Saturday Frights - Sean Hartter

Saturday Frights: Monsters – “One Wolf’s Family” (1990)

Saturday Frights - Sean Hartter

This week we are howling with anticipation as we bring you “One Wolf’s Family” from season Episode 17/Season 2 of Monsters!

The episode revolves around the family of Victor and Greta a middle aged immigrant couple as they prepare for the engagement dinner of their only daughter. Spirits are high as Victor reflects on how great America has been for them compared to the persecution and hatred they faced in “the old country.” Victor is excited to meet their daughter’s fiance Stanley for the first time.
Apparently Mrs Peabody has been snooping around after finding dog tracks in her rose garden. It’s Victor’s fault for taking a short cut. While he chased that jogger. The one in the fridge. Because they eat people. Because they’re…Werewolves!!!

During the conversation, The wife let’s slip that their daughter’s engagement is a bit of a “mixed relationship” Stanley is a were-hyena. Horrible, obnoxious disgusting scavenging creatures. Victor appropriately flies into a rage and goes alpha! He forbids the marriage and announces that Stanley will not so much as step foot in their home! He forgets however that his wife is a wife as she immediately takes control and puts him in his place. The meal WILL go on as planned.

Mrs Peabody shows up and basically forces her way inside under the paper thin pretense of borrowing a cup of cheese. She frantically looks around the house for weird stuff and gets an eye full. Three cookbooks all about MEAT. Scary looking tools hung up where kitchen utensils should be and a beef diagram handing next to a human biology chart on the fridge.

They finally get Peabody to leave and we cut to the dinner. And Stanley is in super-hyena mode. Eating bones, drinking all Most of Victor’s “half a day’s pay bottle of wine” and belching. All the while keeping up the most obnoxious laugh you’ve ever heard.
The dinner goes ugly really quick as victor’s simmering fury finally erupts. He transforms into wolf mode and threatens Stanley and his people by saying they are all alike. Cowards. Stanley responds by running terrified out of the house.

We see Peabody, snooping around the yard with a camera like some kind of ridiculous suburban cryptid hunter. She pears into their windows listening to their conversations. She finally looks into the kitchen window and sees Victor, still in wolf form eating a human foot. She takes photos, goes home and calls the cops.

Victor, relaxing in an easy chair is given an inspiring speech about acceptance by Greta. While he seems to soften to the idea, we see Stanley in the front yard, pacing and trying to pump himself up to stand up for himself! Greta shows up and mistakes him for a cop. Telling him all about the werewolves and the photographic proof she has.

Right after victor agrees to let the marriage go ahead, Stanley bursts through the door valiantly and declares his love for Victor’s daughter! He finally has a backbone and proof that he can provide. He brought dessert, in the form of Mrs Peabody’s head in a box. Delicious.

[Via] MonstersTV

Now that we’ve enjoyed the show, I’m feeling a little famished. Why not take a stroll with me down to the concession stand. See what’s on the menu?

tecno-man

Full Moon Review of TechnoMan!

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Hey group! I’m supper stoked for this weeks edition of the Full Moon Review, I’m covering a little cartoon called Tekno (or, Techno) Man! I don’t know anything about the actual show (my wifey read it off in a list of cartoons) but the name basically says it all. Techno! Many has been the time that I’ve wiled a Saturday night away dancing to killer bass and sick drum machine beats while surrounded by mysterious fog machine…fog, in some abandoned warehouse! The underground flyers for that nights rave, the anonymous sex, the sweating, the dancing the sheer exhilaration! Today I’m reliving all of it by way of this cartoon. So now, as I begin to remove my shirt and apply my backlight body paint, I hope that you’ll do the same as we enjoy, Techno Man Episode 7

Part One:
Okay just watched the opening and I’m gonna be totally honest with you guys. I don’t get it…super fast moving images of space and lasers and interstellar action (all pretty common stuff that gets projected on the wall at a techno rave) but there’s other stuff too. Guys with weapons, giant robots, men women…soldiers spaceships…wow! On top of everything else, I seem to be so wasted, that when the title was shown I wasn’t able to read it. This is gonna be one hell of a ride! Wooooo!

Uhhh… okay I think I got ahold of some bad acid (total rookie mistake) because I cant tell if im watching the episode or im still watching the opening! The action and editing havent slowed down one bit…then when it does slow down (ie; two people talking) it slows down completely its like a painting but with eyes and mouths moving

The plot seems to be that there are these giant battle ships trying to fend off an alien invasion (killer idea for a movie!) and the gunners are just shooting straight up into this nonstop wave of identical flying aliens (killer idea for a video game!)

The humans are getting their butts handed to them. Two people talk about how were losing, then we cut to some other guy I know nothing about, reporting to some board about how we lost techno man! The bored seems really upset and one guy looks at him in profile with a really grumpy look on his face. (getting kinda bummed myself…where is all the techno, man?)

In fact, I’m making that same face, but with a light up pacifier in my mouth…

So the guy is part of something called the “space knights” and he’s fighting with the military and they all want jurisdiction over the techno man and everybody’s voices are super echoey and they’re talking about salvaging the techno man (I thought he was lost, not broken) and everything’s moving too fast….its just total chaos gang, I don’t know what to tell you…

The two statue people that were talking earlier said they needed “Blade’s” help to beat the aliens, the angry board meeting said they lost and/or needed to salvage techno man…then some guys is talking on a walking talkie/Smartphone thing about a techno bot. two other people and gothicy raver looking girl and maybe a…Australian? Looking guy are going through all these goofy schematics about a techno bot and a crystal…and a person and how they all have to work together and fit together…the austrailian guy gets all excited that he gets to go build it! We then cut (quickly) to a grumpy young guy in a bed who smacks his tray of food away

And says he doesn’t wanna eat. The woman who brought him the food calls him Blade!! So okay maybe he has to get into and control robot armor…a crystal helps to fuse them together, and the whole shebang is techno man!!

Okay it looks like I’m right…kind of. I guess he somehow transforms into techno man through a bunch of magic/sciency, gobledy-guk. He apparently got beat up and all his techno man stuff got broke so now he’s a sour puss. His friends (who I like to call “wiggly eye girl” and “cocky blonde guy”) take him on a “This is your life” tour of the facilities to try to straighten out his Debby Downer attitude. They meet up with weird science lady and kind of Australian guy (who talks like a Japanese guy who learned English entirely by watching John Wayne movies and then tried to use an Australian accent) and they talk about the progress, then give blade the worlds most awkward pep talk

They all get called away for an important update and we see a bunch of images of landmarks villages etc getting all blowed up by the aliens from space. Suddenly!!! The signal gets jammed and the aliens cut in to all the video screens (Cobra style) and demand that earth turn over the techno man (apparently he’s either an alien or stole the suit…or the technology or something, from them) if they don’t get him, they’ll resume the attack and destroy everthing! By the way, the bad guy? His name is Dagger! (Dagger, Blade, Pointy, Sharpes, Stabby and The Shredder!) ….im assuming.

Part Two:
The action is heating up! Apparently, blade is trying to turn himself in. He’s gonna fly some broken rocket up to the bad guys and offer himself up like a thanksgiving turkey! Everybody is gathered round the communication console yelling at him all anime-ish and he’s ignoring them.

He flies into space on his death mission and for some reason everybody gets back to work on the whole techno man thing. Maggie (the weird girl) still can’t figure it out but then the young communication girl walks in with an armful of discs, trips on a cable and the discs fly everywhere (landing on the keyboard) and lo and behold, wouldn’t ya know it!! The computer reboots and figures out the solution (really, cartoon??)

Unfortunately, Blade already arrived at the spaceship, they slaughtered him like a pig, no one else could activate the robot and the earth is destroyed…just kidding!

Blade arrives at alien headquarters and starts a war of words with Dagger. Ring (that’s the blonde guy’s name…Ringo! Hah!!!) sets out in his special spaceship (he’s a pilot) with the techno bot on his way to give it to Blade and while the action, once again, heats up we finally get some techno. I put on my white gloves (they look great under the black-light that I’m writing this by) and start dancing getting lost in the music…lost in the magic…

Anyway Ringo (heh heh) arrives with the suit after blowing away a bunch of aliens and delivers the suit to Blade seconds before he blew himself up to destroy the alien ship and kill Dagger. Blade goes through a typical five minute long anime transformation sequence and finally takes off, once again, as Techno Man!

Next we get a clichéd fight against the big boss, ending in Blade eradicating Dagger in an horrible violent explosion, so beautiful that his friends bask in the light of it!

All is well, the day is saved and once again humanity can feel safe in the knowledge that freedom exists for every man woman and child. Oh, except for the super duper mega ultra secret, hyper sonic, double evil bad guy that lives underground on the dark side of the moon!

Aaaaaahhhhh!

Recap:
Oh Man! What did I do last night?? I woke up this morning I woke up on the floor surrounded by about 37 glow-sticks with a bunch of blacklights shining on me. I was wearing white gloves and one sock (that’s it) the there was nothing but static blaring. I rewound it to see what I was watching (this was all really weird, since it was you tube) and apparently I was watching some kind of techno anime movie??

I promised myself I would never rave (or watch anime) ever again…I really need to have more self control…its just that when the beat gets ahold of you…what can you do? I gotta dance!

See ya next time!

Oh and by the way, Anime Guys? The “putting your hand on your inner elbow and pumping your fist up gesture?”

I don’t think it means what you think it means…just saying.

zazoo

Remember Zazoo U?

It’s bizzaro week at the Claymation Werewolf! Today, as a change of pace, I’m going to change things up a bit. Instead of reviewing a cartoon that I’ve never seen but everyone else in the world has; I’m going to tell you about a cartoon that I seem to be one of the only people in the world to remember!

I was a weird kid. It would be fair to say that I never actually outgrew that label. But it definitely all started when I was just a Claymation Werewolf Pup. Besides the fact that I’ve been trying to break into “showbiz” since I was about 10, there were plenty of other signs that should have made my parents worry. For Instance, I used to dress up in costume…when it wasn’t Halloween. I used to watch cartoons and route for the bad guys! And, I went directly from reading Scholastic books to reading Edgar Allen Poe.

Most of all though, I think the best evidence of my sheer weirdness were the things that I have always been drawn to. Madballs, Monster in my Pocket, and Wayside School Books. Then of course, there’s one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Zazoo U.

What is Zazoo U? boy, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that in my life. Despite the fact that Zazoo U was part of Fox Kid’s Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Lineup (albeit, for only a year) No one seems to remember it! I would have thought that it would have been remembered for it’s sheer absurdity alone!

The whole thing took place at a school with weird, vague animal characters with a plotline that feels more like a Nyquil dream than a cartoon episode and some of the most off-beat characters in television history. An over the top artsy, art teacher poodle named Miss Devine (not actually so over the top if you went to art school) A skuzzy, and rough (but good natured) pig named Griz

and two Eastern European acrobats creatures named Slogo and Logan (that don‘t speak English) On a side note, I am absolutely convinced that Pixar ripped off this idea with Tuck and Roll in “A Bug’s Life”

My favorite character though was Bully Wolly Mammoth a giant, kind hearted clumsy wooly mammoth who played the piano (and normally destroyed the piano) I have distinct memories of playing on my swingset and reciting my favorite catchphrase from the show “I like it!” in Bully’s voice (did I mention he acted and talked like President Richard Millhouse Nixon? Picture me, doing my best Nixon: “Freshhhh Kool-Aid, I lllllike it!” Again, I was a weird kid…

There isn’t a lot to say about Zazoo U…it was great, nonsense themes, a message at the end (somehow made coherent from the chaotic plot) and intercut scenes of screaming school kids running down the halls which would inevitably crush some of the characters on the show. It had wonderfully weird music, a bizarre drawing style and catchphrases (at least I thought they were funny!)

I would suggest that you go online and track down some videos of this great show but, while trying to do research for this article I found nothing! (unless you want to watch a stupid commercial for some foreign condom company) I actually own a dvd of Zazzoo U. It’s two episodes and I think it originally came from England. They were released under the Jetix brand after Disney bought all of Sabaan’s properties.

I’ll be picking up more when I can find them. The dvd rounds off my enormous collection of Zazoo U merchandise (I think I’m the own more Zazoo U memorabilia than anyone else on the planet…three items!!) I also own a lunchbox (with thermos!)

and the crown jewel of my collection, one of the greatest finds I’ve ever made!! (okay, my wife was responsible)

We were at an anime convention and we came across a dealer of animation cells and original animation production art. I found a sketch of another weird cartoon I used to love (Family Dog) and my wife decided to throw caution to the wind about one of my biggest collecting white whales Zazoo U. To our amazement he had not only heard about it he actually had something from the show.

This!

An entire storyboard script for one of the episodes. He didn’t have it with him (apparently he had been trying for years to get rid of the thing but no one had ever heard of the show or had any interest in buying it!) This guy drove back to his house (30-40 minutes away) and brought it back! One of my (wife’s) greatest moments in collecting magic!

So, if by any chance you find yourself with the opportunity to watch some Zazoo U, (for instance, an invite to one of the Zazoo U parties that are currently sweeping the nation) I heartedly recommend it! And even better, If you are one of those collecting types and you come across some Zazoo U merchandise, give me a shoutout!! I’d love to take it off your hands and continue my quest to prove to my peers that it exists! That I’m not crazy! (my mother had me tested!)

super-globetrotters

Remember The Super Globetrotters?

The Harlem Globetrotters. Of all of the novelty, exhibition basketball teams out there, they have always been, at the very least, in my top 10. But little did I know that there was more to this team than throwing pretend buckets of water on people, goofing on refs and occasionally helping Scooby Doo and the gang, solve a mystery. These guys were apparently a crime fighting group in their own right. And with an episode name like The Super Globetrotters Vs The Time Lord, it seems our heroes will be squaring off against “The Doctor” himself. Prepare yourself for some above the rim, basketball spinning, Tardis flying action, with Your Super Globetrotters.

Super Globetrotters Episode 9. Super Globetrotters Vs The Time Lord.


Pt 1

Well, the opening was…different. For starters the music was funk-tastic so I can’t find any fault there. It appears as though the guys are just regular old basketball comedy acrobatic superstars until the globetrotters signal goes off. Then they hop into lockers which crazily hop and jerk around and they emerge as super powered grotesque body horrors! …then they fight crime and what-not. Should be interesting.

So far the episode is pretty goofy and plot-holey but at least it is a little bit more rational than some of the stuff ive watched recently (I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing)

There is some kind of big announcement about a new time machine. It can talk and all it wants in the world is the chance to see the globetrotters play (ooooo-kay…)

All the while, an evil villain known as the Time Lord (sadly, not Doctor Who)

is planning to steal it because he is the only true master of time and he wants to keep the globetrotters from using the talking time machine to turn the world into a better place (even though there is no evidence that anyone wanted to use the time machine for any such reason) He has a time crystal he can use to stop, slow down or speed up time. He decides to use it to bring back the most masterful theifs from history. He does this by saying there name, pointing the crystal and making them appear. From my understanding of the time crystal, this isn’t actually how it works but I’ll just go with it.

Anyway he brings for a Bill and Teds style assembly of historic characters (and just like in Bill and Ted, none of them were real people) We got the cat lady, the short lookout guy, the driver, and the other guy)

He’s going to use his time control powers to steal the time machine!

MEANWHILE!!

The globetrotters get a call on their magic radio from their sattelite in space that looks like a giant space basketball with an antennae the radio gets their attention by saying. “NOW DIG THIS” yeahhhh.

So they break into the time machine facility and the Super Globetrotters are hot on their heels, but thanks to the short lookout guy, the Time Lord gets the drop on them. They kidnap giant basketball head curly and use him (somehow) to capture the rest of the Super Globetrotters (who, for some reason everyone keeps calling The Globetrotter Super Heroes)

According to TL between the crystal and the time machine he can send the globetrotters back in time! …so he can just randomly pluck villains from the past (all of whom join his plan immediately, without question) but he has to have all this equiptment and a big song and dance to send people back in time? I call no way.

He puts the globetrotters in an invisible cage called

The Time Warp! …it’s just a jump to the left. And then a step to the riiiiiiiight. Put your hands on your hips, you bring your knees in tiiiiight and as th…. Oops, ahem,

Part 2

The Globetrotters escape the time warp (let’s do the time warp agaaaaaaiiin!)

And we get treated to some wacky Scooby Doo esque chase hijinks through the big scary mansion. In the end the talking time machine gets re-captured and the Globetrotters have to develop a new plan to rescue him. They decide to leave notes telling the bad guys that there is gold in the laboratory for them

And telling the others that their fellow badies are stealing the gold. This makes no sense whatsoever. Who do they think wrote these notes the time lord? Why would he do that when he wants them to capture the globe trotters (in a couple of the cases the globetrotters actually hand deliver the notes to the bad guys!) oy….

Anyway, the the globetrotters manage to capture the baddies in the time warp (but it’s the pelvic thrrrrruuuust that really drives you insayayayaannne)

And they wont let them out unless they get the time machine returned. Instead of returning the time machine, TL decides to challenge them to a basketball game. Winner gets the time machine! The globetrotters agree as long as the proceeds got to charity!

The time lord uses his time crystal during the game to alter the speeds of the players and help his team of crooks to kick some major globetrotter butt. At one point the baddies are running around in circles shooting basket after basket (not even legal basketball playing!)

The globetrotters decide to cheat back and they become super globetrotters (or…globetrotter superheroes, or Goody goody do gooders, basketball buffoons and meddlesome dribblers.) They only do this after their jive talking super radio tells them to. But afterwards they score a bunch of cheating baskets in a row and win the day!

The cops arrest the Time Lord and the other bad guys (but the rest of the crew arent even from that time period…I think the law might be a little shady here.)

And the team decides to hand deliver the clock.

They push it uphill quite a while then ride it down hill!

Closing joke: “Time really flies!” …oy.

Recap

The whole time I watched this I felt like I was watching a combination of Robonic Stooges and New Scooby Doo Movies (neither of which I like) I guess this was okay…I would like to see a big origin story where we find out why we have a giant noodle guy, a multiple man, a water man with snorkle and flippers, a giant basketball head guy and an afro guy with scientific gizmos, hidden in his afro. The whole thing felt very thrown together….I can relate to that!

See ya next time!.

prostars

Remember Prostars?

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Today on Claymation Sports Broadcasting we have an exciting match lined up for you!! Okay not really but I am reviewing a sports cartoon… Prostars was a cartoon in the 80’s…or possibly early 90’s but I am actually not aware of whether I knew of it’s existence or not. Staring Wayne Gretsky, Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan

(I don’t know if the real voices were used but I’m gonna guess no.) I don’t know if the show focused on their sports careers or if they were some kind of action team fighting evil athletes (I was gonna make a joke here about the evil athletes they could be facing but I don’t actually know enough about sports to even attempt it…Jose Conseco? Is that a good one?) At any rate for your reading “pleasure” I now present my Full Moon Review of:

Prostars The Perbots of Dr Lobe!

Part 1:

So far this cartoon is looking ridiculous. I think ego’s may have come into play just a teeny bit in the production of this cartoon. The opening feels like it takes up the entirety of part one and has little pieces of actiony animation mixed in with hilight reel footage of our heroes playing their respective sports. There’s a theme song set to the tune of “we will rock you” that is the most absurd thing ever…it basically boils down to lyrics with this message:

“this guy plays a sport!”

“He’s good at everything!”

“Watch him run around!”

‘Wow that was really cool!”

“We are. We are.”

“Prostars!”

Michael Jordan (who apparently has rocket powered shoes in this world) can’t even be bothered to lend his incredibly awkward video introduction (which Gretsky and Jackson apparently have no shame about doing)

Insert what huh?

The interview type weird opening thing is cut short when words like Action. Danger. And my personal favorite:

Insert villain

Start appearing on the screen which I suppose means were ready for action…or something…

The episode proper, starts out with some kind of weird sports kung fu match going down between Bo and Wayne with MJ as the Ref. It’s baseball bat vs. hockey stick in a no olds barred test of mainly prowess!

Insert awkward position.

Theres a woman that all of them call Mom which makes me wonder if this is some kind of grown up sports based version of the muppet babies and she’s nanny and all their adventures are just taking place in their minds while they spend all day hanging out in this diner! Hmmm.

So Mom is a tiny mean little woman who is apparently some kind of super powered athletic paragon and task master! (just like Nanny!) For a while I couldn’t tell if she was supposed to be German, Russian or Yiddish (the voice actor was a little, all over the map with the inflection) but one “oy vey” later, and mystery solved! Jamaican!

The boys get their latest mission. It seems an evil scientist has sent a video disk. He has created robots or Perbots (I don’t know if the name is supposed to be some kind of joke…maybe, perfect robots?) Anyway, he challenges our heroes to an Olympics robots against people and seals the deal by showing them his innocent hostage!

I don’t know if the hostage was an actual character on the show but she knew who the pro stars where…Im also picking up on a little more character development. They’re going with the Alvin and the Chipmunks standard: Bo is the hothead leader/rebel, Wayne is the innocent ditzy one, and Michael is the tall skinny, brainy one. This mission Nanny…I mean Mom has decided to come along because she thinks the boys are getting soft.

Part 2

Now that were in the second part of the show we finally get a little insight into the motivations of Dr Loeb. He wants to prove to the world that his evil robots are superior to puny humans and replace all athletes with robots and amass a fortune!!! (yeah I don’t really follow it either)

After the guys huddle up and decide they need to try to win this thing (I thought that was the point the whole time) Bo is up first in the Baseball competition. Using some suped up equipment he manages to beat the robot! One down, and if my guess is correct, two to go.

I could be wrong! MJ climbs the stadium walls and jumps to the center of the stadium where the hostage is being held by a magnetic beam above chomping metal teeth. Amazed the girl asks how he got up there and he replies something to the affect of. “The tensill strength in my quads effectively propelled my body at a 60 degree angle.” oy vey indeed.

Dr Loeb releases his basketball perbot who goes after Michael before he can pull the plug on the magnet machine he tries to laugh it off but soon finds out the hard way that he probably shoulda taken it seriously. That perbot wasn’t a buss driver but he totally took MJ to school!

Part 3

Michael begins to plummet back to earth and Ditzy Gretsky has to remind him to activate his shoes and avoid the whole “dying” thing. The shoes turn out to have springs in them so he springs safely on the ground then springs around the stadium, springs over the perbot and springs into the air and kills the perbot with the basketball then he grabs Wayne and Bo and they all spring up and down in celebration.

The evil dr then unveils the most important athletic event of all!! …ice hockey? The electro-robot hockey monster steps out and Wayne Gretsky steps forward and in the time honored tradition of Shaggy, he leaps, shaking into the arms of Bo Jackson and refuses to meet the challenge.

Wayne beats the hockey perbot in a action packed, slaptick fueled hockey match. Then the evil Dr Loab releases all the perbots, but MJ has a plan! He finds the plug, contacts the other pro stars!

I should point out here that Bo knows rescues….he says so himself!

They send Mom to fly the ship and they set out to do battle with the evil machines. Bo and Wayne get to put back on their awesome Karate Kid headbands from the beginning of the show and prepare to kick some metal butt!

They fight the robots until they get bailed out by Mom in the jet and run away from the fight. Michael pulls the plug and they catching the falling Hostage Jill. On the way out they capture Dr Loeb via a hook on the nose of the jet (not as violent as it sounds) and live a giant booby trapped stadium full of killer robots just sitting there.

We head back to the diner for our closing scene. Jill thanks them for saving her and MJ goes into a speech about how if she ever needs help in the future they’ll be there to save her again…. Jill is in her parent’s car driving down the street halfway through this speech so Im not really sure who Mike is talking to but oh well!

Recap:

This show was alright I guess. It’s weird that Michael couldn’t be bothered to do any of the live action footage, I mean it was clearly remotely recorded…he couldn’t sit down for five minutes to record a couple intro lines or interview questions? (in the end the players where asked a couple questions by kids framed in sports cards.) Also the whole show felt very Canadian…don’t know if it was or not but I noticed a few cannuck accents in the show (voice actors are as thick as flies in the great white north) That would also explain the whole “Most important game! Ice Hockey!” thing. And hey, Michael didn’t even perform any action in the cartoon!! He bounced a little and threw a ball! Once! He didn’t fight robots, he didn’t even spar in the beginning. It’s like MJ told the producers that not only did he not want to contribute much, he didn’t even want his animated self to be to involved! And another thing…

shadow

Ram-Man and Shadow Weaver makes a Cosplay Splash at Pittsburgh Comicon

This week I decided to do something a little different. Rather than review a cartoon, I want to present to you a time that I recently became one. As some of you know I attend the Pittsburgh Comicon every year and (thanks to my darling, cosplay loving wife Leslie aka PhishBon3s) I usually go in costume.

This year I had a spark of inspiration! Given that there aren’t a ton of hero types for a teapot kinda guy like myself (short and stout) one character finally dawned on me. One of my favorite (if dim-witted) heroes of the Masters of the Universe and one of the most controversial toys in the classic MOTU line; Ram-Man!

My darling wife spent months working and slaving over sewing machines and hot glue guns. We made more trips than I would like to remember, to Jo-Ann Fabrics (I should really win some kind of medal of honor for the amount of fabric cutting lines I had to stand in).

Leslie brilliantly chronicles the good natured “can-do” spirit that I maintained through the process, in this hilarious comic:

After all was said and done I really enjoyed dressing up like Ram-Man (a character I was BORN to play), I even like putting on the armor during the fittings!

Leslie portrayed the dark and mysterious villainess, Shadow Weaver (I’ve always had a thing for the bad girls) and she took to the project immediately.

Finally the costumes were done and we set out on our trip to the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, PA. The drive was peaceful and we even saw a fox on the way there! We arrived and got dressed in a parking lot (pretty normal for me actually, clothes are for squares) and entered the convention. After stepping into the con, we made a bee-line for the pamplet table and left a stack of Retroist newsletters, CW windowclings and magnets; all of which were scooped up quickly. Thankfully we kept restocking it throughout the day!

Immediately we got a lot of attention. People where overjoyed that among the latest and greatest in comic book and pop culture nerdery they got to see some characters straight out of their childhood! (Somebody really oughta create a website to capitalize on this nostalgia thing)

While most people called Leslie Orko…Orko! ….enough times to depress any dark sorceress.

…She made an immediate friend in a kindred spirit named Sarah Jane. Sarah turned out to be a huge fan of the old She-Ra cartoons. She had herself cosplayed previously as Catra and recognized Shadow Weaver immediately. The two hit it off immediately

(Sarah was also in an amazing throwback costume, brilliantly portraying the devious, whip-wielding villainess Cat Woman!)

Already plans have been made between the two of them to coordinate a future convention appearance together. Cosplay world, look out!

As you can probably tell from the photograph; Leslie went the extra mile with her costume, not only making Shadow Weaver’s eyes actually glow, she created several eye plates that could be quickly replaced to show a wide range of emotions!

We met a ton of great people at the convention (sadly I didn’t think to exchange contact info with any of them) A wonderful couple that each posed for a picture with us separately and a great Green Lantern!

The con was a huge success. We even won second place in the “group” contest against some amazing competition. We had never even planned on entering the contest and only did, after the third time that someone wished us luck in it!

So that’s about it; we left the convention feeling great, made some new friends and saw a lot of great merchandise and costumes. I picked up a few great dvd sets from my childhood and even the drive home was lovely! (We saw a coyote on the way home…weird!)

The Pittsburgh Comicon was and always is a great time! I’m already looking forward to next years trip (I have no idea what kind of costume project my Mrs has planned for me.) Nevertheless, you should really check out this convention and if you wanna meet up, get in touch with me! I’d love to meet you. And also feel free to contact me if we actually did meet this year.

Until next time, stay retro friends!

spock

Remember the California Raisins?

One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Do you remember the California Raisins? I sure do…for starters, I remember actual raisins from California. I’ve always had a love hate relationship…great in old people cereal but they make a pretty lousy snack. For the most part, I’ll buy a package of tiny boxes of the dried grapes, eat them the first couple of days, then get real bored, real fast. But enough about California raisins…let’s talk about California Raisins.

In the 1980’s, The Claymation Giants at Will Vinton Studios produced commercials that would change the raisin game forever. Suddenly bluesy anthrop orphic raisins were everywhere! TV, radio, novelty items…even one of those cool stuffed toys that hung on your car window (usually reserved for Garfield) I have a vivid memory of Raisin Mania…what I don’t remember however, was the actual California Raisins Show.

This ends today.
INSERT NAME CHART
California Raisins: “Meet The Raisins”

Part:1
So far this cartoon is pretty freaking great (by my standards anyway) to start with I have always been a huge fan of Claymation and Stop-Motion, if you couldn’t figure that out, and Will Vinton was one of the legends. The character design is fantastic, the doowap and Motown rock hits are outstanding and the fruit related puns are non stop. Together that is a formula for success! The entire show is done in a faux documentary “behind the music style that really works with the program narrated by a nerdy british carrot, showing video clips on a vin-tone television (get it?)

Up untill now we have seen them ditch an early member of the group (a “bitter” grapefruit) and then go on to success after hiring his replacement ala The Beatles dumping Pete Best for Ringo Star.

They became a hit on a singing reality competition gameshow that I would actually watch wherein if the contestants did not have enough talent they would be squashed, heated up or otherwise brutalized on national tv. Now that’s entertainment!

Side Note: they also have these great commercial breaks with fruit and vegetable related products and television shows including “hair styling products” and a Vegetable Soap Opera “the young and the seedless”

Part 2:
They’ve begun to pop the Grapefruit guy into the background as an ongoing joke (he’s constantly trying to get into the act.)

The Raisins career has hit a sour note since their discovery on national tv. They had to start over, performing on the street, then live elevator music and then singing telegrams; in a brilliant scene in which they terrorize and nearly kill a mountain climber. They gain national attention for saving his life and are once again discovered, this time by a Raspberry, Italian film maker. And are put into a Spaghetti Western where they apparently use live ammunition.

**they star in some other movie parodies including a 2001 a space oddysey movie and my personal favorite a star trek parody! “My alien side does not reason…but my raisin side say mmbo bowow boppa mmbow ba bow…” Pure Brilliance!

Part 3:
The raisins go on a goodwill tour through the arctic circle and play for snowmen, penguins and a walrus.

Not surprisingly the tour loses money and the crew begin their flight home, broke and frozen together somewhere over the US the plane gets struck by lightning and crashes right in the middle of a concert by Lick Broccoli and the herbacides (the current band of the grapefruit ex member)

The Raisins steal the show…literally. They thaw out and start playing for an audience that apparently hates the herbacides even though they are sitting in their concert. (maybe they were assuming a better band would crash an airplance into the concert hall and start performing?) at any rate the crowd and the tv audience at home eats up the Raisins and they go on to greatness and fame (in the 80s)
The End.

Recap:
There really isn’t too much more I can add to this. I wish I would have seen it sooner. I watched this, so mesmerized by the claymation that at times I wondered if I enjoyed the show as much as I thought, or just fell in love with the visual masterpiece that it was. In reality the writing was my cup of tea, the puns were great and the ongoing gags never got old. Although only produced in 2D animation (my second favorite animation style) this production makes me want to check out the television series. I hope it wont leave a sour taste in my mouth. Nobody likes sour grapes.