May the 4th Needs a Fifth, I Think

Yeah, yeah. I kind of don’t like the over-celebrating thing when it comes to some stuff I appreciate, but that’s the way things are these days. Still, a little tribute is in order to a film that deserves it (well, in its original format), so here’s mine.

Perspective from an old fart who knows stuff: There was not a hint of internet nor the sort of over-speculation we suffer though today way back in 1976 when I was sitting in a movie theater and saw this teaser for the first time:

(Thanks, thecoolman!)

I vaguely recall being really curious about this upcoming film because it looked completely different than anything I could recall seeing (hey, I was only 12 at the time), yet it seemed really familiar in a few ways to stuff I’d seen on the local PBS station. At that point, I had zero idea of what a homage was or a way to grasp that George Lucas was borrowing from the past to create his own futuristic adventure (what was curiously, set in the distant past). Anyway, I noted the non-date and filed the film away in the memory banks as something to look forward to seeing. Those school friends I knew were either not interested at all or worse, had a low opinion of sci-fi films that extended to books and comics of the period. So only a rare few of the kids I knew even cared about this film before and to some extent, after it was released.

The most amusing modern thing in regards to this teaser is the Official Star Wars YT channel has an (intentionally?) embarrassing low quality teaser while other non-official sites have not only better quality ones, but one that’s been redone to include footage found in the actual release print. Granted, while MUCH prettier, I find that clip problematic because it’s redone history that erases the fact that the teaser was supposed to be cruder thanks to the film still being nowhere near completion a about a year out from its eventual release date. Sure, film fans didn’t know this and other that tiny bits (VERY tiny) of information dropped in a few sci-fi mags of the era. But that all changed as 1977 rolled around and more info as well as the successful Star Wars comic book appeared. I avoided the comic for a while, but eventually collected most of its run over time, enjoying a good deal of what I was reading (including stuff now FAR outside the current canon)

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ALIEN @ 40(-ish) Still Has It (…Mostly)

ALIEN 40

A bit late to the party, but I have my reasons…

So, I waited a few days to post this to more or less commemorate the day I went to see ALIEN some 40 years ago. I was 15, and I took the day off from school to hoof it down to Times Square just to see this on a larger screen than was available in the Bronx. Or, I probably went downtown because I didn’t wan to be caught walking into or out of a theater there showing it. Or both. Anyway, it happened and as with Star Wars before that, I’d say my cinematic life took an upswing thanks to some fine film-making that recalled things I’d seen in the past. Ridley Scott’s direction was impressive, the cast was great and what more can be said about the production design and art direction that combined a few distinct art styles you’d think wouldn’t mesh together at all into something so… beautiful to look at?

(Thanks, Moviepilot Trailers!)

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Night Trap Returns! Be Afraid… Be Very Afraid (Or Not)


 

Night Trap tells the story of five teenage girls spending the weekend at the Martin home. As a member of the Special Control Attack Team, your job is to monitor the home and protect the girls using an intricate system of cameras and traps as it is being invaded by vampires.

 

I am laughing my fool head off writing this, but hey – a happy me is a good thing these days. Screaming Villains, based out of Newport Kentucky, is teaming up with Limited Run Games to bring the classic and at the time of its release 25 years ago, “controversial” Sega CD FMV (Full Motion Video) game Night Trap back as a remastered PS4 and Xbox One title. I’ll be a lazy git and let you read the Wikipedia page so you can see what the fuss was all about, but what was considered an MA-13 (or Mature) rated game back in 1992 is now a Teen-rated experience with not a thing altered. Digital Pictures created what was supposed to be (and is) a campy take on the horror genre, but for years the game has had a hilariously overblown reputation thanks to it being pulled from stores in some areas.


 

My own memories of it are the game being quite amusing but pretty difficult without a guide of some sort and not at all scary or bloody. The plot has you trying to save a bunch of cute 90’s gals at a slumber party from oddly dressed vampire creeps by setting traps inside the house and activating them before the girls are attacked. It’s all pretty corny, harmless “B” movie fluff that might surprise modern gamers when they see how goofy it all is. As in all that government fuss and bother did was make a so-so game a classic of sorts that still gets people talking. Amusingly enough, the game is about as scary as an empty plastic bottle on a windowsill.

For some reason, during the 90’s and into the early 2000’s a handful of gamers thought the 3DO and PC versions had bits of nudity or actual gore in them despite the fact that no such footage was shot. Coupled with the game’s rarity once pulled from shelves, helped drive prices up considerably. Working in an indie game shop for about five years, I fielded more than a few questions and kicked down as many of those rumors as I could, but you know how some people get when they really believe something that’s clearly untrue. Anyway, go download the super-cheeseball main theme and set your digital clocks for sometime soon, as the game is set for a mysterious “Spring 2017” release.

-GW

Taxi Driver Turns 40: “A Real Rain” Returns to Theaters Internationally in August

(thanks, Park Circus!)
 

This is beautiful news. That said, I hope that “international” re-release means we’ll see this here in North America. This is one of those films I’ve wanted to see on the big screen in a nicer print than I’ve previously seen and this trailer sure looks spectacular. We shall see. In my opinion, this is a film that needs to be bucket listed if one considers him or herself a movie lover.

Tomb Raider Turns 20: Two From The Vaults Make Lara More Appreciated

Wow. Every game has unused content from early concept art to trailers and other elements that never see the light of day unless properly preserved. Today’s unearthing of two pieces of Lara Croft memorabilia (digital department), come from Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix in time for the Tomb Raider franchise’s 20th anniversary. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed since Lara swung onto the gaming scene and became a worldwide smash, digital sex symbol (for better or worse), and even a role model of sorts to super-fans inspired by the character.

She’s survived some great and not-so-great games in the series, many, many deaths the introduction of the now forgotten by fans who know how to move on Kurtis Trent, two movies that weren’t so hot, but got butts into theater seats, and a two-time revival back into her former glory thanks to newer console tech and current developers Crystal Dynamics. Lara may have had some ups and downs over the years, but to those of us who dip a toe into the pool and replay her games from old to new, she’ll always be our golden girl.

Sony’s 20th Anniversary Limited Edition PS4: Nifty Shades of Grey


 
I should have figured that Sony would be going back to basics for their 20th anniversary, but seeing that familiar shade of grey on a new model PS4 made me chuckle a bit. I bet it’s not backward compatible at all, meaning some younger folks who buy it, might want one to add to their collection or just hate that color aren’t seeing the complete picture. I still have three of those old grey models here and they get trotted out from time to time, too. 20 years is a long time and I can still recall the initial skepticism some had about Sony jumping into the game console business with the PlayStation after a deal with Nintendo to co-create a game console fell through. How the gaming landscape would been had that arrangement not fallen through is anybody’s guess. Like them or not, you have to give Sony credit for making good on their initial promise to shake things up and continue doing it for so long despite some ups and downs over the years.


 

Anyway, Happy Anniversary, Sony – you’ve certainly earned a place in millions of lives since 1994. Here’s to (at least) 20 more years (provided we’re all still around)…

ALIEN 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray/DVD: If You’re NEW to This Flick, It’s A Must-Buy…

Alien 35 (Custom)Hmmmm. I’m not sure I need another version of ALIEN for my library, but this 35th anniversary limited edition features a a reprint of the excellent Alien: The Illustrated Story comic and all-new, collectible art cards along with the 1979 original cut and 2001 director’s cut of the film. As this is one of my favorite films of any genre, I’ll probably cave in and pick this up at some point once there’s a price drop just to add it to the other sets I have here.

Yeah, Fox is pretty much jabbing us in the wallet with this one, but the price isn’t bad if you shop around and at least the new extras are different and worth checking out if you have to have EVERY bit of memorabilia. Between this and Alien Isolation arriving on the same day, I have the feeling that a whole new set of fans will be made for this absolute classic sci-fi/horror hybrid. The cranky older fans who think this one’s a double dip with a few bonuses surely won’t be buying this re-re-re-re-release, if my poking around on a few film boards is any indication. Those geezers are just too smug to see that somewhere in the world, someone STILL hasn’t seen ALIEN and yeah, they might be wanting to get this because it’ll be their first time experiencing this still near-perfect film…

VGA 101: Happy Birthday, Sega Dreamcast: “It’s Thinking”… But Probably About Better Times.

Note: This isn’t at ALL a “complete history” of the console. It’s just more random off the top of the head wistful reminiscing!

(thanks, Wiidork!)
 
For one brief, shining moment (well, that moment lasted three years or so), Sega has many of us gamers on the edge of our seats and extremely happy about it. Once the US arm of the company deemed the Saturn “dead” and started peeling away support for it, there was a gap of time where we were wondering what was coming next. When whispers of a new and more powerful console code-named “Katana” started getting traction in the game press, followed up by early screenshots of works in progress, some fans were trumpeting that upcoming console as a redemption and return to form for the company and in Japan, while Saturn games were still being sold, it seemed that everywhere you went in some spots, ads popped up announcing something was coming from Sega that would be new, unusual and exciting. And oh, was it when it finally did arrive… Continue reading

CREEPY Is 50 Years Old! Dark Horse Comics Is Having A Little Reading Party…

Creepy 18 CoverCreepy 50th DHAnd guess what ladies and germs? You’re allllllll invited! Well, provided you read at home or wherever you’re allowed to these days  and just so happen to buy your very own copy of the upcoming celebratory tome, Creepy #18 (on sale October 8th at your favorite comic emporium in the physical or digital realm!).  Hmmm, now that I think about it for a second, I’m actually creeped out because that damn magazine is as old as I am. Eeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaghh!. I think I’m more consistent and less scary than that old rag is, but I have my moments. Just you try to get in my way before I’ve had my coffee and you’ll see for yourself.  Er, anyway… This special issue will feature the following content:

Cover: Dustin Nguyen (Batman Eternal)
Frontispiece: Arthur Baltazar (Itty Bitty Hellboy)

The Executor:
Script by Fred Van Lente (Conan the Avenger, Archer and Armstrong)
Art by Alison Sampson (Genesis)
Weird, supernatural goings on surrounding the death of Edgar Allen Poe and the posthumous editing and publishing of his work.

Over the River to Charlie:
Script by Corrina Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy, Planet of the Apes)
Art by Drew Moss (In the Dark)
Young girls are haunted throughout their childhood by a hanged man who’s taken up residence in their dollhouse.

Keeping Up with the Creepys:
Script and art by Peter Bagge (Hate)
Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie’s attempts to outdo each other with their classic rides escalates into neighborhood-destroying hilarity.

The Man Who Walked Through Walls:
Script by Dan Braun (Creepy consulting editor)
A man who discovers a way to become intangible takes his revenge on the neighbors who have wronged him.

Gallery:
Kevin Ferrera (Dead Rider)
Kelley Jones (Batman)
Eric Powell (The Goon)
Pete Woods (Terminator Salvation)
Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man)

Feel free to reserve this at that comic shop near you or just plop in and pick it up. Uncle Creepy will wait for you, you know. He KNOWS he’ll be haunting your dreams at some point, so he’s got all the time in the world…

Dark Horse Comics and Sideshow Collectibles Wish You A Happy Hellboy Day (And How)!

HBDAY FB IMAGEHey! It’s Hellboy Day at comics shops all over the place, kids! Well, now. Sideshow Collectibles and Dark Horse Comics are sure in a celebratory mood, it seems. That explains not only the new BUY ME NOW $20 hardcover collection, Hellboy: The First 20 Years and that awesome $50 77-issue Hellboy Digital Megabundle, but also this pretty killer $399 Mike Mignola Hellboy Premium Format Figure, now available for pre-order for August delivery. Check it out:

Sideshow_HellBoy

Nice, huh? That gap in time will YOU time to find a spot for this big guy, as he’s 23″ H (584.2mm) x 12″ W (304.8mm) x 13″ L (330.2mm) and weighs in at a whopping 15 pounds. Yeah, that’s “small” for Hellboy if he actually existed, but for your real-life place with that wobbly coffee table with the matchbook shoved under one leg for “stability”) or shelf of questionable weight load distribution? Yeah, I’d say it’s time for an actual display case or just some new shelves entirely. Although I’m far from the one you want offering advice as far as shelf solutions. I’m just waiting for the day when I’m buried alive under a former Jenga-like tower of games. I’ll survive, though. Unless I decide to PLAY my way out and forget to eat at some point…