Category Archives: 80’s rule

Hobo With A Shotgun: The Game

We announced this back at SXSW, but decided to do a little more in depth look at the game on the blog. When our friend Jason Eisener mentioned he wished there was a HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN game, we set forth to make that dream a reality. Using games like DOUBLE DRAGON 2, RIVER CITY RANSOM and FINAL FIGHT as inspiration, we teamed up with  Alamo Drafthouse and Game Salad to create a side scrolling 8-bit NES style bloodbath for the iPhone.

We also put together a full-sized cabinet version of the game for the SXSW premiere of the film.

photo: Jenn Wexler

More levels, enemies and bosses will be made available as free updates leading up to the film’s release May 6. We’re planning to release the game’s soundtrack on the website as well. And look for the brutal Jeff Proctor HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN poster to go on sale this week.

Hobo with a Shotgun: The Game is available here. (Note: It requires iOS 3.0 or higher and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 3rd and 4th Generation iPod touch and all models of iPad)


Wax Pack Adventures – Jaws 3-D

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Maverick. I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]

Title: Jaws 3-D
: Topps
Year: 1983
Details: 6 Cards || 1 Viewed || 1 Stick Bubble Gum

Full disclosure up front: I haven’t seen Jaws 3-D. For that matter, I haven’t seen Jaws 2, and thought Jaws 1 was just ok the one time I saw it. So, depending on your point of view, I’m either the worst or best person to review a pack of Jaws 3-D trading cards. Given that I have no idea what the plot of Jaws 3-D is, I figured I’d just post the cards in chronological order and tell you what I think the movie is about.

A Topps 44-Card Series - In 3D: The cast of "Jaws 3-D", a terrifying entry in the popular series that boasts dimensional photography and unique special effects.

Ok. A diverse group of water enthusiasts. Other than the dude with a beret, a pretty normal-looking sea-side-living bunch.

Bloody Remains! Kathryn Morgan offers a snack to her friend, the killer whale Shamu.

Hmm. Ok. Didn’t expect to see Shamu. Does part of this movie take place at Sea World?

The New Peril! Kathryn Morgan is shocked to learn that the shark has been transferred to a different tank and may not survive.

Well… there’s another shot that seems to be set in Sea World. That’s strange. Surely the entire movie isn’t water-theme-park based.

Also, I’m pretty sure I can see that dude in the blue gym short’s right ball.

Seeking Human Prey! The horribly mangled body of Shelby Overman is discovered and a startling discovery is made: there's another, even larger shark in the vicinity!

Poor Shelby Overman! Was his (her?) body discovered under that sheet? Pretty convenient for the survivors, though I don’t see how that could possibly be blamed on a shark. There are sharks in this movie, right?

Oh, wait… there’s a shark reference. Apparently there’s an “even larger shark in the vicinity.” Which I presume means the vicinity of  Sea World. Not sure how that’s even possible.

Madness and Mayhem! Innocent water skiers are oblivious to the presence of the monster shark..!

Really? REALLY? This movie has a Shark vs. Synchronized Lady Water Skiers scene? Was it a parody? What kind of person would let a shark into Sea World in the first place?

Diverting the Monster! Calvin Bouchard has accidentally allowed the killer shark to enter Sea World!

Oh. A Calvin Bouchard type of person. That jerk.

So after seeing six still images from Jaws 3-D I am thoroughly confused. Partially about the film’s plot, and mostly about how I could have made it 25+ years without knowing that Jaws 3-D was set IN A SEA WORLD! That’s a major cinematic knowledge gap. Thanks for filling it, Topps!

PS: The promised 3-D Viewer? Completely missing from my pack. Who do I call for a refund?

Wax Pack Adventures – Bill & Ted’s Most Atypical Movie Cards

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Maverick.  I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]

Title: Bill & Ted’s Most Atypical Move Cards
: Pro Set
Year: 1991
Details: 10 Triumphant Cards || 1 Contest Scratch-Off Card

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I credit the “69, dudes!” sequence (a joke I didn’t even realize was a joke for many years) for sparking my interest in time-travel fiction where the narrative folds over on itself. In fact, I could draw a straight line from my young love for Excellent Adventure and the Back To The Future trilogy to my adult love for movies like Primer and Timecrimes.

So when I had the chance to pick up an unopened pack of “Bill & Ted’s Most Atypical Move Cards,” I didn’t hesitate. Released in 1991, the set features key scenes from both Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (a film that ranks among my earliest remembered theatrical experiences). I got several excellent cards (including two featuring George Carlin), so let’s get to it:

All We Are Is Dust In The Wind, Dude

There’s really not a bad card in the batch (actually, the Lincoln card is a bit boring). And you can tell that whoever wrote the card-back text was a fan of the films (or at least knew how to talk the talk). Just look at Card #44: Rufus drops by to see his excellent friends and brings them a surprise – the babes in savory clothes! I love that someone got paid to sit around and write these things.

My favorite of the ten cards is #94, which includes a “Bill&TedSpeak to English” dictionary. Despite the fact that I haven’t seen these two movies in at least 15 years (I’m well past due to revisit them), reading the “Bill&TedSpeak” list brings back some vivid memories from my youth. If you can read this list without hearing Bill’s & Ted’s voices in your head, you’re a better man than I:

  • Loogied – Spit
  • Station – Greetings, salutations, yes, of course, where do I sign?, way to go, hallelujah, right on, and (of course) excellent!
  • Most Atypical – Incredible, amazing
  • Metal Heads – Rockin’ musicians
  • The Floppy-Eared, Egg-Dropping, Hippity-Hopping Behemoth – The Easter Bunny
  • Reaped – Killed
  • The Ugly Red Source of All Evil – The Devil
  • Your Royal Deathness – The Grim Reaper
  • The Fugue Dude – J.S. Bach
  • Beelzebub – The Dude Downstairs
  • Miscreant – Loser
  • God’s Finest Planet – Uranus
  • The Repository of All Earthly Building Materials – Builder’s Emporium
  • Phantasmagorical – Spooky

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to work at least one of these phrases into a conversation over the next 24 hours. Report back in the comments on how it goes.

The pack also contained an Instant Win card. The grand prize – a bodacious trip to San Dimas, California – was featured on the front of the pack. Incredibly, the first prize was an entire GTE Telephone Booth. I’d love to find out the story of the kid who won that prize. I know that if I’d had an entire phone booth delivered to my parent’s house, I’d have had a lot of explaining to do.

There also was a sweepstakes you could enter to win props from the movie with “an approximate retail value of $25 (but unknown intrinsic value).” If anyone out there happened to be a sweepstakes winner, please let me know what you won!

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately given that it’d be too late to collect), I didn’t end up with a winner:

Sorry, dude! Try again.

Oh well. It’s still a most atypical set of cards.

I suspect I’m not the only Bill & Ted fan on this blog, so be sure to comment with your favorite Bill & Ted memories. You’ve got a lot to choose from… the characters have been in two movies, and an animated series, a live-action series, a comic series, several video games (NES, Gameboy, Lynx , and a PC game), a cereal, action figures, Playdoh (!), a novelization, an annual Excellent Halloween Adventure live event at Universal Orlando… and that’s just scratching the surface. Check out Bill & Ted dot Org for even more media and non-media tie ins that featured the duo.

Finally, here’s my favorite Bill & Ted clip: Alex and Keanu trying (and mostly failing) to define “bodacious”:

Until next week’s Wax Pack Adventures, be excellent to each other!

Micah :: Reel Distraction

Wax Pack Adventures – Fright Flicks

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]

Title: Fright Flicks
: Topps
Year: 1985
Details: 9 Cards || 1 Sticker || 1 Stick Bubble Gum

Many horror fans who were kids in the mid-80s fondly remember Fright Flicks, a short-lived trading card collection that combined stills from (mostly) beloved horror and sci-fi films, lame puns and silly quips, and Ripley’s-style can-you-believe-it? creepy factoids.

The pack I bought contained cards with images from Aliens, Day of the Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street I, II, & III, Poltergeist, The Fly (1986), Ghostbusters, and Predator:

Of the nine images, my favorite – based on the badass-image/non-sequitur-tagline combo –  is the “Okay, Who Took A Bite Out Of My Bran Muffin?”/The Fly card (Card #9).  I’ve always been partial to the toungue-in-phone gag from A Nightmare on Elm Street, so Card #8 is a great find for me as well.

The pack also had a striking Fright Night sticker that I’m currently in the process of finding a home for. (One problem with my day job is that I have relatively few occasions to carry a sticker-covered Trapper Keeper):

That's Slimer's chin on the reverse-side puzzle piece

Finally, this pack contained a piece of the ubiquitous Topps chewing gum:

Card-collecting readers of a certain age should get an immediate and powerful sense memory from viewing this image

Although I haven’t had a piece of Topps gum for close to two decades, seeing the stick immediately made my mouth water. Even when fresh, Topps gum wasn’t objectively good. But I remember loving it as a kid because… hey… free gum! Also, it was such an integral part of the card-collecting process (open pack, chew gum, see if you got anything good) that I never even questioned whether it was a good as a stick of Big Red or a chunk of Bazooka Joe (note: it wasn’t).

In the interest of journalistic integrity, I decided to chew the 25-plus-year-old stick while writing this post, and include my thoughts on how it tasted. Like a connoisseur of fine beer, I sniffed the gum before chewing it. I was surprised to discover that it was completely devoid of any discernible odor. I suppose it was made of iocane powder.

Undeterred, I put the gum in my mouth. I expected it to be tough and difficult to chew, but the opposite was true. Within seconds, the gum had completely liquefied, leaving behind a glaze of slightly-thicker-and-sweeter-than-normal saliva in my mouth. I don’t know what the substance was that made Topps gum chewy, but it apparently self destructs in less than two-and-a-half decades.

If I die in my sleep, please bury me under this tombstone:

Best. Epitaph. Ever.

If you remember buying Fright Flicks, let me know your favorite cards or memories of collecting them in the comments.

Micah :: Reel Distraction

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find.]

The Ultra-Meta Gremlins 2 Novelization

I watched GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH for the first time a few weeks ago (I know, I know), and loved the self-referential scenes.  From Phoebe Cates’ Lincoln’s-Birthday-related “Why I Hate Christmas Speech” callback, to Leonard Martin’s criticism of the first GREMLINS movie, the numerous fourth-wall-breaking moments transformed what otherwise could have been a throwaway kids’ sequel into a film still worth discovering twenty years after the fact.

But in a film full of meta scenes, perhaps the most meta was the scene where Gremlins interrupt the movie to show clips from a cutie nudie flick, which forces Hulk Hogan to, well… see for yourself:

Shortly after I finished the film, I got online to see if I could find a copy of the novelization, which I vaguely remembered seeing classmates read when I was a kid.  I was curious to see how the novelist, David Bischoff, had handled the Hulk Hogan sequence.  After laying down $.75 + s/h (thanks and waiting a few days, I had my answer.  And it was better than I could have imagined:

That’s right, Brain Gremlin waylays the novelist and writes two pages of a Gremlins New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks manifesto. Click on the two images for a bigger picture, or just check out the text below:

There. The novelizer, Mr. David Bischoff, Esq., has been successfully waylaid and is now tied up in the bathroom of his Los Angeles apartment.

Do not attempt to adjust your book.

We have control of the programming.

Please excuse the rudeness. You have previously known me as the “Gremlin that drank the brain fluid” – or, as Bischoff quaintly called me, Mr. Glasses. Believe it or not, in the screenplay, I am referred to as BRAIN GREMLIN.

I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about our philosophy toward life, so that we will not be misunderstood and branded as “monsters.”

Yes, but faithful novel readers, I do not intend to cheat you. In the movie presentation, Gremlins take over the movie theater (ah, what a delicious conceit – excellent, Joe – was that you?) and Hulk Hogan comes to the rescue.

I do believe that Kenneth Tobey of THE THING is somewhere in there.

However, let us deal with more intellectual matters.

In the great paradigm of anti-intellectualism that is the vast American untermenchen, there needs to be a seismic quake of thought, a veritable avalanche of anarchy, to wake you somnambulent beings from your couch-potato torpor.

May I offer you the services of we Gremlins. You may hereafter refer to us as the New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks.

Already our numbers are spreading out from the heart of America to aid you in this endeavor and although you may be viewing this physically for the first time now (except for those lucky citizens of Kingston Falls who received a foreshadow some years ago) our intellectual forces have been at work for some time, albeit embodied in human form.

According to my contacts with our crypto-CD’s the Church of SubGenius it is generally not know, for instance, that the entirety of network television is programmed by proto-Capitalist Democrats.

However, the past is merely prologue, introduction, forward, with some long footnotes thrown in.

Our time is now!

So, my dear readers (oh, the few, the chosen literate who have been intelligent enough to purchase this volume) prepare for a New Age of the New Capitalist Demo -

Oh dear. Mr. Bischoff seems to have successfully axed his way out of the bathroom.

Methinks I need to fly and return this temporarily liberated keyboard to his suburb, urbane and witty prose -

Back I fly to the Clamp Cent…

Wow… those few paragraphs – which contain references to the novelization, the GREMLINS 2 screenplay, Kenneth Tobey and THE THING, Joe Dante, and the Church of SubGenius(!), among other things – are even more meta than the cinematic sequence they’re replacing. Kudos to Mr. David Bischoff, Esq. (apparently he’s a lawyer, as well as an author) for putting waaaay more effort into the novelization than he had to.

If you’re ready to join me in the New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks party, sign up in the comments.

Micah :: Reel Distraction

By The Power Of Grayskull!

Skeletor as Burt Reynolds

Skeletor as Burt Reynolds

I attended the opening of the Masters of the Universe art show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles recently, and there was a long line of people waiting inside to get a glimpse at 100 different artists’ interpretations of He-Man, Battlecat, Skeletor, and even Orko. What was my personal favorite? The girnormous mouth of Castle Greyskull. I’m not sure if that thing was for sale or not, but that would make the coolest fireplace ever. The show runs until January 29th, so if you’re in Los Angeles, check it out. I revisited the gallery yesterday, and it was a lot less crowded. Given the monsoon levels of precipitation LA has had recently, this is a perfect rainy day activity.

Just be warned that stopping by can be hazardous to your health. I ended up picking up a Goonies Never Say Die and a Pee Wee’s Big Adventure print by Dave Perillo from their Crazy 4 Cult show back in 2009. They have a wealth of prints available from the MOTU show, and earlier stuff, so buyer beware. Your wallet has the power.

Masters of the Wooden Toys

Masters of the Wooden Toys

On The Walls Of Greyskull

On The Walls Of Greyskull

Urban Skeletor

Urban Skeletor

How Awesome Is This?

How Awesome Is This?

A Hopeless Video Nerd’s Review Of The House Of The Devil VHS

We talk about VHS quite a bit here on the blog and today, I’m very excited to review the new VHS for HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Yes….I said that and I can hardly believe it myself. I’m reviewing a new release VHS!

There are a lot of “throwback” products these days. Lunchboxes, toys, t-shirts with the worn look, etc. Most of them are complete trash, so I’m really going to put the screws to this. I’m actually going to go into my collection and pull some VHS out from that era and compare them to the HOUSE OF THE DEVIL release. Let’s see what we find, shall we?


VHS tapes have a long history of amazing covers. Entire books have been written about them and movies were even banned in the UK based just off the imagery on the covers alone(called Video Nasties).  To this day, artwork is a MAJOR part of what makes people rent or buy your film. HOUSE OF THE DEVIL understood that and made some of the best poster and box art I’ve seen in a long time. It was even recognized as having the best horror poster of 2009 in Rue Morgue magazine. I really appreciate the fact that they didn’t try to make the art EXTREME or SHOCKING. The people that did this must have a real knowledge and love for the genre.


The HOUSE OF THE DEVIL VHS is packaged in a white clamshell VHS box and has faux weathering on it which I normally despise, but it really works for this project. They added a cool “New Release” sticker on the box like so many other VHS in my collection have, too. Even though they reused the poster art (great choice) the format and layout of the box totally works. They kept everything really simple, didn’t over think it and it came out great.


Here is the VHS next to another big box of DOCTOR GORE. Notice the real wear at the top of DOCTOR GORE compared to the “wear” at the top of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. From the pictures and even in person, you’d never tell it was designed that way.


Here it is compared to the HALLOWEEN rip-off, THE NIGHT AFTER HALLOWEEN. It totally matches the feel and tone of the old VHS. So far, so good.



The back cover is inspired as well. There are lots of different styles for back covers and they went with text only which I kind of prefer.  Some of my favorite big box VHS’ have went this route, too. Many tapes went with the notion of more is better and  threw a shitload of images on the back cover of monsters and women. Don’t get me wrong, that’s cool and all, but I much prefer the simpler text. Also, click on the image to zoom in and read the write up. It’s pretty incredible. There are actually some write ups simliar to this that actually give away the entire movie. So much so, that it will end with a line like, “Then Jim killed the demon and got into his car and rode away. The End.”



As you can see, the back cover is almost exactly like the back cover of DEATH DREAM (minus UPC code). It’s also worth mentioning that they were both released by Gorgon Video which was one of the biggest distributors back in the day. Gorgon still carries a lot of weight and get lots of respect from cinephiles and VHS nerds. I thought that they might’ve put the Gorgon logo on the new tape as an homage, but I think it’s an official release.



It’s uncanny! I keep on looking for something they slacked on with this and I can’t find it. IT’S JUST NOT THERE. Even the inner label has been recreated EXACTLY, just inversed.

The video played fine all the way through. I was kind of terrified by the thought of them adding in tracking issues or making the image all fucked up, but thankfully, they didn’t. The video is clean. Speaking of Gorgon Video, they even put the old, AMAZING animated Gorgon intro before the movie. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the video:

I don’t know about you, but watching that TOTALLY puts me in the mood to watch a movie like HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. The only thing better than the Gorgon Video intro was the 80’s HBO intro. I swear to you that the music in the HBO intro is WAY more inspiring than anything in ROCKY. I want it played at my wedding, funeral and at any other major even in my life. Rant over.


When I pulled it out of the package this afternoon, the first thing I thought was, how will this look next to other titles on the shelf? Observe:



It’s totally legit. I guess if I had a bitch at all about the VHS, it’s that I would’ve liked to see the Gorgon logo on the back of the tape instead of the spine, but that’s like saying I’d like 2 cherries on my sundae instead of just 1. The fact that I’m reviewing a new release VHS in 2010 has not been lost on me. It’s kinda unbelievable this exists. The final test…this VHS in with the general population!



This is a dream come true. I did NOT expect this thing to be as quality as it is. From it being a Gorgon release to the design to the goddamn inner label, this thing is perfect. You’ve seen the pics….it totally goes toe to toe with almost any video in my collection and it looks great on the shelf. I hope they sell a billion of these so that maybe Gorgon can start putting out limited runs of VHS tapes for movies in the old style. I know I’d buy them. If MOON came out on VHS with a cool sci-fi case or something like that, I’m in line. Speaking of selling a billion, you can help with that. We’ve actually had a lot of people asking where they can get one and I just looked on Amazon and you can get the DVD and this VHS for only $23.99. Click HERE to buy. That’s pretty nuts. A truly great deal.

Seriously, even if you don’t have a VCR, be ironic and buy this….this is one of my favorite things this year, for sure.


The Monster Squad Goes Down Tomorrow!

UPDATE: About a minute after this post went live, the 9:50pm screening SOLD OUT.

Tomorrow at the Ritz on 6th St., THE MONSTER SQUAD will be screening with cast members in attendance. Who you ask? How about:


Director of THE MONSTER SQUAD, Fred Dekker


Writer, Shane Black


The leader of the Monster Squad, Andre Gower


The Wolfman, Jon Gries

ms rudy

“Toughest Kid in the 8th Grade” Rudy, Ryan Lambert

Not only will all of these dudes be there, but we will have the classic STEPHEN KING RULES shirts for sale and a brand new THE MONSTER SQUAD poster for sale. You definitely want to attend this. If you don’t have tickets yet, get on it! The 9:50pm show still has slots open so click HERE and get to purchasing!

See you all tomorrow!


VHS Covers I Love: The Other Hell (1981)

The Other Hell - Front Art

The Other Hell - Front Art

THE OTHER HELL is the U.S. title for L’ALTRO INFERNO (1981), a nunsploitation flick directed by prolific Italian genre director Bruno Mattei (credited on the back of VHS box as Stefan Oblowsky) and co-written by Mattei and Claudio Fragasso (he of TROLL 2 fame). Interestingly, Mattei and Fragasso were shooting a second nunsploitation film – THE TRUE STORY OF THE NUN OF MONZA (1980) – at the same time, in the same building, and using most of the same cast and crew.

The Other Hell - Full Artwork

The Other Hell - Full Artwork

THE OTHER HELL infamously features a scene where a nun boils a baby to death. But don’t worry… the baby gets even:

Goblin provided THE OTHER HELL‘s score, albeit inadvertently: Mattei and Fragasso lifted most of it from Joe D’Amato‘s BEYOND THE DARKNESS (1979). Still, it’s put to good use, as seen here (wait for the catchy groove to kick in at the 30-second mark):

This VHS was released by Inter-Light Video, and primarily uses just four colors (white, black, blue, and reddish-orange) to achieve a simplistic but striking end product. The blood-splattered nun in the bottom right corner is clearly terrified, and I like that it’s unclear whether the nun in the center of the box shares – or is the source of – that terror. The lightning bolt off the tip of the enlarged sword is another nice touch. Incidentally, the artist’s depiction of the terrified nun is a fairly accurate rendition of the source material, as shown below:

The Other Hell - Nun Comparison

The Other Hell - Nun Comparison

More information about THE OTHER HELL can be found at the excellent (but NSFW)

Micah :: Reel Distraction

Alex Pardee Signing December 1st At The Ritz! New Tremors and Basket Case Posters!

UPDATE: If any posters or shirts remain after the signing on December 1st, they will be made available to our online fans on December 2nd.

We are thrilled to announce that world famous artist and horror aficionado Alex Pardee will be at the Terror Tuesday screening of TREMORS Tuesday, December 1st at the Alamo Ritz. TREMORS is one of Pardee’s favorite movies and he is flying in to watch it and to also sign the new BASKET CASE and TREMORS posters he did for us IN PERSON before the show! The signing will start at 7pm and end at 8:30pm, so get there early as these posters are super limited!


BCPosterFinal copy

Alex also did a crazy shirt for BASKET CASE that will also be released at the Tremors show on December 1st. Alex’s signings are always memorable (and sometimes blood soaked), so if you miss this, you obviously hate fun.


Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
320 E 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701

P.S. You can also read Pardee’s far superior blog posts about the event HERE and HERE.