Tagged: 80s

Comic Cover of the Week: Defenders get METAL with Ghost Rider

I’m a huge fan of vintage heavy metal album covers and right here we’ve got one of the best Marvel Comics covers that, let’s face it, is totally metal! It’s also one of the most ironic pics of Ghost Rider, in all of his bad ass glory, easily one of the most unique Marvel superheroes, too bad Nic Cage’s portrayal in not one but somehow TWO movies! Well regardless, this here was a cool era of The Defenders: Doctor Strange, Valkyrie, Hellcat AND the Son of Satan?! Damn I love that weirdo! This awesome issue came out way back in 1981 and the cover art was done by Michael Golden! Ghost Rider at his most bad ass!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80s Stop Motion Mayhem: Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires!

A sad fact for me to admit is that sometimes when I watch a movie at home, all by myself I’m easily tempted to be distracted by my phone while “watching”. Usually it’s a sign that the flick I’m watchin’ just ain’t cutting the damn mustard! It’s probably also a sign of phone addiction, but that’s another depressing topic in itself. So imagine how pleased I was at the first viewing of ‘Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires’, probably my favorite new movie of the last few years hands down, I never even looked at my phone ONCE the entire time!

This one was released overseas in 2018 but just this year hit streaming services. But before I get ahead of myself, a lot might wonder just what the hell is this thing? Well to put it simply it’s probably one of the greatest stop motion animation full length features I’ve ever seen. Easily one of the most unique movies stylistically. There’s literally been nothing quite like it before. It’s essentially a stop motion version of a 1980s action movie / horror/sex comedy hybrid mash up for all you fans of those midnight B-movies of yesteryear! 

Chuck Steel is a full on meat-head, numbskull cop who’s fully proficient with just three things: martial arts, big guns and his big bad attitude. A self proclaimed loner, he pretty much handles every situation with his fists or a gun, a hardened heroic dipshit, losing the only woman he ever loved to an evil ninja crime syndicate of course! 

Chuck’s pretty much able to finagle his way out of any situations with sheer brute force, until an occult menace comes to town, bringing a slew of bizarre creatures called trampires to roam the foggy night streets. He’s soon forced to adopt new buddy cop partners to work with and also teams up with a “Peter Vincent/Fright Night” type old guy vampire slayer to try the rid the city of this supernatural scourge.

Along the way of course we get a ton of insane martial arts brawls, spectacular explosions, car chases, crazy gore & a load of ferocious monsters to feast our eyes upon.

To say this movie is ambitious would be an understatement as this took years to film, building dozens of stunning miniature sets and using all practical puppets to create some of the most breathtaking stop motion animation I’ve ever witnessed.

Everything looks absolutely incredible and this is a literal cult horror b-movie fanatics dream come true! As I understand it the director, Mike Mort, had created the character when he was a teenager and & just now finally bringing the adventure to the big screen and eventually getting a funding of 20 million dollars, and boy does the effort and money show.

I’m honestly quite surprised that this movie hasn’t gotten WAY more attention. It does of course feature some very un-PC humor, nothing incredibly offensive, but definitely the kind of jokes you would hear directly in a classic, raunchy eighties comedy. The character in a nutshell emulates the same type of humor you might expect from Ash in Evil Dead or Johnny Lawrence from Cobra Kai. 

Perhaps that’s why this one hasn’t garnered major attention so far? I’m perplexed! Whatever the case ‘Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires’ is a true spectacle to behold and a loving tribute to everything that us weirdo movie maniacs appreciate about about the 1980s and the golden era of horror.

Check this out if you’re a fan of B-Movies that drip of over the top characters, action, monsters, martial arts, crude comedy and one liners galore!

Comic Cover of the Week: John Byrne’s Black & White Genius!

It’s always been clear at U-Dork that’ my all time favorite comic book artist is John Byrne & I wanted to showcase his brilliance when he only uses 2 colors to craft an utterly breathtaking a comic book cover. Sometimes keeping it real simple can be the best way to make something truly memorable. Take a look here as John uses this duo color scheme to create an unforgettable and bizarre comic book cover for Fantastic Four number 276 from 1984!

He’s done this style a couple other times, once with the Web of Spider-Man:

…and another very similar toned Alpha Flight cover:

It’s also available to be seen here in the reverse color scheme which is equally effective. Byrne does it again!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022’s Sequel Should Bring Back Ken Foree!

I watched the new Netflix Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie a few nights ago and was surprisingly entertained with what ol’ Leatherface, (who must be pushin’ seventy by now?) served me up. That’s not to say this movie was perfect, In fact none of the sequels to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre are anywhere near perfection. That doesn’t mean though some of them aren’t a damn good time. The 2022 sequel is clearly trying to mimic the same playbook as Halloween 2018,  Bringing back the 1974 film’s “final girl” Sally for It’s big return. Sadly the original actor, Marilyn Burns died but they did bring back her character which was kinda cool… However I think they should bring back another classic character….

This got me thinking about where this franchise could be headed if they were looking to truly please fans. I think the perfect direction would be to piggyback off of 1990’s ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3: Leatherface’. I recently revisited that one and had a fucking great time with it & fair to say it’s imo easily the best of the sequels. One of the biggest reasons for me that it holds up so well was the addition of horror icon Ken “Dawn of the Dead” Foree to the mix. 

It’s a real treat to see him in the 1990 sequel, an actual black character who doesn’t get picked off and killed senselessly. Most important, Ken is just a damn great actor & horror legend with a ton of onscreen charisma, Spoiler alert he survives the entire gruesome encounter of the third installment. As I’m sure you’ve probably already realized…

I’ve heard that this new “time line” of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is actually disregarding all the sequels in the same way that ‘Halloween’ 2018 did. Bad move, especially when you could bring back Ken’s iconic bad ass character ‘Benny’ into the sequel for the next installment. I could easily see him finally going to settle the score with Leatherface once he hears the news of the masked psychopath’s re-emergence in rural Texas.  Maybe Benny decides to hire a team of experts to aid him in taking them down?

Or maybe he gives ‘final girl’ Kate Hodge aka Michelle a call to head off and hunt the bastard down for some sweet long overdue payback.

Incorporating a living legend like Ken would give this new timeline some much needed credibility and adding Hodge  would be the icing on the cake. To help out Leatherface they could even rope in Viggo Mortensen, as he appeared as a cannibalistic killer in the 3rd installment as well. I know a lot of people have forgotten about that little tidbit over the years.

Of course they would have to at least recognize part III in the franchise as actual cannon in this time line and why the hell not? Imagine the hunter being hunted this time, Leatherface on the run basically from a cast of characters dead set on ridding Texas of the elusive maniac. Pay attention Netflix and give Ken a call ASAP!

Cult Flicks In Desperate Need of a Blu Ray: 1988’s ‘WATCHERS’!

I’ve been looking at my VHS tapes lately and have been compiling a list of some of my favorite cult horror flicks that for some god forsaken reason have still gone without an official fancy new blu ray release! One of the first movies that comes to mind is one of my all time favorite underrated gems of the late 80s, featuring Corey Haim in the lead role in this nostalgic, yet largely underseen creature feature ‘Watchers’ directed by Jon Hess (Alligator II).

 I definitely consider this to be “prime” Cory Haim and quite frankly the perfect addition to a double feature with ‘The Lost Boys’. In some ways it almost feels like an extension of Haim’s character “Sam Emerson” in The Lost Boys. He’s got his rad eighties fashion, comedic licks and hair dialed up to an 11 and really is perfectly in line with the tone of The Lost Boys. In my opinion at least, it’s a perfect campy 80s creature feature/coming of age adventure featuring teen heart throb Haim on the run with with a canine who possesses human intelligence thats escaped from a secret nearby research facility. If you’re a fan of dogs in leading roles in horror movies this is definitely a gem!

What are they on the run from? Well, Michael Ironside and a savage mutant beast dead set on reuniting with the dog and literally destroying anything in its path of course! To put this in a nutshell, this flick is the epitome of what a series like Stranger Things is trying to desperately replicate. The Watchers is the real deal & it’s naturally got the authentic 80s “kids in danger” charm down perfectly to a T. Like an R-rated Amblin production.

 I actually also really dig the special effects on display here, there’s some cool gore and also a pretty sweet realistic, yet slightly stupid looking savage hairy monster! I really don’t mean that to be a negative either, I like the monster, he just looks kinda like a moron!

A very realistic stupid looking monster, hey I’ll take that any day of the damn week! This movie was based on a Dean Koontz novel and spawned several sequels. My second favorite of them is 1998’s ‘Watchers Reborn’ the 4th installment which features Mark Hamill in the leading role. I’d love to see all of the sequels get a Blu-ray release as well and hoping that someone like Vinegar Syndrome or Shout Factory can grab this and give it some new gas in it’s tank.

It was released on VHS and also an out of print combo DVD with the sequel that features “Beastmaster” Mark Singer included which is very hard to find now. So all kick ass blu ray labels out there take notice, The Watchers is the perfect movie to get into the grimy hands of some hungry horror hounds and ripe for the picken!

The Winter Olympics with The Hulk & Spider-man?!

The Winter Olympics are in session and even though not a lot of people seem to be particularly interested this year I thought it would be cool to showcase a classic GIGANTO comic book cover that features a sporting event that’s WAY more up my alley!

The Winter Olympics featuring The Incredible Hulk versus Spider-man center stage! Now that’s one event that I’ll show up for any time of the the damn year!

This particular issue is presented in one of my favorite formats that Marvel used to put out, the gigantic treasury edition comic books were absolutely nuts to have as a child! This was an epic issue from 1980 that had a sweet back cover as well featuring some Olympic Winter Mole Man mayhem!

SHE-HULK #1 Misses the Charm of the 1980s!

It’s been quite a while since I visited my local comic book shop (Cosmic Monkey in PDX!!) but but the new ‘She-Hulk’ series I’d heard about gave me enough ammo to figure it would be worth finally stopping in for a visit again. I was pretty pumped to hear that She-Hulk was supposedly going back to her “roots” finally, something that’s been presented as more of a return to form to the original John Byrne series of the 1980s. Count me in!

 First I must admit, the cover(s) art for this debut issue is awesome and truly does remind me of the classic She-Hulk I grew to love back in the late eighties. I’m actually quite surprised that Marvel Comics seemingly decided to go back to the “sexy, flirtatious” version of Jennifer Walters. Especially since more recently this version of the character was to an extent considered is somewhat offensive to many.

People claimed that she was only used as a sex symbol by male writers & never truly fleshed out as a character, something that I actually highly disagree with.

 Nonetheless I was excited to see exactly what they were going to bring to the table in 2022. Unfortunately my hopes for this debut issue were squashed pretty quickly by what I consider to be weak and somewhat uninspiring storytelling.

 Most of the issue revolves around a rather pointless fight with her classic nemesis Titania, that I assume they were trying Inject some sort of witty comedy into. The rest of the issue spends a few pages getting into Jennifer Walters more personal problems as she moves back into her former apartment. That’s really about it in a nutshell. I didn’t really find much of anything to be memorable here, the dialogue was pretty flimsy and the artwork at some points was impressive and at others felt a bit rushed. 

 I guess a part of me had built up this return to form as possibly being a consisely comedic version of the character and her absurdly over the top adventures of years ago. Instead what I ultimately ended up with was yet another safely generic Marvel Comics relaunch. I guess in a way it was kind of what I was expecting and it’s certainly not the spark that’s gonna get me going back to drop another $4 to $5 on a comic book that literally takes just over 5 minutes to read in it’s entirety. I’m somewhat astounded that as comic prices dramatically increased the panels grew exponentially in size and now only take a matter of minutes to read. I would have hoped that the opposite would have occurred,  If you’re gonna charge 5 bucks for a comic book you’d better be bringing more bang for your buck!

 I can’t say I’ll be going back for more She-Hulk anytime soon, yet it has inspired me to dig out my old late eighties back issues. Who knows maybe I’m being too damn hard on things and perhaps my memory of the “golden era” of She-Hulk is something that won’t hold up in 2022. If this is any indication though of what the live action MCU series is going to be like I guess I’m gonna be pretty disappointed. There’s so much fun to be had with She-Hulk, a more of a classic “Sex in the City” style approach to the series with some clever writing is what I was hoping more for. I’ll save my true anticipation for the series launch on Disney Plus this year with my fingers firmly crossed....

Holiday Comic Cover of the Week: The THING vs Evil Xmas Toys!

We keep getting closer and closer to Christmas this year So of course we have to check out some groovy holiday comic book covers of years gone by! Today we take a look at ‘Marvel Two In One’ number 74 from 1981. It’s a special Christmas issue that of course features The Thing battling the Puppet Master’s evil toys during the during the holidays! This is a sweet cover as well drawn by Frank Springer and it really harkens back to the Golden Age of comics when they were just a damn good time to read!

 

Movie Melt Your Brain with 1982’s Totally Bananas ‘SPLITZ’!!

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!!!

Trick or Treat with BIGFOOT during SQUATCHTOBER!

U-Dork’s Back on the Movie Melt podcast where we are celebrating this Halloween season by covering some spooky obscure Bigfoot flicks: We call it Squatchtober! Let’s face it a good freakin’ Bigfoot movie is hard to find but when you stumble across one you gotta call it out to feral forest gods and inner city Sasquatches alike. We’ve been discussing the best & the worst Sasquatch related horror movies this month And it led us down a path to the ‘Black River Monster’ from 1986!

What? You’ve never heard of this one?  What do you live in a cave or something? I guess not ‘cuz if so you probably would have already seen it! Well this one’s pretty much flown under everyone’s damn radar but don’t let that deter you in your quest for the big hairy fellow’s greatest roles in cinema!

Lots of discussion on what ‘Squatch related movies you should be watching this Halloween during Squatchtober and so much more useless cinematic information  to cram into your brain! All hail the truly elusive original party animal this Halloween and check out our tribute to him on the LATEST EPISODE OF MOVIE MELT!!