Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hooray for Santa Claus!

It's that time of year when the jolly old man in the red suit starts making appearances in malls, parades and TV specials.

If you're like Virginia, you may have doubts of Santa Claus' existence. How can there be an entire state of disbelievers? People there may be in a state of denial but I'm here to tell it like it is.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Like me, you've probably watched all the annual classic Christmas TV episodes and movies enough times that you can recite them by heart. You probably still enjoy watching them just as much as the first time you saw them but maybe you're in the mood for something else.

I've taken the liberty of creating and compiling this playlist of short videos along with some full length movies about Santa Claus. It's definitely out of the ordinary and makes for an interesting viewing experience for the holidays.

So after you've finished trimming the tree and you're done baking the fruit cake and Christmas cookies, relax and watch this Santa Claus mini movie marathon.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Looking Back at Batman

This year marks not only the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Batman television series but also the movie which starred the same cast and was released in theaters a couple months after the first season of the TV show.

In celebration of its golden anniversary, an animated movie titled Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was released with Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) reprising their roles as the voices of their characters.

The TV series was an obvious parody of Columbia's Batman serial in 1943, borrowing many ideas and implementing them in absurd situations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fifty Years of 'Manos' and Music

The Beach Boys Pet Sounds
"I take care of the pets while The Beach Boys are away"
It's the 50th anniversary of Manos: The Hands of Fate. Happy anniversary to the weird and wonderful horror movie that has gained cult status, thanks to MST3K.

1966 was also a great year for music. That was the year that The Beach Boys released what many people consider the greatest album of all time; "Pet Sounds."

It was the brainchild of Brian Wilson and is an absolute masterpiece.

Naturally, I couldn't resist inserting Torgo into the famous album cover. He doesn't look out of place on "Pet Sounds", seemingly shepherding those animals.

It's also fitting because the rumour is that Torgo was supposed to have goat legs in Manos but that has never been confirmed. Maybe it was in the script but they had no budget to actually pull it off.

"Pet Sounds" was a very experimental album on which Brian Wilson even included barking dogs which were his actual pets, Banana and Louie. That's not unlike Manos in which director and writer Hal Warren had his pet poodle Pepe in the movie, while Tom Neyman (The Master) had his pet doberman Shanka in it as well. Too bad Wilson didn't know Warren and Neyman or else he might have included Pepe and Shanka on the album. Wouldn't it be nice?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mourning The Master, Tom Neyman (1935-2016)

The Master from Manos The Hands of Fate
Tom Neyman as The Master in Manos The Hands of Fate (1966)
I'm sad to report that Tom Neyman, who portrayed the mesmerizing Master in Manos: The Hands of Fate, has died.

His daughter Jackey Neyman Jones, who was also in the cult film, broke the news in a Facebook post that he passed away on Nov 12, 2016.

“My dad, The Master from Manos The Hands of Fate passed away last night when his heart stopped. He has now transcended to become Manos. I miss my dad. He was such a gentle, sweet, humble and loving man.”
This will make the release of the upcoming sequel a bittersweet moment for not only his family and those involved in its production but also to the many fans of Manos. Unfortunately, it's the second time a Manos cast member has died before his movie's release. John Reynolds, who portrayed Torgo in the original film in 1966, died about a month before that film's premiere.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Patreon, Patrons and Perks

Patreon logo
Movie Vigilante is now on Patreon!

Patreon is a service which allows anyone to become a patron of someone whose work they enjoy and would like to support.

Patrons pledge an amount of money per month by choosing one of the tiers set up by the Patreon creator. The amount per month varies per tier along with the perks that the patrons receive in return.

If after you pledge whatever amount, you find your financial situation has changed, you can pledge a lower amount or cancel your pledge altogether at any time.

As a B-movie enthusiast and the Movie Vigilante, I enjoy taking public domain movies into my own hands and transforming them into something completely different and humourous. I've made quite a few videos that poke fun at various films and enjoy doing them even though they are time-consuming. One example is a video I edited together called Manhunt: The Search for Castmates, which is a mockumentary of a documentary of a cult horror movie. Although it was only 12 minutes long, it took longer to make than I anticipated. This was partly due to the research involved that I had to do but mostly it was the editing that consumed most of my time. It was worth it in the end though and and it even received some nice words from Jacky Neyman Jones.

If you enjoy my videos or blog interviews and would like to encourage me to make more of them, consider becoming a patron.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

'Manos Returns' Teaser #2

The good news is a new teaser for Manos Returns has been released and it looks and sounds creepy, thanks to a spooky rendition of Row Row Row Your Boat.

The bad news is it doesn't look like the sequel will be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of Manos: The Hands of Fate, as originally planned. I think the new plan is for Manos Returns to premiere sometime in 2017.

Don't worry though. To paraphrase Torgo, "It will be done soon."

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Pit (aka Teddy) movie review

I watched The Pit for the first time many years ago after purchasing a used VHS copy from a video store when those two things were still the norm. Back then, DVDs were just starting to take over as the favoured format to watch a movie and video stores would often sell used VHS copies in their inventory to make room on their shelves. Out with the old, in with the new.

As I was browsing through the selections that were for sale, one in particular, caught my attention. The art on the cover is what attracted me to it. It's a different version than the official movie poster but it still grabbed me.

horror movie posterThe original poster depicts a young boy with a bowl style haircut, clutching a teddy bear with glowing eyes and he's kneeling in front of a large pit. A pair of hands are shown belonging to someone apparently trying desperately to claw their way out from whatever horror awaits them at the bottom. We get a hint with the image of a creature's hand hauling down the potential victim and three sets of glowing, ominous eyes. Fittingly, it was titled The Pit but it was also known as Teddy. The latter was obviously in reference to the teddy bear but could also be a nod to the sheer teddy that the babysitter immodestly wears in view of a curious boy.

The cover alone was enough to make me buy it. It is said to never judge a book by its cover but I never paid attention to that when it came to VHS box art. Some of the best horror movies I've ever watched were the ones I rented solely based on the cover art. When I say best, I mean that in the obscure, low-budget, so-bad-it's-good b-movie sense.

If the art wasn't enough, reading the synopsis on the back of the cover would seal the deal and convince me that I had to have this horror movie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Teen Wolf Director's Commentary - Rod Daniel (1942-2016)

I was surprised and saddened to learn that Teen Wolf director Rod Daniel died April 16, 2016. I had not heard of this bad news until today. Apparently he died of complications from Parkinson's disease, which is the same disease from which Teen Wolf star Michael J. Fox suffers.

Daniel had retired as a movie director and became a photographer.

Something else I didn't realize is that Daniel's two sons coaxed him into recording a commentary track for Teen Wolf. You can listen to it and download it by clicking the link below. You'll have to have your own copy of the movie to watch while you listen. You can still listen to the commentary without simultaneously watching the film. However, there are several, very long stretches of silence that will make it a bit boring without the movie playing.

Incidentally, Daniel does talk briefly about the exposed extra in Teen Wolf whom some viewers think was a man but evidence clearly shows it was a female extra. I don't know how closely Daniel examined the scene though, since he mentions a guy at the end mooning the camera. I guess he and I have a different definition of mooning.

Teen Wolf Director's Commentary 

Hit play on the mp3 file right when you see the MGM Lion fade out in the opening of the movie.

Teen Wolf has always been a childhood favourite of mine and I've watched it countless times.

Thanks, Rod. Rest in peace.

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