Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Brent here.

Normally I don't revel in the mistakes and misery of others, even celebrities but you know when that moment where you were right and you KNEW you were right and then some one came along with proof that you were right?

Thank you Rear Admiral Dekker. (please see the Fan Expo episode for the full story) and thank you TMZ, brightened up my week.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Bring it Happy Feet!" Present the trailer to the best movie 1989 never gave us

Presenting the trailer for the greatest movie 1989 never made.

The Expendables:

DVD Review Quickies: Staunton Hill and imurders

Okay full disclosure time.

Some of you loyal readers may have noticed I've been doing a crap load of dvd reviews as of late. The astute reader would also notice that they all seem to be coming from Anchor Bay.

You see, a bit of the positive fall out from our Fan Expo non interview of Rear Admiral Deckard (as described in the Fan Expo episode) is through his handler, I got on Anchor Bay's reviewer list. They send me an email describing the movies they are releasing on DVD that month and they send me a batch of screeners for me to peruse and review.

Now you would think this would be awesome especially considering what a staunch supporter of Anchor Bay I was BEFORE I got screeners. I love their re-release work, always have. Anchor Bay have been the masters of finding movies other studios could care less about and re-release them for those of us who really want to have those movies on DVD.

But alas, everything can't be completely awesome. Cases in point, Staunton Hill and imurders.

Staunton Hill is a film directed by Cameron Romero.

Yup son of George.

What a mess.

This movie starts off promising. Essentially a take on the crazed hillbilly genre of film, a bunch of teenagers lost in the wilderness end up staying at this farm in the middle of nowhere while the family sends out there mentally handicapped son to kill the teens.

Not the most original of plots but can be serviceable with a gore factor.

Except there is none, well very little of it anyways. Very little gore, bad acting and while the movie is set in the 60's, nothing from the music down to how the kids look would ever leave you to believe it. And to top it all off, the killer is removing certain parts of each of the teens. Why? Not sure. We are shown through out the movie, flashback scenes in a hospital which I assume are supposed to let me in on why these murders are being taken place in this fashion but instead just leave you more confused.

Do not rent, do not buy, do not let this film pass go. please see previous review but instead of crazy hillbillies plot line we have the oh so topical Facebook...I mean Myspace... I mean Facespace (no the last one is not made up, swear to god) Killer. Yup someone is hunting some poor shmoes from the same chat room and murdering them.

Once again, not the most original of plots but hey, turn it into a gore extravaganza but instead there's a bit of gore, sub par acting and a bit of a mess of a script. Now with a few character actors I love (William Forsyth, Tony Todd and Billy Dee Williams) I thought this was going to be either half decent or so terrible it would be awesome.

It was neither which is almost worse.

Both Staunton Hill and imurders are available on dvd now from Anchor Bay/Starz Media.

DVD Review: Hellraiser 20th Anniversery Edition

As you can tell by my previous article on Clive Barker, I'm a bit of a fan.

Out of all of his film work, three really stand out. Candyman, Lord of Illusions and Hellraiser.

Hellraiser stands out as a great horror film by a first time director. It is visually stunning and pretty original. So when I got a copy of the "20th Anniversary Edition" of the film two things went through my head.

1) I am getting old...twenty years already?


2) This better be a decent presentation.

But how does this dvd hold up?

In a word, fantastic.

Now to clarify, the version I am reviewing is Hellraiser The 20th Anniversary Edition that appeared in 2007 and then re-released as part of The Hellraiser boxed set that was released last year (along with a blu-ray version of the film and Hellraiser 2's special edition).

Picture quality is actually a lot better then I expected. Very little grain, blacks are black, light is light. The only thing that is worth noting is like all films made in England during that era you can tell it was made in England due to the film stock. It's a little sad however that how well this little low budget English film looks compared to some more expensive modern Hollywood horror films.

Sound is also excellent and I must admit, I watched it at home by myself and there were a few back speaker noises that caught me off guard. Chris Young's score still sounds magnificent after all of these years.

As for extras, there are plenty. One that is particularly good is Hellraiser: Resurrection which is a making of documentary that covers most of the bases. There are also a whack of solo interviews with the various stars and a commentary track features Barker and star Ashley Laurence which contains information and a good sense of humor.

If you are a fan of horror, this dvd should be in your collection.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clive Barker part 1 A Fan Letter

I have a lot of influences as a writer from various sources. They're usually really easy to pick up depending on what field I'm working in at the time. My blogging and podcast stuff, for instance, definitely carries with it the influence of the writers at aintitcool news and a lot of Alan Cross mixed in with my own sensibilities. I think it's become a pretty distinct voice at this point but you can definitely see my influences.

My comics work is definitely something I really own but if you look you can see hints of Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis in there.

Now what few of my friends realise is I do write prose. I am very rarely happy with it enough to show my friends unlike my comic stuff. I think it's because unfortunately I hold it up at a very high level.

When you look at my prose, it's pretty much me at this point. Or at least it should be, I've been writing in a serious manner since I was 12. I'm sure my close friends can see my sense of humor, maybe a little bit of influences that they know of.

When I look at it I just see three very big shadows looming over my shoulder. One is Andrew Vachss (crime author who through his books taught me how to use first person narrative). Stephen King who was the first author I really read in a serious manner. By that I mean I discovered The Eyes of the Dragon through a kindly librarian who recognised the fact that I was bored with the books that my age group was supposed to be reading. From there I read every book King had out at the time.

The third shadow, the one the lurks at the back, sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar, waiting, is Clive Barker.

Clive Barker was the first author I had discovered pretty much on my own. I had heard his name in connection with Hellraiser but I hadn't seen it yet. But sitting on the library shelf was this book called The Damnation Game. It was a paperback, had a weird tree on the cover and the backflap made the novel sound interesting so I checked it out.

I was completely unprepared for what happened next.

I loved the book. It was well written, funny, horribly scary and flew in the face of what was typically depicted as Faustian deals. The demon in this book may not have been incredibly likable (depending on your view of things) but he was definitely easy to identify with.

So back to the library I went and stood in the section where all of the authors starting with B were kept, looked at the bookshelf and more or less said:

"Okay Mr. Barker, what else do you got?"

The next novel I picked up was The Great and Secret Show.


To attempt to place this book in a genre would be doing a disservice to Mr. Barker and the book itself.

But if I had to place it some how I would call it a science fiction fantasy horror love story. It has magik, sex, ghosts, evolved apes (and by this I mean an ape that has been evolved through a weird science magik), explosions, a love story and creatures made from magik, poo and sperm.

That's right, evil poo sperm magik.

And it is awesome.

After that, I read everything I could get my hands on. Everville, The Hellbound Heart, Imajica, Weaveworld, The Thief of Always (which is still one of the best children's novels I've ever read), and a ton more.

Barker introduced me to the concept that you're book didn't have to be just one genre. Why would you only play on the swings when you could also play on the slide and in the sandbox?

He was also the first author I read about who understood like I did, that comics were awesome. Not only that, he wanted to write and create comics.

You can even see this a little bit in his literary work. Barker's characters all seem to share the same world or at the very least, are known in parallel universes. Harry D'Amour makes a few appearances. The Cenobites from Hellraiser are known to some of the characters in Weaveworld.

Then I discovered his films. The first of which was Hellraiser.

Hellraiser was a bit of a revelation to me. It proved you could make not only a stylish horror film but that it could also be smart as well. The creatures or cenobites were like nothing I had ever seen before. And for a first time director, the direction is really solid. The most interesting thing about the film is that (with the exception of Julia's hair and the female cast members' clothing) is not particularly dated and holds up incredibly well. The sequels to the film are not particularly great (I liked 2 but the

His follow up "Nightbreed" really caught my attention in my younger years (it's a decent but flawed film and from my reading up on it, I kind of get the picture that the flaws weren't Barker's fault). Lord of Illusions is probably my favorite as it encapsulates everything I love about Barker's work. It had weird magik, action, horror, a decent cast, a solid script.

All of these creative works have inspired me a fair amount. Try things that haven't been done, don't worry about boundaries, if the story is good, it will not matter.

Like reading a gay author.

Now back when I started reading Clive's novels, I don't think it was public knowledge that he was gay. but looking back on his novels...well...duh. But at the same time, when I started reading his books, being "gay" was not well accepted. It along with derogatory words like "fag" were generally used as put downs in the school yard and in my area in general. Put that together with the fact that "they" carried a "gay disease" called AIDS (o clarify, we all know that this is all bullshit and if you don't, please stop reading my column now). But Clive's novels just excepted the fact that sometimes women slept with men. Sometimes women slept with women, sometimes men slept with men and sometimes all of them slept with creatures that weren't either. Then Clive came out of the closet and it dawned on me that this dude wrote really good books was gay, that school yard conceptions of what being gay meant could be very wrong. As a straight man in a bit of a homophobic situation, it was a bit of a wall coming down. What does it matter if I like girls and he likes guys? It doesn't.

Beyond that I always strive for what I saw in Barker's works. Something a little familiar that grasps the reader followed by something awesome and different. That's why when I write I can kind of feel him in the background of my thoughts. Something along the lines of "Well that's good...but what about this?" "Well that's a bit different isn't it?" "Yes it is, but more interesting, no?"

Clive has since gone on to write ghost stories, children's novels and a bunch more. Whenever I see a new book on the shelf with his name on it, it's kind of like running into an old friend. Sometimes you have a chance to catch up and have a great conversation (Mister B. Gone for instance) and other times it's a quick "Hello, glad to see you are doing well" (his Abarat novels for young adults have always caught my eye but I've never quite been able to get into one). I'm awaiting his forthcoming Scarlett Gospels novel for a return of Harry D'Amore.

I've never gotten to meet the man except for a very brief occasion at Fan Expo in Toronto a few years ago, where our paths crossed for a very brief second and he said "hi" to me (apparently my all access pass was not all access and the tall asshole guy from Fan Expo volunteers booted me out. If you've ever gone to Fan Expo you know exactly which guy I am referring to.) but if he happens to be reading, thank you Mr. Barker, I owe you a drink next time you're in Toronto.

Next: Hellraiser dvd review

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mystery Asshole Theatre #3 - Repo

The Two Assholes have returned once again (with Guesthole #2, Alex Krueger) to provide you with another commentary track.

This time, we actually decided to go with something decidedly more modern with Repo, a very dark musical (with a surprisingly star-studded cast) involving organ repossession.

As always, this works by you turning on the movie, and then playing this audio track along with it. Don't worry, we'll tell you when to start the DVD, and we try to occasionally describe what's happening to make sure we're all on the same page.

The concept of the movie was really just too much for us to resist, so go out and rent the DVD, turn on this track, and you'll be watching Repo as if we were in the same room. Admittedly, that does sound somewhat creepy, that anyone could be such a fan that their ideal time was imagining that we were sitting beside them on the couch watching movies, but it's the best way to describe this whole Mystery Asshole Theatre thing.

Remember, this isn't Rifftrax, so you won't hear us waiting for lulls in the dialogue in which to spout one-liners. Instead, you'll get to hear a running commentary from people who are really geeky, and witty as all hell.

Movie Review: The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

Rob Zombie.

It is a name that more and more is starting to create a division among horror fans. Some people have really liked his work, others have thought he's a bad film maker who should go back to making music.


I'm really on the fence. When I first saw House of 1000 Corpses, honestly, thought it was better when it was called Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Very derivative film.

But it held potential.

While the plot and story was pretty much a rip off from a film Rob had obviously liked very much, there was something about his visual style that said "Wait till you see the next one."

And I did. It was called The Devil's Rejects and quiet frankly, it was awesome.

Well awesome if you like brutal grindhouse revenge flicks.

Everything that showed Rob could be a good a film maker in Corpses just blew off the screen in Rejects and to be honest, it was probably one of my favorite genre flicks that came out that year.

And then we got Halloween.

Man what a let down. It was never a movie that should have be remade in the first place but if anyone was going to do it justice, it was Rob.

And he failed. Miserably.

Or at least in my opinion. Enough people liked it to go see it a lot and buy it on dvd which meant we were getting a sequel (which in all fairness, I have not seen but have been told is terrible).

We also got a glimmer of hope when Zombie directed a fake trailer for Grindhouse called Werewolf Women of the SS which was just awesome on so many levels.

In the meantime around Rejects and just before Halloween, Zombie started talking about a weird animated movie he wanted to do. Three years alter The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was unleashed to a resounding......


Don't get me wrong. There are some good points and there is a lot of potential in a sequel but on a whole...well...

The movie introduces us to Monsterland. Think if Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob lived in the bad neighborhood of Cool World. We meet El Superbeasto, a Mexican wrestler/superhero/egotistical jerk. He has an sister named Suzi-X (voiced by Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) who is like James Bond without the sophistication and with bigger breasts. She has a robot sidekick named Murray (voiced by a favorite of mine Brian Posehn) who is in love with Sheri.

El Superbeasto falls for the ass of a stripper (Rosario Dawson with a mouth on her like five sailors) who is kidnapped by a intelligent ape for the evil Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti). El Superbeasto enlists the help of Suzi-X to get her back and save the world from Dr. Satan all while Suzi is trying to defeat evil zombie Nazis because she stole Hitler's undead head in a jar.

The idea had sold me because I'm 1) A big fan of animation 2) Still have hope for Rob Zombie as a film maker 3) The actors involved in the VO and 4) It sounds really awesomely retarded.

And in the end, as I said, meh.

The Good:
The animation is great. Zombie once described the film as "...if Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo were filthy" and that's probably the best way to describe it. It is very cartoony but really well done and executed.

The voice over work is also really strong particularly Paul Giamatti that you can hear him just relishing the part of this bad guy. I also found that I really like Rosario Dawson's voice over as well.

The music/sound is pretty decent as well, especially some of the theme songs. Surprisingly, none came from Rob Zombie.

The Bad:
The writing is sub-par compared to the animation. The jokes are pretty one note. It's like watching a Ren and Stimpy cartoon but without the cleverness to get around the censors. Instead of a witty joke for instance, we get a list of various names for a woman's baby making parts. While the list itself was a little creative, the joke wasn't.

I think the major part of how this movie fails is it focus's on the least interesting character. Anytime Suzi-X was fighting undead Nazi's, I really enjoyed the movie...but then it cuts to this rather dull unlikeable luchador...which is saying something because luchadors are just pretty damn cool to begin with.

Tom Papa. The voice of El Superbeasto. To be honest, I am still unsure of how to completely explain it and it may not be Papa's fault at all but the choice of voice for Superbeasto just doesn't seem to work. Midway through we meet a bunch of Superbeasto's Mexican buddies (who all happen to be luchadors) and one of which is voiced by Danny Trejo. And every time afterwards Trejo pops up I kept wishing that he was doing the voice of Superbeasto. Danny seems to be able to do cartoony really well and would have been a perfect fit because he can also bring it down really well. I guess what it comes down to is Trejo can act, Papa (at least in this voice) didn't seem to cut it.

Overall, meh but it does give me a little hope. If I saw a sequel come out, I might give it a shot. Especially if they did one focused on Suzi-X and Murray.

The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is now availble on dvd.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TATANS checks out the Sony Holiday Preview.

Adam and I have often mentioned that Evan Fraser is one of our favorite guestholes.

And for good reason. Polite guy, always up for a podcast, occasionally brings his PS3 over for game reviews and always bring booze with him.

As he would say, he's good people.

So when Evan got Adam and I invites to check out Sony's Holiday Game Preview event in downtown Toronto, needless to say he earned a few bonus points.

Being kind of new to this sort of stuff, have to say, I found it pretty cool. A bunch of nice tv's set up with comfy couches, the finger foods were pretty spiffy but we'll get to that later.

So... the games.

Tekken 6
Well what can I say, it ain't broke so they haven't fixed it. It's the same game it has been since Tekken 3 just shinier. The graphics are great, some of the characters are ridiculous but I must admit I do love the fact I can have a fight between a Grizzly Bear and a Panda.

Come on, that's a fight that Don King should promote!

Tony Hawk: Ride
For those of you who forgot about this game (as I had), it's the new Tony Hawk game that comes with it's own board. It's fun... in a wii game sort of way. It requires a decent amount of balance but I did like the fact you do have to push off with a foot like an actual skateboard. Graphics were good, game play fun, only real drawback, you have to buy a new peripheral.

It's a game by Activision so of course I ask

"Where's Modern Warfare 2?"

Apparently there was a scheduling conflict with the demo...which sounded weird to me and disappointed me greatly as it is a title I am really looking forward to.

Lego Rock Band
I was a little surprised at how cool this version of Rock Band is. Sure it's track listing is very family friendly but you get to play with virtual Lego a bit (for instance, we had a werewolf as a drummer) and seeing Lego Iggy Pop and Lego David Bowie is fucking awesome.

DJ Hero
I got to play as Daft Punk. I was happy. The game play is what you expect and becomes almost second nature when you get the hang of it. My wrist kind of hurt at the end of it though as the controller is not really ergonomic.

Band Hero
Lousy song selection, nothing new here, not going to bother with it.

James Cameron's Avatar
The game looks good (I was told the demo we were playing was pretty close to final build) but they didn't have the 3D up and running which I really wanted to see. The script writer for the game assured me it was awesome. He also took about 20 minutes and described how the entire game came together and how much involvement Cameron had with it. Apparently Jimmy came to Ubisoft about two months into pre-production so Ubisoft has had the entire time to work on it. It plays very similar to Lost Planet but with a higher gloss and smother movements.

Hey there's little boxes of Chinese food! Awesome.

God of War 3
Holy crap this game is gory. Like Tarintino making a movie with Takashi Miike and Eli Roth level of gory. The game itself is pretty much the same as the other God of War games but holy crap, just filled with blood and guts. If there is a blood and guts award for video games, God of War 3 has my vote.

Heavy Rain
It's choose your own adventure the video game. It's kind of a detective game and has a lot of potential to be really different and really cool...or a bucketfull of boring. Might be worth taking a look at the full version later on.

Hey it's our favorite nerd hottie Carol Zara from Digitally Blonde!

We talk shop for a few minutes before she heads off to make more introductions and play some games herself. A little disappointed she didn't wear her knee high socks but it was raining and a little chilly out so I guess it's understandable.

Did I mention we have some news in the very near future regarding Miss Zara and the boys of TATANS?


Well I just did. More info to come.

Sonic Racing...or something
Just the world needs, another Mario Kart clone. Sonic, when will you learn that just because Mario does it, doesn't mean you can do it or need to do it.

If Mario jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge Sonic?

Judging by this game, yes, yes you would.

Oooo two bite roast beef sandwiches.

Dragon Ball Z whatever fighting game
See Tekken 6 review...just more so. Fuck, does someone really care about this game?

Pad Thai in a little Chinese food box? Don't mind if I do.

Katamari Forever
Once again same old shtick as the last versions...well except you can play this cell-shaded which looks pretty cool but once again you have a big ball, you roll it around and pick crap up. It's kind of like being homeless with a round shopping cart.

Assassin's Creed 2
Did not get a chance to play it but man it looks sweet.

And that was about. We gathered up Evan and soon to be heard new guesthole Brandon, went over and said our good byes to Carol who gave us hugs. Not only is she incredibly attractive but she's also really nice. She congratulated Adam on his marriage and off the nerdholes went to grab even more food.

Man, I might have to get a gym membership if I keep going to these things.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A weird thing happened on the way to production

These days, Hollywood has two speeds. Really fast or really slow. Sometimes really slow ends up being so slow that it kills a movie entirely.

And then other times it mutates.

Enter The Tooth Fairy. Watch the trailer but stay with me. It'll be a bit painful but there's a point.

Why the hell would I post up a trailer for this movie? It is not aimed at my demographic nor does it look particularly good.

The reason is, this is a script that has been floating around Hollywood for years and it's amazing to see even by the trailer how much of it has changed since my initial encounter.

How long and how much you ask?

Well initially when I first saw the script, this was back probably the late 90's (I'm going to guess around 1997). The film was to star Arnold Schwarzeneger but as a marine who inherits the mantle of The Toothy Fairy from an estranged father he had never met. If I'm not mistaken it was originally lined up for after End of Days (Arnie wanted to make a light movie after the really "dark and serious" action film where he shoots the devil with a grenade launcher).

But alas Arnie tended to line up a lot of movies, hold them off until he wants to do them or the script was perfect or whatever. Other movies that he was supposed to do include:

I Am Legend (if I'm not mistake, to be directed by Ridley Scott)

Planet of the Apes remake (I believe this was before Tim Burton came aboard but either way, bullet dodged)


The Inglourious Basterds (originally was meant for The 80's action set to star in, including Stallone and Bruce Willis but we get their reunion in The Expendables and Basterds was awesome without them so win win.)

As you can see from that list, things can change. In the over ten years since I heard of the Tooth Fairy film, it went through 5 screen writers and changed froma marine who inherits the Tooth Fairy mantle to a hockey player who get's stuck being a tooth fairy.

Just figured you might find it interesting.