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  1. #796
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    Best Buy - October 5th, 2021


    American Psycho
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  2. #797
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    Past Tense - Hope Is All But Forlorn Once You Mess With The Reaper Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on May 21st, 2015 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    It was the perfect camping spot. The area had just enough of a clearing for the truck and RV tow. Daylight was coming to an end for the day. The sky was crimson fading to dusk. You had heard of this place from a friend who didn't venture this far, but was planning to do later - before the snow came. It was a smile that you get to claim camp first.

    The truck remained hitched for practical reasons. You had made a slow and precise turn so that when the weekend was over you can drive straight - back to civilization. Once done, you had gotten out and admired the scenery, taking in a great breath. It was inspirational poster worthy. Out of habit you gave the propane tanks a check and climbed in the RV - door closed and locked. Locked just in case you may get an unwanted, criminally minded hiker. Far from civilization, but not that far from misdeeds.

    The place was packed with all the stuff to be self-sufficient and comfortable. Water tanks full. Gray and black tanks empty. This was your first RV tow. And this excursion was more than just taking a break, enjoying nature - it would be a test. A test to see if you could make this more than a weekend joy stay. Could this be made into a permanent tiny home; parked in some RV park - even taking out the toilet and modding it with a residential unit. Not that hard to do... just need to be motivated. Is it worth it?

    You wanted this to be an evaluation, your thoughts - alone. So Hannah wasn't present. She did want to go. She did want to spend the time, 'roughing it' for a weekend. As much of it as having all the city convenience within feet of each other as roughing it. But a random family issue came up and that was okay. She says, she'll be there, "next time". In way this makes this experience, exclusive - yours alone.

    As Friday descended into darkness, you had a hankering for pasta. Most of the proposition was hand made, even modding the canned sauce. And grating a brick of cheddar into a fine shred. Water was boiling, hydrating the pasta. Cooking on the other induction was some sausage for greater flavor.

    WHAT?!

    For a second you saw something from the uncurtained window. It was an instant. Red. A pair of... reds. You stopped cooking and turned on the outside lights from the wall switch. Nothing. Just trees moving slightly from a breeze. You stood there, eyes seeking movement. Some beats later, turned the lights off to save power. While they are LEDs, they are still floodlights after all. It was the smell that snapped you back. The pasta is ready.

    You pull out the drainer and contemplate what... what was imagined; red glowing eyes? The various parts were assembled. A full plate and delicious, Hannah would've loved it. Hell, she does when you cook for her. Nobody is here. Why not? You bellowed a loud burp. It was satisfying. Before another thought could happen - you heard it, unmistakable, a roar. The first thought wasn't about those red eyes, but about a grizzly. Winter hadn't hit yet, would not go into hibernation for a few more weeks.

    You hit the outside lights once more - and there it was. A damn brown bear, standing upright as if ready to pounce on the RV. Not expecting such a sight, you jumped back, tripping over onto the floor. A second roar happens, but was cut off in mid-howl, wet almost. You got back up, looking at the window, the beast was still there; part of it at least. You could see because of the temperature change, steam coming off the open carcass.

    What did that? Better yet, where is the rest of the bear? The quick instinct is to get the frack out of Dodge. But that means going outside, exposed to... well to - whatever did that - so you could get back in the truck and drive away. Right now, that's not an option. You slowly move to the other side of the tow to see out of that window. There you stood for well over a minute - no movement seen. Then you felt and heard the crash.

    Hard to believe we have hit the seven year mark. Welcome the Seventh Annual "Limited Edition Horror" - 2021! Four weeks of horror theme, multi-part Past Tense entries, one each week of October. With a possible bonus entry, if you're 'good'.

    '21 kicks off with a modern classic that pits a unwitting seer against Death itself; a race to stay one step ahead of supernatural assassination. No mistake, that is what's happening. The Grim Reaper is setting things into motion to murder those who fail to heed his 'list'.



    The motion picture opened on March 17th, 2000. It was made with a budget of $23,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $53 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $112,880,294. The film opened number three at the box office, the following week it remained at number three.

    The feature opened against "Mission To Mars", "The Ninth Gate" and "American Beauty".

    This originally was not issued a slipcover, but came with a foil wraparound. Please note, later pressings replaced it with a regular (matted) wraparound. First pressing also came with a single page insert; chapter listings, the other side mirrored the DVD's cover. Yeah, this came out when discs used to be gold colored, not silver.

    This streeted on September 26, 2000 for $24.95.

    Just so you know, that poster was released as a lenticular, not too many studios do that. Look at it one way see the cast, shift a bit, and you see them with skulls. I wish I had one.

    - - -

    I can not pin down the exact date for this exclusive. But I can tell you the month and year.

    Wal-Mart offered the sole exclusive, a slipcover - years after the fact, a decade in fact.



    This was part of their annual Halloween movie sale. It came out in mid September 2010 for $7.50.

    As I've said in these pages; Wal-Mart has a long history of trying to trick people into buying older titles, disguised as new ones. Their modus operandi is new slipcovers.

    For that holiday; most had a card stock sheet/flat covering the front (shrink wrapped). A few had 'actual' slipcovers; "Final Destination" was among the exceptions for "Halloween Movie Night" offerings.

    That would've been that, an exclusive slip, but it doesn't end here. No. You see, somebody was asleep at the wheel.

    The new slipcovers/flats mirrors their wraparound. It's easy to see what's what. But for this particular DVD they got it quite wrong.



    Under the slip was "The Final Destination" (a.k.a. 'Final Destination IV') from 2009. It's a head scratcher why nobody noticed that the movie they were putting slipcovers onto looks entirely different.

    I wonder how many people bought this thinking it was the first film and got home disappointed.

    Being the total anal person that I am - and since the original didn't - I have that slipcover on the correct title.



    Since you might be curious, above is the cover from the correct DVD.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Man it doesn't feel like it. This year marks the 21st anniversary that launched a franchise. So I got a bit curious and did some looking and basic math.

    Kerr Smith who played Carter Horton was twenty-seven years old, playing a high school student.

    Ali Larter as Clear Rivers was twenty-three as a high school student.

    Devon Sawa who played Alex Browning was twenty-one as a high school student.

    You know when you feel it. You know when it hits you, there's no mistaking when you fall. You don't anticipate it. And you can't calculate it. It just comes crashing through your walls.
    - Ocean Lab

    Man, we are lucky to have this movie. It began as an episode of "X-Files". The screenplay was written by James Wong and Glen Morgan with Wong directing it. The men are "X-Files" alumni; both had written fifteen episodes each and were co-executive producer on the series.

    Does make me wonder what it would look like as a hour show. How far would Mulder (David Duchovny) have gone to save the students and would it be Sully (Gillian Anderson) who pulls him back - don't mess with Death; let it happen.

    Would have made interesting television. Sway.



    This was the flick that launched the long running film series. Currently stalled on the fifth movie, "Final Destination 5" (2011). New Line Cinema has yet to announce a sixth installment. At one point in September 2013 there was pitch to have the next one set in Middle Ages by franchise producer Craig Perry. He even did a concept trailer on YouTube, "Final Destination 6: The Dark Age", nothing came of it.

    If you know how; "_cbiOv7s2Hw". It's still there (as of writing), checked. It's a mashup of over twenty different scenes from television and movies. He did a decent job.

    Anyhow, these movies do make money; U.S. box office...

    "Final Destination" (2000) - $53 million on a budget of $23 million
    "Final Destination 2" (2003) - $46 million on a budget of $26 million
    "Final Destination 3" (2006) - $54 million on a budget of $34 million
    "The Final Destination [4]" (2009) - $66 million on a budget of $43 million
    "Final Destination 5" (2011) - $42 million on a budget of $40 million

  3. #798
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    Past Tense - Hope Is All But Forlorn Once You Mess With The Reaper Part II


    Those numbers do not include worldwide tallies and home video receipts. It is a strong franchise. I'm surprised this hasn't happened yet. This is one of those things that should be annual, every Halloween.

    Granted number five didn't do so well, but I blame four - it was so far from canon that fans were ticked off. It was like the filmmakers decided to make a movie without seeing the other features first. Seriously WTF?



    Not gonna go into the story; most people have seen the first movie, repeatedly. No joking - it has become a modern classic. Events shown made audiences ponder what they would do in that situation; fight or surrender?

    Indeed.

    By the way, I still stand by my idea made years ago from "Final Destination 2". William Bludworth (Tony Todd) told Kimberly (A.J. Cook) the truth: only a new life can break the chain. A new life, that was never meant to exist. A new life, CREATED by two people who should already be dead.

    This new life is not on Death's List, an anomaly. The solution; reboot the program (as it were) to accommodate the new entry - chain broken. Fate becomes unknown to the survivors once again, their lives returned. Something I had forgotten or perhaps it just lingered in my subconscious. It DID happen!

    There was a setup in the first film that was axed. In one of the deleted scenes; Clear took a pregnancy test and found out she was pregnant with Alex's child. Had the two survived the birth of their child, reboot. Yeah, that's a spoiler.

    It was on the table, but dropped.

    Anyhow, my ranking best to worst...

    "Final Destination 2"
    "Final Destination"
    "Final Destination 3"
    "Final Destination 5"
    "The Final Destination"

    YES, I feel the second film is superior to the first. It explored the mythology and had strong characters that we were quite sympathetic. Plus it followed the events from the last film to a logical conclusion. It made sense and wasn't disrespectful to fans.

    Plus the disaster was quite reality based. I've seen that on the road, a big rig hauling logs. Didn't think too much about it then, now I'm very conscience of what might happen.... the traffic disaster.

    *snap*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Too sexy!!! The next wave of attention getting Halloween costumes for your inspiration.



    These two are both creative and accent femininity without being too slutty... well just the right participation.

    For your delight - "Sexy Peanut". Heels and cane not included. Simple and yet quite iconic in easy recognition. Though she is missing one piece - a monocle. Would be cool if there was purse that looked like a jar of peanut butter, that would complete the costume.

    Next is "Cruella Intentions". Oh yes, it's sexy "Cruella De Vil" - taking a page from the "Batman" legacy, Two-Face. You get everything here minus the wig, boots and stockings. This 'puppy' is nearly a hundred dollars. Like with the other, it's missing a handbag; need a plush dalmatian... gutted into a purse. How cruel. And yes, those fishnet stockings and wig are a must.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    History repeats, but with a twist. This time out I'm only showcasing four Halloween suggestions for three weeks. I may give two for week four since it hits four days before Halloween. You should already know what to watch.

    As expected most can be found in your local video rental shops (if they still exist, my store closed this year due to the...). Few can be found in stores. The best bet is to find them online, cheaply, through Ebay or Amazon's resellers marketplace, purchase used/new DVDs or BDs. Or pawn shops or even second hand stores - good hunting.

    Some are on Netflix and such streaming services. And YouTube too. *wink*

    "Howl" (2015)
    The red eye train from London to Eastborough (England) comes to a halt due to an impact with a deer, leaving the train's fuel line damaged. The conductor leave the engine to assess the damage - he never came back. Joe Griffin wasn't suppose to be onboard the Alpha Trax train; he was forced into a double shift. He and the tea-trolley girl, Ellen are the only company staff left, it was a skeleton crew. What starts off as a light mystery and inconvenience turns into a bloody nightmare. The radio is busted, the antenna torn off - miles away from Eastborough in the rain, isolated in the woods. The passengers and crew are being stalked by werewolves. It's up to their collective resources to last the night if they can stop bickering. To make matters worse, one of the passengers has been bit - and it's a full moon. The film was originally shot in 3D, but the home video release (DVD) is 2D. In a way, it feels like a reimagining of "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968), the good way.
    Our Alchemy, LLC - 2016 - NR

    "Let's Be Evil" (2016)
    Jennifer Ryan is running out of funds to care for her ailing mother. She is pleased to be accepted as a chaperone, a high paid job for "The Prosperity Project". Her task is nothing more than a glorified baby sitter for a group of gifted children for a few weeks. The location to her surprise is far underground, below city hall in Los Angeles. Jennifer finds two more chaperones, Tiggs and Darby. The complex in near pitch black. It is the use of VR goggles that illuminates the surroundings which comes with an A.I. assistant, Ariel. Paranoia slowly grows as Jennifer experiences glitches with her goggles. An increasing number of discontinuities that lead to a violent conclusion, the children have gone rogue - homicidal. She and her friends attempt to leave the bunker. This is available on DVD and BD+DVD combo. Spoiler... since the ending is repeatedly misunderstood. Those glasses illuminate what's there AND (hacked) allow only what is wished to be seen; rendered invisible right in front of you. Understand?
    Shout! Factory LLC - 2016 - NR

    "The McPherson Tape: UFO Abduction" (1989)
    This title was listed in "Limited Edition Horror" 2017 as 'find where you can' - the situation has changed. Now there is a limited edition official DVD. Thought to be lost in a warehouse fire, it has been found and remastered. This is the original found footage alien abduction film - shot on cassette. The Connecticut family here is the Van Heeses, NOT McPherson - that is the name of the family in the 1998 remake; aired on UPN (January 18th, 1998); both produced by Dean Alioto. In short, a family who lives out in the sticks has a 'Fourth Kind' encounter in the worst possible way. No help is coming because of their isolated home. You can cut the dread in this flick. Excellent stuff.
    POV Horror - 2019 - NR

    "The Shallows" (2016)
    One of the few films that can be said in the same breath as "Jaws" (1975). Medical student Nancy Adams has gone to Mexico to surf the beach her mom did when she was pregnant with her. It was an effort to find the elusive location, but she is successful. She went into medicine to help her ailing mother, but lost her to cancer. Surfing this secluded beach is her way to honor her memory. But it becomes the single worst decision in Adams' life. Not long into her activity she is attacked by a great white shark, nearly killing her. She swims onto an exposed rock ledge above the waterline. Her adversary does not give up easy - two hundred yards from salvation, the shore - might as well be two hundred miles. Her sanctuary is vanishing - the tide is rising; soon the shark will be able to gobble her. Injured and losing blood, Nancy attempts to reach a nearby buoy which becomes her last stand against the ferocious beast. It is a tense, determined, one on one drama; human vs. nature.
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - 2016 - R

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Many guys (myself included) and some gals were wooed the lovely Ms. Ali Larter. She's what you expect the 'girl next door' to look like - your friend first and something more if mutual. Plus she has this hippy chick vibe going on, a free spirit. You have no idea how much work was done for that image.

    The original image had so many 'issues'. Cleaned it up, did restorations and modded the colors and contrast. Still not happy, but it's much better here.

    Shaken? No? Well... there more chills coming next week - "Limited Edition Horror" presses on, mowing over - aiming at your direction like a rabid critter with laser focus. It wants to greet you - with distress in a missing limbs kind of way. See you then.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-21-2021 at 04:20 AM.

  4. #799
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    Best Buy - October 12th, 2021


    Inglourious Basterds
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    Free Guy
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  5. #800
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    Past Tense - Distant Envious Eyes Welcome The Drama Part I


    The crash wasn't enough to bring the tow unhinged from the truck. But shook everything inside and like a quake - many of the objects and even chairs were toss about. The place was well crafted, still in one piece. You were on your hands and knees waiting for the next thing to happen and it didn't - at least a couple minutes of nothing.

    A silent and slow rise to your feet. Turn the floodlights back on? Even for a moment? Did the lights make... whatever that was angry? It was dark, can't see anything. You hung for a few beats next to the switch. But flipped it 'on'. Looking out the main window, you saw nothing but forest. The same with the next window and the next.

    Coming to the bedroom, you saw the dent first and then the window, blood draining down. What happened? You moved towards it and through the crimson saw on the ground, the other half of that bear. Half isn't quite accurate. There was a large bite mark in the area where the other part would've been. Something had killed the beast, broke it into two and threw half of it at the RV?

    There is no way around it. It has - had happened. Again it popped in your head - 'turn the lights off', now beyond saving battery life. The floodlights were off once more. Then another thought came - shut the curtains in the dining area. Once more just as they were pulled, you saw them in the distance.

    Red glowing eyes, looking at you. Thoughts ran in your mind. Was this some kind of creature? Or something else... supernatural. You were thinking that as you looked down and saw the used pot with some lingering pasta in it. And a somber conclusion - you didn't tell anyone where you were going. You wanted some 'me' time to test run the tow. You are alone - here, no cell signals, no distractions. No help coming.

    Once again the roar happened. This RV isn't impervious - it will break with enough force, you need to take actions now, while time is still on your side. What can be used as a weapon or a makeshift weapon? Something lite enough to be carried if you had to flee from the truck and tow. Then another thought surfaced - you know how you came here. But what lies in the other direction? Sure the blanket answer is 'forest', but that's more than just a word.

    Lost in the forest is a real thing and here, now - running in that direction; might as well slice open your wrists, you're dead. You are in this thing's backyard. So no matter what happens, you need to run or go for the truck, rush out in the same direction you drove in. Your mental plan is interrupted, it is howling once more.

    But this time it sounded a lot closer. Dread. Fear. You take comfort that Hannah isn't here. Safe in her place, probably reading one of her books. You hope to see her again.

    Half a bear thrown. Half a bear thrown. It's gonna be a long night.

    Welcome to week two of "Limited Edition Horror" 2021; a two parter! In this brand new entry we are revisited by a classic invader from the deep space by way of "War Of The Worlds: A Video Scrapbook"...



    I have very limited info - damn impossible to find. Can't even give you a street date. The website (store, fanboy merchandise) Monsters In Motion hosted a special screening of the 1953 motion picture to coincide with the 2005 Steven Spielberg remake. Don't ask. I can't find the screening date.

    So I can't tell you much. This was not issued a slipcover nor insert. And is in fact a DVD-R with printed label, not some cheap ink jet glued on. And all the content inside appears to have come from somebody's VHS copy. Plus the audio on one - is messed up. The last bit I have is that this came in a red DVD case.

    - - -

    That website's exclusive could be bought in person at that screening and once again much later.

    Paid $14.99 (not including shipping and tax) in late July 2020 from their website. They had earlier been going through their inventory to make room, getting rid of older products. And had discovered they still had a box remaining of this DVD and CD soundtracks from their event. Both are limited editions (same price). I'll cover that CD in a few.

    Warehouse Find - We found a big box of stuff from a special screening of War Of The Worlds that was hosted by Monsters In Motion back in the early 2000's. We have a limited supply of DVD's and CDs from this event and we are now making them available to you!
    - Monsters In Motion email advertising; September 5th, 2018

    Yes. I forgot about the items for nearly two years then it popped back in mind. Do they still have them for sale? Yes. Yes they do, bought both.

    Understand - at time time, I thought I was ripped off, a copy or bootleg. I've had some bad experiences with the site, they sell bootlegs; DVD-Rs and CD-Rs. The other merchandise is real; toys, books, model kits and figurines. I had to do the research and discovered, no - I have the real deal.



    There was no pressed discs and it was in fact a website exclusive, under their banner "RetroFlicks". Interesting. The disc is unrated and region free.

    It has three parts - all together the disc is 45:24 minutes long, presented in full screen in what appears to be from a VHS transfer; not that great, but watchable.

    "Effects Outakes" is just that and has unrelated music - added since the footage is silent. So this is in stereo. Ranges from poor to fair. No remastering. You can find much of this footage in the 2020 Criterion release... remastered.

    "Photo Gallery" is a slide show with sixty-nine images with info/trivia screens. And like with the above has added music, also in stereo. These pictures cover story boards, behind the scenes pixs and promotional images from varied sources. No remastering either.

    "TV Pilot" is what most people bought this DVD scrapbook for. And looks the worst of the lot. A few generations, video cassette transfer. No remastering at all. Audio comes out from the left side only (was always in mono). This is less a pilot as it were an extended concept trailer; a good chunk of this presentation was done with conceptual artwork. The rest was done with actors in front of blue screens with models, optically merged. Only a tiny bit of the set were built for the actors.



    I did some work on the bridge image, two shots stitched together. Man, you can see poor this is. The scrapbook is the only way to see the 'pilot' on DVD. The concept trailer is narrated by Leslie Nielsen (uncredited).

    Sure, this is not really part of the 1953 film. It takes place in an alternate Earth (technologically advanced). The world has no nations, a globalist paradise. Farming of the seas is used to feed the masses (not limited to fish) and no child is born without government approval. This is when the interstellar battle happens.

    Our war with the aliens took decades. Decades. We could not win the fight, but had victory because of a virus that effected the invaders. They died. The aliens who were not effected, retreat back to their mother ship, leaving Earth to reorganize.

    Not wanting a second attack - Earth built six hyperspace vessels to find their home world. Force them to surrender or take the fight to them. We would've followed the crew of "Pegasus", ship number five. It is in effect, a one way mission; multi-generation crew, fifty men and women with various reasons to go after the extraterrestrials.

    Pegasus is under the command of Col. James Anderson. Disaster hits them, no more communications with Earth or even the other hyperspace ships. Alone in deep space. They find their home world and discover they are plotting the next wave.

    We get some aliens, humanoid cave men (yeah) and their underground base - that's it. As said, only some minor sets were built and all the costumes were repurposed from other TV productions. It needed a lot of work. But this project was to gain investors, proof of concept.

    Their big deal was getting production designer Matt Jefferies from "Star Trek" (1966) to create the tech for the show. Don't know how much he accomplished other than some model work on the alien world. *shrugs* The concept trailer is 14:07 minutes long.

    So? The woman on the bridge - is that part of the elevator or does she have braces? Polo survivor? And their space ship looks like a left over from Gerry Anderson.



    This pilot is not on the 2005 "Special Collector's Edition", nor the '20 "Criterion Collection" releases (DVD and Blu-Ray). Can only find it here on disc. The pilot was made in the mid 1970s, produced by George Pal. The same Pal who produced the '53 movie.

    I wish it was remastered, it's a real bit of lost sci-fi history. Well that's not 100% true. It can also be found on YoutTube - also not remastered.

    Okay. At that special screening for the film they sold the scrapbook DVD and a limited edition CD soundtrack with sound effects. The idea is to add this to your model kit with a sound chip. Added value to your Martian War Machine model or statue.

  6. #801
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    Past Tense - Distant Envious Eyes Welcome The Drama Part II




    The limited edition soundtrack has eleven tracks; score by Leith Stevens with bonuses.

    1. War Machine Sound FX Edit
    2. Main Title Film Version
    3. The Meteor
    4. Interlude
    5. The Martian Heat Ray
    6. Heat Rays Aftermath
    7. The Morning After The Attack
    8. Escape From The Farm House
    9. Exodus From Los Angeles/Finale
    10. “War Of The Worlds” Alternate Version
    11. War Machine Sound Effect

    Track one is just an edited version (sixty seconds) of track eleven - runs forty-five minutes. It's the War Machine sound effect on a loop.



    There is another CD soundtrack from Intrada in 2012. That has the most complete score, not highlights (and is going for $300.00 today, checked). This "limited edition" CD is really just a novelty. Buyer's remorse? Fuzzy. It's interesting.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Since this is a science fiction entry, might as well go with sci-fi sexy costumes.



    One of these is better than the other.

    Above left is "Sexy Space Commander", a budget costume for $27.90. Guessing it is intended for single use; comes with a white romper and sweetheart neckline, silver spaghetti strap and detachable hood with clear blue mask. Arm sleeves, shoes and thigh highs stockings not included. Sure on the right woman - can be sexy. It just feels like it was bought at Hot Topic.

    Next is "Blast Off Sexy Movie Character", sells for $69.00. Sixty-nine! High cut vinyl, mock neck body suit is zipped. Comes with metallic harness, garter belt and "galaxy visor". Silver knee high boots not included which make the costume work. This outfit will make you hot and howt. You're gonna sweat in vinyl. She better be touched by baby powder. And would look amazing on the right girl, exposed cleavage. Sway.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Four more offerings for Halloween! You may have to hunt to see - don't expect them to be available on streaming services.

    "The Autopsy Of Jane Doe" (2016)
    Sheriff Sheldon Burke and his deputies discover a house where a couple were brutally butchered; news has broken - media frenzy surrounding the murders. That's bad enough, but it gets worse... uncovered in the basement is a third body; buried in a shallow grave. The dead woman is... nearly flawless; no marks or blood - in her mid-twenties. Her tongue was severed (not found), lungs burnt and joints were shattered, but there is no bruising on the Jane Doe. Odder still her eyes are milky white along with a tied bell on her ankle. Burke wants answers by morning to prevent a panic or worse. The Sheriff drops the mystery on experienced coroner, Tommy Tilden - an emergency autopsy. Tilden is helped by his son Austin who was planning to leave early, a movie date with his girlfriend. But opts to stay and help his dad on the rush job. Things go very bad for them. This person didn't die... from anything pedestrian. The more they probe, the deeper the rabbit hole goes; impossible and inexplicable happenings occur. Is she really dead? The body goes missing and stalk the men - that bell is their only warning. This is a low budget feature confided to a single location concerning - a woman significantly OLDER than mid-twenties. Hint; the foundation of that house dates back to the Salem witch trials. A slow, creepy and intense feature. Sadly both the DVD and DVD/BD combo have no extras.
    Shout! Factory LLC - 2017 - R

    "Damnation Alley" (1977)
    World War III has happened. The result is a devastated Earth (knocked off its axis) - much of it a wasteland. Isolated from the destruction is an Air Force base. The personnel have supplies, but low on morale. General Lander, base commander has shut down, barely present, leaving the men to their own accords. Two years later - Major Eugene Denton has completed a pet project with help from Lt. Tom Perry. Before they can make their announcement, the place erupts in a blaze. The main station with bunkers has fallen from a lit cigarette which started a fire that cascaded onto the fuel tanks. Boom! Horsing around outside before the explosion, friends Sgt. Tom Keegan and First Lt. Jack Tanner become the only survivors. The separate motorpool building was left untouched. What Denton was going to make known was the creation of two apocalyptic, all-terrain vehicles - the "Landmaster". For some time after the disaster, they were able to pick up a faint, weekly automated broadcast; something, something, 'Albany, New York'. No reason the stay; Denton, Perry, Keegan and Tanner head off across America in their twelve wheeled, armed tanks to the East Coast. They pit stop in Las Vegas and add two more survivors; a young French woman, Janice and an abandoned boy, Billy. No reason to stay either - they join in on their odyssey. Along the way are attacked by mutant cockroaches and mountain men who want Janice and their wheels. It's a journey to reach Albany, a trek they made in a round about way - testing the limits of their tank. This is best known for the apocalyptic RV, it has become an iconic sci-fi vehicle. Silly and cheesy at times, but played serious. This is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
    Shout! Factory - 2011 - PG

    "Siberia" (2013)
    Not a movie, but a short run supernatural TV series (drenched in dread and atmosphere), ran for twelve weeks on NBC, but failed in the ratings, not well known. Not even a cult series. Many have called this a mashup of "Lost" and "Survivor" which is what it is, the best of both. "Siberia" is a reality TV show where sixteen contestants are blindfolded and dropped in the middle of nowhere in the Siberian region of Tunguska. The goal is to be the last one standing; survive the winter as people did in the early 1900s and win half a million or split among the few who endured. No modern amenities - their suitcases and packs were not given; only what they are wearing is what they have. There are no rules, trust no one. The show breaks down early when one of the Russian camera men comes into the settlement, bloody. Production shuts down as they reveal one of the contestants has died from injuries from a fall. After serious debating - the competition is agreed to continue. One of them searches for answers and discovers the location; there was no fall, he died from being torn apart as seen by the bloody stains. Things get much worse when a serious injury occurs and discovering, there is no help coming. The exit, the forfeit button is fiction. And the occurrences are not part of the show. This game wasn't a game, this is an experiment by unseen hands to explore the phenomena of the area. The harsh weather is the least of their worries. They are the third iteration. It appears that the two other 'contestant' groups were killed. The DVD is titled "Season One", but it's really 'The Complete Series'. There was no season two and it ends on a cliff hanger. It's a well deserved trip. The actors were not given scripts, their interactions look genuine since they were all role playing, only given character personalities and plot points. The result is natural actions. Highly recommend; clues to what's going on were sprinkled in the early episodes - none, spoon fed. Many blink and miss it moments with serious twists. It will keep you guessing and bitch slap your suspicions, repeatedly. There's even a bit of time travel and alien abduction mixed in.
    Lionsgate - 2014 - NR

    "Willy's Wonderland" (2021)
    Hayesville, Nevada - a quiet (unnamed) drifter gets his wheels popped from a misplace police spike strip. He doesn't have the money to fix his car. The loner is approached by Tex Macadoo who offers him a deal. He owns the abandoned, family theme restaurant - "Willy's Wonderland". He wants to reopen the establishment, but is short on workers at the moment. Tex's trade - spend the night and clean the place up and he'll pay the auto repairs. They shake hands and the nightmare begins. The drifter discovers that he's been locked in the place, unsure if this was to keep the eatery from vandals since the place has various graffiti - he does his agreed task and cleans up the restaurant. What the loner doesn't know, this is a con. He's not expected to survive. The locale's animatronic mascots are in fact alive, the result of demonic possessions. This is nothing less than a blood sacrifice, one of many over the years. Helps somewhat comes from local teens who want the place burned down, they know the business is evil. But due to bad luck and stupidity become trapped with the loner. How many will survive the night? This movie was heavily influenced by the jump scare video game, "Five Nights At Freddy" (2014). One of the most Nicolas Cage's Cages movies. As if all his eccentricities were given a green light, the result is the right mix of crazy and cheese... and blood, lots of gore. This is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
    Screen Media - 2021 - NR



    Odd to think we almost got this - filmmakers were going to the novel for the War Machines. Above left is early concept art for the alien ships. The used - manta ray design was so different and has become iconic.

    Limited Edition Horrror continues next week with more trepidations. Could be nothing more than a panic attack... or NOT! Or perhaps indigestion - whatever.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-21-2021 at 04:19 AM.

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    Past Tense - He Knows Kung Vamp-Fu Part I


    The howl could be felt to the bone. You gave a quick mental inventory of the place. What can be used as an immediate weapon? The first thought was that cooking knife, it wasn't as long as you wished, but can do damage - providing you don't get slice in half by that... thing. You grab it, holding.

    That's when eyes fell upon an item in the RV. Something you have, but didn't use in cooking - a bottle of cayenne pepper. This beast may be super strong, but such a thing could blind and make it cry, hard. Even allowing you to flee in the truck. You would have to get close to it. "Hey!" You rush towards the kitchen drawers, searching and find - a turkey baster! This can be filled with pepper, squeezed like your life depended on it. Right to the face in a blast. Critter goes down.

    It's a plan. The RV is hit once more. Don't know, could be the other half of that bear, same half or it... ramming the side. You hold in place by grabbing onto the locked table. You filled the baster with powder and used a napkin in a wad to seal the open end, until you're ready.

    The rocking gave the third idea. You have a full size fire extinguisher; A, B and C type. You put the baster (neck up) in your pocket, don't dare leave it where you could loose it; same with the knife, wrapped with napkins too with care. Drop to your knees and pull off the strap holding the extinguisher to the wall. This puppy can buy you some time. Can this thing take super cold, ice temperatures? Easy enough to find out. It has pressure and legit distance.

    The next was not unexpected - just startling. It pushed inside, breaking a window in the living room. The lights do not do it justice. This is a beast, an upright beast, human sized and utterly vicious. You can see blood in its canine mouth as it looked at you, trying to crawl itself inside. BLAST! Right to the face.

    It gave an even louder bellow, but this was the sound of pain. The thing did not like the extinguisher, nor the super cold jolt. You could hear the thing move away from the RV. It was wiping the foam off its face, that sound was audible. But that means this thing will be even more mad. You rush forward and close the day for night blinds.

    A second later realizing, that thin fabric won't keep it out. But at least, it can't see you. This pause gave you time to look at the gage. WTF?! WTF? WTF!!! This thing read, less than a quarter remain. The person who owned this tow last, sold it to you - had used the extinguisher frequently. AND PUT IT BACK in place. On what? This is madness. You could die because of some incompetent, wanna be chef who set too many cooking fires.

    That noise had stopped, no more stirring. The dust from the extinguisher had settled too.

    Now you heard a low pitch growl, long, extended - not for its sake. For you to know. Don't need to have the window open. You can already see it in your mind. It's red eyes, staring at you through the blinds, super ticked off. Once again, your blood turns cold. So glad you went to the bathroom before this happened. No. No. Razors are not going to work on that. What are you gonna do? Shave it to death? The thought gave you a light chuckle, you needed it. You will need it for what happens next.

    Week three of "Limited Edition Horror" 2021 has come to slay pesky blood suckers with a two parter, a brand new entry, "Blade Trinity"...



    The motion picture opened on December 8th, 2004. It was made with a budget of $65,000,000 (estimated); counting foreign receipts it made $78,955,776. The movie bombed domestically ($52.3 million). The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "The Polar Express", "National Treasure", "Alexander" and "The Incredibles".

    This originally was not issued a slipcover, but came with a foil wraparound. Please note, later pressings replaced it with a regular (matted) wraparound. First pressing also came with a single sheet insert; chapter listings, the other side mirrored the DVD's cover. It also came with ad insert for "Wedding Crashers" (2005) and "The Man" ('05) - the other side is a full page advertisement for "The New World" ('O5) with film's poster.

    The first pressing also included a bonus mini-comic book which fit inside the case. I'll cover that in a few.

    - - -

    There was one exclusive and it came from Wal-Mart.



    The store sold it on street (April 26th, 2005) as a combo set. It came with a EP CD in its own small long box, the same size as the DVD case. "Blade: Trinity - The Daywalker Mix". This sold for $15.87 (yes, I kept notes). Above right is the non-exclusive comic cover.

    Sorry about the poor res combo image. I'm lucky to have that.

    If I remember correctly this set was also available for the theatrical cut DVD too. I bought my copy on release day.



    1. Blade's Back (The RZA Remix)
    2. Thirsty
    3. The Nightstalkers
    4. Bombs Away (Danny Saber Remix)
    4. Bloodthirsty (Thirsty Instrumental)

    This was a limited time exclusive, it would later be available on it's own.



    As mentioned, this came with a comic book (DVD first pressing). See that cover - know what's missing?

    Blade. Being serious.

    This is a stand alone, self-contained tale; the prequel to the movie with Abigail Whistler and Hannibal King, how they came about needing HIS help.

    "Blade: Night Stalking" is twenty-four pages; written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. Edited by Joe Quesada. Art by Amanda Connier, Palmiotti and Guru EFX.



    It's the set-up to "Trinity" with lots of artwork that accentuates Jessica Biel's character femininity. For some this is sacrilegious - I haven't found Biel that attractive. She pretty, sure, but not as hot as so many claim. Too middle of the road to have all those adorations.

    By the way, it's listed as the comic as mature because of cursing and gore, no nudity.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Not gonna sugar coat it. This was the movie that put an end to the "Blade" movie franchise. It is the weakest of the lot. Producers were trying to make a spinoff - MINUS Westley Snipes. He is friggin' Blade! That was so stupid.



    The studio got bitched slapped at the box office. Rumor has it; Snipes knew what was going on and was phoning it in. Why bring his A-game when he's getting replaced. Even was getting into fights with director (and co-writer) David S. Goyer. Got so bad, Goyer would not talk to him directly; his exchanges were done by Post-It notes.

    Even co-star Kris Kristofferson who played Abraham Whistler had the same sentiments - this was a cash grab, not about making a good feature. Goes even further, the director of the first film (1998), Stephen Norrington dropped the offer to direct after reading the script - that bad.

    The bonus features also suffered, Snipes participated very little. You can see it on the featurettes, the shots with the actor look like they came from different sources.

    By the way, this was Goyer directorial debut. The movie has solid ideas (grand ideas even), but needed more time to work out the story and should've been about Blade, not trying to spin it off. Yes it could've been worked into it. Sure. But they took short cuts and blindsided audiences who came to see the vampire hunger not new pups.

    Goes even more - in 2005 Snipes brought a lawsuit against New Line Cinema, Goyer and executive producer Toby Emmerich. He claimed they did not play his full salary and he was intentionally taken out of filmmaking activity and casting decision... but was one of the producers.



    Along with the assertion that his character's screen time was reduced so that the new characters would take center stage - the new franchise the studio and Goyer wanted. All and all he was seeking five million in damages.

    This is why Snipes had disappeared from Hollywood; studios didn't want to cast him - troublemaker. Does matter if he was correct. I don't know what became of that - other than it was settled out-of-court, undisclosed amount.

    Over the years Snipes has attempted to get another sequel made, a "Blade" movie with him as the star which is what the other films were. His efforts failed. I wish he was successful. For me "Blade II" is one of the best comic book based films made, it was outstanding.



    Did not know this until researching - Kate Beckinsale, best known for the "Underworld" films said in 2016 that at one time - there was in development a crossover sequel with Blade and her character, Selene joining forces. This would have been a sequel to "Trinity".

    That project was scraped over rights, the Blade property reverted back to Marvel Studios in 2012. Now that could've been sway as hell.

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    Past Tense - He Knows Kung Vamp-Fu Part II


    So we didn't get another with Snipes, but we did get two TV attempts to wash our fanboy eyes.



    First was in 2006, aired on the former channel, Spike TV for thirteen hour episodes. This was a direct sequel to "Trinity" with Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones as Blade. Bought my DVD from Best Buy on a pricing error. I want to say about fifteen dollars when it should've been $39.98 (from New Line Home Entertainment; four discs).

    Adaptation was decent, entertaining enough. Does feels like we got 'discount' Snipes; a rapper cosplaying Blade. *shrugs* Goyer co-wrote the pilot and served as executive producer. This co-stars Jill Wagner as vampire hunter Krista Starr. In 2011 she would star as Kate Argent on "Teen Wolf" (for MTV) as a werewolf hunter.

    Anyhow, the last was in 2011 with "Blade: The Animated Series" for another former channel, G4; twelve half hour episodes. Harold Perrineau voices Blade; Perrineau best known as Michael Dawson on the former TV series, "Lost". This too is on DVD (from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment). As you can see from above, it was anime. I haven't seen it yet, but do own two disc set.

    Sure, "Trinity" has a stinger after the end credits; Blade in his car, off to his next adventure. But feels like an outtake slapped on.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    The next wave of Halloween costumes for attention is here. Indeed!



    Both of these are somewhat muted, yet quite feminine. Bold even in it's simplicity.

    First is "Sexy Squirrel" - sells for $44.99. Two items; squirrel hoodie (form fitting) and the acorn purse. The tail is part of the hoodie. Glad to see the theme purse is included, furry boots are not, but DO complete the effect. Could add gray fishnet stockings. What does she have under that? Could be booty shorts, a g-string or nothing at all, that rascal.

    The drawback - does not have any open cleavage, her chest is covered by fur. So this is an outfit that would be great on a cold night. But... it is white, so it could get dirty easy, especially when eating.

    Next is "Sexy Mail Delivery" outfit. It sells for $59.99. You get a functional mail bag/purse, button short sleeved shirt, matching skirt and hat. Sadly no knee high stockings. Shoes are anything you want; basic sneakers can do the trick. There are few variants to this idea: "Postal Honey", "You've Got Mail", "U.S. Mail Service" and "Precious Cargo Sexy Postal Delivery" costumes, the last with a USPS theme.

    What's the patch? The outline of a stripper, striking a pose in red and white - with the text "United States XXXpress Service". *wink* On the right women, can be sexy while demure. There's not a lot of skin showing, like with the squirrel, mostly legs. Granted she could unbutton her top for greater effect.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Eggs.

    Haven't done one of these in a long while; studios have really dropped the ball on hidden extras. Well, this came out in '04. There are three eggs. These are from the DVD edition. Don't know if they're on the Blu-Ray.

    Disc 1 - Main Menu -> highlight "DVD-ROM/Online Features", press down; highlight New Line logo - ENTER.

    Disc one credits, menu.

    - - -

    There are two here; behind the scenes on the making of Blade caught, hanging upside down and disc two credits, menu.

    Disc 2 - Main Menu -> highlight "Inside The World Of Blade Trinity", press up; highlight the Q like symbol - ENTER.

    Disc 2 - Main Menu -> highlight "DVD-ROM/Online Features", press down; highlight New Line logo - ENTER.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Last full suggestions; next week is far too close to Halloween. You should already know what you're going to be watching. As said last outing - don't expect them to be available on streaming services; act accordingly.

    "It Stains The Sands Red" (2016)
    Las Vegas - the zombie apocalypse has begun; exotic dancer, Molly thinks she has it made; fleeing with a rich guy, Nick in his sports car. Racing away from the city on the highway far from the carnage - towards salvation, a distant airfield for a flight out of the country. Her hopes get squashed when their car gets stuck in the sands, becoming nightmarish when Nick is murdered, devoured by an undead as Nick tries to get the car freed. With no recourse, Molly runs into the desert blind, a general direction - hoping to reach that private flight before it takes off. But her situation grows dire still, that same living dead fellow is now pursuing her; a one on one horror drama. It never rests and won't stop till it gets her.
    MPI Media Group - 2017 - NR

    "Remote Control: 25th Anniversary Edition" (1988)
    The 1980s; Cosmo works for his friend Georgie at "Village Video" - a Los Angeles video rental shop inside a refurbished, multi-leveled, ex-movie theater. While helping one of his regulars, Allegra; he meets a woman of interest - Belinda Watson. She's looking for a romantic French feature. He can't find it. She leaves. But leaves with her possessive boyfriend Victor, not before seeking his current want. Victor has his sights on a new video title, "Remote Control". The VHS that Allegra snagged; a tense moment, but she wins. As she checks out, he looks at the computer monitor and sees her home address. It is these two random people that set off a string of events that take Cosmo, Belinda and Georgie into a cosmic home video conspiracy. Aliens from the Polaris star system want Earth, but do not have the numbers to take the planet over. So they've opted to use our tech against ourselves - VHS cassettes. Reality altering videos which insert subliminal, ultra violent messages. All those who see it become homicidal; this is how they plan on reducing our numbers. This leaves the trio as Earth's last and only hope, an improbable invasion. At times quite meta. This has been released by the director himself on his website; DVD and BD - remastered in 2k, region 0. This was the movie starring Kevin Dillon before he did the horror classic, "The Blob" ('88) remake.
    JeffLiebermanDirector dot com - 2013 - R

    "Shadow In The Cloud" (2020)
    August 8th, 1943 - Allied Air Force courier, Flight Officer Maude Garrett has been assigned to "The Fool's Errand", a B-17 bomber; New Zealand to Samoa. For her it's a delivery of a confidential, top secret package. For the crew this assignment is shuttling needed transponders. Over the ocean events unfold that test the crew and Garrett. The bomber has been discovered by Japanese fighters. They're being hunted, but this isn't the worst of it. They're also being hunted from within, a stowaway. A thing of rumor and military myth. This is not some cute and furry mogwai - this is an old school... gremlin - and it is sabotaging the flight on violent pursuits. Garrett will go to extreme lengths to keep her parcel protected and crew alive - all the while being shot at by enemy aircraft. Over the top at times and utterly popcorn gold from cinematography to pounding synthwave soundtrack, a throwback to 1980s horror. On DVD and Blu-Ray with zero bonuses.
    Vertical Entertainment, LLC - 2021 - R

    "Witches In The Woods" (2019)
    Five friends take a shortcut; a snow boarding trip to a ski resort. Their SUV becomes stranded due to an accident, no help and no cell service - nobody knows they're there. Night brings a sudden temperature drop, left with no choice but to run the engine to keep the heater on. But their problem isn't what's happening outdoors, but rather what's going on inside. The group starts to unravel from the stress. And is one of their own having a mental breakdown? These woods were cursed a century earlier, the result of an allege witch execution. Is this just auto fever or dark forces in the forest, a possession? Was even the car crash an accident? Before dawn, the friends will be greeted with violent decisions and circumstances which will test their bonds, transforming into... a witch hunt. This is available on DVD and BD, but sadly no extras.
    Shout! Factory LLC - 2020 - NR

    - - -

    *Wojciech Kilar's "The Hunters Prelude" plays in the background*



    Thought I'd include this, a hardcover graphic novel - "Bram Stoker's Dracula"... with Bela Lugosi as the immortal. Often covers are made to get your attention, but the inside artwork is lacking. Nope, not here; what you see is exactly what you're getting. I was damn impressed, this was a labor of love. And presenting Lugosi as Dracula was an excellent idea, surprised this wasn't done earlier.

    This has been out since November 3rd, 2020; two hundred pages from Legendary Comics. Get it. If you're a horror fan, you won't be disappointed. As of this writing - can be found at Amazon for twenty-two dollars.

    By the way, one of the early iterations of "Trinity" had Rachel Van Helsing from the "Tomb Of Dracula" comic books. But when Goyer learned about "Van Helsing" (2004), he opted to remake the character as Abigail Whistler.

    Just so you know - this entry was suppose to be part of the 1st annual "Limited Edition Horror" in 2015. But one thing and another kept it from happening.

    The end is near. One more week left of LEH. One more week of banes. Come back here next Thursday for the finale. Bring your holy water and spirits or a bottle of spirits, your choice. See you then.

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    Past Tense - Occult Gumshoe, Spear Of Destiny And Supernatural Woes Part I


    You now have some basic weapons, kinda. Better than nothing. Better than just a razors.

    The long extended growl ceased. The next attack is imminent. You heart quicken. What to do? The going empty extinguisher or the makeshift pepper spray, the cayenne loaded turkey baster? A bit of both. You stood there for a moment going through your head the time.

    How long did this take for the beast to stop? Roughly one minute? The truck keys had to be in your hands - which ever measure taken. Blast it in the face once more. Race to the car, unlock and start it up - racing away. Screw the trailer! You lost money on this already, not going to die over it.

    Not one of the smartest plans. Nope. Could very well say it was juvenile. But that's all you had - be proactive, not reactionary. The longer you wait, the shorter your life expectancy goes. You take a deep breath and make go for it!

    You slam the side door open to where the animal was last seen or heard. And release what remains of the extinguisher, not really pointing at the creature as just to make a smoke/powder screen. You saw it just a second earlier, it was running towards the RV when you pulled the trigger once more. You were silent; something you proud of yourself - something you would tell your grand kids.

    You ran with all your might, silently ran to the car and unlocked the door. The noise was enough for it to zero in on your location among the cloud. Boom key went into the ignition - second later it started up; foot all the way down on the peddle. You were racing in the same way you can in. The exit.

    A moment later this thing was slamming on the driver's side door. Keeping speed with the truck. No time to think - just do. The window is lowed, just a bit. You can see teeth, drenched with appetite.

    [squeeze]

    RIGHT IN THE MOUTH.

    This creature gave a scream, not a howl or a growl - a scream! It made one final effort and clawed the side. Before stopping. You could see in the damage rearview mirror it was grabbing it's face in serious pain, trying to make the cayenne discontinue. Nope, you monster, it doesn't work that way. It then ran in canine fashion to find any open water source to wash its mouth out. Good luck with that.

    You had cleared the area and was no on the main road, empty sure - but clear from that beast and that's all that matters. After an hour you had returned to civilization, still hauling that busted RV tow. Stopping at a gas station you get out to inspect the damage. The truck has a gash on the side, that 'thing' was less than a foot away from going through your side door - cutting you up. Dodge a bullet right there.

    The RV was totaled, it's amazing it was still attached to the car. One side was pushed in. Parts of it still showed the blood from that eviscerated bear. But the propane tanks were untouched. Could be reused? What would have happened if you had used one of these puppies on that thing? Blow it up?/. A daydream, you had no way to ignite the tanks.

    Man, you have one helluva story to tell Hannah - show her the car to prove it. You look up as you go into the gas store to pay for more gas and saw it - a full moon. So was that... what you think that was? Life can be strange and quite horrible at times.

    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on December 6th, 2012 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    The final week of "Limited Edition Horror" 2021 has come to rest after being bludgeoned, a two parter, based on a comic book, "Constantine"...



    The motion picture opened on February 18th, 2005. It was made with a budget of $100,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over 75 million during its U.S. theatrical run. It made its money back with profits when including foreign receipts, nearly 231 million total. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "Pooh's Heffalump Movie", "The Aviator", "Million Dollar Baby" and "Hitch".



    The first pressing of the "2 - Disc Deluxe Edition" came with a fifty page graphic novel anthology "John Constantine: Hellblazer". It collects the comics: "The Beginning Of The End: Dangerous Habits - Part One", "The Gangster, The Whore And The Magician" and "The First Time" along with character bios; from Vertigo DC Comics, retailed for $30.99 (further down for street).

    The DVD case and graphic novel came in an oversized cardboard slipcase (mirrored the wraparound) to hold both. It was also released without the comic for $29.99. Later pressings removed both the slipcase and comic. The film was also released as a single disc edition.

    This set originally did not come with any inserts.

    - - -



    Kinda out of the norm...

    A bonus not part of home video release. Best Buy had an exclusive, a preview disc. It streeted on December 7th, 2004. This came in a printed sleeve, seen above.

    The DVD has a run time of 11:47 minutes, a lone featurette, "Constantine: Sneak Peek" (full screen); no menu screen - it just plays. I have since moved it into the two discs special edition, now a three disc case with that sleeve inside.



    The preview disc was free... if you purchased "The Ultimate Matrix Collection", regular set ($52.99; above left) or Limited Edition ($89.99).

    I found mine cheaper at Wal-Mart were I bought the regular edition. I was fortunate to have gotten that bonus, I don't remember, but I bought some DVD on sale from Best Buy and ask if I could keep the preview - the cashier said yes.

    That bonus was not attached to the sets, they were in a large cardboard display; fifty copies per store as I recall. Sorry, but this predates my archive, I have no weekly ad image.



    Wal-Mart sold the single disc version, side packed with the paperback novelization, this streeted on July 19th, 2005. The movie's home video release. Sorry, I do not know the price. I did not buy this set. The book is 336 pages, published by Pocket Star Books. The book is not exclusive - more like a freebie.

    There was one other, but not available at any store. If you bought "Ultimate Matrix Collection" from the TV infomercial for sixty bucks (plus shipping), you would get three screenplays for each movie - I remember them looking nicely printed. Fluffy, but interesting.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    Gotta talk about this; it's part of the main subject, "Ultimate Matrix Collection".



    The Limited Edition came with a mini-Neo bust as seen above and an eighty-four page collector's book (metallic green 3D covers). It includes a reprint; the introduction written by the Wachowski Brothers. The book outlines the content of the ten disc set (same ten discs as in the regular box set) and showcases various images; production pixs, conceptual art and trivia.

    You know, what would've been excellent?

    Having a lenticular cover on "Ultimate", moving Matrix code, that would've been sway. Seems so obvious, a missed opportunity - instead we got green foil.

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    Past Tense - Occult Gumshoe, Spear Of Destiny And Supernatural Woes Part II




    Still talking about "Ultimate Matrix Collection". Something you need to know if you're an über fan, compleatist. You still need the original "The Matrix" DVD (streeted September 21st, 1999 for $24.98, a cardboard snapper case). Or the later repackaging in a regular case. Why?

    Missing from "Ultimate" are two commentaries. The first is a commentary by special effects supervisor John Gaeta, editor Zach Staenberg and actress Carrie Anne-Moss.

    The second is by composer Don Davis that includes an isolated music score. He talks when nothing is playing. Also missing is "Making The Matrix" featurette (twenty-five minutes), but it's redundant, eclipsed by the massive bonus features in that box set.

    Think of it like the 1979 documentary "Giger's Alien", which was not included in either box sets, "Alien: Quadrilogy" DVD (2003) or "Alien: Anthology" Blu-Ray (2010), though it was released on laser disc in Japan in the 1990s; footage from that doc does appear in the various making-of featurettes.

    Okay. There is one other thing is missing. This is from "The Matrix: Reloaded" DVD (two disc set), the 2003 MTV Movie Awards parody (uncensored). Why is that absent? Probably rights issues. It was cute, kinda funny.

    "The Matrix" DVD was released in two different snapper cases. One was the standard black frame, the other, much harder to find was a transparent frame. I've only ran into that twice in my DVD purchases (2003 - present).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    Kinda bummed that a sequel didn't happen. I enjoyed the film. Granted, I've read complaints where people were unhappy with the way the feature took liberties on the source material. Does the changes make an entertaining experience? Yes, yes it did.

    Hell, there were some who were pissed by the changes/omitting a character from the "Lord Of The Rings" novels. Not going to name him, but that hobbit was written in by the author for his child, he served absolutely nothing to the story.

    And would've been the next Jar-Jar Binks. It was wise to axe him.



    The underground club owned by Midnite (Djimon Hounsou) reminds me a lot like the club, "Caritas" owned by Lorne (Andy Hallett) from the TV series "Angel" (spin-off from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"). Yeah, I'm sure the television club had its inspiration from the "Constantine" comics.

    Didn't see this in the theaters, saw it on home video. I remember seeing Tilda Swinton as Gabriel trying to remember where I first saw her. It bugged the hell out of me. I mistaking thought it was the 1991 movie, "If Looks Could Kill".

    A Richard Grieco vehicle that bombed at the box office (it made less than 8 million), which is too bad, it was a nice popcorn flick (I have the CD soundtrack). Okay - a flunking high school student, Michael Corben (Grieco), is given a second change to graduate by accompanying a French language class to France. Things go wrong when he's mistaken for an American spy. It's all fun and games (gadgets and girls) until people start getting killed.

    It also starred Gabrielle Anwar. There is a DVD-R release, an official one from the Warner Archive Collection. It's widescreen. Nope, it's not her; British government techie, not Swinton.

    Should you care - there is a stinger at the end credits for "Constantine"; what became of Chas (Shia LaBeouf) after the events. It's short and fits quite well. LaBeouf did not age well, his person that is.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    The final bit of Halloween titillation for 2021.



    This was something I didn't get. ??? Then became so clear, this is a sexy Jiminy Cricket costume. It totally works.

    Costume is called "Charming Cricket"; velvet tail (high cut) coat with high collar, lace-up back suede corset, suede booty shorts, spats, neckershief and top hat. No shoes are included.

    The shorts are all exposed from behind. Gotta have the body and boldness to wear it. Wish upon a moon, indeed. I mean 'star'. [wink] Pricey, retails for $156.95.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Eggs.

    There are three eggs on disc two of this special edition. These are from the DVD edition. Don't know if they're on the Blu-Ray.

    Co-writer Frank Cappello gives his commentary on an animatic he created.

    Special Features -> highlight "The Production Of Hell" press left; highlight symbol on the goat skull - ENTER.

    - - -

    Stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell talks about creating the fight scene in the hydro therapy room.

    Special Features -> The Production Of Hell -> highlight "Main Menu" press left; highlight crucifix - ENTER.

    - - -

    Actor Gavin Rossdale discusses his make-up transformation with time lapse and behind-the-scenes footage.

    Special Features -> Imagining The Underworld -> highlight "Hellscape" press right; highlight symbol on the corpse's head - ENTER.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    We are days away from Halloween, days. So I'm gonna give you two more suggestions.

    "Becky" (2020)
    Becky Hooper like most tweens, hates her life. Her mom had died, a year earlier from cancer... her father, Jeff has moved on - too soon for her. His new girlfriend, his new fiancée, Kayla has a child of her own. On top of it all, she is bullied at school. Her solace comes from her dog, Diego and taking shelter in a decrepit tree house - alone with her thoughts and objects belonging to her mom. Becky's life becomes immeasurably worse. Escaped convicts; home invaders have taken over their rural house. They're looking for a key - a key that was hidden in the home years ago. Lead by the sadistic Dominick, he and his men search the place and come across the thirteen year old girl. She has among her mom's possessions, that key. How much trouble can a little girl do to harden murderers and Neo-Nazis? A lot, she has nothing to loose; a strained relationship with her dad and no connection with Kayla or her would-be brother. These men want war with her? Think of this as a dark and bloody, "Home Alone" (1990). The young girl already had issues to begin with - she will bring the WAR to them. On DVD and Blu-Ray. Did not recognize, until listed - Kevin James is the big bad. Yes that Kevin James.
    Quiver Distribution - 2020 - R

    "Monster Party" (2018)
    Dodge, Iris and Casper are professional thieves. Hoping to have one final score to retire - pay off all their debts; the trio learn of an extravagant dinner party in a wealthy part of Southern California. So much to take, so much to score; they insert themselves into the shindig in Malibu. But as the night goes they come to realize the what's going on - the biggest mistake of their lives. Things become violent and quite bloody... their would be heist is actually a gathering of serial killers - not innocent guests. A long night to stay alive.
    RLJ Entertainment, Inc. - 2018 - NR

    - - -



    Rachel Weisz was adorable as Angela Dodson. Enjoyed her as Evelyn Carnahan from 1999's "The Mummy" remake and its sequel. Looking at some of her current pixs, she's still an attractive woman.

    By the way, I have her 1996 feature "Chain Reaction" on DVD - which she also co-starred with Keanu Reeves too.

    Sorry, but there is no bonus entry for this year, there were some other extras.



    As you can see, none of them (from Wal-Mart) had a sticker or some indicator that they were store exclusives - which is the point of these annuals. I bought "The Mummy: Trilogy" and "Swamp Thing: The Complete Series" (not shown) for their glow-in-the-dark slipcases. I'm anal.

    Come back here on November 18th, '21 for the next, a single month entry. I need time to catch-up. So only one for November. Unsure, we'll both be surprised. Till then - have a safe and spooky Halloween!

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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on October 16th, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Yes, LEH is done, but I have this other entry - so, we're going here; a movie doing justice to a video game franchise in "Resident Evil: Degeneration"...



    This CGI motion picture had a limited theatrical run on October 17th, 2008 in Japan and in Italy on December 30th, 2008. You could very well say, this movie ended up being a direct to video release, domestically at least. This was released here in the States on December 28th, 2008.

    Sorry, don't know how much it took to make this talkie, but can tell you it grossed over 5 million during that short run in those two countries.

    It streeted against "Eagle Eye: 2 - Disc Special Edition", "The Duchess", "Ghost Town" and "Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Part One".

    This release originally came with an non-embossed foil cardboard slipcover which mirrored the wraparound. There were two inserts; 1) Ad for "Resident Evil 5" and "Resident Evil: Degeneration" video games. 2) An ad extolling the virtues of Blu-Ray.

    - - -

    There were three exclusives for the feature.



    Best Buy sold the movie with an exclusive lithograph, only 4 per store. The set sold for $19.99 on DVD. The exclusive was not offered for Blu-Ray ($27.99), odd; though I'm sure they would've let you have it if you asked nicely. Sorry the litho picture, it was the best I could do. I don't own the item.

    Man did I dropped the ball on this one. This title had a Sunday release, not Tuesday. I was sleeping-in that morning and around eleven AM it popped in my noggin'. I checked online and there it was - today (then). By the time I got to Best Buy there were all gone. I have no one to blame, but myself. I just forgot.

    Bought my copy for $14.99 (without litho), I had a five dollar voucher from the store (Reward Zone member).



    That day Wal-Mart had their own exclusive, a DVD/t-shirt gift set, side packed. I did not pick this up; never have been into collectible apparel, plus that tee looks incredibly mundane. Did they even try? I apologize once again, I do not know the price and can't speculate. There is nothing in my collection for a comparison.

    The tee came inside a DVD size box. I can't recall if the gift set came with the slipcover.

    The third came nearly two years after the fact. On August 31st, 2010, Wal-Mart offered exclusive Blu-Ray steelbooks for this title as well as "Resident Evil" (2002), "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004) and "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007).



    These retailed for $14.99 each and came with a bonus (exclusive) disc, a DVD; these were identical for each BD. The discs were not one on each side within the steelbook. Both were on the right side, overlaid on top of each other.

    No menu screen shot - it just plays; "Program Alice: Activated" featurette. It has a run time of 22:39 minutes (no chapters). Which is a sneak peak for then up coming "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010). It's also a retrospective of the past films.

    Since this exclusive wasn't really related to any specific film and it DID come with "Degeneration"; I decided to move that release into a two disc case; movie with BD bonus DVD. *nods*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    For the love of Buddha, the only good thing on the extras is the documentary, "The Generation Of Degeneration" and most of it isn't in English, subtitled. The rest was jaw dropping awful.

    The voice bloopers was embarrassing (new crappy dialog over existing scenes), is it a cultural difference? The voice bloopers from "The Lego Move" (2014) were entertaining. There is an interview with the guy who did the motion capture for Leon Kennedy, R.C. Ormond - what was the point? The very definition of filler. It's the guy with reflective dots on a black body suit answering stupid questions. At least this had the trailers. The movie was fun, but we needed better extras. The documentary was informative.



    The CGI was good (nice rendered zombies), minus one character - Senator Ron Davis (voiced by Michael Sorich).

    Man, his fat looked too cartoony. I enjoyed this offering, feels like it's part of the RE universe. And the result of the consequences from Raccoon City.

    Paul W.S. Anderson wrote and directed the first one, the 2002 motion picture "Resident Evil". But there were better adaptation of the games written by S.D. Perry, who is Stephani Danelle Perry, she wrote seven paperbacks based on the franchise:

    "The Umbrella Conspiracy" 1998
    "Caliban Cove" 1998
    "City Of The Dead" 1999
    "Underworld" 1999
    "Nemesis" 2000
    "Code Veronica" 2001
    "Zero Hour" 2004

    She took the non-linear game story and turned them into a logical sequential narrative. It works quite well. It's too bad nobody used her novels as the framework of a screenplay or hire her to work on a script, or as a collaborator. A slight sidetrack...



    On the above left is the original '98 by Pocket Books (270 pages), right is the 2012 re-release published by Titan Books. I like the artwork on the first iteration, the re-pressing's cover is weak CGI. I've seen original CGI art that puts it to shame. Why does it look so generic? It feels like that offered t-shirt on a book cover.

    Anyhow, the motion picture by Anderson has grown on me. It's pure fluff entertainment and not shy about the gore which I'm grateful, none of this PG-13 BS.

    Oh something else from "Degeneration".

    The child character of Rani (voiced by Michelle Ruff). I was pleasantly surprised they didn't go for clichés. She was there, but never obnoxious or a pain. This little kid was in the same mess with the rest of them, at the airport and acted as a child would in that situation, scared - not fake bravado. Well done.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    "Degeneration" takes place after RE4 (a year later) and before RE5 games. And was the first feature released in the PlayStation Home Theater. Alyson Court who did the voice here for Claire Redfield has done the voice of that character for all the video games, that's sway continuity.

    The voice here for Leon was done by Paul Mercier, he voiced Leon for RE4 game.



    There is another CGI home video release, "Resident Evil: Damnation" (September 25th, 2012; DVD and BD). This didn't have any exclusives (nor slipcover).

    It was decent enough. I would like to see another CGI production. Same with another animated entry for "Starship Troopers" franchise.

    There you go, very much a meat and potatoes post.



    Claire pictured, after the airport disaster from "Degeneration".

    See you here on December 22nd, 2021 - another single month post. I have nothing prepared and it's a busy month. *shrugs* It's something. Have a safe and as smooth as it can, Thanksgiving; flaky relatives and booze can be a bad combo.

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Update - 12/07/21...



    My wish is coming true - there is another CGI sequel coming... "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness" 'Season One' for DVD ($17.99) and BD ($30.99) on December 21st, 2021. When I heard about this, it had a January 2022 release. From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. On my list.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 12-07-2021 at 07:06 AM.

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