So today the first episode of the long awaited SHE-HULK series premieres on Disney Plus & though I’m excited for it I’m still a bit saddened that we will never have gotten a LIVE action She-Hulk on the big OR small screen. If I’m not making myself entirely clear it’s because the version of She-Hulk we’re getting today is indeed a fully CGI generated character. However what most people don’t realize is that waaaay back in the early nineties there was indeed a live action She- Hulk movie in the works!
Even more amazing was that at its helm was Larry Cohen one of my all time favorite cult cinema directors- Even MORE “sensational” was the inclusion of Brigitte Nielsen in the title role of the Jade Giantess! This was indeed a match made in heaven. And after watching Larry Cohen’s brilliant 1990 movie ‘The Ambulance’ I’m convinced Stan Lee and him had made the connection for producing a She-Hulk movie during that production.
If you’ve never seen ‘The Ambulance’ you gotta check it out. Eric Roberts stars as a Marvel Comic Book artist who goes on an insane journey chasing a mysterious ambulance across New York City. Stan even makes several cameos in it as himself (above).
After the the Cohen/Stan Lee connection had been established, New World Pictures was seemingly ready to produce a live action She-Hulk movie, shooting for a 1992 release & indeed had Larry attached to direct (and rumored to have written the script). Apparently an attempt was made to attract investors by doing some concept photo shoots for the character with Brigitte Nielsen, who would also be in the role of Jennifer Walters.
I remember running across these photos in ‘Comics Scene’ magazine way back when and being pretty excited about what the possibilities of this collaboration might produce even if her look and outfit were a bit off in the promo photos. The script is shrouded in mystery and has never really but really had any sort of leaks except that Eric Roberts was to appear as a villain. I can only imagine with Larry Cohen directing we would have gotten something at the very least intriguing and fun. It’s also not certain whether these concept photos were really reflective of the true “final look” of the character. It’s imagined that once production was started on it they would’ve fleshed out her character design much more & hopefully made her skin tone at least darker green.
Whatever the case Brigitte would have filled the role perfectly, The Red Sonja star was a dream cast for the movie. I can only imagine that this ultra campy version of the character might have eventually morphed into a cult classic. The early synopsis promo:
SHE-HULK (Larry Cohen, 1992). A mild-mannered lawyer (Brigitte Nielsen) receives a life-altering blood-transfusion after being shot by a local mobster (Eric Roberts). As a result, she finds herself transformed into a magical green rage-monster.
Though it sounded promising, they had several cinematic misses under their belt by that time with Howard the Duck, Captain America & The Punisher films all flopping and barely meeting the mark for comic fanatics. However my faith in Larry Cohen as a director and script writer only confirms that this particular project would’ve indeed been something memorable. Brigitte in 1990 was fully fit and definitely ready for the role.
It’s a real shame that never it never happened, I think a She-Hulk movie coming from that era would have been so much fun and I’m so curious where are they would have gone with everything. Even if it had turned out to be one giant ball of gamma radiated cheese it still would’ve been interesting to see a real live action version of the character and given Brigitte a chance to shine like Lou Ferrrigno did in his classic role….
So it seems that the ‘Masters of the Universe’ right now are all the rage for ALL the wrong reasons! Yes, Kevin Smith is in the hot seat for his Netflix masters”He-man” series, having watched the first 5 episodes I will admit, I was pretty freakin’ underwhelmed. The animation was indeed pretty great but some of the voice work I wasn’t a fan of and the general storyline feels like Kevin Smith’s failed attempt at recreating the Transformers movie from 1986 while trying to model the series after what’s trending on Twitter. Killing off He-man twice in the first 5 episodes was a bit of a disappointment and having the “new & improved” Teela take over the entire show was all too predictable in this current landscape of the oddly forced “strong female lead” narrative. I mean if we wanted a female He-man we already got one: where the hell is She-Ra dammit? The show is only halfway finished so maybe Kevin Smith will redeem himself with some masterful storytelling, however I don’t have too much faith as the guy hasn’t made a good movie in about 15 years. I mean has anyone actually ever been able to finish ‘Yoga Hosers’? DOUBTFUL!
All this made me want to take a moment to go back to my childhood as I was a huge collector of the Masters of the Universe toy line and a BIG fan of the cartoon. My favorite thing about the toys were most definitely He-man’s cast of colorful villains! So I wanted to take a moment to throw out there my top 5 favorite He-man action figures which were most def always the bad guys!
Of all of them I’ve gotta say that ol’ Trapjaw was easily my favorite as a kid! His movable jaw, his interchangeable weapon arms and just his rad look in general made him my all time favorite Masters of the Universe action figure! This guy was a true bad-ass, I literally carried him around everywhere with me.
I really love this fucked up bad dude, he’s so damn bizarre & cut from a different cloth than the regular Masters of the Universe action figures. I’d spend hours trying to configure him into the weirdest shapes and sizes that I could, big & small! Modulok was one of the coolest, and also a bit frightening! If you bought two Moduloks you could make him even bigger and weirder!
Oooooh yeah this guy was a damn gem, a true freak of nature! When I first saw him in Shopko I was so PUMPED! He was also cut from a different mold with his 2 heads and strange giganto torso along with his spring action arms made him a true freakazoid enemy of He-man!! Two Bad was double the pleasure and two time the EVIL!!
Oh boy, I couldn’t get enough of Whiplash!! the first time I saw him in the package at Toy R’ Us I begged my mom To let me take him home with me. This bad-ass, green reptilian, half breed alligator man was one of my favorites and his rubbery tail could certainly give Prince Adam the ass whoopin’ that he always needed. Easily one of my favorite action figures of all time! I’d take this dude in the tub with me for a swamp alligator style MOTU adventure – He-man was truly put to the test…thos were the days. Get bent Kevin Smith! Ahhh!
Oh I just loved this freaky crab human hybrid baddie SO damn much! As a kid I had hermit crabs and as an adult I still got one! So when I saw this guy At K-mart it was love at first sight! I don’t know why, but as a kid I was obsessed with crabs and crayfish. When Skeletor added Clawful to the mix you wouldn’t hear me complaining. Nope, I dig his fiddler crab style look and his spring action giant claw hand was his greatest selling point!
Damn it how I fucking loved Hordak! I was so happy with his introduction a fresh new bad guy and IMO he was cooler than Skeletor. He was a truly exciting addition to the evil gang and not only a rival to He-man but ALSO to Skeletor. So many good times with this evil asshole, but you know what, the whole damn ‘Evil Horde’ needs to make this list, they were all so bad ass and unique and screw anyone who thinks Grizzlor and Manteena were stupid-they were fucking rad-Kevin Smith you could redeem yourself by bringing in Hordak and his crew to kick Teela and Skeletor’s butts and just bring She-ra back to fight them ALL!
Well I just discovered that ‘V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.’ a superhero flick that was filming way back in 2017 here in Portland Oregon has finally got a trailer up! Why do I care about some low grade superhero movie that’s been in post production hell for nearly four years? Well, one of it’s scenes was filmed in my shop, Hollywood Babylon, here in Portland Oregon with none other than the legendary Billy Zane. I might add that when they filmed it I was there and ended up spending a little time chatting’ with him about my favorite Zane films like ‘Demon Knight’, ‘Dead Calm’, ‘The Phantom’ & yes of course ‘The Titanic’. You can check out my experience that day right HERE as I blogged that shit up the same day it happened!
However no matter how stoked I was by this whole scenario it turned out the film was put on hiatus due to some sort of loss of funding to pay the crew. Well randomly I decided to do my yearly “V-Force” check up to see if any damn updates were out there on it, because let’s face it, if you filmed most of a movie with the likes of not only Billy Zane but also Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Bruce Dern & Keith David you must at some point be planning to get the funding to release the damn thing. Oh yeah and here’s a picture from that day, with me on the right and of course The Phantom in the center!
Well it seems my “Billy Zane fantasy filming in my vintage shop” just might be seeing the light of day sometime soon? I dunno, because I see there is now an official trailer up and that’s about all, the thing only has a few hundred views and virtually no press out there on it! Well U-Dork is here to give it some internet fire power with this post, so yes folks check out the latest trailer for V-FORCE!! A movie bound for Redbox and just maybe the like of SYFY?! Who the fuck knows, if it ever gets a release I’m going to push for it to be showcased on an episode of the Movie Melt podcast! Oh yeah I also noticed this trailers been up for almost a year now too-WTF?!! Release the shit now!! I want the whole world to see Billy Zane hanging out in my damn shop already!!!
Ok as a HUGE fan of the first two Karate Kid movies and fan of the third installment for all the wrong reasons, I’ll admit that up until recently I’d never given ‘The Next Karate Kid’ from 1994 a watch or for that matter a fair chance. I’d always wrote it off as some irrelevant, unrelated knock off of the franchise. However, as I’d rewatched some of the first season of Cobra Kai, once again I’d realized just how much I missed Mr. Miagi and how even more awesome the show would have been if he was still with us. I thought what I’d give for just one last adventure with the character.
Then I’d read in an interview with the creators of Cobra Kai that they’d addressed the 1994 sequel as cannon in the series and slightly teased how all of those movies characters are on the table for possible appearances in future seasons of the show. It dawned up me quickly, after all these years there was indeed one last adventure out there with Pat Morita in his legendary role that as a Karate Kid fanatic I’d ignored for all these years. It was finally time to put my snobby Karate Kid purist attitude aside, to see a movie 27 years in waiting!
So I’m here to report that not only is ‘The Next Karate Kid’ a way better film than ‘Karate Kid 3’ but I think it’s imperative that Hillary Swank return to her role as Julie Pierce in Cobra Kai. Clearly she has a story to tell Daniel with her history with Miagi and she also shares his karate style, something that would make for a great plot element in the series. As far as the fourth installment of the Karate Kid franchise goes, it really was so sweet to see Mr. Miagi in this role, in a movie I’d put off for some reason for so long. It felt like a rare treat to see it when I finally did as I was also surprised at how wrong I’d been, the movie was by no means the flimsy carbon copy sequel I’d guessed it was. Nope quite the contrary, Hillary Swank and Pat Morita both kick ass here in a movie that has a true heart of it’s own and explore more into the history of the Miagi character.
We delve into his past as he heads off to Massachusetts to accept a prestigious award for Japanese American soldiers of WWII & also meets back up with an old friend, Louisa Pierce, the widow of his commanding officer. At Pierce’s home, they catch up on old times, war stories and there he meets his next student, Julie Pierce. The troubled teen is taken under Miagi’s wing and she even finds time to care for an injured hawk at her school. Miagi sees quite early on that she, like Daniel has got some true karate potential and also anger management issues of her own to take care of. She’s also got some problems with some weirdo violent militant Frat boys that need taking care of, something Miagi is happy to help with! The great thing here is that it goes a lot of different directions, we don’t have Daniel’s story for Hillary Swank retold like a “Force Awakens” Karate Kid sequel. Instead she nurses a bird of prey, visits a Buddhist monastery where she befriends a group of charming monks, learns karate and also finds time to fight an elite group of assholes not in a tournament either but in a real damn bare knuckle brawl!
So yeah, I was wrong The Next Karate Kid is a cool movie that not only adds to the Karate Kid legacy but it also expands the story of the late great Miagi. It’s a sweet 90’s sequel that seriously deserves a second chance from Karate Kid purists and fans of Cobra Kai alike. Let’s face it, if the Netflix show can snag Hillary Swank, who’s an incredible actor to come back as Julie Pierce, they’re going to be utilizing the secret weapon of the franchise. I’m sure we’ll be seeing her in the near future on Cobra Kai but in the meantime I think the fans need to give this little 90’s gem a re-watch. There’s so much fun to be had in The Next Karate Kid and I’m glad I finally saw it almost three decades later for my first viewing! A welcome slice of epic lore that makes the Cobra Kai series missing character, Pat “Mr. Miagi” Morita that much more special and severely missed by all the fans….
So the big news on the Indiana Jones front is that Harrison Ford has officially fianlly started filming the latest installment of the franchise! I’ll admit, I consider ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ a guilty pleasure, but by no means do I consider it a great Indiana Jones film! I’m really hoping that they will get this final installment, with the original actor portraying the iconic 80s hero right this time for one last hurrah. I ‘m always down for some Indiana Jones and even recently went back and revisited some of the 90s ‘Young Indiana Jones’, which isn’t quite as good as I’d hoped it to be. So this now leads me down a new path: the 1980s Marvel comic series ‘The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones’ and here today I’m showcasing one of the series best covers beautifully done by Bret Blevins… I’ve never read an issue of this but this amazing cover certainly has inspired me to!
Sometimes I feel like I’m just raining on everyone’s MCU parade! I really don’t want to be THAT guy. However as a fan of the comic book as a kid in the 1980’s I can say if you’d shown me the trailer with no mention of what I was seeing I’d probably wouldn’t have guessed it was Shang Chi “The Master of Kung Fu’ I’d grown up to love!
It’s no secret, I’ve said it before many times here, the Disney “Sequel Trilogy” sucks!! Of course if you enjoyed it that’s completely fine with me, in fact I wish that I would have loved the damn thing and believe me I reeeeeeally tried too! But the story was a god damn flimsy, generic mess and quite frankly clearly a corporate soul-less cash grab. Most importantly we must note it was at best high budget fan fiction, it wasn’t the vision of the creator George Lucas. The sad thing is that when he sold Star Wars to Disney he also handed them his treatment for episode 7 through 9, that would complete his true vision of the full arc of Star Wars the way it was intended to be all along. But of COURSE, instead of using that, the sell out corporate overlords at Disney decided they needed some sort of carbon copy retelling of the original trilogy disguised as a “sequel”. In true Hollywood fashion, we got served up a supreme shit sandwich of course!
This has left legions of Star Wars fans wondering just what the real story was from the true vision of the creator and now it’s finally been revealed! ‘Star Wars Theory’ the biggest and best YouTube channel about Star Wars put out a great video yesterday where he combed the epic recently released ‘Star Wars Archives’ book and gathered all of the information of just what George Lucas had intended for the real story! Everything he describes sounds pretty incredible especially compared to what we were slung from JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson’s poorly concocted fiction. Take a listen here to see what George had planned and maybe, just maybe how Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni might be following George’s original ideas in the Mandalorian! One thing is for certain George had a real story planned, I think it’s time Disney revealed his full treatment, so we all know what really happened to our favorite iconic characters……
So I just watched the first episode of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, I thought it was good, not like mind blowing or anything yet at least, but pretty decent all around. There is however, one damn big ass elephant in the room though. Sam Wilson is BROKE? WTF? I’m just not buying this one at all folks. Ok so you mean to tell me one of the top tier Avengers, who just helped save the enitre planet, has a multi billion dollar, state of the art, robotic winged flying costume & flying robotic weapon companion, good pal of Tony Stark, heir to the mantle of Captain freakin’ America, who gives speeches at The Smithsonian needs a damn loan from a freakin’ normie ass small town bank?!! And can’t get one approved?
Ummm…This is more unbelievable than any Norse god appearing on Earth or whatever wild time travel shit we all witnessed. Seriously is this just bad writing? C’mon, no way Sam doesn’t have major $$$ from government contracts or being part of the damn Avengers initiative!! He’d at this point have to have some severe high stakes gambling addiction to need to go to a local bank and plead with a lowly wise ass bank teller for some damn chump change. His opening mission alone in the show was probably at least letting him pocket a couple million! The guy is one of the most elite super soldiers on the entire planet-He really needs to plead with some damn asinine bank teller?! Um…Ok..what the holy hell is going on here?!
They’d better have a good explanation here in the “wings” because so far that’s got to be one of the most stupid pills to swallow in the entirety of the MCU!! ‘Nuff SAID!!!
WandaVision seems to be the talk of the town, whether you like it or not it’s Disney +’s MCU big kick off series and from what I’ve heard it’s quite daring in it’s storytelling. I still haven’t checked it out, something about it just hasn’t pulled me into setting aside time to give it a try. Maybe when all the episodes are out I’ll dive in. But before all this hype of WandaVision we had this nifty 12 part limed series with the famous superhero couple released waaay back in 1985. Maybe I’ll give this one a spin again before I dave into more Disney + schlock, I’ve got to admit the first issue sure did look promising from the cover alone don’t you think? If this was what had been marketed for the MCU series I’d be 100% down from the very damn start!
One of the sweetest, feel good movies in recent memory, ‘Love & Monsters’ came as a totally welcome surprise! And that’s all being said as someone who’s normally pretty tough on newer horror/fantasy/sci fi movies. Love & Monsters which came out last year may not have the most original plot but it more than makes up for any shortcomings with its impressive special effects and it’s truly heartwarming adventure. I guess I’d at first glance describe this as having somewhat of a “Zombieland” type of a thing going on and it might be easily dismissed as just some wimpy copycat. On the contrary, Love and Monsters buries ‘Zombieland’ (and especially the sequel), with what I think are just plain more likable characters who embark a much more compelling and colorful adventure in general.
Roughly seven years after the Earth was subjected to a mysterious monster invasion, the rather cowardly Joel Dawson has been living underground with a small pod of people trying to avoid what lurks above. He spends his time reconnecting over the radio with his high school girlfriend, Aimee, whom he was separated from when the tragedy hit and also cooking his signature soup for his crew. When the feelings of isolation and cabin fever finally get the best him he decides to muster up the courage to head to the world above. Seeking to finally reunite with his lost love who resides 80 miles away at a coastal colony, as he surmises that there’s nothing really left for him underground anymore. As he heads out alone he soon realizes he’s hardly prepared for the dangers all around him in the outside world. Mutant monsters are hungry and lurking around nearly every corner.
One of the high points here is the inclusion of charming canine character named “Boy”. Lifting a bit from ‘A Boy and his Dog’ (minus the weird sex plot) in a much sweeter way, we get the best of both world’s here for this little apocalyptic adventure. ‘Boy’ proves to be the show stealer here imo and his bond with Joel makes dealing with the dangers a bit less frightening, all things considered. The two make an excellent team against the creatures and it’s clear that they both need each other more than they likely ever realized for piece of mind in a crazy world. He also meets a few other interesting characters, a pair of wandering scavengers, Michael Rooker along with the ruff and tumble little girl named ‘Minnow’. Joel soon learns the tricks of the trade from them and has to make a big decision on the outcome of his journey. One of the best scenes involves a strange AI intelligence, who brings even more unexpected meaning to his travels.
The whole thing is a great exercise in escapism during these real life uncertain times we all face at the moment. It also shows just how important real human (and animal) connections will hopefully always be to us here on the planet as we move forward. As we’re feeling isolated to certain degrees currently, Love and Monsters showcases some parallels to the current state of affairs. I guess we can all at least be relieved that big mutant monsters aren’t waiting to chomp us to bit when we head outside at least?
Let me get to the monsters here as well, I was half expecting some sort of chintzy fx work here to spoil the damn party. Not the case, the creatures here though mostly CGI are a treat to behold and for the most part are pretty convincing threats to our heroes. As a HUGE fan of monster movies I think it hits that sweet spot quite nicely. There’s also some cool plot twists and of course some admittedly hokey ones that otherwise might not have worked without such strong characters at the forefront. If you’re looking for “Calgon to take you away” (80’s kids you know the reference) from the worries of the real world, I can’t think of a better new fantasy adventure flick to visit than ‘Love and Monsters’, easily one of my faves of 2020!