Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cap'n Crunch is a Werewolf

It's official: Halloween is upon us.

Some mark the holiday's start as the time Halloween costumes and candy first appear on store shelves, which is a practice I respect but don't follow. Every year Christmas pushes just a little closer to summer, consequently shoving the rest of the holidays earlier into the year with it. I saw my first Halloween products on shelves in early September and that's just too damn early.

For me, Halloween now begins when Monster Cereals emerge from hibernation. And that day was today.

I've been looking for them for the better part of a week without luck, but expanded my hunting grounds into the next state today (that's North Carolina, for those of you keeping score.) My first few stops were a bust, but I finally found them for sale at Target where they were proudly displayed on an endcap at the registers (see the photo above.)

I miss the days when you could get Monster Cereals year round, but apparently people only eat breakfast in the forms of bars and/or shakes these days. It's all very Jetsons but that's no excuse for not being able to get a bowl of Frankenberry in July.

But I shouldn't bitch too much. I fully expected to go another year without finding a box of Boo Berry, which is notorious for being the most elusive of the Monster Cereals. As you can see in the photo above, the Boo Berry crops must have been bountiful this year because there was plenty available. You'll also note they've redesigned the boxes (again) which is probably necessary because they're only produced once a year. (The boxes are also noticeably smaller than in the past.)

It seems that the monster bug is even spreading out into other cereals this year. Cap'n Crunch appears to have succumbed to lycanthropy on the front of the new Halloween Crunch cereal (which turns your milk green!) I like to imagine the good cap'n is trolling the waters of the English Channel with an entire ship full of werewolf pirates, laying waste to those who cross his path.

The Droid You're Looking For (but probably can't afford)

Motorola has unveiled its limited edition R2-D2 Droid 2 phone, and it's killer.
You can find the full details here. Here are the abbreviated specs.

* 5.0MP camera with auto focus, touch–to–focus, and face detection, panoramic modes, and more.* DVD–D1 Video capture with easy upload to YouTube, slow–motion capture, fast motion capture and more.
* DLNA Wireless sharing of photos, video, and music with other DLNA compatible devices (Server, Controller, Player, Upload and Download)
* Blockbuster Mobile Application for downloading full–length movies the same day they are available on DVD.
* Dedicated Camera Key
* 3G Mobile Hotspot with support for up to 5 Devices
 * Custom, authentic Lucas Films R2–D2 designed Droid 2
* Exclusive "The Best of R2–D2" movie with Original Cantina Music
* Exclusive Empire Strikes Back Binoculars App
* Star Wars Live Wallpapers: Millennium Falcon and Space Slug
* Star Wars Interactive Wallpapers
* TI OMAP 1GHz processor with Dedicated GPU
* 8GB Internal memory for emails, texts, and apps
* 8GB pre–installed microSDcard for music, videos, and pictures (expandable to 32GB)
* Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS with Motorola Application Platform
* Integrated Google , Exchange, Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter Contacts
* Usage Time: Up to 575 minutes OR
* Standby Time: Up to 315 hours
* SAR: Head: 1.49 W/kg; Body: 1.50 W/Kg
* Battery: 1400 mAH Li–Ion

Sadly, in order to qualify for the $249 "online price" you have to sign a two-year contract. I've got more than a year left on my contract so old R2 here will be obsolete by the I have to re-up. You'd think these contract issues would be structured in a way that would, you know, encourage people to buy new products instead of creating unnecessary obstacles.

Monster Serial: CREEPSHOW

(Halloween is like Christmas for Geeks. To mark the month-long celebration I'll be writing short pieces about horror movies throughout October in a feature called Monster Serial. It's nothing scholarly ... they're just meant to help get you in the spirit of the season.)

Creepshow should have been a dream come true for fans of vintage horror comics. Too bad it was released in 1982 during a rare tsunami of amazing films, a torrent which pretty much crushed its chances for survival. When movies like Blade Runner, Tron and The Thing can bomb, what hope did a little movie like Creepshow stand?

A collaboration between George Romero and Stephen King, the movie adapts a fictitious EC-style comic book and presents five short vignettes from a single "issue." It’s hard to pick a high point in the film, but many people favor the mean-spirited zombie tale“Father’s Day” over the final chapter, which features about 10,000 pissed-off cockroaches. "Father's Day" is the most legitimately creepy tale in the film, but Creepshow is really a comedy first and horror movie second. The liberal amounts of gore in the film tend to throw people off, as does the fact that Romero isn't really known for comedies.

Creepshow was a nice bookend to my theatrical experience in England. My family spend three years there and my first memory of going to a theater is of being traumatized by the "elevator full of blood" trailer for The Shining. It was only fair that I leave the country as terrified as I was when I arrived.

Unlike The Shining, though, Creepshow didn't leave any permanent scars. Father's Day weirded me out (and is one of the only times I was ever genuinely scared during a movie) but the remaining stories were loads of fun and felt like an R-rated version of the Adam West Batman TV show. And there are lots of performances here to love. Adrienne Barbeau and Hal Holbrook really shine as the world's most mismatched married couple in The Crate, while E.G. Marshall has a veritable one-man show in They're Creeping Up on You.

The same can be said for Stephen King in The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, though he shares the story with another actor who plays all of the remaining parts (King's performance tends to rub some folks the wrong way, but I'm not one of them.) The segment Something to Tide You Over also calls back to a really strange time in the career of Leslie Nielsen when he seemed to only play bad guys. And King's son, who writes today under the name Joe Hill, even has a small but significant role in the film.

The movie (not to mention the Bernie Wrightson-illustrated Creepshow graphic novel) has dropped off the radar of most film fans, too, which is a damn shame. It's a love letter not only to horror, but comics and movies.

T-shirt of the Day

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

G33K4L1F3 Goes Dark

I love Halloween. I tend to think of Halloween as Christmas for Geeks, but it's more like a sexier version of Hanukkah because the actual celebration is fairly spread out  (though the costumes usually don't make an appearance until the final day.)

To mark the 30-day holiday I'll be posting lots of horror-related items throughout October. I'll also be introducing a new look to G33K4L1F3 for the month (maybe even a little sooner if I get bored.)

But Halloween is about more than horror. It's about imagination, identity and, in no small part, debauchery. It's a holiday with an ideology that comfortably straddles The Exorcist, Ed Wood, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, Ray Bradbury, Elvira, S&M, rock and roll, comicbooks and even Star Wars.*

Christmas can suck it. As long as I have Halloween, who needs those other holidays?

(*The same could be said for comic conventions.)

Toyetic: Random Images

Star Wars ZIPPO lighters

From the Hypno Pimp (via Cracked, of course.)

Glenn Danzig: Movie Critic

"We give this movie three sixes." has a treasure trove of old interviews, reviews and general stories about Glenn Danzig's various musical projects over the years. I've been following this page since the days of the old "Misfits Bible" newsletter but still enjoy rooting around the archives to see what kind of stuff I can find.
Here are Glenn Danzig's movie picks from a 1983 issue of Flipside fanzine. Spoiler: he's NOT a fan of Star Wars.

"I don't care what anybody says, this movie was COOL AS FUCK. It's about a little girl who goes to the grave of a Demon-Witch for spiritual support as a troubled kis. Well she's grown up now, it takes her over and she phases in and out of possession, becoming the Coolest Girl-Ghoul since the She-Creature. Besides demonic facial appearance she also has tits that are demon-skulls with razor-sharp jaws that rip out her hubby's chest cavity. Really offbeat, especially the end, which is really weird. See it or ROT."

"This is a long out of circulation H.G. Lewis gem which just started doing midnight stints in N.Y.C. and possibly in your town. It is my personal fave of all H.G.'s movies and besides some sickening GORE you also get one of the most hilarious romps through Blood & Guts you'll ever see. It's about a disfigured killer who goes around mutilating the faces of strippers, cause since the maniacs trajic accident she can no longer strip due to bodily scars. If this comes to your town and you miss it you'll regret it."

"If you're going to this to see "DAWN" because for some strange reason you've never seen it or just for another view "FORGET IT"!!! It's been cut to shit just so it could an R rathing and play with the ultra-boring Creepshow. Has Romero Sold Out? We'll see when the last of the "Living Dead" sequel is out."

"If you liked the "Wizard of Oz" You'll love the Star Wars Saga. Princess Leia is Dorothy, Artoo is Toto, Luke, Han & Chewie are the Scarecrow, TinMan & Cowardly Lion. I HATE Star Wars. Gimme BASKETCASE Anyday."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free Droid Wallpaper: Iron-Man

Iron-Man 2 (one of my favorite movies of the year) hits home video tomorrow. I thought this would be a good time to share some of the wallpaper I made for my Motorola Droid phone.

I don't know about you, but I've had to wade through too many bad "free wallpapers" on the Droid Marketplace. A lot of them are just random images that either don't align well with the screen or are too busy (and sometimes both.) After doing a little research I found the image dimensions and resolution and started making my own.

Below are thumbnails of some of the Iron-Man related wallpaper I made. (I included wallpaper for the "briefcase armor," which might have been my favorite costume from the film.) Click on them for the full-sized images.

Well, at least we got rid of Joel Schumacher

Above is a Key of Awesome video parody of The Dark Knight. It seems a bit willfully obtuse at times (I'm not sure the movie was as difficult to follow as they make it seem ... the video sometimes sounds like those nitwits back in 1994 who complained they were "confused" by Pulp Fiction) but the performances are pretty good.

Three Teen Wolves

Toyetic: Superheroes

More from last week's Toyetic photoshoot. These are Justice League-related toys from a lot of different lines: Brandon Routh from Superman Returns, a Green Lantern figure from the DC Universe figures, an "Identity Crisis" Green Arrow and Hawkman from some fast-food restaurant tie-in (Jack in the Box, maybe?)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

IG-88's 57 Chevy (Mary Shelley Overdrive remix)

 Not too long ago, mc chris had a contest to remix songs from his three "Part Six" eps. He posted the stem files for download and let fans have at them. The results are available for download over at his website.

Not among those downloads is an effort by Mary Shelley Overdrive. The contest ended Sept. 6 ... but the band didn't wrap their remix until this week.

From the MSO website:
"As usual, we dragged our asses. We're trying to get our new album done and the remix thing just got pushed to the side for a few days too many. We wanted to do one of the Star Wars songs and decided ti pick the one about IG-88. He's like the bounty hunter who always gets picked last in gym class, so we thought we'd show him a little love."

IG-88s 57 Chevy is available as a download over at their official website. Or you can get it directly from Soundcloud below.
  IG-88's 57 Chevy (Mary Shelley Overdrive remix) by Mary Shelley Overdrive

Toyetic: At the Movies

More from last week's spontaneous Toyetic photoshoot. One of these isn't from a movie (but it's from a cartoon based on a movie so it kinda counts.) These are toys from Tron, Army of Darkness, Legend, The Toxic Avenger and Lord of the Rings. All these years later and I still can't believe there was a Saturday Morning Cartoon based on The Toxic Avenger.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to gaurantee your kid will HATE Star Wars

Doctor Who's Sonic Screwdriver Wii stylus

Boy, this is old ... but if I'm just hearing about it, then maybe it's news to some of you, as well. Nintendo is releasing a Doctor Who game later this year titled Return to Earth (as well as a DS game titled Evacuation Earth.) The games feature the Cybermen and Daleks, naturally.

The best part? There's a Sonic Screwdriver controller being produced for the Wii. I don't actually own a Wii (I'm an Xbox man, myself) so I might have to settle for the Sonic Screwdriver pictured below. It's more my speed, anyway.

Robot Dog not included

Last week, the official store of mc chris had a 24-hour sale. Shit quickly sold out, but I managed to get a couple of t-shirts and a cap before the end of the day. I think I'm gonna use the items above as my Halloween costume this year! Who wants to hear me rap? (SPOILER ALERT: I can't rap.)

Star Trek pizza cutter

Star Trek. Pizza. Awesome!
From ThinkGeek.

Toyetic: Gotham City, part 2

Here are a few more photos taken last week of some of my Batman toys. These are a bit more Dark Knight-themed.

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