Long Tall Sally, the He-Men and Way Outer Space

(Thanks, Reflex Gaming!)

In terms of retrospective career highlights, I’ll let the music historians do their thing far better than I. I just wanted to do a very quick post to note two films that featured Little Richard’s music in key sequences. 1987’s Predator has that key introduction to Arnold and company and the scene is funny as heck because of its burly mcbeefcake manly men riding that choppa listening to” Long Tall Sally“, which is not at all what you expect them to be listening to, but there it is, and it works perfectly.

(Thanks, katananja!)

Two years earlier, Joe Dante’s surreal sci-fi flick Explorers featured Richard’s performance of “All Around The World” sung by a comical looking space alien. That may be Robert Picardo in that suit, as he’s credited for the film as that alien. A cover version of the song was done by Robert Palmer and appeared on the film’s soundtrack, accompanied by a music video:

(Thanks RetroVault2!)

Ah, the days of actors in well-crafted slimy-looking rubber suits and good ol’ practical effects, right? The film also had a great Jerry Goldsmith score and is worth a look if you like a bit of mid-80’s nostalgia and one of those flicks that’s a bit of fluffy popcorn fun.



Review: SEGA AGES Space Harrier (Switch)

space harrier switch

Welcome to the Fantasy Zone. GET READY!

Hell, even if I were to think I was born ready for it, back in 1985 seeing and playing Sega’s Space Harrier for the first time in an arcade was a total and unexpected blast. Granted, it wasn’t my first psuedo-3D sprite-based shooter (Willams’ still phenomenal BLASTER was an instant fave for me two years earlier), but Yu Suzuki’s even more instant classic made for a more lasting impression thanks to its more superbly detailed visuals, rock-solid 60fps gameplay and yes, a somewhat crushing difficulty level for beginners. Watching someone play any of the three cabinet version was thrilling enough. But as a player, if you lucked out and got one of the sit-down versions with that big flight stick and body-shaking tilt feature, it was pure gaming bliss that left you maybe a bit wobbly after a few too many replays. Ah, memories!

Still, Suzuki’s game was perhaps too well made, just like his other supremely reliable arcade hits some take for granted these days. This is a game that is flawless in execution, but might be seen by the more jaded gamers out there as “repetitive” because they don’t see the beauty past the lightning fast speed and brilliant use of color. Ever busy developer M2 has done another outstanding job in porting the game to Switch for the ongoing SEGA AGES project ($7.99 per title) in both its original form with a new stage select, optional visual filter and control additions and a new version of the game called KOMAINU Barrier Attack that adds infinite continues and two small stone lion statues to aid Harrier in his quest.


Screenshots really don’t do this game any justice. Some heads will roll for that.

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Blu-Ray Review: Re-Animator (Limited Edition)

re-animator le Well, wow. As someone who’d missed out on the film during its theatrical run, I’ve always wanted to catch Re-Animator to see what all the fuss was about. Well, Arrow Video has just released an outstanding 4K transfer of both the theatrical cut and much longer Integral version that’s not not only a must-buy, it’s one of their best releases to date.

Amusingly enough, I’d gotten a copy of Bride of Re-Animator a while back, but stayed away from watching it because I wanted to see the first film before the sequels. Yep, I’m crazy like that. Anyway, yep. This movie is pretty damn great stuff and oh yeah, it’s not for the kiddies at all.

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Blu-Ray Review: The Mutilator (Fall Break)

The Mutilator AV023If you missed out on Buddy Cooper’s amusing and gory slasher flick The Mutilator way back when it was in theaters or later on VHS, you’re in for a treat thanks to Arrow Video. This one’s got the goofy acting and eyebrow-raising plot holes you’d expect from the genre, but it’s the exceptionally nifty gore effects from Mark Shostrom (Videodrome, Evil Dead II) that will get most viewers on the hook (pun intended).

As for special features, Arrow packs the disc with a raft of bonus content that makes the film a lot more enjoyable thanks to all the great interviews with the cast and crew that participated. These extras are all a great thing as the story here is pretty standard genre wrangling saved by some humor and the aforementioned gore effects.

Ten years after accidentally shooting his mother, Ed Jr. (Matt Mitler) gets a phone call from his dad with a request to close up his beach condo for the winter. After his girlfriend Pam (Ruth Martinez), and school chums Ralph (Bill Hitchcock), Sue (Connie Rogers), Mike (Morey Lampley), and Linda (Frances Raines) invite themselves along for a little fun in the cool fall sun, they discover the condo in a rather messy state. Chalking it up to Big Ed being drunk with a few friends, two of the teens commence their usual getting drunk and splitting up for some alone time antics. Let’s just say Big Ed has a little (okay, somewhat large and sharp) axe to grind with his son… and his poor friends just so happen to be in the wrong place at the right time for him to get in some prime chop time. Continue reading

30 Years of Mario: Take A Bowser, Pal. You Certainly Deserve It


Yep, it’s been THAT long since Super Mario Bros. was introduced to console gamers in Japan and shortly thereafter, most of the rest of the world. No one know how many millions of games of SMB have been played, but Nintendo has managed to make Mario not only one of the most memorable and recognizable game characters ever, they continue to rake in plenty of money from both new and old games featuring the character and his equally well-known cast of friends and foes. As today just so happens to also be Video Games Day (well, here in the US where we love making and celebrating made up holidays), you may be wanting to do a little celebrating yourself. If you’re lucky enough to own a Wii U, you can (and should) snap up a copy of Super Mario Maker and whip up a few celebratory levels for today’s festivities.

“Festivities? What festivities?” you ask? Yeah, at some point today, there will be a knock at your door and when you open it, a barrel will roll in and burst open. It’ll be full of bananas and a very pissed of Donkey Kong will storm in, grab you and that busted barrel and hoof it to your roof. Soon afterwards, you’ll be visited by a certain plumber and get a little game history lesson as you’re getting rescued. After that ape goes down swinging, you’ll end up going through a LOT of surprisingly clean sewer pipes, you may crack your head on a brick and see stars, and don’t forget to wear comfortable shows because you’ll be jumping more than you’ve ever jumped before. Don’t worry, Mario has been doing this stuff for a while, so it’ll take maybe ten minutes tops before you’re back on the couch and wondering what the hell just happened.

Go Commando With Hot Toys’ John Matrix Figure!

Commando John MatrixHere’s a surefire way to blast 2014 into pieces and welcome in 2015 with a bang thanks to Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys. Yeah, you know you were grinning as soon as you saw that Arnold as John Matrix figure glaring back at you. Of course, as this is a Hot Toys piece, you know for the money you’re spending, you’ll be getting something that will stand out in your collection.

I saw Commando back in 1985 and laughed myself silly because the film is ridiculous and stuffed with quotable quips. It’s also amusingly violent in a Warner Bros. cartoon gone haywire manner, particularly the final twenty or so minutes where Matrix wipes out a villa full of troops with weapons he’s brought with him and whatever he can find as he dumps his empty guns.

Okay, it’s not for all tastes, but it’s a cable staple these days and always good for a hearty chuckle when it’s needed. That said, I was hoping to see Vernon Wells‘ Bennett finally get a decent action figure made from this flick. I guess Hot Toys needs a call from the man himself at some point to make that happen. Hey, he’s got a cool website and all, so why not a few action figures to go with that?

The Twilight Zone: The 5th Dimension Box Set: Throwback Thursday Gets The Ultimate Gift!

Twilight Zone Box Set 

55 years ago to-day, The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS and while it only ran for five years (1959-1964), it’s still one of the most memorable anthology series to this day. There was a revival in the 80’s that ran from 1985-1989, and while it wasn’t as great as the original series, there were a number of excellent episodes in that reboot that come to mind as worth tracking down. According to USA Today, the fine folks at Image Entertainment have decided to collect every episode from both series along with a wealth of special features and is going to release a very limited edition 41 DVD set called The Twilight Zone: The 5th Dimension on November 11, 2014.

Only 7500 of these must-have sets will be made and while that $349.98 price tag may seem steep to some of you who think anything old and in black and white isn’t worth that kind of money, old fogeys like me who grew up in the Zone are breaking out our knives and are getting ready to fight it out with other fans and collectors just to get our grubby mitts on this collection. I’d imagine the chances of Image shooting one of these over for review are absolute zero, I’d trade one of Alicia’s robot arms (from The Lonely), a bar of gold (from The Rip Van Winkle Caper), a family-sized can of chicken (from Two) or a Kanamit cookbook (from To Serve Man) for one of those babies. Okay, all I REA::Y have is an old tin can here, but I hear it’s quite magical once kicked around a few times…

Random Film of the Week(end): LIFEFORCE

LIFEFORCE_MPIf you were a big sci-fi flick fan around in 1985 and of a certain age, you probably went and saw LIFEFORCE for one of two reasons. You were either a horny guy or gal looking for cheap thrills or you were the girlfriend, husband or wife of that horny guy or gal elbowing your man/woman in the ribs and hissing at him every time Mathilda May appeared on screen, naked as a jaybird or not. Of course, there were most likely couples who saw this and grinned together at her wondrous curves, but let’s not turn this into a more saucy post than it’s intended to be.

Granted, at least a jaybird had feathers and it’s a damn good thing women back in that era weren’t overly obsessed with strategic downstairs depilatory action or this film might not have been as fun to watch as there would need to be some even more strategic editing than what’s here. Based on Colin Wilson’s 1976 novel, The Space Vampires with a screenplay by Dan O’Bannon, directed by Tobe Hooper and chock full of some wild practical effects,lots of blood and some gore, scenery chewing performances from most of the cast and an ending that’s still a bit baffling on a few fronts, this is one of those films that you’ll either love outright for its craziness or hate because after all is said and done, it doesn’t do anything grand with its space vampires at all other than show off how nude they are… Continue reading

Capcom Arcade Cabinet All-In-One Pack: Holdouts Get It But Good…

So, you were one of those cheap thrifty folk hanging about and peeking ’round the corner every so often waiting for Capcom to release the full version of its hit arcade games collection at a ridiculously low price? Well, *ding!*…  your order is hot and ready to go. Available now for oh, about 50% off and including the two secret bonus games, Vulgus (“What’s a Vulgus?!”, you ask? You’l find out soon enough!) and 1943 Kai! you can grab Capcom Arcade Cabinet on PSN and XBLA for $29.99 (or /€29.99/£23.99/2000 Microsoft points). Play these at home on your TV and not have to worry about some thug shaking you down for quarters, sticky controllers or cigarette smoke blinding you when you’re going for that high score. Er, unless you smoke when you’re playing games…

Capcom Arcade Trivia: “Did You Know…” You Don’t Need A Coin Drop On Your TV To Play These?


No big prizes for knowing this stuff already, folks… BUT if you hadn’t a clue before, now you know AND there’s the whole side benefit of looking and sounding REALLY cool to your geek buddies who think you need to play more games. Or something like that. Video game history is pretty awesome at the end of the day no matter how you look at it, I say. Capcom Arcade Cabinet is out NOW for the PS3 (via PSN) and Xbox 360 (via XBLA). It’s possibly coming to other platforms, but you didn’t hear it here. Yet.