Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 5 Countdown - 2011 Black Friday MovieStop Specials

As we all know, the day after Thanksgiving is that infamous corporate holiday coined Black Friday. Two years ago I waited early in line for a 50 inch TV, but since then, I had no need to wake up before 3AM and fight others for some specials. Instead, I woke up around noon and went to my favorite store:

In case you never been to MovieStop (because I don't think they're as prevalent as GameStop), they're a store where you can buy and trade in for used or new movies. I know most of the time you can get better deals on Amazon, but sometimes it's just nice to browse real life shelves because you never know what hidden gems you can find. Also, Amazon doesn't have a hot female worker who has great taste in film and likes comic books...

Anyways, this Top 5 Countdown is featuring the best Blu-ray deals I scored at MovieStop for this year's Black Friday:

5. Muppets in Space - Not the best of the muppet films, but I couldn't beat the deal and had to support Kermit in some way since I didn't see his new film over the weekend.

4. Predators - This is the recent remake that came out about a year ago. I haven't watched it myself, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it with the Robert Rodriguez commentary.

3. Wonder Woman - In case you haven't seen any of the recent DCU Animated Films, you ought to check them out. Princess Diana doesn't get the credit she deserves, but this flick shows her some love.

2. The Exorcist - This really isn't in theme with the holiday season, but this is my scariest movie of all time. It comes with lots of features, unseen footage, and a couple versions of the film. I'm kind of excited to watch it with the commentaries and see if I can still get through it without covering my eyes.

1. North by Northwest - I've been meaning to get this one for a while, but I'm glad I waited because I got a great deal. It's been a while, but I'm super excited to watch this Carey Grant thriller and see what bonus features are included. As they come out, my goal is to get all of Hitchcock's films on Blu-ray, so this was the perfect one to start with!

So, if you have a MovieStop nearby, stop by and support them. Believe me, I enjoy internet shopping, but you don't always get the same experience and conversations like you would at a brick and mortar store.

Overall, I had a pretty good Thanksgiving eating too much food and goofing off. Sadly, I had to go back to work and school - meaning this will be my last post for at least a week until I finish finals and can enjoy the UCF Winter Break. I'll be back soon and can't wait to share a few more Tarantino Comics and review things in the entertainment world!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tarantino Comics - Issue 20

I've been trying to stretch out these covers for as long as I could since my next con is not until February, but I have to share one of my favorites - Tarantino Comics #20 illustrated by Dave Wachter at Heroes Con 2011.

Inspired from Jackie Brown, Dave created a beautiful depiction of Pam Grier co-featuring Robert Forster as Max Cherry. If I saw this iconic issue on the news stands, I'd most definitely pick it up. Also notice the vertical title bar next to the comic banner, another great homage to EC Comics.

I first met Dave a few years ago at CGS Episode 300 where he did an awesome Yip Yips and Pigs in Space in my Muppet Show versus Sesame Street sketchbook (he actually did a Kermit vs. Cookie Monster piece which inspired the entire theme). Ever since then, I've gotten Dave in almost all my sketchbooks since his art is so beautiful and fantastic. So if you ever see Dave at a convention, grab his art now before he becomes a mega-comic superstar and has commission prices on par with Adam Hughes. Recently for IDW, he did a mini-series called That Hellbound Train, an adaptation of Robert Bloch's short story (also the author of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho). But don't let that scare you from just talking with him because he's fan of comics, very humble, and a super guy.

So if you like what you saw, check out his sketchblog at . Also, I've been hoping for a revival of Westerns with recent projects such as AMC's Hell on Wheels and my most anticipated movie of next year, Tarantino's Django Unchained. So if you don't want to miss the next "zombie / vampire craze", get on board with Dave's awesome webcomic (Eisner and Harvey nominated), Guns of Shadow Valley at .

Sleepaway Camp - Didn't See This Ending Coming

For this blog entry, I have to give credit to the Double Feature Podcast. Whenever I see a new episode queued up into my I-Tunes account, I'm always surprised how their tastes align with mine. The hosts (Eric and Michael) are either covering films I've just watched or movies I plan on viewing. Double Feature has a reoccurring event called Killapalooza, where the crew screens all the movies in a horror franchise. Past Killapalooza's have covered Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hellraiser, and even the Amityville Horror flicks. One of their latest installments was on Sleepaway Camp.

Having never heard of this franchise, I decided to listen to the episode, ready for any spoilers until Eric and Michael announced: Do not listen to this episode until you have at least seen the first Sleepaway Camp. So I decided to take their advice, and wow, was I actually surprised!

Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 Slasher film directed by Robert Hiltzik. The premise is simple, kids at Camp Arawak are brutally murdered one by one. These deaths include:
  • The head chef doused with boiling water (this guy deserved it, he was a pedophile)
  • A camper drowned in a capsized canoe
  • A camper stung to death by bees in a bathroom stall
  • A camp counselor stabbed in the shower
  • A camper raped with a curling iron (this was the "Mean Girl" of the camp)
  • Three elementary campers mutilated by a hatchet
  • The camp commissioner shot in the neck with an arrow

The film focuses on one particular camper, Angela (played by Felissa Rose). Angela is extremely shy, making herself a target for bullying and is constantly rescued by her likable cousin Ricky. As the murders progress throughout the film, all signs lead to Angela being the murderer. So as I'm watching this film, I'm asking, do the Double Feature guys really think a female murderer is really such a shocker?!?! But I shouldn't question Eric and Michael as the final shot totally took me by surprise! Angela is a boy!!!!

That final frame was so horrific between the music, noise, and image! After reflecting on the film, all the clues were there, but I just didn't see them coming. As we find out, poor Angela was "masculinely" repressed by Ricky's mother and was raised as a girl. So no wonder she became a serial killer and didn't like to be felt up by boys...

I'm not sure if I'll ever watch any of the Sleepaway Camp films other than the chance to see footage of teenage girls running for their lives in slasher tradition (and possibly Felissa Rose). But that's one of the great benefits of listening to Double Feature's Killapalooza's so you don't have to suffer through horrible sequels.

So on Death List Five, Sleepaway Camp ranks #3.