Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July to everyone! This goes out to the members of my family and friends and to everyone who has served this great country, thank you!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday morning cartoons, the new era

This morning I had to get up with Reeve because mom was sick and didn't sleep so I pulled watch guard duty.

After going through some Handy Manny episodes, that I've seen about 5 times in the last week Reeve said to turn it off. He went over to the dvd rack and picked up his copy of Dawn of the Dead (yes for his 2nd birthday I got him his own copy). He said, "I want to watch Ken now!" He knows the movie only by Ken Foree's name, but none the less he knows all the imagery to ID it on the shelf.

So we turned off Handy Manny and popped in some good Romero zombie action. This reminded me back to my youth in the 80s. I would get up early on Saturday mornings and go into the living room and fire up the VCR and pop in the VHS tape that had Dawn of the Dead and Superman III and IV on it. I would lay on the floor and watch as much of the tape as I could before my parents got up. Usually at that point the raiders were tearing apart the mall and my dad was getting his coffee and paper and mom was making me breakfast. This was the normal Saturday routine for me until I was about the age of 10/11 when I started to sleep in more and the tape started to accumulate dust.

Growing up I had no clue who George Romero was or looked like. Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Emge and Tom Savini were strangers to me and to me there were just characters on the screen. Watching Reeve watch this film now on a weekly basis, he is able to show me George and the other cast of characters as they appear on screen, this include the Hare Krishna zombie, the kid knows his zombies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't forget your tie

I was reminded recently to "dress professionally." I've been dressing professionally for almost 7 years now but I just really started to step back and think what is "professional dress?" I get up everyday, put on a nice pair of dress pants (trousers or slacks depending on your age and location), a button downed shirt usually with french cuffs so I can rock my Superman cufflinks and a tie. I often wonder where this practice of playing dress up so that you can work came from and who set the standard of professional.

First off I have to hand it to the women who have to dress professionally. You can come up with a multitude of combinations and can choose from a wide variety of "professional dress." Us men on the other hand are stuck with a pair of pants, shirt, tie and shoes or a suit if you want to get fancy.

Who decided that you must dress a certain way if you want to do business with someone. Am I any less capable of doing a job because I would wear a pair of jeans and a plain shirt? People say looks aren't everything but put someone in a suit and someone in casual clothes in a business forum and see who gets the business.

Don't get me wrong, I think I look damn fine when I put on a good suit and a snazzy looking tie and shirt but I wonder why this uniform choice for the corporate world. How does an archaic piece of neck wear set me apart from someone else? Does my dress give me a certain skill set jeans and a t shirt won't?

So here's the question: Is professional dress still relevant in this world? Or is still necessary to conduct business in this global economy?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cannibal Holocaust - A Review

For those of you who have never seen or heard of this film. Let me give you some back ground. This is an Italian film released in 1980 to much controversy that follows it to this day. First off, this film is probably the most graphic film you'll ever see. At the time of its release the director was arrested on murder charges, that's how intense this film is. The four main actors had clauses in their contracts to not appear in the media for one year following the films release. That was voided to keep the director from standing trial for making a snuff film.

Plot Summary:
A noted anthropologist is sent to the Green Inferno, a deadly and unexplored of the Amazon to find the whereabouts of 4 film makers who disappeared. Through his journey he ends up following the same path taken by the filmmakers. With the help of his 2 guide he learns of two warring cannibalistic tribes the Yacumo and Yanomamo. The journey takes them to a village of Yanomamo where they discover a shrine made of the bones of the missing filmmakers. The professor does what he has to do to have them release the reels of film to tell what happened to the missing group.

The second half of the film shows us the journey the filmmakers take. It is apparent from the start of the footage that this group is very arrogant and will do what it takes to make it interesting. Through their footage we seem them burn a village, rape, murder and torment these "savages" that they encounter. This all culminates with the final reel showcasing their demise at the hands of the cannibals in the Green Inferno.

From a technical aspect, this is a beautiful film. The cinematography is some of the best coming from Italy's 70s era of filmmaking. The soundtrack is both romantic and traumatizing depending on what is occurring on the screen. This ranges from almost operatic to a very synthesized sound, the more grotesque the harsher the sound.

I wouldn't say the acting is great but the role of the professor is probably the best of the film. The actors who play the ill-fated film crew is at times, over played. Think of the Blair Witch Project but, in my opinion, more amateur actors. Its not that bad that it distracts from the film but it does add some realism to watching their footage.

The special effects are actually very good and very reminiscent of the work done in the 70s that laid the groundwork for the effects that came to us in the 80s. Probably the best example of the SFX is the implement of a young Yanomamo female on a pole at the edge of a creek (see the above poster). The actress is stark naked, seated on a bicycle seat atop of a pole. She is covered in gore and is holding a piece of wood in her mouth straight up in the sky to complete the illusion. To this day, I would rank this in my top 10 of greatest on screen effects.

Probably the part of the film that it is best known for is the actual killing of live animals on screen. If nothing this is the biggest turn off of this film for most people. I'm not one for blatant abuse of animals so this is a sticking point me in regards to the film. I understand and see what the director was going for but I feel that it could have gone about differently. We see a large snapping turtle dismembered and opened up for eating. A muskrat, small monkey, a snake and a pig are all killed on screen. If you can handle getting past this, the cannibalistic and full front nudity aspects you'll be sure to get through.

This film is not one you call your friends over for movie night on Saturday. If you watch this film be prepared that you probably won't finish it and if you do, you probably won't watch it again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back in the day aka the year 2000

I realized last week that 10 years ago I finished my first year of college at Shippensburg University. Its amazing how much techology changes in 10 years since first going to college. My roommate had a laptop while I had a desktop computer w/ a ginormous 17" CTR monitor that took up my whole desk. There was no Wi-Fi on campus and nobody took a laptop into the CUB to do their papers. They were still writing them in notebooks long hand to re-type later. People had a cell phone but nobody used it because not all your friends had them and you only had 250 minutes a month for $35.00 and nights and weekends were still starting at 9pm. Plus you could just dial a 4 digit number from an on campus phone and get your buddy in their dorm room. Texting? Forget about it. You could text but nobody thought anything of it and people would wonder why you just didn't pick up the phone.

At that point Pam and I were getting some cool new Nokia cell phones (remember how cool Nokia was at the time) and we were both leaving the comforts of a T-1 internet connection back to dial up.

I packed up my Playstation to head home. There was no Xbox or even a 360 and internet gaming wasn't even on the radar. My 10 or so DVDs were brought home packed up along my VHS tapes. Yeah I was still buying VHS tapes because not everything was available on DVD and I was still unsure if DVD prices were going to come down. Hell i was still watching DVDs on my computer as a standalone DVD player was still +$300.

I was exchanging AIM screennames and email addresses with people to keep up with in the summer. Facebook and Myspace didn't exist and we still chatted on AIM and put up away messages letting people know what we were doing, the original status/wall updates!

As I finish typing this I'm getting ready to head to the couch with my iPhone in hand to read. That way if anything updates I'll be notified on the phone so I don't have to be tethered to this cumbersome laptop. Its amazing in 10 years how much technology has changed and defined our daily lives. My lunch break at work now consists of me checking up on my Twitter and Facebook messages between eating and reading a book. I answer texts, send texts and try to figure out what the conversation of the day is between my friends that can use their work computers for fun stuff throughout the day.

I look at technology like the iPhone and Droid style smartphones the way my grandparents looked at TV. It was there, but not everyone had one, at first and by the time they were raising children it was the norm. Hell, my 2 year old knows how to pause a video on my iPhone, which goes to show before they even start school they're becoming intertwined with technology. I wonder how long it will before he starts emailing grandma and wanting his own cell phone to text his 7 year old friends from school.

But on the flip side I love this technology. I have all my friends in my pocket everywhere I go. I love the ability to keep in touch with my friends all over the world with this tech stuff. I don't need to be at home in front of the computer to talk to my friends. I can be on the porch smoking a cigar or relaxing on the beach and still keep up with them.

On the flip side, how long before all this technology becomes self-aware and turns on us.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My favorite LOST WTF Moments Season 1-5

I realized I'm behind on my LOST blogging and I figured to catch up I'll post my favorite WTF moments from season 1 to 5

Season 1:
1) Rousseau's 16 year long help message broadcasting from the Island followed by Charlie's "guys, where are we?" *Certifiably probably one of the creepiest moments of the show.*
2) Discovery of Adam & Eve in the caves.
3) The Black Rock
4) Rousseau living on the island for 16 years...alone
5) Discovery of the Hatch
6) Locke was in a wheelchair before the Island

Season 2:
1) Desmond living in the Hatch for 3 years
2) The numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42
3) The Dharma Initiative
4) Henry Gale aka Ben Linus is the leader of the Others
5) The four toed statue!
6) The Swan hatch explodes
7) Penny Widmore is looking for, and finds the Island

Season 3:
1) Juliet isn't from the Island
2) Anthony Cooper is the real Sawyer and The Man From Tallahassee
3) Desmond's mind has traveled back in time
4) Ben really isn't from the Island and was part of the Purge that killed them all.
5) Richard Alpert doesn't age!
6) Naomi parachutes on the island, proving that people know where they are!
7) The freighter is "Not Penny's Boat"
8) Charlie dies
9) Flashforwards reveal they get off the Island!
10) Someone named Jacob has a list.

Season 4:
1) Only 6 are rescued from the Island aka the Oceanic 6
2) Daniel Farraday tries to explain physics
3) Desmond travels through time again and is Farraday's Constant
4) Keemy kills Ben's daugther Alex
5) Miles talks to dead people
6) Richard Alpert was there when Locke was born!
7) The freighter explodes killing Michael & Jin
8) Ben moves the Island

Season 5:
1) The Island is moving through time
2) There is a hydrogen bomb buried on the Island
3) Locke wants everyone to come back to the Island!
4) Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Sawyer & Juliet are all part of the Dharma Initiative
5) Eloise Hawking was an other as well as Daniel Farraday's mum
6) Sayid shoots young Ben
7) Hurley wrote the original script for the Empire Strikes Back
8) Locke wants to kill Jacob...actually wants Ben to kill him
9) Jack wants to detonate the Jughead
10) We see the rest of the 4 toed statue, Twaret
11) We meet Jacob and the Man in Black
12) We finally see The Incident
13) Juliet detonates the hydrogen bomb!

There ya have it, my favorite WTF moments of the first 5 seasons of LOST i'm sure there are more but these are the ones that stick out the most to me!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lost in Lost Seasons 1-3

These blogs will contain spoilers if you haven't watched the show! Read at your own risk

Its funny, as the finale of Lost comes closer, i'm coming to grips that I am utterly and hopelessly addicted to the show. I mean its just a show right? Well of course it is but there is something about this show that really has me hooked and I don't believe that there is just one thing to pinpoint as to why.

I missed most of the first season and caught up with it on dvd as the second season was airing. By the end of the first disc of the first season I was hooked and quickly caught up to understand where the next season was starting. From then on it was downhill. It started off simple, an intriguing show about people stranded on a tropical island. Mysterious noises and voices surrounded them in the jungle and planes crashed in trees only added to the mystery. Then John Locke discovers a hatch. This hatch had to have been placed there by humans, so that meant other people had been or where on the island. Well now we got something, they weren't alone, that question was answered when a light from inside the hatch turned on when Locke was beating on it looking for answers.

The second season had me hooked like no other show ever had at this point. The Hatch, Desmond, and the Dharma Initiative as well as the appearance of a Henry Gale aka Ben Linus who would turn out to be me, in opinion, the single greatest character/villain in TV history were all introduced to us. We found out that the Hatch aka the Swan was part of a huge science experiment that was saving the world by pushing a button every 108 minutes by entering the numbers: 4 8 15 16 23 42 which just happen to equal 108. I can't tell you how many countless Powerball tickets I played with those exact numbers. Poor Desmond got suckered into pushing this button to save the world and all he wanted to do was get back to his beloved Penny. Desmond was instantly my favorite character on the show, followed by Locke and Ben.

By the third season a lot of questions were being asked but not answered and it showed. The first 6 episodes of the 3rd season where more random and didn't really advance the story and showed us that Kate decided to hook up with Sawyer thus, we thought, ending 2 seasons of sexual tension on the show, at least someone was getting some on the island! The big question at the time was, were the survivors of Oceanic 815 alive, dead, in purgatory, a snow globe or on some reality show. The producers were mum but promised that it wasn't going to be a cop out and we would be shown soon enough. Boom a few episodes before the end of season 3 we get someone parachuting onto the island, WTF?!?!?!? Somebody knew where the island was and how to get there and more importantly, knew of the survivors. Naomi parachutes on the island much to the dismay of Benjamin Linus. What did he know that they didn't. Damn, this was getting good. Here we have Naomi stating that she's here to rescue the crash surivors and Ben saying that if they get on her boat, they will all die.

The first three seasons of this show asked more questions then it answered (remember the 4 toed statue in the finale of Season 2 and how long that took to answer). But that was the intrigue that kept me going, the need to know more and find out, was it fate or destiny or neither of the above. I was hooked by the end of the third season no doubt. It even took Pam until then to be really into this show. She would watch an episode and at the end would go "man this show is weird!" She kept trying to wrap her head around it and I on the other hand was digging deeper, thinking back to season 1 episodes looking for connections.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Need Gas in NJ on a Saturday Night, try again!

Ok so last week I went to the Chiller Theatre convention in Parsippany NJ to see some friends and meet some new people. I've been going to this show since 1999 and its always in NJ, a state that I absolutely loathe. I loathe NJ not because of the people but mostly due to how the state is laid out for transportation. You can't make left turns, there are 7 lanes on the NJ Turnpike and if you're in the wrong lane you could end up in NYC before you know it, or worse, Bayone.

I had to leave the show Saturday night due to working on Sunday. I say my goodbyes at 10pm and head out. I know I need gas but my lucky GPS tells me there is a plethora of stations near by. I pick the closest one and head towards it. I pull into the station, boom, the lights go out! Shit! I yelled, oh well must have hit the one thats closing up now. I pick the next one about another mile down the road. I pull into that one, closed! I'm starting to think a conspiracy is afoot and the state wants me to stay. So I hit the next one, closed; the next one, closed. Son of a bitch I exclaim. At this point i'm 7 miles south of the convention and nowhere near the interstate. So I get on the Interstate and head south, figure the closer I am to I-78 the better my chances are. I pick another station right off the exit < mile from the exit. I get off the exit, its fucking closed again!

At this point I'm fuming, everything is closed, there is absolutely nothing around that is open and its only 10:30. I stop at a Friendly's and ask the nice young ladies that are working that every gas station is closed and I need gas, now! One of the young ladies actually gets in her car to drive down the street to see if its open. She comes back and says its closed. They decided to send me about 8 more miles down the road to a station they know is open. They wish me luck and I'm on my way.

Thank god, a gas station that is finally open. I have to think at this point I was pretty much on E and couldn't make it any further. I find out from my GPS that i'm 20 miles south of the convention but also 4 miles East of where I originally drove from. Thank you NJ for making it even more difficult to get gas on a Saturday night. To the people of NJ, i'm sorry your state is the way it is, I really think you should either stage a coup and push to be able to pump your own gas as well as make these stations stay open longer!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bits of Flesh...More than a name.

There's a more then just the obvious reason I named this blog "Bits of Flesh." Yes, I love zombie movies, but also, this blog was created because I'm putting parts of me out there to the inter webs to share with everyone.

A good friend said to me recently, "Matt, we are all "just a guy." When you have something to say that people want to hear, it doesn't matter who you are. Take advantage of it!" We were discussing my showing up on the Japanese poster for Survival of the Dead and that "I'm just a guy and who would want to hear about me and what I've done." Norman is a very wise man and I've followed his advice for the past 11 years and it has helped me become who I am.

So the main point of this particular blog is to open up a little more about myself and how the past year has shaped me and how I've taken advantage of it.

I'm sitting on my deck on a beautiful spring day. The coffee is fresh and warm, the sun is shining, my neighbor is building a shed and I'm jamming to some country on my iTunes. At this point last year I would have been sitting inside and being miserable at what my life had become. I was ready to change everything and everyone in my life, point blank, I didn't want to be where I was and wanted to be somewhere else. Last year was miserable and I was ready to change every single thing about my life and myself. In the past 2 days I've done more work and laughed more then I had probably in 2 months last year at this time.

Spring time is a time for renewal and this year I took advantage of it more then I ever had in my life. I'm happy, and doing something about it. Instead of just doing nothing but talking about doing stuff I'm being active and finally doing the stuff I've put off doing since 2008. I feel more accomplished and satisfied with what I've done in the last 6-7 months then I ever thought I could.

Norman has been on my butt about my "just a guy" thing. But I still think I am just a guy and who would want to hear what I have to say. I have found in the last year that I have a ton of friends who would want to hear what I have to say, good, bad or indifferent. I love them for that. They include the Drunken Tentacle crew, Skip and the Qwee, Lisa and Paul and without everyone I have mentioned, I wouldn't have made it through last year. Thank you all, I love you all very much. For everyone else that I didn't mention above trust me, there are many, your words of advice and stern talks have made an impact, I thank you more then you could ever imagine, I love you too.

Not all of these blogs will be this intimate, I have a problem with putting some of my feelings out there in fear of them perceived as hokey or too cliche or whatever. I have to get past that and just go for it. Believe it or not I'm a very private person about my feelings and thoughts on stuff and I'm sure some of you are surprised by that but vocalizing some of my feelings comes hard for me.

So I close with the feeling of success and being more comfortable with using this as a vehicle for more intimate revealings about me.

PS: Norman, thank you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Convention Season 2010

I write this as I am finalizing my plans and stuff to head to my second horror convention in as many weeks. I realize that I'm sitting here in an almost faded Dawn of the Dead tshirt I got back in 1999 that has seen more miles then most people's cars. This is my 12th year of going to conventions since stumbling upon them back in 1999.

Of course it started out just like anything else, something new and exciting and I had to be at everyone. Well I couldn't be at everyone but I tried to make it to everyone on the East Coast. At first it was to meet celebrities and the icons I grew up watching in all those late night horror film marathons and VHS tapes sitting on my shelf. Getting star struck at some of the greats, Kane Hodder, Tom Savini, Ken Foree and of course the man himself George A. Romero. Some of my first encounters were very brief because I could barely find the words to express my utter fascination with their work and the fact that they were so approachable.

The people working in the horror genre know who they are and how the characters they have portrayed are held in such esteem by the fans but they don't let that get to them, at least when in front of the fans. Being able to walk up to some of the greats in the genre is an awe inspiring feeling and having them converse with you makes going to these conventions worth it.

After a year years I pretty much had met everyone I wanted to. Now I go to conventions to see the people that I have befriended from these events, celebrity and non-celebrity alike. I have made some of the best friends in the world over the last 12 years because of conventions. Two of them from Canada, Rob & Glena are 2 of the most fantastic people in the world and any chance to see them is jumped on. They're just like me, they've been to so many and have met just about everyone that conventions are a time for reconnecting and having fun.

If it weren't for them and alot of the other people I've gotten to known and befriend, Chris Roe, Ken Foree, Greg Nicotero to name a few I wouldn't have the memories to share with my son who I hope will appreciate these events as I have when he starts to get older. I also have to thank my wife who started out not understanding what these were or what the purpose was but has since grown to love them as most of the people signing autographs do so now for her and not me...makes ya wonder?!?!?!?

I love these things. Little sleep, forgetting to drink, too much alcohol and too much money spent are great ways to end a stressful work week and get recharged until the next convention that comes down the pike.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Remakes, Reboots & Reimaging, Oh My!

Ok I recently saw The Crazies, a remake of Romero's 1973 film of the same name. And that got me thinking about my stance on these remakes/boots/imaginings that is coming out of Hollywood.

First off, I hate a remake or whatever you want to call it for the sake of cashing in on a big name franchise or cult classic. For those of you who know me, refer to my thoughts on the Dawn of the Dead "remake."

If you're going to remake a film, then you best bring something to the franchise or film that wasn't possible or thought of before. So let me get on my soapbox and point out what I think are the differences in a good remake, reboot & reimaging and how they should be used:

The only true remake I can think of is Psycho 1998. That film is a shot for shot remake of Hitchcock's film. That is a true remake. A remake brings nothing new to the table but new actors and some new effects maybe but leaves everything else the same. The premise stays the same, the characters stay the same and nothing is changed. So you might as well stick with the original.

Batman Begins is a reboot. Its an origin story but also has provided something new that previous films didn't show us. We see Bruce train to become Batman and the path that took him there. We got a new villain, new supporting characters (whether they were good or bad is your opinion and another blog all together) as well as new effects. Rebooting a franchise is introducing a new generation to something new or taking a stale product and breathing new life into it. Spiderman is apparently going through a reboot just like the comics did 2 years ago with "One More Day" which effectively erased the last 22 years of continuity. Rebooting something isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means that someone has a fresh perspective and idea to bring to the franchise. Usually a franchise reboot is because it has not had a sequel or anything for quite sometime.

Some are saying that Terminator Salvation is a reboot. It is not a reboot. It is a sequel to the first 3 Terminator films, in essence Terminator 4. Its a new direction, not a reboot, a reboot would have been seeing the first Terminator film through the Terminator's POV instead of Sarah's.

Hollywood's newest term to cash in on a name.Reimaging is a studio handing over control of a franchise to a new director and saying "here ya go, have at it." If you're going to remake/reboot something this is the road you want to take. My favorite case in point: Rob Zombie's Halloween.

Like it or hate it, this blog is not about that but what Rob Zombie did with it.

The original Halloween is loved and revered by many and to "remake it" like it was at first touted by Rob Zombie many were appalled others were intrigued. I was part of the latter. My distaste for remakes is well known but I'll give someone the benefit of the doubt if its going to be something different. Zombie's Halloween didn't let me down.

In the original Halloween, John Carpenter used skillful camera work and story telling to make the boogeyman come to life and treated The Shape (Michael Myers for those who don't know) into a real life, babysitter stalking boogeyman. Rob Zombie took the opposite route and showed Michael Myers as a raving lunatic.

I will first differentiate the 2 films by calling Michael by his name because in Zombie's film he was Michael Myers and not so much the boogeyman as in Carpenters. Carpenter's film portrayed The Shape as an enigma, something lurking in the shadows waiting to strike. Carpenter's film, he is an idea, something people are afraid of. Zombie's film he is a man, totally devoid of humanity.

Carpenter's film begins with little Michael (who will become The Shape) killing his sister and cuts to 15 years alter. We only see a little boy with a 1000 yard stare on his face holding a bloody knife. This is very effective story telling, we don't know the why we just know he's going to trouble. Zombie takes a different road and to me, this is why his film stands alone and is a good "reimaging."

The Michael in Zombie's film seems to be a little boy in a troubled home, who loves his baby sister and lost in the shuffle and picked on by mom's boyfriend and older sister. We see Michael's savageness in that he kills and tortures animals and viciously beats a bully to death in the woods. The creep factor is in that not just the acts of violence but the look on Michael's face, its blank, void of emotion and humanity. We then see Michael's infamous murder rampage on the night of Halloween. Zombie then shows up Michael hold up in Smith's Grove and how he slowly, over time pulls back more and more into his own head and loses all contact with humanity. We see snippets of his life inside Smith's Grove, including the treatment of him by some of the orderlies. We also see that there is one person that actually cared for him and that Michael seemed to care enough for that he never wanted to hurt. But that turns out to be a rouse and when Michael kills him you realize that he is not a human being but has totally succumbed to his own madness.

Zombie took the basic premise and put his own spin on it and did some with some passion for the source material. But then again, Zombie was screwed either way. He is the type of director that you either love him or hate him. With him doing a remake of such a loved character he was destined to be vilified and people would pick apart the film, which they did.

Rob Zombie did what he was supposed to, put his own ideas into an established franchise run with it. People don't have to like the film but Zombie did what you're supposed to when reimaging something and I think if you're going to "reimagine" something, take a look at his take on Halloween and go from there

Friday, February 26, 2010

Convention Season!

I'm sitting here in my den looking at all of the George Romero collectibles that I have come to acquire over the last ten years and I've come to remember that in 2 weeks, convention season for me begins anew.

This will be my 12th year attending horror conventions and it still never gets old. At this point there is hardly anyone left on my list to meet. I've met and have had the great fortunes of becoming friends with a lot of the people I grew up watching on the old VHS tapes. I can't even put into words how awesome my life has become because of the horror industry. I know how weird that must sound, but if you're reading this then you know what type of person I am.

Everyone has their escapes. The beach, the mountains, a museum etc, mine is a convention or hotel filled with 2000 horror fans and horror icons. Nothing pumps me up more then spending 72 hours surround by horror goodness. Most of that time is spent hanging out with friends, browsing the dealers rooms, Q&A sessions, movie screenings oh and drinking. I didn't even mention food because I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to eat and come to realize that at 8pm I've been up since 7 and haven't eaten.

In 2 weeks I'll be in Cherry Hill NJ at Monster Mania. I'm going to hang out with friends and see Dario Argento and Corbin Bernsen. Corbin and I need to continue the film discussion we had at Horrorfind. Corbin has this idea for a futurist zombie baseball film. WHAT?!?! Trust me, it'd be worth the price of admission. Dario Argento will be there too, damn! I drove 8 hours to see him in Toronto a few years ago and loved the 45 seconds I got to see him and I want to get some more swag signed by him.

The following week is the inagural Saturday Nightmares in Jersey City. This is a pure Romero festival. Everyone from Romero himself to every pivotal figure in his films will be there. Roy Frumkes is debuting his "Definative Document of the Dead." He's been working on this for a while, since 2005 I believe. If all goes well you should see my mug pop up in that doc in a place or too (thanks Roy!). I'm taking Reeve who will be meeting George for the first time. Reeve loves him some Ken Foree & zombies so this'll be extra special for me.

Anyone wishing to attend these shows or any conventions please let me know I have 12 years of tips, tricks to make sure you have an awesome time. I love this shit!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Iteration 17294531

Ok so this is dedicated to all of those people who we know and work with that say "I stopped watching LOST in Season 1/2 because it got too weird/confusing." There will be minor spoilers, but if you're one of the people I'm writing about you won't get the joke or reference....but you will.

First off let me preface this by saying LOST is not a show for everyone. It requires weekly viewing from the start to finish of the season. It also requires repeated viewing due to all the complex relationships and hidden easter eggs thrown in each scene for us die hards.

Now, if you're one of those reading this and going, the show is too weird or why should I bother, i'm so far behind. Go and buy seasons 1-5 now, they're worth it plus you can probably knock through all 101 episodes in about a week, trust me, you can do it, i've done it.

Every episode of LOST in the first 3 seasons raised a fair amount of questions (don't worry I won't spoil it for those waiting to see how it ends when all the dvds come out). Season 4 started to answer those questions as well as ask more such as do they get off the Island? Are they dead? What/Where is the Island? As well as my favorite, what's up w/ that 4 toed statue? Each and every one of these questions is relevant to overall mythology of the show and that is what makes LOST so intriguing.

From the start the show was geared toward those not wanting instant gratification or quick, easy answers just for the sake of it. This is a serialized show. Our grandparents and parents had to go to the movie theaters every Saturday for this type of action, now it comes into our homes in HD. The show is not just about the Island or what the people did off of it before Oceanic 815 crashed. Its how they deal with their situation and poses questions like, is this our destiny and can you really start over after a horrific event like a plane crash?

Now is the time folks. For those of you who have waited until the end, go get caught up with the first 5 seasons. The 6th season will be out on dvd in August so you will only have to wait a little over 2 months after the finale to see how it all ties together. The creators have promised us the most important and intriguing questions will be answered and we as fans won't be disappointed.

PS: You'll only get the joke that is the title of this blog if you've seen the show.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lost in 24

In anticipation of another LOST episode tonight. This is how LOST would look if the producers of 24 got a hold of it

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do not cross the Start/Finish line & collect $100,000

OK, first blog here and its about my favorite sport, NASCAR.

About 2 years ago I stumbled across a blog dedicated to the TV coverage of NASCAR. The Daily Planet by John Daily, no not the golfer, ( has since become my favorite NASCAR blog. John has a love for the sport that I don't see that often. His blog focuses on the TV coverage of the sport and how well the sport is treated by the people bringing it into our homes. Every Sunday John is gracious enough to Tweet during the race his POV & thoughts on the race and its contents as its broadcast. John has been gracious enough to respond to my tweets to him through the thousands upon thousands he receives and we have often had a good dialouge.

Earlier tonight John and I had a quick exchange about Start and Parks in NASCAR. Basically these teams show up at the race, qualify and run about a 10th of the race before parking w/ a 'problem' or two and call it a day. For the effort, most payouts for a 43rd place finish is $100,000+. The problem with these teams is that they have no intention of running the full distance and are there to collect a paycheck. NASCAR this week has "confiscated" via a random drawing the #66 car, which has become a S&P team. The car will not be returned to the team until after qualifying Saturday. This poses a problem, the 66 only has one race ready car and NASCAR took it.

So apparently NASCAR is sending an indirect message to these teams, if you don't have the means to run the whole distance, don't bother showing up. This is a double edged sword, not only is this a sport these drivers love, but also a business. You can't race if you don't have money and you don't have money if you don't race. Punishing those without money is detrimental to the sport (example Carl Long 2009) while punishing an RCR or Roush team $100,000 and a crew chief suspension & 100 points means nothing.

If the TV booth won't call these teams out what should NASCAR do? Should NASCAR require all teams that show up to sign a form stating they will run the full race? Would this cut back on S&Ps? How about limiting the number of pit stops and tires each team can consume each weekend? Cut Happy Hour back to 30 min and that's it, plus qualifying? If NASCAR wants to save teams money, lets these guys race. The gap between the haves and have nots in this sport is as big as ever and it shows no signs of slowing down.

NASCAR needs to do more then have consistent start times and less policing. They need to either allow these S&Ps to show up and race however long they can or have policies in place to eliminate them all together and have less then 43 cars in the race. It seems NASCAR wants as many teams to show up as possible and is OK with these S&Ps as long as they don't do too well, like leading the race for more then a lap under caution.