Monday, May 20, 2019

Hitting The Sale!

Longtime readers will remember The Sale, a rummage sale of sorts where all proceeds goes to the great Ronald McDonald House charity to help families in need. I've attended past sales before at their previous location and always walked out with something special...



Monday, May 13, 2019

The Slimer Slurpee and More!

Something very spooky and very green hit our friends up north. Something I simply had to investigate! I got the call, I packed up my group, got a grip, came equipped grabbed my proton pack off my back and I split!

A Ghostbusters promotion? At 7-11? In 2019? WHAT?!?!



Monday, April 29, 2019

The 2019 Flea Market Kickoff!




It's that time again. It's been way too long since I've hit the dusty trail known as the local flea market. And boy do I mean "dusty"...

(We should all just accept that I'm gonna use that outdated banner everytime I write these. Good? Good.)



For those just tuning in, the first flea market of the year took place and I way too woke up early to be one of the first in line. Time to dig through those old boxes filled with old soda cans and used car parts in hopes to find gold. Thank goodness for a tetanus shot, because I swear these places have more rusted metal than a junkyard.

 As we've gotten closer to the big opening day, I've gotten more and more excited for the hunt. Some days will be gold, some days will be nothing but a box of Desert Storm trading cards. That's the name of the game! Due to rather unfavorable weather, the place wasn't as filled with vendors. But hey, this is just a taste of what to expect, so it's not like I expected to find some vendor selling MOC G.I. Joe's for 2 bucks each. Can't get your hopes too high on the first day, otherwise you'll just end up failing the rest of the season. Despite the lack of vendors, it didn't take me long to find some great items. Well, kinda...


See those great mint in box toys? Cool items, really fun to find at a flea market but the vendor thought that these were his ticket to fame and fortune, but his asking price was way too high. In fact, as I examined the boxes (resealed by the way), the vendor brought out a piece of paper with eBay prices and how much they were listed for. I didn't have the heart to break it to him that there's a feature called "Completed Listings" but I decided to let him be and just move on. I had bigger fish to fry.


Trading cards! And lots of them! I'm always amazed to find boxes of trading cards when I hit this particular flea market, it seems like a lot of people held on to them and are now just realizing what a foolish idea that really was. But hey, for $3 per box, YOU would be the fool to pass these up!

Ok, maybe Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and 1990 Nascar cards aren't the most exciting thing in the world, but Rocketeer? NKOTB? Deal. I'd gladly fork over the cash for those boxes.


Enough nonsense for now. You've seen the rather minimal amount of highlights, so let's get to the main event. What did I pick up?



BARNYARD COMMANDOS COMMANDO CUFFS:



Much like Dick Tracy had his two way wrist watch, you had the power to harness the ultimate power of your favorite Barnyard Commando. Burger King released these spaceship/bacon infused bracelets at the end of Barnyard Commandos already brief run (1989-1990). It always amazed me that these guys received a fast food promotion but Food Fighters didn't but I guess a giant ice cream with a missile launcher doesn't grab every 6 year old as much as an angry boar in a spaceship.



BACK TO THE FUTURE NOVEL:

 Back in the 80s, every movie released received a novelization and this time traveling classic is no different. Usually these novels had something different from the movie, maybe some deleted scenes and unused dialogue.I haven't gone too deep into this particular novel to find much, but I'm hoping to find something fun. Love the cover too!



 GI JOE EXTREME FIGURES:
 Back in the 1990s, everything that we held dear got overtaken by the "EXTREME" trend. Soda, pro wrestling, staplers and even our beloved GI Joe. By 1995, our favorite military toy line became bigger, badder and much more IN YO FAAAAACE! Replacing Cobra Commander was the Spawn/Skeletor/terrible indie wrestler hybrid known as IRON KLAW, the leader of SKAR who looked cool but had the poseability of a rock. But worry not, this proprietor of the most 1990s Halloween costume ever has some opposition in the form of FREIGHT, a mix between Heavy Duty from the original GI Joe line and I think a garbage man? I still can't figure him out all these years later.

Gone were the days of backpacks and fun guns and helmets. In 1995? These figures came with goofy, crappy accessories such as a boatload of armor and giant sticks. I actually had both of these guys in 1995 due to my love anything GI Joe related, and was EXTREMELY overwhelmed. But now? I can appreciate trying to freshen up the brand by introducing new characters.



NINJA TURTLES LUNCHBOX:

It seems every time I hit the flea market on opening day I ALWAYS find a lunchbox somehow. Not that I'm complaining!

I fondly remember this one. From 1991, this particular lunchbox showed the final battle from Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Oooze that featured the Turtles and Super Shredder. Now, while some Turtle purists aren't fond of the Super Shredder sequence, I loved it as a kid and now. Plus, Kevin Nash as Super Shredder? Win.

I tend to remember seeing this particular lunchbox all around the lunchroom at school and summer camps that year. Once I locked eyes on it, it was 1991 all over again. I could instantly remember the tantalizing smell of peanut butter and jelly and Mott's apple sauce resting in those lunchboxes. You know the smell. The kind that gets locked and trapped in the plastic. It's a comforting smell on a hot day as a kid and every plastic lunchbox on the schoolyard had it.Unless you were the weird kid who had generic apple sauce. You should've been more vocal. The Motts were worth the extra twenty cents.



ANCIENT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS:

These scream "childhood Halloween". These cardboard, multi jointed beauties were really the things that helped us fall in love with the season. If you had a Halloween and these didn't get hung, you may as well have just hit the restart button and start over completely.

That jive turkey pumpkin may be my favorite. He kinda reminds me of the pumpkin from Return To Oz. Frightening but welcoming at the same time.



The Skeleton is a pretty average decoration. He glows in the dark and has the flexibility of a porn star, so that's a plus. Still, you can't have these decorations and not include the skeleton.



THE MVP. The witch almost looks like it would've been a Jim Henson character if the design were ever used in a live action movie. She's short, squat and much like the pumpkin, she kinda toes the line between menacing and loving. Could she be your friend or would she try to turn you into a calzone? I guess you'll just have to wait and see!


BUTTONS!


My personal favorite find of the day. Yes, the decorations were great but these were a real treasure! If you were a youth in the late 80s/early 90s, you no doubt had a giant button of some sorts. Not only were they stylish and large and in charge, but you could use them as a display piece. Each of those had a cardboard backing that could be folded out to prop up. Kinda like a photo frame. So if you weren't going to a New Kids on The Block concert that afternoon, you could still off your love for Joey by putting the button on your shelf. These aren't exactly the hardest or even valuable collectibles to find but they are always fun to see when you do find them.

The Bartman character was a great gimmick for The Simpsons early on and made for easily sold merchandise. Kids loved Batman. They loved Bart. How couldn't he sell buckets of merchandise? This button is a perfect reminder of the early days of Simpsons. I have nothing but love for the Underachiever Button and it's amazing neon colors, but Bartman just looks tremendous all around.




We've only just begun, ladies and gentlemen. Let the flea market games...begin!


You can read previous "opening day" adventures in my previous blog entries:

2018
2017
2016
2015


-Chad

Friday, April 12, 2019

Slamming Wrestlemania Axxess!

Well, after close to 30 years of being a diehard, loyal fan of the crazy sport called "pro wrestling", it finally happened...I finally made it to the dance. I attended my first Wrestlemania in New Jersey! It was a long time coming but I finally was prepared to make my Wrestlemania Moment happen. Of course, wrestling fans know that the events leading up, if not MORE important than what actually happens on the night of the big show. And one of the biggest events to happen is...WRESTLEMANIA AXXESS!

For those who aren't wrestling fans, Axxess is like WWE's version of a convention if it took place inside a TGI Fridays. Almost every personality on the roster (even a McMahon!) appeared signing autographs and took photos with fans while a bunch of crazy crap on the walls and in other sections to distract you from the fact that you'll be standing in line for hours. It was pretty wild. I've had many friends attend these through the years who made me swell up with wrestling geek envy when I'd see all their cool photos and now...I can experience it for myself!

 Gotta make a great entrance! Let's get rockin'!
Yes I dressed like Marty Jannetty. Go big or go home.


As previously mentioned, one of the biggest attractions was the rare opportunity to rub shoulders with your favorite WWE star. Be it someone from the current roster, the NXT brand, or even a former star/Hall of Famer. The days I went (Saturday evening and Monday morning) a huge NXT presence was felt and it was my thrill to meet such up and coming stars including The Velveteen Dream, who is no doubt going to be a huge star for the main roster, current NXT champion Johnny Gargano and his wife Candice LaRae, and of course my personal favorite Adam Cole (BAYBAY!) were just some of the top NXT stars in attendance. Much like a convention such as HorrorHound or Monster Mania, many of the wrestlers took photos with fans at photo booths or at signing stations which lead to some amazing moments. My personal favorite? Meeting Matt Riddle and both of us literally going back and fourth with "bro, you look great!" about 4 times, laughing and giving each other a big hug leading the staff photographer to say to my wife "it's like they've known each other their whole lives". Believe everything you hear about Matt being tremendously awesome. Because it's true. All of it.

Matt Riddle and I

Me and the new Women's Tag Champs, The Iiconics!

Kevin Owens and I

Of course, I couldn't help but challenge Gargano and sign the contract for NXT Toronto. See you in 4 months, Johnny Champion. That belt is mine!




On to a huge favorite among fans, "The Legends Hall":


Here in the Legends Hall, in what could be considered the closest to a physical Hall of Fame as we could get, fans could find items such as ring worn outfits and belts, statues of legends, Andre The Giant's hand prints, a replica of Piper's Pit, and so much more. I'm barely even scratching the surface here. if you're a long time fan, this was a nostalgic treasure trove that sent you right back to your childhood.







My favorite thing to see and experience was actually climbing in an old school ring with a cardboard cutout of Mean Gene and standing with the original Wrestlemania logo! Never stepped in a wrestling ring before, so this was a huge thrill for me! Now, let me tell you something Mean Gene...




Another fun feature was Mattel coming by with a rather large display of new figures and fun surprises! Here at Axxess, the much anticipated Diesel "Retro" figure was revealed.



But the most shocking and no doubt desired reveal? A Gorilla Monsoon/Bobby Heenan two pack! Check out this amazing display constructed by the great Elite crew! Would you get serious?





On top of all the awesome toy reveals, I even got to chat with line producer, Bill Miekina! Thanks for your time, Bill!




If you get the chance to visit Axxess, jump at it. It's a great way to keep that wrestling geek momentum going and take home a wonderful memory of the weekend. You'll never forget it and I'd even argue, you''ll walk away and even bigger fan than before.



Just like I'll continue to never forget this old poster of Miss Elizabeth...


Suddenly I'm 6 again.


-Chad

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What's In The Cupboard?

As mentioned in a previous entry, I've always been a big cup collector. I don't exactly have a good explanation as to why but something about them always brought me some joy. Like a small, cheap souvenir of wherever I went that actually came in handy later. Why drink out of a regular, boring juice glass when I can drink out of a gigantic cup with a cartoon character instead?



Sunday, February 24, 2019

At The Movies!

Everytime I head back to my hometown in Maryland, I always find a lot of the places I grew up with originally as a child heavily altered and restored or gone completely. Now, new things are great and all but having that familiarity is always a nice comfort. These days, I expect to see more new things but I'm always shocked and pleasantly surprised when something remains the same as I used to remember it. Pizza Hut, for example was one of those nice surprises. Even the dusty and dirty general stores I see back home are a welcome sight. But the most surprising thing I've seen to date? BOWTIE CINEMAS!
Photo credit: AnnapolisHarbourCenter.com

Last summer when I drove back home, I had an afternoon to meet up with some friends. Between lunch and grabbing meeting up with some friends that afternoon, I found myself in Annapolis with about an hour or two to kill. So I decided I'd hit my childhood Toys R Us and just for kicks, this old theater. Sure, saying goodbye to TRU before it closed permanently was nice, and maybe I'll write about that later, but seeing this place was the real treat. Almost instantaneously, years of memories came rushing back to me as soon as I walked up to the box office. And the selection of movies ain't too bad either!

Originally known as Loews Harbour Center named after the local shopping center it remains in to this day, opened in the early 90s. I wanna say 1990. It was the fresh, hip new theater on the block that everyone's older brothers and sister would work at on the weekends and where parents would take their kids for about 2 hours of mindless entertainment and then head to the TGI Fridays across the parking lot for lunch afterwards. This is also the same theater I would be a part of a packed house for Batman Returns in 1992 and a somewhat empty house for Spy Hard in 1996(a show where I lost my WWF gold Pog slammer and still haven't truly gotten over it) and so many following that. When it opened this place was the most high tech and advanced theater with the best plush stadium seating, best sound system and picture, heck it even had the coolest lobby and entrance I had ever seen at that point. Up until then, the only theaters we attended were about 20 minutes away and pretty plain compared to this. Sure, the others were great and held a lot of solid memories like the legendary MarketPlace Mall (which I wrote about many, many years ago) but at the same time the other theaters around us didn't have a sweet escalator to take you into the main lobby!

Oh that escalator...

The great thing about that gigantic stairway to movie heaven is while you ride it, you'd get a good look at all the new posters hung on the walls which would usually elicit an "oh man! We're getting a new Batman movie!!!!" or even a "Lost In Space!??! Really?!?" upon first look. I've lost count over the years how many movies I discovered were being released on this rather short trip but it would help start the hype train rather quickly. The one that stands out the most was always Multiplicity. One look at that poster and I said to myself "eeeek. Michael Keaton agreed to THAT?!?!".

As kids, the lobby felt like a gigantic, futuristic space station. The design and layout made it feel like a huge deal to us and compared to the other theaters, felt almost ritzy. I mean, check out this hallway. It's almost like a catwalk from the Death Star!

Man, the first time I remember coming to this place was for Gremlins 2 in 1990 and I was instantly overwhelmed. It was clean, spacious and plenty of lights and colors with a huge number of promo standees. And of course, the most enticing part, the smell of fresh popcorn! To my surprise, not too much work was done on the the snack bar or lobby in general. Still looks exactly the same with the shiny marble floor (which I believe my friend Brian slipped and got free passes) and the ticket taker in the middle who barely wants to be there. Looks like there's been some renovation to the snack bar's displays and menu listings, but for the most part it remains just that simple counter with glass windows. I was hankering for some delicious Junior Mints, but not for $4.50.



After taking multiple photos to the weird looks of staff, which is a common trend with me when I revisit places back home especially when I'm wearing an nWo tank top and baggy cargo shorts with skull patches on it, it was time for me to leave. I wasn't going to stick around too long since all I really wanted to do was just ride the escalator and take a look around for old times sake. Thankfully, I got the chance to do just that. Since we live in an era where huge multiplexes with arcades and extra fancy food options are the places to go, it's great to see that a small hometown theater is still able to thrive and remain the same it has for years. I'm sure the day will come that they'll heavily renovate but seeing it as I remembered it, from the escalator to the lobby to the amazingly 90s carpeting, was all I needed to bring me enough joy. I'm hoping one of your local childhood theaters also remains the same as it used to and if it does, I'm sure you'll share the same sense of comfort and nostalgia I did when I visited this place.


In fact, if I hadn't seen posters for recent movies, I could've sworn I was there to watch Encino Man all over again, buddddd-deeee.

-Chad

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: Valentine




Revenge is sweet, just like Valentine's Day chocolates. At least, that is what a vengeful, Cupid-masked killer thinks. Be my Valentine ... or else. Broken hearts and other mortal wounds await a cast of contemporary young stars when they play dating-scene veterans dying for love in this humor-laced, twist-filled thriller cleverly directed by Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend) and starring David Boreanaz (Angel, Bones), Denise Richards (Starship Troopers), Marley Shelton (Scream 4, Planet Terror), Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy) and more. Cards, candy and flowers are nice. But for fans of stalker-shocker terror, there's nothing like a Valentine.


Thoughts:


Valentine is one of the movies that came out in the late 90s/early 2000s that I originally thought just followed the infamous "Scream Trend" in which mainstream slashers went from supernatural beings to more real life based villains and killers. I always looked at that time in horror as a dry period with very little originality. However, after watching this movie, I came to realize there were some really creative and entertaining movies. This is one of them. Valentine was a pretty typical slasher story, about a once bullied kid (in this case, young Jeremy Melton, who was rejected by multiple girls at a 6th grade dance) getting revenge on those who treated him poorly has been used in multiple movies before, but not too many were utilized past the mid 80s. And if it was, it was usually done sloppily. But valentine treats it as a useful device to tell a story with an effective payoff. Through multiple twists and turns, memorable kills, ridiculously over the top cliche characters, this movie grabs and doesn't let go of your attention, even if it can be a bit dated(which a few cast members comment on in the extras). But then again, most movies we enjoy showcase the style of certain time periods.


This movie, while not perfect is very entertaining. The best way to explain it would be if My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night and Slaughter High were to be combined and presented the early 2000s. Almost like The Rage: Carrie 2 (yes, I'm a huge fan of it!) old ideas were used to make a new movie. After waiting so long to sit down to watch it, my only regret is that I wasn't around to see it in it's original. Another regret is not getting a sequel or seeing the main antagonist become a bigger horror icon. I think the image of Jeremy Melton with the creepy 1950s cupid mask would've made a fun series or even some merchandising. I know I'd buy a NECA produced figure to put next to my Freddy, Jason and Ricky Caldwell!

And of course, anyone who was a teen from this time, will wax nostalgic about the soundtrack. Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Static-X, Orgy, and more were just some of the rock icons of that time so the soundtrack will become the instant throwback and reminder of a more ridiculous time for rock music.


The Extras:


Shout always puts an amazing effort to bring the best in special features and this may have some of my favorite interviews produced so far by the company, especially with star Denise Richards (who played the sexpot Paige) goes into great detail about her love of the genre and the importance of establishing meaningful characters in which she stated "if you're going to do a horror movie, you have to care about the characters". Very well said and really shows you just how seriously Denise and indeed the rest of the cast were going to take this movie.Marly Shelton who also loved working on this movie, also recalls great memories in making the movie and her fondness for the cast, crew and the entire experience as whole.

For longtime fans, this seems to have everything you'd want. Interviews with writers, editors, musicians, the cast, personal footage from the set, and so much more. I've seen releases with less features that get high recommendations, so the "extras fan" in me is more than happy to give this my highest recommendation.


  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements Supervised And Approved By Director Jamie Blanks And Director Of Photography Rick Bota
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks And Filmmaker Don Coscarelli, Moderated By Author Peter Bracke
  • NEW Thrill Of The Drill – An Interview With Actress Denise Richards
  • NEW The Final Girl – An Interview With Actress Marley Shelton
  • NEW Shot Through The Heart – An Interview With Actress Jessica Cauffiel
  • NEW Writing Valentine – An Interview With Co-writers Gretchen J. Berg And Aaron Harberts
  • NEW Editing Valentine– An Interview With Editor Steve Mirkovich
  • NEW Scoring Valentine – An Interview With Composer Don Davis
  • NEW Almost 2 Hours Of Never-Before-Seen Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Director Jamie Blanks’ Personal Archive
  • Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks
  • Vintage “Making Of” Featurette Featuring Cast And Crew
  • Extended Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage From The Electronic Press Kit
  • Deleted Scenes Including Extended Death Scenes
  • Music Video
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
  •  Hidden Easter Egg

If you're a longtime fan or just someone who wants to give it a blind buy, head over to Shout Factory and order today!


-Chad

Thursday, January 31, 2019

What I've Been Watching: Shout Factory Edition

It's been a very stressful month due to a loss in my family, so my movie reviews have been a bit late. Sorry about that folks! But now, they're live and more will be coming! Let's kick things off with some great releases from Shout Factory!

THE JERK:



Hailed as one of the funniest movies of all time, The Jerk stars Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, the adopted son of a poor black sharecropping family in Mississippi. When he learns that the world is a much bigger place than he'd ever imagined, Navin sets out on a quest to find his "special purpose." His adventures lead him to encounter a would-be assassin, jobs in carnivals and gas stations, a life-saving dog, romance with the girl of his dreams and more money than he could ever spend. But his life in the clouds may come crashing down when the source of his new fame and fortune creates disastrous side effects.
Bonus Features:
  • NEW Remastered from a Brand-New 2K Transfer
  • NEW A Conversation with Steve Martin and Carl Reiner
  • NEW A Conversation with Writers Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb
  • Learn How to Play "Tonight You Belong To Me"
  • The Lost Film Strips of Father Carlos Las Vegas De Cordova
  • Trailers & Radio Spots

THOUGHTS:

As a huge Steve Martin fan, I was super excited for this release and knew it would be in great hands. A few years ago, Shout also released a Steve Martin: The Television Stuff boxed set featuring his best bits on TV throughout the years, so they weren't a stranger to the comedy legend going into this release. Featuring a great new transfer that makes it look like a brand new movie and a clearer picture, Steve Martin's legendary performance as the naive and unsuspecting Navis Johnson finds a whole new generation. His comedy as well as charming love story with Marie Kimble (played wonderfully by Bernadette Peters) adds a great balance to this over the top silly movie. And of course, who could forget the beautiful "Tonight You Belong To Me" duet by both Martin and Peters? I'm not one for musicals or even musical numbers, but to this day, I think it's one of the most perfect and beautiful pieces of music in a movie I've ever heard. While we've seen this movie released on dvd and bluray before, the transfer makes this scene sound even more fantastic.

The bonus features included in this release also provide a whole new aspect to the classic. Hearing stories from Steve and Carl Reiner about the production and filming were my favorite. My only wish is that we could've gotten a blooper and outtake featurette as I'm sure the cast and crew had an amazing time filming this.




DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS:





In the south of France, two rival con men — suave and sophisticated Lawrence (two-time Oscar®-winner Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules) and third-rate American hustler Freddy (Steve Martin, The Jerk) — make a wager. The first one to extract $50,000 from the next woman they meet wins ... and the other leaves town. The bet is on, the stakes are high and the blows are low in this hysterically funny, ruthlessly witty, dirty, rotten comedy!


Bonus Features

  • Mastered From A Brand-New 2K Scan Of the Film
  • NEW Interview With Writer Dale Launer
  • Audio Commentary With Director Frank Oz
  • Featurette
  • Trailers


THOUGHTS:



While not one of Steve Martin or Michael Caine's most famous movies, seeing the two legends in the same movie is a real treat. Muppet master and comedy legend Frank Oz, who directed this movie, known for his close attention to help creating memorable and very flawed characters that we end up falling in love with. The characters of fast talking con men Freddy and Lawrence, while not the most fondly remembered, will be some of the most lovable and absolutely disgusting schysters you'll ever see on screen. The battle of wits and who can out-charm the other, is a fun battle for all to see.

In terms of extras, not much to report. Commentary, a featurette and trailers were ported over from a previous release, but a new interview with one of the writers Dale Launer and a great new transfer makes this set worh purchasing.



HOWLING 3:



The race is on as a colony of marsupial werewolves attempts to outwit and outlast their human counterparts in the offbeat horror film The Howling III.

Long ago, the now-extinct marsupial wolf (a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger) roamed the Australian Outback. Today, a werewolf colony that has descended from these marsupials has taken over the land. This race of human-like creatures roams the outback, preying on the unsuspecting to feed their growing numbers. The race for survival is on as the humans struggle to contain these out of control creatures.



Bonus Features

  • NEW Digital Transfer Sponsored By The National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Philippe Mora, Moderated By Filmmaker Jamie Blanks
  • NEW A Conversation With Philippe Mora – An Interview With The Writer/Director
  • Vintage Interviews From The Documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! By Director Mark Hartley
  • Theatrical Trailer



THOUGHTS:

Oh boy...

Not being a fan of the Howling series, I truly did not know what I was getting myself into when I first popped this in. Of course my friend Phil of Death Ensemble warned me that is quite the wild ride. Of course, what I expected and what I saw were two different things. There's like a million different things going on in this movie and I just don't know where to start but comparing this movie to Troll 2 is probably a good way to describe it. The movie itself is pretty wild, which is to be expected considering it's an Ozploitation classic. The special f/x, the gory gags, the ridiculous story. This movie has it all. Oh and a scene where a woman gives birth to a werewolf/human hybrid. Which, if you see it once, you'll never forget it. In fact, I'd argue that scene is worth the purchase alone.

For those who are unaware of the Ozploitation style, you'll get a great education with the extras. Interviews, brand new commentary, and even some interviews from the tremendous documentary Not Quite Hollywood, which I'm a huge fan of, will make you an almost immediate fan of the genre. The crazier, the better!



COBRA:



Lt. Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) is a one-man assault team whose laser-mount submachine gun and pearl-handled Colt .45 spit pure crime-stopping venom! Director George P. Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Tombstone) teams up again with Stallone for this thriller pitting Cobretti against a merciless serial killer. The trail leads to not one murderer but also an army of psychos bent on slashing their way to a "New Order" – and killing a witness (Brigitte Nielsen) along the way. Fortunately, her protector is Cobra, a man who delivers vigilante justice like no other!


 BONUS FEATURES:


  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Stalking And Slashing – An Interview With Actor Brian Thompson
  • NEW Meet The Disease – An Interview With Actor Marco Rodriguez
  • NEW Feel The Heat – An Interview With Actor Andrew Robinson
  • NEW Double Crossed – An Interview With Actress Lee Garlington
  • NEW A Work Of Art – An Interview With Actor Art LaFleur
  • Audio Commentary With Director George P. Cosmatos
  • Vintage Featurette
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries – Stills, Movie Posters, And Lobby Cards



THOUGHTS: 


As a Cannon Films loyalist, I always enjoy watching movies I've never seen produced by the company. And believe it or not, this has always been one of those movies. Before you ask why someone who claims to be the biggest Cannon Films fan ever would have never seen this before, remember that I've never been a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone's movies. I have plenty of friends who worship the ground he walks on, but I just always saw him as a big goof. However, after finally sitting down and watching this movie, I have a new respect for him. While this movie could've been a huge laughing stock since Cannon was known for it's ridiculous, over the top action and that's exactly what we got. The highlight in my opinion? The shoot out in the convenience store in the beginning. After this scene, I knew I was in for a fun ride. Also worth noting is 80s action icon Brian Thompson as "The Night Slasher", the lead villain. Although the real reason to watch is Sylvester Stallone who commands the movie with his over the top(no pun intended) presence and cool demeanor. I can honestly say I've never seen a movie where he played such a cool guy. Playing the asshole cop that cares while remaining badass is not an easy role, but he made it work. And for that, I'm  super grateful to have finally given it a chance.


Featuring a brand new transfer, some amazing interviews with cast and crew, including a real fun interview with baddie Brian Thompson where he shares many details about filming as well. Interviews with Andrew Robinson(also known as Frank from Hellraiser), Marco Rodriguez, Art LaFleur and many more also add to this already action packed set. Also, using the original poster art, makes me love this even more.

You can find these great releases and more at ShoutFactory.com !


-Chad


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tales From The Gimmick Tables: The Demolition Cup

Welcome to the inaugural "Tales From The Gimmick Tables". A running series of articles where I look at random wrestling merchandise through the years that either hold sentimental value or could be some of the lamest stuff I've seen in all my time of being a fan. Today though, is a most excellent piece of memorabilia!

When it comes to collecting things, there are some items you search way too long for and some items, you spend way too much on. This is one of those items that fall into both categories.

Photo Credit: Myles Arden
Back in 1991, WWF released their third set of collector cups featuring the best tag teams in the company at the time. In a huge upset, it seems Power and Glory were shoved out for the Bushwackers, but who am I to judge? These cups were pretty spectacular and ONLY available in the merchandise catalog or at the live events. In essence, if you owned something from these legendary catalogs, you pretty much belonged to an exclusive group. There was no store this fun merch was available in. It was only meant for the most ardent fan to show off and brag over. The kids on the playground would be downright envious of your Ted Dibiase coin bank or your Dusty Rhodes ringer shirt. But these cups? These'll impress everyone who stops by to visit. Of course, I wasn't destined to be one of the kids who did own these in 1991 because my mom didn't wanna buy them but I wouldn't give up on owning one. One day I'd own one.


As beautiful as they look, I can't imagine they were super popular. In fact, I hadn't even seen these or the previous releases on eBay or in wrestling memorabilia groups. It seemed they had all gone forgotten. Except me. For years, even decades, I had never forgotten these and had driven myself crazy searching for the Demolition cup itself since they were my all time fave tag team and yes that still stands. No offense to The Beverly Brothers of course. The problem became, if I found one of the cups in this set, it would be way too expensive, someone wasn't willing to split up the set itself or it would be faded beyond recognition. After a while, I was convinced I would never find it. As a lifelong cup collector, it drove me insane that I'd have to abandon my journey.

Until last month that is! My buddy had gotten the entire set and was willing to let Demolition go, knowing how long I had searched for it. After all these years, it would finally be mine.

Holy crap! Check that out! I was under the impression it was in great shape, but didn't expect this! It's almost like whoever owned it, just ordered it, left it in the cupboard and forgot about it. No cracks, no stains, absolutely perfect. Even if Crush is included in the picture. I would've preferred Ax but let's not go down that road.

What impresses me most about this cup is that this is one of the very few, if not only, pieces of merchandise that featured Demolition wearing their short lived wrestling masks as featured on the road to Survivor Series 1990 where they joined forces with Mr. Perfect to battle against Legion Of Doom, Ultimate Warrior and Texas Tornado. The masks were unique but clever as they could play tricks in the ring and swap out a tired man for a fresher competitor whenever they saw the odds against their favor. The ref would never be the wiser. If you ever notice, the majority of Demo's merchandising usually depicts them in their makeup and focuses on their unusual face paint patterns so to see something with their faces obscured by their bizarre wrestling masks that they only wore for a very brief amount of time, is pretty unique and remains a reminder of this brief gimmick for the team. The masks were eliminated shortly after they debuted and went forgotten and they went back to using their awesome and intimidating facepaint.


Wow it's big! Keep in mind, Smash figure is 5 inches tall, so this is almost twice the size! I always pictured them to be the size of smaller promo cups you'd see given out at job fairs or summer concerts. But this is the big time. This is the WWF. They never did things on a small scale. Unless you count when they filmed Monday Night Raw in high school gyms in 1995.


Totally a sweet throwback! Check out that sweet block logo! I feel like this is the kind of cup I'd use to drink Ecto Cooler out of while floating around my sister Erika's pool. This just feels like you have to drink either water or something super flavorful out of it or it'll be revoked.



So after 27 years, I finally own it and can put on my shelf with my favorite wrestling glasses: A WWF New York pint glass and the foreign exclusive Demolition juice glass! Do I truly plan on using it like I've used the others? Well, yeah. I like to get some use out of my collectibles and this is no different. Of course, it won't get used every week, but you can certainly expect me to fill it with something tasty while I sit back and eat wings while watching the Royal Rumble next week!


After all, I do have some Ecto Cooler in the freezer I only use for special occasions...


-Chad