Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dust Devil

Dust Devil
1992 film review by Wmpyr

I just saw this film on Netflix and I was excited to see it once I learned that it was from the director who did Hardware (1990), because I think Hardware is an awesome film. I have to say that I prefer Hardware over this one, but I Dust Devil didn't disappoint, it had great visuals, great music, great acting, killer locations, and the subculture and cultural depictions really take you in. Dust Devil kind of reminds me of a more realistic version of the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers. The back drop being South Africa makes this film extra interesting, and even though the synopsis said that the creature is a shape shifter, it only happens once in the film which was actually a good thing for me, because originally I was turned off by that concept, too much shape shifting is to me what ruined Lifeforce (1985). In conclusion once again I have to say that I am a fan of Hardware, so I wanted to see Dust Devil, and I have definitely enjoyed both.

Crash and Burn from Full Moon

Crash and Burn
1990 film review by Wmpyr

I finally got to see this cult classic Full Moon science fiction film. I know I saw it back in the day, I just didn't remember it, and I've been wanting to see it since I became a fan of Robot Jox. After recently watching Robot Wars and it was nice to see this because this one in some ways very loosely feels like a prequel to Robot Jox or Robot Wars. It's definitely more stylistic and moody than the other two. Story wise this could have easily been a vampire or werewolf film where your in a confined space and there is a murder, and nobody knows who did it, but they all know he/she is in the room. At the very end we briefly get to see the giant mech come to life, but that's it. This film wasn't bad, it wasn't really what I was expecting, since I thought it would revolve more around the giant robot, but I was still able to enjoy it. If you like this film I highly recommend Hardware (1990) which is an awesome movie.

Trancers 2 from Full Moon

Trancers II
1991 film review by Wmpyr

Trancers 2 continues with the story, this time Jack's wife who died in the future is back in the past to complicate things. The female rivalry and going after the Trancer cult called GreenWorld makes it pretty interesting. Helen Hunt is more like herself in this one, in the first one she was a punky street girl which was difficult to believe. Is it just me or the Trancers in this film were much less of a threat than the first one? They just seemed like cannon fodder actually. There is plenty of gun fights, and it still has the off-Terminator feel to it. Definitely looking forward to the 3rd one, sadly I only own 1-3 and that is only half of the series since they made up to a part 6. Overall this one wasn't too bad, the girl problems actually made it entertaining for me to watch.

Martial Arts

Style Or You? When a Person says that a style or technique doesn't work, even though they mean to put down that style/technique what they are really doing is showing how incompetent they are. It means that they failed at figuring out how to make the technique/style work for them. Competitive Comparison Vs Self Monitoring Bully Style If the way you develop your technique is by practicing on weaker people then that means that your techniques are designed for weaker people. Which means that your a bully. Positive Vs Negative Criticism In The Name Of Truth

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My top favorite retro video games

My Top Favorite Video Games
Retro games by Wmpyr
NES and Famicom
Kinnikuman
Wai Wai Konami World
Ninjakun
Double Dragon
Super Mario 2
Kung Fu Heroes

GAME BOY:
Batman
Batman Joker's Wild
Super Mario Land
Dr. Evil's Evil Lair
SD Gundam Sengoku World II
Ninjakun RPG

PS1
Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Rogue Trip Vacation 2012
Castlevania SOTN
Twisted Metal 1-4
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
King of Fighters 99
Pocket Fighter
Legacy of Kain
Machine Hunter
Loaded Weapon
Crash Bash
Hot Shots Golf 2

Monday, August 25, 2014

Decadent Evil II from Full Moon

Decadent Evil II
2007 film review by Wmpyr

Another Full Moon entertainment film to add to my personal collection. This was pretty cool because it's a vampire film and I like vampires. The reviews on IMDB were pretty harsh, I did enjoy this movie and I'm happy to own it. I still think Subspecies is a much better Full Moon vampire film, but this one brought some unique elements. The identity of the head vampire is kept a secret until the end, and through out the film you have to guess who the vampires are. The backdrop is a strip club, normally I that would be a big negative for me, but this time it works out fine, because so many of the Full Moon pictures I've seen like to use castles which is awesome, but it's a nice change. The mystery suspense thriller aspect of the film didn't quite workout so much for me, which is like 80% of the film, the last 20% pics up, where we see a dwarf vampire-vampire hunter. It's nice to see for once a movie where the strippers are not full of silicone. And the ending punishment scene is pretty funny. While not great I do believe it definitely had some things going for it. I have to rank it above Prison of the Dead and Dangerous Worry Dolls. I haven't seen the first Decadent Evil and it really didn't seem to matter. This was much better than what I thought it was going to be, and it makes me want to see again the cult classic film Vamp.

GI Joes that I owned from back in the day

MY GIJOE ACTION FIGURES

1984
Spirit was my first GIJOE figure my mom got me. I really liked the details on him and enjoyed his accessories as well. His rifle was my favorite.

Storm Shadow was the most sought after figure by everyone in my grade school back in the day, and very difficult to find in stores. For some reason a kid gave Storm Shadow to me. I treasured it.

Mutt, even though his weapons the club and pistol didn't satisfy me, his face mask, facial scar and one armored up arm, and his dog made up for it. He looked mean and looked like he could pass as a bad guy.

My parents got me Firefly because they couldn't find me Storm Shadow for my birthday. They said he "looked" like a ninja. Even though I thought the figure looked cool, his camo was awesome, I was still very disappointed and refused to like him.

My Dad took me to the toy store in the mall called Circus World and said what do you want? I chose Zartan, he was like that's all? Don't you want something bigger? You can get something else with that. I said, no this is GREAT and more than enough! He had no idea how much I cherished this figure, Zartan was my absolute favorite toy from GIJOE.

1985
Eels had some cool accessories, and the underwater theme reminded me of the climactic underwater battle scene in the 007 film Thunderball. But overall he looked a bit too generic for me. I wasn't a fan of his head sculpt.

I went to the mall with some friends, we all got GI Joes, I picked Torch, he reminded me of Chuck Norris, but I really liked how he was scum, I felt like a bad boy buying him.

Buzzer was given to me, and I ended up liking him way more than Torch, his accessories were way cooler too. I have to say that at some point, Zartan, Buzzer and Ripper were my absolute favorites.

The wild looking Ripper quickly became one of my top favorites. At the time Ripper was one of the most punk looking hardcore figure on the market. That made me like him very much plus his silver rifle was excellent even though I didn't care for his backpack and main weapon which was the JAWS of life.

My grandmother bought me Shipwreck in Japan, I was so surprised and happy to see GI Joe on the toy shelves over there. Shipwreck looked really cool, he stood out in design, and his silver gun was extra awesome.

Easily one of the best Snake Eyes character designs, I really like the medieval knight style visor, Timber the wolf, and the sword that sheathed into the backpack were excellent touches as well. My grandmother got me Ripper, Shipwreck, and this Snake Eyes, all three are totally awesome and I'll never forget it.

1987
I got Crystal Ball because something about him stood out to me, all he came with was a shield, and the simplicity was appealing in it's own way. Today I appreciate him more, because he is so Dracula and Vincent Price like.

I got Techno Viper from a friend, he seemed like a crappy Darth Vader, I can't say I thought he was too great.

Zanzibar the swamp pirate who actually had "hair" was okay for me I didn't hate him or love him. I thought it was kind of cool that he had hair but he just didn't do much for me back then.

1988
Getting Budo was a no brainer since I liked martial arts type characters. I liked all of his accessories, and back in the day I liked his accessories better than the figure, today I appreciate the figure as a modern day Samurai type design.

I honestly don't know why I got Iron Grenadier, maybe because it came with a small tube of real face paint to camo up your face. Iron Grenadier was not a figure I cared for very much.

I really liked Road Pig for some strange reason. He's a very interesting character that has a very bad file card that just repeatedly puts him down. None of the less, he is super muscular, looks like he came out of the Road Warrior film, and has some of the coolest accessories that are so unique such as the cement block hammer, and mini-crossbow.

This edition of Storm Shadow looked great, one of the best Storm Shadow figures out there. I didn't care much for his blocky bright red backpack, but the compound bow, claws, and red sword worked for me.

This Destro had a gold mask, and he looked very imposing. Quickly became one of my favorite GI Joe figures.

The jet craft that Annihilator came in was crap, it looked bad and the plastic felt cheap, however the figure looked totally fascinating and awesome, he reminded me of Predator, he definitely looked alien.

Flint Lifeline 1989 Backblast Dee-Jay Frag-Viper Gnawgahyde Despite being really buff, unique looking, and loaded with accessories, he didn't become one of my favorites. Snake Eyes Stalker T.A.R.G.E.T. Barbecue Srgt. Slaughter Spirit Darklon 1990 Overlord 1991 Red Star

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Robot Wars from Full Moon Entertainment

Robot Wars
1993 film review by Wmpyr

On IMDB Robot Jox is listed as 1989, but I remember watching it in the movie theater around 1993 or 1994. And I think Robot Wars came after Robot Jox, but on IMDB Robot Wars is listed as 1993. Anyways, I've been a big fan of Robot Jox and when I heard that Robot Wars was the sequel I have been wanting to see it for a very long time, and I finally got my hands on it, and I'm happy to own both Robot Jox and now Robot Wars. This one is directed by Albert Band, the brother of Charles Band owner of Full Moon Entertainment. I have to say that Robot Wars is a sequel in a very minor way. Both films really are quite independent from each other, but they do sort of depict a similar world, and you will notice some familiar faces in from both films. Robot Jox is the better movie by far, but if you like Robot Jox and want something a little bit more, then Robot Wars is a great addition. The scorpion shaped robot definitely steals the show, it looks like a Zoid, but there is only one robot vs robot fight in this film. If your looking for giant robot vs robot fights then go with Robot Jox. I enjoyed how the Scorpion robot was used for transporting passengers through the wasteland. Drake the main character in this one was pretty annoying for me, Barbara Crampton from Reanimator is in this film but not used to her full potential, but overall I was still able to enjoy the movie.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein
2014 film review by Wmpyr

This movie was recommended to me because of the fighting scenes utilizing Eskrima sticks. So thank you RedFatCat78! The film reminds me of a combination of Underworld and Legion. Negative thing about the film is that the Frankenstein is probably the smallest least scariest and most human like Frankenstein ever. On the other hand he does look cool, I'm sure the ladies really like this rendition. The story is pretty unique, Gargoyles vs Demons and Frankenstein caught between them, that's definitely not what I expected. I thought it was going to be the usual vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein. Even though the story is a bit strange, I give them credit for that. I read a review where they said that the fight scenes were lack luster, I have to disagree, I enjoyed the fight scenes for a change, too many movies today, the action is so fast and in your face that I have no idea what's happening and I get bored out of my mind. With this movie I could actually follow the fight scenes, and I did enjoy seeing the Escrima sticks and push daggers. It was cool to see the double sticks vs double sticks fight scene. Personally I would have preferred this film if it were more subdued all around and the story was in a much smaller scale, now all of humanity is on the line with this massive supernatural war going on and it's all up to Frankenstein or the world will end, just feels a bit way too much for me. When you make the scale this big it feels a little rushed, other than that I actually enjoyed it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Creature

Creature
2011 film review by Wmpyr

Another film I saw on Netflix and I must say this is one of the best horror films I've see recently which may not be saying much, but definitely think that it's a solid one. I like that Sid Haig is in it, and I expected it was just going to be a brief cameo appearance but actually I'm happy to say that it's a bit more than that! I put this film in the same category as My Bloody Valentine but I think this one is better. The backwoods story backdrop is interesting, reminds me a bit of the disturbing Jug Face, which is a better made film, but this one is campier and more enjoyable to my tastes. Also nice to see Eggs from True Blood. A group of young friends go on a backroad trip, walk into a strange gas station to find directions to the home of a mysterious man-gator Big Foot type of creature called Lock Jaw. There is a twist ending, origins story for the creature, and creepy gas station locals as well.

Pinocchio's Revenge

Pinocchio's Revenge
1996 film review by Wmpyr

I saw this on Netflix because it reminded me of a Full Moon movie. It's horror, it's a doll, we have all the right ingredients so to speak. I have to say that I think everything was done right, I have no complaints. I mean it does feel like a movie from the 90s, a bit dated, but I think everyone does a good job, from the acting, editing, directing, etc. Yet it's missing that something extra. Basically this film is a serious entry into the plethora of horror films already made. And I think this is the kind of film that makes me appreciate certain Full Moon titles. Not only can Full Moon make something relatively similar to this if they wanted to, but they add the campy fun in many of their titles. And that is what's missing in this movie. provided that they did a good job, it goes to show that even when you do it all right, it's still lacking something that extra spark to make it extra memorable.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Barrio Tales

Barrio Tales
2012 film review by Wmpyr

I saw this on Netflix just because it looked interesting and I wanted to get through as many horror films on there as I could. I have to say that this was a big disappointment for me. I like films like this comprised of short stories, and I thought it was well filmed, actors were good, location was fine, SFX and budget was fine, so what was the problem? The stories, all the stories had such a strong racism aspect to it, that it was just not entertaining in anyway, it was just really annoying. I wanted to see Mexican, Chicano, or hispanic culture throughout this film, but I felt like the racism aspect over dominated everything else. I'm not even saying that it's poorly written because I didn't think so, I'm just bummed that here is a chance to visit a different culture/world and I didn't get to visit anywhere because of the focus on hate and prejudice. I felt like Return of the Dead 3 does a more interesting job showing Chicanos than this film, and that one wasn't even intended, for some random reason they decided to make those punks homies. Anyways this had a lot of potential, well made for sure, but I'm turned off by the stories, which were obviously a deliberate choice by the makers and I'm sad that they took it in that direction.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prison of the Dead from Full Moon Entertainment

Prison of the Dead
2000 film review by Wmpyr

The film starts with heavy dialog and keeps it up throughout the film, and this is where I ask myself, why do low budget films want to have a ton of dialog? It seems like an incredibly bad idea unless they want to wow you with a stand out actor a diamond in the rough in a great role. However, if their lucky they can have one actor like this, but instead they have a whole bunch of actors delivering a whole bunch of dialog.

The good thing is that the location is typical Full Moon, a castle type setting in a stormy night with constant thunder is always cool.

Anyways a bunch of rich college kids that are into the paranormal meet up at a funeral home, which use to be a prison for witches.

They take out an ouija board to search for a Talon key that would open a sealed door to win a million dollars. Unbeknownst to everyone, a host of undead called the executioners wake up. They look like medieval zombies armed with various weapons like a mace and sickle, I got to say that I like how their eyes light up.

All the victims get possessed and then hacked, which is how all the killings are done making this film not as gory as one would expect. The long dialog keeps going on. But you know at this point I got use to it, it reminds me of the old black and white movies from the 30s.

It's a unique horror film because the zombies are not the typical virus spreading hordes, the drama created by the survivors are not the typical strangers from all walks of life trying to band together and survive against the circumstances. For me this film was ok, not as terrible as people make it sound on IMDB, but I would only recommend it for hardcore Full Moon Entertainment fans only. Even if you are a Full Moon fan, this film probably won't be in your top 10 Full Moon movies list even though it's not horrible.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Star Convoy Kabaya Transformers 30th anniversary series 8

Kabaya Transformers 30th anniversary series 8
Star Convoy toy review by Wmpyr

This toy is an officially licensed tiny action figure that you build. Kabaya is a food corporation so this model kit is released with a piece of gum. Chew as you build, and when done, you end up with an actual toy, when I was a kid things didn't get much better than this. I've seen some Youtube review videos made by American and UK Transformers fans and some seem to miss the point, the actual building of the model kit is half the fun.

In the summer of 2014, I went on a trip to the country side of Japan and found this gem in the candy isle of a grocery store called Fukuhara. It was about three dollars. I saw the entire series which consisted of three models, Star Convoy, Hydra, and Buster. I went with Star Convoy because he was a base former, and I really like base formers, plus he came with a mini Hot Rodimus to run around on the base, that was just too cool for me to pass up. I also saw something called Dinosoldier which was also made by Kabaya and had dinosaurs that transformed into robots and then combined into a larger robot. I almost got the triceratops but I passed on it when I found out it was a gestalt, I wasn't up for buying all three just to complete the combined form.

I'm not a big fan of Optimus Prime but I'm happy with my choice because Star Convoy looks good in bot mode, vehicle mode, and even has a third mode, my favorite the base mode. The transformation for each mode feels quite solid, due to an excellent design, I was surprised that it actually transforms since many of the Kabaya toys are parts formers, where you have to take parts on and off to transform it.

To me Star Convoy is as good as it gets for a Kabaya toy, and I am absolutely delighted by this toy. I give it five out of five stars! Now I need to list some negatives or this won't be a good review. First let me say that the actual build was a little tricky/scary for me because I didn't want to damage it, since putting it together required some forcing. In bot mode, his shield is a little large making him off balanced, which to me is not much of a negative. In vehicle mode he doesn't have any working wheels which to me is not a big deal, especially considering the figures size and price. I personally think that the stickers look stupid so I didn't put any on, but he still looks good to me because he is made of three base colors, red, blue, and grey. His base mode is his weakest mode largely due to his robot head and arms still being there. But for me it makes me think of an amusement park, and I think it's quite fun looking so I don't mind. The mini Hot Rodimus is also a nice yet essential touch especially for this kind of base mode.

The Kabaya Star Convoy is a relatively simple Transformer and that is what works here for me. Simple and solid transformations, good looking bot and vehicle modes, and a fun base mode. I highly recommend this triple changer.

Rickson Gracie Joe Rogan podcast

My take on the Rickson Gracie Joe Rogan podcast
by Wmpyr

Man it was great to finally see Rickson Gracie on the podcast with Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo.

It was super fun and exciting to hear about the legendary occurrences in Rickson's past such as how his challenge to Marco Ruas turned into a quarrel with Hugo Duarte and the behind the scenes of both Hugo Duarte fights, his Sambo experience with Rolls Gracie and how the torch got passed to him, his reaction after the Mark Kerr and Fabio Gurgel fight, the Yoji Anjo challenge match, or how he came to learn leg locks from Eric Paulson's Shooto video. However Rickson who presumably lives in the present had to stop the fanboy type discussions of his past and he said, I want to talk about the future, and began talking about the problems with BJJ today. How he wants to change things for the future up and coming BJJ practitioners by explaining the difference between efficient BJJ and effective BJJ. When such an awesome legend like Rickson is in the room, who doesn't turn into a fanboy, but I thought it was very impressive that he changed the talk around to something he felt was more productive towards the future rather than something that just further increases his legendary status. Still though, I don't think I'm alone in wanting to know what really happened behind the scenes. I wish they asked him about the Bas Rutten incident, or his take on Royce Gracie vs Matt Hughes. His constant concern to having an open mind, take what is useful while having a very solid structure of his own craft, when he briefly discussed with Eddie Bravo how to make the guard work in MMA, and he talked about how after the Gurgel - Kerr fight, he worked out with Rockson to see that against someone that size you need the knee on their chest and to create space and strike back at them creating a confusion, the fact that he's looking at more than just technical strategy but what goes on in the opponent's mind, I feel like I'm starting to understand a little bit of why he was so successful at what he did, his view point is on a larger scale of things than most, and the irony maybe is that he also has the polar opposite in view which are the technical details. It's also fascinating to hear about his contribution to BJJ on weight distribution which is what he means about Invisible Jiu-jitsu, you can't see it, but you can feel it.

Sakuraba, Coleman, Mark Kerr, Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Bas Rutten, Marco Ruas, the list goes on and on, the matches we wish happened with Rickson, however of all these possibilities let me shrink it down to one. I personally would like to see how he would have handled, the ground and pound from Fedor. And to hear that this match almost happened, how crazy would that have been? The reason why I like Rickson's matches so much is not just because of his name value and legendary status, but I feel like I learn a lot from watching him fight. For educational purposes alone I wish he had done more Vale Tudo and MMA fights.

So after the interview, Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan show Rickson the Rubber Guard. They explain to him that it's the closed Guard basically evolved so that it's tight, not to give any space for the opponent to hit you, yet, it allows you to attack, and also at the same time, prevents your opponent from standing back up. And that maybe the key difference in Rickson's old school BJJ strategy from today's perspective. From the Helio Gracie perspective if they get up, and back away then that means you successfully defended yourself. However in modern MMA, fighters do that and make the grappler have to play the stand up game and risk another chance to close the distance for a take down. Helio and Rickson's old school guard I think has 3 areas of interest, 1. when your opponent backs away, Rickson isn't really worried about this because he feels that this means the opponent is defensive or backing away. However Sakuraba was a guy who could do this and make this position to his advantage, he showed this in his fight against Royce. He wasn't able to do as much to Renzo, so it's worth studying and comparing Sakuraba vs Royce and Sakuraba vs Renzo from this perspective. Also Sakuraba wasn't able to capitalize as much in his rematch against Royce who was this time gi less and actually won the match. So the gi could have been a big factor. 2. When the opponent stalls on you, or just basically neutralizes your movement, crushes you, and lands small shots, like Mark Kerr did to Fabio Gurgel, this is what Rickson was concerned about and in his fights, the closest perhaps is Rickson vs Zulu, but Kerr at the time seems like a much better fighter than Zulu at the time. So in this area Rickson wasn't able to test his theories. And even though it was only grappling, supposedly it took Rickson like 30 min to submit Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz. 3. When the opponent decides to ground and pound you like Mark Coleman or even worse Fedor Emelianenko. Rickson's answer to this is to use his feet and kick back, so he has his hands and feet against the opponent's hands, Rickson did confess that Rickson vs Fedor almost happened, but once again this is untested.

So for me, these are my Rickson dream matches so that I could have seen his theories put to the test. These are the guys that at least at one point had the strategies that would test Rickson's game plan, even though there were plenty of other physical specimens and technical monsters out there that are in the same league as Rickson in those areas such as Bas Rutten, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Crocop, and even Ken Shamrock.

Rickson Gracie vs Fedor Emelianenko
Rickson Gracie vs Mark Kerr
Rickson Gracie vs Kazushi Sakuraba