May 29, 2014

Mailbox Invaders - Movies, Movies, Movies!!

So what seems like a very long time ago, but in reality was probably late March, I somehow found out about an incredible contest being hosted by Cult Movie Mania. Entry was about as easy as it gets: fill out a simple form on their website. The prize?
On February 10th, 2014 we put $1,000 and three cult movies into the box you see below. Each week after that we will add another three cult movies until May 10th, 2014. By the time May 10th rolls around, there will be $1,000 and AT LEAST 36 movies in the box. Why do I say “at least 36 movies”? That’s because we may put more than three movies per week into the box, depending on how many people sign up. The more people who sign up, the more movies we’ll put in the box.
 Like most contests, I submitted my entry and totally forgot about it, because odds. 

Fast forward to May 10 when I get a tweet from Trash Man asking me if I just won the contest. So I check my email and there's the email that went out to all subscribers to Cult Movie Mania's mailing list announcing the winner.

Scroll down, scroll down, scroll down...
The winner is...
my name!

I let out some kind of exclamation from the couch which caused my wife some concern from another room. I showed her the email and we're both thinking there's no way, it must be someone else with my same name. A couple hours later I got a direct email from CMM confirming I did in fact win. Whoa!

I didn't actually count them, but according to the announcement, there were 47 movies spread out over DVD, BluRay and VHS(!) when all was said and done!

And that wasn't everything. There's also a t-shirt from the movie Brainjacked, a CD from ScreamerClauz, and the Ultimate Collector's Set of Herschell Gordon Lewis' The Uh-Oh Show. That is a prize in itself! It includes the movie, a making of DVD, 3 exclusive buttons and a set of 6 lobby cards. On top of all that, one of the lobby cards is signed by Lewis and has a piece of screen used costume and gore on it (upper right)!

 Needless to say, I've got a lot of cult movies in my future! There's some great stuff that I've seen before and a whole lot more that I've never heard of. I have to check if my VCR is still hooked up so I can watch "There's Something Following Me" which is set on Halloween.

A huuuuge thanks to the folks at Cult Movie Mania for holding this epic contest!

Please check out Cult Movie Mania's site where you can sign up for their mailing list.
You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter if you're into weirdness.

May 27, 2014

Happy 103rd, Vincent Price!

A few little things to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of Vincent Price's birth today.

The entire Vincent Price/Halloween episode of the Muppet Show. Possibly the greatest ever episode because it has both Price and Uncle Deadly in it.

Below is Price as Dr. Anton Phibes as seen in The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr Phibes Rises Again. This is one of his favorite roles of mine. There may not have been a Saw movie without him! The creator of Phibes has released a trilogy of books based on, and expanding, the movies. He also released a novella last year about Phibes' assistant Vulnavia.

And here's a couple of tunes

May 22, 2014

May 2014 Loot Crate: Adventure

Before I dive into the latest Loot Crate, I wanted to let you all know that this is blog post number 500! Thanks for reading!

This month's Loot Crate theme is Adventure and is probably my most anxiously awaited one to date because we were told there would be some Adventure Time goodies in it!
But I'll let the suspense build...

If you've been following my Loot Crate posts, you'll recall they usually come with a mini-magazine that tells you about the enclosed Loot and contains a few brief articles. Well, they did something different this month and went digital with it! Future Crates will have both physical and digital copies. You can check out this month's here.

Loot Crate May 2014 - Adventure pin & Zelda keychain

The other monthly staple, is the collectible pin with the current theme on it. This one features all three properties in the Crate: Adventure Time, Minecraft (swords) and Legend of Zelda (shield). Next to that is a pretty sweet Zelda keychain/bottle opener that recreates the famous "It's dangerous to go alone" scene but with Link receiving a Loot Crate.

Loot Crate May 2014 - Adventure stickers

Here are some stickers representing the YouTubers who helped put together the items in this month's Crate. I have no idea who they are but you can read more about them on pages 18-19 in the magazine. Also, notice the sheet on the left is slightly bent? The box is just a tiny bit too small for it to lay flat, a problem I've noticed with the mini-mags as well. I know I can't be the only collector type person that doesn't appreciate having things with a slight bend in them. Yes, I could probably put it under something to flatten it, but who has the time?

Loot Crate May 2014 - Adventure Minecraft hanger

Next is blind packed item: a Minecraft hanger. I'm not all that familiar with the game beyond some of the amazing things I've seen people build but I dig the retro graphic style. I don't get the hanger though. You're just supposed to...hang it somewhere? It's not even like something you could put on your backpack because the plastic ring doesn't open.

has since informed me that they do open. I was looking at the base (home plate) of the ring. Turns out, it opens on one of the sides!

Loot Crate May 2014 - Adventure

Even as someone that's only ever played the original Legend of Zelda (still have my gold cartridge), I have to say this is a pretty cool shirt. It's pretty striking in person, the colors are great and there's a lot of words crammed in there. What's not so hot about it though is the material. It's a very thin shirt, which I'm not a fan of at all. Maybe it's because I'm not 20-something with the accompanying body, but I like my t-shirts to have some thickness. I will probably not be shopping at Zen Monkey if all their shirts are like this.

And finally, my favorite item...

Loot Crate May 2014 - Adventure tin

Adventure Time Mystery Mini Tins! I knew Funko was doing a line of Mystery Minis but I had no idea they'd be coming in these mathematical tins! There are 8 different tins and 12 different figures. Obviously the tin does not indicate what figure you get. Fionna is 3" tall at the tip of her ears and is one of the most adorable things I've seen lately.
I'll definitely be on the hunt for more of these.

Usual Disclaimer
Loot Crate has provided these items in exchange for a review.
If you'd like to get cool stuff like this delivered every month, head over to Loot Crate and enter promo code AEIOUWHY for 10% off your order!

May 18, 2014

Thrift Store Scores - $2 Edition

Not a lot going on in my neck of the woods so I figured I'd do a lazy Sunday post on some recent thrift shop finds. It just so happens each of these items I found were $2.

When I hit the shops, I always check out the kid books. I never look for anything specific and usually just skim over the titles figuring if there's something interesting, it'll catch my eye. So when I saw a binding with the title "Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night" I had to check it out!

Literally Disturbed

The title grabbed my attention (aside from the obvious reason that I like the spooky) because it reminded me of the great series "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." And it's very similar to that series in every way. There are several one page poems accompanied by an illustration on their opposing page. Even though the poems are about all kinds of creepy things, they generally have a bit of humor injected into them.

Literally Disturbed

And just like that series, there are quite a few nightmare inducing images! Some aren't too bad and some are downright ooky. But they at just the right kind of ooky that will stick with a young person for life and drive them to find the book again when they get older to revisit their childhood fears and/or share them with their own kids. The next volume "Literally Disturbed: More Tales to Keep You Up at Night" goes on sale in August.

Literally Disturbed

The other $2 item I scored is actually two items that were bagged together, and rightly so!
They're a pair of robots that have to be kept together.
A legendary pair of mechanical men that you can't picture one without seeing the other.
The most enduring of automatons, I give you...

The Red Rocker and Blue Bomber: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots!

BK Rock Em Sock Em Robots

These guys stand about 3.5" tall. They were Burger King Kids meal toys from a couple years ago that I must not have known about because I sure would have gotten them at the time.

 Pushing their back buttons makes their fists flail up and down. Unlike their full scale counterparts, they don't have the same spring mounted head mechanism. You can make them bash each other all day but their blocks won't get knocked off. The heads do extend just a bit if you pull up on them though. But without that mechanism, they don't make that cool sound when you push them back down.

May 14, 2014

Kickstarter - Monster Montage Playing Cards

Have you ever thought "Boy, I sure wish I had a deck of playing cards inspired by movie monsters."? If so, then you should head over to Kickstarter and help back the  

This project was originally launched earlier this year but was ended prematurely for the creator to make some tweaks. Like any good movie monster, they're back for more! 
The creature art is inspired by classic monster movies but the characters have all been given all new original interpretations. As of right now, they're almost 25% funded and still have 30 days to go. You can get a deck by backing them for just $11 which is a good price for limited edition cards. They also have a few other custom things you can pick up like dice and a vampire brass coin. 
Head over to Kickstarter where you can see more card art.

May 10, 2014

League Post - You Don't Know Jack

Before I dive into this week's League post, I have to give a shout out to the man behind the curtain for hooking me up with some cool stuff. He recently raided a neighborhood sale and posted his haul, some of which he put up for sale. Here's what I got.

Cool & Collected stuff

The Creature figures will be in good company with their bretheren on my Creature shelf. And not only did he send the groovy Creature figures I asked for, but he also tossed in a Creature Madballs-style sticker, some Garbage Pail Kids, Wacky Packages and a couple of Marx Disney figures. So, thank you Brian and on with the show...

In honor of one of TV's baddest bad-asses returning this week, the topic is:

You don't know Jack
(Bauer, Sparrow, Skellington, Burton, Tripper, Kirby, Nicholson, Black… there are quite a few to choose from.)

 Despite the amount of Jacks in modern pop culture, I decided to set the WABAC machine to the Victorian era and talk a bit about Spring-heeled Jack. He's an urban legend that started in the 1830's in Great Britain and had reported sitings into the early 1900's.

"Spring-heeled Jack was described by people who claimed to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that "resembled red balls of fire". One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an oilskin. Many stories also mention a "Devil-like" aspect. Others said he was tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman. Several reports mention that he could breathe out blue and white flames and that he wore sharp metallic claws at his fingertips. At least two people claimed that he was able to speak comprehensible English."

The above image is my favorite rendition of Spring-heeled Jack and I think it would make an awesome Halloween costume! Aside from the fact that he wasn't such a nice guy, he's sort of like a supernatural Victorian Batman.

The entity know as Jack reportedly accosted women, assaulted men, and made his escapes leaping over houses and walls 10' high. He became quite infamous and took up a place in the popular culture of the time. Some Punch and Judy puppet shows renamed their Devil to Spring-heeled Jack and he was also featured in several penny dreadful magazines.

A penny dreadful advertisement
Some of the Victorian police reports indicate they found foot prints in the mud that looked like his boots had some kind of device attached to their bottoms. Here's a more modern interpretation of Spring-heeled Jack.

One of my favourite bands from across the pond, Zombina and the Skeletones, wrote a song about ol' Jack that incorporates a lot his descriptive elements.

And he's got a Living Dead Doll coming out soon (bottom center)

Living Dead Dolls Series 27 Set

Here's what other League members are Jacked into
Monster Cafe steals a fork from a very famous Jack
A couple of Jacks make Underscoopfire's list of 24 Unisurable Characters
GI Jigsaw sez the check's in the mail!

Check out the full rundown of posts on Cool & Collected

May 8, 2014

Adventure Time Playpak Trading Cards

After weeks of passing these by in Target, I finally gave in and decided to check them out. Initially, I didn't think it was a good value which is why I haven't picked them up before now. Each $3 pack comes with 5 cards: 2 base cards, 1 sticker card, and either a standee, temporary tattoo, or Princess glitter card.

Adventure Time FunPak 1

The base set of 18 cards are your standard trading cards. The stock is pretty solid with a nice glossy coating. On the reverse of each character it has a quote and facts about them such as species, occupation, hobbies, and trivia. 

Adventure Time FunPak 2

These are some of the fun cards. Starting in the top left, we have a Princess Bubblegum scratch n sniff card. If you ever bought cards when you were a kid that came with a stick of crunchy gum, this is that smell. I love it! It's so much nostalgia in something as simple as a smell. There are 3 of these to collect and on the back it shows you how to draw the character.

Top right is a sticker card, who doesn't love stickers? There are 9 of these and their backs feature puzzle pieces that you match up to create a 3x3 picture. Yet another throwback to the trading cards of childhood.

On the bottoms are a couple of glitter Princess cards. I tried to capture their sparkliness as best I could. Thankfully, they've sealed the glitter in the card, unlike those glittery greeting cards that have unnaturally sticky glitter that gets all over you. There are 9 Princesses and the reverse has an activity like spot the difference or a secret message to decode.
Smack in the middle is one of the 3 possible standees featuring the Ice King. These are punch-out cards that you can make into a little stand-up version of the character. Like so...

Adventure Time FunPak Finn standee

Getting the slots set just so is a little bit of a pain in the butt, but otherwise these are probably my favorite type of card in the set. I just wish they did more than 3 so I could set up a little Land of Ooo.  This is labelled as Series 1 so hopefully there will be more coming!

If you want to see all the cards you can go to the product page and click on Links & Downloads at the bottom for a pdf checklist. There's another set scheduled for Q3 that is more collector oriented with some really math inserts like autograph cards, sketch cards and "totally fabricated" wardrobe cards.

May 6, 2014

The Goldbergs Arcade Easter Egg

The April 29th episode of The Goldbergs immediately became one of my favorites because it featured 80s video games. I have no doubt the upcoming Star Wars episode will be just as, if not more, awesome in its nostalgia-y goodness.

If you're a video game historian (or just old like me) you may have noticed one game in the arcade that you didn't recognize: Polybius. There are a couple times you can see it when the guys first arrive at the arcade.

The next time you see it is to the right of the new Punch-Out machine. I had to rewind it as we were watching to make sure my eyes saw what I thought they did.

So, what's the deal with this Polybius cabinet? It's a bit of a video game urban legend. It was supposedly some kind of government developed thing to test behavior modification software for the CIA. Rumor says it caused players to become addicted to it to the point of fights breaking out over who got next and some players reported amnesia, night terrors, and other side effects. Sounds fun, right? You can read all about it on Wikipedia, or if you want the TL;DR version, check out Nerd Out With Me.

The legend sort of reminds me of The Last Starfighter only with government Men in Black instead of aliens looking for their savior pilot. Big thanks to Adam Goldberg for tossing in this little Easter Egg for us video game geeks!

Update: prior to the Star Wars episode I tweeted a link to this post and the Man himself replied to it! I love when show creators are in touch with their audience.

May 3, 2014

League Post - Would You Rather...?

Before we jump into this week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers post, I want to remind everyone to get out to your local comic shop and support/celebrate Free Comic Book Day!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

The question on the mind of the League this week is as vague as ever and yet, pretty straightforward...

Would You Rather...?
Throughout pop culture immemorial, Man has pondered 
this very question in one form or another.

Wilma or Betty?
Betty or Veronica?
Ginger or Maryann?
Chrissy, Janet, Cindy or Terri?
Blair or Jo?

Today, I say goodbye grey sky, hello blue
 as I ask which of the Tuscadero sisters you'd rather date:
Pinky or Leather?

I'll present a case for each below accompanied by video and photographic evidence to help you reach your verdict.

Pinky Tuscadero

Has that "tough broad" vibe
Likes hot pants
Owns a motorcycle and drives demolition derby

Maybe a little too much like Fonzie?
Has her own gang (trust me, not a Pro)

 Leather Tusadero

Cute, cocky but approachable
Has her own band
Does that cool slap-slap-pow thing

Maybe a little too androgynous
Probably wears leather a lot

What say you?

Like Ricardo Montalbán, I prefer Leather.

Here's the choices other League members are making
GI Jigsaw asks you to choose your toys

May 1, 2014

Monthly Movie Review - April 2014

April had to share its movie time with a couple of Japanese imports. I'm still working my way through Attack on Titan and am only a few episodes in so far. The other import that has taken up considerably more time is the Spiderman TV show, no, not the American one, the Japanese one. I'll probably blog more about that once I finish the series.

If you feel the need to own any of the movies below, just click on their title and you'll be whisked over to Amazon where you can order them.

Time Guardian (1987)
I found the trailer for this and immediately had to see it and not only because it was another sci-fi movie with Carrie Fisher in it. The movie starts awesomely (as in the start of the trailer) like the opening of T2 but replacing the Terminators with the Slayers from Krull. But then they go back in time to present day Earth and it becomes a snooze fest.

Cool: The opening and closing futuristic battle scenes
Lame: The parts between those battles; Carrie Fisher and Dean Stockwell are in this and barely have anything to do
Rating: 4/10