Tagged: Sci Fi

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!

 

 

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Comic Cover of the Week: Those Weirdo 70’s Hulk Villains!

Damn do I miss me some old school Hulk adventures! The Hulk comics will never quite be the same it seems and I don’t expect them to be I mean it’s goddamn 2017 and we’ve now got “Totally Awesome Hulk” instead. That’s fine, but long gone are the days of the crazy old school sci-fi superhero adventures of the Jade Giant. I just love the look of these old vintage covers and Incredible Hulk #213 from 1977 capture exactly the vibe I’m referring to. I mean, hell, how awesome is The Quintronic Man?! What a classic weirdo Hulk villain. I love this era of Hulk comics where you’d just be super stoked to see the Hulk’s next big brawl as some super powered mad scientists pester him into a total rage. A total classic cover by Rich Buckler and Ernie Chan! Oh those were the days!!

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.

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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!

 

wiFree : The Future of the World as We Know It?!

There’s a cool little project of grand proportions that recently came to my attention that could change the world as we know it! This cool Kickstarter campaign intends to pose some big questions about the future of our modern society and the radical change technology casts upon our world. wiFree will be a short film offered to everyone on the internet for free upon it’s completion, now that’s something we can all get behind!

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The short will tackle some questions about modern technology and the human gods that deliver it all to us. Most fascinating is premise, where a Steve Jobs type character dying of a terminal illness decides to unleash ground breaking new product that would provide free energy to the people of the world. Sounds wonderful huh? Well guess what, a situation like that might be the biggest threat to the giant corporations who’re behind the curtain of our pulling the strings of our elected officials. wiFree presents a grand conspiracy to silence real change for the betterment of the planet by those trusted govern  over us. Continue reading

Should William Shatner Return to Star Trek?!

Well, well, well, so William Shatner came out in the news this week stating that he’d be open to playing an aged Captain Kirk in an upcoming Star Trek film. Now we all know that Kirk supposedly bit the dust in ‘Star Trek: Generations’ back in 1994 in the most un-epic way possible. Yep he fell basically off a rock. Well maybe, just maybe, they need to give Shatner’s version of Kirk some redemption and let’s face it there’s plenty of ways he could come back or be found alive somehwere, somehow- I mean it’s Star Trek for cryin’ out loud!

I think if Shatner is down for it there’s no question let’s get him in one last movie before it’s too late. Better yet, how about the next movie follows not a reincarnated older Kirk, or a Kirk “Prime” character but perhaps just a leap in the future for Chris Pines Kirk? Now people may immediately say no one is gonna watch a new Star Trek movie without Chris Pine and Crew and I’d have to simply remind them that we’re talking another Trek flick with…..um….William Shatner! He’s everything that IS legendary about Star Trek. The people will come trust me. The 1995 Book series Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden had featured his character brought back to life in the Next Generation era. How great would that be to see that crew on the big screen again?

Here’s what Bill had to say about it all: 

“I would play an old Captain Kirk, absolutely. You would have [to have] an interesting character, not a cameo, like ‘Here I am, aren’t I interesting?’ It’s the ongoing world, it’s the world within science-fiction. Yes, you age within the universe. Time goes on, but time bends, as well. There’s so many things you could do.”

He went on to state “How would they handle it, in science-fiction terms?” Shatner said on a podcast, which is produced by The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m older, I’m heavier, I’m — all the problems of age. So what did Captain Kirk do? Die and age? Doesn’t sound science-fictiony enough. Or maybe you make him really old. I don’t know. It seems to have beggared Abrams’ imagination.”

Let me also clarify this here as well, the upcoming “Star Trek Beyond”, helmed by The Fast & Furious’ Justin Lin looks like an atrocious insult to any longtime fan of Star Trek. The trailer is an embarrassment to the franchise name. It bears no resemblance to anything Star Trek related. It’s simply dumbed down Star Trek for the ADD generation. I’m hesitantly willing to give it a chance as it just might be the ploy of Hollywood to make the series ultra hip, totally sexy and overly action packed in the trailer.  It’s like a lame ass Xtreme Star Trek Red Bull commercial.

 But what the fuck do I know…Star Trek Beyond could be end up being “like the best thing ever, man”. But one thing I do know for certain is that something is seriously missing from today’s version of Star Trek. Star Trek used to set trends, not fall prey to conforming to the trends. We used to get cool cerebral sci fi tales with the action sprinkled in just the right places. I think getting Shatner involved just might be what the franchise needs to bring some of that old magic back and set the course of the Enterprise in a different direction that all of us Star Trek fans can appreciate….

Comic Book Cover of the Week: The Hulk’s Vintage Magazine Career!!

So this week I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and showcase some of my favorite comic covers that are actually covers from the Hulk’s magazine career back in the late 1970’s. There were two, The Rampaging Hulk and The Hulk were both in magazine format and usually featured back up stories from lesser know superheroes or extra’s on the Hulk and many times his villains. These were extra special because the covers were almost always super spectacular paintings of the big ol’ green guy! So here a re some of my favorites check em’ out-they just don’t make em’ like this any more! These are truly INCREDIBLE!

Universal Dork’s Picks for Cool New Movies!

Ok so we all saw Avengers: Age of Ultron, and while I was amused by it, it really to me felt like a bit of a repeat of the first movie. If there’s one thing I don’t need ANY more of is The Movie Avengers fighting giant hordes of shiny clone like CGI enemies in the third act demolishing a big city. Like not ever again. So enuff about that shit and the giant Hollywood Blockbusters, here’s a quick list of some movies I am personally looking forward too that should be hitting theaters soon!

Cooties:

I’m sick and tired of Zombie movies. We don’t need any more at all probably ever again for the rest of eternity. But for some reason this one is a little different than the usual fare. A virus that only effects people who’ve not gone through puberty?! Cooties looks like a great time and funny too!

Forbidden Empire:

This one looks like a total trip and jam packed with neat looking monsters! Basically the tale of a guy who’s dead set on mapping out Transylvania (never a good idea folks) and while doing so discovers a secret forest that holds a ton of creepy creatures! This looks like my kind of flick!

Backcountry:

I think this one is already out in select theaters, though it hasn’t hit my city yet. Anyway I’m a big fan of survival movies and giant crazed grizzly bears! So here we get both! This one looks like it’s got the perfect blend of survival and jaws like terror in the woods! Sign me up for a camping trip in Backcountry!!

The Final Girls:

I’ve been hearing some great things about this one which looks like a total riot. It’s basically the story of a group of teens who are transported into a supernatural slasher movie from the 1980’s! This film stars one of the teen girls mother as the scream queen, so it has a bit of a Back to the Future vibe. She has to team up with her mom in a fight for her life-I hear this one has a ton of laughs and a lot of heart-Still no trailer for this one but we have a neat-o clip! check it!

Harbinger Down:

I’ve been pumped about this all practical effects monster movie for the longest time! It looks like in 2015 we’ll finally get to see this one. It’s basically “The Thing” on a boat!! A kind of redemption for the lackluster Thing prequel we got in 2011-by the same team who worked on the effects that were scrapped for CGI. Can’t wait!