Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kong : Skull Island review





Official synopsis:

"This compelling adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly star in a thrilling and original adventure that reveals the untold story of how Kong became King."


Gotta admit, before watching Kong, I never truly cared about King Kong. I just saw him nothing more than a giant ape who had his own Universal Studios ride. That's really it. I'm sure he's a nice monkey and all but I would've rather watched a slasher movie.

So once I heard so many of my friends rant and rave about this, I kinda wanted to see it. Once they started describing it as a "monster movie" then it became a must see. I think if I just abandoned the "giant ape story" mentality, I'd enjoy it. And I was right.

This feels more of a survival-action adventure flick and honestly, Kong is not the main character. No, Kong plays more of a background character and an enforcer of Skull Island itself, defending it's citizens from other monsters. When you get right down to it, you realize Kong is misunderstood from the getgo. While you can classify him as a "monster", he's really the defender. Like any good hero, Kong lets the human characters take the spotlight in this movie.

As someone who was never a fan, this movie opened my eyes to a whole new side of Kong and I'm so happy to see it. I never thought I'd fall in love with Kong as a hero but I am here today and this movie certainly helped. I'm seeing Kong in a whole new light and I'm very excited to see his future movies and adventures. I predict gigantic things in the future for this franchise and hope it continues sooner than later...

After all...how long until a King...meets a God? ;)

 If you're in the mood for a fun action movie, definitely pick this up. It was a nice teaser for the summer 2017 blockbuster season and as I mentioned above, I see big things in the future for sequels and installments.


-Chad




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast, Strange Kids Club and Other Fun Stuff!

Well, it's been a fun summer for me so far! A lot of big things are happening and I really wanna share them with you!


STRANGE KIDS CLUB MAGAZINE!


One of my biggest goals in writing was always to get something published. I just always saw that as the holy grail for most bloggers and writers. Or maybe it's just me. Either way, I've wanted to see my name in print, and now, thanks to Rondal of StrangeKidsClub.com and his accompanying magazine, I made that goal happen. I wrote a fun article (with great art by Phil Postma) comparing MOTU characters to Universal Monsters! I'm super stoked about this. It came out even better than I had hoped! Pick one up at The StrangeKids Club store! 



The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast:



I can't believe I haven't posted about this. It's been a very busy few months, so I'm not surprised.


I'm a huge fan of podcasting and I've always wanted to do one of my own. I just kinda got tired of waiting on others to either schedule a podcast or ask me to join theirs. So I took matters into my own hands and formed the HORROR MOVIE BBQ PODCAST! Yes, much like this site, subjects can vary from My Pet Monster to GI Joe to The Lost Boys and everything in between! The response so far has been favorable so I certainly hope to make more shows that people enjoy! The latest episode is all about the Lost Boys and I'm joined by Stacy of Stay Still Reviews, my cohost of the Terror Twins Podcast and it was a real hoot to do! The link is above in the header!




MOTU Month:

If you heard on the podcast by now, you've heard the big news: August is MOTU Month on the blog and podcast. Yes, I'll be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the live action Masters of the Universe movie, the 15th anniversary of the 200X series, and everything in between. It should be a fun month. I'm a huge MOTU fan and I hope to bring some fun entries and discussions! Be there!


I've got a few more things up my sleeve, but I don't wanna reveal all of it just yet. Gotta leave some mystery to make you guys keep coming back, donchaknow!


-Chad

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrating A Real American Hero!

Happy 4th of July, everyone! I hope today is filled with fireworks, hot dogs and burgers, that tasty chocolate pie your aunt always brings to the cookout and of course, cannonballs in the pool! Don't get me wrong, it's a great way to truly ring in the summer, but for me to celebrate 4th of July, I can't help but think of a Real American Hero! A man who has helped vanquish the evil doers and send them back to their homelands. A man who knows the true value of patriotism and all it means. I can only mean...SGT. SLAUGHTER!!!!


Sarge was a pretty popular wrestler in the 80s and helped destroy the evil efforts of many evil foreigners like The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Boris Zukhof and Kamala. But after a while, he left  wrestling for greener pastures and would gain fame via other ways...



While he beloved in the wrestling world, I have to imagine that more people came to know him more thanks to his involvement in GI Joe. I mean, there's no one who was around in the 80s and 90s that doesn't remember Sgt Slaughter shilling these awesome toys! He'd appear in the cartoon, the movie, in commercials and of course, he had his own toy!

While Snake Eyes was the most popular figure to come out of the line, the big man was the one that brought the line the most attention. His enthusiasm for it really shown through. Otherwise, there's no way we could believe that some giant of a man from North Carolina could truly destroy Cobra. If those snakes were gonna send Serpentor out into the world to destroy us, we could rely on the big man to take ol' snakebrains down a few pegs! But that's not the only way Sarge would pay the bills. No sir. Our hero was no fool, in fact he was a business genius. He knew how to cash in on his own brand. In fact, I tend to remember a GI Joe birthday party in 1989 with him front and center on all the decorations.



Yes, I dressed in clothes Weird Al would scoff at.


In between cracking Cobra skulls, the man with the iron chin would also take on other roles. He made a video where and his corps would battle Bigfoot in a tug-o-war, appear on the Super Mario Brothers Super Show and...yes, much like Rodney Dangerfield, Mr. T and even Freddy Krueger, Sgt. Slaughter even put out a novelty album! In 1985 we were blessed with "Sgt. Slaughter Rocks America" of absolutely ridiculous, yet oh so patriotic songs!





He became one of the most popular icons in the 80s and continues to be quite the popular attraction at minor league baseball games, wrestling and comic conventions and is really one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I've met the man twice and I can never run out of items for him to sign and always hop at the chance to get another photo with him! If you ever get the chance to meet, do so!







It seemed the 80s were a time of larger than life characters and those on tv were the biggest! Hulk Hogan and Mr. T are two perfect examples, but few maintain and embrace that persona to this day like the Sarge. He's proud of all he's accomplished, he loves meeting fans, and loves hearing stories about the impact he had on us.


So as yous it outside with a nice, cold beer and a burger, remember all the times Sgt Slaughter beat up Cobra!


AND THAT'S AN ORDER!


-Chad

Monday, July 3, 2017

7 VHS To Ring In Summer!

Summer is here and I am super stoked! Now, I'm a big fan of fall and winter, but in recent years, Summer has become an unlikely hero. Also, if you're like me, nothing sucks more than walking outside and immediately becoming drenched with sweat. I mean, one step in this hot weather, I turn into Swamp Thing and I am absolutely useless to the rest of society. Although, nothing beats a hot summer day than a delicious orange soda! And summer barbecues and cookouts, yard sailing, mini-golf, hitting the beach, and fun road trips, how can I not enjoy the summer?

Well...I'll get to those eventually, but until then, I have the day off and want lay on the couch and watch more VHS. I just don't see a better way of kicking off my summer than watching crap no one else in their right mind would actually consider spending the day watching.

Oh, I should've mentioned, very few of them if any actually have anything to do with Summer. I mean...that's kind of my fault for false advertising. I'll buy you a Pepsi when I see you. We cool?

ROYAL RUMBLE 1995:


In 1995, pro wrestling was absolutely at the bottom of the entertainment barrel. Nobody under the age of 12 really cared about wrestling. I can tell you of 3 kids in my school who truly liked wrestling and at that point, even they were questioning they're loyalty. It was just so silly and over the top cartoony that I got tough to watch at times. Sure enough, the 1995 Royal Rumble is a great exhibition of that nonsense. For those who don't follow a sport where grown men cosplay as Valiant Comics characters and fall around on the floor, The Royal Rumble is a gigantic match featuring 30 WWE wrestlers beating the hell out of each other in one ring. On this night, every bad gimmick at the time came racing into the ring to be beaten up. Mantaur (A moose or something), Aldo Montoya  (Dude who wears a jockstrap on his head), The Smoking Gunns (two smilin' cowboys, yeehaw!), Men on A Mission (goofy rappers in giant purple outfits) Duke The Dumpster Droese (a garbageman) and Henry Godwinn (pig farmer) just to name a few.

It's a pretty bad Royal Rumble match and it's like watching a bunch of Nicktoon characters beat each other up. But this was also the beginning of Shawn Michaels big main event push which lead him to become one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. And, hey, Pam Anderson shows up too, so that's a nice payoff!

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6 JASON LIVES:


It's been recorded through the annals of history that I used to be the biggest Jason hater on the planet. It's true. I always found the Friday the 13th series to be absolutely boring. But in the past few years, I've gained a whole new respect for it.

While I always hated Jason as a character, Friday The 13th part 5 and 6 were always two I could get into. Part 5, while not the most popular of the series amongst it's most loyal fans, was always my favorite due it to being so different. Part 6 was always a fave too, mainly because I loved the way Jason looked in the movie and the way he was resurrected in the beginning. But while watching Jason Lives earlier this year, I fully came to the conclusion that this is my favorite Friday the 13th film afterall. The kills, the lines, the characters, the black humor and the Universal Monsters-esque feel. It's a super solid flick and just shows everything great about 1980's horror. Not just a great entry for a lazy afternoon but also a great pick for a Halloween marathon!


SNORKS:

I know what you're thinking: "Chad, Snorks suck, Smurfs are better, fam". Well, little care do I. While both are extremely similar, I've always been a Snorks guy. Sure, Smurfs had their charm, but the Snorks were more fun. Plus, they were underwater! I always loved underwater cartoons and tv shows, so that certainly gave them the edge by default. Snorks were a fun show and were popular enough to get their own Roy Rogers kids meal promotion, of which I had several pvc figures from.

Oh, yeah, and unlike Smurfs, they had more than one female...

This tape serves as an early "Best Of", containing 8 of the favorite episodes of Snorks fans. Hannah Barbera would release a few others like Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Smurfs and more. Now, obviously, Snorks have been released on DVD but this is a nice tape to have when I need a quick zap back to my childhood!

TOY SOLDIERS:



Oh yeah! I saw Toy Soldiers as a kid when my brother rented it one rainy Saturday afternoon and I think I was a little too young to watch it, but what's done is done. I had always been on the hunt for this as I've wanted to revisit it since 1992 and thankfully I found it at an old video store. I had always been worried about whether or not it held up and was just a one time view, but I gotta say it holds up just fine. It's kind of a mixture of GI Joe and Red Dawn. A bunch of misfits are in charge of saving their school from an invading Colombian terrorist. A great cast including Louis Gossett Jr., Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan and Andrew Divoff, great writing, and great action.

I am very happy I was finally able to get my hands on this and watch this and I implore you to search it out, because it's just that darn good. It's definitely another great movie that deserves a bluray release! Hopefully someday!


LIFEFORCE:


You thought I'd do another list without a Cannon movie? Come on...


Take about 47 ideas. Write them down. Put them in any haphazard order possible. Now turn that into a ballistic movie that just takes scifi and horror onto another level. Now, as many times as I've seen this movie, I still can't really figure out the best way to describe it. First thing you need to know is that it's a Dan O'Bannon story, so ya know it's going to have great scifi and horror elements. That's a given. Then let's add Tobe Hooper as the director, ya know it's gonna be a fantastic visually. Now, let's throw in a gorgeous brunette who spends some time in the film in the nude. Space vampires, astronauts, weird bat-creatures and a whole amount of insane madness make this movie quite the memorable viewing experience.

Sold? I hope so. This was one of the few Cannon Films that people can point to and say "when they did something right, they did it soooooo right....". And they'd be...well...right!



EDDIE SPUHGHETTI'S HALLOWEEN COMPILATION (2014):


A treasure of a tape indeed! So there is a great story behind this. Back in 2014, my dear friend Eddie of HereLies.com sent me this magnificent tape shortly before my back surgery and it got me through the pain of pinched nerves and excruciating pain that left me unable to walk. This tape contains 6 hours of retro movies, cartoons, tv shows, commercials and other fun Halloween goodies from the 80s and early 90s. If I'm ever in the Halloween mood and my pumpkin spice candle ain't doing it for me, I can throw this in...

Eddie has also done 2 Christmas compilation tapes and another Halloween tape, but I'm going out on a limb and saying it's my favorite. Rumor has it, he's even revisiting this with expanded content! That will definitely a must own tape! Keep your eyes on the Here Lies Youtube channel (posted above) for more updates and way to order one!


THE WEIRDO:

Now THIS is why I have spent so much of my life hunting for VHS!

A few weeks ago, I visited family in MD and spent a good portion of my Saturday morning digging through someones VHS stand at the local flea market. I walked away with a lot of great treasures but none more greater than this! And there it was, just collecting dust and sandwiched between a copy of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and Baby Boom.

Put out by Rae Don, a video distributor known for low budget garbage like Troma's Chillers (one of my all time favorite anthologies), this seems to be a big mixture of Psycho, Bullies and maybe a little Halloween...? A psychotic youngster, Donnie, has trouble fitting in until he falls in love with the town cutie (played by future voice actress Jessica Straus in one of her earliest roles) but still finds himself at the mercy of local bullies and even his own family.

Ok, I kinda wanna review this in full later on so I don't wanna go too much into detail, but I gotta tell you, there is a LOT of slapping in this movie. Donnie slaps his mom, girlfriend, grandma, I think other peoples girlfriends too. A lot. I mean it's not a one time deal where you're like "oh...crap, dude, that's not nice". No, it's constant. Like a Western from the 1940s amount of slapping. I swear, I saw more slapping in this movie than while playing that old Slap Happy game.

Tapes like The Weirdo are the kind of tapes I have always gravitated to VHS as a love and a hobby and is right up my alley. Something I've never heard of, something that will most likely never be released on dvd or bluray (Although, Deathrow Gameshow proved me wrong. Thanks Vinegar Syndrome!) and a movie so cheesy that I can pop it in no matter what and still get a laugh. Believe me, this movie definitely provides laughs in spades. Maybe not on purpose but it'll still get you giggling like a moron. If you ever find this out in the wild, pick it up, and brace yourself for some slap happy action!



Not a bad group of tapes to waste the day away with, huh? I just wish I had a Slurpee now, but I'm too comfy under my blanket. Eh. Maybe next time...


-Chad