Wes Craven's 8 Greatest Films

By Luke Y. Thompson in Daily Lists, Movies
Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 5:00 am

found via Gautham

If Wes Craven, who died last night in Los Angeles, was never quite the "master" of terror that ads would so often proclaim him as, he was mostly no slouch either, having earned a place in the horror film iconography of the '70s, '80s, '90s and aughts. I had heard second-hand from people who've worked with him that he was losing a step or two on some of his more recent film sets, but his brain cancer was a fairly well-kept secret, and he certainly seemed coherent and articulate when I had a chance to interview him back in 2011 (it is unfortunately no longer online). Wes Craven indirectly taught me that blind hero worship does not hold up when I saw Shocker and hated it, but he also taught me an old dog can learn new tricks, and that one misstep doesn't make you fall down forever.

76 is too young an age to lose a man who, even in his atrocious penultimate film My Soul to Take, was writing young characters with a vibrancy and believability that too many people his age forget. Though he tended to stumble when following a formula, his most beloved horror films utilized unique source material and blazed original trails and set the standard for so many imitators to come. Let us now take a moment to celebrate the best of them - and trust me when I say MY best will be slightly different than most others.

Weekend Open Thread: Happy Anal-Versary!

By Luke Y. Thompson in Miscellaneous
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm


Longtime readers will get the reference. Dr. Abraxas can explain it to anyone else.

Open thread time!

Transforming Optimus Prime Birthday Cake Looks Amazing, Probably Hard to Cut and Eat

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Food & Drink, Toys
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm


I'm not sure how many animatronics I would want in my own birthday cake as a matter of practicality, but a G1 Optimus who can become a robot and go back to a truck, and be (mostly) eaten by kids is impressive indeed.

However, next year I want to see cake creator Rusell Munro step up and make a Bayformers Bumblebee cake that sprays Mello Yello everywhere from its crotch.

But not for his kid. For me.

Readers Tell Tales of Their Underwear, and One Has Won UNDEROOS!

By Luke Y. Thompson in Merchandise
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 11:00 am


In order to win some Underoos for adults, I asked you to tell me the best/worst/weirdest experience you ever had in just your underwear, while keeping things PG.

Let's read a couple of honorable mentions first...

Lionsgate Looking to Make Borderlands Movie With Avi Arad

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Video Games
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:10 am


Yes, the Spider-Man producer who had to get booted off the Spider-Man series in order for the Marvel deal to happen and who also brought us the Bratz movie, is now planning on taking a game most distinctive for its stylized animation and pointlessly make it live-action. Lionsgate promises "a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon" with "the same in-your-face attitude that has made the series a blockbuster mega-franchise."

Or maybe they just want to have trailers mentioning a planet called Pandora by the time the Avatar sequels are out.

Oh, wait, here's the best part of the press release (I'm assuming it's a press release because I'd think an actual written story would be more skeptical about Mr. Arad): "Avi Arad founded Marvel Studios in 1993 and resigned 13 years later to form his own production company, where Ari Arad is the president. He's continuing to produce some of the Marvel films, such as the 'Spider-Man' titles, along with videogame adaptations such as 'Uncharted' and "Ghost in the Shell.""

Yes, that groundbreaking video game Ghost in the Shell. I've heard of that. Am I being overly cynical here?

Key and Peele Reenact the Pitching of Gremlins 2

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 9:30 am


Given the flamboyant nature of the character played by Peele in this sketch, I thought for sure we'd be getting a Mannequin: On the Move joke. But maybe it's testing mainstream audiences enough to assume they remember all the Gremlins 2 references.

Fast Food Review: Taco Bell's Dare Devil Loaded Grillers

By Luke Y. Thompson in Columns, Food & Drink
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 8:00 am


Taco Bell's latest creation is a small $1 burrito containing "beef" and red corn strips, plus three different possible levels of hot sauce - chipotle, habanero and ghost pepper.

The idea is to try all three and see what you can handle. A better idea, if you dare, is to somehow persuade your mother-in-law to do that on camera. Which I did.

Topless Robot Live! Force Friday, and The Fox and the Hound's Gay Subtext

By Luke Y. Thompson in Anime, Cartoons, Live Performance, Toys
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 6:30 am


You may well wonder how we connect those two topics mentioned in the headline above. I can barely remember, myself. But we got Greg Jones Jr. on as our guest, and things got pretty free-form, with extended digressions on the movie Leprechaun 4, John Oliver, Dragon Ball, Christian Slater's dad apparently sending hate mail to the LA Weekly, and more.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and review us - subscribers get the newest podcasts first.

7 Different Ways One Walking Dead Toy Triggered My Panic Attacks

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Daily Lists, TV, Toys, Zombies
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 5:00 am


I get panic attacks sometimes.

I don't like to say I "suffer" from them, because I feel like that word should be reserved for people who need serious medical attention. It's enough to say I get them, and I don't like them. I can't imagine there's a person who does. Everyone's are different, but mine often combine the feeling that I have a ton of stuff that needs doing in too little time, while simultaneously holding me in place and keeping me from actually doing any of it, save obsessively checking Twitter to see if new Star Wars news broke.

So when I saw the movie Lego: A Brickumentary, and I heard Trey Parker talking about how he loves to build Lego sets in his free time because they're just about following instructions and that relaxes his mind, I decided it might be a good idea to give that a go. But maybe I shouldn't have substituted a McFarlane Building set in the equation...

See Grumpy Cat Get Measured for Madame Tussaud's Waxwork

By Luke Y. Thompson in Live Performance, Miscellaneous
Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm


This is proof positive that Grumpy Cat is actually the most patient feline in the world. I cannot think of any other cat I've ever known that would stand for being measured and prodded like this without somebody losing an eye. All so endless throngs of tourists can pose with the double, for reasons Tarder Sauce herself will never understand.

There better have been some fresh tuna at the end of it all.