Back in my junior high and high school years, I admit to being a pretty serious collector of comic books. This was back in the early ’80s and well before The X-Men, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Batman, and The Avengers would all become modern day pop culture & box office phenomena (as I write this post, Iron Man 3 just pulled in $175M on it’s opening weekend here in the US). Unfortunately, back in my day a guy needed to downplay his love of super heroes lest he receive daily wedgies from the school bully while consistently repelling members of the opposite sex.
I discussed my comic book history back when I reviewed The Avengers movie last year (seen HERE). This year I decided to use the C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) occasion to not only cover the Return of Svengoolie (see last post) but also as an opportunity to reconnect with my comic book past.
What’s your Point of View on POV Horror Films Podcast: Featuring PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, CLOVERFIELD…and much more!
Ever since THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, films featuring “lost footage” have been inundating audiences faster than you can say PARANORMAL ACTIVITY! Is this an effective horror genre or yet another example of Hollywood beating a dead horse? Find out in our next Terror on Tequila podcast dedicated to shedding light on the realities of “reality” films!
I have been a Godzilla fan for as long as I can remember. Weekends were always a treat for me growing up as there was almost always a Godzilla or Gamera movie to be found and I would watch these films over and over again, never growing bored with them. As an adult I still very much enjoy these films, perhaps because they do in fact bring me back to a simpler time in my life. I am a Godzilla completist, which means I must own every film in its best possible form. To date all movies are now available officially on DVD or Blu-Ray, with the exception of THE RETURN OF GODZILLA, aka GODZILLA 1985. The sequel to this film, GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE finally just got its official release on Blu-Ray and though I was hesitant with this release, I must say, after viewing it, it is a must have for any Godzilla collection.
This past year or so has featured many amazing blu-ray releases that will make great gifts for that genre fan in your life. This was not an easy list to compile since there are so many great releases to choose from! I also wanted to limit myself to 13 titles, or else this list would’ve just gone on and on. I am a huge fan of the blu-ray format but have noticed that just because something is on blu-ray and says it is in high-definition, does not mean it is actually going to look good! It all depends on the source used for the transfer. When I watch a blu-ray, I want to feel like I am seeing the film for the first time, even if I have seen it multiple times before. This list is of blu-ray releases that did just that! ENJOY!
G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) is the quintessential celebration of Godzilla and all his fellow Kaiju (Japanese Monsters). I’ve been a fan of Godzilla and Gamera ever since I was a kid. Growing up in the 1970′s, it was via shows like Creature Features or The Son of Svengoolie to bring those movies to me. People who did not grow up with a horror host usually have a hard time understanding why some of us adult fans get so weepy with adulation at the mere mention of our childhood ghoul. Well, when you’re a “monster kid,” surrounded by more “normal” kids who want to play baseball or watch The Dukes of Hazard, the person faithfully delivering your favorite films becomes more than just a TV star, he becomes your idol…one of Godzilla proportions. In my case it also helped that I found my host’s corny humor hilarious and his less than stellar singing voice pitch perfect.
G-FEST, the quintessential Godzilla event, is known for bringing rare and wonderful stars of the Japanese Kaiju genre to the unlikely venue of my sweet home, Chicago. This year was no exception with the return of Akira Takarada & also the original Ultraman, Bin Furuya. Before I delve into that, I feel like I should mention that while I have illustrated in previous posts much of what G-FEST has to offer, there is no way that I can truly convey its essence. Yes, like other fan-based conventions, it offers celebrities, dealer rooms, and eager fans. These are incidental, however, to what really makes it unique. For lack of better words, G-FEST has heart!
Behold some of the great Kaiju-inspired works of art on display in the G-FEST XIX Artist’s Gallery…
Without question, the MOST popular facet of G-FEST is the costume thread! Fans who spend the better part of the previous year creating their own Kaiju inspired costumes head to Chicago to each July to partake in one of the most unique contest contests around. This was my ninth G-FEST and it amazes me just how much its grown since I tried my hand at costume making and entered my own kids in the contest years ago.
When I say that it was a dream come true for National Horror Host, Svengoolie, to be a guest at the quintessential Godzilla event, G-FEST, I am really not kidding! I rediscovered that Sven was back on TV in 2003 and went to my first G-FEST in 2004 – wondering for the last 8 years why the two had never joined forces. After all, this was the Horror Host who helped cultivate my love of these films back in his “Son of Svengoolie” days. He’s also family & fan friendly, and there are few other events that capture that spirit like G-FEST does.
I have to confess that my favorite part of G-Fest is checking out the amazing models created by fans and put on display during the weekend. I had tried my hand at it a couple of years too but found out that I am better off sticking to writing as opposed to model-making. This stigma, however, is a personal issue, as ALL ages and skill levels are not only welcomed but encouraged here.
I have been a giant rubber monster fan for as long as I can remember. I have so many fond memories of Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching the latest exploits of Godzilla or Gamera as they fought the newest monster foe bent on destroying the Earth. The one creature feature that always stood out though as the coolest of the Japanese giant monster movies was DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, from 1968. The funny thing is though, that as a kid, I never remembered the plot of the movie; I just remembered the last 15 minutes or so that featured the very best of what Toho had to offer in an over-the-top monster battle.
While it was the National Horror Host, Svengoolie, who is indirectly responsible for bringing the Daves together as friends, it has always been our stance that TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES was really the bastard child of the 2010 Vampira Tribute and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. In reality, the two are complimentary of each other. Within the pulpy pages of the world’s only “REAL Monsters Magazine,” classic monsters as well as Horror Hosts have always been featured side-by-side. And why shouldn’t they be? For many of us adult Monster kids, it was the classic commercial hosts who introduced us to all the greats be it Godzilla, The Universal Monsters, the films of Hammer Studios, the wonderful “B” movies of Roger Corman, as well as those from directors who were slightly…ahem…less gifted.