Archive for June, 2010

Zombie Day at the Mall

Posted in Zombies with tags on June 23, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Zombie Day

If you’ve ever been in a shopping mall overrun by zombies, then this poster is pretty darn funny. I never thought you could have something with the word “zombie” on it and not show steaming guts and brains and stink gunk. But it looks as though I’ll have to eat my words like fresh flesh.

You can buy this 11″x17″ color poster (and the one below) for $6.95. Just go to http://www.buyzombie.com and click thru to the check-out page. While you’re there, explore the site as it’s an homage to all things living dead: books, clothing, games, movies, events, news, humor… If it has anything to do with zombies, they’re on it.

Here’s how Buy Zombie describe themselves: “Started in 2007, Buy Zombie is a site for Zombie Fans. While we started as an ever-growing database of everything Zombie related you can buy or do on the Internet it has since grown to be a hub for zombie news, media, reviews, and announcements! As time goes on we hope continue to have a complete Zombie Product database, keep you up to date on the undead happenings, as well as more features for you all to enjoy.”

And you thought zombies were just brainless brain eaters. Go to your room and think about that.

Zombie Kill

Elvira Returns

Posted in Misc. Horror, Scream Queens with tags on June 22, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Elvira

The rumors are true – Elvira, the well-rounded hostess of the legendary Movie Macabre, is returning to regularly scheduled television this Fall. As posted on her MySpace™ page: Elvira’s Movie Macabre makes its return to TV with all NEW episodes. All dates, times, and channels are TBA later this summer. The show is syndicated (national), so times & channels will depend on your area/market.

For those too young to remember, Elvira’s Movie Macabre aired on cable TV, beginning back in the pre-New Wave era of 1981. A horror movie hostess, she brought us tons of brilliantly cheesy horror movies, embellished with pop-up comments, comedy bits, Valley Girl speak, and that Grand Canyon cleavage that made her a global pop culture icon. Elvira went on to star in two movies – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001) – and fronts a highly successful line of merch, which includes DVDs and stain-proof posters.

Elvira

If it goes well, she could reclaim her title and be busting out with new fans and… I’m SO gonna be busted by my mom.

The Exorcist on Blu-Ray™

Posted in Evil with tags on June 21, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Exorcist

Ever wondered what it’d be like to see devil vomit in hi-definition? Yeah, me, too. Now we all can on October 5, 2010 when Warner Bros. Home Video releases the definitive The Exorcist on Blu-Ry™, complete with a 40-page booklet, tons of extras/bonus material and a “heat ’n eat” bag of vomit. OK, not that last one.

Here’s what you’ll get in exchange for cash or credit:

Disc 1: – Extended Director’s Cut (2000) plus Special Features
Commentary by William Friedkin
Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist – set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now – Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist – with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
Trailers, TV spots & radio spots from the film’s 2000 release

Disc 2 – Theatrical Cut (1973) plus Special Features
Introduction by William Friedkin
Commentaries:
William Friedkin
William Peter Blatty with Special Sound Effects Tests
The Fear of God: 25 Years of The Exorcist [1998 BBC documentary]
Additional interviews with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty:
The Original Cut
Stairway to Heaven
The Final Reckoning
Original ending
Sketches & storyboards
Trailers & TV spots from the 1973 version

There’s lots more, including the infamous 12 minutes director William Friedkin took out of the 1973 version. Says Sir Friedkin,“With technical advances, scenes that didn’t work then could now be fixed with CGI and there were others that I thought strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film. Warner agreed and released a whole new theatrical print in 2000 which we called The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen. And I now agree with that this is the best and most complete version.”

You don’t have a choice but to buy this DVD – the power of Christ compels you.

Jaws Turns 35

Posted in Misc. Horror with tags on June 20, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Jaws

Seems like only yesterday we were sitting in movie theaters and soiling ourselves while watching what has since become the greatest shark movie of all time. And yet here we are 35 years later, still testing the absorbent properties of our Old Navy™ pants while enjoying the endlessly thrilling Jaws.

Jaws

The plot was as basic as it gets: A rogue Great White feeds on the summer beach crowd doing the 4th of July thing on Amity Island in New England. (There’s a NEW England?) The shark eats its weight in swimmers until the local sheriff, a shark expert and a salty sea captain go after it. Or rather, it goes after them.

This became the formula/template for literally hundreds of fish gone wild movies, and is still in use today. But you can’t top the original for sheer exhilarating action, suspense and swimsuit-staining terror. While the sequels were nothing but weak cash-ins, it proved that the public’s taste for being eaten by sharks is not only a good business model, but that our primal fear shows no sign of slowing down. That’s why Jaws is so resonant. This isn’t fictional horror – you could actually be eaten by a shark while out dog-paddling in the middle of the ocean while sipping a refreshing cocktail. There’s something equally horrifying and intriguing about that. The drink, too.

Jaws

And cheap knock-offs weren’t the only things to profit from Jaws legacy. Every year the Discovery Channel’s™ Shark Week is a ratings bonanza and hauls in millions in advertising revenue. I can sit through as many commercials as they throw at me, just as long as I get to see a reenactment of someone being attacked and half-chewed by a frenzied shark from the safety of my couch.

The tag line for Jaws II summed up the phenomena perfectly: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…” (If you’re not old enough to remember, ask your parents what happened after Jaws came out; no one went in the water the entire summer. Now that’s good marketing.) It’s been said that Republicans do to politics what Jaws did to swimming. Whichever side of the political fence you wave your flag from, that’s pretty dang funny. And TRUE.

Thirty-five years ago Jaws was made for $9 million dollars and went on to fishnet (sorry) $470,653,000. That’s a lot of goldfish. I dare you to watch it right now, and then go swimming in the ocean. Can’t be done without polluting the water.

Jaws

Strange Beasts of Japanese Film

Posted in Giant Monsters with tags on June 19, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Killer Kaiju

So why would a book on Japanese movie monsters not have any Japanese movie monsters on the cover? That’s because a lot of Japanese film studios prohibit the use of their intellectual property on anything but what they sell. Fine. Shove a copyrighted Godzilla® up your butt. See what I care.

So that’s just the first of several glaring problems with Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film, written by Ivan Vartanian (that doesn’t sound very Asian). Originally titled Godzilla and Friends: The Art of the Japanese Monster, over half of the book’s content is devoted to rubber action figures. Then there are the illustrations (way cool, by the way), and some other stuff, like cut-outs so you can turn your favorite Japanese monster into super fun happy origami.

Killer Kaiju

But there seem to be more coverage given to the toys that have nothing to do with Japanese monsters made by U.S. manufacturers, than what the book’s title is trying to pitch. And the photos of the monsters are ones you’ve seen hundreds of times. Maybe millions.

One of the neater features, though, is contributions by Shoji Ohtomo, the guy who did An Anatomical Guide to Monsters. If you ever wanted to see what the inside of Rodan’s butt looks like, Shoji puts it on the glass. Or rather, under the glass.

Conspicuously missing is Godzilla®, whom the entire book owes its existence. But thanks to those strict copyright laws, we’ll just have to be content with a half dozen lesser monsters. All in all, an interesting read, but more for the occasional fan than a hardcore, who will tell you there’s a metric ton of stuff missing. Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film is nicely packaged, though I’m not too keen on the almost $30 shelf price. I could buy a limited edition Gamera action figure/shampoo bottle with screw-off head/cap for that. But hey, it’s available now, so go nuts…

Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film
Written by: Ivan Vartanian
Publisher: HarperCollins
SRP: $27.99
Format: Hardcover, 7 x 10
Pages: 144

King Wrong

Posted in Giant Monsters with tags on June 18, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

King Krud

What have we ever done to Bangladesh? Are they paying us back for that lackluster hippie rock concert benefit we did for them back in the ’70s? (It wasn’t George Harrison’s fault – he had to put Ringo on the bill. Paul made him do it.) So why has the People’s Republic of Bangladesh insulted not only the American people by making a mockery of our beloved icon, King Kong, but the great ape himself? If we were all in a bar, it’d be on.

What you’re looking at is Banglar King Kong, their version of King Kong, a movie poster advertising it stuck to some high-rent district wall in Bangladesh. And to add insult to injury, it’s a musical. OK, I get that Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. But did they have to put some guy in a hair-covered sleeping bag and make him dance and sing? You’d have to be a poet to describe my adjective-laden anger right about now.

King Krud

And if all this wasn’t turd frosting, where they ran out of money for special effects, they jammed in footage from Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong (1976). Why not just wipe your butt with an American flag?

Clearly, a LOT of questions need to be answered. For instance, where are Kong’s copyright attorneys? When can the Stealth Bombers be ready to take to the air? How many Starbuck’s do we want to see going in after the craters are filled with the corpses of the unforgiven?

A press release for the film (you can see the trailer for it on YouTube™) states that Banglar King Kong is the product of the combined efforts of director Iftekar Jahan and producer Sharmin Osman for the government backed FDC (the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation). Apparently, this goes all the way to to the top and proves that no country, however destitute, is immune to corruption.

And I thought King Kong Lives (1986) was bad.

Godzilla Podcast

Posted in Giant Monsters with tags on June 17, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Kaijucast

If you think you’re the world’s biggest Godzilla fan, you are wrong. So go to your room (or Japan) and reflect. That title belongs to Kyle Yount, the indefatigable uber G-fan behind Kaijucast.com, the northern hemisphere’s all-Godzilla podcast. And while he claims to not be a ’Zilla professor, you’d be hard-pressed to tell him something he doesn’t know.

Says Kyle, “I love Godzilla. I take pride in being able to enjoy all of Japan’s giant monster films. Am I an expert? Not by a long shot, but that’s kind of the point with this podcast – I want an excuse to learn more about Godzilla, his friends, his foes and the men and women who have created this fantastic genre!”

“I used to run Henshin! Online with August Ragone, Bob Johnson, Keith Aiken, Aaron Cooper and many others (I was just the webmaster). I also have a little website called The Shrine of Gamera. In 2004, I put on the 50 Years Of Godzilla Film Festival here in Portland, Oregon at the Hollywoood Theatre. I’ve had a really great time learning about and sharing my love for Godzilla.”

So log on to kaijucast.com and listen to Kyle go gooshy (in a good way) about all things Godzilla. FYI: The above graphic is also a limited edition screen print designed by Kyle himself (with a decided nod to Shepard Fairey).  The cost is 969.014 yen or $10.65 ($5 poster, $5.65 shipping).