Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jason vs. Leatherface (The 3 Part Comic Book)

In 1995 Topps Comics released a three-issue miniseries that featured a battle for the ages between Jason & Leatherface. It was a non-canonical crossover between both the Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises, but plays so well the story could have made for an awesome fucking movie!

The series premise involves accidentally placing Jason Voorhees, the main antagonist of Friday the 13th, on a train headed for a dumping ground in Mexico when Crystal Lake is drained of radioactive waste by a company. Running amok on the train, Jason kills its crew and causes the vehicle to crash in Texas, where he meets and befriends Leatherface and his inbred family (consisting of Cook, Hitchhiker, Grandpa and several other original relatives, all of them dead). After he lives with the family for a day relations between them and Jason ultimately sour due to a series of misunderstandings, which results in Leatherface and Jason battling. In the end the Hitchhiker apparently kills Jason with a sledgehammer and the family dumps him in a nearby lake. But Jason rises several hours later and decides to begin trekking back "home" to Camp Crystal Lake, away from the place that encouraged dangerous thoughts like friendship!

There were many different comics I purchased back in the day, but nothing ever beat this crossover. Watching Jason interact and kill with the Sawyer family is fucking hilarious. Its one of the best "Fish Out Of Water" stories I have ever read. I scanned the cover art from the 3 issues and some of my favorite panels.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My 25 Favorite Fango Covers

Long before there were horror websites and blogs, the #1 source of news for us like-minded horror junkies was (mostly) magazines and in it's heyday nobody did it better than FANGORIA!

My pile of Fangoria :)

I began my love affair with Fangoria back in the early 90s. The barbershop I used to get my hair cut at always had them lying around along with copies of Rolling Stone, National Geographic, and Playboy. I remember so many issues of Fango from that time period. Whenever it wasn't featuring whatever god awful Stephen King movie that was soon to come out (Post "It"/Pre Shawshank) Fangoria would have so much gold in their issues!

Looking Back at "The Gate & The Gate 2: The Trespassers"

I have been a fan of horror movies roughly my whole life. Today, I take a look back at one of the earliest films responsible for me falling in love with the genre . . . 1987's The Gate , and with a remake by Alex Winter still in the works I wanted to take a look back at the two original films.

90s Wrestling Toys (Part 2 of 2): WCW Galoob Line/ WWF Hasbro Customs

Here is the second part of my 90s wrestling toy post. YESTERDAY I focused just on the famed Hasbro line. Today, I am going to post pics of Galoob's WCW's line which was their counterpart at the time. Also, the WWF Bend'em line that started coming out after the deal with Hasbro ended and some of the Custom Figures I picked up over the years.

While the WCW Galoob Line was only around from 1990 - 1991 the figures they released from that time period trumped the more cartoonish Hasbro figures. Galoob captured the likenesses of the wrestlers better and the fact that each guy came with a Championship Belt was a plus. The only downside was they didn't move! All the Hasbro figures had a special action 'feature' move or had the the ability to move their legs and arms, but the WCW toys were stuck in a ridiculous pose. Poses that made it impossible to have good matches with This shit mattered a lot to me when I was 8 - 11. There were 12 wrestlers released in the U.S. Those same guys were produced in the U.K. with a different paint paint scheme along with some exclusive figures (El Gigante, Big Josh, Dustin Rhodes, Michael Hayes, and Jimmy Garvin). Of the U.K. figures I only have Hayes, but I have all 12 U.S figures:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

90s Wrestling Toys (Part 1 of 2): WWF Hasbro Line

Since today marks the ‪25th Anniversary of the WWF Royal Rumble, which I am going to watch later tonight with Chris and Tom K. ‬I thought that it was only fitting to do a wrestling related post today on the blog. I've been a fan of wrestling since my early childhood. I still watch the current shows, but yearn for the classic stuff from the mid 80s and early 90s. There's nothing that reminds me more of that particular era of wrestling than the toys that were made by Hasbro for the WWF and Galoob for the WCW.

With these toys I was able to recreate the matches I saw on TV, but also create my own matches and story lines. You know, ones where guys like Hulk Hogan could lose and a guy like Mr. Perfect could be World Champion. I would play with these toys for hours on end, and as you will be able to tell from the pics below these guys went through some real wars in the ring! This is going to be a two part blog post focusing on the guys I had in my collection.

Today will be strictly the WWF Hasbro figures made from 1990 to 1994. Tomorrow's post will feature the WCW guys that Galoob put out, the WWF 'Bend-Em' line, and also some custom Hasbro toys I picked up on Ebay over the years. I don't have the full set and skipped out on having the repaints on 3 different Hogans, 3 different Warriors, etc. And besides Adam Bomb and Ludwig Borga I was never able to find the "Green Card" series in stores when I was a kid. Guys like the Smoking Guns and the 1-2-3 Kid go for $80+ on Ebay. So Fuck That Noise!

Anyway, Let's Get Ready to Rumble . . .

Friday, January 27, 2012

Savage Mondo Blitzers

Today I'm doing a little spotlight on "Savage Mondo Blitzers", one of my favorite toy lines from the early 90's that didn't get much Love. They were made by the Kenner Toy Company in 1991 and only 48 different figures were made during it's one year run. The best way to describe a Savage Mondo Blitzer is that they were part (Non)Action Figure/part Skate Board standing at just about 1.5 inches tall. A Total of 40 Biltzers were released in Ten Separate 4 Packs, with a pack representing a different Gang. I had 6 of 10 gangs as a kid, which I still have and will share below. Plus I was able to find some pictures of the gangs I didn't own and also the box Crazy 8 set that came with a 'Lightning Launcher'. But before we begin, let's take a look at without a doubt one of the zaniness toy commercials from the 80s and 90s!

Now Class Let's All Point and Laugh at 12 Year Old Me . . .

Back in 1994 when I was in the 7th grade my English teacher insisted we keep a journal for her class. She would write a question on the chalkboard each day and have us answer them in your journal or have us write a short story related to a random topic she thought up. Most of the time I would just end up drawing stupid shit in mine and not bother with her questions. Today I found said journal in a stack of books and knew that I had to share some of this shit with you. Not only was '12 year old me' a fashion victim of epic proportions (as seen in the picture below), but man I was a few cards short of a full deck!

Short Shorts and a Randy Savage Shirt. "Ooooohhhh yeah, dig it?"

So here are some of the highlights from the mind of 12 year old me scanned for your pleasure in another edition of what I like to call "A Trip Down Shit Memory Lane"!

Find Paradise by Help Funding "Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon"!

To help fund the sequel to 2006's Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon the team at Glen Echo got in touch with four of the best horror artist alive to make a Leslie Shirt and a few prints to get the ball rolling on "Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon". (Go join the FaceBook Movement HERE!)
By buying any of these following items not only are you getting a KickAss Product, but you are also helping support the film get made! Check out this WEBSITE for what's available and how to go about purchasing them. First, here are the 3 prints. Each of them will be hand numbered to 150 and will be $10 each . . .

By Joel Robinson of Art Pusher.Net

By Nathan Thomas Milliner of Rebel Rouser Art

Christopher Ott of London1888

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Post about POGS . . . Yes THOSE Pogs!

If you grew up in the 90's like myself there's no way you will ever forget those stupid things called "Pogs"! Between collecting and trading them with my fellow classmates I must have wasted about a $100 or more of my allowance on this stupid fad. I've been doing some house cleaning the last few days and came across these 6 tubes filled with them!

So I decided to scan the pogs inside for what's sure to be the first of some random nostalgia shit posts here on the blog, I'm thinking of calling these features "A Trip Down Shit Memory Lane"!

The Recesses of Rural Pennsylvania: The Farmhouse

My day job affords me a few perks. Aside from the ant hills of cocaine, stacks of 5 dollar bills and husky hoes, working as a Locations Scout in Film and Television allows me to run around the state of Pennsylvania, trespassing of people's private property, snooping, taking photos and yelling at the owners for "not having a spot for the Honey Wagon". One particular high profile project had myself and other scouts traveling through the rural towns and woods of PA looking for hidden homes. They needed to meet very specific script requirements so, I spent a month driving up and down muddy roads and windy paths searching for the perfect house. Sometimes you would find a property that matched, but usually you found nothing. Every time I saw an interesting or peculiar property I would photograph it. You would spot a narrow driveway off a tiny road and decide to take it, just to see where it leads. As you rolled further and further into the woods second thoughts always creeped into your head, but then you would see the ruins of an abandoned convent, farmhouse or hospital; falling apart, retaken by the woods. You would sit there speechless until you realized you had a camera and you should start shooting some of that shit.

After about a month on that specific project we got the news that the film was leaving our state, packing up and moving to cheaper pastures. This happens more times than anyone would like to admit in the new cutthroat game of tax incentives and production lobbying. Because of that reason I really shouldn't divulge the name of the studio or even the name of the film as to not cast a negative light on what I'm sure will be another Hollywood blockbuster. What I was left with was a travelogue of some of the strangest and eeriest recesses in Eastern Pennsylvania and I would like to share them with all of you. So, here is a new segment on the SMF blog dedicated to what you don't see on your sunny drive to the state park or picnic ground. These properties sit just off the road, nestled nicely between quiet woodlands and our nightmares.


Monday, January 16, 2012

My Ode To The Creature From The Black Lagoon

Over the years there has been one green creature that I have always loved and held dear to my horror nerd heart . . . His name is Gill-man!

He may not have destroyed Japanese cities like Godzilla or taught us about environmental issues like Swamp Thing, but the Creature did introduce us to Clint Eastwood so, I think that trumps anything those other two green guys did in motion picture history.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday the 13th at the Colonial

Last night the SMF crew traveled to Phoenixville PA to the best movie theater in Pennsylvania to get our Jason Voorhees fix. The Colonial Theatre was screening Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood. I enjoyed the film much more than my previous viewing, which was back in college. At that time I just bemoaned how bloodless it was, but as a child Part 7 was always one of my favorites and last night the movie retook its rightful place at the top of the Friday the 13th franchise (well top 3). The set up of each murder was perfect. Especially the death of the character Maddy (who was in attendance). The mixture of suspense and immediacy worked brilliantly and within the first hour Kane Hodder put a stamp on the character Jason that no actor (before or since) has come close too.

But frankly the real star of the show was the Colonial Theatre itself. With its regal aesthetic and comfortable atmosphere the Colonial is the best example of a classic and forgotten building, The Bijou. It has the relaxed nature of an independent theater such as the Ritz or Landmark, but with the screen size of a AMC or Regal Cinema. The Colonial is an example of how movie theaters can still be relevant in the 21st Century. So here is a collection of photos from our night, before and after the show. A Jason film has never felt so classy.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The ECW Arena (It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday)

This Saturday (1/14/2012) I have to say Goodbye to a place that has provided me with some of my favorite Wrestling memories of all time . . . The ECW Arena!

After this weekend new owners are taking over the building and they are putting a stop to all of Philly's Indy Wrestling Promotions from running any future shows there.
It's pretty stupid when you think about it because if it wasn't for wrestling and the fans that frequent the arena that place would have just been a back storage room for Forman Mills years ago!

I've been going to show at the ECW Arena since I was 11 years old and already got my ticket for the EVOLVE show that's going to close the Place out! I plan on posting here about that show and personal stories the Arena has provided me over the the years, but today I'm going to take you back to the very first show at the arena  that I ever went to! A show so long ago that the "E" in ECW didn't stand for "Extreme", when I first went to a show ECW was known as Eastern Championship Wrestling . . .

I present to you in its entirety the program from my very first ECW show November to Remember 1993 featuring the finest clip art images the early 90s had to offer!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SMF Presents: Director's Royale

As many of you guys know every month here in Philly my good friends and I get together to do a movie party which has been dubbed Shit Movie Fest (hence the name of this blog lol)

Our next Event is later in the month and it's going to be a "Director's Royale"!

This is the first show I didn't have a hand in picking any of the featured movies. Even better I've never actually seen any of the them either! K.G, a regular at the Shit Movie Fest parties has programed a killer line up for Jan. 22nd! I can't tell you how excited I am to just show up that day and broaden my film watching horizons. Here's more on what Director's Royale is all about in K.G.'s own words . . . 

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Best Genre Films of 2011

Genre films are smart films; even when they contain slang spewing kids slicing aliens with samurai swords or hillbilly’s dragging half eaten bodies past police, answering ‘nothing’ when asked if anything is wrong. They are smart because they add up the collective film knowledge of an audience, mix it in a blender and create an entirely new experience out of it. Genre films build on their own history, creating sub-genres from genres and micro-genres from sub-genres. What you get is a “sci fi/horror/child in danger/women in prison/monster on the loose/nature run amok/meditation on a women’s right to choose/ children’s film” that rewrites everything you knew about all of those genres. They are a Frankensteins Monster; assembling old pieces to create a new being.

Genre films are only as smart as their audience, good thing a genre audience knows every movie, television show and cartoon that has been released. And instead of ignoring that fact the genre film embraces it, soothing you with elements you know and love and turning the rest around and surprising the hell out of everyone. All done with smarts.

So, here are the best genre films of 2011, humbly submitted by yours truly.