Thursday, April 17, 2014

Excavating E.T. The Extra-Terrible Video Game

video game cover art
E.T. video game cover art
It may not garner as much interest as the search for Jimmy Hoffa but in the gaming world, this is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries. We could really use Robert Stack right now.

However, even without Stack, this is one case that might be cracked.

Xbox Entertainment Studios, Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Entertainment are working together to unearth an urban legend and turn it into a documentary in the process.

On April 26, 2014, digging will commence at Alamogordo Landfill in an effort to salvage the remains of what is considered to be the worst video game ever released. That infamous game is the ill-conceived E.T. which stands for Extra-Terrestrial, not Excruciatingly-Terrible. It shares its title and character with the classic Steven Spielberg film but almost nothing else.

The game was such a colossal failure that millions of unsold cartridges were rumoured to have been buried in a New Mexico landfill in 1983. Looking at the video game's graphics, it's easy to see why.

The filmmakers have extended an invitation to the public to attend. Whether the game cartridges were really buried there, remains to be seen. Even if they were, there's a good chance they were ground into tiny pieces.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Superbman: The Other Movie

movie poster
Superbman: The Other Movie poster
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a parody!

Clark Cant apparently can leap over tall women in a single bound but the Kraptonian Cant seem to get a definite DVD release date for Superbman: The Other Movie.

Dealing with red tape seems to be his Kraptonite.

You don't need x-ray vision to see that the film's title is an obvious play on the Richard Donner directed Superman: The Movie. It's no coincidence that it's also the movie that is spoofed.

On February 21, 1981, SUPERBMAN premiered in the auditorium at Cal State Long Beach. What started out as a simple student film in 1978 evolved into  a much more ambitious project.

According to the official website, it was originally intended to be a ten minute trailer without a plot. However, as opportunities presented themselves, the filmmakers decided that there was potential for something greater so a script was written adding characters and a plot, extending the film to 30 minutes.

If you were not around in the early eighties or didn't attend science fiction or comic conventions, chances are you haven't seen this film. It's currently not available for purchase or viewing but an announcement at the end of the trailer states that it's "Coming soon on DVD." However, that trailer was produced in 2008 and the DVD has yet to be released.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jean-Claude Van Damme as The Predator

movie poster
Predator poster
I'd always heard that Jean Claude Van Damme was the original choice to play the title role in Predator but I was not aware that the alien had a completely different design than what we saw in the movie. There were never any images or video evidence available of JCVD's involvement to illustrate this. That is, until now.

Have a look at what could have been the creature hunting down Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 American sci-fi, action  film.

Without the added cloaking effects, JCVD looks kind of comical leaping around the jungle in his lobster-red suit.

As fate would have it, JCVD left the film and the suit was redesigned, leaving the door open for Kevin Peter Hall to take over the iconic role. Not only was the suit different, there was a considerable difference in height between Hall and JCVD. "The Muscles from Brussels" is 5' 9" while Hall was an imposing 7' 2" tall.

Hall also played Harry, the Bigfoot creature in Harry and the Hendersons.

Sadly, he died in 1991 at the age of 35.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Plans for a Plan 9 Video Game

Plan 9 From Outer Space poster
FreakZone Games has devised a plan to resurrect Plan 9 from Outer Space and reanimate its cinematic corpse into a video game. Plan 9 is considered to be among the worst movies of all time.

The independent and innovative game producer announced on its audio podcast that the 1959 cult, sci-fi film is the next project it plans on releasing. Previously, FreakZone Games created Manos: The Hands of Fate video game, also based on bad cult movie.

Surprisingly, this won't be the first time that the film is adapted into a video game. Konami developed a point and click version for Amiga and Atari ST that was released in 1992. In a nutshell, the plot involved you recovering the stolen reels of the film so that it can be preserved in all its original and horrible glory.

I've never played the video game but if the game playthrough video is any indication, it was just as horrible or even worse than the movie itself. I think I'd rather be pummeled by a reanimated Tor Johnson than give the game a try. This looks like one game that needs to be buried in a grave of its own.

Thankfully, the newly-planned Plan 9 game has a lot of potential based on the releases FreakZone Games has already put out. Hopefully if all goes well, we'll be doing battle with pixelated versions of Tor Johnson and Vampira.

FreakZone Games Podcast

Here's the complete audio podcast episode in which Sam Beddoes & Chris Ashwood talk about the history of FreakZone Games and answer some questions. Skip to the 1:37:00 mark to hear the announcement of making the Plan 9 From Outer Space video game.

Plan 9 From Outer Space
Tor Johnson
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Vampira (Maila Nurmi) 

If you've never seen this bad movie and for some strange reason you'd like to, here it is in its complete state of ineptitude.

It's basically about some people from outer space who invade earth and reanimate dead corpses to do their evil bidding. What exactly is the plan in Plan 9? Don't ask me as I've never actually been able to watch this snoozer in one sitting. All I know is an overgrown Swedish wrestler, an anorexic Elvira and a fake Shemp standing in for Bela Lugosi, roam around a pitifully-obvious fake cemetery trying not to knock over the fake tombstones. Lugosi would have done it himself but he had a good excuse. He was dead. Seriously. He died before filming finished so they got the director's chiropractor to put on a cape and hold it up to his face, obscuring the bottom half of his mysterious mug. Problem solved!

Ah, I love it when a Plan 9 comes together!

The dialogue is terrible, the sets are laughable and the director is just incapable of anything. Ed Wood's movies were some of the worst ever made. He does make a cameo appearance in Plan 9. Watch for the scene where a man reads the front page headline of a newspaper stating that flying saucers were spotted over Hollywood.

Another memorable moment is when the shadow of a boom mic can be seen on the wall of an airplane cockpit.

Something else I noticed is there sure are a lot of curtains in this film. Curtains come in handy when you are trying to hide the fact that you have no real movie sets, n'est-ce pas Mr. Wood? I've got news for you. It didn't work.

It's curtains for this movie.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Phantasm 5 is Alive!

Phantasm V poster
Phantasm V: Ravager poster
After years of rumours of another Phantasm sequel happening, many fans, including myself, had lost hope when nothing materialized.

Surprise! Phantasm V is alive! Not only alive but completed.

Phantasm: Ravager, the new sequel to the cult horror franchise was shot in secrecy, apparently, as there was no word of it even being in production.

Plot details have not been revealed but it seems that Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister are back as the Tall Man and Reggie, the ice cream vendor. Oh, let's not forget about the killer, silver spheres! Those are obviously back too.

I'm really glad that Scrimm is back. He's not a young man anymore. Hell, he wasn't even a young man in the original 1979 film. He's like Abe Vigoda, who you'd swear was born old. If Vigoda were a few inches taller he might have been in the running for the role of the creepy undertaker.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this and hope that the long period between movies does not hurt it in any way.

I wonder if Reggie will have his four-barrelled, sawed-off shotgun?

Get your first look at the teaser for  Phantasm: Ravager

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