Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Da Crusher!

song by the Novas, not really sung by Da Crush.

I've only seen him in some matches on TV, but he and his partner Da Bruiser really were the basis for the Road Warriors.  just like 'em.

it's a rockin' cool song, too, and has been covered a few times.  there's a great one about Da Baron as well, but I forget who sings it.

Good Show, Sir!

this is a great site filled with the "worst" covers for science fiction and fantasy.

and yeah, they pretty much are.

thanks to Prof. Fester for pointing this out!

Batman Beyonder

OK, I'll admit it, the show has grown on me.  I have watched about 12 episodes and it's more fun than I had previously thought.

I think the main thing that bugs me still is that they depict Bruce as a lonely bitter old man.  somehow I think he would get past his "crying out for mommy and daddy" (thanks Bat-Mite) and realize he can't win the "war on crime".

but the stories are good, that's for sure.  the villains are as well, and it was nice to see the Royal Flush Gang as well (wait, wait, there was no mention of the Joker's version... oops, darn retconning incontinuities!) and I'll also admit to looking forward to the rest of the series.

darn it, what if this means I'll like "The Batman" now?  how vexing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MOTW- the living Mummy

well, maybe not, but they are sort of alive.

this mummy is from the Jonny Quest episode "The Curse of Anubis".  see what happens when you steal stuff from a tomb?  a mummy comes to life and saves the heroes at the last minute while giving the villains their proper comeuppance.

and there's nothing explained why the mummy came to life- no tana leaves or anything.

I never read Marvel's mummy series, but it looks kind of cool.  at least the original version does, anyway.

Derby (1971)

I really wanted to like this movie.  I love roller derby and to see what it was like in the early 70s sounded great.

this follows wanna be derby star Mike Snell around as he decides what to do with this life.  trouble is, he's kind of unlikable and doesn't do much of anything.

it's better as a slice of life in midland America 1970.  he pays rent of $85 a month and has no phone in his house.  that's just amazing to think about.  so there's interesting parts here and there, but there's just not enough derby, or talking to the stars of the derby. 

we see the legendary Ann Calvello but they don't interview her.  I really did want to like it.  but can't really.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kage! Kage! Kage! Kagestar!

an often overlooked series!

it looks like loads of fun to me.  plus his sidekick is Belle Star!  "Kage" means "Shadow" in Japanese.

our heroes!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yusei Kamen- the Superman of Space

or something like that.  it's amazing what cool stuff you can find on youtube these days, still.

however, it's a lot harder to find a picture of our hero.  boy I would have loved seeing this as a kid.  this is all the information I can find on it.

it's got a great theme song though, and looks action packed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Southern Knights #5

in which we meet both Aramis and new penciller Chuck Wojtkiewicz.  I met Chuck several years ago at Comic Con and he was a great guy.  have an Electrode sketch he did for me!

we also meet Carl and Larry, who are assassins.

anyway, the unpacking at the Hampton House continues, though Connie is depressed.  Kristen has Mark and David go out for lunch so she can discuss "stuff" with Connie.

after the girl talk they end up exploring the house, and opening a strange door.  out comes Aramis, a young sorcerer from an unknown time.  he thinks the girls are out to kill him and a battle commences.

meanwhile, Carl and Larry play cat and mouse with Mark and David.  they are using unusual weapons to try to kill our heroes- a crossbow and some shuriken.

Connie manages to use a real sword to stop Aramis, then the boys return home. 

Chuck is a really good artist, and he has some good inks to go along with the story.  there are a lot less clunky lines and Carl and Larry are an interesting addition to the cast (sort of).  this is building to something, we just aren't sure what.

Turkeys and ratzis don't mix!

most people post Curly stuffing a turkey from An Ache in Every Stake (1941) on this holiday, so I figured I'd do something along the same lines but different!

this is from I'll Never Heil Again (1940, the short before An Ache...) and one of my favorite Stooge shorts. 

America was not yet at war with the Axis powers and yet our boys went ahead and willfully mocked them.  pretty brave, I'd say!

always remember to share your turkey, else some portrait will run off with it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gamera on Blu-Ray... cheap

it's really inexpensive, and has two movies on it, and some fans are whining still.

I am not the biggest fan of Shusuke Kaneko's monster movies.  they are not awful by any means, but they are also not the be all and end all some fans seem to think they are.

having said that, you can get the first two films on blu-ray at Amazon for $5.49.  sure, they are from Millcreek, but they look pretty amazing and it's TWO freaking movies for less than six bucks.

now, some of the more hardcore fans are complaining that there are no extras like commentaries or "making ofs" about the movies.  this saddens me, if doesn't surprise me.  before the digital revolution we were happy watching bootlegged copies, sometimes many generations down, with little to no extras.  and any extras there were usually a trailer or two.

OK, enough ranting about such things.  you can get this at Amazon for the above price.  it's the first blu-ray disc I have ever bought, for less than the price I paid for the first DVD I ever bought.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RIP Ingrid Pitt

thanks to August Ragone for this news:

RIP Ingrid Pit, star of many horror movies.

this is one of her earlier roles, an enjoyable romp with an invisible dinosaur.

Monday, November 22, 2010

MTOW- Varan

yeah, I know it's not the greatest monster movie, but I really like this one.  the monster is pretty great.

there's some cool destruction as well.  and I like the US version.  sure, it's not as good as the Japanese version, but neither is the best giant monster movie ever.  this was aired several times when I was growing up, so there is a sentimental reason I like it.

it was a year ago I started "Monster of the Week" and I think I've done about 20 of them this year.  falling down on the job!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the father of special effects animation

here's a really cool report on Willis O'Brien from 1984:

you see a lot of sketches for the never realized "The Last of the Oso Si-Papu" which looks cool.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Batman Beyond

I'll admit it, I'm not a fan of this show.  more because of the crass marketing nature of the sequel than what it really actually is, since I've not seen many episodes.

but that's going to change, as I am renting the series from netflix.  so if I like it more than I did originally, I'll happily report it.

the whole dark and gritty future thing seemed so overdone by the mid-90s, and to have a sequel to an excellent series built on that premise seemed really tired even then.  add to that the fact Kevin Conroy would be still voicing Bruce Wayne just emphasized the uphill battle it had with me.

still, it does have Ace the Bat-Hound, so there's some points to it.  what really got me about the show was when Bruce told Terry "none of the other Robins ever minded (sic)" about something.  that made me think of the new "Batman" as just a Robin in a batsuit (see Robin of Earth 2, for another example!).

so I'm kind of looking forward to it.  heck, I may even try "The Batman" next!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shaolin Rescuers (1979)

I think I've mentioned this before, but this is the first kung fu movie, and first Shaw Brothers movie I ever watched in full.  never remembered the title until many years later.

it was known as Avenging Warriors of Shaolin back then, and even on video.  it was great to finally see the entire movie again, even full screen on a fourth gen tape.

several years later I found a widescreen redubbed version, which made the movie even better.  loads is lost when you see it fullscreen, as Cheh Chang really made use of the widescreen process.

anyway, Funimation has released a great R1 copy now, and I can easily recommend it, despite the rather tepid cover it has.  what is the deal with companies putting out less than eye catching DVD covers these days?

anyway, it features both Chinese language with English subs and the original English dub for those of us that like such things.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ultraman Ace

this is one of my favorite Ultras, battling a monster called Vakishim (or some variant of that):

I bought what I now know is a bootleg version of that monster when I visited Atlanta,GA in 1987.  can hardly believe I had no idea there were more than 6 Ultra Brothers then.  that's just hard to believe now.  Ace gets to use his version of the ever cool "shredding halo" here!

Doom Patrol, v. 2

yes, more about the Doom Patrol.

I read my first comic about them as a reprint (issue 122), their first battle with the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man.  he was part dinosaur on the cover.  combine that with a team I'd never seen before and anyone surprised I bought it?

I bought the issue again, the reprint, that is, as it holds sentimental value for me.

I had no idea about any of these heroes, nor that it had been about five years since new adventures had been created.

anyway, I bought the first Showcase of the DP, and it's good, but they really get going in this second and last set of stories. 

there are loads of continued plotlines, but they don't take over the main stories, which is a real plus.  I would like to read the Flash/DP team up, that sounds pretty cool.  this is a highly unusual DC book though, as it's far more like a Marvel at the time (though falling flat on it's face with words like "kookie" and "freakniks" and the like). 

I'm really enjoying it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


the final act of a three part story (including a crossover with Challengers of the Unknown #48) has our heroes battling Multi-man and the Challenger-Haters.

called "The Haters" here, in March of 1966.

it also features yet another version of Atlantis, which by my count has to mean there were at least seven different versions floating about Earth 1 in the 50s and 60s.

it's a good story, one I wish would have been completely included in the recent Doom Patrol Showcase v. 2.  we only get the DP stories, and not the Challengers one.  nor do we get the BNB team up with the Flash, but that's a different story for a different column.

the Harveytoons Show

never been a big fan of the Harvey Toons (Casper, Wendy, Spooky and the... unique Baby Huey).  I never saw them very much, if at all, growing up.

watching this new DVD set, they are good looking and well animated cartoons.  but that's about all.  some are cute and clever, but there's none of the standouts like Warner Brothers or Disney had.

sure, Casper has had some movies made in the recent past, but there's just nothing even that special about him.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

more Gwangi

once again, Colossa comes up with another great Gwangi item.

though obviously NOT Gwangi on the cover (it's a tyrannosaurus rex as we all can tell) I would love to have read this magazine.   heck, I'd STILL love to read it!

more magazines should have covers like this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Starlettes vs Derby Dames

this past Saturday (on 11-13-10) was the final bout of the San Diego Starlettes 2010 season.  I can hardly believe it's been 10 months since this post when I started.

and it only took 10 months to get me into a ref shirt and position!  I had the best time at this game, and am very thankful for all the support I got from the other refs and even the players.

Shaolin Avengers (1994)

don't confuse this movie with the superior Shaw Brothers movie of the same name from 1976 (which isn't the best Shaw movie, either).

this one is something else. some decent fights, but usually the camera work ruins what could look good by undercranking it, chop-editing it or the use of too much wirework.

it's another story of Fang Shih Yu and Hung Hsi-kuan.  they meet up, and defeat some of the Manchus.  there's some betrayal and a high body count, but loads of really bad comedy.  I like Kar Lok Chin, but he's trying too hard to be Sheng Fu, and that's a bad bad idea.

it's OK, but nothing great.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

MOTW- Venusians

there is a lot of life on the planet Venus, apparently, but today's post just focuses on two of them.

on our right is the Venusian that Conquered The World in 1956.  as silly as "Beulah" looks, I have a fond spot for It.  the concept of the movie is quite good, and it's never dull.

I'd just love a figure of this thing, but then it would be one more thing for me to not dust in my house.

It came to Earth on purpose, to escape the dying planet Venus (I think).  there are few more of these things on the planet, but it's assumed they never had Lee Van Cleef helping them escape.

now, on another part of Venus, is this critter, who came 20 Million Miles to Earth very unwillingly in 1957.  the Ymir (never referred to by that name in the movie) is pretty cool, and one does feel quite sorry for him as he proceeds to his eventual demise at the end of the movie.

I wonder if the astronauts who went to Venus saw more of them, or just picked up the egg as a specimen.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Skatetown, USA (1979)

I've never heard of this movie at all. 

I have to take issue with "the best music" claim...

naturally, Hollywood was in on a trend just as it was dying, since disco was dead about a year later.  still, lots of good skating going on here.

yes, that is Patrick Swayze in one of his first movie roles.

it's not out on DVD as far as I can tell, but I bet there's a copy or two floating around out there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Marine Boy surprise

I was looking at my stats and such, and noticed that google search had led people to this blog.  so naturally I tried looking up "Marine Boy" and at least on my engine, I was at the top of the "starred results" for Marine Boy.

now, if some readers would try it and let me know their results, I would greatly appreciate it.  I use firefox as a browser.

that's pretty cool, I think!  now I'll have some impetus to get that book done.  maybe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

more Yog!

I did 30 plus trailers for October, and there still weren't enough days to show all the movies I love to watch during "the season".

so here's the Yog trailer.  it rocks!


yes, even more on "The Brave and The Bold", as I am watching the first DVD set again.

in the episode "Evil Under The Sea!" Batman and Aquaman team up to defeat the Ocean Master and Black Manta.  sort of, as good stories are never just quite that simple, right?

Batman loses another Batplane/sub in this episode.  the Waynes must have been billionaires here, as he goes through a LOT of equipment!

anyway, this Aquaman has a "larger than life personality.  he is voiced by John Dimaggio.  took me a little bit to get used to him, but I enjoy the performance now.  he's far more like Marvel's Hercules than Namor now, which is a nice change, as one bitter against the human race for desecrating the oceans Sub-Mariner is plenty.  he's definitely not THIS Aquaman!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


this is one of the earliest monster movies I ever remember... NOT seeing.  it was aired on KWGN Channel 2 at 10 or 11 PM on a freaking Sunday night.

a SUNDAY night.  since it was in September of 1973, that constituted a "school night".  this is why I remember it so vividly, as I couldn't watch it.  it was called "Command Performance Theater" (the time slots always had names back then, it seems).  Sunday nights also used to show a serial back then, one episode per week.

I did ask my mother if I could stay up to watch it, but alas, the answer was no.  she told me the next morning she tried to wake me up so I could watch it.  I believe her, because I had- and still do have- some odd, disjointed memories of the movie.

I saw the movie later on, probably the next year, in the afternoon slot on Channel 2, and it was very enjoyable.  even then the end of the movie was very touching, and easily elevates the US version above the Japanese one. 

Rodan never looked better than in this movie.

the real Kimba opening

this really is a better version.

this theme has a bit more "oomph" to it.  it's really catchy, it's hard not to keep singing it after it's over.  which is the whole reason for a theme song, right?

it is a bit different than the original!  I'll post that later on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


one of the greatest theme songs ever.

also a really cool cartoon.  I have never seen the original Japanese opening, I am wondering if it's around.

it was a very popular cartoon back in the day, here in the states.  the entire US run is available on DVD.

Monday, November 8, 2010

a musical question-

most rock bands have a similar line up- singer, one or two guitarists, bass player, drums.  some add keyboards, sax or even a second drummer.  but usually those are the roles in the bands.

it's always more interesting when there is more than one lead singer within the group.  I can think of a few that ALL the members sing songs-
  • the Beatles
  • Kiss
  • the Bangles
  • the Eagles
  • the Runaways  
and a few that have/had at least two singers-
  • the Romantics
  • Night Ranger
  • the Cars
  • the Who
can anyone else think of bands with two or more vocalists that consistently shared duties?  this doesn't count purely vocal groups, of course.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Superboy... Mark II

it was an interesting surprise to see Lex Luger show up in a Superboy costume.

I liked this show, but since it was syndicated it changed time slots constantly and was hard to catch.  and then I moved to California and completely lost track of it, aside from reading about it here and there in comic magazines.

I still miss Krypto.

Magic Warriors (1989)

this is one weird Taiwanese movie.  it's about martial arts, sorcery and the wedded bliss of a good god and an evil goddess.  can't have that!

I first saw this in about 1993 or so, with barely readable subtitles.  I didn't know it was a movie of Lin Hsiao Lan, who had made a series of similar movies with much the same cast and crew.  it also had a title that translated as "Peacock Prince".

unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a decent DVD copy of this movie around yet.  it's a lot of fun, and Lin plays "Little Flying Dragon".  she played mostly male roles in many of these movies. 

I think that really is a talking flower and a snail demon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ghidrah, the Three Headed Monster question

just what is the deal with Ghidorah?  all the airbrushed stills and such feature fire coming from three mouths, not electricity.

here's a really cool lobby, one I've never seen before, and it shows the fire feature in all it's glory. 

I was surprised when I finally saw Ghidorah in action (in Destroy All Monsters) I was surprised to see that they were electrical bolts and not fiery flames.

does anyone know why this is?  there are other instances of rays being different- Baragon fires electrical bolts in his stills, and not in Frankenstein Conquers the World.  is it that the lobbies, posters and stills were prepared before the movie was finished?

the world awaits answers!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kimba opening (alternate theme)

I think I saw more episodes of Kimba, The White Lion growing up than any other Japanese cartoon that made it over here.  it was ALWAYS on Channel 20, WDCA back in the day.  I think someone must have been a fan.

this is an alternate opening, one I never knew existed until I saw a screening of an episode once from 16mm film and this version played over the credits.  that was a surprise.

I'm surprised I haven't written about Kimba more, but then there's loads of info already out there about it on the net. 

it really is a great series and I am quite happy to own the the Ultra Set from a few years ago.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dr. Who #11: The Rescue

in the 11th story the Doctor and his now two companions end up on the planet Dido in the 25th century.

there they find two humans and a monster called Koquillion.  however, something seems amiss, all things considered.

this 2 part serial brings Vicki into the series, as a replacement for Susan Foreman.  she's a capable replacement, and a good idea to use someone from five centuries into the future, as she could grasp concepts much easier than Ian Chesterton or Barbara Wright. nice contrast to Susan, as well.

Koquillion is a pretty cool suit, as is the Sand Beast.  it's a nice little serial, and the Doctor does miss Susan.  released on DVD last year.  I'm impressed at how nice these serials look.  the commentary tracks are good, but the text commentary is really fun.

Crippled Avengers (1978)

I first reviewed this in Xenorama #11 under it's original US title, Mortal Combat and was suitably impressed with a fullscreen dubbed nth generation copy.

now, despite the incredibly misleading current US title, the Dragon Dynasty DVD is simply amazing to watch.  there are subtitled and dubbed options and the picture is great.

the story makes you feel sorry for the villains at first, a bit, but then after seeing their wanton cruelty, their eventual defeat is all the more rewarding.

the training scenes are good, and the fight scenes are awesome.  I don't know if I'd call this a better movie overall than The Five Deadly Venoms, but I'd say it's right up there. it does have Kuan Tai Chen, which is always a plus to any movie! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

oh yeah...

it's Godzilla's 56th birthday.  so in whatever form you like him, nuclear allegory, superhero or doomed zombie dinosaur, enjoy!

some Marine Boy

here's the "bubbles" version of the US Marine Boy theme:

this was in the first 20 or so episodes of the show, I'm not sure why they used two different versions.

I figured it was about time to mention the reason for the blog again, it's been a few months.  I think the book may actually be turned into an issue of Xenorama.  we'll see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Return of the Way of the Dragon (1972)

I think this got released over here after Enter the Dragon, but I am not sure.  seems likely, with the US title of "Return" used to cash in on the 1973 movie.

in Way of the Dragon Bruce, wrote, directed and choreographed the fight scenes.  it plays out a bit like the episode of the "Green Hornet" called "The Preying Mantis" (which I reviewed here a while ago) in that gangsters are trying to get the land a Chinese restaurant and sending in thugs to scare off business).  Tang Lung (Bruce) comes in from Hong Kong to help out.

it's a good movie, and Bruce's sense of humor is on display for a change.  I think he would have made some fine comedies later on.

of course, lost in the dubbed version is that Tang Lung speaks little English or Italian and can't understand a lot of what the gangsters are saying to him.  nice to have a subtitled copy now to be able to hear the difference.

the DVD is nice, except I believe it's still slightly "zoomboxed", which was a fad when DVD first came out- making the letterboxed pictured bigger on the non-anamorphic TVs back then.  it cuts off the top and bottom of pictures instead of using the actual framing the filmmakers designed for the movie.  thus many of the fight scenes look more cramped than they would in a pan and scan format.

this really is Lee's best movie, despite the higher profile of "Enter".  it's more of a martial arts movie than that one.