Muppet Guys Talking - Group Shot

Muppet Guys Talking Is Finally Getting Released!

Well, to be honest about it, Muppet Guys Talking has already been released. It actually was released on March 12, 2017 for the South by Southwest Film Festival. Now though it’s going to be released for all of us to see, by way of the Muppet Guys Talking site on March 16th!

[Via] MuppeGuysTalking

Just as a bit of trivia you might want to know of course, the original title for Muppet Guys Talking was in fact entitled Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched. That is certainly a mouthful, right?
Muppet Guys Talking - SXSW 2017

Over these many years that I have been fortunate enough to share my interests on The Retroist. I have continuously shared my love of the work and creations of Jim Henson. Now we have this amazing opportunity to listen to five of the Muppet performers share their memories. Not on just on how Henson led his team of performers but personal tales of how they helped to develop a legacy that is still relevant today.

In Muppet Guys Talking we will hear from Frank Oz, the creator of Miss Piggy, Grover, Animal, and Bert to name a few.

[Via] Norwegian Norway

Also in the documentary is Fran Brill, the talent behind characters such as Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, and Polly Darton.
Muppet Guys Talking - Polly Darton

The late and great Jerry Nelson is featured in Muppet Guys Talking too. Gobo Fraggle, Count Von Count, as well as Emmett Otter were a few of his creations.

[Via] Jim Henson Foundation

Bill Barretta is part of the group in the documentary, getting his start with The Muppets backin 1991. He has helped to bring to life Bobo the Bear, Earl Sinclair, and of course Pepe the King Prawn.
Muppet Guys Talking - Pepe the King Prawn

Last but certainly not least in Muppet Guys Talking is Dave Goelz. The performer behind such characters as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beauregard, as well as the one and only the Great Gonzo!

[Via] Squigiman

So make sure to take a moment out of your busy schedule, go visit Muppet Guys Talking. Let us all prepare to be informed and entertained by the legends in the interview. Furthermore I would be willing to bet we will frequently be moved by the discussions too.

To tide us over until the Muppet Guys Talking documentary goes live. How about we listen to Frank Oz and producer Victoria Labalme talk about how the idea got started.

Gate II - Scream Factory

Scream Factory Presents: Gate II (1990)

In 1987 a dark PG-13 film entitled The Gate was released to theaters. While making it’s money back at the box office, it was in fact how it performed on home video that forced talk of a sequel. Thankfully after three years, Gate II was filmed. However it would take until 1992 for it to reach home video shelves. Which is a pity. Because the Gate II is a worthy successor to the original film.
Gate II - Transformation

I feel that one of the reasons that The Gate stayed around was that while being a PG-13 movie, it was still a horror film. With it’s rating it was able to traumatize many young children and teenagers. It was scary in parts but still had humor and even a lot of heart. Of course there was also the fact it had some awesome forced perspective effects as well as stop-motion.

I had already graduated High School by the time Gate II hit video store shelves. As a matter of fact I was working at a local video store when it was released. I remember being surprised that the filmmakers went with an R this go around. Besides some language and drug humor, I found it was actually far tamer than the original.

Gate II - Terry and John

Mostly tamer.

Gate II picks up a few years after the first film. Terry (Louis Tripp) has grown into a teenager and has come to a decision. The horrible demonic forces that he and his best friend summoned up wasn’t a bad idea. Afterall it was for good intentions. It just went wrong because they quite frankly performed the ritual incorrectly. To help his Father get his job back as a pilot, to help him pull himself out of his drunken stupor, Terry plans on harnessing dark forces again.

What would be a good spot for our would be sorcerer? Naturally the abandoned, boarded up, and fenced in remains of his best friend’s house. A gate to the other side was opened there, right? This time however, the young man finds he has some unexpected company. A borderline psychotic bully named John, his girlfriend Liz, and their toady Moe. As you can guess, all four teenagers are going to regret tampering with the gate.
Gate II - The Pentagram

In the Gate II, there are some truly nice performances. Not just from Tripp but Simon Reynolds who plays Moe as well as Pamela Segall who plays Liz. Director Tibor Takacs, who also directed The Gate certainly knows what he is doing. While they totally could have rehashed the original they expand the universe and of course the character of Terry. Thanks to the return of screenwriter, Michael Nankin.

Furthermore, those stop-motion and perspective effects are even better in the sequel! Obviously, special visual effects supervisor Randall William Cook is proud of the work. Word of warning, there is just a bit of salty language at the end of this clip.

Being a Scream Factory release you can rest easy knowing they have in fact included extras. While I am of course a little disappointed there was no commentary. They did however deliver a 2K scan of the interpositive, so it looks better than ever before. As well as:

  • Return To The Nightmare – A Look Back At Gate II -Featuring Interviews With Director Tibor Takacs, Screenwriter Michael Nankin And Special Visual Effects Creator Randall William Cook.
  • From The Depths – An Interview With Make-up Effects Artist Craig Reardon
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Promo And Video Store Contest Promo
  • Still Gallery

The nearly 30 minute discussion between Takacs, Nankin and Cook is really interesting to be sure. As is the interview with Reardon. Hands down though the extra that made my head spin was video store contest promo. It was in fact a cassette tape that was given out at the time of it’s release for a chance to win a thousand dollars. Scream Factory has totally included the entire audio recording for our listening enjoyment!

Gate II will be released on Blu-Ray next week on February 27th. Naturally you can hop on over to the official Scream Factory site and pre-order your copy right this minute. In closing Gate II while being tamer with the gore offers another type of terror. The horror of getting what you wish for and then having to live with the consequences as they are twisted. While goofier in some ways, this sequel delivers what to the characters might appear to be a magic lamp…but is in reality a monkey’s paw.

As an example of how clean the picture quality is now for Gate II. Why not check out how it looked before Blu-Ray with the original trailer?

Krull - Colwyn

Am I The Only One That Likes 1983’s Krull?

Krull was a movie that made a big mark on me when I was young. I can recall watching another 1983 film at my local Drive-In, in this case it was Superman III. Standing in line at that fabled concession stand I happened to glance over and see the poster for Krull. All thoughts of my Chilly Dilly pickle were gone, so I slipped under the railing and went to get a closer look at that poster.
Krull - Movie Poster

I will admit I was drawn to the visage of the Beast first. I had already turned eleven at that point and while not frightening, it certainly demanded my attention. Throw in the odd weapon that I would later learn was called the Glaive. I knew I had to see this film. In addition, after Superman III they actually showed the trailer for Krull!

[Via] Trailer Dwelling

I ask you, how could I not be blown away. Return of the Jedi had finished the Star Wars trilogy and yet I still hungered for space adventures. The very fact that this was a mash-up of sword and sorcery and science fiction was all the better. It was tailor made for a burgeoning cinephile like myself!
Krull - Slayers

Furthermore how can you resist a film with a trident throwing cyclops?

Upon seeing it, in all honesty, I was blown away. While of course there are a few elements from Star Wars that were borrowed for Krull. I am speaking of the Hero’s Journey in this regard. Prince Colwyn is helped on his quest to rescue Princess Lyssa by the appearance of Ynyr. A wise old man that obviously acts as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the film.
Krull - Freddie Jones

Naturally another element that Krull borrows from Star Wars is the Glaive. While it might not be a weapon from a more civilized time, it is ever so much as elegant as the weapon of a Jedi. As well as being a symbol of the royalty of long ago on the Planet Krull as we are told in the film. Most assuredly though I realize that like Lucas did with the lightsaber, the film’s ancient Glaive is a throwback to the likes of King Arthur’s Excalibur or even Hrunting from Beowulf!
Krull - The Glaive

On a side note. If I were thrust into the digital universe of the OASIS from Ready Player One. I can tell you without a doubt that in one hand would be the Glaive, and the other TRON’s identity disc.

Here is the rub though, it appeared that I was in the minority of those that loved the movie. The neighborhood kids definitely didn’t see all that I loved of Krull. Judging by the box office they weren’t alone. With an estimated budget of 47 million dollars – it earned only 16 million. It was pretty much savaged by the critics of the time. Case in point, this vintage review by Siskel and Ebert.

[Via] Gradepoint

I would add that it seems that maybe Gene and Roger in this particular case weren’t paying attention to the film. In addition, did Ebert knock 1981’s Dragonslayer? Now in truth Krull has obtained a cult status. Partly I am sure because of the embarrassment of riches it had with its cast. Liam Neeson, Robbie Coltrane, Freddie Jones, and Alun Armstrong to name a few.
Krull - Alun Armstrong

Let’s not fail to mention that the movie also boasts a fantastic score, by the late and great James Horner.

[Via] 200 Verde

I still find the movie to be just as thrilling as in my youth. I say this having fully removed those rose-tinted spectacles. Is it a perfect movie, most assuredly not. Krull is however an entertaining film, definitely deserving of a better score than 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, friends.
Krull - Rell

I’ve rambled on about things I like about Krull so how about watching something very special?

Thanks to DeeDee Bigelow’s YouTube channel, we can see Ken Marshall, who played Prince Colwyn hold the Glaive in his hands after 30 years.

Bill & Ted - Movie Poster

Check Out Bill & Ted’s Original Script Pages!

Friends, surely we can agree that 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a masterpiece. Or at the very least we can meet in the middle and admit that both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves really delivered stand out characters. Thanks of course to the script by both Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. Which is why it was such a joy the other day when Solomon totally revealed a few pages of their handwritten script for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure!

Real quick, in case you didn’t know. Ed Solomon has written for a lot of great films as well as TV shows. Just a few of the projects he has written for include It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Men in Black, Mom and Dad Save the World as well as the Now You See Me series.
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon

Chris Matheson most certainly comes from a Family with a legacy for writing. As he is the Son of the late and great Richard Matheson and brother to Richard Christian Matheson. His eldest brother like his Father, has written numerous horror stories as well as working in TV and film. Now Chris not only co-wrote Bill & Ted’s Exellent Adventure but the 1991 sequel and even some episodes of the animated series. In addition to writing the script for 1995’s The Goofy Movie!

[Via] Sheldon Williamson

I need to give a huge thank you to io9 for the heads up on the original script pages for Bill & Ted that Solomon shared. On the writer’s Twitter account he offered five handwritten pages with commentary:
“I promised this to some people a while ago (sorry for the delay, had to get them down from storage again). These are very first pages from the original, hand-written draft of Bill & Ted, written in a coffee shop by Chris Matheson & me in what now seems like another life. 1/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 1

“Writing it was never anything other than a pure joy. It was hard, when in the mindset of these guys, not to feel the kind of ebullience and generosity of spirit that they embody. And we knew absolutely nothing about so-called “rules” of writing. 2/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 2

“We were guided by one thing: what made us laugh? I remember at one point looking across the table from each other and saying “Maybe someday somebody might even READ this script!” We had NO idea that they’d be so beautifully embodied by the great @alxwinter and Keanu Reeves. 3/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 3

“And of course, George Carlin, who we all so dearly miss. To me, the fans of this movie are like family. We never thought it would even get MADE, let alone find a home with people. 4/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 4

“Chris and I have often said to each other: if all we did in our career was put the phrase “Be Excellent To Each Other” out into the world, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Sometimes when work is tough, or things don’t land the way I’d hoped, I think about that and feel ok. 5/5″
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 5

Ed Solomon is of course correct. That is an absolutely exceptional comment to have put out in the world. One to remember as well, friends.

You’ve had a chance to glance at the original script pages for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. So “Party On” with the mall sequence from the film!

[Via] Zachary Ruetz

Star Wars Q and A - Hamill

MidAmeriCon II featuring 1976 Star Wars Q and A!

Friends, you might have noticed the other day when the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted. It sounded very much like the ripping of the fabric of the universe. At least judging by the comments from some of those in the fanbase. But that is certainly not why I am writing this post. Not in the least. This is about the discovery of the MidAmeriCon II panel with Mark Hamill, Gary Kurtz as well as Charles Lippincott. An amazing Star Wars Q and A from September 4th, 1976!

Charles Lippincott is the gentleman in yellow Star Wars t-shirt. He was responsible for drumming up interest in the first film at various conventions. Like at the 34th WorldCon in Kansas City, Missouri.
Star Wars Q and A - Charles Lippincott

Gary Kurtz of course was the producer for the first two Star Wars films. Although he also produced 1973’s American Graffiti as well as co-producing 1982’s The Dark Crystal.
Star Wars Q and A - Gary Kurtz

I don’t believe I need to point out the merits of Mark Hamill, right? This Star Wars Q and A is nearly and hour long. It also is incredibly fascinating how the audience members react. It might shock you but most are quite angry towards the then upcoming film.

[Via] Sky TV

Not everyone is dismissive of Hamill, Kurtz, and Lippincott of course. The trio also make a point of handling the questions and aggression good-naturedly. Hamill in particular reveals early on his humorous nature. You will also hear some answers to questions that don’t quite mesh with what the finished product turned out to be.

So grab your favorite beverage and snack and enjoy this 1976 Star Wars Q and A!

[Via] Gvaerbe Kfaofse

Okay. So you’ve had a chance to watch the Star Wars Q and A. So why not check out that Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer too?

[Via] Star Wars