Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey day thanks

On yet another Thanksgiving Day I always like to stop, take a moment out of my busy schedule and reflect on the things I'm thankful for. Without further ado, what I'm thankful for at present:

  • "Aleve", which helps take the edge off arthritis in my joints while I work
  • Hammer horror films: when I don't feel like watching anything on TV, I can always turn to a Hammer horror movie for entertainment
  •  Coffee and tea: I probably drink too much caffeine but it helps me navigate my days, especially coffee in the AM
  • Monsterland Forums: my nearly ten year old internet message board is hanging in there. Posting activity has greatly declined but there remain a small core group of active members who continue to participate in the various forums at this board...and I'm very thankful for that!
  • "Allopurinol": this uric acid lowering prescription med, which I take daily(300mg) to prevent gout flare ups in my toes, knees, elbows and feet, allows me to continue to consume meat, albeit in smaller quanitities. 
  • The friendship of several men I have known for nearly twenty years. I don't have many friends but the ones I do have I wouldn't trade for anyone!
  • I'm still able, despite being older, to perform my work as a lawn maintenance laborer at a reasonably good level.
  • My truck, a 1997 Ford F150 has run well in the seven months that I have owned it. It was well taken care of by the gent who owned it before me and in the seven months I've owned this truck my maintenance expenses have been limited. Hopefully I can get another full year out of my truck before looking at buying a new(er) one. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Godzilla . . . 61 years old and still going strong!

Godzilla, the legendary cinematic giant monster, recently celebrated a "birthday". On November 3rd, 1954 Toho Studios released a black and white film to theaters in Japan called GOJIRA. In this film a 50 meter tall, radioactive fire breathing mutant dinosaur arises from the Pacific Ocean depths to terrorize Japan. The movie was a great success at the box office and the legendary monster hasn't looked back since!

I have been a Godzilla fan most of my life. My first Godzilla movie was 1968's Destroy All Monsters, which I saw at the Rialto Theater in downtown Atlanta(GA) back in 1969, the film double billed with the '68 Toei sci-fi movie The Green Slime. 

My top ten favorite Godzilla films haven't changed much over the years. They are:

  1. Gojira(1954)
  2. Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster(1964)
  3. Mothra Vs Godzilla(1964) 
  4. Godzilla 2000(1999)
  5. Destroy All Monsters(1968)
  6. The Return Of Godzilla(1984)
  7. Godzilla(2014) (Legendary Pictures)
  8. King Kong Vs Godzilla(1962)
  9. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla(1974)
  10. Godzilla Vs Biollante(1989) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Getting Hammered: X THE UNKNOWN(1956)

Among the numerous horror movies I watched this past October this one is a favorite of mine: X The Unknown, an early Hammer produced sci-fi/horror film from 1956. In this movie a menacing, highly radioactive and seemingly intelligent blob of surging mud oozes out of a crack in the ground and begins killing locals as it searches for "food", in this case energy sources. The malevolent muddy ooze has a decided preference for radiation and it enlarges as the movie progresses. There's a final showdown between the monstrous ooze and a group of scientists and military who have united to stop it. (no other spoilers).

The DVD for this early Hammer horror movie can be purchased online at Amazon.

A trailer:

Here's the DVD for sale at Amazon, a double feature which also includes the sci-fi film The Four Sided Triangle: X THE UNKNOWN/THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE DVD

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Worming it's way into your heart: Squirm (1976)

Shout! Factory has done a great job with their Blu Ray releases of older horror movies including one I bought recently: Squirm, a 1976 horror movie directed by Jeff Lieberman. In this film, set in the coastal town of Fly Creek(Georgia), power lines felled by thunderstorms discharge "millions" of volts of electricity into the wet, muddy soil which sends worms in the soil into, well a crazed feeding frenzy.

The movie kind of plugs along for a while with only brief glimpses of the menacing worms and what's to come but ramps up the action during the final half hour as the film's major characters have their final confrontations with the oozing, ravenous, flesh eating worms. Needless to say some of the human cast meet with grisly deaths.

I own the 2003 MGM DVD and also the Shout! Factory Blu Ray which was released back in late October, 2014. The Blu Ray, like the DVD, presents the film in it's original 1:85.1 widescreen aspect ratio and includes some nice extras including a still image gallery, theatrical trailer, audio commentary by director Jeff Lieberman and interviews with both the director and actor Don Scardino. To see this film for sale on Blu Ray at Amazon click the link: SQUIRM(1976) Blu Ray

Monday, October 26, 2015

If these walls could talk: The Fall Of The House of Usher(1960)

Every October, and as time permits, I get my "fix" of Vincent Price movies. Director Roger Corman helmed some terrific movies based on stories penned by Edgar Allan Poe between 1960 and 1964. My favorite will always be 1961's Pit And The Pendulum but the others are quite good as well including one I watched on the MGM Channel(HD) the other night: 1960's The Fall Of The House Of Usher, directed by Roger Corman. Vincent Price is creepiness personified as blond haired, sickly "Roderick Usher", who has both a bizarre and unsettling relationship with his sister. The house itself seems to be an extension of not only Roderick Usher but past members of the Usher family who we learn were anything but upstanding citizens and were instead thieves, adulterers and even murderers. Vincent Price is the mechanism, if you will that drives this movie along. I own the "Midnite Movies" DVD of this film. This DVD release is for sale at Amazon and can be seen by clicking the link below the trailer.

House Of Usher Midnite Movies DVD

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mollusk menace: The Monster That Challenged the World (1957)

I recently bought this film, directed by Arnold Laven on Blu Ray. Props to Kino Lorber for this BD release!. It's your basic "monster on the loose" film with overgrown and ravenous mollusks menacing civilians and U.S. Navy personnel alike.

I own the "Midnite Movies" DVD of this film but decided to buy the Blu Ray release anyway. The transfer looks terrific in this movie's original 1:85.1 widescreen aspect ratio. 

The Blu Ray release includes a trailer and audio commentaries. The Kino Lorber Blu Ray release can be found for sale at Amazon and at a very affordable price. Fans of classic monster movies who haven't seen The Monster That Challenged The World(1957) should definitely check this one out!

An HD trailer:

To see the Kino Lorber Blu Ray release for this film for sale at Amazon click the link: THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD Blu Ray

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Cinematic Franchise Uniting Godzilla, King Kong and... | Business Wire

Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Cinematic Franchise Uniting Godzilla, King Kong and... | Business Wire

GODZILLA VS KONG... coming in 2020! Really looking forward to seeing King Kong and Godzilla fight again on the big screen! A "rematch" that I never thought I'd see is apparently going to happen as Legendary Pictures has announced that Godzilla and King Kong will square off on the big screen in 2020. Godzilla fans rejoiced with 2014's GODZILLA, released by Legendary Pictures and then came word of a new Kong film called KONG-SKULL ISLAND which will arrive in theaters in 2017. A sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film will be released theatrically in 2018. This all leads up to what should be an epic showdown between two of cinema's most legendary monsters! Toho released King Kong Vs Godzilla in 1962, a movie which was wildly successful at the box office. This movie, which is considered by many to be a satire, portrays 50 meter tall Godzilla as the villain and 45 meter tall King Kong as a protagonist of sorts. In the '62 film the two monsters have an initial skirmish which results in Kong retreating and then a final showdown at Mount Fuji where Kong, struck by lightning repeatedly and having his strength enhanced by the lightning strikes, takes the fight to Godzilla, the two behemoths falling into the sea and Kong subsequently surfacing and swimming back to Faroe Island. For giant monster movie fans there had been a great pessimism that another movie featuring these two grand cinematic movie monsters would never get made...until now.

Image courtesy of Marcel DiAngelo

Monday, September 14, 2015

Game on: ROLLERBALL(1975)

In Rollerball(1975), directed by Norman Jewison, the entire world is run by six(6) corporations in the not too distant future. These corporations make every decision that affects the entire world. Individualism is discouraged and to that end a brutal game called "rollerball" is created to show everyone the futility of individual leadership. Don't tell that to Jonathan E(played by James Caan), a star player with the Houston(Texas) team and the sport's dominate player.When the corporations feel threatened by Jonathan E's popularity efforts are made to force him to retire from the sport...but he has other ideas.

This movie is an interesting examination of society in general. People in this film seem generally desensitized to violence in general and the brutal, bloody "rollerball" is pure entertainment, the rollerball players treated like celebrities and VIPs.

To see the MGM DVD of this film for sale at Amazon click the link: ROLLERBALL(1975) MGM DVD

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Florida's bigfoot aka the "skunk ape"

As I have always been keenly interested in the sasquatch phenomenon, I regularly watch video clips of alleged sightings. I came across one clip taken by a gent in Florida(while in his boat) who shot what looks to be a large, hulking figure wading through a swamp. If it's a man in a suit then he's insane because swamps in Florida are common sanctuaries for large alligators and poisonous snakes including rattlesnakes and water moccasins. Take a look at the video below:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Holding back the years: LOGAN'S RUN(1976)

Imagine an idyllic future in which wars are a thing of the past and people live inside enormous, climate controlled domes and without a care in the world. That's right: no stress, no job required, no bills to pay. Just get up everyday and basically do whatever you want. Every day is a vacation and anything(or anyone) one desires can be had. Sound too good to be true? It is. Why? Because in this future, set in the 23rd century, it all ends at age thirty. That's the catch: enjoy a paradise existence but when you turn thirty years of age you must voluntarily enter a mechanical device which terminates your life. 

Such is the premise and storyline for LOGAN'S RUN, released by MGM in 1976 and directed by Michael Anderson. Michael York plays "Logan", a policeman referred to as a Sandman. The "Sandmen" are a police force tasked with tracking down and eliminating anyone who turns 30 years old and defies the government mandate of termination at age thirty. Logan is quite good at his job but soon it is his turn to flee from Sandmen. Logan, tasked with finding a rogue group of "runners"(those who have defied the government and fled rather than be terminated), himself becomes a runner and eventually discovers that there is a world beyond the dome he has lived inside his entire life. (no other spoilers)

The special effects are obviously dated by today's standards but the visuals are often colorful and interesting to watch including a shiny robot named "Box"(played by Roscoe Lee Browne).

 I recently bought this movie on Blu Ray. Any sci-fi film fan who hasn't seen this movie should check it out!

This movie looks fantastic on Blu Ray(HD) and is presented in its original 2:35.1 widescreen aspect ratio. To see the BD for sale at Best Buy click the link: LOGAN'S RUN Blu Ray @ Best Buy

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The online home of the films of CHRISTOPHER R. MIHM

If you enjoy the low(er) budget sci-fi film romps produced in the 1950's as much as I do then you should definitely check this website out. These movies are all in HD and can be purchased on either DVD or Blu Ray(on demand using recordable Blu Ray BD-R discs). All of these movies are written, produced and directed by Christopher R. Mihm.The DVDs include special features. The "on demand" Blu Rays(BD-R) feature the movies only.

My favorite among them is THE GIANT SPIDER(2013): The Giant Spider(2013) specs

Click the below link to see the website featuring these movies:

The online home of the films of CHRISTOPHER R. MIHM

Cellar dweller: NAILBITER(2013)

As a lifelong fan of horror movies I've found it more difficult to enjoy low(er) budget independent horror films. Maybe I'm getting spoiled by CGI in my advancing years...or maybe it's just because there aren't many directors who can make a decent horror movie now using practical effects on a smaller budget. While that may well be the case it certainly isn't for Patrick Rea, director of Nailbiter, released staright to DVD back in 2013. Director Patrick Rea helmed Nailbiter on a reported budget of $300,000 and, for me anyway, he cranked out a horror movie well worth checking out for die hard horror movie fans.

The film's story: Kansas native "Janet Maguire"(played by Erin McGrane) jumps in the family car and heads to an airport in Kansas City(Kansas) to meet and greet her husband, a U.S. serviceman on a flight home from a long deployment overseas. The mother takes her three young daughters "Jennifer", "Alice" and "Sally" along for the trip to the airport. While on their way to the airport in stormy weather, the mother and daughters are forced to abandon their vehicle on the side of the road when a tornado bears down on them. The group finds refuge in the basement cellar of a small countryside house. The storm subsides and the tornado passes...but the group cannot exit the cellar because a large tree limb has fallen across the cellar doors. Later "Sally", one of the daughters, tries to escape but something outside the house bites her arm and she is forced to retreat back into the cellar. Then the trapped family hears voices and nails pounding someone is boarding up the cellar windows and cellar doors locking them inside!

At this point you might not think things can get any worse...but they do as the mother and her three girls realize there is something else in the basement with them. Eventually the terrified family encounters that "something", a hostile and bloodthirsty, humanoid monster. From this point on it's a fight for survival as the group tries to survive the creature's attacks. (no other spoilers as I would reveal too much of the plot)

Observations, some positive and some not:

Thumbs up:

-director Patrick Rea does a great job at building up the suspense and sense of peril and dread in this movie, mostly by not revealing the creature(s) too soon.

 -the creature effects are all practical which I wholeheartedly approve of!

-the rendering of the creatures is IMO terrific. While I wouldn't characterize the monsters as werewolves they have a definite lupine quality with gaping jaws, what look life fore-claws and razor sharp teeth that look more like jagged shards of glass than, well teeth. I also thought the orb like, milky white eyes of the beasts added to their "creep" factor.

-Meg Saricks, who plays the oldest daughter. is the only actor I thought was effective throughout this film - at the beginning of the movie she seems melancholy, disinterested in life in general and disconnected emotionally not only from her mother but her two sisters. As the movie progresses her character definitely steps up for her family and she shows real character in the face of danger and calamity.

 -the nature of the monsters themselves. There's never any clear cut explanation given as to what the creatures are or why people transform into these beasts...but their transformations are linked somehow to the stormy weather which apparently triggers the transformations. An unusual aspect of this movie that I found cool and original. A "Dread Central" reviewer of this movie likened the story to something out of an "X Files" TV episode and I agree with this sentiment.

 -the ending of the film which included a plot twist(always welcome for me).

 Thumbs down:

-the overall acting in this movie, except for Meg Saricks, was for me fairly well lacking.

 -the movie's score sounded rather ordinary.

 -the screen time for the monsters is too limited. I would have liked seeing more of the creatures.

Fans of this horror movie should definitely check this one out! It airs on the "Chiller" cable channel from time to time and is also available on DVD at Amazon. The film's IMDB page: IMDB page for NAILBITER film

A trailer:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Movies I like...but probably shouldn't

Ever like a movie but question why you actually like it? I question myself sometimes. Here's my own list of films I like but have no idea why:

  • Barbarella(1968)
  • Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster(1965)
  • The Giant Gila Monster(1959)
  • Annie(1982)
  • Megamind(2010) (animated)
  • Creature From Black Lake(1976)
  • Breeders(1986)
  • The Incredible Mr. Limpet(1964)
  • Robot Monster(1953)
  • Frankenstein's Daughter(1958)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monsterland Forums: nine years and counting!

Seems hard to believe that my internet message board called Monsterland Forums is over nine years old.  I started this message board way back on January 29, 2006 on a used laptop computer. The early banners(made by me) looked terrible. The peak posting years for this message board have come and gone(2007, 2008 and 2009). Despite the decline in posting activity we still maintain a core member group of about a dozen people. Our active members include those living in the United States, Australia, England(Great Britain) and The Netherlands. Monsterland Forums still ranks fourth(4th) in posting activity among over 300 "entertainment" category message boards in the "Zetaboards" format. Our member community includes "Avery Guerra", a site contributor who does a fantastic job at finding and sharing info on the latest indie kaiju/sci-fi/horror film projects. Our message board community has topics on horror/sci-fi/fantasy cinema and television, video gaming, sports, "off topic" chat and DVDs and Blu Rays.

I admittedly can't manage this message board as much as I used to, partly due to my age and also due to my increasingly busy work schedule. Still, I cherish our small member community and still greatly enjoy my post exchanges with our members and along with two very helpful board admins keep our board fairly up to date.

Monsterland Forums will hopefully be around for a long, long time! Check out our site by clicking on the below link.

 Monsterland Forums

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Game Shop (new video game business)

Tom Van Slambrouck aka "gvamp", a long time member of my internet message board Monsterland Forums, is opening a new video game business along with a business partner. Their business is called THE GAME SHOP and is located in Midland, Michigan. Click the link below to access their website.

The Game Shop

You can also find The Game Shop on Facebook. Just type "The Game Shop" into Facebook's search bar.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Horror movie favorites

It seems like I've been watching horror films forever. Obviously not literally forever but I have been on a steady diet of horror movies since I was a teenager. That's about forty years. I've never taken the time to write down my personal favorites in this movie genre...until now. Without further ado, my top twenty five horror movies, in no particular order:

  • The Shining(1980)
  • The Conjuring(2013)
  • Insidious(2010)
  • The Descent(2005)
  • The Exorcist(1973)
  • Friday The 13th(1980)
  • The Haunting(1963)
  • Pit And The Pendulum(1961)
  • House Of Wax(1953)
  • Horror Of Dracula(1958)
  • The Curse Of Frankenstein(1957)
  • The Howling(1981)
  • Halloween(1978)
  • Candyman(1992)
  • The Evil Dead(1981)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974)
  • The Entity(1982)
  • Dog Soldiers(2002)
  • Dawn Of The Dead(1978)
  • Hellraiser(1987)
  • A Nightmare On Elm Street(1984)
  • The Omen(1976)
  • Prophecy(1979)
  • The Burning(1981)
  • The Curse Of The Werewolf(1961)
Honorable mentions: The Fog(1980), Fright Night(1985), Day Of The Dead(1985), Hellbound-Hellraiser II(1988), Night Of The Living Dead(1968), The Babadook(2014) & Squirm(1976).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Getting schooled


Our federal government has spent millions of dollars on public schools over the years...and yet average test scores continue to decrease as does the percentage of students attending public schools who graduate. Maybe we could learn a thing(or two) from school systems in Japan!

Here's an article I came across that touches on the dysfunction in American high schools: High school in America-a complete disaster

An article about taxpayer funded federal dollars being wasted by schools across America: School funds wasted 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hare today, gone tomorrow: NIGHT OF THE LEPUS(1972)

I was asked recently by a casual friend which "bad" movie I like the most. Good question. There are numerous low budget horror and sci-fi schlockers that I am still greatly fond of. One of my all time favorite sci-fi stinkers remains Allied Artists' Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster(1965). Another low budget film also comes to mind which I watch whenever it makes the rounds on Turner Classic Movies: NIGHT OF THE LEPUS(1972), directed by William Claxton.

In this movie an Arizona rancher(played by Rory Calhoun) suffering from a "mongrel" rabbit infestation on his land seeks out the help of a local college president(played by DeForrest Kelley). A scientist and professor from the local college(Stuart Whitman) decides to take care of the rancher's rabbit problem by using genetic modification, specifically hormonal injections to disrupt the breeding cycles of these critters. Predictably, one of the injected rabbits escapes and infects other rabbits. Result: a horde of ornery, buck toothed rabbits as big as cattle which attack anyone and anything that gets in their way. The movie concludes with a final showdown between the human cast, local Army National Guard and the marauding giant rabbits.

The special effects are often laughable but I like the sequences in which the giant rabbits stampede across the countryside, and through residences and businesses, like angry bulls. I'm sure most people wouldn't consider rabbits an ideal animal upon which to base a horror film but the giant critters in this movie are no joke and once on the march, they open up a serious can of whoop ass on their victims. There is little gore but a good bit of action violence, grisly deaths(mostly implied), plenty of bright colored fake blood and actors Rory Calhoun and Stuart Whitman blasting away at the giant rabbits with their shotguns and rifles.

A trailer:

This movie is available on DVD(-R) as an "on demand" DVD from Warner Brothers, the movie presented in a 1:77.1 widescreen aspect ratio. To see this "on demand" DVD for sale at Amazon click the link: NIGHT OF THE LEPUS Warner Archive on demand DVD-R

Tangled webs we weave: SILK(2015) - short horror film

As a horror movie fan I always get excited when I come across short horror films...and SILK, directed by Rob Himebaugh, is one of the best I've seen in a long, long time. If you're arachnophobic(have a genuine fear of spiders), then watch this fourteen(14) minute short horror movie at your own risk. Prepare to be creeped out!

Silk from Tristan Borys on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mystery un-loched? New 'Loch Ness Monster' photo draws interest

New 'Loch Ness Monster' photo draws interest

Like the "Bigfoot" phenomenom I've always been on the proverbial fence as to whether a prehistoric, aquatic dinosaur exists in Loch Ness, a body of water in Scotland(UK) twenty three miles along and in some places eight hundred feet deep. Loch Ness, millions of years ago, was connected to the Atlantic Ocean so there are those who believe "plesiosaurs" or "elasmosaurs"(long necked marine dinos with oblate shaped bodies and flippers for water transit) may have been trapped in Loch Ness as the waters receded over time and consequently survived. Skeptics point out the obvious: there has been no hard evidence(carcasses for example of the dead creature or creatures). Sightings of the alleged creature have occurred for hundreds of years. Click the above link and check out the latest story about the Loch Ness "monster" for yourself or click on the below video.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A buzz in the air: THE SWARM(1978)

I admit to being a sucker for disaster movies and among those in my Blu Ray collection are: The Poseidon Adventure(1972) , The Towering Inferno(1974) and Earthquake(1974). I also own several disaster films on DVD including Gorath(1962)(a Toho produced film in which a celestial body is on a collision course with Earth), Crack In The World(1965) and When Worlds Collide(1951). 

One disaster film I watched last month is The Swarm, a 1978 film directed by Irwin Allen. It's gets a low rating at IMDB and at "Rotten Tomatoes" and while I think the movie itself takes itself a little too seriously at times I also find it quite entertaining. The Swarm is "nature gone amok" fare: in the movie "Africanized" bees are on the move and transit into the southwestern United States including Texas where the movie's primary action takes place. The bees are aggressive and attack anyone who disturbs them and also those who don't. The marauding bees in The Swarm have an unusually toxic sting which rivals the bite of a cobra so the body count from the bee attacks is of course very high.

While I wouldn't rate the special effects overall as grand they are suitable and the slow motion shots of the bees swarming and attacking their human victims is well rendered. The all star cast includes Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Bradford Dillman, Slim Pickens and Henry Fonda.

This is a long movie and the film itself drags a bit for me. Fans of action and disaster movies should check this film out on Netflix. It may be hit or miss as a DVD buy. I own the 2002 Warner Home Video DVD of The Swarm(1978)

A trailer:

To see the '02 Warner Home Video DVD on sale at Amazon click the link: THE SWARM DVD

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Birthday musings

As I acknowledged my 53rd birthday yesterday(Saturday-March 20th) I began to think about all the things I can't do anymore now that I was able to do when I was a lot younger. I'm sure many people my age contemplate this and other things associated with aging as they enter their forties and fifties. I began to wonder to myself: when did I actually feel  like I was getting older? I don't think I'll ever be able to pin that down to a specific day, month or even year. I do think there are things all of us older folks can identify with as we get older. I have penned this "you know you're getting old"  list specifically for everyone like myself: you're not old but the candles on your birthday cake are now well over fifty in number.

                 You know you're getting old when:

  • all the TV shows and cartoons you enjoyed as a kid are sold on DVD or DVD-R at Amazon and eBay as "collectibles"
  • things you previously bought at pharmacies like batteries, sun tan lotion, portable radios and bug repellent have now been replaced by items such as aspirin, Bengay lotion, reading glasses, ibuprofen and knee braces
  • teenagers start referring to you as an "old man" or "old woman"
  • the artificial teeth inside your mouth outnumber your natural teeth
  • you have a collection of hair pieces and/or wigs in your closet
  • the insomnia you experience now results primarily from more numerous overnight hours trips to the commode
  • the medium width shoes you used to be able to wear no longer fit and you now can only wear wide widths
  • co workers and others you work around begin telling you to "take it easy, don't hurt yourself" more often
  • you continue to wear bell bottom pants in public and listen to music on your Sony Walk Man portable audio device
  • you think disco never really died
  • trips to the eye doctor to have your eyes checked no longer occur every three to four years but now occur annually
  • when a younger person says the word "evangelion" you think it refers to one of the following: a plant, a weed or a book in the bible
  • you still watch a 13" black and white tube television in the living room of your residence
  • "TV Land" is your favorite cable channel
  • you spend more time sleeping in your recliner than you do your bed
  • you refer to all convenience stores as "Seven Elevens"
  • you still have your collection of Wacky Packages trading cards
  • you still listen to your reel to reel and 8 track players you haven't bought your first DVD yet
  • the hair brush or comb you used to use frequently in front of the bathroom mirror now sits on the sink unused and gathering dust 
  • you visit an antique shop, look around at the store's merchandise and realize it was all things you used on a regular basis in your teen years and twenty something years
  •  your body makes a cracking noise whenever you turn your neck left or right, get up out of a chair or when getting out of bed
  •  previous visits to the doctor that consisted of nothing more physically invasive than a tongue depressor inside your mouth now have been replaced by tubes stuck down your throat or up your rectum
  •  friends and relatives begin asking you if you've started using Rogaine yet
  •  the medicine cabinet in your bathroom is so packed with over the counter medicinals and other products that every time you open it most of the contents of the cabinet spill out into your bathroom sink
  •  you feel compelled to check out prices for wigs or toupees at Amazon and other online merchandise vendors
  •  trips to the doctor no longer conclude with free lollipops or candy but instead now with complimentary packs of Advil, Aleve or Imodium
  • you have your personal physician on speed dial with your home phone and cell phone
  •  you laminate your AARP card out of fear it'll wear out from all the times you take it out and put it back in your purse or wallet
  •  you begin being offered senior citizen discounts at fast food restaurants before the age of 60
  •  you avoid eating peanut brittle, corn on the cob and other chewy, tough foods out of fear your dentures will break or get yanked out of your mouth during chewing
  •  you always park your vehicle as close as possible to any retail store because even a medium length walk inside the store from your car or truck can leave you out of breath
  •  your weekly expense for the purchase of Efferdent and or denture cleaning and adhesive products exceeds the amount of money you spend weekly on gas for your vehicle
  • while cleaning out your attic and/or basement you come across what you initially believe to be children's clothing only to realize a short while later that they are in fact clothes you previously wore four or five years ago
  •  an exciting evening for you now is managing to stay awake long enough to watch your favorite TV shows or a single movie on television
  • you still don't know the difference between AA and AAA batteries
  • you think the word "blog" is a type of farmer produced slop used as pig or hog feed
  • you continue to try and access the internet using your Commodore 64 computer
  • you frequently sleep overnight in your recliner or on your living room sofa because the pain in your knees prohibits you from walking to your bedroom
  • you think YouTube is the biggest tech advancement in history since the invention of the television
  • your entire CD collection is comprised of releases with "Golden Oldies" as part or all of the CD titles
  • you still own a Betamax player and have a note attached to it threatening bodily harm to anyone who tries hocking it at a pawn shop or selling it at a yard sale
  • the part in your hair is now several inches wide
  • you feel compelled to tell friends and family members you're planning plastic surgery in the near future despite the fact you're not planning on having any work done
  • friends and family members tell you "you really do look okay with those glasses on" with more regularity
  • you feel compelled to hide your actual age when registering for the first time at internet message boards
  • the movements of your own body make more creaking noises than the house you live in
  • you expect to see a barber pole outside every hair salon you patronize
  •  you describe a movie you watched on TV recently to a friend as black and white and your friend tells you the film was actually in color
  • while watching a film on TV in its widescreen aspect ratio, you assume the black areas above and below the movie are a result of your television malfunctioning and you consequently haul your TV to an electronics repair shop
  •  you make bank deposits into your bank account with pennies
  • your first car which you used in high school and college now sits in your front yard and neighbors passing by it draw animal faces in the dust on its windshield and windows
  •  friends and family tell you to stop squinting when you aren't, squinting that is  
  • you still believe that buying U.S. savings bonds is a good investment  
  • you continue to hoard money under your bedroom mattress
  • movie studios constantly contact you wanting to use your furniture for period films they are producing  
  • you receive a steady stream of promo materials in the mail from convalescent homes and other senior assisted living facilities as well as free samples of Aleve and other OTC painkillers
  •  you develop a sudden interest in shuffleboard and checkers
  •  you refuse to have the outhouse in your back yard demolished because you believe it will significantly reduce your monthly water bill
  • you begin storing your Aleve and aspirin in spare Tic Tac(breath mint)containers to conceal the fact you're popping these painkillers all the time
  •  the most common way you get inebriated these days is after you've worn your whiskey or vodka soaked dentures for more than two hours
  •  those grays hairs on your head are now white
  •  you think the term "hashtag" refers to a bladder or gastro-intestinal disorder

Thursday, March 19, 2015

STYX - The Grand Illusion (1977)

Over the years I've come to really appreciate and identify with the lyrics to this song from the 1977 Styx album "The Grand Illusion".

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The sound of music: my all time favorite albums

Recently a close friend and I engaged in an interesting and nostalgia filled discussion about our favorite record albums. I have, for most of my adult life, been much more into video, that is television and films, than in music. Still, music helped me successfully transit my high school and college years and now what with audio CDs, downloadable MP3s and the always present website that is YouTube, my favorite songs are never far away.

After some thought and consideration, here are my top twenty favorite record albums by band(or artist) name and album title:

  1. LED ZEPPELIN - album: " II" (1969)
  2. ZZ TOP -  album: "Fandango" (1975)
  3. STYX - album: "Pieces Of Eight" (1978)
  4. KANSAS - album: "Leftoverture" (1976)
  5. BOSTON - album: "Boston" (debut album - 1977)
  6. MAHOGANY RUSH - album: "IV"(1976)
  7. DEEP PURPLE - album: "Burn" (1974)
  8. STYX - album: "The Grand Illusion" (1977)
  9. KANSAS - album: "Point Of Know Return" (1977)
  10. YES - album: "90125"  (1983)
  11.  GENESIS - album: "Invisible Touch" (1986)
  12. FOREIGNER - album: "Head Games" (1979)
  13. THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT - album: "I, Robot" (1977)
  14. DEF LEPPARD - album: "Pyromania" (1983)
  15. TOTO - album: "Isolation" (1984)
  16. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS - album: "The Captain And Me" (1973)
  17. DONALD FAGEN - album: "The Nightfly" (1982)
  18. AEROSMITH - album: "Toys In The Attic" (1975)
  19.  STYX - album: "Equinox" (1975)
  20. QUEEN - album: "The Game" (1980)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Can you dig it? The Kola Super Deep Bore Hole

Ever wondered what the deepest man made hole on Earth is? Wonder no more: it's the 7.5 mile deep Kola Super Deep Bore Hole located in Russia's Kola Peninsula. Here's a video with specifics on the hole and why it was dug in the first place:

The Kola Peninsula is an area of land in the far northwest region of Russia: Kola Peninsula (wikipedia)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Forest from the trees: "Bigfoot" compilation video

For as much as I continue to wonder if mysterious, ape like creatures nicknamed "bigfoot" and "sasquatch" actually exist, another question related to this phenomena often comes to mind: do these creatures, assuming for a moment that they actually exist, refer to humans as "little feet"?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Russians are coming - RED SCORPION(1988)

For all the popularity among action movie fans for Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Scwrzenegger back in the decade of the 1980's I don't see much mention of Dolph Lundgren, an actor(and former martial arts champion in Europe) who gained lasting fame in the 1985 film Rocky IV for beating "Apollo Creed" to death and then basically beating boxing champ "Rocky Balboa" into retirement. Rocky of course won the fight against Lundgren's hulking Russian boxer character "Drago" but took the beating of a lifetime to do it.

Actor Dolph Lundgren again plays a stoic, hulking Russian bad ass in 1988's RED SCORPION - in this action movie Lundgren plays Spetznaz commando "Nikolai", a Lieutenant in the Soviet Union's special forces who is skilled in weapons, hand to hand combat and who also takes a minimalist approach to speaking and overall conversation with those around him.

In Red Scorpion(1988) "Nikolai" is given the task of infiltrating a "rebel" group in Africa and assassinating its leader, all in the name of the Russian "motherland". Nikolai's boss, a Russian general who is clearly in love with himself, misleads "Nikolai" into believing the rebels are a dangerous and formidable force. Nikolai later sees that the rebels are in fact only defending themselves and trying to prevent their own extermination at the hands of the USSR. Nikolai fails to kill the rebel leader, is knocked out and deposited on the side of a road where he's picked up by Cuban and Russian soldiers, berated by his boss and then briefly tortured before escaping into the hot, arid African countryside.

Nikolai befriends a "bushman", is later given a "scorpion" shaped tattoo by the bushman and his people, then returns to the rebels where he switches sides and helps them open up a huge can of whoop ass on the Cuban-Russian military base.

I own the Blu Ray of this film which is directed by Joseph Zito. For those action movie fans who haven't seen this movie I'd definitely recommend it as a Netflix or Redbox rental. Die hard action film fans should buy the Blu Ray which is nicely packaged and includes extras and a DVD of the film as well.

A trailer:

The Synapse Blu Ray/DVD release can be purchased at Amazon: RED SCORPION BLU RAY/DVD release

Friday, February 13, 2015

U.K. scientists believe alien "seed" may have created human life on Earth

An article has been making the rounds on the internet that U.K. scientists have discovered a mysterious, filamentous and spherical object the width of a human hair which may(or may not to be sure) indicate that it's a "seed" of some kind from intelligent alien life designed to propagate across the Earth and eventually result in the creation of human life on our planet.

This alien "seeding" theory of the Earth has been touched on in numerous science fiction films including PROMETHEUS(2012) and MISSION TO MARS(2000). In fact, an older Hammer movie called Quatermass And The Pit(1967 - aka "Five Million Years To Earth") touches on alien tampering with the Earth: in this particular movie insectoid Martian aliens resembling oversized grasshoppers have purportedly performed genetic experiments on Earth primates resulting in, of course humans!

As an agnostic I've not only struggled with the notion of religion and the existence of God but also the question "where do I come from?" Did I evolve from primates through a natural process of evolution? Or something else entirely? 

Friday, February 6, 2015

NBC: all Americans will be implanted with microchips for Obamacare

NBC Claims All Americans Will Be Implanted With Microchips For Obamacare

The Democrats and Democratic political party in the United States is synonymous with big government. In fact the federal government can NEVER be too big, too powerful or too all controlling for Democrats. To Democrat Senators and Congressmen(and Congresswomen) American citizens are not people capable of thinking and providing for themselves: Americans are simply lost sheep who need their control in order to live and make their way through life. In return for this control, Democrats want something back from their growing "flock": VOTES at election time.

For anyone who believes this microchip is for "tracking purposes" only, I have a suggestion for you: pull your head out of the sand!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Let us prey: The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Recently I've been revisiting the numerous 1950's sci-fi "creature feature" movies. They all generally have at least one thing in common: a giant, irradiated insect, mutation or alien mutation. The Deadly Mantis, directed by Nathan Juran and theatrically released by Universal in 1957, is one of my all time favorites. A long frozen giant mantis is inadvertently thawed out by atomic bomb testing, escapes its icy hibernation and flies away, subsequently beginning an immediate campaign of terror on mankind. A dedicate scientist(played by William Hopper) and an equally dedicated U.S. Air Force officer(played by Craig Stevens) become the movie's heroes and requisite military-scientific "brain trust", tasked with tracking and ultimately stopping the "deadly" giant mantis. The film's conclusion features a downed, gravely injured giant mantis against a group of miltary personnel inside the Washington(DC) tunnel. (no other spoilers)

As much as I hate to admit it, one of my favorite aspects of this movie is the mantis' ability to roar like a dinosaur. The idea of a "roaring" insect is obviously preposterous...but it absolutely works in this fun, entertaining '50s monster flick.


This movie has long been available on VHS. Universal released The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vols 1 and 2(sold separately or packaged together) in 2008 to official R1 DVD and this release includes The Deadly Mantis(1957). I own both of these DVD sets which also feature some of Universal's most recognizable and successful sci-fi monster movies from the decade of the 1950's.

 A trailer for this film:

To see the packaged DVD release for sale at Amazon click the link: The Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection on DVD

Monday, January 19, 2015

Checkmate atheists – scientists discover God!

VIDEO: Checkmate Atheists – Scientists Discover God!

I'm still waiting on "God" to tell me whether the NFL's Atlanta Falcons will win a Super Bowl in my lifetime or not. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fangs a lot: The Spider(1958)

I was watching a documentary the other night about tarantulas and other large arachnids. I've always been fascinated by spiders and also creeped out by them all at once. I'm also a sucker for just about any horror/sci-fi film featuring a giant spider run amok. My favorite giant spider creature feature will always be the 1955, Jack Arnold directed Tarantula. I also like the "other" giant spider schlocker from the 1950's as well despite it's even more scattershot and uneven special effects. I'm referring to THE SPIDER , aka "Earth Vs The Spider" which was written, produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon.

This film is available for viewing on YouTube, Vimeo and even DailyMotion and comes in at 73 minutes for viewing. There's a lot of things that annoy me about this movie: the inconsistent renderings of the giant spiders' size during its forays into the neighboring town and countryside outside its cave abode. I also dislike the almost banshee like wail that the monster spider emits. That said there are some huge positives for me with The Spider, none more so than the performance of Ed Kemmer, the local schoolteacher who is the film's primary protagonist, married family man(and father) and also who lends a helping hand to the town sheriff and his deputies in figuring out how to stop and ultimately destroy the mysterious, menacing giant spider. I also like the spider's main raid on the town and the sequence where it escapes the high school gym after its temporary capture. Some level of suspense is maintained because the initial attempt to kill the enormous spider, while it's still inside its cave lair, fails. The spider is instead captured but escapes a high school gym and crawls around again, understandably scaring the hell out of everyone who is unfortunate enough to see it. (no spoilers on the movie's ending)

The score is actually decent for this movie and there are ample enough scenes of chaos, mayhem and grisly images of the spiders' victims to make this movie a "keeper" for die hard sci-fi and horror movie fans. I remember when I first watched The Spider on television as a kid. It was this movie and others like it that helped kick start my long time interest in horror movies, especially those from the 1950's and 1960's.

A trailer:

THE SPIDER(1958) is available on official DVD. This movie was released as a double feature DVD along with 1958's War Of The Colossal Beast by Lions Gate in 2006. To see this DVD for sale at Amazon click the link: EARTH VS THE SPIDER/WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST double feature DVD

Monday, January 12, 2015

Joint operations: CopperFit products

I rarely endorse any commercial products of any kind but I'm making an exception in this case for CopperFit products, specifically their elbow and knee sleeves. These cloth support sleeves are designed to be worn by athletes and other ordinary folks like me who are active either from their work and/or their exercise routines. CopperFit support sleeves(and their other wearable products), and as the name implies, are made with copper filaments blended into the fabric. These products are machine washable, non-bacterial and are also very affordable.

I'm nearly fifty three years of age and while I'm not ready for the retirement home just yet I am obviously not a young man anymore and with middle age, coupled with my line of work, comes expected joint aches and pains.

I've been a gardener and landscaper for over nineteen years and I've been fortunate to avoid major injuries. That said I suffered a strained right knee and strained patella tendon(a workplace injury) back in 2004. My recovery time was two weeks. Ever since that injury, and usually at least twice per year, my right knee gets stiff, swells and becomes quite painful. I invested in several magnetized, velcro style cloth knee wraps last year and while they seemed to work the real success I believe came when I started wearing a CopperFit knee sleeve on my right knee. I have had no significant pain in my right knee for nine(9) months since I started wearing the CopperFit knee sleeve.

I also have suffered from gout(since 1997) and in recent years have experienced flare ups of gout and bursitis in my right elbow. I bought a CopperFit elbow sleeve in early 2014 and began wearing the sleeve on my right elbow whenever it began to ache. Within two days the pain was gone. These sleeves promote joint "warmth" and the compression afforded by the sleeve to the joint helps with joint stability.

I am not in any way suggesting that these CopperFit sleeves are a cure all. They're not and I would(and do) encourage anyone with lingering and chronic joint pain to consult a physician. My doctor has always encouraged me to try different products for joint ache relief and I've taken his advice.

I do think anyone who suffers from joint aches and pains as a result of bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis and/or gout should consider giving a CopperFit sleeve a try.

Here's a link to CopperFit's main website for access to specifics about their products and product ordering:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Boxed in: PLANET OF THE APES-The Evolution LE DVD set

I don't own a lot of DVD box sets despite the fact I've been purchasing DVDs since 1998, shortly after the first DVDs hit retailers. Suncoast Video(at Northlake Mall in NE Atlanta, GA) was a regular hangout for me on Saturdays in the late 1990's through 2002. It was at this retailer that I bought(in 2001) what was then and is still my absolute favorite DVD box set in my DVD collection: PLANET OF THE APES-THE EVOLUTION Limited Edition.

This six(6) disc release from Fox Home Entertainment includes all five "Planet Of The Apes" films: PLANET OF THE APES(1968), BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES(1970), ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES(1971), CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES(1972) and BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES(1973). There is a sixth disc that is essentially a "making of" and "behind the scenes" featurette hosted by actor Roddy McDowall. The bonus disc delves into the backstory of the films and the specifics of the stellar makeup effects.

Planet Of The Apes DVDset1

These movies are based on a 1963 novel by Pierre Boulle and for anyone who hasn't seen any of these movies I'd recommend watching the first one, 1968's Planet Of The Apes, directed by Franklin Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans & Roddy McDowall. In the film a small group of astronauts inadvertently crash land on Earth in the year 3978 A.D. to discover that apes are the dominant species on the planet and humans are regarded as nothing more than pack animals and vermin. I consider the first movie in this franchise to be among the greatest science fiction films that have ever been made.

A theatrical trailer for the first film in the "Planet Of The Apes" film franchise:

To see this DVD box set release for sale at Amazon click the link: PLANET OF THE APES - THE EVOLUTION DVD set

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The real "Amityville horror" - (Paranormal Documentary)

Home is where the hell is: The AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979)

I recently gifted myself THE AMITYVILLE HORROR TRILOGY Blu Ray DVD set, a very nice 2013(October) release from Shout! Factory that includes the movies THE AMITYVILLE HORROR(1979), AMITYVILLE II-THE POSSESSION(1982 - a prequel to the first installment) and AMITYVILLE 3-D(1983), aka AMITYVILLE 3-THE DEMON. I've owned all three of these films on DVD for a while(MGM single disc releases) but wanted to upgrade to Blu Ray.

Demonic possession themed horror movies have always managed to unsettle me which is saying a lot since I've been watching horror movies for over forty years and found only a handful really able to put any kind of scare into me. The "Amityville horror" films are all based on a purported real life haunted house and the malevolent, often vicious spirits within this house that have driven its various occupants insane and even compelled them to murder and other mayhem.

In The Amityville Horror, and without giving too many details away for those who haven't seen this film, the "Lutz" family(George & Kathy, played by James Brolin and Margot Kidder, respectively and their kids), move into a house in Amityville(Long Island). Shortly upon moving in all hell literally breaks loose on the family and these terrifying occurences that occur inside the house prompt the Lutz family to flee the house in terror, all after only a single month living inside the home!

The first installment in the trilogy, 1979's THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, is my sentimental favorite although the overall special effects in the 1982 prequel are more entertaining to watch. Here's an HD trailer:

The Amityville Horror Trilogy Blu Ray set is available at Shout Factory's website and also at Amazon. To see this BD set for sale at Amazon click the link: AMITYVILLE HORROR TRILOGY BLU RAY set

Amazon also sells all three(3) of the films as a DVD set as well with a bonus fourth disc included: AMITYVILLE HORROR DVD set