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  1. #346
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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry!

    As with last week's extra, this exclusive is still out there - so you get an additional L.E. Horror offering.

    Meet the guy who was 'down under' before it was a thing in 1943's "Phantom Of The Opera"



    The motion picture opened on August 27th, 1943. It was made with a budget of $1,500,000 (estimated). Sorry further stats are unavailable to me.

    This re-re-re-release has no insert.

    - - -

    Single exclusive... mostly, kinda. Murky.

    Wal-Mart originally offered this as part of their then new glow-in-the-dark slipcovers for various Universal horror themed DVDs in 2016. That streeted in September of that month (sorry, can't be more specific) for $7.96.

    This was also offered once more on September 11th, 2017 for the same price.



    There was no Digital Copy or any kind of insert - which I'll get into in a few, like with "The Birds", there's a DVD tale here.

    The glow is decent as long as you don't expect too much, but take awhile to charge in front of a good light.

    - - -



    This was the second remake of the story. There's been several including an NBC TV mini-series and of course the Broadway play - also turned into a feature.

    The movie is at time campy, no escaping that, but is still entertaining in a nostalgic sense - how Hollywood used to make features. The story is fine; meat and potatoes, nothing really complex.

    I liked it, but I can't say if you will sit through it. I'm not knocking it, the film was made for a generation that is in their golden years now. As I wrote, I enjoyed it.

    That counts for something.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Notes.



    The first DVD streeted on August 29th, 2000 for $29.95. This came as a gold disc. The release was a special edition. The first pressing came single sheet insert with chapter listings - and an online game piece for a chance to win a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, "Halloween Horror Nights" (and other prizes).

    A small plastic sheet with a red window near the middle. Log on univeralthrillers.com and hold the 'decoder' card up to your computer screen. See if you won. The contest ended on December 31st, 2000 (for the rest of the unclaimed prizes).

    To be clear - ALL future editions is the exact same disc, the only difference is a newer pressed disc image. The contents are the same.



    The next edition was something of a curious brow; "Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection" box set. This streeted on September 2nd, 2014 for $149.99. It came with a booklet covering trivia on each of the thirty films presented. Man, I would like to have that booklet for my sets.

    These are the expanded re-releases; collected the previous "Legacy Collections" titles from 2004, the "75th Anniversary Edition" and "Special Edition" of Univeral monters like "Dracula", "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy" from 2006 and 2008. Plus the various Abbott & Costello 'meet the monsters' flicks.

    In short - the 2014 editions consolidates all the extras produced for DVD (and BD) into a single title for that particular franchise - a huge upgrade from the original releases. And in the case of "Dracula", newly remastered version of the 1931 film.

    Plus - no longer double sided which gave so many issues with the '04 sets (sold for $29.98 each).

    The 2014 redo of the Legacy titles is extensive - a must have for classic horror collectors. Sway.



    The box set came with a somewhat exclusive bonus film, that same 2000 disc - now with new art. I like this artwork, it is inline with the covers from the other titles.

    Should be noted that each of the Legacy titles for those '14 releases had their own foil, embossed slipcovers ($29.98 each) - which is NOT included in the box set. Just so you know.

    That entry for "The Invisible Man" took me the longest to get. Could not find in stores, at all. Ended up getting from Amazon in September of 2016.



    What I didn't know until researching this entry; "Phantom" was re-re-release along side with that collection box, the same date for $14.98 - with different artwork (again) as seen above. I thought this version was from 2016 with the Wal-Mart slip. My error.

    As with "The Birds", I used a transparent case for this title. The original wraparound on the inside (to be seen) and the 2014 wrap on the outside. Inside is the insert and game piece. I kept the original 2000 gold disc, since the later DVD is the exact same transfer and looks... uglier, the pressed art.

    And topping it all, the new glow-in-the-dark slipcover.

    One more thing; "Phantom Of The Opera" is the only color movie in that Collection box set.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Another sexy Halloween costume.



    Oh dear - sultry skunk. Why? How low is your self-esteem when you consider this your seductive costume? 'I'm going dress up as something everybody despises. Man, all the guys are gonna have the hots for me tonight'; for sure. *shake head*

    It also come with a bendable tail, but does it smell? Or is that feature extra???

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendation.

    Just one.

    "Dorian Gray" (2009)
    A solid retelling of the classic Oscar Wilde story. Victorian London; Naīve Dorian Gray arrives to inherit an estate, the sole good thing to come from his abusive grandfather. From there he meets Basil Hallward, a painter and Lord Henry Wotton, a calculating and decadent man. As a gift, Basil paints a portrait of Dorian. Upon seeing his perfect image he makes a remark about wanting to be as beautiful as this art - forever. A virtual deal is forged (with the Devil). Through Lord Wotton, Gray engages in an increasing depraved life; all of his physical self-destruction appearing on his portrait while young Dorian remains physically the same. Years then decades pass, he finds love with woman much, much his junior - Wotton’s now grown daughter, Emily. The secret; the painting (ever growing more hideous) must be kept from her, no matter at the cost. A tale of excess, vanity and power. Not so much horror as it seeing a man’s descent from good to wickedness.
    E1 Entertainment - 2010 - NR

    Don't be timid, come back here next week for another chiller; it's ever so curious to meet you for diner.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-13-2017 at 02:31 AM.

  2. #347
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    Target - October 17th, 2017


    Stranger Things [Season One]
    Exclusive store release; packaging and poster; DVD/BD combo $24.99

    Spider-Man: Home Coming
    Exclusive comic book and BD bonus disc; DVD/BD/DC combo $24.99

    Girls Trip
    Free year subscription to "Essence"; DVD/BD/DC combo $19.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CD available 10/20

    "Niall Horan - Flicker" with 2 exclusive bonus songs and poster $12.99

  3. #348
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    Best Buy - October 17th, 2017


    Spider-Man: Home Coming
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $32.99

    Spider-Man Legacy Collection
    Exclusive store release; 4k BD/BD combo $99.99
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DC combo $37.99

    Batman Vs. Two-Face
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DVD combo $19.99

    Creature From The Black Lagoon (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    The Bride Of Frankenstein (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    Dracula (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    Frankenstein (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    The Wolfman (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    The Mummy (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

    The Invisible Man (available now)
    Exclusive steelbook with Alex Ross artwork; BD/DC only $17.99

  4. #349
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    Past Tense - American Kaiju Part I


    No rest - don't pause from your running or else "Limited Edition Horror" 2017 will catch you in the most terrible of ways with dog-sized lice. This week we are slammed with a verbose three parter and an unknown behemoth in "Cloverfield"...



    The motion picture opened on January 18th, 2008. It was made with a budget of $25,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $80 million during its U.S. theatrical run. You could call that a sleeper hit. But when including foreign receipts, $170.7 million, it's an official hit. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number four.

    The feature opened against "The Bucket List", "National Treasure: Book Of Secrets", "I Am Legend" and "Juno".

    This release was case only, no slipcover issued, nor insert (booklet/chapter listing/advertisement). But there was a packaging item.

    Most people threw it away, part of the plastic wrap, but it's not (well, yes). On the side where the case opens was a brown sticker, a seal. It reads "Project Cloverfield" (in smaller print: "Property of the U.S. Government"). And "New Secrets Revealed". But located on the top in even smaller print was a number sequence, "11112014349". This was part of the viral web campaign. It took you to a secret part of the film's website. As I wrote, most threw that sticker away.

    Man, this movie had the best internet promotion. Just impressive, so much work under the scenes - for all for die hard fans. I'll talk about this in Part II.

    - - -

    There were several exclusives for this movie. Some I bought some and skipped one that now I'm somewhat regretting, somewhat. Lets address this alphabetically...

    Best Buy had the most substantial (in my opinion), a bonus disc. But there's a story.



    Their two disc set streeted on April 22nd, 2008 for $15.99. The extra DVD came in a blank, white CD envelope. The thing is - that's not what they publish in print and online.

    There is no menu screen, so no screen snap, it just plays. A single featurette "T.J. Miller's Video Diary" with a run time of 20:25 minutes.

    A minimum of seventy-four copies (with exclusive) at each store. *nods*

    As you can see from their weekly ad, something is amiss from the actual release.



    Their bonus disc was to have come in a cardboard printed sleeve, shown above.

    I've checked; as far as I can tell - NOBODY got that item; at least not in America.

    Man, that sleeve picture was so hard to find.

    You're welcome!



    Above is a snap of their online ad for that week. Yes, I've established - I'm that anal. Things which are different. 1) The DVD set was not $22.99. 2) That cover is not the DVD cover that was sold in the States. 3) The description for the bonus content is wrong. Lots of misinformation.

    Was that different cover itself an exclusive, only available online? As far as I can tell, no. So what happened?

    This is conjecture...

    The Canadian branch of Best Buy, FutureShop (now a dead store) had the same exclusive. It could be that Best Buy ported the images off their sister store. The bonus disc description is wrong, but correct too. It features behind-the-scenes footage and interviews all recorded by T.J. Miller. They got the specifics wrong.

    That could very well be the DVD cover for the Canadian edition.

    Anyhow, I moved my copy into a two disc case for the obvious reason (plus I have that CD envelope in there too with DVD the stickers inside it) and added a different exclusive on top. I'll explain in a few.

    The next two were exclusives I almost didn't get. I got helped from an online friend.



    Borders, sold the DVD with a thirty-four page photo booklet, published by Newmarket Publishing.

    The booklet was attached to the back and is DVD sized.

    This set sold for $28.99 (same street). It's okay, but nothing really great.

    What is it? Just stills from the movie with occasional text.



    Suncoast/FYE sold the movie in an exclusive steelbook case. This edition sold for $26.99. Why is this more cheaper than the booklet set? Let me rephrase that - why is the booklet set more expensive than a steelbook case?

    Let me take a step back.

    There were no Boarders nor Suncoast/FYE where I live. I found a like minded pal from another messageboard, who I PayPaled the money (with postage).

    He bought both exclusives and mailed them to me.

    Thanks dude.

    Next up is Sears slash K-Mart; I didn't even bother here. They sold the DVD with a bonus ring tone; probably Clover's roar. Price? I couldn't tell you. Sorry. That was a pretty weak exclusive.



    This is my regret. I mean, I would like to own it, but my desire isn't that high. On release day, Target sold a "Cloverfield" gift set; the movie with a bonus CD. It was attached to the back of the case. This sold for $22.99. The sticker on the front reads...

    Only At Target. Includes Music CD. "Rob's Goin' To Japan" Party Mix music CD features OK GO, Goldfrapp, Scissors For Lefty and more! Offer valid while supplies last.
    TRACKS

    1. "Here It goes again" by OK GO
    2. "OOH LA LA" by GOLDFRAPP
    3. "West Coast" by COCONUT RECORDS
    4. "Got Your Moments" by SCISSORS FOR LEFTY
    5. "Turning Japanese" by THE VAPORS
    6. "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" by PARLAMENT
    7. "Wraith Pinned To The Mist" by OF MONTREAL
    8. "Do I Have Your Attention" by THE BLOOD ARM
    9. "Four Winds" by BRIGHT EYES

    As I understand this set was limited, scarce. And yes, it did come with an exclusive DVD cover. I saw this in store on release day, but I passed. I would like to own it, but I won't pay more than... lets say eight bucks for it (that includes shipping). I suppose, I'll get this eventually, I'm in no hurry.

    One more.



    This was a post-release bonus. Wal-Mart sold the DVD, a year later (2009) - part of their annual Halloween sale with an exclusive lenticular slipcover for $12.99.

    The store has a history of doing that; giving the impression that the title is new when they only slapped a new or never issued slipcover on it. I have this over my regular edition (with bonus disc).

    Well - okay. One more. But not a region 1, a R4 release.

    The Australian's have their own steelbook case, same as the region 1 case, just minus the text - granted it still read "Cloverfield" on front. I don't know the price nor who sold this. Sorry.

    All and all, I bought this DVD three times over. Sold the extra copies on Ebay and took a minor loss. As in the world of collecting. You do, because you love it, not for investing.

    - - -



    This is cute.

    It sold for $19.95 at the time - "Groverfield" tee shirt.

    I'm guessing you can still probably find it.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    More sexy Hallween costumes.



    Video game character in the flesh - "Slay All Day" is the name, being all naughty is her game. On the right woman, just spectacular. The other was something I initially thought was kinda wrong. But the more I thought about it - that's impressive.

    Taking something, nobody would ever think as tantalizing and making it so - sexy Charlie Brown. Bravo my friend, bravo. She needs a plush Snoopy as a purse though.

  5. #350
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    Past Tense - American Kaiju Part II


    Footnotes.

    As I wrote, this movie had an extensive online cross promotion. Not on a single site, but several. Each giving a piece of a much, much larger backstory.



    MySpace had a party not for the movie, but for the Rob character in New York, the day before the feature opened. That's is so weird. I wasn't there, so I don't know if actors Michael Stahl-David, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustma, Jessica Lucas or Lizzy Caplan attended, would've been super cool if they did.

    How do I know about the stuff below?

    I was a huge fan when this came out (still am), saw it on opening day. I read and viewed everything I could find. It was a beautiful complex puzzle.

    Well done marketing!

    If you just wanted a movie, you got that, but if you wanted more there - was this huge backstory.



    They did a similar thing for "Super 8" (2011, another J.J Abrams' movie), but it wasn't the same. There was big conspiracy for "Cloverfield", including a great viral video of monster attacking and destroying the Chuai drilling station.

    Why were there armed security on the sea rig? Who was that man in the business suit that evacuated (in a helicopter) moments before the platform fell into the sea? What was in his suitcase, handcuffed to him?

    Lots of questions still remain unanswered to this day.

    Answers.

    All of these are spoilers, so don't scroll down if you don't want to know.

    What hell was that?

    This is an ancient terrestrial life form, it's been in hibernation for thousands of years. It's not an alien - and it's an infant. Dubbed "Clover" by the filmmakers. This info comes from the production notes - it's a baby!

    What woke up Clover?

    In the universe that the movie inhabits is a Japanese corporation called Tagruato. They have their hands in many cookie jars - from telecommunications, beverages to oil drilling. Some time back one of their drilling platforms pulled from the bottom of the ocean something other than crude, an amber colored substance, a LOT of it. What is it and what to do???

    The CEO had a dream and decided to add this matter into their "Icee" like drink called "Slusho".

    Slusho become a huge hit, people drink it all the time - in winter too. Why? This Sea Nectar is a stimulant, like caffeine, but a bit more powerful, almost a narcotic. Tagruato has fourteen drilling stations - all pumping out this substance. But their quest for more Sea Nectar uncovered something more.

    A side note; Rob Hawkins (Stahl-David) was leaving New York for Japan to be the new Vice President for the American launch of Slusho, that's what the bon voyage party was all about. His brother Jason (Vogel) is wearing a "Slusho!" tee shirt at the shindig; tag line "You Can't Drink Just Six".



    As part of the viral campaign, were these leaked photos from under one of those platforms. I want to say this was the Chuai station (located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge).

    They knew about the lice. They were doing something with them, as seen from the second camera still, the underwater room/laboratory.

    The Japanese government was very curious about Tagruato's activities and had their satellite, ChimpanzIII taking pictures of one of the rigs.

    The company panicked and shot it down.



    This is what you saw on Rob's home video, near the end; he and Beth McIntyre (Yustman) on the ferris wheel; in the background, something fell from the sky - it's ChimpanzIII (not an alien or meteorite as some have claimed).

    Tagruato was trying to cover it up and recover the fallen fragment - the satellite's hard drive.

    They woke up Clover by accident; drilling for the Sea Nectar and tried to cover up their discovery. They knew. Tagruato knew. And was responsible for the tot's visit New York.

    Clover was following a tanker full of the nectar.



    There is a quick shot when our gang is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, Hud (T.J. Miller) shoots for a moment - a burning tanker, run aground with a gash on its side. The tanker has the Tagruato logo on it.

    The same tanker is briefly mentioned in one of the news coverage early on.

    - - -

    What happened to Marlena Diamond (Caplan)?



    This is not an official answer, but an alleged medical one.

    It comes Spiritwarriorforholytrin on a different message board in 2008; who claimed to have been a US Army anesthesiologist...

    The parasite [lice] when they bite release some kind of extremely destructive toxin into the bloodstream... once the toxin goes into the blood stream it affects the body's vital organs. The toxins then probably increase the metabolic rate and increases the body's internal functions such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature (extremely elevated because of the infection the toxins cause and also the effect on the body's metabolism), etc...

    The fact that Marlena stated that she was becoming dizzy was because of the increase in her blood pressure (complaints of dizziness can occur in both hypertension [because of the extreme increase in blood circulation and hence blood pressure as blood fills up the central nervous system] and more so in hypotension [because of the decreased blood circulation and hence decreased blood pressure]). With this increased metabolic rate, the workload of the heart becomes faster and faster and faster. The kidneys do the same and the liver.

    They work so hard that it has become too much for the body to bear that everything just atrophies and these organs get damaged because of the excessive workload so much so that the liver's clotting factors get damaged, the heart's ability to pump blood get compromised and the kidneys also get damaged that fluid starts to back up and accumulate within the body. With the liver damage and its subsequent effect on clotting factors, the body internally then begins to suffer from massive and excessive bleeding.

    With the rapid respiratory rate, the person accumulates so much oxygen in the body that it affects the person's arterial blood gas balance and the patient goes into both metabolic and respiratory acidosis because of the eventual accumulation of carbon dioxide. The person's breathing increases so much that it is affecting ABG balance and puts so much work into the lungs and the lungs eventually collapse, thereby compromising the lung's ability to release carbon dioxide.

    The person then goes into severe atelectasis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. These factors, massive bleeding and fluid overload, lung collapse and the subsequent carbon dioxide accumulation, ARDS, and severe arterial blood gas imbalance, come to a critical mass and the body cannot keep up with this anymore as the hypermetabolic rate continues... proper homeostasis cannot be maintained any longer and the body deals with this, first by bleeding (bleeding out of the eyes and mouth to excrete the blood that has accumulated too much within the body) and vomiting blood (also to try to put out the accumulated blood and fluid in the body) and then eventually and ultimately, by just bursting, like a balloon full of too much water.
    I don't know how true this is. I'm no a doctor, but it sounds... credible.

    - - -



    It is unknown if Rob or Beth survived Operation Hammerdown (conventional bombs, not a nuke). After the end credits there is a garbled voice, perhaps Rob's (who is speaking is in question).

    The quote is "it's still alive" backwards. This has long been confirmed.

    - - -

    One of the viral videos follows a girl, Jamie Lascano her video blog, "Jamie And Teddy". Her boyfriend, Teddy Hanssen works for an eco group, like Greenpeace, called "T.I.D.O. Wave". He sent her a package - keep it safe. Something he took from Tagruato. She's upset since he went missing, believing he dumped her.

    There is also a viral website trying to find Teddy.

  6. #351
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    Past Tense - American Kaiju Part III




    She opened the package and finds a baseball cap, plastic bag/pouch with an amber powder and a recording from Teddy, saying to keep the contents safe and don't eat the powered.

    Jamie thinks its all an elaborate joke at her expense. She does something super stupid and tasted it. In the next video she is bouncing off the walls, very hyper and very high.

    This same girl has a cameo at the Rob's party. She's the girl passed out on the couch.

    Bits and pieces paint the picture, Teddy was secretly onboard the Chuai drilling station when it went down. He's dead or rather allegedly. Some think they've seen him in Hud's video - that Teddy was on the Brooklyn Bridge when our characters were crossing it.

    This remains unconfirmed, that Teddy hitched a ride off that ill fated tanker back to New York.

    - - -

    One of the viral sites was for "Slusho" which featured an aquatic theme - with a cartoon whale saying "Bloop". So?

    This was a REAL ocean mystery. A recording from 1997 by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). A sound documented from underwater mikes, it was recorded by sensors 2,982 miles apart. And it appeared to have been not mechanical; a ship or submarine.

    A biological was suspected, a large unknown sea creature - as postulated by Dr. Christopher Fox from NOAA. The audio was dubbed, "Bloop". So a bit of foreshadowing from the Slusho site.

    By the way, Slusho appeared elsewhere. The former ABC series, "Alias". The lead character, Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) would drink it at her covert office. "Alias" was a J.J. Abrams' show, he was the producer here on "Cloverfield".

    As mentioned by online commenter, Biggs33; the fictional product appeared in numerous J.J. Abrams projects; from television shows like the above mentioned "Alias" to "Heroes" (NBC) and "Fringe" (FOX). Slusho also made an apperance in Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot feature (2009). It's become an easter egg.

    Anyhow, it is now believed that the sound was generated by large icequake, perhaps between Bransfield Straits and the Ross Sea (or Cape Adare). I still vote, sea creature.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent 2.

    The Bloop was a part of the Steve Alten 2005 novel, "The Loch" as in The Loch Ness Monster. Spoiler.. The said creature isn't a plesiosaur or plesiosaurs, but rather a large Conger Eel, a colony of them. An open ocean eel made that sound.

    I have that book, it was an excellent read, recommended.

    There was another good one, a "Cloverfield" mock (official) photo of a whale carcass washed on shore with a huge bit mark on it. *chomp* I believe that happened before the New York encounter. Sway.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Controversy.

    There has been an alteration on the home video release, not the theatrical.

    Whites.

    It seems like a lot of people are having a problem with reality with the looting scene so we will CGI white actors into the frames for the DVD release.
    - Abrams

    *deep sigh* This is what we've come to - digital white people.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Eggs.

    The disc has A LOT of eggs, some more hidden than others.

    Cast and crew having fun with the line "Rack'em and pack'em, we're phantoms in fifteen!"

    Set Up -> highlight Subtitle Options "Espaņol", press left; highlight Red helicopter over the Statue Of Liberty's non-head - ENTER.

    - - -

    The subway lice attack without CGI effects.

    Scene Selection -> 09-12 -> highlight scene "10", press up; highlight Red X in box - ENTER.

    - - -

    Secret menu, "Supplemental Files" videos. Only four files are accessible, videos as shown in below.



    Scene Selection -> 13-16 -> wait two minutes, a chapter 17 appears; highlight "17" - ENTER.

    For document -34VD, the Slusho! web page. The bean on the far right is the only active link, Slusho! Japanese TV spot.

    For document -144VD, only Videos 2, 5, 9 and 11 are active.

    - - -

    There are other visual eggs, three of them. Sprinkled in between when Hud is recording and when snippets of Rob and Beth's day out is playing - four frame, here and there, cameos. Not going to list their spots, too damn hard. Trust me, they're there.

    Big, famous, sci-fi monsters make an appearance, for one frame each; King Kong (1933), the Rhedosaurus from "Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" (1953) and a giant ant from "Them!" (1954).

    I really enjoyed the movie. It was fun and quite the ride. I know that some truly hate it, not only for the jerky hand-held camera (motion sickness), but because we didn't know what that creature was; where it came from; what it wanted?

    You do now.

    In real life, if such an event happened - you wouldn't know what was going on. You would be in the dark with everybody else. It's big, angry and running as far away from it is the only sane response.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Five more titles to ponder watching this Halloween season...

    "H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator" (1985)
    Brilliant and obsessed medical student, Herbert West, experiments with a serum that can bring dead animals back to life. Driven from a Swiss medical school after the death of his mentor, West transfers to Miskatonic Medical School in Arkham, Massachusetts and enlist the aid of his new roommate, Daniel Cain; help prove his theories - on human subjects. But West has an instant rival in the villainous Dr. Carl Hill, who is determined to claim the young student's discovery as his own. Loosely based on the story "Herbert West, Re-Animator" by H.P. Lovecraft.
    Starz Home Entertainment - 2007 - NR

    "Invasion" (2005).
    A direct to video sci-fi, low budget flick. A full blown extraterrestrial infection that happened in Lawton, California on May 19th, 2004. The town was nuked to keep it from spreading. What remains is a cop car's surveillance footage of that night which was far from town when it occurred. We follow a girl who's prom night turned into a nightmare when her boyfriend and friends become infected - including the police officer who came to help. The movie is her taking the cruiser to escape and contacting the dispatcher who relates what's happening in town and other cops screaming for backup. We only see snippets of the infected - it's a parasite. This is a polarizing movie (since most of it is her driving aimlessly looking for help, hearing the carnage over the radio) - some absolutely hate it and some love it. Can't say how you will react.
    Lions Gate Entertainment - 2007 - NR

    "Pontypool" (2008)
    A disgraced shock jock finds radio employment at a remote Canadian town. His morning show broadcast from the basement of the local church. The tedium of his forced vanilla program is broken when odd reports start coming pouring in; people behaving wrong. The callers later report violence and deaths. An outbreak has happen, but not a biological one - a WORD virus. None of the massacre is shown, just desperate, scared people calling the station for help. The illness causes the infected to eat the mouths and tongues of those not like them. Why? They want to eat the words. *dark smile*
    MPI Media Group - 2010 - NR

    "Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound" (1990)
    New Los Angeles, 2031. Physicist Joseph Buchanan has completed a top secret military project, a device that will make nuclear weapons obsolete by imploding its target. It is hailed as an incredible discovery, but the use of this machine has caused a rip in time and it's growing. During one of the tears, Buchanan is pulled into the fissure, transporting him to Geneva, Switzerland - March 21st, 1817. As he tries to understand how he got there and how to get back, the scientist meets a fellow seeker whose own experiment has too gone awry. Buchanan faces a nightmarish fact; fiction isn't always fiction. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian W. Aldiss. A great twist on the horror classic.
    Anchor Bay - 2013 - R

    "Super Hybrid" (2010)
    Life finds a way. Chicago, impound garage. A black sports car is towed in, fresh from an accident. As mechanics assess the damage, they find that the car is sealed shut, everywhere. The doors don’t open, neither does the hood or trunk. In fact, it appears that the car is a single piece. Curiosity turns into horror as the car kills one of their own; eating him. This isn’t metal and plastic, it’s a predatory creature, a hunter. Not an alien, but a beast that has always been here - in camouflage. And now it’s stalking the men and women of the night crew, trapped in the multi-story garage. The CGI effects are serviceable, a decent low budget feature.
    Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2011 - PG-13

    One final thing, the November 2008 issue of Empire magazine (British), published the results of a world-wide poll of the "500 Greatest Movies Of All Time"; "Cloverfield" ranked 394th.

    *air twirls a mustache*

    Come back here next week for 2017's final act of LE Horror. Who is going to survive when science accidentally unleashes beasties from another universe into ours? Hint, we don't do so well.

  7. #352
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    Past Tense - Hybrid With No Fuel Part I


    Another brand new entry - don't get excited, it sucks.

    Decided to give you one last, L.E. Horror bonus since I watched this on Monday (had the DVD for three years) as a warning. Which is kinda interesting considering last week's bonus was "Phantom Of The Opera" (1943).

    This time out we get two things that rarely, if ever, mix well, a horror/musical - didn't work here either in "Stage Fright" (not holding my breath for "Anna And The Apocalypse" [2017]).



    The motion picture had a limited opening on May 9th, 2014. But was available for streaming on April 3rd, 2014. It's budget is unknown. It gross over $7,000 during its U.S. theatrical run. Yes, you read correctly. The film opened number ninety-five at the box office, the following week it dropped to one hundred two.

    The feature opened against "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", "Neighbors" and "Divergent".

    This did not come with a slipcover, nor any kind of insert.

    - - -

    There was one store exclusive that took effort to get - which I now regret, lost money here.

    Months earlier I had read rave reviews on horror websites about this new Canadian flick, then nothing.

    Things pop in my head all the time, synapses clicking in unison, 'whatever happened to that movie'? So I looked about online for an answer.

    It had already streeted the previous week - July 8th, 2014. And that Best Buy had an exclusive bonus disc. Hey, I don't remember seeing that in the ad.

    So I pulled out the weekly advertisement (legacy project) and jumped to the media page...



    Squat.

    As you can see, there is no mention of it - turns out, this was an unadvertised exclusive.

    The following day (7/14) I visited my local store and searched to no avail, then I asked for assistance. There are six DVD copies for $12.99 (also on BD with bonus [$17.99]). But where? Their inventory said it's there, but its location is unknown.

    I had two clerks helping me.

    Was told to come back the next day, Tuesday and ask one of media stockers who put out the new titles. Maybe the shipment was misplaced.

    Which I did.



    It was found. That exclusive tag isn't a sticker, it's printed on the wraparound; that's the second time I've seen that. The bonus disc is the short film, "The Legend Of Beaver Dam" (2010), 11:46 minutes. The thing was an early project directed by Jerome Sable and co-written by Eli Batalion both men did "Stage Fright".

    Another musical - this one is about a campfire song that... wakes up a monster. Okay fine. It's up to the nerdy friend to save the day. Also not funny and more of the same. If you loved the movie, then you will love that short. I did not.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I've read reviews while doing my research. What the hell? I'm wonder how much drug use was at play. Or if they're trying real hard to oversell this as a childhood fantasy because they didn't participate in musical summer camp.

    This is NOT humorous, the jokes are lame. The songs are ultra generic, no lasting value - forgotten as before the film's conclusion. The gore is pedestrian; the "Friday The 13th" films from the 1980s had better effects. The characters, minus ONE are background dressing and or insufferable. And the killer is not memorable. Which fits nicely in the disposable nature of this... movie.

    And the biggest sin of all - not scary. The film is one continuous 'meh'.

    The ending made me shake my head; you can see it coming as soon as the scene began - a jump scare in the mirror. Oh joy. Turns out to be a hallucination. What a shock.

    I made the error buying, don't make the same mistake. If this is free and you have nothing better to do. Maybe.



    For clarity sake, this is not a reboot/re-imagining/remake of "Stage Fright", the Italian horror movie about a musical from 1987. That title is on DVD and BD as special edition from Blue Underground (2014).

    Have not seen it, so I can't say if this was better, worse or lateral.

    So what is this about?

    The IMDb synopsis: "A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater." Yup that's it - in one sentence.

    *long sigh*



    The movie is about a musical summer camp ("Center Stage") production of "Haunting Of The Opera", that's how original we are from the start. This had one Broadway performance before it was shut down. The star Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver in a bit role) was murdered after the show in her dressing room.

    Kylie's now teen kids, Camilla (Allie MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith) work at the camp as the cooks. Their somewhat adopted father is their mom's show producer, Roger McCall (Meat Loaf Aday), who owns the camp.

    The place is on the verge of being shut down, foreclosed by the bank. Roger has the idea of having one big production to save him, getting a high profile theater critic to view and praise. But soon discovers that Camilla has auditioned for the role her mom had originally played. She gets the role and gears move.



    This is the selling point to get the newspaper critic to show up. The daughter of the slain, up and coming artist is playing the role that would've made her mom a star.

    But then you have a killer on the loose. A killer who hates musicals and does a crappy song about hating... musicals.

    I'll stop here, the story is lean in the bad way.

    How bad are the characters?

    The only one is three dimensional - Camilla, the rest are all red shirts.

    I will say this, they did good casting MacDonald; attractive without being too sexy. She looks appropriate for the setting. A young woman, not a model.

    Anyhow, you have a bunch of small roles. Like the little girl with a lisp and the teen who has half of her hair shaven, that's their role. A head shaven and a speech impediment, not enough to qualify as characters.

    Going back to "Friday The 13th" - the second installment (1981), had a character in a wheelchair, Mark (Tom McBride). Not a survivor; Jason Voorhees is an equal opportunity killer. His role is small, but he was more than 'the wheelchair guy'. He was given just enough time to flesh out, he death was tragic, not because he's disabled but he tried to save his friend and failed. He died a hero.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-19-2017 at 03:48 AM.

  8. #353
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    Past Tense - Hybrid With No Fuel Part II


    None of the characters in "Stage Fright' has that kind of arc (short as it is) - minus the lead, that's it. Tell me that's good storytelling, 'cause it's not. One scene to the next to the next, not enough effort into making the rest camp populous worth saving. And as I wrote earlier, insufferable too.

    Hell, the movie is insufferable.

    Don't rent or spend money on this. Learn from my mistake.

    - - -

    Here's a companion not to watch.



    Folk are enjoying the recent release of "Happy Death Day" (2017), which opened last Friday, but that wasn't the first to mix horror with a repeat day, that title belongs to "Camp Slaughter" (2005).

    It was, IS a low budget turkey with a huge concept that should get a second chance with far better writer(s) and a bigger budget - no more than five or so million.

    A group of friends in a dishevel van on route to Boston are stuck on the side of the road with a broken car. They are helped by some camp counselors from the nearby summer camp, "Hiawatha". But quickly discover something odd about the place and people.

    So retro, so very retro.

    It is now the year 1981. Before they can get leave, a serial killer starts murdering the kids and our group, until one remains.

    Morning comes and all the sounds of carefree kids are heard as are the dead friends.

    ???

    This place is caught in a time loop. Repeating the same day over for the past twenty-four years. A couple of the counselors know about the repeat, their hell. But these kids - that broken van, don't belong here, it could be their exit. Fix it - get out.

    The problem, does the killer know about the loop? The rush to leave Camp Hiawatha and stay alive.

    The concept is amazing, but the execution was crap on a cracker. It was shot on video with a micro budget with bad actors and all of this shows. It's a bad movie, no way around it.

    But as I wrote, the concept is fresh. And should be done right with real menace, memorable characters and a far better ending; our killer is out of the '80s, ready to murder again.



    Whatever, on DVD from Lightning Entertainment (2006).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Okay lets have something worthwhile, though incomplete.

    What comic book would I like to see made into a series? Not on broadcast television - but on cable where they can get away with much more, either Showtime or HBO with teeth.

    Two come to mind, but I'll stick with one.



    "Blood Reign" by artist/writer Tim Tyler and writer Dave Curl. The comic was an independent release and came out very irregularly in 1991 and beyond. Some times months would past before another issue came out. Each new issue was dependent on the sales of the last one.

    Did my part, bought each new one as they came from my local comic shop. I still have them (in plastic). As I wrote was not completed. Oh yeah, publish under Tyler's company, Fathom Press.

    Tyler did other comics like "The Dead Crew", "Devil Jack", "Ravage", "Hades" and "Fiend", but all suffered the same fate - no finale, just a few issues, then nothing. His stuff is quite niche.

    Anyhow, the comic ("Blood Reign") was in black and white with gore, blood and some accents in red. This was very adult; nudity, sex, language and of course violence. Not for kids, in fact - you had to be over eighteen to buy; kept behind the counter. What caught my attention was the amount of details done for each page. Holy crap, how long did each take to draw? Such effort in particulars. Sway.

    The story takes place in an unstated future, not on Earth (a two moon world), but the mega-city of Santorini; a metropolis the size of a planet. A "Blade Runner"/cyberpunk influenced world, flying cars and huge, towering buildings mashed in a small areas.

    The world presented is mostly not wireless. Which made me smile as I was doing image work for this post. I haven't looked at the comic in well over twenty years. Wow! Times have changed; we still don't have flying cars.

    We are following the exploits of a C.E.A. (Crime Enforcement Authority) agent, Jennifer McGuire who was investigating their corrupt mayor, Wrathmon for possession and distribution of the narcotic, Rust. She was masquerading as a prostitute with another girl for a threesome when she tired to bust him.

    After announcing herself, she sees the man take a chuck out of the hooker's neck, the girl is dead; as in a bite. McGuire's back-up is taking too long to reach the penthouse. At that point Wrathmon transforms into a werewolf creature, ready to feed on her too.

    Before he can pounce, another enters the room; they fight and the stranger kills him. Leaving a nude McGuire (just stockings on) ready to shoot the stranger, but before that can happens - C.E.A. agents storm the home and the stranger leaps out into the night; leaving her the only witness.

    With pools of blood and the remains of Wrathmon's security guards in the building, dead - which were killed by the stranger on his way to the mayor. McGuire gets blamed for the mess and told to go home.



    I had to do some censoring above, the second sample. She was topless as was the holographic ad outside her apartment.

    Her gun, pistol has a built-in camera and asks a favor from her partner, Conners - "Quick! Gimmie the video tape out of your piece. Which will give me time to tape this baby for my own collection." Yes, analog video tape in the gun - the comic is from '91, remember.

    That graphic footage sends Jennifer on a quest for that mysterious slayer which we come to know as "Blood Reign" - Stephen Garron, a vampire, trying to free himself of a centuries old curse by killing the beasts which were spawned by another undead, Lord Craytaire.

    Garron is trying to keep his nocturnal thirst at bay with the help of his friend, Martin. The excuse Stephen gave agent McGuire is that he has a rare skin condition that keeps him out of the sunlight. A romance happens as they get close and she discovers his undead identity - that a bigger threat is about to be unleashed on Santorini.



    That's the basic set-up, it get complicated after that. All and all, nine issues were made from July '91 to January 1993. It started as $2.95, but later dropped to $2.75 at issue eight, probably to raise more sales, but failed. I also had to censor issue nine, the girl is topless.

    This would make a great show; you got the three Bs: Blood, Beasts and Beauty. Plus a good mystery to unravel - in the right hands this could soar. *nods*

    And yes, Blood Reign does look like Wolverine from "The X-Men" comics.

    That's it, the final monstrous bonus for this year's Limited Edition Horror. Come back next Thursday for a superior fright.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-19-2017 at 03:49 AM.

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