RIP Steve Barkett: A True B-Movie LEGEND.
It’s just come to my attention that the highly underrated B-movie legend Steve Barkett (born in 1950) has passed away, the news via Jim Wynorski. I think it’s a sad day for anyone who knew of some his wildly entertaining movies and raw charisma as an actor. I only recently discovered his movies about 5 years ago but when I did it was a game changer. If you’re gonna start out anywhere with Steve I highly recommend Empire of the Dark his 1990 horror/action hybrid. He not only directed this movie but also starred in the leading role AND wrote the script. It’s a highly ambitious mix of horror fantasy, tuff guy action film and romantic comedy. It would make the perfect double feature with Evil Dead 2.
Yeah it’s THAT awesome and I know it’s saying a lot but I think Steve here oozes just as much charisma as Bruce Campbell in the leading role. He shines as the unlikely action hero who can somehow go “one on one” with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren.
Also for his budget he makes more than the most of just about everything in this movie from wild demonic set pieces in hell to crazy action battles. This is the one movie of his that I will watch over and over for the rest of my life.
He was a highly ambitious and incredibly inventive filmmaker, it’s a bit of a shame that his directorial output only manifested two movies, but both are awesome.
But don’t get me wrong he did so much more he starred in some other sweet B-movies in smaller roles like 1994’s Dinosaur Island, 1995’s Bikini Drive-In, 1993’s Dark Universe his other sole directorial post apocalyptic masterpiece The Aftermath (1982).
I’d always hope that he’d get behind the camera and in front of the camera in larger rolls a bit more in his later years, but hes left behind a some major league gems that anyone who’s a fan of low budget genre perfection must watch!
Steve will be remembered for all of the laughs and smiles he gave to all of us fans of these crazy movies- If you’re reading this post and you’ve never heard of him do yourself a favor and check out Empire of the Dark and The Aftermath ASAP! RIP Steve….
Star of the 4th Best STAR WARS Movie Passes Away: R.I.P. Wilfred Brimley..
It’s come to my attention that Wilfred Brimley has sadly passed away, many knew him as simply the man telling us all to check our blood sugar in those vintage diabetes awareness commercials. However the truth is he starred in the fourth greatest Star Wars movie, ‘Ewoks: The Battle for Endor’. That is not a joke either and many others have also agreed when it actually comes to the Star Wars movies recently after much deliberation. It turns out that in reality, after the original trilogy, 1985’s ‘The Battle for Endor’ is indeed not only better than the Prequel Trilogy but also superior as well to all of the Disney “Star Wars” films.
Wilfred co-starred in the movie along with Warwick Davis (Wicket) for the George Lucas penned epic adventure, which I hope some day gets a blu ray release. Again, I am not kidding, ‘The Battle for Endor’ has aged extremely well, so much so that John Favreau even put a nod to the movie in The Mandalorian. Wilfred starred as Noa Briqualon and aided the Ewoks in an epic battle against evil forces. Wilfred also had an iconic role in 1982’s epic monster movie ‘The Thing’ & also another of my favorite 80’s films ‘Cocoon’. Wilfred had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment and his fight finally ended today. He was an icon in his own right and even appeared in a cool 90’s alien horror movie I just watched for the first time a few nights ago, ‘Progeny’. Rest in peace Wilfred and thanks again for your role in the 4th BEST Star Wars film of all time…..
The Late Great Roddy Piper’s Mini H.P. Lovecraft Adventure!!
I just had to do a post about this cool little short horror film most genre fans missed out on, it’s something I’ve been waiting years to check out, especially since it features the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper in the lead role! ‘Portal to Hell’ was one of Roddy Piper’s the last projects he filmed back in 2015 just before he sadly passed away. This crowd funded short was originally supposed to be the pitch for a feature film. Unfortunately that never happened for obvious reasons. At least we have this rad little 12 minute horror comedy which really should’ve been included in some sort of larger horror anthology feature film as I think it’d made for a sweet little installment.
I’ve always suspected Roddy would have made for a great “Ash” type horror hero and this could have been the spark that ignited that flame. For years I’d check to see if the short film had been released anywhere but never could find much info about it at all. The other day I randomly did a Youtube search and the whole thing popped up for all to see just nine months ago. On on minuscule budget, I think they did a great job with this little horror story and but I’m even more bummed Roddy wasn’t able to become the star of his own unique little horror franchise. If you’re a Lovecraft fan or just love Rowdy Roddy Piper you’ve gotta check this out! Spread this around, it should have way more than just 900 views!
RIP John Carl Buechler: Remembering His Amazing Movie Monsters!!
Yesterday we heard the news of master special effects artist / director John Carl Buechler’s passing & it reminded me once again of just how amazing his work in the industry was and just how many of the movies he was involved with have been a huge part of growing up. From cult classics like Troll, Dolls & The Dungeonmaster to arguably the best installment of Friday The 13th, Part VII: The New Blood to Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, his work has brought me soooo much joy throughout my life as a movie maniac.
As one of the biggest fans of monster movies, he brought some of the best to the big and small screen. It led me to comb Youtube for some choice clips of his that feature some of my favorite creations of his. They just don’t make em’ like this anymore, Mr. Buechler you will be missed but your incredible creatures will live on forever, that is for sure…
Comic Book Cover of the Week: Muhammad Ali vs. Superman!!
There’d just be no better time to post this legendary comic book cover, yesterday we lost boxing legend Muhammad Ali at the age of 74. I really don’t need to go into much detail about the legend as he’s one of the most well known athletes of all time. However some people may not have known that he had a part in the DC universe when he took on Superman in a boxing match!
Yeah the two squared off in a fight to save planet earth from an alien invasion! This was an epic comic at 72 pages in length Superman was in the fight of his life!! Ali is also rumored to have written all of his own dialogue and make a specific request, that in the book he would discover Superman’s true identity.
RIP Muhammad, you were a real life Superhero…..
Here’s the full scoop on the legendary comic book-check it out!!!
R.I.P. Rowdy Roddy Piper!!
Some sad news hit us today as we have just learned Roddy Piper Passed away unexpectedly today from cardiac arrest. Roddy was a legend as a wrestler and also as an actor, starring in some of my favorite popcorn flicks like ‘Hell Comes to Frogtown’ and ‘They Live’.
Piper was only 61 years old too and from what I understand has several movies set to be released and a few he was still working on. One I’d been most excited for is ‘Portal to Hell‘ which I covered here a while back as well as a few other movies in post production ‘The Chair’, ‘Green Fairy’ and ‘Betting on Baker’ which I’m going to have to do a little investigating on now.
He also this year, had a cool graphic novel released Rowdy ‘Roddy Piper: Monster Killer’ that I need to check out and also his popular podcast called Piper’s Pit he’s been doing for quite some time now. So a sad moment as he was a legend and had so much more to offer us all. He was a big part of my childhood as my favorite pro wrestling villain of all time! You’ll be missed Roddy! Check these out for some classic Piper! The first one is pretty awesome, the pilot for the TV show “Tag Team” which a lot of people never even knew existed!
Sweethaven: The Real Life Popeye Village! RIP Robin..
It was very sad news yesterday hearing of the passing of Robin Williams, in a weird way he felt like he was a friend though i never met him. He seemed like a kind soul and it’s always so sad when someone takes their own life. When I was a child just six years old my mother took me to see the Popeye movie, Robin’s first starring role. I had already been a HUGE fan of Popeye as a child and seeing Williams brings him to life was truly a memory for me that I still cherish. I remember the day perfectly still. So last night I decided I would put on my Popeye dvd and it’s still just as charming in 2014.
One thing that I noticed again that simply amazed me was the setting and the sets that were used on this film. It’s such an incredibly beautiful landscape and the actual village that Popeye lands in is simply one of the most unique film settings I have ever seen. It dawned on me, what should have been very obvious, that the village of Sweethaven as it’s called in the movie must have been a real place! This was not a CGI creation and today you would most likely never see something like this in any movie. What’s more impressive is that this place was created by a film crew!
Here’s some info from Amusing Planet:
“When Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures decided to make a movie based on the popular cartoon strip Popeye, the production team picked the opened faced Anchor Bay in the north-west corner of the Mediterranean island of Malta, two miles from the village of Mellieħa, as location for Popeye’s fictional village of Sweethaven.
Construction of the film set started in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 worked over seven months building the village as described by the comic strip’s creator E.C. Segar. Nineteen authentic wooden buildings were built from hundreds of logs and several thousand wooden planks imported from the Netherlands, while wood shingles used in the construction of the roof tops were imported from Canada. Eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint were consumed in construction. In addition, a 200–250 foot breakwater was built around Anchor Bay’s mouth to protect the set from high seas during the shooting.
Today the movie set is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex. Aside from the village itself, there are boat trips around Anchor Bay, audio-visual shows which includes clips from the actual film and the set’s construction, water trampolines, mini golf, and other games and fun activities.”
I don’t know about you but suddenly I feel the urge to explore Malta and visit the Popeye village myself….amazing…check out the official Popeye village website!
Siskel & Ebert “Evil Dead” 1981 Review
Today we had the passing of Roger Ebert a true mogul in the world of movies. A big part of my childhood as well, as his TV show was seen many times for me in the 1980’s as a kid and I pretty much always could trust his judgement on films. It’s kinda strange knowing we won’t be hearing more from him, but he left behind a legacy…
I thought I’d at the very least post the Siskel and Ebert review of the original Evil Dead back in 1981, as the big hype seems to be the release of the remake this week. Ebert in this one seems to understand that there was something special about the original here. It was always so interesting hearing what these two icons had to say and they did some review some cool and lesser known movies at the time. So what did they have to say about the original? Check it out….Thanks again for Ebert for guiding us to better movies, rest in peace….
R.I.P. Hostess: Classic Twinkie Moments!!.
Could it be true? The Twinkie is gone forever?! No more Ho Ho’s?! No more Ding Dongs?! Or those fruit pies? Or those Cup Cakes? Well truth be told I never ate many Twinkies or Hostess stuff in general when I was a kid, I really wanted to but Mom was always warning me that they were way too bad for me to consume! I was more of a Little Debbie kinda guy. That probably wasn’t much better really. I did however seriously love the Marvel Twinkie mini comics they’d put into the regular issues!
Anyway today we hear the news that Twinkies may be gone for good (which I highly doubt) I can’t say I am too sad but somewhere people are probably really upset! So here’s a few vintage Twinkie commercials in honor of one of the strangest most unhealthy kids snacks of all time!
We’ll Miss You MCA….
Who the heck doesn’t love the Beastie Boys?! If you don’t then you probably don’t like having fun plain and simple. We all know that MCA sadly passed yesterday and one thing is for certain he will be missed. Him and the Boys have been putting out great albums to this day. He’s a huge influence in the world of hip hop and a truly amazing MC. Once again we lose another great entertainer far too young…