Adi Shankar, Producer of All Those Bootleg Dark Reboots, Is Finally Doing One Officially

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Video Games
Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 8:00 am

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He's done unofficial short movies featuring Venom, the Punisher, Judge Dredd and the Power Rangers, all grittier and more violent than the cinematic versions. He then told us that his movie The Voices was his dark and gritty take on a Garfield and Deadpool crossover. But now he finally has the rights to do an actual gritty reboot...and it's Castlevania.

Shankar says his version will be an animated series that's "super violent" and "dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head." (Note this is close to what Tommy Wiseau says about his own proposed vampire movie, except Shankar is actually good at what he does.) In a brief interview with Collider, he also mentions that he wants the show to be "America's first animated series for adults" (I can think of a few that beat him to it, like Todd McFarlane's Spawn show on HBO, but whatever), it'll be based on Castlevania III, and the music will be in a similar vein to the original games.

I give the guy props for doing what he likes. But I'm curious exactly what network he thinks will air his video-game-based Dracula cartoon for adults.

h/t Sly Dante

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Jury's Out

By Luke Y. Thompson in Columns
Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Got questions? Martha Boyd has all sorts of answers. A desert-dweller, self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, former LAPD officer and widow to a Green Beret, she's seen and heard things crazier than you've imagined. And is ready for whatever odd questions you have, so bring them on!

Hey all, another week bites the dust. LYT and Julia were at the TR desert lair for a few days. That was fun. They did a toy photo shoot and we did a food review so you may see more of the place in future posts. We tried out a couple of restaurants in Yucca Valley and found them both to be good. One of them is a hookah place; yep, we have one out here in nowhere land. The other was BBQ, which was also very good. When they come to visit LYT spends more of his time working and Julia sees her friends. In between things we eat all kinds of goodies. They even had time to take in a movie at our cheap desert theater vs. LA prices.

25 Games to Check Out At PAX 2015

By Kyle LeClair in Daily Lists, Video Games
Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Well, this year's Penny Arcade Expo is happening this weekend in Seattle from Friday to Monday. It's one of the year's biggest, most prominent, and most notable gaming festivals chock full of several amazing new and upcoming video games for the public to try out...which only saddens me further when I remember that I don't have the budget to actually attend it this year.

But just because I lack the necessary travel funds doesn't mean that I can't still get involved in some way. After all, it would still be my honor to spotlight several of the amazing pieces of electronic entertainment that will be on display at PAX this year, maybe possibly help those who are able to be there by highlighting some noteworthy titles for them to check out. Because we at Topless Robot are dedicated to providing you the best coverage possible of nerdy events no matter what, because we are determined to feature as many of the most promising and unique games that deserve more attention as we possibly can, and because we are totally not just hoping to have lightning strike twice and end up replicating the success of our E3 2015 list.

I kid, though. Regardless of whether or not you're going to be attending the show, hopefully our little showcase here will allow you to discover any upcoming games to look forward to. So without further ado, let our little preview of some of the most interesting games set to appear at PAX 2015 begin!

The Faux-Serenity from Alan Tudyk's Con Man Has a T-Shirt Now

By Luke Y. Thompson in Merchandise, TV
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm

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What's the only thing nerdier to wear than your Firefly T-shirt? How about a T-shirt based on a fake version of Firefly that exists only within a super-nerdy web-series that was crowd-funded by nerds like yourself?

Introducing...Spectrum!

From the upcoming web series about an actor who can't get away from the obsessive fans of his short-lived sci-fi series, comes merchandise for said series, including shirts that rather surprisingly do not come in brown, courtesy of WeLoveFine.

Just don't wear it on Fridays, as they tend to cancel out the cool factor...and everything else.

Burger King Is Pitching McDonald's a "McWhopper"

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm

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Given that Burger King is pretty consistently one of the most disappointing, bland and uninventive of the major fast food chains, I'm not hugely surprised they're the ones making the pitch to the larger competitor - which is equally uninventive and bland in many respects, but has better name recognition. The idea is that for "Peace Day" (9-21), the two companies make a pop-up store halfway between their corporate headquarters, and serve this monstrous mash-up burger free to people who use a particular hashtag. I'm not sure why Yum Brands don't already do something like this - who wouldn't go for a Long John Silver's/Taco Bell fish Quesarito, or Kentucky Fried Pizza? Not this guy!

I don't see Mickey D's going for it, but if they do, I want the burgers to be served by a terrifying hybrid of Ronald McDonald and the masked King - sort of a "Composite Superman" of cellulite. Even if the burger doesn't work, the horror movie rights will sell swiftly.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Young Frankenstein Get Vinyl Figures

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

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One of the best quirks of the toy industry is that cartoon caricatures, if stylized enough, aren't considered "likenesses," and thus we can get toys based on people like Sean Penn who probably wouldn't give permission to some big capitalist corporation to waste plastic by mass-producing his visage. That's how I imagine him saying it, anyway.

I mean, it's also pretty much a crime that we have more action figures of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka than we do of Gene Wilder, but again, thanks to Vinyl Idolz, you'll be getting Doctor "Fronkensteen" as well as two other key characters.

Next up, I suggest Vinyl Idolz make non-likeness likenesses of Jack Nicholson and Peter Weller - two actors who notoriously charge such high fees that only Hot Toys has been willing to pay them thus far. This style would be PERFECT for Buckaroo Banzai.

That Sci-Fi Porn We Visited the Set of Two Years Ago Has a Trailer, and It's NUTS

By Luke Y. Thompson in Blu-ray, Movies
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 10:00 am

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For reasons that are possibly quite obvious, one of the most popular stories I've ever written was 2013's "On the Set of a Sci-Fi Porno." The movie in question, Saving Humanity, was already setting itself up to be more ambitious than most of its kind, with a script long enough that it could tell a story even with the hardcore sex bits trimmed, and a ton of digital effects planned.

It took a lot longer to finish that footage than I imagined, but it certainly is wild even aside from all the blurred nudity. CG sabretooth cats, sci-fi laser battles, martial-arts fights and a green-screen musical number are involved somehow, along with a glowing space pyramid that the characters all refer to as a "monolith" (which by definition would have to be considerably bigger).

It's probably not interesting to anybody else, but I do find it notable that producer Kim Nielsen is now listed as director, when Harry Sparks was the one with that role on-set. Intrigue! Maybe that's why it's as crazy-looking as it is.

The Farce Awakens, as the First Comedy Trailer to Pretend to Be Star Wars This Year Is...

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 8:57 am

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Back in 1999, Austin Powers 2 got a lot of mileage by faking out audiences with a trailer acknowledging that if you only saw one movie that year, it should be Star Wars - but if you saw two, then it should be the second. (That it turned out to be cinematic "number two" was kind of ironic, in the end.)

This year's edition doesn't push quite so hard for must-see status, but does feature an actor more gifted than Mike Myers...

Comicave's New 6-Inch Diecast Iron Man Action Figure Calls Shotgun

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies, Toys
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 8:00 am

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I'm frequently amazed that collectors exist who will pay top dollar to own every single Iron Man suit ever in toy form, but they do, and the figures keep coming. This particular variant is

the Mark 40 variant, also known by its moniker, "Shotgun," is a hyper-velocity traveling suit and was one a new generation of Iron Man armored suits created by Tony Stark for the Iron Legion. The suit received its nickname, "Shotgun," for the explosive sonic boom it creates when breaking the sound barrier in flight.
This fully articulated figure is 75% metal (sort of like Metallica post-Load), features LEDs in the head and chest, and being the first of many Singapore imports by Bluefin from Comicave Studios, will run you around $140.

As a bonus, if you get bored of it someday you can melt it down to make cutlery. But please only do that if you actually know how.

New Comic Book Day: Big Moves at Casa Dandy

By Jim Dandeneau in Columns, Comics
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Oni Press
Big news from Casa Dandy: over the next week, I'm turning 30+ and moving 350 miles. SO! I'm already drunk. Also! I'm moving to a Comcast area, so who the hell knows if I'll ever get Internet again. In the unlikely event that I get Comcasted really hard, I've got a treat loaded up for next week: I sat down with Steve Orlando, the awesome writer of the awesome Midnighter, and talked to him about Virgil, his new queersploitation comic from Image. You'll get to see that interview next week, and then even if I have to hike into town for Internet service, I'll be back with your regularly scheduled reviews the following week.

But first, we got comics this week! Demented imports from Spain; twisted satire; cool cyberpunk; fun spy comics; and ooh a Thundercats/Barbarella crossover? Shit! It's not that. Stupid typoglycemia. First up, though, we get a glimpse behind the local news camera.