Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Celebrating Wizard Wednesday with Ross of 8-Bit Zombie!

If you've liked the HorrorMovieBBQ on Facebook, you've already seen that I have started "Wizard Wednesday", a day where I celebrate one of my favorite movies of all time, The Wizard! It's a day where I try my best to spread the word of this unusual movie in hopes more people either discover it for the first time or maybe rediscover their love for it. It's a fun day that I look forward to every week.

Now, what do I normally do on #WizardWednesday? Normally, I post a screencap, a piece of merch, some trivia, a video, anything I can find that may have ties to this movie. One of the things I've wanted to do was try my hardest to get a hold of some cast members, maybe the director, whoever I could that could give me a few moments to discuss The Wizard. Now, obviously Christian Slater was out of the question, but I'd love to get a hold of everybody one way or the other!

One person I needed to reach out to was Ross. Who's Ross? Why the mastermind artist behind 8-Bit Zombie. Now what is 8-Bit Zombie? For shame! You should know this! 8-Bit Zombie is some of the most radical nostalgic art and clothing you can find anywhere in the world! Are you a fan of Masters of the Universe, Lost Boys, Garbage Pail Kids,  Nintendo and skateboarding? Sure you are! Then this is your one stop shop!

Ross puts a lot of love and effort into these creations and it shows how much of a fan of these properties he is. All you need to do is head to his store and discover his amazing goods! Shirts, caps, hoodies, even toys! And of course you certainly can't order something without ordering yourself a Trash Bag(stickers, a poster, cards and a pin or two!)! This stuff is downright amazing and I have zero shame wallpapering my office in these beauties!

So with that said, Ross was kind enough to take a few moments to discuss his love of the Wizard, Thrashing, and some other cool stuff!

Seeing as it is indeed #WizardWednesday and you're the creator of 8-Bit Zombie, I must ask, how much influence did this movie have on your creating the logo(or concept) of 8BZ?

It was a definitely a big influence and was one of the first movies I referenced with the brand. That film holds a special place in my heart. I actually saw it in the theater as a kid. All the kids in the theater (Including me) lost their collective minds when the Mario 3 footage popped up on screen, haha. It was amazing. The Wizard, maybe more than any other movie, really represents what 8BZ is all about: 80’s movies, video games and general nostalgia / pop culture. It really has it all! As for the logo, it also definitely had an influence there. I remember that my artist bud, Matt Skiff and I, were brainstorming ideas for a logo. The Power Glove actually wasn’t the first direction we went in, there were NES carts, controllers, etc. But once the Power Glove popped up, it was a no-brainer.  
Your Lucas art(can I have those two words in the same sentence and not get sued?) is one of the most popular design it seems amongst fans. Thoughts on that shirt/print, looking back? Any possibility of that design or any Wizard designs coming back?

I still love that design! Again, the amazing Matt Skiff is to thank for the radness there. It turned out perfect and was pretty much exactly what I had in my head when I pitched the idea to him. I think about brining that one back often. I would also love to do an updated version. As for new Wizard gear, most definitely! I’ve already got some new artwork made and I want to do even more with that movie this year. There’s just SO much potential with that one.
Your original creation of Thrashor seem to be highly popular amongst fans and collectors. Where did the concept of Thrashor come from?

Much like a real 80’s character, Thrashor has a pretty interesting, and somewhat strange origin story. It all started with the idea to do a MOTU themed tee. He-Man, Skeletor and the whole MOTU universe is one of my huge loves. But for this project, I wanted to create an original character. And the initial idea was to do a tee design of just an action figure. I took that idea to Matt Skiff (Seeing a pattern here yet? Haha) and he was just as excited about it as I was. So we started tossing ideas around. As I researched existing MOTU toys & characters, I realized just how much I loved the packaging too. That’s when I got the idea to incorporate the packaging into the actual tee design. Matt was on board and things took off. The design was a hit and would start us on the path to a whole series of “toy package parody” tees. Matt and I often joked about making Thrashor into a real toy but little did either of us know that in the near future, that very thing would happen! I was lucky enough to get in touch with the fine folks at Shinbone Creative and they guided Thrashor from a 2D tee design into a real life, 3D toy. It’s one of my favorite 8BZ projects ever and remains one of the things I am most proud of. Being an 80’s kid and an 80’s toy collector, creating my very own action figure was definitely a dream come true.
Your lunchboxes also seem to be a popular item, do you have a favorite lunchbox design? Any new ideas coming down the pike?(mine is the Mr T/My Pet Monster/Skeletor mashup, personally!)

The lunchboxes are another one of my favorite things too. So hard to pick a favorite box though, I really don’t think I can choose! But I agree with your choice, that first lunchbox design does hold a special place in my heart as well. As for new lunchboxes, sadly it doesn’t look too good right now. By the time I had the idea to do mine (About 5 years ago now) Thermos had already stopped making plastic lunchboxes. They were the last hold-out and I’m sad to say that old school plastic lunchboxes are now pretty much a thing of the past. Gone the way of the VHS tape and Saturdaymorning cartoons. Pretty sad, really. Luckily, after months of searching, I managed to track down some old stock. And that in itself was pretty much a miracle! But after 5 different lunchboxes, I’ve run through the entire secret stash. I’m always on the hunt for a new source though. Currently looking into a possible supplier, so fingers crossed! We’ll see what happens. Just like the Goonies, I never say die.
I've noticed a lot of Thrashin' love in your products, does that film hold a special place for you?

Definitely! 80’s skateboarding culture in general has always fascinated me. I was too young to be into it, in it’s heyday. But my older brother was a skater, so in my eyes, him and his friends were the coolest. They all had Tony Hawk bangs, neon clothes and rad boards. It was absolutely a huge influence on me. Thrashin’, definitely brings back those memories. The 80’s skateboarding scene has a special, over-the-top, cheesy-charm, that is just so amazing. And movies like Thrashin’ and Gleaming The Cube, captured that perfectly.
Is there a character/series/actor you'd like to do but haven't gotten the chance to yet?
So, SO many. My problem is that I have WAY too many ideas and not enough time or money to make it all happen, haha. I would have absolutely no problem churning out stuff for many years to come. In my eyes, I’ve only barely scratched the surface. I can only hope 8BZ will be around long enough for me to get to all the stuff I still REALLY want to do.
A lot of your art can be described as homages, have any actors or personalities that you've featured sent you a message regarding them?

Not really, haha. I know Alex Winter has seen and approved of the Wyld Stallyns hats. But other than that, I’m pretty far under the radar, I think. I’m still very much a little guy in the world of online brands.
Finally, is the Power Glove really bad or is Lucas just being a tacky salesman?

It’s SO bad! People always like to bring up the fact that, as an actual game conTroller, it was pretty much a failure. But that means absolutely nothing to me. It was so far ahead of it’s time. And it looks so very rad. There was and still is, nothing else like it. There are certain inventions/creations that not only encapsulate the era in which they are created, but also change the landscape. And I think the Power Glove is one of those things. It was innovative, iconic and it’s radical to the max. I’m proud to use it as a symbol for my brand.

I can't thank Ross enough for stopping by and hanging out for a few minutes! As you can see from this interview, he is what a geek should personify: excitement, passion and love. And if you still are not convinced, head over to his store, pick up an item or two or thirty. I'm wearing my Lucas Barton shirt as I type this!


PS-Just to show you how serious I am about this movie, I'm heading down to Maryland for a few days, and what movie am I deciding to pack with me? That's right...

YAS KWEEN! Only pack the essentials: Clean Underwear, shirts, pants and the Wizard on dvd!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Non spoiler review of BvsS:

So I just got out of Batman vs Superman...


As I've explained many times in this blog, I'm a lifelong DC Comics/Batman/Wonder Woman/JLA fan. It's just the way it's been. I've been excited for Batman vs Superman since it got announced 3 years ago. And I've been hearing about how terrible this movie was going to be from nearly everyone. Was it going to fail? It could. Was it going to be great? It could. All I knew is I was excited to see two of my favorite heroes on the big screen, after all this time. For the past years, my excitement has grown and grown and blossomed into a full blown fanboy-boner. 

And ya know what? It's exactly what I was hoping it would be. And more. It was exciting, emotional, action packed, even a little humor here and there. Everything was a perfect blend. Nothing too overbearing. Still a little over the top and some intense stuff, but it's a comic book movie, what do you expect?

Now, DC Comics have always been darker and this movie was more mature than anything they've done previously. You can include any live action, animated movie or tv show in that. Yes. You heard me

Allright, let's begin shall we...

-Ok, the whole "Adding too many superheroes" thing?

Let's just begin with this. That needs to end. When you see how the other heroes (Cyborg/Flash/Aquaman) are introduced, you're going to be very happy. There's no way this isn't being done right.


I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this, but sorry,  is the best Batman since Keaton. And an even better Bruce Wayne. Even better than Christian Bale. He shows a more heroic side, a more 

-Gal Gadot:

This is the Wonder Woman we've been waiting for. Seriously badass. She nails it in the first time you see her appear as Wonder Woman.

-Henry Cavil:

He has a lot more to work with this time around and proves he can be Superman. Blows MOS out of the water. He's much more of a aware of who he is as a hero and what he can truly do. 


It was good, I liked it better than the Bat-Tumbler. It was a combination of every Batmobile we've seen and it looks pretty well.

-Best Alfred we've ever gotten

Jeremy Irons NAILS it. All I'm saying.

- Amy Adams was really Jenna Fischer. 

The way she acted and looked, she was playing Pam Halpert. Amy Adams is someone I enjoy, but I just didn't like her in the previous movie. She's much better in this one though.

-Nice subtle Batman 89 reference. 

When you see it, you'll get it.

-Jesse Eisenberg is NOT Lex Luthor.
I can't say I was thrilled with him in this. Jesse Eisenberg is a good actor and can ham it up at times in this but he's playing the Riddler or the Mad Hatter. If we had gotten someone else playing Lex, I would've said we have a candidate for the Riddler. Just bad casting in this case.

-I LOVED the Apokalypse/Parademon dream sequence.
Parademons, son. Parademons.

-Doomsday looked more like Killer Croc as he evolved. 

Along with Lex Luthor's odd casting, this is my biggest complaint. I thought the look was ok  at best. But his brute strength and recklessness reflected Doosmday well.

All in all, this movie erases any bad taste MOS may have left in your mouth. I implore any and all comic fans to see this. This was amazing and the new gold standard of superhero movies. This has been the DC Comics movie I've been waiting my whole life to see. If you're a huge fan of comics, you owe it to yourself. Endless references and homages to the DC Universe that will keep you happy.

Be prepared, because if this movie is any indication, the DCU is going to be a real fun series to see unfold! Bring on the next one!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Village Gate Toy Show March 2016 Report

Well, today was the big day. Another day that I chose to vend at the local toy show, "Village Gate Toy Show". I've written a few times before about my experiences about it, but really though, it's a toy show you HAVE to attend. It's not big and fancy like a Wizard World or even a minor league comic con. It's a down and dirty toy show where every vendor has the same exact spot, selling the same exact products, willing to negotiate so they don't have to lug a MIB Castle Greyskull back to their car. I'm a firm believer that's one of the charms of this show.
This show has been running strong way before I even moved to Rochester. It's pretty legendary amongst those in the region. Run by the owner of local toy store, Yankee Clipper House of Cards, this show takes over both floors of the rather compact sized Village Gate shopping center, a local independent business-filled shopping plaza. And while it may be modest on most days, today...forget it. It's like two vendor rooms at a Monster Mania show combined, with just as much traffic. Less B.O. but still, the amount of time you spend on your feet will eventually make you wish you had a hotel room just so you can nap halfway and then come back refreshed.

Hey, there's me! I had a lot of stuff I wanted gone. Like a lot. Like A LOT A LOT. See that Terrordrome on the floor? That was my biggest goal. If I could sell that, I'd be happy. It's my favorite playset of all time, but it's just such a hassle to keep in a two bedroom apartment. But, lo and behold, someone wanted it. So it's gone. Which is great. I have money and more room in my office.

For more toys that is. Heh heh heh...

So, aside from selling crap I don't have room for or need, chatting up with familiar faces and trading with fellow vendors, the real fun is in what I found right? Well, I said I would buy something small and only if I sold a certain amount. It couldn't exceed 15 dollars, and it had to be something I wouldn't be able to find on ebay for the comparable price. Well...mission accomplished...


I've been picking up pieces of the Real Ghostbusters collection since August when I found the Ghostbusters House for 6 dollars and I've picked up plenty of monsters and even an Ecto 1, but I've neglected to pick up the main Ghostbusters themselves. Thankfully, I already have an Egon, so picking these guys up for 12 dollars total was a no-brainer. And I can finally lug the Firehouse into my office and have the greatest setup known to man.

With the exception of Janine, the main guys are from the Power Pack Heroes set which replaced the famed proton packs with gimmicky GI Joe-like power packs. The designs were just so cool, I have to imagine that I'm not the only one who loves these late 80's/early 90's colors and schemes. Sure, I could've picked up the originals, but these guys had style and flavah! Also, I just love how they made Louis Tully look extra nerdy. I don't even think Saved By The Bell made their nerds look that pathetic.

The guy you see behind the group is known as "Terror Trash" from the Haunted Humans line. I was able to do a figure-for-figure trade with a nearby vendor for this gem!

First he starts off as a regular, most likely NYC trash man...

I bet his real name is "George" but his friends call him "Georgie".

But wait! There's more! With a few simple modifications he becomes...


No joke, this was one of my favorites as a kid.I went over my friend, the legendary Danny Thrift, and he had EVERY GHOSTBUSTER TOY. House, Car, vehicles, figures. Everything. For some reason this guy stood out when we'd play. I always chose him even if I was playing with the Ghostbusters themselves. I don't know what it was, but I knew I had to have him. And I never did. But I never forgot how awesome he was, so it made perfect sense to add him to my growing collection.

So, those may be the only figures I got but I still continued to make connections. Met some new people to trade with, found some interested parties in a few other things that I didn't bring, and got some more advice from the promoter, Tom. All in all, it was a great show and a great time!

The next show will be on Sunday December 4th. Which is good, because flea marketing season is coming and I'm probably gonna have a lot more stuff to sell. So come by, buy stuff, and help me find more Ghostbusters!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

5 VHS For A Great Saturday!

It's Saturday, it's 55 degrees outside and I have zero motivation to go anywhere today. With the windows open, the wind blowing in, I've got myself planted right on the couch. I've got a Diet Pepsi next to me and a bunch of fun VHS tapes stacked up on the TV stand. When it comes to weekends, I try to get as much done, but if I don't have a good movie going, I find it hard to get motivated. Maybe I'm lazy. Or...

No, I'm lazy. That's what it is. No way around it or sugarcoating it.

Anyway, while my weekends don't necessarily consist of nonstop vhs binging, it is a big part. I mean, I did have a plate of waffles for breakfast. So...there's that. See? Progress and productivity.

But the question stands: Just what tapes do I have rarin' and  ready to go while I lay in bed? Well, strap in, because I've got 5 tapes that will make even YOU want to call out!


Holy crap! This one. I didn't watch this til last October at the behest of my buddy over at SexyArmpit, Jay. I had always heard of this "sequel" to the much beloved Wizard Of Oz. Now, truth be told, I never really got into The Wizard Of Oz. Always thought it was kinda plain. But this is a much more interesting take. It tells the story of Dorothy(played by a young Fairuza Balk) returning to Oz and finding what a complete mess it's become. Once again, it's up to her to fix things and turn it around, but it's not as easy as she doesn't have her friends from before.

I know it's a much different movie and not even really a direct sequel, but I prefer this one over the original Oz movie. Yes, I'm sure it sounds weird but I've gotten into this more than I ever did the MGM classic. Not saying the original is bad. I can't. It's a beautiful movie. I just liked this more! It's definitely darker and has some more horror elements then the first, although, the first one has it's fair share of horror elements as well. But what's the best/most frightening part of this movie?




Return to Oz may be a "kids" movie so to speak, but it definitely has enough for adults to enjoy as well. I could do an entire article on this movie and some day I may. Until then, let the Wheelers live in your nightmares forever.


I love this movie. While part 5 is my favorite of the series, this is one of my top Elm Street sequels. And actually, my favorite poster art too. The poster art is very vague and mysterious that essentially tells you nothing about the movie itself. But then again, back then, a lot of horror movie posters were like that. Kinda added to why so many people loved that era so much.

This Elm Street revolved around Freddy coming back, killing Kristen Parker and taking on the new Elm Street heroine, Alice. Sure, it sounds like it was the same as the previous three movies, but it continued the trend of over the top kills, bigger Freddy gags and one liners, and more grander visuals. It was described by Robert Englund as "It's kinetic, it's energetic, it's the MTV Nightmare on Elm Street!". Hard to argue with that, especially coming from the man himself.


The only way to describe this movie is as a real steamy piece of crap. It is. Sorry. This animated movie was a true bore and the animation was downright atrocious. Sure it was 1995 but that's not an excuse or even a reason to receive such cheap animation. My assumption, without googling this, is this was only made to help hype up the live action Mortal Kombat movie(which still holds up!) so it got rushed. Heavily. You can tell little to no effort was put in, minus the voice acting. A lot of experienced voice actors were brought in, including voice acting legend Jim "Winnie The Pooh" Cummings as Shang Tsung. Sadly, the casting of this voice acting legend just wasn't enough to help make this watchable.

I probably shouldn't have chosen this one. It's just making me angry. Even more enraging, I spent a dollar on it. I feel like hiding under my blankets and moving on with my day.


Ahhhh...a little action to make up for that last vhs monstrosity. The sequel to "King Solomon's Mines", the hunky  Richard Chamberlain plays the iconic action literary hero, Alan Quartermain. This sequel was less than stellar and not as exciting as the first one, but still holds some charm. Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson plays the seducing Queen Sorais and even James Earl Jones as the evil, Muppet sounding Umslopogaas. Yes, I had to cut and paste that from IMDB. I'd just screw up the name no matter what.

Now, obviously you can see the Cannon Films logo up there, so you can tell all expenses were spared on the effects and script. Just imagine a LOT of green screen, a rushed script and not a lot of rehearsal time. Still, if you're like me, you LOVE Cannon films and it's your duty to own as many of these terrible pieces of crap as possible. Richard Chamberlain is a great actor, and admittedly not Indiana Jones, but he still made this role his own. Definitely worth the watch!





I'm suddenly 6 years old again. It's Saturday morning and I'm watching Real Ghostbusters. This is a surreal moment. 

So many Saturday mornings of my youth were spent watching this awesome cartoon. If you were a young child in the late 80s/early 90s, when Ghostbusters came on, you did NOT move. You grabbed your Ecto Cooler, a sandwich for lunch, your Real Ghostbusters figures and you sat your butt on that couch! And how could we not? It was so superbly written and beautifully animated. It was such a perfect companion to the movies. A ghost.villain was introduced every week gave us new and wild creatures that made us scared for the Ghostbusters wellbeing. It also added to the Ghostbusters lore and made this show even better. 

Confession: As much as I loved Real Ghostbusters, I have to confess, I didn't like Slimer becoming the "wacky pet/sidekick" of the show. I know, I know. Blasphemy. I always liked him as the nonstop eating machine that just slimed people. I get why he was made the face of the series and eventually given his own cartoon, but I just had a hard time accepting him even as a kid. That said, I LOVED his design!As far as designs, I prefer this one over the movie. It worked, I'll admit that. But, I just preferred it being a Ghostbusters-centric show. I'm sure I'm in the minority though. But then again, wacky, goofy creature/sidekicks was running rampant at that time, so I really shouldn't stay mad at Slimer himself. Besides. He's on Ecto Cooler boxes, yo.

Well, minus that Mortal Kombat tape, I'd say I have a great lineup. By the time lunch rolls around, I'll have enough motivation to get off the couch and make a sandwich. Now if only I had some Ecto Cooler and my old WWF Hasbro figures, I'd be set...