bubo

Want your very own Clash of the Titans Bubo the Owl?

When I saw the film Clash of the Titans as a kid, I didn’t walk away wanting a cool sword or flying horse. No, I wanted my very own Bubo Owl. While the movie was filled with many impressive stop-motion characters, Bubo impressed me the most. He is this wonderful friendly mechanical owl and he is adorable. How could I resist?

bubo

In the 1981 film, Bubo was forged by the god Hephaestus for Athena. She sends wise Bubo to aid Perseus in his quest to save the princess Andromeda. Bubo does his best throughout the film and Perseus overcome numerous enemies with his aid. In the easily forgotten 2010 version of the film, they use him as a throwaway joke. When Perseus find him, in a bin in an armory, he is advised to just leave him behind. Sorry if you are a fan of this version, but when you disrespect my favorite mechanical owl, you are dead to me.

I have wanted one of these wonderful owls for years, but now I do not need to wait any longer. Amazon is selling plastic versions of Bubo for 14 bucks with 2 day shipping for Prime Members. I ordered mine this weekend. So soon, I will be a modern-day Perseus. Striding the streets of my fair city. Plastic mechanical owl sent by the goddess of Wisdom via Amazon perched nobly upon on my shoulder. All who behold me will know, here comes a hero. Who knows, maybe I will even decide to take this to the next level and pick up the costumes to complete the look.

It might not be as cool as this mechanical owl that Podpad Studios posted in 2015, but it is perfect for me. Although if Podpad wants to send me a mechanical owl, I would be happy to take one.

If you have not seen Clash of the Titans and are not sure what I am talking about. Here is some scenes capturing some great moments of our winged hero.

Check out Bubo the Owl in action

Monster Squad

Behind The Scenes Photos Of 1987’s The Monster Squad!

I believe we have more than demonstrated our love of The Monster Squad here on The Retroist. From numerous posts featuring artwork by the likes of Traivs Falligant to epic apparel by Fright-Rags. Naturally there was also the 70th Retroist Podcast episode – all about The Monster Squad of course!
Retroist Monster Squad Podcast

However we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to share vintage behinds the scenes photos from the movie. Furthermore photos supplied by none other than the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Monster Squad

All Images courtesy of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts

It turns out that right after the Stan Winston Studio finished the effects work on 1986’s Aliens. The team finished up on Amazing Stories and then took on the job for The Monster Squad. A project that as you can understand caused quite a bit of excitement for the artists. A chance to play with the designs of the classic Universal Monsters. Having said that though, it seems that also initially caused some gritted teeth. As Shane Mahan explains on the Stan Winston school blog:

“The challenge was to suggest those classic creatures, without really copying them,” explained Shane Mahan, “because we didn’t have permission or the license to use those specific images. So we could do a ‘Gillman’, for example, but it couldn’t look too much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was frustrating for us at first, because, of course, we wanted to do the original designs! But we couldn’t. We could only suggest those designs. So the Frankenstein monster looks a bit like the Karloff creature; but instead of bolts in the neck, he has bolts in the forehead. There was a certain percentage of changes we had to make to get away from any legal copyright infringement.”

Of all of the wonderful monster designs and I truly believe each and every one of them is great. The Gillman is still my favorite, hands down.

In August of this year it will mark the 30th anniversary of Monster Squad. I have no doubt that something must be in the works to celebrate this film. Having said that it would be hard to top the 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray.

Who knows though? Perhaps we might be lucky enough to get a comprehensive coffee table book? One in which even more of these great on the set photos might be shared. If I learn anything about such a special tome – I’ll be sure to share it with you all. Follow the link to the Stan Winston School up top – for additional photos and information from behind the scenes.

Did you enjoy the behind the scenes look at The Monster Squad? Don’t forget that well put together trailer!

[Via] Mr. Psycho 313

Betamax

Check Out This 1978 Tour Of A Betamax Collection!

Ah, Betamax. There have been many times when technological formats that are sort of similiar must go head to head. Like in the case of HD DVD versus the Blu-Ray format. Of course if you go back a little further there was the competition between Video High Density video discs vs LaserDisc and VHS. And if you are of a certain age you might recall when it was the VHS format versus Betamax fighting for your hard earned money.
Betamax

I wasn’t aware that Betamax actually ceased being made way back in…2016?! That is the truth though – which means it lasted for 40 years. Not to shabby a legacy for the “loser” of the videotape format war.

I was only in contact with a Betamax unit once in my youth. You have to remember this was back when both it and the VHS units were quite beautiful. In addition to being incredibly large with myriad buttons and dials as well as featuring top-loading mechanisms.

As I was saying though – I only once had any sort of experience with a Betamax. This was in 1982 and my Father rented Star Wars. I want to point out this was during the time when renting a Betamax or VCR unit was a bit of an ordeal.

First of all you needed to have the membership to the video store which required the usual identification. However you also needed to literally leave a deposit on top of the rental fee – generally a $100 dollar bill or at least a check if you were trusted by the store.

Now having said all of that, thanks to the Retroist who pointed this video out to me. We can travel back in time to 1978 to visit Ray Glasser. In the almost ten minute video he gives those of us from the future a personal tour of his Betamax collection.

The television and movies in his collection are rather staggering. Everything from Star Trek, to King Kong and the Burns and Allen show, to name a few. So without further ado let us join Ray Glasser back in 1978 and enjoy his Betamax collection tour!

[Via] Videoholic Returns

Now then. You’ve seen the tour of Glasser’s Betamax tapes. But why not watch Bill Hammack aka Engineer Guy briefly explain why the VHS format won out?

Super 7

Super 7 Adds Some M.U.S.C.L.E. To Alien!

I think for a child of the 80s this is one of the best times for retro themed toys. From the ReAction line of figures produced by Super 7 to Pop! Funko offerings, and of course our friends at Warpo. Never have so many pop culture related properties been getting quite so much love. In fact it seems like 1979’s Alien is getting quite a bit of of attention recently – no doubt due to the fact that Alien: Covenant is set to hit theaters in May.

Super 7 however has gone a step further in their appreciation of the masterpiece that is Alien. They have decided to merge it with one of the best toy lines from the ’80s. A series of toys that I have to admit helped me develop a fascination with all manner of tiny collectibles. I am of course referring to those Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. More commonly known as M.U.S.C.L.E.s!

[Via] Dig That Box TOYS

For their first wave of Alien M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Super 7 has chosen to represent all the cast of characters from the film. Each pack comes with three characters. Pack A comes with Ripley, Ash, as well as the Xenomorph. I was rather impressed that the company decided to sculpt Ash with his weapon of choice…a rolled up magazine.
Super 7

Then in Pack B you get Kane in his spacesuit, an Alien egg, plus Parker.

Next up with Pack C you will find Kane once again – although this time he has been attacked by the Facehugger. In addition to getting poor, poor Brett and the Alien in attack mode.

Last but certainly not least is Pack D. In which you will find the likes of Lambert, Dallas, and Kane again – however this time he is suffering from the Chestburster!

I am not quite sure what gave Super 7 the idea to do this, all I know though is I need them. All of them. You can follow the links provided to visit their official page to start ordering packs for yourself and friends. I for one look forward to seeing how the Alien fares against my legion of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures!

Kong

Is Kong: Skull Island Worthy Of The Title Of King?

Kong
The short answer to if the just released Kong: Skull Island is worthy is…yes. Having said that you might want to know what type of movie you will be paying for. I was lucky enough last evening to get to see a screening after work. The audience seemed split on their enjoyment of the newest film featuring Kong. I believe those that were feeling let down expected Kong to be the main character of the movie. It is Skull Island however as well as those stranded on it that are the main focus.

[Via] Jimmy Kimmel Live

Now I hope you won’t get me wrong. You will certainly get a healthy dose of the massive ape throughout the picture. I think that Kong is a force of nature – albeit an intelligent force of nature. It’s just like they say in that trailer – he serves as protector to Skull Island itself. Watching over the various forms of peaceful wildlife in addition to the few humans who manage to survive there. And let me tell you there are some really horrible things waiting for the unwary on the island – like the Skull Crawlers.
Kong

Also under the great beast’s protection are those that might be stranded on Skull Island. Case in point the majority of the cast of the film. And make no mistake about it – being trapped on Skull Island is literally one of the worst places you might find yourself.

I suppose this goes without saying. It is a very, very, very bad idea to come to Skull Island and try to pick a fight with the big guy. He may not hold a grudge necessarily but he will punish those that threaten the island.

I will attempt to go into a synopsis for the film, avoiding SPOILERS for Kong: Skull Island as best I can. At the very least I will attempt to stay in the range of what you may have seen in the trailers already.

The story for Kong: Skull Island concerns John Goodman’s character of Bill Randa. Along with his younger partner, Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), who work for the organization known as Monarch. The two men are attempting to pull together a group to investigate Skull Island.

You might remember the post I did for the fan made Skull Island trailer last month. I brought up what certainly looked like possible connections to this being a shared universe. While Kong: Skull Island takes place in 1973 there are ties to 2014’s Godzilla.

To survive the island the duo need the aid of both Tom Hiddleston’s expert tracker, James Conrad, as well as the military might of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). This expedition is kind of hitching a ride with a scientific group and that is where Brie Larson’s professional photographer, Mason Weaver, comes into play.

This might be dipping my toe into SPOILERS but the end of the Vietnam War takes place shortly after the film begins. This is something that seems to weigh heavily on Packard – the need to feel he accomplished something in his career. This almost Ahab-like behavior as you might suspect is more dangerous than the creatures on the island. I feel it would be fair to say that Jackson’s character is the villain of the movie.

After coming into contact with Kong the survivors must trek across the island to reach a rendezvous point to escape. Along the way they meet a stranded World War II pilot named Hank Marlow – played by John C. Reilly.

The cast of Kong: Skull Island does an excellent job. I should point out though that both Reilly and character actor, Shea Whigham, manage to steal the show. While Hank is the kooky survivor, Whigham’s character of Cole brings an everyman quality to the part, Moreover his character is a career soldier – who rolls with the punches better than some of his fellow soldiers.

So in closing, if you go into Kong: Skull Island realizing the point of the film isn’t about wall to wall Kaiju vs daikaiju. Understanding the story follows the group of survivors more than that of Kong, I believe you will enjoy the thrill ride. I absolutely felt moments of joy on my viewing equal to the feelings I have when watching the 1933 original.

In addition, make sure to stay until the very end of the credits. Your patience will be well rewarded, friends.