A destination dedicated to providing news, reviews, fan art, and comments about cartoons and horror movies from the '80s and '90s.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Horror Cartoons

For a while now I've been thinking a lot about how many cartoons from the 80's and 90's could actually be classified as "HORROR CARTOONS". Many of these shows aren't exactly scary or horrific, but they do have elements of the horror genre throughout the series - even if it is something simple like a monster. Shows with an evil villain that are horrifying do not count if another aspect outweighs the horrific element. ie. Masters of the Universe had Skeletor, but the show was primarily made up of science fiction and fantasy elements (comedy is ok).  Here's a list of some of the shows I could think of and will eventually cover in some way or another on this site:

Aaahh! Real Monsters
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Beetlejuice
Count Duckula
Dingbat and the Creeps
Ghostbusters

Gravedale High
Inhumanoids
Little Shop
Madballs
Mighty Max
Monster Force
My Pet Monster
Mummies Alive!
The Real Ghostbusters
Scooby Doo
Skeleton Warriors
Swamp Thing
Tales from the Cryptkeeper
Teen Wolf
Toxic Crusaders

If anyone reading out there can think of any more, please let me know so I can add it to the list!

Friday, February 26, 2010

FAN ART FRIDAY - Critters

I've always been a huge fan of the movie series CRITTERS. Even the lousy 3rd and 4th sequels. I took a little look around the internet and found some great fan art dedicated to the Critters movies. Here's a few of my favourite pieces.

Critters by Centurymon
Critter by EspenG
Critters 2 by ShampooNeko
Critters by DiegoMorales
Bitchin' Baldy by DiegoMorales
Big Ball O Death by DiegoMorales
Bleach Head by Diego Morales

Critters by Fryguy64
Critters by devilxkat
I think this one is supposed to be stained glass...which is so cool.
Critters Tattoo by lordholderby
Critters by whitener75
Critters by KaptnHowdy
Critters by MonsterMovies
Critters by XeviousTheGreat
The fifth Critters movie could be about flying Crites!

Which one is your favourite? 
If anyone finds any more fan art pieces for Critters, let me know!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Cartoon Intro - SILVERHAWKS


This week's cartoon intro has one of my favourite theme songs. Partly metal, partly real, the Silverhawks were assembled by Commander Stargazer when Mon*Star escaped from a prison planet. The show was created by Rankin/Bass, the same folks who created the stop-motion animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They are also the same creators of Thundercats, so many of the voice talent used on that show came back to do voices for Silverhawks. I recently got the DVD as a gift, but haven't had the chance to watch every episode yet. As soon as I do, I will be sure to post a review.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MIA on DVD - CANNIBAL GIRLS

I'm cheating a little bit with this weeks MIA on DVD. Cannibal Girls is not an 80's or 90's horror movie at all, it was made in 1973 and directed by a very young Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Twins and the creator of the cartoon Mummies Alive!). For those of you that know nothing about the movie, you can actually find a plethora of material about the movie on the web. The other reason I am cheating this week, is that the movie is finally getting an official blu-ray and DVD release in October from Shout! Factory. I thought I would still do a little write up about the movie as I've thought about it so much and have waited and waited for it to make it's way to DVD. I only discovered the upcoming October release when I started doing a little research for this article. The movie has been nearly impossible to see for years now, unless you could track down a VHS copy.

Since artwork hasn't officially been released and special features haven't been listed, I thought I would highlight some of the features I would like to see on the DVD. For special features, I think it is obvious that commentary with Ivan Reitman, Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin are a must. Other than that I would be pleased with the original theatrical trailer, stills/art gallery and hopefully some interviews with the rest of the cast and crew.

Here's a few options for DVD/Blu-ray Artwork:

Original Theatrical Poster (Click for larger image)
I think this is the German Poster (Click for larger image). This artwork was also used in North American posters.
French Artwork?
Dutch VHS Artwork
AIP Artwork

There's something about the German/NA artwork that I really like, but I hope they go with the classic original poster artwork because it's nostalgic - and it's the image on my shirt...
I should also mention, for those of you who live in Toronto, Rue Morgue is presenting the film as part of their Cinemacabre Movie Nights next month - March 18. Or if you live in Edmonton, you can check it out at the Metro Cinema, April 17-19.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MONSTER FORCE Vol 1 DVD Review


I recently stumbled across the Monster Force Volume 1 DVD at a Best Buy in New York City and had no idea Universal had plans to release the series.  As a kid I didn't watch Monster Force on TV at all, but I used to see the figures in the local Toys R Us quite often. Unfortunately, the series only lasted 13 episodes and I don't think the toy shops were able to push many of the figures.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the show was created by a Canadian studio called Lacewood Productions and Universal Cartoon Studios in 1994 and aired alongside Exo-Squad each week. As one might expect, many of the characters are voiced by Canadian talent - Philip Akin, Lawrence Bayne and David Hewlett.

Here's the overall premise: It is now the year 2020 and six teenagers called "The Monster Force" have teamed up to keep the world safe from "The Creatures of the Night" - A group of evil villains made up of Dracula, Renfield, The Mummy and other creatures Dracula can convince to join them. Using special costumes called EMACS (Energized Monster Armed Containment Suits) to heighten their fighting abilities, The Monster Force stop monsters each episode from destroying the planet.

Although the story is quite campy, much like the rest of the 80's and 90's kids TV shows, there is something kind of fun about seeing all of the classic Universal Monsters in the future fighting with each other. It may also have to do with the fact that comic writer Marv Wolfman (Crisis on Infinite Earths)  wrote and story edited many of the episodes.

The characters that make up the Monster Force are your classic superhero team. You have a martial artist (Tripp Hansen), a powerhouse marksmen (Lance McGruder...not McGruber), a brilliant scientist (Dr. Reed Crawley - I presume the one who created the EMAC suits and the leader of the group), a psychic (Shelley Frank - Frankenstein's love interest) and two monsters; Frankenstein and Luke Talbot (The Wolfman - a decedent of Lawrence Talbot from the original Universal Studios The Wolfman). The villains change every episode, but the main villains are Dracula and his lackey Renfield.

Episodes
1) Sign of the Dragon
A great introductory episode introducing the Monster Force. When Dracula (or as he likes to be called in the future, "Dracool") traps team members Barker and Luke Talbot in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, the team has to rush in to save the day.  Dracula spends the episode trying to convince luke to join the Creatures of the Night and accept that he is a werewolf and he will never be able to control his animalistic urges.  Unfortunately, Barker is turned into a vampire pretty early on, so we never learn too much about the guy.  Watch out for the awesome fight between Frankenstein and Luke as a werewolf.

2) Tracking the Beast
More of Luke’s family history is revealed when the Monster Force goes searching for the werewolf that transformed his family into lycanthropes. They soon discover that the werewolf has turned hundreds of townsfolk into werewolves that the Monster Force has to save the day. It's great to see how the writers tie in the original Universal stories into this series.

3) Immortality of Evil
Tribal headdresses are stolen from museums around the world. The Monster Force discover that the headdresses were previously owned by vampiric tribal leaders and now Dracula is using the headdresses to resurrect all of the ancient vampires. Once resurrected, Dracula hopes to transform all of the vampires into immortal beings who no longer require human blood to stay alive. Not a great episode and kind of silly. I don't know why the Monster Force would want to stop Dracula from doing this as he would no longer need to kill anyone for human blood - isn't that a good thing?

4) Return of the Creature
Something is interfering with a Dr. Crawley's friend's research on a sunken city. The Monster Force investigate to discover it is the Creature from the Black Lagoon causing all of the chaos. Very cool to see the Creature in this show.

5) Dark Deception
The Monster Force travels to Transylvania to learn all of Dracula’s secrets while he is away on the other side of the world. There, the Force meet Abraham Stoker, a vampire hunter, and decide to raid Castle Dracula, having to fight off all of the townspeople who are now vampires. A fun episode exploring Dracula's history and his castle.

6) He Walks Again
The Monster Force travels to Cairo to study the evil Imotep’s tomb. Unfortunately for them, the Mummy has been re-awaken and Dracula has begun attempting to recruit him into the Creatures of the Night. But The Mummy has other plans. Similar to the Creature episode, it is just fun seeing all of the classic monsters fight with each other.

7) Dark City
The Monster Force discover a “dark city” about to appear in Spain that re-appears every 100 years with the original townsfolk, who are now demons. They decide to check out the city and make sure it does not claim any new victims.  Very original and entertaining episode. One of the best on the DVD.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the DVD barebones. Nothing but the 7 episodes are featured on the disc.  We really can't complain though. It's just a miracle the show ended up getting a release. With so many cartoons from the 80's and 90's still in purgatory, it's great to see Universal making the effort to release this and Exo-Squad (review coming soon).  For those of you who are fans of the show, I highly recommend you pick up the DVD. The image and sound quality are satisfactory and it is great to just finally add the cartoon to your DVD collection. For those of you who have never seen the show before, but are into cheesy cartoons, definitely give this one a try. More than anything it is just fun to see a new interpretation of the classic Universal Monsters.  If we're lucky and enough units of volume 1 are sold, maybe we will be seeing volume 2 sooner than later.