Friends, I have done it. I have made the jump and purchased a 3D television set.
Why? Because I like 3D. There, I said it.
I mean, I know it has become a symbol of American consumerism, and it’s a gimmick and all, but I still like it. I also know that 3D is an ingenious way to get people to come to the theaters and buy new teevees, even when the whole “HD Flat Screen” hullabaloo is still recent (my current tv is only 2 years old). But, pirating 3D movies is still not foolproof, so it’s also a way to get us to buy discs again.
I grew up with 3D. It’s in my DNA to like it. My first movie was Star Wars, at a drive-in. I don’t remember it, but my folks say I was enthralled. It was not in 3D, but growing up I loved drive-ins and gimmicky crap that made going to the movies more fun, and more of an experience. Is 3D worth the extra $5 for a movie ticket? Hell no. But if I can have it in my house, anytime I want it, it is worth it, to me.
Because that’s my shit.
Your shit may be collecting comics, or hunting, or fishing, or whatever. But I like movies, and I like video games. Considering what some people spend on boats around here, and the trucks to pull them around with, I feel like my little home theater hobby is pretty economical.
I was late on the whole dvd thing. I watched vhs tapes up until around 2006 or so. I still watch’em. The fact that vhs and cassettes are rapidly becoming the new retro cool thing is a whole different topic, that I’ll probably never address.
I got a dvd player for Christmas from my parents, and at the time, it was the most expensive thing I owned. It came with a “Mr. Deeds” dvd. As a poor chap, I didn’t have money to rent (much less buy) other movies, so I watched Mr. Deeds like a thousand times on my 13″ Magnavox tube tv.
When bluray came out (after the dust had settled between bluray and hddvd), I was unimpressed. It seemed like a stupid gimmick to me. I could see the movies I had on dvd just fine. I waited. After all, only new blockbusters were being released on bluray, anyway, and who wants to watch that shit?
Then, one day, I was in Target. They had “Night of the Creeps” on frackin’ bluray.
See, one thing I kinda had against bluray in the beginning was my feeling that, every time a format changes (film to vhs, cassette to cd, etc.), we lose a few things. It is inevitable. Some things just won’t make it onto the new format.
But when I saw “Night of the Creeps” in Target, and in high def, I knew I needed a bluray player.
I know bluray is old now, but it’s still new to me, and obviously “Evil Dead” or Texas Chainsaw are going to be available, but here are some movies that I am genuinely surprised made it onto this new-ish format:
1. “Snuff” (1976)
Coming out this October, from Blue Underground (gods bless ’em), “Snuff” is a movie that me and my hornball friends rented at the local greasy mom&pop vidya rental store when we were like 13. I still remember it. I’m pretty sure we turned it off halfway through, not getting the boob quantity we expected. That time we also rented “Last Orgy of the Third Reich”. Why the clerk allowed a bunch of kids to rent that stuff is beyond me, but whoever he was, he was/is awesome.
“Deep in South America a Manson-like cult leader named Satan cavorts with his bevy of beautiful biker-chick followers while compelling them to kill in his name. When sexy American actress Terry London arrives with producer Max Marsh to shoot a new movie there the creepy cult targets her and her friends with plans of murder mayhem and the grisly sacrifice of her unborn baby. Is the final bloody massacre only a movie? Or is it the shocking footage of an actual murder committed before the camera?Originally lensed as The Slaughter by notorious filmmakers Michael and Roberta Findlay (Shriek Of The Mutilated Take Me Naked) the movie sat on the shelf for five years until enterprising producer/distributor Allan Shackleton devised a controversial new ending and released it as Snuff.”
2. “Q: The Winged Serpent” (1982)
This one drops out of the sky in about 2 weeks.
Q haunted every trip to the video store I ever went on. As a monster movie fanatic (particularly the giant ones that fucked up cities), Q both intrigued and frightened me. The cover was just so damn scary! But it was also some sort of giant, wing-ed, beast that probably ate people (by far the best part of the classic arcade game “Rampage”).
I didn’t end up actually seeing Q until about 4 years ago, and I loved every minute of it, and my 11-year-old inside voice whooped it up every time Q (short for “Quetzacoatl”) broke some shit. I love it that an ancient Mexican god has a nickname.
3. “Knightriders” (1981)
No talking cars here. Only knights on steel horses. As if you didn’t already know Ed Harris was bad to the bone, along comes George Romero’s(!) “Knightriders”.
Basically a movie that posits, “What if a bunch of bikers held a Renn Faire?”
Yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds. And Tom Savini’s dickhead ass is in it.
3. “X-Ray/Schizoid” double feature (1982 & 1980)
I’ve never seen either of these, but X-Ray, aka “Hospital Massacre”, has been on my list for forever. I’ll watch anything with Barbi “Codille” Benton in it. Schizoid is just a bonus. A little icing, if you will. But it’s got the Klaus Kinski in it, so at the very least, it’s worth a watch. Plus it has a good name.
4. “TerrorVision/The Video Dead” double feature (1986 & 1987)
I think both of these are also on netflix. I know “The Video Dead” is, because that’s where I saw it.
The main thing here is, in my opinion, “TerrorVision”. This may be the weirdest film in this short list, and it may even be my favorite, because it used to come on Channel 44 late at night when I was around 13 or so.
Here’s the “plot”:
“Life will never be the same for the Putterman family in Terrorvision. Stanley Putterman (Gerrit Graham) installs a state-of-the-art satellite dish in his backyard. Through a cosmic accident, a wayward monster’s energy is beamed across galaxies, into the satellite and onto the Puttermans’ television set. The Puttermans don’t notice any changes, only better reception and a strange monster continually appearing on the screen. But when the monster leaps off the screen and into the Puttermans’ living room, terror erupts, as it needs to feed on humans for its survival! Uh Oh!”
I know you wanna run right out and pick this up this very minute, and you should, because TerrorVision is amazing.
5. “The Boogens” (1981)
Creepshow claims that it’s “the most fun you’ll ever have being scared”, but I would say that The Boogens gives it a good run for its money.
My cousin and I caught this one on cable late one night and were mesmerized by the creatures who seemingly farted when they walked. I mean, it seemed like it to us, anyway.
This movie is about some guys who open up an abandoned mine, only to set loose The Boogens, who possibly have the best name for a group of farting turtle monsters ever.
I was going to do ten movies, but I am tired of typing and I want to play some Lord of the Rings Online before I go to work. Maybe I’ll do five more another time, because there are tons of movies that I am genuinely surprised found their way to HD.
EDIT: I am an idiot. The whole point of this post, which I nearly forgot, was to say that, if these movies can come to bluray, I can’t wait for them, and others like them, to come to 3d bluray. The Boogens in 3d needs to happen.
And if Roger Corman isn’t on top of this shit already, he’s losing his touch for the gimmick.