Tagged: robots

VHS Verdict 1987: ‘The Caller’ & The Art of the Twist Ending!

I checked out a perplexing VHS tape last night, ‘The Caller’, a “thriller” from 1987 starring Malcolm Mcdowell & Madolyn Smith. Now even though I’d been told this flick had a twist ending and even on the cover it boasts “a surprise ending”, somehow I’d just had no way of predicting what was gonna go down no matter how hard I tried during. That’s a pretty difficult task especially in this day and age. M Night Shyamalan eat your heart out. Warning, this one’s got a ton o’ dialogue and then some, oh boy and then some. At it’s beginning something is most definitely off with our two main characters and immediately my mind began racing to try to figure out just what the hell it could be. Basically it’s just two actors the entire movie and is a simple story about a woman who resides in an cabin out in the woods, who one dark night has a strange creeping man, Mcdowell, appear at her front door, claiming his car broke down and needs to use a phone.

From that point on both of these characters act in truly bizarre ways, they talk to each other about how they’d get away with murdering one another and at times actually get quite physical while doing so. There’s a ton of tense talk here and overacting a ‘plenty to behold from them both. The premise though startlingly simplistic and a bit absurd does a decent enough job of keeping you curious about where the fuck this one’s going to end up. It’s not the average “stalker” movie that the cover makes it out to be either, think more of an extended episode of The Twilight Zone instead. I’ve gotta admit the interesting thing about this one is that about an hour in I was getting a bit frustrated and had some serious doubts that things were going anywhere remotely interesting. There’s a lot of weird motive flip flopping amongst the two leads & at one point it almost seemed as if it might sharply go the erotic thriller route.

The odd banter at times can become quite tiresome but as the movie ended, I appreciated it and actually consider the lengthy chatty-ness of it all to make the finale that much more effective. Being a bit of a sleuth at the movie’s beginning I’d noticed a couple things that reinforced my will to stick it through to the end the first being the legendary horror b-movie bandit Charles Band was an executive producer, Richard Band did the music and also fx wizard John Carl Beuchler who’s know for his work on Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood (which is one of my faves), Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master & Re-Animator was behind the fx work. These three things should give you enough of a reason to check this one out, if in fact the names mean anything to you. Definitely a hidden gem, that most definitely worth one solid viewing!! It also may deserve a quick re-watch to see if there perhaps are some clues amidst all the dialogue that may have really foreshadowed the movies bizarre ending. A neat-o 80’s low budget mind bender~

I couldn’t find a trailer for this one but here’s the whole damn movie if you’re feeling frisky!

 

 

Advertisements

Comic Review: Quantum Teens Are Go!

I just checked out the debut issue of ‘Quantum Teens Are Go’ out now from Black Mask & as far as first issues go it’s got some pretty good things going for it. The book’s tone is super light hearted (which is a nice break form the grit) and if you’re a fan of those old 80’s teen sci-fi flicks movies like “My Science Project” you’ll likely dig this more updated take on the genre. The story starts out with a bang as our two daring teen characters are raiding a mysterious abandoned research facility in hopes of stealing something special. The place is guarded by robots and soon we see them running for their lives with their high profile stolen goods.

quantum-teens-are-go-review-universal-dork-jpg

We soon realize the teens are anything but normal as they seem to working on some sort of odd hi-tech machine in their garage carefully adding the mysterious stolen parts to the equation. We also come to find that one of the characters named “Nat” (formerly Brandon) is transitioning to a female gender clearly with some resentment from her parents. Hey boyfriend who’s kinda like a nerdy mad scientist has been hard at work on some sort of time travel machine and his grades are suffering. He’s also got issues with his “parents” who’ve taken him in as their own as we realize something has happened to his real family for unknown reasons as of yet at least to us.

‘Quantum Teens’ has some great modern day teen issues going in the story along with of course a bully in school who’s clearly got a problem with the two and the fact that Nat was once identifying as a boy. It’s got the current atmosphere of the times, which seems to be all the rage in the comics these days fitted in with a sweet little opening to what might just might prove to be an epic time travel adventure. Only problem is they’ve reached a point in their garage based science project that’s got them stumped. So they hit the streets in search of some answers from some pesky bandits who’re in a similar business…  

Hence we’re introduced to some other interesting supporting characters, one described as a poor man’s “Matthew Mcconaughey” who’s there to help the teens get their machine in working order. We’ve got a cute, bright and intriguing story set up here in the first issue that looks to be headed for some fun times. I totally dig simple stories like this that have a bit of a throwback feel to them harkening back to similar vibes like “Back to the Future”. The characters are witty, vibrant and the artwork is decent enough. Though this issue didn’t reinvent the wheel it’s a nice fast paced story so far that’s likely to put a smile on your face in these gloomy times as of late. Check it out if you’re looking for something that’s not going to depress the shit out of you!

 

Real Life Skynet: 2016’s Rise of the Robots!

These videos are making quite a stir this week as  Boston Dynamics has released a new video of their top robot star “Atlas” in motion! Next to Atlas in the video you can also see a few of his creepy robot buddies are also ready for “action”.

The opening looks like a team of robot superheroes ready to hit the real world and kick some butt. From what I understand these robots are being developed for the military-let’s just hope they don’t fullfill the prophecy of Skynet! For now let’s at least enjoy the vision of some pretty incredible technology as science fiction slowly becomes reality…

 

 

 

 

Automata: Antonio Banderas Shows The Fresh Prince How to do The Robot!!!

Been really digging what I have seen lately on the the upcoming “Automata” trailer starring Antonio Banderas! Can you believe it? I have a bit of a soft spot now for Antonio after seeing him in the latest Expendables movie, where he totally stole the show. Now we all can officially forget about the terrible pile of robotic bull shit that was I, Robot from 2004, you know the one with The Fresh Prince prancin’ around like a wise ass dipshit?! Here we have something that really looks quite a bit closer to Isaac Asimov’s vision, at least by the trailer, which is quite impressive.

It for starters blends some amazing special fx both digital and practical the way that it should have been done in the first place. Second it looks like it’s got a bit more heart and mind to it as well and even reminds me a bit of Blade Runner in the best ways possible. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet for this check it out, this looks like Sci-Fi done just the way I like it…

Rise of The Machines!! Real Life Robots are Preparing Take Over!!

I’m pretty amazed by these real life robot DARPA has been designing and a little bit frightened at the same time. DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They design some pretty weird things for the military that often times look and sound as if they were pulled from a science fiction movie.

darpa

Much of this agencies inventions are shrouded in secrecy but some of this stuff is making it’s way to the public today showing off the future of our military with weird robots seemingly pulled from a Terminator flick! Check out a few of these videos as they show off some of their robotic technology that’s still being developed! Watch out first we had the NSA and now we’ve gotta worry about killer government robots-anyone know where I can get a hold of Kyle Reese?!

Small Wonder: Television’s Best Kept Secret

After reading today, that an update of Short Circuit is in the works, I started thinking about my favorite 80’s robot from the sitcom, Small Wonder!

An extremely entertaining show full of ugly people that is best enjoyed the second time around. It stars Tiffany Brissette as Vicki the Robot, a little android girl created by her Geppetto-like father for the amusement of the rest of the Lawson family. Vicki sleeps inside a cabinet located in her hormonal ‘brother’ Jamie’s room when she’s not rapidly vaccuming the den or flapping her arms to gain flight for the viewer’s entertainment.

Small Wonder has many bizarre moments, most of which deal with Vicki’s dark side and her programming’s limits when it comes to common human-specific issues. Check out this video of Vicki learning about mortality:

If you’ve never seen this show and want the story before you plunk down hundreds of dollars for high-res bootlegs of the entire series’ run, then keep reading, but WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

Continue reading