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Showing posts from June, 2010

"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" Available At G-FEST XVII!

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"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" Available At G-FEST XVII! by Armand Vaquer Those of you thinking about taking a kaiju vacation to Japan are in luck! Attendees for this year's G-FEST XVII in Chicago will be able to pick up a copy of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan at the Monsterland Toys booth in the dealers room. So be sure to stop by Monsterland Toys and pick up a copy while supplies last! Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The First Character Sketch From "Goldilocks In Zombie Land"

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Jeff Hughes Last month I reported that Comic Book Divas were getting ready to launch an online web comic series about a zombie hunting Goldilocks who's likeness was being modeled after scream queen Scarlet Salem. Well, today I was sent the first preliminary artwork of the gun-toting "Goldi" by Jason Dube. As you can imagine, this is not the Goldilocks that everyone grew up with. She's sexy, savvy, and carriers a plethora of weapons that would get the "Predator" all worked up. Here is a copy of the release that came with this updated version of the character that sprang from the pen of English author and poet Robert Southey way back in 1837. The preliminary artwork is beginning to arrive from artist Jason Dube on some of the primary characters for the upcoming web series, we are going to begin story boarding the first pages very soon. The first primary character is Goldilocks that is being portrayed by horror actress and

Andy Serkis To Play Caesar In RISE OF THE APES

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: WENN Actor Andy Serkis, who has the pleasure of playing both King Kong and Gollum, will now have the chance to play another of cinema's greatest simians, Caesar, from the "Planet of the Apes." Indeed, the performer who has the uncanny ability to mimic animal movements, has been cast as the leader of an ape rebellion over mankind in 20th Century Fox's reboot of the popular "Apes" franchise entitled, "Rise of the Apes." Though many news outlets are reporting that Serkis will be donning an ape costume and makeup similar to the kind made famous by John Chambers in the 1960s and 70s, it is safe to assume from the reports that have surfaced that the actor will once again be used as a model for a CGI character. Of course, the fact that Peter Jackson's effects house, WETA Digital, has been hired to work on the film's effects probably is a dead giveaway here. Not much is known about the film as of yet, but early

Wonder Woman's New Look and Direction

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Wonder Woman's New Look and Direction by Armand Vaquer Source: DC Comics' The Source My mom is probably spinning in her grave. DC Comics has announced that Wonder Woman has a new look and a new direction: Starting today, Wonder Woman will appear like you’ve never seen her before. As you may have seen in THE NEW YORK TIMES, bestselling artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee has redesigned her costume for the modern era, just in time for BABYLON 5 creator and critically acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Don Kramer and Michael Babinski to launch the Amazon Princess into an exciting and epic new era of adventure. Starting with their story in WONDER WOMAN #600, which is in comic shops today, JMS and Kramer will begin a run that is both forward-looking and true to the legendary character, planting her firmly in the modern era. But enough about what I have to say. Mr. Straczynski took some time out of his schedule to lay out some of his plans for WONDER

"Destroy All Planets 2010": The Case of the Missing DVD

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"Destroy All Planets 2010": The Case of the Missing DVD by Armand Vaquer An alert fan discovered today that the Retromedia DVD, Destroy All Planets 2010 has "mysteriously vanished" from Amazon.com's website. No doubt this may be due to the issues Ryan Clark and other fans raised pertaining to the rights issue at Amazon.com and several kaiju-oriented message boards. This is probably a cautionary move on Amazon.com's part until the rights issues are resolved. UPDATE: The DVD is still being offered at Amazon.com . FOR THE RECORD: Kaiju historian August Ragone commented on several message boards about the rights issues. I had quoted him as he has the most knowledge on Japanese movie companies, DVD & screening rights and many other facets. As his comments are on several public message boards, I took the liberty in quoting him. Unfortunately, I should have given him a "head's up" first. It was not my intention to box him into the

Oh My God, I Just Saw A UFO!

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Okay, now that was strange. I think that I just saw a UFO. I was just on my lunch break from work when I witnessed an object in the sky over Riverside, Ca that I have no explanation for. As I sometimes do, I parked my vehicle on a hill here in Grand Terrace that overlooks the railroad line that runs from Riverside to Colton. As most of you already know, I am a huge train geek, and during my lunch I sometimes either walk to this vantage point, or dive, so that I can watch trains go by while I eat. At about 1:30 pm pst I took my normal position on top of the hill and began to eat my lunch. While I was sitting there thinking about some of my recent interactions with fans and fellow authors about the now controversial DVD release of "Destroy All Planets", I noticed a silver metallic object in the sky traveling from East to West. As the object passed by, I noticed that it seemed to reflect the sunlight and I didn't notice any wings. I thought that

The First Look At Mamoru Oshii's Tetsujin "28 1/2"

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: Twitch / Official Website / Avery Guerra Mamoru Oshii's latest film project "28 1/2" is yet another in a recent line of films to re imagine one of Japan's most beloved giant robot anime, "Tetsujin 28″. The first came in 2005 with the live-action film "Tetsujin niju-hachigo" (Tetsujin 28) directed by Shin Togashi, then last year Hakari Productions and Imagi Studios announced that they were producing a CGI animated "Tetsujin" in the same line as "Astroboy." Now Oshii, who is no stranger to giant robot series, being that he was the creative mind behind both, "Ghost in the Shell" and "Patlabor", is gearing up to produce another live-action film based on "Tetsujin 28-gō (Iron Man #28)" a manga, and then later on a animated series, by illustrator Mitsuteru Yokoyama. At this point it is not clear whether "28 1/2" will be a follow-up to Togashi's film, or anot

New Toy Tuesday! - Futurama Edition

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Source: Entertainment Earth Futurama Series 9 Action Figures Set Fun Futurama figures for you! Reenact all your favorite episodes! Stand 6-inches tall and include accessories. They're out of this world! They're out of this world… and the next millennium, too! Each outrageous action figure in this fabulous Futurama series stands about 6-inches tall, features multiple points of articulation and character-specific accessories, and comes individually packaged on a blister card. Grab these colorful characters and bring them back to Earth and present time in your home or office. You and your friends will be glad you did! This Series 9 set of 2 pieces contains (subject to change): 1x Wooden Bender 1x URL Collect all the wacky Futurama action figures and advance your collection by thousands of years! Each figure comes with build-a-figure Morbo part. Coming In August! Order Yours Today For Only $24.99! Futurama Escape from Bowels of Hellish Delight Large Giclee A stunning w

MORAV - A Graphic Novel And Web Series On The Horizon!

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: Robot War Espresso / Avery Guerra It's really hard to believe that it has been well over two years since I first reported on "M.O.R.A.V." (Multi-Operational Robotic Armored Vehicle) a pet project of Hollywood special effects maven Fon Davis. Over those two years the giant robot anime inspired feature has morphed from a possible television series or feature film, to a comic book series, which never found a publisher. You really have to tip your hat to Davis though, he has never given up on "M.O.R.A.V.", and now, finally the project has been given a second life by Insight Editions who now is going to release the original 6-issue comic as a one-off graphic novel. According to Davis, "We’ve taken what was going to be the 132 page 6 issue comic book series and combined it in to a single graphic novel, which will include an extra 30 pages of bonus material." "So, the 'M.O.R.A.V.: History of Robotic Warfare'

IN 11 DAYS, MONSTERS WILL ROAM INDIANAPOLIS

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Source: Famous Monsters Convention News Release Here's the latest news about the 2010 Famous Monsters Convention: IN 11 DAYS, MONSTERS WILL ROAM INDIANAPOLIS MORE GUESTS ANNOUNCED! SPECIAL UN-AIRED IRWIN ALLEN FILMS TO BE SCREENED! AND A NEW PILOT BEING FILMED RIGHT AT THE FM CON! Get your tickets online to AVOID THE LINES! The Famous Monsters Convention arrives in Indianapolis, IN July 9-11, 2010. With only 11 days to go, more guests have been added to the monstrous weekend, and several very special presentations. But first, we are sad to announce that Lori Cardille ( Day of the Dead ) will be unable to attend our 2010 show. All of us at FM wish her the best and a very speedy recovery. And now for a barrage of good news, Bela Lugosi, Jr. (Son of Dracula), Kevin Burns ( Girls Next Door ; The Telling ; Biography ), Bridget Marquardt (Girls Next Door; The Telling), Nick Carpenter ( The Telling ), Billy Gram ( One for the Fire ) and Sal Lizard ( I Am Legend ; The Box ) have

Dark Shadows Festival News!

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Dark Shadows Festival News! by Armand Vaquer Just got home a while ago and found in the mailbox the mailer from The Dark Shadows Festival about this year's convention in Burbank. This year's convention, "Dark Shadows In The Sun" will be held July 16, 17 & 18 at the Burbank Airport Marriott (the site for Monsterpalooza). Weekend admission is $30.00 (available until July 10, thereafter at the door only) and they will have a special banquet Sunday, July 18 with Barnabas Collins himself, Jonathan Frid. The cost is $50 and reservations and payment must be received by July 10. Frid's autographed photograph (from the original negative) will be available only to those attending the banquet. The autograph will be personalized. Also attending this year's show are David Selby, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, John Karlen, Marie Wallace, Jerry Lacy, Roger Davis, Kathleen Cody, Robert Rodan, Chris Pennock, Lisa Richards, Jim Storm, Bob Cobert, Sy Tomashoff

"Destroy All Planets 2010" Controversy - Part II

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"Destroy All Planets 2010" Controversy - Part II by Armand Vaquer Avery Guerra, who has been a reliable source for news and behind-the-scenes info on many movie productions, posted this message from Fred Olen Ray at the Monster Zero message board about the Destroy All Planets 2010 DVD controversy: "I have never been contacted by anyone associated with these films in the ten years we have distributed them except about five years ago when I emailed Daiei to ask about buying rights to the wide screen versions and they told me they didn't own the US rights. Toei likewise denied knowing anything about THE MAGIC SERPENT which we also tried to buy the wide screen rights for at the AFM three years ago. Otherwise as far as we know there are no rights issues "a'brewing". The biggest point that everyone is missing is that I only put this out because I was led to believe that the fans wanted it. I had no intention, or desire, to do this, all my usual distr

DESTROY ALL PLANETS Possible Legal Issues - My Two Cents

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Little did I know that when I was writing an article on Retromedia's DVD release of "Destroy All Planets" that it was going to be like pulling the pin on a hand grenade. And now I can't put the pin back in. Soon after I posted my article Armand Vaquer responded with a follow-up that reported on some concerns voiced by fans on just about every monster related message board that the Retromedia release may possibly be facing a legal challenge from Kadokawa Pictures who own the rights to the Gamera film series stemming from their purchase of Daiei, the studio that produced the original film. In the spirit of fairness, I extended an open invitation to Fred Olen Ray of Retromedia to address many of these concerns/questions with a letter or article. As of the time of this posting, Ray has not responded to invitation, though I should point out that I gave him a vary narrow window in which he could get his response to me and it may be still forth

Fight Over "Destroy All Planets" Rights Brewing

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Fight Over "Destroy All Planets" Rights Brewing by Armand Vaquer A new controversy is brewing over whether or not a Gamera DVD being issued by Retromedia is legitimate or not. Cries of "bootleg" are being posted at the Monster Zero message board. Is it? The movie in question is Retromedia's DVD of Destroy All Planets 2010 which features a commentary by one of the movie's stars, Carl Craig. At issue is whether Retromedia has the rights to issue the U.S. version of this movie. Shout! Factory is slated to release the same movie (the subtitled Japanese version) in a few months and this is seen by some as a bit of one-upsmanship by Retromedia. The movie was originally released in 1968 by Daiei, which was bought out by Kadokawa Pictures. Removed by request of the quoted person for failure to seek permission and being taken out of context Fred Olen Ray, who is the owner of Retromedia, said this in a response to Ryan Clark's review post at Amazon.com

DESTROY ALL PLANETS Gets A DVD Release While No One Was Looking

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Sources: Fred Olen Ray / Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker /Carl Craig / Avery Guerra Sometimes good things come to those who wait, and if you have been waiting for the deluxe DVD release of "Destroy All Planets" (Gamera vs. Viras), you have been waiting for a few years. In preparation for this article I had to look back, way back, into my archives to try and remember just when I first learned of Retromedia's plans to release a special edition DVD of "Destroy All Planets". Much to my surprise, I had to go back to the days before Monster Island News was a blog, back when the site was kensforce.com (remember that), which was pre 2007, probably something like 2005 or 2006. When you get older your memory isn't as crisp my friends. I do recall talking to Carl Craig, who played Jim Morgan in the film, about him recording the commentary tracks for the release and I did write an article about that, but alas, since kensforce.com is gone

The Triumphant Return Of FUTURAMA - Part 3 - Video Montage!

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Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: Comedy Central Tonight is the night! The long awaited return of "Futurama" is upon us! The info: Prepare to be transported to the year 3000 for the return of Fry, Bender, Leela and the usual cast of twelve-dimensional space monsters. Back by popular demand, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's brilliantly subversive animated sci-fi comedy "Futurama" debuts its sixth season of 12 all-new half-hour episodes on Thursday, June 24 at 10:00 p.m. on COMEDY CENTRAL, kicking off with a special hour-long block of two back-to-back new episodes. The series also reaches a milestone on Thursday, September 2, when it celebrates its 100th episode. "Futurama" follows the life of Philip J. Fry (Billy West), a pizza delivery boy who accidentally stumbles into a freezer on December 31, 1999 and wakes up a thousand years later. In his future home of New New York City, Fry goes to work for the Planet Express Intergalactic delivery company,