Hello all, we are well into the Christmas season now just coming off of Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago. I present to you, in the spirit of Christmas and because I love Christmas music of all kinds, a pretty nice compilation of tracks from the Rankin and Bass holiday specials that many of you are fond of. Some of these specials have their dedicated soundtracks, but this one pulls together some "hits" from those and it's a nice addition to any Christmas playlist.
"Goodbye, Cornelius. I hope you find lots of tinsel. Goodbye, Hermey. Whatever a dentist is, I hope someday you will be the greatest."
We're getting into the holidays now, and for many of you that celebrate Christmas there are a host of films out there to choose from. Here is my list of recommended holiday films. Now these are not all heavy with a focus on Christmas. Some only have the holidays as a backdrop and are briefly mentioned, but that's good enough for me and makes the movie all the more interesting.
So here they are, in no particular order. They are all too different to really rate best to least best. These are all well known films so I won't go into any sort detail on why I think they are good. Just trust my judgement on this.
Since I know many of you who visit my blog are into horror and perhaps more specifically horror from the 70s and 80s I found a movie currently streaming on Netflix that might appeal to your sensibilities. It's called Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell. It was released in 1987 and from some information I found it was a VHS release folks used to order from old Fangoria magazines. Basically what it is, is a collection of 70s and 80s horror/gore centric flicks. I started watching it the other day and I thought it was a pretty enjoyable selection of movie trailers. Admittedly there are a number of movies I've never heard of and that's really the great things about it is that it might expose you to some films you haven't seen or have forgotten about.
On October 17th, 2013 Lou Scheimer one of the co-founders of the Filmation animation company passed away. Filmation produced the wildly popular He-Man & The Masters of the Universe and She-Ra Princess of Power TV series based on the toylines created by Mattel. Filmation made many other animated shows, but for me these are the two I love the most.
My friend Shawn Robare posted a great write-up about Lou's passing and the impact those Filmation shows had on many of us. You can read his post here!
I mentioned the Month of Macabre 31 day photo challange that I'm taking part in on Instagram. Today's question is "Best Death Scene" from a horror movie. Immediately I thought of the character of Vera's death at the hands of Jason Vorhees in "Friday the 13th: Part III". Vera is the character that accidentally dropped Shelly's wallet into the water. She was speaking with Shelly minutes earlier and turned down his love advances. What we don't see is off camera Jason has killed Shelly and taken his hockey mask from him and re-appears to Vera now wearing it. Vera mistakenly thinks it's Shelly and apologizes for dropping the wallet, but upon closer examination realizes that's Shelly's mask, but not Shelly. Before she can do anything Jason fires an arrow at her.
This scene although not overly gory, disturbing or a major part of the film is very memorable scene to me for a couple of reasons. One is that it's the very first time Jason appears on screen in his now iconic hockey mask. The second reason is that this is the very first Friday film I saw. I saw an edited for TV version, but I enjoyed it none-the-less. This installment still is one of my favorite of the franchise, perhaps solely on nostalgia, but I love it all the same.
Hello all, I wanted to let you know that over on Instagram, the Month of Macabre folk have a 31 day challenge going on to post pictures related to specific horror related questions. If you are big instagram user and horror fan I suggest you jump on there. I've actually posted something for the last four days, which for me is pretty good. Today's question was "What is your favorite horror franchise". My pick is "Friday the 13th" primarily for most of the entries re-watchability. Some entries are weak as you get in the "Jason Takes Manhattan" era, but overall they are good fun to watch. I prefer Freddy Krueger as a villian, because he has more personality, but the NOES films just got really corny very quickly and beyond part 3 are anything I really go back to watch.
Over in the right-hand sidebar you can peep out my Instagram feed to see some of the things I've posted.
The Countdown to Halloween continues and today's post is music related! I recently got the latest Wolfmen of Mars album release "Universal Madness." I've been a big fan of their work since I first discovered them. All thought I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite album, I think this is my favorite Wolfmen album to-date. Wolfmen of Mars describe the album as "Take some fuzzy guitars, big boxed VHS movies, analog synthesizers and those old Halloween decorations. Put 'em in a giant blender and you've got this album right here." I don't think I could have said it better myself!
If you've been a long time reader of this blog, you've probably heard me speak on them before and why the music appeals to me so much. The music as you'll hear is heavily influenced by horror/sci-fi scores/soundtracks with that heavy synth and sinister sounding vibe. It's right up my alley. Some tracks are creepy and haunting "The Ungodly Hour" and others much more upbeat "Make Your Own Monster". With Halloween quickly approaching I highly recommend everyone purchase this album. It's great music for the season and putting into the mix at your Halloween party. Also, check out that album artwork, it fits perfectly with the vibe of this album. You can see why Halloween pops into my mind as soon as you see it. Give the album a spin below and if you dig it head over to their Band Camp page to buy some new music.
Here is an old TV ad for Woolworth's "one-stop-shopping" for your Halloween needs. They have costumes, candy and spooky sound effects records for any great party. I have to say those costumes are horrible looking. I never liked those crappy plastic masks and costumes that seemed so popular back then. That Ben Cooper brand and their ilk were just awful to me on all sorts of levels. I mean look at the Holly Hobbie costume in this ad, what in the hell is that?!?
We are now entering Autumn and that means that you are going to see Countdown to Halloween posts creeping up on my fellow bloggers blogs and websites. If you not hip to the Countdown click on the badge to the right-side of my page. The badges have a great Monster's Cereal look this year. Basically it's a way to get our community together to one of our favorite times of the year and post any and all things Halloween related, spooky or what-have-you.
I invite you all to check out one of my favorite "Tales from the Darkside" episodes called "Anniversary Dinner". The story here is about an old couple a few days away from celebrating their wedding anniversary. They continually talk about how it might not be the same since they don't have any children around anymore. As luck would have it a runaway girl looking for a loving family arrives at their doorstep. This episode I didn't see when it originally aired, but I tracked it down after reading a great write-up about it on the old X-Entertainment website.
Hello all! I've been meaning to put this up as a companion post to my friends The Cult Film Club's podcast discussing The Karate Kid Part III. This is probably the least popular and least liked of the Karate Kid films. I'm ignoring The Next Karate Kid and the Karate Kid remake here. Those are far worse. This flick just doesn't have the same feeling as the previous installments. I like where they were trying to take the story, it just didn't work.
Now, I'm coming down on this flick kind of hard here. It does have some bright moments. One of them being the character of Terry Silver. He's awesome! Just a great villain. When he's on the screen I'm really into the flick. He's so sinister and off the wall that it's really a memorable character. The other great aspect to the film is the soundtrack by Bill Conti. This really is well done and retains the magic of the previous films by hitting those familiar cues but with some subtle and new twists to make it quite enjoyable. So my dear friends what I have for you hear is the Score and Various artist soundtracks and a link over to a fantastic discussion by The Cult Film Club, if you are a fan of the Karate Kid films give their podcast a listen.
"What's his name - Miyagi - and that punk kid - I'm gonna get them for what they did to you. They made you suffer, so I'm gonna make them suffer... and suffer and suffer and when I think they've suffered enough, then I start with the pain."
Hello all! I have for your listening enjoyment the Planet of the Apes Volume 2 audio stories that were originally released by Power Records in 1975 or 1974. This was released as a record for children and probably older sci-fi fans of the series. This is Volume 2, which has new "original" stories that are based on characters and such from the film series, but are not the stories from the films. The Volume 1 are the stories based directly on the films.
These came with comic books to read along with to the audio you hear, but what I have for you today is just the audio. I've seen the comics, but I really prefer to listen to them like I'm listening to an old-time-radio show. In that fashion they work quite well, you let your imagination take hold and form the pictures for you. If you are Planet of the Apes, old-time-radio, or 70s children's records fan I highly suggest grabbing these.
Just yesterday my wife stopped into a local thrift store to see if they had anything interesting on the shelves and came away with one of the best hauls of stuff I've ever seen at a store like this.
She found four in great condition and with all of their pieces She-Ra: Princess of Power puzzels from the Golden company! I believe associated with Golden Books company. The artwork and condition of these is quite fantastic. Whoever had these babies must have just kept them in storage somewhere until someone or the original owner decided to donate them to the local thrift store. Now, not only did she just find these, but she also found a Masters of the Universe puzzle featuring Battle Armor He-Man and Buzzoff battling Skeletor and Merman. PLUS there was an old SpiderMan puzzle of him helping some boyscouts from facing death by waterfall. In the interest of time I took a photos of them with my phone to post here for your viewing pleasure. I had someone on Instagram ask if I could scan them because they wanted a nice clear copy of them. I think I'll do that later this week. Scan them all, zip them up and make the box art available for download. Click the READ MORE link below to check out the artwork.
Today for your listening "pleasure" I have the now OOP (out-of-print) soundtrack to the 1982 teen-comedy Zapped starring Scott Baio and Willie Aames. They are probably better remembered acting together on the 80s TV show Charles In Charge. This soundtrack to the best of my knowledge features original pop songs conceived specifically for the film. I don't believe any of these tracks saw any kind of mainstream success on the charts.
The interesting thing to this soundtrack is that it doesn't feel classic to me. It has the 70s/80s vibe I normally like, but only a couple of the tracks really grab me. The songs are all listenable enough, but I'm betting if you are a big fan of the film you'll dig this soundtrack as it will hold some nice nostalgia for you. The fact that I don't hear it mentioned much on the blogs lends me to think there must be a handful of you hunting for this release.
I wanted to quick make a mention of the passing of special/visual effects wizard Ray Harryhausen. He passed away yesterday at the age of 92. To film buffs especially older folk, from fans, directors, writers to modern day visual effects artists his creations and work has inspired many people and really been loved by movie goers. Many of the films he worked on are still very well known and well respected for their achievements for what they were in his era of film making. As a young child I loved watching all his monsters come alive on the "silver screen". As you may or may not know, I'm not a big fan of CGI effects of today. I've always been a fan of practical effects, which is probably more because I grew up on those films.
Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that Sideshow Cinema is sad to see his passing, but respect and enjoyed all his hard work he put into film making. Below I have a few videos of some of my personal favorite creations of his. Enjoy!!!
This week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers topic is...
You never get a second chance at a first impression–what moment in pop culture had you saying “Now, that’s how you make an introduction!”
I thought about this a minute and then it hit me. One of my favorite villains from horror film history is Freddy Krueger and the original A Nightmare on Elm Street being the best of the bunch, in fact one of the best original horror films I've ever seen.
The opening scene to that film when I first saw it and having no idea who Freddy was or what the movie was really about was startling.. spooky... shocking... thrilling! The original film starts out showing you just a guy's hands laying out an old leather glove and dumping a bag of razors and metal pieces all over a dirty old work table. You have no idea where this is, what this stuff is for or what the hell is going on. You slowly watch this person's horrific creativity come together as he begins sharpening and welding. Then his diabolical creation is revealed. With a creepy raspy "Ahhhhh" and Charles Berstein's score hitting a high note you know you are in for something that you've never said before! This is easily my all-time favorite film opening. The visuals and the music! I've found the scene on Youtube for your viewing pleasure.
Check out what my fellow bloggers found to WOW them!!
Hello boys and ghouls! I wanted to share something with you all. Especially, those that are into 80s pop culture TV, movies, toys, trading cards. I'm thinking chances are high that if you have come to this blog this sort of thing will be your bag, baby!
There is a fantastic new company called Boxsome that recently started making available something they call "Nostalgia Packs". What are these you ask? I'll tell you using their own words. They are more eloquent than I. "Nostalgia Packs contain unopened trading card wax packs of your choice, stickers, some random loose cards, and more goodies. I want these to be really fun and to make you excited about getting mail again." Below I have a photo I took of the Nostalgia Pack that I received.
As you can see I got a couple of Dark Crystal wax packs, which I was able to select. They have many different wax packs that you can choose from. The old wax packs are awesome enough, but the really fun part to me is that they will throw in some random items. As you can see the random items I got are some cool Sonic pogs, Gremlins and Return of the Jedi cards, and some old school Nintendo stickers. I haven't had the heart to open the packages to look at the cards and stickers, because they just seem so cool sealed. I invite you to check out their site and buy some packs of your own. They are a great addition to your existing pop culture collection items.
Also, and I should have mentioned this earlier. Boxsome was started by Tommy Day of Top Hat Sasquatch fame. So you know this is coming from someone that knows pop culture and collecting the weird and wonderful!
Hello all! I've been meaning to get the good word out that Wolfmen of Mars released a brand new album. It actually came out back in January and if you haven't heard of it or them I suggest you give it a listen. The title of their latest effort is "We're Gonna Die Either Way". I'm a big fan of their work and always welcome new music they release. The reason it appeals to me so much is that their style is heavily influenced by the synth soundtrack sounds of films from the 70s and 80s. Personally I feel they have a definite horror/sci-fi vibe. This is my favorite era of soundtrack scores, so to hear that flavor mixed with a modern kind of groove is always good fun. I suggest you take a listen below and if you dig what you hear pick up an album or two. Check out the Bandcamp embed below or peruse the music via iTunes .
This week’s challenge for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers was suggested by Derek. A while back, the League's geek confessions topic unearthed some serious cans of worms, and I think this week’s topic might dig up a few more…
I must admit that I feel pretty steadfast in most of the geeky things I like. However, there are those things that sometimes slip through the cracks that I'm certainly less than vocal about. I mean I can't let my minions know I have an area in my armor that is a little suspect. What is suspect you ask? One of my guilty pleasures... watching the TV show Gossip Girl.
In all honesty I had never heard of the show until about a month ago. My wife suggested we check it out. She'd heard some things about it and thought it could be just corny enough to be enjoyable and something we could make fun of for a good laugh. Now on many levels it's just that. Something for us to watch, scream at the TV, laugh and ridicule the characters. The problem is that I'm half-way into Season 3 now and I want to keep watching it. I'm enjoying and looking forward to watching more. I think what I find so appealing is the on-and-off like-able characters, the scheming and double crossing. Friends betraying friends when they know a secret, exposing people for their own personal gain. I LOVE it. Plus, as cheesy as it seems the wrap around premise that there is some super secret blogger that people relay their secrets to and "she" posts it for everyone's enjoyment I really like. Hell even now just writing about it makes me want to watch more. I think I need serious help... or a complete jump-the-shark train wreck of an episode to even get me to stop watching.
So now that my secret is out the question is, what fellow blogger will use this information to orchestrate my destruction for their own personal gain! Who among my friends has been secretly plotting to un-throne me via some Gossip Girl scheming?!?!? I'm Queen B... just try to top me!! XO XO You know you love me!!
Check out my fellow League members guilty pleasures. These are the things that will send them hiding out in their mom's basement!
A friend of mine was at a local store in the city called "Estate Sales Warehouse". This store is basically a large indoor flea market/consignment shop. They have all sorts of strange items for sale there. She came across this old 1978 US magazine issue that featured Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno as their characters David Banner and the Hulk respectively. There was a nice article inside that talks about the show and how it became a really big hit for TV. They interview Bixby and have some quotes from him about the show and his background. There is some info on Ferrigno as well.
I thought this was an interesting item and I wanted to share it with all of you. I have the magazine cover and entire article in PDF format for your downloading pleasure. I also scanned in a small article on Stan Lee that was in this issue, with him talking about some Marvel Comics related things as it pertained to the late 70s.
Well friends. I'm daring to dip my toes back into soundtrack blogging that I love so much. It's been quite a long time since I've done this. You could possibly consider my Secret of the Sword post previously the official return, but I digress. What I have for you today is the now OOP (out-of-print) album "Digital Premiere Recordings From The Films Of Lee Holdridge" featuring thirteen various cues and suites from film that Holdridge has scored in the past.
If Holdridge's name doesn't ring a bell for you, then I suggest you think back to the sword and sorcery 80s classic Beastmaster. Now you know what I'm talking about! Beastmaster was one of those films that has a nice cult following based on all sorts of elements of the film, Marc Singer, a painted tiger, weird monsters, the whole sword and sorcery thing. That was really big back then, what with the popularity of Conan and Masters of the Universe. This soundtrack contains lots of music from all sorts of films that Holdridge worked on, but one of my favorite bits is the inclusion of a nice 7+ minute suite from Beastmaster. My posting this isn't random in the least. My friends over at the Cult Film Club site recently did a podcast discussing this film in some detail for they all dig the film on some level.. because as I said it's a cult classic. I highly recommend you drop by their site and listen to their podcast and future podding. It's great entertainment!
Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, so it only makes sense that this week’s topic relates to items we hold close to our hearts. This week’s assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:
Write a stream of conscious post listing the things you love and hold dear.
Well, since my blog has focused on movies, soundtracks, TV shows and more recently random pop culture things. I will keep my list to things within that realm… but let's get real, that's really the only stuff I love. Get ready to be hot and bothered... or annoyed that Star Wars doesn't appear on my list.
I love the PREDATOR monster/character what-have-you. I love the movies (blindly), the soundtracks, the comics, the toys, the EVERYTHING!
I love the first two ALIEN films, two classics. Horror, action, sci-fi, it's got it all.
I love movie soundtracks to my favorite films of the 80s. Listening to them takes me back to the films. I can see them in my head, it's as if I'm watching the film. I'm often reminded of when I would hold a cassette recorder up to the TV to record my own personal movie soundtracks.
I loved when this blog was soundtrack centric and I was able to turn people onto soundtracks they never heard or provided them with that out-of-print gem they had been hunting for.
I love the Masters of the Universe: The 80s era primarily. The cartoons (She-Ra included), the figures and all the wonderful memories I have of playing with them in my bedroom when I was little.
I love 70s-80s horror films.
I love 80s action films.
I love all the originality I felt was coming out of the 80s with films and toys.
I love discovering a weird old book or toy at a thrift store and paying a super cheap price for something amazing. (Its pretty rare if this happens, so it's a real treat.)
I love blogging, but it feels like I don't always have time for it, but when I do get a post up I do quite enjoy it!
I love Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell really shook the pillars of heaven there.
I'm not the only one to share my love of the weird, the fantastic and memorable. Check out some of my fellow League members.
Today I'm continuing with my Masters of the Universe related posts because, as you may have read in the previous post, I'm a big fan of the Masters of the Universe property (toys, stories, music). I have been tracking down things of interest lately related to He-Man and She-Ra. One of my favorite finds is "The Secret of the Sword" soundtrack put out on the Kid's Stuff label. Although the book/cassette set calls this the "original soundtrack recording" it's not exactly the score from the MOTU feature film. When I first came across it I thought it was just the score from the film, which I was extremely excited about, as cues from the He-Man and She-Ra shows haven't been readily made available. What this actually is, is the complete "Secret of the Sword" movie/story in audio/book form.
What I have for you dear friends is the audio from the cassette, which honestly is pretty fantastic.
! It uses all of the original voice performances and score straight from the film. It has a narrator that speaks and explains things along the way to make it a true audio book and it helps to make the story transition to the audio realm quite nicely. Of all the audio Masters of the Universe related stories my kids listen to now, it's by far their favorite. I really enjoy hearing the original Filmation music and actors on here. It feels like you are watching the film when listening to it. It's a pretty great story too. If you haven't seen the film I highly recommend it. It's a great bridge from the He-Man show to the She-Ra show. I love seeing characters from the various series all-together in one story.
What I have available for download to you is the complete audio book and an isolated track of the theme song "I Have the Power" as performed by Erika Scheimer & Noam Kaniel. I thought some of you might enjoy having that track separate from the story audio so I'm throwing it in here as a bonus to this download. Enjoy!
"By the power of Grayskull!"
"For the honor of Grayskull!"
Recently I showed my 3 and 7 year old daughters a couple of Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power episodes and it instantly captured their imagination. They got out all of my old He-Man figures and started playing with them and my wife and I bought them some She-Ra figures to go along with them. To feed their desire of He-Man/She-Ra stories I found a bunch of old Masters of the Universe books on tape/record online in mp3 format and collected as many as I could find.
My kids and I enjoy listening to these during the day. We only have one of the actual books, so the rest of the audio files are kind of like listening to OTR (old time radio) shows. It's real theater of the mind stuff, but my kids love it. Their new interest has re-kindled my love of all things Masters of the Universe and I'm on the hunt again for old figures and such. Below I have for your listening enjoyment a link to download of the audio version of the book "Caverns of Fear" in mp3 format. I'm embedding a video someone put up of the pages of the book that play along with the audio. It's quite enjoyable I must say.