of a shock.
During Billy's exploits, the film cuts back to a group of 30-year old teenagers who are driving to a party. And guess where they end up...yes, Mr. Wizard's World. The partygoers are a strange breed that look like they are in different cliques and would never hang out with each other in real life. One dude is the stereotypical New York thug, but dresses new wave like is an extra from Class of '84 and one guy looks old enough to be everybody's father.
They arrive a little too late to save Billy, but are there in enough time to find and use a Ouija board triggering all the chaos that takes place afterward. For some reason, Kreon uses the board to possess one of the teens, who looks like a poor man's Linda Blair, and then channel energy from her to gather his "spookies" to kill off the rest.
Things really take an unintentional comedic turn when Kreon's bride is revitalized and not at all impressed with his efforts to bring her back to life. He receives the ultimate burn when she drops the fact that she offed herself rather than be with him in the first place. We really get no back story on these two lovebirds but why would we? This is Spookies for crying out loud! Coherent plot lines have no place in this flick.
The cast is picked off by a variety of creatures, including a grim reaper, electrocuting demons, hordes of zombies, a giant spider woman, and farting dirt monsters. Yes these monsters "fart" constantly while they stalk two characters in the wine cellar. Their only weakness is being doused with wine which dissolves them. Hmm...maybe I should chug some wine the next time I feel gaseous? I am not making up the farting monsters either. Look for yourself in the video below...
Told ya! It is clear to see that the majority of the budget went to the creature effects, which are impressive considering the low budget and the fact that this was made in the early 80's. No CGI, just good old fashioned makeup and animatronics. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best creature effect is the Asian woman's transformation into a giant, creepy spider while the effect of what happens to her fallen prey is completely laughable.
The ending would be called a major WTF? moment if the entire film itself was not a major WTF? moment. Throughout the film, the focus keeps shifting back to a grave with a chained-down cover stone that repeatedly shifts around or pulsates like something is trying to break out. When the big reveal comes, it just makes no sense, much like the rest of the film. The haunted house angle, the reanimated bride angle and the Billy angle just feel like they are different films thrown into one. And it feels that way because that is exactly what happened.
As I learned through some research on the internet, a movie entitled Twisted Souls was filmed around 1983-1984 but left incomplete and then shelved due to creative differences. Souls is what makes up the haunted house/teenagers footage. Around 1985, a new director and actors were brought aboard to film the Kreon/Billy/Dead Bride/Were-cat sequences that were intermixed into the Souls footage to form Spookies.
After years of curiosity in my mind, this revelation explains why Kreon and the teens never directly interact with each other, except for our were-cat friend who spends 80% of his screen time holding doorknobs so the teens cannot escape certain rooms...even though these scenes were shot a few years apart. It also clears up the fact the haunted house footage is obviously filmed on different film stock than the Kreon-related footage and the characters' fashion styles are completely foreign to each other. It also explains why there is an awesome spider woman effect yet Kreon's son has makeup like the cheap kind you buy at a CVS around Halloween.The film feels like two different films tied together because Spookies IS in fact a combination of two films.
The Twisted Souls footage is entertaining in regards to 80's VHS horror cheese and it would be a wonderful thing to see the missing footage restored in its entirety to complete the film minus the Spookies footage. As a fun haunted house flick, Twisted Souls had the potential to become a midnight cult favorite if it had not been for the Spookies merger. But I digress, look at all of the fun things you can find out about Z-grade horror films thanks to the invention of the internet. But isn't that the point of this technology to begin with?
"Happy Birthday, Billy!"
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
This used to be the Dynamic Dudes (WCW tag team) entrance song...
Are Your Ready for Freddy?...
Wiping-out with Macho Camacho...
Twist-ing with Chubby Checker...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I have never tried to hide the fact that I despised the Elm Street remake after making that point clear in my review last Spring...even though I really wanted to like it. After reading a recent article on Bloody-Disgusting, I learned that many of the scenes that looked interesting in the trailer but were cut from the final release are on the recent DVD/Blu-ray release. And apparently it seems that were a LOT of re-shoots and a great deal of footage that was cut, such as the Cassidy as Freddy sequence, an alternate opening, an alternate ending, and Freddy creating his glove.
So I ask you readers/friends/family/acquaintances that have seen these deleted scenes for some help: is this film worth another try to see the new footage? Does it make that much of a difference to the film?
I swore that I would never watch this piece of dreck ever again, except if I passed it on cable and was like, "Hey it's Katie Cassidy (drools)." I just can't hide my curiosity to see the deleted scenes, but if it's a waste of time, then I can live with that.
Again I ask you, as someone who hated the final release, is it worth my time and money to see the deleted scenes?
Even though it didn't seem possible, I just became a bigger fan of Fright Rags about ten minutes ago after reading an e-mail about their recent effort in the struggle against breast cancer. A friend of the Fright Rags community named Leisha is currently in a battle against an aggressive form of breast cancer. She is a young mother of two boys and her husband lost his job over a year ago - and medical insurance along with it. Now as she fights to regain her health with continued treatment, the medical bills with no insurance coverage are piling up. So Fright Rags has released a new t-shirt entitled "We Belong Alive" for a limited time only during October/Breast Cancer Awareness month, with all proceeds going towards Leisha and her family!!
I'm sure almost everyone knows someone close to them that is afflicted with some form of cancer, and I am certainly someone with many loved ones who are survivors. So if you can, please help. This is a real honorable thing Fright Rags is doing for her.
Since the first batch of shirts sold out in mere days, another batch is currently being printed. I can only think that this new batch will sell out as quickly as the first, so show your support against breast cancer and pre-order now before they are gone for good.
As the Bloodhound Gang says "Hooray For Boobies!" Let's do more than just wear pink this month - let's stick it to breast cancer and help Leisha in the process by ordering a "We Belong Alive" rag today!
Pre-order your limited edition "We Belong Alive" Fright Rag before they are gone!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Darkness Within DVD Giveaway winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon here in The Man-Cave, but if you did not enter the contest, you have a chance to get your very own copy in stores 10/30.