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.

More >>

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

More >>

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...

More >>

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.

More >>

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.

More >>

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.

More >>

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer, Sweded (So Cheaply There's a Dude as Gamora)

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 10:00 am


James Gunn posted this on his Facebook with the comment that Wes Anderson had remade his movie, but respectfully, sir, that's way off. Anderson takes extra care in the's your former mentor Lloyd Kaufman who might say "Why use CGI when cardboard's available?" or even "Why hire a woman when we can get a guy and draw a pretty face on a mask he can wear?"

Okay, Lloyd's not that tone-deaf. He somehow wrangles female nudity on a budget of nothing. But if you asked him to make a comic-book movie, I'm not sure it would be better put-together than this.

More >>

Super Terrific Japanese Thing: Kobian, the Robot Comedian

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Takanishi Laboratory/Waseda University

In typical Japanese fashion, Kobian's full name is actually "Bipedal Humanoid Robot That Makes Humans Laugh With Use of the Method of Comedy and Affects Their Psychological State Actively." Through exhaustive research, scientists tried to figure out what makes people laugh and see if they could program the robot to duplicate that.

Scientists being scientists, their study of humor led to conclusions like: "Part of the methods for making humans laugh are published by comedians or researchers. In order to achieve a robot's behavior for making humans laugh based on these methods, we studied 6 books[16-21] in which the methods for comedy and the ways for funny conversations are gathered comprehensively. These methods in the books are picked up from wide range of skits or ways of expressions, but most of the methods are commonly the same between other contents. We extracted the methods that are especially common in these books and show them below."

Apparently it worked for Japanese audience, but what about Topless Roboteers? It's time for us to find out...

More >>

TR Video Interview: Big Bird Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, With Oscar the Grouch

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm


Even if video content isn't normally your thing, I promise you'll want to see at least the first minute of this. There are some minor technical issues, but they could have been a lot worse - many, MANY thanks go out to TR Twitter fan Matt Harle, who got me clean conversions of the clips (which had somehow gotten corrupted on my computer) and put them together.

Interviewing the man behind Big Bird - and the director of his documentary, Dave LaMattina - is a fascinating thing. Are Sesame Street characters considered Muppets? Who did the back end of Snuffleupagus? What did Spinney do in the Air Force? Did Mitt Romney ever apologize to Big Bird?

Answers within...

More >>

The Lost 1982 "Hansel & Gretel" Short by Tim Burton Has Resurfaced

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 10:00 am


Yes, he was always into copious amounts of white facepaint, candy stripes, spirals and those weird stop-motion serpents he always draws, but back in the day this shiz was too weird for the Disney Channel, which only aired this once. It's more colorful than modern Burton, and more subversive - its all-Asian cast features the same man in drag playing both the wicked stepmother and the candy-loving witch. Fans of Jan Svankmajer will see his influence more blatantly in this than many subsequent Burton pics - not just in the designs and animation, but the obsession (and disgust) with eating.

You look at this, and you think this guy is just who the big studios need to reinterpret fairy tales in a subversive manner. Then you wonder what the fuck happened, and probably wind up blaming Helena Bonham-Carter.

More >>