Jan 29, 2020

Now Hear This - Metal Elvis

Plenty of metal bands have done their own covers of Elvis songs over the years but the band Metal Elvis is all about "the son of the King" carrying on his daddy's legacy with modern songs.

Metal Elvis is fronted by Chance Tinder who has been "doing Elvis" for over 30 years. He's accompanied The Monsters of Rock: Slush (lead guitar), Katman Kelly (drums), and Stikki Lixx (bass). As you can see, they make quite the visual mash-up.

And mash-up is what Metal Elvis is all about...

The band plays (played?) in the Vegas area. Unfortunately, their Facebook page hasn't been updated since 2018 so I'm not sure what they're status is at the moment, which is too bad. Not that I'm exactly "in the area" but I bet they're a fun band to see live.

If you've got a burning love for more Metal Elvis, you can check out their YouTube channel which has a few more videos. And since I can't find their CD available for purchase online, you can click on the cover below to check out the album.

Metal Elvis has left the building...

Jan 23, 2020

Battletribes Spicy Pumpkin Figure

Just a few weeks ago, Spy Monkey Creations unleashed Wave 19 of their Battletribes figures. In every wave there is usually one figure that I have my eye on, sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't. But there was no way I could pass this one up!

Laaaaaaadies and geeeeeentlemen!
I give you, Spicy Pumpkin!

How can you pass up a pumpkin headed wrestler? In the usual Battletribes release, you get assorted weapons or monster-ish accessories. But with the wrestlers, you get lots of heads, a minifigure, and a few extra goodies. What's cooler than multiple heads?

Reversible heads! That's right, those two pumpkin heads turn around for an orange and an apple with a bite taken out of it! Is it still an apple if it's orange in color? Does that make it an orange apple?

When the wrestler figures were introduced, they also brought along the tiny wrestler and some really wacky food heads. In this pic, the big guy has an alternate pair of boots.

Say hello to Big Beef and Side of Fries! Beef is sporting an alternate pair of trunks which are usually the standard for Battletribes figures.

The last pair of heads also go well with the pumpkin ones for a Halloween vibe. The final accessory is a Champion belt. So all told, you get the two figures, two pairs of trunks, two pairs of boots, the belt, and 8 heads (2 reversible).

You can grab your own Spicy Pumpkin at Spy Monkey Creations along with figures from past waves.  If you're like me and not that into wrestlers, there's a variety of fantasty based characters to choose from too.This is a great line of figures to get into and they're all Glyos compatible!

Jan 15, 2020

Star Wars Playing Cards by Theory 11

I discovered this deck of cards purely by accident through an ad in my Instagram feed. See kids? Sometimes advertisements can actually be good! 

There are two decks available, light side and dark side. Both decks have the same cards in them, the only differences are the box art and card backs. The boxes are very nice with foil embossing on both sides. I did my best to try and capture the shine of the foil.

The deck is sealed with an Alliance starbird logo sticker. While these look nice, I am never a fan of these sticker seals because I will either damage the box in some way or if I leave it on, it makes it a little difficult to get the cards out. If you visit Theory 11's site, you'll see stuff about card magic and handling, so it makes sense they'd want to provide a sealed deck.

It's hard to see here, but if you click for a larger view, you'll see the inner flap has a Y-Wing that says "Stay on target." below it.

I hadn't heard of Theory 11 before and sadly, it seems like Carta Mundi no longer has the rights to make Star Wars playing cards. This probably happened awhile back and I never noticed. I think the last movie deck I have from them is Rogue One. They always put out quality stuff and I had fun collecting the decks. Anyway, back on track!

The back of the box has got a lot going on! There are tiny X-Wings on the sides of R2's head. There's even some Aurabesh (the in galaxy language) which says The Force Light Side. But the trick here is that you have to read it top to bottom when you'd think it would go left to right. At first I thought they made a mistake because the right side was printed upside down.

The card back is the same as the back of the box and despite how busy the image is, it still looks very clean. The Jokers are BB-8 and D-O. I really think they should have been one Joker and R2 and 3PO on the other. They aren't even on the cards! Except for R2's head on the backs but being an older fan, I think they deserve a bit more presence.

And this is where my biggest "complaint" is with this deck: the theming.

I love the art style used for the court cards. I really enjoy that they worked a ship into each Ace. I know it's not easy to pack 9 movies into 4 suits but I would have tried to find a way to make each suit a little more cohesive and that's just the fan in me wanting that little bit more. In Hearts, we have the Falcon, Old Ben, General Leia (Last Jedi), and young Han.

Clubs brings Vader's TIE, the Emperor, Mon Mothma (?), and Kylo Ren. I get that you probably want to use a woman for the Queen and there aren't really a lot of women to choose from, much less any dark side females in the movies. I want to give Clubs a pass but Vader is over in Spades while his ship is here.

Diamonds delivers Fett's Slave I, Jedi Master Luke, Rey, and Lando (Return of the Jedi). Why not swap Old Ben here in place of Lando? Then you'd have Lando with the Falcon, Leia, and Han and a trio of Force users.

Lastly, is Spades. The Ace has Yoda raising the X-Wing from the swamp followed by Vader, Padme, and Boba Fett.

Despite my griping about the suit theming, I really do like these cards. They have a nice feel to them, the art is great, and the box is a collectible by itself.

Jan 8, 2020

Labyrinth Card Game

The game company River Horse recently released the Labyrinth Card Game. Back in 2016 they put out a Labyrinth board game and a Dark Crystal board game in 2018.

The card game comes in this great box that looks similar to Sarah's book.

The deck of cards is very similar to a standard Tarot deck, plus two Jokers. The cards are the same size, there are four minor suits consisting of 56 cards and a major suit of 24 Labyrinthes which features characters and things in the movie.

The four minor suits are Books, Clock, Orbs, and Owls.
Let's get a closer look at the card back.

The center has the Escher-like stairs. The top left maze has the "false alarm" taking heads. I think the bottom left is the Bog of Eternal Stench. The bottom right is maybe the forest where the Fireys live?

Here's a few of the Labyrinthes. The Blind Beggar, Fair and Unfair have special "abilities" when you play them. The game itself is a variation of standard trick taking card games. While I'm sure this can be its own fun, I was really hoping for something more thematically tied to the movie.

The court card in each suit are King (Jareth), Queen (Sarah, naturally), Jack (Labyrinth denizens), and Cavalier (mounted warriors).

One nice little detail is that the Jareth and Sarah in each suit have outfits that match their scenes together in the movie.

River Horse also has up for pre-order a Labyrinth Adventure Game (RPG) which looks interesting. You can pick up the Labyrinth Card Game from Amazon.

Jan 2, 2020

Monthly Movie Recap - December 2019

Happy second day of the New Year!
I decided to give everyone a recovery day before posting the December recap.


The Mandalorian (Disney+) - What a season finale! I cannot wait to see where the next season will take us. Fans will be going broke soon as the all the merch is starting to go up for pre-order.

The Witcher (Netflix) - Only about half way in but I am loving it so far. It's been quite awhile since I've played a Witcher game but this feels just right.

The Big Screen

Frozen 2 (2019)
I enjoyed the first one quite a bit so I was definitely up for a sequel. What I didn't expect was that a few minutes into the new movie, I was actually happy and excited to be back with these characters again. I really like how they used local folklore and mythology for the fantasy elements. I don't think it had as great of a soundtrack as the first movie but the one song Kristoff does solo that looks like it came out of an 80s power ballad video is pure gold. And I think he may have become my favorite character in this series.

Rating: 8/10

It sounds like a no-brainer, right? After reading the rad Batman/TMNT crossover comic series I thought this would be worth a watch. I had high hopes going in as it seemed to start out with a Batman:TAS vibe and then some horribly drawn turtles showed up and the plot degenerated into something silly that I'd expect from the original TMNT cartoon. When you make my boy Donatello look like a dude in a green morph suit, you lose me.

Rating: 6/10

You take the good, you take the bad, you take em both and there you have your average horror anthology. Jeffrey Combs chews up the scenery like the genre pro he is as the owner of an oddities shop where every item has a story. If you can get past the horrible dialog and acting of the first tale, the rest can be entertaining. "The Hand That Rocks the Dreidel" is a bite sized Puppet Master story so it wins the movie for me.

Rating: 5/10

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
With every new trilogy movie, I need to see it at least twice to formulate a decent opinion and this one is no exception. There's a lot I liked and there's some things that came off as dumb, like(event A happens because we need B next or things happen that end up having no real impact. It's Star Wars, it's a space fantasy and I shouldn't care about "logic" but like the slo-mo chase in The Last Jedi, there are some things I have a problem wrapping my brain around. These feelings generally subside on multiple viewings, listening to podcast reviews, and reading a visual dictionary. We'll see where I'm at after another viewing.

Rating: 6/10

Klaus (2019, Netflix)
I have Mrs Dex to thank for this one, I probably would not have picked it otherwise. It turned out to be a great re-imaging of how Santa came to be from the man that brought you Despicable Me. The animation is fantastic and the story is cute.

Rating: 7/10


Doom: Annihilation (2019, Netflix)
Talk about going out with a whimper. This sequel no one asked for is probably the least entertaining movie I watched all year. Sure, it has things from the game like a chainsaw and BFG but it's also got demons that are clearly people in rubber suits and a cast with less charisma than a box of rocks.

Rating: 2/10

New: 6  Rewatch: 0

Year to Date
New: 75  Rewatch: 3

Here are all the movies I watched in 2019. I stole the idea from Bob Johns at It Came from the Man Cave, go check out his Best of 2019 post! You can get a better look at the movies on my Letterboxd page.