Mail Call, Yesterday Edition

Mail Call Sunday

So, I’m in the process of writing up a certain review when I take a minute to check one of my inboxes which kindly notes that a DVD I finally got around to ordering has arrived (and rather quickly, at that). On Sunday.  As it was about 2:24am Monday (“Sleep?” What’s this “sleep” you speak of, mortals?), my eyebrow went up and yes, I got my keys, put some pants on (TMI: I tend to dress like a video game mascot character from the 90’s when at home) and hoofed it downstairs to check my mail with the first thought being the mailbox would be empty and somehow USPS and/or Amazon mucked up the delivery date. Wrong, and well, wow for the post office for delivering regular mail on a day when it usually doesn’t.

Um, go write a letter or postcard or something today and mail it, I guess. USPS kinda needs people to be less reliant on tech and more reliant on good old fashioned handwritten surprises via the post. Either than or they go under and we end up going broke because it’ll cost a mint to ship via other services angling to take their place and doing a worse job in the process. Anyway, back to the backlog, ladies and germs!

-GW

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Review: Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition

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Good luck finding one of these, folks!

NT_tinyPlaying Night Trap after about 15 or so years away from any version brought back a few sour memories. Not those about the game’s campy/cheesy vibe and still somewhat clunky gameplay that’s better if you don’t use a walkthrough to blow through your purchase within the first hour of the day you buy it.  Nope, I ended up thinking too hard about how a bunch of overly zealous politicians lied their asses off to the public (and themselves) about an intentionally silly videogame being a potential root cause for real-life violence and mayhem.

Just as they did with comic books, Dungeons & Dragons, and Hollywood movies before that (I’d include Prohibition in this as well, but let’s not get too carried away today), Night Trap was made an easy scapegoat back in 1993 along with Mortal Kombat and a few other games deemed inappropriate for kids who very likely knew they weren’t being brainwashed into axe murderers en masse. As a result, it ended up selling out in spots, was briefly taken off the market but eventually reemerged on 3DO, Sega 32X, MS-DOS, and Mac OS, turning absolutely no one into a sex fiend or blood-lusting serial killer (well, the last time I checked, at least). In terms of the remaster/re-release, Screaming Villains has definitely delivered the definitive Night Trap experience, which is kind of like saying you’re getting dented canned tuna for dinner, but it’s the best damn dented canned tuna you can buy.

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Blu-Ray Review: Brain Damage

BD_AV090 (Custom)I somehow missed out on Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage when it was first released back in 1987, but it’s been on my very long list of films to see for quite some time.  Arrow Video’s recent restoration is pretty awesome and is filled to the brim with some great bonus features. Depending on your tastes this is one of those outrageously creative films that you’ll love or hate, but like Henenlotter’s other exploitation flicks (the three Basket Case movies, Frankenhooker, Bad Biology), your best bet is to jump in feet first and enjoy the wild ride.

When a somewhat phallic-shaped brain-eating parasite named Aylmer (or Elmer) escapes from the apartment of the elderly couple keeping it as a twisted addiction source and ends up a few doors away with a new host, Brian (Rick Herbst), things get gory quite quickly. The old couple had been feeding Aylmer fresh from the meat market calf brains thinking they could sate his hunger, but you know how these things go in movies like this, right? Yes, there’s an explanation for how the parasite ended up in the apartment of that couple, but that comes later on in the film and I’m not telling.

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Kvetch-22: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Good GOG PlusHere’s some news fresh from the “Wouldn’t You Know It?” desk:

Hooray! I won something awesome recently – a blu-ray copy of the Ivan Tors produced, Herbert L. Strock directed sci-fi film GOG (1954), restored into its 3D state and in HD for the first time on disc. Many thanks go to Kino Lorber, Classic Movie Hub and Aurora’s Gin Joint (all fine places to sit for a spell and learn about plenty of classic films) for picking my hastily scribbled entry. I also got two more Arrow Video blu-rays in the post today to review right after GOG showed up via Fed Ex: Dillinger and The Zero Boys. Excellent!

However (and this is hi-larious)… Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Blood Rage

Blood Rage AV018Just in thyme for your Thanksgiving film feast, Arrow Video via MVD Visual strikes again with the perfectly themed (and definitely NOT for the whole family!) horror flick, 1983’s Blood Rage. If you’re a horror film fan who’s scratching your head raw and thinking out loud “Hey, I never heard of this one before!”, well… you’re not incorrect there, pal. Actually, director John Grissmer’s film wasn’t released in that year or even with that particular title. It came in on the tail end of the slasher flick craze and seemed to be deemed too violent for a genre that had gotten “tamer” over the course of the early 80’s.

The film finally hit theaters in 1987 as a heavily edited but still “R” rated version with the more generic title NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS, which is thankfully included in this special edition package along with a third cut of the film that combines footage from both versions into a big, bloody meal. And if it’s special features you want, Arrow’s got you well covered with a slew of features including interviews with cast members (Louise Lasser, Mark Soper), visual effects artist Ed French, and producer/actress Marianne Kanter on how this one came together and how she ended up in the film as a victim of one of the more outrageously icky cinematic murders of that era. A high body count, an overall offbeat tone, plenty of cheesy synth tunes tickling your eardrums and some solid and yucky gore effects from Ed French make this one a real treat.
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Some Father’s Day Memories (Sort Of…)

(thanks, Star Wars Malaysia!)
 

Sadly, my own daddy-o is no longer with us, so I’m having a quieter day of no celebration or awful hastily bought ties, cheap cologne and overpriced restaurant suppers here. Instead, you get a bit of my oddball humor with a few movie clips of some memorable and not so good dads you may or may not remember.

)thanks, Movieclips!)
 

Before you get the wrong idea, I’ve certainly got fonder memories of my father, folks. I just prefer to keep them to myself. That is all. Back in a bit and I do hope your own Father’s Day was excellent and happier.

(thanks, glows!)
 

WIN FREE STUFF! Kill The Bad Guy OR R-Type Delta Game Codes (Pick ONE & Play!)

 
Hokay, people. I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff, but I need a break. How do I take a break, you ask? I GIVE STUFF AWAY! Well, not all the time, but you don’t need to know what I do when I’m not hanging out here, grrrr! *Ahem!* Anyway, I have ONE code here for Exkee’s recently released Kill the Bad Guy on Steam (yes, you need a Steam account!) and ONE code here for Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions for the PlayStation 3 on PSN (so you’ll need a PS3 and PSN account). Oh, it’s a North American code, so it won’t work outside the U.S. of A. at all. Steam codes should be universal, though. so you can Kill The Bad Guy anywhere you live!

 
So, HOW do you get ONE of these two codes, you ask? Well, dearies… hit reply and just drop a comment below naming the game you want and BOOM!, it’s all yours. No need to leave any contact info, as I’ll know how to reach you through the MAGIC of email and WordPress knowing who you are when you respond. If you don’t win, fear not. I’m cooking up a sort of random giveaway of extra Steam codes I have here that are duplicates of stuff in my way too massive backlog (which now extends into 2016! Yaaaaah!). I won’t get to that for a while, as I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff in case you didn’t remember. Anyway, stop reading this and go try and win a game already!

Review: R-Type Dimensions (PSN)

R-Type Dimensions Logo 
Developer: Southend Interactive
Publisher: Tozai Games
# of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site
Score: A (95%)

Some things never change, and in the case of R-Type and R-Type II, this is a great thing even if you’ve always hated both for being so incredibly brutal to play through. Developer Southend Interactive has put together a neat little retro package with a few great modern twists for you arcade shooter fans as well as anyone looking for a true old school challenge that’s finally flown onto PSN after appearing on the Xbox 360 last year. R-Type Dimensions is an absolute must-buy if you like your games tough, tricky and full of replay value. Sure, both games combined only total a mere fourteen stages, but just like back in 1987 and 1989, both games will test your reflexes to the maximum. And if you take what’s here for granted, how far you can throw a controller.

If you’re terrible at these types of shooters, terminally lazy or just want to see the endings of both before you flee this mortal coil, Dimensions includes couch co-op play and a new Infinite mode that gives you multiple lives, allowing anyone to blow through the game no matter how many times you’re blasted into space dust. Of course, purists will want this because the classic games are intact and perfectly presented in terms of gameplay and even the terrible “Get me a proofreader!” text that spells out the rather minimalist story… Continue reading

WIN FREE STUFF! R-Type Dimensions PSN Codes Up For Grabs!

R_TD If you happen to have a PS3 and a PlayStation Network account and are sitting around staring at a wall right now just wishing you had something nicely nostalgic and hard as hell to play, I’d bet you look as if you could use something nice and free today.

I think I can oblige just a tiny bit with Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions, which landed on PSN a few days back. If you’re bouncing up and down in your seat right about now, okay, okay… knock it off and listen up. Two codes, both for North America (which means they won’t work anywhere else!), ONE each for two lucky winners. Just reply below (no need to put any personal info in that response) and the code is yours!

R-Type Dimensions Out Today: Say Bye-Bydo, You Alien Creeps!

 
And here I was, thinking it would be a quiet day today. Nope, too many games hitting retail and digital, including Tozai Games’ one-two punch for the PS3, R-Type Dimensions. It’s both the original arcade games plus modern remakes with a few play modes and new options that make the game even more (or a bit less) challenging, it’s hard as heck nostalgia that won’t break the bank at only $9.99 on the PlayStation Network. Yes, you need to get this just in case there really are cranky aliens up there coming to visit and you’re suddenly drafted into service…