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Oct 292012

I certainly had a blast this past weekend at Spooky Empire 2012 with Halloween only a few days away. Here are some of the highlights.

It starts with a museum exhibit with lifesized statues of some of the most famous horror movie icons like the Mummy, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Of course let’s not forget some of the other classic monsters like Meg Mucklebones, Beetlejuice, Freddy Kruger, and Norman Bates from Psycho.

Even statues of Elvira and Jack Torrance from The Shining appear in this exhibit.

That was only the beginning. Other incredible highlights include meeting Lochlyn Munro, who played the hilarious Greg Phillipe in Scary Movie. I told him that I also enjoyed Wagons East in which he played Billy. Lochlyn had an interesting story behind that. He told me that the script was hilarious and that it was too bad that John Candy passed away while Wagons East was filming because his parts had to be reeditted. Otherwise the movie would’ve been even funnier. I can only imagine the possible outcome.

I also got to meet Brooke Theiss, who was very sweet. Although she was part of the cast reunion from Nightmare on Elm Street 4, I knew her best as Wendy Lubbock from the classic 80s sitcom, Just the Ten of Us. It was interesting to know that she still keeps in touch with most of her old costars, even the young twins. 

A cast reunion from The Devil’s Rejects? This awesome Q&A panel, which included Sid Haig, Ken Foree, Bill Mosley, Mary Woronov, P.J. Soles, and Tyler Mane (who I also remember best as Sabretooth from X-Men) was one of the most hilarious I had ever attended.

It was a real pleasure meeting these cast members as well.

Be sure to look for other stars from Spooky Empire 2012 on future posts.

Jun 062012

The masked killer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is back in the Rob Zombie sequel Halloween II. It starts right where the first Halloween movie left off. Michael’s sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) barely survives and gets treated at the hospital, but did we really have to see all of those extreme close ups during the mending procedure?

At this point you’d think that Michael Myers is dead, but as it turns out, he is still alive and slashing. He continues to hunt for Laurie and kills anyone who gets in his way. Every so often there’s a scene with completely random characters having different conversations, which are unrelated to the basic story line, but still match Rob Zombie’s brand of humor. Then all of a sudden, there’s Michael butchering everyone again.

I met Danielle Harris at Spooky Empire 2007.

However, this story line does go further than just Michael Myers on the loose. Two years later, Laurie and Annie (Danielle Harris) have recovered. However, Laurie still gets nightmares about Michael coming for her, due to lack of closure from within.

Malcolm McDowall returns as Dr. Loomis, who has also recovered from his wounds in the previous movie. Loomis is now on a book tour with his book about his adventure with Michael Myers. However, it’s not entirely glamorous for him when some people believe that Loomis is partially responsible for Michael’s actions.

Sheri Moon Zombie returns as Deborah

Things become more intense when Michael sees apparitions of his mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) and his younger self (Chase Vanek). Laurie also sees them in her dreams, even when she’s awake. This causes Laurie to turn against Annie and get drunk with her friends at a Halloween party.

Weird Al Yankovic (as himself) makes a cameo as a celebrity guest on a talk show, which Dr. Loomis also attends to talk about his book. That becomes a disaster for Loomis, but Weird Al has such witty commentary during the interview.

The Halloween party Laurie goes to features great music and a comedic emcee, Uncle Seymour Coffins (Jeff Daniel Phillips), who likes to howl and tell blonde jokes. Unfortunately, Michael also arrives and Laurie sees the apparitions of her mother and young Michael again. They want her to join them so they can be a family again. Oddly, no one else can see or hear them. Soon Laurie has run out of options as Michael finally catches up to her.

This sequel was good, but gorier than before. It also featured a white horse as a term for dealing with psychosis. I had no idea.

Sep 162011

I remember first hearing about the X-Men from the X-Men animated series (1992-1997). As much as I enjoy watching these assorted mutants in action, the story lines are still difficult for me to follow because the pacing is so different. That soon changed when I saw the first X-Men (Widescreen Edition) movie.

As it turns out, mutants live among the human race and are discriminated against just for being born differently. To help the mutants feel safe and learn to control their powers, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) the powerful psychic runs a mutant academy, teaching them all they need to know for the good of mankind.

The faculty includes Cyclops (James Marsden) who has optic lasers, Storm (Halle Berry) who can control the weather, and Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) the telekinetic psychic.

The newest mutants to join the school are Rouge (Anna Paquin), a young girl who can absorb energy from living things just by touching them, and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). He has sharp claws and can heal easily, which makes him a strong fighter. But never kick him in the groin, or he will take it personally.

As helpful as the academy is for the mutant community, it’s not enough for the humans to accept them as equals. That’s why there are also mutants that have turned renegade, led by Magneto (Ian McKellen) a very powerful mutant who can control anything made of metal. It’s a shame since Magneto and Professor Xavier used to be friends.

One of the main humans who is against mutants is Senator Kelly (Bruce Davidson) who only believes that all mutants are dangerous. Magneto captures Kelly and uses him as a guinea pig for an experiment he plans to use on the human race. Now Kelly is a mutant, but an unstable one. At least he now sees the error of his ways.

In order for Magneto’s master plan to work, he sets out to capture a powerful mutant to help him. For awhile Professor Xavier believes that Wolverine is the one, but he was wrong. Rouge is the primary target and Magneto successfully captures her.

With Senator Kelly’s help, Professor Xavier discovers that Magneto’s plan is to turn all humans into mutants and use Rouge to power the machine. Now it’s up to Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, and Jean Grey to go stop him and rescue Rouge. Together they are the X-Men.

After arriving, the X-Men must fight their way to Magneto by getting past some tough foes. They include Toad (Ray Park) a frog-like mutant with a whip tongue, Sabretooth (Tyler Mane) a roaring beast, and Mystique (Rebecca Romjin) a smooth model-esque shape shifter who can also copy any voice at will.

The battle scenes are real smooth. After getting past those tough mutants, the X-Men go to confront Magneto, but end up captured. As Rouge powers the machine with absorbed power from Magneto, it seems hopeless, but not if Wolverine has anything to say about it.

I liked this movie, not only for its smooth action, but also the gags with Wolverine. As for his relationship with Cyclops, it’s more than just the love triangle with Jean Grey. Cyclops also annoys him, but Wolverine gets even by always taking his motorcycle without permission.

The X-Men have also been featured among other Marvel superheroes in the Comic Book Land area at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Here are some photos of the characters.