11 October 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Part III: Dino-cartoons

So having just moved out to a remote part of the country it took a while to get reconnected albeit barely. Suffice to say it put a real stop on anything creative for a time... so finishing off this series of columns was important. Oddly enough flipping channels I came across Denver the Last Dinosaur which I haven't seen in years... reminded me I still had work to do. Without further ado, Part III

So Denver was found by and befriended by this group of kids at the La Brea tarpits and they have adventures like many of the cartoons of the day did.
The one episode that stands out in my mind is when the warring brothers who worked a pizza shack and the other a taco joint finally resolved their differences with a Taco Pizza. Something I need to try sometime

Dinosaucers were a bunch of anthropomorphic dinosaurs,who fought against the evil Tyrannos.
The evil Tyrannos squaring off against the Dinosaucers
I remember loving it when they would morph into their actual dinosaur selves for a brief period usually to duke it out or open a door or something pivotal to the episode. It was weird to me how they tried to divide both teams so equally... a tyrannosaurus rex vs an allosaurus , a triceratops vs a styracosaurus a brachiosaurus vs an apatosaurus etc etc. But it seemed to work!

Dinoriders. What can I say about an ultimate childhood favorite, I mean what else can be said about this:

It's an armored goddamn T-Rex shooting lasers.
Or this epic battle scene
Full on dinocombat. The good Valorians do battle against the evil Rulons who use their evil Brain Boxes to control the dinosaurs to do their bidding. Meanwhile the gentle Valorians simply communicate with their dinosaurian allies using telepathy. The figures were worth it as a kid and I had quite the collection. The pteradactyl trap, the deinonychus (again pre-raptor days) for both Valorian and Rulon. The triceratops, stegasaurus and t-rex fought regularly on my bedroom floor against the might of the apataosaurus and monstrous brontosaurus.
Those were better days
Speaking of! Here's a whole damn season... look at the pencil animation in that intro though! Holy shit!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Part II: The Classics

"You mean dinosaurs eat people? Oh hell"
A younger more innocent Me
Jurassic World just broke $500 million this weekend at the box office, I still haven't seen it yet. But in the meantime, I have seen these classics. As I stated when I first started this series off, I love dinosaurs. Maybe not as much as I used to but don't think I won't be in line at some point to throw some hard-earned money at Jurassic World, give me time. Hell I only saw Mad Max: Fury Road the other week. If anyone by now was not aware, I'm perpetually 5 minutes late to anything cool even if it is on my radar.

So before continuing onto any more different week themes I have 3 more entries in this series: Classics, cartoons and games.
Yet I still wanted to see
this as a kid
First and foremost I won't be covering some other classics here under the pretense they fall into an entirely separate series about All Monsters Attack (named after Oru kaijû daishingeki, or Godzilla's Revenge if you prefer): so in no particular order Gorgo, Reptilicus, Godzilla, Giant Behemoth, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms... they all technically are dinosaurs, or rather mutations of them usually from radioactivity but hey it's my show so with out any further ado, let's go digging up some dinosaur bones.

First up Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (Kyôryû kaichô no densetsu) by Toei films. Released in 1977 it tries desperately to be like Jaws in a Japanese lake at first. A woman is rescued from a forest near Mt. Fuji ranting about dinosaurs and eggs. At Lake Saiko, lake goers begin disappear, livestock is found devoured (and in a tree!), and Fuji is giving warnings of a possible eruption. One scientist believes it's a dinosaur but no one believes him (go figure). That is until some kids trying to pull a prank wind up being lunch much to the chagrin of their buddy.
Jaws didn't have the quite same bite to it after this,
this movie having predated it in my cinematic timeline

While everyone's looking for the pleisosaur, a rhamphorhynchus emerges scaring the flying holy bejeezus out of the lakeside community. The pleisosaur and and rhamphorhynchus duke it out in true prehistoric kaiju fashion. Mt. Fuji erupts and everyone perishes in a fiery volcanic inferno. What's hilarious is how graphic the movie actually is and how it was marketed in the Just For Kids lineup of Japanese import movies paired alongside the Gamera movies.

Not only that but the dubbing in certain sequences was the stuff of many an American joke about how bad it could be. I thought this was the case with the American version of this scene... but no... this is the Japanese version... the dog... just... the dog...

Literal meaning to the term Necking

But anyhow moving right along... next up we go back to 1960 with Dinosaurus!

God I love the posters of this era

This one is kinda short simple and right to the point: a T-Rex, a Brontosaurus and in an anachronistic caveman are found frozen in the Caribbean but soon defrost and run amok. As a kid this movie made my day, I could've given a crap about the human element, just give me more monsters. The same applied to the aforementioned Legend of Dinosaurs or any monster movie: less human talk and more monster action. I will add one thing though, the finale of the film does seem to have planted the seed for the Man vs Monster using a Machine where the T-Rex gets handled by a digger.
It was at this point Rex finally understood that No Means No

Caveman meets gun-fu
Steam shovel fu
Dinosaurs in civilization run amok!
4 stars Roll it

Dinosaurus (1960) - Feature by FilmGorillas

And now for another close personal favorite of mine, Planet of the Dinosaurs. I remember picking it out a the local video store purely for the cover alone, the T-Rex looked epic enough to get my sick day's attention after going to the doctor. Just makes me long for the days of perusing the local mom and pop video store for whatever had the coolest looking cover in the sci fi section... horror would still be a few years off at this point. This rough gem from the 70's stuck out in my mind for the cool dinosaurs, lame acting, a decent body count and a notable opening scene. Since just after crashing on this new planet, a woman strips to her underwear to get gear from the sinking ship then gets promptly eaten all in the first 5 minutes.

After crashing on this strange planet and losing one crew member, from there things go from bad to worse as supplies and weapons are lost and behind each new corner lurks a deadly carnivore, or a deadly spider in one instance! There's this one greedy asshole in the movie named Harvey who get's impaled and falls off a cliff. The T-Rex wrecks (get it) havoc on the remaining crew and it's up to them to make a stand to survive. It's high 70's schlock at it's finest with lots of human on dinosaur action.
                                                                 3.5 stars, roll it

Planet of Dinosaurs - 1978 Full Movie by TheCryptoCrew

04 October 2015

I Live, I Die, I Live Again

I don't know what it is about the end of the warm season but things have an odd way of giving up the ghost around this time of year like the leaves do. Ah well there's always hoodies, horror movies and homecooking for nights like these.
In Mad Max Fury Road, the Warboys motto is:
I Live, I Die, I Live Again
Fitting for a man who seemingly spends enough time haunted by his own ghosts and demons like Rockatansky himself to feel dead at times. But sparing any gory details the point is, I'm still here, still kicking and riding the road to Valhalla all shiny and chrome.
Now emotional Mad Max'ing aside this still stands out as one of my favorite movies of the year. If you haven't picked this up yet, what the hell are you waiting for?
But onto bigger and better things...

Ah yes, October. My FAVORITE time of year. I've flubbed writing during this month in years past but not going to this year. I've got some dusty skeletons I need to add a few layers of flesh onto before presenting them to you all for enjoyment. Until then don't forget your War paint


11 June 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth: Carnosaur Trilogy - Part II and III

First: This heart warming and harrowing trailer for Carnosaur 2 Ha!

In the words of the AVGN:
"Oh yeah 'Back for another bite' alright...
of the shit sandwich!"
After Jurassic Park came the ripoffs in order to try and cash in and make a buck. This 1995 sequel attempts to tie into the original storyline.
All's quiet at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility until one night a Velociraptor wanders into the mess hall and makes a mess out of the hall and slaughters the staff (they had to follow Jurassic Park Protocol; Raptors were 'In', Deinonychus were so last year).

A ragtag repair crew is called into the repository after losing contact with the facility (hmm sounds familiar). This time however they are going in with douchey Company Man Major Tom McQuadeas a leader of the operation, complete with his lame looking vest (now where have I seen that before...?)

"Hey don't blame me it was the 80's!"
The enter the dead facility and find it completely torn to shreds and no sign of the crew or workers. They happen upon a lone survivor, a kid. Shellshocked beyond belief indicating some fucked up shit happened.

whoops wrong kid

Then later, dinosaurs happen and all hell breaks loose. We find out the facility somehow housed some of the eggs made by resident cuckoo Dr. Jane Tiptree (the dino-planetarian from the first film) and everyone forgot about them until it was too late. Raptors go boom. Everyone dies. Except for the kid and our hero of the movie. End of ripoff.

That look you get when you realize...
you're going to have to try to live through the rest of this Aliens ripoff...
standing next to this guy

Drive in Totals
-24 dead bodies

-Flare gun-fu
-Arm-wrenching terror
-Dynamite Dino Deterrent
-Another forklift vs T-Rex showdown... again ripped straight from Aliens... complete with being shoved down an elevator shaft

** stars for being a brazen Aliens ripoff and not even a good one
Roll it:

Part III Primal Species is by far the absolute worst of them all. Not enough good enough to warrant me putting in the effort of giving it it's own entry. Terrorists thinking they're stealing a truckload of uranium are surprised as fuck to find the last 3 living dinosaurs in existence. Again, all sorts of dinosaurian hell break loose. The dinos eat a few heads and rip a few limbs before it all goes boom once more.

By the 3rd movie we're on the rate of most SyFy movies these days. Kills are quick and messy done in a photo negative effect to show the Velciraptors POV wear out by the end of the 3rd attack. Theres lots of dramatic splashing and squirting of fake blood (in nice neat little sprays at that), that look a little too perfect. In the thrilling conclusion the T-rex pins our intrepid heroes in a shipping container as time is ticking out before on the ship's self destruct before a well-timed explosive down the throat a la Jaws puts him back on the extinct list. The dinosaurs look rubbery and fake as hell, which normally wouldn't be such a bad thing but the end of the series it's almost like they don't even care.
Yeah even the T-Rex is questioning his casting choice in this movie
Drive in totals:

*1/2 stars
-23 Dead bodies
-um... yeah i got nothing else... this one is bad

Roll it

...but they didn't stop there. No no, they went on and did a 4th movie entitled Raptor that went into even deeper obscurity after it's release... it's bad when you ripoff the ripoff for another ripoff... even reusing the artwork

Have I seen it or bother trying to track it down to review? Hell no. I could only find it in French on YouTube. The trailer shows so much footage from the original movies it's just horrible

So with these new-age gems out of the way... time for something a bit older and a bit more entertaining. Cheers all. Until next time.

10 June 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth: The Carnosaur Trilogy - Part 1

This is a prime example of just missing the mark. The original came out just before Jurassic Park but because it failed to hit anywhere close to where it wanted to, it lapsed into obscurity. The first movie takes place in the southwest, in Climax, Nevada which must be next door neighbors to Perfection, Nevada (home of the Tremors Graboids) with a security guard with a drinking problem named Doc. He serves as night watchmen to protect digging equipment from the local Greenpeace hippies who oppose his employer's digging. One night some activists chain themselves to the equipment only to be eviscerated alive by a Deinonychus (before the whole Raptor craze took off) who has been eating travelers and motorists around town.
Meanwhile an evil mad scientist Dr. Jane Tiptree reveals how she has unleashed a virus on the unsuspecting townspeople and how she intends to let the dinosaurs rightfully reclaim the earth... I know just a little uh... *slow circle around the head whistling* and her genetic mutation of the egg-loving populace has impregnated every woman with a baby dinosaur... don't ask, not biologically possible. In the end, our guard has to wrassle a T-rex using a front end loader in the thrilling climax... shades of Aliens...

After a swift delivered one liner and a coup de grace the hero and heroine are safe. That is until bleak and dismal conclusion with the ever popular government cleanup and coverup at the end of a flamethrower... much like poor Ben's fate in the end of Night of the Living Dead.

Drive in totals:
-18 dead bodies

-Live dino births and one literal breech birth
-Sheriff Shotgun-fu
-Bobcat vs T-Rex-fu
-Laser hand trap
-Famous last words to a Deinonychus: Greetings Green Brother

*** 3 stars for a good attempt at beating Jurassic Park to the punch and on a tight budget ($850,000) and an even tighter 10 week time schedule

Roll it

Next up we have Carnosaur 2... it's an Aliens gone dinosaurs ripoff in tomorrow's episode! Stay tuned!

09 June 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

"Park's open bitches enjoy yo' selves, it's a party!"
It's hard to believe that almost 12 years ago The Park opened and for the first time ever, we saw the closest thing to real-life dinosaurs. Now the World will see Dinosaurs Rule the Earth once more. So with that, welcome to When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth week!
Yup that'll do.
Triceratops wins: Fatality

I'd like to go way back into dinosaur cinema, some cult dino flicks, maybe even a few dino games. But first why dinosaurs are near and dear to me

Dinosaurs were what got me on my path in the first place. It was the first epic Vs battle I would ever see in print. I scanned every book for some of dinosaur on dinosaur combat like the Triceratops squared up against a carnivore like the T-Rex, the gorier the picture the better. Later there would be a special dinosaur exhibit at a nearby science center with moving dinosaurs. This was a trend for some time, even seeing an exhibit once in Hawaii. At the time having a near scale T-Rex stare you down only to move and bellow at you was enough to make you want to bolt for the exit. Ah, good times. That said, the new dino for Jurassic World looks most interesting indeed. Take a peek:

Devil Dinosaur indeed...
Hey Marvel! Here's one you missed!
If that isn't a whole 20 feet of Genetically engineered Nope. I don't know what is. Oh wait, yes I do. A trio of movies called Carnosaur. These are up on the list, as well as some stop motion classics from the Harryhausen days. But Jurassic Park definitely set the bar that every film after it aspired (and often failed) to live up to. Capcom even attempted to cash in on the craze later with their dino-survival horror series Dino Crisis, both it and it's sequel were highly enjoyable (and highly beatable after a point like most of the Resident Evil series).
If ever there were a turning point in which dinosaurs became cool again and hit the mainstream, it would be thanks to Crichton's Jurassic Park.

28 May 2015

Crypticon 2015

So now nerdgasm aside, it's back down to brass tacks. Crypticon was this past weekend and despite not been given the time off I still decided to make a point of it to show up and be there for as much as I could. Sadly Friday was a wrap by the time my better half and I arrived but we met up with Warning Signs creator and fellow partner in crime TJ who had several successful panels with the Soska sisters and talking Stephen King (he'd just finished his Master's thesis on the man and was slated to defend it earlier this week).

 The three of us ran into Tim Long who invited us to dinner with Craig DiLouie (who I hadn't seen since ZomBcon) and a host of other authors. Over the weekend we got acquainted with Chris Marrs, and Katie Cord of Evil Girlfriend media... but the apex was finally getting to meet the proverbial man of my nightmares, Jon Moon. Icing on the cake meant getting to sit in on Thom Carnell's Ask the Mortician panel before he departed back to Bellingham.
What mattered most was having been remembered fondly and welcomed back into the scene I love most by people I consider peer, friends and family to an extent.
Though my time was limited, it was worth every second and despite I didn't get much of a tour of the dealers room or see any of the celebs (Missed Bill Forsythe, damn)  some definite highlights were seeing Bill Moseley step off the elevator amidst a sea of undead party girls and having Michael Berryman himself ask Teej and I where the Crystal Ballroom was. Real friendly guy.
  If nothing else it re-lit the fire under my ass to get back to doing this and what I love most. So sorry for the introspection from what should be a horror and geeky blog but I've found something of a new purpose so I'm sharing that.
And to tie everything up for the day, with the release of Kung Fury, my general love for all things retro and being late to the proverbial party I've decided that my aim is going to be on retro movies and such... I'll throw in something current when possible but the focus will be on yesteryear...

so with that I close with a line from Kung Fury:The hero is asked what he is going to do, he replies gruffly:
My Job.
So that's what I plan to do. My Job as a retro-action reporter, and show my findings in revenant research and defense. If you haven't watched Kung Fury by now stop reading this and go watch it now... go on, shoo!

PS Thanks again TJ!
That's Wade Davis' autograph on a copy of his book
The Serpent and the Rainbow

Two Words: Kung Fury

Unless you've had your head under a rock, the hottest thing to hit the internet this week is the long awaited Swedish homage to 80's martial arts shlock movies, Kung Fury. What began as a Kickstarter project and a trailer soon took the internet by storm. To say the project was indeed funded would be an understatement. As promised, writer, director and star David Sandberg released the finished product for free for all of us to drool in nostalgia over

This one has it all: a rogue mystical martial arts cop, Nazis, Viking girls with guns, laser dinosaurs, anthropomorphic robot arcade games on the loose... all packed into a neat compact 30 minute timeframe. Enough brightly light neon 80's visuals and an excellent score and an epic music video by David Hasselhoff is enough nostalgia to make anyone want a Tab cola again and ask "Where's the beef?" again. 
So without any further ado, for your viewing pleasure, I present Kung Fury.
I give this one 5 out of 5 stars, roll it

And for an added bonus the music video for the aforementioned David Hasselhoff song for anyone that's interested, and look for Hoff's in-movie cameo

What're you going to do?
My Job

I Live... again!

Me trying to adult first thing in the morning
Hi everyone, remember me? You know the guy who runs this festering corpse of a blog I call home? Yes I'm still kicking, Hell hasn't found it's vacancy for me yet... on the contrary: I'm thriving... though not creatively as much... though the research papers I've been writing for school have been keeping me busy. But the end is in sight! This Halloween will definitely kick all sorts of ass having freshly graduated by then.
That and everything else in my little life has finally calmed down to a point where I'm getting grips on those energies again.
Considering some tuneups here and there... retrofitting, so to speak... most of what I want to cover has already come out or lapsed into obscurity waiting for me to dig it up again. That and considering we're experiencing something of a resurgence of all things retro... Surge soda has returned, French Toast Crunch came back by popular demand, Frut Brute and Yummy Mummy arose from the dead a few Halloweens ago... that and we're supposed to be able to bask in all the glory that is Kung Fury today (it's after midnight) which seems oddly fitting considering the genre of music called retrowave I've stumbled into.
It'd be a dishonor to not at least mention the awesomeness that was Crypticon last weekend here... greater detail must be gone into tomorrow. But it restored something in me I was lacking... it was a re-synching with my own scene with people that share putting words on paper (screen) and enjoy it. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones and just spending time with people that are like a whole separate family to me is what matters most.
That said special thanks to TJ of Warning Signs as always for being a brother and my proverbial Cryptkeeper into the vault of horror once more and for the gifts, he gave me a personalized autographed copy of Wade Davis' Serpent and the Rainbow... something I've been meaning to actually cover... so with that said I leave with a laundry list of dusty corpses of ideas of things to come:
-All Things Retro! Arcade games, epic noir 80's synth scores, classic 80's cinema

This needs more Hasselhoff

that's better.

this just gives me ideas

-With Jurassic World right around the corner I think it's time for When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth week soon

-100 Years of Nazi Zombies across Time and Space... based on the Black Ops and World At War Zombies
having wasted enough time opening doors, turning the power on, maximizing M1911 ammo, buying perks, passing barely at kiting/training/juking zombies, getting the worst weapons out of the mystery box and Achievement Hunting from World War I on up until the future... which might very well just lead me into more Nazi zombies... Dead Snow... and on... and on... but that's enough for tonight. Sweet dreams and pleasant nightmares freakbags

I leave you with proof of life
Me mugging it the fuck up with the original Wacktards of the Apocalypse Tim Long and Jon Moon