When we think of Marvel Comics’ most Halloween themed characters normally The Green Goblin or The Hobgoblin come to mind first. However there’s one villain who takes the cake as the most Halloween themed character in all of the Marvel’s history: Jack-O-Lantern!
This character might be a bit of a rip off of The Green Goblin but I’ve always thought he was pretty cool looking, pretty bad ass and a bit underutilized as a villain. Oddly enough he 1st appeared in Machine Man #19 from 1981, the same year as the Spider-man issue showcased above.
Obviously Jack-O is the perfect villain for the Halloween season! He’s battled a lot of A-listers like like Captain America, as you can see right here hes got some spooky skills to show off.
He definitely deserves some love today and though I could go on and give you his entire back story why not just take a look at this awesome little entry in the Marvel Universe Official Handbook from way back in the day for the scoop on this weirdo!
Ok it’s ON!! Halloween time viewing is in FULL effect here at U-Dork so naturally we’ve gotta get our groove on with some often forgotten gems of Halloween that are an absolute essential watch- Especially if you’re a big fan of eighties horror! One of my favorite shows of that era, the brilliant horror anthology TV series Tales from the Darkside!
This 4 season series contains 3 of my all time favorite Halloween horror stories & they’re so well done that if you put all of them together in a film anthology with a wrap-around plot line it’d make for probably one the best Halloween themed movies of the 1980s! So find these streaming this year or go do yourself a favor and buy the whole collection on dvd. Make sure though to bookmark these 3 this year and watch them all in a row.
First up ‘The Cutty Black Sow’ from Season 4 (1988).
This is easily gotta be one of the most terrifying episodes of of the series & also one of the strangest titles to boot. During Halloween a family is hit with the tragic death of a beloved grandmother. Just before she passes though she relays a cryptic warning to one of the children to beware of ‘the cutty black sow’ on All Hallows Eve, an evil demonic creature that seeks harm to the family and steal souls. This episode is filled with the sense of dread as a thick impending doom oozes through Halloween night air & the children wonder if their great grandmother’s warning is indeed one to be taken seriously. A creepy taut Halloween gem with a horrifying ending!
Second is ‘Halloween Candy’ from Season 2, (1985)
Again one of the best episodes of the series hands down and directed by make up wizard/horror icon Tom Savini! This tale features a grumpy old man who absolutely loathes the Halloween season and more-so those pesky trick or treaters. However this Halloween he gets WAY more than he bargained for when an evil troll comes to his door asking for Halloween candy! This little monster is an absolute delight to behold, It’s clear that Savini has his FX work cut out for him as it’s one of the coolest little troll/goblin like creatures to hit the big or small screen. It’s also an incredibly creepy Halloween themed slice of horror, with a bit of a moral lesson at it’s core. It’s best not to be an asshole on All Hallows Eve especially if you live alone on a dark street & a weird trick-or-treater shows up in the dead of night. Filled with tense atmosphere and crafted by an icon, it’s no wonder this episode is a such TREAT!
Lastly is the very 1st episode of the entire series ‘Trick-or-Treat’ (1984) and in my opinion probably the best of the entire series altogether.
Co-written by George Romero and directed by well known actor Bob Balaban who also directed the 1989 cult horror film ‘Parents’, they give us a truly wicked Halloween adventure! A greedy old scrooge like miser basically runs a small town where everyone seems to be suffering and in debt to him. Every Halloween he opens the doors to his house of horrors where he geefully sits at a control booth, triggering terrifying sounds, traps & puppeteering animatronic creatures rigged to scare small children. This isn’t done to entertain the kids, it’s however a challenge to the smalltown children to search for the debts of their parents. If they find them, their families are forgiven of their monetary burdens. The old codger takes way too much sadistic pleasure in terrorizing the kids which makes this episode truly grim and unforgettable. He loves Halloween but for all the wrong reasons. Luckily in a turn of events he himself is faced with true terror and all bets are off this Halloween! Filled with incredible iconic horror imagery, thrills, heart and some amazing practical effects work this is the absolute standout must see episode of the series! It would also be the perfect finale for a Halloween horror anthology-This year don’t sleep on these episodes they’re essential viewing every damn year for one of the greatest holidays of all time!!
It’s funny how many movies in the 1980’s focus for some reason on the game of paintball for inspiration. I mean, I lived the 80’s and yes indeed paintballin’ was all the rage, so I guess it’s no wonder that movies like ‘The Zero Boys’, ‘Masterblaster’ & even the 1989 Mexican Gem ‘Trampa Infernal’ all begin with their main characters playing paintball & eventually using said paintball skills in a real life adventure.
For you young folks paintball is a game usually played out in the woods where two teams compete with each other with loaded guns filled with paint ball pellets. In the 80’s apparently it readied you for crazy real life adventure. This is of course just how 1985’s sweet sexy action comedy begins!
Yep, Anthony Edwards stars as a college freshman named Jonathon, a down on his luck virgin but luckily, you guessed it, an expert paintballer. He spends much of his time playing paintball on the college campus during the day while also asking out any beautiful babe who crosses his path. He soon convinces his parents to pay for a European vacation, in hopes he can finally lose his damn virginity overseas. So in Paris, he meets a slightly older, more experienced woman named Sasha Banicek (Linda Fiorentino), a sexy mysterious Czech who invites him to accompany her to West Berlin. of course Jonathon is totally enamored & will do just about anything for her affection. Sasha however, is secretly desperate to get a roll of film to the CIA & slips Jonathan the package without telling him what’s inside. Oblivious of what he’s carrying, Jonathan must elude the sinister Soviet forces trailing him at all costs & lucky for him he’s already a well versed expert in the paintball game of “Gotcha”!
Ok so this one’s pretty much exactly the kind of 80’s flick I’m down to watch any damn day of the week! It’s a cool little comedic thriller that really could have only existed in the 1980’s. It’s got some college humor that might not exactly fly today, but it’s also got some great characters at it’s core that make up for any of those shortcomings. There’s plenty of romance to go around as well, as our hero who’s a failed Romeo finally lives up to the challenge and adventure thrown his way for the woman who he claims he “loves” after knowing her for only a few days. Hey we’ve all been there at least one though right? There’s also some decent action scenes and the setting of Paris to Berlin only add to the mystique of the whole debacle. It’s a near perfect 80’s coming of age adventure that also manages to take some unique twists and turns along the way, that keep you guessing to the very end. If you’re feeling like taking a time machine to simpler, more charming times, I highly recommend Gotcha! Oh yeah it’s theme song is worth the price of admission alone, it’s so damn catchy it’ll swirl in your mind for days after, check this one out for some sweet retro vibes from my personal favorite era of cinema.
It seems we have so many movies we can bring to mind that involve dogs as their stars, yet I’ve noticed when it comes to feline focused flicks there seems to be a bit of a shortage! Well I’m here today to give you a list of 10 of the best cat-riffic movies of time! The cat’s just don’t seem to get enough respect in the movie industry, I’m betting that is because it seems much more of damn hassle to get a cat do exactly what you want on screen, but cat lover’s rejoice- here’s some must see movies that you and your cat can get cozy with and have hours of serious bonding!!
1. Cat’s Eye (1985)
This one was a favorite of mine as a kid in the1980’s and it still holds up to this day! A great little three part horror anthology with the cat at the center of all the action. Especially in the the awesome third act of the movie where you get to see the feline do serious battle with a maniacal little troll!! My cat totally digs this one-it’s his favorite movie hands down!
2. Uninvited (1988)
Wow now this movie just plain RULES it! Total cheezy cat horror that’s bound to get any movie party in the mood to rage! This one features a cute little cat that’s got a demonic rat like creature living inside him that comes out to kill people when ever the cat get stressed out! The special effects in this one are awesome in the worst way possible! This freakazoid cat jumps onto a yacht with a bunch of dingbat college kids and some annoying criminals and has a jolly good time ripping them to shreds! A true feline classic!
3. The Cat From Outer Space (1978)
This one is a crowd pleaser for cats and humans alike! This one features a crashed spacecraft with an alien cat as it’s pilot. The cat’s got some weird ass name and he can communicate with humans. Of course the authorities are after the cat so they can do stupid experiments on it. But a man named Frank is there luckily to help this feline escape earth, kinda like E.T. with a cat!
4. Strays (1991)
Another domestic house cat horror flick, which my cat seems to always totally dig! This one features a family who adopt some strays but end up with a whole horde of vicious cats terrorizing their household! This one isn’t really going to scare anyone but it might make you think twice before letting the cute lil’ stray into your home for a bowl of milk!!
5. Felidae (1994)
This is a cool animated German feline flick that’s sure to get your cat’s heart a pumpin’! We have some great animation as well as a cool mystery that a cat decides to solve! This one might not be best for the little kids as it revolves around a string of cat murders in a neighborhood, but it’s a good one for any cat who’s looking for a little suspense between their naps!
6. The Black Cat (1934)
This one doesn’t have nearly enough cat action in it, but most cats will appreciate the fact that there’s a creepy black cat that causes a helluva lot of fear to some travelers who seek medical attention after an accident on the road in Hungary. The cat takes the back seat a bit in this one but at it’s core is the center of dread throughout the movie! Also cats seem to just dig the movie’s name a lot.
7. Aristocats (1970)
This is a classic cartoon for people of all ages and cats alike! This one involves some cats who inherit a mega fortune from their owner and a butler who’s pissed off about it! I guess I can kinda understand the butler’s frustration here, I mean what the hell are cats going to do with a bunch of money and material shit anyway?! Well the butler decides to kidnap the cats and from there a whole ball of kitty mayhem ensues!
8. Homeward Bound (1993)
Another Disney movie that this time features a real life cast of animals. It’s got a cat teaming up with a couple dogs who find crazy adventure as they head off to find their real owners! This movie had some controversy around it because of all of the dangerous scenes the animals filmed. But as far as I know none of the animals were harmed in the filming, just real stressed out! This one I recommend talking about with your cat before viewing it to see if perhaps it’s going to get upset about the controversial side of this one, but also be sure to mention it’s got Michael J. Fox voicing one of the characters and Sally Field as the cat. I mean that’s some serious star power right?
9. Sleep Walkers (1992)
This is a pretty rad Stephen King horror film about some weird ass people who can transform into “Were-cats” and choice of dinner is human virgins! Dang! Well it just so happens that their weakness is the domestic house cat who can see through their disguise and whose bites and claws can literally destroy them! My cat loves the final attack scene with the horde of house cats and the flaming explosion!! My cat totally loves Clovis the cat and has modeled much of his behavior after him!
10. A Cat In Paris (2010)
This one is a great animated foreign feature for the distinguished cat in the family! A great little adventure that features a cat who aides his owner in burglaries around Paris. Soon though the adventure really gets cookin’ when the cat himself has to help a little girl escape from the clutches of some evil gangsters! This one has it all mystery, action, class and cat courage galore!
and one more that deserves an honorable mention…
11. That Darn Cat (1965)
This one’s full of fun as a frisky cat aides a woman who’s been kidnapped find her freedom! The cat here leads the FBI on the ride of their life! If your cat likes vintage 1960’s fashion that’s a plus here too!
Here’s some really rad Christmas themed comic book covers from yesteryear to get you into the holiday mood! Check out these 24 holiday comic book covers and have an awesome Christmas eve night! Ho Ho Ho!!
I love digging up cool comic books that took place around Christmas time and Daredevil #229 fits that bill quite perfectly! This is an especially rad cover of a time when Matt Murdock went homeless on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen due to the Kingpin ruining his entire life. This has got to be one of the lowest points in the characters history as Murdock is down on his luck in this grim story arc written by Frank Miller before he turned into a crazy douche bag. This issue also has one of the most brutal fights between Murdock and the Kingpin as they go head to head in Fisk’s office. It’s bloody and Matt gets his ass kicked big time…damn I’m feeling as I type this the urge to read these issues again immediately! The cover is brilliantly drawn back in 1986 by one of my fav artists David Mazzucchelli and clearly shows how crappy Christmas was that particular year for Daredevil….
Guess what? Easter Sunday is only a couple days away and I’m sure you’re all wondering what the heck are you going to watch later that night while munching down on all your chocolate Cadbury eggs? Well fear not fellow dorks that’s why I’m here to save your Easter with some useless knowledge!
Let me tell you there aren’t too many Easter themed horror movies out there and with the few there are to choose from it’s crucial you don’t waste your time this year. There are some newer movies like “Peter Rottentail”, “Easter Bunny, Kill Kill!” and “Kottentail” that you could waste your time with. All of them look like they’re filmed by high school students filming using their cell phones. So if that’s what you’re into don’t hesitate. I however will be watching the one and only great Easter themed movie….Critters 2!
The first Critters was pretty great obviously borrowing on the trend that the Gremlins started. Well part 2 is actually pretty damn fun also. Directed by Mick Garris this 1988 classic hits heavy on the Easter theme as the residents of the small town of Grover’s Bend mistake Critter eggs for Easter eggs, use them for the yearly egg hunt and soon they are rolling rampant wrecking havoc on the town! They even attack the Easter Bunny himself! So people make no mistake about it it’s Easter themed horror at it’s best…
Ok so I think we can all agree that puppets pretty much rule. Hands down. So I was thinking here at Universal Dork that I’d start doing a little research and find the BEST music videos featuring puppets-because really if you add a damn puppet to a music video it suddenly becomes the shit! Seriously even some songs that otherwise suck get ten times better when a mother fuckin’ puppet pops up in the video. So today I will start it off with a couple of my faves and one of which is an obvious choice for quite possibly best music video featuring puppets! It’s seriously gonna be hard to top the puppetry genious of Genesis’ “Land of Confusion”.
I have a feeling that it just may be the best puppet themed video of all time-but we’ll really just have to put it to the test as I will sporadically post them over the next two weeks to finally see who reigns supreme as the ultimate musical master of puppets! So stay tuned. First though check out the video I have a feeling no one can touch….
Pretty fucking genious huh??? If you remember these puppets were originally featured on a popular 80’s tv show called Spitting Image-apparently Phil Collins lost his shit when he saw the tv show the first time and called the creators of the it to ask them to make puppet versions of the whole band. Must be nice to be Phil huh??
Next check out this unique puppet video for the song “Package Thief” from one of my all time fav bands Superchunk! Continue reading