December 23, 2010

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) Part 3

Previously on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians...

We found out that the Martians wanted a Santa Claus. Instead of coming up with their own, they kidnap ours. Also in the process they end up with young Billy and Betty in tow as well. One of the Martians, Voldar, doesn't want Santa on Mars at all and tries to kill Santa and the kids. He fails and is arrested for his attempt, but quickly escapes. Santa on the other hand, finds out that is going to be a permanent resident of Mars.

Voldar rolling it like the a cave.

We now join Voldar, ranting and raving to his gang of underlings in a cave. You can always depend on bad guys to find a good cave to hide in. Be it the simple cave of terrorists, or the super mega hollowed out volcano of Bond villains, bad guys just love to be underground. Wait...I like to be underground too. Oh man, I must be a villain. Guess I need to start looking for a arch-nemesis.

Suddenly, another of Voldar's minions enters the cave. He has been acting as a spy in Santa's new workshop. Turns out the shop has been turning out tons of toys for the kids of Mars thanks to Kimar's new automated assembly line. Voldar now comes up with a new plan. If he can't kill Santa, he'll discredit him.

Santa doesn't have anything against child labor.

Back at the workshop the toy making machines are going full blast, and Santa has got Billy, Betty, Bomar, and Girmar helping him. He isn't even paying them. Santa is writing it off as an internship on his taxes, but we all know that's not what is going on. He is pulling at full out Kathy Lee...for reals.

Dropo enters the workshop with another load of letters for Santa from all the boys and girls of Mars. It turns out that all the girls and boys on Mars only want either a Ball, a Bat, a Doll, A Train, a Car, or something I can't read but it starts with a T, since those are the only doors on the machine. I don't see any Xbox or Wii door on there. Man, Martian kids are easy to buy for. After a busy day of pushing buttons, Santa calls quitting time. I mean sixteen hours of back breaking work is more then enough for four pre-teens right?

As they leave Dropo begins to admire an extra Santa suit that is hanging near the door. Santa tells him that Lady Momar made it for him. Dropo wants to try it on, but Santa says he is far too skinny. I think Santa just didn't want to share pants with Dropo. He has gotten around that he has the crabs...and the clap...and genital warts...Dropo loves the red light district of Mars.

Santa returns to Kimar's house with his slaves...I mean kids. Turns out he had to call it day cause his finger was tired. Yeah, that happened to me once too. The kids, as a reward for their 16 hour day, get a Milk Pill and a half hour to play before they have to go to bed. The Martian kids want to use their half hour to watch Earth Programs, but Billy and Betty don't want too and seem depressed. They just want to go to bed...been there too. Kimar, showing more concern for strangers then his own kids, wants to know what is wrong with them. They insist it is nothing, but as they leave Momar figures out that they are homesick. Moms...and Momars always know.

Still more convincing the most mall Santas.

Now we cut to Dropo, who is trying on the Santa's suit despite the fact that Santa told him not too. If Dropo knew what Santa did to his elves that disobeyed him, he wouldn't be so quick to put on that suit. Dropo looks on unhappily at how loose the suit is and starts to gorge himself on food pills. That's a good lesson for the kids there. Hey kids, if your not happy with how you look just take as many pills as you can shove in your mouth.

Anyway, waiting for the food pills to make him fat is taking too long so Dropo does what every skinny guy posing as Santa has done from the beginning of time. He stuffs a pillow down his pants. Now that he fat like Santa, he puts on Santa's coat and hat and the...fake beard? So Momar made Santa a fake beard? Really? Alright...Well Since Dropo now thinks of himself as Santa Claus and his finger isn't tired he decides to go back to the shop and make some more toys.

Behind Enemy Lines: The Santa Incident

But as Dropo makes his way to the factory someone is already there. It's Voldar and his gang. Seems they plan to sabotage the machine to turn out faulty toys and thus make Santa look bad and that will kill Christmas on Mars. As they set about their dastardly deed, they hear someone coming and quickly hide. In comes Dropo still in full out Santa gear. Voldar seeing this of course assumes it is the real Santa. I mean it's a bad costume and is clearly not Santa, but how would Voldar know what Santa looks like? What? He was on Earth when they kidnapped him? Well I mean maybe he never got a good look at him....He did? Up Close? Really. Well Voldar's an idiot then.

So they grab Santa and drag him back to their posh cave lair. I mean it's got a fire....and a ummmm...did I say fire already? Voldar orders the Nuclear Curtain lowered. Seems that once this curtain is lower it'll disengrate anyone that tries to pass through it. They plan to hold Santa prisoner, until tommorrow which will mark the end of operation Santa Claus and the end of Christmas on Mars!

Back at Kimar's house, everyone is looking for Dropo. They look high and low, but he is no where to be found. Santa comes in and tells them that his extra suit is missing. Kimar informs him that Dropo is also missing. Santa thinks he knows what has happened. Clearly Dropo took the suit and went back down to the factory to make more toys. They'll find him there. So he collects his slaves...I mean kids...I don't know why I keep doing that, and heads for the factory.

Hey you got bear in my doll!
Hey you got doll in my bear!

When they arrive, however, Dropo is no where to be found. But Santa can't be bothered with that, he has to make the toys. On come the machines and toys start to poor out. One problem, they are all mixed up. A bear comes out with a doll's head, and vice versa. The baseball bat comes out with a tennis racket on top. It's all craaaaaaaaaaaazy. The machine is all broken. Santa wants Bomar to call his father to come take a look at it.

Back in the cave they still haven't figured out that Dropo isn't the real Santa Claus. With the power of his hostage, Voldar plans to walk right into the toy shop and...I don't know what his plan is now. He has Santa, he has sabotaged the toy making machine, and ruined Christmas for everyone on Mars. He's won...or at least he thinks he has. No idea why he wants to go to the toy shop other then to gloat or something. As Voldar and his goons depart, he leaves one minion to guard Dropo Claus.

After Voldar departs, the goon activates the Nuclear Curtain. The dimwitted goon explains exactly how the curtain works to Dropo Claus, and then moves away from the controls with his back turned. How lucky for Dropo. He uses the chance to switch the control lights which show when the curtain is off or on. He then turns the curtain off and escapes, with Voldar's stooge too scared to follow because he thinks the curtain is still up.

Back at the workshop, Kimar has examined the toy machine and determined that it was sabotage that made the machine go haywire. He also suspects that Voldar has also kidnapped Dropo as well. Kimar storms out to find Dropo and bring Voldar to justice and lucky for him he runs right into Voldar at the entrance to the toy factory. Kimar quick draws his hair dryer on him. Voldar, however, just laughs it off. He has Santa Claus, and he'll be destroyed him if he doesn't do as he says. He then outlines his demand. First, the toy machine is to be destroyed. Second, Santa and the kids are to be sent back to Earth. Third, no more "Joy through toys on Mars." Man, what a blow hard.

Blow Dry and style?

Kimar caves in to the demands. Wha...What? But...and he has the...that's not the real...I don't get it. But it turns out that Kimar is just messing with them and he then reveals the real Santa in his workshop. They are really confused now. How did he escape the cave? And how did he change his appearance so radically, so that now he doesn't look like a Martian in a bad suit. It's uncanny! Kimar uses this confusion, to pull his gun on them again and forces them into a closet. Oh...I don't know if I like where this going.

Oh he is just going to lock them in the closet. Whew...I thought this was going to be something that Voldar would have to try to figure out with his therapist for many years to come. Upon hearing that Kimar plans to make him stand trial before the council, Voldar strikes knocking the gun from Kimars hand. After a breif fight, Kimar is knocked out cold.

Meanwhile in the workshop, Santa has finished repairing the toy making machine. He then sends Billy for some red paint, which of course is located in the very storage closet where Kimar now lays unconscious and Voldar and his goon plan their next move. As Billy approaches, he overhears the evil plans beyond the door. Voldar plans to kill Santa and smash the machine. Billy runs back into the workshop to warn Santa.

As Billy narcs out Voldar, Santa has a plan. He'll let Voldar play with his toys. Oh I hope that's not a metaphor for something. Nope. Turns out he meant it literally, for no sooner does does Voldar burst into the room then he begins to have toys of all kinds thrown at him from every direction. Marshmallow guns blaze away, their deadly projectiles finding their mark leaving no damage but only a sweet smell. Tin wind up toys advance on the fiend to fight for their right to exist. Oh and they beat him with baseball bats too.

Soon Dropo Claus arrives at the toy shop only to run right into Voldar's goon. Just as Dropo is about to get blasted, Kimar wakes up and emerges from the closet. He takes the weapon away and turns it on it's owner. He then forces him into the main workshop, where they find a defeated and crying Voldar. The prisoners are marched away to prison. As Dropo comes in, Santa hugs him and proclaims him his heir apparent and that now he will be the Santa Claus of Mars.

Dropo is preggers.

We now come to sad goodbyes. It's time for Santa, Billy, and Betty to return to Earth. Kimar and Momar thank Santa from bringing back happiness to the children, and the Christmas Spirit to all of Mars. Just then a fat Dropo Claus storms into the room, wishing everyone everyone a Merry Christmas. Doubting if Dropo's jelly belly is real, Kimar stabs him with a pin popping a the balloon under his coats. I am glad he was sure that was balloon, I hear bleeding out from the stomach is one of the longest and most painful way to die. Lucky for Dropo it was a balloon.

Santa sees this as the perfect time to beat feet and that if they hurry they might be able to get back in Earth in time for Christmas Eve. So the trio depart with one final Merry Christmas. We then see the rocket returning to Earth, as the first chords "Hooray for Santa Claus" strike up.

Santa and the kids return to earth where they are shot down by NORAD.

And thus "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" ends. And from us at B-Movie Blitzkrieg (which is just me), we wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Till next time, see you on the Frontline.


And remember I can see you when you poop.

December 21, 2010

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) Part 2

When we left off last time Martians had come to Earth with intent to kidnap Santa Claus. Billy and Betty, become traitors to their world, and tell the Martians where to find Santa. For their trouble they also get kidnapped by the Martians and hauled off to the North Pole. There all caught up? Good...

So now Dropo is giving the kids a tour of the Martian spacecraft, just like all declared enemies of the Martian Empire are. So Dropo goes about pretty much telling them what every little button does and how to work it. I'm sure this won't backfire on him at all either. No, no, no.

Anyway, they get to a little light on the control panel that only blinks when someone is coming up the elevator. And wouldn't you know it, it starts to blink as soon as the words are out of his mouth. Dropo has to quickly hide the kids, so he shoves them into the Radar Box. I bet it smelled something awful of Dropo in there too considering he rode the whole from Mars to Earth in there. Probably smells like Martian feet in there. Which smells just like Earth feet, only green.

No sooner has the kids shut the lid on the Radar Box, then the whole crew comes piling into the bridge. Voldar uses this chance to once again show us how much of an asshat he is by bullying poor old Dropo. The rest of the crew prepare to land at Santa's Workshop. As they land, Kimar commands Dropo to guard the kids and make sure they don't leave the ship. Kimar then says he is going to take Torg with him to make sure they capture Santa. We aren't told who Torg is, but he must be a big gun of some kind since Voldar doesn't think they need him to capture a "Rolly Polly Little Man like Santa Claus." His words, not mine.

As the Martians leave, Billy and Betty emerge from their hiding spot. Feeling guilt for spilling the beans about Santa, they plan to get off the ship and warn Santa. But first Billy trashes the Radar Box, so that if the Martians get off Earth, they'll have whole U.S. Space Force after them. Which at this point in history were a couple of space capsules on top of rockets that could barely make it to the Moon. I'm sure they'll live in fear of that.

So the children make their way out of the ship and run randomly into the ice covered wasteland of the North Pole. Well I guess Voldar doesn't have to worry, because Billy and Betty will be dead in fifteen minutes. No sooner have they disappeared into the white desolation of snow (fancy right), then the Martians emerge from the ship as well, but wait...Voldar isn't with them. Kimar demands to know where Voldar is. Just as he demands this, Voldar himself appears.

Kimar begins to berate Voldar for always working against him. He then warns him to stay away from the children. Guess Voldar is also a pedophile or something. Voldar however laughs this off and then informs Kimar that the kids have escaped! Fearing that the children will warn Santa, he orders that they be found. As the Martians spread out to look for them, Kimar orders Torg out of the ship. We still don't get to see what he looks like. I like to imagine that he is a tentacle rape monster. But that's just me.

Thanks to global in polar bear suits will soon be extinct.

Voldar quickly picks up the kids trail, and so they jump into an ice cave to hide. Course the kids forgot to wipe away their footprints and they lead him right to the cave. As Voldar is about to discover them, a loud grow comes from behind him. He turns, his hair dryer at the ready, only to discover a huge, rabid, monstrous, MAN IN A POLAR BEAR SUIT!!! Voldar of course backs off, because he's seen CSI and knows what Furries do to you. This Furry, however, isn't picky though. If he can't have Voldar, then he'll take some little kids! Lucky for Billy and Betty, he can't get his mascot sized head into the cave. After a few tries, the Furry gives up and leaves.

Oh no Billy...I don't want to be killed by a water heater.

As Billy and Betty sit and freeze to death and complain about their fate, they suddenly see lights in the distance. It must be Santa's workshop right? I mean what else could it be? A giant freaking robot that's what else it could be! This is Torg. I have to admit I'm disappointed it's not a tentacle rape monster, but you can't win them all. Billy and Betty just stand there as Torg takes like three hours to get to them and then captures them in a giant bear hug. Of course Voldar is first on the scene and orders the robot to kill the kids. Guess he never hear of Asimov's three laws of robotics.

Kimar arrives, and tells Voldar that Torg has been set to only obey because he knew Voldar would try something like that. Kimar the orders the kids locked up, so they can't stop them from getting to Santa Claus. They then depart for Santa's workshop.

The very specific fetish of Santa voyeurisms

When they arrive, they surround the workshop. After making sure the fat man is at home by peeping through his window, Kimar orders Torg into the workshop to capture Santa Claus.

I am looking for Sara Conner.

So Torg comes busting into Santa's workshop and starts ripping heads off Elves left and right. Blood is everywhere! And then he blast Santa with his laser eyes and the old man turns into charred bones and then he breaks all the toys...Ok, that didn't happen. Torg just walks in and picks up an elf, gently by the way, that got in his way and then walks up to Santa and that's it. Santa thinks he is a big toy and treats him as such and that's exactly what he ends up turning into.

Seeing their giant robot fail, the Martians burst in hair dryers in hand. After "freezing" a few Elves and Mrs. Claus too, they force Santa to come with them. And I just want to raise the question of why Santa Claus is wearing short sleeves? It has nothing to do with the plot here, but he is wearing his full out fur lined red suit, but it has short sleeves. It's just strange is all. Anyway, Santa comes along without much of a fight.

The news quickly spreads around the world that Santa Claus has been kidnapped by Martians. Seems Mrs. Claus, after she was unfrozen, went straight to the Po-Po. That raises the question of why they bothered to kidnap the kids? Wasn't it to keep them from going to the police? Why didn't they take everyone from the North Pole to Mars? Or just freeze and leave the kids? You know I'm starting to think this might just be a weak plot point to get the kids to Mars.

Oh kids. It looks like we are going to be here a while, and Santa has certain urges...

On board the Martian space craft, it turns out Santa has already begun to corrupt the crew with really corny jokes. Here is the one that did them in: "What is soft and round, and you put it on a stick and toast it in a fire...and it's green?" Give up? "A Martianmellow." That's the kind of thinking that brings down regimes. Mao would have had him shot for less then that.

Meanwhile Santa is trying to keep up the kids good cheer by telling them about how he almost died during the war. But it's not possible to cheer Billy and Betty up, they are just now having remorse for the fact that the lead the Martians right to his door step. But Santa forgives them. I mean everyone knows where Santa Claus lives. Yeah, everyone but Martians...which is who they told. You are being too easy on them Saint Nick. Too easy.

Anyway, Dropo comes in just then with their food pills. And what are they having tonight? Soup, Beef Stew, Chocolate Ice Cream, and Extenze! Man they sure eat crazy on Mars. Thing is the kids aren't hungry...and they don't want four hour erections either. Dropo asks if he can have them, because not only is he hungry but he has a hot date later tonight.

Voldar the Barbarian

After finding out that the kids have sabotaged the Radar Box, Voldar flies into a rage and heads down to deal with the kids. Under the guise of giving them yet another tour of the ship, Voldar tricks Santa and the kids into the ships airlock. Why did they willing go into an airlock with a guy they know wants to kill them? Cause they are idiots that is why.

The countdown clock to having their blood freeze and their eyeballs explode is clicking away on the wall, Santa quickly tries to find a way out of his. He finds a vent that leads out of the room. On the bridge Voldar watches the controls as the airlock is vented to space, killing those pesky kids and their Santa too.

Kimar burst in to ask who is in the airlock, and this smart ass Voldar comes back with "No" Putting two and two together, Kimar figures out what Voldar has done and thus follows the epic fight. It's hard to give you a blow by blow of this, but I will try my best.


And that's pretty much how it went down. I know you can just see it in your mind's eye now.

Anyway Kimar won or course. Just then Santa and the kids enter the bridge. Only one thing could have happened. They died and now they are GHOSTS!!!!, Santa saved them by using his magical powers to slip slide up the air vent and out of the airlock. Voldar is sent to the brig. He'll stand trial for what he did. Attempted murder of a fictional character.

However, when they go to get Voldar from brig, after landing, they find Dropo tied up on the bed instead. I'm sure Voldar somehow tricked Dropo into some weird David Carradin like stuff, and then escaped. Only logical thing that could have happened. Anyway, now Voldar is on the loose and he still has it in for Santa. Voldar will return in "The Living Daylights."

I'm Santa Bitch!

But Santa has more important work then tracking down Voldar. He has to start bringing happiness to the children of Mars starting with Kimar's own kids. After all the quicker he fixes them, the quicker Kimar can get back to acting like they don't exist. But before the Martian kids can meet Santa they have to meet Billy and Betty. Billy has to teach Bomar how to shake hand. Thing is shaking is a dirty hand gesture on Mars for doing something to inappropriate to your mother. Ok, I made that last part up.

Then the big man himself shows up and the Martian kids just stare in wonder...or confusion. I don't know which. They look the same those two. Actually, I bet it's confusion. Santa breaks the tension by just laughing. He doesn't tell a joke, or even fart. He just starts laughing. Then everyone else nervously follows suite. After the kids fall asleep from laughing all day, Santa says he wants to set up his workshop as quickly as possible, so he can get all the toys done and he can return to Earth for Christmas. But Kimar puts on his Captain Bring-down hat and tells Santa that he will never return to Earth, that he belongs to Mars now....


Will Santa get back to Earth? Will Voldar get his revenge? Will the Wizard ever give Dropo a brain? You'll have to tune in for the final chapter of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!

Till next time, see you on the frontline.


December 18, 2010

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) Part 1.

It's a Christmas miracle! A B-Movie review on the B-Movie Blitzkrieg! Alright, Alright...but don't go getting use to it. See this is a special occasion. It's Christmas! And what better way to celebrate the season with possibly the best bad movie about it. 1964's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Now this movie is kinda famous. Most notably for being featured in a season three of Mystery Science Theater. After that this movie got a real strong cult following and I've seen it shown the last couple Christmas as a late night movie. In fact this movie has been running on TCM this year. I, however, own the movie. Both the MST3K version and regular, so I don't have to wait till Christmas Eve to see it.

Conquers is used very loosely here.

The movie starts out with the super catchy Santa Claus Conquers the Martians theme song: "Hooray for Santa Claus". I'll even go out on a limb and say that this is actually more catchy then the theme from Zorro. But I'll just let you be the judge:

Santa plays it up for the mass media

The movie opens on two Martian children, you know they are Martians because they are green, watching Earth TV. It's good to see that even on Mars they use the TV as a babysitter for their children. And what program are they watching? Why the news of course, because all kids love the news. Although kids might like this news more since we are about to see a exclusive interview with none other then Santa Claus himself. That's a pretty good scope right there. I bet Babara Walter was as jealous as a pig in...well you know the rest.

After a flurry of jokes from our firmly in the closet field reporter Andy about how cold it is, we actually get to the main event; an interview with the big man himself, Santa Claus. Although Santa Claus seems to have got into the wacky weed before he went on camera. He can't even remember the names of his own Reindeer. Even going so far as to call one of them "Nixon". This little exchange is interrupted by Mrs. Claus, who is riding Santa's ass about getting stuff done for Christmas. That is until she finds out she is on TV. Then she gets so excited that I think she may have climaxed, and runs off to change her underwear. Santa then shows Andy all the toys they are making, including a doll of a Martian.

This is Dropo...he's retarded.

We now turn back to Mars where we find Kimar, king of the Martians. He's got a cape...that's how you know he is the king. Kimar is looking for someone named Dropo, and he finds him sleeping under the table. So of course he does the only sensible and logical thing and wakes him up with a "tickle ray" that he just happens to have laying around. No doubt to use on Momar (his wife) after the kids go to bed. Dropo seems to be some kind of live-in slave or something, but not a very good one. As Kimar notes, he is "The Laziest Man on Mars."

Anyway this whole scene is just set up to ask Dropo where Momar is. Turns out she is out buying food pills. See you know they are more advanced then us because they eat their food in pill form and that's always the sign of highly evolved life. Actually, I wouldn't mind eating food in pill form. It'd be a lot easier to eat healthy if I didn't have to worry about how it tastes.

Anyway, turns out the kids haven't been eating. Kimar of course blames the Earth programs rather then his poor ass parenting skills. Yep, that's called transference. And when he demands to see his kids, he finds out they are watching Earth Programs right now. He stomps into to find his to children, the girl Gomar, and the boy Bomar, sitting like little zombies trying to figure out complex issues of life. Like "What is a doll?" or "Tender Loving Care." Course Kimar handles their clear cut ignorance and depression in the best way berating them, and forcing them to go to bed at like 4 in the afternoon. And when they don't instantly fall asleep he uses a sleep spray on them, which is conveniently controlled from his belt.

I don't know. The purpose of all this seems to be to show how bad Mars is, but whole meals in pill form, tickle rays, and a spray that makes bratty kids instantly go to sleep. Sounds pretty awesome to me. I may just have to move to Mars and conquer them myself. If Santa left anyone alive after his blood thirsty conquest that is.

While all this is going on, Momar returns with many new food pills from the store. She got hamburger, buttered asparagus, mashed potatoes, chocolate layer cake, and Vicadan. Now that's a meal! Kimar doesn't give two craps about Momar's day. Instead he is still mad and wants to complain about the kids. Seems kids all over Mars aren't acting like good little robots anymore and this is problem. Momar suggests that he go see Chochem, apparently a wise old dude. Kimar gathers his council chiefs and heads off to find Chochem.

Suck it in...and ACTION!

When we get to a place called Chochem's Chair, which I guess it where Chochem lives or at least his chair, we see that the council is already there. Voldar, the guy in the middle in the pic above, quickly singles himself out as a total douche, by generally just being a total dick to everyone. Kimar arrives and calls on Chochem to appear, and he does so in a puff of smoke just like a ninja.

Here it comes thunder bucket!

Chochem seems to be like a green, senile, Merlin with no cool powers. Despite this, Kimar puts the question of the children of Mar's condition to him. Chochem knows what is wrong with the children, they aren't being allowed to be children. He goes into a huge rant here on his soap box here. I'm sure was some kind of manifesto against modern society, but I'll be honest I didn't hear any of it. I was too busy looking at Chochem's lazy eye. Anyway, the solution is clear. They need a Santa Claus on Mars!

There is only one problem. There is only one Santa Claus and he is on Earth. Voldar is happy about that, he doesn't want any silly Santa Claus on Mars anyway. But Kimar has other ideas, he is going to kidnap Santa Claus! Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuuuuun!!!!!!

So the Martians blast off for Earth. When they reach Earth's orbit, they been to scan for signs of Santa. Soon they find many Santa Claus' on earth. One on each street corner, ringing bells. Surely if Earth has this many Santas, they can spare just one. So they prepare to land and do their dirty deed.

Meanwhile, the Earth's military (IE: Only the US of A. WOOOOO USA!!!!) have started to track the Martins in Earth orbit. Back on board the space craft, the Martians detect the Earth's radar and go to turn on the Radar Shield to prevent this. There is a problem though, the shield doesn't work! A quick check of the Radar Box, determines the problem. And the problem has a name and it is D-R-O-P-O. Dropo has stowed away inside the box, because he has never seen earth before. After pulling Dropo's sorry ass out of the box, the radar shield is working again, and they make their descent towards Earth.

Earth Children are easy.

Meanwhile, two small children are lost in the middle of the snow covered woods and are about to starve to death or be eaten by a wolf or something. Well no, not really. But Young Billy and Betty are just sort of hanging out in the woods without any parents around. Betty is listening to the news reports about the Martian craft spotted in orbit, which is now clearly a meteor or swap gas, or the planet Venus, but Billy just wants to sleep. I don't think it's wise for Billy to go to sleep in the middle of the woods in freezing temperatures. I think that might be the first sign of hypothermia. Lucky for Billy, Betty isn't giving up on this whole Martian thing. Anyway, she pesters Billy enough that he asks her what she'd do if she actually saw a Martian, and right on cue three Martians arrive and Betty screams like a little girl. I mean she is a little girl, but's kinda a wuss thing to do.

The kids adjust to the shock of making first contact with an Alien race pretty quickly though and begin to ask questions about the Martian's antenna. After Kimar answers their question, and Voldar calls them stupid, they get down to business and demand to know where Santa Claus is. Billy and Betty then commit high treason, by telling the Martians that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. There will be a firing squad waiting for Billy and Betty when they get home.

Kimar, having used his masterful integration tactic of simply asking where Santa Claus is, plans to let the children go now that he knows where the fat man whereabouts. Voldar, earning his douche status, has other plans. He wants to bring the children with them not only to the North Pole, but to Mars it's self. His argument is that they will tell the authorities that Santa Claus was kidnapped by Martians. Because if two children stumbled into Police station with a tale of Aliens kidnapping Santa Claus, I'm sure they'd be taken completely seriously. So they grab the kids and head for the North Pole to kidnap Santa.

That ends part one, be sure to check in next time for part two where we will see see giant robots, man eating polar bears, and Voldar makes his move.

Till then, see you next time on the frontline.


December 10, 2010

All I Want For Christmas...(Unattainable Edition)

Christmas is the season of giving......screw that though. You don't want to hear that. I mean I could go on about how much I put in the little red buckets, or how I put stuff in the Toys For Tots boxes every year, but a whole post about that would make me look like a narcissistic tool. So we won't be doing that. Instead I'm going in a whole other narcissistic way and tell you what I want for Christmas.

Now I could go on and tell you I need a new pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars, or the latest Mystery Science Theater 3000 box set. But if Christmas Movies starring Vince Vaughn have taught me anything, it is that Christmas is also a time of miracles. So I thought I'd make my list completely unobtainable things. Things no person could give me for Christmas unless they where super rich or had god like powers. I think Santa falls into both those categories. So this is for you Red Man....not the rapper, the mythical guy.

O.K. Here we go.

5. To Live Someplace Warm

I have lived in Missouri my entire 30 years of life. I got nothing against Missouri, but it gets rather nippy here in the winter. I know it's nothing like say Canada, but it is colder then I'd like for my own personal comfort. So wish number one, or rather five since we are counting down here, would be to move someplace warm.

I'm not really talking about an island tropical paradise here. That's not a requirement. Oddly the requirement is something like being able to play Mini-Golf in Dec. If Go-Kart tracks are still open in January, then that place will work.

That sounds like I'm not being picky, but really I am. I want to stay in the US. So a nice beach villa in Mexico is out. I don't want to live someplace that gets earthquakes. That puts California out. I don't want to live where I could get blown away by a Hurricane. So that leaves out most of the southern east coast and gulf coast. I don't want to live someplace near and active volcano. So no Hawaii. So you see how I've limited myself there. But I'm sure a place exists out there that might fill that void.

Course this does kinda go against my Celtic blood. My forefathers lived in the crappiest places they could find. That's why we are all pale and hairy. And I actually do well in the cold, it doesn't bother me. Again, I give full credit to the DNA. I can live someplace cold, it wouldn't kill me. It's just kind of a mild annoyance, and if I could avoid it I will.

4. A Degree in Film

I'll be honest, I'm only trying to make my way as an author because I never had the chance to work with film. I would have loved to write and direct my own movies. I've always been a more visual person. Problem was I was a poor kid living in Missouri. Had I been a rich kid living in Southern California, when you'd probably being complaining about how crappy that latest Matt Clemmons flick was right now.

Now, one could try to get into a good film school like USC, but that takes money. I had the test scores, but not the dollar, dollar bills to make that happen. There are programs at schools around here, but most of them were pretty pathetic. And even if they weren't, they were mostly at Universities I couldn't afford. So off I went to State Fair Community College to study Architectural Drafting. It was what I could afford. After a year of that I knew it wasn't for me, but it took a few more years to figure out what I really wanted to do.

If my books were doing well, and I had the time to take a few years off, I'd probably go back to school to get a degree in something. It really bothers me I don't have one. Not that I think it would really help me that much as an author. It'd be more for my own piece of mind thing. The degree I'd try to get would either be in Literature (doubtful), or the aforementioned Film.

3. An Aston Martin DB9

Look at that car. That is sexy right there. If I saw me driving that car, I'd have sex with me. And I'd do it good too.

I think every man deep down wants a super car. Be it a 69 Charger, or a Bugatti Veyron. Every guy wants one. There does seem to be the misconception that if I guy owns something like this that it means either 1.) He is going through a mid-life crisis, or 2.) He is small in the pants. This isn't true. It's just those guys NEED a car like this. Where as most other guys just want a car like this and just never have it. They don't need it to get laid, but they wouldn't turn it away if it was offered to them either.

And of course for me there is the fact that Aston Martin and James Bond go hand and hand. I mean Bond has driven a DB-something in several of the movies, most famously the DB5 in Goldfinger. DBs have also showed up in Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace. And James Bond even drove a DB Mark 3 in the novel of Goldfinger. Although none of these cars where a DB9, the Vanquish and DBS from the last three films share the body type of the DB9.

2. This Big Ass House

Who doesn't want a big ass house? I mean really. This house, which is called Balmoral after a castle in Scottland, is over 22,188 square feet and has 13 bedrooms. (I know the site says 12..but the 13th is called a Stateroom. This is to avoid having 13 bedrooms, which is seen as bad luck). But I didn't pick this quaint little cottage as my dream house because of that. No, I wanted a house with a indoor pool. See I like to swim, but I've never once in my life had a pool at my home. So to make up for that, when I'm loaded I wanted to swim 365 days a year, rain or shine. Hence the indoor pool. And houses that have that feature tend to be on the large size.

But the pool wasn't the only reason. I also loved that it looked like a Castle. I mean come on, tell me as a kid you never wanted to live in castle. You didn't? You dirty liar. Nothing personal, I just call them as I see them and you is lying girlfriend. Really, my ancestors actually built castles. So I guess it's in my blood, like how I want to make sweet love to Karen Gillan down by the fire...What? That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I want this house.

1. Success as a Writer

Yeah, I did use a hand full of cash to represent success as a writer. It's not as shallow as it seems really. A novelist is generally judged a success by two things. One, good reviews. And two, how much money it makes. And here is a little secret you might not know, when you have the latter the first one doesn't matter so much. So really a hand full of cash is a good representation of it I think.

The best thing about this great Christmas wish, is that pretty much all the other stuff on this list could be achieved if this one came true. I wouldn't need the power of the Claus to make it happen.

The sad thing about this wish is that it's completely in my own hands. The only person holding me back from having this, is me. Now look what you made me do, I depressed myself. I hope you are happy with yourself.

I'm going to be completely honest here, there is a wish I have that is greater then Success but it's private so I won't be telling you about it. So quit asking. Although wish number 1, might also make this possible. I really should get to work on that, shouldn't I? I mean I'm not getting any younger.

You know looking back my list it does seem a little materialistic, but it's not really. Well, O.K. the giant house and car are, but the rest aren't really. I mean the someplace warm thing, just means I want to be comfortable. The Film School just means I want I share my vision with people, and the Success thing just means I want to leave my mark in the world. See not materialistic at all...but it would be pretty awesome to have that house and car.


December 3, 2010

Should I rename this blog?

Just posing a questions to my very few readers. I really don't review B-Movies as much as I use too. In fact I haven't reviewed one since Zorro. So should I change it so it's not so specific? And if so what should I change it too?

And is this a cop-out update? Yes...yes it is.

November 22, 2010

Garbage -Self Titled Review.

A first here at the blitz; a music review. And right now you are saying "Aren't you suppose to be reviewing, oh I don't know. B-Movies?" and to that I say "Shut up jerk face and stop pointing it out!" Ha Ha...I'm such a character aren't I? No? Well screw you then. Anyway I decided to review the fifteen year old self titled debut album by Garbage.

Why this album? Well 1.) I just got it a few weeks ago and haven't been able to stop listening to it since, and B.) because like all old people I think my music is better then everything that came before or after it. Seriously, I think most stuff post 1998 is terrible. But this album is from 1995 so we are safely in bosom of awesome here.

And I already liked Garbage immensely. Shirley Manson's voice has almost a siren song like effect on me. It's smoky, sensual, feminine, and almost sexual. Her voice brings up emotions that no other singer does in my little male mind. It also doesn't hurt that she is a pale, red headed, water nymph that activates something deep in my Celtic blood about trying to preserve our people on the Earth. That's a poetic way of saying she makes me feel like when you climb the rope in gym class.

But what I'm looking at is the actual album here, so let's break it down song, by song.

1. Supervixen- Had a been a girl instead of guy in the 90's, I would have been rocking this song hard as my own little personal theme song. It's a great little song about a woman liking the attention given to her. Going even so far as telling the listeners to "Bow down to me." I love this song. It's just great to hear it, and even more so when you know that Manson had self image issues at one point in her life.

2. Queer- As far as I know this song has nothing to do with homosexuality, but it may have a double meaning I'm missing here. But it's more used in the "Strange" meaning. This was the first Garbage song I ever heard, and I loved it at the time and still do. I remember this video was really strange and all shot from the point of view of the guy in the video as Manson lead him around the house and then ended up shaving his head at the end.

3. Only Happy When it Rains- This was another single off the album and was probably the most successful one. I really identify with this song from time to time. That happens with a lot of Manson's songs, but more so off songs from this album then any of the others. When I get depressed I always listen to Garbage. It just captures the mood better then any other band in my collection.

4. As Heaven is Wide -This is only song I don't like off this album. You can really hear hints of the sound they adopt for their next album Version 2.0 here. That change of sound wasn't something I really liked and wished they'd stuck closer to their original sound with their follow up albums. I really wish they'd scraped this song and put the B-side #1 Crush on here instead. A song I've called the most romantic song I've ever heard before.

5. Not My Idea-This isn't one of the better ones of the album, but all albums have ones that don't measure up to the rest. That's not to say this one is bad. The verses are very good, it's the chorus that kinda ruins the song for me. Again, not bad...just not the best either.

6. A Stroke of Luck -This is a song you have sex too. Pure and simple. And I'm not talking about the Lucy and Ricki push the beds together kinda sex either. I mean the raw, you aren't thinking anymore, almost animal like sex. This should be playing in the background when you do that. It just has that kinda sound about it. Course maybe this is just in my warped little mind. This is one of the best songs off the whole album right here and one that not many have heard due to it not being released as a single. I'd never heard it before I bought this album and that's a shame.

7. Vow -This was the first single off the album. I never heard it myself, but apparently it was out there. This one also has a Version 2.0 sound to it, but not as much as "As Heaven is Wide" and still feels like it belongs on this album. Sometimes I skip this song, sometimes not. Depends on on my mood.

8. Stupid Girl -I loves this song. I really do. I know people like this, or sometimes just act like the girl in this song. And it describes them to a tee. This one was released as single here in the U.S. and had a video along with it. Garbage really had a good look with their videos early on that matched their sound and this one was no exception. Great song and one some of you reading this have probably heard before.

9. Dog New Tricks -This one reminds of Not My Idea, in that it doesn't stand out much. That might be unfair to this song though. It's better then "Not My Idea" , actually and I never skip it when I'm listening. It's just there are better song on here.

10. My Lover's Box- This is hands down my favorite song on this album. The verses, the chorus all fit together perfectly. Now I know you see the title and raise and eyebrow, but like Queer that's not what this song is about. A better title probably would have been "A Little Piece of Heaven." but they didn't call it that. I just love this song and sometime I'll listen to just this song and none of the others.

11. Fix Me Now- A good follow to My Lover's Box. It's not as good, but it's still good enough to start bringing you down for Milk, but not so down that it's jarring. It's a slower song that has the same kinda of feel and beat.

12. Milk- Great song to go out on. A nice slow song, but still keeping the mood of the album as a whole. In fact the last three songs couldn't flow into each other any better. I remember the video to this song being very white...I mean white, white. Like Pale Manson, in a white dress, on a white background and then someone oversaturated the whole thing. I find myself identifying with song a lot. Lyrics like "I am I am cruel." is really how I feel sometimes. It's a great last song and really makes you mello at the end of it all.

At the end of the day this is one of the best albums I own, and even with "As Heaven is Wide" I can listen to this thing all the way through, over and over again. If you put the remix of #1 Crush in there instead of heaven, I'd call this a perfect album. As it's still a Five out of Five.


November 8, 2010

Simon Says: The Future of Neverwas.

I didn't want to leave you guys one such a depressing note as I did with the last Simon Says:Retrospect. Instead I'm going to leave you with some info on what would have happened if Simon Says had continued, and also my commentary on web comics and why I think print comics are not only dead, but not a good thing from an artistic stand point.

First, I want to say I won't be spilling all the beans and the beans I do spill won't be anything really, really good like full scripts or anything. This is mainly cause I still have hope of Simon Says returning at some point. Probably won't be anything like the five comics you've seen in the past few days. I'd like to have an artist come in with a style dramatically different from what was done before. The strip its self would more likely be a total reboot. Characters would look different, maybe even act different (not that we got a chance to really see how they acted.) and I had planned to rewrite, and shuffle the order of the comics to bring in a different feeling as a whole early on. It would be more like Simon Says version 2.0, rather then a continuation of what has come before. The five comics that Dwayne drew would most likely be retired completely and I'd write a whole new intro to the strip. They'd become like KTMA. We know they are there, but they won't factor in it going forward.

So what would have happened? Well first let's talk about the cast. What you saw were my three first day creations. Simon Lamont, Liz Silvas, and Thaddeus “T-Bear” Smith. But as of right now there are seven Simon Says characters. That means there are four people you don't even know. So I might as well tell you all about them.

First we have Reno Lamont. Reno is Simon's older brother, by ten years to be exact. Reno comes to live with Simon and Liz at a point in their lives when they are very content and happy and of course spoils this. Reno however is just a harbinger of greater things to come, but I'll get to that in a minute.

I have a few friends that were not raised in the 80s as I was, but instead the 70s. Reno was going to represent these people in the strip in a way. He loves things like the Love Boat, or Greatest American Hero and disapproves of things like The A-Team or Knight Rider. Transformers suck and Micronaughts are the end all beat all. That's pretty much how he is.

Reno is also a constant thorn in Liz's side just by being Reno. He is also kinda pervert and is always trying to get the ladies (What ladies? There is only Liz isn't there?) of the strip into the sack, but as of yet none of them have caved in. Reno would have in a way taken T-Bear's place, although T-Bear would have never left, but instead was pushed back to smaller role.

Next is probably the most important character behind Simon and Liz themselves. Misery Daniels is Simon's ex-girlfriend from high school, who left Simon and the town behind after graduation. Now she has come back into his life. What's more is she may still have feelings for Simon. Of course her reappearance doesn't sit well with Liz at all. So you can see how that adds drama in there. Misery is also a failed musician, and is looking to take that up again.

Misery was created one night when I had fallen into a depression, as I do from time to time, and thus she will end up being one of the darker characters. This hasn't really come to the surface yet, but I've been slowly laying the ground work for it. She has problems and things don't really work out for her. In a way Simon is really the me I want to be, but Misery is more the me that I am. I don't want to know what Freud would think of me having a character based on myself, dating a character also based on me. Misery could be the main character of this strip if she wanted to, but it's hard to funny when you are as sad as she is.

I actually had visions of selling Team: Liz and Team: Misery T-Shirts at one point.

Then we have Zoe Dee. Zoe would be Misery's roommate. I went the cliche way and had her be kinda a slut. Sluts are fun to write, what can I say. I had considered going against type and making her a him. The problem I ran into then was that she'd be trying to get into Misery's pants a lot and that was something Reno was already going to do. Plus I needed more women in the strip. Thing is with Zoe is she really isn't a slut, it's a myth that she just never denied and like the attention it brings. Right now Zoe is nothing more then Misery's roommate, but I think she'll take on a greater and more important role as I go forward with her.

Willy Stewart is are final guy. I'll be honest, if the comic was to reboot Willy and T-Bear might become one and the same. Really neither of them has as big a role as the others do. Right now Willy is a guy that lives in the basement of Misery and Zoe's house. He believes in conspiracy theories and even makes up his own from time to time. Simon has kinda taken him under his wing, much to Liz's chagrin. His role is just to come in from time to time when I need him to make a really strange or crazy joke work.

Now that we know all the players I'd like to look at the story lines that would have come up. A lot of the first strips I wrote where one-off jokes. You come in, tell the joke, and get out. They have no connection to the other stripes before or after them. These are fine. They have their place. Hell the "Far Side" is nothing BUT one-off jokes. Thing is, as I wrote more and more the strips seem to flow into each other more and more so that we are starting to get actual story arcs. Because the first half of what I wrote is so heavy in One-Offs, and the latter is so heavy in arcs, I think I'd mix them all up now and move up introductions, so that we get important characters in there and moving as part of the stories going forward.

One major story arc was the "When Simon Met Liz" arc. I actually am considering getting rid of this. As I said when I first mentioned this in Simon Says Retrospect 001, I didn't create this story for the right reasons. I may one day want to tell how they met, but it'll be on my terms.

The next major story arc would have be "Simon Lamont in the 25th Century." This was a really silly strip that saw Simon frozen and waking up 20 years later. Of course he gets back, but it was just fun and silly and I pride myself on the fact that I didn't make a dream or something. Simon really went to the future and then came back to the past.

We get a small arc which introduces Reno, but then the big one was "Misery Loves Company" which saw Misery Daniels arrival on the scene. Misery is the character I want to move up the most. She is so important she should take T-Bear's place on that logo up there. We get a few more arcs that deal with Misery again after this, which add even more stress to the whole thing and play into Misery's downfall down to Morrissey level mellon collie.

That's the point I am at now. But I said I'd tell you what I thought of web comics and why I thought print comics were dead. So let's get to that and wrap this already too long post up.

There are a lot of reason I think print comics will be gone in ten years. One, newspapers themselves seem to be a dying breed. First the TV hurt them, and now the internet is going in for the kill. When the newspaper goes, so do the strips that are contained within. It's like trying to put movies on Laserdisc when DVD has already come out.

Print comics also limit what the writer and artist can do (which most of the time are the same person, but sometimes not) you have to follow the rules they lay down, keep your comic in the space they give you. They decide when your toon appears on T-shirt, or a coffee mug. Then if you don't write something a paper likes they drop you and you get yelled at. It's outdated system and not only that it's a stupid system.

That's why new talent that should be coming to replace the Gary Larsons and Jim Davies of the world are going to web with their creations instead. No one to tell you how to tell your story. You decided if your toon goes on a calendar or not, and if you do you get most of the profits. Your comic can be as big or small as you want to be. You only have to please the people that come to read and see what you put up. You don't have to deal with a publisher that doesn't "Get it" and thus shuts it down. If I wanted to send Simon & Company on a romp through a movie serial inspired sci-fi adventure for a month and half, I could do it. No one is going to tell me I can't.

Print is least as far as comics go. I think anyone that still wants to get into that market can't see the forest for all the trees. Would I like to see Simon Says right under Garfield? Yeah, but I'm not willing to sell my soul to do it. Not when I could probably make just as much money selling ad space and merchandise on my own web space and not have to change what I write to do so.

So that's the end. For now...I guess we'll see what the future holds. You may never see Simon Says again. That would be a shame, but it's sadly also possible if I cannot find someone that wants the same things I want out of life, understands what I am trying to do, and has the talent to be the Yin to my Yang...well as far as Web Comics go. But trust me, I'm trying. I just need a little luck, but like Misery...things don't tend to work out for me.


November 6, 2010

Simon Says 005: A Retrospect.

This was the most popular Simon Says, or that was how it seemed to me at the time. This was called "Nerf or Nothing" with the nothing being the electric bill. I think this one did so well because everyone has seen those Nerf Guns in the toy aisle and no matter how old you are wanted to buy them and then just lay a barrage of darts into someone. It's almost a primal base need. You can shoot someone, without hurting them. It's like murder you can't go to jail for. How can that NOT be fun?

Also I think the idea that someone would neglect their bills in order to buy this is also something that people can identify with. At one time or another all of us have put off a bill to buy or do something we really didn't need to. When these two things, that everyone has done, combine into one funny situation it seems to be a kind of magic.

Posted on Dec. 20 2009, this was the last Simon Says ever. Why did it end? I wish I could tell you, but the truth is I don't even know. I was never given a reason. They just stopped showing up on Facebook and by the Summer of 2010 I had given up seeing anymore comics and stopped sending what I wrote along. Was it because I was a hard to work with egomaniacal prick? Maybe. I didn't think I was, but I wasn't told one way or the other. It is possible though.

One thing I do know is that if I had even half the talent Dwayne did, I just would have kept going myself. So instead of lamenting the end of something that died before it ever got started, I'd instead be looking forward to the one year anniversary of the strip.Thing is I don't have that talent, and I know I don't. I know the limitations of myself.

Despite all the other projects I've worked on as a writer, I am still the most proud of Simon Says. It is my favorite. My baby. I never once had writer's block on it, or got sick of it and wanted to stop doing it.Writing it was like second nature to me, and I think that's why I still do it to this day. Sure some times I'd get depressed and think what was the point. Maybe even consider deleting everything I put down on paper and act like it never existed. But in the end I always ended up right back here. This was like home to me.


Simon Says 004: A Retrospect.

Before I start today I wanted everyone to know that New England Web Comic Weekend is...well this weekend. Might be too late to get tickets if you're in the area, but since you are reading this you may like web comics so it's worth a look see. If things had gone according to plan myself and Dwayne might have been attending this. Although that's a big might. It could have happened though, guess we will never know. Anyway here is the link to their official website:

New England Webcomic Weekend.

With that out of the way we move on to today's strip called "Lost in Translation." I consider this strip to be the first real success. A lot of people liked this one, and a lot people that had just sat back and said nothing before were now telling me how much they liked this one. I was pretty stoked after the positive feedback and went on to write a huge amount of comics in a short amount time after being propped up by the new found confidence that brought. It was after this comic that I really started to think about trying to save back the money to buy a domain and dedicated space for the comic to reside.

That of course would have been the first step into making any money off the comic. With that we could have sold ad space, and maybe had a few t-shirts or bumper stickers printed up and sold those through an E-store or something. And then of course the trade paper backs we could have had printed up and sold when we got enough comics to fill one. After covering the monthly costs and then splitting the profit down the middle with Dwayne 50/50, I figured making some money off this was better then making no money off this. And in studying other web comics like Penny Arcade or Shortpacked! I found one could actually make a living off doing this if they could get enough readers. I was very excited at this point. I thought a whole new world was about to open up and make life better for me and Dwayne.

I was wrong.

The comic its self is pretty straight forward. Pretty much anyone that's been in a relationship has had this happen to them before. Hell doesn't even have to be sexual relationship, but could be a friendship. This is all too common and I just put to paper what is happening almost everyday to couples someplace in the world. As every man in the world knows the words "I'm Fine." is not something you want to hear, and of course those guys want to know how that will effect their ability to get the booty. All of this was straight forward, but also honest and I think that's why people liked it so much.

This comic also shows what would be the theme of Simon Says had it continued. Geeks in Love. And this is a theme that I still use today on the rare occasion when I think of something funny and write it down in comic form. A normal, or as normal as could get with these two, relationship, but full of the odd pop culture references that only another geek would really understand.

Next we are looking at Simon Says: 005 "It's Nerf or Nothing." and sadly this was the last Simon Says ever made.


November 5, 2010

Simon Says 003: A Retrospect.

Before we start to today I just wanted to give out a link to original Facebook where these comics where first posted. You'll actually get more info on the strips themselves here, but just in case you're curious and want to look it over here is the link:

Simon Says Facebook Page

I'd also like to thank everyone that's been coming over and checking these out. The page view for the other two Simon Says: Retrospects have been the highest view counts I've had all year. Not talking millions of hits here, but a lot more then normal. Glad to see there is still some intrest in the comic, even if the likely hood of seeing more is almost non-existent at this point.

Anyway, on to the comic. Ah the "The Slackers of Hazzard County." I have no proof, but I feel this comic might have been the one that killed the whole strip. This is also the one that was called "Not Funny". And I'd say that funny is all part of your perspective. Not everyone thinks everything is funny. If you don't get it, you won't think it's funny. And this was a niche strip to begin with. Unless you grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard like I did, this comic would just be a "meh" for you. So it's not likely that anyone over forty five or under twenty eight was going to get this one, thus they wouldn't think it was funny. But 28-45 was audience I was shooting for, so that would be a good thing.

That being said, I do think this strip had it's share of problems. The idea is sound I think. That Simon, having watched one too many episodes of Dukes of Hazzard as a child, comes up with a way to get away from the cops. The same way the Duke Boys had hundreds of times. If done right that could have been really funny. The idea was sound, but the end product maybe wasn't.

When I wrote it I actually thought it was too long. I also didn't know if people would understand that all that had happened was all in Simon's head and that he was never actually running from the cops. Dwayne added the "Meanwhile back in reality" caption to make this more clear. I even think I put in a note with the script that if Dwayne couldn't make this work to just skip it. Now, I would have taken this one out to polish it more, or maybe deleted it and used elements of it in later strips. That is now, with a 180 strips I could work in to take it's place if I did that. Thing is when I wrote this we had maybe ten scripts and I was trying to churn out as much content as I could in a short amount of time. So I sent this one along anyway. I'd actually love to take another crack at this one and see if I could make it work, but since you see it above I doubt I'll ever actually do that.

At the end of the day I'm sure there are people that think everything I wrote was "not funny", and there are those that thought everything was "funny". Then there were those that thought this was funny and this wasn't. Like I said it all depends on where you are coming from. I write stuff that I would think was funny and since I can't read people's minds or make everyone happy, that's all I can do.

Lucky for me, the next strip "Lost in Translation" was much better received and actually started an upturn in the strip where people were really starting to like what they were seeing and talking about the strips themselves. Sadly this came just before the comic's all too soon end. But we'll talk about that next time.


November 4, 2010

Simon Says 002: A Retrospect.

So now we come to Simon Says: 002 "Progress is Making Things Smaller." I'm actually shocked we didn't get more heat from the ladies with this one, and by heat I mean someone being mad and then Dwayne telling them I wrote it so I got all the hate mail. Didn't happen though. Maybe because it was so early on and hardly anyone was looking at this one.

At the heart of this one really is my dislike of when women wearing huge white cotton granny panties. (Although I know the ones in the comic are pink.) There is a time and place for giant white granny panties and it's not in your twenties or thirties. They are called granny panties for a reason ladies. And now I've just made sure I get a second chance at hate mail. Although I'm sure there are women out there that don't like their men to wear tightey whiteys, or those boxer brief things, but I doubt you'd call them sexist. Think about it won't you?

There also would have been a call back to this strip in a comic called "Handicapped Parking" which found our trio at the mall, where Liz had been shopping at the lingerie store so Simon would stop complaining. Again, you never got to see that one.

Also of note in this comic are the first appearance of Liz and T-Bear. T-bear I don't think is ever called by name in any comic I wrote, and this is cause I hate his name. But I couldn't come up with anything better. T-Bear came from the fact that I thought his body shape should be a like a Teddy Bear. So T-Bear was a place holder name that just never got replaced. I had planned to run a contest to let a fan actually name T-Bear, but that never happened and so he will forever be T-Bear.

We also get the age old and cliché statement about everything becoming smaller as technology moves forward. Not me making a statement at all, truth be told. I just used it to set up the joke about the underwear. Which worked pretty well if I do say so myself.

Anyway, toon in next time (see what I did there with the toon, instead of tune.) where I'll be telling you the story of the most disagreeable comics I wrote "The Slackers of Hazzard County" not because this comic was offensive, but just because it didn't really work.


Simon Says 001: A Retrospect.

Today we take a break from MST3K. Seems even I have to take a break from that amazing show from time to time. So what are you looking at up there? Well that was a short lived Web Comic I wrote, and was drawn by my high school art class friend Dwayne Bruce. (Dwayne has his own blog which is linked on the right.) How short lived was the comic? Five strips are all it made it too. Why was it short lived? Well that might be a little more complex, but I'm not tackling that here. These comics originally appeared on their own Facebook group with hope to move it to its own dedicated site before its untimely death.

So why am I posting these again here? Well because of something I had wanted to do when these strips would have found their way to their own site, and that is to give a writers commentary on the strip and let you into my mind a little bit and let you know where the idea came from, and maybe let you have a better understanding of what went into it. I had also hoped to talk Dwayne into doing the same from an artist point of view, but never got the chance to bring the idea up to him.

O.K., so we start at the start. "Simon Says 001: Hello my name is…" Although the numbers and titles where never suppose to appear on the actual strips. This isn't actually the first strip I wrote. That honor belongs to a strip called "This is No Cartoon." This strip started like an 80's cartoon where we just jumped feat first in with no introduction to the characters. Unfortunately, that strip never saw the light of day and may be forever lost to the void. After I wrote that and one or two others, I thought I needed to introduce the strip in some way, much like Garfield did back in 1978.

I had to do something simple and quick here, and the joke isn't one of my best. I'll admit to that. It does help in a minor way establish character. We know our main man up there is Simon (We were latter learn his full name is Simon Lamont.) and that his girlfriend/Wife's, we don't know which at this point, name is Liz. (Later to be known as Elizabeth Silvas) We also find out that Liz isn't a typical 50's woman and ain't doing crap for this guy. Thing is we also know that Simon knew what the answer would be and just did this to goad her on. And so we see a small snippet of how their relationship might work.

This strip along 4 others and 3 characters(This cast would have grown to include seven characters in the end.) that would dominate theses early strips where all made in one day. One of my earliest critiques, apart from "That's not funny", was that the strip lacked character development. Well this is true. It kinda has to at the start. Go to any of the most well known Web Comic and hit that little button that says "First" and then just read. You'll see how it goes. The truth of the matter is that you are trying to tell a mini-story that is also a joke in 3-6 panels. You can't also cram Hamlet in there too. In order for there to be character development, you have to let the characters develop. And this takes time, and more then five strips. Honestly, this comic is still a pet project of mine. I've written almost 180 strips now, (even though the hope of ever seeing them drawn at this point is slim) and there is plenty of character devolpment by now. Lots of drama and lots of conflict, but that's only cause I've had 180 strips to build that up in. See you have to understand the beast that is a strip comic. If I did all that up front, no one would have read it. The joke is what gets people to come back. And once you get them coming back every week, then you can lay on the heavy stuff.

Anyway, that critique lead me to write a seven part arc called "When Simon Met Liz", you also never got to see this, which I regretted doing it at the time. The reason being is that I told of their beginnings, and once you tell that there comes a point where you have to someday tell their end. Do I let them get married and live happily ever after, or do they break up? That was the road I set myself on as soon as I wrote those, and I didn't want to think about that. I wanted them to just be, no beginning and no end. I don't regret it as much now, because it allowed me to add stress to their relationship later, and pull them in this direction and that, but at the time I really hated doing it.

Well I talked enough for now, and I have four more to go through. So be sure to check back next time for strip 002: "Progress is making things smaller." which is the first full appearance of both Liz and T-Bear and...PANTIES!


October 25, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 105 The Corpse Vanishes

I haven't updated in a few days, and I wish I could say I was busy. That, however, is not the case. No, I think I was avoiding this film on a subconscious level. The movie this weeks is episode 105: The Corpse Vanishes.

This movie is hard to get through. It's a Bela Lugosi film. Not one of the few good ones he had, but rather the really "meh" films he had to do after everyone only offered him horror pictures after Dracula. And this one is one of the worst. But before we get into that we cover another chapter of Radar Men from the Moon, which is always fun.

The movie its self is about a man who is killing brides on their wedding day with poison flowers and then steals their bodies (Hence "The Corpse Vanishes") and uses them to keep his wife young and beautiful. Released in 1942 ,this was the oldest movie MST3K ever covered. It's slow. Real slow. Slow even for season 1, where almost every movie was slow. We have a heroine in the form of a local newspaper reporter. Just imagine Lois Lane from all those old Superman cartoons from the 30's and that's pretty much this woman.

The riffing is pretty lackluster here, but not really any worse then any other season 1 episode.There were also a few Dracula impersonations which lost any funny after the first one. One good thing that seems to have been added in this episode is an in show awareness of the commercial breaks. At one point a host segment ends with Tom saying "And speaking of selling out." which then cuts to commercial. Later on Joel also does this in the theater when he says "And speaking of selling" and then we cut to commercial.

I didn't really like this episode much. It's not something that anyone that isn't a hardcore fan of the show should really try to watch. I'm giving this one a 2 out of 5.

Next time we will be watching Episode 106: The Crawling Hand. I'm actually looking forward to this one, it's been a long time since I've seen it and I've forgot almost everything about it. So it'll be like watching it for the first time.


October 19, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 104 Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Today we look at fourth episode of MST3K, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Thing is this isn't episode 4, it's actually episode 13. The story goes as follows. This episode was MEANT to be episode 4, but for one reason or another it was pushed back and was actually the last episode shot and aired for season 1. Despite this the earlier 104 number was put on this episode officially. They even announce the winners of a write in contest that won't even happen till episode 110. Very confusing if you are watching these in the official order like we are.

Being the last episode of the season does help though. This one is more like a Season 2 episode then a Season One. While the host segments are still a little sloppy, but riffing in the theater is really good and some of the best in the season. It's also helped by the fact that this mid-sixties Sci-Fi, is slightly sexist and racist and cheesy as all get out and that makes the episode even better. The movie has some crazy Planet of the Apes like twist at the end which makes it even sillier. Actually, I think this movie predates Planet of the Apes. So they ripped them off. They should sue.

Anyway this one gets a 4 out 5. Probably the best episode of Season 1, hands down.

October 14, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 103 The Mad Monster

Last time I watched Episode 102: The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy. This episode is a lot better then first. The riffs come faster and far funnier then the first episode. This one is also helped by the fact that it has the first part "Radar Men From the Moon" as a short before the film. The movie is also a whole different kind of cheese then the first film, being a dubbed Mexican film. Also the "Host Segments", the name given to parts of the show where Joel and the Bots talk to the audience are far better in this one. I give this one a 3 out of 5 stars. It still has all the problems of Season 1 episodes, but it is not the worst from this era.

Now we move on to Episode 103: The Mad Monster

Gonna switch things up a little and actually put the review of the episode in the episode subject. Frankly the other way was stupid and I don't know why I started doing it that way. Anyway, this episode starts out again with a short from "Radar Men From The Moon." Which helps, but I think I'll get sick of these if they keep up every episode. The riffs come pretty fast in this one, but still lack the quality of jokes that would come later in the series. It's really just saying whatever comes to mind and if it's funny good, if not oh well. And while the riffs where coming at you fast, this movie was beyond boring. Nothing as cheesy or fun as The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy. This movie isn't so much bad, as it is slow as hell. Anyway they make the best of it, but maybe using a different movie would have been better.

I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.

Next time we will be watching Episode 104: Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

October 12, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 102 The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy

Last time I was about to watch the first national episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Crawling Eye. This was the first in my attempt to watch every single episode of this cult TV show.

Now it's time to tell you what I thought of it. This episode is slow. Very slow in fact. There huge parts at the start of the movie with no riffing at all. So you're basically just watching the movie with three silent silhouettes in the corner, and when a joke does come it's far from funny. There a few good riffs here and there, but on the whole the episode falls far short. This wouldn't be so bad if the movie was entertaining, but it's not. It's boring and drags...and drags...and drags.

I'm giving it 2 out of 5.

This is not an episode you want to show someone that has never seen the show before. This is show that fans watch to say you've seen it and that's about it, because you love the show as a whole.

Now that is out of the way we move on the movie I'm about to watch now. Season 1/Episode 2: The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy.

A lot of the same things I was worried about with the first episode hold true for this one as well, although I do think the crazy ass subject matter of this movie will save it a little.

Anyway I'm pushing play....WE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!

October 11, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 101 The Crawling Eye

Today I begin to under take a rather large and lofty task that is probably beyond my ability to finish. Nothing new then, but this one is a far different beast all together. Today I start my attempt to watch all 198 episodes of the cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

This is going to be hard task, mostly because I don't own the entire 198 episode run on DVD. But I'll deal with that when I get to it. I own most of Season 1 and so it shouldn't be a problem for awhile.

If you don't know what MST3K is, then I suggest looking it up. I could write it all out here, but I'm lazy. Meh. Anyway we start with the Season 1: Episode 1 The Crawling eyes.

I'm not looking forward to this really. Season 1 is tough to get through. The guys weren't in their groove yet and wouldn't be till about half way through Season 2. It is also doubly hard for me because I just don't care for Josh Weinstein as Tom Servo, or as Dr. Laurence "Larry" Erhardt. Lucky for me Kevin Murphy replaced Josh as the voice of Servo, and Frank Conniff came in as the lovable TV's Frank in Season 2.

I'm about to push play. I'll let you know what I thought before I watch episode Episode 2. Anywhere here we go:


October 5, 2010

According to Me: Top Ten Songs of the 90's

Most people consider the music they listened to in High School to be the best music. It's been happening since the 50's and wasn't any different in the 90's when I was in High School. The time when Grunge and Alternative music ruled the airwaves and no one knew who Justin or Britteny were still known for being on the Mickey Mouse Club, and Justin Bieber was still a broken condom pregnancy in his mother's belly. Ah...good times.

So today I step into the way back machine and look at the top ten songs from that era according to me.

10. "Bittersweet Symphony" -The Verve (1997)

I first heard this song, or rather saw this song, on MTV. You see kiddies there was a time when MTV actually played music. Part of the British Re-Invasion of the 90's, the song came off the The Verve's third album "Urban Hymns." The song peaked at number 12 on Billboard, and marked the bands only hit stateside. Sadly a legal battle with the Rolling stones over the fact that the band had sampled the Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of their song "The Last Time." without permission, caused the band major problems. The resulting stress of the lawsuit, and losing almost all the money made from their biggest hit, saw the band break up in 1999. Only to reunite in 2007 and then break up again in 2009.

9. "Just A Girl" -No Doubt (1995)

Before Gwen Stefani was a "Holla Back Girl" she was "Just a Girl." You see what I did there? Anyway this was the first big hit for the band No Doubt. I first heard this on a local Alternative station that has since gone belly up and changed formats a few times. The song reached 38 on the Billboard charts. This song is often over shadowed by No Doubt's follow up song "Don't Speak." I also really like that song, but I decided to limit myself to one song per band on this list. In 2004 the band took a break and rumors began to circulate that band had broken up after Stefani began her solo career, but the band downplayed these rumors. In 2008 the band started work on a new album, but has yet to release it, but toured together in 2009.

8. "Basket Case" -Green Day (1994)

Some kids these days think that "American Idiot" was Green Day's first album. It's true, just ask around. Thing is it wasn't. What you are seeing now is the second coming of the band. The year was 1994. The album was Dookie, their third. The songs on this album are not the political statements that one who only knew the modern Green Day have grown to love. Instead we have songs about Drugs, panic disorders, and masturbation. Basketcase wasn't the biggest hit from the album, that honor falls to "When I Come Around.", but I still think this is one of thier best.

7. "Song 2" -Blur (1997)

I had been a fan of Blur even before I heard this song. Songs like "There's No Other Way", "Girls & Boys", and "Parklife." had all been favorites of mine. Song 2 however was far better then any of those, and most other Americans agreed. This song is just fun. With it's heavy riff. and "Woohoo!" chorus, it's very hard to not like. In 1999 Blur went on hiatus and frontman Damon Albarn went on to found the animted band Gorillaz. Since then the band has got back together from time to time to tour or record a song or two, but none has hit as big in the US as Song 2.

6. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -Nirvana (1991)

Not putting this as number one is crime as serious as not putting "Come on Eileen" as number one on a list of greatest 80's songs. (Just to note. I loathe Come on Eileen.) But it's not my favorite, so there. This is my list after all. This is the song that is credited with starting the grunge movement. Really, so much has been said about this song that I would just be repeating at this point. Sadly Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994, and we will never know what Nirvana could have done.

5. "Buddy Holly" -Weezer (1994)

"What's with these homies dissing my girl?" That is how Weezer's 1994 hit, Buddy Holly begins. Like a-Ha's "Take On Me" before it, one of the main draws for this song was the music video which found the band thrown right in the middle of an episode of "Happy Days." This was how I first heard this song on MTV (holds for gasps of shock). The song was so catchy that I went right and bought their self titled debut (Which would later be known as The Blue Album.) and found I identifed with their brand of Geek rock. Weezer have had a long and sucuessful career. Releasing their 7th album "Raditude" in 2009

4. "1979" -Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

I have a holy trinity when it comes to music and it goes like this. Oasis, Weezer, and then The Smashing Pumpkins. 1979 came off the massively huge in size and sales "Mellon and the Infinite Sadness." Seriously that album was everywhere in 95/96. You just couldn't get away from it. There are a ton a good songs off this thing, but my favorite was always 1979. In 1996 the bands drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin both over dosed on heroin. Chamberlin survived, but Melvoin wasn't so lucky. The resulting fall out saw Chamberlin kicked out of the band and Corgan, Iha, and D'arcy to continue as a trio, but this only lasted a few years as Jimmy Chamberlin returned to the band in 1999, just to have D'arcy leave later in the year. She was replaced by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. Despite all this the Pumpkins called it quits in 2000. In 2005 Corgan took out a add asking for all the members of the Pumpkins to reunite, but only Jimmy Chamberlin responded. Cogan moved ahead with new plans for the Pumpkins. Chamberlin then left the group again with only Corgan left out of the original members.

3. "Dragula" -Rob Zombie (1998)

The 1998 break up of White Zombie didn't slow it's lead singer Rob Zombie down at all, as he released this ode to Grandpa Munsters drag racing coffin later that year. The first single off, Rob's first solo album, the song was a huge hit and the surreal video got heavy rotation on MTV. I actually think that Rob's solo stuff is much better then what he did as part of White Zombie, but really there isn't that much difference between the two. Rob has kept busy directing a few really terrible movies, but still making good music as he released Hellbilly Deluxe 2 in 2010.

2. "Number One Crush-Remix" -Garbage (1996)

What happens when you remix a almost unknown B-Side, and then throw it on the soundtrack to a terrible movie? You get my number 2 best song of the 90's. I've gone on record as saying I believe this is the most romantic song I've ever heard, and even I think that's a little odd. Still I do. #1 Crush was originally a B-Side to Garbage's "Subhuman" single which was only released in the UK in 1995. The song was then remixed and placed on the truly horrible 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet. The remix was the first time many Americans heard the song and I actually do believe it is the better of the two. Garbage went on to have a lot success the rest of the decade, even doing the title track to the James Bond movie "The World Is Not Enough." After a short hiatus in 2005 and lead singer Manson staring the "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles" the band is hinting a new album in 2011. I have to admit that Garbage has come very close to taking The Smashing Pumpkin's place in my holy trinity for some years now.

1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" -Oasis (1997)

I just want to make this clear right now. If I hadn't limited myself to one song from each group, this whole top ten would have been nothing BUT Oasis' song. I-LOVE-OASIS...simple as that. I've stuck by this band through thick and thin, and even when most gave up on them with the release of 2000's "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants". But I have to pick one song, and that one song is my all time favorite song, 1997's "D'You Know What I Mean". Taking almost the same chords of their huge smash ballad "Wonderwall" and turning them on their ears. D'You Know What I Mean is a rocking force of nature. Off their third album "Be Here Now", the song reached number one in the UK, but failed to reach the heights of Wonderwall here in the states. Oasis have had several line up changes over the year and released seven studio albums, one live album, and three compilation albums. Sadly in 2009 Noel Gallagher left the band after a bad, but common, row with his brother and Oasis front man Liam. This ended Oasis, as Noel was the primary creative force in the group. Many a predicting a Oasis reunion sooner, rather then later.

Well that's it, my top ten. If you disagree then bugger off! Or better yet make your own top ten list and post it for me to read.

Until next time, see you on the front line.