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Showing posts from 2017

Clothes (and Heads) Come Off in Stripper Horror Film Peelers (2016)

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Given low-budget horror films' long-standing relationship with exploitation filmmaking, it's no surprise that there's a subgenre horror movies that take place in strip clubs. From goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis' The Gore Gore Girls (1972) to the more recent Strippers vs. Werewolves (2012), strippers have appeared frequently in smaller-budgeted horror flicks as a way to efficiently maximize their titillation appeal to potential audiences. After all, why go to the trouble of writing and shooting scenes to justify nudity when a film can just take place in a location where nudity is expected? (Curiously, there isn't a horror movie subgenre involving nudist communities. Go figure.)

One of the latest entries into the stripper horror movie subgenre is Peelers (2016), the second horror film directed by Sevé Schelenz. The film takes place on the closing night of a strip club, when four workers from a local mine show up to celebrate something they discovered a few hours e…

Slasher Flicks, VHS Rentals, and Challenging Puzzles Come Together in Slayaway Camp

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I've played many horror video games over the years. Monster games, zombie games, ghost games ... I've played dozens upon dozens of them. Yet games with slashers? They're few and far in between, as well as challenging to find whenever they do arrive on the market. So, I'm sure that you can imagine my surprise when I recently found a slasher game in the form of ... a puzzle game. Really. Welcome to Slayaway Camp!

Developed and released by Blue Wizard Digital, Slayaway Camp takes its inspiration from the many slasher movies that appeared at the box office, cable channels and video rental stores during the '80s. It challenges players to use the masked killer Skullface bump off many hapless campers in a series of tiled boards that contain a variety of obstacles. Because Skullface can only move in one direction at a time, players have to figure out how to move him in a way that eliminates all of the victims on the level and allows him to exit the level on a designated ti…

Kenner’s Micro Cloud City Strikes Back, Lego Style

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As someone who grew up with interlocking brick toys, I stand in awe of Lego hobbyists who understand this product so well that they can build whatever vehicles, buildings and playsets they imagine. In particular, I’m a big fan of BaronSat (a.k.a. Eric Duron), a master builder who has used his talents to re-create many vintage Kenner Star Wars toys—both those that were released and those that never made it past the prototype stage—so that they match the features of the original toys while staying in scale with Lego minifigs.

One of BaronSat’s latest Lego creations is a set of Cloud City locations as they were seen in Empire Strikes Back (1980). According to BaronSat’s site, this set is a “custom tribute model to the “Bespin” models of Kenner's Micro Collection line. Three playsets were sold at the time: Freeze Chamber, Control Room and Gantry. … The last playset “Torture Chamber” was never produced and is only visible as a prototype”.

I was obsessed with all things Star Wars when I…

A Review of Inferno (1953), Film Noir in the Third Dimension

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When frequenting websites that cover pop culture, I've noticed that the majority of commentary about 3D entertainment focuses on either the latest summer blockbusters or cutting edge virtual reality technology. Unfortunately, what these sites ignore is one very crucial thing that digital high-definition video technology brings to 3D: the restoration, preservation and distribution of vintage 3D movies from the 20th century.

This post will look at one of the best films from Hollywood's brief "golden age" of 3D during the '50s: Inferno, a film noir thriller that was directed by Roy Ward Baker*. So far, Inferno has been released twice on 3D Blu-ray: Once in the U.K. by Panamint and once in the U.S. by Twilight Time, and both releases come with different special features. (For a detailed comparison of these releases, go to DVD Beaver here.) I watched the Twilight Time release, so this review will discuss one of the special features on that version.

Inferno begins with…

Geeking Out on the Go

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Over the last few months, I've been facing many challenges to keeping this blog going. Most of them were technical--I was never in the right place to have the right tech with me to get blog posts done. Or so I thought.

It hadn't occurred to me that most of what I needed to blog was right there with me, and all I needed were a few extra, affordable add-ons--namely apps and portable keyboards--to keep bloggin' away. That's right: Even though I call myself a geek, it still took me some time to figure out what plenty of other geeks had already figured out.

Just about every IT device I interact with every day has a keyboard option of some sort, either through a touch screen display or a Bluetooth connection. Thus, the concept of "portable computing" that I've been reading about for years (for a decade, at least) had arrived and I didn't realize it. Boy, is my nerd face red ....

So thanks for staying with me, blog readers. I'll be taking this blog on the r…

A Look at The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens

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Of the many, many parodies/tributes of horror and sci-fi I've seen over the years, DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) remains one of my all-time favorites. It's got everything for which a fan of Atomic Age creature features could ask: smart humor, a talented cast, great 3D animation, and enough references to horror/sci-fi history (some more overt than others) to put a goofy grin on any geek's face. It may not be as popular as other DreamWorks titles such as Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, but MvA knows its target audience of monster kids well and delivers accordingly.

Being the fan that I am, I picked up a copy of The Art of Monsters vs. Alien by Linda Sunshine a while back to learn more about the creative process behind the film. Like other "Art of" movie books, Art of MvA is filled with glossy, full-color pictures of concept art and it arranges them in an order that readers can follow from the early stages of the film's development up to the fini…

A Look at Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report

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With Alien: Covenant inching closer to its May release date, I thought I would take a gander at one of the Alien franchise's more ambitious publications: Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report by S.D. Perry, with illustrations provided by Markus Pansegrau and John R. Mullaney.

The WY Report recounts the events of the Alien movies (including 2012's prequel Prometheus) from the perspective of Weyland-Yutani itself, the seemingly omnipresent megacorporation that has been hell-bent on learning the secrets of the parasitic, biomechanical Alien (which is referred to as "Xenomorph XX121" throughout the book).

A book has already been published that included all four Alien movies in a single volume: Alien: The Archive, which was published in 2014 by Titan Books. However, that book detailed the real-life production of each of the movies; in contrast, The WY Report provides a fictitious, in-universe examination of the many details both within and between the movies, thus creating an …

3D Blu-ray Review: It Came from Outer Space

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In case you haven't noticed from any of my other blog posts, the life of geekhood involves countless obsessions with various pop culture artifacts. One of my recurring fixations is with 3D entertainment, a fixation that has been greatly satiated by the release of 3D films on high definition digital media. These releases initially consisted of only new movie titles but as time went on, releases of vintage titles from Hollywood's "golden age" of 3D films in the 1950s have been appearing as well. This post is devoted to one of the vintage titles, It Came from Outer Space, a sci-fi thriller from 1953 which Universal released on Blu-ray last October. While this film may look very low-tech in comparison to the sci-fi films of today, its reappearance in 3D marks a special milestone for geeky 3D aficionados like me. Read on ....

Shogun Warriors and Robotech Get Downsized by Super7

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Given pop culture's never-ending focus on nostalgia, it stands to reason that reissued merchandise from popular TV shows, movies and cartoons keep popping up in stores, catalogs, and other places where such items are sold. However, what is being released now doesn't always match what has come before, which is certainly the case of the toy company Super7 and its recent acquisition of toy licenses of Shogun Warriors and Robotech. Even though both of these titles are known for giant, fearsome robots, the figures that Super7 recently displayed at last weekend's International Toy Fair in New York are anything but intimidating. Read on ....

Giallo Revisited: Luciano Onetti's Sonno Profondo and Francesca

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I've been hearing rumors that a few independent filmmakers are trying to revive the Italian horror subgenre of giallo, a type of murder mystery film that was made in Italy during the '60s, '70s and early '80s. With so many gialli finally seeing the light of day again through high-definition blu-ray releases, it stands to reason that giallo fans who are also budding directors will try to emulate that particular style of cinema in their own work.

This particular blog post focuses on Luciano Onetti, a screen writer, director and composer from Argentina who has produced two giallo films: Sonno Profondo (2013) and Francesca (2015). Unlike other neo-gialli that have surfaced in recent years, Onetti has gone to great lengths in both films to emulate the specific look and feel of gialli from the '70s. Read on for my complete review.

Great Moments in Licensed Superhero Toy History: The Lego Batman Movie

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This weekend marks the debut of The Lego Batman Movie. Even though it is a semi-sequel to The Lego Movie from 2014, it's also a spin-off from and satire of the live-action Batman movies (and all things Batman in general).

I probably won't see this film at the box office and will wait for home video. Then again, it's not like I owe anything to this particular version of the Batman brand--I already own copies of the three Lego Batman video games and reviewed twoof them on this blog. Regardless, the release of The Lego Batman Movie marks a new milestone for licensed superhero merchandise. Before, the superhero movie drove the licensed superhero toy sales; now, the licensed superhero toys ARE the superhero movie. Holy meta-movie licensing, Batman!

Read on for my thoughts about the licensing accomplishments for Lego, something that hasn't been seen since Mego applied its 8-inch action figure design to just about every kid-friendly franchise in the '70s.

Making the Mundane Monstrous: Review of The Neon Demon and Let's Be Evil

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Horror is at its most effective when it takes something ordinary and recasts it as something terrifying. However, such a feat is easier said than done, which brings me to two 2016 films that I recently watched: The Neon Demon and Let's Be Evil. Both try to find the sinister in the simple, but one does it with much more skill and creativity than the other. Read on for my complete review.

Avenger Assembly Required: A Look at Lego Marvel's Avengers

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Old habits die hard ... especially those concerning Lego video games that are based on my favorite franchises.

I picked up a copy of Lego Marvel's Avengers a few weeks ago for a number of reasons. I really enjoyed the previous entry, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and I've seen how much these games creatively utilize the extensive history and character roster of both DC and Marvel, so I naturally had to add this one to my collection. The good news is that Lego Marvel's Avengers has a wealth of content for Marvel fans to enjoy, but the bad news is that its connection to the current slate of Marvel's live action movies weigh down the game's main campaign. Read on for my full review.

Undead Updates: Zombie Miracle Diets and Zombie Holiday Fun

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It's been a few weeks of multiple, consecutive technical difficulties, but I'm finally back to blogging here at Titans, Terrors and Toys. While I've been away, a new TV show that's set to premiere on Netflix on February 3 has caught my depraved attention: Santa Clarita Diet. The series will star Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, who play a married couple that is faced with a significant change to their lifestyle choice when one of them (Barrymore) becomes a zombie. (Fun trivia fact: Barrymore and Olyphant are alumni from the Scream slasher film franchise.)

From all indications that I've seen,Santa Clarita Diet promises to be a dark horror-comedy show, something along the lines of iZombie. The show was created by Victor Fresco, the same guy who created Better Off Ted, so I have very high hopes for this. A teaser website for the show launched a few weeks ago, and it is structured like an ad for a new miracle weight loss plan; thus, I cannot wait for the many morbid…