Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halloween Goodie Binge!

This past weekend I was forced to partake in an obscene ritual called moving. I wasn't moving myself. That might have been fun. No, I had to move my brother and sister-in-law for the second time in less than 3 months! I hate moving people, yet it has been a long standing tradition for me to get roped into every damn move that comes along. There was an advantage this time though. Ya see the place they were moving out of was all of five minutes from a Target store. Thous I seized the opportunity to embark on a majestic junk food spree! So join me as I ride out my sugar rush by the light of my jelly doughnut scented candle.
First up is the double whammy of Frute Brute and Yummy cereals. I've loved the three main monster cereals for as long as I can remember, yet I always had the misfortune of knowing that frute brute disappeared before I was even born and I was too young to fully remember the existence of yummy mummy. The first time I ever read about them, I marked as total bucket list items but doubted that I'd ever get the chance to try them. Lo and behold this revival of these fine items has brought such a smile to my face. I must say they live up to my lofty expectations. I'm not sure as I'd rank either of them higher than the count or booberry, but they both beat frankenberry hands down. Sorry franky, I still love you. Note that combining them leads to kind of a trix flavor. If you see these when you're out shopping, you owe it to yourself to take them home.
Next on the agenda is Candy Corn Oreos. I know these were out last year but for whatever reason I was never able to get my paws on them until now. Talk about worth the wait. I'm not big on candy corn. I appreciate it as a symbol of the season and occasionally grab some for old times sake, but I don't tend to actively seek it out. These cookies however are so smooth and sweet, with just enough flavor to satisfy without becoming overbearing. Also; they remind me of another cookie whose name continues to elude me. It's really starting to drive me batty! I feel it is my public duty to demand that you all find a package of this particular Oreo and buy it! And don't forget to dip it in your coffee
Also on the candy corn front is new starburst candy corn. The texture is kinda gross even for a candy of its type, yet the flavors are crazy strong! This is the kind of taste you get when you shove a whole batch of regular starbursts into your mouth at once. A decent candy to goof around with but I'd suggest you have some other people around to try it with you in case you end up hating it. Pro tip: unlike normal starburst, the pink ones in this bag aren't very special but the yellow ones are superb.
Pumpkin spice kisses: Barely visible in the picture, these are another holdover from last year and I believe I'd tried them but completely forgot about them. Not sure how since they are nasty. I love just about anything even vaguely pumpkiny but these taste like a cheap ass scented candle (which is to say cheap ass in cost, not an ass scented candle). Just save yourself the torment and avoid them.
Thankfully Pumpkin Spice M & M's saved the day for pumpkin flavored treats. They taste a bit off at first, but as you eat more of them the flavor starts to mellow out. This all leads to a sort of Doritos effect where the more you consume, the tastier they get. Yummy but dangerous.
Caramel apple milky way. Another holdover that fully deserved to come back. Awesome tasty.
The weekend before my Great target binge I grabbed a few goodies at world market. Fright bite chips, cheerwine Jones blood orange soda, chocoshroom. Now all of those were delicious but they lack the significance of a wonderful creation known as pumpkin spice tonic! Oh this, this, everything this! Someone has found a way to make a drink more suited to fall than pumpkin beer. It's got the right notes of spices, the proper level of pumpkin, with a fine layer of sugar to keep it smooth. Whether you're into the fall season, soda, or even Harry Potter. This drink is just what you need. So far it's easily my favorite surprise of the season. I highly recommend you get some of this but it might be a trip. The bottle says it's from Orca Beverage but I couldn't find a listing for it on their site, nor did I come across it in amazons grocery section. I'll keep an ryr ouy for more but at least I know it's at World Market so if you've got one of those nearby, go nab it. Right now.....this instant!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Making a case for Friday the 13th (2009)

Oh yeah. I'm ready to party.
It's a magical day everyone! That supposedly unlucky day when some look over their shoulder a bit more frequently in fear that something as innocuous as a cat or ladder may spell certain doom. For others however; this is a day of joy where we sit back and revel in the exploits of a deformed man in sportswear. That large hockey loving freak named Jason who discards the lives of young coeds in a manner befitting tissue paper. Each and every Friday the 13th I try to relive one or two of the Voorhees adventures. I know there are others out there who do the same, but I've noticed some have an unhealthy habit of cock-blocking themselves from enjoying the more recent ones. Now I'm not gonna get into a discussion of folks who refuse to watch Freddy Vs Jason, case their just plain old crazy paints. No; I speak of people who deny the 2009 kinda remake, AKA Part XII: Jason Grows Pot. Admittedly, this is nowhere near the finer entries in the franchise but it is not the bottom of the barrel either. So why would any fan of the big guy refuse to indulge in what is at least a passable adventure? Well folks, I say it's time to stop the segregation. It's time for everyone to finally accept this flick into their tiny black hearts. Let the healing begin.
First off, let's get the negative aspects out of the way. I know everybody hates the captive sister storyline. I never minded what the writers were going for with this idea as there is a history of Jason acting a tad off when something reminds him of mommy or his childhood. The real problem is that there's never a true goal or endgame to his plan. He takes the girl cause she reminds him of momma......but then what? Is he gonna dress her up? Ask her to read him a story? Or get all creepy and hands on with her? Without a point to her captivity a whole chunk of the story just comes across as pointless. There where other issues like ho-hum music, and some weaker than average kills. I still think a few bits of violence where nicely done but then you get something like the antlers which was done better in Silent Night Bloody Night. Worse still is that nobody gets fully fed into that wood-chipper. They showed the damn thing over and over, just shove em in dammit! Still: even with the noted issues, I still enjoy a lot about this one. Let's move on to those good points shall we?

Reason #1: Jason: Perhaps this doesn't sound like the biggest reason to fall in like with this movie but this may be the finest version of our beloved villain ever to grace the screen. There have been several great Jasons through the years (Richard Brooker, Ted White, and C.J. Graham, are all faves) yet Derek Mears provides a mean streak with just enough intelligence to make for a compelling maniac. He's like a mash-up of part 3's speed, part 6's cruelty, with the swift brute force of the Kane Hodder version. Whether or not this flick is continued or ignored in following entries this cat needs to play Jason again and again.

Reason #2: Trent: In all my years of horror viewing I have loved many a douchebag, yet I can think of none I love as much as Trent. This dude is an absolute cartoon in the best way possible. Despite being over the top as he is I swear I've met folks just like him. You simply can't hate a guy who says things like“You're tits are stupendous.” or “Where the fuck are you, gun?” Sweet Jesus; even the actors name is fantastic! Travis Van Winkle, you're my hero.

Reason #3: Two for the Price of One: It's rather sad how long we have to wait between new installments of our big horror icons these days. Oh how I long for the days of a new entry every year or so as opposed to this once or twice a decade nonsense. I can't help but feel that the long gap in question contributed to this ones gimmick of a whole twenty three minute slasher flick before the title screen even appears. Frankly I thought the whole idea quite nice. Why make the audience wait around for exactly what they know is coming when you can have some naked idiots being slaughtered up front? The whole endeavor makes for some interesting pacing since the typically slower 2nd act now serves as an introduction to a whole new set of budding victims.

Reason #4: It Doesn't Insult Us: I'll admit I had some worries back when this came out. It's only naturally to fear the Holloywood remake machine. What left a good impression after my first viewing was that this wasn't necessarily a remake or even a reboot. Sure there's some familiar sights but nothing is ever said or done that cancels out the previous history of the franchise. Granted; nothing is built upon either but this thing can just as well serve as part XII. You may bulk at this statement with questions about why Jason is wearing his burlap sack again or things of that nature but let's face facts. The whole series isn't rather sloppy when it comes to continuing the story. Plus this one is closer to proper continuity than something like Jason Goes to Hell will ever be.

I'd go on to further arguments but I need to enjoy my 13th in full. The facts are simply that this is an ok entry in the series. I'd say it's around spot 8 or 9 in power rankings (and don't even try to demean that ranking cause we all know Goes to Hell is shit, Jason X in lame, and I've seen how you all treat Takes Manhattan.) I may never fully change the minds of other Jason fans but I hope this blog has at least convinced you to give this movie another shot. Lord knows that if you relax and just take it in stride, you might actually enjoy it a little. Happy Friday the 13th to all!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dark Angel (AKA I Come In Piece) Blu-Ray Review with some monstervision memories.

As a man with over five hundred fifty horror movies nesting not 6 feet from my bed, it takes a certain special flick to really get me excited about buying it. It helps if the movie in question has never truly had a good release or if it belongs to a certain special subset of old Monstervision flicks. This lil bad boy nests in both those camps.
For those who are either not old enough, didn't have cable in the mid to late nineties or simply missed out on watching it, Monstervision was TNT's Saturday night horror/cult movie show hosted by the great Joe Bob Briggs. Say what you will about Elvira or Svenghoolie, but Joe Bob never needed a rubber chicken or a skimpy dress (that was the mail girls thing) to keep things interesting. Simply put; no other horror host had the same appeal or verbal skill. The guy was a top-notch host who'd toss just enough info and comedy into perfect lil bite sized bits for your enjoyment. He's not as prominent these days and apparently had some trouble with a few less than choice gay jokes, but back in the day this cat was the centerpiece of my weekend. It's rare to be able to point to one person who helped build a love for something but I can think of no one else who had a greater influence on my viewing habits.Over the years he aired plenty of different flicks but there was a group of them that stuck with me. Titles like The Wraith, Halloween 3, The Beast Within, From Beyond, all took up residence in my young mind while I lounged in my Pepsi beach chair. I feel a slight twinge of pride that I have just about everything except for Saturn 3 (which comes out soon), People Under the Stairs (no idea why I don't have that), and until last week, I Come in Piece.
The premise of our flick is one of simple elegance. Dolph Lundgren is a hard ass cop who has to deal with a drug-dealer from outer space. You could turn Shakespeare into a vampire, chain him to a typewriter for a thousand years and he still wouldn't have come up with a story this beautiful. Admittedly the whole plot is riddled with cliches like the by the book partner and the old fashioned one on one fistfight to end the whole ordeal but complex writing is not what's important here. What is important is the feeling the movie conveys, that of pure rainy day cinema. Truly the sights, sounds, and dialogue are of the kind that belong solely to those special films reserved for those days when your barbecue gets rained out.
There's also a nice variety of little touches added in, like Dolph's character being a wine and art connoisseur who goes to titty bars to think. And I'd be remiss not to mention the gun the aliens carry which is essentially an Uzi that fires explosion (eat it Michael Bey!). The cherry on top is that this a Christmas movie as well, which would make for a great alternative x-mas double feature if paired with Cobra.
The whole affair isn't life changing, or even a good movie per say, but those of the right mindset will get that warm old blanket feeling from a simple action flick from the days when such movies weren't up their own asses with self-importance and geeky wink wink moments. If you love action, aliens, or just basic fun cinema at least give this thing a viewing.
As far as the blu-ray itself; the picture quality is surprisingly good. There are a few parts that feature a little too much grain or image stutter but all in all it's quite purdy. I've seen some cats who like to think themselves as AV nuts criticize the transfer on some very shaky grounds but most just seem to be looking desperately for attention. I frankly don't get the complains cause it's pretty damn nice looking. Audio on the other hand is a little muffled. It's nothing serious and probably has more to do with the movie itself than the disc. There's some OK separation for those with multi-speaker setups, just don't expect anything too impressive. Thankfully Jan Hammer's score come across quite well. All in all, It's not bad audio...just kinda weak.
There's not many special features but I don't mind since we get a good half-hour of interviews with Lundgren, Director Craig Baxley, and Brian Benben who seems to be an odd little man. Other than that you get a standard definition trailer. I've never minded a lean offering of features since I don't usually have the time to watch that many and these were good enough to satisfy me. Plus they explained why the alien ran so damn strangely.
Since I'm still lost in a haze of Monstervision memories I leave you with this advice: go out and get this disc. Also; check out the Monstervision song. Ta!