Wednesday, December 30, 2009

RIP Steve "Dr. Death" Williams

I just heard Steve "Dr. Death" Williams lost his battle to cancer.  he was from Lakewood, Colorado and I had the pleasure of seeing him wrestle in person a few times.

here he is picture with the late Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy with both the NWA and WCW World Tag Team title belts, something that will never happen again.

here's where I got the info.

JQ #8 The Robot Spy

how cool are the monsters of Jonny Quest?  not every episode featured a monster, but a good chunk of the series did.  let's relive one of the most famous ones now.

does this scene look vaguely familiar? a UFO has just landed and Dr. Quest and Race Bannon are going out to take a look at the strange light behind the dunes.

it has landed behind an unidentified scientific/military base somewhere in a desert, I'm guessing either New Mexico or Arizona, since neither place got much notice in the 1960s.

it's been sent by that nefarious agent against good, Dr. Napoleon Zin.  I just learned that was his first name, after watching this cartoon my entire life.  how about that?

Dr. Zin was Dr. Quest's main rival, the only foe to appear four times throughout the series.  no, I don't count any of the remakes, since I've never seen them.  I've heard he had daughters show up as well in the last series.

he's a pretty standard "yellow peril" menace, though hardly as stereotyped as Fu Manchu or The Yellow Claw.  he never did "meet" any of the Quest Team in person, oddly enough, but it makes him pretty darn smart- he could never get caught if he wasn't out "in the field" if you will.

finally, the titular robot spy.  this was a darn scary thing to see pop out of a UFO, I'll tell you what, especially to a kid.  it's silent and creepy, with the one red eye (you would think a genius like Dr. Zin would want two eyes, so he could see stereoscopically, but one eye just looks so much cooler, right?) and those long spidery legs.

it's an amazingly simple and effective design.  I think this is where my fear of arachnids was born, since it's usually called a kind of "robot spider".  top it off with those weird feelers which can immobilize a person and you have one fearsome robot.  definitely worthy of being Dr. Zin's most famous episode.

we'll get to more monsters later on.  Bandit doesn't count.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monster of the Week- Gorosaurus

I think I was about 7 or 8 when I first met Gorosaurus.  it was a summer kiddie matinee show at the Trojan Theater in Longmont, CO, and I was there to watch King Kong Escapes.  had no idea this movie was based on the Rankin-Bass cartoon at the time, I just knew it would have King Kong in it.  this would be the second time I would get to see King Kong on the big screen, the first being King Kong vs Godzilla.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


why isn't this cool show out on DVD? you figure it would be prime material for gen Xers to spend their money on.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

he's a Skull Man...

The Skull Man is an interesting cartoon so far.  based on Shotaro Ishinomori's creation, it's a good looking cartoon, that's for sure, but it's not animated in his style.

I'm not one much for dark and gritty shows, but every so often I like watching one.  it's only 13 episodes long so that helps.

Skull Man was the basis for Kamen Rider in a roundabout way.  I gotta say I prefer the Riders in their live action form, way more exciting that way.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a Demon of a book!

I got a wonderful book for Christmas this year- Beating the Devil, which is all about the making of one of the best horror/monster movies ever made.

it's written by Tony Earnshaw, and until they have a seance and call up the artists who have passed away, there will be no finer source about this book.  ever.

it has everything you would want to know about the movie.  some people would like to have this sort of thing on the DVD, but I'm one of those luddites who would rather read a book than read material off a tv or computer screen.  much more leisurely and much less eyestrain.

it's really well written and contains tons of interviews and archival history from the movie and from England as well.  it also makes me want to read the source material for the movie, the short story "Casting the Runes" (which made Dana Andrews eat prunes, I've heard tell).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Giant Robo vs Cats

got this Giant Robo toy several years ago at the local comic book shop.  it moves and even came with a rather out of proportion Johnny Sokko figure.  Johnny wouldn't stand up on the carpet so he got left out.

that's my tortoise shell cat Dacya in the background, she's not very impressed with our hero. 

I would have loved to have one of these as a kid, wouldn't that have just been a great toy to play with till it fell apart?  moves about as well as the live action one as well!

now if they only made a Dragulon to have him fight, the package would be complete.  I think he's my favorite of the monsters from that series.

here's Thuvia Jane, or TJ as it's easier for me to write and say.  she's also rather nonplussed about the impending battle with our hero.

Daci is just the supervisor for this battle.  don't worry, no harm came to either the toy or the cat, since she'd rather bat about softer fuzzier things.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

somewhere out in space live...

easily one of the coolest of the 60s Hanna-Barbera superhero cartoon shows, the Herculoids just kicks all kinds of cartoon ass.  in a ten minute episode you got more excitement and explosions than you do in two hours of today's cartoons.  of course, all that fun didn't really leave a lot of time for characterization, but at 8 AM or so on Saturday morning, who cared?

not this monster/superhero fan!  of course, I don't remember seeing the Herculoids at all as a kid, until they showed up again in the rather anemic Space Stars in 1981, which of course I watched but knew even then it paled compared to the original, though overall it was not the worst of the bunch.

my favorite is Zok, the Laser Ray Dragon.  I mean, Zok was easily the most powerful beast of the bunch, and also the coolest looking.

he certainly is an interesting and unique dragon- with cat eyes and ears.  because it was done in a hurry and as inexpensively as possible, Zok tends to grow and shrink as the episodes demand.  which is nothing unusual with any cartoons from that time period.

and being designed by Alex Toth, the whole show is cool looking, save for a few of the villains here and there (Mekkano, the Machine Master springs to mind, especially when compared to Metallus, (voiced by the late and great Ted Cassidy), the Space Ghost foe).

here Igoo, the stone ape is about to demolish some hapless robots.  and this is in the opening sequence!

it was about 1978 or so, I think, when I was in WV and saw tv promos for Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure.  Channel 20, WDCA was changing their programming for the new year and the 90 minute package was part of it.

unfortunately, we left before the show started, so I never got to see any of the wonderful cartoons they were showing for a while, though I remember seeing a Fantastic Four cartoon at some point.

there's been a few episodes released on DVD now, but come on, Warners, just release the full show for us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monster of the Week- Cranky Rex

sure, he's not really a monster, but a grumpy old tyrannosaurus rex chasing our cavemen heroes I think qualifies.  he certainly has a lot of character in the movie.

and YES, he is definitely a HE in the movie.

anyway, he's pictured here, chasing Atouk, Lar and Tala after Gog has inadvertently disturbed him, shall we say?  of course, Gog is left behind completely unaware of what the beast is doing to his daughter and their new friends.

what an amazing shot of our heroes fleeing from... hmm, he needs a name, but I just realized "Grumpy" is already taken.  we could call him "Dopey" since later on in the movie he actually is.  no, can't call him that either.  got it, Cranky!

and it would kind of keep the whole "Seven Dwarves" motif.  he's really not that smart, either.  this was shot in scenic Durango, Mexico, which looked prehistoric in 1981, and hopefully doesn't look much different today.  beautiful landscape abound, and the dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters look right at home in this place.

here Atouk (played by Ringo Starr) is about to accidentally save the day by inventing shish kabob on poor ol' Cranky.

this is a well animated and exciting scene, which made Cranky a menace, even if he never did get a meal (until his last scene in the movie).

I love this movie, saw it four times in the theater.  even it's page at IMDB seems to have a lot of compliments about it.  I always hoped for a sequel back then, I mean, wasn't Son of Caveman a natural title?  zug zug, indeed!

secret identities

on the surface, secret identities are pretty silly.  but so are superheroes in general.  having said that, I miss the use of secret IDs these days.  it's part of the fun of superheroes, the idea of "putting one over" on family and friends in the guise of "keeping them safe".

take Spider-man here.  no way would anyone be able to take this guy seriously in this costume, nor would the costume itself ever be feasible in real life.  of course, no one would take Peter Parker seriously if they saw him climbing around walls, they'd lock him up for either his safety or secret military experiments to find out how he did it.

but the readers of Spidey comics didn't care.  and Lee and Ditko knew that.  just present the character, tell the readers "in this world, this is how things work" and let it go from there.  don't try to explain why he can stick to any surface, since we know spiders can do that (and how many people actually know why?  exactly.).

comic books used to be intended for kids probably aged 6-12 years.  I'd say DC upped it a bit in the 50s with their use of the "new" heroes and the added science, and then Marvel made it OK for college kids to read comics in the 60s.

Stan Lee said in "Origins of Marvel Comics" that he disliked secret IDs, and didn't use them for the first hit, The Fantastic Four, to great effect.  however, nearly every hero after that had one.

(boy, I loved this book and the following ones, read mine many many times).

I'm not exactly sure what all this is for, just that I like secret IDs.  sure, your superhero pals would know who you were secretly, that would almost be a relief to have some peers to confide in.  but established superheroes without masks and costumes and all the trappings of comic books?

meh, I'm just not that interested in them. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Steve Ditko, a favorite

it's no secret I've loved Spider-man since before I could read, thanks to the wonderful 1967 cartoon show. that started my reading of comics (along with the live action Batman series).

later on, when I started paying attention to the creators, I found out about Spidey's original artist, Steve Ditko.  his style takes a little getting used to, but I just LOVE it now.  his people looked ordinary.  even the glamorous Gwen Stacy didn't look like a movie star.

while he did draw Mary Jane Watson, who all the girls were jealous of, we never actually saw her face until after John Romita took over art chores (and Johnny did her justice, he always drew sexy women.  oh, yeah, I can call him Johnny, I've met him.) so that really doesn't count.

and Peter never looked nerdier or lonelier or more outcast in those initial issues.

I love the way his drawings look so solid.  there's a gravity or weight to them that makes them almost leap off the page.  you can see how hard Spidey is walloping Electro and you know it's not a love tap!  I believe that's from the Sinister Six story.

and then there's Steve's run on Doctor Strange, who more than lives up to his name.  as much as many talented artists have tried, not a one has matched the complete weirdness that Ditko managed to create time and again.

add to that the weird villains and monsters and demons Strange fought, with the magical spells and mystical bolts that never looked the same twice... amazing falls short of a proper description.

not to mention the various dimensions our good doctor visited every other issue or so.

makes me wish someone would do an animated movie in the style of Steve's artwork.  I mean, Bruce Timm really did do some of it in with the DC heroes, but wouldn't an adaption of some of these Dr. Strange stories just rock?  and how hard would it be?  Steve also used an economy of line work that would be perfect for animation.  why not let Timm have a go at some Marvel heroes?

Monday, December 14, 2009

the Trio, 16 years later

first off, I gotta say I love the theme song.  I would love to have it uncut, but have no idea where to find it.

I cannot believe it's been sixteen years since The Heroic Trio was released.  it was one of the first of the "New Wave" of Hong Kong movies I ever saw, if not the first.

I was not disappointed at all, even when watching it on a multi-gen VHS tape with white subs against occasional white backgrounds.  not to mention the always rather interesting English that said subtitles would contain on occasion.

A few years later I got to see it on the big screen, and damned if the subs were STILL invisible on occasion against white backgrounds.  it's a pretty cool superhero movie, full of those amazing HK stunts.  the story is pretty touching as well, all in all.

the big news at the time was that it brought together the three biggest actresses in HK then, the late Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and the great Michelle Yeoh to work together, and they are just wonderful in their roles as Wonder Woman, The Thief Catcher and The Invisible Girl (how they never got sued is beyond me).

I have the Tai Seng DVD, which is uncut and features three languages and mostly accurate English subs.  it's amazing to read the yellow subs that tell me what's going on now!  the ending battle is still amazing, complete with weirdo stop-motion monster.


here's the first rockin' sentai, GoRanger, the precursor of Super Sentai, better known in this country as "Power Rangers".  it was offered over here back in the day, would have been a great show to see as a kid.

here we see the first two teams together, in the featurette to actually end the series of JAKQ.  in this movie universe we also find out Kamen Rider Amazon, V3 and Kikaida are battling CRIME in various parts of the country.  now that would have made one amazing team up movie!

Banba Sokichi, AKA Big One! he steals the show every time he appears.  neither of these shows feature giant robots, which is a plus.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


a good looking DVD, too, though I don't think it's anamorphic.  standard 60s spy caper film, but these are the ones I prefer over over the better known Bond movies.

here's proof of the title of the movie!  Sally rattles Linus so much he has three eyes!  never gyp a woman out of tricks or treats!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Poison Clan just plain ROCKS

this wasn't the first or second or even third kung fu movie I ever saw, but it's about my favorite.  the first time I saw it was in early 1984 on WDCA Channel 20 (is there nothing this channel did wrong?) with my cousin Tuck.  it was a Saturday afternoon and they always showed martial arts movies then.  not all of them were great (one called "Bolo" was awful) but overall they were lots of fun.
we had no way of knowing how influential The Five Deadly Venoms (1978) was at the time, and how huge it would become in the US in later years.  we were just two kids enjoying a good movie with an unique story.

no revenge motive, no tournament to determine who is the best martial artist in the martial arts world, more of a making amends for what the Poison Clan has wreaked upon the world in the past (something very much missing from Tarantino's passably entertaining Kill Bill movies).  the dying teacher sends his last student out to do just that, with the help of some of the other clan members.

naturally, this doesn't sit well with more evilly inclined members, so there's our conflict.  we then get to see lots of kung fu of various kinds (all mostly made up) as well as some corrupt officials and a pondering of "where does all the killing end?" by one of the Venoms.

there's a new DVD out by Dragon Dynasty, which is awesome.  it has both Mandarin and English language tracks, and a commentary by Bey Logan which is very fun to listen to.  this DVD should replace the original one (of dubious legality and far worse quality) as soon as you see it in the store.

as mentioned, the influence can't be denied.  most recently the sentai Jûken Sentai Gekiranger (2007) paid homage to this movie, and many other martial arts films and actors as well.  the other influences, such as on rappers are far out of my milieu, so go look 'em up yourselves.

who knew we'd get such wonderful presentations of these classic Shaw Brothers movies?  still, I wouldn't trade watching this for the first time, full screen, mono with a slightly faded picture for anything in the world.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

this is a comedy, right?

got an early non-Xmas present yesterday and watched it last night.  it's a gorgeous presentation from Dark Sky Films of The She-Beast (1966).  there's commentary from the director and three of the stars, but I haven't listened to that just yet.

it starts out pretty typically, and pretty slowly.  there's some intentional comedy going on here and there, due mostly to Mel Welles.  at the 45 minute mark (more or less) we get to the "action" of the story, the dreaded she- beast coming back to life.

well, not too much action, actually.  as I was sitting here watching it, the more I started to think this was a comedy.  you've got the van Helsing who revives the witch, and then runs around the rest of the movie sticking her and some gendarmes with a hypodermic needle to knock them out.   he's also rolling around on the ground while doing so, and our hero is clubbing the police with a gun. 

there's also car crashes and being dunked in water.  change the scary music, add some Three Stooge style sound effects and this movie becomes hilarious. 

the cast is quite earnest in their performances (apparently Ms Steele shot all of her scenes in one day).  it sounds like some of have been dubbed, but I'll leave that to the experts to decide if it's so.  like I said, the DVD looks and sounds amazing.

he's super scary!

it's amazing what scares kids.  I can understand this, as it was built up in the story to be the scariest thing ever, and it worked on me for a long time.

the bumble snow monster of the north as he makes his first appearance.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Samson and Goliath

the first two cartoon heroes I remember (that weren't from comics) were the Mighty Mightor and Samson and Goliath.

sure, it says "young" Samson, but the other tit;e is the one I always have used, and it's the one most people say.

made by Hanna-Barbera in for NBC's Saturday mornings in 1967, it featured 18 episodes in a half hour format.  I must have watched it, but my main memory of it comes from a coloring book that I had.

Samson had magical gold wrist bands that when slammed together turned him into a "peplum" hero of immense strength and power.  he would slam the bracelets together a second time and his dog would turn into an immense lion, complete with eye beams and razor sharp claws.

the transformation was very similar to Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel, once he had merged with perpetual sidekick Rick Jones (in looking at that Wiki entry his middle name is "Milhouse"?  the fudge is that?  I mean really, how stupid.  but I digress.) and the whole thing, combined with Mightor, is pretty much the overrated He-man's motif.

in the course of 18 episodes, Samson and Goliath took on giant monsters, statues come to life, aliens and spies.  I wonder who at Hanna-Barbera thought of the concept, since the whole peplum movie fad had run it's course a few years earlier.   his hair isn't even that long to look like the biblical Samson!  still, it's an action packed show and what kid wouldn't want a giant lion to ride?

Monday, December 7, 2009

hey hey hey it's the Fabulous Ones

just got a set of three DVDs from Highspots, and one of them was this set of classic Fabulous Ones matches.

while some of these matches have been available in other sets, here we get many of the promos that help set up the angles for the matches.

in a rather lengthy introduction, Jackie Fargo introduces the Fabulous Ones, that he picked out as a response to manager Jimmy Hart's "New York Dolls" who he thought were copying his brothers gimmick.  there's more banter between Hart and Fargo, and then we get the matches themselves.

some of the matches are from the tv show, but many are from the weekly show in the Mid-South Colosseum.  the quality is not HD or even SD, but it's not bad, and since you aren't going to find it any better VQ at this point I'm happy with it, overall.

we also get to see Jackie Fargo introduce the NEW Fabulous Ones of Tommy "Wildfire" Rich and Eddie "Hotstuff" Gilbert  Fargo sounds very sanctimonious in this segment (and the following one he's in as well).  no wonder the new Fabs never got over!  that and it was a really bad idea.

so I highly recommend the disc, and Highspots themselves, as the service is fast.  good stuff.  Memphis is something else.  I'll have a few more reviews of their DVDs.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Monster of the Week- Viras

Gamera movies were scarce in Colorado.  it didn't help that most of them didn't have the name "Gamera" in the title.  I had seen half of War of the Monsters, about 3/4 of Attack of the Monsters and this, Destroy All Planets was the first one I saw all the way through.

it aired at 8:00 on a school night, so I got to stay up to ten to watch it.  I believe I still have the tv guide from that week, close to 30 years ago.

I had no idea it was a Gamera movie, but since our hero makes his first appearance about 2 minutes into the movie I learned quickly.

as this was my third or so Gamera movie, I didn't mind all the stock footage of him fighting Barugon and Gyaos, since most of that was new to me as it was.  now that I'm a bit older, I think it could have been trimmed down to a scene or two instead of 20 minutes of padding.  it works OK though.

here's the face of our villain.  ever seen a space squid?  me either!  since I have a fascination for tentacled monsters such as giant octopi and squid, I loved seen this as the for for Gamera to fight.

this was also one of the smarter alien monsters Gamera fought.  and more vicious, though all of the titanic turtles foes made him bleed at some point.  Viras invaded bodies of Earthlings (I think) and then when he needed them, lopped off their heads!

that was a surprising scene!  he was also able to use his own body as a spear.  Viras came to Earth because their race needed nitrogen to survive, and since our atmosphere is 78% nitrogen it seemed like it would do.

most of these images come from a PD DVD, but this last one is from the R2 Japanese DVD, which looks amazing.  a few years ago I corresponded with Carl Craig, who was the Caucasian boy in the movie.  really nice man.  he recorded a commentary track for this movie at one point, but I've never heard of it being released.  which is too bad, as it's probably unique and cool to listen to.  you can still purchase really cool pictures and such from him here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

the most powerful one there is

As many of you may know, or at least surmised, I like my superheroes pretty superheroic.  never much cared for satiric heroes, though I enjoyed a parody or two (Batboy and Ruben, to name one).

I bought this sometime in 1980, and it has been making me laugh ever since.  Hembeck takes our favorite heroes to some vague limbo where they are able to relax and hangout with each other.

of course, this doesn't work out at all for anyone, not even his lovely bride Lynn.  it's chock full of heroes doing and saying and wondering things we as fans often thought.  Hembeck just drew it all out for us to laugh at.  And he even thought of things that I would never have wondered- I'll just leave it at Phoenix thinking Mr. Fantastic is wasting his considerable super power...

the Hulk meeting Captain "Shazam" Marvel is a riot, as well as the discussion of the endowment of most heroines that happens between Supergirl and Ms. Marvel.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yuke! Megaloman!

the fiery superman, Megaloman is possibly my favorite giant Japanese superhero series.  produced by Toho for tv in 1979, it ran 31 episodes.

I first saw the series mentioned in issue #11 of the Japanese Fantasy Film Journal (pronounced  Jay Eff Eff Jay) back in about 1980.  just a blurb by one Mr. August Ragone, saying this was the first Japanese hero to use kung fu.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

X marks the Monster

I remember the first time I saw Guilala.  there was a picture of it in Famous Monsters of Filmland (from hereon referred to as "FM"), on the inside cover, or back, or inside back, I forget now, of it holding a boat aloft.  looked incredibly cool, that's for sure.  this is a great scene of it chasing a truck.

but as happened often back then, there was nothing ABOUT the movie in the accompanying blurb.  which really was frustrating at the time, I'll tell you what.

I think the next time I saw a picture or two was in Starlog's "Spaceships" book/magazine (one I still have.  boy, it took forever to find that link, and I didn't know Starlog had ceased print publication) which featured a picture of the cool "Atomic Astro Boat Gamma".  this is one of my favorite spaceships of the movies.

this Japanese movie by Shochiku Studios was populated by several gaijin, or non-Japanese "actors", many of whom appeared in a lot of other Japanese movies when they needed a token foreigner.

the star of this movie was the lovely Peggy Neal.  these images came from the trailer of the movie, so perhaps that's not the most flattering picture I could have picked.  doubtless some would want the shower scene, complete with synthetic water.

no, I don't know how they made that!

Peggy starred in two Japanese genre movies, this and the fun "Terror Beneath the Sea".  these days she seems to have vanished.  I would love to see or hear an interview with her.  it's hard to gauge her acting ability, since she's dubbed into English.  the R2 DVD has this very odd English dub, and the version we saw as kids was dubbed by Titra.

I finally saw the movie, I think in about 1980 or so, when Channel 4 was having movie themed weeks toward the middle of the year.  I loved it, thought it was well worth the wait.

VS titles

no, not that awful Kitamura movie.  this is just a flick from the 50s.

this is just about one of the coolest titles to a movie.  and it completely misrepresents the movie in so many ways.  it's a cool little flick though.  however, nothing beats it's 8mm cover-

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hibiki Rider

while I don't consider Kamen Rider Hibiki to be an actual Kamen Rider, at least it's nice that he rides a bike at some point.  I mean, just cashing in the name recognition of "Kamen Rider" is pretty lame, don't you think?

but here in episode#25 we get a nice little ride sequence with some decent rock music.  not sure what it was for other than to show off the bike, but it worked for me.

tyger tyger

I have recently taken a much larger interest in panthera tigris, AKA the tiger.  it's the world's most popular animal.

I think this comic book, "Tiger-Man" had a lot to do with it.  it was a short lived book, only 3 issues, but it was really kind of cool.  the second two issues featured some great art by Steve Ditko, which was the first time I saw the name and realized how good he was. 

now, of course, I seen his spectacular art from the early Spider-man and Doctor Strange stories for Marvel, and he's become one of my favorite artists of all time.  too bad he's not quite as lionized as Jack Kirby, but there are reasons for that.

this is a great cover, though can someone find me a tiger with any blue on it?

now, there are some people out there who might say my interest in tigers stems from a different comic book, but I do believe Tiger-man actually predated that one.  Tiger-man made his debut in April of 1975, a full year before the other tiger based hero made her appearance... Tigra.

this is from Marvel Chillers #3, drawn by Will Meugniot (pronounced "Mini-yo" as told to me by Tony Isabella).

of course, some comic book historians might say she debuted in July of 1974, in "Giant Size Creatures #1" and that's true.  however, I had not read that comic despite it starring one of my other favorites, the Werewolf By Night (when else would he be a werewolf?).

so go figure.  why it took so long for me to actually like real tigers is beyond me, though I have always had a love of smilodon, the so-called saber toothed tiger.   however I do know which one has had a larger influence on my life.  though I would really love to own the rights to Tiger-man and write more stories.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

he slimed me...

here's a movie we used to see on tv all the time, but hasn't gotten a decent DVD release.

the Green Slime is just too cool.

as preposterous as they are, they are really kinda scary in a weird way.