Friday, March 30, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 206 – Missy Suicide

For sixteen years has been breaking boundaries and setting standards for online communities, representation, and pop culture relevance. It’s also provided a safe space for beautiful women with tattoos and piercings to express themselves.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Commander USA's Groovie Movies

By Jerry Chandler

“Commander USA, soaring super hero, Legion of Decency, retired.”

The year was 1985, basic cable television in the form we now know it was still crawling towards its teenage years, and an eight-year-old USA Network decided to start the new year off with a new Saturday afternoon show. The USA Network had access to more quality films and programming than your average local UHF channel, but, despite this advantage, their access to films was still a wee bit higher on the ratio of the stinkers vs the great films out there. As such, the early day weekend blocks were often showcasing the not even close to being the best in science fiction and horror on the USA Network; a common thing with many early basic cable channels.

In order to make these less than stellar movies stand out from the crowd, the powers that be at the USA Network decided to take a page out of the broadcast channel playbook from years earlier and have the movies hosted by someone playing a character. The USA Network held a casting call in late 1984, and among the people that tried out for the role of the host was Jim Hendricks. Hendricks apparently had what they were looking for, and on January 5, 1985, the costumed persona of Commander USA strolled onto the TV screens of America to beam mostly so bad they were good films into American homes from his secret headquarters under a New Jersey shopping mall. By the time the show saw its last episode in 1989, it had seen more than 200 shows air, Commander USA had hosted a few events along the way, and an (unintentionally) one shot magazine, Commander USA's World of Horror, had been produced.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Devlin's Domain - The Devil's Honey

When people think about Lucio Fulci they usually think about atmospheric horror, zombies, twisted gialli, maggots, eyeball mutilation, and naked women. He's earned his spot as the Italian king of gore with his quality contributions to cinema. One type of film that doesn't come to my mind when I think of Fulci, however, is the erotic thriller. He's made everything from comedies to westerns, but for some reason only his horror films have gained notoriety. Thanks to a recent restoration and release from Severin Films, one of his more obscure films has come to light. It is, of course, an erotic thriller from 1986. Proceed further to discover one of the strangest tales of Stockholm Syndrome and how to properly use a saxophone.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Crap, I'm Watching The Walking Dead Again

by Beth

Am I just a glutton for punishment? Kinda, but here's the deal. Mr. Tibbs and I lived in the dark ages of TV until last month. We didn't have a DVR. We're crazy, but we just don't watch enough TV to have ever made it important to us. Then we talked to the cable company to get a better deal. Not only did we get a better deal, but we got a free DVR. Shortly after this I heard that the kid who plays Coral on The Walking Dead had been bitten in the mid-season finale, and would die when the show came back. I hadn't seen a single episode of season 8, but Coral dying sounded like something to watch. Especially since I now had the power to fast forward through commercials and speeches. That power came at a high price though. If you care at all there are spoilers ahead. Let's be honest though – no one really cares. Not even me, and I'm watching it again.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Jabba's Sail Barge - A Historic Moment in Toy History

By Dave

Maybe. If it's backed by 5,000 people by 11:59 PM on April 3rd.

You don’t have five hundred bucks to spend on a friggin’ toy.

And even if you did, you certainly don’t have anywhere to put a four foot long, seventeen inch high, fifteen inch wide, fourteen pound mass of plastic and paint.

Trust me – I know. I’m in the same barge. Er, boat.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 205 – Santa Clarita Diet Season 1

Recorded LIVE at Dragon Con 2018 for the Horror Track!

Just in time for the premiere of the sophomore season, Needless Things is proud to present E.J. Stevens, James A. Moore, and our very own Dave West discussing the first season of Netflix’s outrageous Santa Clarita Diet!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

9 Podcasts You Might Want to Listen To

By Jerry Chandler

Every so often I just want to promote a lot of the things I like, and this is one of those times.

I love podcasts. I’m a big podcast person. With my job, having a lot of podcasts to be able to turn to and play during the really long, slow shifts is almost at times an aid to retaining sanity, and, on a good day, ones where it’s not 34 degrees, windy, and pouring rain, they make good listening for a morning’s walk. So, yeah, I tend to need a lot of new content every week. These are a few of the podcasts I tend to have at the top of my daily playlists.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What I Did for Spring Break - Universal Orlando Part 1

By Dave

Thirteen years ago Mrs. Troublemaker and I spent enough time in Orlando to visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and a few of the random lower profile attractions.

I can’t even imagine having enough time to do that nowadays.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 204 – No Holds Barred Needless Commentary

Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Assorted Musings - 3/15/2018 Edition

By Jerry Chandler

Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones just had its second season drop in full last weekend. No matter your opinion on the first season, the second season is worth a look. There be some spoilers ahead. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spy Con Preview

By Beth

I've been a fan of James Bond going back to my childhood. My dad was always into Bond so I learned to like it too. I was young in the 80's so I won't lie. I'll just come right out and admit that I liked A View to a Kill. I know, but it had Christopher Walken, and that great opening song by Duran Duran. Later, and still to this day, my favorite is Goldeneye. Yes, part of that is because it was one of the best video games of all time. Not all of it though. It's one of the first movies I remember seeing Sean Bean die in. He's died in a lot of stuff since, but that was my first so it matters more to me. I also thought that Pierce Brosnan was great in his first Bond movie. It's not totally his fault that his next Bond movies sucked. The writing was terrible. Denise Richards playing any kind of scientist is ridiculous to the point that if I roll my eyes up into my head about it one more time they may get stuck there. Some of the Roger Moore movies were okay, but he was better cast in The Saint than as James Bond. As much as I love the old movies I do enjoy the grittier and less quippy realism of Daniel Craig's Bond. I miss those gadgets though. But since we're probably only a few years away from being able to buy our own laser watches I think I'll miss them less soon.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Suicide Squad Harley Quinn from Mezco

By Dave

I decided over a year ago that I wanted to review a bunch of different versions of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. I love the character design, which lends itself to plenty of variations between manufacturers. And there were plenty of manufacturers – Mattel, Medicom, Bandai, Funko, Hot Toys, and possibly more that I’m not thinking of.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 203 – Devon Goldberg of Morricone Youth

Morricone Youth formed in New York City in 1999 with the mission statement of composing, re-interpreting, performing and recording only "music written for the moving image." 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

32 Years Later, There Can Still Be Only One

By Jerry Chandler

March 7, 1986, 32 years ago yesterday, a low budget film written and directed by no one most anyone had heard of hit American theaters with very little fanfare. For many people- one of whom was my father who took me to see it in theaters only because of the presence of this star -the only reason the film got their attention at all was Sean Connery, the 007 most of them had grown up on, being featured heavily in the ads. It went on to earn just under $6 million at the domestic box office at a time when successful movies were earning anywhere from $35 million to $50 million. In its inglorious domestic box office run, it was written off by critics and moviegoers alike, and was even beaten out by things like The Care Bears Movie 2 as a money earner. But in the decades to follow, the original Highlander would become one of the most popular and most loved cult films of its era. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2018: “Diamonds in the Stuff”

By Dave

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in May.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Monday, March 5, 2018

New York International Toy Fair 2018 – Mezco

BY Dave

Once again social media has improved my ability to bring you pictures of the new stuff shown at Toy Fair. Most toy companies maintain some sort of presence on Instagram or their own blogs online and seem to recognize the importance of showing their new products directly to potential consumers. I don’t know if this means the collectors’ market is more important than ever or if it’s simply evolving business, but whatever the reason I’m glad it’s happened.

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

RIP Paul De Meo

By Jerry Chandler

Tuesday of this week, February 27, the news broke that Paul De Meo had passed away. I first saw the news in the form of a Facebook post by John Wesley Shipp. Through his post, I found the tweet by De Meo’s longtime creative partner Danny Bilson. I had at first hoped the news was wrong, but John Wesley Shipp was likely not going to be posting a false death report for De Meo and Bilson damned sure wasn’t. So, sadly, the news that fandom had lost someone who gave it so much over the years was true.