This past weekend, I went to the 2013 Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California. Now I hadn't been to one of these events since our first big road trip across the country back in 2006, so I guess I got a bit overexcited, because I couldn't help myself from yelling at everything in sight. Fortunately for you, my friend Brad was following me around with a camera all afternoon to document the entire experience. Here it is:
Hope you enjoyed the video, because I had a great time filming it with all the nice people at the ren faire. May my screams echo through their honorable their kingdom for all eternity to ward off evildoers. As always, please drop a comment on the Youtube page and subscribe to my channel if you haven't already. More videos to come!
So some brilliant Friday the 13th fan by the name of Will Edwards painted a custom Jason Voorhees figure so it would look just like his purple and blue 8-bit character incarnation from the original Friday the 13th NES game. Awesome idea, right? Well it gets better. He tweeted the image to the NECA toy company, and they loved the figure so much, they decided to actually produce it! Behold:
You can't tell me that isn't a thing of absolute beauty. Now, I've scored some great Comic-Con exclusive figures in the past, but I'm more excited about this one than anything I can remember. It even glows-in-the-dark and will come with NES tribute packaging! The only thing I would change is I think they should include a weapon that looks exactly like a scrubbing brush, just like how Jason's axe appeared to be one in the original game. Still, this figure is an absolute must-have! Huge kudos to Will Edwards for coming up with such a killer idea, and kudos to NECA for recognizing that it's something that all action figure collectors, horror fans, and video gaming enthusiasts alike would want to own.
Friday the 13th is one of the few NES games I still own complete in the original box. Despite it being far from my favorite game, I always loved how colorful the packaging was. Rarely do you see Jason Voorhees bursting out of some trippy rainbow world with neon shreds of fabric dangling off his upper torso, and man did it ever work. The game itself was frustrating as hell for anybody who played it, especially when those damn words "You still haven't defeated Jason... and he's even stronger!!" popped up on the screen. Still, I have fond memories of it, even when I was fighting wolves, bats, and zombies instead of Jason himself. If you've never played the game, here's a seriously impressive speedrun done in under 5-minutes that would've absolutely blown my mind had I seen it when I was a kid:
I'll be sure to post more details on the Jason Voorhees NES figure once it's in my hands. Man... SDCC 2013 simply can't come soon enough. In the meantime, you can learn a little more about the figure here.
In case you missed the news on Destructoid yesterday, the next video game I'm working on has been announced. That game? Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla! This is a game character I've had sawing away at my brain for years, and thanks to the brave souls at Adult Swim who understand that such a creature needs to be unleashed upon the world, I can finally make this game a reality. I'm working with my good chums Pox (who worked with me on Abobo's Big Adventure) and Jacob (who worked with me on Santa Fu, MonsterTime, etc.) on this original new title, and it will be released by Adult Swim sometime this year. Destructoid has some exclusive screenshots from the game in their article, and here's an additional for you to check out:
Really excited about this project. It's going to have long levels, loads of crazy enemies, huge boss fights, all kinds of surprises, and as you can probably imagine... lots and lots of blood. BLOOOOOOD!!! Be sure to follow me on Twitter and check out the new Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla Facebook page to stay posted on all the latest updates about the game. More to come!
So I saw the new Evil Dead (2013) remake the other night with some friends, and figured I'd share my thoughts on it. Before I get to my review, I must preface it by saying that while I absolutely love the original Evil Dead trilogy, and generally loathe modern horror remakes, I went into this movie with an open mind and no real expectations. I wanted to give it a fair shot and hopefully have a good time at the theater with my chums. Also, I'm not gonna deliver any clever movie critic one-liners like, "Evil Dead? More like Evil Dud! Heyooooo!!" with this review. I just want to give an honest, spoiler-free breakdown that will hopefully help you decide whether or not it's worth watching. With that in mind, I'm going to break this review of Evil Dead into two simple sections - the good and the bad. Let's get to it:
If there's one thing I can praise about the new Evil Dead film, it's gotta be the nearly complete lack of CGI. Given how the majority of mainstream horror flicks have been using CGI far too much over the past decade, it's refreshing to see one using the real deal. Tangible blood, puke and gore effects will always look far superior to all the computer-generated crap, and that's one big reason why horror movies from back in the day are far more satisfying to watch. This movie is excessively bloody, gory, pukey... you name it. Most of the effects are traditional, and the blood is all there, dousing each of the actors and their wounds at some point or another.
So yeah, if you're a fan of gore, this movie will definitely satiate your appetite for destruction. You will be pleased. Just don't expect it to be like Dead Alive, which was the Double Dare of messy horror films in my mind, and I'm convinced no movie will ever top that one in terms of over-the-top carnage. That said, it's at least better than most modern remakes, so long as you're not expecting it to be right on par with Dawn of the Dead.
The only other truly good thing I can say about the movie is that they didn't try to replace Bruce Campbell's amazing performance as Ash. There is no replacing Bruce, and had they attempted to do so, I imagine many horror fans would've burned movie theaters to the ground in protest. So, it's definitely good to see the filmmakers knew this, went with their own separate storyline, and didn't attempt to deliver us a new version of Ash. A wise decision indeed.
While they didn't try to replace Ash, which is good, the film lacks any characters that you actually give a damn about, which is bad for something like Evil Dead. Horror movies are notorious for having sub-par actors, which is fine, but there's almost always one or two that you enjoy seeing make it 'til the end. You want to have that one person to root for... that one person who will fight through utter hell and, against all odds, somehow manage to come out on top.
With the new Evil Dead, you just don't find yourself invested in any of the characters or caring about what they've been through. That'd be fine if Evil Dead was a movie like A Nightmare on Elm Street, where you at least have an iconic bad guy to cheer for even if you don't care about the actors, but Evil Dead doesn't have that. It never did. Evil Dead has a book - the Necronomicon. And unless that book sprouts arms, legs, and starts carrying an axe, I don't think I'm gonna be cheering for it in a modern horror flick any time soon.
It's also supposed to be a pure horror movie, like the original Evil Dead, so it doesn't have the campy feel of Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. While that's fine in itself, as a horror movie, it fails to deliver any scares. The official poster describes it as "The most terrifying film you will ever experience", when in fact, it's nothing of the sort. Not even remotely. This movie didn't make me jump or startle me even once. There was no sense of tension or urgency to it whatsoever. Instead, it just felt like a paint-by-numbers exercise in, "forget the scares, let's just see how much more blood we can splatter as time goes by." But you feel no sense of panic or dread while it's all happening.
The original Evil Dead film was nerve-racking as hell, and its sequels had plenty of jump-worthy moments too. Tension... it matters.
The director (Fede Alvarez) obviously tried to pay homage to Sam Raimi's classic work a few times by having the camera move quickly through the woods. Nice try, but unfortunately, his camera work pales in comparison with Raimi's techniques. With Raimi, you felt like the camera was absolutely out of control as it sped through the woods like some unstoppable, unseen force hellbent on destroying anything in its path. You didn't know if it was going to catch up with Ash or crash right into a tree, and all you could do while this happened was hold your breath and grip the edges of your seat. I still feel on edge when I watch those movies to this day, and I've seen them countless times.
None of that happens in the new film. It feels too polished... the camera just glides past the trees at a fast pace. There's no urgency to it, and you don't get the sense that you're seeing the world fly by through the eyes of some reckless demonic force. No cameras mounted to bicycles here. No crew members or equipment in any danger.
Sam Raimi made you feel like he was literally ramming his film camera into things just to pull off a crazy shot, endangering both his equipment and his crew. That's not the case with the new Evil Dead. With this one, you get the feeling they were more concerned about protecting their expensive film equipment than going for glory in any of the shots. Perhaps, to create engaging horror on film, one must experience a little horror while actually filming it.
In the end, Evil Dead (2013) is a visually entertaining modern horror flick with a fairly heavy amount of carnage in it, but it's also completely forgettable due to the inferior camera work, bland characters, and a complete lack of tension. You may have a good time watching it with friends for the first time if you like enjoy ridiculous gore scenes, just don't expect it to appear in your required annual horror film viewing rotation.
I'm sure some of you have already seen the movie, so feel free to post your opinions about it in this thread and I'll be happy to blab with ya about all things Evil Dead.
One last thing: If you do decide to check out the movie, be sure to keep watching past the end credits for something that will put a big smile on your face.
I've been very busy with a new project lately. So busy, in fact, that I completely forgot about some photos I snapped while visiting the Pasadena City College Flea Market last month. Fortunately, photos of the always amusing and oddball things one can find at any given flea market are timeless, so I could post them years later and they'd still be just as relevant as they are now. With that in mind, here are photos of my favorite finds from last month's PCC Flea Market:
I suppose if you're going to stumble on a Madballs toy that's been horribly mistreated, it might as well be Dust Brain. He's a weathered old mummy to begin with, so some extra scratches on his face actually work well with his aesthetics. Of course, in this condition he's only worth a buck or two at most, but the elderly seller actually wanted $30 for it. Hahahahahahahahahaha NO.
At first I thought this Grave Digger was a ride-on Power Wheels vehicle like the Spider-Man one behind it, but it's just a really large monster truck toy. Still, there's no denying that Grave Digger has the best chasis artwork in the history of monster trucks, so it's always a welcome sight.
If you're a fan of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon like I am (and you should be), finding an original Slimer cartoon art cel is always an extremely good thing. In this scene, I like to think he was about to raise his hand to ask if he could have a hall pass to go use the restroom, but was secretly gonna use it to raid the snack machines.
You know, if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... it's really hard to find a good Wind-up Knitting Cat. Fortunately, this flea market has us covered.
Continue reading for more pics from the flea market: (more...)
I was watching The Goonies the other day, when I suddenly realized I had a big problem with one of the scenes. You might even say this particular scene made me somewhat mad:
Please check out the video, drop a comment on Youtube, and feel free to make suggestions for moments that might make me mad in future episodes on my Youtube channel.
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