Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toy Collection, Part 2: New, Used, and Vintage

Here's a few of my latest acquisitions for my toy collection:

Talking Batman Alarm Clock
I used to have one of these when I was three years old, it's one of my most vivid childhood memories. I had no use for an alarm clock at that age, but I loved it anyway, because I could hear Batman talking to me. Now, thanks to ebay, I have this again.

Mystery Incorporated Action Figures
 I found Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne in a bag of random toys at a local thrift store. They didn't have Scooby, but I bought it anyway. A few weeks later, I found Scooby in another random bag of toys at the same store. Now I have the complete set!

Venture Brothers Action Figures
A collection of new Venture Brothers action figures from Bif Bang Pow toys. On the left are two 3 3/4 inch Brock Samson action figures. The standard version in black, and the limited edition 2012 San Diego Comicon version in a blood-smeared white t-shirt.

Then I have an assortment of retro Mego-style 8 inch action figures/dolls. These are the way they used to
make action figures in the '60s and '70s: plastic dolls with removable cloth outfits. These days they mostly only make girl's dolls like this, like Barbie, or Bratz, for instance. But back in the day, they used to make boy's toys, such as the original G.I Joe, Captain Action, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mego's World's Greatest Superheroes and lots of others, in this style.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

House (aka Hausu) (1977)

House (aka Hausu) (1977) - Mini-review plus screencaps:
House (With Eyeball in it's Mouth)
Recipe for Hausu
Take 6 Japanese schoolgirls: Gorgeous (the cute one), Prof (the smart one), Melody (the musician), Kung Fu (the martial artist), Mac (as in sto-Mac-h... the fat one), Sweet (the nice one), and Fantasy (the daydreaming romantic). Deposit in a creepy old house. Add one spooky ghost cat. Sprinkle on a liberal dose of colorful, cartoony special effects. Stir in an ocean of blood and severed body parts, and let boil for 1 and a half hours. Now ready to serve.

Rating: 4 Robots (out of 5)

The Roving Eye
Cracked Mirror


Pretty Ghost House

There is the House!
 More screencaps after the jump...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Toy Collection, Part 1: Digging my toys out of my closet...

I have a random collection of toys (Mostly Batman and other super heroes) that has been collecting dust in my closet for years. Some of it is stuff I had when I was a kid, and others are things I've picked up here and there over the years. I've been thinking of taking up toy collecting as a serious hobby, so I decided to dig them out and see what I've got. I plan on picking up more toys at thrift stores, ebay, or new, and I'll be adding photos of them as I get them. Eventually, I plan on making some fun displays to show them off.
Silver Age Batman action figures

Die-Cast Batmobiles

A Batman Pez dispenser and a talking silver skull.

Toys from Batman: The Animated Series

Super Powers Collection. My Batman and Robin figures are missing from this pic, I don't know where I put them :(

Random Assortment of Toys: Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, Godzilla, Mr. T, Marvel Secret Wars, Spider-Man, Spawn, Chuck Norris, Darth Vader, and The Tick.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Martin (1977)

Martin (1977) - Movie review plus screencaps:

Martin is a vampire... or at least he thinks he is, in writer/director George A. Romero's 1977 film "Martin."


This is a really interesting movie.  The main character, Martin has been raised to believe that he is a vampire, that he must kill and drink blood to survive.  But Martin doesn't have fangs, supernatural powers, or any of the things you would normally associate with vampires.  Instead, he drugs his victims, and extracts their blood with hypodermic needles and razor blades.

"I'm always very careful with the needles."

 Martin takes no pleasure in his killing, only doing it because he thinks it's neccessary for his survival.  He comes from a strange, deeply religious  family of immigrants that believes he is an evil supernatural creature.  Martin, however rejects their religious beliefs, and considers his affliction to be biological.  Of course, the possibility exists that Martin doesn't need blood at all, and is just mentally ill victim of a very warped upbringing.

Mmm... Finger Lickin' Good!
Martin's Creepy Uncle (Not to be confused with "Colonel Sanders")

 Director George Romero does a great job of playing up both angles in this movie.  I never knew for sure if this was really a vampire horror movie, or a psychological thriller along the lines of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.  Martin has a lot in common with Norman Bates from Psycho.  Even though he is a murderer, I couldn't help but root for the guy.  He's portrayed as a generally passive, innocent, and lonely kid, who is as much a victim as the people he kills are.

Mother Nature's Son
 This is a pretty low-budget picture filmed in real locations around a working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh.  Romero uses this to his advantage though; the down-to-earth locations help to ground this film in reality.  Because the film is so down-to-earth, it became harder and harder to believe he really is a vampire as the film went on.  But, at the same time, I found I WANTED him to be a vampire more and more, because the thought that this sweet lonely kid who I've grown to emphathise with so much, could actually be a psychotic serial killer, is a tough pill to swallow.

Martin on the Prowl

In the end, Romero wisely decided to leave the question of whether or not he's a vampire unanswered and up to the viewers to decide.  I really like movies like this, ones that let you draw your own conclusions at the end.  Movies like this live on in my thoughts and imagination long after I finish watching them.   Hollywood has been on a horror movie remake frenzy the last few years, and they've already remade Romero's Dawn of the Dead and the Crazies.  It's probably only a matter of thime until they remake this one.  it should be interesting to see how bad they fuck it up.

Rating: 4 Robots (out of 5)

More screencaps after the jump...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) - TV special review plus screencaps:

I recently had the opportunity to use my time machine to travel back in time, and have my 6 year old self liveblog the Star Wars Holiday Special as he watched it being broadcast on TV on November 17, 1978...

7:56 PM
Wow! There's gonna be a Star Wars Christmas special on TV tonight! I can't wait! It's gonna start in a minute, I'm going to write about it as I watch it... this is going to be so cool!
TV Guide Ad
8:00 PM
It's starting!

Han Solo and Chewbacca are in the Millenium Falcon, pursued by Imperial forces.  They're trying to get Chewbacca home to his family for something called "Life Day."

8:01 PM
They're introducing the characters: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, Darth Vader... wow this is going to be AMAZING!

8:02 PM
Wait, Chewbacca is married? He has a dad named "Itchy," and a son named "Lumpy?" Seriously?

8:02 PM
Also starring... Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carrol, The Jefferson Starship, and Harvey Korman? I've got a bad feeling about this.
(Not Pictured: Jefferson Starship)

More after the jump...