Since I was a kid I have been a fan of kaiju films. Every Saturday afternoon I would sit in front of the television set watching that week’s installment of the Creature Double Feature, as they showed such great films as Rodan, War Of The Gargantuas, Frankenstein Conquers The World and a whole variety of Godzilla and Gamera films. Yes they were cheesy but they were also a lot of fun and they are one of my fondest memories growing up.
The inimitable “Russ Wrangler” arrived at my place around 1pm; all smiles and full of energy. Clad in sunglasses and sandals, he looked more prepared for a day at the beach as opposed to a horror convention but clearly the overall message was “vacation” and a welcomed one at that. We loaded my things and immediately embarked for Indianapolis with no lulls in conversation, making the drive go by much quicker.
This was my third Days of the Dead in Indianapolis (fourth overall) and Russ’ second. I remember attending the very first one while being impressed with how fan-friendly it was; something I’d hoped hadn’t changed. It seems like fan conventions of any kind start off slow and friendly and, should they find success, later become out-of-control Goliath’s with the fans getting lost somewhere in the mix.
With the recent announcement that a new series of STAR WARS films are on the horizon, many of us adult fanboys have begun feeling The Force once more! Or at least that familiar tug of devotion that had been frozen in carbonite these past few years. Despite the Hoth-like chill, there were a number of die-hard fans who’d been keeping the spirit alive; most notably The 501st Legion – an International group of fans who create their own movie-accurate STAR WARS costumes.
When I was growing up, our town (like many at the time) had it’s own local theater. It wasn’t one of those big multiplexes you see today but rather a one screen wonder offering standard-sized viewing and a small popcorn machine/soda fountain serving as concessions. I remember the lobby having a musty odor and being adorn in red velvet; the theater seats so old you’d invariably be sitting at an angle. I also recall my grade school friends and I snickering at nude, Greek statues (missing their heads) that stood at opposite sides of the entrance.
The Homewood Theater was already in it’s decline when I was a kid back in the ’70s but, one Saturday during summer months, would provide throwback experiences once commonplace during my parent’s youth. On these occasions, they’d offer affordable “all day” movie experiences featuring family friendly films along with cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, and old serials in between.
After seeing numerous trailers for the new hit film, Oblivion, I was compelled to run out and see it on its opening weekend (and I wasn’t alone as the box office would later prove). I consider myself as big a fan of science fiction as I am of horror so my fervor would have been a no-brainer had it not been for the presence of Tom Cruise…namely, the fact that I can’t stand him! No, he’s never done anything to me personally and I don’t judge people by their religious choices (so long as they aren’t hurting anybody), but man does he bug me for some reason. Maybe it’s because he reminds me of the snarky, good looking kid in high school who always ran off with the girl I had a crush on, who knows…
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!