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Retro Review: The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

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Synopsis '60s/'70s television mainstay hosts a Halloween show that is filled with singing, "humorous" skits, and everything else that was a staple of those gawdawful 1970s variety shows... Review ...and that's what I love about it. Where to begin, where to begin? Well, for starters, I wasn't super familiar with Paul Lynde, though I'm sure I'd caught his appearances on Bewitched  in re-runs when I was a kid (we had a local station in the area that would show sitcoms from that era in syndication). But the first I'd heard of this special was while reading something about the band KISS . They had appeared in the special. I'm a fan, and my brother-in-law is a real die-hard, one of those people who buys pretty much anything the band releases, be it music or other merchandise. After I'd learned about this special, I was over his house one day and asked if he knew about it. He replied that not only was he aware of it, he owned a copy, and asked if

Retro Review: The Ghost of Frankenstein

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Synopsis Panicky townsfolk unleash the very terror they fear, but it's okay, it just moves to another town to find yet another  son of Dr. Frankenstein. More chaos ensues. Review This was an unexpected gem. Over the past few years, during the Halloween season, I've been watching the Universal Monster movies, and they're really hit or miss. Sometimes, they're great, sometimes the ones you think  would be great aren't , and the ones that should stink are excellent . You never know. Personally, for example, I found Bride of Frankenstein  better than the original, and hated the original Mummy . The previous film in the Frankenstein series, Son of Frankenstein , was one of my least favorite, but this one  I really enjoyed. Mild Spoilers ahead! The basic plot is that the villagers from the previous film have learned that Ygor is still alive, so they go to burn down Frankenstein's castle, fearing that Ygor was/is doing them harm somehow. During the siege, they inadvert

Retro Halloween Goodness: Monster Cereals

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I'm a sucker for anything retro that triggers nostalgia. Every few years General Mills releases their Monster Cereals in retro packaging for Halloween, and when they do, I can't help but pick them up. This year they have a QR code on the back of the box that takes you  here , where you'll find a Behind the Music -esque video about the Monsters recording a version of Monster Mash that I thought was funny. In addition, I found this Monster Mash Fruit Snacks  product which I thought was neat, until actually trying it -- not a fan. It tastes like fruit, but has the consistency of plastic. But still, the packaging drew me in!

Retro Review: House of Dracula

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Synopsis Count Dracula and the Wolf Man appeal to altruistic Dr. Edelmann to cure what ails them. Chaos ensues. Oh, and Frankenstein's monster is there too, and doesn't do much. Review Every Halloween season I watch some of the old Universal Monster movies, seeing them for the first time. I tend to enjoy the cheesier sequels more than the classic originals, so I was hoping this one would be as enjoyable as I found House of Frankenstein  (which is so far my favorite). However, these films seem to be real  hit or miss: either I really enjoy them, or couldn't care less. This one, unfortunately, fell into the latter category. I lost interest about halfway through. One of the things I like about these films is that they're all relatively short. This one clocks in at 67 minutes, so I didn't lose much of my life watching it. But a lot of it seemed familiar, to the point of me wondering if I'd ever seen it  before. Lon Cheney Jr. is excellent (as always) as the continua

Movie Night at the Virtual Cinema: Licence to Kill

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, I've been using Oculus Quest and SKYBOX VR to watch movies in a virtual movie theater, focusing on films I either never saw in the theater, or have never seen. Licence to Kill  is Timothy Dalton's second, and final, film as James Bond. It was released in the summer of 1989, which was a huge summer for genre films. Other films in theaters at that time were Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghostbusters II, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and the biggest film of 1989, Tim Burton's Batman , among others. I had never seen Licence to Kill  until now, watching it in SKYBOX VR's virtual cinema environment. Warning: Minor spoilers follow . I only knew a little bit about this one before watching it, basically just that it was considered a dark film, was originally going to be titled Licence Revoked , and that it involves Bond out for revenge for the death of his friend Felix Leiter's new wife, and Leiter's maiming by a villain-induced sha

Revisiting the Original Oculus Quest

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While visiting my in-laws for Christmas in 2018, my brother-in-law introduced me to VR by way of his Playstation VR. Whatever preconceptions I'd had of VR were inaccurate, and I was blown away, quickly picking up my own within a few days. A year later, I ordered an Oculus Quest, eager to have a tetherless VR experience. Even though the Quest had a processor that even at the time of release was outdated, I really enjoyed it, though I was already hoping for the next iteration and what could be done with more advanced hardware. I didn't have to wait long, as Oculus Quest 2 was announced in the Fall of 2020, and released that October. Upon receiving the Quest 2 on release day, I was, honestly, disappointed. The major selling points were a better processor, higher resolution, improved battery life for the controllers, and a lower price point. But everything else just felt like cost cutting. First, while the Quest 2 is a little lighter, it's also smaller , and I found that it was

My Favorite Movies

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I love movies. And like anyone, I have my favorites. What follows is my list of favorites, along with some memories of each. Note that this is not a list of what I consider the best  movies, but rather my personal favorites , at least as of the time of this writing. So, while you may not find some well-regarded cinematic masterpieces below, you will  find the movies that I love. My 10 Favorite Movies (in Alphabetical Order) Airplane! (1980) "Joey, have you ever been in a...a Turkish prison?" A parody of airplane disaster movies, and an almost-direct copy of a 1950s movie named Zero Hour , Airplane!  has been included on many "Funniest Movies" lists, and rightly so. I've seen it countless times and it still makes me laugh. It's also very quotable ("Of course I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley" has practically entered our lexicon). I first saw this in grade school when they showed it on TV one night, and the next day at school a bunch