Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: Silent Night Deadly Night 2






Synopsis: Ricky is being released from a mental hospital. He takes with him the terrifying memory of his brother Billy's death and the memory of Mother Superior who brought about his brother's demise. For Ricky, starting a new life means avenging his brother's death, which sets him on a blind journey of relentless revenge, leading ultimately to Mother Superior. And when he gets to her, not even her faith will be enough to stop Ricky as he follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage.


Thoughts:  As most people know, I have a pretty personal connection to this movie, that you can read all about here. So when it was announced to get a blu-ray release I was shocked and overjoyed. For those in the know, it was never gonna happen. The original rights holder was always adamant on never releasing it and the only way it was going to happen was if he was going to die. Well, someone must've convinced him that it was a foolish idea, because here we are. After all these years, this movie finally gets a release dedicated to the fans. Because it's the fans who will truly appreciate it the most.

Now, let's get this out of the way: This is a VERY BAD MOVIE. There's no slicing it any other way. It's terrible. I've been saying this for years and stand by it. However, it's a CHARMING VERY BAD MOVIE. There's so much to adore here. The over the top performances by all the actors, the silly gags, the crazy kill scenes and of course...GARBAGE DAY, the scene that spurred a million views on YouTube and reintroduced a forgotten movie to a whole new generation of fans. Even though this movie is only half an original movie, due to the notorious use of the first movie, this is still a movie you should go out of your way to pick up. It's always been a movie that doesn't take itself seriously and has fun with itself. Whereas the first one was straight up brutal and nasty, this movie is more fun.

For a movie that relies so heavily on sourcing the first, it still stands out, despite Lee Harry's lack of direction. Eric Freeman's over the top performance is really what you wanna watch it for. As great as fellow cast members Liz Kaitan (who was believed to have been missing for years as well but appears on the extras) and Ken Weichert the jokey and perverted "Chip", this is Eric's movie. For a role he has been somewhat ashamed of, I'm happy to see him embrace it as of late and this set is a great tribute to his legacy in film history.

Of course, alongside a great transfer of the movie itself, the main feature is just one of the draws. The special features are packed to the gills with holly jolly goodness!

  • NEW 2K Scan Of An Archival Theatrical Print
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Lee Harry, And Actors Eric Freeman And James Newman
  • NEW Slay Bells Ring Again: The Story Of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Actors Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Darrel Guilbeau, And Kenny McCabe, And Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
  • NEW Garbage Days Are Here Again – A Look At The Film’s Locations
  • NEW Ricky Today – A short Film Featuring A 2018 Interview With Ricky Caldwell
  • NEW I Don’t Sleep – An Extended Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
  • Audio Commentary By Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Co-Writer Joseph H. Earle, And Actor James Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer

For those who consider themselves to be the ULTIMATE Garbage Day fans, Scream has a fun offer for you. Similar to their offerings last year with the first movie, an exclusive action figure and poster will be included in your order! Now you can reunite Ricky with his brother Billy and make as many crazy killing sprees as you can! I can't wait to receive this very animated looking Ricky and put him next to all my favorite figures. Although, it'll be weird looking at the shelf and seeing my friend Eric stare back at me.

Perhaps I'm biased, but I love everything about this release and the bells and whistles that come with it. As someone who has been a fan of this crazy, b-movie for a long time, I'm so thrilled to see the perfect release for such a memorable slice of cheese. This gets the highest of recommendations from me. A solid effort by the gang at Shout Factory!

To order your set, head over to Shout Factory's site here!


-Chad

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Returning Home For A Radical Slice of Nostalgia

A few weeks ago, the wife and I went back home to Maryland for Thanksgiving. It had been way too long since my entire family had spent a holiday together, but sure enough, it was well worth the wait. A day spent in the old house, on the same old furniture I spent so many years every Thanksgiving morning watching the Parade or eating cold leftovers the morning after, catching up and making jokes with great people is all I wanted. And it was the best feeling in the world. I'm sure most of you know that feeling I'm speaking of. The feeling that everything is ok for just a few days and any pressure you've felt during previous holidays to entertain, is completely gone. It's a great feeling and very calming. Thankfully, for Thanksgiving changes in tradition are not really necessary (although very welcome).

Now that said, as much as I would welcome new traditions, there are certain things back home that I pray never change no matter what. Whether it's a restaurant, a lights display that a neighbor sets up or...a Pizza Hut...

A Pizza Hut? Why yes. The spot my mom and I would go to every week for Book-It programs or just a random pizza night, has remained in this exact spot for years. Most likely even before I was born. But while everything else around it (mainly the nearby shopping center has changed, this remains the same. It's a spot I hadn't stepped foot in for close to 20 years and during a stop at a gas station in the same plaza, I was determined that this day would change that. Would it be the same, despite the outside being the same exact colors and same exterior design that I'd fondly remember?

YES.

There used to be a giant "shoot out" basketball game here.
The second I opened the rusty, sun faded doors, I was immediately met with that smell that only Pizza Hut produces. You know the smell: marinara sauce, garlic bread, and spices. It's like every heavenly scent you can imagine, but just watered down a tad. The waiting area, seemed to be the same as well.


oh my

The manager, seeing me take photos, immediately raced out and asked me if I'd like to be seated and I had to come up with an excuse of "I'm waiting for a friend" just to buy me some time. It kinda worked and he let me taker a seat at an old, creaky booth while I "wait". I wasn't alone though. A huge family apparently met up for a day after Thanksgiving lunch. It was nice to have something distract the manager while I try to take covert photos. And then it happened. The booth I sat in sent me back to 1990 almost immediately:


In 1990, The Ninja Turtles were massive. Huge. Larger than life. So larger in fact, that they recorded an album. An actual rock album featuring lots of rad tunes about eating pizza and skipping stones. In order to obtain such a legendary record, you had to go to Pizza Hut. Since I was a 7 year old obsessed with these goofy swollen Turtles, I had to have it. And on one fateful trip, I got it. I proceeded to play the living daylights out of it to the point that I most likely drove my mom insane. But this very booth is where it all began.



So as I sat down in this booth, the memories of receiving it came flooding back. And then it hit me as to why. This was the same exact spot I was sitting in when the waitress came over and brought it to me. I'm 100% positive. I had sat in all sorts of spots in this place as I ate my personal pan pizzas and all, but this was the exact when I got my audio dose of Turtle Power. So while I look at a menu, I look over to my right and what do I see?




THE LUNCH BUFFET.



I can honestly say I have NEVER....EVER seen this functioning. For years, I had heard about the legendary status of this buffet but I was never able to participate. And keep in mind, on this trip I was here during lunch hours. So I guess I'm just never meant to eat unlimited plates of garlic bread and romaine lettuce.But at least it's the same buffet. That Ghostbusters checkered pattern was something burned into my mind everytime I'd look over while I ate some appetizers.



 I was getting antsy and my goal of getting a good photo of the main area was beginning to be a pipe dream. The manager, noticing I probably was there to not eat crappy pizza, hovered around me a lot and just wanted me gone. So I essentially said I was calling my "friend". Fed up with me, he walked into the bathroom, which I assume hasn't been cleaned since that Land Before Time puppet promo in 1988, and I was finally able to take a photo of this time capsule. Ok, I may have been a dick here by not placing an order, but I had to do this. For myself. Which, I guess is the definition of selfishness. Be that as it may, I got the picture I wanted and I dashed out the door before he came back.






My assumption is everyone has one of these around them. I also assume there's about 92 better options for pizza, I still suggest at least you revisit your childhood spot at least once. Maybe pick up some garlic bread, a pan pizza, or just a Pepsi. It's a nice place to visit but I don't think it's a great place to frequent. Oh and before you ask, yes...they still had the hard plastic Pepsi cups. If I had stayed, I would've indulged. Because it's scientific fact that Pepsi tastes even better out of those old red pizza parlor cups.


-Chad

Monday, December 3, 2018

Critter Box Set Review

 


SYNOPSIS:


They're back and ready to devour your Blu-ray player!

The terrifying and tiny menaces are out in full force with this four-film collection packed with enough Special Features to make any fan's mouth water!

In Critters, the terrified Brown family are trapped in a deadly nightmare and must fight for their lives against a litter of extraterrestrial, bloodthirsty monsters. But it's a losing battle until two intergalactic bounty hunters arrive, determined to blow the creatures off the planet! In Critters 2: The Main Course, some eggs have survived and are popping open, bringing another horde of the little creatures! Brad Brown (Scott Grimes) returns to fight them along with three bounty hunters. Critters 3 stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Josh, a beleaguered Angelino who must lead the fight against the little monsters as they invade an L.A. apartment building. In the final film, Critters 4, a super strain of genetically engineered monsters are designed to take over the universe. This time, Brad Dourif and Angela Bassett must battle the little bloodthirsty hairballs.



THOUGHTS:


I grew up outside of the Critters bubble. I always knew what they were thanks to the posters hanging up in the videos tore of my childhood, I knew they were furry and monstrous but I didn't know the stories and origins of these amazing creatures until I attended a screening just two years ago at my local theater. From that initial screening, I was sold and absolutely in love with this world. I wanted to see every movie I could and learn everything about it. And since revisiting that along with the 3 sequels, I'm fully convinced this could be one of, if not THE, best scifi/horror series ever.


On this set, I learned even more. The commentary, behind the scenes footage, documentaries and stories told by cast and crew made me appreciate the not just the movie but the effort put into creating the Critters Universe. In fact, I do believe it's time for another Critters movie and hopefully the same crew can come back and work their practical f/x magic to give us some of that amazing Crite magic! On top of that, the featuring the iconic character Johnny Steele (aka Terrence Mann) is a song that will be stuck in your head for years! In fact, if this song doesn't appear on your iPod/iPhone playlist after one viewing, then there's something wrong...



As always, Scream Factory's biggest contribution to their releases is their fantastic extras. Alongside the new 2K transfers and multiple commentaries, this set features a LOT of extra goodies that could very well be worth the purchase alone:

Disc One: Critters (1986)
  • NEW 2K Scan From The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Producer Barry Opper And Star Don Opper
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Critter Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo
  • NEW They Bite!: The Making Of Critters Featuring Interviews With Actors Dee Wallace, Don Opper, Terrence Mann, And Lin Shaye, Producer Barry Opper, Writer Brian Muir, Critters Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo, Make-Up Artist R. Christopher Biggs, Special Prop Supervisor Anthony Doublin, Composer David Newman, Second Unit Director Mark Helfrich, Critter Voice Actor Corey Burton, And Miniature Effects Supervisor Gene Warren Jr.
  • NEW For Brian: A Tribute To Screenwriter Brian Domonic Muir
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Alternate Ending
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
Disc Two: Critters 2: The Main Course (1988)
  • NEW 2K Scan From The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Mick Garris
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Critters Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo
  • NEW The Main Course: The Making Of Critters 2 Featuring Interviews With Director Mick Garris, Actors Liane Curtis, Don Opper, Terrence Mann, And Lin Shaye, Producer Barry Opper, Critter Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo, And Make-Up Artist R. Christopher Biggs
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Additional TV Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
Disc Three: Critters 3 (1991)
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Producer Barry Opper And Star Don Opper
  • NEW You Are What They Eat: The Making Of Critters 3 Featuring Interviews With Producer Barry Opper, Screenwriter David J. Schow, Stars Don Opper And Terrence Mann, Director Of Photography Thomas J. Callaway, And Critters Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery
Disc Four: Critters 4 (1992)
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Producer/Director Rupert Harvey
  • NEW Space Madness: The Making Of Critters 4 Featuring Interviews With Producer Barry Opper, Screenwriter David J. Schow, Stars Don Opper And Terrence Mann, Director Of Photography Thomas J. Callaway, And Critters Designers Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, And Stephen Chiodo
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery


If you're on the fence of revisiting these movies or just concerned about the high price, I can assure you, without a doubt, you'll get a lot more for your dollar than you expect. Documentaries and commentaries are usually what entice me about sets like this, and you get plenty. The new transfers of the first two movies also make the viewing experience almost better and even give you a grander appreciation for the movies.

If you've never seen these movies before and also worried you won't like them, I can squash those worries right now and tell you that the blend of scifi/comedy/horror/action makes a great viewing experience for all who dive in!

-Chad

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The 2018 HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast: Thanksgiving Spectacular!

The 2018 HorrorMovieBBQ Thanksgiving Spectacular is here and boy was it a lot of fun to do!


Joining me today is my pal Jayme K aka BrainExploderrr joins me for a fun discussion about our favorite Thanksgiving tv specials, sitcom episodes, The Macy's Parade, Charlie Brown vs. Garfield, who are the major Thanksgiving icons and even pro wrestling moments!

As always, going off topic is encouraged and boy do we ever go off topic! The podcast starts off with a fun chat about the Halloween/Burger King burgers, Jayme's fantastic creations, My Pet Monster and so much more!

Enjoy! :)


powered by podcast garden

-Chad

Sunday, November 18, 2018

6 Great Things About Survivor Series 1991!

No matter how old I get, I always look back with fondness on certain wrestling events. Especially when it comes to certain seasons. Winter? I get nostalgic about Royal Rumble. Summer? Well, obviously Summerslam. Spring? You best believe I'm sitting back and waxing nostalgic about Wrestlemania's of the past with friends! But Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart for wrestling just as much as it does the parade because as a kid, I could spend Thanksgiving night(or sometimes Thanksgiving eve) with my favorite pro wrestlers and soak in the madness that was The Survivor Series. And none got me more hyped than the 1991 Survivor Series event!



Photo Credit: CrazyMax


A little background before I continue. This was the FIRST Survivor Series to not take place on Thanksgiving Night but on Thanksgiving eve. Which works just as well. Still plenty of time to discuss the events at the big dinner table the next night. Of course, at that time, I would've rather had wrestling than football, but that's me. I'm selfish. Now though? I love seeing it take place Thanksgiving week. It still feels right.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cringerale Love!



There aren't a lot of thing I expect to be apart of my Thanksgiving meal or else it could ruin my day. Stuffing, cranberry sauce and biscuits are three of my demands. If my plate doesn't have at least those three components, you don't want to be around me the rest of the day. I will sit by myself and eyeball you while you eat your food and make you feel as uncomfortable as possible. Of course, that's on the plate, but what about the side? Even with the most mediocre plate, there still is a way to salvage your evening plans. You're thinking "pumpkin pie, right?". Good call, but I'm talking about something that should be considered the official drink of Thanksgiving. A drink as old as time that has always found it's way to the table that I lovingly refer to as CRINGERALE!



Some prefer it with 7-Up, Sprite, Sierra Mist, heck even Mountain Dew(I've seen it), but for me, it's not Tgiving without some Cringerale. Whether it was you at the kids table, all the adults in a cigarette smoke filled dining room arguing about politics, your grandparents on the sofa, or your brother trying to look cool in the kitchen while reading a hot rod magazine, someone had at least 4 glasses filled with cranberry infused ginger ale throughout the night in my household. Homemade in a punchbowl is usually the way I took it. Oh how I remember that giant punchbowl filled with ginger ale and cranberry juice while watching adults drink booze while watching a football game, with me and my cousins would be drinking some delicious pinkish soda and thinking I belonged in the room.

How I really looked like every Thanksgiving.


For years, Canada Dry have taken it upon themselves to offer a more straight forward approach for those in a hurry. Offering both flavors in one bottle. But this year? They went all out with their design.

My goodness, I cannot drive home how amazing this bottle is. Look at it. A maroon colored Christmas sweater design! So festive! A delightful design that should pop out and scream CHRISTMAS but As far as I'm concerned, it may as well be a turkey considering how early it's being released and how close it is to our most gobble-licious holiday but a snowman is just as good. But no matter how you may perceive this, it's a beautiful looking bottle!

The drink itself is delicious. Now, like I said, I prefer my cringerale to come from a lukewarm punchbowl with minimal ice cubes, but this is just as good if not better. One sip of it sends me back to the days of my youth, where Thanksgiving meant just being there and trying to keep up with everyone else and provide my thoughts on wrestling and music. Imagine me with a corncob pipe in one hand and a glass of cringerale in the other while discussing the previous night's Survivor Series main event. Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker was quite the topic of conversation in my family and I was there for it. And so was Cringerale.




My only complaint is it isn't as red as I'd wish. It's a bit on the pink side. But that's such a minor qualm for such an important role in the Thanksgiving puzzle. Don't let a Jem and The Holograms colored drink drive you away. In fact, that should be another reason why this should be the first thing you wanna drink.



Of course, punchbowl cringerale isn't for everyone, some may like this even more. Making Thanksgiving is all about your comfort level. So if you're in the mood for something super carbonated, try Canada Dry's offerings. Either way, you can't lose!


-Chad

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Carvel Turkey Cake!



\

No. Not at my table it wouldn't, Moss. In fact, I'd encourage it because what better dessert to start off this countdown with than THE CARVEL TURKEY CAKE?!?!?


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Thanksgiving Celebration Kickoff Featuring the WWF Superstars!

Ahhh, it's that time of year! That amazing time of year where things go from spooky and orange to chilly and brown in the matter of just a few days. Still in the shadow of Halloween and still far enough from Christmas, Thanksgiving is just a mere two and half weeks away and it's time to kick those post-Halloween blues aside and soak up all the great things we can in this very brief time period. Besides, as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, you're gonna be thinking about Christmas. That's where the real stress begins. Don't believe me? Look at your credit card summary and just think of parking at the mall. But, that's ok. Just part of the Christmas season. You take the good with the bad. Mrs Garrett taught us that a long time ago and it still stands true to every part of our lives. But we'll worry about that bridge once we cross it.

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Mood (from last years review of Garfield's Thanksgiving)


But before your blood pressure goes up thinking about squeezing too much into December, let's just lay back, relax and enjoy what we have in front of us: the glorious Thanksgiving Celebration! Unlike, previous theme projects I've done, this one will be a real tasty treat. Yes, I'm fully aware I say that all the time, but actions speak louder than words and boy oh boy, is there a lot of action on my table these next few weeks! And what better way to kick this off than with a trip back to 1994 to revisit one of my most cherished memories of being both a Thanksgiving fan and a WWF fan? Yes, I'm gonna take you back to a time when wrestling was at one of it's lowest points, 1994. The WCW had just acquired Hulk Hogan in an attempt to boost it's name and it's biggest rival, the WWF had relied heavily on younger talent to boost it's brand. Sadly, wrestling wasn't as hip as it once was years before. But that didn't stop Vince McMahon from trying to make it relevant again. He'd throw his wrestlers at whatever venue he could to make his company bounce back from the crazy steroid trial they had been going through. Talk shows, sitcoms, whatever they could to get positive press, they would gladly sign up for. And one of my favorites? THE MACYS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE!!!

(Apologies in advanced. The only source is a video on youtube and even then, it's super low quality.)


Ohhhh...I remember this bright as day. I believe it was announced on the Survivor Series(one of the companies biggest PPV's of the year) the night before that the best of the best would be appearing at the Parade. Heck, I was already gonna tune in to the parade but to know some of my favorites would be there? Just adds fuel to the fire, brother. Now what stands out to me now, is that show took place in Texas. Which means the wrestlers had to get on a flight pretty early to get to NYC to make this float happen. I'm guessing no sleep was on the menu for these guys that evening and the last thing they wanted to do was spend Thanksgiving morning on a float waving and acting like they loved their job. But, with the exception of one guy, they all made it work!




So, it starts off simple enough. A pre-float dance by a cheerleading troupe about driving safety kicks things off. Rather unassuming and innocent enough for a family friendly show. That is until we hear the immortal words of Mean Gene Okerlund. "WHO WILL SURVIVE?". Wrestling fans know exactly where I'm going with this...of all the songs to pick to play during a giant presentation in front of millions upon millions of people watching, why wouldn't it be THIS:





Yup. The very 1993 sounding "hit" song "Wrestlemania" by the WWF Superstars begins to play to introduce our most likely freezing cold heroes: Razor Ramon (or as Willard Scott calls him "Ray-zor Ray-mone") Paul Bearer, The Undertaker, Lex Luger, Davey Boy Smith, and Doink and Dink all come rolling down 34th street like a cannonball ready to greet the fans. Still remaining in character, it's clear the the stars and most energetic of the bunch were Doink, Paul Bearer and the Bad Guy, Razor Ramon. I'm guessing either that's a testament to their talent or the coffee in catering at Macy's was downright superb.



The float itself wasn't really anything to write about, as it was just a few NYC landmarks, what seems to be a hockey player, some sports imagery and a giant apple. Sure, you'd expect more, but hey, it's not every year we saw Razor showing off his Intercontinental title on the most beloved parade!


The hardest one to catch was The Undertaker since he kinda just stood in the back by himself, which made sense as his gimmick was that of an undead loner, mortician. He just kinda stood there in a long coat, which I'm sure in that weather, he had no issue doing. But sure enough, there he is! I know, it's kinda hard to miss a 6'7 ginger in a trenchcoat and a wide brim hat, but hey they hid him well.



They didn't really do a lot on this float other than wave and act bored, especially Luger who clearly did not want to be there that morning, but it still was cool enough to make me excited as a young fan. WWF didn't pop up much, but when they did, I was always ready to soak it in. And while I sat on a couch in my mom's time share in the Outer Banks, I was soaking it all in. It was enough to make me race in the other room where my mom was reading (most likely wanting some peace and quiet) and I screamed DID YOU SEE IT? DID YOU SEE RAZOR RAMON? DID YOU SEE THE UNDERTAKER? THAT WAS SO COOL! If I recall she just nodded and said "yeah, they looked great!" or something and went back to her book. My mom knew wrestling meant so much to me, but sometimes she had to humor me to shut me up. Moms are smart like that. They won't hurt your feelings but they won't lead you on to how much they don't care.


Photo Credit: Jr's BBQ

The WWF would participate in later parades with much more elaborate floats. The one I remember the most was 2001 and 2002 when they had a ring float, commentators table, a giant screen and several superstars waving. A big highlight is when some reffered to Jerry The King Lawler as Jerry The RING Lawler, unbeknownst to the King. I'm sure he had a good laugh over that one after he heard about it. The later floats looked great and more high tech, don't get me wrong but nothing is as special to me as the 1994 float. Besides, the later floats didn't feature that insanely ridiculous Wrestlemania song now did they?



For the record, every year since 1994, I've held out hope they'd return for another float. Maybe this year? Who knows? Maybe we'll finally be able to see John Cena as he elbow drops a Snoopy Balloon or even see Matt Hardy and Vanguard 1 welcome the viewers to the Hardy Compound Float? How DELIGHTFUL!

For a fun flashback, you can read my review of the amazing 1989 Joker float from last year's Thanksgiving Celebration here.

-Chad

Friday, October 12, 2018

Why Exorcist 2 Isn't So Bad Afterall!




Exorcist 2 gets a rap for being a less than stellar sequel as well as one of the worst movies of all time, which compared to the original, legendary Exorcist, I understand as to why. An over the top, crazy movie featuring multiple stories as to how the events in the previous movie still plague multiple people makes for an interesting story. Unfortunately too much packed into the movie made it for a rather unfortunate experience. Now I will say, I'm always intrigued by the idea of what happens to characters in horror movies AFTER a life altering experience, so for that plot point, I give it credit. For the rest of the movie, well, it's not so pretty.


However, throughout everything BAD in this movie, there is a bit of good to witness. And today, I'm gonna be your guide throughout this infamous flick to show you why you should consider giving it a second chance!


THE MUSIC:


Tubular Bells was an instant classic and to this day remains one of the most iconic in movie history. Of course, it wasn't used in this movie, so instead it was up to iconic composer Ennio Morricone to bring a memorable score to set the mood to. Bringing the experience of a musical genius and an eerie tone, the music captures you and draws you in to an experience you won't forget.


THE TEASER:



Oh man, talk about drawing you in. I'm a huge fan of 1970s trailers. It's mainly their unique ability to show you so little and intrigue you so quickly. And for a sequel to the Exorcist, there sure was a lot to be intrigued about. Nowadays, we take teasers, trailers and posters for granted that we forget that a teaser is just that: not a lot but just enough. This trailer really doesn't show a lot but gets your attention with it's eerie voice over, quick cuts of stills and simple tagline. A real hidden gem in terms of teasers.


JAMES EARL JONES:








I don't exactly know how James Earl Jones feels about this movie, but his performance as a scientist obsessed with controlling bugs, only to dress up as one, was easily my favorite. He also communicates with animals and puts them in their place. Which, I don't know if this was his audition for Mufasa in The Lion King or what but if it was, he earned it. James Earl Jones is one of the greatest actors we've ever seen and you can look at all his performances and tell that he doesn't half-ass anything whatsoever. He delivered prettywell and if you walk away from this movie remembering anything, it'll be him.


THE CITY:


Photo Credit: OnSetShotOnWhat
Going from DC to NYC to rehabilitate and help Reagan was a pretty smart idea, especially since this took place at a time when NY had so much character and became even a character itself.



WATCHU TALKIN' BOUT KIMBERLY DRUMMOND?



That's right, Arnold, future teen star and talented actress, Dana Plato makes one of first appearance in this very film. Playing an autistic child who befriends Reagan, the seeds of a very memorable (and sadly tragic) career were planted here.




MAX VON SYDOW:


 I mean, come on. It's Max Von Sydow. How else can I truly convince you to watch this without mentioning this acting legend? Reprising, to some, his most famous and iconic role as Father Merrin, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination is really just all you need to pick up this movie.

 Now, with all those reasons don't you think it's time to give this movie a second chance? Well, you can Scream Factory's newest release! Check out these extras:



Bonus Features

DISC ONE (118 Minute Cut Of The Film):
  • NEW 2K Scan From Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director John Boorman
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Project Consultant Scott Bosco
  • NEW What Does She Remember?An Interview With Actress Linda Blair
  • NEW Interview With Editor Tom Priestley
DISC TWO (102 Minute Cut Of The Film):
  • NEW 2K Scan From Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Mike White Of The Projection Booth Blog
  • Original Teaser Trailer
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries Including Rare Color And B&W Stills, Behind-The-Scenes, Deleted Scene Photos, Posters, And Lobby Cards

So there you have it. New features including TWO versions of the film, new interviews, documentaries, commentary and scans of the film, you got all you need to truly determine whether or not this movie deserves to be considered one of the worst of all time. For a "bad movie", it sure does have a lot of great stuff going for it. You can thank our friends at Scream Factory for allowing us to give another movie we once tossed aside another fair shake. You can pick it up right here!



-Chad

Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: Saved By The Bell The Complete Series By Shout! Factory

 

 

Synopsis:

We're so excited! We're so excited!

Missing your favorite pals from Bayside High? It's alright, 'cause you're SAVED BY THE BELL! Conduct your own class reunion with this Max-ed out collection of the iconic 90s Saturday morning sitcom. The adventures of Zack and his friends – Kelly, Slater, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech – were a cultural touchstone for a generation of teens. Now, you can relive the laughter, lessons, and love (Zack + Kelly 4EVER) all over again. From JFK Junior High to Cal U, Miss Bliss to Mr. Belding, Malibu Sands to Hawaii, and dance contests to "dearly beloved!"
With 118 episodes from all three series – Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By The Bell & Saved By The Bell: The College Years, plus both movies and a locker full of special features, this Zack Morris megaset is a must-have for fans!




Thoughts: 



After a few basic releases by previous companies by NBC, that had almost no effort outside a commentary or two to accentuate the series popularity or even truly entice fans. But Shout Factory has picked up the ball and ran all the way home with it.

First the elephant in the room. Let's talk about Miss Bliss. For those who may not remember, Good Morning Miss Bliss was the series that made all this happen. The original series that would be somewhat of the model as what the show would become starred Hayley Mills as the titular character and introduced the characters of Lisa, Screech, Zack and Mr. Belding. After being looked at as a bomb, it was cancelled and only a handful of characters carried over to the next series. This was always thought of as something that would never see a home media release. Indeed, for years many fans had relied on bootleg sets from conventions or other methods such as torrents or bootleg sites to complete their set. Now they have their chance to own it legally. A few notes of course. The original Miss Bliss intro used on the Disney Channel will not be included. This shouldn't be a shock as many fans had thought them to be lost or even extremely altered once the show got repackaged as "Saved By The Bell" in the early 90s during syndication. Another concern for some fans were as to whether or not the syndicated "Zack Introductions" were included. By that, I'm referring to intros done with Mark Paul Gosselaar running down the stories of the episodes at the beginning in a way to bridge the two shows so the audience wouldn't be confused. Some episodes in the collection do contain these, some do not. On top of that, some of the original brief cold opens are included, while some episodes just go straight into the SBTB intro. The original pilot, featuring a slew of future teen stars like Brian Austin Green, Jaleel White and Jonathon Brandis is not included either. But for those who are keen to the way TV sets are released, this can't be a shocking development as most collections don't include pilots for one reason or the other. While it would be a nice inclusion to the set, the SBTB purist in me isn't bothered. With none of the cast of the actual Miss Bliss series or even any connection to the later series, there's little to focus on here.


In my opinion, just getting these episodes at all is nothing short of a miracle. Miss Bliss was a good show, a little weird if you had been introduced to the Bayside Universe later on. For most, getting these on dvd was always the holy grail. And while not complete, it is good to finally own. It's a little on the corny side and can come off as dated but for some, this will be the main reason to buy this set.


Now on to the main series! The show that changed Saturday morning forever! The main series became a huge success after a rocky beginning (the show was not a huge favorite of critics at first) by introducing ridiculous situations with charismatic characters that all teens could somehow relate too and live vicariously through. The only characters to be brought on from Miss Bliss was, Belding, Zack, Lisa and Screech and some more favorites were introduced: AC Slater, Kelly and Jessie and the show flourished. To some, this was the best Saturday morning tradition and for some, still remains a favorite to watch with a giant bowl of cereal every weekend (yes, me.). All the favorite episodes are presented with great sound and picture and in some cases, with the most memorable episodes,  include commentary from cast, crew and fans.


The dvd set features episodes aired in a different order and thankfully, despite the differing air dates, Shout provided an explanation as to why:

"Like many television series, the order in which Saved By The Bell’s episodes were produced does not necessarily reflect the order in which they were aired. Consequently, some episodes aired noticeably out of sequence in terms of depicting the ages and shifting relationships between the characters. This is particularly pronounced in Season Three, when Saved By The Bell began airing two episodes a week — usually a school-based episode followed by an “adventure” episode which saw the gang journey beyond the halls of Bayside. In spite of these anomalies, we have attempted to present the episodes in airing order with the notable exception of the “Malibu Sands” story arc, which is presented in sequence here at the end of Season Three, in order to best serve the viewing experience for fans. Executive Producer Peter Engel was consulted on this matter, and he approved our decision to present the episodes in this manner."



Not much I can say about this. In fact, I'm very appreciative of the effort to present a very clean and seamless continuity. Really makes the set even more special and shows how much care and effort Shout put in to this release.



Now on to the College Years. Fans who already said goodbye to their favorite characters a few months before, were presented with a look at what our heroes in college. A few characters, namely Lisa and Jessie, were left out of this series. Instead, we were introduced to new characters: Danielle, Leslie and Alex, who balanced out the familiar male cast. Also introduced, former football star, Bob Golic who played Dorm Adviser Mike Rogers, who was a comic foil to the younger cast. Appearances by Mr. Belding, Kelly and Lisa were used to peak interest but sadly couldn't. The show wasn't as successful as "the high school years" despite what NBC would hope, as some people were ready to move on to other, more mature shows or were not willing to take a show that had originally aired on Saturday mornings and essentially a live action cartoon too seriously as a prime time show. The show does remain a favorite of a portion of SBTB fans who were eager to see how their favorite characters fare in a more loose environment with a little more budget and more serious storylines. But for most, other than seeing the relationship between Zack and Kelly go through hills and valleys, the show is normally forgotten. No extras are included in these episodes.


The made for tv movies, Hawaiian Style and Wedding In Vegas also included as a great bonus. The final chapter in the "Bayside Saga". Hawaiian Style aired during the original series (1992 to be exact) so fans were super eager to accept it as another chapter in the Bayside Mythology, whereas Wedding In Vegas aired in 1995, a year and a half after The College Years went off the air, most if not all fans had moved on and ready for a small break. A nice, cute little story showcasing the big day for Zack and Kelly as they tie the knot in Vegas while hijinx arise all around them. I was 11 at the time, when the Wedding movie so I remember being excited for it, but most of my friends had moved on and didn't care. But seeing where we started with Miss Bliss to this, it's a great cap to an unbelievably fun series.


Included in this terrific looking set is a "locker filled with extras":

  • NEW Documentary: "Past Times At Bayside High: Making Saved By The Bell”
  • NEW Documentary: “Bayside's Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell”
  • Saturday Morning: From Toons To Teens
  • It's Alright: Back To The Bell
  • The First Of Its Class: From Sit-Com To Icon
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Photo Galleries
  • 16-Page Episode Guide
 

The new documentaries, filmed for this special set, were the highlight in my opinion. Close to an hour long about the history of the show featuring cast and crew shed light on the process of telling the stories of our favorite characters and stories. Also included is a documentary on how the music was created and helped make the show so memorable. Archived features from previous releases were also included and even though the newer documentaries are more informative, the older extras are still fun to watch, so don't write them off!


If you've grown up a huge fan and never given up on this show even when others deemed it too silly and immature to watch, this is the set you've been waiting for. Shout! Factory really pulled out all the stops to create the one and only box set you need to own. So grab your skateboard, head out to whereever DVD's are sold to pick this up and then hit The Max for a Max-Burger! I simply cannot recommend this set enough. It's pure 80s/90s perfection!


-Chad