Saturday, June 30, 2012

32-bits of Terror: Nightmares (1983)

32-bits of terrorborder


The segments found in Joseph Sargent's 1983 film Nightmares were originally intended to be aired as a part of the ABC horror series The Darkroom, but when they were deemed too intense for American audiences Universal Pictures released the four segments in theaters as an anthology film. Nightmares is one of those movies that, due to a mixture of late night cable and the wicked insomnia problem I suffered from as a young hustler, I have incredibly fond memories of. The funny thing though, is those fond memories aren't really for the film as a whole, as I honestly cannot remember any one of the four segments outside of one, and that comes from the film's second chapter:

The Bishop of Battle

The Bishop of Battle stars Emilio Estevez as J.J., a video game wiz whose life has become overtaken by a desire to get to level 13 of one of the most difficult games ever designed, The Bishop of Battle. J.J. is first introduced as he and his best buddy Zock (played by one Billy Jayne) are out hustling money from fellow gamers (aka over-the-top, stereotypical Mexican gangsters) in the hopes that J.J. can nab enough cash so he can afford a few rounds against the Bishop.     

After staying out a little too late trying to make it to the almighty level 13, J.J. goes home only to catch a bunch of shit from his parents who are royally peeved due to his sudden drop in grades and crummy attitude. Because parents are simply too stupid to understand the importance of video games over garbage like math and science, they ground J.J. for a week.

A week?!

Being grounded means very little to a guy like J.J., as his obsession is far too great to be oppressed by parental tyranny. As a result, and soon after his parents fall asleep, J.J. sneaks out and breaks into the arcade for an evening with the Bishop (this is starting to sound a little homosexual, no?).

In an intense battle between man and machine, J.J. does finally make it to level 13. However, as it turns out, level 13 isn't exactly what he expected, and the game world crosses over into the real world with devastating results.

Graphics: 7/10

One word: laZers. And lots of 'em. In the post Tron world of 1983, the old school optical effects in The Bishop of Battle are surprisingly solid for such a minor film. The 3D game graphics blend well with the real world surroundings, making J.J.'s battle with the Bishop as realistic as can be, considering the technology available for the time. Apparently, all of the game sequences were so costly that the production nearly went bankrupt. But hey, at least they put their money into the right segment, right?

Sound: 9/10

Nothing says high score like a soundtrack consisting of music from Fear and Black Flag. 'Nuff said.

Terrortainment: 8/10

It's your standard morality tale with a video game hook, but the briefness of the segment, which runs just under 30-minutes, makes for the perfect little horror snack when the belly aches for a slice of cheap, lean '80s horror. The video game scenes are as fun as they are nostalgic, and it's cool to look back on a time when arcades were as abundant as they were popular. 

Something that's always been one of my favorite things about The Bishop of Battle segment is Estevez, who is, as he was in most every film he starred in around this time, awesome. Actually, Estevez was one of my first favorite actors when I was a young buck, so it's pretty difficult for me not to love the segment, as his bratty character was one of many that I could relate to growing up.

Replay Value: 8/10

I've made it to level 13 many times throughout my youth, and I can very easily see myself revisiting the Bishop at least a few more times within my lifetime.

The 32-Bit Rating: 8

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alien Quadrilogy DVD Winner Redux!

So the OG winner of the Alien Quadrilogy DVD Giveaway never contacted me to claim his prize, leaving me with no other choice but to pick another name, which is exactly what I do in this video.

You know what, though… with a thumbnail like that one who cares who won this damn DVD giveaway, right?! Straight up kissy face at the camera and shit. MWAH! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Linnea Quigley/Kuato Mystery Has Been Solved! Sort of.

Following up with my last post in which I was more than certain that the one and only Linnea Quigley was briefly shown pulling the strings of America's Sweetheart himself, Kauto, in the behind the scenes featurette for the Paul Verhoeven classic, Total Recall, I believe I may have been able to nail down the answer to this incredible mystery.

Shortly after posting my findings, I emailed Miss Quigley in the hopes that this gripping saga might finally come to an end. And as luck would have it, she actually emailed me back, and fairly quick, too. In what was a genuinely sweet email, she stated that it's a very good possibility that she did do some puppeteering on Total Recall, but she doesn't recall for sure whether or not she did. She did mention that, while being married to Steve Johnson, she remembers doing some behind the scenes work, like puppeteer work and things of that nature, on films like Dead Heat (which is so awesome) and a few others, so it likely was her. 

So there you have it… while the answer is not 100% definitive, I think it's safe to say that yes, Linnea Quigley did pull da strings on the Kuato puppet in Total Recall, and for now I can put this fascinating mystery to rest.

Linnea Quigly Case Closed

*I'm a Windows Paint master!*

Monday, June 18, 2012

Linnea Quigley Played Kuato in Total Recall?!


So I was watching the "Imagining Total Recall" documentary from the awesome Mars shaped Total Recall Special Limited Edition DVD recently, when about 20 minutes into the featurette I noticed a certain famous Scream Queen playing puppeteer to one Mr. gross himself, Kuato. 

Linnea Quigly Total Recall

That fine piece of blond is indeed Linnea Quigley (or it sure as hell looks A LOT like her), who somehow is able to be the only person in this screen grab to seem as if she's in a sexual position, but I suppose that's just how she works it. I mean, she is Linnea Quigley and all. I think.

Anyway, if you want to see the video for yourself, I actually found Imagining Total Recall on You Tube, but because nothing can ever be convenient, I am not able to embed the video itself. However, the following link is set to start a few moments before Quigley is briefly shown. And when I say briefly, I mean it's about a second long. So don't blink.

Now, while this discovery is quite awesome (to me, at least), I have absolutely no idea why Quigley would have ever been in a position to actually work the Kuato puppet. There's absolutely nothing that I can find online connecting her to the film or Rob Bottin (who did the FX work on Total Recall) in any way whatsoever, and I don't see any of her films from that time having effects work done by Bottin's studio. The only connection I can make is Quigley was married to the great Steve Johnson at this time, and both Bottin and Johnson apprenticed under Rick Baker together before they became successful on their own. So who knows… maybe it was a set visit or something, but I still think it's sort of strange that I can't find anything about Quigley working the famous Kuato puppet. I mean, you would think that would be a story told by Quigley at some point or at least someone before me would have noticed her in the video. Either way, it's pretty awesome that Linnea Quigley may have had a small part in bringing one of cinema's ugliest characters to life, and I hope to one day find the truth. Unless I forget, which is likely.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dumpster Diving for Gold: Monster Fun Book Art Project Follow-Up!

Following up with my previous DD4G post, I finally finished up my Monster Fun Book art project in which I took a very cool Goodwill find and showed it a little bit of love.

The frame was fairly beat up, so I gave it a nice sand job (how naughty!) and went about staining it with my homemade tobacco wood stain. Now, while my wood stain concoction gave the frame a nice color and made it look infinitely better, it was not nearly dark enough for my taste. So after multiple coats I gave in and picked up a small can of ebony wood stain to finish the job to my satisfaction. Now, while my initial stain didn't do exactly what I originally intended, I am pretty thrilled with how it all turned out, as the brown from the tobacco stain seems to have mixed very well with the ebony wood stain.

*Left side is the original frame with the right being the final product*

Picture FramePicture Frame 2

And here is how the whole thing looks all completely cleaned up and put back together. The glass was a filthy mess, so a little Windex proved to be an easy yet big help in making this awesome little Monster Fun Book look light years better than when I picked it up.

Picture Frame 4

So for now, this nifty relic has found a nice comfortable place right on top of one of my DVD shelves, fittingly right next to a Sideshow Frankenstein's Monster collectable. As I mentioned in my previous post, who knows how long this thing sat in that frame for, and whoever put it there is an utter mystery. However, while that mystery will forever remain unsolved, the truth of the matter is this thing has found a home and is now amongst friends. How sweet.   

Monster Find 3

Monday, June 11, 2012

Help Support The Last Buck Hunt!

Following their 2010 independent horror flick Break (which I reviewed and enjoyed), filmmakers Nick and Becky "B-Movie" Sayers are looking to make their triumphant return to micro-budget cinema with their newest project, The Last Buck Hunt. In an attempt to make their new film as good as they possibly can, the Sayers have put together a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes that they can raise $5,000 towards their budget for The Last Buck Hunt.

Now, because they are true blue film fans who have a real passion for creating cinema, the Sayers plan on making The Last Buck Hunt regardless of whether or not they actually raise the funds to help finance the film. However, it doesn't hurt to ask, and as someone who truly enjoyed what they were able to do with absolutely nothing when they made Break, I feel confident in pimping out their project to all of you in the hopes you will show them some support. 

Anyway, you probably would like to know what the film is all about, so here is a hysterical promotional video that Nick and Becky put together:

If that promo video didn't sell you then I don't know what will! I added The Last Buck Hunt's Kickstarter widget to my sidebar, and as you can see, they are already 70% funded with 19 days left to go, so let's all please come together as supporters of true independent cinema and get them over the hump and into plus territory!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Alien Quadrilogy DVD Giveaway Winner!

Here it is, folks… the winner has been picked, and the Alien Quadrilogy DVD Giveaway has officially come to an end.

I want to thank everyone who partook in this epic event, and I also want to send out a huge congrats to the winner, who will remain a secret until you watch my shitty video!

Enjoy the vampire tits!

PS: When I mention "the wonderful Miss Christine Makepiece," I am of course referring to one half of the awesome Cult film magazine, Paracinema Magazine, just to be clear. If this contest brought you to my blog for the first time and you've never heard of Paracinema, be sure to check them out!


*For those who didn't win the competition or want to watch free movies online, or are interested in LOVEFiLMs streaming or DVD rentals to watch the Alien quadrilogy, visit You can sign up for a free trial and find out if the service will suit your viewing habits.*

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dumpster Diving for Gold: Lady Dragon's Big Box Monster Art Project

While on a recent excursion to the Appalachian Mountains with the intent of collecting berries and an array of life-giving fruits for the 1st Annual Chuck Norris Ate My Baby Fruit Festival and Farmer's Market in July, I decided to make a quick stop at the local Appalachian Mountain Goodwill to see if I could uncover any gold to go along with my berries and other assorted fruits. As luck would have it, the Appalachian Goodwill willingly gave good to me, and I was lucky enough to come across a few things that I shall now share with you in the next paragraph.

First up is an Imperial Entertainment VHS release of Lady Dragon, starring the one and only Cynthia Rothrock. Outside of the rental stickers, the box is in pretty good condition, and the film is more than enjoyable enough. It's not an upper tier Rothrock flick, but it's certainly WORTHy of the always lovely Mrs. Rothrock. 

The next two tapes I stumbled onto are big box releases of Terror Out of the Sky and I Dismember Mama. Both are a little on the beat up side, especially Terror with that sweet looking "Jeni" graffiti sprawled across the front. Regardless, they're in more than suitable condition (as good if not better than the copies that are being sold for some pretty hefty prices on eBay), and I have to say that I was simply elated to find not one but two big box tapes, which is something of a rarity in these parts, let alone in a Goodwill. On top of it, all three tapes were .99¢, so I spent less than three bucks for this trio or terror.

Big Box VHS

Next up and rounding out my Good Goodwill finds is this very random framed newspaper that my awesome lady friend found. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but I knew for a fact that I loved it and had to pick it up. The thing ran me $4.49, and I figured I could maybe put it in a new frame and hang it up somewhere just because it's aesthetically pretty neat looking.

Monster Find

When I got the thing home I naturally popped it open to see what else this oddity might have tucked away within its glass confines, only to find an intact, four page Monster Fun Book from a 1974 edition of some newspaper called The National Star.

Here are a few blurry photos of both sides of this monster mash-up of monster themed news articles. 

Monster Find1

Monster Find 2

I mean, I don't know about you, but I think it's about as cool a find as one can have, and while I am certain there is no retail value with this thing, the idea of finding something such as this is simply just cool.  

Anyway, while I would love to frame the entire thing and hang it up, I don't really feel like spending the cash on a new picture frame. In fact, I think it would actually be a lot more fun to take that shitty, beat up looking frame that it came in and try to spruce it up like Martha. This way I can have myself a little fun art project to do while also being able to eventually return this Monster Fun Book back to its original home (and who knows how long it sat in there).  

Picture Frame

So my brilliant idea has led me to doing a little DIY project wherein I will sand the bastard down and attempt to re-stain it using a homemade stain fit for a Monster Fun Book. 

My ingredients for such an undertaking are as shown:

Homemade Wood Stain

Chewing tobacco mixed with equal parts water and ammonia should just about do the trick. And the Milk Duds? Well, those are for me, so get yer filthy hands outta there, bro.

I am hoping this concoction will present me with a nice dark doo doo stain, however, it does take a few days for the tobacco and such to mature. I really have no idea if this will work at all, but if it doesn't - or if I don't like the results - I will simply spray paint the thing and make it look all sick and shit.

Anyway, I've gone on more than long enough, but I will be doing an update in the next few days with what I hope will be the results of this monster sized art project. Well, unless it comes out horribly. In that case, let's just pretend this conversation never happened.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alien Quadrilogy DVD Giveaway!

Alien Quadrilogy

Timing is everything, and with my recent acquisition of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set (which Amazon was recently selling for the insane price of $29.99!), and Ridley Scott's return to the franchise in the form of Prometheus coming our way in less than a week, I figured I might as well have a little giveaway!

Now, as I just stated, I did pick myself up the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set for a wicked good price, therefore I figured that there was no need for me to hold on to my Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set anymore. With that thought, I came to the conclusion that there is a really good chance that someone out there would love to own this set if they don't already, so why not give the bastard away?!

So here's the deal, if you would like to win yourself my slightly used (but in tip-top condition) Alien Quadrilogy box set, all you have to do is leave a comment that has something to do with the Alien franchise. You can talk about which film in the series is your favorite or least favorite; you can comment on how excited you are for Prometheus; you can even talk about how much Bishop's run-in with the Queen reminds you of your favorite Peter North film. Whatever works for you works for me, and unlike a Peter North film, the length does not matter. A few sentences will do just fine.

I will randomly pick the winner on Thursday at midnight and make the announcement on who won sometime Friday evening, just in time for the release of Prometheus

This is a stacked 9 DVD set that everyone who loves the Alien franchise should own, so leave a comment and good luck!

*Click Here to See All the Extras in the Set!*

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