Monday, December 31, 2012

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries -The Mystery of the Haunted House (1977)

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
The Mystery of the Haunted House

This is the first episode of the Hardy Boys Mysteries, but they don't spend any time setting up the premise.  The show begins with a spooky theme song and weird opening title montage, featuring the Hardy Boys running through a maze of their own book covers.  Then we jump right into the mystery, and along the way we learn that the Hardy Boys are Frank and Joe, the sons of Fenton Hardy, a 20 year veteran of the New York City Police Department, who now makes a living as a private detective.  The boys are played by Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy, who are both quite likeable in their roles.  Their father has his office in the Hardy home, and a crime lab in his basement.  The two boys are chips off the crime solving block. They are skilled at fingerprinting and other crime-solving techniques, and have a way of nosing in to their dad's cases, and uncovering new mysteries on their own.
Motorcycle Hooligans
 As the episode begins, the boys follow their dad to a foggy cemetery in the middle of the night.  Later, the case brings them to a nightclub called "The Haunted House," which is horror themed club complete with coffins, characters in monster make-up, and a maze of mirrors.
A Creepy Hand on Joe's Shoulder
It's a decent episode, and I appreciate all the spooky horror touches it has, but overall, it falls a bit flat.   Still, it's only the first episode of the series.  It's forgivable if they haven't quite hit their groove yet.


Rating: 2½ Robots (out of 5)








More screencaps after the jump...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mondays on Misfit Robot Daydream

I'm going to be revamping this blog a bit for the new year.  Currently, it's just sort of random, some months I post every day, others just a couple of times, and the posts are just whatever thing I feel like writing about at the time.  I'm not really satisfied with that, and would prefer something a little more planned out and organized.  So, for the new year, I'm going to be posting regular features every Monday-Friday.

The fun begins this Monday.  From now on, every Monday I will be writing about retro and cult TV shows.  I'm beginning this feature by writing about all the Hardy Boys episodes from season one of The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries.

I also plan on adding a "TV" tab at the top of the web page, where you can see all my TV reviews in one place.

So, I hope to see you on Monday, Dec 31st (New Years Eve?  What am I thinking?) as I kick things off with my review of "The Hardy Boys in The Mystery of the Haunted House!"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Creepy Christmas Carols

Merry, Christmas, everybody!  I haven't had much time to spend on my blog the last few days, so today I thought I'd share my current playlist of Christmas music I'm enjoying.  I should be back later today, or maybe tomorrow, with a "proper" post, like a movie review, or something like that.

  1. Wesley Willis - Merry Christmas
  2. John Kassir - Intro to Album (Tales From the Crypt: Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas)
  3. Milton Delugg - Hooray For Santa Claus
  4. The Arrogant Worms - Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass
  5. Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Monsters' Holiday
  6. The Beach Boys - The Man With All the Toys
  7. The Arrogant Worms - The Christmas Song
  8. John Kassir - Deck the Hall with Parts of Charlie
  9. John Kassir - Juggle Bills
  10. The Surfaris - A Surfer's Christmas List
  11. Pee-Wee Herman - Christmas Medley
  12. Mr. Hankey - Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo
  13. John Kassir - We Wish You'd Bury the Missus
  14. Eric Cartman - O' Holy Night
  15. The Beach Boys - Merry Christmas, Baby
  16. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Hang Your Balls on the Christmas Tree
  17. Santa Claus is a Black Man - Santa Claus is a Black Man
  18. John Kassir - Moe Teitlebaum
  19. Star Wars Christmas - R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  20. John Kassir - A Christmas Card for the Cryptkeeper
  21. James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto
  22. Lou Monte - Dominick the Donkey
  23. The Arrogant Worms - Oh God, I'm Santa Claus!
  24. John Kassir - Christmas Rap
  25. Wild Man Fischer (duet with Dr Demento) - I'm A Christmas Tree
  26. Tiny Tim - Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year
  27. John Kassir - Intro to Cryptkeeper's Family Christmas
  28. Neil Innes - Dear Father Christmas
  29. John Kassir - Cryptkeeper's Family Christmas
  30. Ed "Kookie" Byrnes - Yulesville
  31. Northern Telecom - I Want An OC192 For Christmas
  32. John Kassir - Twas the Fright Before Christmas
  33. Louis Armstrong - Zat You, Santa Claus?
  34. The Enchanters - Mambo Santa Mambo
  35. John Kassir - 12 Days of Cryptmas
  36. Oscar The Grouch - I Hate Christmas
  37. The Arrogant Worms - Christmastime
  38. John Kassir - Intro to Revenge of the Cryptkeeper
  39. The Sonics - Santa Claus
  40. The Beach Boys - Auld Lang Syne
  41. Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
  42. Vince Guaraldi - Linus and Lucy
  43. Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon - The Night Before Christmas
  44. John Kassir - Revenge of the Cryptkeeper
  45. The Ramonas - Santa's Got a GTO
  46. Satan - Christmas Time In Hell
  47. Shonen Knife - Space Christmas
  48. John Kassir - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  49. The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
  50. Arthur Lyman - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  51. The Arrogant Worms - Christmas In Ignace
  52. John Kassir - Should Old Cadavers Be Forgot
  53. Bobby Helms - Captain Santa Claus
  54. Toni Stante - Donde Esta Santa Claus
  55. The Border Brass - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  56. Swingerhead - I'll Be Home For Christmas
  57. Weird Al Yankovic - The Night Santa Went Crazy
  58. Blink-182 - I Won't Be Home For Christmas
  59. Max Fagen - All I Want For Christmas Is A Disco Beat
  60. The Kinks - Father Christmas
  61. Sleigh Ride - Danger Woman
  62. Eric Cartman - Swiss Colony Beef Log
  63. The Dickies - Silent Night
  64. Chef - What The Hell Child Is This?
  65. Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas
  66. Joseph Spence - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  67. Skipper, the Burger King Cripple - It's a BK Christmas
  68. Beck - The Little Drum Machine Boy
  69. The Sonics - The Village Idiot
  70. Stan Freberg - Nuttin' For Christmas
  71. Leadbelly - Christmas is a Comin'
  72. Pee-Wee Herman - Don't Drink And Drive, Duh!
  73. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Come on Santa, Let's Have a Ball
  74. The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
  75. Sam Ulano - The Story Of Santa Claus
  76. The Fab Four - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  77. Jan & Dean - Frosty The Snowman
  78. The Kaisers - Merry Christmas, Loopy Lu
  79. Martin Mull - Santafly
  80. Cledus T. Judd - Santa Claus is Watching You
  81. Dora Bryan - All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle
  82. National Lampoon - Kung-Fu Christmas
  83. Cheech & Chong - Santa Claus And His Old Lady
  84. Spike Jones - Wouldn't it be Fun to be Santa Claus's Son
  85. Mel Tormé - Good King Wenceslas
  86. Fountains Of Wayne - The Man In The Santa Suit
  87. Daniel Johnston - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  88. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Santa's Doing the Horizontal Twist
  89. The Addams Family - We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  90. Kip Addotta - I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus
  91. Alain Marcoux - Noël j'ai mal au coeur
  92. Adolf Hitler - O' Tannenbaum
  93. The Three Suns - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  94. Fountains Of Wayne - I Want An Alien For Christmas
  95. Hal Mooney and his Orchestra - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  96. Esquivel - Frosty The Snowman
  97. The Jackson 5 - Up on the Housetop
  98. Ella Fitzgerald - Sleigh Ride
  99. The Broflofskis featuring Cartman - Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel
  100. Stan Freberg - Green Christmas
  101. Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
  102. Burl Ives - A Holly, Jolly Christmas
  103. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Santa's Going to Be Late Tonight
  104. Kyle Broflofski - The Lonely Jew On Christmas
  105. Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
  106. The Sonics - Don't Believe in Christmas
  107. The Moog Machine - Carol Of The Bells
  108. AC/DC - Mistress for Christmas
  109. Sy Mann - Jingle Bells
  110. Bob & Doug McKenzie - Twelve Days Of Christmas
  111. De La Soul - Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa
  112. Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope
  113. Little Marcy - Suzy Snowflake
  114. The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song
  115. Raymond Scott - Siberian Sleighride
  116. Reverend Glen Armstrong - Even Squeaky Fromme Loves Christmas
  117. Tenacious D - Things I Want
  118. Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
  119. The Three Stooges - Wreck the Halls
  120. Gayla Peevey - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
  121. Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Time is Here (vocal)
  122. Barry Gordon - Zoomah the Santa Claus from Mars
  123. Atomic Robot - Rudolph the Sexy Reindeer
  124. Billy May & His Orchestra - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo
  125. James Kochalka Superstar - Sleighride To Heck
  126. Senor Tonto Christmas Combo - Hooray for Santy Claus
  127. Mel Blanc - The Hat I Got For Christmas is too Beeg
  128. Homer & Jethro - Santa Claus, the Original Hippie
  129. John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir - Happy Christmas
  130. The Blue Hawaiians - Have Yourself A Quiet Little Christmas
  131. The Brave Combo - O Holy Night Cha Cha Cha

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

I don't have time to do a "proper" post today, so instead I'm going to share some photos of the heartwarming Christmas display I have set up in my home.  So Merry Christmas from me, Joshua "The Atomic Robot" Raymond, and all of my Christmas pals:  Skeleton Snowman, T. Rex, Beavis, Frankenstein's Monster, Butt-Head, Talking Silver Skull, Regular Snowman, and Santa Claus!




 






Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas (Part 3) - Beavis and Butt-Head Vinyl Figures from Funko


Atomic Robots (and Other Toys)
Review of Beavis and Butt-Head Vinyl Figures from Funko (2012)


At last!  The final day of my Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas celebration is here, with my review of Funko's Beavis and Butt-Head vinyl figures. 

On  Monday I reviewed Beavis and Butt-Head's first Christmas special, "A Very Special Christmas With Beavis and Butt-Head."  On Tuesday, I reviewed their second Christmas special, "Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas."  Naturally, this probably put you in the mood to buy Beavis and Butt-Head toys to give everyone on your Christmas list, am I right?  Will Funko's Beavis and Butt-Head vinyl figures make the perfect stocking stuffers, or will they be a lump of coal?  Read on to find out!
Beavis and Butt-Head in their boxes.

Packaging: 4 Robots

The packaging for these toys is very good.  The boxes are not sealed shut with tape, and everything slides in and out of them with ease.  That means you can take the toys out and play with them or display them, and then put them back in the box when you are done, without damaging the packaging.  That's perfect for people who want to play with their toys, and still want to collect them in the box.  This way you can do both.
Left: Beavis and Butt-Head packaging.  Right: Beavis removed from the box.
The boxes for Beavis and Butt-Head are basically the same, except one has Beavis on it, and the other has Butt-Head.  They both feature lettering inspired by the cartoon, and scenes from the cartoon on the back of the box.  The sides of the boxes have drawings of nachos on them for absolutely no good reason, which is really dumb, but totally in keeping with the spirit of Beavis and Butt-Head, and therefore AWESOME.
Beavis and Butt-Head figures.

Appearance(Sculpt/Paint/Likeness): 3 Robots

The sculpt for these figures is very good.  The figures look just like the cartoons from certain angles.  From other angles they look kind of off, but I think that is due to the design of the cartoons.  Beavis and Butt-Head are almost always drawn in a few distinct angles, and they weren't really designed with 3-D in mind.  I think the sculpt for these figures is about as good as possible.
Beavis and Butt-Head face off.
I also like the fact that even though both boys are dressed nearly identically in t-shirts and shorts, and they could have got away with using the same bodies in different colors and with different heads, they still sculpted each boy individually, with Beavis being skinnier than Butt-Head.
Examples of the paint defects on both figures.
For the most part, the different colored pieces are molded in different colors of plastic, with just a bit of paint added to for their shoes, socks, and the details on their faces.  Unfortunately, the paint job on both figures is pretty bad.  Both figures have really bad paint jobs on their shoes and socks.  The paint is just slopped on, not following the lines on the sculpt, and the paint is rubbed off on both figures.  The paint on their faces is also irregular, with the lines being too thin in some spots, and rubbing off in others.
Beavis and Butt-Head in all their glory.

Articulation/Playability: 3

When I bought these figures, I thought they were going to be vinyl statues, with no articulation.  It turns out they do have three points of articulation.  Both of their arms move up and down, and their heads can turn from side to side.  It's not much, but these toys are not being marketed as action figures, so I think it's okay for what they are.
Figure stand.

Accessories: 3

Both figures come with a base to stand on, which is good, because they are kind of top heavy with their giant heads, and would probably be falling over constantly without the base to stand on.
Left: Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas special graphics.  Right: Recreating Christmas special graphics with the toys.

Cool Factor: 4

It's Beavis and Butt-Head, of course it's cool!  What kind of weirdo freako doesn't like Beavis and Butt-Head?  Not this one!


Value: 4

I bought these online at gohastings,com, and paid about $9.00 each, including shipping.  I think that's a pretty good price for these figures.


Final Score: 3½ Robots


Rating: 3½ Robots (out of 5)


























Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Total Recall (2012)



Total Recall (2012) - Movie review plus screencaps:
Total Recall
The 2012 remake of Total Recall is an adequate movie.  It is not nearly as entertaining or imaginative as the original film from 1990, but it's fine for what it is, which is an excuse for lots of explosions, gunplay and fights.  The look of the film is mostly cribbed from Blade Runner (another film based on a story by Philip K. Dick).  It's a look that was very fresh and exciting when we first saw it in 1982, but thirty years, and countless imitations in other films and videogames later, it's a look that's lost most of it's ability to make you say "wow."
Streaky Light
Colin Farrell was actually pretty good in the film at first, playing a melancholy blue collar worker who yearns for something more in his life.  But as the film progresses his character quickly devolves into a generic action hero type, and in these scenes he seems kind of stiff and robotic.  The action scenes are all about getting the choreography of the fights done right, they don't really leave any room for acting.   Most of the action scenes (which make up, like, 90 percent of the film) play more like they're out of a hyper-real sci-fi videogame than something you believe could happen in real life.  The effect is like watching another person play a videogame, it might be interesting for a few minutes, but eventually you're going to want to pick up the controller and play it for yourself, not just watch it on a screen.
Future Patio
Ultimately, I can't recommend this film.  It's not terrible, but there are plenty of other choices out there that would be a better way to spend two hours of your life.  The original is a classic, pick that up instead.

Rating: 1½ Robots (out of 5)









Obama Bucks

Warning

Polluted City

Brain Scan Chair








Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas has been slightly delayed

Hi!  I was originally planning on posting my review of Funko's Beavis and Butt-Head vinyl figures today, as "Day 3" of my Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas posts.  But, I haven't finished writing the review yet, so instead I'm going to posting my review of the 2012 Total Recall remake that was released on DVD yesterday.  The Beavis and Butt-Head toy review should be ready tomorrow.

Thanks!
Joshua "The Atomic Robot" Raymond

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas (Part 2) - Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas

CREEPY CHRISTMAS

I'm right in the middle of a Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas here at Misfit Robot Daydream.  Yesterday, I reviewed "A Very Special Christmas With Beavis and Butt-Head," from 1993.  Today, I'll be reviewing Beavis and Butt-Head's second Christmas special, 1995's "Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas." Then, on Wednesday, I'll be reviewing the Beavis and Butt-Head vinyl toys from Funko.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas

Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas (1995) - TV review and screencaps:
Santa Butt-Head
Beavis and Butt-Head's first Christmas special, "A Very Special Christmas With Beavis and Butt-Head," was nothing but Beavis and Butt-Head commenting on Christmas videos for half an hour.  It was funny, but it felt like something thrown together at the last minute.  Two years later, Beavis and Butt-Head returned with a proper hour long Christmas special, "Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas."  This episode featured two animated shorts that parodied A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life, and some "Letters to Santa Butt-Head" segments, in which Butt-Head answered the show's fan mail.  They also added a few of the music video segments from the previous Christmas special to round out the show's running time.
Ebenezer Screw

Huh-Huh-Humbug

The first animated short is "Huh-Huh-Humbug," a parody of "A Christmas Carol," with Beavis in the place of Ebenezer Scrooge.  During the short, Beavis dreams he is in the future, where he is now the manager of BurgerWorld.  It's Christmas Eve, and all he wants to do is relax on his couch and watch a porno tape of "Ebenezer Screw" on his VCR.  Unfortunately, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future keep appearing on the screen every time a girl is about to show her boobs, frustrating Beavis to no end.  The ghosts try to teach Beavis the error of his ways, and it seems like they might have succeeded, as the dream ends with Beavis seeming to be on the cusp of some great revelation about his life.  But in the end, this is Beavis we're talking about, and great revelations are a bit beyond his abilities.  So he ends up thinking that the future will be cool, because he has a VCR and a porno tape.  For Beavis, that's "living the dream."
A World Without Butt-Head

It's a Miserable Life

The second short is "It's a Miserable Life," a parody of that musty old Jimmy Stewart chestnut, "It's a Wonderful Life."  In It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart plays a man who is contemplating suicide.  Then his guardian angel appears, and shows him how much worse the world would be without him, and convinces him to choose life.  In it's a Miserable life, Beavis and Butthead's guardian angel tries to do the opposite.  He tries to convince the boys to kill themselves, because the world would be so much better off without them.  Beavis is willing to do it if the angel pays him (the fact that he won't be able to spend the money when he is dead is a little to complicated for him to grasp), but Butt-Head needs some convincing.  So the guardian angel takes Butt-Head on a tour of an alternate reality where Butt-Head was never born.  It's a clean, happy, unspoiled world... but Butt-Head thinks it "sucks."

In both shorts, Beavis and Butt-Head are shown alternate realities by ghosts or angels, and asked to draw conclusions about them that they can apply to the real world.  In both cases, though, the ghosts and angels fail, because they give far too much credit to Beavis and Butt-Head's abilities to draw any conclusions beyond , "that's cool," or "that sucks."
Here Lies Beavis - He Never Scored
The episode also has two "Dear Santa Butt-Head" segments, in which Butt-Head, in a Santa Claus costume, reads fan letters, while Beavis stands by in a reindeer costume and is occasionally whipped by Butt-Head.  Butt-Head says, "these are, like, letters from real people and stuff," and I don't know if that's true, but they seem real.  As the segments go on, they focus more and more on women writing love-letters to Beavis, much to Butt-Head's frustration.  Both of these segments are followed by a few music videos from the 1993 Christmas special.
Porno Mags
This Christmas special is great, it's much more of a proper Beavis Butthead episode than the 1993 special, with the animated shorts in addition to the videos.  I thought the 1993 special was very funny, but "Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas" is a much more satisfying holiday special over all.  I think my ultimate Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas special would have been if they had incorporated ALL of the videos from the 1993 special, instead of just some of them.  In fact, I may just have to edit a copy together for my personal use.  But even without all of the music videos, I still recommend this episode to anyone looking for something funny, weird, and in questionable taste for the holidays.



Rating 3½ Robots (out of 5)







More screencaps after the jump...

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