Jan 23, 2017

Mail Order Monday - Criminal Investigation (1951)

Hey, kids! Ever want to learn how to become a CSI?

You have everything to gain...nothing to lose! Here's your chance to learn at OUR expense whether you have "what it takes" to become a criminal investigator or finger print expert.

With NO OBLIGATION on your part - mail the coupon below requesting our qualification questionnaire. It will be sent by return mail. If, in our opinion, your answer to our simple questions indicate that you have the basic qualifications necessary to succeed in scientific crime detection, we will tell you promptly. The you will also receive absolutely free the fascinating "Blue Book of Crime" - a volume showing how modern detectives actually track down real criminals.

And you'll also get information on their home learning course because if there's one career you should be able to train for at home with no real life experience, it's crime scene detective.

 Here is my guess at the questionairre...

1: Are you over 18?

2: Do you have money?

I know comic books are for all ages but this seems like an odd thing to advertise. Maybe they're hoping an older sibling or parent sees the ad?

I did manage to find a few copies of the Blue Book of Crime by T.G. Cooke floating around on Amazon pretty cheap. It might be fun to pick up a copy and see what it was like to be a crime scene investigator back in the 50s.

Jan 16, 2017

Mail Order Monday - Live Toy Circus (1954)

With the news that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus would be coming to an end this year, I figured it was a good time for a circus related post...no matter how tangential.

You can click the pic for a better look but here's some of the ad copy.

Chameleons are real fun. They love to perform. You'll laugh with delight as they run with delicate balance along the tight rope or swing on the trapeze. They are harmless, clean and no trouble at all to keep as pets. Your friends will really gape with surprise when they see him riding on your shoulder. Your parents will be charmed with this small, clean pet. You'll love him. Sold normally for about 75c, you get this live chameleon FREE with the purchase of your Toy Circus. Here is our offer. Send us your order for the Live Toy Circus Today. We will send you one of these cute, harmless, performing pet chameleons free with each order. You pay only $1.00 and you must be 100% delighted or your money back.

Really makes it sound like the chameleon is pre-trained, doesn't it? I imagine many a frustrated kid trying to get their lizard to swing on the tiny trapeze. You know what's not listed as something you get in this set? A tiny safety net! But you do get a chameleon leash and halter. I'm presuming the halter is a harness and not a skimpy top to put on when it goes clubbing.

If you're not 100% delighted, you can return the toy for a full refund and you get to keep the chameleon! Sounds like a good way to get a free pet lizard to me.

Included are

15 animals from our wide assortment including Clowns (I know a lot of people don't like clowns but calling them animals?), Bears drinking a bottle of milk, Bunnies, Elephants, Horses, Lions, Tigers, Kangaroos, Monkeys, Deer (who wants bunnies and deer in their circus? The only thing less exciting than that would be fish!), Flying Fish (face palm), Giraffes, Pelicans and other birds. 10 are made from bright, colorful break-resistant plastic. (What are the other 5 made from??)

The band Darling Pet Munkee has a song about the "Live Toy Circus (With Performing Chameleon)" which you can hear below. Their songs are all based on classic comic book mail order stuff like this, you should check them out!

Jan 10, 2017

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure?

While browsing Amazon a few weeks ago, the "customers who bought this also bought" section totally blew my mind when I saw an adult Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) inspired book. Having had an almost life-long history with CYOA books, I naturally had to find out more.

"You’re young, adventurous, and horny. And you have the day off. Outside your door, a world of possibility awaits; all you need to do is decide what –and who—you want to do. In your quest for love you’ll traverse catacombs while fending off vampires, outwit a seductive spy aboard Air Force One, tangle with a lecherous ghost, and even travel to Hell and back. Make the wrong decision and you’ll end up in a casket. Choose wisely, however, and you might get laid and still make it home in time to feed your cat."

I'm thinking this sounds like a Leisure Suit Larry adventure, could be fun to check out. This page, of course, leads to another "customers who bought" section that had even more adult CYOA books. And not just a handful (no pun intended), there are a ridiculous number of titles crossing into every genre!

Author Callista Hawkes has a few that sound like porn parodies...

Stroken? This must be high caliber literature. I probably would have gone with something like Shaven, Not Spurned but I guess I can see where they were going.

Then there's some that get into a very specific fetish...

"Step into the backyard fighting zone - a small circle of grass where the crowd has gathered to watch you box. Today you're the hero of a choose your own adventure erotic boxing story - the world's first and probably only male/female interactive erotic boxing novel."

First, and probably last, erotic boxing novel I'm guessing.

Shon Richards has the Choose Your Own Pleasure series.

"You are a normal woman just trying to get a good night’s sleep but one strange light in the sky later, you find yourself on board an alien spaceship. Creepy aliens want to do weird experiments with your private parts! Fearsome robots want to keep you from escaping! Something with tentacles wants to do something really nasty with you! Mysterious Men in Black assure you that none of these sensations are real! Wait, maybe you have something that you want to do to your fellow human captives?"

As you keep going down the rabbit hole of similar books you start getting into Fifty Shades type stuff and this is a family-friendly blog so the bus is going to stop here. If you've got some holiday Amazon cash burning a hole in your pocket, you can click on any of the covers to purchase them. And if you do, please come back and tell me about it.

Jan 5, 2017

2016 Haul-iday Report

Wow, remember when 2017 seemed like the far future? Damn, I'm getting old.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great holiday season with friends and family. This is the annual somewhat-braggy post showing off some of my holiday gifts.

First up, some Strange things...

Those calendars may look like they've come to bargain with Dormammu, but they actually have different art inside. Also, one of them came with the set of buttons on the left. I didn't even think to look for playing cards when the movie came out. I"ll probably feature them some day when I get the comic based cards. Another thing I didn't know about was the Walmart exclusive Funko Pop "spell casting" Strange figure. Pretty cool!

From other dimensions to other galaxies! The Falcon speaker was a total surprise, which is good. While wish lists help the holiday shoppers, they kind of take away the surprise for the giftee. The ESB Topps book is fantastic. I got the Star Wars one last year. It showcases all the original trading cards from ESB, front and back. The dust cover is made from a waxy paper, just like the card packs.

The magazines were also a nice surprise. I've seen them on stands but couldn't bring my self to spend the hefty cost for them. The People one comes with a pull out and assemble VR viewer to pop your phone into. If you already have a VR viewer, go to the app store and grab Life VR. It's got a brief video where you're an X-Wing pilot. It's not a game, you can only look around but it's a fun experience. The app also has you standing in the middle of a 360 degree view of the Rogue One Jedha set where they're filming the tank ambush. You can also watch them in non-VR so you can still have the 360 experience on your device.

I was so thrilled to get all three of these! I was very sad when I found out Gravity Falls was coming to an end. Ever since the show started I was hoping we'd get a replica of the journal and here it is! It's done like the 'actual' book. It looks like someone wrote and drew in it. There's also a section that Dipper has put in his own notes.

Flipping through the Labyrinth book is amazing. So many behind the scenes photos! There's quite a few smaller pages inserted throughout the book that make it look like someone put them in there featuring drawings or script pages.

I'm almost done with Dr. Strange already. It's on par with other similar DK books. It doesn't get too in depth on anything but it does cover a good amount of his history.

New cars! I have an Ecto-1 from a previous release but I'm going to keep this one carded. A few other random Halloween rides including a Rigor Motor I don't have. On the right is a Treasure Hunt from the new Fright Cars series. I have been looking for this one for a good month or so. Very happy to finally get one...but do I open it?

Finally, a couple of neato things Mrs Dex got for me at a holiday craft fair that are right up my alley. A Creature light switch and a sparkly Labyrinth ornament.

Did you get anything killer that made your holiday season?
Let me know!

Jan 1, 2017

Monthly Movie Recap - December 2016

Happy New Year!
What did you watch this month? Any good holiday horrors?
I got a couple in but they were "just okay" at best.

Elves (1989, watch on Youtube)
Let me get this straight...Nazis genetically engineered elf creatures so that they can mate with a virgin to carry on the Master Race? Okay, just wanted to make sure I understood the plot.

Cool: Aside from the craziness, I got nothing. Not even Grizzly Adams can save this movie.
Lame: Where to start? The elf (there's only one) has to be the worst on screen creature I've ever seen. The deaths mainly happen off camera except for the psycho mom putting a cat in a pillow case and drowning it in a toilet. Seriously, wtf? Oh, and the mom is the only nudity in the movie...

Rating: 2/10, I'm sure this is someone's guilty pleasure but it ain't mine

To All a Good Night (1980, watch on YouTube right up there)
Pretty standard "sorority girls invite their jerk boyfriends to spend the night" slasher with faint holiday theme because the killer dresses as Santa.

Cool: Unlike Elves, a good amount of on screen kills/gore and nudity
Lame: The killer reveal seems more convoluted than it needed to be

Rating: 4/10

Bride of Re-Animator (1989)
I love the original Re-Animator but this one is like West's experiment in the movie: it has lots of good parts but when you put them all together it's not really what you were hoping for.

Cool: The effects. The little finger/eye creeper and decapitated head with bat wings.
Lame: West is totally obsessed with his work, taking every chance to reanimate something even if there's no real reason other than he (or the audience) is bored.

Rating: 5/10

West is back again and despite the crimes he's in jail for, they still let him do medical work. The plot moves a lot better than Bride. The final act takes a complete left turn down the same Crazy Street that I loved from the original but it's a bit jarring as the rest of the movie has a different tone.

Cool: West finally figures out a way to re-animate but keep the mind
Lame: Way too many shots of people drooling some type of fluid from their mouth. I mean, what is the deal?
Rating: 5/10

Spectral (2016, Netflix)
I caught the trailer and it did nothing for me. I mean how interesting could a movie be about soldiers fighting ghosts? Then I saw someone say it was worth checking out, so I did and was pleasantly surprised.

Cool: The mystery of what is happening turns out to make the movie awesome.
Cool/Lame: The ending drifts into an area that's not hinted at in the rest of the movie. While I love it, it does require a little logic trust fall.

Rating: 7/10

Ted 2 (2015)
Did you like the first one? Do you enjoy Family Guy? If so, there's no reason not to watch. It's pretty much more of the same but in a good way.

Cool: Sam Jones is back and there are some other great cameos. Part of the movie takes place at NY Comic Con (although you can tell it's staged because there's no way there is that much room to walk around the con floor!).
Lame: Not really anything I didn't like!

Rating: 7/10

*** Rogue One Spoilers Ahead ***

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
For the most part, I loved it! I'm a little disappointed with Jyn as she feels more like she's there to do what's needed to move the story than to be an actual character. Someone ate a few too many Member Berries because there's one cameo that while funny, wasn't really necessary.

Force as religion: This is an aspect of Star Wars that's always fascinated me and I was thrilled to be able to explore that a little with Jyn's mom and Chirrut.
A Different Rebellion: We always assumed the Rebels were the white hat good guys. I never pictured them carrying out assassinations for the cause. Really challenges what you thought you knew.
Tarkin: Nearly fell out of my seat when they revealed him. Are we truly at that level of effects? No. But Star Wars has always pushed the boundaries of movie making. His look didn't bother me nearly as much as the terrible voice actor who sounded nothing like Cushing.
Leia: A bit creepier looking than Tarkin and now that Carrie is gone, all the more so. I think they could have gotten away with having her real life daughter made up to do the part.
Dat Ending! Just...damn! The feeling I had when they cut to the Rebels with the plans, seeing the familiar ship corridors, realizing just how close to the start of Star Wars we were...goosebumps!
A Neat Little Bow: I always hear fans whining "why didn't we see X, Y, or Z from the newest movie in the original movies?" It annoys me because the Star Wars galaxy is huuuuge. Not only that, but no one every asked why we didn't see AT-ATs, snow troopers, or speeder bikes before the movies they appeared in. Every movie expands the universe and adds new things. But Rogue One pretty much nukes everything in this movie that you might expect to see in the originals...problem solved.

Rating: 8.5/10, looking forward to more non-Skywalker movies

Month Total
 New: 7  Rewatch: 0

Year Total
 New: 72  Rewatch:3