Wednesday, June 26, 2013

His Name is Kane Hodder!


By - Steve Mezo

I just finished reading Kane Hodder's "Unmaksed" co-written with Author Mike Aloisi, and was really blown away by it. 
I'm not going to go into heavy detail about it (I mean the guy still wants to sell a few more copies), but I'm going to talk about sections of it.

Most people are fans of Kane from when he made his character debut as this guy.

But I've been a fan of his from the first time I had seen his name in the credits of Lone Wolf McQuade as the Stunt Coordinator. I've always wanted to be a stuntman myself since I was a kid and talk about it a little here in this past article. 

Yup, while other kids were following the stats of whatever sport team members, I was following the works of Hal Needham, Jerry Gatlin, Dar Robinson and Terry Leonard. I couldn't get over the fact that Terry had repeated a stunt in "Raiders of The Lost Arc" (with a truck) that he had done in "The Legend of The Lone Ranger" (with a team of horses and a stage coach).  

What happened was when Terry was under the rack that held the team of horses his hands slipped, and he was trampled by the horses which broke his legs as well as causing other injuries. 
But when he healed up and was working on "Raiders" he did the same thing. Luckily he was able to keep in the small guide trench that was dug out and able to make his way to the end of the truck to be drug behind it with the Indie Whip. 

Once I saw Kane's name on "Lone Wolf McQuade" I knew he was the man to follow. I mean here was "Chuck Norris" and "David Carradine" in one movie and Kane was the man trusted to call the shots on the stunts. And if you've followed the site for a while now, you can imagine how much I must have geeked out when I found out he was in "American Ninja 2".

From being with me my wife became a fan of Kane's too and we did a bunch of nights watching the movies he was in and seeing if we could spot him. We even found the episode of "Emergency" where he did his first big gig. She even realized he was "Meshugannah" in "Chillerama" before I did.  

When Kane talked about his childhood I was like "Wow we could really compare notes on how we got the crap kicked out of us in grade school. And although we didn't become bullies ourselves we don't take any **** from Jackasses (His word) now. 

Then my jaw just about hit the floor when I read about how one stunt almost killed him twice. The reason it blindsided me was the fact that I did the same thing quite a few times (Luckily without incident). But all it needed was one to go wrong to have sent me down the same bad stretch of road he traveled. I may have had better medical care off the bat, but still would have had the same outcome. 

Yeah, I did some crazy stuff back then in my quest to teach myself to be a stuntman. I bought a book back in the early 70's from the Bookmobile and by the early 80's was throwing myself down stairs, off my bike and doing high falls from this rooftop (The Garage of my old house).

I would pile the boxes high, put duct tape around them and top it off with moving blankets. Then stand on the point and do my fall when my neighbors and parents were at work. KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!! I was beyond lucky doing this as an idiot teenager. Tom Savini had broken both of his feet doing a high fall in Dawn of The Dead because he had overshot the boxes by a few inches. And then had to do his F/X work from chairs and a golf cart to keep working afterwards.

And thanks to a lot of gigs through my Costume Shop days and training from Warren F. Disbrow I was able to get allot of uncredited work in a lot of Indie straight to video horrors, as an F/X Artist or basic Stuntman. This was way before the internet kids so no IMDB credits then. But I have quite a few friends that went with me and worked on the gigs.

One time Mr. B and a few of us were hired to do a staged train robbery and I had to fall from a horse after being shot by one of The Sheriff's Posse, which made me laugh out loud because Kane had done some Western Stunt Show work himself.   

Now I'm not saying Kane and I are "Bestie's" now or claiming I know him just from reading his book, I just thought it was really wild that we traveled down a similar Psycho Path. 

Like while Kane was able to become and reinvent a popular killer.

I got to be an Alien Sea Monster and found out what it feels like to spend a few months in a rubber creature suit.

The only big difference between us was Kane had taken the chance to do it for a living in California. I was offered a role as a kick boxing bad guy in a movie that was filming in Canada, but I backed out last second when my mother had brought up the fact that I would be a long way from home if it didn't work out. 

One thing that still kills me to this day is I had never really pursued a career in Stunt Work because I told it is math heavy. I didn't think that I could even try to be a Stunt Coordinator because I couldn't do Geometry or basic Algebra. And they are needed when figuring out heights and angles when someones life depends on it. 
And thanks to my lousy Grade School making me a Math Push Through I didn't know I could do it until I paid to go to Graphic School. But by then I was way to old to start jumping off of stuff again.

Then when I heard my Father wanted to move us to California when I was two years old but my Mother talked him out of it I almost had a complete fit. But if we made that move I would have never met the woman I love more than anything and made my wife. And my mother made sure I never missed an issue of Famous Monsters as well as let me watch any Horror Movie I wanted so she made up for that. HA HA

It's kind of funny how fate works things out...      

Even though being in "Flesh Eaters From Outer Space" and "Invasion For Flesh and Blood" was a while ago I spent thirteen years after working on tons of Indie Horrors. And then it was Hollowgraves Haunted Attraction along with helping The Brother's Grimm Circus Sideshow. Did some more work with Warren F. Disbrow's "Visual Experiences" movies and managed the Costume Shop for a couple more years right before the fly by night Halloween Stores killed the industry.

Now Tom Berdinski has given me some prop building work and Newt Wallen gave me a role in "Midnight Show", and with Hollowgraves Haunted Manor back in my area I'm sure I'll be doing something there. So it's fun to be back in it for the enjoyment of it instead of stressing about making a living from it.  

I'm sure you're saying "Dude you're supposed to be talking about Kane's Book!" Well I am, but like I said I'm sure he wants to sell a few more copies and have people read them. So I thought it would be funny to write about some of my experiences and have you find where they match up to his.  

And typing all of this for him (to hopefully read one day) will save both of us a lot of fan boy blah blah coming from me. So I can simply thank him for all of the work he's done, being the best "Jason" ever, just straight up ruling as Victor Crowley and writing a great book with Mike.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just got home from watching WORLD WAR Z.

By - Steve Mezo

Let me start by saying I was loaned the book "World War Z" by my friend Mark. And Max Brooks did such a great job that I bought my own copy for my Kindle and read it three more times.


And since the book became a huge success it was turned into a movie.

I have to say that I really liked Brad Pitt in this, but to be fair I've liked him in every other movie I've seen him in too. 

What the movie boils down to is, it is very loosely based on the book and it's a Popcorn Summer Action Flick. 

It didn't have a lot of blood and or gore, it used a lot of very well done CGI and camera angles that would make you think of just about every favorite Sci-Fi and Action movie on your VHS/DVD shelves. And it sports a ton of jump scares as well as a double helping of action sequences. 

Now there are a ton of people that hate the movie for various reasons (you can take the time to look them up if you wish), but I had a good idea of what I was going to see going on in. 
I would have liked to see an exact translation of Max Brooks work, but I knew that a Major Hollywood Studio wouldn't chance it not doing a big return. 

But the movie did drive home the sacrifice that Service Men and Women make when everything hits the fan normally, never mind a global scale. 
When the crisis like that happened it sucked that entire families were wiped out, and others were forced to fight for survival and hoped to make it as long as possible. But all of the Military Personnel had to do what they swore to do.

The movie stayed away from showing you what what was obviously going on, but put you on the front lines with these men and women. And it made me think "Wow I couldn't imagine keeping all of my marbles in one bag while all of that was happening!" I mean here you are with the best firepower available and you're defending complete strangers.
And most of these soldiers, sailors and airmen had families of their own at home facing it head on without their help. Then others were told to stand guard of an HQ while they could see their own hometowns or cities falling to the outbreak on update screens.
Then being around others having their family members given a safe place to stay and protected, did make some a little resentful. 

So it really drew me in with that. 

And yeah it had a ton of Movie Magic Moments where the hero had the best luck ever in existence. But that's what you paid to see, the Good Guy winning and saving the day in the most unbelievable way possible. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Still Being Ware of The Blob!

By - Steve Mezo

If you haven't seen any of The Blob movies yet there's quite a few spoilers in this one.

I'd have to say from 1974 to 1977 Christopher Lee's Dracula was the monster that I feared the most.

But when I saw the 1958 version of "THE BLOB" on the late night movie back in 1977, Mr. Lee's Dracula lost that spot.

And that was because if that (I'm guessing) acidic glob of goo got a hold of you, you were on the menu with nowhere to go. 

From the second I saw that poor old dude poke at it with a stick I knew that this was a whole new kind of monster to be very afraid of.

I think I cringed so bad that I almost compressed my spine seeing this scene for the first time.

Of course you're going to say "How could you be worried about it?  One word dude, COLD!" But I'd have to respond with "Only extreme cold and it would have to be readily available and in abundance".

So unless you had a huge backpack style CO2 fire extinguisher, driving a refrigerated truck that you could climb into the back of quick, staying at The Overlook Hotel in the middle of Winter, had Sub Zero's power or sporting Mr. Freeze's gear... You're going to see how THE BLOB works from the inside.   

And it just completely freaked me out that it had the ability to go anywhere! And don't even get me started on the poor projectionist getting eaten head first!!!


But just when I thought The Blob was completely unstoppable and absolutely freaked out by it 
Steve McQueen just handheld it like a dude and froze it solid with a bunch of people from town.

And then air dropped it somewhere in the frozen tundras of Alaska.

 So I was happy and fear free of The Blob for a while. Even the sneaky question mark after "THE END" couldn't shake me. I mean how was it ever going to leave there?

Well unknown to me back then, in 1972 Larry Hagman had an Alaskan Pipeline Worker bring it home!
"That's right kid just for you!"

First I have to see a poor kitten become one of it's victims

then just when it looks like it's frozen again somebody screws up...
This is when the news crew spotlight fell accidentally thawing out part of The Blob, if it ate the Sheriff and kept going or was refrozen who knows.

Quite a few years went by after that, and outside of seeing "The Talking Blob" in CRACKED MAGAZINE
I didn't see much about him. 

 Then in 1988 my friend Shawn Reich and I went to the movie theater and saw this...
Instead of The Blob being just a random gelatinous space creature that came from a meteorite, Chuck Russell had to reinvent it.
He made it meaner, hungrier and smarter as it evolved like crazy. And this was because a Government Scientist created it in a laboratory and hoped that exposure to cosmic radiation would somehow improve on it. Then he could give it a field test capture it and somehow create a manageable Bio Weapon. 

Well just like the times they thought Xenophobes, Werewolves and Zombies would behave and do... they didn't.   

And then Chuck had to give me this great uneasy feeling every time I have to unclog a drain in the sink. 

No lie, I freaked out when The Blob liquified that poor guys head!

Luckily we had (Totally 80's) Kevin Dillon to save us all.

  And he did a good job too, he got the girl and froze The Blob.

But that happiness of mine was short lived because of that scarred up Priest turning into a traveling Reverend. And keeping part of The Blob with himself for when he decides The End should happen...

 So to answer the question of "What Horror Movie Monster would you not want to go up against in real life?"

It will always be "THE BLOB".

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's Time For Silvermania!

By - Steve Mezo

"SILVERMANIA" created by Justin Silverman and Co - Hosted with his best friend Jarrett Courtney bills itself as "The Worst Show on The Internet". 
But for me it's the furthest thing from...  

The thing I like about it the most besides the "Who Cares?!" sense of humor is the total free flow the show has. It's a side project for Justin and a creative release from the format of The Underbelly Show which he is also part of. 
Now I'm complaining about following a format, but sometimes you really feel like you're hitting a wall head on creatively when you try to keep what you're doing within the boundaries of your chosen genre or interest.

So as a little mental jump start for myself I'm talking about a internet show that gives me a laugh and lets me keep one foot in the horror because Justin and I were in the horror trailer "Her Time of The Month" in Newt Wallen's (Also of Underbelly) movie "MIDNIGHT SHOW".  
  Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas


Another thing with Justin working on SILVERMANIA is he's free to run in any direction he wants with any subject he feels like. And out of all of the episodes I've watched so far I've put together a top five list of my favorites that can be seen on the SILVERMANIA YouTube channel.

Number One would be

Justin gives the actual history of one of my favorite fast food chains, and it is narrated by Andrew W.K.

Number Two is the episode where Justin and Jarrett decided to see Jurassic Park's re-release in 3D at a movie theater during a Midnight Showing.
But their outing turned into a complete disaster for them at the theater for more reasons than one... 

Number Three is the parody of another Web Series where Justin tries to hunt down an elusive copy of Shaq-Fu

Number Four is Justin and Jarrett's visit to the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook show.
 I have to warn you that you will laugh till it hurts if you have my sense of humor when it comes to fart sounds. 

And Number Five is Justin's observation of Ms. Pacman
  And I can guarantee that you won't look at her the same way again either. 

There are way more to watch than just my five favorites, and I'm sure that you'll  be able to create your own list once you see them. And maybe they're not for everyone... but like I said I enjoy watching them as they're uploaded to remind myself to keep my own site fun.