Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dead Snow: Red VS. Dead film review by Wmpyr

dead snow: red vs. dead (2014)
film review by Wmpyr

I saw the first one and I was impressed by it. I was expecting an independent film, made by a horror film fan level, but it was much better than that, it is a solid zombie film that could go toe to toe with any major zombie flick. So I was excited to see this one. This one not only is it yet another solid zombie flick, it stays true to the original in many ways, it also surpasses the original and breaks boundaries with an original concept. A zombie arm that let's the main character create zombies. I would have to give this film a 5/5, the only part I was a little disappointed in was I wish they played nationalistic Russian music when they revived the Russian zombies. And maybe to show some graphic details of the zombie sex at the end. Another great comedy horror that is entertaining and well done. Budget looks big, and the director is a master that knows what he is doing.



Friday, February 27, 2015

TMA vs MMA video response

About a month ago, I saw a Youtube video from an instructor who taught European weapons fighting. He talked about his opinions on MMA. I agree with him one hundred percent that just because a practitioner of traditional martial arts like Wing Chun kung fu enters a cage fight and loses a match it doesn't mean that the style is bad. Some people have blamed the practitioner and said they were not at a high enough level of Wing Chun, but I disagree with this. Only a bad style would require the grand master to make it work. He said that in a real combat situation going to the ground would be a bad idea. My perspective is that if I'm ever in a street altercation, I probably do not want to go to the ground like he said, however, if I do end up on the ground then I would be glad that I put in the time to learn grappling. What he and many people misunderstand that in combat, the ground is not necessarily some place you choose to go, but it can be forced upon you. In days of old when weapons were the norm, the ground was a place where you finished your opponent. If there was no wall to pin your opponent to, you had to pin them to the ground or they will keep running away from you. It is the same in the animal kingdom, watch the lion sweep the legs, take the back, and then go for the neck. He said that whether a style works or not depends on the context that it's used. He said Wing Chun would not work in a cage fight because that is the wrong context for the style. He said that in a street fight Wing Chun would be better than the MMA style or a grappling style. Once again I completely disagree with him, if we traveled around the nation and found 100 Wing Chun practitioners put them in a street fight, and then found 100 MMA practitioners and put them in a street fight, my money would be on the MMA practitioners. It doesn't matter if it's MMA, Judo, BJJ, Wrestling, or Boxing, any combat sport. I put my money on the combat sports practitioners not because of context, but because I assume that these guys will be in better physical condition and because they will have much more full contact sparring experience. If you watch the history of the UFC. You will see that many skilled martial artists entered the Octagon, and they basically lost to tough guys. Tough guys then lost to athletic guys. If you take a look at today's champions like Rhonda Rousey she has all three qualities at a super level, she is super skilled, super tough, and super athletic. All this being said, you have to understand that BJJ came from Japanese Jiu-jitsu. The Gracie family took JJJ and put it through their meat grinder to evolve the style. So if we did the same thing with Wing Chun or any style for that matter, then I believe the result would be a style that can be effective in Vale Tudo matches or MMA matches. As for right now many traditional martial arts focus on one thing, keeping the tradition, keeping the knowledge at a certain level of quality and passing it down from one generation to the next. You can't ask a scribe or a librarian to prove that their knowledge works in a real life scenario. Also keep in mind that BJJ is not better than JJJ, BJJ would not exist without JJJ. The Gracie family evolved it a certain way, that doesn't mean that is the best way, there are other ways to evolve an art. BJJ is not for everyone, it has one of the highest drop out rates of any martial arts that I have ever studied simply because it's so hard. I have also met students that are just not comfortable with the idea of grappling. So there is definitely a place for JJJ even though it maybe the more archaic form.

Quest For Fire film review by Wmpyr

Quest For Fire (1981)
film review by Wmpyr

Ever since I saw the comedy movie Caveman starring Ringo Star, I have liked caveman films. I saw Caveman back in the 80s and I also saw Yor the Hunter from the Future and Quest for Fire back then, and I remember enjoying all of these films. Despite the majorly disappointing and unwatchable 10,000 BC, a few years ago I got to see another caveman comedy Homo Erectus which I actually enjoyed unlike everyone else. Recently I saw 2 films that featured cavemen. The Land that Time Forgot and The People that time Forgot, both of which I enjoyed tremendously. To top that off I got 2 caveman toys from Imaginext and a Mighty Max dinosaur play set that came with a caveman. So I'm all about cavemen right now!

The acting, location, and story, all three things come together beautifully and I am absolutely impressed by this film. It had to have taken balls to make this, it features a ton of violence, lesser evolved cavemen that look more like Big Foot, vicious wolves (remember this is pre The Grey), saber tooth tigers, a satisfying pre CGI Wooly Mammoth scene, cannibal cavemen, higher civilized mud people, quick sand, caveman sex, fire starting, the arrow throwing weapon the Atlatl, evil cavemen, angry mother bear, what more can you ask? This film has it all, they pulled it off, the actors must have went through hell filming those shots in nature. To me this is an epic type film where they had to take a huge risk making this where there wasn't even any real dialogue. This is one of my favorite films along with Life Stinks, and Shadow of the Vampire. 5/5 stars

FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D PART 3 film review by wmpyr

Friday the 13th 3D Part 3
film review by Wmpyr

I've been watching the Friday the 13th series recently. I saw part 1 for the very first time and it wasn't all that impressive to me. Part 4 didn't really keep my attention too well, maybe I need to give it another run, but Part 3 went pretty smooth. I enjoyed it. I do have to say though that I'm starting to get them a little confused because the location looks the same, the plots have a lot of similarities with teenage campers that get killed.

This film has a pretty long flash back into part 2, but it didn't bother me, in fact it was helpful since I didn't remember the 2nd film at all. I really liked how there were the biker gang trio that wanted to get revenge on the teenagers but instead get taken out by Jason. In some parts Jason isn't that good at hand to hand combat, and then at other times he seems monstrously strong and quite invincible. There is kind of a huge inconsistency there, he has the ability to just march in and kill everyone but for some reason he likes to hide and stalk. It almost comes across as if he is a special forces guy like Rambo taking out the enemy one by one. In the end though when there is only one girl left, he decided to show himself as the unstoppable juggernaut. In part 1 it was the mom doing the killing, in part 2 we had Jason wearing an Elephant man like sack mask, but here finally he puts on the trade mark hockey mask about more than half way in the film. To me this is the film that did it, this is the film that finally got to the point where we see the Jason and the Friday the 13th film that we are familiar with. So if your looking for the typical Friday the 13th film this shouldn't disappoint.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Zombie Dice and Cthulhu Dice custom game mod

Cthulhu Dice
by Wmpyr

Been a fan of Zombie Dice, have enjoyed it many times with different people because it's simple and easy to learn and not to mention fun. I also have the expansion pack Zombie Dice 2, which I also enjoy. I have also enjoyed Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy books, so I decided to give Cthulhu Dice a try even though it didn't look too fun when I saw a video of it on Youtube. I bought Cthulhu Dice and sadly I don't care for the way it plays, I like the subject matter and the dice looks cool, but it just wasn't has fun as Zombie Dice.

So here are some alternate rules for playing Zombie Dice with the addition of Cthulhu Dice. During your turn, after you roll your zombie dice like normal, you can decide to roll the Cthulhu Dice and your turn ends after you do that and take the necessary action(s). You can roll the Cthulhu dice after you roll the zombie dice once, twice, etc, but after you roll Cthulhu your turn ends.

CTHULHU DICE PLUS ZOMBIE DICE
1. YELLOW SIGN (The Question Mark?)
Roll all shot guns to see if you get any brains, and add them to your current number of brains that you rolled this round.

2. TENTACLE
Lose 1 brain if you have rolled any this round.

3. ELDER SIGN (looks like a star)
Re-roll all dice in front of you, and if you have more brains then other symbols then you get the number of dice you just rolled as brain points. If not you get 0 points.

4. CTHULHU
Loose all brains (lose all points for that round, you get 0 points for that round)

5. EYE
Roll all foot prints to get any brains.

WING CHUN

Wing Chun
by Wmpyr

Intro Back in the mid to late 90s I was fascinated and obsessed with Trapping simply because I did not understand it. I didn't know how to make it work in full contact sparring. So like a madman I studied Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun. At the time I was also experiencing Boxing, and I saw that Boxers actually utilized single traps, but I never saw Boxers use compound trapping techniques. And I never saw Boxers slam another Boxers arms down pinned in a crossed position. Was it because Boxers are not allowed to grab, or because they wear gloves, or because they simply don't know the technique? This riddle bothered me for a long time. For a long time, after I studied and learned the very basics of Wing Chun, I could only find use by applying the concepts to another style. From Wing Chun I learned about sensitivity. I then applied that to my grappling. My body would listen and feel for movements and shifting of balance, and I would accordingly respond rather than force a technique that I had in mind. I also learned about protecting my own center line while attacking the enemy's center line. Once again I applied this to my grappling. If I expose my center many times I get pinned on the ground and lose mobility such as shrimping. If I'm able to attack my opponent's center line, I would disrupt their strength, I could cause them to lose their balance and base which makes it very difficult for them to attack me during this moment. Trapping Range When I was studying Jeet Kune Do, I learned that there was Kicking range, Punching range, Trapping range (the deadliest range), and then Grappling range. Things made more sense to me once I accepted that Trapping range is the same as the Clinch. MMA fighters would "shoot in" for a take down (double leg or single leg) and it can be a risky move, you can get counter punched (Dan Henderson Vs Renzo Gracie) or you can be counter kneed (Gomi Takanori Vs Ralph Gracie). Using trapping techniques to get into the clinch can be a safer alternative. Missing Force One of the main things that I noticed that is missing from conventional Trapping training is the application of force. And understandably so, when you apply force the technique becomes crappy, and the skill development decreases. This is the same with grappling. If you grapple spar light and easy it's called soft work and you can develop skill but it's not realistic, in real life you have to deal with weight, pressure, and struggling against strength. So you have to do both types of training. Trapping is the same, you want to isolate the drill and just practice the skill, but you also want to develop the realistic feel and apply force. There needs to be a constant forward moving pressure so that you head towards the clinch. Leaning Back The Wing Chun stance has the practitioner lean back, in a fight you lean back to dodge a punch the face, and also if you want to sweep or kick a person. So you can fight in a more natural stance but when you lean back, that is when your Wing Chun comes in. One of the major problems I had was the awkward looking stance in Wing Chun. I had heard that Wing Chun was essentially developed in the south where footing was not always secure, there could be rain and mud, so they had to develop a stance suited for that, but I always felt that there was more to it. The Wing Chun stance forces the user to lean back and lead with the leg, then comes the very specific way of punching. I believe now that there are two tactics involved here. The way a Wing Chun practitioner punches puts the body directly behind the punch so that you can push or grapple in a clinch if needed, making this good for close quarters confined space type environments. This type of punching is very different from a Boxing punches which are generally designed for you to hit as you pass by the opponent. In Boxing mobility is much more of a factor. Playfully testing the waters with jabs and fakes allows a Boxer to open up and destroy their opponent with the lesser punches. The other tactic in leaning back as you punch allows you to counter punch off of a flinch which is suitable for a street fight in particular when your opponent tries to sucker punch you.

KARATE

Karate
by Wmpyr

Intro People often label me as the Filipino Martial Arts guy, but I have actually been training in Karate longer. I began my training with Kuk Sool Won, which had a Korean version of Karate in it, and then several other styles of Karate including Shotokan, Soo Ryu, Shito Ryu, and even Tae Kwon Do. I never stayed in one school long enough to earn a black belt, but I continue to train in my own expression of Karate which I have done since 1991. Karate Puzzle The western mindset is one in which the student asks, what is this for? And the teacher is suppose to give the answer. This type of training is called skill training, where your goal is to acquire the skill. In Japan, the mindset is that the student is suppose to struggle to find the answer themselves, and as they train, their answer changes overtime and evolves, because they themselves change. This second type of training is called the way, where your martial arts training is a journey, and the path becomes more important than the goal. You should constantly ask yourself questions about the art in a respectful manner. Keep in mind that the answer might change as time goes by, studying Karate is like an endless puzzle. So many times in the name of truth, people think it's okay to become extremely rude and harsh, which is false, you must always be professional and polite. A Karate Form Has More Than One Interpretation Many Karate practitioners get confused because your school and another school may teach the same technique for a totally different purpose. The truth is that any of these methods can be practical in real life application. Some say that the Low Block is a strike to a kick, others say it's a defensive check to a kick, others say it's actually a joint lock to the arm, others say it's a pressure point strike, others say it's a strike when holding weapons, yet others say it's a wrist grab release, but the beauty is that all of these can be effectively executed. So if your looking for the answer that is more right, then your going to get lost or be stuck in a lie, comparing answers to find the best will get you nowhere. Instead just work to sharpen your technique. War Cry In Karate the student is taught to shout as they execute techniques. Through dedicated practice the student strengthens their vocal and insides as they train. While it is true that the shout can startle opponents, the main purpose is to acclimatize yourself to the violent circumstance that you are in, so that you don't stray off from reality and end up freezing in combat or worse. Extreme Breathing Breathing in Karate is very harsh and unnatural. This is because Karate is designed for you to fight under pressure, when your possibly at your worst, when your about to panic and freeze up in fear. This is completely different from a Boxer who is trying to fight more relaxed. If you can loosen up in an intense situation then great, use the Boxing method, but if you can't, then Karate can suit you well for that moment. Breathing tense will help you acclimatize yourself to a bad situation. Since the situation is tense so you need to be tense too. From here you can start to relax. Fighting the pressure is a bad idea, it's like fighting the ocean waves in a storm, your just going to drown, but instead if you go with the waves it will tell you when to breathe, when to hold your breathe. When practicing meditation under a waterfall, breathing becomes difficult because water can enter your mouth in an unpredictable way and it simulates drowning, the cold water can also make things much more harsh to induce panic. This is an excellent training for dealing with stress. The first step is once again to breathe in an intense manner and then slowly try to calm down. You may have to do this multiple times within a single session. Tense Form Doing your Karate form in a tense state not only strengthens your muscles, it also helps you have the ability to move under extreme pressure when your body is tensed up. Execute your moves while keeping tension so that you can fight in such a state. Tongue To The Roof During such a time it's natural to clench your teeth. This can ruin your teeth, so they teach you to put your tongue on the top of the inside of your mouth to prevent this. The shouting gives you moral support, while helping you accept the intensity, it also forces you to breath, because under extreme stress people naturally hold their breath and that will tire you out if you have to go longer. Knuckle Toughening As a Karate practitioner you should be very familiar with knuckle pushups, and punching various practice targets with your bare knuckles. This kind of training will help you learn how to hit without damaging your hands. You need to not only toughen up your hands, but you need to know your limitations too. Against a hard target like the skull you can use snappy punches to rattle the brain, and against softer targets like the liver you can step in and stab your punch to impact the organ. Snap Punch with Base The main difference between a Karate punch and a Boxing punch is that the even though both have a structural base, The Karate punch focuses on you to primarily hold your ground and work from there. While a Boxing punch is primarily designed for you to hit and pass by your opponent. Remember that a Boxer fights in the ring and can use distance as another weapon either offensively or defensively. Karate is a self-defense style that is designed for the worst situation, when you are not able to get away, when you have been cornered and attacked, you don't have the luxury of distance in this circumstance. Animal Power

Bad Biology and Street Trash double film review by Wmpyr

Bad Biology (2008) and Street Trash (1987)
double film review by Wmpyr

I saw both of these films back to back one night because I was really wanting to see a non main stream kind of film. Interesting enough both of these films seem like they could have been made by Troma, which is really cool in my book. I must say that I enjoyed both tremendously.

I was really looking forward to seeing Bad Biology because it was directed by Frank Henelotter, the man who did Frankenhooker which is one of my favorite B-movie horror films. I still like Frankenhooker better, but I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was very well made, and if this had been made by Troma it would have been a really solid A-grade Troma flick, maybe a little too well done for Troma, no disrespect to Troma, they have their own style. Thankfully the gore is minimal in this one, but the story telling with narration by the female lead really works for me. It almost comes across as a David Cronenberg meets Troma flick because I feel like I'm entering this bizarre world of these two sex mutants. The only downside is the male lead, I thought he looked the part, but the way he portrayed the character was painful for me to watch, especially since he is constantly just yelling, which was just annoying rather than making me think that he is a psycho in severe emotional trauma. He almost ruins the movie for me, but I was able to still enjoy it because everything else was quite interesting. Really enjoyed the warped dialog scene at the diner.

Between the two films, I feel that Bad Biology is a better made film, and more interesting, but I found Street Trash to be more enjoyable. It's definitely campier and I like that, this one is definitely closer to the Troma style films with wacky characters and gore. I like that it primarily focuses on hobos living in a junkyard. And I enjoyed the A-wall Vietnam vet as the main bad guy who also had a stellar fight scene with a super cop.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Return to Brookmere TSR Endless Quests gamebook review by Wmpyr


RETURN TO BROOKMERE gamebook
TSR ENDLESS QUESTS BOOKS
second review by Wmpyr

Return to Brookemere is one of my favorite gamebooks of all time, and it is a gamebook that I have treasured and enjoyed since I was in grade school. I like this gamebook because it doesn't feel as kiddie as some other gamebooks, and I also like the way it's written. There is a certain sadness to the story since your an Elven fighter who has lost his home. I also like that it's not about just rushing into battle after battle, but you have to use your wits and stay hidden as you scout your former home the castle. I don't think this is a hard gamebook to beat but I finally beat it for the first time and I got to get a complete picture of the story in its entirety, and I have to say that I enjoyed it tremendously.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Female Vampire movie review by Wmpyr

Female Vampire (1973)
film review by Wmpyr

This Italian flick stars the legendary Lina Romay. Even though it's a vampire flick, I have to say that this is basically a softcore porn movie. It's like the director was in love with Lina and was saying to the audience, look I've made a film for you to masturbate to her. She is a nympho throughout the film sleeping with men and women, and also self-gratifying herself.

The visuals is nice, the filming is interesting, people said that the pacing is slower than normal for this director, but it didn't bother me. I just didn't care that there are a big portion of the film shot in broad day light, which ruins the vampire theme and mood for me. I like the scenes where she is wandering in the ghastly forest but then she ends up in some popular hotel resort in the middle of the day, and that just didn't fit to me.

Overall I'm glad to have seen this, since it is still a vampire flick, but it's not my favorite Italian vampire movie. I do like the scenes where she stands on the balcony and flaps her cape and the next shot is a bat flying off in the distance. And then we see a shot from the inside of a car driving down a road as you can see the hood ornament is flapping it's wings, these kinds of creative shots are a very nice touch. I've seen Blood for Dracula (1974) Requiem for a Vampire (1971), Fascination (1979), The Velvet Vampire (1971), and Lips of Blood (1975). While it's not the worst one from this list, it's not the best one either.

Imaginext Ion Slug space alien review by Wmpyr

Imaginext Ion Slug space alien from Fisher-Price
toy review by Wmpyr

Overall I am disappointed in this set and it would be difficult for me to recommend it. The alien figure they give you is not bad at all, he is the same alien that comes with the Ion Crab set which is a wonderful set. The problem here is with the Ion Slug. It's just not a fun toy.

The concept of an alien monster slug is very cool. He has ghost like arms, tentacles on his head, he is a cyclops, really big mouth, cute short tail, and two flying alien lampreys that are attachable. His main gimmick is that he can move his arms and tentacles as you roll his wheel on the ground. Sad to say that this gimmick doesn't really entertain me that much. The other problem is that he is basically shaped like a motorcycle and easily tips over.

In all fairness I want to share with you some design ideas on how I would improve this figure. The main thing I would do is make his eyeball removable. On one side of the eyeball, it would have the pupil and iris sculpted, on the other side it would have a monster face sculpt in homage to the vintage toy line Mad Balls. I would do this first and foremost because it would make the toy much more fun and increase playability which should be priority, and I really like it when Imaginext makes toys honoring vintage toys from yesteryear. I think that is one of the best reasons for anyone to get into and support Imaginext. Another idea comes to mind when looking at the Imaginext Captain Cold set, he comes with a sled that fires a white sphere (snowball). I think it would be really neat if the Ion Slug could swallow his own eyeball and launch it out of his own mouth. This would allow the mouth of the Ion Slug to be hollow and allow for people to make the Ion Slug eat things. A simple fix would be to widen the base of the Ion Slug so that it can stand better. While I like that it has wheels, I do not care for the rolling-action feature. A third idea I have to improve this monster is to make him somehow attachable to a figure. I'm imagining Golobulus from GI Joe The Movie when he is in some floating tentacle pod. If a figure could connect with the Ion Slug it can transform their lowerbody into a Jabba the Hut-centaur kind of creature.

All in all, I feel that an alien cyclops slug monster is a great idea, it's just too bad that the final product doesn't live up to the concept.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

FRIDAY THE 13TH movie review by Wmpyr

Friday the 13th (1980)
film review by Wmpyr

I just saw this for the first time. It's crazy to think that since I've seen all the other films in the franchise except for the new remake one. Finally got to see it, and I enjoyed seeing this just because it's the original. This is the start. I have to say that's it's quite different from the others especially since it's Jason's mom who is doing the killings.

I'm really glad that they stopped using the mom, and switched over to the hulking Jason instead. Especially in the final combat scenes it seemed like Jason's mom was just too old and weak and left a lot to be desired. Her best advantage was that you wouldn't expect a little old lady to be the killer, and the whole film is shot so that you don't know who the killer is until towards the end. Perhaps that is what also makes this film so effective, that being said though, that is a one trick pony type story unless you want to keep changing the killer every film, and make the audience wonder. It would be like a vampire film where you don't know who is the vampire, actually that would be an interesting film to make and probably the first smart vampire.

Personally I prefer the later films in the Friday the 13th franchise better, but this was good for me to watch just to have seen it. Can't say that I'm a big fan of this one, but I do like the franchise.

THE HUMANOID and STARCRASH film review by Wmpyr

The Humanoid (1979) and Starcrash (1978)
double film review by Wmpyr

I wanted to see Yor The Hunter from the Future, which was a movie I saw a few times back in the day as a kid, but I couldn't find it online so instead I watched The Humanoid and then unsatisfied so I also watched Starcrash. Both of these films were mild entertainment, B-movies cashing in on the Star Wars craze, but I think I prefer Starcrash simply because the messiah kid in The Humanoid was too annoying for me. It wasn't his acting, but the story that relied too much on this mystical magical kid.

The Humanoid has Richard Kiel "Jaws" from the 007 flicks, sort of as a Chewbacca + Han Solo kind of guy except he is suppose to be super nice, but then he is changed to a super soldier and becomes speechless that reminds me of his Mystery Science classic Eegah that has a 2.2 rating on IMDB. The main villain pretty much wears a Darth Vader helmet rip-off and he has glowing hands instead of a lightsaber. Nice to see Corinne Clery, and Barbara Bach as an Elizabeth Bathory type character, but as mentioned earlier the kid was just too annoying for me. The almighty kid with psychic powers saves the day is just too much and not interesting enough for me.

Starcrash was like a B-movie version of Star Wars and Barbarella for me. I found it pretty entertaining up until the very end where they began to invade the bad guys space fortress. I honestly lost interest even though the infamous let's swim in outer space scene occurs there. I didn't mind the special effects until they showed the giant amazon robot, that scene was difficult to watch because it was so terrible. Lots of crazy characters in this including a laser shooting mask wearing Hasselhoff!

If someone combined the best of both films and remove the bad parts now that would be very fun!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT double feature film review by Wmpyr

The Land That Time Forgot (1975) and The People That Time Forgot (1977)
film review by Wmpyr

First of all I have to say that these films belong in a four part story line. The Land That Time Forgot came first, then came At The Earth's Core, then The People That Time Forgot, and finally Warlords of Atlantis. I had read that Warlords of Atlantis was the best of the bunch, and The People That Time Forgot was second best.

Fairly recently I saw The People That Time Forgot either on Netflix or on my computer. I wasn't expecting much, it starts a little slow, but I started to really get into it as it went on, and by the end I couldn't take my eyes off this film. It reminded me of so many things such as the 1999 TV show The Lost World. After reading about the many similarities between this movie and Star Wars, it only made me appreciate this film even more. And the reviews I read on IMDB were actually spot on. I don't think the actors are bad, but the way they deliver their lines is very different from what is considered good today. The special effects feel incredibly dated and lame, but for back then I think it was ok. The score is really nice. Shot on a beautiful location. Screenplay is actually fairly standard for a fantasy story back then, and it works out pretty good. Overall I really enjoyed this one and it made me want to see the other three.

To my surprise my local grocery store had The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot in a DVD 2 pack! So just last night I got to see The Land That Time Forgot. It definitely isn't as good as The People That Time Forgot, although the special effects for the dinosaurs did seem better. Story wise, The People That Time Forgot definitely feels like an improvement. Like if they sat down and said what can we change to make it better? 1) Get to the lost continent sooner. 2) Don't make your expedition crew so large. 3) Replace dumb caveman with attractive cave girl. 4) Battle Samurai warriors instead of cavemen tribe. So on and so forth, but I still enjoyed The Land That Time Forgot, and I'm looking forward to seeing the other two films.


Imaginext space Blue Alien and Red Alien toy review from Wmpyr

Imaginext blue and red space alien from Fisher-Price
toy review by Wmpyr

The red space alien has a frog looking face, designed to eat your imaginext astronaut figure. It has moving arms with tentacles growing out the sides. His belly is made of a transparent softer rubber. He comes with a smaller parasite alien that sits on his eye and can mind control astronauts by being worn like a helmet.

Even though the bigger frog like red alien is cute, he has enough details to satisfy the adult toy collector. And there is nothing cute about being eaten and then digested in it's soft veined belly. The smaller parasite alien also has a ton of details and it's actually quite grotesque looking, it doesn't look cute at all which would totally appeal to horror movie fans like myself, plus how can you not like mind controlling aliens? I was wondering where Imaginext got it's inspiration to design such toys, and I could only think of films like Ghoulies, and Critters. But then one day I was surfing online for vintage toys and I came across a 1991 toyline called Boglins. These parasite aliens look like Boglins, that must be it, how friggin cool!!!

The Blue space Alien has a button on it's back to make a chomping action. Then it can split into two different aliens where the top part forms an octopus like creature, and the bottom part is a cyclops toad like creature. The cyclops toad can eat your imaginext astronaut figure. It also comes with a smaller parasite alien that resembles a mean looking goblin-octopus hybrid. Even though it cannot attach itself onto the larger Blue alien, it can be worn like a helmet to mind control any unfortunate astronaut figure. Interesting to note is that the top part of the blue alien can also mind control an astronaut although it does look like a ridiculous sombrero hat because it's way too large. It's still a neat feature and I'm glad they did it, it makes me think that the blue alien must be the Emperor of all parasite aliens due to his size and same mind controlling ability.

The Blue Alien has been reviewed a few times by adult toys collectors because of it's similarity to the H2Ghost from The Real Ghost Busters toy line. So the Blue alien seems to be highly sought after by adult toy collectors. I really commend imaginext for producing toys that are based off of toys from yesteryear. Not only will adult toy collectors like myself eat this stuff up. It's also a great way for the parents to share with their kids a toy they are familiar with.

I'm extremely impressed by both sets, I can't quite decide which alien set I prefer, they are both so good, I think I might like the red one slightly more. I'm so glad that Imaginext made these horrific and creative monster aliens! Imaginext sets like this are exactly the reason why I got into Imaginext and as long as they keep making more toys like this, I will keep buying and continue to be a fan.






Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Imaginext Dinosaurs combiners Robot Dinosaur Robosaur review by Wmpyr

Imaginext Dinosaurs combiner set from Fisher-Price
toy review by Wmpyr

There are five dinosaurs you have to buy to complete the entire set. Each dinosaur comes with a driver and his armor, and a mechanical armor for the dinosaur where the driver can sit and operate the dinosaur like the vintage 1988 toy line Dino-Riders. I really like how these dinosaurs are a throwback to the Dino-Riders toy line, especially since I was an 80s kid and I feel that the 80s had some of the coolest toys ever.

We have a T-rex which is the largest and most expensive of the five. Then we have the Stegosaurus and Triceratops which are equal in price and the next largest. And finally we have the Allosaurus and Raptor which are the two smaller dinosuars that are equal in price. The figures are the weakest part of each set, the dinosaurs are really cool, but the best part is when you get all five sets, and combine the armors together to form the Robot Dinosaur which I have been calling Robosaur. This combiner ability really takes this toy to the next level. It's truly amazing!!!

The Dinosaurs are super basic in articulation, and not very detailed because they have an animated look, which actually works great for all but the Stegosaurus which has a goofy looking face. The rest actually look pretty mean for imaginext dinosaur standards. I really like how each Dinosaur is not electronic in any way unlike some of their older Dinosaur sets.

The Robosaur does have electronics, but thank goodness you can remove the batteries. The Robosaur is an awesome sight invoking thoughts of Mecha Gojira, Trypticon, and maybe even a mechanical dinosaur from a monster truck rally. Even though he looks very complex, he's actually made up of five parts. Nice stiff joints in the arm and legs. He can hold up to 6 pilots at one time. He features a lot of gimmicks like a rotating circular saw, working claw, and grappling hook launcher, and two missile launchers. Since the very first Transformer gestalt that I saw, which was Devastator, and the many Sentai/Power Ranger combiner robots I've seen, I've always been interested in combiner bots. A few times I have been able to acquire them and sadly many times they have been a disappointment. Probably because they are too complicated and fragile. The Robosaur really fixes this problem, and the result is a solid and truly gigantic toy.

Imaginext has released a few giant robots, such as the transforming Batbot, but I like Robosaur the best. I like that he's not just some generic looking massive robot but that he actually has a dinosaur looking head. It did feel like a monumental task to collect and purchase all five dinosaurs but at the end of the day I'm glad that I did and I do highly recommend it.






Monday, February 9, 2015

SWAMP THING film review by Wmpyr

Swamp Thing (1982)
film review by Wmpyr

I first watched this film in the 80s as a kid on HBO. It was a bit too scary, but at the same time I enjoyed it, and I liked how he was a different kind of superhero. In 2002ish I owned this film and watched it several times really liking it. It's been more than a decade, and I finally saw it again just now, and I really didn't enjoy it as much. I have nostalgic memories of Swamp Thing, from the first film, to the campy second one, the TV series, comic books and even the Kenner toy line and that cartoon with the awful opening music... The magic just wasn't there anymore, maybe I will enjoy the 2nd film better, who knows. When Dr. Alec Holland said he was working on a serum that combines animal DNA with plant DNA to make a more aggressive plant, it just rubbed me the wrong way. I think plants are plenty aggressive in their own way. It would have made more sense if he had said he wanted to make a plant that would be carnivorous, or have motor functions like animals then it would have been better for me, but yeah I know it's not that big of a deal. This is pseudo science for a freaking movie at the end of the day. The serum suddenly has properties to multiply your true self, which came from left field. And I'm not even sure that Dr. Arcane drinking it and turning into some boar monster really is an extreme reflection of him. Once again it may not be an important note, at the end of the day we get Swampy vs Dr. Arcane in a monster form, that should be cool, but I feel like this film ruins the story of Swamp Thing. The success of this movie probably gave the DC comic writers a headache. Sadly for me this isn't a movie that I want to own anymore.






Saturday, February 7, 2015

Don't Panic, real story by Wmpyr

Don't Panic
Real story by Wmpyr

In college, a few of my buddies and I watched UFC 5 on pay per view. One of the guys there played football in high school who probably weighed over 260 pounds. He said that he wanted to test himself against me in a grappling match, but I think he wanted to see how good I was, since I was pretty much commentator during the UFC show, and stupidly I agreed. I weighed 140 pounds at the time. On campus there was a full sized wrestling mat that I frequently worked out on. So we decided to do it there. We began from the knees and he grabbed me and proceeded to pick me up and slam me over and over and over. I couldn't tell which way was up or down. During the tornado I was caught in, instead of panicking, I told myself, that I needed to do something or I was going to lose. This was the harsh reality, but once I accepted that the next step was to make some kind of beneficial action to turn the tide around. Since I was totally lost, I needed to know where I was. The moment I got slammed again, I remember both of my hands and the side of my face was on the mat, and I knew there was the ground, so I quickly got up, spun around, took his back, and put on the sleeper, and to my relief he tapped out. Now that I look back on the match there are some key points. There was really no need for me to lose my sense of direction since his arms were wrapped around my waist. I could trace his position from that which would also reveal my position, and overall orientation. I was lucky that we weren't on concrete, or that he didn't slam me on my head or knew a slamming technique that could injure my ribs or other body parts. I was probably able to get out of his grip so quickly at the end because after slamming me so many times without resistance, he didn't expect me to suddenly do that at that moment, and he also probably tired himself out, and possibly he didn't know what else to do, so he could have been mentally distracted, thinking thoughts like, what else can I do? Do I just keep doing this? What do I do next? While he was thinking those thoughts, BAM! I was out with a mission called the Rear naked choke. From the big picture of things, by this time I already had many matches like this where I had won all of them by submissions. This guy said he had only wrestled with his football team. So even though he was much larger, stronger, more athletic, and had wrestled, at the end of the day we had a grappling match with submissions and where pins don't count, and that was something I had experience with while he had never done that before.