Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday 12/1/16!

Okay, here's a look back at a couple of posts that did not suffer a lack of traffic - but what the heck - let's feature them again and see if we can drum up some new traffic.

Below the picture you'll find the links to a two part look back at my experiences with the pop culture phenomenon known as Elvira - Mistress of the Dark,

In the early 1980's a California TV station was working on bringing back the notorious Vampira character from 1950's television with a new actress to play her. However, the station manager found working with Vampira's demanding creator and original performer Maila Nurmi too difficult, and they broke off the negotiations.

Shortly after, the station announced auditions for a new horror character called Elvira. A young woman named Cassandra Peterson nailed that audition, and soon after Elvira was born!

Initially conceived to be played as a cold and aloof female vampire - like Vampira -  Elvira was eventually molded into a hip occult Valley girl persona - which Peterson played to a T. The show started out as a local Los Angeles program - but soon expanded nationwide. Eventually Elvira became the Queen of Halloween - hosting Halloween programs, making appearances in Halloween episodes of TV series, appearing in comic books and movies, and being the spokeswoman for several products, including Coors beer.

Elvira continues to be a strong force in entertainment - and still makes my heart go aflutter every time I see her.

That's the basics - and some nice pics of the lovely lady - but if you are really charged up to know more of her history - as filtered through my experiences as her fan - then you can check out these two links to an earlier two part Elvira series. They are considerably longer as I am quite the wordy cuss - as you'll definitely see if you follow the links...

Until next post - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #240!

Back to the random...

First Kid  (Walt Disney Pictures, 1996)

I haven't seen this Disney flick, but I've always liked Sinbad, so it might be worth checking out. You get the extra added value of Robert Guillaume.

The Ghost  (Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation, 1963)

Barbara Steele in a Gothic Italian scarepic? Sold!

Moon Over Miami  (20th Century Fox, 1944)

I have no idea what this flick is, but 40's Don Ameche marks it as a frothy romantic musical, and it certainly has a terrific poster!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/26/16!

Who cares what picture we see?

Julie Newmar would under most circumstances, so we'll go with this one as tonight's choice...

At the Mad Monster Party convention in Charlotte NC in March 2015 I was delighted to hear Burt Ward announce that he and fellow convention guest Adam West would be supplying the voices for a new animated Batman film to be released in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of the original series' premiere.

It looked iffy for a while as there seemed to be no news of the film being in production or finished - but it was all true, and the finished film even played theaters as a one evening only Fathom Event on Monday, October 10th, 2016.

I attended that screening, and thoroughly enjoyed this very loving anniversary movie. Both West and Ward return to their roles with verve and enthusiasm, and they are joined by Julie Newmar, reprising her Catwoman role.

The other main villains here - Riddler, Joker, and Penguin - are voiced by new actors - but they all do nice jobs - though their success in capturing the flavor of the original actor go in the order I listed them in.

All in all if you enjoyed the old show - you're bound to enjoy this new movie. I promptly added the Blu-Ray to the video vault - and we could be watching the Caped Crusaders make their return at any Bat Time on my Blu-Ray player's Bat Channel - if you care to jump in your Batmobile and zoom over to my place.

Until next post, You Can BatPoke me with a BatFork, Cause I Am BatOutta Here!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday 11/24/16!

Firstly, I certainly want to wish everyone a very...

Happy Thanksgiving!

The classic monsters are sitting down to their turkey and fixins while we get down to business...

Okay, let's keep things hopping in this resurrected blog - I introduced this new regular department as a way to look back at the 1000+ posts in this blog - specifically the posts that had little traffic and seem to have passed under the radar.

Well, now I'm thinking that Throwback Thursday can also be where we look back at and throw the spotlight on moments in pop culture - something that has always been this blog's bread and butter.

So this very day I'm watching a DVD of one of my lost lamented 80's favorites - a spy show called Masquerade that had a brief run in 1983 and 1984. The DVDs I have of this show are a very unofficial grey market rip from VHS where someone taped them off television when they aired.

So as the end credits of the episode air, you get ABC's famed announcer Ernie Anderson intoning what would be coming up the next Tuesday evening on two of ABC's shows. First up Jack's in hot water dating a sex therapist on Three's Company. Okay. That's a long running show. But then ol' Ernie says something about "Danny feeling his age on Shaping Up."

Shaping Up? What was that? I was a devoted TV watcher back on those days, and I had no memory of this one. Time for some research. Hello, IMDB!

Shaping Up starred Leslie Nielsen as an aging health club owner. The show featured Jennifer Tilly, Shawn Weatherly, and Jake Steinfeld. It never caught on and only managed five episodes aired before being cancelled.

Here's a run of commercials from a January 1984 Hardcastle and McCormick episode that does feature the promo for the series premiere a couple of days later.

A couple more pictures from the show and we'll wrap this one up.

I still don't remember the show - don't remember if I ever even checked it out. I would love to see it now for the nostalgia factor and Nielsen's presence.

Do you remember this one?

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Reynolds Rap!

Cloud 9  (Graymark Productions, 2006)

    This is a fun and frothy throwback to the R rated comedies that were so popular on home video and cable back in the 80’s. It’s a tried and true formula too: the smooth talking huckster who hits on a great money making scheme playing off two thing men love: sexy young women wearing next to nothing, and sports. But this one comes out of the gate with a big lead – because this smooth talking huckster is played by Burt Reynolds!

Burt and his balls.

    Billy Cole (Reynolds) has always almost been the Next Big Thing; but has never achieved that one big payoff in any of his schemes. He’s a pretty good hearted shlub, though, with an adopted son (D. L. Hughley) he raised as his own, and a pretty good life scamming stuff off the celebrities who live near his rusted out trailer on Malibu Beach. He keeps a little money rolling in working for Wong (Paul Rodriguez) – the Fu Manchu of landscaping poorly hiding the secret that he’s really Juan, the Pancho Villa of gardening.

Burt's always had appeal. Now he has a peal. D.L. is bemused.

One fateful morning, while visiting his bookie at the local strip club, Billy hits upon his newest scheme when he sees one of the club’s dancers aping the movements of a female volleyball star on TV: hire the young women from the club to actually form a team, bringing their sexy clothing sense and voluptous bodies to the beach, selling the sizzle of their appearance, but not the steak of their sporting talent, which is nil. Along with his “assistant” Jackson, Billy recruits four of the club’s dancers: Crystal, Champagne, Olga, and Corazon.

They make a big splash at their first appearance, and none of the guys watching care that they don’t play well. The money starts rolling in, but the girls actually start caring about the game, and want to stop the side appearances at bachelor parties and beach bashes so they can train to actually play. This puts a strain on the whole scheme as Billy is strictly in it for the money. Can the self absorbed Billy learn the error of his ways and lead his team to a victory against former Olympic volleyball champ Christina Hanson (Reece) and her skilled team?

I really had a good time with this movie. First and foremost, Burt is really committed here, and seems to be having a good time playing this character, something that hasn’t been the case with some of his recent appearances. It really does seem like an 80’s T+A beach opus, opening with Burt scamming some pool time (and a robe) from an of course unseen Barbra Streisand before taking his morning constitutional back to his rusty trailer down on the beach as a great cheesy pop song plays over the credits. The cast is fun, with Hughley and Reynolds showing some effortless charisma in their scenes, and everyone else bringing something good to the table. The script has some funny lines scattered throughout, and the direction by Harry Basil showcases the beauty of the beach locations and the young women with verve and panache. There’s a refreshing lack of PC here as well – another echo of those older movies – in Paul Rodriguez’s turn as Wong (“if you’re Mexican you’re a gardener; if you’re Asian you’re a landscaper!”) The women are gorgeous – and of course it goes without saying that LGOOH Ultra Fave Katheryn Winnick was the winner on this count – although her accent is variable at best, wavering at times to British and Italian while seldom landing on Russian. But mute the movie if you want while she’s onscreen – you’ll still get all the effect you need.

The movie isn’t perfect; for such a purposely tacky movie the nudity is sparse, just a few quick flashes from some of the extras, and none from any of our lead ladies; and there are a couple of slow spots in the movie before a bright (if entirely expected) wrapup during the championship volleyball tournament. But you do get Burt doing all of his own stunts in his 1,000,006th screen fight; and cameos from Tony Danza, Tom Arnold, Bruce Bruce, Jeff Altman, Brett Hudson (one of the Hudson Brothers, and one of the film’s producers) and best of all GARY BUSEY; so, if you want to put your brain in neutral and just enjoy something that will make you feel like you’re watching Showtime circa 1984, here’s a movie you’ll definitely want to check out!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #239!

Another start to the work week, another three movie posters... let's go with a theme week! How about three posters featuring the same movie character?

There is a hue and cry about these movies of late - as was nearly always the case in these movies Asian characters were all too often played by non-Asian actors. That was certainly the case with the character of Charlie Chan - played by Occidental actors from silent days until 1981 (!)

There had been at least one Charlie Chan movie made in the 20's, but it was Warner Oland's run with sound in the 1930's that cemented the character as a franchise, These three films were made in 1934, 1936, and 1936, The first poster features "Raymond" Milland in an early role, and of course attention must always be paid to Keye Luke - who is actually Asian - playing Charlie's first born (or Number One) son. Luke is amazingly likable in the role - and it's neat to see him still acting in the 80's in movies like Gremlins.

I like these movies - and while I understand it's not great that they kept casting Caucasians in the role - I do feel the actors tried to take the role seriously and Charlie is usually the smartest guy in the room.

Until next post you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/19/16!

Who cares what picture we see?

Well, after this hiatus, I'd certainly like to think that Julian McMahon does, but while I make sure here's tonight's choice...

Here's a cool high concept flick - a tsunami floods a grocery store and traps the shoppers inside with multiple hungry sharks. A credible cast, some good suspense, and the added fun of 3-D makes this bait to catch an evening's entertainment.

I have the Blu-Ray with and without 3-D, and we could be giving this one a watch at any time - even this very evening if you felt like swimming over to my place.

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!