Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flea Market Adventures: July 20-21 2013 Edition

It was a very long and tiring week. Plain and simple. Working outside all day in the 90 degree weather takes a lot out of you. And this past weekend, I had just planned on just laying in bed and doing next to nothing aside from watching Saved By The Bell and eating ice cream. I don't know how to explain it, but falling into an ice cream coma while the Buddy Bands episode plays is a feeling that you simply can't miss. Well, it didn't really work out that way. Apparently plans for shaking my head at Screech's awful shenanigans had to be saved for another time. Which kinda sucks, but if I knew what was ahead of me, I wouldn't have complained.  I was up by 8 and something was telling me to go to the flea market up in Buffalo (a good hour and a half drive). I couldn't shake this feeling and something was pulling me away from my bed, so I decided to go with it. I filled up my Ninja Turtles water bottle and hit the road shortly after.


An hour and a half later, I was here. The SuperFlea is indeed where it's at. This area of Buffalo isn't the fanciest or even photogenic area. No. In fact it's nothing but gaudy looking stores and potholes. But this is the only reason for me to drive up. I drive up at least once a year just to get it out of my system, and today was the day. The last two times I've made the trek were littered with treasures and rare finds including an old WWF Undertaker foam Urn for just a buck. I had the confidence that I was going to snare a victory that would no doubt make my recent dryspells a distant memory. 


First things first, I had to make a quick bathroom break. I'd never regret going to the bathroom as much as I did when I walked into this sinister restroom...



The only way I can describe the smell, is that it's something that would frighten even Satan. I'm sure the Prince of Darkness would be terribly offended by the mixture of meatloaf, sweat, cheese and urine. I can't say I've ever seen such a terrifying bathroom in my entire life. I was downright scared that the toilet would recreate that scene in Nightmare on Elm Street where blood flies out of Johnny Depp's bed. What would fly out of this toilet? I wasn't really willing to stick around and find out. I also felt that perhaps Pinhead was ready to start throwing chains and spouting out his gibberish about suffering and whatever else he read in an RL Stine book. This was a true test of my patience, I could tell I was stronger than ever by walking out alive. I had travelled too far and couldn't let this stop me. But it was a close call. 

It didn't take a long time for me to find a rare and awesome item. Although not for me, but for my friend Terry Callen of Screaming Brain Studio, this was still rather impressive...


Day of the Dead vinyl singles. And not just one record but TWO. Now, my knowledge of any of the Romero-Zombie movies are extremely limited but this was just too awesome. I came up here last time and these were available and i thought nothing of it. But, my pal Terry loves dem records, so I had to pick them up. And while I know the picture shows TWO records, I asked the guy to hold them and he actually lost one. So, he sold one for $2. Considering the rarity and the fact that they were Fangoria mail away exclusives, I'd say this was a more than generous deal...

But the true victory was a mere few steps away. This is the kind of haul that only the most bravest of the vhs collectors would dream of. It's not stuff that would drive people into rabid maniacs willing to cause complete riots, but it's a fantastic haul that you won't be able to walk out of a thrift store with. 6 beautiful vhs that should be a part of everyone's collection. And it took a lot of effort, too. The vendor selling them may have been hip to my shenanigans. I get the sense my eagerness over what I found was shining through despite my efforts to remain cool. But I had to accept the consequences for my excitement and after spending an hour and a half looking for tapes and actually making him work by moving and rearranging boxes, this aging hippy wanted me out of this life forever.

I really wish I could describe this vendors booth space in proper words, because it was quite the sight to see. His space of business resembled more like an episode of Hoarders. Nothing but boxes, cobwebs and dust littered this guy's vendor space. Just imagine your grandmother's basement filled with newspaper and old books just piled up to the ceiling and a constant fear of being caught in an avalanche of garbage, that's how I felt. It was hazardous enough walking through this place, let alone having to climb over and on top of boxes looking for tapes. And while it could have ended in a decent lawsuit (actually, the amount of vhs I could've gotten in a settlement may have been worth it) but the prizes at the end of this journey were no doubt worth the risk. And with that said, let's take a quick look at the precious goods I walked away with.


Tape 1: Child's Play 2



My favorite of entire Child's Play/Chucky series. For the past few weeks, I've been wanting to watch this and it's neither on Netflix or at my local used movie store. So, I decided to just go for it and buy the vhs. Where's the harm? From what I've been able to tell, no special features are on the dvd beyond the trailer and the cast notes and stuff no one really cares about. Instead the Universal Studios Orlando commercial we all remember. And that's better than just a barebones dvd edition. Aside from that, seeing Christine Elise in her rebellious-hotness all over again, was totally worth it.


Tape 2: WWF: Bashed In The USA



This tape may be my big regret. The lone wrestling tape in a mountain of dusty Aliens copies, I really felt I stumbled upon gold. But don't let the cover fool you. Nothing exciting goes on. In fact unfunny vignettes in which Mr. Perfect goes shopping for stamps are about as exciting as the action gets. An "exclusive" look at Shawn Michaels, featuring 3 of his absolute worst matches ever, a boring 40-man Battle Royal and awful tag team matches are the selling point. And that's not all! Things take a turn for worse when Bret Hart sits down for a candid one on one with the cameras about how drawing and sketching relaxes him. And if you've ever seen a Bret Hart interview, you can only imagine how thrilling this was. A fantastic wrestler, but hearing him talk is about as exciting as giving your grandmother a spongebath. Thankfully, I got this for just a dollar. But the stigma of paying for this crap will live on forever...




Tapes 3 and 4: Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 5




I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super excited about finding these. Elm Street 3 is considered the best sequel of the series and Elm Street 5 is my personal fave. I've got copies of Elm Street 5, but they don't have the special "uncut footage" draw that this did. And after searching for the uncut version with all that sexy goriness, I've finally got it! And to add pepper to the steak, I found the Elm Street 3 vhs with the "Dokken Music Video" sticker. Now, I know what you're thinking and maybe you're right. A sticker can't be a true draw to buy a tape. But as you can imagine, a tape of that age will have a lot of wear and that sticker is the first thing to go. So, to find an excellent copy with the sticker intact, makes it a flawless victory. And plus to watch that awesome music video is just an added extra I simply can't pass up.


Tape 5: Halloween-Media Release



Media Home Video was absolutely unstoppable in the 1980s. It released almost every horror movie to emerge from that decade. And it's top quality of picture and sound is still highly regarded as some of the greatest release in home entertainment history. They had a lot of popular releases, but no doubt, one of their most popular and sought after releases was the original Halloween. Very rarely do copies still have the lower flap intact, so when I discovered it was still attached, I was overjoyed. A very rare find that recently sold on eBay for 30 bucks, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that after shelling out $2 bucks for this, I wasn't thinking the same thing.


Tape 6: Rollerblade



Holy cow. The tape that may have been the biggest prize of the entire lot. I've never heard of this Roller Blade, but from what I could surmise, it involves some hot chick in a leotard and skates and fights demons. Not since Miami Connection have I fallen in love with a movie so quickly. And according to urban legend, this movie was made with no script. Which...well...kinda explains it. The cover, "premise", promise of boobies and rollerskating makes a very difficult thing for me to ignore. After all, when's the next time I'm going to see this? Never. Because no one is truly stupid enough to let this go and be able to live with that very fateful decision.


After 3 hours of being in this flea market, it was time to go. I had paid my dues by suffering through swimming in a sea of trash and after shelling out only 11 bucks to the lot, I knew I had reached the top of the mountain. it was time to call it a day. Plus, I had gotten a huge headache from the lack of oxygen, the overwhelming smell of cigarettes and b.o. was downright too powerful for me. I had spent enough money on vhs and needed something to eat. After a quick meal at the local McDonalds, I decided to head back. On the way home, there's a local thrift store. So I decided to stop. And I was greeted by this beautiful vision...


I'm a Pepsi guy and this is no doubt a sign of good things to come. Success was about to continue.

Tape 7: Prophecy



Holy crap, nothing has stopped me so far. This was a true rare find. I've never even heard of this movie and the cover totally sold me. And that's something that used to sell me on movies at the video store, so this was not something I could pass up. Talia Shire stars as...well...I haven't watched it and quite frankly didn't read the back synopsis. But, c'mon! You're gonna tell me you'd pass this up? Part of the mystery of this tape is another selling point. I wanted this badly and I got it. I wasn't expecting success, but this find was a nice cherry on the top of what can be considered a flawless day.

But, wait...we're not done...

Excited about my victory, I came home and my girlfriend Laurie decided we should head out and go look at the local thrift store. Well, I'm not gonna argue with that. And despite being a little worn out from a long work week and a 7 hour stay in Buffalo, I'm glad I decided to head out again. Because success was around the corner, once again. And I wasn't even expecting or hoping for it. I just wanted a fun night with me and the lady! But, despite my guard being down, I was rewarded. Very kindly, at that.

Tape 8: Martin
This was a nice surprise. I've always wanted to see Martin. I've always been fascinated by the stills and the plot and after hearing years of hype, I finally got it. But, I can't say I was blown away and 25 minutes in, I had to hit the old eject button. Nothing against Romero or even John Amplas, it just kinda fell flat. I feel rather bad too, since George Romero has gone on record saying this is his favorite of all the movies he's done. A good effort and story, but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll revisit it and perhaps it's just a movie that I have to watch a few times to get into. Time will tell.

Tape 9: Hiding Out


Oh yes. Jackpot. JACK-FRIGGIN-POT. One of my favorite 80s teen dramas. A lot of people thought it was rathe flat and dull, but I always enjoyed it. Jon Cryer goes from Wall Street broker to rad high school teen with the name "Maxwell Hauser". C'mon. What's not to love? And Keith Coogan, in my favorite of his roles, playing his obnoxious cousin. Now, true, you couldn't make this movie today. Too many things would be considered a no-no: Showing up to a school randomly, no id check from the secretary, and Jon Cryer himself. This was definitely a product of it's time and without this, I would've never discovered my all time favorite 80s 1-Hit Wonder, Pretty Poison "Catch Me I'm Falling". It's a winning package that's gone forgotten, but I'm super happy to have found it.


So, that was Saturday. Overwhelmed by an amazing haul, it was time for bed. I had too much to do on Sunday. But little did I know, the adventure wasn't over...

Waking up on Sunday, I decided to hit the local flea market downtown. It's an outside flea market tucked away in the middle of Rochester known as the Public Market. Vendors set up at 5:30 am and hope for the best. It's a nice little 5 minutes drive from my apartment and I decided to head over for some fun and hopefully some goofy stuff to put up in an entry. But, I wasn't expecting this to be the find of the weekend...


Three items. Three items that I deemed more important than any other items in the entire flea market that I just had to take home. That's right. Out of everything, including a rare bootleg of Robocop called "Mobil Cop", THESE were the priority items. A Batman bank, an Andrew Dice Clay button, and a copy of the Wizard. Each item has their charm that contributed to the purchasing decision and quite frankly, of all my finds this weekend, this may be the best.





The Batman bank, an exclusive premium from the 1989 cereal, was an item I've wanted for a while. And not wanting a 24 year old box of cereal, this is the perfect way to keep the memory of Batman: The Cereal alive. The reason it's taken me so long is the fact that the stickers have always faded and the bank itself is always dented or banged up. But not this one. It's perfectly mint. In fact, I'd wager that the seller was keeping a vault of cereals and just tore this off of one for the hopes some sap (me) would offer him a nice, crisp one dollar bill. And this was his lucky day. Or my lucky day. I'd like to think it was me who claimed the victory.


The guy who sold me the bank, threw in the Andrew Dice Clay button for free. I was not one to refuse a fantastic freebie such as this. I've longtime been a fan of the DiceMan, even if he refused to sign a photo for me, but I'm a button collector, so I'll add this to my collection.



More vhs!!! And what a find! A tape I've been searching for a while now has now been crossed off the list. I love The Wizard. It's one of the few kid-centric movies I saw as a kid and can still enjoy. Yeah, it was nothing more than a commercial for Nintendo and Universal Studios, but it's still a fun time capsule to watch every once in a while. However, the dvd we got for this movie sucked. Sucked. Sucked. Sucked. Sucked. No special features worthy of purchasing and worth giving up your vhs over. But this makes up for it. Just like the Child's Play 2 vhs, the Universal Studios ad was a better feature than I could ask for. And while the cover to the Wizard wasn't included (no biggie, I can print that up) the fact that it contained labels from the actual video store still intact made me want it even more. At 25 cents, it's an easy "YES! YES! YES! YES!" from me. Look at those beautiful rental warnings!!! It's the closest thing to going to the video store and renting it. It's beautiful and for someone that actually went to video stores and remember these frightening warnings of a dollar every additional night, it was no doubt meant to be mine. Anyone can have the original covers, but not many people have the actual box from the store.



So that's my haul for the weekend. It was well worth the money and the long hours spent looking through other's trash for the hopes of gold. And gold is what I walked away with. The word "SUCCESS" can't be used enough in this entry. But I'm not ready to rest on my laurels. No siree. In a week and a half, I get to test my luck again at the Syracuse Horror/SciFi Garage Sale. If I can find a haul even bigger and more amazing than I did this weekend, it's gotta be at this show. Hope to see you there!

See ya at the next flea market!!! Stay away from the vhs section, you've seen what I accomplished in one weekend...imagine what I could do again...


-Chad

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flashback Fun: Chiller Theatre 2004


In a previous entry, I disussed my excitement for an upcoming Monster Mania featuring a Batman 1966 reunion. It seems as we get closer to it, I just get more and more excited. And for good reason. This will mark my first conventions in 2 years after an extended break. It's been too long and I'm super excited to return. And while Monster Mania will be my first in 2 years, I'd like to take you back to my first horror convention. Ironically, the same draw for me at this show was the Batman 66 cast.



It was April 2004 when my best friend Ryan and I took a quick trip up to East Rutherford, NJ for the world famous horror show, Chiller Theatre. Chiller Theatre had been on my radar for quite a long time but many roadblocks stopped me from attending them. But, finally Ryan and I were able to make the trip up to the Garden State for a weekend of indulging in horror and other geeky goodness. I was hoping this convention would open my eyes to a whole new world that I've wanted to enter for quite sometime...and boy did it! 









Adam West. That's me kneeling in the front(yes, with hair.) and my friend Ryan








Rowdy Roddy Piper with the "LWO Heavyweight Champion of the Galaxy". The LWO was a fan group I was apart of at the time.





Julie "Catwoman" Newmar



Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin. Frank died a year after I met him. It was an honor to meet him. RIP. 





Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica.




Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno



Team Troma





It was a fantastic show filled with laughs, great stories, and White Castles. Chiller always gets great guests and from what I've been told and read, the last convention was their best in years. I'd love to return for one last Chiller. The two shows I attended were some of the best shows I've ever attended and while the show has changed has changed considerably, I may have one last run in me...
For more info on Chiller Theatre, visit their official site here.

-Chad

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Joe Jusko Gives Us Rowdy Roddy Piper: Monster Killer

Longtime wrestling fans will recognize comic book/fantasy artist Joe Jusko's amazing paintings. Posters such as Royal Rumble 1991 and 1992, Wrestlemania 7 and the packaging art to the WWF Remco Table Hockey Game will no doubt bring back some memories for those fortunate enough to grow up in that time period. In fact, Joe's famous "Alley Fight" artwork appeared on a WWF Lunchbox!!!

Wrestlemania 7 Poster

"WWF Table Hockey by Remco" packaging art
"Good Guys" Art

"Bad Guys" Art



Courtesy of Joe Jusko's DeviantArt page


Well, apparently 21 years after his last foray into bodyslamming the wrestling world, he's stepping back into the ring. And oh man, am I excited! Joe will be teaming up with the new upstart comic book label Grindhouse Comics to bring us...get ready...ROWDY RODDY PIPER, MONSTER KILLER.


Yes. This will no doubt fly off the shelves. Look like Hot Rod still hasn't replenished his bubblegum, because he's still kicking monster butt. Here's a teaser image Joe provided on his DeviantArt page.


The catchphrase "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" has never been so true.


Now I haven't picked up a comic book in a very long time, but I can say without any hesitation I'll be picking this up the second it goes on sale(the official date has yet to be announced, but expect it to hit later this year). Joe's art has been long established as some of the greatest fantasy and comic book art in history. And pair him up with one of my lifelong heroes, and it's an easy sell.

For more info on Joe's art and career, head over to his official site to see more of his breathtaking artwork including Elvira, Nightmare on Elm Street, Marvel Masterpieces, and many many more. 


-Chad

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Somewhat Amazing Flea Market Finds

This weekend was all about relaxing before I headed back to work. I've had a a two week period between jobs and I wanted one last hurrah. And essentially I got it. For most, this past 4th of July weekend means the three B's: Barbecues, beers and the beach. Not for me though. I stayed in, had an endless Office marathon, drank orange soda from my new Sodastream and went to the flea market.


Sadly, this weird 1940's Disney-like fellow wasn't in attendance .

Ahhh...the flea market. The great American past time in where strangers rifle through your garbage and act like what they're buying won't end up on eBay. I've been a fan of the flea market since I was a kid. There's just some sort of unidentifiable charm when you go. The thrill of the hunt is probably the best feeling if you're a collector and when you go to a huge flea market, the endless possibilities can be somewhat overwhelming. Much like a thrift store trip, you just don't know whether you'll walk out with crap or gold. 


Ok, ok. Not really a flea market as it is a junk store. But the local junk joint refer to themselves as an indoor flea market, so let's go with it shall we? My optimism and confidence were both at an all time high and semantics would only get in the way. I had no time to determine whether this indoor junkyard was a flea market or not. I just had to go with it, mang. 

The second I walked in, I knew it would be a real adventure. The smell of cigarettes and old newspaper greeted me like an old friend. On the other hand, the shopkeepers hardly noticed me and decided to just keep talking to her friend about agriculture. I'm guessing they only get local regulars in this place, because I'd assume seeing a rube like me would send these yokels into a tizzy trying to sell me packs of old Dessert Storm cards or a bunch of old Time Magazine with coffee stains. Maybe I'm just being cocky. Either way, it was game time. I took big breath and walked passed the hillbilly owners. I examine the store rather quickly and assess that finding items for a decent blog post would be easy. But not this easy.



First item of interest I run into was a bunch of old posters. But, the item that caught my eye the most, and most likely catching your eye, is the Madonna poster. I was too far way to see the actual date, but it would be safe to say late 80s or early 90s. I feel safe in saying this was before started getting porked by Vanilla Ice and getting bounced from Pepsi for making steamy music videos but more importantly, when she was still hot. Make no doubt about it, she was hotter than anything else. Both in the physical sense and hyperbolic sense. I actually had a crush on Madonna at the time and I feel I would've wanted this poster at age 8 or so. It's not awful and not overtly disgusting(what she turned out to be) so it seems logical this would end up in your room and not offend your mom. It's a pretty good find, I get the sense not too many of these old Madonna posters are out and about. But if they were, they'd end up at these indoor flea/junkyards. I'd probably buy this if I had 2 bucks and I was 8 years old. But the owners of the store were asking 40 for it and I am not 8 years old, so I'm gonna have to pass. Still, not a bad way to begin.



 Next up was an item that almost sent me out of the store immediately. Piles of clothes are to be expected at places like this, but I wasn't expecting this. The store had a side section for used sports jerseys and jeans. I actually didn't mind the jerseys. I normally like jerseys. They're comfy and any Bears merchandise usually makes smile. But the problem isn't the jerseys, it's what was on a table a row behind it...



Old boxer shorts. Look, I'm into nostalgia and all but this is freaky. Old boxer shorts? Wait a moment...it gets worse...

                                                                                              

Judging by the way that fading, USED BOXER SHORTS. I swear if I wasn't trying to get a good entry done and try to find some good stuff for my apartment, I'd have run out of there quicker than a customer at Taco Bell heading for the toilet. I know that the clientele at this establishment isn't the highest of quality, but this is the lowest of the low. 



Still feeling uncomfortable and scarred from the ancient pair of shorts, I contemplating running to the nearest gas station to buy some Aquafina to clean my eyes out. But, duty calls. And I'm glad I stayed. Because I found these:

Hot dog! Now we're talking!!! Munsters figurines/bobble heads. I'm a huge Munsters fan, so seeing all five of the friendliest neighbors this side of Mockingbird Lane, made the entire trip worth it. I've got a pair of Munsters bobbleheads, but not of this quality. These look to be made of wood or some high quality material of that kind. The sculpts aren't too cartoony or silly, in fact they're downright loyal to the actors likenesses. I fear what the price tag was and sadly, these were in a locked display case so my chances of examining them were out of the question. These seem to be the perfect collectible and a great item to show on your  shelf to show your love of the classic show. And as a bonus, that weird skeleton/cowboy bust seems to be a perfect companion. It kinda has a Skeletor feel. And if Cowboy Skeletor can't sell you nothing can.



Further navigation throughout the indoor flea market was a rather Herculean task. The tables were all pushed together and just placed in random spots. And I'm a big guy. So it's not like I can just suck in my gut and just squeeze through. Plus the stuff here is so old, I was afraid to move anything in fear of breaking a 30 year old computer and being shamed in having to purchase it. nothing is more laughable than watching a human walk out with a cracked IBM from 1983 covered in more dust than a hillbilly's old pick up truck in the front yard. I was getting a feeling that the fun was over. Until I saw small room filled with toys. Business was about to pick up.


Aw crap...My high expectations were shot down immediately. The toy room looked more like an rich 10 year old's bedroom. There was no chance I was going to find anything good in this hoarders paradise. in fact, I was more worried I'd be stuck in an avalanche of cheap, smelly stuffed animals. And then I saw it...the one toy that was worth coming in for...





Wembley Fraggle. Right there in front of me. I can feel the beacon of light from Heaven shining down upon it. It was as if it was meant to be. No one can say no to Fraggles, plain and simple. It's not really a phrase, it's a fact. I can honestly say it was one of the best finds I've ever found in all my years of flea marketing, only because it was so surprising. And when items like this hit you out of nowhere, you feel like you struck gold. Wembley, much like his character in the show, seemed very satisfied with his life and just hanging out with his fellow plush brethren. So as much as I didn't want to leave him, I had too. I have a feeling he'll find an adventure in that toy room. I'm sure he'll find a way to scheme or start a Luau with Buzz Lightyear.



I was on my out of the flea market when I saw a giant display case of soft drink cans. I like older soda cans, so this caught my attention. Quite frankly, I'm trying to wonder why cans only a few years old are being sold as antiques. A coke can from the 90s, makes sense, but a Pepsi can from the last few years? Come on. Put some effort into it. If you're going sell me a relatively new Pepsi can, make sure it's spectacular and farts diamonds or something. 

But upon further inspection, I noticed something more nonsensical...something that set me off more than the used boxer shorts...

A jar of Skippy?!?!?! Really? The can of Pepsi is one thing, the boxer shorts were another, but this is just pure laziness. I'm starting to think the owners just end up shopping at Wegmans to fill their shelves.  I don't really understand the point of selling peanut butter that has no collector value, but I'm not the one that runs an indoor flea market. And after this adventure, I'm probably better off. Otherwise I'd be hoarding cases of food and trying to pass them off as the Holy Grail.


I jetted. Quite frankly, the negatives outweighed any positives in this trip. It was becoming too much to handle and quite frankly the B.O. floating around was terribly thick enough to slice with a katana blade.   Where was Leonardo from the Ninja Turtles when you needed him? His twin swords would've come in handy in this. Maybe breathing and not leaving with a headache is a little too much to ask, but c'est la vie. Thankfully, there was another junk store next door and I stopped in. Not as large as the mess I had just spent an hour in, but it was still junk. I thought my thrill of adventure had died, but after a good 15 minutes I found something so Earth-shattering, it must be seen to be believed...

YES. Rock Express Gum!!! 23 year old gum tins with Paul Abdul and Nelson. Top stars in their day, sure, but a trivia question now. Even Paula Abdul, American Idol or not, is about as cool as leprosy. And Nelson...well, after that video where they saved some redneck kid from his abusive father, no one is going to call them for their state fair. I saw these tins and initially thought what a weird band-aid promotion these were. Then I pulled them down and examined them...

The gum is still intact. All gum sticks too. I'm assuming this is all the original and someone got these for their birthday, threw them in a box and forgot all about them. I can't I blame them. Even by early 90s standards, they're pretty downright ridiculous. But we loved our gum back then and we didn't care what kind of packaging they came in. They were literally packed to the gils with ancient gum. The gum is still a little bendy and a little flexible, but I highly doubt it's safe enough to eat. I wouldn't even imagine trying them. I'd imagine spider-eggs hatching and something out of the last segment of Creepshow would happen. I don't want to see a billion spiders to crawl out of my body just because I was curious to know what Nelson's gum tastes like. There's no lawsuit in the world that could rectify that situation. I'd be the laughing stock of the gum collecting world. And that's not a reputation I wish to carry with me.

In the end, it was a worthwhile trip. I can't see going back to this flea market unless I'm completely bored and I've lost my copy of Phantom of The Mall. Even then, it may be a long time. I just hope they ventilate it before I do. Otherwise, the collective B.O., cigarette smell, rancid newspaper, and rancid jars of peanut butter may kill anyone brave enough to enter.

-Chad

Monday, July 8, 2013

Curse of Chucky: Reestablishing Chucky As A Killer




September is a big month for me. My 30th birthday, the Batman 66 reunion at Monster Mania in Maryland, and something very important to all of us who love horror: The return of Chucky. That's right! Everyone's favorite killer doll hits OnDemand! On his 25th birthday too! That's right, after years and years of talking about a new installment/remake/reboot/something, we finally get it.



This straight to dvd release(coming in October, after a brief OnDemand release in September) could essentially clean up the mess left from the last 3 Chucky movies. And that's a lot of mess to clean up. Since 1998, Chucky's reputation has been royally screwed up. And the blame is 100% on those horrible "Chucky Makes A Family" sequels. Although, even before that, the third movie was terribly awful but the third movie could be considered Empire Strikes Back compared to the crap that followed. But I guess in the words of Steve Miller "You got to go through hell, before you get to Heaven" and Chucky has definitely been through hell in the past 15 years.

So, the trailer hit the web today and I gotta say I am very impressed and very excited. It seems Chucky is being taken a little bit more seriously and it looks like he's headed back to basics. And that's what's been needed for a long time. Despite the sexiness of Jennifer Tilly's voice, awesome cameo of John Ritter(who could do no wrong anyway), and the director that would go on to give us the awesome Freddy vs. Jason, nothing good came out of the sequels. In fact, more than anything he's become the poster child for Spencer Gifts. For a long time, I saw more Chucky merchandise in Spencers than anything. And anytime you can walk into a store and see a horror film star hung up next a bunch of sex toys and darklight posters of the ICP, you know your hopes of being taken seriously have been flushed down the toilet. But at least those cool funny gag poops can accompany them from the rack above it.

For the most part, the trailer gets down to business. The Chucky with the ugly scars and all the damage is gone. Now, the slate has been wiped clean. The old Chucky is back and it looks like he's ready to take on a whole new franchise. And it's about time. In order for Chucky to be taken seriously, I really feel this could be the best move. Brad Douriff, voice of Chucky since day one, is also returning. Which is great. In a world of voice actors who are paid to do spot-on impersonations, no one can really touch Brad Douriff as the voice. And since Chucky couldn't be physically imposing, there was a lot of emphasis on his voice. And they chose the right person. Brad added that perfect touch to giving Chucky a haunting voice and killer edge that you would most likely crap your pants if you heard coming out of that tiny doll. Brad was essentially the spirit of Chucky and made the character his own. He IS Chucky just like Anthony Perkins IS Norman Bates.

The other important part that seems to be happening here is Chucky's face seems to rely heavily on CGI. I can't really say I'm upset by this or even offended, but some reviewers seem to take issue with it. i don't know why because in this world of CGI, it would be smarter to have Chucky rendered with computers than it would be to have a midget in a doll suit again. As great as the movies were when they were at their best, the image of a tiny person running around is rather silly. It was ok for thirty years ago, but not now. And while I'm not one way or the other on the CGI issue, I do have to say Chucky looks a little bit more serious and could be taken more seriously in this one. And that's my hope, is for a new franchise and for the new franchise to be looked at in the same class as a Freddy, Jason, or even Jigsaw.

Chucky's Killer New Look



And creating new opponents for Chucky to battle is also important. Whether or not we'll see Andy Barclay appear in a cameo or a plot point has yet to be seen. But Brad Douriff's daughter, Fiona seems to have taken the role of the older antagonist for Chucky to take on. And I'm sure that will be rather different to see after all the years he spent chasing after Andy.


Now, I'm of age to remember begging my dad to let me watch Child's Play on HBO and being shot down quickly and very excited when I got to sneak a viewing of Child's Play 2. And I'm getting that feeling of anticipation all over again. All in all, this movie has positives written all over it so far. And I for one, can't wait. Looks good, seems like a good plot, and simply put, just can't wait to get my hands on what could be a brand new chapter in the Child's Play/Chucky story. And more importantly, I hope it wipes the memories of the last three out of the public's minds...

-Chad

Thursday, July 4, 2013

7 Cartoon Theme Songs You May Have Forgotten


We grew up in a fantastic time. A wide variety of toys, cartoons, movies and music. I mean, that's the point of this site! To celebrate the great(or not so great) nostalgia. Sadly, as we get older, the memories start to fade and only our favorite memories stay with us. Everything else, just kinda falls behind. And that's just why I'm here today. To present to you some of the best cartoon theme songs you may have forgotten and left behind.

So, to start this article I present to you today, I had to really rack my head and do a lot of research. Like, the kind of research that should've made me get better grades in high school. I'm telling you the truth. Had I spent the same amount time working on my English projects as much as I did listening to the theme of Turbo Teen, I probably would've gotten to college and would be currently working for Warner Brothers writing the next installment of Lost Boys or something. But, I digress. The point of this article is to present to you the greatest theme songs you may have forgotten or just ignored. The point is NOT to highlight the cartoon itself, but to let the theme song get center stage. There's plenty of cartoons on this list that can't be considered watchable even out of irony or drunken curiosity, but the fact that the theme songs are catchy enough to end up on your iPod, is the point of my article today. And with that, we start the show!


Ewoks:



The spin-off that Star Wars fans never admit happened. While the show was garnered towards a much younger audience and had less than stellar reviews, the theme song made up for it. Sung by legendary blues artist Taj Mahal, the theme song is short, sweet and right to the point(just like the stars of the series themselves!). Have a listen to it and tell me it's not better than the series itself.




Bionic Six:



Bionic Six was essentially a family of robotic/mechanical crimefighters. The cartoon was somewhat popular enough to get a toy line by LJN with gimmcks similar to Silverhawks. If you don't remember the show don't worry. You weren't missing anything that you should lose sleep over. But the theme song really sticks in your head more than the actual show does.



Swamp Thing:



Yes, I know it's nothing more than a blatant...and I mean horribly blatant ripoff of the classic "Wild Thing", but for what it's worth, it's actually pretty catchy for a DiC series(which were notorious for their horrible theme songs). True story: my friend Ryan(who, to his credit, helped me with some of this article) and I once spent a good half an hour of a road trip playing this over and over laughing hysterically. But after that trip, the song stuck with me and I've been able to appreciate it on it's own despite it's general goofiness.



Heathcliff:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFKrVTVercI



Heathcliff was given a bad hand. The cartoon was fairly popular for a while. In fact, I remember my friend in elementary school having a Heathcliff lunchbox. The problem wasn't with the cartoon itself, it just came at the wrong time. Shortly after Heathcliff's brush with greatness, Garfield and Friends came along. And everyone knows that competing with Garfield is not a wise move. After Garfield's popular show came around, Heathcliff was put in the back of everyone's mind and quickly forgotten. The theme song went with it, sadly. And it's a very catchy theme too. Kinda retro-ish and modern at the same time, it perfectly set up the adventures of everyone's (second) favorite mischievous cat! And for the record, I think it was better than the Garfield theme song.


Kidd Video:



Live action and cartoon, Kidd Video told the brave story of a bunch of young musicians living in a alternate world. I really don't know how to put it any other way. In some parts of the world, the cast actually did go on tour and preform concerts. While an actual soundtrack was released and many, many songs appeared in every episode, the theme to Kidd Video will stick to you like gum on your shoe. Specifically the keyboard that would bring even Jason Gross to tears.



C.O.W-boys of Moo Mesa



C.O.W-Boys of Moo Mesa came out at a time when every cartoon and toyline had to be in the same vein as Ninja Turtles. And it wasn't the worst attempt. In fact, the toys were pretty cool. The cartoon was not however. It just seemed rather slow and kinda dull at times. The theme song was pretty catchy, though. I've always liked country music and it has a country-rock like feel. And the opening animation wasn't bad either. I'd say out of this entire list, this one may be my personal favorite.


Police Academy The Series



The perfect ending to this article. This great site was built upon a solid foundation of retro movies, toys, music and cartoons. Well, roll all of that together and I give you this...the theme song to Police Academy: The Animated Series, as sung by THE FAT BOYS. I don't even need to continue with this entry. Anything I write beyond this will just detract from the awesome of this theme song.


Just remember that watching the Police Academy cartoon will result in a massive headache. Just stick to the opening theme and you'll be fine.


7 songs to cartoons you may have pushed out of your head that are not really all that bad. Can't judge a book by it's cover, and you definitely can't judge a cartoon solely on a theme song. And these songs are proof.

-Chad

The Perfect 4th Of July Movie Barbecue!




It's that time again! 4th of July is here! America's birthday! While celebrating the birth of our country is a rather monumental day, it's usually spent by almost everyone grilling up burgers and hot dogs while drinking, telling the same stale jokes we've heard a billion times and our Uncle Jack breaking wind and giving us noogies. I've never been a huge fan of the 4th of July cookouts, though. I don't know why. I enjoy the fireworks and the pageantry that goes along with it. I like a good cookout, especially with all the burgers and mac salad, but something about this holiday just never hooked me. Maybe it's the heat. I'm a human faucet and sweat when it's 70 degrees, so add July heat and steam from the grill, and I'm screwed. I end up looking more like the T-1000 in liquid form at the end of the day. And that's not helping anyone. .

That said, I usually spend 4th of July isolated. I tend to get more enjoyment in grilling on my George Foreman Grill, turning off my phone, watching movies then proceeding to fall asleep on the couch while my bunnies try to steal whatever food is left on my plate. Those bunnies can be rather cunning, especially when half a hot dog is left on my plate and the fan is just wildly blowing the smell around the apartment. But, nothing says "day off" like a great movie marathon. I always look forward to my days off for that very reason. I can't describe the feeling of having the ac and fans hit me with that beautiful cool air, while I wrap myself up in covers and enjoy some ice cream. Now, at the risk of sounding rather pompous and ridiculous, my movie marathons are quite legendary. I usually have some good stuff planned and can usually enjoy myself no matter what I watch, especially considering I'm not at work. Anything beats being at work. Especially when ice cream is incorporated. And if there's two things I know it's movies and ice cream.

...and collecting tacky action figures. But that would be three things. My gosh, I'm already trailing off and I've yet to get to my true point.

My point of this article is quite simple. Building the perfect horror movie marathon on this hot day. I didn't want to call it a Horror Movie Barbecue, but since I can't find a better title(and the name of this blog. Best take advantage of the situation while I can. I can't imagine using that pun in December when I review the best Christmas/Wrestling connections), let's take a look of what's on the picnic table today!


The beef of the marathon: The Complete Toxic Avenger Set:


Normally, my go to marathon fodder consists of Batman or Elm Street movies, but something very American about the Toxic Avenger. I don't know how to describe it any better than that. Toxie and the goofballs residing in Tromaville know how to throw a party and on today's very important holiday, a good party is essential. The Complete Toxic Avenger box set contains all four movies fromt he Toxic Avenger series and the complete Toxic Crusaders cartoons series. As far as I can tell, there's nothing more American than that..except that second one where he went to Japan. That wasn't American.


The cheese: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.



Gotta have some cheese on that burger you're having. And I present what may be the cheesiest movie of all time and one of my all time favorite movies of the 90s. An absolute car wreck that must be seen. Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson play modern day Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the most copyright challenging way possible. This movie is downright ridiculously bad, that it's amazing.  The acting is downright awful, you can tell that all actors involved have zero interest in whatever is going on. And you can't blame them. A cowboy and a biker robbing a bank to save their favorite bar is not the most challenging role for an actor to take. If you haven't seen this, I can't describe the void missing in your life. It's a party in your TV waiting to happen that you must RSVP to. Besides, nothing is more American than Big John Studd as a big tough biker named "Big Jack Daniels"...the scene watching him ride a motorcycle is worth the price of the dvd alone.


The mac-salad(side dish): Tales From the Crypt.

People dying in comical and embarrassing ways is very American. Think I'm wrong? Go watch Spike TV for those "Idiots Dying in Stupid Ways" shows they air 23 hours a day. My all time favorite tv show is the perfect way to transition between movies. I know what you're thinking though. Sure, you can have a Tales From the Crypt marathon all by itself. I get that. In fact, I've done it and enjoyed. But after the gut punch of Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, you're gonna need something to speed you back up. I highly suggest season 2 to 6. The entire series was fantastic, but those may be my favorite seasons of all.


Fruit salad(second side dish): What About Bob?



This hasn't been the most horror centric barbecue, but it's my blog and what I say, goes. And as far as a good comedy tag team, you can't get much more American than the 1991 classic. Look, you're going to need a straight up comedy to accompany all this blood splurting and bullets going off. And one of the greatest comedies of all time was the Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss classic. From the first scene to the end, this movie rolls out laughs left and right. And it even takes place in the summer. If you can't laugh while Bill Murray screams "I'M SAILING!!!", then you need to be deported. Like now. In fact, I'm calling you an anti-American right now.


Dessert: Wonder Woman TV Series




You've made it this far and now it's time for dessert. And because you've made it this far, you deserve to be reward. Quite frankly there is nothing more American and delicious at the same time than Lynda Carter spinning around and slowly running in that outfit. I really should stop here. Because quite frankly anything else I say will just sound extra-perverted, even if it's unintended. But, come on. She was the best Wonder Woman and we all fell in love with her. While not horror related(unless you count John Saxon appearing in a couple of episodes), I see no better way to end the 2013 4th of July Horror Movie Barbecue.


Well, there you have it. If you can't get enjoyment out of these choices, you need to live in Canada.

Just kidding. I love Canada. They gave us the Hart Family. And Jessica Pare from Mad Men. You guys are ok with me.

-Chad