Tagged: TIm Burton

Lost Gems of the 80s: The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents!

I’ve been delving deeply into old 1980s horror/fantasy television shows and lovin’ it, because one thing I’ve noticed is nobody does it quite like they did back then in the “golden era” of horror- Even when it comes to TV shows!

After watching the totally radical ‘Amazing Stories’ series and the Twilight Zone 80s revival I was sooo ready for more. Digging deep back into my memories of my childhood I clearly remember the obvious choice: ‘The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ that ran from ’85-1989.

I have some fond memories of this show and one episode in particular that stuck in my mind all of these years right up to today. Part of me was wondering if I’d maybe in fact dreamt up this particular episode of the show? Not the case. In fact upon watching the 1st few episodes it was clear, this was going to be a fun ride of full on nostalgia done to perfection! I imagine remembering an episode plot from well over 35 years ago is a good sign of a memorable show? I think so!

This series, at least for me. way back then was paired in a sort of “power hour” with Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’. The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents is full of twists, turns, star studded cameos and now famous directors. A mix of horror, suspense and most importantly MURDER, fuel this nearly forgotten gem. It originally aired on NBC but was canceled, later being picked up on the USA Network thankfully!

Nearly every episode has a familiar face, which really makes half of the fun here and every so often a surprise director comes comes on to the scene, like a particular episode called ‘The Jar’ which  is helmed by Tim Burton himself and drips with his signature tone and style.

There’s also some great star studded appearances featuring the likes of Mark Hamill, Mia Sara, a VERY young Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, Michael Ironside And many more.

One of my all time favorite episodes is ‘Night Creatures’ one of the only 100% supernatural fueled episodes. It plays out more like an incredible schlocky neon drenched 1980s tv pilot than a single episode. It features a punk rock goth rock star who’s secretly a bloodthirsty vampire and would be a welcome entry into any 1980s heavy metal horror anthology! 

There are so many excellent episodes here to behold, I really can’t recommend this series enough for those those eighties horror hounds in search of some memorable cheez. Of course there are some misses among the 40 plus episodes of 4 seasons.  The show covers a lot of interesting but disturbing topics too like “kids playing with guns” in one of the most unsettling episodes you’re likely to see in the series and  of course that classic episode that always stuck with me featuring a woman who’s been brutally assaulted and her husband heads off on his own to stalk the perp. The twist here is one of the most chilling of the entire series! 

Lastly Martin Sheen shines as a crazy aging actor who’s hellbent on landing a role so much so that he goes to the extremes of murder to get what he wants! His performance is so over the top and enjoyable It’s by far one of the standout performances of the series.

This elusive little series deserves a sweet blu ray release, I found a bootleg copy of the entire series on eBay which has been a truly fun ride over the past few weeks!  Luckily many of the episodes can be actually found right on YouTube. Hunt this long lost gem down and treat yourself to the golden era of mystery and horror with the new Alfred Hitchcock presents! Here’s a  great episode to start you off!

Listen Up Hollywood! The Dark Night Returns: Starring Michael Keaton!

So I’m just not that pumped on the whole Ben Affleck Batman scenario. I get that he probably just landed his dream job and that they want Batman and Superman to appear in a movie together but I think we could shoot higher! Let’s think about another more exciting movie sequel, a live action “Dark Knight Returns” starring Michael Keaton once again as Batman!!

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I was watching Keaton in a movie recently and it dawned on me that he’s the perfect age to play Batman again, in the role from the legendary Frank Miller story. Seriously. I think this is something that they need to make happen. It would make for quite a treat to all Batman fans and maybe, just maybe we could get Tim Burton to direct. I really don’t trust Burton with anything these days, I suppose he’d need to somehow insert Johnny Depp into the equation, hell maybe he could play Robin?! That’d be if we changed the sex of Robin for the movie but hey it could work if that’s what burton really needed to make himself happy! But if we could get Burton to go back to his roots with this one it’d be quite an experience!

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So what about the Joker you ask? Well…no brainer, Jack Nicholson of course as an old Joker would be absolutely fantastic! Because guess what? The Joker didn’t die in the original Burton movie! Nope! Because we’ve seen it happen in the comics many times, we all know he never truly dies nor do any valuable characters. However they better jump on this idea quick as we’ve heard rumors of Nicholson possibly retiring. How great would this be as his last hurrah?! The movie could show a recap of what happened throughout the years between them, with Keaton’s Batman and we could stick to the same visual style of the first movies.

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To me that sounds like a good time. Far far better than Ben Affleck jumping into the next Superman flick. I mean the first Superman was sufficient but it really didn’t captivate audiences in the way they’d anticipated. But that means that we would hypothetically need a Superman for this Burton version, so who’d fit the bill? I wouldn’t be opposed to Cavill returning, though this universe may be to Burton-esque for him, I’d be ok more so with Brandon Routh returning to the role as he has that Christopher Reeve vibe and ultimately his Superman would have fit pretty good into the 1989 Batman’s universe quite nicely. So there you have it Hollywood! Make this shit happen! This would truly be an exciting venture I’d pay to see more than once!

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What do YOU think?

Silver Screen Supermen: The Blog of Steel by Chris “Optional” Gray

Hey folks, its Chris “Optional” Gray here bringing you a guest piece for Universal Dork. This blog was promised to Mr. Saturday long ago, and much like the topic this blog is covering there have been many set backs, production delays, casting issues, wardrobe disputes, you know, the typical things that can go wrong with writing a blog. My original idea was to compare and contrast the film making efforts between Marvel and DC, but that subject is for another time and day.Today we will be focusing on the Man of Steel himself, Superman and his adventures on the silver screen.

The first time Superman was brought to the big screen was in 1941 with the Fleischer Studios animated shorts, bringing the Caped Crusader to life for the first time. These shorts are absolute classics and have endured the test of time so much to be readily available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.They perfectly capture the Superman of that early era.They feel like your reading a short comic in a newspaper fun,fast and a feast for the eyes especially if you love old animation.

The next time Superman graced the screen was in 1948 when Alan Kyrk starred in the theatrical series, which were very similar in style to George Reeve’s later television series. Unfortunately, Kyrk really lacked any kind of screen presence to pull off the roles of Superman and Clark Kent. The most entertaining aspect of the shorts comes from the lack of budget that prevented them from actually showing Kyrk take flight, those segments had to be animated which while distracting is still very entertaining. It makes even the worst modern day CGI look glorious in comparison, but the shorts still come off as enjoyable.

Now we come to George Reeve’s debut as Superman in the little known B-Movie Superman and The Molemen Continue reading

Michael Bay Destroys Our Childhood Nostalgia & I Don’t Care!!

I really don’t spend too much time thinking about Michael Bay or the fact that he likes to takes everything we loved from our yesteryears as children and teenagers and turns them into a pile of dirty Depends. Really the more I think about it all the more I really really just don’t care anymore! Yeah he had a shot at making an amazing Transformers movie but did you really think anyone in mainstream Hollywood was going to make some totally cool movie version really in this day and age?

Fat chance, every now and again we get something really good these days like The Dark Knight or Hellboy II from Hollywood. But all you fanboys and gals out there need to get over it and move on already! You want to watch a good Transformers movie? Then watch the classic Transformers movie from the 80’s! Are you pissed that Bay has got his hands on the Teenage…or um, sorry excuse me, “Ninja Turtles” franchise? Well then read the original series from the mid 1980’s because you know what? They already fucked up the film when they made it in 1990, I remember back in the day I thought the movie was a watered down shitty ass kiddie version of the dark themes of the original books.

Sure today I accept it and even have a soft spot for the live action cheez of the early 90’s TMNT films complete with Vanilla Ice lets not forget. Sure Bay making a movie will suck big time of course but it’s not like it’s going to be competing against cinematic genius of the original Turtles movies!

So yeah now he’s going to make some Halloween movies. He’s already ruined Freddy, Jason & Leatherface so for him to leave out Mike Myers would be sorta just incomplete in the grand scheme in the shittiest way possible. Besides Rob Zombie already put a lame spin on the franchise when he tried to remake them!

So really at this point who cares? Personally I’m a little tired of Michael Myers anyway I mean the guy doesn’t even speak for cryin’ out loud. People now do you all really need to see him in yet another damn film anyway?! I mean we’ve got like ten films as it is!! Same really goes for Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Chucky ect ect ect….I if want to see a good film I’ll watch the originals. I just don’t care anymore-I’m tired of schlock that they try to spoon feed us-so you know what? I just am not going even bother anymore. Personally there are a lot more exciting things going on that are new and fresh ideas-Did you all see Attack the Block last year? Or Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil? There are still NEW ideas out there being made that are great. But people don’t expect Hollywood to churn out classics anymore of your favorite childhood nostalgia-watching these major blockbuster movies is like eating shitty junk food and washing it down with some neon colored extreme Gatorade. Sooner or later you’re gonna puke and instead eat something that in the end is better for you and made with a little more care.

So I say Michael Bay, Tim Burton & all you other modern day hacks eat your heart out-go crazy-remake it all! Rob our childhoods! I probably won’t even notice that it’s happening because I have got the classics still and can’t wait for the next new fresh ideas to hit the screens or my dvd player. But the rest of you people stop going and see all this shitty cinema and then complaining! You are all the reason that he keeps on making more shit in the end….

The Original ” A Nightmare Before Christmas” ?!

Wow we were all fooled into thinking “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was so damn original when it came out-but that’s because most people I know never even knew that Rankin / Bass’ “Mad Monster Party” even existed!! I know that I didn’t but it’s a documented fact that Tim Burton did and it was a big influence on his stop motion stuff. I am probably the biggest Rankin / Bass Christmas Special fan of all time – but today I just discovered the Rankin / Bass stop motion animated world is larger than I imagined! That’s quite a good thing!

This movie has got classic monsters like The Werewolf, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Hunchback, Invisible Man, Jekyll & Hyde, Mummy, It ( a King Kong knock off), Dracula, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein and his Bride played by Phyllis Diller. It’s also penned by MAD magazine writer Harvey Kurtzman!

So this is on my list of must see dvds. I know that it was released in 2009 on dvd so I assume it’s going to be easy to find and probably right on youtube. It came out in 1967 yet it took me until 2012 to discover-I love it!! It makes me wonder how many other great stop motion movies are out there that I have no clue about?! It will be a fun search….

Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter Trailer Finally Hits!

Ok so let me first say that I thought Abe Lincoln in reality was pretty much a total dickhead. Yeah normally when you think of him from what we “learned” in school he’s thought of as man who ended slavery. While that’s essentially true what is often not spoken of is the fact that he actually was a racist weenie.

Don’t believe it do a little quick research and you can find out how this jerk really felt about the whole situation here are a few of his words you can easily find in seconds upon searching:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races [the crowd applauds] – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the black and white races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 1858

Yeah what a prick huh? Well that kinda sours a movie hitting the theaters soon for me, Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter. I just watched the trailer today and it looks pretty rad! This is obviously a fictionalized Lincoln, kinda like a What If? comic. Like what if Lincoln wasn’t a racist douche and actually fought vampires?!

I love the period of the movie and the fact that Russian director Tim Bekmambetov, who’s most well known for the Night Watch & Day Watch movies that were a good time, though not quite as epic as I had hoped they’d be. Also the movie is produced by Tim Burton, not that that means anything to anyone anymore after movies like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.So far it looks great and at the very least it’ll be a fun one in the theater…but really do we need more fictionalized versions of Lincoln the liberator? Not really but I’ll for two hours pretend this guy wasn’t a total A-hole…..

The Apes are Back AGAIN!

Check out this brand new trailer for the upcoming “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” movie. This is the prequel that tells the story of how the apes became “intellegent” and then became the rulers of  Earth. It looks like a  pretty interesting movie so far and  hopefully it will be leaps and bounds  better than Tim Burtons flop!  This is one story that needs to be told and so far it looks like Weta has done a good job with the Apes-what do you think?

Vampire Hunting with Tim Burton & Abraham Lincoln!

It appears that Tim Burton is getting ready to jump on the vampire bandwagon. It’s just been reproted that Burton and Timur Bekmambetov are developing an adaption of  Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The novel is the story of Abe Lincoln who over the years becomes an expert axe throwing vampire slayer after his mother is murdered by the undead. It has always been said that Lincoln was a good brawler and this book and now movie are gonna take that to the next level as he delivers some serious smackdown on any blood sucker that dares step in his path.

 Burton and Bekmambetov also teamed up Continue reading

Batman movies should go back to Tim Burton.

“Never rub another man’s rhubarb.”

-The Joker

I was watching the 1989 Batman movie the other day, mainly as an attempt to convince myself that it’s actually another Prince movie (which is the reason I look forward to time travel. I will convince his Purple Majesty to make more), but  instead I found myself enjoying it the way I did in the theater that summer as a nine year-old.

Following  it up with Batman Returns, I reached a  holy shit! type of epiphany: It hit me why I love these movies so much: They feel like comic books. The Joker, The Penguin, the Gotham City sets, the costumes. They were suspenseful but very comic-like. Dark in a way (Pee Wee dumping a child in a sewer at Christmas!), but also really comical (Pee Wee dumping a child in a sewer at Christmas).

This really got me thinking that Tim Burton needs to continue where he left off. He started something great that went on to become something like the comic-book equivalent of the mullet and more recently to the great, but all-too “real”. Batman doesn’t need to be fucking real, he’s Batman! The more I think about, the less I want his costumes and finances explained to me. Fuck Lucious Fox and Research and Development (But let’s keep Morgan Freeman in it somewhere) and dog-resistant kevlar. Why do we even need to know that stuff?

Continue reading