Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Super Saturday Super Hero Explosion!

Super Friends (1973 - 1986)

Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America (JLA) and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

The name of the program (and the JLA members featured with the Super Friends) have been variously represented (as Super Friends and Challenge of the Super Friends, for example) at different points in its broadcast history. There were a total of 109 episodes and two backdoor-pilot episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, with Batman and Robin appearing in "The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair" and "The Caped Crusader Caper."

Super Friends first aired on ABC on September 8, 1973, featuring well-known DC characters Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Superman, Batman and Robin and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation, and voice talent from these prior programs was brought in to work on the new show. Shortly before the Super Friends series was developed, Superman and Wonder Woman also guest-starred in two episodes of The Brady Kids, while Batman and Robin appeared in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

In addition to the superheroes, a trio of sidekicks was introduced, each of whom were new characters not drawn from the comic books: Wendy and Marvin (voiced by Sherri Alberoni and Frank Welker) and Wonder Dog (also voiced by Frank Welker), none of whom had any special abilities (save the dog's unexplained ability to reason and "talk"). Inspired by the Scooby-Doo gang, the trio—or at least its human members—were depicted as detectives and/or superheroes-in-training.

Each episode began with the heroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer in the Hall of Justice, which served as the headquarters of the team. Colonel Wilcox, a U.S. Army official, was a recurring character who would act as a government liaison with the Super Friends during emergencies. Colonel Wilcox was voiced by John Stephenson. Conflicts were usually resolved with the antagonists persuaded to adapt more reasonable methods to achieve their aims (with the assistance of the heroes). Natural disasters triggered by human (or alien) activity were often shown, and environmental themes featured strongly in the program. Three other DC Comics superheroes were featured as guest stars during this season: the Flash, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow.

This first run of Super Friends, consisting of 16 one-hour episodes which were rerun several times, concluded on August 24, 1974. At this point, the series was cancelled. However, interest in superheroes among ABC's prime-time viewers (with the success of The Six Million Dollar Man and the live-action Wonder Woman series) caused the network to revive Super Friends. The original 16 episodes of the series were rebroadcast as a mid-season replacement, running from February 7, 1976, to September 3, 1977. These episodes were edited into half-hour versions. At the same time DC Comics published a Super Friends comic, which used Wendy and Marvin from issue #1 (Nov 1976) to #6 (Aug. 1977). In the meantime, Hanna-Barbera began production on a revamped version of the show.

Challenge of the Super Friends E1 by Sidney_Tucker

Spider-Man (1967 - 1970)

Spider-Man was an American animated television series that aired from September 9, 1967 to June 14, 1970. It was the first animated adaptation of the Spider-Man comic book series, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, and was jointly produced in Canada (for voice talent) and in the United States (for animation). The first two seasons aired on the ABC television network, and the third was distributed in syndication. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced the first season, and seasons 2 and 3 were produced by Krantz Films in New York City.

The series revolves around teenager Peter Parker, a college student who develops extraordinary strength and spider-like powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Parker decides to become a crime-fighting, costumed superhero, but at the same time he must deal with family tragedies, personal problems and insecurities resulting from being a teenager. As Spider-Man, Parker risks his life to fight super-powered criminals such as Doctor Octopus, Mysterio and the Green Goblin. Peter is also a free-lance photographer for the Daily Bugle, but the newspaper's editor, J. Jonah Jameson, views Spider-Man as a criminal, and continually writes front page headlines that are unfairly critical of Spider-Man's activities.

The first season of the show dealt primarily with Parker's job at the Daily Bugle. The season also focused on his relationship with the gruff, demanding J. Jonah Jameson, his romance with receptionist Betty Brant, and with Peter often being called into action as his alter ego. Parker's life away from the Bugle's newspaper offices and from his Aunt May's Forest Hills home, were almost never dealt with in earlier episodes. Although he was also never seen at college, though, sometimes he would visit various professors he knew (such as the opening of "Sub-Zero for Spidey," when he went to see a professor by the name of "Smartyr"). The character design for young Peter combined the conceptualizations of both Steve Ditko (such as Peter's primary-colored blue suit, yellow vest, white shirt, and red tie) and John Romita, Sr., who served as art consultant for the show.

Season 1 stories mostly involved classic Spider-Man villains from the comic book series, whose captures were often punctuated by a note signed "Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man." Stan Lee served as story consultant for this season of the show. The Ralph Bakshi-helmed seasons 2 and 3, however, almost entirely eliminated villains from the comic book as a cost-cutting measure, choosing to instead have Spider-Man face generic, green-skinned, and magical monsters. This enabled reuse of stock footage from Rocket Robin Hood, another animated series produced by Bakshi.

The New Fantastic Four (1978)

The New Fantastic Four (on-screen title: The Fantastic Four) is an animated series produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Marvel Comics Animation (both owned by Marvel Entertainment) in the late 1970s.

It is the second animated series based on Marvel's comic book series Fantastic Four. The 1978 series replaced the character of the Human Torch with a robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics), because the 1978 television rights to use that character were tied up by a proposed television pilot movie in development by Universal Studios (now a sister company to NBC) that ended up never being produced. - Source

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Gamera ... 50 Years And Still The Biggest Turtle Of Them All!

The Super-Monster even the H-Bomb cannot destroy!

A group of Soviet fighter planes carrying nuclear weapons are shot down near the North Pole. The resulting crash detonates one of the bombs waking a giant prehistoric turtle, Gamera (Gammera is the US release), from a million year old hibernation. The titanic turtle takes little time destroying a research ship before taking off in search of the energy it needs to recharge itself.

Unlike Godzilla the destruction Gamera dishes out on Japan is not nature striking back at mankind, but a simple quest for food. Also, like Godzilla, mankind's vast array of weapons have no effect on the monster. A plan to sedate the creature just long enough to allow tons of dynamite placed around it to be detonated does nothing to curve the carnage.

In a move somewhat out of character the monster saves the life of young boy who was watching it from a lighthouse it was attempting to destroy. Gamera would reach out it's gigantic hand and catch the lad in mid fall and place him safely on the ground. From this point on Gamera would be known as the protector of children.

The world's science community would concoct one final plan to save mankind. Gamera would be lured to a remote island where a giant rocket was constructed to transport the creature far into space where it could never return.


Gamera would take the bait and become trapped in the massive nose cone of the spaceship. Earth was saved......well until the next film anyway.

In the late 1950's and early 1960's Toho had the monopoly on Kaiju (Monster Films) made in Japan. Another film maker Daiei was about to change that with the release of the film "Daikaiju Gamera" or as we know it here in the US "Gamera the Invincible". Gamera would prove to be a success for Daiei and spawn it's own series of films just like their rival Godzilla. In the world of kaiju though Gamera would always play second string behind Toho's mighty monster. The stories and special effects always seemed to be a step below the competition. Eventually Daiei would put their turtle on the shelf while the Godzilla franchise would keep on making films.

In the mid 1990's that would all change. Daiei would decide to bring Gamra out of mothballs and restart the series with new direction, new monsters, and state of the art scripts and effects. The timing was perfect for Daiei. Toho had just decided to give the Godzilla series a break and focus on other projects. The stage was set and the door wide open for a Gamera comeback. The first of the new series "Gamera Guardian of the Universe" would draw great praise from critics and fans alike. In most ways these new Gamera films would be better than the Godzilla films that Toho had been making. Gamera was now on top. The series had new life and Gamera was again on the kaiju scene.

In 2014 Kadokawa studios announced it's plans to begin production on a 50th anniversary Gamera movie. These plans were revealed in the Summer issue of Newtype magazine that published the exclusive scoop on the details. The issue contained storyboard images and other pre-production art. Until that point the 50th anniversary Gamera film had been speculated but not confirmed.

In recent years Kadokawa has shown a great interest in resurrecting the fantasy film franchises' of Daiei starting with 2010's 'Daimajin Kanon, a television drama based on the studio's Daimajin trilogy produced in the late 1960s.

Many fans of the Japanese giant monster genre (kaiju-eiga) consider Kadokawa's three Heisei era (1995 - 1999) to be the best ever produced. That being said the last Gamera movie, the 2006 release 'Gamera: The Brave' failed to recapture that glory. It will be interesting to see just what Kadokawa will have up it's sleeve to try and keep pace with Legendary's 'Godzilla' and the new bread of Kaiju films being produced in Japan as of late.


Like all classic monster movies, it is the folly of man that unleashes a ginormous beast upon the world. This time it is literal fallout from the Cold War — a Soviet bomber is shot down over U.S. airspace in the Arctic Ocean, with the massive radiation from the resultant atomic explosion awakening the ancient, gargantuan Gamera. A long-forgotten legend of the lost continent of Atlantis, the 200-foot-long, fire-eating turtle isn't in a good mood, and proving impervious to all manmade weapons, the colossal chelonian smashes a cataclysmic swath across the globe. But when he arrives in Tokyo, a small boy forms an odd connection with him, allowing authorities to unleash “Plan Z.”

The classic Gamera was directed Noriaki Yuasa, who helmed all seven of the original Gamera entries in the Showa era series between 1965 and 1971, and stars Eiji Funakoshi (Fires On The Plain), Harumi Kiritachi, Junichiro Yamashiko and Jutaro Hojo (Wrath of Daimajin). The subsequent franchise was more kid-friendly (yet ironically bloodier) than Godzilla, who became less menacing and more cuddly himself during the Sixties. The Gamera series was creative in the monstrous nemeses that it pitted against the towering turtle, the most famous being the flying, pointy-headed Gyaos, who was resurrected for the successful trio of movies in the Heisei-era series between 1995 and 1999.

Notable Films:

Gamera Vs. Barugon

Even though Japan's Self-Defense Forces sent Gamera hurtling into space in a giant rocket at the climax of Gamera: The Giant Monster, a stray meteor soon collides with his flying metal prison, freeing the ginormous turtle and allowing him to spin back to Earth. That sounds like it spells doom for Japan, but when another colossal creature named Barugon is awoken from an ancient slumber, all Hell breaks loose. And only Gamera can stop him.

After three greedy Japanese explorers steal a rare opal in New Guinea, not realizing that it is actually a monster egg, and unwittingly subject it to infrared radiation, it hatches and grows to immense size. Barugon is not simply bad because he's big: His elongated tongue, itself a deadly weapon, can emit a freezing spray, while he has the ability to shoot a deadly, laser-like rainbow from his back. And when our favorite fire-spitting Gamera becomes trapped in the creature’s frozen grip, mankind looks like it could be doomed. Can one of the explorers, Keisuke Hirata (Kojiro Hongo, Satan’s Sword), and a New Guinea native, Karen (Kyoko Enami, The Woman Gambler), help to defeat Barugon before it plunges Japan into a new Ice Age? - Info from the DVD release by August Ragone.

Gamera: Super Monster

Gamera: Super Monster, a 1980 kaiju film, was the belated final entry in the Shōwa Gamera series, and the last Gamera film written by Nisan Takahashi and directed by Noriaki Yuasa. It relied heavily on stock footage from previous Gamera films. This movie was made when Daiei was brought out of bankruptcy by Tokuma Shoten publishing company. It was intended as a one-shot movie for children. There wasn't another Gamera film for another 15 years, until his revival in 1995.

Carl Craig talks Destroy All Planets

MIN: Destroy all Planets was your only acting job and it has been noted that you never really wanted to become an actor. For those fans who may have never heard the story, how did you end up being cast as Jim Morgan in the film?

CC: I was an American serviceman's kid in Japan from 1965-1969. My mother is Japanese and her older brother (my uncle) lived next to a Daiei producer. The producer was telling my uncle that Kenji Yuasa had finally gotten approval from Daiei management to have an American in the upcoming Gamera film but they were having a problem finding someone for the part. My uncle explained that he had a nephew that was blond and blue-eyed that spoke Japanese fluently. Numbers were exchanged and when I came home from school one day, my father explained I was going down to audition for a movie part. The rest is history.

MIN: Some of the Gamera films that were produced later also had story lines that featured young people. Were you ever considered for parts in those films? Was Jim Morgan ever considered as a character in those films?

CC: I was never approached or asked to do another Gamera feature. I left Japan in 1969 (the year after Destroy all Planets was done) and was not available anyway.

MIN: What is you fondest memory of working on the film?

CC: Getting out of school for almost 3 months. I had a limo driver and a tutor go to and from the set everyday.

MIN: I read on your website (gone now) about the passing of Gamera director Noriaki (Kenji) Yuasa. Was he a great influence on your life? How did his influences help mold that young man into the man you are today?

CC: Yuasasan was a gentle man. He was great with children and specifically me, a rookie on the set. He was calming, yet very forceful and made his point to me very clearly. He expected me to act when I had no acting experience. He was very fair and expected nothing less than 100% attention to detail. I sorta have that quality but feel I am very fair in my interpersonal relationships.

MIN: Are you surprised at how many fans there are worldwide of the Gamera films? Did you ever think that some 30+ years later people would still remember your role as Jim Morgan?

CC: I was rather freaked out actually. I attended my first convention in 2000 (shortly after it was discovered that I was Carl Craig aka Jim Morgan) I was amazed at all the stories told to me about fans who indicated their sentiments about the film. They called it their favorite Gamera movie. I am still amazed at the fanfare and the following. That is why I make every effort to share my experiences, the memorabilia and my experiences that I have from the film.

MIN: Have you remained a big Kaiju fan throughout the years? If so what are some of your favorites?

CC: I always liked Godzilla and Bob Eggleton made me a believer again. I liked the new Gamera from Kanekosan but feel loyalty to the Yuasa era Gamera. I have seen all the modern Gamera films. I own them all.

MIN: Many fans may not know that after Destroy All Planets you went on to become an Air Force Pilot and an advisor to former U.S. President George Bush. What are you most proudest moments from your post Gamera career?

CC: I retired from the Air Force as a Field Grade officer and senior pilot. I flew the venerable F-4 Phantom and the sleek T-38 Talon. I can say that I lived a dream by accomplishing those feats. I am a 18+ year Federal Law Enforcement officer in the Department of Homeland Security. The duty tour at the White House was an interesting one. I took two oaths to defend the constitution and have worked with some great people, doing an important and sometimes thankless job. I am proud of my Japanese heritage but I am most proud to be an American in a country with no boundaries for those that wish to push the envelope!

Sometimes you are afforded an opportunity of a lifetime. What you do with those opportunities says a lot about yourself. In my case a chance to act in a Kaiju film as a young kid. The other, a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a jet pilot. Lastly, to serve my country in a capacity where dedication to duty, difficult times in leadership and horrific events (Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, etc) compel us all to act in a way we feel fit to express ourselves. Some may never have the opportunities that I had, some may never have something that significant in life just presented to you. I had to work to accomplish my goals in life. I have been successful in some and a failure in others but those failures were not because I didn't try hard enough. One must remember that no one owes us anything. If we expect to succeed in life, we must make the effort, time and time again, until we reach the level we desire to achieve. Failures can be expected, how we deal with failure also makes us better people. My favorite saying is; "Loyalty above all, except honor." Be sure you understand that loyalty has a price and that price cannot exceed the statute of honor. Doing the right thing all the time will get you far in life, selling yourself short of doing the right thing because your loyalty is misplaced, is a sad way to travel the roads of life. The first time you sell yourself short, you'll never be able to look yourself in the mirror ever again. I am proud of the fact that I can still look myself in the mirror, every day!

Black Friday Retro Toys From The Super Groovy 70s: Shogun Warriors

Written By: Ken Hulsey

Imagine being a preteen boy in the late 1970s when Mattel unleashes a series of three-foot-tall Japanese robots that shoot missiles out of their fingers upon a generation that had just begun to discover quirky Asian sci fi via afternoon and late-night movie features (Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman). Everyone I knew had to have one of these toys. Number one, they were huge, and two they fired stuff across the room. In a pre video game America this was the pinnacle of cool toys and it gave my generation the ability to wage giant robot wars in our living room. Insert some HO scale model train buildings and some Hot Wheels cars and you could recreate any scene from a Japanese movie ... if you imagination was good enough.

After the toys initially were introduced, Mattel inserted Godzilla and soon Rodan to the toy line, taking the product to a whole new level. The somewhat smaller Godzilla figure was an instant hit, and every kid had one at the top of their Christmas list.

I myself had several of these, including Godzilla, and to this day I relish my days shooting missiles and fists across my living room, scaring the crap out of my cat, and inflicting robot dominance over all my friends armies.

All will tremble before me!


Shogun Warriors were a line of toys, licensed by Mattel during the late 1970s that consisted of a series of imported Japanese robots all based on then-popular giant robot anime shows. They were originally manufactured in three sizes, the 24-inch (610 mm) plastic versions, the 3.5-inch (89 mm) diecast metal versions and the slightly taller but much more detailed and articulated 5" diecast versions. There were also several vehicles offered and a set that could be put together to form Combattra (Combattler V).

The most attractive features on these toys were the spring loaded launcher weapons such as missiles, star shuriken, and battleaxes. Some robots were able to launch their fists. The later diecast versions of these toys were also attractive for the ability to transform into different shapes. Raydeen, for instance, was changeable into a birdlike spaceship. These "convertible" editions were the precursors to the "Transformers" line of toy robots but unlike the later toyline it was not unusual for minor dissasembly to be required to achieve the secondary form. There was even a robot named Megatron in issue #18 of the comic, then the name was used multipe times for the leader of the evil Decepticons from Transformers. Also, the second form was not always an apparently useful one, a "giant skull" for instance.

Like certain other toylines of the 70s, the Shogun Warriors came under pressure due to safety concerns regarding their spring loaded weapons features. Children would launch the weapons and hit other children or pets in the eye, or else they would swallow the plastic missiles. Toy manufacturers were facing new regulations due to reported child injuries as a result of playing with these toys. Consequently, many toy companies were forced to remodel existing toylines with child safe variations (such as spring loaded "action" missiles that would remain attached to the toy). For this reason, as well as decreasing sales, the Shogun Warriors toyline disappeared by 1980.

Several of the anime from this toyline were seen in the 80s as part of Jim Terry's Force Five series.

Shogun Warriors was licensed in 1979–1980 for a 20-issue series by Marvel Comics, which was written by Doug Moench and featured art by Herb Trimpe. In the comic, the Shogun Warriors were created by a mysterious group called the Followers of the Light. Human operators were chosen from all around the world to operate the massive robots in order to battle evil.

The series is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe, as evidenced by their interactions with Doctor Demonicus in issues #12-14 and the Fantastic Four in the last two issues of the series. Issue #15 was a fill-in issue written by Steven Grant with art by Mike Vosburg. The series took a dramatic turn with issue #16, as the Shogun Warriors' mentors were destroyed by the Primal One and his followers. This alien force decided that Earth's technology had outpaced its morality, and so it was their duty to destroy the Shogun Warriors as well as other powerful humans, including Reed Richards and Tony Stark.

Though he never appeared in the comic series, Red Ronin (a robot created for Marvel's Godzilla comic) was mentioned occasionally and was frequently talked about in the letters pages. - Wiki

Shogun Warriors #1, February 1979 Issue - Marvel Comics

Story by Doug Meonch. Art by Herb Trimpe and Dan Green.

Introducing the Guardians of Freedom - the Shogun Warriors. Massive engines of power, forged by the technology of the future, and piloted by the bravest heroes the world has ever known. In the first exciting issue Raydeen battles the colossal might of Rok-Korr!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Great Thanksgiving items you can only find on your Facebook timeline

This is what Thanksgiving may have looked like on Bespin after the Empire started running things.

One of the worst giant monster films of all time, 'The Giant Claw.' Let's label this one 'When giant puppet turkeys attack!'

Ah, 'The Munsters' that takes me back. Wait ... how many legs does that bird have? I think that may be some sort of beetle.

Godzilla vs The Empire ... what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Not a dang thing, but it's hella cool.

Never trust an Andorian ...

This is what our Thanksgiving dinner will actually look like... D'oh. Grandpa Simpson face down in his plate, that will be me.

Many of you probably can't remember how TV used to be. Today ... I'm watching the dog show.

Hey, that old blind guy was a hell of a cook!

Hey, if Godzilla wants to cook ... you let him!

Honestly ... who doesn't love Barbara Eden? She was 'Jeannie' for crying out loud!

Happy Thanksgiving from Monster Island News!

Thoughts about blessings, faith and life to ponder on Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving a day to, well, be thankful for all the wonderful blessings that we have in our lives.I could go on and on about the things I am personally thankful for. My loving fiance Terri, my wonderful children, Ashley, Chris, Miranda, Mary and Chuck. My new family and friends in Pennsylvania plus my extended family ... you know who you are. My job, my house, this blog, my pets ... lots of things.

Okay I kinda just went on and on a bit.

I urge all of you to take time today to just kinda soak in life. Think about all the things in your life that you are truly thankful for. Enjoy your family, though they may make you nuts, and you may want to throw them in the oven with the turkey, you may realize that life would be empty without them.

You my not come to that conclusion, but I urge you to give it a shot.

Here are some thoughts about blessings, faith and life to ponder while you pound down your meal and watch 'A Christmas Story' yet again.

Blessings: We often forget that everything in life, including life itself, is a blessing from God. As a man of faith I thank God during my daily prayer for all those blessings he has bestowed upon myself and my family. If you ever want to know just how blessed you really are? Just take a few moments to look around you. There are many people who are having a much harder time getting through their daily life than you are. Take time to pray for those people. Even though it may not seem like it to the casual observer, The Lord is taking care of them as well.

We live in a world full of distractions. From cell phones to television our daily lives are filled with things that take our minds off our problems as well as God. I urge you to take the time to look around you. There is a beautiful world out there. Instead of watching another cute cat video, watch some children playing, look at a sunset or if you have the means take a walk in the woods. The miracle of God's creation is all around you and is a much more wonderful show than anything on the television or internet. Take every opportunity to disconnect from technology and grow closer to God through enjoyment of his wonders.

Nobody ever said the having faith would be easy, it's not, in fact it can be one of the single hardest things in your personal life. Everything we are taught in our lives, both consciously and unconsciously, seems to put us in a position not to trust in it. The first moment that a problem, no matter how severe, rears up it's ugly we head we begin to worry. Stress can overwhelm and the mind begins to run wild with scenarios. Stomach upset and a restless nights sleep will undoubtedly follow. Faith, at it's core, centers on a persons ability to overcome this (or at least attempt to do so in earnest.) and accept God's will no matter what. That of course is easier said than done.

Many times God's will, Gods plan, or God's timetable for the events of our lives simply don't mesh with what we want. Everyone lives in a society of instant gratification instant news, instant food and an "I want it now" mindset. God simply doesn't work this way. Just because YOU want it immediately or YOU may feel something is an immediate need does not always mean that it is what is best for you in the grand scheme of things. Very rarely do we as human beings take this in to account. We almost never look at these things as a possible harm. God always does and on numerous occasions He will step in and stop things, not to make our lives hard, but to protect us from unforeseen hardship and to provide an even better opportunity through His grace. This, as one would expect, puts the human race at odds with God. Not because we wish to fight against the Lord, but simply because we are human with all of it's frailties and lack of an omnipotent point of view.

The important thing to remember is that God always has your back. Look back throughout your life and try to remember some of the hardships you have endured. Did you make it through that situation? Did the problem seem to solve itself, or did something unexpected happen to solve the problem? Are you here on the other side of the event with a better perspective on the event wondering why you were so worked up in the first place? That my friend is how God works in our lives through faith. You may not have had a plan at that point in your life, but God did and He delivered you through it to where you are today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No, you want to take a nap because you just ate a turkey the size of a Volkswagen.


I know most of you will be traveling today and not spending much time online ... so here is some boring history stuff that I like, but you may not.

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving meal includes seasonal dishes such as roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The holiday feast dates back to November 1621, when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America’s “first Thanksgiving.” But what was really on the menu at the famous banquet, and which of today’s time-honored favorites didn’t earn a place at the table until later in the holiday’s 400-year history?

While no records exist of the exact bill of fare, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow noted in his journal that the colony’s governor, William Bradford, sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the three-day event. Wild—but not domestic—turkey was indeed plentiful in the region and a common food source for both English settlers and Native Americans. But it is just as likely that the fowling party returned with other birds we know the colonists regularly consumed, such as ducks, geese and swans. Instead of bread-based stuffing, herbs, onions or nuts might have been added to the birds for extra flavor.

Turkey or no turkey, the first Thanksgiving’s attendees almost certainly got their fill of meat. Winslow wrote that the Wampanoag guests arrived with an offering of five deer. Culinary historians speculate that the deer was roasted on a spit over a smoldering fire and that the colonists might have used some of the venison to whip up a hearty stew.


'First Thanksgiving' Was Actually Not the First

Anyone who grew up in the United States know the story of the first Thanksgiving. But that portrait might not be so accurate.

Nearly 400 years ago in 1620, more than 100 people sailing in a ship called the Mayflower left England bound for the New World. Many of those on board were part of a religious group intent on separating from the Church of England, their beliefs outlawed in their home country. Because of the religious intent of their journey, these people referred to themselves as Pilgrims.

Instead of arriving at the southern coast of what would become the United States as intended, their ship instead drifted further north, landing them in Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts. They eventually settled in an abandoned Native American village that they named Plymouth.

During the first year in the New World, the colonists did not fare well. They arrived at the start of winter, so they couldn’t plant crops. Most didn’t know how to hunt game and in were in fact afraid of the wilderness.

Half of the colonists died that first year and the rest would have followed had it not been for the aid of the Wampanoag Indians. In exchange for protection against rival tribes, the Wampanoag allowed the colonists to live on their land and taught them how to grow crops, as the grain varieties they brought from England were ill-suited for their new home. The natives also instructed the Pilgrims on how to hunt and fish.


No, you want to take a nap because you just ate a turkey the size of a Volkswagen.

The Truth About Tryptophan

Every year at Thanksgiving, most of us engage in an annual rite of passage: stuffing ourselves mercilessly with turkey, cranberry sauce, and pie. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday. But inevitably, in that hour between feeling so full you think you'll explode and gearing up for round two with the leftovers, your relatives can find you conked out on the couch.

Along comes Aunt Mildred with her armchair scientific explanation. You're tired, she tells you, because the turkey you just ate is laden with L-tryptophan. Tryptophan, she says, makes you tired.

So is your aunt right? Is the turkey really what's to blame for Thanksgiving sleepiness?

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid. The body can't make it, so diet must supply tryptophan. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. Foods rich in tryptophan include, you guessed it, turkey. Tryptophan is also found in other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs.

Tryptophan is used by the body to make niacin, a B vitamin that is important for digestion, skin and nerves, and serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that plays a large role in mood) and can help to create a feeling of well-being and relaxation. "When levels of serotonin are high, you're in a better mood, sleep better, and have a higher pain tolerance," says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of numerous nutrition books, including her latest, Eat Your Way to Happiness.


Because you better get this right or your family will kill you!

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cool mixture in the fridge until you're ready.

To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside; refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.

Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.

Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.

Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. Discard brine. (This soaking process will decrease the likelihood of too-salty gravy).

Preheat the oven 275 degrees F.

Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it's entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan). Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).

Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange zest and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170 degrees F and until the juices are no longer pink.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve. Reserve pan juices to make gravy. - From The Food Network

Thanksgiving Trivia Time!

When the guests around your Thanksgiving table are busy stuffing their bellies today, here's one way to break the lull in conversation: dazzle them with some tasty turkey trivia.

Here's 9 to get you started. We bet you they'll eat them up!

1. A tradition is born: TV dinners have Thanksgiving to thank. In 1953, someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that Thanksgiving -- by 26 TONS! Some industrious soul came up with a brilliant plan: Why not slice up the meat and repackage with some trimmings on the side?Thus, the first TV dinner was born!

2. Going shopping?: Not if you're a plumber. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for them, according to Roto-Rooter, the nation's largest plumbing service. After all, someone has to clean up after household guests who "overwhelm the system."

Austin Powers: Who does Number 2 work for? Who does Number 2 work for?
Cowboy in the next toilet stall (Tom Arnold): Yeah, that's right! You show that turd who's boss!

3. This land is my land: There are four places in the United States named Turkey. Louisiana's Turkey Creek is the most populous, with a whopping 435 residents. There's also Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona. Oh, let's not forget the two townships in Pennsylvania: the creatively named Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot!

4. Leaving a legacy: When Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, it was thanks to the tireless efforts of a magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale. Her other claim to fame? She also wrote the nursery rhyme, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cinematic Turkeys for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure

The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak
Written by Ken Hulsey

We begin our list of cinematic 'turkeys' in honor of Thanksgiving with a little film that even a hundred naked women couldn't save 'The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak'. Yes this movie which rolled onto the scene way back in 1984 has everything that this spry young teenage boy would want to see in a movie, action, bondage, Tawny Kitaen, hundreds of women in tight leather outfits, topless cat fights, and boobs boobs and more boobs. Alas, none of these things could save this movie. I can still remember thinking to myself, 'Oh my God, why did she have to take her top off?'. You really never want a fourteen-year-old perpetually horny male to be so bored by a movie that he doesn't even want to see breasts anymore. Yet that is exactly what happened. Even my best friend who was a bigger perv than me got tired of the endless parade of jiggling flesh. NOW THAT'S REALLY SAYING SOMETHING!

Here is your plot ... yes this movie has a plot, though I couldn't really remember it:

Gwendoline arrives in China in a box, and is helped out of her immediate predicament by a female contact and a devil-may-care adventurer. She's on a mission to find her father, who was last seen searching for a rare butterfly in the Land of the Yik Yak. They confront the evil Cheops in an attempt to find Gwen's lost father and the butterfly, and face many other challenges to their mission. - Written by Ed Sutton

Soggy Bottom U.S.A

The 1981 movie 'Soggy Bottom U.S.A.' holds a special distinction in my life. It is the only movie that I have ever walked out of.

As a movie fan who generally enjoys bad movies it should be noted that I sat through such cinema classics as 'Robot Jox' and 'The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak', yet about fifteen minutes into this 'turkey' my best friend and I looked at each other and headed for the exit.

Just how bad could this film be?

Well let's just say that when a comedy relies on dog flatulence to get laughs you know your in trouble. Yes, indeed the running joke of 'Soggy Bottom' is a hound dog farting, a gimmick that the film makers would go to every time the plot would start to lag. Since the plot of this one was thin to start with that hound must of let loose at least five times before I reached the parking lot.

The plot ... minus the gas:

Commotion and trouble abound in Soggy Bottom when the sheriff’s plans for the annual coon dog race are mucked up by the arrival of country songstress Miss Dusty. Meanwhile town inventor Jacob Gorch perilously speeds about in his make-shift airboat, and the town Treasury men plot to blow up the moonshine still.

Insert your own redneck jokes here.

Life Stinks

It is given fact that some the greatest comedies of all time have come from the creative genius of film maker Mel Brooks. 'Blazing Saddles', 'Young Frankenstein', 'History of the World: Part 1' are just a couple of examples of this comedic genius and each is a true cinematic classic in their own right. That being said in 1991 Brooks asked the question 'What is funny about being pour and homeless?' and the answer turned out to be 'nothing.' After such a long string of hits the man behind 'Sheriff Bart' and 'Hedley Lamarr' dropped a bomb onto the cinematic landscape known as "Life Stinks" a film which unlike any of his prior efforts failed to garnish many laughs or connect with his numerous fans. It would seem that the only people who may have identified with the theme of the film unfortunately couldn't afford a ticket and it failed.

That last bit was a joke ....

Here is the plot:

A rich businessman makes a bet he can survive on the streets of a rough Los Angeles neighborhood for 30 days completely penniless. During his stay he discovers another side of life and falls in love with with a homeless woman. - Written by John Sacksteder

Creature From The Haunted Sea

Cookie Monster Strikes!

Here at Robo Japan we like to feature some of the best monster films ever made, like "Creature From The Black Lagoon" and "Them!." To balance this out we also like to feature some of the worst monster movies ever made like "Green Slime" and our present topic "Creature From The Haunted Sea." Both types of films can be enjoyed on many levels for many different reasons. Creature From The Haunted Sea is no exception. The levels of just plain strangeness are far to numerous to be overlooked. Only famed "low-budget" movie maker Roger Corman could have concocted such a strange mix of camp, cheesy rip-offs, cliche characters and the most poorly designed movie monster ever. Hey at least the Ro-Man from Robot Monster had some charisma. Don't get me wrong. I actually somewhat liked the film for just these same reasons. Like I mentioned before bad movies have their enjoyable levels.

Corman actually made the film in three days. He had just finished filming "The Last Woman On Earth" and decided that the tropical local of the film would be great for a monster movie, so he took the money he had left over and the film's cast and hurriedly threw the production together. How "low-budget" is film made from the left over money from another "low-budget" film? To be honest the lack of funds really doesn't show to much in the production...well..not until you see the monster. The film's title character is a horrible combination of "Cookie Monster" and "Sigmund the Sea Monster." One can only assume that such a awful movie monster was the result of having only $10 left to make the costume.

On the outset the plot sounds very promising. An American Secret Agent is sent to investigate a band of mobsters who intend to steal treasure from a group of Cuban Military Officers who are fleeing Castro's revolution. The mobsters come up with a plan to knock off the Cubans and blame their deaths on a legendary sea creature that is rumored to live near the islands along their route. The mobsters soon learn that the monster isn't a myth at all and the whole group finds themselves marooned on the creature's island home fighting for their lives. Sounds like a pretty good monster plot right?

If the film had been left to work as a standard "B" monster flick the results might have been different, but Corman wanted the movie to be a comedy. Inserted into the monster story are a Humphrey Bogart rip-off mob boss, a henchman who only communicates in animal sounds, two separate love triangles, and more cliche dialogue than could choke a horse. The henchman who communicates in roars and growls is annoying enough, but he soon meets up with older woman who does the same. The other love interests only make the film a little more interesting at best. The Cuban College Girl loves the Secret Agent. The Secret Agent loves The Moll. The Moll loves Bogey. Bogey, of course, loves the treasure. It all really doesn't matter in the end because everyone becomes lunch anyway.

Overall the film doesn't really work as either a monster film or a comedy. The result is a just plain weird film. It is however entertaining for this reason alone. There are a few actual funny moments, but you really have to look for them. The monster really has to be seen to be believed. The film is a true testament of what can be achieved with $50 in your pocket and three days to blow.

The Creeping Terror

My God!!! What Is It???!

The answer is carpet, straw and vacuum cleaner hoses.

The monster that appears in the cult classic 'The Creeping Terror' is one of the worst to ever appear on the silver screen, rivaled only by Roger Corman's Cookie Monster in 'Creature from the Haunted Sea' (See Above), Phil Tucker's gorilla with a space helmet in 'Robot Monster', and Fred F Sears' puppet buzzard in 'The Giant Claw.' With a head covered in old vacuum cleaner hoses, a body covered in carpet samples and a mouth that looks mysteriously like a vagina 'The Creeping Terror' is quite a sight to behold. According to reports, however this was not what was supposed to appear in the film at all. Only a few days before shooting was to begin, the original monster was stolen. Pressed for time and out of money, director Vic Savage and his crew hastily threw together the infamous "pile of carpets" monster that appears in the film.

That however was not the only problem that plagued the production of this cinema dud. During post production the producer lost the original soundtrack. Unable to get all of the cast back together for dubbing, they were forced to record a narration and use surviving alternate takes to replace it. It shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that most of the cast wouldn't have wanted to come back in for dubbing due mostly to the fact that many of them (naive Hollywood hopefuls desperate to get into a film) had been duped into paying the producers for parts in the film.

Indeed 'The Creeping Terror' is a mess of cardboard spaceship sets with controls labeled in English, victims having to climb into the monster costume to be eaten, and a story that is all over the place.

The only good point in the movie comes shortly after the monster arrives at the dance hall where women in tight pants shake their booties, a woman who is trying to flee is thrown down by a man who grabs her arm. Her dress and brassiere are torn away, briefly revealing her breasts. The woman looks surprised, covers her chest and hides behind a man for the remainder of the shot.

That two seconds of boobies was about the only thing worth seeing in the whole film!

On that point not many people have ever seen 'The Creeping Terror' due to the fact that there is no evidence that the film ever appeared in theaters and moreover there is no evidence that the film ever appeared on television prior to 1976. In fact the movie may never have reached the public's attention had it not been featured on an episode of 'Mystery Science Theater 3000.'

Narrator: 'Despite Brett's inquiries about what Martin had seen in the spacecraft, he avoided specific details for fear of disturbing her more than she was. If the truth were known, Martin was more than a little disturbed himself.'

After seeing a giant vagina wrapped in carpet who wouldn't be a little shaken right?

Flowers in the Attic.

After the sudden death of their father, four children — teenagers Chris and Cathy and 5-year-old twins Cory and Carrie — find themselves penniless and forced to travel with their mother Corinne to live with her wealthy parents (whom the children had neither met nor been told about before). Corinne informs her children that there has been tension between herself and her parents for many years, but does not elaborate and simply says they had cut her out of their lives for something she had done of which they disapproved. The children trust her, though Cathy is skeptical as she wonders what happened that caused the rift between her mother and her parents.

Corinne's stepmother Olivia, a religious fanatic, takes her daughter and her children into her home, though with the harsh condition that the children must be sequestered away in a locked room so that her husband Malcolm (who is dying) will never know of their existence. To that end, the children are shut inside one bedroom of the mansion, only with access to the mansion's attic via a secret stairway. It is on their first day there that the grandmother reveals the shocking truth of what caused Corrine to be disowned years ago: Corinne and her husband were really niece and uncle, making their love incestuous and their children the product of incest. When Corrine finally returns to the children that night, she is forced to show the children that she has been savagely bullwhipped by her stepmother as a punishment for her incestuous relationship and having children from the union. Corinne admits to the children that she and their father were niece and uncle, and her parents were livid as they believed Corrine disgraced the family; the children do not say anything but seem to accept it. Corinne tells the children that her parents made it clear that if she had any children by her uncle she would be disinherited, but because her father doesn't know about them she still has a chance to get the money when he dies. She says that their confinement will only be for a short time: her father is deathly ill, and once she is able to convince him to secure her inheritance, they will be free when he dies.

The plot focuses on the children's ordeal as shut-ins and their clashes with the ultra-religious grandmother, who loathes the children due to their incestuous conception. The children struggle to survive, even as their mother's visits quickly taper off. In particular, Olivia becomes obsessed with Chris and Cathy, out of the warped belief that they have become lovers and are repeating the same incestuous acts like Corrine and her husband did. Discovering them sleeping in the same bed one morning, the grandmother smashes Cathy's ballerina music box, given to her by her deceased father. After Olivia later discovers the two innocently talking while Cathy is bathing, she calls them sinners. Chris manages to chase her out, but Olivia later ambushes Cathy in the bedroom, locks Chris in the closet preceding the attic, and hacks off Cathy's hair with a pair of scissors. She then starves them for a week, and Chris is forced to feed Cory his own blood so he doesn't die of starvation.

As time goes on, the children are often sick, especially Cory and Carrie. Chris and Cathy manage to secretly remove the hinges from their locked door on a few occasions to sneak out of their room, and discover that their mother has been living a life of luxury as well as dating a young lawyer, Bart Winslow. She does eventually come to visit them again, and they confront her about not visiting them anymore and leaving them to suffer at the hands of their grandmother. Corinne is very defensive and acts insulted, cries that they are cruel to think that she is deliberately neglecting them or enjoying life while they are locked up, then storms out. Shortly after, Cory becomes deathly ill. The children ask Olivia and Corinne to take Cory to the hospital, which they do, but later Corinne returns to inform them Cory has died. The children are devastated, but not long after they start to suspect that Olivia has been poisoning them when their pet mouse is found dead after eating part of a cookie. Chris researches and concludes that Cory and their mouse were killed via arsenic poisoning, mixed in the sugar on the cookies they are served with breakfast. The remaining siblings decide to leave the attic once and for all.

No teenagers, no matter how much they love their mother, would spend years locked up in an attic living off each others blood and rats. The second the food stopped showing up, I would be downstairs raiding the refrigerator.

This one was neither suspenseful or entertaining. You find yourself screaming at the screen, "Just leave you idiots!".

Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace

Since a new 'Star Wars' movie is almost upon us, why not end with George Lucas' biggest misstep since having Greedo shoot first, 'Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace.' 'Episode 3' was okay, 'Episode 2' was decent, but 'Episode 1' is almost unwatchable. From horrible acting, mostly from Jake Lloyd, terrible dialogue, a plot that drags on and on, and the ridiculously unfunny Jar Jar Binks this film is a mess from the get go.

In fact if it wasn't for the climatic duel between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul there would be almost no reason to ever watch this one at all.

Here's your trivia:

The words chanted during the "Duel of the Fates" are from Robert Graves' poem "The White Goddess". "The White Goddess" is a translation of the original version, "Cad Goddeu" or "The Battle of Achren", an early Celtic work of great antiquity also known as "The Battle of the Trees," which was originally composed by Gwion and is found in the "Book of Taliesin", a Thirteenth Century Welsh manuscript . John Williams had the lines "Under the tongue root a fight most dread, and another raging, behind, in the head" translated into Sanskrit. The translation sung in the movie is as follows: "Korah Matah Korah Rahtahmah Korah Rahtamah Yoodhah Korah Korah Syahdho Rahtahmah Daanyah Korah Keelah Daanyah Nyohah Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Syadho Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Korah Daanyah Korah Rahtahmah Korah Daanyah Korah Rahtahmah Nyohah Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Syadho Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Korah Korah Matah Korah Rahtahmah Korah Daanyah Korah Rahtahmah Nyohah Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Syadho Keelah Korah Rahtahmah Korah" - IMDB

Now let me get this straight, Anakin has a horrible life working on spaceships and robots, has his own robot, races a pod-racer and he and his mom live in an nice apartment together. I don't know about you but I think any kid would cut off his right arm to have a life like that.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas For The Geek In Your House

From View Obscura Comics and Entertainment Earth

Guardians of the Galaxy Electronic Dancing Baby Groot Figure

Sale Price: $14.50 - Order Here

Dance, Groot, dance! Based on the now-classic scene from the closing credits of the blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, this official replica of baby Groot in his white flower pot dances to an electronic instrumental version of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" when switched on. Bring home baby Groot and start dancin'! Groot with flower pot Measures approximately 9-inches Tall. Requires 3x "AA" Batteries, Included.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens 3 3/4-Inch Jungle and Space Captain Phasma Action Figure

Price: $8.99 - Order Here

Out-of-this-world action figure from Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
The Star Wars The Force Awakens 3 3/4-Inch Jungle and Space Captain Phasma Action Figure includes an awesome blaster, a removable cape, and a buzz-saw weapon!
Each 3 3/4-inch action figure is articulated and includes accessories.

Control the galaxy with the Star Wars The Force Awakens 3 3/4-Inch Jungle and Space Captain Phasma Action Figure! This 3 3/4-inch scale action figure includes a pair of weapons and a removable cape. Her blaster pistol connects with her thigh for storage, while her spinning saw weapon is sure to tear a chunk out of Resistance forces. Action figure features 5 points of articulation. Ages 4 and up.

Rule The Galaxy As Father And Son ... D'Oh' - Reproduction Artwork Print - Homer and Bart Simpson Star Wars Parody - by Matt Groening

Price $10 and Up - Order Here

Sizes 8 x 10 to 24 x 36

This is a reproduction photo print featuring an image of Homer Simpson as Darth Vader and Bart Simpson as Luke Skywalker. Looks like you have been trained well by Milhouse young Simpson ... D'Oh'! The print looks amazing matted and framed and will make a great addition to your Star Wars memorabilia collection. A must for all Simpson's fans!

The Watermark does NOT appear on the print!

The image is printed on professional studio grade matte paper by a professional photography studio not a home printer.

The item will be shipped in an acid free bag with a protective board to prevent folding or creasing.

Metal Gear Solid Sniperwolf Bishoujo Statue - Free Shipping

Price: $79.99 - Order Here

Sniper Wolf joins Kotobukiya's line of Bishoujo statues! Beautifully sculpted in 1:7 scale, Sniper wold sits back on a crate, cradling her sniper rifle while a wolf pup looks on from its spot in the broken crate. Crafted from plastic, the Metal Gear Solid Sniperwolf Bishoujo Statue measures approximately 7 1/2-inches tall and comes packaged in a window-flap box.

Sniper Wolf was one of the renegade members of Foxhound, who participated in the revolt on Shadow Moses Island, along with the Next-Generation Special Forces. She was a Kurdish sharpshooter who had a great love for wolves and dogs and was considered a highly skilled sharpshooter, capable of waiting for her targets for days, even weeks, without eating or moving.

Zombie Stormtrooper - Star Wars - Zombies - Stormtroopers - Framed Original Artwork Print

$49.99 USD - Order Here

This is an original framed and matted (10x13) 8.5 x 11 print featuring an image of a Zombie Stormtrooper from the expanded Star Wars universe. The print looks amazing matted and framed and will make a great addition to your movie memorabilia collection. A must for Star Wars and Horror fans!

Note: Stand not included.

This image was created by renowned California artist Ken Hulsey.

The image is printed on professional studio grade matte paper by a professional photography studio not a home printer.

The item will be shipped in an acid free bag with a protective board to prevent folding or creasing.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Klingon Bat'leth Weapon Foam Prop Replica

Price: $42.99 - Order Here

Bring home Worf's baddest battle blade!
This sword has been forged by the fires of the Klingon heart!
Soft foam construction reduces accidental High Council mishaps. Sword unable to actually defeat Duras in combat.

Add extra authenticity to your Star Trek costume with this soft foam replica of the most honorable weapon of all, the Klingon Bat'leth! Modeled on an actual prop used on screen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the foam construction makes it perfectly safe - yet the detailed paint deco is so realistic you may mistake it for a lock of Kahless' own hair dipped in lava and twisted into a weapon to make empires tremble! Measures a massive 4-feet long!

Look Out America! - Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Comic Book - Framed and Matted Print

$49.99 USD - Order Here

Was $60!!

This is a poster graphic print featuring the cover image from Marvel comics adaptation of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The print looks amazing matted to 8 x 10 in a 10x15 frame and will make a great addition to your movie memorabilia collection. A must for all Godzilla fans!

This image was created by renowned California artist/photographer Ken Hulsey.

DC Icons Flash Action Figure

Price: $22.99 - Order Here

From 1980s Crisis on Infinite Earths, it's the Flash! Barry Allen is ready to train with his Speed Force treadmill! The DC Icons Flash Action Figure measures approximately 6-inches tall.

T.A.R.D.I.S - Doctor Who - Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey - Signed and Numbered Poster Print

$10.00 USD - Order Here

This is an original poster graphic print featuring an image of the iconic time machine from Doctor Who known as the TARDIS. The print looks amazing matted from 8 x 10 to 24 x 36 and framed and will make a great addition to your movie memorabilia collection. A must for all Doctor Who fans!

This image was reworked by renowned California photographer Ken Hulsey.

Each image is a limited edition that is signed by the artist and numbered (1-50).

The image is printed on professional studio grade glossy paper by a professional photography studio not a home printer.

The item will be shipped in an acid free bag with a protective board to prevent folding or creasing.

Mazinger Z 12-Inch Vinyl Action Figure - Free Shipping

Price: $94.99 - Order Here

Mazinger as a 12-inch action figure!
Made from vinyl, it features 21 points of articulation.
The super-robot from the classic manga series and anime TV show Mazinger Z.
Includes an Iron Cutter, a Reinforced Rocket Punch, and 2 sets of hands!

That's one imposing robot! Super poseable with 21 points of articulation, the Mazinger Z 12-Inch Vinyl Action Figure is an essential addition to the Super Robot Series from High Dream. This 12-inch tall action figure is made from vinyl and other plastics, and recreates the enormous super-robot from the classic manga series and anime TV show Mazinger Z in imposing form! The Mazinger Z 12-Inch Vinyl Action Figure features ratchet articulation and ball-jointed feet, head, legs, and shoulders. It comes with an Iron Cutter, a Reinforced Rocket Punch, and 2 sets of hands (fist and flat palm) in blister packaging in a window box. Ages 3 and up.

Forbidden Planet Glossy Photo Quality Lobby Card Lithograph

$10.00 USD - Order Here

This is an original poster graphic print featuring an image from Forbidden Planet. The print looks amazing matted to 8 x 10 to 24 x 36 and framed and will make a great addition to your movie memorabilia collection. A must for all Science Fiction movie fans!

Each image is a limited edition that is signed by the artist and numbered (1-100).

The image is printed on professional studio grade glossy paper by a professional photography studio not a home printer.

The item will be shipped in an acid free bag with a protective board to prevent folding or creasing.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Unhooded Kylo Ren Bobble Head

Price: $12.99 - Order Here

From Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens comes Kylo Ren as a bobble head! A dark warrior strong with the Force, Kylo Ren commands First Order missions with a temper as fiery as his unconventional lightsaber. This Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Unhooded Kylo Ren Bobble Head features Kylo without his hood, measures 7-inches tall, and comes with a decorative Star Wars stand.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Super Saturday Sci Fi Explosion!

Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975)

Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series, by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises in association with 20th Century Fox Television, based upon Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. Boulle's novel had previously inspired five films and a TV series, beginning with the 1968 film Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston. Unlike the film, its sequels, and the 1974 live action TV series, which involved a primitive ape civilization, Return to the Planet of the Apes depicted a technologically advanced society, complete with automobiles, film, and television; as such it more closely resembled both Boulle's original novel and early concepts for the first Apes movie which were changed due to budgetary limitations in the late 1960s.

Airing on NBC, the series premiered on September 6, 1975 and was broadcast until September 4, 1976, although only thirteen episodes were produced. The series aired Saturday mornings at 11:00 AM Eastern/10:00 AM Central.

As with the film and the live-action series, Return to the Planet of the Apes involved a handful of astronauts from Earth who were hurtled into the future and found themselves stuck in a world populated by advanced apes and primitive humans. Over the course of the thirteen episodes the astronauts attempted to keep one step ahead of the apes while at the same time trying to make some sense of what had happened. Additionally, they did their best to safeguard the human population from the apes.

Each episode was self-contained to an extent. The story threads did weave in and out, with characters and plots from earlier episodes popping up in later ones. In order for the series to make any sense, the episodes need to be viewed in order.

The animated series does chronologically fit with the rest of the Apes universe. It borrows characters and elements from the movies, the TV series, and the original novels. General Urko is borrowed from the TV series. Along with Zaius, Zira, and Cornelius, Brent (renamed here as Ron Brent) and Nova are from the movie series. Krador and the Underdwellers in the animated series are loosely based on the mutants in Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes

As with the live action television series, the animated series was concluded before the resolution of the storyline, and we do not learn if the astronauts are able to return to their own time period. But the animated series does otherwise offer a conclusion. Doctor Zaius, in recognising the threat of a military overthrow from General Urko, assures that he is relieved of command. Further, Cornelius and Zira, in recognising that Simian Society was established long after human society had deteriorated, believed that the time was right for humans to be offered equal rights to that of apes, and intend to present their proposition to the Senate.

Valley of the Dinosaurs (1974)

Deep in the heart of the Amazon, the Butler family was exploring an uncharted river canyon. Suddenly, caught up in a violent whirlpool, they were propelled through an underground cavern and flung into a hostile world of giant prehistoric creatures...a world that time forgot. Now, befriended by a family of cave dwellers, each day is an adventure in survival for the Butlers in...the Valley of the Dinosaurs!

Science teacher John Butler along with his wife Kim, their two children, Greg and Katie, and their dog, Digger, are on a rafting trip on the Amazon River. As they are going down the river, their boat hits a rock and capsizes. The family then gets caught in a whirlpool. When they surface upon going through an underground cavern, they find themselves in a prehistoric valley where they meet caveman Gorok, his wife Gara, their two children Lok and Tana, and their pet, a baby Stegosaurus named Glump. The two families soon become friends and Gorok and his family help the Butlers in their many attempts to find a way to return home while trying to survive in the valley.

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon (1979)

Blasting off on a desperate mission to save Earth from the evil plottings of the tyrannical space lord Ming the Merciless. Dr. Hans Zarkov and Dale Arden have joined me, Flash Gordon, on a fantastic journey into worlds where peril and adventure await us.

The series was produced as a made-for-television feature film. When NBC saw the finished work, it was decided to turn the work into an animated TV series. The change in format resulted in the story being significantly expanded with a subplot of Ming secretly giving military technology to Hitler being dropped, as well as being set in the present day rather than during World War II. When the series was canceled after its 2nd season, the original footage was reassembled with the original soundtrack, including the final role of Ted Cassidy, and aired on primetime in 1982 as a TV movie, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All.

The animated series first season follows, more or less, the traditional Flash Gordon mythos, opening with the launch of the rocketship carrying Flash, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov from somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere (or at least the opening scene shows the ship clearing Earth's atmosphere above Europe and the Middle East). The series actually opens with the crash of the Terran ship into an ocean on Mongo after being attacked during the final approach to the planet.

In the opening scenes, after being captured by Ming's Gill Men, Gordon, Arden, and Zarkov meet King Thun the Lion-man and Prince Barin of the forest-kingdom of Arboria. This coincidence (meeting reigning royalty of two different realms by apparent chance) sets much of the tone of the series, in which it must be concluded either that logic is irrelevant, or that Destiny is at work in the arrival of Flash Gordon on Mongo. It is later revealed that an earlier king of all Mongo, more powerful than Ming, was named Gor-dan, and that he strongly resembled Flash. When he asks Zarkov why this is, Zarkov simply replies that there are some things even science can't explain.

The remainder of the first season consists of the adventures of Gordon and company across the face of Mongo, in traditional pulp style passing from one near-death situation to another with a cheery disregard for probability or logic, and a definite sense of fun. The protagonists meet Emperor Ming almost immediately, and Ming is revealed as being the classic archetype of the Evil Overlord. Flash later gains the aid of King Vultan, ruler of the Hawkmen and the bandit chieftain Gundar, the Desert Hawk as friends and allies, and also gains the attention of many of Mongo's female monarchs, such as the adventurous Queen Undina of Coralia, the kindly, smoky-voiced Queen Fria of Frigia, Azura, the powerful but delusional Witch-Queen of Syk, former lover of King Gor-dan who believes Flash is his reincarnation, and the strong-willed Queen Desira of Tropica. But the most notable of these admirers was, of course, Princess Aura. Violence is somewhat limited but not completely absent. Flash carries a ray pistol after the fifth episode, but uses it only occasionally, to set a stump aflame and attract attention, to bring down an avalanche on an attacking monster, to blast through a wall, and occasionally to stun but not kill adversaries. Prince Barin and his men are armed with "ice arrows" that freeze whatever they hit. Most other forces, including King Vultan's Hawk Men, the Frigian "snow troopers," and the royal guard and desert tribesmen of Tropica are armed with conventional ray weapons that disintegrate whatever they hit, as are Ming's forces, mainly composed of robots, although led by human officers. Ship to ship combat does result in the shooting down of several fighters on both sides, and there is a limited amount of hand-to-hand fighting in certain scenes.

Godzilla (1978)

Godzilla is a 30-minute animated series co-produced between Hanna-Barbera Productions and Toho Ltd. in 1978 and aired on NBC in the United States and TV Tokyo in Japan. The series is an animated adaptation of the Japanese Godzilla movies produced by Toho. The series continued to air until 1981, for a time airing in its own half-hour timeslot until its cancellation.

The series follows the adventures of a team of scientists on the Calico, a hydrofoil research vessel, headed by Captain Carl Majors. The rest of the crew include scientist Dr. Quinn Darien, her nephew Pete, and her research assistant Brock. Also along for the ride is Godzuki, the "cowardly cousin" of Godzilla and Pete's best friend, who has a lighthearted role in the show. Godzuki can attempt to fly using the small wings under his arms. Whenever Godzuki tries to breathe fire, he usually just coughs up smoke rings.

The group often call upon Godzilla by using a special communicator when in peril, such as attacks by other giant monsters. Godzuki is also able to howl to summon Godzilla. Godzilla's size in the animated series shifts radically, sometimes within a single episode or even one scene. For instance, Godzilla's claw can wrap around a large ship, and only minutes later the team of scientists fit rather neatly on Godzilla's palm. In addition, Godzilla's trademark atomic breath is altered so he breathes simple fire. He can also shoot laser beams from his eyes much like Superman's heat vision.

Hanna-Barbera was unable to use Godzilla's trademark roar, so they cast Ted Cassidy to voice the character, similar to his role in the live-action series The Incredible Hulk.

In regards to the origin of the series, Joseph Barbera came up with the idea of licensing Godzilla. He explained in a 1990's interview "My job back then was to dig up new characters, new ideas, new shows, and I had wanted to do Godzilla for awhile. I liked the monster thing, and the way it looked, and I thought we could do a lot with it. So I contacted Henry Saperstein, who was a very good friend and we got talking about it. Then there was an executive at the network who wanted to get into the act, and urged us to lighten the story line up. So, I came up with the character Godzooky, who was like his son. The show had a sort of father-son relationship, which we had done before on shows like Augie Doggie and Jonny Quest.

Barbera also explained why the show had little violence and deviated from the source material. "The problem with the show was simply this: When they start telling you in Standards and practices, "Don't shoot any flame at anybody, don't step on any buildings or cars," then pretty soon, they've taken away all the stuff he represents. That became the problem, to maintain a feeling of Godzilla and at the same time cut down everything that he did. We managed to get a fair show out of it. It was OK. Godzooky kind of got the kids going.

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