Archive for AWESOME-tober-fest 2012

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: It’s HALLOWEEN, baby!

Posted in Halloween with tags , , , on October 31, 2012 by Paxton

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It is time. What I and everyone at Countdown to Halloween have been building up to all month.

Today is Halloween.

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone has had a fun month. I’ve enjoyed following the blogs on the countdown and reading along with everyone else. It’s been another blast this year. In fact, I’m already in the planning stages for AWESOME-tober-fest 2013.  Hope you’ve had a great holiday.  And remember to check out the Countdown to Halloween blog for the final day of Halloween!


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Finishing up The Astounding Wolf-Man

Posted in comic books, Halloween, holiday, monsters, werewolf, werewolves, Wolf Man with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by Paxton

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Since this final week of AWESOME-tober-fest is a short week, I’m straying from the movie maniac theme and doing updates to previous Halloween reviews. Yesterday I reviewed the final book in The Strain trilogy which I had previously reviewed the first two books last year.  Today, I’m going to talk about the comic series The Astounding Wolf-Man.

The Astounding Wolf-Man

Two years ago for AWESOME-tober-fest 2010, I reviewed the first 18 issues of the comic that were collected in Volumes 1-3 of the trade paperbacks.  The final fourth volume collecting issues 19-25 had yet to be released.  However, I acquired the final collection earlier this year and read the concluding story.

The last and concluding story arc was called Legacy.  It’s a five-parter that takes place in issues #21-25. So much happens in this concluding story.  Seriously, it’s packed with a lot of action.  We see the main character reunited with his daughter, we see the end game of the Elder Wolf’s plans and we see the final confrontation between Wolf-Man and Zachariah (which is awesome, btw).

astoundingwolf-man21astoundingwolf-man22astoundingwolf-man23

In short, I loved this series. So many great characters written so well. Kirkman really does a great job with so many characters to juggle.  It was actually this series that led me to Kirkman and had me checking out his other work like Invincible, The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies.  But that’s only half of the whole. Jason Howard’s amazingly dynamic art really sells it. I love the dynamics of Howard’s action and how he designs the look and feel of the universe. Plus, his 2 page action spreads are breathtaking. It really adds a lot of character to the story.

Speaking of characters, several of them are standouts. Gary Hampton/Astounding Wolf-Man is great. Zecariah the vampire is also a great villain. The Elder Wolf is BAD ASS. And in this final run of issues, we really see some good character work with Mecha-Maid. I really enjoyed her character and I want to see more of her.  You can see her in the second comic cover above.  Btw, that scene on the cover never happens.  But it’s a great cover, nonetheless.

Anyway, like I said, I want to see more of these Astounding Wolf-Man characters. I think he and Mecha Maid may pop up from time to time in Kirkman’s Invincible, but I want to see more.  This series was just too much fun not to continue.  However, like I said, as of today, issue #25 was the final issue.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Review of the final book in Guillermo Del Toro’s Strain Trilogy

Posted in Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2012 by Paxton

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This is the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2012. And it’s a half week, as Halloween is on Wednesday. I’m sad to see it all end. So, since we are on a short week this week, I’m going to stray from the movie maniac theme today and tomorrow and do a couple of updates to previous AWESOME-tober-fest entries.

Last year for AWESOME-tober-fest 2011, I reviewed the first two books in The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  I said they were very good vampire novels which made the concept of the vampire scary again.  As of that writing, the third book wasn’t released yet.  I was going to wait until paperback, but earlier this year I was able to find the third book in hardback at a used library sale for less than $2, so I picked it up.  And as of now, I have read the final book in the Strain trilogy, The Night Eternal.

The Night Eternal

So, the story picks up a few months after the second book. The Master has destroyed the other Ancients and the world has been overtaken by his vampire horde.  It’s pretty dark stuff.  Society is in shambles.  Abraham is dead.  The world is covered in a thick cloud cover that only allows about an hour or two of sunlight each day.  There’s constant acid rain.  Blood farms are setup to harvest blood for the ruling vampires.  As long as you are obedient, you aren’t sent to these farms.  Vampires are also breeding people on these farms in order to create more people.  It’s pretty horrific post-apocalyptic stuff.

So our group of heroes must regroup after The Master’s destruction of the Ancients and the vampire usurping of society, with the help of a vampire that was created by the Master many centuries ago, and take down the ruling vampires and restore humans as the dominant life form.

I thought the second book was dark, but this book is darker.  We learn more of the Master’s plans, and it’s very interesting to see how society has adapted to the new vampire rule.  It’s also interesting to see our heroes coming back together after a few dismal months of vampire rule and, essentially, a losing battle.  The action is good and Chuck Hogan’s writing style is dark and brutal.  The finishing arc for our heroes is great and really feels like they aren’t going to make it at times.  Plus, we learn some very interesting information about the formation of the Ancients as well as The Master himself.  Honestly, I didn’t see it coming, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy.  It’s was dark and hard to read in spots mainly due to the situations presented.  But the journey was worth it and I really felt like the authors earned their ending.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: A review of the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot

Posted in Halloween, holiday, Leatherface, movies, pop culture, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2012 by Paxton

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In 2003, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes released a “reboot” of the 70s classic horror movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

TCM reboot

The movie was co-produced by Tobe Hooper, the director of the original movie.  It was directed by Marcus Nispel and starred Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour and Erica Leerhsen.

I’ve heard mostly good things about this reboot.  However Rotten Tomatoes gives it less than 40%.  I re-watched it recently for this review and I still say I enjoy it.  I thought the set design and the tone of the film were perfect.  Everything seemed grungy and dirty.  The Chainsaw family were fairly creepy and scary.  The house they lived in was horrifying.  I just loved the “look and feel” of this movie.

As for the cast, they were okay.  Easily the standouts were Jessica Biel as Erin and R Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt.  But Mike Vogel as Morgan was good as well.  Not only did Biel look pretty hot in her midriff showing top, but she actually believably played her character.  And Ermey was wickedly dark and funny as the sheriff.  The scene in which he wraps up a dead body’s head in cellophane in the back of the van is amazing.  As is his interrogation of the character Morgan in the van about said dead girl.  It’s intense as hell and totally envelops you in the scene.  Really well done.

Leatherface

Other things I liked about this movie, they got John Larroquette to return to do the bookend voice overs.  I thought that was a nice touch.  He delivered the prologue and epilogue very nicely.  I enjoyed Leatherface.  He was only a small part of the movie, but he was pretty good.  Not the star of the show, but he wasn’t really the star of the original either.  I like that you see some of the underbelly of the house.  You can see where they store some of the “meat” as well as you can watch Leatherface prep a victim for skinning.

One thing I didn’t like?  In one scene you get a glimpse of Harry Knowles’ head on Leatherface’s workbench.  Not a big deal if you don’t know who he is, but if you do, it sticks out like a sore thumb and completely brings you out of the movie.  Terrible choice by the filmakers.  TERRIBLE.

Otherwise, I enjoyed this remake.  I thought they modernized parts of the movie while still keeping a nice look and feel.  It’s definitely a modern version of the 70s “look and feel”, but I enjoyed it.  To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the original 70s Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, so it’s probably no surprise that I was willing to accept this movie as it is.

Give it a shot, if you are open minded about it, I think you’ll like it.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Fangoria magazine #57 (1986)

Posted in Leatherface, magazine, movies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by Paxton

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Let’s take a look at another vintage Fangoria issue, this time featuring Leatherface. Here is the cover for Fangoria #57 from 1986.

Fangoria #57

The cover story promotes the impending release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2.

TCM2 article 1TCM2 article 2

It’s one of those “set visit” articles Fangoria did so well.  It talks to Tobe Hooper and the cast and gives a good preview of what’s in store for the movie.  It also talks to the makeup effects guys to give you an idea of what they were doing for the sequel.

This issue also featured a nice article with cool, color pics about Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

F13 6 article 1F13 6 article 2

This was also a nice “set visit” article featuring a preview of what’s to come for what would be the sixth installment of the Friday series.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Movie Maniac Halloween costumes

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, costumes, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Halloween, holiday, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by Paxton

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One of the best things about being a fan of the movie maniacs is being able to dress up as them for Halloween. Let’s take a look at some of the costumes that exist for some of our favorite movie maniacs.

Back in 1987, Collegeville released a Freddy Krueger “smock” costume similar to the old Ben Cooper designs.

Collegeville Freddy Krueger
(Via nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com)

It’s probably 100% nostalgic, but I love these costumes.

Next up is a Party City flyer from 2008.

Party City 2008 flyer

Throughout this very large flyer with tons of costumes, there are a plethora of zombies and super heroes, but only two movie maniacs. And I’m only talking about one of those maniacs this year. Check out in the upper right, costumes for Jason Voorhees and Chucky.

Party City 2008 closeup

You don’t even see those costumes on the inside of the flyer, only on the cover. I’m surprised these two are featured.  Remember, this flyer was in 2008.  The Friday the 13th reboot wouldn’t happen until the following year and Chucky’s previous movie was in 2004.  By contrast, Leatherface had his reboot prequel only two years prior, so of anyone, he should be on the cover. Just strange.

Next up is a current Party City flyer from 2012.  Not surprisingly, the Avengers are all over this thing.

Party City 2012 flyer

This flyer is a little better in that it has four movie maniacs. Three of which I’m covering this year. Here’s the full page of scary costumes.

scary costumes full page

The movie maniacs are mostly on the second row (Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers). You can also see Ghostface from Scream in the first row.  Again, I’m surprised there isn’t a Leatherface costume.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: A timeline of video games featuring the movie maniacs

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, movies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2012 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to do another “mixed” article featuring all of the movie maniacs. So, let’s take a look at some vintage video games that feature the movie maniacs.

Halloween Halloween screenshot
(Via AtariAge.com)
In 1983 Wizard Video Games released a Halloween game for the Atari 2600. It was based on the first Halloween movie by John Carpenter.  In the game you play a babysitter trying to protect the children from Michael Myers.

TCM TCM
(Via AtariAge.com)
Also in 1983, and also for the Atari 2600, Wizard Video Games released a video game based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  In this game you take the role of Leatherface and try to murder as many people as you can while avoiding obstacles like fences and cow skulls.  Yes, I agree, that sounds pretty awesome.  Due to the violent nature, however, the game incited many protests and forced many store owners to put it behind the counter away from children.  Despite this, I think it’s interesting that this is the only game I can think of where you take the role of the killer.  I’m surprised that’s not done more today.

F13 computer game F13 computer game screenshot
The first Friday the 13th video game was released in 1985 for the Commodore 64 and other computer systems.  You play as a group of camp counselors protecting your campers from zombies and the occasional appearance of Jason.  Screenshot courtesy of Giant Bomb.

F13 NES game F13 NES screenshot
There was a Friday the 13th video game released by LJN in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  It is famously considered one of the worst NES titles ever released.  You have to love that box art, though.  It’s gameplay is very similar to the 1985 computer game in that you control counselors who are protecting campers from zombies, crows, wolves and, of course, Jason.

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