Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: IT


Synopsis: "New Line Cinema’s horror thriller IT, directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.
When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

IT stars Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant, TV’s Hemlock Grove) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween), Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut."


Hiya, Georgie...

IT became one of the most beloved and popular movies of 2017, and with good reason. Pennywise made his first appearance onscreen since the 1990 made-for-tv miniseries starring the likes of John Ritter, Seth Green, and of course Tim Curry as the dancing clown himself! While there's a lot of restrictions on a tv movie, this movie had a lot more they could get away with. The gore, the kills, the graphic nature, more time to elaborate on Pennywise's backstory. So while certain fans were ready to dismiss it because they loved the original, so many others were ready to embrace a brand new take on the classic.




Bill Skarsgård puts on the clown makeup and dons the big red wig as the new Pennywise and as great as Curry was, Bill put on a different performance. He was a more gory killer and in my opinion, more frightening and much more physical. A lot of attention came, rightfully so, from Bill's performance and in turn, actually helped revived Pennywise as a horror icon by breathing life into him and giving him a second life.s


The coming to age and puberty themes were something horror touches on but not as often as you'd think. Being a kid going through these things isn't exactly fun. Falling in love, a young girl having her first period, struggling to deal with bullies, making new friends, child abuse. This movie covers all those and more. I feel like a lot of these scenarios I could relate too (especially the bullying and having that first crush). Of course, I never had to battle a killer clown but, the rest is still pretty spot on. Even better? Every child in this movie is someone you'll see either as yourself or some of your childhood friends. Every insecurity or feeling of not belonging is represented somehow in each of the characters. For me? I was totally Richie, the overcompensating, loudmouth, always trying to convince others I was a lot more confident than I truly was.


Some great features added on the disc as well:
- Pennywise Lives!
- The Losers' Club
- Author of Fear
- Deleted Scenes


For my money, the best featurette is "Author of Fear", a rare interview with the author of IT and everyone's favorite king of creep, Stephen King! I'm a huge fan of hearing what goes into creating characters, so this along with "Pennwise Lives!" a look at how Pennywise was fleshed out, are simply fantastic!


In my opinion, IT was the horror movie of 2017. It was a great year, with great offerings for every kind of horror fan. But I think IT helped create a new icon and even brought Stephen King back into the mainstream. If this movie is any indication, Part 2 is going to be even bigger and better.


-Chad

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: Orca







Synopsis:


Captain Nolan (Oscar® nominee Richard Harris, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone) is a man of the sea. Brave and headstrong, he is a fisherman who takes up the fight of his life against one of nature’s most fearsome creatures – the killer whale. Orca seeks to avenge the death of his pregnant mate, left murdered in blood red waters. Rising from the ocean, leaving behind it a wake of destruction and mayhem, the deadly marine creature lures his human adversaries to a match of wits and survival in the chilly arctic waters.

Also starring Bo Derek (10), Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter), Will Sampson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Keenan Wynn (Dr. Strangelove) and Robert Carradine (Django Unchained) and featuring the music of award winning composer Ennio Morricone, ORCA is a thrilling aquatic adventure of breathtaking scope. 
 
Extra Features:
  • Audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin
  • MOBY DICK ala DE LAURENTIIS: Martha De Laurentiis remembers 
  • ORCATheatrical Trailer

When one movie works, studios rush to find a way to cash in on it. Between 1975 to about the early 90s or so, so many people wanted to take a bite out of the big Jaws trend. Any and all creatures of the deep suddenly became the nightmare of any summer going tourist and Orca was no different.

Orca was another entry into the seemingly endless series of Jaws-ripoffs but somehow it stood on it's own completely. What's bigger and deadlier than a great white shark? According to this movie, a killer whale. I mean..."killer" is literally it's name. But while it's the bigger, more deadlier foe, it isn't always the most beloved movie which I hope is no longer the case due to this great release from Umbrella. There is a LOT going on here that can potentially stick with you and leave your jaw on the ground. There's scenes of animal miscarriage, legs being bitten off, a whale trying to kill itself. I've heard these scenes a referenced by others and even in other avenues like Jim Norton but never sat down to watch it. I've been told by several friends that the "whale miscarriage" will stick with me as long as I live and they weren't kidding. It doesn't take long for this movie to kick into high gear.

Now I gotta confess, I've never been a huge Jaws fan but due to the sympathetic nature of the title character, I definitely like this movie more than I do Jaws. Yes, I'm fully aware that's considered pure blasphemy but it's the truth. Whereas Jaws was just kind of a dick, Orca has reason to go after humans. The underlining theme of "humans started this war" really makes me ponder our treatment of animals more and more. I think Orca was very justified in going after the people who killed his mate and exacting revenge. Now, is this movie a little silly? Oh of course it is. Even the dead whale fetus is as ridiculous looking as it gets. But there's still some heart to it. But within the first 10 minutes, you'll end up rooting for Orca but the end of the movie really gets you.


The transfer on this release from Umbrella is absolutely perfect. The crystal clear picture may expose some of the silliness of the movie but it still presents the movie as it should be viewed. Will you want to go out and hug a whale after this? Yes. Will you love this movie and want to watch it again? Yes. Will YOU possibly choose this over Jaws? I mean, I don't know. But I know I love it upon first viewing.



-Chad

Monday, January 1, 2018

Lost Entry: Pepsi Fire

(Since it's a new year, I thought I'd dust off a few entries I either didn't complete or just got so busy I didn't post. There may be a little more hindsight within these than I intended as a lot of content was never finished but, hey, better late than never! I really wanted to have this entry aprticular all completed and posted but finishing #MOTUMonth seemed to be a bigger priority. Hope you enjoy this entry more than I did drinking it! )


Pepsi Fire is here, ladies and gelm. Are you ready for it? We'll see. I'm still not sure if I was ready. I'm still a little taken aback at Pepsi's boldness for mixing cinnamon and soda. Normally I'd just write it off as a bad idea with good intentions but as I get older, I'm more open to try radical new ideas such as this. After all, Pepsi usually rolls out their experimental falvors around summer time and it usually results in something memorable one way or the other. I'm still trying to get Sev's "Same Old Song" remix for Pepsi Blue out of my head 15 years later. Thanks a lot, Pepsi.

Is it worthy of it's amazing hype and ridiculous idea that you can mix cinnamon and Pepsi? Well, let's take a quick look and either fall in love or call poison control:

For an experiment such as this, I'm gonna be stealing my fiance's Wonder Woman mason jar-glass. I feel it's appropriate as Wonder Woman may be the only only truly brave and bold enough to accept the challenge of such a powerful yet unknown foe.



So we're not starting off very well. The smell of this stuff is a little much. It hits you like a fist but what else would you expect from a soda that's called "FIRE"? Ok, ok, now it's game time. No more fooling around. It's time to put on our big boy pants and dive in. Wish me luck...



Oh...

Kay...

Here we go...



Hmmm. I hate to be a Negative Nancy but I'm just not feeling it. It just isn't a good combination. It's more along the lines of flat Pepsi with paprika and cinnamon mixed in. It's not what I had hoped it would be, but then again, I feel like maybe my hopes were of a somewhat medium level, so it may have been higher than they should've. Common sense never truly comes into play when it comes to unique soda flavors. I will say, I kinda like the redish tint the soda has. I love the look of a deliciously cold soda in a glass, but it's usually just straight up black. A little redness goes a long way though. Just ask Shazzam.

Ok, ok. Let's do some rumor busting. It seemed rather inevitable that comparisons toy Holiday Spice would be made, especially since both sodas had a cinnamon twist. Now, I never had that legendary Christmas flavor, despite the cool packaging and promotional machine behind it, but I expected this to be similar to that from how others described it. Sure enough, from what I'm told, it's as close to a "Pepsi Summer/Holiday Spice" as we can get these days. Sadly, the Polar Express would just fly right by this soda without a second thought.


Pepsi's had a lot of failures in their day, and they'll probably add this to their list, but one thing's for sure, they're always willing to be inventive. So while I'd rather drink expired Ecto Cooler from 1988 than this again, I still applaud Pepsi for going outside the box and giving this flavor a trial. Will we see it next year? Probably not but I'm sure Pepsi will bounce back from this and it's terrible publicity and I'm sure we'll get something bigger, bolder and better to drink by the pool next year.


I just hope there's no cinnamon involved. I still love ya, Pepsi.


-Chad

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Visiting Hyatt's Classic Video

Well, here we are. The final moments of 2017. In just a few hours, 2018 will be ushered in and everyone will be making their plans to have an even bigger and better year. I know I'm among those who have an optimistic view on everything, so 2018 is already being eyed as "best year ever". But as the calendar turns, let's not forget the moments that made 2017 so great. New friends, new events, new everything. That's the beauty of a new year. And speaking of new events...


Say hello to Hyatt's Classic Video. One of the last video rental stores in my area and one that's been a entertainment staple in the community for over 35 years. Owned by the same married couple for all those years, this store became the go to spot for an instant timewarp in recent years. A lot of my video collecting buddies told me about it and I had to check it out. I'm glad I did when I did because one step into this store, and you're 6 years old looking at GI Joe vhs all over again.

First thing you notice when you walk in was the clutter. Bob Hyatt, the owner, has amassed a LOT of movies over the years which made the movie collectors dream come true but most likely a highly organized persons biggest nightmare. I'm used to clean and organized video stores but I'm not gonna split hairs here. I'm in an actual video store that rents and sells tapes! I can't really be picky. I mean how can I...wait...what's this?!?!



A RONALD MCDONALD CLOCK? ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?

As if my nostalgia meter wasn't going off the charts already, this just makes me go even crazier. Resting on the end of one many rows of VHS, I can't help but think this exact clock was produced just to hang in a video store. I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've seen it in a rental store. In fact, a video store I used to frequent about 13 years ago had one hanging in their kids section and it just added to the ambiance of this somewhat holy ground of movies. This was a great sign of things to come. My confidence is now at an all time high and I'm pretty convinced I'm walking away with something memorable...


Well this was a bit overwhelming. Rows of beautiful vhs tapes. The photo doesn't do the actual aisles proper justice, it was literally like being in a library meant only for tapes. I didn't dare attempt a count of how many tapes rested on each shelving unit but the rumor is Mr. Hyatt had 55,000 vhs tapes in that store. If you're a tape collector, this is the kinda spot you'd come to get quick inspiration or if you're lucky, a tape or two to fill your collection.





A lot of familiar faces and tape spines were seen including two beautiful copies of The Wizard. Plenty of common tapes but a lot of rare and in demand tapes that collectors would sell their own grandmother for.







Elvira and Mary Lou Maloney? Be-still my beating heart.



A real "cool" section, the fascinating finds and ridiculous tapes were getting a bit much for even me to handle. Plus, I had to get to work, so I scooped up a few tapes for myself. Tapes I haven't been able to find outside eBay.

Toy Soldiers, Bullies, Elvira and an episode of My Pet Monster. A nice haul with some great shelf fillers. I've been wanting to to get my hands on Toy Soldiers specifically. Loved that movie as a kid, but hadn't watched it since about 1992 or so. Thankfully, all these years later, it still holds up. Elvira and Bullies were great additions as well but let's look at that MPM tape for a second...


The "children" sticker, the sun damage box, the illustration. Man, you can't create a better vhs cover if you tried. Scientists will be studying this cover for ages simply because it's the perfect video store artifact and declare this as the ultimate pinnacle in the history of man's achievements.


It was time to go. But in order to buy tapes and possibly purchase more tapes, I had to open an account. Thankfully, Mr. Hyatt was more than happy to give me my own membership card and I was more than happy to treat it like solid gold. I want this laminated and framed. It's glorious.


Sadly, I'd only come to this store once but I *kinda* knew that would happen. It was a great place to spend an hour looking at tapes and all, as well as feel like a kid again, but after 35 years or so, Mr Hyatt and his wife shut down. This isn't the most shocking situation. Plenty of other stores have shut down after dwindling audiences and changes in technology. Even worse, I didn't find out until the day it shut down and had no chance to revisit. BUT. The good news is, every tape that wasn't scooped up by collectors were donated to a local film archive for future preservation. Even better? The Hyatt's moved down the road to a different location, so thankfully they're not out of business, just downsizing. With movies being so hot this year, there's plenty of time for the happy couple and many future generations to discover more movies! Hyatt's Classic Video may not be in the original location, but it's legacy among Rochesterians continues to live on.

Oh and you're darn right I cherish the video bag I was given alongside my purchase:



HAPPY NEW YEAR!


-Chad


Thursday, December 28, 2017

He-Man and Skeletor Construx!

Hey folks! Hope your holiday season was a fantastic one. An annual Christmas Fallout will be coming soon, probably by Sunday or so. It's been a busy week for me, as I'm sure it has been for all of you. Good news, my friend Brian sent me something so great that I had to share it with you all. In the few days of owning them, they've become one of my new favorite things in the world.


Merciful Marzo, these are amazing! Mini Masters of the Universe figures From Construx! Pocket sized heroes for your adventures on the road or something to put on your desk at work. If you've ever dreamed of having a He-Man or Skeletor to carry around with you but the bulk of their insanely bulging muscles prohibit them from fitting in your pocket, well good news! These tiny titans are a perfect size to even fit in your wallet! Oh happy day! I'm fully aware Construx has done other properties like Halo, Alien and Star Trek but there's something about a brick figure He-Man that makes me smile. Never did I think when I first got the internet and started searching for He-Man related info (Adam Tyner, I'm looking at you!)  a quasi-Lego-action figure hybrid would be possible of our rippling hero. This is the kind of amazing product that I'd always want and owning it as an adult just brings a smile to my face. The head sculpts aren't amazing, but when you're the size of a thumbnail, you have to make some sacrifices. If you're expecting fun but plan to disappointed that the faces don't look like the Filmation cartoon (well, they kinda do but not much!) that's on you.



The accessories are pretty awesome too. You didn't think you were gonna buy a mini He-Man and Skeletor and not get their famous implements of destruction, did you? Come on, man, wake up. He-Man comes with his shield and mighty power sword, which makes sense. But Skeletor only needed one accessory: THE HAVOC STAFF. Now, I know what you're thinking. "No purple power sword?". I get the thought but face facts here, Skeletor's known for that big battle ram head on a pole than the sword. Plus, it looks even neater in mini figure form. Even better? It's in scale.


Now the real fun comes with Modulok-like possibilities to change heads, bodies, arms, whatever. In fact, with a simple pop off of the head can create a makeshift Fakor! And for once, Skeletor can finally be the one who is the hero. He even looks a little happier now. Everyone deserves a little joy in their life, even villainous boneheads who try to destroy King Randor's royal palace.


If you're out and about this week and find these, pick them up! They're a fun addition to a MOTU collection and just a lot of fun in general.

-Chad


Friday, December 22, 2017

Enter The 1989 Toy Biz Batcave!

Let's briefly go back to a time when action figures were still on kids Christmas wish lists and playsets were still somewhat a big deal. On top of that, it was 1989, so you know anything Batman related was filling up those wish lists big time. I can attest to this. I wanted everything Batman and while I got a few cool items that I'm very grateful, there was always one item that escaped me. THE TOY BIZ BATCAVE!



The Toy Biz Batman line is often regarded as one of the weakest line due to the cheap plastic used to produce the three figures (Batman, Joker and Bob The Goon) and just reusing Super Powers molds for it's DC Comics Heroes line that would consist of others(Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Penguin). Not the best figures but you ask anyone alive in 1989, child or adult, and they'll tell you they had a Batman figure with extending utility belt. Until Kenner took back the license for their Dark Knight Collection in 1990, this was the only Batman figure on the market and Toy Biz sold a LOT. In fact, I'm pretty sure any left over were hand delivered with your morning paper and laundry detergent samples. Have you been to the flea market? Do you know how many loose Batman figures are out there?  I've seen less copies of Frampton Comes Alive in thrift stores than I have Batman figures at toy shows and flea markets. The action figures were one thing, but the Batcave was another.



Oh that beautiful copper box. Toy Biz certainly knew how to draw a kid in with it's packaging. Kinda makes you forget about the fragile piece of cardboard and plastic inside. The box itself has some very fun illustrations featuring the Joker (how the heck did he get past that Giant Penny and Ace The BatHound?!?!) taking on the Caped Crusader. I took two things away from that image:






A: The Batcave is incredibly easy to break into.

B: One swoop and kick is gonna send Joker down that giant bottomless pit. Which, can't be a fun fall. We all saw the end of that movie. Splat.



Funny sidenote about the box, the main image on the top flap is actually using repainted Super Powers figures instead of the new molds used Toy Biz created. This image was used in other promotional pamphlets and catalogs as well which lead a lot of fans to believe we were just getting repainted figures but that wasn't the case. Take a closer look:



Enough talk about the box, now let's take a look at the toy itself:






While it's not the most sturdy playset in the world, it's still a pretty cool toy. It's nice and light, so if the mood catches you on a sunny afternoon, a kid could just carry it outside and play in the dirt with it. I don't know a lot of kids who owned this at the time, but I've never seen a dirty, beat up Batcave, so my assumption is kids didn't take it outside. But, I can almost guarantee I would've. In fact, if it had survived past summer of 1994, I would've be amazed. I played with my toys and played with them HARD. Hence why there's only two WWF Hasbro figures that survived from my childhood to this day.

There's some potential here for some serious play. If you have this, I have to assume you already had a Batmobile and obviously the man in black himself, so there wasn't a lot you need to truly enjoy this in it's purest form.What you see is what you get. The Batcave is normally pretty fancy and up to date with the most high tech gadgets and computers, and this represents a more simple 1980s era Batman when all he needed was a giant computer screen and blue platforms with red railings. I'm not making fun of the color scheme, even if Toy Biz had an apparent hard-on for red and blue in their vehicles and playsets in the coming years, mainly because it makes sense. If you're dressed in all black, wandering around a dark cave, you're gonna need something bright to hold onto from falling to your inevitable death. Railing kills were huge in the 80s, so good on Toy Biz for taking steps in preventing that. When he's done preventing serious injury or death, he'll have time to do chin-ups on his chin-up bar...


...that sits above his bottomless pit. I guess that's some darn good motivation to do the reps it takes to get a body like Batman. Maybe if I had means to my demise, I'd probably get more chin-ups done in my life.





The back of the playset is pretty cool as it gives a different look. I can't help but think the back is more of Axis Chemicals than a headquarters, but hey, I'm a little bit of a conspiracy theorist when it comes to old playsets. A door where Bruce suits up, a trick bridge to make a villain fall into a jail cell, and an open hole in the wall right next to the jail. I'm not entirely sure what Alfred was thinking when he helped constructed that cave. Who's gonna walk into that that cell when they can just dash on out? You think Joker's using the honor system? No! He'll just look around, race out and hop on the balloon float and throw out money. Batman may be the best detective in the world, but he's a crappy architect. At least we now have our answer as to how the Joker broke in. I'm assuming the same plans Bruce used for this, are the same used for Arkham.


All this craziness for only 24.99? Sold. That's 1989 price. I actually ended up paying much less, if you included the shipping and the fact that it came with about 20 JLU and bendable figures as well as some loose Hot Wheels vehicles, the box itself and a few filecards, the $39.99 "shipped free" price was a downright steal. If I may brag for a moment, I think I picked it up at the right moment in time.



Ok, it's not the most impressive piece of plastic and cardboard, and even more elaborate Batcave's have been released in the years to follow, including one popular mold featuring Wayne Manor attached, but this is just a good, straight up, pure Batcave. I'm sure, just based off the playability alone, I would've enjoyed this more as a kid than I do as an adult. But for now, it's a great piece to own and finally be able to tinker around with it for this articles sake. It's a cool display piece and even cooler piece of Batman 1989 memorabilia. Definitely worth waiting all these years for!

-Chad


Friday, December 15, 2017

Horror Movie BBQ Podcast: The Wizard!



Happy Wizard Day! Ok, maybe not an official holiday, but I love this movie enough to make it one! ;) You guys have heard me blab on and on about my affection for this movie over and over, so I won't rehash what I've already said countless time before.






Well, this has been an episode I've been wanting to do for quite some time now and seeing as today is the 28th anniversary of The Wizard (you didn't think I could wait another two years to truly celebrate this movie, did you?) what better day to drop the episode?



I had the thrill to be joined by my friends from one of my favorite movie podcasts, The Cult Film Club to discuss this movie. Shawn of (Branded In The 80s), Jamie (the infamous Shez Crafti) and Pax (Calvacade of Awesome, Nerd Lunch, and more!) join me on a fun conversation about what makes this movie so charming, what makes it hilarious and just what was Christian Slater thinking about while recording certain scenes?

And while you're in the mood for more Wizard goodness, check out 8-Bit Zombie for their gnarly Loser Lucas shirt! Some of my favorite shirts come from Ross. In fact, you can check out the interview I did with him where we dish about our mutual love of this fantastic movie!



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You can check out Cult Film Club on iTunes and their website. I always enjoy their discussions and trivia tidbits they drop, so be sure to check out their back catalog of great episodes!

-Chad

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Meeting The King Of Rock!

A few weeks ago, DMC of the iconic rap group RUN-DMC came up to The Record Archive in Rochester, NY for an in-store signing of his new album "Back From The Dead" and discussion of the importance of vinyl.



Monday, December 11, 2017

5 Tapes To Get You In The Christmas Spirit!

2 weeks away from the big day. How are you feeling? Happy? Sad? Feeling down? Hey, I understand. This can be a stressful time of year for a lot of people and sometimes it can lead to the loss of the spirit of the season. I love creating a new tradition but to get into the Christmas spirit, sometimes you gotta rely on the classics and today I have some fine selections of classic Christmas movies and specials that will be a surefire way to get you back in the holiday mood.

ZIGGY'S GIFT:

Ziggy is a character that is made for one reason: to make you to smile. There's not a bad bone in that little guy and this special proves it. Ziggy becomes a Santa for the season while working with others who took up the Santa mantle for their own greed and dishonesty. Staying true to who he truly is and never losing his trademark smile, Ziggy teaches others the true spirit of Christmas. While not the most memorable or cherished holiday special, it is a very heartwarming one. I recommend it only if you wish to fall back in love with the character of Ziggy and need a cry or two.

A HOBO'S CHRISTMAS:



Oh boy, another one that'll tug at your heart strings...well, maybe not. It may just make you laugh for all the wrong reasons. In this 90 minute tear jerker, an old hobo comes back to his hometown to reunite with his son who wants nothing to do with him and in the meantime learns a lot of his mistakes came back to bite him on his old smelly, hobo butt. This was a made-for-tv movie airing on CBS and it definitely shows. I don't exactly know how else to sell this movie to you other than Gerald McCraney and the grandfather from Lost Boys are in it and at their all time corniest. But that's ok because the producers of this movie knew what they were doing and the audience they were going after. It's hokey, silly, but it reminds you of watching bad Christmas movies with your family while eating Christmas cookies. So in the end, not so bad.


REN AND STIMPY HAVE YOURSELF A STINKY LITTLE CHRISTMAS:


One of my favorite Ren and Stimpy episodes ever and not just because it's a special Christmas tape either. This was one of the funniest episodes where Stimpy let's out a nasty fart who names "Stinky" and heads out on an adventure to find him after he goes missing. What could make this tape even better, you ask? Add on two music videos featuring awesome Christmas songs sung by the gross duo that belong on everyone's Christmas playlist. It was pretty common for these Nickelodeon releases in the 90s to contain music videos and extras, all of which were made specifically for the tapes themselves, and were all pretty great. But what if I told you this tape had a reason to be even MORE amazing and gave you even more reason to drop money on a show you've seen a million times on tv and probably even recorded the episode (you dirty pirate!)?

Yup. A gift set! Featuring an awesome gift box and a fun plush Stimpy so you can cuddle up with your favorite gross cat and enjoy this fantastic tape. One last thing that you MUST know about this set...

Yup. The doll even has a fanny flap. What else would you expect?


SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT 2:



I've said and done a lot involving my friend and star of the movie Eric Freeman, but I very rarely speak about the movie itself. If you're not aware of this ultimate cult classic, it's known for it's low budget, cheesy acting and ridiculous action. While it's easy to point to it and laugh at the production values but it does tell a fun story of Ricky (the little brother of Billy, the killer in the first movie) going through life, despite watching his older brother being killed in front of him. Is it worthy of an Oscar? Nah. But is it a fun watch and a movie that did have a charm. It may be a giant pile of...ahem...garbage...but it's infamy lives on through every viewing. Despite not ever receiving a bluray release, new fans are discovering this movie every year and falling in love with the main star and his memorable line delivery...





PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL:



One of the best Christmas specials ever. Pee Wee plans a Christmas party with a lot of famous friends including Little Richard, Oprah, the lovely Del Rubio Triplets, Cher, CHARO and more! PeeWee gets a little greedy though and asks Santa for a LOT but then realizes that receiving his Christmas wishes would affect the wishes of other children across the world. Thankfully, PeeWee comes to his sense and realizes it's better to give than recieve, so demands Santa gives all his presents to other children. A beautiful ending to a magnificent Christmas special! Oh and bonus, this is where I learned the Dradel Song from!

Credit: I-Mockery.com (Check out my buddy RoG's great review of this special!)



Now, I gotta tell you guys, watching this special as a kid was HUGE. I was obsessed with Pee Wee Herman, despite my brother absolutely HATING him to the point that he would just get angry walking into the room when I was watching it. Oh well. It's not my fault he can't appreciate the greatness of Cowboy Curtis. Be that as it may, when I found out we were getting a Christmas special as a kid, I couldn't miss it. Missing it would be out of the question. The night it aired, my father had recorded it for me and I was able to watch it the next day. It was a pretty big event for me. Watching it the next day? I was in heaven. The silly songs, the over the top ridiculousness that we'd all come to love, the characters, the guest stars. I couldn't get enough. So many great skits and segments that if you were to watch today, you'd still love them. It may not be remembered in the same vain as A Charlie Brown Christmas or a movie like It's A Wonderful Life, but for me as a kid, this was bigger than any viewing of Miracle On 34th Street. Revisiting it in recent years, I've fallen in love with it all over again and continue to watch every year with as much enjoyment as I did as a child.


I don't know how to end this article any better than with the inclusion of a childhood (and adulthood) favorite. Honestly, they're all favorites and great additions to your yearly Christmas viewings. I hope you get to enjoy them just as much as I do ever year!



-Chad