Chimney Rock Mountain overlook (photo)

This photo isn’t one of my own; nor was it taken around Roanoke.  This was taken from Chimney Rock Mountain, which is just north of Charlottesville, Virginia.

I pulled it off of Wikimedia Commons, though, because the mountains around Roanoke look so much like this.  (And the camera I am using just cannot do them justice.)  I get to see something like this every day.  It’s wild.



Photo credit: By Chimney_Rock_Mountain_Overlook.jpg: Ed Brown derivative work: Patrick {oѺ∞} (Chimney_Rock_Mountain_Overlook.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A few quick words on “Seoul Station” (2016)

If you enjoyed last year’s excellent “Train to Busan,” then check out its animated prequel, “Seoul Station.”  They’re both directed by Yeon Sang-Ho, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie.  (I don’t usually prefer animated features — even the truly impressive anime classics.)

But this was worth a watch — and it even had some moments of real tension toward the end.




Vintage 1980’s Fidget Spinners!

When I was a kid, fidget spinners were called “ninja throwing stars,” and they could only be obtained by the ads in the back of “Ninja Magazine.”


Unless, of course, you were the kind of kid whose mother forbade him to ever touch one.  Dammit.  (She also took away the crossbow I’d made from scratch.)

Let me qualify the first sentence above — only the uninitiated actually called them “ninja throwing stars.”  Genuine ninjas, like me and my friends, knew that they were properly called “shuriken.”  My friends and I were serious students of ninjutsu in the early 80’s, and we had the magazines to prove it.  Our Ninja Clan was called “The Night Stalkers.”  (We actually started out as “The Night Crawlers,” until one of us realized that was what fishermen called earthworms.)

[DISCLAIMER: If any real ninjas are reading this, please do not assassinate me.  Also, various sites on the Internet contain misinformation suggesting that historical ninjas did not actually wear those black outfits — they’d wear ordinary period clothing, so that they could only figuratively “blend in with their surroundings” and avoid detection by samurai.  I didn’t write that nonsense, I’m just passing it along to you.]






A tiny review of “Dead Rush” (2016)

“Dead Rush” (2016) isn’t quite as bad as other reviewers have made it out to be; it’s a passably entertaining zombie feature that I’d rate a 6 out of 10.  It occasionally rises above its central gimmick to create a few moments of suspense and emotion.  (The gimmick here is that the entire film is shot from the point-of-view of one man in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.)

That point-of-view device does wear a little thin by the end of this feature-length film … and I’m a found-footage horror movie fan who usually doesn’t mind that sort of thing.  This movie might have been better overall if the viewer weren’t required to follow those “shaky-cam”-type visuals for quite so long; my understanding is that it was adapted from a well received short film.

If there was one thing that bothered me the most, though, it wasn’t the POV.  There is a recurring shot in “Dead Rush” that I liked a hell of a lot, involving the main character’s memory of a loved one.  It’s made even better when it is rather creatively used as a framing device at the film’s end.  A little reflection, though, made me remember that this shot seems to crib a little too much from a similar effective recurring shot in 2011’s “The Grey.”

What the hell … if you need a zombie horror fix, you could do worse than “Dead Rush.”



Throwback Thursday: Ideal’s “Jaws” game! (1975)

This one’s taking us waaaaay back — does anyone here remember playing with this nifty “Jaws” game when they were a kid?  This was released by Ideal in 1975, the same year as the movie.

The title shark’s jaw was spring-loaded to close upward, but it was held down by plastic pieces of ocean debris.  Players would take turns removing the pieces from the mouth until it sprang upward.

I think I played the game with my older sisters in their room, maybe … two years after it was released, in 1977?  The game had probably been a Christmas present for them.  (Its plastic pieces were red, if I recall — not blue.)  I was very a small child, and I was fascinated by it.