Netflix's Castlevania

Netflix’s Castlevania Is A Bloody Good Time!

It is hard to believe but Netflix’s Castlevania animated series has been unleashed. I can at the very least tell you, without giving away the entire plot of the series, that it stays true to the spirit of Konami’s video game series. As well as successfully adapting the Gothic and dark story line touched upon by the games for a most assuredly adult audience. Netflix’s Castlevania is delightfully gory and doesn’t shy from it’s horror roots.
Netflix's Castlevania

I should probably mention that this first season of Netflix’s Castlevania is a mere four episodes. In all honesty I found that to be rather shocking. However I have found information that Adi Shankar, the producer, has said in all there will be two seasons. With the second and of course presumably longer season landing in 2018.

As I mentioned when sharing that awesome NES inspired teaser trailer just back in May. The series has been penned by none other than Warren Ellis. A writer I hold in very high regard as his Planetary comic series is hands down one of my favorite books. Ever.
Netflix's Castlevania

The story itself while taking elements from the Castlevania game series, mostly seems focused on the cast of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. Which was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1990.
Netflix's Castlevania

Netflix’s Castlevania does something rather different indeed. Right off the bat we are shown a very different version of Dracula. Furthermore one quite different from the character we’ve become accustomed to in Konami’s games. Yes, this Vlad Dracula Tepes is still very much a vampire and dangerous. But he is also in fact reasonable and is convinced by a young woman to rejoin mankind.
Netflix's Castlevania

I mention this, friends, as you will actually side with Dracula a bit. I say side because thanks to a religious zealot, tragedy turns Vlad into a terror of the night. His retribution however threatens the lives of every man, woman, and child. No one will be spared from his wrath.
Netflix's Castlevania

It certainly looks like an undead tide of horror will sweep across the lands. Thankfully there is one man who will take up the challenge of halting Dracula’s bloody reign. Trevor Belmont, the last surviving Son of the Belmont clan.
Netflix's Castlevania

Wait. Hold up a second. While Trevor is certainly an inspiring and dashing figure. The very last thing he wants to do is be a hero. His goal is pretty much to stay drunk as much as possible and keep his belly full. Now, I should add that through the four episodes we totally understand why Trevor is behaving this way. His family too has been subject to the whims of religious zealots.

Trevor crosses paths with a group of Speakers. One of which, Sypha Belnades, happens to be a magic-user. Her desire to protect mankind contrasts sharply with Trevor’s pragmatic nature.
Netflix's Castlevania

While four episodes are short and to be honest, you will be left on something of a cliffhanger. The writing is top notch and the animation style as I have already mentioned is satisfyingly dark. The voice talent is also where Castlevania should be praised. Playing Trevor is Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) plays the Bishop. In addition Graham McTavish (Preacher) lends his voice to the role of Dracula, with Alejandra Reynoso (G.I. Joe: Renegades) as Sypha. Rounding out the cast is Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis, Tony Amendola, as well as Emily Swallow (Supernatural).

Last but certainly not least is Trevor Morris’ powerful and haunting score. You don’t have to take my word on that though as you can in fact listen to the theme below!

[Via] Sariel Dracool

Now if you are ready for a dark and bloody good time. You can binge watch Netflix’s Castlevania animated series right this minute!

USAopoly Does Monopoly…Golden Girls Style!

Oh wait, no, that’s not cool!  No “thank you” about it! That means we’re playing Monopoly!

They’ll Make (Insert Tie-In Here) For Anything These Days!

Proving that there is nothing sacred when it comes to reinventing the wheel, USAopoly has created its second (yes, second) game based on the 1985-1992 sitcom The Golden Girls. This time, instead of trying to find out whole stole the coveted cheesecake (as is the premise of the also upcoming The Golden Girls Clue), you can buy up real estate in Miami.

Golden Girls Monopoly

The gameplay promises to be your standard Monopoly, but with the customized twist of iconic locations from the TV show, custom playing pieces, and this game board:

You can go to St. Olaf AND St. Gustav?

Oh yes, and you can even…buy them!

*Laughs evil-like*

All part of my world domination plans, folks. First, fictitious Golden Girls points of interest, then…the WORLD!

By world, I mean the spin-off, Empty Nest.  Dr. Weston lived down the street.

But Wait, There’s More!

There’s the game pieces, which are not your average Monopoly pieces…

Cheesecake, Rose’s teddy bear Fernando, Sophia’s purse, a mirror, and Stanley Zbornak’s toupee! Trying to figure out what that one piece is, and failing miserably.

And what about…this box?

That feels more Solid Gold or Soul Train than The Golden Girls, but that font is amazing!

What You Need To Know about The Golden Girls Monopoly

Price: $39.95

Availability: The game will be released on July 25, 2017. Amazon is taking pre-orders, but not selling the game directly. I’m pretty sure it will be available anywhere you’d normally buy board games, but my gut says this one will have quite the rush on it.

My Take

At $39.95, it seems pricey, but a collectors item kind of pricey.

I say collectors item because let’s face it, my boyfriend will not play this with me. He already hates Monopoly, but he screams in terror over Golden Girls reruns. He says it is something to do with the idea of old ladies eating cheesecake and discussing their sex lives.

Coincidentally, there was never an episode where the girls played…oh I don’t know…Monopoly, ate cheesecake, and discussed their sex lives!

I better stop, he may actually read this.

But anyway, this has always been a popular show (I guess?), but the sudden cult status it seems to have recently really makes me wonder what already knew about one of my childhood favorites that the world is just finding out.

You’d think there was a reboot…oh.

Yeah. That’s not happening.

But they’ll live on forever, even if it is in a board game!

Thank you, USAopoly, for being a friend, and creating stuff we cannot believe became a cultural icon.

By The Way…

I covered the other Golden Girls-themed board game in a previous Retroist post (Whodunit, Golden Girls?). We’re still awaiting that game’s release, poised with our cheesecake. :-)

We’ll, of course, keep you posted as to when these games become available for purchase – the release dates say July 24, 2017 for Clue, and July 25, 2017 for Monopoly. But of course, we know how that can change.

In the meantime, you really should check out usaopoly.com and their extensive pop culture board game selection!

William Shatner on Celebrity Bowling

William Shatner on Celebrity Bowling in 1974

William Shatner will always be Captain Kirk. It is the role that defined him to the world. But Shatner has worked as an actor consistently throughout his career. Just review his IMDB and you will see that post-Trek he worked a lot on TV. For fans, this means a veritable treasure trove of small gems. Today I would like to share one of those gems. William Shatner on Celebrity Bowling in 1974.

Celebrity Bowling was a popular syndicated bowling sports series. It was hosted by Jed Allan and ran from January 1971 to September 1978. The premise was simple. Two sets of celebrities are pitted against each other in a bowling match. They compete not just for glory, but also for prizes for a lucky home viewer.

A lot of people will make fun of shows like Celebrity Bowling and the people who make appearances on it. Often equating it to the bottom of a person’s career. This might be true in some cases. After all, it iss easier to book lower level celebrities for shows like this, people on their way down, looking for the spotlight again. This phenomenon continues today and it often works to jump-start a career.

While Shatner was not landing lead roles at the moment, he was hardly unemployed. So for him Celebrity Bowling was a great opportunity for him to reach audiences who might not be seeing him in the smaller roles he had been landing. It was also a good “get” for Celebrity Bowling, who could count on a few Star Trek fans to tune in and see how the Captain had been doing in the intervening years.

Watching this episodes is a blast. Shatner is a terrible bowler, but that makes it more fun. Also, as usual, he brings something to everything he appears in. So while this is not Shakespeare, it is an entertaining and humanizing experience for an actor who has become an icon. So please check it out.

Watch William Shatner on Celebrity Bowling in 1974

Star Trek Original Series VHS

Star Trek Original Series VHS

When you think Star Trek Original Series VHS, you probably think back to your local video store or mail-order offers. While I worked in a video store and obsessed about mail-order, it is not what I think about when I think of Star Trek the Original Series on VHS. No, I think about supermarkets.

In the eighties, not only did a lot of supermarkets begin to rent videotapes, they also sold them. This added a wrinkle to my family’s monthly shopping experience. Now instead of just fixating on breakfast cereal, soda, candy and everything else with sugar, I also needed to linger in the video section of the store. It was a magical time. Every trip morphing into a fantasy of on demand video entertainment.

The ShopRite supermarket was my favorite to visit. Because they carried the Star Trek Original Series VHS.

Star Trek was, and still is, one of my favorite TV shows. So I would plead with my Mother every time we went to get at least one tape. Often I would press my luck and put a bunch of tapes in the cart. Hoping that seeing them might entice her to make a terrible financial decision. It never worked.

Then one day my luck changed. The store decided to phase out selling VHS tapes. The price plummeted. Every month they would have fewer tapes, but the price kept dropping until they were $1.88. This was the magic number, an amount I could save by myself. From that point on I bought as many as a could and eventually I acquired almost 30 episodes of the original series. Later I would increase that number from garage sales and flea markets, but no acquisition was as sweet as those first few.

Getting home and helping unpack the groceries was torture, but when I was through, it was Trek Time! I would make myself a sandwich, pour myself a drink with lots of ice and plop down on the couch and immerse myself in an episode of one of the greatest TV series ever made. That sort of happiness is great at most prices, but it was a real steal at $1.88.

Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park

1991’s Dinosaurs Meets Jurassic Park!

Until today I would have scoffed at the idea you could make 1993’s Jurassic Park even better. That is before I saw Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park that is. It was actually Jordan Lummis on Facebook who pointed out this awesome fan art. Created and posted on Twitter as well by the talented Jen Lewis.

The artist has taken key moments from the 1993 film and…made them better. Or at the very least more humorous. For example the terrifying revelation that Lex is face to eye with the deadly Tyrannosaurus Rex. Becomes an equally shocking moment when the young woman meets Charlene Sinclair!
Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park

In addition when Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park. That deadly encounter between Nedry and the Dilophosaurs has been altered. Although I would certainly say Nedry’s meeting Ethyl is possibly just as fatal for the computer programmer.
Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park

However I would add it would be because Ethyl sneezed or cleared her throat. Not of course feasting on Dennis Nedry. Heck I doubt that her false teeth could manage to choke down all of that meal, right?

Having said that, when Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park, the fate of Gennaro will be different. I mean do you really think that Earl Sinclair is going to do much more than say hello to the frightened lawyer?
Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park

While I do of course love that meeting between Hammond and Baby Sinclair. Hands down my favorite image that Lewis has created is the one where Grant meets B.P. Richfield. Indeed this is the piece of art that made me cackle out loud the hardest!
Dinosaurs meets Jurassic Park