Saturday, April 28, 2012

When my Backyard was my Movie Backlot.



 By - Steve Mezo




Who remembers when the old dirt patch in your back yard was the greatest movie set ever for the film crew in your head?

I'll never forget the Christmas of 1976 when I got  The Navarone Playset from  The Marx Toy Company.
 

Now before you roll your eyes and say "Dude this is supposed to be about monsters!" just bear with me for a second.
This playset kicked the ass of anything that's out now with flashing lights, sound effects or batteries. It was just a big old plastic mountain with a ton of army men, tanks, boats, jeeps, half tracks and howitzers and a printed plastic mat.
 It even had a ton of extras like ammo crates and gun racks. There was even medics with a stretcher and an injured soldier.
 
I just wish it had the dog because he's cool!!!

Well, after a few months of playing with it, all of the soldiers German and American were all M.I.A. (but somehow I kept all of the accessories). My mother thought "Well that's the end of that toy". The soldiers are gone, so now this big plastic mountain is going to sit in back of his room or under his bed". But I had other plans...

One day we were in a five and dime store (Kind of like a Seventies version of a dollar store with better stuff) and they had a huge bag of green army men with a couple tanks and jeeps for a dollar fifty.

And right next to it were a bunch of five inch tall monster looking dinosaurs that were fifty cents each. So for six bucks I had a whole new cast of characters.

When I got home that summer day with my Mom she saw me run in the house with my bag of epic battle. And then run right back out seconds later with a few of those plastic jugs full of colored chemical sugar water called "Little Hugs"
along with the bag of Green Army Men and Dinosaurs in one hand and my plastic mountain in other before she was even half way across the driveway. Then I ran to my favorite dirt patch in the back yard and orchestrated a skirmish that  Michael Bay would pay out the ass to have done digitally. 

These battles went on for years with the Green Army Men
 fighting everything from Robots
 

To Giant Gorillas
  

To Giant Spiders
 
I wish they had Silly String back then because
 that would have been sick!


Then there were lots of other monsters to fight the Green Army Men that were bought by relatives because they looked cool but didn't do much other than that. 

There was...

Suckerman
 
I can't remember who bought him for me, but he didn't impress me much. I mean he stuck to stuff, but after having my mother screaming at me for leaving sucker marks all over the windows, fridge and mirrors I didn't have much use for him. Till I discovered he could stick to the fiberglass bathtub I wrote about in my last article "The Bathtub That Contained The Ocean of Blood".

Then he became cool, now he wasn't only fighting the Green Army Men in their mountain fortress he was killing the crew of the Battle Boat. 


And there was Rodan
  I got him along with the Shogun Godzilla
 
I guess they were supposed to fight each other but they would always team up to destroy the Green Army Men and their mountain fortress. I guess it was a good idea since Rodan didn't do much but flap his wings.


Another one that just flapped his wings was 
Gre- Gory
 
He was bought with good intentions too,  but if it weren't for the mountain he wouldn't have seen much action.

That went for his friend 
"KRUSHER" too.
 



Someone had given me a Squish Brain
 

And with the help of Saturday afternoon horror movies
 that had become 
THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS
 



Then thanks to Star Wars I was given Star Bird
and the Star Bird Intruder
 

There was no room to put any figures inside like my Star Wars toys, but Star Bird's Astronaut Crew
 


And The Intruder's Evil Alien Crew
Had no problem doing battle against the Green Army Men since the Star Bird Crew were helping the Green Army Men. These guys also saved my Star Wars toys from getting trashed by sacrificing themselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No crackheads were harmed during the making of this film.



By -  Steve Mezo

Tonight I'm reviewing Thomas Gleba's "ZOMBITCH!"
 


"ZOMBITCH" was created by writer, director, podcaster, one of the writers and owners of NerdRemix.com and Scream King
 "Tom Gleba".
 

This movie is a stripped down sixteen minutes of Zombie movie madness! The story gets right to the meat of the matter, a local Stoner takes a shortcut through a graveyard and meets up with a crackhead named "Cracky". She asks him if he has anything to sell and he completely ignores her.
After that he makes his way to his friend "Frank's" house (Played by Gleba) to replenish his stash. While he's there he finds a bag that he thinks is crack, but is really fragments of a fallen meteorite. He figures he'll make a little extra money on top of his weed money by stealing and selling the fragments. And I'll give you one guess who he sells the fragments to.

After the Graveyard Crackhead smokes the fragments she becomes a zombie. And her first victim is a his friend the drug supplier "Beans". Not long after that she kills Gleba's character (After his booze filled attempt to destroy her). The Stoner tries one last attempt to destroy her with a hand held cross bow, but the arrow is too short. 
In a final act of desperation he gets on Skype to call for help, but his friend has only two friends on his account. One is "Dr. Menard" 
played by (writer director of Italian Zombie Movie Parts one and two, The Giant Rubber Monster Movie and Noirmageddon) Thomas Berdinski. 
 
But he has his own problems going on in his own lab and doesn't offer much help.

The next contact he finds is a friend of "Beans" and a drunken gamer by the screen name of "Big Pimp Daddy" played by writer/director of "The League of Science" web series and second writer as well as Co- Owner of NerdRemix.com Derek Huey.
 
He's half lit and playing a video game while Skyping, but he did give the best advice to our Stoner hero. "You have to smash their @#*&%$#! heads to nothing!"
He finds an ax in his shed hideout and turns Cracky's head to mush, and saves himself but not the day. 

Zombitch is currently available on The Trio of Terror DVD
  
Also on the DVD are the horror shorts "Graveyard Blues" by writer/director Cameron Scott and "The Giant Rubber Monster Movie" by writer/director Thomas Berdinski. As well as lots of extras and interviews.

And for more on Thomas Gleba check out the goings on at


 
 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Babette Bombshell's Review of Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things!


By - Steve Mezo

One of my favorite ghoulie girls Babette Bombshell has an episode of her "Sphincter-Clamping Cult Movie Reviews" that is near and dear to my heart! 


This time she is reviewing Alan Ormsby and Bob Clark's 
"Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"
 

Not only is it one of my all time favorite dark comedies, the screen writer "Alan Ormsby" created one of my all time favorite toys 
HUGO Man of a Thousand Faces.


I think the main thing that attracts me to the (Besides the large number of zombies) is that after working on productions and being involved in as well as managing a Costume shop for a few years. The characters remind me of allot of people I worked with over that time. Not in a negative way, it's just in those worlds their personalities are considered pretty normal.   

Now with the review, as always Babette delivers her take on the film (complete with clips) and keeps it fun while adding in behind the scene facts about the production. Click on the link below and see what Babette has to say!!!

 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Watching The Underbelly Show!!!




By - Steve Mezo


Derek Huey (Creator of The League of Science) had introduced me to his co-writer on
 The League of Science "Newt Wallen".
 

And it turns out Newt is a whole lot more! He had worked as a projectionist (Which for me is almost God Like) and is now working on his own Indie Horror "Midnight Show".
Poster art by - Marc Schoenbach

This is really cool because his first outing at making it had led to the creation of "The Underbelly Show" which is one of my favorite web series on Youtube. And now he's able to come back around to finishing "Midnight Movie" which I'll cover in a future article. 

The videos consist of Frank (Patterson), Shawn (Caple), Newt (Wallen) and Justin (Silverman) giving their views on Comic Books, Video Games and Movies as well as doing some comedy shorts.

The thing that really attracts me to "The Underbelly Show" is that they remind me of the friends I had while working in a Comic Book Store. We would spend hours talking about this stuff and throwing in all kinds of jokes that would get us and others there laughing their asses off. 

I've seen quite a few people post things like they wish that a network would pick them up (It would be cool to see them make allot of money), but it would be like seeing your favorite Metal Band go from playing clubs to stadiums...
I mean they have this great edge and their production value is killer, but allot of it would have to be dialed back to be put on any network. 

And I love watching their New York Comic Con Videos (in New Jersey). They don't make fun of anyone, but like me they keep it where "Yeah, I really enjoy this stuff too, but it's not all consuming." And at the same time jokingly keeping the guys and girls with the cool jobs a little grounded.


So make sure to click on their link and subscribe to The Underbelly Show's Channel and get ready to see some discussions about a really disturbing Star Wars candy item that is thankfully off of the shelves...







Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My almost life long quest to obtain "HUGO Man of a Thousand Faces"!



This is a tale of how it took me just about twenty years to get a puppet named HUGO for my monster toy collection.  

When I was five years old the Kenner Toy Company had released "Hugo Man of a Thousand Faces" and unknown to me
 HUGO was created by F/X Artist Alan Ormsby.
 

 who directed and starred in one of my all time favorite horror movies "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things".


When I had seen the commercial I had completely lost my mind! He was one of the coolest toys I had ever seen in that time of my life. Even my mother thought he was beyond cool and when she asked me if I wanted him for my birthday the quest had begun.
She had went to just about every toy store or store with a toy department in our area and every time she asked about him she was just given a "Never heard of it" response. Even when she had shown them this ad.


One store she had taken me to had him, but because of complaints of the glue sticks he was taken off of the shelves.

*Side note* I hated when they had taken toys off the shelves when I was a kid. It was being punished because someone else couldn't use half of their brain or some uncool parent didn't like a toy that they weren't going to play with anyway. Like Kenner's "ALIEN". 
My beyond cool Aunt Vera had scored one for me for my eleventh birthday as it was being taken off the shelves.
 And he's still with me to this day.

When I found out that Hugo was nowhere to be found I was crushed...

While I was doing some research for this article I found out that JCPenny had him in stock and my mother could have ordered him through the "Wish Book".

 I had shown my mother this picture before I did the article and she cracked up. The only reason she didn't know about Hugo being in there was my Aunt Emma was getting new Adventure Team G.I. JOE's for me. She lived really close to the mall and had seen the display for them. So she had called my mother and asked which ones to get, my mom told her to get the set of four figures , the six wheeled vehicle and The Eight Ropes of Danger set. Then to make sure I didn't know about them at all she just threw out the Wish Book when it came in the mail.
The prices show why I was getting all that. HA HA

He was even on "The Uncle Floyd Show" during the closing of the show when my wife and I were dating and watched it every night.


There was even a "Invasion of the body snatchers" spoof on HBO that had him in a baby carriage!

It was driving me crazy that I couldn't find him anywhere. I checked Outdoor Markets, Thrift Stores, Antique Stores and Yard Sales with no luck. I even asked friends hoping maybe one of them had one, but that was a dead end too.

Then one day my sister in law had the internet about a year before me and when my wife was checking this thing called Ebay. I asked to type in Kenner's HUGO and a click later there he was. 

Then an email later we talked the seller to pull the auction and sell him to us outright. Then about eighty bucks later we got him in the mail and the box was a mess and so was Hugo...  Normally I would have been the definition of pissed off, but after twenty years I was just happy to have him.
 This is really close to the condition I got him in...

He was streaked with the glue from the glue stick and it was all over his artist smock too. His wig was a mess too, but at least all of his appliances were there along with his instructions.

So my wife and I hit the internet at my sister in law's again and got a ton of information from Doll Restoration websites. I can't thank the people that have posted the information on those enough.
After allot of work HUGO is happily living in our apartment with a really cool antiqued looking suitcase.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My interview with Robert the tire from "Rubber".

 

By - Steve Mezo

I went to the abandoned Mom and Pop Video Store just to make on stuff when I noticed a tire across the street. 
 


I walked over to it and that's when I realized it was
 Robert from the movie "Rubber"!

I told him how much I loved the movie and asked him if he would like to come inside the Video Store and do an interview. He then turned to me and said with his telepathy he would really like that.
And he was even cool enough to let me get a photo op!
 

Once we were inside I asked him how he landed the role of a lifetime for a tire. (No pun intended) 

He told me that he would like to start at the beginning when his father had met his mother during his time in the Army during World War II when he was the spare tire on a Jeep of a Sergent.

They fell in love and had Robert when they had returned state side. Robert's father wanted more for his son than to be a spare tire, so he had used his military retirement (Sorry for the pun again) money to send Robert to a respected acting school in NYC. This helped Robert land his first acting roll... in the stage play "CATS".
 

He had stayed with the troupe for quite a few years but then had given modeling a try. 
 
And then had remembered the old saying about "Never work with animals or kids...


After that he had decided he would do some commercial work and this is when he discovered how much he actually liked acting. 
His agent then found out about an Independent horror comedy called "Rubber". 
Robert was thrilled it was almost as if the role were written just for him by writer/director "Quentin Dupieux". 
 
Quentin and Robert having fun with a photo shoot between takes.


He then told me the only scene that was a real chore to be in was when he first rises out of the dirt and rocks in the desert.





But every other scene after that was relatively easy.
 

Robert's enjoying his new found fame and is thinking of appearing at Horror Conventions. He said the only thing is he can't write so wouldn't want to let down his fans that are autograph collectors, but he loves being in photos and would be part of a Q and A panel. 

After that I thanked him for his time and for being my guest at the video store. He said the pleasure was all his and then began to roll away.