Pacific Rim (Fan-Made Trailer) in TOHO Godzilla style 「パシフィック・リム 東宝ゴジラ的予告編」

I'm all about this badass film and I'm so sad and still shocked it hasn't been performing well at all here in the U.S. 

YouTuber "Honda Brigit" put together this amazing new trailer made to look like an old 50's style Godzilla film, and the result is aaaaaawesome. They've done some editing tricks here to make it look older than it really is, but overall it really captures the vibe of those old monster films. I don't know, if this doesn't sell you, I don't know what will. 


Badass Buy: Hands of Steel Japan Laserdisc

Hands of Steel AKA Fists of Steel AKA Atomic Cyborg AKA Paco Japan Laserdisc

If you know me well enough or follow me on here, then you know this is one of my absolute favorite films. I just love it to death. And I'm always on a quest to track down any piece of memorabilia or any VHS copy version I can get my hands on. I actually was bidding on a Japanese VHS copy of this on eBay some time ago, but was outbid and lost. So if you anyone can get another into my hands, I'd be most appreciative.

Funny thing is that I wasn't actually looking for this when I came across it. I think I happened upon it just casually browsing one day and my heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw it. And that's usually how it happens. When I'm "not" looking for something, that's when I happen to come across it. Needless to say, it's one of the coolest additions to my small Laserdisc collection and an awesome addition to my growing Hands of Steel collection in general.



Directed by: Albert Pyun
Category: Badass Cinema

Ya know, I may be one of the few people I know that loves Albert Pyun films as much as I do. I really do. For me, when he's firing on all cylinders, the guy can make some badass films. Nemesis and Cyborg are some of my all-time favorite films. Brain Smasher: A Love Story, which I just saw about a year ago, was a helluva lot of fun. I may be in the minority with this one, but I enjoy his Captain America quite a bit too. With that one, I can see the potential. I can see what he could have accomplished had he had the resources. Sure the action sequences are few and far between, the Red Skull is Italian (huh??), and it's pace is way too slow, but you can't deny the badass action sequences are indeed badass when they finally show up. There's just something about the way he shot and edited those particular sequences that resonate with me. They represent the best of what Pyun has to offer in terms of style and impact. Crap, I'm getting off track here.....

So yea, Dollman. For some reason, I hadn't seen this one until now. No real reason, just never got my hands on a copy. I even had it in my Netflix Queue forever and when I finally decided to watch it, it was unavailable. Don't you hate it when that happens?! A few weeks back I came across a Japanese VHS copy of this online and couldn't resist. I think it was the push I needed to sit my ass down and watch it. So what did I think?

Dollman AKA Micro Cop Japan VHS cover courtesy of robotGEEKSCultCinema.blogspot.com

I can kick myself for not seeing this sooner. I looooooooved it. Loved, loved, loved it. I can honestly put this up there with my Pyun favorites. Dollman came out in '91, that period in time when he possessed this particular stark style of filmmaking. Cyborg, Captain America, Dollman, Nemesis; they all possess an almost identical visual tone, my favorite of his ever shifting and changing styles. Dollman can and does fit right smack into the worlds created in some of his films like Cyborg and Nemesis.

I think maybe one of the reasons why I waited so long was because, just with the premise alone, I was worried that the effects work would be so terrible that it would take away from any enjoyment I might have with this. I mean, immediately my mind is picturing awful blue screen work. This did go straight to video after all. But you know what? I could literally count the cheap looking blue screen effects shots on one hand. Instead, Pyun films about 90% of the effects work on set or in camera using old school camera tricks. Gotta love it. And you know, Pyun can get pretty creative with his camera work when he wants to. But you know, like I stated before, his style shifts and changes a lot and some of it just doesn't work for me. I like this era in Pyun's career personally. I do need to also point out that I haven't seen everything he's ever done, because there is a "lot" of it. There are quite a few I keep meaning to seek out, and I will eventually. So I'm sure there are quite a few other gems in store for me. Like the total surprise at how much I enjoyed Brain Smasher. I really did. A very fun and enjoyable film.

There were a few surprises in store for me with Dollman. For one, the creative way he shot the film and still made it look awesome. But another would be the high body count and practical effects he used. Nothing like some good ol' fashioned pre-CGI violence. But I think the biggest surprise for me was seeing the one and only Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street "Remake") as the main baddie in here as a gang leader in the midst of a turf war that has Dollman stuck in the middle when all he wants to do is just try to get back home. I don't know. I sure as hell wasn't expecting it and what a surprise to see him in this. Aaaaaand of course, Tim Thomerson is just always awesome.

Albert has said that he wasn't involved in the post production process of this film, at least I'm pretty sure that's what I read from one of his Facebook statements (if I'm wrong, Albert please correct me), so I'm curious to see what his ultimate vision would have been like considering I enjoyed this one so much already. Maaaaaaybe we'll get an Albert Pyun Director's Cut some day? That would be rad!
So I'm done here. If you haven't already had a chance to check this one out, definitely do so, especially if you're a fan of some of his late 80's to early 90's output.

For another awesome review of Pyun's badass classic, check out Hellford667's equally favorable review HERE.


NECA'S 8-Bit Jason Voorhees SDCC Exclusive Figure & Review

If you were lucky enough to grab one of these amazing limited edition figures at the San Diego Comic Con recently or online when they went up randomly for a few days through NECA's website, then pat yourself on the back because you deserve it. This figure has been making fans, geeks and collectors salivate for months now and it has been extremely difficult to get your hands on one if you weren't lucky enough to attend the SDCC or in the least, had a friend who did attend get one for you. And to top it off, scammers have been taking full advantage of the "need" for these. Hell, on Facebook just a few days ago there was huge drama when a guy scammed a lot of people out of a lot of money for this figure. I myself was even involved in a heated discussion when someone bought a few of these and was immediately "taking offers" on one. It's one thing when you want to help fellow collectors out and would sell them one for what you paid for it or maybe just a little more. But when you pay $25 for something and immediately start "taking offers" to the highest bidder just days after these were only $25, well that's something else entirely. It's called "Flipping" and collector's don't like it. Browsing eBay last night I saw several sellers trying to pawn these off anywhere from $75-$150. Now that's just fucking ridiculous. Anyhow, I (fortunately) was lucky enough to be online at the very exact moment when NECA would randomly throw a few hundred out at a time for sale, which would sell out almost immediately. In most cases, I heard that they would sell out from the time you placed the item in your cart to the minute it took you to check out and pay and when it came time to hit the "Pay" button, it was already sold out and you lost your chance. Crazy! 

Well, as of this posting, people have started receiving their 8-Bit Jason figure in the mail and mine just arrived yesterday and it's a fucking beauty. Soooo badass. In the meantime, I came upon this awesome, weird, hilarious, odd and surely entertaining video review by Dinosaur Dracula thanks to the awesome Freddy In Space horror site and Facebook page. Seriously, if you haven't discovered this site yet, please do. It's pretty fantastic. 
So anyway, check out this short video. It gives you all the details on why this figure is so sought after and why it looks the way it does. As entertaining as it is, it's also very informative. I can' t tell if this guy is hamming it up or if he's genuinely slightly off, but it's thoroughly entertaining nonetheless. Enjoy. 


Pacific Rim

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Category: Badass Cinema

Do I really need to sell you on this one? It's got giant robots. Giant Monsters. Directed by del Toro. Surely you would think that would be enough to wet any geek's appetite. But you know what? Shockingly, and against all predictions, Pacific Rim bombed. Why? I honestly have no clue. For a true filmgeek, it's got everything you would want in a big bad epic sci-fi film. But wait, let's make it even more badass. It's a big budget sci-fi epic written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. Sounds awesome right?!

So is it what all I hoped it would be?
I would have to say yes. It was as awesome as I hoped it would be and then some. Is it perfect? No. While del Toro amazes with some pretty spectacular effects work and movie magic, one crucial thing Pacific Rim does lack is a touch of his signature creative narrative and storytelling. But who gives a fuck?! It's a film about giant robots fighting giant monsters! And in that area, PR delivers on all fronts full throttle. Holy crap can del Toro direct destruction, carnage, mayhem and kickass giants vs. robots fighting. Let me just say, Michael "I forgot how to direct films after The Rock and just kinda throw my camera up in the air now" Bay could take some serious filmmaking lessons from del Toro. One of the things I love about PR is that in all the craziness that ensues, you can actually see what the hell is going on. And let me tell you, this film gets fucking crazy as shit!! It's rare when I get excited for a big budget film like this. Hell, I still haven't even gotten to go see Man of Steel yet. But watching PR I felt like a little kid again. In shock and awe at the sight of giant mecha's battling it out with giant monsters emerging from the sea. It may not be making any money stateside, but I know it's doing decent business overseas. And when the dust has settled and PR hits blu-ray, it will dominate. It will be a sure fire hit and it will be a cult classic for years to come. I know this. I predict it.

So let's get away from the awesome effects and battles and get down to one of the things a lot of people have been complaining about. The casting. The cast here is .........unique. You've got some standouts like the always great Idris Elba and of course the del Toro mainstay Ron Perlman. But in a little bit of surprise casting there's Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia who practically steals the show in every scene he's in and is hilarious. As far as everyone else? They show up, say their lines and do their jobs fine. There wasn't a bad actor anywhere, just not any great ones. I hear a lot of complaining about the main character played by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy). How he's wooden and stiff. I didn't think he was all that bad. Not memorable in any way, but he wasn't bad either. But who gives a fuck?! It's a film about giant robots fighting giant monsters!

Clocking in at a little over 2 hours, Pacific Rim is like a geek's wet dream. Crazy action on an insane and epic level that goes further and goes beyond places I hadn't imagined done by a true filmgeek. 'nuff said.


The Conjuring

Directed by: James Wan
Category: Horror

You know, I don't really ever go to the movies anymore. And if I do, it's almost always for a "sure thing" kinda film. You know, the one I know I will enjoy even if it's bad. With the sky high cost of tickets these days, it's the only way I'll brave the crowds and theater these days. But when I'm treated to a film, how can I refuse? Such was the case with The Conjuring, a film I knew nothing about other than the fact that it was from James Wan, who also did Insidious a few years earlier, also starring Patrick Wilson.

Insidious didn't do anything for me. For me, it had two things stacked against it. One, it was as paint by numbers as they come in the genre, and two, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was just watching a Poltergeist remake. Seriously, the similarities are shocking and I'm really surprised more people didn't make a stink about it. But anyway.

My expectations were not high for this one but I thought "what the hell? It's free.". Well, I'm happy to report that not only was The Conjuring a good horror film, but it's probably one of the best old school style ghost story films made in the last 20-30 years. To me, it felt like I was watching something made in the late 70's or early 80's with films like The Amityville Horror, The Changeling and Poltergeist immediately springing to mind. Plus, you have a film here relishing in old school practical effects and they work wonderfully. No CGI crap here.

Based on a true story, the story follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who also investigated the Amityville case, as they help the Perron family figure out what the hell is going on in there new farmhouse in 1971. While setting a film in this time period usually just comes off as a gimmick in most horror films, this setting works so well in it's favor this time around, adding that extra spice of dread and atmosphere usually missing in all these paint-by-numbers horror films these days. And kudos to director James Wan, who didn't impress me at all with his filmmaking abilities in Insidious, for taking that extra step and drowning this film in realism and not drowning the film in over-stylized filmmaking. This film looks simply shot and executed, and it adds so much to the impact of this film. And I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a film where so many people jumped and screamed as often throughout the entire film.

Great performances by everyone involved, especially Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as The Warrens, great set design, great and effective practical effects work, great camerawork and pacing by director James Wan and overall, a great little and simple horror film that reminds you how horror films used to be made. Back in the day when they were good.

Quick Shot: Martyrs

Directed by: Pascal Laugier
Category: Horror

I love a good horror film. More than that, I love a well made horror film, a concept that is seriously lacking these days. I could literally just name maybe a handful right off the bat from the last 10 years or so. But this was one I never got around to watching until now. It's one of those titles that always popped up on certain "Best Of" film lists but I had just never gotten around to actually getting my hands on a copy.

Well I finally did and here are my thoughts.
Holy shit did this film kick my ass. It's so rare when a horror film "shocks" me. And this one certainly did with it's depiction of gratuitous violence, torture and sleek filmmaking. This was insane! And I can only agree with every quote on that poster. It is definitely not for the squeamish, it does make Saw look like Sesame Street, and it "is" one of the best horror films to come out in the last 10 years. I still can't get over how crazy this film was.

I don't think I really want to dig anymore into this because I went in knowing absolutely nothing about it and my experience was all the more entertaining for it. So you should too. I think the last time I was affected by a film like this was when I saw Ji-Woon Kim's I Saw The Devil about 2 years ago. This doesn't happen very often, and it shouldn't either because when it does happen it's like a kick in the nuts.

For me one of the pluses (and it's BIG plus) with Martyrs is it's amazing practical effects. Seriously, you just don't see this shit anymore and it's such a shame. And this is jam packed to the max with outrageous gory practical effects work and I love it. Great production value and performances only make this experience even better.
Another standout about Martyrs, which took me by surprise, is that it's like 2 different films cut in half, much like From Dusk Till Dawn. With Martyrs, the first half I would describe as a revenge film. And it's very well made and the intensity vibe flows smoothly. And then right smack in the middle it takes a huge detour and when it's all over you're kind of left numb and shocked, or at least I was. But in a good way.
 So anyway, yea. Get your hands on this. And if you've already seen it, let's discuss!


Cloud Atlas

Directed by: The Wachowski's, Tom Tykwer
Category: Multi-Genre's

Some films you see, and some you experience. Cloud Atlas is most definitely an experience. Spanning different stories, in different genre's, in different time periods all using the same actors playing different characters in each one, Cloud Atlas is like nothing you've ever seen.

Ok, cheesy opening is over. But in all seriousness, it's pretty damn accurate. So much about this film just blew me away. So much more than I was prepared for honestly. In the theaters, this made nothing, realistically becoming a certified bomb. At least here in the states anyway. And even with it's DVD and Blu-ray release, there was little excitement or promotion regarding it. But I had a friend who saw it (the only one) and he said it as pretty great and I usually trust his judgement soooo.....

He was right. Right from it's opening I was impressed and enthralled with these worlds and storylines created that all in some way connect. It may not always be apparent, and I'll admit I should probably give it another viewing or two to fully understand how that all worked but overall, it was amazing. But it's hard to say how really, because it just "is". Certain sections could be classified as drama, period, adventure, sci-fi, romantic and so on. Each story is different, and in a different genre (repeating myself),  but it all works and comes together so well.

The Wachowski's have been such a hit or miss team of filmmakers. After literally changing the way films are made forever and inventing new techniques, stunts and sequences that have only been copied over and over since the original Matrix, they haven't really blown anybody away since, even with The Matrix's 2 subpar sequels, which only gets me on another tangent entirely. Those sequels really just ruined an already almost perfect sci-fi film and it's universe. For me, they just felt so self-indulgent. Like, they felt the need to have to explain every single little detail in that universe, which only ruins the whole mystery and leaving nothing to the imagination. And even worse, simultaneously not making anything any clearer!! But whateva.

Cloud Atlas has a few things stacked against it though. Things that might explain why the film just didn't receive the reception it should have. First let's start with the marketing. It was off, yet after watching the film I have no clue how the proper way would have been to market this thing because it's so undefinable. Its'a all over the place, but in a fantastically good way. So I can't really blame the marketing team for that because I mean, how could anybody have done it any better? So kudos for at least trying. But I'll admit the trailers never got me really excited about seeing it.
Let's also look at the cast. Hey, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are Oscar winning actors and with the right material, they're great. But having them headline a huge sprawling multi-genre epic by the one and only Wachowski's and I mean, it doesn't really get you all that excited. Not to disrespect those two fine and worthy actors at all, but they're just not the first two names to pop in my head when I think epic. But you know what? They were just truly fantastic in every single storyline and every single character they played. I was exceptionally impressed. So there you go, don't judge a book by it's cover.

What I love about this is that every storyline and specific genre works so well. I can't remember a single one that "didn't" work. More over, I was actually moved by a few, excited by a few and enthralled by almost all of them. Just truly epic storytelling overall and I can't recommend this one enough. Trying to explain or give some kind of idea about what the film is about would be impossible, and I wouldn't want to give anything away. So it's best you just experience it yourself with fresh eyes and an open mind.Those are my thoughts. Go see this now, you can thank me later. I should also note, it's 3 hours long. So make sure you have enough time to get this all in in one sitting.


Shameless Promotion: Obey Messenger Bag

Here's a bit of shameless promotion. I make and sell messenger bags, backpacks, web belts and other random geekery on my online shop craftieROBOT. Zombies, robots, and other forms of geek coolness can be found here. They also make insanely unique gifts when you want to gift with an edge. I make quality items and in the 6 years I've been selling online, I've maintained a 100% positive feedback. I ship Internationally, so no worries there. I also do custom work. If you have a specific image or work of art you'd like put on a bag, I can definitely do that. You can message me through my online shop or email me at robotGEEk76@gmail.com. Stop by and browse around. 

Browse and shop here: craftieROBOT


Badass Buy: The Punisher Japanese VHS

As my posts and reviews have been less and less frequent, I also realize that any posts on my VHS or Laserdisc collecting has been almost nonexistent for over a year. So when I'm not feeling up to actually throwing out my thoughts on anything in particular, I'll try to at least post a pic of a new acquisition in my collection. 

And what better way to start than with this amazingly badass find of The Punisher (1989) Japanese VHS tape. I amazingly got my hands on this purely by chance and without having even seen a picture of it. One of those situations where I just had to take someone's word and trust them. Lucky for me when I got it in the mail I could not have been happier. This is in near perfect condition and an awesome addition to my Punisher VHS collection, of which I'll probably go ahead and post as a whole sometime soon. If you follow me at all, you know I have a crazy love and obsession for this awesome piece of Badass Cinema. I will pretty much get my hands on anything related to this film if at all possible. But I'm currently trying to acquire any VHS version of this from around the world. It's slowly growing, but in the meantime enjoy this little piece of awesome. 

* Please feel free to email me if you think you might have a version of this on VHS that I don't already own at robotgeek76@gmail.com


Fan made trailer: The Empire Strikes Back Pre-Make

A fun little compilation of scenes from old serials and films mashed together to make up what would look like The Empire Strikes Back had it been made in the 40's or 50's, but done in trailer form. Very cool idea and great work by Ivan Guerrero. Only 2:54, plus, you got nothing better to do right now. So check it out!