Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gross, but they still get the girls!

In the early 90s, I discovered the Toxic Avenger thanks to a random renting of Toxic Avenger 3. I fell in love with that lump headed hero instantly. Shortly after that, Toxie hit the small screen with a cartoon in which his ragtag band of toxic friends known as the Toxic Crusaders fought crime and saved the environment. This cartoon followed a trend that gave a lot of R-Rated movies a Saturday morning cartoon. Movies like Rambo,  Police Academy, Swamp Thing(Although, it's more of a comic book adaptation) and other violent movies were marketed toward us kiddies and turned into merchandising machines. Toxie and his crew were no different.

In addition to the cartoon, action figures followed. Backed by Playmates, the company responsible for Ninja Turtles, Toxie and his friends march into our hearts(even if my mean mom never let me have any. ha!) witht heir bright colors, bizarre sculpting, and gross features. Indeed, they were following a trend that the Ninja Turtles set in action figures and in fact, some even used parts from their Turtle friends. And quite frankly, they just looked so darn cool! I mean, look at them!

A truly toxic collection...

So, popular horror/scifi/cult film t-shirt company Rotten Cotton will be releasing a brand new Toxic Crusaders shirt (which can be seen below). They released a teaser image today and it's a pretty rad looking shirt. If you're a Troma fan or just have fond memories of the Toxic Crusaders, you have to pick this up! I mean, the bright colors, the design itself is very faithful to the characters and their designs, and not to mention the fact that we have yet to see a new Toxic Crusaders shirt in some time, makes it quite a cool piece to add to your collection! It also has quite a nice retro feel. It looks like a shirt that could've been released in the early 90s. I think this shirt design definitely stands out. I will gladly be in line to pick this one up and proudly wear this out on the town any night! You can pick up this shirt very soon on


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Interview: Rob Dimension

Rob Dimension, the creator of "Mumbles The Clown" in NO CLOWNING AROUND was kind enough took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about No Clowning Around for Death Ensemble. Here is the chilling result...

DE: You have been a horror host in the past, how much experience of your hosting days came in handy and what was the difference between shooting a host segment and a short film?
RD: Originally, when we shot Late Night at the Horror Hotel, Matthew Burd was the director. He also co-directs No Clowning Around and did the editing too. Matt and I have a real good working relationship and he kind of knows what I’m looking for and I trust him. When we would get together to tape a show, we would usually tape two shows and it could take almost 10 hours. Shooting the segments required set up and we moved stuff around, although the set was small, it was a pain to shoot around. Like making a movie, we had a script and tried to follow it the best we could. I think the atmosphere for the tv show was more relaxed; the film had a darker mood and I tried to stay quiet and even separated myself from others in-between some scenes.
With the film, we had to deal with a lot more to deal with. The weather was a hassle whenever we shot outside. Luckily, the houses that we used for the film were less than two blocks away. Matt and I had learned a lot since the TV show so we were more prepared. If anything, I think we both grew and just had a better handle on things. I made sure we had storyboards, while he made sure we had shot lists…something we never did with the TV show. I just think we were ready for this.

DE: You've said numerous times you were heavily inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween. How much of the classic film helped you create Mumbles?
RD: I am a huge John Carpenter fan. It’s weird, I don’t really remember, as I wrote this, to have anything in mind. I was depressed and was looking for an outlet. The film is full of metaphors that are personal to me. Mumbles in a sense is me, usually joking but hurting bad mentally. Mr Peepers is my conscience and Lenny really is all the outside nonsense that was risking me losing everything. I wrote this in two days, then sent about 15 pages to Matt and he put the story into screenplay form.
When he first read it, he was really up for the challenge. The few people I sent the screenplay too ahead of time just likened it to a Tales from the Creep episode. For me, it was light taking a weight off my shoulders…it was on the last day of filming, it was Sept 18th, my forty-second birthday, that was the day I finally felt I took my life back.

DE: We've had clowns in horror before, how is Mumbles any different from the others such as Pennywise from IT or the Killer Klowns from Outer Space?
RD: If anything, Mumbles represents those that are bullied. I think a lot of people will associate with him because, too many, they can relate to dealing with loss. A lot of the comments I’ve heard is that the makeup on Mumbles almost disappears as the film progresses, so you’re watching someone find his own happiness, as twisted as it is
DE: In NCA, pro wrestler and your cohost for the Xtreme OddCouple podcast plays a real jerk. How much of Corino's heel(bad guy in wrestling terms) past helped you decide he was right for the role of the jerk Lenny?
RD: He is my best friend and it only seemed perfect to have him in that role. Wrestlers have a tendency in movies to over act. The role was always his, it just made sense. Steve and I talked a lot about how to approach the Lenny character, in my opinion, he nailed it. He played it great. I was very proud of his work. Over the filming, he has found the love of his life and I’m very happy for him, plus, things for me have just gotten so much better. The positives have made it all just icing on the cake. We shared an #AirToast via twitter just to enjoy the moment.

DE: Please take us through your writing process and how you were able to turn an idea into a full fledged film.
RD: I sat on my couch, just miserable. I started to write my feelings…it really just started as a story, but the more I wrote, the more I felt like this could become something. The process took me two days and my excitement continued to grow. Once we had things laid out, I posted we were looking for donations to get this made and the donations poured in almost immediately. In two days, we raised the two thousand we needed to get this started. I knew Matt was ready, Steve and Kim were lined up, I got Sal (who voiced Pigamortis on Late Night at the Horror Hotel) involved and we shot for four days, about sixty hours of filming.

DE: Music is very important to horror films and the music in NCA is very impressive for a low budget short film. How did you acquire the music for your film?
RD: We were extremely fortunate. Matt has a few horror shorts under his belt and had Sean Bercaw and Steve Vil already, having done some soundtrack work prior, then Matt enlisted Lords of the Highway. The music really helps make this film better, as a really strong soundtrack should. These guys all have serious talent and I expect some great things from all of them in the future. I was so happy to have them involved. One thing Matt and I agreed upon when we started, we wanted original music. If you’re going to go through the process of making a film, you should go all the way and really make the project yours.

DE: Can we see Mumbles in a future project (full length, prequel, sequel)?
RD: At this time, I can’t say. We are planning an announcement soon. One complaint that a lot of people have with the movie is it’s not a feature. For me, this is flattering…we did our job…we left you wanting more. Pro Wrestling 101.

DE: it seems all merchandising and promotional supplements have been homemade. Any talks for any further merchandising from any companies?
RD: Like most Independent’s we are low to no budget…we do everything we can in house to help on costs. If the right offer came along, I would definitely look into it. Right now, we have posters, buttons, t-shirts and the DVD available but, we are always looking for more items to use to market ourselves.

DE: What does the future hold for you as a writer, director and an actor?
RD: As a writer? I love enjoy the hell out of it. Its expression for me, a release and I love writing about whatever is on my mind. Typically, it’s bullshit. This coming year, I plan on writing at least one other project. People can read my blog As a director, I’m not sure…directing is very difficult. I know what I typically want when I am working on a project but with No Clowning Around, Matt really steered the ship. It was emotionally draining to film some of the content we filmed. It was personal and when I cried, I really was crying…not from an acting stand point, but just because I was wrapped up in it. As an actor I’d like to do more work. I think most think I’m a comedy guy, but hopefully after the Mumbles role, they can see I have some depth. It’s hard for me to judge…I look at the reviews and listen to what people say about the movie itself, because its mine…I almost pass over the compliments on the acting, it’s last on my list to worry about when hearing reactions.

DE: One final question. We'd like to play a game of Marry, Love, Kill...Your choices are Laurie Strode circa 1978, Morticia Addams and Moira from American Horror Story.
RD: I think you have to choose Laurie as the one to marry, she was so wholesome and kind. Hard to find a lady like that…I’m lucky..haha…and smart. Ok, love might be Morticia, even though I’m a Munsters guy. Morticia was extremely sexy and seemed genuine so I think I could love her. Sadly, Moira, although highly attractive…would have to go…but maybe I can get a pity bang before off’ing her?

I want to thank Rob Dimension for taking his time to sit down and answer our questions. And on a personal note, thank you for being my first interview here on this site.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Well, the Christmas season is over. All the presents have been opened, the leftovers are rotting in the fridge and you're most likely still whining about that sweater you've received from your Aunt Bedelia. Now, if you're like me, you've been haunting the Christmas clearance aisles at Target and K-Mart for stuff to prepare for next years Christmas.  But, if you're not like me, than you're most likely watching a good horror movie. And today I've got a review of a new independent horror movie. Today's topic of discussion is "NO CLOWNING AROUND".

No Clowning Around is the brainchild of Rob Dimension, who's been somewhat of a renaissance man in the horror world. He's the host of podcasts, he's the moderator of many, many, many Q&A's at Monster Mania conventions, a host of his own horror show, and now he can add director, writer and actor to his resume with this foray into film. And for a first time director, he didn't too bad...

No Clowning Around is a short film, clocking in at under 30 minutes. In it, we meet Mumbles The Clown, a formerly successful childrens TV host. I seems time has not been kind to Mumbles. Mumbles seems to have run out of work, become depressed and drowned his sorrows in bottles while succumbing to depression and alcohol. It seems the only thing that drives him during the movie is his hatred for local asshole Lenny(played by notable wrestling bad guy/jerk Steve Corino.). After deciding that enough was enough and guided by his puppet sidekick Mr. Peepers and the corpse of his girlfriend Trixie, Mumbles finally snaps and takes matters in his own hands...

Now, as I pointed out, this movie is a rather short trip into insanity. But a pretty darn good one. No Clowning Around had to rely heavily on a very low budget and first time actors and director. As far as the acting goes, it's pretty solid all around by all involved. Rob Dimension himself plays Mumbles and does a pretty good job, finidng that insanity and pressure very well. And his conflict with Lenny is a pretty fun aspect of the movie as well. Maybe it's the wrestling fan in me, but I've always said Steve Corino plays an excellent jerk so his role of the bully-like Lenny was the role he was meant to play.

Production for a low budget movie, as said by Lloyd Kaufman, can be hell. But, all in all this movie is pretty solid and a very fun watch. For a movie under 30 minutes, it tells a story, gives a good character and ends with us asking "is there more to the story of Mumbles?". I certainly hope we see more from Rob with the story of Mumbles, be it a sequel, prequel or whatever. After watching the movie, I feel this comes off as a throwback to 1980s low budget, straight to vhs movies that we all loved finding on the shelves and took home and became our favorite cult classics. In fact, I dare say this could be a new cult classic just waiting to be discovered.

In my honest opinion, I really think that Rob could be onto something. It may be a bold statement, but I think Mumbles could be a major player some day in horror. And that could be something to look forward to. You can find more info on this film, including how to order it at .

So, here's to Rob Dimension and his film "No Clowning Around". A great effort and a fun movie to watch!

(photos credited to the official No Clowning Around page)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In between of writing blog entries, I wanted to wish a very happy 2013 to all my readers, friends and family! i hope it to be a very fruitful and great year for all of us! And remember to stay positive!


Random WWF Hasbro Review: Sgt. Slaughter

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, maggot!

So, I've spoken a lot of my love of horror on this blog, but not enough on my love of wrestling. I've been a huge fan of wrestling for almost my whole life. And in that time I've collected a lot of wrestling memorabilia. Especially action figures. And growing up in the early 90s, WWF Hasbro figures were top notch. The Hasbro figures were about 4-5 inches and each figure had a special mechanism. You could make a wrestler punch, jump, bodyslam or whatever. The figures didn't have a lot of movement, but they were pretty bright and colorful as well as cartoony. Many superstars of the day were turned into these little figures and today, I'd like to review one of my favorites...Sgt. Slaughter!

A loose sample

Sgt. Slaughter was one of the most popular wrestlers of his day. And in fact, this may be the best representation, outside his G.I. Joe figures. The sculpting is pretty good. His lower torso was perfectly done with his belt, baggy camo pants and combat boots. Thankfully, his days of being an Iraqi sympathizer was not made into a figure. But if it did, his elf-like Iraqi boots would've no doubt been made. Maybe that would've been the best part. Who knows.

His upper torso is also perfect. Slaughter was never a slim, barrel chester wrestler to begin with. He was pot-bellied and this figure shows it. And I'm kinda happy to see that. Most of his figures before AND after have been slim and muscular. Those figures, while capturing his facial likeness greatly, don't depict his portly mid section. This figure also depicts Sarge with just a black tank top, which he would wrestle in most of his career.

Hasbro would make their WWF figures as basic and simplistic as they could, but at the same time very effective. Slaughter's trademark hat and glasses are present as well which makes this figure extra perfect. Afterall, no one would've bought the figure if he was showing his baldness and his shades were gone. Slaughter was intimidating looking, but not very pretty. Be grateful. Slaughter's pose was also pretty awesome as well. With one finger sticking out, you can almost hear him saying "Now that's an ORRRRRDERRRRR!" as he delivers his "Sgt's Salute". The feature just requires you to lift his arms(not recommended for the real Sgt. Slaughter especially after a match) and he pounds you right in the face with his fists.

The carded figure.

 It really is a great figure. One that fans certainly love. This figure captures his glory days and is a welcome piece in any collection. The sculpting, the pose, the faithful gear and proportions make it a solid 10 in my book. i gladly put Sarge up there with the best Hasbro has to offer.

And don't take my word for it...

"Buy my figure, you maggot!"



I'm a huuuuuuuge fan of They Live. I think it's a great movie with great action, fantastic acting, great visuals and special effects, and a strong political statement(event hough I'm not political in the least, it has great points.)So, I received my copy of They Live yesterday. I'm super excited! I've been looking forward to getting this for some time now. So, after getting a little extra cash for Christmas I decided it was time to buy the dvd. And I'm very happy I did.

They Live has been released before but more of a "barebones" release(no special features except commentary and maybe a trailer). But this past November, Scream Factory(subdivision of Shout! Factory) gave us a brand new, special edition of this classic. With commentary, making of featurete, TV Spots, trailer, and a new interview with the director himself, John Carpenter, it's a can't must buy. The transfer is terrific, the artwork(see photo at the top) is amazing and the packaging even has a reversible cover featuring the original poster art! At an average of 15 bucks, it's a real bargain. And for diehard fans, it would look great to get signed by all the cast members and Carpenter at upcoming conventions.

For our first Christmas, my girlfriend Laurie knitted me a John Nada doll(seen above).  It's one of my favorite Knit Terrors dolls she's made for me. And she also knitted a rife!

And here's me with the stars and John Carpenter himself!

Rowdy Roddy Piper

Keith David
Meg Foster

Director John Carpenter