Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Month of Horror continues with Poltergeist

"They're here!"

Need I say more?  This is the movie that I'm sure scared the crap out of a lot of people in 1982...especially if you had children.

If the movie isn't frighting enough as is, then maybe all of the real world things that took place to the cast and crew after the movie was filmed is enough to effectively creep you out. This is an absolute must see for any horror fan.

Month of Horror continues with Day of the Dead (1985)

Yes, another movie I had to put the year in parenthesis after the name.  This was George A. Romero's last movie in his original trilogy following Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.  This is probably my least favorite of the 3, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a good movie.

Just about the entire movie takes place in an old underground military bunker somewhere in Florida.  A small group of scientists and military are the country's last hope at finding a cure.  One of the scientist makes a break through discovery with a captured zombie he affectionately calls "Bub".

Being "trapped" in one place for the entire movie really slows down the movie a lot as there isn't a lot of variety in the scenery.  Again, the movie isn't bad - it just wasn't as entertaining for me as the 2 movies that proceeded it.  The special effects are quite good as you can see below...

fast forward to about the 2:25 mark for the gore!

...but the dialog is atrocious.  I can't remember a movie where I've heard the "f-bomb" dropped so many times!  If you've already seen Night and Dawn then you at least have to finish off the trilogy and watch Day of the Dead.  I'll let you form your own opinion.

I wonder what ever happened to Bud?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Month of Horror continues with My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Long before I heard of the awful 3D remake I discovered this 80's slasher gem online.  I originally had a hard time tracking down the DVD.  Apparently this movie originally was given an X rating by the MPAA.  That didn't sit too well so the movie had to be heavily edited for it to get an R rating.  I've seen still images of the cut scenes and they aren't any more graphic than other movies released around the same time.

You probably wouldn't recognize any of the names attached to this film...I know I didn't, but it doesn't matter.  The film takes place in the fictional town of Valentines Bluff in Novia Scotia about a killer that took the lives off several miners and couples on Valentine's Day several years ago.  You see there was an accident at the local mine 20 years ago and a miner by the name of Harry Warden was the only survivor.  The man in charge of the mine that fateful night was off at a Valentine's Day party.

Fast forward to the "current" time and the killer is now more of a urban legend.  That is until a box of chocolates containing a bloody heart shows up in town.  It's been 20 years since Valentine's Day was celebrated and the young people are eager to throw a big party.  Much to the chagrin of the sheriff the party goes on as planned.  That is when the bodies start to hit the floor.

This is one of those movies that deserves being watched.  Most people probably didn't know when the 3D remake was released a few years ago that it was a remake.  Sometimes well known actors and slick special effects just can't top an original classic.

Month of Horror continues with Cold Creek Manor

OK, technically this is a thriller or suspense and not a horror flick...but it gets you to the edge of your seat.

As the trailer says, have you ever wondered what went on in your house before you lived there?  I saw this movie in the theater in 2003 and I loved it.  The premise of the movie is simple.  After a couple's son has a close call while living in the big city the family moves out to a rural part of town and falls in love with this old estate house.  As they move in and start to renovate the old house the father (Dennis Quaid) discovers pictures and information about the former family living in the house.  As they try to research the history of the family and the house they start to get weird vibes from the locals.  The more he discovers the more things start to get intense.  This was a well written and well acted movie in my opinion.  Worth a rental.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Month of Horror continues with Killer Klowns from Outer Space

I've heard that some people are scared of clowns. I've never quite understood that. Perhaps it's because they envision the clowns to be like these klowns from the 1988 popcorn horror flick?

I can't help but to smile as I rewatch this movie. It's so campy, yet so much fun. The humor in the movie is great, whether it was intentional or not. Special effects, while some are now dated, are pretty good. They did an excellent job making the clowns klowns pretty creepy looking. This movie won't wow you with superb acting (though it does feature Suzanne Snyder of Night of the Creeps and Return of the Living Dead II fame), or amazing you with cutting edge special effects, but it will entertain you. This is one of those movies that personifies the 80's and one that won't likely ever be remade.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Transformers 3rd Party: Mech Ideas - Piston DC-03P

Early last year a few images surfaced online from a new 3rd party company, Mach 5, showing off their version of the Wrecker from IDW's comics, Ironfist.

I was really excited about the upcoming release and had planned on pre-ordering it as soon as they went up...then there was silence. No updates, no nothing. I still don't know what exactly happened to Mach 5, but in the end Mech Ideas ending up releasing this figure. Thanks to the good people at Captured Prey, I was finally able to own both versions of this toy, Gauntlet and Piston.

Now while I was excited about both versions of this toy, I'm starting off with Piston. He's an upgraded version of the Decepticon G1 Triggerbot, Crankcase. I figured by the time I get my post up plenty of other people and YouTuber's will have already shared Gauntlet.

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Mech Idea's first releases were Apex & Geminus (Top Spin and Twin Twist) and they were part of the Demolition Crue. As you can tell from the packaging, both Piston and Gauntlet are apparently a part of the Crue as well. While the box is nice, it's a little bland for my tastes.

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Sorry guys - this isn't meant for whiners children

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Once you open up the box you'll find your respective figure nice and snug in a form fitting plastic tray, reinforced with a cardboard frame if you will. Also in the box you'll find an instructions sheet and a trading card size tech specs.

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Going in I knew these figures would be small - and they are - but I'm OK with that. The original G1 Crankcase was a small toy so to me at least it makes sense that Piston here is like a small deluxe and not voyager size.

I think this figure looks great...in robot mode. We'll get to the vehicle mode next. For a short and rotund figure he seems to have a good bit of articulation. He has articulation points in his shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees. You can also slightly move his head and toes. His legs and feet are sort of posed with a wide stance as you can see above.

Plastic quality is great. As time as gone on it seems more and more of these 3rd party companies are doing a better job in the quality department.

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One of my favorite things with this figure is the head sculpt. I absolutely love it. I love the green/blue big eyes and the yellow paint on the face makes the whole head stand out. Compare it to his G1 self and you'll that Mech Ideas did a great job capturing the original likeness.

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While in robot mode Piston favors his G1 self, in vehicle mode some liberties have been taken. No more does he look like an off road SUV type vehicle. Now he's more of an armored vehicle. I'm going to say this is because of Gauntlet (not-Ironfist).

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For this reason alone I don't care for the vehicle - for Piston. As for Gauntlet it makes sense, thus it looks great. Piston comes packaged with two dark blue guns. These can be pegged into his roof attachment as if his guns had been deployed on the G1 toy.

It's not a bad vehicle mode, in fact I like the compactness of it. It just doesn't fit the character in this case.

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Now I can't bring up his G1 toy without a few proper comparison pics, can I? If you measure the height of the original toy from the backpack, then these two are nearly the same height. However as you can tell Piston is much stockier.

Originally I didn't catch the significance of the color blue that was used for the headlights of the vehicle. Notice the two small blue stickers on the chest of the G1 toy? It's little details such as these that I simply love. It shows that some thought was put into the release.

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The instructions showed that Pistons' guns could be positioned on his shoulders as if they had been deployed like the original G1 toy. However I could not figure out how to do that. I didn't see any peg holes for the guns on either side of his head. I did manage eventually to simply rest the guns on his shoulders to mimic the G1 look, but this was well after I had snapped these images for the post.

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Overall I really like this toy. In robot mode Piston retains the look and feel of his G1 self along with the addition of modern action figure technology. While the figure is on the smaller size, thankfully so is his price. At the time of this posting both Piston and his mold mate, Gauntlet, can be had at Captured Prey for only $29.00. In this day and age of $100 a pop 3rd party toys, it's refreshing to see that some figures can still be a little nicer to your wallet.

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Piston photo IMG_1098_zps6d51a59e.jpg     Piston photo IMG_1099_zpsc1dcddf1.jpg

Featured eBay Auction of the Week - Mighty Micron Team

It's been awhile since I've featured an eBay auction, but I've got a good one here for you today. If you are a fan of Mini-Cons / Microns then check these out.


pictures courtesy of TFW2005.com

To celebrate the launch of the Revenge of the Fallen line in Japan, several stores gave away free exclusive Microns with a minimum purchase of 2,000 yen. The Mighty Micron Team. I took me awhile to piece these three little figures together as it seemed there just weren't as many floating around on the secondary market. Perhaps poor ROTF toy sales in Japan helps prove my theory of their scarcity?

Mighty Bull, Mighty Dozer and Mighty Stra - Microns that first made their debut in the Micron Booster series. These toys were never some of my favorite molds, but I love the orange deco on Mighty Dozer and the blue police car deco used for Mighty Stra.

Since I made the tough decision to let the majority of my Mini-Con / Micron collection go several months ago, these are some of the last of the campaign Microns I have left. I've had these in my eBay store for awhile, but decided to move them to the auction format for the next 7 days. I've also dropped my original asking price and made the opening bid only $74.99.

If you're not interested in these, but know someone that may be please pass it on. I'm gearing up for a local show next weekend (Saturday, 10/25/14) with lots of other Transformer goodies. Some of these items I may offer online via a "pre-sale" next week. Any unsold items at the show will be added to my eBay store.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Month of Horror continues with Toolbox Murders (2004)

Continuing my ignorance of movies I didn't know were remakes is the 2004 version of Toolbox Murders.  Directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) I had to give it a try.

From what I can tell this version stands heads and shoulders above the 1978 film of the same name.  The movie stars Angela Bettis (May) who moves into this old building (the Lusman building to be exact) currently under major renovations.  At this time we are also introduced to the other residents.  These include Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to even a small role by Sherri Moon Zombie.  It doesn't take Angela long to realize this house is full of evil as the residents are slowly knocked off - usually killed by power tools.  The very creepy and odd maintenance man is the obvious choice, but that idea is quickly discarded as the movie carries on.  For the most part the movie is really good.  There is a lot of mystery about the house and the strange markings that are found all over the property.  The killer isn't revealed until later in the movie so until then there is a lot of guessing.  Some of the kills are very clever and the special effects pretty good.  I was entertained from the very beginning to the end.  Recommended if you are a fan of slashers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Transformers Generations: Optimus Prime & Roller

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When Hasbro kicked off the Thrilling 30th anniversary of Transformers, the Generations line featured these new Legends sized two packs. Optimus Prime & Roller and Bumblebee & Blazemaster were the first two released. I reviewed Bumblebee some time ago and meant to get around to Optimus, but he just got buried in everything I was working on. One thing this blog has taught me is not to be overly aggressive with the amount of content I work on at any given time. As I type this I still have nearly 1.5K pictures that I've uploaded and need to edit for future reviews!

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I love the Legends scaled figures so I'll buy just about any character they release. Almost. This Optimus was a must buy for me, even if he didn't come with Roller. Combine the fact that Roller actually transforms and is essentially a Targetmaster just made the deal even sweeter.

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I've mentioned before that I'm WAY behind on my IDW comic reading, but I know this version of Optimus is based on the current comics. They captured his comic likeness pretty well. This toy is like a smaller, simplified version of ToyWorld's Orion figure. His chest can even open to reveal where the Matrix would normally be.

Optimus features ball joint articulation and is quite poseable. He comes with a large black rifle. As I mentioned earlier, Roller can also double as a Targetmaster weapon.

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Roller looks more like a all terrain SUV than his G1 self. I believe at least one 3rd party company has made a transforming Roller toy before, but is this the first official Hasbro release where Roller has a robot mode? The aforementioned robot mode is very simple. Transformation is simple. You basically stand the vehicle up and pull out the arms. Roller is about the size of a modern day Mini-Con.

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Roller makes a nice double barreled Targetmaster gun. Who would ever think that? In gun mode Roller is just about the same size as Optimus in robot mode. The peg you see on the top is for Optimus' gun. If Roller alone isn't enough firepower to take down the Decepticons, Optimus can add his own gun for a little extra omphf.

These toys are a lot of fun and they scale well with the Generations Metroplex that was released in 2013. To date Hasbro keeps releasing new two packs with characters such as Cosmos, Gears, Swerve and even Shrapnel. This mold has also been repainted as Nemesis Prime and was given Blazemaster, repainted as Spinister.

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Month of Horror continues with The Burning

I can't exactly remember how I found out about this little known 80's slasher flick.  It may have been when I was looking up something on Tom Savini (Friday the 13th) as he helped with the special effects.  The movie was partially written by Harvey Weinstein in 1981.

I had my doubts going in, but I gotta say this one surprised me at how good it was.  The movie centers around an alcoholic summer camp caretaker by the name of  Cropsy that is seriously burned and disfigured by a group of teenage boys.  5 years later he returns to the same camp to exact his revenge.  Tom Savini's special effects are top notch in this movie.  The killer's weapon is a pair of ordinary garden sheers.  Let me tell you though Tom found some excellent and realistic ways to impale and kill the kids and counselors.  While the movie has a pretty good story and the acting isn't half bad (you get to see a young Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame) the movie does fall prey at times to the 80's slasher cliche - pretty girl + boy + woods = hanky panky which = victims for the killer.  That aside this was a fun ride and worth a watch if you've never seen it before.  I believe you can currently find it on Netflix.