I loved the old Marvel Fanfare, back in the day it worked as a unique little anthology book. Featuring some lesser known, as well as big name superheroes in their own little self contained unique adventures. Printed on glossy paper and featuring often times more unconventional stories in the way they were presented. They also of course had some knockout covers, this one, from Marvel Fanfare #22 from 1982 features a unique moment where we see Doctor Octopus and unlikely villain for Iron Man completely intimidating him with a gang of dangerous supervillains all getting ready to gang up on Tony Stark! I’ve always loved to see comic books where superheroes face off against villains who they might not normally be associated with. This one is a great representation of that as we see Iron Man truly vulnerable, in a deadly situation beautifully illustrated by Ken Steacy in this iconic fold out cover! Oh how I miss the 1980s…
So today I want everyone to check out the greatest TV commercial of the 1980s: Atari 2600’s Spider-Man’s home video game!! I of course remember this one quite well, back then this shit was cutting edge to the MAX!
Sure it was a good time but what really sold this for me was the wild n’ crazy live action commercial, that featured the Green Goblin in all of his sparky pumpkin bomb glory. Check this out for a little refresher on how to make a totally bad ass TV comnercial! College kids in advertising take NOTE!!
Yeah so what 80s commercial is better? If you got one send it my way. If you’re too young to remember this one and what the actual game looked like then you’re likely in for a shock, things have changed a LOT in video game graphics since ’82! Check out the cutting edge gameplay of the Atari 2600 Spider-man!!
Ok & just for good measure here’s a cool, but not nearly as ambitious commercial for 1994’s Incredible HULK game from Sega Genesis!
This was a ton of fun and I really dig the graphics! I need to revisit this one ASAP!
They reeeeeeally needed a live action Lou Ferrigno HULK appearance to really sell this one! Oh well!!
Universal Dork has once again joined the ‘Movie Melt‘ podcast Is to discuss, in waaaaay too much juicy detail, the oddball weirdo sex comedy ‘Splitz’ from 1982!
You’ve never seen it? I didn’t think so! Is there a reason for that? LIKELY! Hear about all the hi-jinx and sexy dipshit shenanigans that occur when when a female college rock band gets involved with some wicked sorority mayhem! If you dig the eighties you better get on your acid wash jeans & check out this episode.
It’s jam packed with way more idiotic cinematic information than your brain can inhumanly comprehend! Listen HERE And make sure to call into the show and leave us a voicemail!!!
I think Marvel’s Mister Hyde is easily one of the creepiest villains in their ranks of baddies! He’s a more fucked up version of the Banner/Hulk dynamic and he even wears a weird ass old school suit and cape like the original literary character. The dude can go head to head with The Incredible Hulk and is one of the loosest cannons in all of Marvel comics! I have always adored the cover of The Amazing Spider-man #232 and think its a certifiably sinister depiction of the villain! Brilliantly drawn by Al Milgrom and John Romita Jr way back in 1982- Hyde is a perfect villain for the Halloween season!
One of my personal favorite single issues of The Incredible Hulk comics is Annual #11 from 1982! I remember when this came out, I was 8 years old and I carried this issue with me EVERYWHERE! It’s story is quite relevant still especially today as we see a gamma virus running rampant among the US population that makes people sick and turns them green! Yowza!!! This issue pits the Avengers along with Spider-man up against their old teammate The Hulk and it’s a glorious little superhero sci-fi tale that also features The Leader at the core of the mayhem. It also features a super sweet short solo adventure from Doc Samson too!! One thing of course I’ve always loved about this issue was it’s magnificently simple cover by Al Milgrom which deserves the spotlight here today:
I’ve joked with friends for many years about Steven Spielberg’s classic film E.T. having a sequel made, that was only released for audiences overseas. I mean of course I’d want a sequel to the movie, but not some pile of shit that’s made today where they fuck everything up with bad “special” overblown fx, a cut and paste recycled plot and a cast of terrible new characters “who are passed the torch” from the beloved but neglected older now sidelined classic ones. Well come to find out that Spielberg was indeed planning a sequel to E.T. back in 1982! He even wrote a story treatment for it that he actually turned in and while it’s not at all what you’d expect, it’s something just weird enough to have been the WTF cult classic E.T. deserved!
While The A.V. Club recently stated we should “be glad the cancelled sequel never got made” I say we should be downright enraged the cancelled sequel never saw the light of the silver screen. Officially titled ‘E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears’ you can tell this thing would have been right up my damn alley. Yep, think of more of an alien abduction horror tinged adventure for Elliot & fam this time. In Steven’s sweet nine page treatment, he amps up the Amblin “kids in danger” factor to eleven. Elliot, Michael and Gerty are sorely missing life without E.T. by their side, they still long to reunite with him again someday often gazing into the night skies. Well just as their world seems to turn mundane, they once again discover an alien craft at night in the woods nearby. Baffled, they assume it must be E.T’s return to them. However, what’s on board this time around are not so friendly, something far more terrifying: white skinned humanoid extraterrestrial carnivores, sporting huge red eyes and razor sharp fangs.
It’s not by coincidence either they land in the woods nearby, as they’re in search of their old pal E.T. & a few steps behind him in pursuit. It turns out they’re at odd’s with E.T.’s race and have come to Earth for any information on his whereabouts. Oh yeah the creatures also mutilate cattle and raise hell in the suburbs. Elliot, Gerty and Mike are pursued relentlessly by them in a game of cat and mouse and are eventually captured, where they’re tortured for info on their pal E.T.’s whereabouts. Elliot is so traumatized by their wicked methods of interrogation that at one point his blood curdling scream sends a emotional signal deep through the outer reaches of space to his old alien friend. Of course E.T. wastes no time and immediately rushes back on a mission to save his human companions from the clutches of his evil alien rivals. It’s also revealed E.T.’s real name is ‘Zrek’! Yowza COUNT ME SO IN!
The A.V. Club obviously doesn’t know a cult classic 80’s sequel if it punched them in their freakin’ face! Apparently Spielberg decided to back off the sequel because he thought it’d ruin the innocence of the original movie. Deeming it too dark and simply based too much in horror. Take a look at the concept designs for Rick Baker’s evil aliens, for the unmade ‘Night Skies’ that were also rumored to be considered for ‘Nocturnal Fears’:
So this is clearly to me at least an awesome sequel, and in an alternate reality would’ve been a classic, though likely a box office bomb. Spielberg could have had Tobe Hooper direct this thing too! Part of me wishes they’d pull this treatment out of the old dusty file cabinets and just give us THIS sequel today! Keep the same basic story, but have the original cast reunite, older now with their families deal with this identical situation and reunite with E.T. , I mean Zrek, sorry! As much as I’d love this I can only assume some greedy Hollywood execs would step in to trash the story, killing off Elliot, Gerty & Mike in the opening scene or something lame and then throw in a bunch of shitty CGI aliens and have E.T. die before he can see his old friends. There’d also probably be a new “E.T.” in his place that was more in line with current online trends somehow. So for now ‘E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears’ will just have to get a special place in my mind as the ‘what if’ sequel that should have been. Check out this extensive look at Steven Spielbergs story treatment in this Youtube video, beware though this Youtube channel also seems to think the script sucks(WTF?), clearly this person doesn’t know a sweet sequel when he sees it – c’mon people!!:
Oh and if you’re still craving an E.T. sequel here’s that weird Xfinity commercial they decided to make instead of a real sequel:
I finally checked out an animated movie I’ve been curious about for years! ‘The Plague Dogs’ from 1982 is from the same team who brought us ‘Watership Down’ so if you’re familiar with that you know right off the bat that you’re in for something quite special. Like Watership down The Plague Dogs is hardly a children’s movie, it deals with some pretty damn heavy stuff. We the follow two dogs Snitter (John Hurt) & Rowf (Christopher Benjamin) who’re caged in a lab where they’re continuously abused by scientists for testing purposes.
However one day, one of the “white coats” (as the dog’s call the doctors) accidentally leaves Snitter’s cage door ajar and both him and Rowf escape to the open countryside. In the wild they struggle to find food and shelter and find help from a mischevious fox named the Tod (James Bolam). The three of them go on an epic journey. where the two dogs long to find a new kind family to take them in, but once the Government tell the locals that the two of them are infected with the bubonic plague, it becomes a race for survival as true danger lurks around every corner.
The Plague Dogs goes in some shockingly dark directions, some sequences so surprising I’d paused the movie to double check the rating. Much of it’s admittedly depressing and bleak but done so beautifully with it’s animation and painted backdrops that’s it’s really worth the effort. It’s the morning after and the movie still weighs heavily in my mind so much so that I’d really rank this in the top 10 best animated features I’ve seen. There’s so much heart in it’s characters and by mid point in the movie there’s nothing more I’d wanted than to see these characters get a happy ending. Be warned though, this one doesn’t play out like a Disney movie of the 80’s, no one remains safe here and some of the directions it goes in will literally have you on the edge of your seat. At least it did for me. All that being said I’d wondered who they made this movie for back in the early 1980s, as most kids seeing it might be fully scarred after viewing. I suppose ‘Watership Down’ follows this same formula and has a similar reputation. I’m surprised it took me this long to finally view as it’s clearly in a league of it’s own, one that nearly had me in tears several times, unlike anything I’ve seen in recent years. Continue reading
You ever have those movies that sit in your Netflix dvd Queue forever and then after years FINALLY arrive?! First off yeah I still got a dvd account with Netflix, the selection is totally way better and I also have the streaming too-so there. Anyway, get over it people, my point is I’ve got like 200 movies in that damn thing and most of em’ I probably will never get the time to check out. Surprisingly a movie snuck it’s way into the mix, ahh yes….’Superstition’ from 1982. I was pretty happy when it came in the mail, I’m always down for a good 80’s flick but I’ve been under the assumption these days that if I haven’t heard about a movie by now then it probably isn’t anything to write home about. Yep, I watch way too many movies, a lot of clunkers but every now and again I see something pretty damn cool that takes me by surprise.
‘Superstition’ (AKA “The Witch”) is one of those movies, from the opening scene it’s clear that you’re in for a bit of a treat. It’s essentially a haunted house movie, with some creepy witch business cleverly thrown in. The opening sequence has a some numb nut teenagers making out near a creepy old house in the woods, their sexy times get cut short by some meddling pranksters who give them a scare with some creepy props they’ve fastened in the trees above. After the two lovebirds flee for safety of course the pranksters can’t resist going into the house to fuck around. What follows are some impressive over the top gory kills, one of them gets thrown up into the ceiling, then winds up decapitated with his head in a microwave oven & eventually we get to see it explode. The other kid witnesses this and ends up being severed in half by a closing window. This opening sets the stage for a pretty entertaining little horror story. We have a bunch of religious nonsense as our main character is a priest who decides to fix up the property which belongs to the church readying it for a family to move into. Weird shit goes down almost instantly but you guessed it, the show goes on with little worry from anyone!
This one is definitely worth a watch, it’s only about 80 minutes long too, which I love, because one thing I’ve been noticing is there are a lot of movies from the 1980’s that would be fucking fantastic if you just cut 20 minutes out of their run time. Superstition succeeds in bringing some cool ass scenarios to life while trimming all the usual boring 80’s B.S. plots that go nowhere out of the mix. It’s a lean mean super solid retro haunted house movie, with some cool old school 17th century possessed witch flashbacks neatly inserted to give you the scoop on just what the hells going on. It’s got a ton of ridiculous characters in the frenzy of things as well with some comedic moments sprinkled in for good measure. I also think it’s got a pretty rock solid finale where the priest runs around with a magic cross he uses to ward off evil and blast open doors. Anyway I could go on but hey if you’re looking for a good gory 80’s haunted house movie look no further Superstition has got the goods!
I recently checked out an awesome early 80’s flick called ‘Evilspeak’ starring everybody’s favorite awkward actor Clint Howard who’s the younger brother of superstar director Ron Howard. Evilspeak delivers all the goods besides having Clint Howard in the lead it’s got some gruesome fx, a truly unique story and some pretty cool sets. It’s also got a swarm of possessed pigs that are more than willing to carry out the evil deeds of the devil! So track this one down if you get the chance, it’s totally worth it. Now one last thing obviously this one had got going for was the incredible VHS box cover art! One of my faves…
Well I also realized that this artist C. Winston Taylor is responsible for many of my favorite movie posters and box art of the 1970’s and 80’s in fact it turns out that he did the cover art for one of the other blogs I did recently for the movie Mutant Hunt! Also check out the blog post on with more details on his artwork on another cool ass blog I dig: Camera Viscera!!
I’ve bitched and moaned here about my complete and utter disappointment for the 2011 version of ‘The Thing’, the prequel to Carpenter’s classic 1982 monster movie! To refresh your memory we were originally promised a movie that would not only be a prequel but also give us the same style of mind blowing practical creature effects the awed us way back in ’82. Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ in my opinion is maybe the best creature feature of all time.
Yeah effects wizards at ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.) spent a ton of time and effort creating some truly astonishing practical creature FX for the movie only to have nearly ALL of them omitted from the final theatrical version of the film. Instead they gave us fans exactly what we DID NOT want, a bunch of slick, fake looking CGI in it’s place. This was a nightmare come true for all fans of the original. Well now it seems that that someone has decided to create a petition directed straight at the CEO of Universal Pictures Ronald Meyer. The petition is asking for what the fans wanted all along, the release of the work print of the 2011 film with all of the original practical monster effects that ADI worked so hard to bring us fans of the original!
This is a superb idea and something i have wondered about for so long. What would that film have looked like in it’s original form? Well now it’s time to demand that we see the film we were promised! If you’ve seen some of the Youtube videos of these FX then you know how incredible this movie just may have been!
So all of you Thing fans out there please take a minute to sign this petition and lets get the version of the prequel we all had been hoping for once and for all you can sign the Change.org petition right HERE! What are you waiting for?!