Yearly Archives: 2008

Some awesome new photos have surfaced of January 15th’s upcoming Masters of the Universe Classics SKELETOR figure! The Masters of the Universe Classics figures are a exclusive line and run about $20 each. That’s a bit costly, but man are these figures sweet. If you grew up in the 80’s and crave some of the excellent nostalgic charm that these figures represent, you should definitely look into picking them up.

Just look how amazing that looks! Skeletor has never looked better. This easily is the best Skeletor figure ever produced. The new He-Man line is really something to behold. Sculpted by the legendary Four Horsemen, they’ve been hitting homerun after homerun with these toys.

I can’t wait to pick this guy up.

I’m in the process of watching a Maniac Cop marathon of sorts. It doesn’t really fit in with the Christmas spirit, but I recently found out that Netflix has all three movies online to watch so I’ve jumped in. What’s Maniac Cop you ask?

Maniac Cop is a series of films that vaguely fall under the “slasher” formula starting Robert Z’Dar as a cop back from the dead inflicting death upon those who wronged him when he was an NYPD…. And anyone else who gets in his way. The first film up is Maniac Cop from 1988, the one that started it all! And by all… I mean the other two sequels.

The first Maniac Cop movie is surprisingly good in premise if not in execution, with a chilling open, and a downright haunting score by Jay Chattaway. This film also features Bruce Campbell in one of his lesser known roles. I mean, you always hear people talking about Bruce, but no one ever brings up Maniac Cop!

The movie is uneven at best, with a good performance from Tom Atkins as the detective trying to figure out who’s killing people in NYC. Everyone else doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of acting and even Campbell seems a bit tame. There are a few good supporting characters, but the movie isn’t pieced together well enough, nor are the characters fleshed out enough. Unfortunately the movie suffers elsewhere as NYC feels like a tiny city where no one ever seems to go. Some of the plot points are rushed, or never clearly explained at all. There’s also some good effects mixed in, but some bad ones as well. Not to mention a really long police chase that seemed to be padding out the run time, more than advancing the plot.

Atkins character is the central figure for the first half of the movie, until the movie flips and makes Bruce Campbell the central character. Campbell is a NYPD who is brought up on charges that he’s the psycho cop who’s been killing innocent people in the city. The movie doesn’t immediately reveal that it’s not Campbell and I think Bruce is a good choice because of his large chin, which Robert Z’Dar also sports. Although it’s pretty clear Campbell is nowhere near big enough to be the killer.

I guess I should now mention that Robert Z’Dar is a freaky looking dude. We always called him “Big chin man” when I was a kid, but I don’t think that’s actually accurate. Yes, he has a big chin… But he also has huge cheekbones. Check out Z’Dar over at his official site and see what I’m talking about.

Maniac Cop works because the camera work is very clever. They avoid showing Maniac Cop’s face for most of the movie. All you see is his hulking frame and huge cheekbones. The rest is blacked out. In fact, by the time you see Z’Dar’s face it doesn’t come off as creepy. They put some scarred makeup on him, but it’s not very good looking. It just looks like he’s got acne and bad teeth. I think they’d done better by just making Z’Dar’s face very pale with maybe just a hint of scarring. Because Z’Dar is creepy looking as is.

In the end, Campbell is cleared, Maniac Cop is dead and all is well… Or is it? Maniac Cop 2 is next. This time Maniac Cop returns from the dead again and looks much more dead this time. I’ll go on record now for saying that Maniac Cop is one of the few slasher flicks of the 80’s that could actually USE a Hollywood redo. The story isn’t as convoluted as Freddy or Jason and there isn’t a ton of emotional attachment to any particular element. It could be tinkered with and improved upon. So long as Robert Z’Dar gets a cameo!

I mentioned how creepy Z’Dar looks and here’s a picture of him with another man who’s made a career out of looking strange, Mr. Michael Berryman. These guys are true throwbacks to the old days of Hollywood horror cinema when you could get a job based on your creepy looks instead of makeup. These guys are modern day Boris Karloff or Vincent Price! They sell the macabre on their natural features, no CGI or prosthetics required.

Don Cheadle recently spoke with, and he discussed taking over the role of Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in Iron Man 2.

On how he got involved with Iron Man 2:

“I got a phone call from my agent saying they were offering me the part. That was kind of it. It happened very fast, and I had a very short time to answer. Literally, overnight. I was unaware of what was happening with Terrence. And when they called me I asked what was going on with Terrence. I’ve worked with Terrence, I’ve known Terrence for a long time. And they said they were moving away from him. So it’s not like I was taking Terrence’s job, because the job was already gone. Someone else was going to do the part. I don’t know who the next person in line was, but that’s who they were going to. And I literally had a few hours to accept the job or not.”

I’m sort of indifferent about the whole War Machine debacle. While I thought Terrence Howard did a pretty good job, I don’t think he deserved to be paid more than Downey Jr. Wether or not he was asking for more money seems to be something of dispute, but I tend to believe that obviously there had to be SOME reason why they fired him. I give credit to Marvel & Co for getting Cheadle on board. While he doesn’t look like Terrence, he’s a great actor and actually does look a lot like many artists drew James.

Then again, Terrence Howard also looked like Mr. War Machine. So I guess it’s all up to interpretation. I do think it’s funny that fanboys have gotten so upset one way or the other. It’s not like Howard had such a big role in the last film that he couldn’t be replaced. Furthermore, it’s not like they replaced him with the guy from the Allstate commercials. They got a good actor in Don Cheadle.

What say you?

I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from TMNT fan sites, so I thought I’d drop some more information on the upcoming TMNT game. It is being designed specifically for the Wii, but has potential to be ported to other consoles down the line. However at the moment this is a WII game, exclusively.

From the article:

Q: Will the game release on other consoles, either simultaneously or down the road?

A: I can’t really comment on that.

Given that the design team is almost exclusively Wii developers, this is a good thing. There has been criticism of Wii getting the worst of the third party titles. However when a title is developed SPECIFICALLY for the Wii, it tends to be very good. That seems to be the case here. There is a lot of talk of it being played online via the Wii.

Also a hint of DS game as well:

Q: Are any other games planned, such as on the DS to tie into the Wii title?

A: I can’t comment just yet, but suffice to say we have some very exciting plans for TMNT.

And now what you really came for… THE PICTURES! (Click to see full size)

It looks visually impressive, sorry for the flash (not easy to photograph a magazine and I don’t have a scanner) but the designs are straight out of the TMNT movie. Including several levels that appeared in the movie such as the NYC rooftops. There is a picture of a huge alligator (Leatherhead?) trying to eat one of the turtles as well, which suggests a lot of level interactivity.

You might also notice in one of the pictures there is what appears to be a new TMNT figure based on classic designs. as well as for the first time ever, some Mirage style TMNT figures from Playmates. Muy interstante.

I got my new Nintendo Power in the mail today and it’s got a sneak peek at an upcoming Ninja Turtle fighting game in it. The TMNT released two fighting games prior, the very fun Tournament Fighters in the 90’s which was like Street Fighter but with TMNT and a more recent game that I haven’t played.

This normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the magazine really puts the game over hard because it’s being designed by the team that put together Smash Brothers Brawl. They say it won’t play exactly like Brawl, but that it should play better and smoother. Including an online mode. That sounds terrific and the graphics look great.

Of course the magazine also gets a few facts wrong, this is clearly based off the TMNT movie although it doesn’t tie into the movie. Apparently Peter Laird helped craft the story and it looks like a lot of fun. The developers said since it’s not actually part of show or movie, they have to make a good game. Which sounds cool. I heard the last TMNT game was crap, although I liked the first two most recently released.

It’ll be out just in time for the 25th Anniversary of the Ninja Turtles next year. If the news keeps being this good, I’ll probably buy it. Sounds like it might be a Wii exclusive too.

Now if we can just get NECA to release the Foot Solider, Shredder, Utrom and April figures soon!