Monday, August 31, 2009

Movie Monday - Spiders, Confusion, Vampires & More!


The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

The film stars some B-level 60s/70s actors like Barbara Hale (Della Street from Perry Mason), Alan Hale, Jr. (he plays the sheriff and his first line even uses the "Hi, little buddy!" catch phrase he had on "Gilligan's Island"), Steve Brodie, Robert Easton and Leslie Parrish.

A meteor crashes and giant spiders are the result. A Wisconsin town has to deal with the horrific monsters.

Well, I guess this could have been worse than it was. A bigger budget might have helped. Some of the movie was just blah, lots and lots of talk. And some of the lines were cringe-worthy. I see now that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has riffed this movie on one episode. Might be better to see it that way.

"You're so dumb you wouldn't know rabbit turds from Rice Krispies!" - Wow, what a line. I so want to hear what the MST3K crew said about that!


Unknown (2006)

James Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantoliano, Barry Pepper, Jeremy Sisto, Peter Stomare, Bridget Moynahan

Five bloody, beaten and confused men wake up in a deserted warehouse with no memory of who they are or why they are together. They then have to try and figure out what is going on, who they are and who put them in this situation. Is it one of them?

Interesting flick, that I had never heard of before. And with the line up of actors in it, that seems odd. Definitely keeps you guessing, right up until the end.

Recommended, if you like violent, mystery, action flicks.


The Forsaken (2001)

Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr, Izabella Miko, Johnathon Schaech, Phina Oruche, Simon Rex

A young man is hired to drive a car cross country. After picking up a strange hitchhiker and encountering some even stranger people on the road, he soon finds out that vampires aren't just the stuff of legends.

Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, this is sort of an action/vampire flick. Some of the scenes are way too dark for me to even grasp what is going on, but overall it's not a bad story.

The end has a sort of set-up that reminded me of the TV show "Supernatural".

Recommended if you like this sort of movie.


Miss Marple, Series IV: Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (2009)

[Julia McKenzie, Sean Biggerstaff, David Buchanan, Rik Mayall]

Another great little Miss Marple movie, this time she is helping her friend's son when he becomes involved with a murder after finding a body on a cliff. The dying man's last words, "Why didn't they ask Evans?", trigger them, along with another friend, to investigate the circumstances themselves.

An interesting mystery, this story is actually a reworked Agatha Christie tale. The original didn't have Miss Marple as a character. But, rewriting aside, this was a fun story and I honestly didn't solve it myself, at all. Good stuff.

Recommended indeed.


And an MST3K Quiz for you, with my score.

What did you get?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Halloween 3D ??? has this tidbit of news from the LA Times:

""Halloween II" may not have won the box office this weekend, but Weinstein Co. is taking a lesson from the movie that did as it prepares a sequel for next summer.

The independent studio's co-Chairman Bob Weinstein said today that the 3-D sequel, titled, appropriately enough, "Halloween 3D," is in development.

The investment it takes to shoot movies in digital 3-D has proved particularly lucrative for horror films. For "The Final Destination," this weekend's No. 1 movie, theaters with at least one 3-D screen earned 3.25 times as much as those that showed the movie in 2-D only, according to distributor Warner Bros. That's substantially higher than for other recent releases. The equivalent 3-D multiple for last month's "G-Force," for instance, was only 1.7 on its first weekend. For July's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" it was 1.4 and for June's "Up" it was 2.2. January horror flick "My Bloody Valentine" earned 6.4 times as much from 3-D theaters as it did from 2-D on its opening weekend.

Weinstein said Rob Zombie, who directed "Halloween II" and 2007's reboot of the 31-year-old horror series, won't return for "Halloween 3-D." He said the studio is in negotiations with a new director, whom he declined to name, who has experience in horror and has a "different take" on the franchise."



Would I love to see a Michael Myers flick in 3D? Hell yeah!

Would I like to see Zombie's vision carried forward? Hell no!!!

Guess time will tell.

And yeah, call me petty, but I AM glad that The Final Destination beat Halloween II in theaters.


Sunday Funny - Close to Home

This week's strip is Close to Home by John McPherson.

It is a one-panel strip, with no recurring characters. Rather it is done in the style of the much-missed The Far Side with each comic being just a random joke or musing on something weird about life.


Here is a recent strip I found funny:

click to enlarge

I would pass out myself at the sight of a needle like that!

Granted, the strip isn't as consistently funny as The Far Side used to be, but it has it's moments.


The semi-official site is located at UCLICK GoComics and you can read more about John McPherson here. There is also a Close to Home Blog. And you can order reprints here.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thriller/Horror Movie Mash-Up Magic!

The Vault of Horror posted this yesterday, and I just had to share.

Warning: If you don't like horror, some of these scenes will NOT be your cup of tea.

Quite awesome and very well done!

A great way to kick of the Halloween Season, and what better day to share it than on what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday?

This video was created last year ago by Mark & Chris Wournell.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Halloween ... sorta

So you might have heard that Rob Zombie's Halloween II is in theaters today, and I am sure lots and lots of horror fans will be going to see it. I won't be one of them.

Zombie's Halloween, from 2007, was eagerly anticipated by me. But I was seriously disappointed with the actual film. It was 'too much', both in it's gore and in explaining Michael's childhood. Sometimes, less truly is more.

I will see the new film when it hits DVD. And I will give it a fair chance. But after the last flick, I am not holding my breath.


So as not to be a total bummer, I am presenting the Starz Bunnies version of "Halloween" for your viewing pleasure:

The video embedded below has been having issues.

If it isn't working, go here: Starz Bunnies - Halloween
or here: Angry Alien Productions

Gotta love the bunnies!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Theme Thursday - Limousine

When I saw the topic for this week's Theme Thursday, I had one limo in mind:

Limo 1

This is a model of the Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB Limousine that I didn't even know was a limo when I first saw it! I just thought it was a cool set of wheels.


I have never been the 'car guy', that has always been my brother. From like age 3, he could identify any make or model by the headlights. I am not kidding.

I just never got into them, so when I liked something, it was for more superficial reasons.

My first car was a $250 used Camaro my uncle had fixed up. Lasted less than a year.

My next car, and my most beloved, was a 1984 Chevy Chevette. Yes... you read that right. Chevette.

Damn, I loved that car. And for a good amount of time, it was reliable. Sure, the breaks let go on the highway once, but we all have our bad days.

I kept that car until it was murdered by hooligans one night on the highway. Windows smashed, tires flattened. It was over. The Kidney Foundation took it away as a donation. Sad day, that was.


Where does the limo above fit into all this? Well, in 1987, I found what was to become my all-time favorite TV show, "Friday the 13th: The Series".

In a nutshell, a pair of distantly-related cousins inherit their late uncle's antique store after he tries to renege on his pact with Satan. They get his shop, all the antiques and one very old, but very cool car.

The car itself wasn't cursed, although you wouldn't know it by the number of times it broke down on our intrepid heroes. But, more often than not, it got them where they needed to go in their mission to undo the horrible curse their uncle had left on the world.


I fell in love with this car. I know it's dorky looking, and not something for quick rides to the market, but it just seemed so cool to me at the time.

But, like anything, life and experience can temper our passions. My experience with the short-lived Camaro and the heartless murder of my Chevette showed me that an old, hard to keep up with car such as the Mercedes-Benz limo was a proposition I didn't want to undertake. I am not handy, especially not with cars, so it would entail a lot of cash and reliance on mechanics. Not my cup of tea, these days, as a husband and father. More practical cars are better, without a doubt.

So, it stays back in memory as a "cool car". But it fits better there. I never have to get angry with it for breaking down and sucking the life out of my bank account. Instead, I can just enjoy it's co-starring role in the reruns of my favorite show.


Here are some grainy pics of the limo from the actual show. Not perfect, but you get to see it in action!

Limo 2
The first time Micki & Ryan saw their car. Great scene!

Limo 3
It is towed away... again!

Limo 4
Doesn't it just shine beautifully?

Limo 5
Another pic of a model of the actual car.


Thanks to Vendredi Antiques for the pics! They are the unofficial site for all things to do with "Friday the 13th: The Series"!

Click here to see what the Theme Thursday participants have revved up for Limousine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Texting While Driving - Real Life Horror PSA

At first I debated whether or not to re-post this. But then I thought of all the young people I know who either are driving now or will be soon enough.

I think, while this might be jarring to view, it is a lesson better learned here than the hard, horrible way in the real world.

This can be tough to watch, so be prepared.

Sad, scary, horrible.

I have to admit to being guilty of doing this in the past. But I know I will NOT be texting anymore while driving, ever.

Lesson learned here.


This is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) from Britain.

Originally found at Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog


Monday, August 24, 2009

Movie Monday - Hitchcock Quiz & Wolfman Trailer

A busy (but quite fun) week has left me with no movies to review!

So, here are a couple of other movie-related items for you to enjoy:


A short quiz on Alfred Hitchcock

click pic to take quiz

I scored 60%. Love to know what you get!


And here is the trailer for the upcoming (but delayed) film The Wolfman

The postponement makes me nervous, since this is now the FOURTH release date the film has had. But I have to admit, what's in the trailer looks good. I am a fan of the old, original The Wolf Man film, and this seems to keep at least the basic story intact. Could be quite interesting.

This new film is now due to be released on February 12, 2010 and stars Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Funny - Garfield


This week's choice is a classic: Garfield by Jim Davis.


I have wanted to use Garfield for a Sunday Funny post, but more often than not these days, the strip is only mildly funny. While it has never been a rip-roaring comic, I remember when I used to get more chuckles out of it.

The strip that appeared yesterday reminded me a bit of the "old Garfield":

click to enlarge

I don't know, I just found that funny!


At the official site you can find tons of stuff, such as history on the strip, characters and creator, games, e-cards, downloads, news and an online store.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny


I know this isn't new, but my kids have been listening to it often enough lately that I can't get it out of my head!!!

What to do?

Share with you!

Now YOU try and get it out of YOUR head!!!



The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, often shortened to Ultimate Showdown, is a comical song and video released on December 7, 2005. The song was written and performed by Neil Cicierega under the pseudonym "Lemon Demon", with art and Flash animation by Shawn "altffour" Vulliez.

Lemon Demon official site


Friday, August 21, 2009

RiffTrax Live - Plan 9 From Outer Space

My wife, our kids and I saw this tonight:

Riff Trax

RiffTrax is a spin-off of sorts from the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 show. Made up of most of the same guys, including Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, the group riffs on old and new movies alike, selling the "riff trax" for you to sync up with your own DVD or download of the film.

This show tonight, a riff on Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Out Space, was done live from a theater in Nashville, where the trio sat on stage and riffed on the movie as it played. Occasionally, they were shown on the left hand side of the screen, reading their jokes and having a good time.

Before the movie, we were treated to a riff on an old short about Airline Stewardesses, a couple of songs from a guy named Jonathan Coulton, and then a Plan 9-related song from the riffers and Coulton together. Fun stuff!

The movie was cheesy, as usual, but the riffs and heckles from the trio made it highly watchable and there were A LOT of laughs! I think I laughed more at this show tonight than many of the so-called comedies I have seen in theaters recently.

I loved it, as did my family and, from what I heard, the entire theater. I really hope they do this again sometime. I would definitely be there!

RiffTrax Official Site

Fathom Events - The company that puts together these theater events

Jonathan Coulton's Official Site


Invasion of the B Movies did a post on the show, as well!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Theme Thursday - Shadow

Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt is a great thriller from 1943, directed by the one and only Alfred Hitchcock.


Young Charlie Newton is excited at the pending arrival of her Uncle Charlie. Bored with her humdrum life, she is thrilled at the prospect of learning about the adventurous life he seems to lead.

Soon though, she has reasons to doubt her uncle, and once the doubt creeps in all it can do is grow. She gets more adventure than she ever bargained for!


This is one of Hitchcock's films that I just can watch again and again.

The performances by the cast are wonderful, led by Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten (I have come to love this guy, such a great actor), Patricia Collinge and Henry Travers (Clarence the angel from "It's a Wonderful Life"). And also a young Hume Cronyn as a neighbor and friend. Just an awesome cast in a superb film!

This film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing. Well deserved!


Here is a trailer for the reissue of the film:


Theme Thursday - SHADOW


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

House of the Wolf Man


A post from "A Patchwork of Flesh" yesterday gave me a heads up on this:

House of the Wolf Man

House of the Wolf Man (2009)

Dr. Bela Reinhardt (Ron Chaney) is a mad doctor who has invited five people to his castle to determine which of them shall inherit his estate. He has arranged for a competition of sorts. The winner will be chosen by process of... elimination. The visitors quickly realize they made a terrible mistake in accepting Reinhardt's invitation, but are trapped like rats in a cage under the watchful eye of Reinhardt's ghoulish manservant, Barlow.


Ron Chaney is the grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr. Very cool to have that Wolfman connection.

Supposed to be released on October 1, 2009. Not sure if that is in theaters or on DVD. I wrote to the address on the site and got this response:

"We are still in negotiations for distribution at the moment. Check the website for updates."


Here is the trailer:

How cool does that look?


Official "House of the Wolf Man" site

IMDb page for the film


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Honest Scrap

I am back from a week out of the loop. And upon my return, I found that I was the proud recipient of the "Honest Scrap Award" from two different blogs: when is evil cool? and Why Do I Like Stupid Horror Movies?

Thanks, guys!


Okay, here's the dealio:

1) Link back to the site where you were awarded.
2) Pass the award on to 10 other blogger sites.
3) Post 10 honest things about yourself.


Here are the 10 blogs I am awarding:

1) Super Blogliness!

2) My Power Is Beyond Your Understanding

3) Irreverent Irrelevance

4) Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness

5) Random Picture Day


7) Theme Thursday

8) Dr. Monkey's Retro Blog

9) Sitcom Diablo

10) Scott Burroughs


10 Facts About Me:

1) Closing in on 15 years of marriage, my wife and I are still very much in love.

2) Thought about getting a tattoo, but haven't yet. Plenty of scars, though.

3) I was positive I was never going to get to be a dad, and now I don't know what I would do without them.

4) My patience for rude people is wearing very thin. Really, how hard is it to acknowledge a hello, say thank you or hold a door for someone else?

5) My younger brother is one of my best friends. We've been through a lot, but at least we went through it together.

6) I would pick coffee over food, if I had to choose.

7) One of my best friends is someone I have only known online. And it may be disconcerting for him to know I consider him such a good friend.

8) I can be stubborn. It's a family trait.

9) The extent of my travels have been up and down the East Coast of the US, Maine to Florida and most all in between.

10) When it comes to movies, I am a bit of a masochist. I watch some pretty horrible stuff.


So, there you go! Enjoy the other blogs and the facts, and thanks to the other bloggers out there for making the Internet a fun and wacky place to be part of!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Monday - Two Movies and a Quiz


Okay, haven't had time to see many movies in the last two weeks. Other matters took precedence. To compensate, I will do something different after the two reviews I do have!


Miss Marple, Series IV: They Do It With Mirrors (2009)

[Julia McKenzie, Emma Griffiths Malin, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Smart, Joan Collins]

Another episode of the BBC Marple series, this time Miss Marple is asked by an old friend to go check in on her sister. A suspicious fire has triggered worry that someone has it in for the woman. Marple finds an eclectic family who soon become suspects in a death.

A good mystery, this version of the Christie character has grown on me over the past couple of weeks. Nice twists and interesting characters help to bring the story to life.

Definitely recommended.


Monster A-Go-Go (1965)

[Phil Morton, June Travis, George Perry]

Wow. What a mish-mash mess of a movie.

The plot, that there is, involves an astronaut supposedly replaced, I think, by a space monster. But then, maybe not?

Just frustrating to watch, as things don't make sense. Reading up, I see the movie wasn't finished right away, and when it was completed, it was without the previous cast. Scenes were just filmed and added into the flick.

Not good, and not recommended. Wish I had watched the "MST3K" version, instead!


To make up for the lack of reviews, here is a Halloween movie series quiz from the AMC site:

click the pic to take the quiz!

I got 100% correct!

Love to hear what you score!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Funny - Misery Loves Sherman


This week's strip is Misery Loves Sherman by Chris Eliopoulos.

Here are two examples:

click to enlarge

Sherman is a little boy who is Charlie Brown-like in his normal life. But in his room, he has to deal with a different world, namely the two aliens who live there!

Great strip with the skewed sense of humor I love!


At the official site you can view an archive, learn about the characters and the creator or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Friday, August 7, 2009

John Hughes


So, yeah ... John Hughes died.

For a blog like mine, with such an emphasis on pop culture, I have to mention his death. And also because so many of his films are things I truly enjoy.

Mr. Mom

National Lampoon's Vacation

The Breakfast Club

National Lampoon's European Vacation

Weird Science

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Home Alone

And those are just the films of his I really love! I didn't mention others I merely like. How many filmmakers can we say this about? That have had so many movies that a generation fell in love with?

And what makes them truly great, to me, is their rewatch-ability. We can watch them time and again and still laugh and enjoy them. That says it all.


So many other bloggers are highlighting Hughes. Here are a few:

The Daily What - Movie Montage




The Kind of Face You Hate

Monkey Muck


Nostalgic G

That Blue Yak

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness


As a side note, as a teenager, I associated most with Allison Reynolds, Ally Sheedy's character from "The Breakfast Club". She was the outcast, loner weirdo, and that is how I felt for my entire high school experience.

Allison Reynolds

Was definitely cool to relate to someone else, even if it was a girl, in a movie.

L.I.M Mr. Hughes. And thank you.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Kiss


Fifteen years ago, I was a different person. I know almost all of us can say the same thing, but if I were to somehow time travel back to then and meet my past self, I don't think he would believe anything the future self said about the life I/we have now.

Thinking back, if you were to have called the old me shy or a loner, you would have won the Understatement of the Year Award. I had no friends, save for some close family members and coworkers. I spent most of my time alone, working at night and sleeping during the day.

I was in my early 20s and had just begun to join the online community that was new and growing. I cautiously stepped into what I had avoided in 'real life', a world of other people who, amazing as it was to me, were interested in what I had to say.

One day, a crash of AOL sent me to the then-popular CompuServe to ask, in a chat room, if anyone else was experiencing the same problem. One person responded, and we chatted for a little while, making note of our screen names to chat again.

That one time led to many, which led to phone calls and some long, wonderful conversations. Eventually, the talk led to the possibility of meeting. A plan was laid to spend New Year's Eve together.

Sound romantic? Couldn't have convinced me it was. I was clueless. To me, this wasn't anything other than two new friends wanting to spend the holiday together. Nothing else entered my mind as to where this night, or this friendship, would go.

Our time together was fun, and any concerns about being uncomfortable in person were lost almost immediately. I spent New Year's Eve with a beautiful, caring, funny woman. But I was sure she saw me only as a friend. Someone to pass the time with. No one could look at me in "that way".

Midnight came, and the New Year with it. And a kiss.

You could have hit me with a tank filled with pudding and had a line of dancing dwarfs parade by in tutus and tiaras and I wouldn't have been any less shocked than I was by that one kiss.

That kiss then led to this amazing woman informing me she was heading to bed. The look on my face must have spoken for me, because she followed with a line letting me know I could sleep wherever I chose to. I sat for a few minutes trying to wrap my mind around this world I was suddenly a part of.

We have been married for almost fifteen years now, so I think the decision I made then is obvious.

But I still don't think I could convince my past self that all this is true. Then again, maybe I needed him to be just that clueless, or else I wouldn't have ended up the lucky, happy, crazy in love man I am today.

He needed that one kiss, so I could have all the rest that followed.


Check out more Theme Thursday posts.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Funny - Dog eat Doug

This week's comic is a fun strip called "Dog eat Doug" by Brian Anderson.

Doug is the little baby and Sophie is his pet dog.

Here are a couple of examples:

click to enlarge

A fun and simple strip with a slightly askew sense of humor. I like that!

At the official site you can view an extensive archive, shop in the store or browse original art.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday the 13th: The Storm

The Storm

The short, unofficial film "Friday the 13th: The Storm" has been released to view online. And after waiting a long while for this, I really didn't care too much for it. I was expecting something amazing due to the minor hype it had created. But it wasn't really anything special.

On the positive side, the actor playing Jason was good, and his make-up and costume were really faithful to the character. And the film was well shot, the lighting great and all that. Well done, technically, I suppose.

But the story was just blah, for me. Nothing really exciting or different. In fact, some parts were taken from other "F13" films. I am sure they will say it was done in a sort of homage to the originals, but it just felt repetitive.

Ah well, better than the usual fan-made stuff, but just not what I was expecting.

Here is the synopsis and the video itself, which is available at Timberwolf West Entertainment:

Jason Voorhees rampages through a family’s home during a powerful thunder storm in this Friday the 13th tribute film shot in HD.

For mature audiences only; features extreme violence, nudity and language.

Approx. runtime: 14 mins.

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE STORM from Timberwolf Entertainment on Vimeo.

Thanks to Friday the 13th Films Blog for the heads up!