Nov 30, 2016

Monthly Movie Recap - November 2016

 

Just a little over two weeks until Rogue One! I'm very interested to see how the first anthology movie is going to play out. The movie recap is dropping a day early because tomorrow is December 1st, kicking off the 13 Days of Creepmas!


Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015, Netflix)
You might have heard about this shot-for-shot Raiders fan film that some kids decided to make back in the 80s. This is the story of their adult selves returning to the project to get the final scene and finish the movie. It's a pretty great story, must watch for Indy fans.

You can achieve your childhood dream, even if it takes you 30+ years...and almost losing your job.

Rating: 8/10

Doctor Strange (2016)
Dr. Strange was definitely on my top 3 list of favorite Marvel characters I would never expect to see in a movie. I'm happy to say they handled it well! There was a lot more humor than I was expecting. I was kind of hoping for a little more of a horror angle from the director of Sinister but maybe we'll get there in the future.

Cool: The visuals are amazing!
Lame: The handling of time. Not in the magical sense, but the storytelling sense. The director said Strange's training for about a year. They do a poor job of conveying this so it doesn't feel like he's prepared enough to do what needs to be done at the end. And what is the villain doing during all this time?

Rating: 8/10, if you're even thinking about seeing this, do it in IMAX 3D. You can thank me later.


Sinister (2012)
Wanted to check this out after seeing Dr Strange to get an idea of what the director might have been able to do had he gone a with more of a horror vibe. I honestly thought I had seen this as I frequently confuse the Blumhouse horror movies like Insidious and The Conjuring. It's not often I see a horror movie that creeps me out to any degree so kudos to you, Sinister! More than scares, I like a horror movie that can give a sense of dread.

Cool: The concept/history of the entity. The 8mm home movies are fantastically eerie.
Lame: Bughuul sounds more like a bodily function that a wicked demon

Rating: 7/10

The Purge: Election Year (2016)
Not as action packed as the second installment but I still really enjoyed it. It's kind of similar to the last one in that there is a group trying to survive out on the streets on Purge Night. It does a decent job of wrapping up the series...at least until the President-elect sees the movies and thinks it's a good idea to start doing this for real.

Cool:Some good fights and one really amazing headshot effect.
Lame: Some may be turned off by the "political" theme

Rating: 7/10


Deadly Friend (1986)
I haven't see all of Wes Craven's movies but this has to be the worst! The trailer doesn't even do a good job of telling what the movie is really about. Having said that, this is a really fun bad movie!

Cool: If you never watch this movie, at least watch the graphic basketball scene.
Lame: The ending is a bit...weird

Rating: 3/10 (actual), 5/10 (so bad it's good)


Stake Land (2010, Netflix)
This could have been just another post-undead apocalypse movie but the characters and slight twist on the setting make it a good time. This is how I prefer my vampire films, where they are the threat! Although the group leader has a "been there, seen it all" attitude, you do get to discover the world through the young man he rescues at the start of the film.

Cool: Really like the ghoulish, feral look of the vamps.
Lame: Only just found out the sequel aired on SyFy last month. If I'd been aware of that I would have watched this sooner!

Rating: 6/10

Month Total
 New: 6  Rewatch: 0

Year Total
 New: 65  Rewatch:3

Nov 22, 2016

An Evening with Victoria Price - Pt 2


This October, Count Orlock's Nightmare Gallery in Salem MA brought back Victoria Price for another visit. She was first here two years ago to talk about her father's career and launching the Vincent Price line of wines.


While this was in October, the night was focused in a non-horror related direction which is why I didn't include it during the Countdown to Halloween. This time she talked about living her father's legacy and the power of saying yes. It was also the launch of the second cookbook, Mary and Vincent Price's Come into the Kitchen Cook Book. So naturally this was a better fit leading up to Thanksgiving and given the state of out post-election country, I think we can all do with some inspirational words.


The first cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes, is like a cook book and a travelogue all rolled into one because the recipes were gathered traveling around the world. The new one (left) is all American and covers different eras from our country's history. The great thing about these books is that they're not just reprints, they are reproductions of the original printings so you get wonderful art like this.


There were maybe 20 of us there to see her. She is such a fantastic speaker that it could have been a full auditorium and I still would feel like it was a cozy chat. One of the things she talked about is how she went through all of her possessions, got rid of anything that did not bring her joy and put the rest into a storage unit. She packed a few things and has been living on the road for the past couple years with her dog Allie, who we also got to meet.


She told us all sorts of great stories about traveling with her parents when she was little and shared some family photos. The theme of the evening was "Explore. Savor. Celebrate." Three words which really sum up her dad's way of living life. Quite a bit of what she talked about was from a 2015 blog post she made, which also includes many of the photos we saw.

She also talked about the power of yes as I mentioned earlier. It's something that may be difficult for some people, like me, but easy to explain. It's a little something to bring into your life which is as easy as saying that one word: yes. It could be that thing you've been putting off or it could be an opportunity that comes your way that you'd normally pass on. Do it. Say yes! You never know where it might lead you.

After she finished speaking, she meet with all of us individually at a table where she was selling the cook books and signing autographs. There was a conference room setup showing Price's movies. We caught the end of House on Haunted Hill and the opening of The Abominable Dr Phibes. A local baker had made a few treats from the cookbooks for us to sample. My favorite were definitely the brandy snaps cookies (no actual brandy is used).

By the by, the cook books are available on line from VincentPrice.com.
Order now and you get a free gift!

Here is your first chance to "say yes". Take the 5 or 10 minutes to read Victoria's blog post from last year. The world would be in a lot better shape if we all tried to live our lives like Vincent Price.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 14, 2016

VHS Playing Cards

Over the weekend I got my deck of VHS Playing Cards by Classics Playing Cards. These were funded via Kickastarter. When collecting playing cards, the decision is usually made based on the subject matter or card art. This one was all about the packaging.


They did an amazing job on the tuck box! It's got enough "shelf wear" to make it look like you found it in a box in your parent's basement.


Even the back of the box takes you back to a time when you had to decide how best to utilize the available space of your tape. Ah, remember the days when storage was an issue?


Not only did they put a "label" on the side, but they put some appropriate dirty finger smudging to complete the look.


Here's the box with the deck, face down, next to it. Of course the card backs are a VHS tape!


The card designs are the least exciting part for me in this deck but I do like the scribble look of the pips and the 80s-ness of the overall design.

There was a really cool add-on during the Kickstarter campaign for a VHS Player box to hold your VHS Playing Card box.


As cool as it looks, I couldn't justify dropping $28 on a box to display a smaller box.

Nov 7, 2016

Marvel Collector Corps - Doctor Strange

Last month, I ordered the Marvel Collector Corps box from Funko. I don't have an ongoing subscription for the Marvel one but I do pick and choose when the theme sounds good. And since Doctor Strange is my all time favorite Marvel character, I couldn't pass this one up!

I had wanted to do a whole week of Strange posts leading up to the movie's release this weekend like I had done when Guardians of the Galaxy came out. But that whole October/Halloween thing kind of got in the way. I probably could have finagled Strange into some Halloween-adjacent posts but I figured I'd hold off and give him his due when I can.

I saw the movie yesterday and thought it was fantastic! All I can say is, if you're going to see it, make the effort to find an IMAX 3D theater.

By the way, if you're a fan of the good Doctor, there are two sites you must check out:
Sanctum Sanctorum Comix, run by Ptor who not only looks like Strange, but knows a whole lot about him and has quite a collection. 
He's also 1/3 of the panel on the first Dr Strange Podcast.

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, let us get on with the unboxing!


Not even Earth's Sorcerer Supreme is a match for the US Postal Service. The contents must have had a Shield of the Seraphim cast on them though because nothing was damaged.


 Here's what you see when you open the box. There are also a lot of Eye of Agamotto graphics on the interior of the box as well.


As with the other Funko boxes, you get a collectible patch and pin that are themed to the box. I really like the way the Eye looks on the pin. This is the film version of the artifact.


I'm guessing you're more likely to get exclusive comic covers in the Marvel/DC boxes than in the Star Wars box. The info card points out this cover is based on a classic black light poster which was also used for this 1981 comic issue. I was pretty excited to get this because it came before the actual comic was released so it was like getting a sneak peak.


Next is an adorable Pop mug of Doc's mug. The collar of his cloak wraps around the back and sides of his head. Normally, Funko makes great stuff but I was a little let down with the paint apps on this piece. If you look at the middle of his forehead, you can see some gray seeping from under his hair. There is also a faint red spot above his left eyebrow. It's hard to see in this small photo but easy to notice when you have the mug in hand.


Another staple of the Funko box is a Pop shirt. I was surprised it actually fits! However, the shirt manufacturer thinks the L in XL stands for Long instead of Large. Whatever, it's great!


And what would a Funko box be without an exclusive Pop figure? This is Doc in his astral form. I really like the pose because he's sitting lotus and only the cloak is touching the ground making a nice floating effect. In the comics, his astral form generally takes on a blue translucency. The info card says they changed the Pop to be yellow after seeing the trailer because he has more of a golden glow. I just saw the movie yesterday and can't remember for sure but I think they changed the color in the final film.

Overall, an excellent assortment of items that any Strange fan would love to have. November's theme is X-Men, and while they are my favorite team, I think I'll be holding off on the Marvel boxes until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

Nov 1, 2016

Hallowen 2016 Wrap Up

November 1st, possibly the most depressing day of the year, am I right? We are at the same time the furthest, and closest, to Halloween we will ever be all year.

Sheesh, who brought Debbie Downer to the party? On the plus side, The Creep got to visit Salem twice this year, once on Halloween and once on Saturday night. I thought Saturday would be busy with the holiday being on a Monday but it wasn't. In fact, Halloween proper did not even seem like the usual crowd I'm used to making my way through. Which is not to say I didn't still scare the pants off of a ton of people!


Edit: After this post went live, it occurred to me that some of you may have no idea what my costume, The Salem Creep or The Creep, looks like, so here it is!.

Every year there are a couple of smart-asses who think it's funny to try and scare the spooky man. I wish I had the time to sit them down and explain the difference between yelling "BOO!" in someone's face and really scaring them. I can just stand there and people will go out of their way to avoid me. That is how you scare someone. When grown men don't know what to make of your costume, you're doing fright right.

We got a decent amount of Trick or Treaters before leaving the house. I looked out to check the street a couple of times and saw kids and parents going door to door. It's not something we see every year where I live so it brought a special happiness to see a sliver of what I remember Halloween to be like as a kid.

I added a few more photos to my 2016 Salem album which you can check out below (you may have to wait for the photo browser to fully load). If you want to see some great shots of the amazing costumes, check out this Creative Salem album on Facebook.

2016 - Salem Halloween

I can't see a whole lot from under my costume but I'll run down a few of the ones I did spot.

Eleven from Stranger Things (multiple, all in the pink dress outfit, including one guy)
A group of 20 somethings as the Addams Family: Morticia, Lurch, Wednesday, and Cousin Itt (which was crazy awesome) Not sure where Gomez was.
Also multiple individual Wednesdays.
Suicide Squad Harley Quinns (duh)
Spy vs Spy
Multiple Santa Clauses
The Shining Twins
Wilson (from Castaway)

There were also a few people with megaphones preaching on the streets. I'm all for freedom of religion as long as you don't involve me. It's like non-meat eaters protesting a steak house. This girl gets it.


Hope everyone had a magical Halloween.
Remember, it's never too early to start planning for next year.

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