Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Flea Market 2015 Season Kickoff!

Finally, after a few months, the flea market downtown reopened for the first market of the season. And boy oh boy, I couldn't take it much longer. The wait was getting so excrutiating. Sure, thrift stores are a good way to feed the bargain/treasure hunting hunger between seasons but nothing beats the great tradition of going to a flea market. Hot dogs, baseball games and the beach? Nah. My summer traditions always consist of going to flea markets and yard sales.

Now, I got the sense early on I wasn't going to walk away with anything. It's the beginning of the season, so it's not uncommon to walk away with nothing. And of course, you can't get too upset either. You've got the whole season of rummaging through peoples smoke filled WWF magazine stacks ahead of you. Don't lose hope on your first trip. And after all my years of doing this, I find that abandoning all hope is the best way to tackle a flea market.

But this day, I was proven wrong. DEAD WRONG. Check this out:



Oh yes. OH YES. Please! A set of Ramones coasters, a copy of Basket Case 2 on dvd, a California Raisins AND Coolspot keychain! The damage? 5 bucks. I was able to talk the guy who sold me the Ramones and Basket Case 2 down from 6 for both to simply $3.50 for both. Not too bad, eh? Especially since my rabbits have chewed up all my coasters. But these are perfect replacements. 

I gotta admit, I've only seen like 5 minutes of Basket Case 2, so I don't truly remember much about it, but for a buck, it's worth it.

Now the keychains were a dollar each originally. But the vendor selling them is there every week, every year. I've dealt with him before and he's a good guy so he gave them to me for 1.50 for both. I quickly replaced my saxophone playing Raisin figure with the newer and slimmer replacement and put Spot on my dashboard. It wasn't an easy decision to buy just these because he had so many great keychains. Check it out:


Good stuff, eh? 


I'd lie if I said these were the only things that caught my eye. But, that's not true. Obviously I left other items behind. Here's the three items I wanted the most but didn't pick them up because the goofy vendors were asking waaaaaay too much:




YES! Alf lunchbox and the Cookin With Alf record from Burger King. I was wildly into Alf as a kid. I still am, obviously. But I had everything Alf including these two items. The Alf lunchbox was my first lunchbox that I took to preschool and the Cookin With Alf was a sweet ad-on that came with those awesome Burger King puppets. In fact, I still have my Rock-N-Roll Alf puppet. See?


I love Alf even to this day. So both of these items made me very happy.


And speaking of making me happy...



A sassy Bart Simpson poster! YES! Every 8 year old boy had these! Usually the rebellious posters had Bart spouting one of his dangerous catchphrases like the one you see above or "Eat My Shorts!". These were great and everyone in my neighborhood and social circles had one. Compared to the merchandising today, this stuff was pretty simple. But that's how we liked them: In your face and simple.


So, my haul was great, but the overall experience was just as great. I can't wait for the rest of the season. It'll be hard to top my finding a copy of Video Dead on vhs for .25 last year, but I get the sense it'll be a great time this season.


-Chad

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reviewing 15 Old WWF Cards!




The other day I posted about a nice care package from my buddy Brian at PopPop!It's Trash Culture! , which contained a lot of fun pop culture treasures. One of those treasured items was a pack of WWF trading cards from 1989 which, obviously I opened because I can never follow the rules set by society about ancient trading cards. So instead of just using them to decorate my end table like I originally planned, I figured I'd review them here instead. Because, boy oh boy, these are some real goofy characters...


 Hillbilly Jim:
 Vince McMahon loved making a fool of southerners, so goofy, naive redneck characters were always in the WWF. But none more popular than the tall, horeshoe lovin', square dancin', overalls lovin' Hillbilly Jim. He'd essentially just dance like a fool and clap his hands after throwing his opponent around the ring. He also was best friends with Hulk Hogan for a few months which lead to some less than memorable tag matches against the Heenan family.

 The difference between other hillbillies, he had a lot of charisma as well as the ability to read cue cards, which made him popular with a lot of fans.



Greg The Hammer Valentine:



Greg Valentine is a pretty legendary figure in wrestling. A second generation wrestler who is more known for moving around the ring like a moldy bag of potatoes. I'm not saying he's bad, but he just never really known for his spectacular and flashy maneuvers. Which worked for him. He was a no-nonsense kinda guy that had a pretty lengthy career.

Now, with that said, WWF saw him as a valuable asset in his later career, so they paired him with Elvis impersonator, The Honky Tonk Man to form "Rythym and Blues". It was actually a pretty good tag team. Honky was charismatic and flashy and Valentine...wasnt. Like. At all.

He also has the distinction of having one of the most legendary wrestling figures ever. Why? Well, Hasbro showed off a sweet prototype but never released it. So, from WWF's Hasbro line, here's the prototype that never got released but was much desired by fans and collectors:





Hulk Hogan:
Oh come on! The Hulkster! You know him! We all know him! In fact, I dare say, he's more well known to this day than any other wrestler in history. I have to say, I highly doubt that will ever change. But, hey, by 1989 the Hulkster was still on top of his game. In his prime. Before he started making bad decisions by joining TNA, having terrible reality shows and getting tattoos that would rival any frat boy's goofy looking tribal tattoo. No. This was his day. He OWNED us all.

 Judging by him not wearing the title belt, his was around the time that Hogan was feuding with Randy Savage over the lovely Miss Elizabeth and went from forming the MegaPowers with Randy and teaming with the mega boring and untalented Brutus Beefcake, his new best friend. See, at that time, Hogan went through friends and allies like water. It seemed every PPV, Hogan had new backup and then just threw them away. He was kind of a jerk in that sense. But, hey, he was our hero so we forgave him. Plus he took on Tiny Lister in No Holds Barred. So there's that too.



The Genius:


Leaping Lanny Poffo was known for his mega athletic in-ring ability but more known for his goofy poetry. It wasn't bad poetry, it was pretty good stuff but more of "HUH?!?!?" variety. It would usually involve his opponent or a big happening in the WWF at the time. In fact, one of my favorite poems involved him in a Kmart-quality knight armor and babbling about Hulk Hogan...

So, eventually after ripping it up in the jobber circuit and being laughed at, Lanny was turned into a college professor and given the name "The Genius". Ya know, because that would make him smarter than Bobby The Brain Heenan. He'd manage the Beverly Brothers, Mr. Perfect and other goofballs. But, hey he got a win over Hulk Hogan. I'm sure his more famous brother, Randy Savage had nothing to do with that...



Big BossMan logo card:


Time for a quick break. Instead of stickers, the Classic company decided to print up logo cards. I mean, I would've preferred a sticker but oh well. What are you gonna do? There's a lot of logos I could've received, but I got the Big Bossman. I always liked the Bossman. He wasn't as talented as say Mr. Perfect or Bret Hart, but hey, he was still pretty fun to watch. He'd talk fast, he'd sweat through his shirt and beat people with a nightstick. What's not to like?


Barry Windham:


Barry Windham, now on his second trip to the WWF here, was one of the most gifted and natural wrestlers ever. Much like Valentine, he's also a second generation wrestler. His dad was the legendary BlackJack Mulligan from the Carolinas, so he had that going. Plus, he had a great look and could fly around the ring pretty quickly. For a guy at 6'6, that's not the easiest thing.

However, by 1989, he was given a gimmick in which he was now known as the "WidowMaker" which was kind of like an evil cowboy. That's it. He didn't stick around too long due to him leaving to help out with family issues at the time. In fact I don't think he appeared on any PPV's at all. He'd come back as an aggravated stalker wearing camo face paint while he hid behind a bunch of bushes and threatening people with a fake knife. Top notch stuff. Definitely a step down from his 4 Horsemen days.


The Hart Foundation(Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart):


A goal of mine as a kid was to find all the cards of my favorite wrestlers, including tag teams. Sometimes it wasn't as easy. I'd have to go through a lot of cards to find both members of a team. It was really frustrating. But in this pack of cards? I not only got a great looking Bret Hart card, but his partner the Anvil, Jim Neidhart, with a cool Hannah Barbera-looking logo.

The Hart Foundation was one of the most successful and popular teams of any era. Big Jim was the muscle with an awesome goatee and Bret was the master technician with even more awesome glasses. They had great team work and it lead to a few tag championships. After splitting up, though, both men would take seperate paths. Bret would go on to be one of the biggest stars and most respected world champions ever and Jim would go onto wearing MC Hammer pants with Bret's younger brother Owen in a team that looked more like a TGIF commercial than anything, The New Foundation. Don't believe me?


Yeah.



Ronnie Rugged Garvin:



So this guy was kind of a boring schlub. But, he had the distinction of being an NWA champion at a time that the NWA title was even more prestigious title than the WWF title. Well...until he won it. He lost it a month or so later. He seemed boring in the ring and really did nothing of note other than stomping by his opponent with "The Garvin Stomp".

So, eventually, he left and WWF scooped him up and barely did anything with him other than put him in a feud with Greg Valentine over shin guards. Yup. They actually had a battle over something you'd use for soccer. You can see why my enthusiasm is going down at this point. Much like his NWA title run, I've officially bored you. Move on quick. This next one is really good.



Classy Freddie Blassie:

Ahhhh...now we're getting somewhere. One of the most legendary managers and figures in wrestling history. By the time I started watching, Blassie was a manager. He'd yell and scream at people and call the fans Pencil Necked Geeks before hitting a good guy with a cane. But in his prime? He'd incite riots. I mean start fights with fans just because he could. If you ever want to see a true villain in the business, go look up some of Blassie's legendary moments on Youtube or the WWE Network.



Red Rooster: 

So this is an interesting case of what WWF(and well, even now to this day) would do with a star from another company. Terry Taylor was a talented young prospect from the NWA getting by on having fun wrestling matches. And then he came to WWF where he was given his most notorious gimmick of a rooster. Yup.

He'd cluck and cock his head back and forth like a rooster. Oh but that wasn't it. He even spiked his hair up in the front to look like a real rooster too. Oh yes. He went there. I don't think a worse gimmick can be given. Even by 1989 standards. He stuck around for a while but fans would ridicule him for his stupid chicken-like mannerisms and clucking. Thankfully, WWF felt mercy and told him to cluck off and back to WCW he went.

Haku:

Known as one of the toughest men in the wrestling business ever, Haku was no joke. Well, until they made him a goofy looking king where he was carted out to the ring on a giant wooden throne by a bunch of local jobbers. He would also feud with others over who the true king of the WWF truly was.

Um...I'd continue with a sarcastic remark or two, but quite frankly, I'd be terrified he'd find me and bite my nose off, which he was known to do in bar fights. So, let's just say he's one of the most terrifying guys you could ever meet.



Pretty Paul Roma:



This musclehead became known as a jobber to the stars pretty quick. He really didn't have a lot of ability, which sometimes I believe was a requirement at the time. He was good looking guy that would pose and act like he was important. His major fame would come in a tag team with Hercules called "Power and Glory" which has a weird cult following like no other tag team.

He'd also become a member of the legendary Four Horsemen but...the less said the better. Years after leaving the business he'd talk about how Ric Flair wanted to be him and how he was better than half of the Horsemen. Truth is, he wasn't even better than El Gigante.


Virgil:


Big Virg is one of the internet wrestling community's biggest jokes. He went from main eventing by being the Million Dollar Man's slave to haggling with fans over 8x10s. Truth. He even tried his hand at selling his 8x10s in Grand Central Station on some random evening. Why? Maybe he was bored.

Virgil-Mania is indeed running wild at a shopping center near you. I suggest to avoid all eye contact, because if you walk by, and he sees you looking at his photos, he'll hop on up and try everything he can to sell you a photo of him and Andre the Giant. And if you play your cards right, you can negotiate. Yessir, the Virg-Man will take all offers. I suggest offering him a dollar for a photo with him. It'll be funny to see his reaction, because he thinks he's worth a lot more.



Demolition Smash:




Screw Hogan or the Harts, this is the MVP of the pack. Demolition is my favorite tag team of all time. I rank them over Road Warriors, New Age Outlaws, Uso's, whoever. Stack them up to Ax and Smash and they all look The Mulkeys. To me, Ax and Smash are tag team royalty.


Since I got Smash, I'll focus on him. Smash would go on to play one of my all time favorite characters ever: The Repo Man, a thief in the night that would steal kids bikes and the Macho Man's hat. He'd then go on to WCW to play a bully and an evil golfer who didn't even use his golf club to cheat. But to me, Smash it is. Not that I didn't enjoy him giggling like Frank Gorshin as the Repo Man, but to me Demolition will always represent the best of tag team wrestling. Two guys in assless chaps, studs and face paint...nothing says wrestling like a very frightening Village People.



So there you have it. 15 amazing cards from 1989...well...amazing may be stretching it, but they're fun nonetheless...Of course this pack would've been better if there was a sticker, but hey, I won't complain! I can;t think of a finer representation of WWF in 1989 than this set.

Now who has a Ax or a Macho Man? I'll trade my Hart Foundation for them...


-Chad

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mail Call From Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture!

So it's been a normal day today. Went to work at for my normal shift on the first day Rochester decided to hit over 80 degrees for the first time since last summer. Which is nice since Rochester winters are the real life equivalent to a normal day on planet Hoth. So it was an exciting day.

But, I'm not as excited for the weather as much as I was to see what arrived at my door step when I got home. A very loving care package from my friend Brian over at PopPop! It's Trash Culture!, a great pop culture blog!





Brian had messaged me before about sending this. But he didn't reveal it's contents. So it drove me wild, as to what it could be. A trophy? A dvd of Stone Cold? A magnet featuring Electra Woman and Dyna Girl? No! It's something better!




GOLD! THERE'S GOLD IN THAT THERE BOX! Holy crap! Comics, toys, pogs and trading cards!!!! Brian and I did a trade last year and he threw in a few extras in our trade based off our mutual interests, so none of his amazing generosity is taken for granted in the least.

Now there's a little smoke and mirrors going on here. I took the photo of the box AFTER I opened the cards, so please don't think Brian just haphazardly throws cards in a box with a bunch of other goodies. Heavens no. So, now that the pyro and ballyhoo are through, let's discover the contents!


GI JOE DIGEST AND TALES FROM THE CRYPT PAPERBACK!


I'm a lifelong GI Joe fanatic. Truth. It's one of the most consistent interests I've had in life. To this day, it still makes me happy. But I must confess, I've NEVER seen these before. A smaller, collected edition of a few issues from the Marvel run of the 1980s. It's kinda nice, I can throw it in my bag and read it at work during my break. I may have to chase after more of these!

And speaking of digest sized goodies, a Tales from the Crypt paperback! Collecting a few of the EC Comics stories in word form and utilizing very little pictures, this is something I also have never seen til today. And much like the GI Joe digest, this too can come in handy on boring lunch breaks. Definitely pick more of these up!


TRADING CARDS!



Hoo boy! Of course, Brian can't send me package without throwing in trading cards. And this is a beautiful offering of some of my childhood favorites. WWF, Marvel Universe, Dick Tracy, Dinosaurs Attack, TMNT movie and Evil Ernie! I had all these cards and I was stoked to open them all and discover the goodness. Cards don't belong in packs! Open them! So many great cards, I wish I could post each and every one. But the best card, by far, is Twitter favorite and long running joke with...well, just about every blogger on the planet...Virgil.


I just hope Virgil doesn't charge me 10 bucks to post this.


COMICS AND WRESTLING MAGAZINES!




Mmmmm...I love me some comic books and wrestling magazines. So this was one of my favorite parts. Some Married With Children comics, a Thundercats, an X-Men animated adaptian, a WCW and Warrior comic and an AWESOME Dr Giggles comic! Cool! Great rainy day reading is coming my way!

The wrestling magazines are very delightful. A PWI-endorsed "Wrestling Yearbook" from 1999, a pivotal year for wrestling, a Raw Magazine from 2002 featuring a nice little interview with the Nature Boy himself, and a weird off brand, generic magazine entitled "Raw Vs Nitro" neither endorsed or sponsored by WWF or WCW. This magazine followed a "generic wrestling magazine" trend at the time that usually involved terrible quality photos and bad typos. In fact, the best typo is on the cover...




Road Doug? Last I checked his name was Road Dogg Jesse James. Well, technically it's Brian James, but that's neither here nor there. No were does the name "Doug" come into play. In fact, in his career over 20 years, I don't think he's ever had a ring name "Doug".

Typos and all, this may be my new favorite wrestling collectible. It's a reminder of when wrestling was king and everyone was scratching and clawing to get a piece of the industry. Plus, that Road Doug tho.



POGS AND TOYS!


Now this is a real cake topper. I love goofy and weird pogs. And I love cereal, WWF and comics, so a the pog selection, no doubt handpicked by the Trashman himself, is superb. That Lucky pog will come in handy next time I do a battle. Bring it.

I never get tired of Steel Mutants or California Raisins. I just can't run out of room for these guys on my shelf. EVER. But my favorite piece in this photo is the Gremlins candy topper, which is something I've been after a while now.


Lenny from Gremlins 2 is one of my favorite Gremlins. As dumb as he is, he's just so lovable. His scenes with George are so charming and funny. so to finally get one courtesy of a great friend, definitely puts this package over as one of the greatest gifts ever!


Thanks again, Brian! This is such a nice gift package. I can't thank you enough for this very generous lot!

And as my gift to you, I implore you to visit his page on Facebook, Twitter and his blog page! You never know what wackiness may come out. And not too mention, he's one of the funniest Twitter profiles out there! So follow him!


-Chad

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Horror Movie BBQ Exclusive: the 25th Anniversary Release of Cool As Ice Coming Next Year!

Photo Credit: Universal Studios



It's my absolute honor to announce, on behalf of Universal and Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice, that in the summer of 2016, the 25th Anniversary 3-d BluRay edition of Cool As Ice will finally be released! And, yes...IT IS THE DIRECTORS CUT! Yes indeed, restored back to the directors original grand vision. You can pick up your "Yo! VIP Edition" on October 18th 2016! Keep reading for the extras and details!

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

I'm proud to announce I'll be moderating the commentary and hosting the retrospective. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly will be working very close with the IceMan himself, Director David Kellogg and for his very first time discussing the movie, is TV icon Michael Gross for the retrospective documentary. So grab the popcorn, it's gonna be a great release to sit down to watch!

I can't give EVERY detail, but here's just a little peak into some of the special features:

Yo! Vip: The Journey Of Johnny Van Owen: A panel discussion recorded at SDCC 2015 featuring film experts and Vanilla Ice revolving around the strong lead character and his impact on pop culture.

25 Years Later, Cooler Than Ever: A 79 minute retrospective documentary on the making of and legacy of Cool As Ice. Interviewees include cast,crew, hip hop scholars, and Roger Barr of I-Mockery.

Hey Is For Horses!: A behind the scenes look at the famous "jumping the fence" scene.

17 TV Spots.

Teaser Trailer

Theatrical Trailer

Rarely seen Spanish theatrical trailer featuring Edward James Olmos narration.

Audio commentary featuring star Vanilla Ice, director David Kellogg, star Michael Gross and moderator Chad E. Young of the Horror Movie BBQ.




Thanks to I-Mockery for the hard work in remastering this movie. Here's one clip you can look forward to in perfect, crystal clear hi-def thanks to IM.


More details will follow as Universal and I are working our hardest to bring you the definitive release. I know I speak for everyone when I say this release may be the most important bluray release ever. So, don't be a zero, be a hero and preorder today!


WTYM

-Chad