Monthly Archives: January 2013

(Scary Little Ugly Guys) S.L.U.G. Zombies

I missed the brief M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket craze growing up, but now there’s a wide assortment of miniature acronym-wielding freaks, alien robots, Outlandish Mini Figure Guys, and now zombies to collect. As JAKKS Pacific’s incorrect guess to 2012’s Monster of the Year, these S.L.U.G. Zombie 2″ PVC gum miniatures ended up warming the shelves of several Targets in my area. I bought one to add to my zombie collection when they were $3, and waited patiently until their clearance prices dropped to around $1. As you can see, I bought a few:

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Flea Market Fun: M.U.S.C.L.E. in My Pocket

I haven’t written anything for a while, so I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with a flea market find. I hit my local flea market last month, which snuck in before the region was blanketed with a beautiful white layer of what the local news referred to as “heart attack snow”. So the place was fairly busy for December, with more things to see than I expected.

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Thrift Store Adventures Volume 5: VHS Edition

The last few themed installments of Thrift Store Adventures turned out better than expected, so I’d like to ride the coattails of Ryan’s review of V/H/S with a discussion of VHS tapes, most commonly found in thrift stores, along with used bookstores and garage sales. To be realistic, VHS tapes are outdated, bulky, you can degrade the tape by rewinding it improperly, you can degrade the tape by watching it too many times, magnets don’t really work well around them and they’re afraid of water. Why watch something on VHS when you can watch it on Bluray? Well, “it’s not available on Bluray or even DVD” is the best answer to that. I collect VHS tapes because they’re cheap, and because I have a fondness for 90s anime. Most have made it to DVD, although when a production studio closes the distribution rights it owned may not be immediately available. Some are formally out of print, or in that græy area until another studio comes along to re-re-release the anime on Bluray. It’s an innocent “thrill of the hunt” kind of collection, where I’ll occasionally look through a thrift store’s VHS selection and see if there’s anything I recognize or anything that looks cool, and might only pay more for something I clearly owned or wanted to own. Here are seven examples of the kinds of tapes I’d buy: Read the rest of this entry

V/H/S: Found Footage? Put it Back.

VHS poster

The very fact that I spent two hours watching V/H/S with hundreds of other films at my disposal says a lot about the times in which we live.  First of all, with lowering equipment costs and a number of affordable digital distribution methods, the idea that anyone can become a filmmaker is more realistic than ever before.  Second, the ever-expanding number of film bloggers with which I become acquainted on some level or another means that I’m exposed to a large degree of hype for many movies that would otherwise probably fly under my radar.  Sometimes, as with 2011’s Hobo with a Shotgun, this all adds up to a good thing.  On the other hand, V/H/S, an eight-writer-and-director foray into the apparently lucrative “found footage” horror subgenre, underlines an important caveat for all aspiring filmmakers out there; just because the tools are easy to get doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at using them.

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2012 Music as Zombiepaper Heard It

Hello, readers. In celebration of a sleepless night, day one of possibly being snowed in, without any foreseeable work options in the foreseeable future, on the first day of 2013, let’s take a look at that goddamn awful year 2012, and pick out some music that was better than Skillrex or that teenybopper shit. In 2008, I was the world’s foremost expert on new albums – or at the least, I was crazy enough to hear over 700 of them – but this time, time and interest was not on my side, so I went the more subdued route. No hipster indie crap, no poking through hype-maker blogs, just my favorite bands and some extras. Here’s a hint of what the tracklist will look like:

I turned this whole thing into a greatest hits of 2012 compilation album, so why not make an album cover?

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