Category: Fantasy Classics

Hong Kong’s Sam Raimi: Whatever Happened to Riki-Oh’s Lam Nai-Choi?!

One of the most wild & unpredictable filmmakers of all time hands down has got to be Hong Kong’s Lam Ngai Kai aka Lam Nai-choi, Most well known for his mega cult classic ‘RIKI-OH/The Story of Riki’ it’s clear this guy is, in my opinion one of the most underrated directors in the horror genre. Imagine if Sam Raimi made movies as consistently awesome as the Evil Dead trilogy, well that’s a good way to sum up this guy’s catalogue of crazy ass films. I’ve been fully surprised at how many people love ‘Riki-Oh’ yet aren’t familiar with anything else this guy’s done.

It probably doesn’t help that he completely disappeared off the movie map in 1992 for unknown reasons. Perhaps he realized he’d unlikely ever be able to top the craziness of his back catalogue of bizarre flicks. I’d love to know what he’s up to today and what I’d love even more would be his return to filmmaking. There’s however, literally zero info on why he stopped his film career and what the dude’s been up to these days. That being said let’s take a quick look at some of his coolest flicks you may not have even known existed! First if you’ve never seen Riki-Oh from 1991 it’s easily one of the wildest action/horror hybrid movies out there and totally on par with the awesomeness of Evil Dead 2. It features some of the most over the top action/gore of all time:

 

Next is another equally crazy ass flick from 1986 called ‘The Seventh Curse‘ which is like Indiana Jones on acid fighting monsters and exploring some truly epic locations. It features Chow Young Fat in a small role and continues with totally frantic action sequences that never slows it’s pace right to the very end. A true hidden gem of a movie that many 80’s horror fans have completely missed out on over the years. Seek this out asap as it’s more proof this guy’s got chops on par with the likes of early Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi & Don Coscarelli.

 

Kai’s got more under his belt too if you want another horror adventure that’s a true spectacle to behold check out ‘The Peacock King‘ from 1988. A totally unique movie that’s also a full on FX extravaganza. This one literally utilizes nearly every 80’s special fx in the book, from stop motion monsters, to animatronic creatures etc. etc. etc. you name it, this movie will take you on tour of the bizarre set to a super fun, dark yet equally light hearted adventure. Check it out: Continue reading

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That 80’s German Star Wars Musical Starring Mark Hamill?!

Ok so here’s an interesting clip! You remember that old Star Wars holiday special that George Lucas wants to pretend never happened? Well here’s another bizarre moment in retro Star Wars history, all the way back in 1980 Hamill made an appearance on German television making a cameo on a musical Star Wars themed variety show, recently Hamill shared the video and commented on it also saying “I remember not wanting to wear a gold jumpsuit like a rejected member of ABBA or if I could memorize dialogue in a foreign language-but thought “Who cares? No one outside of Germany will ever see this!” Thanks to the internet-NOTHING EVER GOES AWAY. Who knew?”

I’ve never seen this before but I’ll say it’s quite a treat for any true fan of the beloved series. In case you missed this one here it is in all of it’s glory!

 

Harrison Ford to Overdub Dialogue for New ‘SOLO’ Movie?!!

Ok total click bait headline right? Well I have to admit upon seeing the most recent teaser trailer the thought of Harrison Ford dubbing his voice didn’t seem like all that bad of an idea at first. Now first I’ve gotta say, that Superbowl teaser was pretty damn cool. Visually it had some excellent moments that had me suddenly feeling the excitement of a this new “Han Solo” prequel origin flick. However yesterday upon seeing the longer teaser trailer there was one big ass thing that had me a bit worried. My first impression of this new “Han Solo” played by Alden Ehrenreich, I just wasn’t feeling it was Han. That’s a big worry for a movie called ‘Solo’ I think.

Now don’t get me wrong, these two teasers look pretty cool and I think there’s some serious potential for something really fun. I know a lot of Star Wars fans proclaim they weren’t asking for a new Han Solo movie, but I’ve been cool with it as I’ve seen a young Captain Kirk and crew played by younger actors work quite nicely in the modern TOS Star Trek movies for the most part. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban (who fuckin’ perfectly nailed McCoy!!) all did a splendid job as the iconic characters. So I still have faith Alden could possibly pull it off. This first trailer though, as cool as it came off didn’t scream ‘Han Solo’ to me. It felt to me like an adventure in the Star Wars universe with all new characters with the exception of Chewy. Let me just add, thank god we’ll be getting a ton more of Chewy, as the iconic character has been cast aside like the family dog in The Last Jedi, only seemingly there to interact with the Porgs for comic relief sporadically throughout the movie.

 

So maybe Alden doesn’t look much like the Han we’ve known for all these years and he certainly doesn’t sound like him. Recasting legendary cinematic characters is a seriously tuff fucking thing to do and sometimes it’s just maybe not the best idea to attempt do so. I had my doubts though with Chris Pine as Kirk, despite the fact he at least, looked the part. Though he doesn’t attempt blatant Shatner-isms he does to a certain degree subtly slip them in from time to time without most even noticing. He mostly emulates Kirk’s true spirit very similar to the way that Shatner did without actually trying to be Shatner and some how by some miracle, he’s totally believable in the role and it just worked.  

 

So it’s hard to tell if ‘Solo’ will resonate with fans, so far I’ve got my doubts about Alden. This one definitely feels as if it’s taken some lessons from JJ’s 2009 Star Trek movie. From the ‘SOLO’ teaser it’s kinda like ‘Star Trek Beyond’ meets Modern ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘The Fast & The Furious’. For me it could really go either way, I liked ‘Star Trek Beyond’ for the most part and I’ll admit I was quite ready to hate on it before I saw it (I can’t stand those Fast & Furious movies) but again I really like the actors who were cast in the original roles. They kinda saved it for me and now I’m looking forward to yet another Star Trek cinematic adventure. So while I’m hopeful that ‘Solo’ is going to be a ton of fun, it’s success however is totally dependent on Alden’s performance as Han and if he can convince the crowd that HE is indeed the legendary gunslinger. If not then oh boy, Disney’s got another Star Wars mess on it’s hands, and maybe my idea of Harrsion Ford overdubbing Alden’s lines just might not have sounded like such a crazy idea after all….

 

The 10 Most Important Ingredients for an Epic D&D Adventure!

Joining or starting a new Dungeons & Dragons or table top RPG? Wanna make sure you have a great time? Here are 10 things to seriously consider as a player character (PC) or Dungeon Master before committing to the grand adventure. Some of them you might think are common sense but you’d be surprised how many people overlook these important guidelines. I’ve been playing for years on both sides of the table and have found from my experience in the dungeon that a recipe for a successful RPG adventure isn’t quite as simple to achieve as some might be lead to believe. There are a lot of factors that seriously enhance or hinder the experience from becoming the ultimate form of escapism many of us role playing nerds deeply desire. So let’s get started!!

10. Like Minded Adventurers:

Ok, over the years I’ve learned this is easily one of the most important factors for having a truly amazing experience playing table top RPGs. It’s extremely important to really think about just who it is that you’ll be spending hours of your time with trying to trudge through the dangerous and magical realms of the dungeon. I’m not talking about whether or not someone is going to be a wizard or a paladin. I’m talking about the real people you choose to add to the group or the group you join. Make sure everyone who’s joining wants the same thing from the experience.

It’s totally cool to have a group of people who’re getting together to party, hang out and casually roll some dice BUT if you’ve got a mixture of people, some who’re looking to pay attention to the details and really immerse themselves into the story you’re likely to have some unhappy campers among the group. This can also be extremely frustrating for the DM when preparing specific details & important plot points to have a crew of people partying too damn hard to remember what happened the prior week. Make sure everyone in the group is looking for a similar experience. Whether it’s a lighter party style game or a more serious role playing session. Talk this over before starting and maybe keep the first adventure short with a new crew to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you don’t address this it could make for some awkward moments later down the line and likely some seriously frustrated gamers.  

 

9. A Bad Ass Dungeon Master:

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The Top 10 “Stranded On An Island” Movies….Part 2!!

So my first entry I did on the top ten “stranded on an island” movies has easily been my most popular post here at Universal Dork, sooooo naturally I am giving a sequel to it right here, today! I simply love the idea of being castaway to a remote island, far away from the bustle of everyday life. There’s something about this idea that has always captivated audiences and it remains to be a situation I often think about every damn time I get on an airplane. So let’s not waste any time and get right to one of the most romantic, exciting and frightening movie topics of all time. It’s time to take a look at the other movies that deserve to be on this epic list!

10. Swept Away, 2002

Yeah this list is going to have some cheezy ass movies on it and this one here is a guilty please to start it off.  It’s also likely the most well known of the bunch. Of course this movie was a box office mega bomb and totally panned by the critics.

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However if you’re looking for a fun time on a stranded island with the legendary icon Madonna then look no further!

9. The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, 1980

Here’s an interesting Disney movie with Silver Spoons star Ricky Schroder – Bonus right there folks! It seems that Disney was all in on the whole desert island theme as this was just one of quite a few that follow a similar storyline.

While this movie isn’t bound to blow your mind it’s got a pretty cool premise of flipping a B-29 bomber over on it’s back and sailing it to civilization! Continue reading

Comic Review: Night’s Dominion #1 – A Medieval Magical Heist!

Night’s Dominion is a brand new comic from Oni Press that came out today and the first issue is a pretty promising little start to what’s sure to be an epic adventure. I’ve been looking for a cool comic book to quench my thirst for fantasy adventure and stuff like Dungeons & Dragons for a while  now. Well this book could end my search with a strong first issue that’s a ton of fun & feels like the opening evening of a great classic game of D&D. The book is written and perfectly illustrated by Ted Naifeh. His artwork and rich colors are quite impressive as well, setting the tone of mystery nicely in this first issue. Excellent artwork is almost always a determining  factor of whether I’m gonna drop the cash for a new title. It’s also got some heft in the dialogue so it’s not a five minute blur which is always nice in this age of quick read comic books.  

This debut issue essentially starts out much like most D&D campaigns, we’ve got a gang of interesting characters meeting in a dark, smokey tavern where an old bard proposes a dangerous journey in search of an ancient presumed treasure of legend. Of course it’s rumored this treasure is supposedly guarded by a menacing effigy. The group he proposes this to are an interesting bunch, a shady alchemist, his young assistant, an assassin and a bar maid who claims she’s secretly the greatest thief in all the kingdom.

It also in a way feels like a superhero story set in a classic fantasy world as by the end of the issue you’re introduced to a character that reminds you more of Batman than Aragorn. I totally dig it to as I’ve always thought of The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings  & the teams formed in a classic game of Dungeons and Dragons to feel much more like a midieval version of The Avengers. It’s also got some nice meat to it as well as interesting character motivations and cool subplots that drive the desire to get rich for this band of vagabonds.

So if you’re looking for a strong, playful new title to pick up this week I think Night’s Dominion is a super solid offering. I’m feeling a bit of an Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings type vibe to the whole thing. if that’s the case then we’re dead set on a path to a ton of fun and hopefully it will take us on a memorable trek through some fantastic and dangerous landscapes. I’ll drop the four bones for issue #2 next month!    

HarmonQuest: Real Life Animated Dungeons & Dragons Sessions?!

This rad series called HamonQuest is fucking awesome. It takes a real life D&D game and puts it into an animated adventure as it’s happening! What a brilliant idea, I wish I would have thought of this. I always imagine what our games of D&D might look like if we could see them on screen with all of the ridiculous scenarios and decision making that ends up going on.

I always as a DM plan for a serious game but then when you get the actual group together and people begin smoking weed, drinking or being caught not paying attention you often times get a totally different storyline than what you may have originally planned for. Ultimate rpg buffoon-ery to the max. That’s fine by me too, I totally dig the unpredictable nature of a D&D session. Well HarmonQuest puts that grand idea into perspective in an incredibly entertaining way. Check this shit out! 

 

Check out the whole series on youtube and get ready to laugh your ass off!