Thursday, January 24, 2013

My thoughts on Texas Chainsaw 3D.

 

By - Steve Mezo

I just got home from seeing "Texas Chainsaw" in 3D
 

I don't want to say it was the worst TCM movie I've ever seen because we can all agree on which one that was.
 But it wasn't anything like the ones that we all enjoy. 



WARNING!!!
THIS ONE IS FULL OF SPOILERS ALL THE WAY THROUGH.


I don't know if I missed something but it's like they were trying to make everybody happy at once or give nods to different movies or maybe just trying to keep everything familiar.

From the beginning through most of the way it was almost like a Rob Zombie Movie without Rob Zombie directing it or adding his artistic influences. Even the beginning was straight out of "Devils Rejects".    

After that it was definitely written for the Facebook - Reality Show generation. The web phone video feed scene and Leatherface sewing his mask to his face (Body Modification) said it all right there... 
The 3D didn't add anything at all and I'll be glad when the fad finally fades out again.

I thought the cameos by Gunnar Hansen and Bill Moseley were cool, but the whole changeover from the original Chainsaw threw me off. Like the obvious "It's supposed to be a sequel from 1974", but that's a 39 year difference. Even if it took place in the early 80's there were no webphones yet and that's not even counting the whole NEW family lineup. So is this an alternate universe sequel? 

Man this review is getting as all over the place as Texas Chainsaw 3D...

Then the whole Carnival Scene was a complete letdown even with the "SAW" dig. And there were so many questions like "Why isn't the Sheriff arresting them?" or "Why didn't Leatherface put a hurting on Heather? I mean this is the 74' Leatherface who killed anyone that came in the house, not the 86' Leatherface looking for love.   

And I really wasn't feeling the new Leatherface or his mask. Dan Yeager just didn't make Leatherface his own like Gunnar Hansen, R.A. Mihailoff, and Andrew Bryniarski did when they wore the mask. I don't know why, but he just didn't click with me as the character. Maybe the director was saying "Don't do it this way or don't do it that way" the whole time and it kept him from really bringing his version through  

The funny thing is even through all that I still found it watchable. I could have waited for Netflix, but with all of the buzz on the good old Internet here I had to check it out. And a man by the name of Gregory that makes the trip out here to see what's going on wanted to know what I thought of it. 

I have to admit I liked the sense of family it had with Heather taking on the role of caregiver of Jud, maybe because I do it myself. And the payoff with the meat freezer jump (going back to 74') made me giggle. And the after credits scene had a Married with Children feel to it. 

I just can't see a sequel coming from it though...    


My friend "Derek Huey" at NerdRemix.com and I had a FB conversation about TCM 3D. It doesn't look like I was saying allot, but Derek was going from my review which explains why my responses were one sentence

If you're reading this at a way later date Derek's review will be "Friday, February 22nd, 2013" on the site.

And make sure to stop by there and see their goings on too. Derek owns the site with (Scream King) "Thomas Gleba" (writer - director of "Zombitch") and they have features like "Horror Hottie of The Month", podcast, reviews, interviews and "The League of Science" episodes.     

Slime makes everything more fun!!!


By - Steve Mezo

It's amazing how some goop in a plastic garbage can 
made by the MATTEL toy company
 turned my play time up  to eleven!

"Slime" fought everything and everyone without mercy or challenge. Unless you went by "Blob" rules and had your Green Army Men Flame Thrower Troopers using modified CO2 tanks.


or Astronauts with freeze gel sprayers


or Firemen with CO2 extinguishers or CO2 spraying fire hoses.
 

So unless the Green Army Men had these guys in tow or Mr. Freeze was doing the fighting they were pretty much screwed.

Countless numbers of plastic soldiers had met their end at the (hands?) of Slime and their vehicles were just as vulnerable. Halftracks, jeeps and tanks were rendered useless and liquified by Slime's acidic powers.

And when hollow Dinosaurs and hollow giant frogs were filled with it they were the winners of every battle! 




  

Slime also had it's fill of robots, monsters, dinosaurs, giant insects, giant gorillas, Stormtroopers and Droids too. I think the only monster it couldn't beat was Godzilla.

After it's initial creation it evolved and became even more deadly!  

It grew eyes and became known as "Slime It's Alive!"
This gave it the powers of hypnotism and sometimes rendered the CO2 armed soldiers powerless.

Then it was armed with worms (Like "Squirm") and infused with flesh eating bugs. These were the things that kept The Green Army Men Awake at night.  

There was even a board game to use it with that was just as fun to loose as it was to win!
 

Slime was so unstoppable that even when I outgrew playing with toys in the early 80's the next generation of kids had it to use with their action figures.

Hordak had found use for it when beating down He-Man and Skeletor along with their friends. 
 
   And he had a machine to use it with!


Then The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles called it 
"Retromutaen Ooze"

And The Shredder and Krang 
had "The Foot Clan Flushomatic"
to reduce the turtles and Master Splinter to their former state.

 



The Ghostbusters got hold of it and turned into "Ecto-Plazm"

 
  And thanks to Nickelodeon it continues to live a long happy life!
 


Slime I salute you!!!
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

She asked me why the singer's name was Alice?



By - Steve Mezo

1975 was a great year for me musically I was given the records  
"KISS ALIVE"

and  

"Billion Dollar Babies".  
 

And this was my musical introduction to a man who went by the name "Alice Cooper".

I just about played that album till it was smooth! I was drawn in by Hello Hooray and fell in love with "Billion Dollar Babies", Unfinished Sweet" (even though the drill sound freaked me out), "No More Mister Nice Guy", "Sick Things" and "I Love The Dead".  

His music was so different from KISS's because it was so visual! I loved picturing Alice dancing around in an attic in the moonlight with a creepy Victorian doll or his Reverend punching him in the nose during services.

I had asked Louie all about Alice after that and he told me all about his live shows.
  
He told me all about the guillotine

 and being hung at the gallows 

 after that I was all about Alice Cooper. 

I read any and every rock magazine that had his name on it and allot of the time KISS shared the same issues. The only thing was even though I thought KISS was cool with the makeup and outfits Alice was doing all kinds of stage magic and interacting with monsters.
 

Then I was allowed to stay up late one night (Because my dad was visiting relatives in Hungary) and got to watch "The Nightmare" Television special starring Vincent Price!
And when I found out Alice's character's name was "Steven" I was smiling from ear to ear because I heard "Stephen". 

KISS did come out with "Meets The Phantom of The Park in 1977"
 
Where they fought against wolf monsters, Black Belt Theater Karate guys and The Universal Monsters.

And spent Halloween with Paul Lynde (Another favorite of mine)
along with Witchiepoo and The Wicked Witch of The West.
 


But then Alice was on The Muppets in 1978
 
Where he owned it doing "Schools Out"!

Then in 1985 I rented "Monster Dog" after a bike ride to the local video store. And I thought it was great that he had a starring role and did a few songs. And "Identity Crisis" quickly became one of my new favorites.
I think this was also one of the first completely dubbed horror movies I had seen. They used to make my friends insane, but after years of Clint Eastwood Italian Westerns and Godzilla movies I had no problem still enjoying them. 

Later in 1985 Alice was a guest on Twisted Sisters "Come Out and Play" album and sang with Dee Snyder on the track "Be Chrool to your Scuel". The song also featured Billy Joel on piano, Brian Setzer on guitar and Clarence Clemons on saxophone. Alice starred in the video for it on MTV (Back when they still played music videos). The funny thing about that is MTV quickly banned it because it had a strong anti-school message. Oh P.M.R.C. how I miss you! Yeah the anti-school message was bad, but the zombie gore was just fine. HA HA HA

The song was okay but it was so cool seeing some of my favorite 80's big names in it. Tom Savini, Bobcat Goldthwait and lot's of Savini's Zombies.
       


Then he did a song about "Jason" in 1986!
This is when I was old enough to go to concerts, but the only thing was his shows were in parts of New York that I couldn't get to. So I had to make due with watching videos of these concerts.
I thought it was cool him having Jason pop out of an old fridge and take a swing at him with a machete. But I was told by friends that the shows differed on the venue and there were times where he would do some of his famous illusions and other times not.

In 1988 when I was a production assistant for Warren F. Disbrow I found out that he is a huge Alice Cooper fan and got me all kinds of caught up on Alice Cooper History. 
Warren has a collection of his concerts on VHS and I was able to watch "The Nightmare" again. It was so cool getting to see the Gallows, The Guillotine and of course my favorite The Cyclops. 
Then he had told me about when Alice was just starting out he would sleep in unlocked cars and have "Get out of my car your f**king bum!" as his wake up call. And he would keep an old metal pot with him that he would cook stolen spaghetti in.  
This is also when I found out that he wanted to be an actor more than anything and was hoping his music would be an in to the business. This explained his high theatrics on stage and the great visuals in his songs.
     

But then in the September of 1999 my wife and I had went to see Alice Coopers appearance at Six Flags - Great Adventure with my Graphics Teacher Doreen Longo. 

We were able to get front row when the teenagers left after the opening act, and we were not disappointed. I remember Eric Singer was on drums and Ryan Roxie, China and Phil X on guitar with Bob Marlette on bass and the show was amazing. And I couldn't believe how close we were to the stage! If the barrier wasn't there I could have sat on the edge and watched it from there. 

I forget what the order of the live set was, but I remember him not having his trademark makeup on. 
 


Then a group of monster clowns sat him in a wheelchair, then held a old framed picture of him in front of his face


and when they took it away he had the makeup on!
 I still don't know how he did it!

He did "Cold Ethyl" 
  

And he did "Million Dollar Babies". I was freaking out when he made sure I got a few dollars off of his sword, but when I was getting stuff ready for this article I couldn't place the dollar (I gave one to Doreen and one to a really nice guy right behind me). Or the guitar pick Ryan Roxie gave me after doing his guitar solo and saying "Nice Tattoos!" to me.


But a good friend of mine and actor Dan Carroll had seen Alice live too during the "Trashed" tour and sent me a scan of the dollar he was able to get from that show. Which is cool so now people that haven't seen one can well... see it.

        Thank you Dan!   


The next post will be about a much loved toy from "The Storage Unit of Terror" and then by request I'll be posting some reviews (My thoughts) on some movies.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Everybody was Ninja Fighting!!!

 

By - Steve Mezo

I was watching "Revenge of The Ninja" last night and just thought of how cool it was seeing it in the theater back in 83' when I was thirteen. 

 

I was working on getting my second black belt degree (Got third at sixteen) and thought "Oh man after I get my third I am so going to train to be a Ninja!".

Started my training way back when I was eight years old.
 
I had asked my Sensei about it and he had a good laugh about it. He told me I could enroll in advanced weapons class, but becoming an actual Ninja takes years of training and conditioning. So I had learned and mastered the Sai's and Tonfa's which was about as Ninja as I was going to get

The fact that I couldn't become a Ninja didn't stop me from being all about the mystique and ledgend of them. "I know, stop pointing at the sign I'll get to the monster tie in's." 

Now before I get into how I became a Sho Kosugi fan and a half
 

Let me go back to when I was four years old and met a man named Kwai Chang Caine and his Master
 

He was my first introduction to Shaolin Style Kung Fu. And there was even an episode with a Ninja in it too where he was disguised as a blacksmith with a limp. 

And then years later Caine became BILL!!!
 

When one of my uncles found out about my obsession with the Kung Fu Television Show he made sure I got to see "Enter The Dragon" when it was on TV.
 and Bruce Lee posters replaced my posters of KISS

After that Black Belt Theater was on without fail! Everything from "The Flying Guillotine" to "Five Deadly Venoms" and of course my favorite crossover "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires" were on my TV.   

The thing that I really enjoy about typing this article is how unifying the love of all of these movies are. I was researching some of the movies and shows and it was wild how diverse the fans are, but we all have the same experiences growing up with them.
 
Like after seeing "Revenge of the Ninja" you couldn't keep me out of the movie theater, video store or away from Cable TV if Sho Kosugi's name or the word Ninja was involved. Some of my favorites being "Ninja 3 The Domination" and "Pray For Death".    

He was even the fight choreographer and villain "Okasa" for the Television Show "The Master" starring Lee Van Cleef and "Timothy Van Patten"
 

And I never missed an issue of Stephen K. Hayes "Ninja" Magazine

  
Okay here's the monster tie in part.

Well it turns out that I wasn't the only one that was crazy about Ninjas and monsters back in the 80's. And the crossovers where everywhere.

There was Ninjor from Masters of The Universe
 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Pre - Cartoon)

There was even a Ninja on the Thundercats 
Sure "Panthro" is a Ninja styled character, but Mum-Rah
had conjured this guy up and he was cool!!!

 I know allot of you remember this comic book!
     
Even G.I. Joe got in on the action
 


And how many car payments did we pump into this arcade game?
   Hey check out the guys in the Goalie Mask
you think it might be a little nod to a certain Camp Killer we all know and love?

The continue screen for Ninja Gaiden always freaked me out too


Even Robocop fought a Ninja (Cyborg)
 
A thing that struck me funny about the whole Ninja Craze was as it was happening here, people in Japan couldn't get enough of Western Gun Slinger movies. It was almost like we made a cultural trade in entertainment which was actually pretty cool. 

Then it seemed to kind of fizzle out in the 90's...


But in the 2000's it's like we all rediscovered it and it came right back even better!!!

With movies like "Ninja Assassin"
   

"The Warriors Way"
 Which was cool because it combined Ninjas and Gunslingers

 And "Aliens VS. Ninjas"
 This one is a big old favorite because it is what it says!!!

And just when I thought it couldn't get any cooler, I recently found out that Writer/Director Thomas Berdinski is making his own tribute to these movies with
 "Bigfoot Ninja Holocaust"
 
I know Tom grew up with all of these too so this one is going to kick all kinds of ass!!!