Showing posts from April, 2013

VHS Horror Movie Collecting and Wizard Video: How Much is Too Much?

Given my interests in horror and sci-fi, I've seen a wide variety of collectors who have built impressive inventories of prized horror and sci-fi artifacts. Collections have been built around pulp magazines, movie posters, model kits, and items specific to a particular franchise. There are even those who prefer to collect copies of horror and sci-fi movies in a non-digital format--namely, the analog medium of VHS. Yet as with every form of collecting, one question remains the same: How much is too much to pay for a particular collectible? In the area of VHS exploitation movies, collectors have asked that very same question when it comes to the recent "special edition" Wizard Video re-releases by Charles Band. Read on for some of my thoughts about this latest exercise in nostalgia marketing.

Kenner Star Wars Toys Strike Back: BaronSat's Lego Imperial Attack Base Playset

A few months ago, I published a post about BaronSat (a.k.a. Eric Druon), a devoted Lego hobbyist who made two Lego replicas of playsets from Kenner's short-lived Star Wars Micro Collection line. I just heard from BaronSat again, and he's made another impressive Lego replica from Kenner's Star Wars toy line: the Imperial Attack Base playset from Empire Strikes Back, which Kenner released for its 3 and 3/4 inch Star Wars action figures. Just as he did before, BaronSat took everything about the original playset and re-scaled it for Lego's Star Wars minifigs and the results are outstanding. Read on for more details and pictures of BaronSat's latest work.

Farewell Futurama, Take Three

In case you haven't heard, Comedy Central has announced that it's discontinuing Futurama after its next 13 episode run, which will begin in June and end at the beginning of September.

For those of you who have been keeping score, Futurama first ran on Fox for four seasons, from 1999 to 2003. It came back in 2007 with four movies on Comedy Central (four movies that were subsequently edited into 16 half-hour episodes, which makes me wonder why they were made as movies in the first place). Comedy Central then renewed the cartoon as a half-hour series with two 26 episode seasons, which have aired as 13 episode blocks during the summers of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In total, Futurama will leave the air with a total of 140 episodes to its name.

According to what I've read, Comedy Central is cancelling the show due to falling ratings. Then again, Comedy Central has treated new episodes of Futurama as summer-exclusive content, so I can see how fan enthusiasm can diminish during …

Mego Batman Returns

2013 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for fans of classic Batman media and merchandise. First, Mattel and NECA announced that they are producing action figures based on the live-action Batman TV series from the 60s; then, DC announced that it will publish Batman '66, an online comic based on the same TV series, starting this summer. Now, Figures Toy Company has announced that it will release a series of Batman figures based on Mego's 8-inch World's Greatest Super Heroes line from the 70s, starting this July.

I'm not sure what has prompted this renewed interest in older Batman stuff, but it looks like we're going to see plenty of it in the months to come. Not only will Figures Toy Company release replicas of Mego's Batman figures (which include Robin, Batgirl, Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman) but it also intends to make a wave of figures based on the 60s Batman TV show, complete with head sculpts based on the actors who played the characters (see the pic…

Flying RC Model Hobbyists Take to the Skies with Terminator and S.H.I.E.L.D.

When it comes to being jealous of people who are more talented than me in the area of making horror and sci-fi replicas, I prefer to prioritize. I'm jealous of people who can assemble model kits so they appear nearly flawless; very jealous of people who can make professional-looking customized model kits and/or toys; and extremely jealous of people who can make customized model kits and/or toys that can move in some way, either along the ground, on/under the water, or through the air. In the last category, I recently found two talented hobbyists who were able to make vehicle replicas from the Terminator saga and last year's Avengers movie that could actually fly. Click below to read more about these amazing RC replicas and see video clips of each model in action.

Awesome 8-Bit Lunacy: Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla

It's the perfect title for a video game, four words that sum it up nicely: Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla.

This game is being developed by I-Mockery and Adult Swim Games, and it has been described as an “ultra-violent platformer about an escaped lab experiment looking for blood.” It sounds like a perfect fit for my depraved interests--I can't wait! If this game becomes popular enough, maybe we'll get lucky and see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla crossover.

Click here to check out other weird and wonderful video games that you can play for free at I-Mockery.

Must-See BBC TV: In the Flesh

With so many zombie-themed movies, TV shows and video games on the market these days, it's hard to find a zombie story that's genuinely unique. Most follow the apocalyptic bloodbath plot that was pioneered by George Romero in his zombie films. In contrast, the BBC has broadcast In the Flesh, a three-part miniseries that has roots in Romero's work but takes it into provocative new territory.

Created and written by Dominic Mitchell, In the Flesh is about a British teenager named Kieren (Luke Newberry) who is being treated for "Partially Deceased Syndrome", or PDS. PDS is the term given to the phenomenon that reanimated the dead in a zombie outbreak that happened four years earlier. In the time since then, a large number of zombies--or "rotters" as they are called in the miniseries--have been rehabilitated through medical treatments and are being integrated back into society. The series follows Kieren as he returns to his family in the rural village of Roa…

The Walking Dead and the Challenges of Cross-Media Adaptations

When it comes to movies that are adaptations of novels, everyone knows the drill by now: the book is usually better than the movie. It's a fair criticism, since the printed page is a very different medium than the moving image. But what happens when a TV show attempts to adapt a serialized--and unfinished--comic book series? With AMC's The Walking Dead, we're watching such an attempt play out now on prime time.

I've read through the first 70 issues of the Walking Dead comic book, which was created and written by Robert Kirkman, so I have ample amounts of source information to draw from when comparing it to its televised counterpart. I enjoy the TV show's ample amounts of zombie gore, and I thought that it got off to a great start in its first six-episode season. But after watching the meandering second season and seeing the third season end so poorly last week, I'm beginning to wonder how much longer this show can go with its rapidly rotting legs in spite of it…

Remembering Roger Ebert (1942 - 2013)

I’ve been very sick for the last week, so I’m way behind on a few things I want to cover on this blog. Yet it would be remiss for me not to put in a few words about the recent passing of legendary movie critic Roger Ebert. While this blog is not exclusively devoted to movie reviews, I see Ebert’s influence in my writing and my approach to horror and sci-fi pop culture, much of which is driven by cinema.

It’s been said that through his books, TV shows, and other efforts, Ebert brought the practice of movie criticism into a more personal, less formalized perspective. It is likewise impressive that he did this at a time when the production and distribution of movies have changed so drastically, from something that could only be experienced in the movie theater to something that can be accessed almost anywhere at any time and on demand. I discovered Ebert the same way many people did: during the mid-80s on his syndicated TV show At the Movies with fellow film critic Gene Siskel. The VHS r…