Showing posts from December, 2011

The Great Japanese Robot Invasion of '84

A Diaclone Multi-Force 14 Robot toy from 1984.
Before this holiday season comes to an end, I thought that I would wrap up 2011 with a dose of holiday-themed geek nostalgia before we spring-launch into 2012. It's a flashback to another holiday season, when a particular trend that would impact all robot geeks for decades to come dominated toy store aisles across the country. This trend was the import and repackaging of Japanese robot toys, of which there were many. Read on for my eyewitness account of this amazing time, when Japanese robots of all shapes and sizes ruled Christmas wish lists.

Five Monstrous Melodies for Merry Christmas Madness

Christmas is my second favorite holiday after Halloween. Where Halloween allows you to indulge in all things morbid and spooky, Christmas allows you to wallow in all things colorful, cheerful, and gaudy. Yet with Halloween being my first love, I feel the need to temper my Yuletide warmth with a few ghoulish chills--and what better way to do that than through music?

Here are five musical suggestions I have to keep the horror in even the happiest of holidays, complete with YouTube videos for each. Read on....

The Cult of LEGO Book: Behold the Blessed Bricks

If you're still looking for a Christmas gift for that special nerdy someone, consider this: The Cult of LEGO, by John Baichtal and Joe Meno.

According to the book's description, "LEGO is much more than just a toy—it's a way of life. The Cult of LEGO takes you on a thrilling illustrated tour of the LEGO community and its creations. ... In this full-color coffee table book, you'll find page after page of photos showcasing the fantastically creative and complex models built by the LEGO community. You'll marvel at a life-size stegosaurus, a microscale Yankee Stadium, a 22-foot long World War II battleship, a MINDSTORMS-powered monster chess set, and a remote-controlled Jawa Sandcrawler (with moving conveyor belt!). Visit the conventions where LEGO fans gather to socialize and show off their work. And discover the serious side of LEGO, used in therapy, prototyping, and teambuilding."

I've never had any LEGO sets myself, but I'm a big fan of the LEGO vide…

Lou and Yana's JawsFest 3 DVD Set Review

It has been said that all good things must come to an end. With that in mind, I bring you my review of Lou and Yana's JawsFest 3: The Invasion of JawsFest '10 two-disc DVD set. This is the final entry in the trilogy of JawsFest fan films produced by Lou and Dianna "Yana" Pisano. What started out as a fan love letter to Jaws in the first JawsFest DVD has grown to the size of a three-part romance novel with the release of JawsFest 3. (Click here to read my review of the first two JawsFest DVDs.) While it's sad to see this particular chapter of Jaws fandom draw to a close, the Pisanos saved the best for last. Read on for my complete review of this two-disc set.

The Samurai Predator: An Interstellar Big Game Hunter from Medieval Japan

For those of you who have an die-hard Predator fan on your Christmas gift list and have ample amounts of cash to spend, you're in luck. Sideshow Collectibles is currently taking orders for the Alien vs. Predator Samurai Predator figure from Hot Toys.

This is what the title creature would've looked like if Akira Kurosawa had directed a Predator movie.
This figure was designed and painted by Takayuki Takeya and sculpted by Yuji Oniki, and it features a newly sculpted head and body, detailed accessories, weaponry, and a diorama base with a partially decapitated Alien corpse. Looking at a figure that's as detailed as this one makes it hard to believe that there was a time when the only Predator figures on the market were those made by Kenner back in the mid-90s.

Of the many never-before-seen Predator collectibles that have been released in recent years (including the organic-looking Ceremonial Predator Mask and the sleek Stalker Predator Mask), the Samurai Predator feels like a st…

Isolation Movie Review: When Genetically Modified Meat Goes Rancid

One of the best things about the horror genre is its ability to approach certain subject matter in ways that no other genre would. Because of its richness of symbolism and metaphor, horror can explore the irrational and insecure psychological landscapes that lurk underneath topics and events that appear rational, civil and mundane on their surfaces.

Along such lines is Isolation, a 2005 horror movie from Ireland that was written and directed by Billy O'Brien. By borrowing some of visual and thematic cues from Alien and The Thing, Isolation explores the nervous uncertainties behind the application of genetic engineering to livestock farming. The end result is uneven, but it's provocative and stylish enough to recommend to anyone who is looking for a new kind of contemporary body horror. Read on for my complete review, which contains some minor spoilers.

Heidi Klum Exposed--In One of the Goriest Ways Possible

I know that this is dates back to last Halloween, but I just found it and I feel an overwhelming to put it on here because it's so wildly morbid. (Besides, red is a Yuletide color, right?) It turned out that at her last Halloween party, Heidi Klum had her body painted to resemble "a dead body with the first layer of skin ripped off" (Klum's own words).

Excuse me, Ms. Klum? I think you misplaced your epidermis.
In order to make sure that her party guests noticed her unique costume, her entrance was equally priceless: She was wheeled in to the event on an autopsy table by two people who were also dressed as blood-spattered doctors. Did I mention that Klum was wearing high-heeled platform pumps with this costume? I suppose that even the horribly mangled still have to look chic at social events.

I have no idea how I missed this. Maybe I was too preoccupied with Klum's other Halloween costume, a full-body, Planet of the Apes worthy ape suit that she wore to another Hallo…

Two New Jaws Mechanical Shark Replicas from Shark City Ozark

A few days ago, Universal made an announcement that’s very bad news for Jaws fans. As of January 2, 2012, the Jaws attraction at Universal Studios Theme Park in Florida will be shut down permanently. For those of you fans out there who have never been on the Jaws ride and can’t make it there before its closing, you can check out the high definition video of the ride on YouTube (click here) that will give you a good idea of everything the ride offers. You can also stop by the “STOP The Closing of Jaws The Ride at USF” page on Facebook for ideas on what you can do to try to convince Universal to change its decision. Yet even with the ride closing, never fear--thanks to Mike Schultz and his team at Shark City Ozark, you’ll have a chance to come face-to-face with the legendary monster shark right in the (dis)comfort of your own home.

Back in 2010, Schultz sculpted a 37" long "Bruce Nose-to-Tail (NTT)" maquette, a scale-accurate replica of the full-body shark used in the firs…