The 18 Strangest Versions of Dracula

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 6:00 am


Could Bram Stoker ever have imagined, back in 1897, that the character he created would one day be used for everything from pornography to breakfast cereal? It's hard to imagine that even Bela Lugosi could have guessed that the accent he gave Dracula would still be in use, more than 80 years later, spoofed by George Hamilton, or teaching kids to count, or marketing everything from car insurance to debt-consolidation loans ("because debt sucks!") to throat lozenges. Thus Dracula Untold, the title of the Drac movie that opened this past weekend, seems almost impertinent. Can there be a variation on the Dracula tale left untold?

Here are 18 strong contenders for the most peculiar takes on Count Dracula in popular culture. Note: These aren't just vampires in the Dracula mode; all of them had, at minimum, to have either the title "Count" or the prefix "Drac-" or the suffix "-ula" somewhere in their name.

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TR Interview: Automata's "Visionary" Director Gabe Ibanez on His Asimov Riff

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 9:00 am


When I first saw the trailer for Automata, I assumed that it was a big-budget studio release that I'd just somehow missed out on hearing about. It stars Antonio Banderas, and it has top-notch special effects and a fully realized future world. But no - this is a scrappy indie from a first-time feature director, and is probably too weird and brooding for a studio, which is a good thing. Like a kinder, gentler, Blade Runner, it has Banderas going around fixing rogue robots rather than killing them...but it's all against the backdrop of humanity gradually going extinct.

I spoke to Ibanez on the phone during Fantastic Fest. As he is a fast-talker with a thick accent, I cannot vouch for every single word, but I'm pretty sure it's essentially all there.

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Gerry Anderson's Son Is Reviving ULTRAMARIONATION!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 11:39 am


Real explosions.

That's one of the major takeaways from Jamie Anderson's Kickstarter pitch video - he will build puppets and sets, and he will blow them up for your enjoyment.

It worked - Firestorm has only been on Kickstarter a couple of days, and it's already fully funded. Originally conceived as a puppet show but sold as the anime series Storm Force in 2003, this Firestorm will be returning to its roots and terrifying a new generation of kids with those weird marionettes that always creeped me the hell out. I mean, people talk about "uncanny valley" in CG, but marionettes had dead eyes from day one.

I'm down to see some get blown up.

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Week-Starter: Vinyl Guardians, Cowboy Game of Thrones, Bob's Burgers Porn and More!

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 6:00 am


If you-ooooo-oooo...are hooked on the vinyl! Then there's a version of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack for you.

Here are some other stories you might have missed, if not for the compiling assistance of Kyle LeClair and the tipster powers of Patch999, Gallen_Dugall, SlyDante777, skrag2112, RegularStormy, Rx79immigrant84, troi. Also, I'm experimenting with titles other than Weekend Hangover, just to see if they get better traction. Feeling like maybe positioning this as a kickoff rather than leftover might be more pro-active. We'll see.

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TR Review: Annabelle Burns With the Passion of Tommy Wiseau

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

Annabelle Facebook page

Oh hai audience! I am Amurrican director. I make typical Amurrican horror film about how normal people like you and me use sewing machine and buy dolls, haha. We are all so normal! But sometimes when people espress themselves they hurt each udder, and the doll become the Satan. Anyway, how's your sex life?

If I didn't happen to personally know director John Leonetti, I would assume that the above was his mission statement, and his name a pseudonym for Tommy Wiseau. "Leo," in fact, is a great cinematographer, and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. But when it comes to directing, let's just say that the best-case scenario for Annabelle is that drag queens embrace it as a midnight show to yell at.

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16 Stories You Might Have Missed This Weekend, From Chris Pratt's He-Man Fanfic to Banana Garfield

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

via Timley-Tardis-Lego

Can you beat a sentient Garfield banana? We'll give it a try, with these amusing tidbits culled form your weekend submissions and collected with the help of Kyle LeClair. Tipsters this week include kegs, donnaryoko, rkwsuperstar, Dr.Gonzo82, Anyone00, Gallen_Dugall, clashctyrkr, Rx79immigrant84, SlyDante777

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Video From Furry Migration, This Past Weekend's Furry Con in Minneapolis

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Todd Wardrope/City Pages

One of the reasons Topless Robot exists is because it fills a niche not always covered by our various sister publications in the Voice Media chain. But sometimes, just sometimes, we like to think we've inspired them.

Not necessarily to be better people, mind you. Just inspired. And we couldn't be prouder of Tatiana Craine and Todd Wardrope over at our Minneapolis sibling-site City Pages - they covered the Furry Migration convention like champs. I never before realized that there were "spiritual aspects" to Furries.

Take a look...if you dare...

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Sesame Street Does Star Wars, and It's Everything You'd Hope

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm


Cookie Monster is Flan Solo. Only-One Cannoli tells him to "Use the Four," i.e. count to four. And best of all, it sounds like Frank Oz is Grover as Yoda, in what may be the show's most meta-moment ever. It's "Star S'Mores"!

Remember when Kevin Smith movies argued that Return of the Jedi was just a bunch of Muppets? This one most assuredly is...and proud of it.

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Weekend Odds & Ends & Open Thread - The Phanfic Menace, Spider-Dog & More

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm


-Here's a Kickstarter for an Episode I fanfic novel supposedly based on George Lucas' original drafts.

-Kimota! New Miracleman stories are coming, including one whose mere proposed existence pissed off Alan Moore back in the day.

-The finalists for the next fan-submitted Lego ideas include massive builds of Ghostbusters HQ, General Grievous' flagship and Wayne you know they'll end up picking the Hubble Telescope.

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Such an Ignorant Thing to Do, if the Russians Love Their Furries Too

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Thanks to the glory of Russian dashboard cameras, we get to see a four-on-one beatdown delivered by Mickey Mouse, Skrat, SpongeBob and a fourth I can't identify.

I guess that's what happens when you're country is run by an evil version of Dobby the Elf - all the other formerly cute characters follow suit.

Or as a great man might say: in Russia, SpongeBob kicks YOU square in pants.

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