Category: comedy

She-Hulk Ruins The Great Lakes Avengers’ MR. IMMORTAL?!

OMG! Disney Plus MCU really does make dreams come true?! I’ve been begging for the appearance of the Great Lakes Avengers, one of my favorite ridiculous “D-lister” comic book teams to appear in their cinematic universe for years. Today on the latest episode of SHE-HULK they gave us the live action version of the classic GLA team member/founder Mr. Immortal.

Unfortunately they of course, completely ruined the character, Craig Hollis, transforming him from a frumpy but charismatic, misunderstood, misfit, underdog superhero to a pompous, rich, lame, uninterseting, selfish old prick. Yet another unlikable character to add to the shows already long list of IMO crappy cast members.

Mr. Immortal from the comic books was a poor, down on his luck, extremely depressed person who mustered up the strength and courage to form a team of misfit superheroes at his local YMCA  thrrough ads in the local paper’s want ads.

Being a native of Wisconsin of I’d always found this team particularly endearing being based in Milwaukee. The Midwest never got to have cool superheroes & their origin story, I always imagined, would be a unique one to see unfold on the big or small screen. Even the Russo brothers who helmed Avengers: Endgame/Infinity War had recently suggested the team would make a great addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. I really couldn’t agree more, there’s so much  fun to be had with them…

So unfortunately everything on these terrible Disney MCU TV streaming shows seems to be cannon. Yep they have indeed officially ruined the character and likely any hope for a Great Lakes Avengers show to ever materialize.

Apparently they even inserted a QR code into the episode when the character appears which will lead you to West Coast Avengers #46, the 1st appearance of the team just to rub it in all of our faces..

If you’re going to change a character this much from the comic book version why not just avoid it alltogether and introduce someone different in the role? Ughh..After watching this pathetic attempt at comedy today, I can honestly now confidently say that She-Hulk is easily one of the worst things I have seen in the MCU.  It’s absolutely incredible how “funny” they think their show is too, when in reality I think it’s completely possible that these scripts are being generated by AI. It also leads me on to believe another sad fact, if you were a die hard fan of the classic Marvel Comics, the current version at least of the MCU is most definitely NOT for you. 

Hey I’m probably the only person out there who actually gives a damn about The Great Lakes Avengers or Mr. Immortal, but this one kind of hurt. They already completely ruined the live action version of The Wrecking Crew in this series so it’s no surprise I guess.

So at the end of the day I guess I really don’t care because The Great Lakes Avengers were always destined to fail. Especially if they were introduced into the current version of the MCU. They’d never have the guts to actually tell their truly unique darkly comedic origin story on their platform anyway. That all being said, if you’re diggin’ She-Hulk I’m really happy for you, no ill will there, continue on, however the exit from the MCU for me is looking much closer than it ever has before…

Disney SHE-HULK: A Four Episode Gamma-Migraine!

I’ve been a She-Hulk fan since the 80s and been highly anticipating the “live action” version of the character in the MCU for quite some time! I really enjoyed the original 1980 Savage She-Hulk series and LOVED that the character replaced The Thing in the Fantastic Four in the mid eighties. By 1989 I was a teenager and got heavily into the John Byrne ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ run, it was one of my favorites and I’ll admit right now I had a major crush on the character!

Flash forward to 2022! One of my childhood wishes finally came true, She-Hulk got her own “live action” series. I’d initially been worried that they were going to botch this show by making her look and act more like The Incredible Hulk, not sticking to the original character’s classic vibe. Lucky for me they stuck to the landing and gave us a more traditional comic book accurate version of the character. However they also managed to make the character look incredibly unrealistic with some truly unimpressive dated looking CGI.

I’m still baffled that Disney/MCU has such an aversion to casting a real actor in the role, instead of using some weird looking rubbery CGI. There’s absolutely no reason that the green giantess couldn’t have been a real living breathing person. I’m guessing they really do want everything to look like a video game? But Hey I’m willing to set that all aside, even though it bothers me and just take the show for what it is. So after 4 episodes I can firmly say that the most the most appropriate word to describe this show in my humble opinion is: annoying. 

It’s jam packed with annoying one dimensional characters, annoying “plots”, annoying character designs & lazy annoying attempts at comedy.  At this point in the show the most likable characters are merely cameos, I’d rather be watching a series about Wong and Madisynn. Seriously. 

 Also I’m admittedly a bit tired of the MCU brand of “quirky/snarky Joss Whedon” humor and this dials it up to 11. People tell me to just enjoy it like like a classic sitcom but in order for any classic sitcom to work it’s gotta have some stellar comedic timing. The likes of Three’s Company, Martin or Diff’rent Strokes & OG Sex in the City among a long list of many other of my favorites. So if it’s not succeeding (in my opinion) as a sitcom and it’s not succeeding as a superhero/courtroom drama I don’t know exactly what this thing is supposed to be and who it’s exactly for? And kudos to you if you’re enjoying it, I have NO problem with that, this is just my personal opinion as a fan of the classic character.

I’m not so sure about the Disney Plus MCU stuff, the only series I was truly able to make it through was the Falcon and the Winter Soldier (which I dug!). I know there are a lot of overdramatic man babies/woman babies out there whining about the series being too “woke”, most of them merely complaining to get clicks, views and followers on their lame YouTube channels. I don’t honestly give a damn if it’s woke or not I just want a well crafted cohesive storyline and at least a few characters who I genuinely give a rat’s ass about.  I mean is there even an actual plot to this show so far? Do any characters have any actual endearing qualities or charm?  So far I’m really not finding anyone on the entire show to be very likable and I really think the Smart Hulk is bore. But Hey maybe I’m missing the big picture? Does anyone know what that is?

All of this Disney Plus stuff though feels a bit soulless, kind of like our big green CGI generated lead in She-Hulk. It’s sad to say but I feel the end of an era coming for me and the beloved MCU. Now I’ve just got to pull out all of my old Sensational She-Hulk comic books to make sure that I’m not just pining for teenage nostalgia’s sake, I mean who knows, maybe those comics lack the charm I remember them having?! I’m totally ready to admit I’m wrong! Unfortunately I’ve got to admit that my comic book crush has officially come to an end with She-Hulk…so be it!

Crazy 80s Aussie Rock Opera: SONS OF STEEL!

I’ve been stating lately here that I’m just not a big fan of movie musicals. BUT perhaps the type of musicals I’ve seen my entire life just don’t bring the fucking goods to the dance floor! I recently viewed 1988’s Australian musical oddity ‘Sons of Steel’ at a double feature movie night & paired it up with ‘The Legend of the Stardust Brothers’ from 1985! It was a gloriously cheezy musical combo!  

 If you were to ask me to really explain to you the plot of Sons of Steel I’d have a big problem trying to do so. It’s basically a “Dee Snyder” (Twisted Sister) look-a-like who sings a buttload of cock rock songs and also travels into the future or something where he meets some weird barbarians to try to try to stop an evil genius with a “mini-me” sidekick from destroying the planet?!  I guess that’s the gist, but who really gives a damn, it’s one giant awesome mess of a rock opera with a TON of foggy, neon atmosphere, bizarre characters, a meandering wild plot, jam packed with terribly excellent heavy metal songs!

 If you’re looking for a tubular 80s party movie this is definitely a BANGER! It’s sure to get the juices with it’s unusual plot & wild fashion, however, this like many other Aussie genre flicks of this era (Razorback, Fortress, Road Games, The Quest) have some truly stunning cinematography and rich atmosphere that amplify the onscreen antics to eleven. Simply said as dumb (and fun) as it’s story is, this movie looks far more fantastic that it has any right to. Easily one of the aspects here that make this such enjoyable viewing aside from the leather clad wardrobe, roaring motorcycles and two tone proto punk hairdos soaked in loads hairspray.

It’s leading musclebound  man, Rob Hartley, (who portrays Black Alice) is a real joy to watch. He overacts and grunts his way through most of the strange dialogue as well as belts out some mindnumbing musical numbers. Apparently trying to save the world from a nuclear holocaust, he’s not quite the person you want to put the fate of the planet in the hands of. That being said Black Alice gets into some good trouble and there’s some pretty impressive action scenes to chomp into as well. I was excited to check out director Gary Keady’s  filmography, however Sons of Steel remains his sole, one and only contribution! What a pedigree! Lucky for us all this one received received a snazzy fancy new blue ray release last year from Future Video-if you wanna ROCK check this shit out!

Comic Covers of the Week: The Sensationally Savage SHE-HULK!

It’s no secret that She-Hulk has been one of my all time favorite comic book characters since the 1980s! Being that we are currently in the midst of her very 1st streaming series it only seemed appropriate to showcase a couple of my favorite covers from the original ‘Savage She-Hulk’ and ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ from the 80s. First we go SAVAGE! A brilliant cover illustrated by the legendary Michael Golden from 1980!

Next we go SAVAGE again with a sweet cover from iconic Hulk artist Dale Keown. This cool epic cover features her transformation into a grey ultra “Hulked out” version of the character, more in line with the more recent hefty beefy less feminine She-Hulk. A great one from 1989!

1980s Cine-MAGIC From Japan: The STARDUST BROTHERS!

I’m willing to bet you’re just like me and never heard of this near “forgotten ’til now” 80s gem from Japan: The Legend of The Stardust Brothers! This incredible movie from 1985 is most definitely one of the most unique oddities I’ve stumbled upon in quite sometime. An incredibly ambitious musical gem, packed with practical effects and eighties fashion that will likely knock your neon socks right off!

It tells the tale of  two struggling rival musicians: one a rowdy punk rocker and the other an egotistical wanna be popstar who meet a mysterious man while sharing the same bill  at a seedy night club. He offers them the contract of a lifetime, claiming that within one week, if they follow all the rules, the two of them will be rocketed to full blown pop super stardom. That is as long as they join forces, from that point on become The Stardust Brothers and tell the world they are indeed real bonafide brothers.

Now admittedly I’m not a real big fan of musicals, there’s only a few that I really love (Popeye, The Wizard of Oz & Little Shop of Horrors immediately come to mind). However this one has now EASILY made the list as a must watch and it’s something I’ll be watching over and over again. Essentially it’s the wildly unpredictable story of the bizarre rise and fall of this pop duo. It’s firmly glued together with a series of incredible little musical vignettes that are a visual and sonic feast.

A sweet mixture of punk rock, powerpop & some cool new wave numbers, connecting a series of incredibly ambitious music videos within one insane narrative. There are touches of the supernatural as well as a ton of amazing special effects, stop motion & practical monster effects that really impress, especially if your a fan of the 80s. It’s also filled to the brim with some of the best Japanese fashion of the era to go along with the catchy songs. As I write this, their theme song is still stuck firmly in my brain. I’d love to get my hands on some vinyl of the soundtrack. Aside from the cool music, luckily it’s got a pretty unique story that blends elements of scifi, horror and even a bit of romance. It’s unexpected twists and turns deliver a frenetic, action packed finale that will  leave you pondering the events of the entire film. Its all done with a heroic dose of heart too.

Just how far do you really go to live the life of a superstar without any of the hard work required to get to the top? The Stardust Bros go the distance and the musical journey is definitely a wacky one worth taking. Apparently director Makoto Tezuka tried to catch lightning in a bottle a few years ago by producing a direct sequel, but after doing a little poking around it doesn’t seem like he was quite to able to recreate the neon electromagnetic magic of the first.

In the meantime I highly recommend picking this one up on a newly released blu ray from SRS Cinema. The Legend of the Stardust Brothers is packed with pure charisma, tons of vibrant youthful energy and shows you exactly how inventive some directors in the 1980s were in Japan with a limited budget!  Don’t sleep on this one!

 

The Russo Brothers Next MCU Project: ‘THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS’?!

I have been pushing here on Universal Dork for quite some time to get an MCU movie or series about the mighty Great Lakes Avengers! It’s bummed me out cuz its seemed that over the years no one gave a damn about my bold ideas for this these “D-List” classic Marvel characters. But maybe just MAYBE, a couple people were indeed listening?! 

 I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Russo Brothers, who crafted some of the best films in the MCU (The Winter Soldier/Infinity War/Endgame), might have just ran across this little p-brain blog, or at the very least, you know what they say, great minds think alike! In case you’ve never heard of the Great Lakes Avengers they first made their appearance in the late 1980s in the West Coast Avengers #46. A unique comedic gang of superheroes from the “cheese state” of Wisconsin. They’ve had some truly ridiculous adventures over the years and have even shared the stage with Deadpool himself. I’ve always maintained that this crew of miscreants would make for a great cinematic comedy especially the  their origin story, portrayed in perfection in the Dan Slott series ‘GLA: Misassembled’ from 2005. It’d surely make for a great rough draft for a for a live action series.

They were recently asked about someday returning soon to the MCU and had this to say: The Russo Brothers answered: “Whatever we say, we’re going to get asked about it 100 times over the next week. So let’s pick the Great Lakes Avengers. Or the story of Cheese-Man!”

 So a lot of people might think this doesn’t mean a damn thing, mentioning it now, what’s the fuss right? They were just jokin’ around? Well the funny thing is this isn’t the first time they name dropped The GLA, they also brought up the d-list super team in 2018 as well. Check it out

They clearly know the Great Lakes Avengers would make for one helluva funny and unique comic book streaming series.  The time is definitely now to bring this show to life as at the current moment. The Avengers have ceased to exist in MCU in any real capacity, leading the perfect moment for this band of Midwest America’s Misfits to take up the mantle in a hilarious way. I think it would be a riot to see this gang of superheroes in their original costumes too, leave aside all of the fancy kevlar and give them their ridiculous spandex look in real life.

Also of course this is the place to introduce the wildly popular Squirrel Girl! It’s also been speculated that GLA character ‘Mr. Immortal’ may have already made an appearance in the She-Hulk trailer, making thus even MORE of a possibility!

The Russo Bros should make this happen, it’s ripe now to be an easy hit series with a truly bizarre, charming, comedic origin story of Marvel Comic’s ULTIMATE underdogs! Please bring on the weirdest wildest superhero adventure yet, THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS must ASSEMBLE!! Share this post or idea everywhere!

The MCU Wrecking Crew!! OMG Childhood Dreams DO Come TRUE!

I was thrilled to hear that one of my favorite Marvel Comics supervillain teams was coming to life on the upcoming She-Hulk Disney Plus Marvel series!

The wait was over, this rough and tumble band of colorful supervillains has finally arrived on the scene ready to clash with the likes of Thor, She-Hulk and yeah the OG jade giant himself! These guys are such Icons! 1st appearing waaaaay back in 1974 (my year of birth actually) in The Defenders #17! 

From what I understand though, many people may have missed these supervillain sensations in the trailer entirely! I guess it might be because Marvel always does seem to tweak the costumes just a little bit for their live action shows, so here we are in case you missed it let’s check out “The Wrecking Crew” and let all of our childhood nostalgia FINALLY come to life!!!

So?! What did you think? Are you as excited and blown away as I am?!! Do you think this one’s got potential or do you think they’ve just made another throwaway version of iconic Marvel characters? What are the chances these guys will suit up in  something more……exciting? Also do you think these guys have superhuman strength or are they just luggin’ around some stupid MCU tech for the sake of some “witty” MCU humor? Only time will tell True Believers!

MOVIE MELT Heads Off to Michigan’s Lush & Legendary ‘WEREWOLF ISLAND’ !!

So I went back on the Movie Melt Podcast to cover yet another pretty impressive vanity project from 2018! This time we’re headed off to ‘Werewolf Island’ AKA ‘The Legend of ‘Dog Lady Island’ (a way better name imo) for some truly ridiculous midwest horror shenanigans straight out of Michigan!If you’re into stupid but ambitious low budget horror films then this episode will definitely NOT let you down- as a native Wisconsinite myself I’m fully on board for this voyage that takes us to a place where movies are rarely produced and rarely talked about-deep into the heart of the midwest. Director/star Michael James Alexander might be considered past his prime but he don’t give a DAMN, he’s gonna make his acting AND directing AND writing fantasies come TRUE whether you like it or not!

That’s what’s most exciting to me, cinematic dreams can sorta kinda come true even as you get older. It’s sorta somewhat inspiring as Werewolf Island kinda shows me that anyone with enough ambition and elbow grease can sorta produce, write, direct and start in a damn movie! So who knows maybe I’ll be next?!! 

Yeah…so this is NOT from the movie but what the hell, there aren’t any other photos from it online! This’ll do!

So I suggest you grab a few drinks, sit down and chill out here for some mind numbing movie madness with more useless cinematic information than your brain can humanly comprehend! 

Also some serious trash movie recommendations as well as some bonafide bangers, of what’ you might wanna be checking out if you’re a crazed mutant movie fanatic like myself! LISTEN TO MOVIE MELT RIGHT HERE!!

VHS Verdict: ‘THE SPIRIT OF ’76’ Wacky 4th of July Sci-fi!

Hey it can be hard to find good things to watch after all of the festivities of the 4th of July right? Let’s face it after drinking a case of beer at the cookout you’re probably ready to watch something stupid and I’ve got a good one for ya! ‘The Spirit of 76’ is an almost entirely forgotten ridiculous scifi comedy from 1990. It features David Cassidy, pop icon, known for hisoh so sweet musical career in the Partridge Family, as he goes way back in time to the 1970s on mission to save planet Earth!

But wait, you also get to see not one but TWO slightly past their prime but still totally dreamy, former teen 70s heart throbs, cuz  this bad boy also features Leif Garrett too! One of my favorite parts of the movie though, it also stars Jeff and Steve McDonald of one of my favorite iconic punk rock power pop bands bands REDD KROSS!  The 2 brothers are channeling some serious “Bill and Ted” vibes and add some serious cred and charm this little wacked out adventure.

 So In the year 2176, determined time travelers including Cassidy and the stunningly beautiful Olivia d’Abo (OMG so crushed!) are sent back in time, in a tin can style space ship to the year 1776 in order to save our planet. However a computer glitch transports them instead to 1976 by mistake!! Things get idiotic real quick as of course they’re being chased by a sinister force trailing not far behind. 

However we get a pretty entertaining “fish out of water” storyline going here where Cassidy (who should be in his natural habitat in the real world) and Co have some serious adjusting to do when they encounter things like platform shoes, polyester suits, mood rings and untamed 1970’s babes galore!

Their guides, Jeff and Steve from Redd Kross help them through this glamorous era and avoid certain danger among the disco era. The whole thing is a riot and also features even more familiar faces, the likes of Tommy Chong, Devo, Moon Zappa, Rob Reiner and Downtown Julie Brown! 

There’s Kung Fu fighting, disco dancing, stupid looking spaceships and the  whole damn thing takes place on the 4th of July folks! Get down!!

There’s a lot of pretty sharp comedy in this and tons of red, white and blue check out this little long forgotten scifi comedy, cult classic down if you want something a bit off the beaten path this 4th!! Here’s Redd Kross with the theme song ‘1976’ for the movie! One of my favorite tracks from their 1990 album ‘Third Eye’!!

Even better here is the entire movie, only 81 minutes long for your 4th of July viewing right on YouTube for free!!

 

4th of July Horror Explosion: 1996’s ‘UNCLE SAM’ is a Bloody Blast!

All these years I’ve sorta avoided ‘Uncle Sam’ from 1996, assuming it was some sort of idiotic throw away, direct to video waste of time. The VHS cover was unforgettable, a wild lenticular evil Uncle Sam in glorious 3-D! Still for decades I never checked this out kind of on purpose.

This 4th of July however I was looking for something in the horror genre that might take place around the holiday and of COURSE there was good ol ‘Uncle Sam’ front and center. I almost passed on it yet again, but this time I noticed something that I def hadn’t before. It was directed by William Lustig famed for the brilliant ‘Maniac Cop’ franchise and written by one of my genre favorites Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, The Ambulance, Return to Salem’s Lot, Q: The Winged Serpent). Why the Hell hadn’t I realized this sooner?! 

Well Uncle Sam indeed delivered everything I’d hoped it would and much more! It’s a great horror flick with some razor sharp comedy/social commentary, just what you’d hope it would have being written by Larry Cohen. It’s a wild story about a kid who’s freakishly  obsessed with becoming a soldier, kickin’ ass for the USA & doing whatever the fuck President tells him to!  He’s also obsessed with his Uncle, who’s real name is Sam, who tragically dies in the Iraq war from “friendly fire”.

When his body is shipped back to their home(?) to sit until his grave is dug, bizarre events lead to his dead decaying body reanimating and donning an Uncle Sam outfit which he strips from a peeping Tom on stilts after after murdering him!

 At this point Uncle Sam embarks on a full on “Jason Voorhees” killing spree during the 4th of July as the small town starts to celebrate. I’d always assumed that this movie was a total farce/spoof, but far from it. It’s got a cool fast paced story, plenty of obnoxious patriotic humor and even a strong social commentary about the US government and war itself. There’s also some inventive kills (with fireworks of course!), cool make up effects and a cast which stars fan favorites Robert Forster and Isaac Hayes.

Probably one of the most ridiculous aspects and enjoyable parts of the whole movie is the kid and his crazy ass obsession with the United States and his over the top ludicrous patriotism on full display. It’s pretty gut busting and as a whole Uncle Sam is a total delight that somehow eluded me for almost three damn decades.

As far as 4th of July viewing you really can’t do better than this, the most “4th of July” horror movie of all time thankfully has got all the right moves and the talent behind it is evident in the final product. I got this bad boy on blu ray from Blue Underground! But now I want that damn 3-D lenticular VHS too! Hunt down Uncle Sam THIS 4th of July!!