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Slasher Flicks, VHS Rentals, and Challenging Puzzles Come Together in Slayaway Camp

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I've played many horror video games over the years. Monster games, zombie games, ghost games ... I've played dozens upon dozens of them. Yet games with slashers? They're few and far in between, as well as challenging to find whenever they do arrive on the market. So, I'm sure that you can imagine my surprise when I recently found a slasher game in the form of ... a puzzle game. Really. Welcome to Slayaway Camp!

Developed and released by Blue Wizard Digital, Slayaway Camp takes its inspiration from the many slasher movies that appeared at the box office, cable channels and video rental stores during the '80s. It challenges players to use the masked killer Skullface bump off as many hapless campers in a series of tiled boards that contain a variety of obstacles. Because Skullface can only move in one direction at a time, players have to figure out how to move him in a way that eliminates all of the victims on the level and allows him to exit the level on a designated…

Kenner’s Micro Cloud City Strikes Back, Lego Style

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As someone who grew up with interlocking brick toys, I stand in awe of Lego hobbyists who understand this product so well that they can build whatever vehicles, buildings and playsets they imagine. In particular, I’m a big fan of BaronSat (a.k.a. Eric Duron), a master builder who has used his talents to re-create many vintage Kenner Star Wars toys—both those that were released and those that never made it past the prototype stage—so that they match the features of the original toys while staying in scale with Lego minifigs.

One of BaronSat’s latest Lego creations is a set of Cloud City locations as they were seen in Empire Strikes Back (1980). According to BaronSat’s site, this set is a “custom tribute model to the “Bespin” models of Kenner's Micro Collection line. Three playsets were sold at the time: Freeze Chamber, Control Room and Gantry. … The last playset “Torture Chamber” was never produced and is only visible as a prototype”.

I was obsessed with all things Star Wars when I…

A Review of Inferno (1953), Film Noir in the Third Dimension

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When frequenting websites that cover pop culture, I've noticed that the majority of commentary about 3D entertainment focuses on either the latest summer blockbusters or cutting edge virtual reality technology. Unfortunately, what these sites ignore is one very crucial thing that digital high-definition video technology brings to 3D: the restoration, preservation and distribution of vintage 3D movies from the 20th century.

This post will look at one of the best films from Hollywood's brief "golden age" of 3D during the '50s: Inferno, a film noir thriller that was directed by Roy Ward Baker*. So far, Inferno has been released twice on 3D Blu-ray: Once in the U.K. by Panamint and once in the U.S. by Twilight Time, and both releases come with different special features. (For a detailed comparison of these releases, go to DVD Beaver here.) I watched the Twilight Time release, so this review will discuss one of the special features on that version.

Inferno begins with…

Geeking Out on the Go

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Over the last few months, I've been facing many challenges to keeping this blog going. Most of them were technical--I was never in the right place to have the right tech with me to get blog posts done. Or so I thought.

It hadn't occurred to me that most of what I needed to blog was right there with me, and all I needed were a few extra, affordable add-ons--namely apps and portable keyboards--to keep bloggin' away. That's right: Even though I call myself a geek, it still took me some time to figure out what plenty of other geeks had already figured out.

Just about every IT device I interact with every day has a keyboard option of some sort, either through a touch screen display or a Bluetooth connection. Thus, the concept of "portable computing" that I've been reading about for years (for a decade, at least) had arrived and I didn't realize it. Boy, is my nerd face red ....

So thanks for staying with me, blog readers. I'll be taking this blog on the r…

A Look at The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens

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Of the many, many parodies/tributes of horror and sci-fi I've seen over the years, DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) remains one of my all-time favorites. It's got everything for which a fan of Atomic Age creature features could ask: smart humor, a talented cast, great 3D animation, and enough references to horror/sci-fi history (some more overt than others) to put a goofy grin on any geek's face. It may not be as popular as other DreamWorks titles such as Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, but MvA knows its target audience of monster kids well and delivers accordingly.

Being the fan that I am, I picked up a copy of The Art of Monsters vs. Alien by Linda Sunshine a while back to learn more about the creative process behind the film. Like other "Art of" movie books, Art of MvA is filled with glossy, full-color pictures of concept art and it arranges them in an order that readers can follow from the early stages of the film's development up to the fini…

A Look at Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report

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With Alien: Covenant inching closer to its May release date, I thought I would take a gander at one of the Alien franchise's more ambitious publications: Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report by S.D. Perry, with illustrations provided by Markus Pansegrau and John R. Mullaney.

The WY Report recounts the events of the Alien movies (including 2012's prequel Prometheus) from the perspective of Weyland-Yutani itself, the seemingly omnipresent megacorporation that has been hell-bent on learning the secrets of the parasitic, biomechanical Alien (which is referred to as "Xenomorph XX121" throughout the book).

A book has already been published that included all four Alien movies in a single volume: Alien: The Archive, which was published in 2014 by Titan Books. However, that book detailed the real-life production of each of the movies; in contrast, The WY Report provides a fictitious, in-universe examination of the many details both within and between the movies, thus creating an …

3D Blu-ray Review: It Came from Outer Space

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In case you haven't noticed from any of my other blog posts, the life of geekhood involves countless obsessions with various pop culture artifacts. One of my recurring fixations is with 3D entertainment, a fixation that has been greatly satiated by the release of 3D films on high definition digital media. These releases initially consisted of only new movie titles but as time went on, releases of vintage titles from Hollywood's "golden age" of 3D films in the 1950s have been appearing as well. This post is devoted to one of the vintage titles, It Came from Outer Space, a sci-fi thriller from 1953 which Universal released on Blu-ray last October. While this film may look very low-tech in comparison to the sci-fi films of today, its reappearance in 3D marks a special milestone for geeky 3D aficionados like me. Read on ....