Weird Tales (and It’s All True)

Thanks, OOdie Smith!)

 

Amusingly enough, my last post seemed to cause some voodoo spirits* or whatever to affect my posting through Firefox, as I’m now writing this on Google Chrome after installing it because I can’t post or respond to posts using Firefox now. Weird, as it’s been an issue since last night when I was trying to post two reviews and respond to a few comments and I couldn’t. It was late and I was tired, so I did the usual human thing of going to bed without resolving the problem.

Of course, this didn’t work at all as a proper solution when I went to check early this morning to see what was up.

VOODOOOOOO!!**

I think I turned into Sir Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in Sexy Beast at this point, or I got up and had a cup of strong coffee, or both. But like a politician, I choose not to remember certain things as a matter of convenience. Oh, that video you clicked on was very NSFW (no, not in a sexy manner), but I may also have been (ALLEGEDLY), and Sir Ben is better at emoting, so there. Nyah.

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The Thousand (Plus) Post Stare

I’ve got a secret that’s not really a secret is a silly way to begin a post, but so it goes. Anyway, I started blogging on Blogger 11 or so years ago, moving to WordPress because, frankly, Blogger was a pain on a few fronts and Google for some reason chopped my Adsense monetization off for no good reason. I know there was a class action suit filed a few years later and they eventually sent me a pittance of what I was owed, but that’s fodder for a separate post.

I’d been meaning to migrate my old site’s posts here for some time and indeed, did move a few years of content (a few thousand posts) over a few years ago. What’s left are about 1100 posts (including drafts) that I have no idea what to do with, although a few are junk posts that point people to this site, so I can ignore those completely.  As for the rest, it may seem that many posts are outdated and some old reviews are no longer relevant, but it’s a weird time in the world where one may want old stuff to have some existence in some way outside the disposable content the internet is packed with.

Well, that and converting even a few hundred of those old posts will take a bit of time to do and transfer any images and videos over. Well, that’s a thing to consider, right? It might not actually happen, but I may slip in the occasional old blog post as a “retro” review other feature in the future, Well, maybe. My backlog is so huge that it may never happen, but I may surprise myself one of these days..

-GW

SAMURAI SHODOWN on Switch: Big Things, Smaller Packages and Big, But Little Surprises

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It’s time to Switch things up…

samuraishodown_package_switch (1)I’ll tell you, games can get you in trouble if you’re careless. Case in point, SNK’s Samurai Shodown has always caused me trouble because it’s intentionally misspelled the word “Showdown” since its initial installment in arcades in 1993. Which has lead me to ducking fists and feet ever since when I try to correct a fan of the franchise on occasion who spells the word incorrectly outside of the game title. (CHOP! Ow!)

Hey, sorry! My internal spellcheck just goes haywire when I see it. It’s not your fault! Anyway, here’s a peek at few trailers and screens look at some new content for the upcoming Unreal-4 powered Nintendo Switch version, ($49.99) which is coming on February 25, 2020 and looks pretty nice, by the way. Even nicer, players who pre-order the digital or physical version of the game before its release date will get a neat freebie -a port of the Neo Geo Pocket Color game, Samurai Shodown! 2 as a bonus.

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Better still, pre-orders for the physical version from GamsStop or Best Buy get a cool bonus controller skin, so hit up one of these retailers if you’re in the US and want one before the game ships.

I still have my old NGPC here, so even though the Switch port will be an exclusive to the console, It’ll bring back memories playing it now on Nintendo’s home and portable wodder system. I actually missed the PS4 version of the game when it was last year (oops), but I think I can still nab a copy from the PlayStation Store when I need to.

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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Coming to Kickstarter in Feburary

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Something’s cooking over at Owlcat…

If you’re fan of old-school PC classics like the Baldur’s Gate series and other Infinity Engine games, Keep an eye of this, please. Developer Owlcat Games will be launching a crowdfunding drive via Kickstarter for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, the followup to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which by the way is on sale for about 20 hours more at Fanatical (go get it!). There’s a lot of changes on the way, but I’ll reveal a few when the Kickstarter goes live on February 4, 2020 and I can report on some hands-on time spent with a build.

You’ll also want to go sign up for info on the game on Owlcat’s website, as this will get you a stunning free 178 page artbook PDF from the first game that actually surprised me at how much it contained. A bit of info about the new title and some nice screen and art is below the jump.

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Maneater: Watch Out, Folks – It’ll Chew You Up This May

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“HEY YOU KIDS, GET OFFA MY LAWN!!

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Please don’t sing that “Baby Shark” song here.

Way back in 2006, developer Appaloosa Interactive and publisher Majesco released JAWS Unleashed, an officially licensed game that had players take on the role of the shark in an open-world adventure set 30 years after the original film. While it suffered from some camera issues and a few glitches, the game was quite a guilty pleasure many players liked for its shark-driven bloody violence and some pretty wry humor in all the M-rated mayhem caused.

Me, I have both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of that older game here, plus an Xbox review build from Majesco that I got at a press event for the game, which was a ton of fun to play, warts and all. The Xbox versions are buried in a pile of games here, but I did locate a sealed PS2 version I should crack open at some point (I’d reviewed the Xbox version many moons ago on a new defunct website).

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I don’t think a bigger boat will help much, to be honest.

 

Flash forward to 2020, and developer Tripwire Interactive has what looks like a much meatier game called Maneater coming this May and man, does it bring back some good and gory memories.

Here’s a somewhat tongue in cheek trailer to ogle:

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Review: Promise Her Anything (1966)

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“Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it…”

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My brain wants its time back. My eyes… well they were pleased for a hot minute or two.

The very last thing you see before the end credits to Arthur Hiller‘s bizarre 1966 sex comedy Promise Her Anything is a red neon sign that says one word: STOP, which if it had appeared at the start of the film, would have probably saved me the trouble of watching this earlier this morning. To paraphrase Fight Club, “I am Jack’s flabbergasting 98 minutes.”

Let me hip you to the ’60’s era plot so I can get away with torturing, murdering and burying this one as fast as possible, although I may take my time with the torture part, as the movie is very much like scheduling a 98-minute session with a nearsighted dominatrix who happens to be stone deaf, owns a too short set of whips, keeps missing her target, her safe word is “Mister Mxyzptlk” and if you don’t sign it properly with the quotes, she keeps on madly whipping the air. I’ll first apologize to anyone who’s exactly like that in real life or has that particular fetish, by the way.

Anyway, here we we go: A lovely widow with a baby moves into a Greenwich Village apartment on the same floor as a free-spirited guy who makes mail order adult movies but has intentions of making it big in art films one day. They sort of hit it off (although she has no idea of the work he does), but she gets a job as an assistant to a baby-hating child psychologist and plans to woo him because she sees a good provider in that wealth he’s got. Meanwhile, her neighbor becomes quite a helpful babysitter… who keeps trying to bed his emotionally susceptible newly widowed neighbor while secretly putting her child in the films he’s selling.

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You’re watching this film for the girls, right? Bless your soul.

Well now, that’s kind of unforgettable for a few reasons, isn’t it?

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Review: Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946)

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This French poster looks as it was started in 1909 and completed a few dozen years later.

“Well, I certainly wasn’t going to laugh…”  is what I immediately thought after viewing this tepid 1946 film on TCM a few evenings ago. To be fair, I’d seen a few Andy Hardy films in the past and found them to be drolly amusing light comedies and as fluffy as could ever be possible, especially the three with a young Judy Garland as Mickey Rooney‘s co-star. This effort, however just left me cold and in a few parts, rubbed me the wrong way save for one performance that steals the show.

The absolutely drop-dead gorgeous Dorothy Ford was actually 5′ 11″, but played her too brief part as Coffy Smith at well over six feet in heels and yes, steals the film from Mickey Rooney’s tired but competent shenanigans. She also turns out to be the “wisest” character in this film, offering up some sage relationship advice and dealing with having to dance with Rooney in a lively, but paradoxically strangely dull sequence where her height is the butt of a few jokes. Andy being about breast high being one none too subtle bit, but that’s actually funny for a few seconds.

 

 

Then again, the film very likely will be loved by the comfort flick crowd for a lot of the usual things the franchise was known for. You get that long Andy and Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) talk with morality and choices as the center, and yes, the family Hardy is as wholesome as Instant Ralston with Jam, and cream mixed in (ewww). There are some amusing moments like the homecoming sequence when Andy comes back from his service in WWII, and a few of the college scenes are cute and chuckle-worthy. Still, for me, the film was a chore to sit through because of the “Poor Andy Hardy” scent emanating from the plot.

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Review: SEGA AGES Shinobi (Switch)

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Hey, that’s NOT a ninja weapon!

Switch Shinobi boxAnother flawless and essential port by M2 with a few excellent modern options, the 1987 arcade classic Shinobi ($7.99) sneaks onto the Switch, and it’s just as hard as ever. There’s an easier AGES mode that changes lead Joe Musashi’s garb to white and lets you take more that a single hit (as in the Genesis and Mega Drive follow-up Revenge of Shinobi) and you can choose to use the new rewind function if you like to make things a bit easier. I’ll admit that I didn’t touch it for a few days until it was tested for review purposes and yep, it helped a lot in a few areas. But it’s not necessary to clear the game if you’re averse to it and want to do it the old-fashioned way. Well, minus the feeding the machine part.

 

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Review Quickie: The Spy in Black/U-Boat 29 (1939)

U-Boat 29_MPLike a perfectly prepared fine aged steak, this Alexander Korda/Irving Asher production of The Spy in Black (or U-Boat 29) comes in hot, sizzling and rare, offering strong performances by its cast along with the first teaming of director Michael Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, who would go on to work on 24 pictures including a number of absolute classics across a few genres.

Conrad Veidt is excellent as Captain Hardt, a German U-boat commander whose given the task of meeting with a fellow German, a female spy, as they attempt to deal major damage to British Fleet at Scapa Flow, as war raged on in 1917. As the film begins, Hardy and a fellow seaman arrive back in Germany to almost depleted food resources, even at the finely set officer’s restaurant where steamed fish and carrots are the sole offerings. Amusingly enough, the local newspapers trumpet the country’s U-boats and their sinking of English ships that have allegedly been hitting food supplies there, but they seem a bit suspect in their retelling.

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“WARNING: Smoking can cause Victoria”

Hardt is ordered to to a bit of infiltration into Scotland, as a plan has neatly been hatched to dispose of a teacher planning to move to a sleepy village near The Old Man of Hoy and with the aid of a disgraced British Navy officer, former Commander Ashington (Sebastian Shaw), who is no fan of the service that did him wrong. Hardt doesn’t want to be a common spy, but orders are orders and surprisingly, his part of the mission gets off to a fine beginning. When he meets his partner in crime, Fräulein Tiel (Valerie Hobson), things go a bit sideways and she locks him in his room every night and as his new commanding officer, keeps him in check even as he makes small advances towards her.

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Dawn of Fear: Some Residents Are Quite Evil Here

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I like the PlayStation Talents program, as it’s been bringing a few games to players from quite a few indie developers in Spain that might otherwise be ignored in a market crowded with new releases every week. Survival Horror fans have a new game to look at with Dawn of Fear, from indie team Brok3nsite. Take a look at this trailer and get the warn and fuzzy zombies coming after you feeling once more:

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