Fright-Rags to Celebrate 30 Years of “The Terminator”

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Celebrate 30 years of “The Terminator” with mask and shirts from Fright-Rags

Pre-orders now live: http://bit.ly/1rqn8C2

In October of 1984, James Cameron’s The Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger took the world by storm, and cinema hasn’t been the same since. Fright-Rags is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the landmark sci-fi/action film with a collection of officially-licensed shirts and more.

Fright-Rags’ The Terminator limited edition box set is perhaps the company’s most impressive effort to date. The pièce de résistance is a Ben Cooper-style T-800 Endo-skeleton vacu-form mask with light-up eyes. The set also includes an exclusive shirt designed by Justin Osbourn. Both items come packaged in a collector’s box with window. This box set is strictly limited to 1,000 pieces.

Outside of the box set, there are three more The Terminator shirts up for grabs. Francis Minoza’s explosive, two-sided design is limited to 300 and available on unisex shirts, girls shirts or hoodies. Christopher Lovell’s take on the T-800 can be purchased as unisex or girls. Kyle Crawford’s Japanese-inspired print comes on unisex, girls and baseball tees.

Go to Fright-Rags.com if you want to live. Pre-orders are live, and the limited edition items will be terminated once they sell out. Orders are expected to ship in early December for arrival in time for the holidays.

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John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982) Lobby Cards

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The Thing” (1982)

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

Starring Kurt Russell

Directed by John Carpenter

Written by Bill Lancaster and Based on the Novella “Who Goes There” By John W. Campbell

Music by Ennio Morricone

Photographed by Dean Cundey A.S.C.

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Bonus “On The Set” Pics -

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Jeff Imada, Russell and Carpenter On The Set of “Escape from LA”

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John Carpenter on the set of “Elvis”

John Carpenter directs Actor Kurt Russell on the set of "Escape from New York"  from 1981

John Carpenter directs Actor Kurt Russell on the set of “Escape from New York” from 1981

Hope you enjoyed the post, everyone. I hope to see you all with fresh content and new movie reviews very soon! Thanks for your patience and for checking into “The Den!”

Vic

Peter Medak’s “The Changeling” Screening this Halloween at The Dryden Theatre

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As many of you already know, I hold this classic noir – like ghost story from the 80’s in very high regard. Those living in Rochester and the surrounding area, who are fans of the genre and appreciate a masterfully done spookfest in the tradition of Robert Wise’s “The Haunting,” should not miss this big screen presentation at the George Eastman House.

Hope to see you there!

- Vic De Leon

Showtime is 8pm, October 31st. at The Dryden Theatre:

900 East Avenue

Rochester, New York 14607

The Changeling”

(Peter Medak, Canada 1980, 107 min., 35mm)

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Halloween! Reputedly, ghosts have reasons for staying in the earthly realm: they want to finish an uncompleted task, or they want to impart information to someone. And there is the possibility that a ghost may want a bit of revenge for having been hard done by when they were alive. Peter Medak’s The Changeling is a ghost story that deftly combines all three.

George C. Scott is a man mourning a terrible loss who happens to rent a lovely, cavernous mansion while he picks up the threads of his life. Unfortunately, his grief draws the troubled spirit of a little boy long dead, and Scott is compelled to try to fulfill his last wish. “The Changeling” will be preceded by Rodrigo Blaas’ animated short “Alma,” which puts a macabre twist on getting what we wish for.

Update from The Den

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Hi everyone! Vic, here. I just wanted to drop by and check in with you all. I want to first thank everyone who has found some time to come by “Vic’s Movie Den” on a regular basis and check out my content despite things being very quiet. It is greatly appreciated and I am forever grateful.

I also would like to thank my awesome contributors (You all know who you are!) for submitting some strong content for my blog. You guys rock. Keep up the incredible work, fellas!

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Now, on to the update. My family and I are all moved into our new home, here in Rochester, New York. My work does not end with the move, though. We are pretty much settled in, but I have been very busy tending to various projects (Landscaping, Closing the pool, exterminating bees, fixing decking, setting up my office, changing out doors, etc, etc…) that have been taking up much of my time. It is an exhausting venture owning a home but the results are rewarding and it makes all of the hard work very worthwhile. Gotta keep my eyes on the prize!

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So, as a result of still working full time on the house, I will not be able to commit to submitting reviews and other kinds of posts for “Vic’s Movie Den” for the time being. Hopefully by late fall or early winter, I will be back on a somewhat normal schedule and will finally return to the blogger-verse.

Also, I have been missing out on the great material from other fellow movie bloggers lately. I hope to take a day off very soon and catch up with everyone. I miss you all!

So, thank you, everyone, for checking in and I hope to get back on track with “Vic’s Movie Den” sooner rather than later. I hope you are doing well. Take care, gang!

- Vic

Thank You!

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Hello, everyone! I wanted to thank those who have helped me out with some great guest posts, contributions and articles during my hiatus and time off from reviewing and contributing for “Vic’s Movie Den.”

You have all answered my call for help in a very timely manner and handed over some great material that has really helped me out with amazing content for my page. I will always be grateful and forever in your debt for assisting me during this important and busy time in my life. Thanks so very much, gang!

Here are the links to the pages of the fantastic group who have recently and selflessly helped me out:

Mike from

Parlor Of Horror

Mark from

Lasers, Monsters and Barbarians Oh My!

Eric from

Deacon’s Den

and many thanks to my good friend Brian Volke , here in Rochester, for taking time out of his busy work schedule to help his crazy and over-whelmed buddy during this busy time!

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Top 5: 1970’s Sci-Fi Films Not Called “Star Wars”

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Mark’s TOP 5! So, get Ready, gang!

Hey Gang! Vic here, to bring you a unique and very interesting “Top 5 “ List from Mark of “Lasers, Monsters and Barbarians Oh My!” Mark has graciously volunteered this list to help me out with content during my time off. Please visit his cool site HERE and have fun with his cool sci fi posts!

Thanks Mark, for this very awesome post. I am very grateful for your kind help and this amazing contribution! Without further ado, gang, here is Mark’s TOP 5!

Top Five 1970’s Sci-Fi Films not called “Star Wars”

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In 1977 Star Wars came blazing onto movie screens everywhere. With it came the change in how special effects were done, the re-birth of the space opera and the idea that there was a ton of money to be made in merchandising with your logo or brand slapped on it.

All too often people who didn’t grow up in this decade seem to forget about other sci-fi films from the 1970’s and the fact that it was indeed a very good decade for science fiction films. So good in fact that I had to leave some solid films off this Top 5 list. So, here you go!

1 Alien (1979)

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Essentially this is a horror film in space. The idea that works so well is that there are these characters in the very vastness of space, but when a terror is lurking in your own space ship you feel very trapped and helpless. This is a well executed story of survival.

2 Logan’s Run (1976)

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Before Star Wars there were a lot of sci-fi films about dystopias and this was one of the best. So if you turn 30, you are done for, unless you run away. This film follows a pair of people doing just that and has them examining what they knew versus what they find outside their little world.

3 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

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The Apes series of course began in the 1960’s, but the bulk of them were done in the 1970’s. By the forth film of any series, the ideas are normally running thin. However, I find this one to be the second best in the entire series. We get to see an ape uprising and a spectacular dose of how to get the most out of a limited budget. This film brought some much needed intensity to the series as well.

4 The Omega Man (1971)

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In between fighting apes and finding out what Soylent Green was made of, Charlton Heston was in this film about a post- apocalyptic world. Heston and a few others fight a diseased light sensitive cult while trying to come up with a cure for this sickness.” Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price, “I Am Legend” with Will Smith and “The Omega Man” are all based on the same book, but this is far and away my favorite film version.

5 Starcrash (1979)

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With the success of Star Wars came many imitators as well as this low budget Italian film that actually began filming back in 1977. Subtlety and originality are not the films strong points, but it has great pacing, action and it’s just a ton of fun. The film never takes itself too seriously and just plugs along pulling the viewer with it. A real treat for the senses for sure.

Thanks very much, Mark, for this very cool guest post! Everyone, please feel free to sound off below with your feedback and comments! We welcome it, very much. Thanks and I hope you enjoyed Mark’s TOP 5!

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1984-a-thon Movie Review: John Carpenter’s “Starman” (1984)

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1984-a-thon Movie Review For “Forgotten Films

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Starman” (1984)

From Vic of “Vic’s Movie Den”

What’s it About?

An alien takes the form of a young widow’s husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Directed by John Carpenter

8 out of 10

By Vic

Director John Carpenter (The Thing, Dark Star, Christine) has been, by default, labeled as a “Horror Film” director. Obviously, because of his predilection for making multiple films in that particular genre. A few of them being very highly regarded, like “Halloween,” “The Thing” and even the under-rated “In the Mouth of Madness” which starred “Jurassic Park’s” Sam Neill.

Carpenter’s adaptation of “Christine,” released in 1983, was a moderate success for him (and Columbia) even as he proclaimed afterwards, that it was a “paycheck” gig and he needed a job after the disastrous box office performance that hampered his earlier effort, “The Thing.” Meanwhile, back at Columbia Pictures, the script for “Starman” stood languishing for several years. At Michael Douglas’ request the story was purchased but was bumped around, at times involving big names like Ed Zwick, John Badham and Adrian Lyne. Eventually the project was narrowed down to directors Peter Hyams (2010) and Carpenter.

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What sold Columbia (and was a perfect decision) was Carpenter’s approach to the story, relying greatly on the “Road Trip” aspects of the story allowing the characters of Starman and Jenny Hayden to flourish and develop. Jeff Bridges (King Kong) was cast as Scott Hayden (Starman) and Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) as Jenny. And of course, the directing duties went, smartly, to Carpenter. Carpenter’s film is a unique sci fi tale of honest proportions and it has a clear and emotional message that is very reminiscent of older films where the two leads establish a rapport under singular circumstances.

Columbia decided to minimize the similarities to Spielberg’s “ET” and keep the overtly political themes under control in order to comply with Carpenter’s vision. The result being a significant entry in Carpenter’s, Bridges and Allen’s careers. “Starman” is an intelligent sci fi story which benefits from the tight and respectable writing of Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon. Along with JC, Composer Jack Nitzsche and Director of Photography Donald Morgan (who also shot “Christine” for Carpenter), create a beautifully rendered universe that is rural, down home, real and endearing. Nitzsche’s score will have you hooked from that first electronic note.

After receiving the multi-lingual messages left on the “Golden Disc” aboard “Voyager 2” (launched in 1977), an alien race sends an emissary to earth in the form of a glowing “energy ball,” to make contact. But, (borrowing from films like “The Day The Earth Stood Still”) as a response to the visitor’s approach, the Air Force reacts with hostility and shoots down the craft. It ends up landing violently in Wisconsin, where widow, Jenny Hayden is drowning her sorrows while watching home movies of her late husband, Scott (Jeff Bridges).

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Eventually, as it tries to find a way to survive, the alien re-shapes itself using DNA from a strand of Scott’s hair, lifted from Jenny’s photo album. As he evolves into an adult, in a very awesome practical FX sequence, Jenny looks on in disbelief. After the initial shock wears off, Jenny realizes that her dead husband, Scott, has been re-animated as “Starman,” who, in response to the hostile nature of the Government (aside from SETI scientist, Mark Shermin, played by Charles Martin Smith), tells his people to pick him up at Arizona’s Berringer Crater in 3 days (yeah, the movie is packed with religious allegory). Starman coerces Jenny into helping him get there in time to meet his rescue party and avoid detection from NSA Chief George Fox (Richard Jaeckel) during his stay.

What ensues is a heart warming sci fi romance that may surprise and enlighten many of today’s audiences used to big, over the top, CGI and loud and overdone action sequences. “Starman” ain’t that type of movie, folks. It is a bit of a timeless fare that still holds up very well by today’s standards. Propelled by the amazing performances of it’s leads, the film is a lesson in simplicity and raw emotional honesty. The complexities are kept to a minimum and Carpenter’s direction flows nicely and still exploits that great cinematic eye for composition and detail that is a brilliant staple in all of his films.

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Despite the convention of the Government being the “bad guy” (Fox has little to no motivation for chasing down Starman, here) and the “by the book” turn by C. Martin Smith as the one caring person who is trying to look out for Jenny and Scott, the movie is an impressive collection of touching and poignant rural vignettes.

Carpenter’s film explores themes of companionship and harmony. Jenny shows Starman how to fit in, in an already somewhat, xenophobic society that is full of the fear of the unknown and of those who “aren’t from around here.” Bridges plays incredibly well opposite of Allen as he learns to walk, talk and even comically drive (“yellow light means go faster”). Bridges’ unique take and interpretation of what an alien in a “human suit” would act, look and feel like is incredibly profound. Carpenter and Bridges took this very seriously and had multiple discussions on how to establish the look and feel of Starman / Scott. It turned out to be an amazing performance that earned Bridges an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor in 1984 and the only Actor nod for a Carpenter film.

Using his various steely looking “energy marbles,” Starman also displays his powers when provoked and his ability to heal and repair when faced with loss. In a stunning moment, Starman learns in a Truck Stop, about the consequences of hunting animals and when he does not understand, he is faced with more questionable behavior from the locals. But whether or not you agree with the various approaches to these dilemmas, Carpenter never shies away from letting his leads really act. They really bring their A game in this movie and it genuinely shows.

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Starman,” which I actually saw in the theaters back in 1984, is a quirky film about a quirky alien. It is very moving at times and often silly fun as well. The balances are well kept in place by Carpenter’s deft direction and the extremely sweet exploration of the characters by Bridges and Allen. Even by it’s conclusion, after the wonderful ‘road trip” mid-section, the audience is left very satisfied that this “alien meets a widow” story has gone full circle. Carpenter’s vision and focus sheds any pretense he may have had as a schlocky horror movie director.

Carpenter and company flex their artistic muscles in this great sci fi film from 1984. It is often over-looked or even forgotten but once someone discovers it, it definitely becomes a movie that resonates on a few levels. I wanted to keep the spoilers at a minimum for those who would like to re-visit it or watch it for the first time. Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Todd from “Forgotten Films,” for the gracious invitation to review “Starman” for his 1984-a-thon. I had a blast and I hope you enjoyed it!

Vic’s Note: John Carpenter’s “Starman” is available on Netflix Streaming and on Amazon for Prime Members.