GIVEAWAY: Cast/Crew Signed Human Race DVDs and Posters

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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Because what good is my being in a sci-fi/horror movie if I can't score freebies for you folks, am I right?

I have three posters signed by writer/director Paul Hough and Eddie McGee, and three DVDs signed by not just them, but also producers Geza Decsy and Trip Hope, and actors Paul McCarthy-Boyington, Richard Gale, Trista Robinson, T. Arthur Cottam, Sean Decker and me. There are three prizes each of 1 poster and 1 DVD, but with this qualifier: DVDs can ship anywhere, but the posters can only ship to U.S. addresses. So if you enter without having one of those, you'll just get the DVD and someone else will get the poster.

Read on for the rules...

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Blu-ray Today: Cheerleaders Die, Holmes Gets Private, and a Dick Samurai

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 8:00 am

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All Cheerleaders Die - The original ACD is a movie almost nobody has seen, though I still have a VHS copy of it somewhere: a no-budget zombie movie shot on video by then-recent USC alumni Chris Sivertson and Lucky McKee. Both went on to solo directorial careers: Lucky with May and The Woods, and Chris with The Lost and I Know Who Killed Me. It may be a sign of how rough the marketplace is for indie horror that they rejoined to remake their first feature, and it feels, creatively, like a step back. There are a lot of plot threads going on in this movie about a spurned high school girl who wants to avenge her friend's accidental (?) death by infiltrating the cheerleading squad and ruining them - only for them all to wind up as undead flesh-eaters thanks to some magic glowing stones. But there's too much unnecessary soap-opera stuff for what needs to be a simpler premise, and the film's blatant set-up for a sequel at the end all but acknowledges there are more loose ends here than could be handled in one movie.

if there ends up being an ACD trilogy, this likely won't matter...but as a stand-alone, it's frustrating.

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Desert Radio, Mean Maleficent and Pirate Kitten

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

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A veteran of the LAPD, widow of a Green Beret and self-described crazy cat lady, Luke's Mother-in-Law fears no questions. Ask her anything in the comments section - no issue is too big, too trivial or too weird for her to tackle, but if you get out of line, she will let you know!

All questions and answers are real.

Hello, hello from the vortex of Joshua Tree. This week I attended the 25th anniversay of our local radio station, Z107.7, which is locally owned by Gary and Cindy. They started here in the basin 25 yrs ago. Not many locally owned stations are still around, but little old Joshua Tree has one; they always comment that they are located in a strip mall next to the biggest drug dealer in town: the local family owned pharmacy. Yep, we even have one of those here...next to the local pizza and Indian food restaurant. Z107.7 has been in operation as long as I have lived in the desert. Julia was even a guest DJ when she was in elementary school. Anyway, here is to another 25 yrs of great broadcasting. If you are ever in Joshua Tree stop by and see this treasure.

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Blu-ray Today: Explodey Heads, Unclothey Scarlett Johansson and Black Dynamite

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Scanners (Criterion Collection) - Scanners is one of those movies that is doomed to disappoint many who see it, simply because all most casual viewers know about it is the exploding head scene (which, to be fair, is generally used to market the movie). Well, that happens, quite early on...and then never happens again. What's left is a more cerebral, less effects-heavy tale of battling telekenetics, in factions led by Cameron Vale and Michael Ironside.

While the Criterion Blu-ray features a new transfer and several new documentary featurettes, a significant part of the appeal here is the inclusion of director David Cronenberg's 1969 debut feature Stereo, in which volunteer lab subjects are encouraged to try to increase their psychic powers via sexual experimentation. Do you think the researchers are too hard on them?

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The 26 Goofiest Moments in the Darkman Sequels

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Sam Raimi's Darkman recently got the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Shout! Factory, and as well it should have. (I wrote about it over at the Village Voice.) Perhaps not so surprisingly, it doesn't look like the film's straight-to-video sequels Darkman II: The Return of Durant and Darkman III: Die Darkman Die will be getting the similar Blu-ray love anytime soon, at least not domestically. But the movies do have their charm, particularly given the diminishing returns of low-budget sequels in those days. (Yeah, you, Robocop 3.)

I should mention that "goofy" is not a pejorative term in this case. We are here to celebrate goofiness, not shun it.


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GIVEAWAY: Scarlett Johansson Naked Alien Movie Under the Skin on Blu-ray

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Last year, Scarlett Johansson won acclaim for a performance that was entirely about her voice - in Her, the actress was never seen onscreen. This year, she won acclaim for one with almost no talking at all. In fairness, once she's naked in anything, we can't be too surprised if it leaves people speechless. Under the Skin was shot in Scotland, often with unsuspecting non-actors who had no idea a sexy female alien was going to seduce and kill them onscreen.

I have one to give away, and I will let this contest run until Friday at noon. Here is your challenge: In comments below, tell me what you'd do if you met a naked alien that looked like Scarlett Johansson, BUT - here's the catch - you MUST keep your entry PG rated. No sex or murder stuff. Let's see if we can get those one-track minds onto more unusual rails. Best answer wins, and whether or not it's PG will be determined solely by me. Enter as often as you like.

The Blu-ray can only be mailed to US addresses, so if you enter from another country, please be sure there is somewhere in the US you can have it sent.

Weekend Open Thread: Asylum Hercules, French Dallas and Lego Cable Hands

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Yes, there WILL be a weekend hangover post on Monday. I don't know if y'all really missed it or not.

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I give the Asylum a lot of credit on this one - they're not just ripping off a Hercules movie, but specifically ripping off a Hercules movie starring an ex-WWE guy.

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Blu-ray Today: The Raid 2, Betty White vs. Croc, and Shia LaBeouf Gets Porny

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

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The Raid 2 - You wanted a Dredd sequel; here it is!

I much prefer The Raid 2 to its predecessor, not-Dredd, as it has more distinct characters and an actual plot, with hero cop Rama going undercover and into prison to become best buds with the son of a crimelord and bring him down, all while forces inside the underworld seek to play rival gangs against each other and end the fragile criminal truce that's in play. Along the way, most everybody beats the holy living shit out of everybody else, often to death.

If I have any criticism, it's that it's just a touch too long. By the time director Gareth Evans busts out random characters Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man to extend the climax, we're already so through-the-wringer that we just want to see the final fight already. But that's what Blu-ray is for: fast forward to the climax first, then come back and skip straight to the extraneous fights later.

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Anime Expo 2014: 7 Highlights, Lowlights, and a Tour of the Dealer's Room!

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Once again, the Los Angeles Convention Center in the heart of downtown LA was turned into a cornucopia of mass Japanese Otaku nerdery, and much like last year, I was around to see and hear it all.
Rather than rehash last year's theme, I thought I'd share a little bit more of the specifics that make this particular different than your Comic-Cons and other general-interest conventions. Anime Expo has its own specific vibe; part trade-show for the Anime industry, part Japanese pop-culture convention, Anime Expo is a very much like a niche version of San Diego Comic-Con, except it's actually possible to attend it without either a) spending a million dollars a year in advance, or b) representing some million-dollar movie franchise.

So, let's begin! Here's a look at some of the best, worst and weirdest moments from Anime Expo 2014!


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Na Na Na Na Na Na Na November Date Set for Batman '66 Blu-rays

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm

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Much will be crammed into this long-awaited, undoctored set, and it seems there'll be an all-out Hall H panel at Comic-Con to promote all the details.

The teaser below doesn't have much else to say, but it looks really good...

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